Sob! Sob! SOB!!! SOB!!! Boo hoo!!! I’m crying because I am both happy and sad. Happy that Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Psycho No Aisatsu special has finally been subbed! At the same time I’m a very sad panda because this is going to be the last Milky Holmes episode ever!!! NOOOO!!!! Oh no! OH NO!!! Milky Holmes my dearest, we’ve been together hot and cold throughout the years. Together with your silly antics and dumb retard actions. I thought we’d always be together. Sob, sob. I thought we will always go on forever like how the way things are. Sob, sob. But now, looks like reality has smacked us in the face. It is time to graduate. Time to move on. Sob, sob, sob… And hence this final graduation episode that did a crossover with that Cardfight Vanguard anime, we’re going to see how well you have grown into great detectives. Sob, sob, sob… Oh, I just can’t take it anymore. I just can’t… *Continues to bawl like a baby*.

Down memory lane…
Oh my. Milky Holmes really doing an impressive run with their detective work and putting dumb useless G4 to shame? Uhm, that’s how it should be? Well, okay. Arsene hears Milky Holmes talks about wanting to graduate. Hence she is in a dilemma as she ponders if it is still too early for them but nevertheless, she will give them a final test to prove their worth. Thus Phantom Thief Empire steals a precious card from Aichi Sendo (that protagonist from Cardfight Vanguard). She has left a message for Milky Holmes and is waiting for them to show up but it is Feathers who pop up instead. I guess they need to get some fame too and asked Milky Holmes for permission. Go ahead, girls! And with that… Feathers get brutally owned by Arsene! Don’t waste my time! Poor Feathers return to report to Milky Holmes and with some memories thingy blabbing from Sherlock, I guess they’re taking up the case. So as part of the memory lane trip, they pass by several places they have been before in search of Arsene. Finally they stumble into Arsene and her men. Time for some epic fight. Remember how Twenty can shoot his nipples like projection? Somehow he lost a rock-paper-scissors fight to Cordelia. And why is Hercule holding Stone River’s sword? She acts like a girl being stalked so that’s enough to defeat him. Nero summons the cats to lick on Rat. I guess that works too. The real epic showdown between Arsene and Sherlock… Interrupted by some memories thingy. Suddenly Kokoro intercepts to handcuff Arsene. OMFG! Stupid Kokoro just usurp and took all the credit? I guess she and her G4 are being dumb obnoxious cocky lying b*tches that she agrees to just get arrested by them. Laugh while you can, Kokoro… Badmouth Milky Holmes all you want, Kokoro… Because Milky Holmes seems to be taking all this well and in good spirits. Ah well. Time to go home. Meanwhile G4’s HQ is being decimated as Arsene easily destroyed and broke her way out. Not laughing anymore now, eh? Kokoro is the most badly bruised but don’t worry, Irene still loves how cute you look.

Milky Holmes is summoned to the hall and looks like it is really graduation for them. Henriette rolls in their final task. Uhm, does this bomb disposal task look familiar? If they manage to stop the bomb in one minute, a surprise also awaits them. Spoilers: Past characters in the series are waiting behind the door to congratulate them. And so we see Milky Holmes being f*cking confident in doing this. So much so they start off by singing a song!!! 5 seconds left to go… They easily use their toys to disarm the bomb and take the envelope within. Oh my. They are truly competent! Inside the envelope contains their graduation certificates. But why is Milky Holmes looking sad and disappointed? Actually when they talked about graduation, they meant graduating from their attic dorm. Oh my. Henriette feels so embarrassed that she was the one that misinterpreted the situation. What now? She goes to tell all those past characters that the surprise party is cancelled. Go home. Get out. Scram! And they came so far for this… And so Henriette graduates them from the attic dorm. We see this is all a plan by Mori Arty to move them out. Not sure if she is going to stay here now but she is definitely keeping it clean. Milky Holmes each have their own rooms. Sleeping comfortably? Not quite. Because they all gather and sleep together like the crammed style they are so used to. Nothing like the old times. With Milky Holmes becoming competent detectives to chase after Arsene, uhm, maybe some things don’t change too since they are still clumsy…

Milky Holmes: Homey Homecoming
Oh really? That was it? Sure they aren’t going to pull off a fast one and prank us that there will be another special by the end of this year? You sure about that? Not trying to do Gintama style of trolling and keep long time fans like yours truly surprised and happy? No? I guess this is it then. Time to really, really, really face reality. So this final Milky Holmes special really does hit the feels as we see the typical clichés that really made the Milky Holmes franchise funny and cute as we know them. Of course there was one season where it was really serious and truly competent Milky Holmes (there was also that Alternative alternative) but as far as this final special is concerned, they balance it all out. What I mean is that Milky Holmes still maintain their retard ways but they are not as much as a retard before and they have shown to have control over their Toys now. I believe that Arsene too was feeling sad to see that Milky Holmes graduated. That is why when she head they aren’t really into graduating from school, you can feel that she heaved a sigh of relief and kicked out those past characters. Well, Milky Holmes will still be doing detective work after graduation but being in school, this means Arsene can continue to play as their mentor and guide them as Henriette. So yeah, maybe after being so long with them, I don’t think Arsene really wants to say goodbye so suddenly like that. Let’s keep the status quo for now, shall we?

This special might not be able to incorporate everything that would make us feel totally nostalgic about Milky Holmes because otherwise it would have been a recap episode. Hence it is nice to see some of the things making their short cameo like those characters and places. G4 is also much welcomed with their cameo especially dumb IQ boasting Kokoro who is still as obnoxious and bratty as ever. It is amazing G4 haven’t got fired yet. Nice for Feathers to also make their cameo but so as not to steal the limelight from their senpai, I guess it’s too bad they had to get some beat down. Mori Arty still mysterious in her agenda and all but she could be just a normal girl for all we know. Initially I thought Milky Holmes was going to have some card-like fighting theme like Yugioh, because you know, Cardfight Vanguard crossover. But this feels more like a side distraction and they could have taken other themes like Pokemon’s Pikachu getting kidnapped or some device from Digimon gets stolen whatsoever. So the only running joke to remind us about this crossover is the fact that Milky Holmes cannot remember Aichi’s name and spout it out totally as a different name altogether. Only Hercule remembers but nobody listens…

It is really sad and it really hits the feels in the heart when the ending theme, Soshite Gunjou Ni Toketaiku by Milky Holmes is such a sweet and lovely ballad. So sweet and lovely that it almost sounds like a song that is played at high school graduation ceremonies! Oh damn. Here I was holding back my tears and then they had to play this song? You really want me to bawl over mah dummies?! I mean, my detective angels?! Oh well. Sherlock, whatever crap you said about those memories thingy, I don’t really remember nor understand, but I think I kinda know what it means for a long running (technically) series to have its final send off episode. It is sad that it has ended but also remember, be happy for all the antics and fun that they have brought to us in almost 10 years span. And so the opera curtains finally draw to a close. Thank you, Milky Holmes. Thank you for everything. Eyes getting blurry, nose getting stuffy, voice getting croaky… I think I need another pack of tissues…

On a trivial note, I wonder why this special is named as Psycho No Aisatsu, literally meaning, a psychotic greeting. Hmm… Could it be a play on the word saikou (the greatest)? Either way, Milky Holmes has always greeted us in the most Milky Holmes of fashion and with this final, it is rather Psycho No Sayonara (a psychotic goodbye) AKA Saikou No Sayonara (the greatest goodbye). Once again, thank you Milky Holmes.

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD

November 28, 2015

OH YEAH!!! THEY’RE BACK!!! It is good to know that our adorable dummies detectives are back for a third season (fourth, if you considered that side spin-off as the third). Therefore I couldn’t really wait to get my hands on Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD seeing the ‘amazing’ kind of track record they have. Oh yeah. Milky Holmes. The name that rings shame and disgrace for true detectives all around the world in real life or fiction but brings joy to all those who enjoy their silly antics (like yours truly) as they stumble their way to become the world’s greatest detectives. And I hope they’ll take many more years for that. Haha! So, will they become True Detectives or will they become Totally Dummies at the end of it all? Isn’t that what TD is supposed to mean? Oh heck, I can’t wait any longer. Bring on mah dummies!

Episode 1
Fans are enjoying the idols’ performance when suddenly they cannot sing anymore! Even baffling is that all records of their voice are missing from CDs, tapes, files, etc. Could this be the job of a phantom thief? Phantom Thief Empire? Well, a personal call from Arsene reveals they don’t steal music. And so Kokoro takes it upon herself to find the culprit before her eternal rivals Milky Holmes does. She and her partner, Keiko are now suspecting Marine Amagi who is the most popular idol in the country now. Especially her Song of Miracles which is billed as the top song ever. As explained by her Producer and Manager, Marine possesses Toys that allows her Elements to take physical form. They have the ability to attract people who listen to it. As Marine has been singing this song with her Elements since young, there is no way she could be the culprit. Further observation on Marine shows that she is a kind hearted person among her peers. During her live concert, the same tragedy strikes. How can somebody steal her ability right in front of all the cameras and fans? In fact, all of her Elements have been stolen too. Feathers thought they can help but here comes those bumbling Milky Holmes! They know who the culprit is! Who?! KAZUMI???!!! WTF?! She is arrested and sent to prison! Meanwhile Marine’s fortunes turn for the worst. As she cannot sing, she retired and started appearing in variety shows but that itself didn’t make her go anywhere. Manager thought she should do something else but Marine has always bent on only becoming a singer. That is why she will swallow her pride and quit. I don’t know if Kokoro is making a joke because she says if Marine retires, she’ll arrest her?!

Then Milky Holmes pop up to announce that Manager is the real culprit behind this. She forced Marine into a corner and stole her confidence. Something about this lovely figurine of poor Marine that will be selling like hot cakes. Wow. So cute. Let me have one! Ahem… Manager shows her true colours but even surprising is Melodia, one of the Elements popping out from her cleavage. Melodia then challenges them to play a game with her. In this alternate dimension, if they win, they can have Marine back or else she will stay here with Melodia forever. So in this silly obstacle race, Milky Holmes do all they can to win it. Don’t even ask about that silly logic because Manager had bigger boobs that makes her float so the rest sting themselves to ‘inflate’ certain parts and do the same. In the end, Sherlock wins in. Kokoro is about to arrest Manager but Melodia says it is not her fault. When Elements were stolen from Marine, they were sucked into the person closest to them. Melodia couldn’t understand why but she felt she wanted Marine all to herself. Manager admits she did try to push Marine hard and because of those feelings it made Melodia go berserk. With Melodia returning to Marine, they notice her voice returns a little. This means if they gather back all her other Elements, she’ll regain her voice again. When Marine lost her Elements and Song of Miracles, she gave up but Milky Holmes taught her never to do that. Wait a minute. Those bungling detectives teaching somebody lessons in life? OMG. The world is going to end?! Yeah, they don’t even remember the incident where they lost their Toys, live in an attic and all those shameless stuffs…

Episode 2
Kazumi is finally freed from prison… See how much life it took out from her? You better sincerely apologize you Dopey Holmes! So they discuss about the other Elements. As Melodia points out, it is impossible for them to live outside humans so they must have been absorbed and living in other people. This confirms it. Kokoro is a big fan of Marine and is drooling while watching her video. Pink Lovely Doom appears before her. Oh God. It is that IQ bragging running joke… Pink Lovely Doom knocks her out. Not so smart now, are you? Milky Holmes thinks the culprit is the one who is jealous of Marine’s songs. Her idol mates are the prime suspects. Holy cow! Manager has brought hundreds of them here! How many of them exactly in this band? They wanted a million members… And Sherlock starts accusing one by one they are the culprit. Damn clones… Producer has a dubbing job for Marine. She accepts the monster voicing role but fellow idol Senna is not pleased because Marine already lost her voice and she hasn’t been fired yet. Does she think doing a movie will help her return? Sorry but Senna won’t help her. Instead, Miki Hojou would gladly help out Marine. Haven’t finished accusing yet, Sherlock? As they head for the audition, suddenly this idol gate crashes. Mayu Hanasaki looks suspiciously like Kokoro… She sings her Perfect Song in which it is so perfect that Dummy Holmes give her a perfect score. Even dumber as they are, they think this weird mascot, Capriccio is an Element. She badmouths Marine cannot sing but since Mayu’s beeper is beeping like Ultraman’s low energy warning, it’s time to go. Later as Milky Holmes try to have Marine name all her Elements (obviously she can’t because there are so many of them), Marine feels sad because she doesn’t want to go back to a place where she is not remembered.

And so the final showdown for the audition pits Marine and Mayu in a wrestling ring. Nero becomes the commentator while the rest are Marine’s assistants. Mayu unleashes some handshake power but Cordelia knows how to counter it. Now she fights back with some handmade sweets move to put Mayu out of commission. She is about to target Capriccio but Marine feels pity. In this distraction, Cordelia is owned as Capriccio reveals about the dog-eat-dog-world in show business. Survival of the fittest. Might is right! Marine becomes mad. Idols don’t need power. They need love. And she’ll prove it to her. She transforms into some Sailormoon spoof and with her Idol Shoulder Fist punches Pink Lovely Doom out of the Capriccio costume. Shocked that she is not an Element? Well, she never said she was one. She reveals that her goal is to find the phantom thief who stole Marine’s Elements. For that phantom thief to do that means they must be powerful. It is now a race to see who will find that phantom thief first. With Pink Lovely Doom gone, Mayu’s mask falls off and everyone recognizes her as Kokoro. No memories of what happened? Well, at least Marine wins the audition. Stronger and motivated, she vows to reclaim all her Elements and won’t give up. That’s the spirit. During the monster dubbing sequence, she tries her best to roar but sounds so meek and cute. Can she muster up a real roar? RAAAAWWRRR!!! OMG! She sounds like the real deal!!!!!!!!

Episode 3
Marine and Miki are in some curry promotion shoot. But she has to do several retakes. Getting sick of curry? Milky Holmes has no decency to even try their own curry in front of her. When Producer mentions about some shrines job, Marine instantly accept it. Milky Holmes doesn’t have to come but they insist. Why do they look like they’re here to have fun? It gets worse when Manager screws up their timing because they missed the flight. You don’t think they are here early because their flight is supposed to be at 1pm and now it is 3pm. 10 hour wait? You’re freaking late! No choice, they start trekking through the desert. They miss the only bus whose frequency is only once a day. Milky Holmes starts becoming idiotic as they continue their misadventures. Even more annoying is how they sleep talk about how rich they are. I can understand why Marine is so freaking upset if they are really here to protect her. Yeah, she can’t really believe these girls are detectives. When they reach a local Indian-like city, they learn the prince has some sort of obsession for curry and those who do not satisfy him will be imposed very big tax. First thing Milky Holmes does? Let’s go eat! Can’t work on an empty stomach! But they become scared seeing this magma curry and start pushing it around. Now you see their true colours, Marine? You have every right to be upset and walk out! Dummy Holmes doesn’t want the curry to waste and start licking the ground!!! ALL TOO FAMILIAR!!! Their curry is more important that they realize too late Marine is gone.

Marine conducts her own investigation but the guards capture her and throw her in the dungeon before the prince pops up with some business with her. Milky Holmes sneaks into the palace easily since the guards are pretty occupied in catching a pair of phantom thieves intruding the place. They are Feathers and this is just a diversion. You think those guards care if they are detectives or thieves? Stick ‘em up! With Cordelia’s Toys, they manage to trace Marine in the prince’s throne room. Marine is surprised to hear that Milky Holmes is here to save her and she feels bad for abandoning them. It seems the prince is possessed by the Harmony twins from Elements. As usual, another game on. The one who can make the best curry wins. Milky Holmes gathers the ingredients but because Nero wants to use the sacred cow meat, she gets chopped off! There goes her appearance for the rest of this episode. After both sides finish, the prince starts tasting. The usual super exaggerated effects when he tastes the Harmony twins’ dish. No reaction from Milky Holmes so does this mean the Harmony twins won? Surprised! He announces Milky Holmes as the winner! But why? He lets Marine tastes it and she could taste all the hard work Milky Holmes put in. She realizes this effort was because they never gave up on her. The Harmony twins reveal the prince was not at fault as they were attracted to his power and passion for curry. Of course his strong feelings for it mean they went berserk. The Harmony twins return to Marine and the prince is kind enough to lend his private luxury jet for them to return. They can’t help feel somebody is missing… Oh Nero…

Episode 4
Marine and Milky Holmes get lost in the forest while trying to find a hotel. Don’t ask. Milky Holmes see an old lady passing and thinks there must be a cottage nearby and rushes straight to her. But they end up in a mansion of a lady named Sakiko Kinumiya who claims she has been living here all by herself. She asks for Marine’s autograph since she is a big fan of hers. Actually she is a fan of one hit wonders. Milky Holmes misinterprets what that means and seeing they can live the luxury life, they agree to work for Sakiko by getting all 88 stamps. So we see them participate in variety game show challengers against other one hit wonders in Sakiko’s amusement park. Meanwhile Sakiko and Marine watch them on TV as Sakiko praises the perfect one hit wonder Marine is. However Marine doesn’t want to be that and wants to continue to sing. This irks Sakiko so she imprisons her in an iron helmet trying to brainwash her. Milky Holmes is on a winning streak but have to face a video arcade master. The one who scores the most points in 3 minutes wins. Nero thought she can do a better job but when she realizes she is lagging behind and tries to use her Toys to change the scoring system, it shuts down and reboots. Game over? Suddenly Feathers drop in to help. They claim their chipmunk teeth are magical accessories that allow them to beat any game. Don’t worry. Their hand is so fast that the score keeps adding up at incredible speed to make a comeback win! Milky Holmes wins! Now they need 1 more stamp. Unfortunately nobody knows who the 88th person is since there are only 87 of them. Have they been cheated? Oh, but here comes Sakiko to introduce Marine as her newest one hit wonder member. Suddenly Shout, one of the Elements pops out from Sakiko. They’re going to play a quiz game about rock. I don’t know. They have to choose between food and daily items. What do they have to do with rock? I don’t understand Shout’s explanation either… Oh heck, was it supposed to make sense? In the end, it is a draw. Milky Holmes gets their final stamp and is happy to join Marine in her luxurious one hit wonder life. However Marine has been trying to fight against this. She doesn’t want it to end here and wants to continue singing. Her determination is so great that she breaks out from her iron helmet. She is emitting a light brighter than any one hit wonder. The light of a true star! Shout is impressed with her enthusiasm and returns to her. It is revealed that Sakiko wanted to test Marine’s talent to see if it’s real or not. But thanks to it, Marine knows what she wants now. But Sakiko’s obsession with one hit wonders is true. Because she used to be one and wished that moment could last forever. She kept it all in her amusement park.

Episode 5
Marine will be starring alongside Carol Dodgson in Spygirl 4. Producer thought it will be a good opportunity to show the world she can do more than just sing. However the director sees them and there is a threatening letter to Carol. She is a total b*tch, badmouthing Milky Holmes for not being serious as her bodyguards (because Nero asked for her autograph) and she doesn’t want to be friends with Marine. I guess when you’re a big child star like her, you don’t want to mix with have-beens. Later the director reveals Carol is on the edge right now as today is her birthday but she hates celebrating and wants to continue working. It has been hard for her to work with adults and she doesn’t have friends her age. Milky Holmes didn’t know they are to play stunt doubles and get into trouble in the forest, running into a bear and falling off a cliff. But it seems Milky Holmes isn’t goofing around. The autograph Nero got, they have analyzed it and realize the perpetrator is the same. Shortly, Kokoro is called to the scene because the director receives another threatening letter. Milky Holmes has Carol follow them into the forest. Suddenly Sherlock points a gun at her and tells her she is their hostage! What gives?! Then they got hide in some cave as Feathers give them some delivery goods. Milky Holmes happily dancing around the bonfire? Marine is sorry for what is happening to Carol although she has no clue what Milky Holmes is up to. Carol scorns her for losing her ability to sing. She’d rather die than go through that. Looking at Marine pisses her off because it reminds her of her future self. She grabs the gun to fire a warning shot but it’s fake. Turns out this is a surprise birthday party Milky Holmes planned. Carol is not happy. She doesn’t want to celebrate. Milky Holmes is puzzled that she wrote a threatening letter to herself. They think she has been working so hard every day and can’t make friends or even celebrate her birthday.

She admits she did write that letter but it’s not because she doesn’t want to work but to ensure her status as an eternal star. She was going to disappear forever after filming but now she’ll take all of them along with her. Then one of the Elements, Rhythmic pops out. In this wonderland dimension, Rhythmic explains time stops here because Carol doesn’t want to grow up. As she is a child actress, she’ll be worthless when she grows up. Marine argues she is wrong and this isn’t what Carol wants. She doesn’t want Rhythmic to steal her happiness. Rhythmic decides to play a game and if they win, they can have her back. So they’re playing a game of jenga. Milky Holmes is going to lose on their turn when Sherlock hypnotizes Cordelia to be a block. It fooled Rhythmic so when it is Carol’s turn, Cordelia is hypnotized back to normal and the blocks crumble. In the aftermath, Rhythmic points out Carol is not the phantom thief. She felt scared that if she can’t be with Marine, she can’t make people happy. Same for Carol. She feared of growing up and relied on Rhythmic. After Rhythmic returns to Marine, Carol talks to her that she often listened to her Song of Miracles when she is going through hard times. That is why she had the director casted her in this movie. But for Marine, after seeing how Carol placed priority in her acting, she realizes she didn’t give her singing the same importance. Therefore no matter how hard it gets, she wants to go back singing. Carol requests for her autograph by Marine can’t give it to her now. Not at least she can sing again. But they can be friends. Kokoro then arrests Milky Holmes because they wrote a dumb threatening letter to pay them a year’s supply of fish cakes and bananas. Yeah, who else could write such a joke?

Episode 6
It must be a bad day for Kokoro. She is sick but still has to go to work since her G4 pals are also out sick. Worse, Milky Holmes is here to visit! Not enough energy for a retort? Keiko suggests cancelling their traffic safety course but Milky Holmes would gladly help out. So they do a poor impersonation of G4 and I don’t think they’re fooling anyone. The kids are not impressed. Even the old guy (who is Arsene in disguise) tells them to do it properly! Milky Holmes sees Producer and the rest watching a video. Did Marine upload a video? No. This is an impersonator. Despite the butt hurt comments, this video has 7 billion views! At this rate she will become more famous than the real one. Sherlock knows who the culprit is. It is Miki! What kind of joke is this?! Thanks to this commotion, Marine finds out about this. Sad girl. Milky Holmes gets cracking on the case. Nero calls Feathers to help find out about Nerima Tenkujo, the one who uploaded the video. They finally discover her location. Despite looking like a duplicate of Marine, she is just a plain girl without all that makeup and accessories. Seems Nerima is a big fan of Marine and believes she must make more videos for her. Besides, she is not doing anything illegal and the site she uploads the videos have permission to use her music. The real Marine pops up and she believes it is not Nerima’s fault as it was herself who lost her Elements to begin with. Nerima starts talking crazy that since everyone has forgotten Marine ever since she lost her singing, she will become famous in her place. All her fans will love her in her place! Sherlock throws a tantrum that this will make Marine feel sad so Nerima throws down a challenge. She will upload a new video tomorrow. They will also upload a video and if they can get more views than hers in a week, she will delete the videos. If they lose, they will resign as detectives. They think being a video star is easy, huh? Well, Sherlock’s Kamaboko walking through a box only nets her double digits. Same case with the rest on filming whatever that was. At least Hercule got 10,000 views because she was unintentionally reading a fairytale in an erotic way! Plus, it was tagged as an adult video.

Nerima is glad those Dummy Holmes are no match for her. She has already amassed a billion views. But she sees the people talking about a new video that is all the rage. It is Marine dancing. Even more worrying is she has gotten over 900 million views. Nerima then decides to use her secret weapon. By pressing F5 key, she will refresh the page and add to the views! But nothing happens. That is when Milky Holmes caught her in the act. They have replaced her keyboard with all F5 keys! They knew she was the culprit after noticing her F5 key has been worn out. Nerima becomes upset. One of the Elements, Dancing pops out. Time for another battle. They thought it is going to be a dance battle but it turns out whoever can be a real boy wins. Dancing transforms Nerima into a girly boy to flirt with Nerima. Could have almost stole her heart had Milky Holmes not snap her out of it. Not it is their turn, Nero could have fitted the part well but they decided to pick on Hercule and turn her into a guy. That banchou outfit is so unconvincing. However Hercule makes her move. She isn’t just being a real boy. She is manly! Look at her Adam’s apple! Well, actually the cough cold deepened her voice since Hercule caught a little flu from Kokoro. Dancing admits defeat and returns to Marine. Nerima laments all she wanted was to support Marine. But Marine has learnt a valuable lesson from this. Idols need their fans to believe in them. Milky Holmes thinks they can make Marine more famous by uploading secret videos of her. You want to know why Marine is embarrassed and has had it with this worthless crap? It is a video of her sleeping. Aww… So cute…

Episode 7
The first thing Marine sees when she walks into office… Milky Holmes arguing among themselves… About lemon and friend chicken… I’ll spare you their argument details. Marine is disappointed because she thought they taught her about getting along at that Indian kingdom but this only puts oil on the fire. Because Nero remembers she was left behind and nobody cared! The argument intensifies… Later Marine talks to Miki about this and Marine is confident she won’t give up yet. That night as Nero goes to apologize to the rest, surprisingly they apologize first. Wow. Friendship back on track so fast. Next day, Nero has some weird rosy dream and when she is wakes up for a bodyguard job, she starts acting girly! Marine thought she could diffuse the lemon-fried chicken problem but to her shock, Milky Holmes doesn’t care about it anymore. What just happened? Milky Holmes will be Marine’s bodyguard as she heads to a TV drama set. She will be starring along with Hiroko Tenma whose beauty has never aged since 10 years ago. There are rumours she might be a vampire. Because so, they think Marine is in deep trouble to be her next victim. As they make their way to the set, they get horrified by Tenma coming out of the coffin. Useless Holmes minus Nero all fainted. Turns out the crew was just rehearsing. When Tenma looks at Nero, something between them click. Once the rest of Milky Homes wakes up, they are shocked to see Nero in a traditional Japanese outfit and she has agreed to become Tenma’s adopted child! It is because she looked like her child she lost a long time ago. Of course they are sad because this would mean the breakup of their partnership.

Of course Marine heard rumours from other staffs that they never knew she had a daughter. Manager heard another rumour that Tenma adopted a daughter 10 years ago but there was a boy she often took along with her to shootings but one day she stopped bringing him. Could it be she is really a vampire? When Milky Holmes goes to see Nero because they miss her (really), suddenly coming out from her is one of the Elements, Poemi. They are going to play a traditional Japanese quiz game. I don’t know how this one works but Nero is taking a great lead. Marine makes a comeback after getting that determined feeling. And then when she answers about being a true mother, Tenma as the host gives her maximum points for her to win the game. When Nero is back to normal, she genuinely apologizes to everyone. Everyone is getting emotional. Group hug! Poemi returns to Marine. Later it is revealed the rumours on Tenma were true. She did have a son and Nero looked very much like him. So she mistook Nero for a boy? The daughter she adopted 10 years ago was her maid. Tenma realizes she has been neglecting her and wants to restart as a true family. Her son somehow left and she treated her as his replacement. This time she’ll be her true daughter. Milky Holmes get brutally honest about Nero’s character and here we go again with their silly argument…

Episode 8
Kobayashi calls Milky Holmes that there has been another case of a stolen Element that is similar to the case they have been working on. This means Milky Holmes and Marine are off to London! They meet Oscar who may look like a pretty boy but is actually a woman. She comes from a family of making the finest tea and her only Element, Noblesse has been stolen on one stormy night. She has her butler, Andrew let them taste the tea. Although it is delicious, Oscar views it is not enough. Ever since Noblesse has disappeared, she couldn’t make the best tea anymore. She feels she doesn’t deserve to inherit the Duke of Twilight title and become the head of the family. Her aunt, Jeanne suggests giving that title up to her goofy son, Nicholas since he is a boy. But Professor Cline Nevalt, the famous tea critic believes that cannot be the case since Elements stay with those who are suited to be the next Duke of Twilight and gender has nothing to do with it. Milky Holmes gets cracking to find Noblesse. That night Marine sees Oscar and cheers him up with her Elements. He notes that having an Element is proof of talent. He felt that because Andrew was always there and tasted the tea for him. Marine mentions about his funny glasses so Oscar laughs. He explains Andrew used to play with her a lot but one day she had an accident and he saved her. This caused severe lost to his vision and if he doesn’t wear glasses he cannot see anything. When Marine goes back, a knight armour threatens the detective to take her friends back or else. But Cordelia comes to save the day as the armour runs away. She knows who the culprit is and calls everyone to gather.

Putting back the armour that was situated in the front hall that everybody can use, it seems only somebody small can fit into this. It couldn’t be Nicholas or Jeanne and the obvious person could be no other than… Cline! WTF?! This guy is wheelchair ridden, can’t you see that?! They believe he is faking his disability and egg him to stand up! Nope. Wrong deduction again! Cline now plays detective. He has Marine remember the knight’s words. He mistook her for a detective and miscalled her Hercule. It is obvious, isn’t it? It is no other than Andrew! So the butler did it, huh? He has to take off his glasses to don the tight armour. Noblesse then pops out from Andrew. She wanted to relieve Oscar of her burden. Now they’re going to play a game. If Milky Holmes can get out of this living maze, she’ll return to Oscar. They have a time limit and the maze can change. Cordelia sees some plant eating bugs in Cline’s hands and uses it to make the maze open a path to Oscar. Noblesse tries to stop them but Marine summons her Elements to make a beeline to reach the finish line. Noblesse reveals Andrew did not steal her. On that stormy night, she went to hide in him so as to relieve Oscar’s burden of being the next head. But Andrew feels responsible. He is always jealous of Oscar and Noblesse being together. He thought she would love him if Noblesse was gone. Oscar cannot believe this and fires him. After all these years and he doesn’t know her feelings. Oscar believes Noblesse chose him that night. Andrew hugs her, will quit has her butler and make her his wife. Everyone enjoying this romantic drama? At the back, it seems Cline can actually walk but he is Kobayashi in disguise.

Episode 9
Cordelia suggests using Ouija Board to help find the next Element. Wow. Is it really working? Because it point to some casino island and a new international casino branch to be opened by Scarlett Ohada. With the hospitality of the prince (Milky Holmes pigging out his curry meal), they make their way there and the moment they land, Sherlock is being struck by some android girl, Ann Gardy. They attend the opening ceremony as Milky Holmes uses Ouija Board to find the Elements but since it predicts numbers for them, Milky Holmes becomes greedy and starts gambling. Marine meets Miki who is here to do an opening gig. Marine then sees Milky Holmes being taken away because when their winning streak turns into losses, they start borrowing from loan sharks to repay their debt. And they kept losing… Noir the Black Dealer wants to play a game with Milky Holmes as instructed by Scarlett. They thought if they can beat her, the debts will be erased. Nope. Element Decrescendo pops out from Noir. If she loses, Decrescendo goes back to Marine otherwise Noir will take all of her Elements. First they play poker. Noir is confident her four-of-a-kind will win it since Milky Holmes only has weak hands. But she didn’t expect Marine to get a Royal Flush! Next game has cards with girls claiming they are 17. But one of them isn’t. Which? Marine is going with her guts but she accidentally sneezes and picks up another one. This proves to be the correct card. Wow. Such incredible luck. In the final game, Marine must walk across a panel in which certain tiles are loose. If she falls down, it’s game over. Noir believes she will lose because a column of tiles are all loose. However Marine jumps over and wins it. Marine and Milky Holmes hurry back as they want to catch Miki performing. Noir laments her failure to Scarlett. Although Scarlett says she has fulfilled her duty and was no match for her unnatural luck, Scarlett views Noir as useless and wants her to leave. This is her only home. Where is she to go? Not her problem. If you’re wondering where Ann has been all the time? She’s been playing the slots and has won buckets loads of chips! This is enough to repay Milky Holmes’ debts! Scarlett then makes a surprise announcement that there is going to be a wonderful show and needs Marine’s help. Once she goes up on stage, the roof opens and Marine is sucked up along with Scarlett into the ominous sky.

Episode 10
Noir explains Scarlett is now on the floating island that was once created by some super civilization. Scarlett has been strategically opening her casinos so that it could channel its power to this casino island to summon the floating island. There is a Levistone on that island with incredible luck that those who possess it will never have bad luck ever. Scarlett plans on ruling the world with it but to get that stone, you need incredible luck and who better than Marine has that. The catch is, in the process Marine’s psyche will be destroyed while Scarlett will be unharmed. But how are they going to get up there? Ann has a special dimensional hole inside her locket that will allow them to get there (the floating island is filled with flying sharks so it’s impossible to get close via plane). Ann reveals she is a guardian of that place and it is here duty to prevent any sort of awakening. Since a great effort of concentration of bonds is required to keep the hole open, Hercule, Nero and Cordelia stay back to let Sherlock, Miki, Noir and Ann float up. However Scarlett’s henchmen are here to break that concentration. Fear not. This is where Feathers comes in to help. Once on the floating island, Scarlett lets loose traps to keep the girls at bat. During a robot attack, Ann takes damage and it exposes her mechanical arm. Though, she can still function like normal. Once they reach the main room, Noir tries to convince her mother to let her find Levistone for her. However Crescendo the Element pops out from her. They deduce she has been attracted by Scarlett’s greed. Time to play a game. Sherlock and Scarlett engage in a Yugioh card game parody with nonsensical and crazy moves. Sherlock wins at the end but Scarlett continues attacking them. Shouldn’t Crescendo be back to them? They think Scarlett’s greed is so great that it is forcing to keep Crescendo by her side. Miki then uses a bold move to grab Crescendo away from Scarlett. Scarlett reverts to normal and Crescendo returns to Marine. Everybody leaves the island but Ann won’t. She will stay here and be on standby till her next mission. Sherlock is sad since they have already become friends. Ann says goodbye but Sherlock corrects her it should be see you again. Ann returns to her pod and goes into slumber mode while Sherlock with tears in her eyes holds Ann’s locket.

Episode 11
The media hounds Miki and ignores Marine. But something else bugs Marine. When Miki grabbed Crescendo, she noticed she used her Toys. Could it be? Because that phantom thief who stole Marine’s Elements popped up, Kokoro is upset that the media has such information and the police didn’t! My, slacking aren’t we? So she orders to do a search for all the people at the casino having Toys. Yeah. There are so many of them… Keiko stumbles upon Miki’s data and they see something… When Producer has a new song for Marine, she won’t sing it till she gets all her Elements back. Marine tells Milky Holmes about her mom who wrote the Song of Miracles. Though she passed away when she was 6 years old, it holds many memories. Milky Holmes suggests they look around places Marine went with her mom. So at the outskirts of a town where she used to live with her mom, Milky Holmes mistaken this landlady to be Marine’s mother! Weren’t they listening? Inside a closet, they see a scribble of Marine and her mom. Marine insists she didn’t draw that but they discover something shocking: Miki is also in that drawing. That is when Marine remembers Miki is a childhood friend and used to play a lot together. How could she have forgotten? Even more shocking news: Miki in a TV interview announces that she will be going solo and sing the Song of Miracles. So Marine returns to the city to confront Miki. Miki never said anything because Marine was a big star and hard to approach. Now that she remembers, Miki says the song belongs to them. Marine knows Miki is the one who used her Toys to steal her Elements. Miki admits her Toys is separation and uses her power on Marine to make her start back at square one again.

Miki is about to perform live on TV when Kokoro barges in to arrest her but is quickly restrained by the staff. Not even Milky Holmes can save the day. Who can then? Elements! How can this be? Although Miki broke their bonds once, Marine came back for them. Their bond has been revived and stronger than ever. Marine knows Miki has her final Element. After Miki transforms into her phantom thief form, out comes Amore. She is the one controlling Miki and the true perpetrator of everything. It all started when Marine and Miki first reunited. Amore hid inside Miki and controlled her. Amore believes that Song of Miracles is holding Marine back. This is the song that always got her back because Amore is the core of this song. As long as she has this song, she cannot overcome the obstacle before her and she wanted to set her free. Milky Holmes argues she is wrong because Marine never gave up. She is now much stronger than before. Marine proves that by singing Song of Miracles without any help. She thanks everybody for helping her. The Song of Miracles now does not belong to her alone. It belongs to everyone who loves it. After Marine and Miki reconcile, Amore notes she has matured and returns to her. This miracle snows down some light sparkles all over the world. Conveniently, Keiko uses her Toys to erase everyone’s memories so we are back at square one as they watch the live performance of Marine and Miki.

Episode 12
Miki has quit and with Marine making a comeback concert, lots of people are trying to book her to perform. Did Manager screw up and double booked her? Milky Holmes feels sad that their bodyguard job for Marine will soon be over. Don’t despair. She hasn’t forgotten about you dummies detectives. She sends them tickets to her concert. Kokoro is all geared up with all the stuffs to cheer on Marine. Only one problem: No ticket! Milky Holmes gets a call for a job that Pink Lovely Doom is on the loose. So they go chase her and I think they’ve got batteries lasting longer than the Energizer bunny since they run everywhere till Pink Lovely Doom feels Kokoro’s stress is gone and returns whatever counterfeit money plate to them. All that is left is Marine’s concert, right? If they don’t get another call for a job… Oh, the handphone rings… Trying to feign there is no such number? There is only one thing left to do: Milky Holmes, split up! So we have Sherlock chasing some piggy phantom thief, Cordelia helping an old man find his missing glasses in his mansion, Nero herding sheep and Hercule babysitting. Their job goes into overtime like Cordelia ending up cleaning the old guy’s mansion only to realize the glasses were on his head all along! Sherlock corners the phantom thief and her true identity is… Twenty! OMG! The pervert is back! Not just him. Stone River, Rat and Arsene too! Is Sherlock outnumbered? Her comrades finish their job in time to reunite and make this a fair fight. So we see the detectives and phantom thief duke it out as Marine concert gets underway. I don’t know how in a jam packed stadium, Marine can see that Milky Holmes didn’t turn up at their seats. Maybe she knows where they’ll be seating but do you know how big the stadium is? And Milky Holmes didn’t get the front seats… Milky Holmes’ battle has them take on giant Arsene (don’t even ask how this happen) and they combine their Toys to summon lightning to shrink her down to size (don’t even ask about this one too). Arsene is glad to see they have improved a little and decides to let them off for tonight (since Kokoro and the police are coming). But will Milky Holmes now make it for Marine’s concert? They thought it is over when they arrive but suddenly the place lights up again. Hey. Everybody waited for them?! Who are they? VIPs? Well, at least to Marine because she is thanking the super sleuths who helped her find what is most important to her. Wait a minute. Milky Holmes has a part to sing in Marine’s final song? Now guest artists, huh? And what better way to end it all with snippets of their past adventures together. How anti-climatic…

Elementary, My Dear Milky Holmes
Erm… Uhm… What… Well… Okay… If I had to sum up about this season in a couple of words, it would be toned down. Although Milky Holmes is generally silly but it seems they fare much better than in their previous seasons because they are not as dumb as they were when we first know them. I supposed we need to show how Milky Holmes have ‘grown up’ and graduated from their academy because you realize the setting isn’t in their Holmes Detective Academy. Teaming up with an idol to help recover her lost Elements may provide a little deviation from the usual formula of Milky Holmes cracking cases to catch phantom thieves or get back their Toys (the main goal in the first two seasons). However the format of Marine and the detectives going around to find Elements, meet different people, get into some trouble, get into some challenge, learn some valuable lesson (sort of) and having the Element coming back to Marine feels like a repetitive one. In fact, each episode almost felt like fillers although they are still connected. And that kind of ending… Must the most boring ever. Sing a song with an idol to close the season. Since when did Milky Holmes become a musical genre?

Sometimes I feel that because of how less funny it was, it sometimes makes the overall story and for each episode feeling somewhat forced and if I should say, a little boring. I mean, don’t you just feel the irony that the world’s best idol is only able to sing thanks to her little Elements? Sure, it is to showcase her ‘journey’ of learning some lessons in friendship, trust, love (and anything else you can add here) but I hardly doubt that those who watch this series are in for that kind of theme. We are here for the exaggerated nonsense that made this series so lovable in the first place. We know it was stupid or doesn’t make any sense but we loved it. Without all that, the toning down the comical stupidity in favour of something a little serious and soul searching and self discovery for the main character has proven to be a big mistake after all. The laughter is toned down and in a way feels forced. Yeah, I noticed I ‘laughed’ because it was supposed to be ‘funny’. Or so I think. Well, I definitely think it was better when the story had a piggy lard boy turned god trying to take over the world instead of a soul searching idol no matter how ridiculous the former was.

One of the biggest reasons that this season is very much toned down is Milky Holmes themselves. As I have said, they are still dummies but not in a way that they can be called retarded and useless anymore. It is with mixed feelings seeing them stray away from their usual behaviour as we once knew them. It is good to see them being more responsible and useful (cough, cough) now but on the other hand, they are less funny. That’s right. This season Milky Holmes did not make me laugh as mad as before. Although there is this supposedly running joke that Milky Holmes always makes the wrong deduction and like Sherlock quick to accuse the wrong culprit, it still doesn’t match to past season’s funniness. Get what I mean? They’re funny only because of my past perceptions and memories of them so when they do something silly even though it may not be funny, my natural reaction is to laugh.

I remember Nero was being such a very ‘spiteful’ character thanks to her greed and selfishness but this time around, it is good as nonexistent. Hercule was supposed to be the brains as I remembered it but she rarely displays any of that here. What about Cordelia breaking down and going into her fantasies? Nada. I don’t know, deep down I thought without all that, their charm is somewhat lost. It is like as though they are a different set of characters only using the Milky Holmes name and looking like them. Also, Milky Holmes seems to have gotten their Toys back although they rarely use it. Heck, Toys are hardly used here. Despite the final fight with Arsene has them displaying their Toys only once, it felt force because as though it is to remind us that they have such powers in the first place. Yeah well, like you girls said right at the end, I hope you all try harder on your next case next time. If there will be next time, that is.

Another factor could be the absence of Phantom Thief Empire. They are reduced to pathetic cameos. Without Arsene and her henchmen, somehow the fun has been reduced. Because no matter how disgusting a certain nipple erecting guy is, it is always never dull to see that pervert get full of himself (that includes stripping). I mean, Phantom Thief Empire was the one trying to bring out the best in Milky Holmes but it also brought out the worst in them. How would Milky Holmes get better (or worse) without them around? So with this season the loli detectives totting around the world with an idol, it feels this group of phantom thieves are sorely missed. I know they want new characters and storyline but something tells me Milky Holmes isn’t the same without Phantom Thief Empire. Therefore the final fight with them in the last episode feels forced just to remind us that they are still around. Or it could be to pass time because you don’t want to be bored if the entire episode is about Marine’s concert and that would be like stealing the limelight from Milky Holmes which is a big insult since this series is named after them. Even if we are surprised that they get a few more minutes of screen time seeing that they are missing for the big part of this season, we are certainly not amused. Like as though this forced appearance and fight is to satiate our nostalgia about them. Didn’t work.

Also greatly absent are the rest of the G4 members. Even worse than Phantom Thief Empire, it is like the producers decided to do away with Tsugiko, Hirano and Saku and ‘killed them off’ with unknown excuses why they don’t even bother to show up for work (maybe they can’t stand Kokoro anymore). Therefore our poor Kokoro is left to do all the work herself with Keiko. You can’t blame that loli police for being so stressed up and blowing her top all the time. Yeah. Kokoro is still amusing and funny in that sense. But I also guess that they don’t want to bore us with that running joke in previous seasons about her IQ and the gold mask whacking reaction each time Sherlock calls her Kokoro-chan. It is kept to a very minimum that if you have not watched previous seasons of Milky Holmes, you won’t really get it or think much about it. Those felt like just to bring up the nostalgia factor for us Milky Holmes fans. I’m not sure about this irony because remember in the OVA, Kokoro became an idol? Here, she seems to be fawning and drooling over Marine at one point as her biggest fan although she might be a secret idol Mayu without knowing it herself. Oh, did she forget? With Keiko around, very likely. Speaking of Keiko, her motives feel lacking rather than mysterious. I thought she was going to be the culprit or antagonist somehow but she’s just playing the observing role.

Other recurring characters feel okay and nothing much. Like Feathers who starred in their own spin-off and Milky Holmes played the supporting role, it is reversed in this season with the duo now acting out the supporting part for Milky Holmes. The case of I scratch your back and you scratch mine? In fact, many of the old characters make just cameo or don’t at all. Like Kobayashi and Kamaboko appearing just for a handful of seconds while Irene, Sonia and Lily (from Alternative) were greatly missing. Not even that bomb disposal unit, Poporo. Remember that Mori Arty villain? She made mysterious motives that made us question her goals even more. Where is she here? Don’t see her anywhere. Did they forget about this character or intentionally left her out? Perhaps it is a good thing that Mori Arty never appeared, otherwise we would be sceptically questioning the purpose of it all.

New characters do not impact much. Marine as the main character feels lacking in many ways. I guess in a way her sudden fall from stardom only shows how cruel and dog-eat-dog-world the idol business may be and then rise back to the top again once she has found enlightenment. Yeah well, whose show is this season supposed to be? I figure Miki resigned to atone for what she did to her best friend and somehow when she was the mastermind or at least co-culprit as the one responsible for Marine to lose her Elements, it didn’t really surprise me because if you want to do a good ‘detective’ show, the culprit at the end must be part of the casts we know, right? It wouldn’t be fair and ethical to throw in a new character that we wouldn’t know. But I didn’t guess it was her because I was thinking it might be Senna. Still remember this girl? No? Don’t blame you. I guess her character was just trolling.

Many of the other side characters just appear for that episode and nothing more is said about them once the plot moves on. Especially Marine’s Elements who just feel shallow. No great explanation as to explain why they are absorbed into a certain person and make their dark personality goes berserk. So it is puzzling when Elements that get absorbed to people very close to them most of the time like Miki and Nero, oddly how come they do not detect them in the first place? For those who got absorbed into others, how come they end up at far flung places like that Indian-like kingdom and a former one-hit wonder in the middle of the woods? Unless they were at Marine’s concert at that time but I doubt they were given the circumstances and everything. And it is odd that after losing a challenge, they return to Marine. That’s it about them. Yeah, we don’t even know why whatever power they have suddenly make their host go wild or their dark side, thus a lame excuse for some challenge that you will know will end in a predictable outcome.

At least the art and drawing remains pretty much the same in the first two seasons. Cute girls everywhere so I can’t see any reason to complain. Almost everything is bright and vivid. In any case, Milky Holmes themselves look much better than their cameo in Futari Wa Milky Holmes. Heck, more accurately they look like they should as before in the first two seasons. Backgrounds and sceneries are okay too and nothing too shabby. At least the chibi illustrations during the sponsor screens are still funny but the final end card illustration seems pretty good although they’re all sketched by the same person, though.

As the familiar casts are retained, new ones join in. The only one I could recognize was Ayako Kawasumi as Producer and Aoi Yuuki as Carol. The rest include Emi Nitta as Marine (Honoka in Love Live), Mari Nakatsu as Miki (Nanami in Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo), Ai Yamamoto as Manager (her debut and only role) and Asami Seto as Ann (Chihaya in Chihayafuru). I know it is a pretty long list considering the other minor characters that only appear for one episode and the rest of Elements but I’m just too lazy to list them all seeing the fact that I have lost my motivation due to my overall sentiments for this seasons. Hah! I’m taking after Milky Holmes’ laziness from previous seasons!

The same quartet behind Milky Holmes sing the opening theme for this season too. Milky-A-Go-Go has that familiar feel to all the Milky Holmes opening themes that you have heard thanks to its lively and cheerful feel. The ending theme is Tankyuu Dreaming by Emi Nitta and of course sounds very much like an idol song. Thanks to the idol theme of this season, there are lots of insert songs and on average, one per episode. Although some are fun to hear, unfortunately they don’t stick very long in my mind. Maybe it is a sign that they aren’t just as appealing?

It is with great despair to see that one of my all time favourite funny, wacky, zany, crazy series has turned out into something mediocre. So sad to see this series has been added to the statistics of sequels failing to live up to its predecessor. How I missed the ol’ days of Milky Holmes. I am not saying that this season sucks as it is still decent in many accounts. It is still okay on its own but it is the comparing with its previous seasons that really dragged it down. If you are an old Milky Holmes fan like me, it is only natural to expect sequels to be greater or at least on par with its previous works. If they ever do another season of this, I just hope they remember to go back to the basics. Yes, Milky Holmes. Remember elementary… Elementary, my dear Milky Holmes.

Shin Strange+

March 14, 2015

The strangeness continues. I suppose the first season wasn’t weird enough that another season was needed to satisfy our curiosity of strangeness. Oh heck, it is so that we could laugh some more at all the silly and strange antics. And thus Shin Strange+ is yet another season filled with yet of a lot of random and bizarre silliness that to call it strange would be just so underrated. The main characters, the quartet detectives of Mikuni Detective Agency will take up any jobs for anything but all we see them is get involved in silly and random events with old and new characters that only proves to make us laugh so hard that we might hurt ourselves. Can we sue them for negligence then?

Episode 1: Reconduct
Nana who was looking for Kou notes that she found Takumi instead. We have Takumi giving us a summary of what happened in season one in a very fast speech. Is he rapping? Back at the office, Takumi notices some big woman outside and wonders if Kou has something to do with it. He scoffs it off that if she does, he’ll eat from his butt and poop from his mouth. Nana introduces herself that she is here for the brothers. Takumi didn’t hesitate to shove the burger down Kou’s ass! Seems Nana is working for their father and is tasked to bring them back. Takumi doesn’t want to and throws an insane tantrum. He also starts lying that he doesn’t want to go home because Kou bullies him and that he wants to grow up to be this town’s Jun Fukuyama to meet all those cool characters! OMFG! Lelouch! But isn’t Takumi 28 years old? He claims he is a fairy who doesn’t age! All lies! Nana feels bad for crushing his dream and will pretend she didn’t see them. She will cook up a reason to tell father. Then she looks at them with the scary eyes that if she does so she’ll receive a pay cut for failing her mission. They need not concern themselves with this. Oh sure. But thank goodness Nana didn’t get her pay cut. She got fired! Now she is freelance, looks like she’ll be staying with them. And that is how they gained another weirdo in their ranks.

Episode 2: Exchange
Kou and Takumi fall down the stairs and guess what? They swapped bodies! So are they going to live the rest of their lives like this forever? They rest too soon because Ozu just came by. He starts feeling suspicious that Takumi isn’t acting like himself. Act like the other by doing a random joke? ‘Takumi’ uses his butt as a shears but oddly today Ozu is pretty serious and he can’t see how he could make that into a joke. Even the rebuttal (no pun intended) of ‘Kou’ didn’t work. Ozu is getting more suspicious that they are total opposites today. He is going to experiment on them. Feeling the need to return to each other’s body quick, ‘Kou’ kicks Takumi down the stairs thinking their bodies will swap back. But what is the point if he only falls alone? ‘Takumi’ then tries another butt joke and fails miserably. Anyway Ozu is here because he has brought medicine. Medicine to switch the insides of 2 people back. Everybody loves him now…

Episode 3: Crime
Setogawa has a request for Mikuni Detective Agency. Recently he joined a group of delinquents and he is in a lot of trouble. In short, he wants the group to be disbanded. So Setogawa brings the gang to Kanno on pretence that they want to join his group. They look so tough that Kanno is even sweating in his pants. Anyway he wants them to show their skills. And he means stealing money from other people and not him! But they don’t know how and have him show them the way. He targets a woman but picks the wrong one. Nana violently beats him up although she says she is against violence. Epic fail. At this rate his reputation will go down. He decides to go for an easier target. A weakling and a child. Wrong pick again. Because they are Ozu and Dorothy. Ozu injects a big syringe into his ass. Kanno takes Dorothy hostage but was beaten to a bloody pulp. Thanks to his failure as leader, Kanno’s gang is disbanded. Where do all the minions go? Takumi hired them to be their minions. The labour cost is going to eat into their expenses…

Episode 4: Princess
Kiyoko is dressing up as a princess for a school play. However the person playing the prince sprained his ankle. Don’t worry. Takumi is here to replace him! Oh God… Kiyoko starts flustering when Kou praises the pretty dress. He was praising Takumi. This embarrassment turns Kiyoko into an evil step mother as she beats up Takumi. She has to go on stage now but they haven’t had time to practice. Don’t worry. Takumi will adlib! Oh God. Before Takumi could spew more crap narration, she beats him up with a mace. Then here comes Masamune as a princess challenging her. Kiyoko’s motivation is that she might get to kiss Kou at the end. She powers up to defeat him with ungodly techniques. Your whatever freezing machine gun is of no use! Scary what love can do. Next up is Takumi as Thumbelina. In a thumb dress, literally. Anyway he got thumped. Next is Miwa the mermaid. With legs. However Miwa wants to get yuri. Seeing Kou cheering her from the audience, she gets the much needed strength to defeat Miwa. Finally the kiss with Kou she has been waiting for. But wait. If Kou is in the audience, then who the heck is this old geezer in the coffin?! It’s the principal! She blasts him away into the sky.

Episode 5: Resistans
Masashi, the nephew of Mikuni visits the office. He is not amused of being treated like a kid although Takumi is just being his usual jerk ass. Mera and Kaori are here to bring him back but he won’t listen. Then Kaori wants to use force and shoot him but Mera won’t allow him. Masamune and Takumi make pancakes for lunch but they fail big time and Masashi criticizes them that they are inept to serve others. This cocky talk pisses off Takumi. Want to poison him? They lecture him about his attitude that he won’t get friends, etc. Not fazed. Then, Ozu and Dorothy just come in. Masashi is taken in by Dorothy. Miwa could guess from his reaction and thus the incessant and devilish teasing from Takumi begins. And he had to do it butt naked… Masashi cannot take it anymore and starts arguing back. Kiddie’s quarrel. Mera and Kaori are so happy that Masashi is acting like a kid his age. However they are reluctant to report this to Mikuni. They might get into trouble…

Episode 6: Escape
Kanno and Hanei wake up in a strange locked room. Mera and Kaori are there too. Hanei are in sync with Mera and Kaori in their calm stupidity. Then the announcer proclaiming to be Beauty T (Takumi?) claims that this is an escape room game where they will risk their lives to escape just for his entertainment. Kanno thinks everyone is working with Takumi to trick him and won’t be cowed. So Kanno solves superbly easy puzzles that sometimes feel like an insult. Or just plain stupid. They finally open a door of the exit. It is blocked and with the words ‘EXIT’. Duped? The only other door left is this obvious one. Well, no harm trying. In the end, it led them to the capture of the real Beauty T guys who kidnap people for this game of theirs. Yeah. Dangerous criminals were behind that door. Kanno couldn’t believe it and faints from the shock.

Episode 7: Restrains
Don’t be fooled that the opening scene is exactly the same as the previous episode. Again, Kanno finds himself locked in a room but is tied up. Kanno is having a nice meal at the table next to him. Why didn’t he untie him? Those killer knots… He wants to be cut loose with the knife next to his butt. You mean he has a knife in his butt hole?! NO! The pocket near his butt, silly! Seems Takumi is also trapped here. Beauty T announces that this is his revenge game and they’ll be continuing where they left off last time. But why bring Takumi instead of Mera and Kaori? Because they are too strong and he prefers to defeat weak looking guys! Coward! Let the escape begin! Hanei calls for help. Because his handphone has full signal! However he needs to recharge his battery. Useless! Same thing for Kanno’s handphone. They end up arguing about this so much so Beauty T scolds them to continue the game. Takumi remembers there is this exercise bicycle in the next room and they could use it to recharge. As Kanno increases the peddling, it accelerates forward and slams into the wall. Hanei takes a snapshot and uploads this funny picture up a social website. Thanks to this, it becomes viral over the internet and it lead to Beauty T’s downfall as somebody reported it. Back to prison. All hail modern technology and connectivity!

Episode 8: Homework
It is the last day of summer vacation and Mikuni wants everyone to help out with Masashi’s summer homework. Really? And there are lots to do… For bug sketching, I don’t know what Masamune and Kou caught. Looks like dragonflies but what the heck is this Pokemon creature?! For independent handicraft, Kanno and Hanei make super laser beam from paper mache. But Masashi wants something more adult and mature. Sure. Hanei makes him some extract art with a long ass name. For journal logging, Dorothy explains the convenience of the internet instead of using Miwa’s old fashion stamping trick. But it was dangerous and stopped for some time. For plant observation, Kaori starts drawing penis shapes of the morning glory and worries if it is copyrighted or not. For handicraft, Kyouya teaches how to make hand puppets but our ladies make really freaky creatures out of it. And although Masashi finishes it all in time, he must be regretting having those help because how can he explain all those ‘alien life form’ works in his hand.

Episode 9: Influence
The quartet are at a lavish party. Of course they are here because phantom thief Rusty has left a message to take their treasures. They meet the second son of the head of the prestigious Konzern Kanamiya. He took over everything after his father’s death but because he looks as stupid as his dad, they hope Rusty steals his treasures. Hearing that name has him cowering in fear! Heck, he cannot stop wetting his pants. Super chicken. I think Coward the cowardly dog is braver than him. Of course Rusty is already hear impersonating as a waitress. She takes a look at all the big time politicians, big time celebrities, big time corporation heads, big butt alien… Big what?! Oh it’s Takumi. Kou thinks that suspicious person is Rusty in disguise. However Takumi doesn’t think so because that person has big boobs. Insult? Rusty shows herself and thanks to everyone’s idiocy, she steals Kanamiya’s huge diamond ring. Then there are 2 Kous. Which is the real one? Takumi will eliminate them both! Didn’t hesitate at all! Rusty is going to drop her sleeping gas when panicky Kanamiya comes crashing into them. It becomes the biggest sleep-in party ever. In the aftermath, the news reports that Kanamiya was able to fend off the thief and retrieve the stolen item. They are confident he will be a promising future leader. Lies! Rusty rues that when she escaped, she forgot to take the diamond.

Episode 10: Similar
Nana thought she saw Takumi being kidnapped. So she bursts into the agency through the window to tell everyone about it. But don’t they realize Takumi is here too? Heck, everyone is so dumb that even Takumi himself thought he let his guard down and got kidnapped. With Nana’s tracking device, they head to some warehouse. Upon closer look, this kidnapped girl, Mami looks very much like Takumi. Realizing it is not him, they go home. WTF?! You can’t leave her like this! When the baddies return, they see Takumi tied up in S&M fashion. I guess they switched places. The baddies call grandpa to make their ransom demand and give them hear his ‘granddaughter’s voice’. “What is the colour of your underwear…”. Instant hang up! Oh Takumi, you sexual harasser! Takumi starts fooling around swinging his fake boobs. I guess it must be a pun for ‘hitojichi’ (hostage) and ‘hito chichi’ (human boobs). When the rest are caught, including Mami, they can’t tell who is who because they are wearing the same hairstyle! Takumi becomes a demon and beats everyone up with his un-beautiful move. Grateful Mami wants to repay them. Oh dear. Look at that devilish look on Takumi’s face… Back at the office, Masamune and Kou realize this is not Takumi but Mami! The real Takumi? At Mami’s house being served by maids and eating all the delicious food. You’re putting on weight… You should be putting on clothes, damn it!

Episode 11: Fiction
Kanno seems pretty chirpy today and willing to do anything. Turns out Hanei is currently writing a novel and asked him to be the model for the protagonist. Thinking that his submission might win an award, Takumi ‘kills’ Kanno and will be his central figure from now on. Kou chides him of that but it seems he too is trying to get into Hanei’s good books. And so it descends into a battle to impress Hanei. From Miwa trying to serve well, Nana crushing regular sugar into cube sugar, Masamune trying to lend his stuffs, Mera and Kaori faking an injury to be action stars, Rusty sliding down to failure since her introduction was too long, Kiyoka’s dad kidnapping his daughter and begging the guys to have a tsundere role! Then there is this guy we have never seen before and he is so happy he finally appeared. But who cares?! Then the rest of the other characters like Ozu, Dorothy and Kyouya barge into the impress. It becomes some sort of big brawl. Impressive? Hey, at least Hanei won’t run out of scenarios. And so his novel curiously follows the exact plot of this anime… Guess what? It has the same name too? Strange or coincidence?

Episode 12: Sutopura
It is gender bender for some characters because we are going dating simulation style! Kou is the main guy in this harem genre and Takumi not surprisingly as a girl but not one of those in the harem. Get what I’m saying? Kou knows it is a pain to pick one of the girls so he ends up picking Ozu’s route. The setting and story change dramatically into some fantasy Armageddon kind of setting. They must confess on the rooftop or else this won’t end. That new guy who appeared last week is now their teacher and supposed to be some great wizard. But like hell he could do anything. Takumi finds a sword and pulls it out. It isn’t a blade it has but legs! A tsundere sword? And all of them become RPG party members. Yeah, they start arguing among each other. Somehow they made it to the rooftop and after Kou and Ozu proclaim their love for each other, the world is returned to normal. All hail the power of love! Everyone wants to apologize to their wizard sensei for making fun of this world. However he can’t talk unrealistic stories anymore and runs away. And it all turns out to be Kou’s dream. There, your dream punch line. Not so strange, right?

The Butts Of All Jokes
Well? Did you love it? I guess after expecting the nonsense, it is no surprise that we do not find anything strange. The anime retains its hilarious charm from last season so those who watched the first season can find and straightaway identify with the trademark antics and peculiar jokes. Some jokes may be a little too extreme (big syringe in ass must be the killer) especially the ones involving Takumi because this guy, viewers especially those who watched the first season should already know and expect Takumi to be either an exhibitionist or cross-dresser. If he is not naked, he’ll be wearing in some girl’s clothes. And if he is in his birthday suit, he’ll do gross jokes and flaunting actions with his butt. Most flexible butt ever. Can you beat such booty, J.Lo? Beyonce? Okay, maybe his butt is not sexy. But still hilariously gross nevertheless.

Again Kou and Takumi feel like hogging most of the screen time. But this is also because there are a handful of other characters. With such limited screen time and with the adding of new characters, I suppose even Masamune and Miwa have been pretty much relegated to the sidelines although they will still be around when the silliness of the part calls for it. At the end of them, they are still the lovable idiots that we know them especially Takumi who is the biggest idiot, pervert and troublemaker of the lot. Kou will definitely have a hard time putting up with it all since he is playing the tsukkomi/rebuking role most of the time.

Old characters still appear but to a lesser impact. It is confirmed that Kiyoko really does have a crush for Kou but too bad the way I see it, it won’t be reciprocated. Keep hoping… Rusty who was the first ‘regular’ side character in the first season made her appearance quite late in this season. She still steals. She still fails. Basically they are all still the same like Ozu still the shady doctor and Dorothy still the little moe nurse assistant. Not to mention the Mera and Kaori pair who have very good potential for yaoi elements… New characters are also as wacky such as Nana whom everything about her is big (size, breasts, lips…), Masashi the serious kid, the pair of Kanno and Hanei somehow I feel their role closely mirrors that of Kou and Takumi because Kanno is the one trying to be serious but Hanei is more of the troublemaker and joker. Hmm… Come to think of it, I think these 2 make the most appearances for the new characters.

This time around, there are no opening illustrations because although some were sexy, some of them in last season were disturbing. So was it a good thing or not? Heck, they even cut out the end card illustration. I don’t know. Maybe it is the version I watched that omits it or this season entirely took out those short little segments. But there are some eye-catch illustration cards (although not many) that are a spoof of other series. At least those that I could identify such as Hanei as the boy wizard Harry Potter.

This season’s ending theme is 3’30 –Sanpunhan- sung by POARO. This pop rock piece sounds rather okay and fun but not really to my liking. And this is one of the strangest things this season. As there are a few versions of ending credits animation, some of them have this very strange sketching of some hideous creature. I don’t know if it is meant to be horror because there was one version it was being spammed with such strange creatures. Monkey head with a quadrupedal body and bat wings. Is this some kind of horror cult? Too strange to be called cute anyway.

And so this is one of those series where you put your brain aside to entertain yourself for a short period of time before putting it back on and move on to something else. However something tells me it falls short of classifying this as some kind of ‘anime drug’ like what I labelled Ai Mai Mi or Teekyuu. Maybe it is because no delusion stimulants and fast paced talking? Maybe Takumi’s butt isn’t something that will get you hooked on… Thus if you love the first season, you’ll definitely love this one. If they ever make another season, it wouldn’t surprise me nor would I find it strange. It would be very much welcomed in fact because despite how silly and strange everything is, they still make you laugh at the end of the day. Unless you don’t laugh at such things… Then people like you have no sense of humour at all. Such people are just strange not to laugh at this kind of things. So give yourself a chance at this series. You might find strange things normal and stranger things funny. And the strangest part is that all this is not so strange. Because this is Strange+.

Re: Hamatora

March 7, 2015

After that nail biting cliff-hanger at the end of last season, the sequel Re: Hamatora is a much welcome relief for those following the series closely and like yours truly want some answers left unanswered by the first season and thus completing the series. Just because of certain groups of people having supernatural powers, a whole lot of complications, conflicts and difficulties arise from discrimination to extreme prejudice. Personally I thought the first season was really cool especially the execution of things. Hopefully this season gets to live up to its bill and surpass all that.

Episode 1
What a gloomy way to start the sequel. Cafe Nowhere is close to hold a memorial service for Nice. Although it has been 3 months since the riots, Nice is believed to have died in hospital :’(. I don’t know if they’re trying to make a joke because Birthday is like wanting to take his porn collection and Three won’t allow it to protect his honour. WTF. Anyway it’s back to business as usual as a lady requests them for a job to protect her from some invisible stalker. Surprisingly Hajime replaces Nice to pair up with Murasaki for the job. The other Minimum Holders are trying some odd jobs to make ends meet but it isn’t working out. So while Hajime sets some burger traps for the stalker, here comes Hikaru with his light speed power to save the day. I don’t know what he did but the requestor lady jumps ship to this handsome guy. Seems this guy is a rising idol celebrity and there are lots of girls going crazy over him. Event tickets are sold out instantly and even membership is closed and no new ones till somebody opts out. All job requests have been going to his agency, the reason why our heroes aren’t getting any jobs. Then a crazy fan girl comes in and seeks a request. Do they do hit jobs? She wants Hikaru killed! In a typical Japanese dating simulation visual, we see how Hikaru is a player with a harem of 5 cute and lovely girls. Of course Murasaki turned down the hit job but has got a request from his agency manager, Natsukawa to protect him. Murasaki even tells him to pick someone and end the feud but he says he can’t do that. Picking one means abandoning the rest and he doesn’t want to hurt them. However Hajime points out it is himself who doesn’t want to get hurt. Since when did she get this talkative?

So our other Hamatora guys are talking to the other ladies in supposedly Hikaru’s harem. They’re old and ugly if you compare them in today’s standards of beauty. Ratio tries to pay them off while Birthday even offers his own escort service! No way! I don’t know if Honey is trying to describe sex with Hikaru but this causes one of the girls to get worked up because she would have paid more if it meant sleeping with him. She throws down lots of handshake event tickets. One night, crazy fan girl waits for Hikaru to pass and is about to slash him but Murasaki stops her. Actually he protected Hikaru because he knows this guy is trying to commit suicide to end it all. Even though he repents it all, crazy fan girl won’t accept it and orders her lackeys to beat him up. Hmm… S&M clothes? Gas mask, paper bags and helmets as masks? Who are these people? Shunned idol interns who never got a chance to make their debut thanks to Hikaru. They are YKH84! WTF???!!! I don’t know there was an S&M party going on. Murasaki and Hajime move into action when suddenly this Tanker mascot jumps into the scene. It’s Nice! HE’S STILL ALIVE???!!! He reveals his undercover investigation that Natsukawa has a shady side lucrative business. He reached out to obsessed fans and sells them handshake tickets. Something about having a girl waking up in his room in the morning. Birthday and Ratio confront Natsukawa about this plot. They don’t buy his story that the populace needs a tragic story of a social minority’s dramatic rise. The turn his place upside down and warn him not to decide the futures of Minimum Holders. Crazy fan girl still won’t forgive all that has happened and sets YKH84 to finish them. Nice uses his power to beat them all out. Later Nice notices Hikaru’s power not exactly the speed of light. He actually bends light and this means he doesn’t have a pretty face. When he meets the other girls to tell the truth and let them see his real face, to his surprise they still love him. I guess appearance isn’t everything. Yeah, ugly people go together, right? Oh sh*t! Just kidding! Everyone celebrates Nice’s return. By putting things on his tab. For once Hajime smiled. Murasaki wonders why Nice couldn’t just rest in hospital. He can’t. That guy has started to make his move. Isn’t that Moral approaching Hikaru?

Episode 2
Moral stabs Hikaru in the neck. He is taken to hospital and barely alive. He was lucky the attack missed his windpipe. Back at nowhere Cafe Nowhere, everyone blames Nice for ruining the plan for him to play dead. At last season’s cliff-hanger whereby Art shot point blank at Nice, actually Nice was fast enough to move but was shot in the shoulder and guts. Murasaki barged in to save him and they jump out of the ship to escape. They believe Art wants to kill Nice somehow and feeding him with information that is dead he would no longer be a target but that dumb guy had to ruin it. Speaking of running away from hospital, it must be a trend since Birthday and Ratio are trying to trace Chiyuu’s whereabouts as she too has escaped from hospital but left a sketch with a butterfly logo supposedly the place she went. Turns out to be some disco bar or something but they’re denied entry by the bouncer based on some worldly ideology crap thingy. Till Ratio mentions that reality won’t change because they are all Minimum Holders, this gets everyone’s attention and they stop dancing. Oh, there is Chiyuu to. They are taken to Shunichi Ishigami, the representative of Freemum. In short, this is a place where Minimum Holders get to live freely without being watched. People like them are called strays by the Minimum Agency and they will try to recruit them to be official Minimum Holders. In the event if you reject, you will be killed in extreme cases but technically this also means they will continue to watch over you for the rest of your life. So this is what Freemum is all about. Because after the riots, discrimination against Minimum Holders is still persistent. They need to create a new social order and are seeking a saviour. It’s not like they want to become Minimum Holders.

The dorm of Facultas explodes. However this is just a diversion so that Art can slip in and do his business. Everyone is appalled that Nice wasn’t confined to his hospital bed for 3 months because he has picture proof of tailing Art’s movements! Seems he is in connecting with guys with mafia roots and making some deal. The explosion is on TV and Nice recognizes the same car on scene belonging to Art. Time to get a move on. There are some comical heroes trying to stop Art in Facultas but they’re just jokers after all that talk as Nice shoots them in the head and injects something into their neck. After that he goes on a killing spree! Eventually he is shot by the dorm defence master, Paper. Art reveals he has finished his job of saving all the students here. By the time Nice and Murasaki arrive, they are horrified to see Paper blowing off his limbs. They’re not too happy about it. But Art is not dead yet. He says hi to Nice and claims to have liberated the children. This will bear their sins. First he stabs his own heart! All his limbs regenerate back to normal subsequently. How the heck does he have the regenerating Minimum? Then he takes out a syringe and stabs it into his neck. I think it must be giving him the Minimum power. Paper is distracted by a hologram of Art and the real Art stabs him in the neck. Then he disappears. Birthday thought it was a ghost but Nice could tell it is the light Minimum. A good news, though. Art didn’t go on a killing spree since he just knocked out all of them.

Episode 3
Art is facing off with some wind Minimum Holder after dispatching his underlings. He uses the same trick. Inject a syringe into his neck. Goes into a little convulsion and voila! He now has Paper’s Minimum as he defeats this samurai dude. The Hamatora guys discuss how all the children lost their Minimum abilities. But oddly they seem unnaturally happy. The talk descends into money and Nice doesn’t mind being worth a 500 Yen coin detective. This brings back memories when Nice won some bet against Art. However he won’t buy the usual stuffs and wanted something different. He wants to get out of this place and be free and thus this coin will be his war chest. Art thinks he eventually gave in to the temptation and didn’t save up. Oh, he notices a prisoner transport schedule too. Meanwhile Gasuke talks to his underling, Sakurai. At a prison where all the police and prisoners killed themselves and the last one standing committed suicide. This is thanks to the insanity Minimum belonging to Gou Samura. People who look at his painting have this tendency to go crazy and kill each other. At first the media hailed him as a blind genius painter until they found out about his serial killer background. This incident was possible when he managed to draw some art on his meal plate with the ketchup. Now they are going to transport him to a ‘better’ facility. Along the way, there is a roadblock by protestors calling for his head. Gasuke wonders how the people could know about the schedule. Only one way. Someone leaked the info. Luckily his guts told him tonight is going to be bad so he called in the Hamatora guys as backup.

Suddenly Samura frees from his chains and gets out. He strips down to his underwear and there is painting all over his body. Everyone starts killing each other. Honey uses Mighty and sees Art coming into the picture in 10 minutes. However shortly after that her personality is reduced to a child and Three is forced to pacify her. Nice and Murasaki distract Samura and it seems from the way he reacts, he can see. That is when Art enters the scene with his flashy wind power. He uses that to draw up the sea water and wash away all the painting on Samura’s body. The spell is broken and the people come to their senses. Art faces off with Nice and believes he has all the factors he needs to defeat him. He knows about the limitations of Nice’s Minimum based on a define range. But before he could deliver the finishing blow, the others jump in to fight him. With Ratio’s ability to see and predict his actions based from his muscle movements, Art is close to defeat. He reconsiders he still doesn’t have enough and escapes. Meanwhile Samura holds Hajime hostage. This weak scrawny madman holding a little girl hostage? Even if this scene doesn’t make you laugh, he sure picked the wrong person to take prisoner. A judo throw ends it all but this time Samura starts panicking for real because he suddenly cannot see anymore. Gasuke confronts Sakurai in the midst of a heated argument on the phone demanding his cut as per agreed. He realizes that with the coincidence of the events, only he is the one who could have unlocked Samura’s handcuffs and overlooked his body paint. So why is he doing this? He is just following orders from someone named Saikyou.

Episode 4
Art stabs himself again and it seems by killing himself he gets to start over again although he still can’t get used to dying. Honey cannot believe she turns into a baby personality after she uses Mighty. So she takes up the challenge to prove them wrong. Well, what do you know? Birthday recorded it just in case. So now you believe? Yeah, everyone is so darn tired trying to pacify her. She must be one heck of a baby. Still unable to accept this, she runs away and locks herself in a room although she gets a call for a security job. Meanwhile, some guy named Doktor is returning to Japan. From the way he talks, it is like everybody living in this world has a part to play. He hates those who don’t contribute. This means Minimum Holder strays are the worst of the lot. So Ishigami is talking to his Freemum freaks about Doktor’s return. He was exiled due to his extreme opinion but now is welcomed him back as his opinions are sought after Samura’s incident. Looks like Minimum Agency are set to endorse his suggestion of total control over all Minimum Holders. Ishigami vows that won’t happen as this is what Freemum is for. Besides, they have Saikyou. Honey is supposed to be security for Doktor but he doesn’t view that necessary and cancels it. This has Honey remember about Doktor. He is her father. She was happy when he praised her abilities but when she learnt her ability is going to be placed as a tool for murder, she became sad but daddy felt happy because she was going to contribute to the world.

At a hotel, the Freemum guys intercept Doktor and kidnap him. Honey was sneaking in too but was caught. She manages to send a distress signal to Three of her whereabouts and the guys in Hamatora know she is in some sort of trouble as she is sending SOS in this way and unable to contact them via handphone. Ishigami is going to use Doktor to change Minimum Agency’s mind. One of the Minimum Holders has this sculpting ability to make precise human masks that no one can tell apart. The catch is that the person must have an expression close to death. Doktor and Honey are whisked away in a van to a scrap yard to be crushed. What a horrible way to die by being flattened, eh? When Three and the guys arrive, of course Honey is no longer around and the hotel people know nothing about that. Before death, Honey talks to Doktor that he has not changed and still knows nothing. She was in despair when she learnt about how her abilities were going to be put. That’s when she met Three who just returned from the warzone. She joined father watching Three undergo some horrific experiment and she noticed he was struggling despite the futility of it all. She too was struggling like him. Honey is so mad that she could break free from her chains! Actually I think the van is about to be crushed so the structural integrity may have given way. This allows her to use Mighty and let Three know of her location although this turns her into a baby as usual. He transforms into a beast and rushes his way there just to stop the crusher with all his might. Wow. I think he pulled a lot of muscles as you can see blood spurting out against the opposite force. He too remembers how Honey made him his so he could protect her. He agreed because it was like giving him a second chance in life. In the aftermath, Doktor’s attitude didn’t change. He calls Minimum Holders motivated by emotions as defects and believes they will all learn a lesson when the world changes. Elsewhere, Birthday and Ratio are acting strange after finishing a job. Birthday seems to be hook in trying to lick more electricity while Ratio’s body starts to burn up. Murasaki is driving along to catch Ishigami when the tree roots uproot. It’s Art. Hello again.

Episode 5
We’re going to start round 2 again but Art uses his plant abilities to keep them at bay. Nice is just stunned while Murasaki can’t claw his way out. Seems Art is doing this to let Ishigami and co get away. Birthday and Ratio are fine but they think back what happened and their symptoms may be similar to Honey’s regression when they use their Minimum. Same case happening to Three because he is more violent and aggressive than usual. Gasuke talks to Mao for more information on Saikyou. He already did an impressive job deducting this Saikyou dude and somebody behind the scenes has enough money to fund an organization and enough political clout to strong arm the police. Of course Mao tells him not to dig too deep unless he wants his life shortened because he can’t get back what he lost no matter how hard he tries. Art visits Freemum and they know about each other. They also know the fact that they are going to use each other so let’s make the best out of it. Art can help them attain true freedom. Meanwhile Birthday seems to be interviewing the Hamatora guys because since that Samura incident, they have been in the spotlight again so such interviews uploaded to the internet will help quell things down? I don’t know if it’s going to work… Ratio has done some investigation on Minimum side effects. He found a report 3 years ago on an accident. It is unclear what happened. No damage to buildings but only Minimum Holders were the casualties. All those within the range of accident lost their abilities (by the way, Samura lost his too). Their symptoms sound exactly like those whose abilities were taken by Art.

Gasuke also has that same report that happened at Facultas. He is trying to piece the connection of Saikyou and Art and may have stumbled upon something. The prison facility is under attack by Art and Freemum. Seems Art made a deal with them to help him out in his next operation in exchange he will allow them to use him as they please. As a religious idol that will lead them to the top. Standing before Freemum’s path is Gasuke. He has deduced that if the perpetrator’s target is Minimum Holders, the only places in Yokohama that houses large numbers of Minimum Holders besides Facultas is this prison. From the way he says things, Ishigami believes Gasuke knows who this Saikyou dude is. Nice and Murasaki are called to the scene too. Gasuke cannot trust the police anymore and believes they are the better option. Of course powerless Murasaki is no match against the Minimum abilities of the Freemum guys. Ishigami views him as a dangerous man and laments they have to lose somebody as competent as him. I don’t know what Ishigami’s Minimum is but it make Gasuke look malnourished and close to death! It’s like he’s crying blood. By the time Art arrives, Gasuke wants to tell him something but it’s too late… And I think it is really too late because by the time the police secure this place, the culprits gone and Nice and Murasaki find Gasuke, he is so weak that and spouting crap about being partners so they shouldn’t be keeping secrets, he then dies. Holy sh*t!!! Don’t tell me… DON’T SAY HE’S DEAD!!!! OMG!!! From the way the guys react, he’s really gone!!! I can’t believe they killed him!!! Even Art is seen feeling sad about it. Of course Nice is no more Mr Nice and is going to teach Art a lesson.

Episode 6
It’s true! Gasuke is dead! Everyone attends his funeral and security has become tighter than before. Nice and Murasaki see Mao to get details on what Gasuke found out. The same thing. The same warning. Because Saikyou is just an alias and he is very good in covering up his tracks, not even Mao knows his true identity. Nice wonders if Gasuke looked impatient then. No. He was frustrated. Frustrated by the reality he couldn’t accept. Back at Cafe Nowhere, Honey shows surveillances around the prison area, no signs of Art and co breaking in. They may have tampered with the recordings but they didn’t foresee one recorded by a passing cab. Enhancing the image reveals the faces of those Freemum freaks and they are surprised to know they are behind this. They rush down to their headquarters but it seems they have evacuated the place (now a bunch of drag queens are partying?). Not even Mighty can detect where they went. Looks like they foresee Hamatora coming and moved out earlier than expected. Now they are using Art’s little humble room as base. Nice and Murasaki get into an argument. But Murasaki starts feeling pain. His conscious then speaks to him. It’s like he is blaming him for being inferior to Nice because he was number one till Nice came along. There was a vast difference between them and the gap is growing. Murasaki knows his body is deteriorating, a symptom of using his Minimum. It is getting more evident now and he will soon lose his power. Alter ego continues to mock him that he must be feeling more sympathetic towards Art because he and Nice are close friends despite their difference in ability and grades. Speaking of Art, here he is too see Murasaki personally. Coincidentally, Murasaki wants to see him too. Meanwhile the other guys figure Nice got into a fight with Murasaki and it is his fault! They just know. Ratio comments that Murasaki was probably trying to come up with a plan to fight Art and Freemum because everyone has realized the symptoms of using their Minimum is starting to show.

Art brings Murasaki back to his room and have the Freemum guys leave so they can have a private conversation. Art hints to Murasaki that he is just acting nice and straight so that he can find his weakness and tell Nice. Art is adamant that he has no choice but to kill Nice because of their bonds. Murasaki gets mad and punches him but Art continues to laugh at his weak punches. Unknown to him, this act is being filmed by Freemum and uploaded to all screens in the public. Everyone is watching this punching bag session. Murasaki is mad Art let Gasuke die. He reasons he is a necessary sacrifice. So is Nice the same too? No. He was never supposed to live in the first place. That’s why he will fulfil his promise and killing Nice is just a means to that end. The more Murasaki powers up his punches, the more Art mocks him. Murasaki points a gun and readies to fire. Art stands there, allows him to do so and continues mocking he won’t reach him. He won’t be able to stop him. He will kill Nice. Then blam! A shot in the head! The public must be in disbelief to see this. Cool CGI effects?! Get real! Murasaki calls Nice but it seems he went out and forgot his handphone. Leave a message. Murasaki realizes the Freemum guys recording this as Ishigami explains the reasons why Facultas couldn’t uncover his ability. Firstly something about the central nerve in the brain that controls Minimum isn’t there. It was merely in a different place. That place also works as a trigger for Art’s Minimum. Ishigami takes a knife and stabs into Art’s heart. Suddenly he revives and all wounds healed. So what does this scene look like to you? Yeah. The advent of the saviour. He is God. You know how gullible the people are. Of course Ishigami thanks Murasaki for allowing Art to become a good charismatic leader but his role ends here. There is a knock outside Cafe Nowhere. Nice thinks it is Murasaki but it is a body bag. Murasaki is in it. NO!!! ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL OFF ANOTHER CHARACTER???!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???!!!

Episode 7
Thankfully Murasaki is still alive and hospitalized. With his broken state, he’ll be in here for a while and his Minimum is as good as gone. Murasaki is conscious as Ratio treats him. He remembers Art won’t kill him because his Minimum power is mostly gone and will no longer have any relations to their world. He is punched out by one of the Freemum guys. The rest of the episode turns into a comedic fashion… Because Birthday comes in dressed as a lemon suit to cheer him up! Koneko brought some flowers. Camellia. It withered. Master brought some food but Hajime ate them all. Real jokers these people. Birthday then hands him some porn magazines to read but accidentally pushes the bed button which causes the bed to go upright and send Murasaki slamming into the wall! Thinking he is dead, Birthday uses his taser to bring him back to live! Now do you wish you were killed back then? Next, Theo and Rei visit him and brought glasses. Because Murasaki without them is like nothing, right? Is that an insult? But all the glasses they brought are joker types. Everyone is laughing so loud that Birthday accidentally slams into the button again. Deja vu. Wall slammed. Taser resurrection! Honey and Three are next and they give him a basket of fruits. Guns and grenades? He better start using this from now on to protect himself. Three is curious about the button… Oh God… You know what they say about curiosity and the cat, right? Too bad Murasaki is the cat. Not again! I guess the guns come in handy as he tries to shoot them all! Get out!

The visitors (minus Master) follow Birthday as they leave but that joker guy got lost. Honey uses Mighty to find a way out. 10 minutes into the future she saw… They’re still lost! She regressed for nothing. I don’t know how but they end up in an abandoned wing of the hospital that looks like a creepy sanatorium you see in horror movies. Three is looking like the most scaredy cat. He’s a lion by the way… Yeah. Hajime, Theo and Rei got separated and when they think they’re seeing things, it turns out there are ghosts!!! When Birthday uses his electricity for light, more ghosts pop up! Three turns into his beast mode but how do you beat up ghosts? They are saved when Master turns on the lights. The ‘ghosts’ turn out to be those previous Minimum Holders who has lost their ability. They look like mad people now. As revealed, because don’t have the manpower to handle them all, they are placed in this unused area which was recently opened just for this. Hajime, Theo and Reo may have got separated from the rest but they end up back outside Murasaki’s room. At the same time, our hero Nice has finally decided to turn up. So the Hamatora duo have a guy to guy talk and you can tell they have reconciled with that carefree laughter. But… Nice accidentally touches the button! Here comes the pain again! It makes me wonder if Murasaki needs all the electrifying in his life. Meanwhile as Hajime is at the convenience store, a familiar lady approaches her, hands her a flower and calmly blames her it is all her fault.

Episode 8
Hajime doesn’t take a liking for Momoka but when she shows her an old photo of young Hajime and that she can tell about her past, Hajime takes her chance and follow her into her limo. When Nice finds out from Theo and Rei that they saw Hajime follow a flower lady, he remembers who she is and becomes frantic in finding her that the other guys could tell Nice isn’t acting as he normally would. In the limo, Momoka dresses up as her true self. A sexy lady in a red gown but a scar on her face that resembles like a blooming flower. She brings her to an underground abandoned lab and mentions that it all began ever since she her power awakened (at the end of last season). There are monsters in this lab. This brought back traumatic memories as Hajime is reduced to a vegetative state while we delve further into those memories. Hajime was one of the many abandoned children imprisoned. Every day, many children came in and many went out. Those who were taken never returned. By the time it was her turn, she stopped feeling sad or scared. She wasn’t even afraid of death and expected it. Till she saw on the monitor during her operation that those monsters were what those kids turned into after failed experiments (they had the similar bracelet). She started feeling scared and screamed she didn’t want to go through all this. Momoka returns to Art and co who are watching from afar. The cat is out of the bag. Momoka = Saikyou. This is a secret lab Moral kept in case of emergency. I guess he doesn’t need it now.

Hajime is then isolated in imprisonment for who knows how long as she wonders how long this will continue. That is when she met Nice. This cheerfully talkative kid is trying to strike a conversation with her outside her cell but she is more pissed off than anything. Especially she had no name and was referred as Success Number 01. I guess the place was echo enough that Nice heard her stomach growl. He gives her a hamburger and calls her Hajime. It’s better than that atrocious experiment tag, right? After she takes a bite, she cannot stop crying. She has had it. She wants to get out. She wants to see the outside world too. What has she done to deserve this? She is human too. Nice agrees to help her get out. Nice receives a transmission sent by Koneko about Hajime’s whereabouts. He too remembers the past. Flashback continues. One day, Nice returns as he has swiped the key of some guard and today’s security is somewhat low. After he opens the door, this is the first time they see each other. Cute girl, no? As he takes her hand and run, he doesn’t know if her hand is trembling because if she was cute or he felt sorry for her. But he knew he wanted to keep holding her hand and protect her. As they climb the wall, Hajime’s hand got shot. She is in pain. She is tired. She wants to give up. But Nice kept motivating her till she finds the strength to reach his hand. Unfortunately, Nice got shot. And this is where it all began. Hajime in both the past and present starts activating some super power. Art explains that her Minimum is one that eradicates other Minimum. Despair is the trigger. All the monsters revert to their original human form. They are satisfied with this ‘show’ and Momoka will continue to fund their activities till the final curtain call. Nice and the rest barge in to rescue Hajime. Art wants to back off for now because they might be infected by her nullification if they get too close. As for Nice and co, it isn’t wise to finish them off once now because he knows they are not an easy bunch to be defeated. Hajime extends his hand to her just like that time. She thanks him.

Episode 9
Doktor begins his extreme proposition to Minimum Agency to eradicate stray Minimum Holders. While everyone else learns about Hajime’s past, Honey and Three come in to have them all make their acting debut. The company who took in the orphans of Three’s orphanage are organizing a festival and a stage play is one of them thus they are helping them out. Murasaki is seriously panicking here but I guess everybody jumps in when Hajime decides to join in because she wants to try it out. They will be playing the Princess Kaguya story and I think there is some twist in it. With Hajime as the main role, we have Nice, Murasaki, Birthday and Ratio acting as the guys trying to win her heart by offering food. Despite Hajime finishing the entire plate of Birthday’s pasta, Ratio’s desserts and Murasaki’s large fried rice serving, her unsatisfactory look has them ‘executed’. Poor Murasaki was executed before even Hajime tasted it. Finally it is Nice’s turn. A simple burger. Brings back memories, eh? That is the smile we are looking for. Do we have a winner? Too bad he got executed too! Having fun aren’t we? Meanwhile Momoka has bought a building and under the pretence of a normal seminar, they are housing lots of stray Minimum Holders who continue to party like there is no tomorrow (because one of the Freemum guys have this decadence power).

Now it is Art’s turn to make his speech. Claiming himself not to be God or a saviour, he is just a Minimum Holder like them. He talks about their God given power and being prejudiced in society. He talks about freedom and his duty to fight for the oppressed. He talks about establishing a nation with true freedom for everyone and that he will never betray them. So let’s go forth and build this nation together. His charisma revs up everyone and they throw their support behind him. Ishigami talks to Momoka that he already has a plan to transform Yokohama into their little kingdom. All that is left is to translate that to reality. At the same time, Doktor is giving his bloody passionate hate speech while stray Minimum Holders are a nuisance and useless since they do not use their power for good. Now it is the time to ring in the chaos. Our Hamatora guys are still practising their play with Honey being the very passionate director. A moment of nostalgia has Nice and Hajime act out adlib with true emotions. Seeing her sad, he holds out to her hand and doesn’t want her to go. This ‘top notch’ acting amazes everyone. Can win the Oscars? In the aftermath, Ratio is startled that Birthday starts feeling pain. Seems the symptoms are coming back and it has returned during while their Minimum went berserk. He never said a thing because it could have been his last time to have fun with everyone like that. He starts coughing blood and Ratio needs to hurry to find a person with the healing Minimum. Of course he has spoken to Mao about it but as he values his life, he isn’t going to give it so freely as he believes that Minimum Holder is somewhere in Freemum. As everyone rearranges the furniture in Cafe Nowhere, Nice doesn’t see Hajime around. But there is a letter addressed to him.

Episode 10
It is a goodbye letter from Hajime. It’s for real. She ran away to join Freemum. Birthday is admitted to hospital as Ratio gets started in his search. Suddenly a van stops before him. Inside is Chiyuu. She is taken to the hospital. Her disoriented state is like those who have lost their Minimum power. There was no bodily harm or drug used and she couldn’t recognize Ratio. But there is a video in her handphone that shows a Freemum guy, Suruga healing a person with illness. The guy Ratio has been looking for. Momoka then calls Nice under the masked identity of Saikyou. She wants to play a game. In 10 minutes, a bomb will go off somewhere. She also sends a picture of Hajime with a bomb next to her. Nice contacts Honey for help. She uses Mighty to scan and it seems a bomb will go off at a flower shop. Nice knows that place but when he heads there, there is only Master. He saves him in time before the bomb goes off. Then another call. This time there are 2 bombs in 2 different locations. She tells the location that one of them is Cafe Nowhere and the other a facility previously used as a racetrack. Nice wants Murasaki to rescue Koneko tied up in Cafe Nowhere while he heads to the facility assuming Hajime is there. Momoka then calls Ratio. Murasaki saves Koneko in time before the bomb explodes. There goes the cafe. There goes their office. When Nice arrives, Momoka calls him to apologize she had lied and makes him go up to the roof. Before him is Ratio. Through the laptop, the guys finally see Saikyou’s true face. Nice remembered her being taken into custody by the police but you know, she managed to buy her way out. The law is flawed and the police are only human. All you have to do is cater to their desires.

Now here is how it is going to be. Showing Hajime before her and also Suruga, she wants them to fight to the death. If Ratio wins, Hajime will be killed and Suruga will be given to him. If Nice wins, Suruga will be killed. As she doesn’t want Murasaki to show up, the time limit is 15 minutes. If there is no winner, both will die. The guys do not hesitate to face off. They have no choice. Ratio knows he is at a disadvantage and escapes into the building as they play hide and seek. He uses his ability to check and predict Nice’s moves but of course he starts to burn out due to the side effects. Nice calls Murasaki to tell him to head to Without (where Hajime is held) instead of coming here. Hajime wonders why Momoka is doing this. Just like how stray Minimum Holders seek freedom, she seeks entertainment. She reveals she earns 3 billion an hour (OMFGGGGG!!!) via playing stocks, foreign exchange markets and hacking. All too easy. She got everything she wanted from the human world. Did everything she could even shady stuffs like murder. Now she is turning her attention to Minimum Holders. People with gifted powers are dancing in her hands. Meanwhile Ishigami is talking to his other Freemum members. They don’t agree about Hajime joining them as her nullification can be detrimental to their cause. Ishigami is not concerned because her power can be useful to those Minimum Holders who don’t join them. He is more worried about Art’s goal. He feels this guy has an ulterior motive. When Ratio makes his move, it is still not enough as Nice knocks him out. However Momoka says it is not over till one of them dies. Can he do it? Momoka tells Hajime that Nice will kill Ratio just to save her. People will die because of her. Oh no. Depression building up. Once time is up, she is about to ‘shoot’ Hajime but Art stops her because he knows she isn’t the kind to find simple murder entertaining. Momoka calls Nice to tell him she will kill neither but hopes he will provide better entertainment next time. Art notes that with those Hamatora guys out of the running, no one can stop him now. When Murasaki arrives at Without, nobody is around except Suruga. He seems disoriented and senile. Oh, he lost his Minimum power too.

Episode 11
Flashback reveals Nice, Art and Skill made a promise to watch together the world from below from this Landmark Tower. But it seems only Art is watching from it as Momoka has bought the entire building. Master and Koneko are operating their cafe in a little roadside stall. Nice and Murasaki confront them. From what I understand, the broken tracer on Hajime after they fixed and traced whatever IP signal thingy, the location was always the same. You hiding something Koneko? You too Master? Flashback time. Master was one of those scientists along with Doktor and Moral. A time when he had a full head of hair that he’s unrecognizable. Master was against Doktor’s opinion to put Hajime down as she was deemed too dangerous. He has realized of the inhumane treatment these kids were being subjected too and he was more willing to throw everything away just to be Hajime’s guardian. Moral also agreed with Master’s view because they have lost Nice and Hajime is like a precious specimen. Talking to Master personally, Moral also shares the same morality view as Master and the experiments are getting to him. Moral thought Hajime is capable of saving Nice from solitude. Master talks to Hajime and thinks of opening a cafe with her. Then he also snuck out Koneko who was one of those imprisoned children. Nice now understands why Hajime was gone before he came back. Although he subsequently found her at Cafe Nowhere, she didn’t recognize who he was. Shocked at first, he thought it wasn’t such a bad thing since all he wanted was to protect her. Ishigami makes his public announcement on TV. You know, rights and freedom thingy. He wants the authorities to declare Yokohama as a special district for Minimum Holders. Or else. If you’re wondering why this Freemum dude, Sakuraba hasn’t said a thing, it’s because it is a condition needed to trigger this devastating Minimum power (3 months of no talking!). When he starts rapping and singing, a large barrier covers Yokohama. Those who go out of this barrier while he is still performing will die! Oh sh*t! It’s getting very bloody outside! Really, man. “Let’s do this sh*t!”.

So Doktor confronts Ishigami and his underlings and he will not change his stance. After they tie him on a bridge and then kill all the army in hot boiling water (Ishigami’s Minimum), Ishigami reveals his true colours to become supreme ruler of all Minimum Holders. Honey and Three arrive to fight them. Honey almost fell into the boiling water but Three jumped in to save her. Ishigami orders all the hostages to be driven out of the barrier. But the trucks never reached there and all the hostages are freed. This is part of Art’s plan. Hajime is also freed as Momoka points her the way to Sakuraba’s performance. And she did this kung fu fighting to everyone who gets in her way! Art fights and steals their power before he shoots and kills Ishigami. When Nice and Murasaki arrive, Art reminds Nice about their promise to watch from this tower. He wanted to show his little brother, Skill a beautiful and transformed world. Uhm, transformed yes, but how is this beautiful? Nice fights Art but the latter’s symptoms kick in and render him useless. Art goes up to him and whispers his goal to obliterate the Minimum ability. He will go as far as to kill him for that. He stabs his heart. Hajime sees this with her eyes and becomes engulfed in despair. So big her despair that her barrier spreads out and nullifies all within the range. Momoka praises Art’s plan of using Freemum to gather all Minimum Holders into this are for this purpose. Everyone becomes disoriented and senile. Even normal people. Minimum Holders lose their power. Ordinary people lose their desire. It’s a mad world alright. I don’t know if this is like a joke because Ratio is laughing he can’t save Birthday anymore. Because he’s dead!!! NOOOOO!!! Because Art possesses many Minimums at the same time, he will be the last to go and the witness of this transformed world. He believes all is well and has fulfilled his promise to Skill.

Episode 12
Art have this complex of pondering why he was the only one not having a Minimum. Even if Skill is okay with him as he is, Art continued be bothered. He conducted his own research about it and when Skill’s Minimum was found, he felt jealous. One day he found a report about a Minimum that would amplify the ego of individuals thus eliciting their Minimum. Exposing normals to that could turn them into Minimum Holders. However success rate is low and they are turned into monsters. At the same time when Nice snuck out Hajime, Art found Skill confined in a chamber with all the wires feeding through him. He was shocked. Even more when Skill wanted big brother to kill him because he doesn’t want to sin anymore because every day they try to force his ability. Minimums are the human ego made manifest. Such desire to be better than others is the root of all Minimums. Seeing his sorry state, Art stabs a broken glass bottle into his chest. A large aura is emitted at the exact same time when Hajime’s go berserk. It cancelled out each other. The impact blows Art away to a point he fractured his skull. Moral checks on Skill and notices he is brain dead. He is happy nevertheless as there is still a way to save Nice. When Art woke up in hospital, he lost his memories of that night. That’s why he couldn’t believe it when Moral whispered into his ears at the grave that he was the one who killed Skill. After Moral shoots him and leaves, Art revives and Momoka picks him up. With his regeneration, his brain damage was healed and he now remembers everything. Even depressing is that Momoka handed him a report on Skill and it seems he didn’t die and was ‘transferred’. From that point on, Art vowed to destroy all Minimums and eradicate humanity’s ego.

Back in reality, Momoka has enjoyed every bit of entertainment. However she cannot believe she is still her sane self in this insane world. Unable to take this ‘boredom’, she shoots herself! Art views it as punishment as he is still sane and have absorbed too much ego. Nice suddenly wakes up. All his wounds heal. The moment he sees Hajime like a vegetable, he becomes mad. He confronts Art and beats him up although the latter is surprised he can use his Minimum. Nice deduces Art’s Minimum abilities get reset when he dies and regenerates, the reason he stocks them up. Art views it as liberating them from their ego. As they battle with their Minimums, a pile is going to fall on Hajime when suddenly angry Murasaki destroys it and starts yelling a Nice. He wants to kick that mother f*cker’s ass!!! Hajime sees a vision of Skill. It is their first meeting. He reveals Nice was looking for him on that day but met Hajime instead. Now it is her turn to find him. With Hajime back to normal and screaming she is hungry, Nice is so relieved. With that, Nice emits a huge aura that just returns everything back to normal. Minimum Holders get their ability back and normal people regain their sanity. Oh, best news: Birthday lives! Art notices about the ego Minimum in which hope is its trigger. Nice lectures Art about ego. From trying to be number one and confessing your love. That is ego too. Everyone is shouldering their own ego and staking everything on it to jostle with each other. That is what makes the world interesting. Art doesn’t need any Minimum to kill him to fulfil his promise to Skill. Will just a knife do? Nope. Nice definitely have the upper hand on this one. As they trade normal punches, Nice tries to open his eyes that he wasn’t born with such Minimum. Skill gave it to him and is he going to reject it? Art realizes that he doesn’t have the right to do this and jumps down the tower. Art couldn’t catch him. Six months later, Yokohama is back to normal. Nice and Hajime visit Skill’s grave as Art notes his heart is beating inside him. Art is alive too and pays a visit. But Nice punches him to warn him if he ever tries to die again, he’ll kill him. Eh? What?! Everyone celebrates Art’s return as well as the reopening of Cafe Nowhere.

Equality In Inequality
Wow. If I should describe this season in a single word, that would be it. It is a good thing the sequel lived up to my expectations and you could say it is better than the previous. The storyline was good, the flow was executed smoothly and they wrap things up pretty nicely at the end. Although the only down part for me was trying to understand the final episode’s revelation and explanation. It took me a while to realize and understand what was going on as I was trying to piece and connect the dots between Minimums and egos. Well, even if I didn’t fully comprehend about it, thankfully I generally get the idea of what this is about and how this whole mess and Art’s insane mission came about. But some things weren’t tied up as I begin to ponder about Doktor and wonder if he is still going to come down hard on stray Minimums. Chances are humans won’t change and neither would he. But I guess we don’t pretty much care about that dude as the series focuses more on Art and leading to its revelation.

This season takes a grimmer toll especially with Gasuke’s death that really shook things up. At thought they were going to kill everybody off one by one starting with Murasaki when he was close to death. Even more depressing is the fact that our Hamatora heroes cannot use their powers as they please as they will go into some side effects. In a way, it limits their options of what they can do and this just makes it sad. That’s even though when that hospital episode felt so much like a joke and filler, it was a welcome relief and didn’t feel out of place. By the way, I feel it is Murasaki’s most prominent episode because of that unfortunate bed bumping accidents. Especially the spamming of those replays… Running joke of the episode. Speaking of running joke, it seems they have discarded last season’s one whereby Ratio’s new car always get hammered and his heart inside must be clenching in pain thinking about the 10 year loan he has yet to finish. I guess they’re done with that.

On the same topic, in many of the episode openings right before we jump into the opening credits and song, there seems to be some sort of narration by Nice amidst the jazzy and lively fanfare background music (which reminds me of that swing BGM in Oh! Edo Rocket). It isn’t exactly a summary of what happened in the previous episode or the-story-so-far kind of narration. He’s making comment about a certain topic that was what I believe is prominent in the previous episode such as Hikaru’s case the ‘explosion of art’, family bonds, presents and giving fiery speeches. I don’t know whether it is supposed to be a joke or something serious or both because at the end of it, it makes you think hard and reflect on the words he just said and how true sometimes it is.

Art has taken Moral’s place as this season’s antagonist but that itself is hard to say. It is also difficult to pinpoint if Art and Freemum or even the ordinary humans like the extremist thinking Doktor are the villains of the series because of what they are doing in spite of their reasoning behind it. Despite their cause, sometimes it doesn’t feel right on what they do. For example, if a person is a serial murderer, is it right to take the law into your own hands and kill him? In a way when I think about it, it makes Minimum Holders and ordinary people just the same if they resort to such. Momoka feels like the mastermind of it all pulling the puppet strings because she provides the funds and let everybody do their stuffs while she sits back and watches her own brand of entertainment. So is she the real antagonist? Well, we can’t be bothered by the fact she is dead now. It just goes to show that even money cannot buy you happiness. So much money in the world and yet so bored.

It is refreshing to see that this season, Hajime has more focus than the last time as he was merely portrayed as a glutton bumming around. Although this time round she still seems to be stuffing as much of her favourite burgers into her face, we get to delve a little more into her past and origins. And of course the big revelation of her Minimum power and the trigger that activates its devastating effect. Compared to last season, Hajime shows a tad more emotions than before. As far as I remember, she smiles more often although it is just a handful of scenes but compared to her emotionless personality, that is quite an achievement for a girl who seems she can’t smile because it’s like doing you a favour. Happy emotions, she also went to the other extreme end of being in total despair. You’d never believe she could actually scream and be in such fear like that. There are a few nice (pun not intended) close scenes between Nice and Hajime too but not too much that would make you think there is something going on between them. With the flashbacks of how they met, it shows how long they have come and the trust they build among each other.

Birthday is still the most amusing character of the series. He still hasn’t lost his knack and tendency to make jokes at everything. He has this penchant of coming up with witty lines so no matter how grave the situation or not, you can expect him to comment something that will make you snicker for a short while. Too bad he was reduced to be on his death bed in the final moments so he and Ratio are put out of any action in the final scenes. Yeah. Too many jokes can literally kill you. Haha. Just joking.

As Art has been taking the limelight in this season, the other characters feel a little side-lined but it is not so bad as to say that they are really forgotten. Like Theo and Rei, this season could have actually gone by without them as they don’t really contribute much to the impact of this season. But I suppose they’re around just to show us that they aren’t totally forgotten. Same case with Chiyuu as it feels her very brief appearances were so it would lead and introduce our guys to Freemum. Birthday’s dying symptoms and Murasaki’s curious alter ego and inferior complex to Nice are interesting enough to make you want to know more but I guess with the flow of where the story is heading, an elaboration doesn’t looks like it is coming. The only ‘big’ thing that I thought was really missing throughout this season was Tanker. In the first season, you could see this friendly tiger mascot in the background in every episode and it makes you think if this character has some sort of hidden motive or should spring up something. But some things are just red herrings. Tanker was only seen in the first episode and the final montage moments in the last episode. With our mind preoccupied on the ongoing of the story development, this tiger mascot hardly crosses our mind. Not even as a distraction.

Although the general and overall art and drawing remain typically the same, I noticed that there are a few slight changes to the animation concept. One, each time you see the Minimum Holders activating their power, for a short time you can see their blood veins pumping. Like as though their power illuminates from underneath the skin to let you see the veins. This replaces the psychedelic effect that was used for this in the previous season. Especially when Ratio starts using his Minimum power, you can see the bones, muscles and organs of the person he is focusing. I thought it looked like that x-ray attack in Mortal Kombat… Also, they added scene changers and it looks pretty neat to have the transition scene with engraving and embossing effect. But I have just one complaint for this scene. There is a loud screeching electric guitar sound each time this scene is played (at least 90% of the time). Personally I do not like the shrieking sound made and this is made even more annoying as the scene changer is played quite often in the initial episodes. It got on my nerves. Fortunately, the final episode was void of this and it was a welcoming relief thinking about this. Yeah. It was that ‘stressful’ for me to hear it.

This season, the opening theme is Sen No Tsubasa by Livetune featuring Takuro Suguwara from 9mm Parabellum Bullet. It is quite a heavy rock piece so you want to keep your volume down if you intend to hear this song. I think my speakers almost exploded with all that heavy bass lines. Breaking the custom that all the songs are sung by guys and thus my perception that this is a guy series is the ending theme. Brand New World is sung by Ayami and feels like a slow pop rock ballad.

It goes to show that whether you are a Minimum Holder or just an ordinary person, some form of discrimination is bound to happen. Because that is just human nature. Discrimination is alive and well. That’s just so sad. Even oddly if you think about it that Minimum Holders are like minorities but with special powers. Aren’t humans supposed to treat such rarities with great care and to an extreme extent treat them like gods? So I guess with a few people ‘different’ from them, the majority will take advantage via discrimination. The irony is how powerless people can actually rule over people with power (literally). Because at the end of the day, everyone is still a human being whether you have or lack something. Also a point to ponder: If such powers in human beings give rise to discrimination, then why the heck do we all adore and be amazed with Superman, Spider-man and all other super powered heroes and heroines? Funny, right? Because if these guys exist, as far as this anime goes, we’ll start hating them instead of being grateful from saving Earth from super powered villains. And for the record, Batman has no super powers.

With everything back to normal, the question is if everyone can still use their Minimum power. From the looks of it, they still do. But what about the side effects? Ah, another burning question that is left unanswered. At least for my case. I mean, it is going to be a real pain if they continue to keep regressing, right? Unless you’re telling me that Skill’s Minimum restored everything back to normal. Even so, I bet the discrimination between ordinary people and Minimum Holders will still continue. It is not over by a very long shot. Art’s goal to rid everyone of their Minimum and become equal may be noble but if you think about it, humans with or without any sort of power are still sh*t. Because our varied and f*cked up personalities are what makes us human. I know it’s harsh but deal with it! That is what it means to be human!

Overall, this series may not be breaking any new grounds and the general plot isn’t new or original (anti-hero trying to rid or reset something that affects the entire world? Try something better than that) but it does its best in trying to offer a different perspective, the cause and effect about humans having super powers. In some ways, it does stand out on its own. There are some action moments, some funny and silly moments, some dramatic moments. Even if you are not into the super power kind of series, this anime is still worth the entertaining watch. At best it makes you reflect the actions you take and how you would treat others if you have certain powers or not. Would you do something for your own selfish gain or for others? Would you join the herd mentality and ostracize others just because they are a little different? With all the discrimination going around, would it be right to no longer be Mr Nice Guy anymore? But I hope you have a Nice day then :).


August 17, 2014

What do you get when you cross a hamster and a tiger? You get Hamatora of course! Eh… Say what? You mean that is not what this show is about? Some superhero who is a cross between a cute furry little hamster but with the ferocity and power of the roaring tiger? Or at least a team combo between a hamster and a tiger? It’s not?! Of course it isn’t but that was my first impression when I heard about the title of this anime. Of course looking it up further dispels this misconception of mine. Although there is no hamster, the tiger is still there because Hamatora literally means ‘beach tiger’. Sheesh. Wait a minute. What kind of tiger lives near a beach? Hmm… Well, the location of this anime is set in the port city of Yokohama.

Also in this action series, we have the setting of certain humans possessing super powers. These powers are called Minimum and those having such are called Minimum Holders. And just like many series with people with super powers, they are only restricted to one type of power. It would be greedy to have 2 or more or even all, right? To use their Minimum, certain conditions must be fulfilled to unleash that power in which you will observe in this anime. So what is the use of having power themed animes if you don’t have our protagonists as a bunch of freelance detective agency which bears the same name of this anime. They take jobs and go around solving crimes that are related to the use of Minimum. Hmm… Doesn’t this sound like a detective version of X-Men?

Episode 1
Nice and Hajime are at the bank unaware that a robbery is in progress. But before you know it, the robbery is solved and the day is saved. They head back to their Hamatora Private Eye Investigation office, which is actually just a table rented out by Master in his bar. The other members include Murasaki, Birthday, Ratio and Koneko. Koneko has a couple of jobs for the guys. First, capture the group responsible for kidnapping local college girls and the second, safeguard a safe of a wealthy family whose patriarch, Toyosaki has recently passed away. There is somebody plotting to steal the safe’s content too. Murasaki wants to go for the safe job since it pays a lot but Nice who is more on the virtuous side wants the first one. How can he still say that when he is poor and hungry? They both go their separate ways while Birthday and Ratio have their own job of bodyguard a girl named Azusa. Murasaki is at the Toyosaki estate and his son explains the secretive but strict man his father was. They can’t force open the safe because doing so will cause the contents to be destroyed by some safety mechanism. Nice tries to bribe his usual informant, Mao to get more information. He isn’t going to get much with just 30 Yen!!! Out of cash? Don’t worry. Police officer, Art offers to pay for it and even treats Nice to lunch. He lets Nice know some information and hopes he can make use of it. Nice puts the puzzle pieces together and realizes something. He calls Birthday to tell him that Azusa is an intern and that she is the girl who was in the earlier bank robbery. Suddenly Birthday and Ratio are being attacked by a Minimum Holder. Too bad about Ratio’s car. He got it last month and now it’s trashed. He forces some number out of Azusa. But once Birthday attacks with his electric power, he flees. Azusa is brought back to the office as she explains she doesn’t understand that number and heard it via sleep talking. Yup. This girl slept with Toyosaki. Ratio describes the symptoms of sleep talking of one who is very stressed in keeping things a secret so it is possible he revealed it during his sleep. Nice then realizes all the cases are not separated but related.

Toyosaki only had the safe’s code all to himself but that secret became his source of stress and began to unconsciously reveal it in his sleep. Somebody learnt about his condition and they believe his physician is the one who sold him out. The kidnappers also learn about the safe and begin to kidnap all the college girls he slept with just to get the number. Only Azusa wrote it down due to her intern job nature. Imagine Toyosaki’s son’s fury when he realizes his dad is a womanizer sleeping around with female college girls! He brought him up so strict and yet he did all this behind his back! Didn’t want to know his sex life, eh? His old maid was cool enough to calm him down. Yeah. She’ll wear a school outfit for him. WTF. Murasaki saves them before the baddie Minimum Holder starts throwing things into the mansion. Murasaki’s power is to harden his body and smash through whatever is thrown at him with ease. Meanwhile Birthday and Ratio take out the other small fries hiding nearby. Ratio’s power is seeing through his enemy weakness and his gold metal arms really pack a punch! When Nice comes into the picture, the baddie calls him his comrade since they are Minimum Holders who use their powers to find money and prey on the weak. Of course Nice isn’t that kind of guy as he uses his speed of sound to take him out. When Murasaki opens the safe, he finds lots of porn magazines!!! Better not tell the son… Burning them would be the best. Art and fellow officer, Gasuke are at the scene to apprehend the baddies. Art thinks it is time to tell them that there is a serial killer going around killing Minimum Holders.

Episode 2
Birthday wanted to show some girls his cool magic trick but coincidentally the building behind him blew up. He got arrested for suspected terrorizing. Theo and Rei turn up at Hamatora to request to look for their missing arts teacher, Kitazawa. Nice and Murasaki impersonate as a transfer student and teacher respectively to get more information. Nice thought he could beat the other students to get some rare bread during recess. He might have got there first with his speed but has not enough money. Curses! Murasaki discovers some site that everyone uses to post their troubles that they don’t want to say in public. Theo was once a bully victim though the bullies got expelled. He couldn’t do anything or else they will harm Rei too. It was Kitazawa who took notice and helped him out. But Nice finds it odd because it’s like he is procrastinating dealing with the problem to him. Murasaki and Nice get a call from Art. At a crime scene, Kitazawa is dead. He proceeds to show them a classified case whereby a serial killer is targeting Minimum Holders. Kitazawa is also one and graduated from the same Facultas Academy like them. All victims have in common is that their brain is removed. At Kitazawa’s funeral, Rei is inconsolable. Nice has got Kitazawa’s Smartphone at the crime scene and wants to look into him a bit more. Despite Murasaki’s advice to leave it as it is, Nice feels Theo can’t move on till he learns the truth. He doesn’t want people to be classified based on weakness because that makes them no different than Facultas. He will finish the job he takes. Nice gets the photos of the bullies bullying Theo from Mao that was posted on the internet. He also goes to check out Kitazawa’s home PC (Art made it an exception to allow him).

This is the result of Nice’s findings. There is something odd about the pictures. Five bullies bullying Theo and all 5 got expelled. What is wrong? Who is taking the photos? That person must be the ringleader. He discovered the ringleader’s home PC and IP address to post the photos are the same. Yup. Kitazawa is the ringleader. Theo cannot accept this crap but he is shown a website Kitazawa frequents. A site that suggests food tastes better at the misfortune of others. His detailed excerpts of the bullying are posted here. Kitazawa had the ability to turn words into pictures. His idea of doing this is to increase his reputation. Theo got so sick hearing this that he started vomiting. Now that he has all the pieces, what he does now is up to him. Birthday who is released from police custody somehow managed to get photos of the serial bombing sites. They notice they are the same place where Theo’s bullying occurs. Only one place left unbombed: The school. Theo and Rei are at school to get something when they see a bomb. Then Kojima, one of the bullies, makes his admits the bombings are his doing because thanks to his expulsion, his dream of being part of the elite went down the drain. The only way is to reset reality. So why not blow up the world? I don’t know about his ability to accelerate time to make the timer faster, but shouldn’t he just use a grenade or RPG? Anyway, Nice and Murasaki were fast enough to throw the bomb into the sky but Kojima has bombs strapped around his body. Of course he doesn’t see them coming at such a speed and Murasaki deals the knockout punch. Theo and Rei are at Kitazawa’s coffin. Nice hands him a baseball bat. Is this what he is looking for? Theo thanks Kitazawa for everything before smashing everything up. Now he can move on. Meanwhile Art discovers that the recent baddies they arrested aren’t innate Minimum Holders. Meaning, they aren’t born with the ability like all Minimum Holders should. Seems it is possible to plant artificial powers and it requires a Minimum Holder’s brain. And we see this Minimum Holder serial killer, Moral having rows after rows of brains whom he calls his lovers.

Episode 3
Shouko Itou from some government equality department (it’s really a long name…) seeks Hamatora’s help to investigate any scandal in Facultas. She believes in equality and that this Minimum thingy is causing preferential treatment to those with such powers. So if they uncover some big scandal, they can use it and crush the academy who develops those Minimum Holders from all over Japan. She pays in advance and they will get 3 times more when they’re done. Of course Nice rejects but since his tab is running up, Koneko takes the job. Get to work! Itou’s aide wonders if she can trust them since they too were from Facultas. She has checked them out and can rely on Murasaki since he graduated with the second highest score in the academy. The first is a mystery and kept classified. Murasaki is on the job alone since Nice is bumming around. He is more interested why Itou is being so extreme. Art interrogates Moral at his place. Moral is a professor at Facultas and he admits of purchasing large amount of drugs from overseas. Seems all victims have that drug in their nervous system. Moral also reveals he is doing research on non-innate Minimum Holders although it is incomplete. He also talks about equality, blah, blah, blah. Giving an example that the weak can never kill and weak men without power cannot cross the line. That is why they envy murderers who stepped out of the line and accomplished what the weak couldn’t. Art doesn’t want to hear anymore of this but Moral continues that the world will be reborn if the weak is empowered. Art wants to leave but Moral speaks of Art’s past in Facultas. He didn’t show any potential of any ability but he graduated by displaying superior intellect and herculean efforts as a distinguished member. He mocks him that he must be jealous thinking why he doesn’t have a Minimum like others. He could have killed Moral but a phone call stops him. Art assures he will come back next time with an arrest warrant.

While Itou is giving her usual equality speech, suddenly the Incredible Hulk (only purple) emerges from the sewers and goes on a rampage. Itou is so desperate that if they can’t find any scandal on Facultas, just pin this monster blame on them. So she’s going to fabricate if she can’t find any proof? Nice is just sitting there, nothing how carefree the Hulk is. Then the Hulk turns to Itou. He calls her his mom. Itou realized it’s her missing son, Takahiro. Hulk runs back down the sewer when Art and his police team arrive. Moral then calls Art about a certain junior high school kid coming to see him a few days ago complaining he lacked any abilities and thus wasn’t respected. He felts sorry and would have wanted to save him. But seems good will led to this because if a subject lacks aptitude for the Minimum in the extreme, he will turn into a monster instead of a Minimum Holder. Moral sees him having lots of fun. The video is already viral on the internet. Itou is just in distress, lamenting how she shield him from this world and raised him with care. However Nice sees it as she views her son as weak and called him a loser. He tells her off if his mother didn’t even believe in him, who else would he trust? The police track down the Hulk and it seems he is travelling in sewers due to being sensitive to light. But he emerged that one time probably due to wanting to hear human voice. They corner him but he is too strong to be netted. Nice confronts Hulk. He deduces he showed up in public just to tell everyone how strong he is and how he surpassed Minimum Holders. This wasn’t an accident. He chose this path. Nice puts on his headphones and uses his speed to beat the Hulk up. Moral burns down his place to stay a step of the police before they could arrest him. He notes Nice is the top graduate in Facultas whose existence is classified. He wants to save him.

Episode 4
The police are investigating Moral’s burnt down mansion. All evidence are also burnt. Seems he escaped through a sewer. Hulk is now known as Outsider. Minimum Holders, Honey and Three foil an assassination attempt on some politician since Honey’s laptop, Mighty Script and her power is able to see 10 minutes into the future. The Hamatora guys and Koneko are in some Yokohama tourist advertisement assuring that the city is safe. Sounds like a hero gig… Murasaki must be regretting it a lot. How the heck did he end up doing it? Yeah, yeah. Complaints, complaints. Their video is uploaded the net and is gaining popularity. But not as popular as some handsome guy, Yuuki Katsuragi. So popular that he already has his own fan site. When Koneko receives a job to be actors at a nursing home, Murasaki of course vehemently wants her to refuse it! Meanwhile Honey and Three are at the airport. Her luggage is switched with totem poles. They have to get it back since Mighty is in it. While Three is reporting it at the lost and found section, Honey is kidnapped by MIBs. Of course Three goes after them but the car he is hitching is driven by a grandma! Go granny! Three jumps onto the baddies’ car and rips open the roof. That should scare them. They find lots of gun parts. Meanwhile Art and Gasuke are in another case whereby minors are attempting to rob stores with a real gun. All of them relate they got a gun from the internet. A question popped up asking them if they wanted a gun and a threat to do it or else. Also, they were given a chance to attack a convenience store or participate in an insurrection although none of them knows where the location is. Those who opted for the uprising are told of the location right beforehand via phone.

Nice meets Art to talk about this. But Art doesn’t tell him about Moral because he doesn’t want both of them to meet. Nice gets his usual info from Mao. All the victims had one thing in common and that they are heavy users of a video sharing site. All of them had seen that Yuuki Katsuragi video. There is a hidden message in the video using a certain frequency that only minors can hear. They are going to visit the uploader nearby. Speaking of which, he is actually an ugly person but his power makes him look handsome. Moral is with him and he is upset about his video being used for criminal acts. Moral disagrees he has done anything wrong and gave him power to grant his wish. He is going to report to the police but Moral shoots him. Honey and Three enter a room where the baddies are based. Though she finds her Mighty, she also discovers that they are smuggling guns and it would be easier to avoid detection if they were in parts and then smuggled in to be assembled. The totem poles are filled with the parts. Since she is already involved in this case, she contacts Art and he wants her to scan if there is something going to happen at Yokohama. Although her powers cannot predict such a huge place, Nice has a hunch where it is going to happen. Soon all the police apprehend the minors with guns at the amusement park before anything happens. Art wonders how he knew. Already at Yuuki Katsuragi’s place, a doll is seen placed on his head. Nice deduces this attack was probably just a game and if so, it’s more fun if it’s a big show.

Episode 5
Hajime wins the grand prize to the hotspring. She actually wanted the burger prize… So only the Hamatora girls including Honey are set to go there. Birthday tries to seduce his way in but his sexual harassment on Honey has her ordering Three to rip his guts out. But just in time, Ratio calls him for a job. Meanwhile Nice and Murasaki are undertaking a job from a rich female pimp to find the whereabouts of one of her boyfriends, Arata Hasuda who is a masseur at the hotspring. The Hamatora girls are at the hotspring. They see Rei and Theo working there as they have used up all their money on the Kitazawa case. All the guys are here too but on a job. Suddenly the hotspring is being taken hostage over by gay guys! Since they’re not interested in women, they let them go. But our heroines felt insulted and hid behind to solve this case. Especially Hajime who is bent on getting her deluxe dinner. Honey sees into the future but gets disappointed in only seeing gay guys everywhere. At least we know she isn’t a fujoshi. The guys on the other hand encounter Arata who starts doing sit-ups. WTF. His sweat will mix with the steam and cause people to fall for him. Birthday doesn’t believe and goes near him. Suddenly he loves this dude! A new possibility opening! Ratio could have been his lover too if everyone didn’t take them and dash out. When they take refuge, Ratio and Birthday relate that they lost their target. They are supposed to be bodyguards of a crown prince from some kingdom. He is apparently pro-Japan and loves visiting this country. Of course he didn’t bring his bodyguards. How can you relax when you have your guards around? That prince is hiding in the toilet but Arata finds him.

The girls are crawling through the ventilation and drop down in the locker room. They see in Arata’s locker lots of pictures of a famous male idol, Seiji Hijirikawa. But due to his scandal of sleeping with lots of women, this made lots of haters and forced him into retirement. Say, isn’t this the guy Art and Gasuke caught at the convenience store trying to steal a magazine? So when everyone confronts Arata who is in the midst of hypnotizing the prince, Honey deduces this is part of his revenge. He pretend to be that rich pimp’s boyfriend to steal all her money and assets to fund this plan. The plan is to hypnotize the prince with his Minimum to have Japan reinstate Seiji as an idol. Because that kingdom has helped Japan a lot, the government cannot turn down his request on this small matter. Then he talks about loving everything about the idol, blah, blah, blah. Because his Minimum doesn’t work on women, Arata floods the area with some slippery liquid. Then his gay underlings slide like hell to give him time to escape as they know how it feels like on unrequited love. When he escapes to the rooftop, the police already surrounded the area. Arata reveals he is the mastermind to save his fellow underlings and that they were just obeying his orders. He wants to jump down but Hajime catches him. Actually he got the ticket to the deluxe dinner. Arata is arrested and Seiji is brought to tears at the police station after being told that fans of him still exist. But Nice is baffled because Arata isn’t a Facultas graduate and shouldn’t have such powers. Somebody is pulling the strings. Meanwhile Gasuke and some scientist have discovered from the latter’s analysis that the Minimum factor can’t be harvested from brains of non-innate Minimum Holders. Because based on the last case of Yuuki Katsuragi, his brain was not harvested. Then Gasuke stabs him with a knife!!! HOLY Sh*T!!!

Episode 6
A famous illustrator, Chiyuu gets a big collaboration with a Hollywood director. In the dressing room, she gets kidnapped. So her manager approaches Birthday and Ratio for help instead of the police since Chiyuu made a personal plea not to do so if something happened to her. This means she might know this would happen and who the kidnapper is. Honey wonders why Art won’t tell Nice about Moral. Since she is persistent, he blows his top so Gasuke tells him to get some time off. He visits the grave of somebody and Nice is also there. Signs of other Hamatora members were there too as they left their gifts. But they don’t know this cosmos flower is from whom. Another illustrator, Misty is having a book signing event when Birthday and Ratio haul her up. She is a suspect of Chiyuu’s kidnapping since she would have been the candidate for the collaboration if Chiyuu wasn’t around. She disagrees since her works sell 5 times more than her and even though they are rivals, they are friends. Birthday seems to be agitated. He won’t let her leave, claiming that their friend is being abducted. Back at Hamatora, everyone is surprised that Torao, top illustrator is at their office to seek their help. Somebody knocks Birthday out and kidnaps him. Ratio gets a call from the kidnapper to come to a certain place and bring Misty too. But Ratio knows where the kidnapper is. Or rather, was. The place: Chiyuu’s manager’s office because of that parakeet’s voice he heard in the background. They find Misty’s works in his place. From what Ratio and Honey deduce, Misty is the true target. Also, the kidnapper tipped off the place where Ratio is to bring Misty because if he had done that, he will be blamed as the kidnapper. Then the story will sound like Chiyuu abducted her friend and thus the collaboration will be off and Misty will get it. The kidnapper’s goal is to get a hold of her once her market value is increased and that it seems Hamatora was hired not to save Chiyuu but to kidnap Misty. Birthday wakes up and sees Misty tied up alongside him.

Flashback reveals Ratio is able to see when people will die. This causes others to think that he might be some death ringer. However Birthday didn’t fear him and didn’t like how he tried to look like a prophet, which of course wasn’t Ratio’s intention. Ratio saw Birthday had an incurable disease and will die soon but Birthday won’t run and asserts he won’t die. He then made a bet that if he fails to die, Ratio will die instead. A week later, Birthday undergoes a surgery and because of his strong will to live, he survived. So will Ratio die as promised? What Birthday meant was his fake prophet is now dead. Although Birthday’s disease is not cured and can relapse anytime, he won’t let death get to him that easy or else his prophecy will come true. Birthday makes his way to the electric box and trips the wire so that the huge current can reveal their location. Once Ratio and Misty arrive, so does the true kidnapper who is Chiyuu’s manager. Seems he wants Misty for the collaboration instead of Chiyuu because her work sells more. He hardens his body to fight. Neither Birthday nor Ratio’s power can stop him but with Chiyuu tipping them off, they combine their powers to win. But he escapes via boat. It is short-lived as Murasaki and Nice got it all covered to bring him back. Speaking with Torao, he explains his manager overheard his plan. Since they are good friends, they want to resolve this internally. Torao will take it from here. The manager laments he got the power for nothing. Nice than approaches Art and wants to meet that serial killer named Moral. So he knows… And it seems Moral has this shape shifting ability because he disguises as that scientist to enter some high security lab.

Episode 7
All the non-innate Minimum Holders’ statement seems to have the same thing. They surfed the internet and found some website that promised them power. They feel threatened since it’s like the perpetrator knows everything they do. The next thing they know, they have the power. Also, they have never seen the perpetrator’s face. Nice explains his deduction how he pinpointed Moral. But mostly it was a guess and wanted to see his reaction. Art doesn’t want him to get involved when he gets a call that a forbidden specimen in a hidden facility is stolen. Because Nice becomes like some sort of detective, deducing the culprit may have entered the facility via disguise and distributing a photo of how he looks like might get people to be boxed by that, this causes Art to blow his top. Mr nice policeman gets mad? Nice, Gasuke, Honey and Three are in a discussion of how the culprit snuck in. Coincidentally, all logs or surveillance cameras were cut off after midnight. Later Gasuke talks to Honey about Art. Although all of them entered Facultas at different points, one by one our Minimum Holder protagonists quit and the only ones who actually graduated were Honey and Art. The latter because of his exceptional hard work despite no Minimum materialized. He holds the record as the first, last and only graduate to do so. Meanwhile Nice and Murasaki are talking to a guy, Kouichi Shiratori who has had sexual relations with many idols. Hey, this is a free country so anyone is free to love, right? But a group of otaku fans are demanding his apology. Shiratori maintains he did nothing wrong and even turns the tables on the otakus because they’re blaming him for what they couldn’t do themselves.

Art has a judo lesson with Three who was his teacher at Facultas. Three wants him to have faith in himself. After the workout, Art feels better and goes back to the basics of investigating. At Moral’s razed mansion, he sees the black cosmos and some of them are recently cut. Then he heads to the graveyard and sees Moral there. He didn’t waste time to point his gun at him and accuse him as the culprit. But just as Moral told him, it was all for equality. Art doesn’t believe his crap because he stole some forbidden specimen and wanted power for himself. Moral says he is greatly mistaken. He desired that too but was for equality. He wants to desperately save someone from solitude: Nice. To save him, he needs power. Because Nice is so powerful, he is unrivalled. So not only the weak is unequal but the strong too. Moral’s reasoning is that to achieve that, he needs to be Nice’s equal. Art won’t allow that because he will protect Nice as his friend. Moral laughs at his statement. Then he demonstrates his shape shifting ability and beats him up in great speed. Meanwhile Shiratori is being tailed by gangsters with dangerous weapons. Luckily he is saved by Nice and Murasaki and they find out those otakus hired them to do the job. Both sides blame each other and Nice beats up both sides. Feeling fed up, he decides to go see Art. Back to the graveyard, Moral views what Art said as an insult because without a Minimum, he cannot be his equal or his friend. He suggests if he desires, he can make him a Minimum Holder. Art rejects so Moral stabs him. Art crawls to grab an incoming call from Nice but Moral whispers something into his ear and plants several bullets into him.

Episode 8
Moral impersonates as Art to answer the call but doesn’t say much so as not to give himself away. He leaves it to his assistant, Momoka to clean up the body. Nice and Hajime get to go to Okinawa on a business trip! Yeah! They’re coming along with Theo and Rei’s class too since it’s cheaper that way. Previously some government guy approached them about some energy drink called Ideal. Those who drink it fall into eternal slumber (but not die) and never wake up. However Ideal doesn’t contain any ingredient to cause that effect and he believes it is manifesting its effects through some special mechanism. The man who manufactures this, Shuuichi Hiiragi is his brother and is based in Okinawa. Rei and Theo are having fun on the beach when a bunch of delinquents don’t like outsiders come to challenge them. They’ll settle it fair and square via some triathlon meet tomorrow and they can bring representatives to square off each other. Nice and Murasaki got a lead on Shuuichi but when they arrive at his house, he himself as taken Ideal. He is dreaming that he is some super strong cool dude and all the girls love him. Yeah. We guys love that, don’t we? The duo have investigated his background and it seems due to not having a proper job or he couldn’t stand the job’s condition, he flew back to Okinawa. They realize he is also a victim of that website. Later Theo pleads to Nice to join the triathlon on his behalf. He didn’t want to till he realizes the first prize is a year’s worth of bitter melon. Then they have a showdown with the delinquents who also hired other people: Birthday, Ratio, Honey and Three! Oh sh*t! Murasaki stays by sleeping Shuuichi. He narrates about Shuuichi escaping into the dream due to the hardship he experienced in reality. He knows his intention to save others like him but that didn’t change anything for him. No matter what great dream he is having, he still ran away while reality continues to be messed up. But Murasaki knows how he feels like. Because he was number one before a certain guy came along. Then he went on a losing streak. That became his hard reality.

Next day, the triathlon begins. This isn’t your usual triathlon because after those 3 usual sports, we have a battle royale using bitter melon! Last one standing wins! Honey deceives others that her swimsuit comes undone so all the perverts start looking for the boobs to give her a head start. Birthday wants to electrocute the water but Three won’t allow him. This causes Birthday to be disqualified. Not because of his electrocution plan but they think Three is his pet dog! Pets are not allowed in the race! Yeah, Three gets disqualified too. Oh, Three says he is more of a cat. Ratio withdraws because he ends up tending to injured participants. Even that delinquent boss pulls out because he ate too many bitter melons before the finals start. Honey is out when she gets taken out by Nice while being distracted that her Mighty isn’t sea water proof. The final is between Nice and Murasaki. The latter wants to be number one again. Without using their Minimum, they duke it out as Shuuichi’s brother brings the comatose guy to see. Eventually Murasaki loses. Shuuichi is so touched by the scene that he wakes up and starts crying. However kidnappers kidnap him but Nice and Murasaki quickly save him. The brothers end up in a petty sibling argument. When everyone leaves Okinawa, Theo and the delinquent boss are like so good friends. He didn’t even do anything… Meanwhile Moral and Momoka get ready to do operation on several people and turn his ideal into reality.

Episode 9
Hamatora receives an advisory notice from Minimum Agency to minimize the use of their Minimum. Meanwhile Three is at an orphanage he runs. Flashback reveals he was a mercenary fighting in a foreign war but was loved by the children. He was like Rambo, singlehandedly killing all the enemy troops. But when they took the children hostage, Three rushed to save them but was too late as the building exploded. ‘Art’ calls Honey and Three to tell them they have been assigned to another case for their own safety. Although Honey is not happy but Three respects his decision since it was him who called them back to Japan. Momoka then calls Moral to tell him Nice is at her flower shop. He seems to be hinting that she is some sort of super hacker but leaves without doing anything. Nice explains that Moral needed to find people to achieve his goal and to do that, he needs an internet provider or a super hacker. That person is someone likely close to Moral. Moral suggests Momoka to refrain coming to his lab for the time being and minimize contact. Though, he thinks wearing Art’s face won’t be enough to fool Nice despite it was convenient enough to stop the police investigation. When Nice returns to office, Koneko is trying to chase out a sleazy reporter. He wants them to look into Three and already pays upfront. Can’t refuse the money, can’t you? On the news, there is a talk show trying to paint him as a notorious killer. Reporters are swarming outside the orphanage trying to get answers. Nice sees Mao and confirms that all the children in the orphanage are orphans of war and he took them in. Birthday and Ratio disguise as fruit delivery guys to deliver fruits into the orphanage, as well as Honey. That’s the biggest fruit? Honey is not a fruit… Honey is not happy that Three is resorting to this so the kids throw a durian at her and spew some sort of vengeance line like as though they’re brainwashed to say that.

Nice deduces that this isn’t just about Three seeking redemption. It is some sort of atonement and punishment because he is teaching the kids basic combat too as it is not a sin to seek vengeance. In short, when the kids learn who killed their families, they will kill Three as this will be his punishment. But turning kids into killers? Honey cannot accept this because what about the promise they made? About him to always protect her. She is going to have a part in raising the kids and teaches them about warmth and kindness. That night, several mercenaries sneak into the orphanage but Nice and Murasaki knock them out. The leader of them all, Helenlee Masayoshi who was a guest in the talk show reveals Three is his idol. He became a mercenary just to be like him but when Three took in children and run an orphanage, his ideal image of him shattered. He wants to bring Three’s bloody reputation back. So he exaggerated the facts in the news to make him sound vicious and the plan is to frame him for raising these children to kill them himself. Three angrily takes on Helenlee while the rest go protect the children. Helenlee loves this anger in his eyes but it’s time for Plan B. He sets his comrades’ vests on fire and this spreads throughout the orphanage. Three is filled with anger but thoughts of how he met young Honey flood his mind. It gives him the power to ditch this dude and go save the children. He bursts out of the rooftop and all the reporters start snapping away. Nice breaks the sleazy reporter’s camera and returns the upfront money as compensation for it when he says he has found what he needed and doesn’t need Hamatora anymore. Meanwhile, Moral unleashes his army of newly operated people with powers.

Episode 10
People dressed in black with a black cosmos flower go around killing others! Three is chained like a pet. The rest thinks others will relax if they see him like this. No way… But there is a commotion not because of this. It’s the Hulk. Or Outsider. Or just Takahiro. He is here to apologize for the trouble he has caused. Yup, he seems very apologetic. As the news spreads that Minimum Holders exist among the people, while Takahiro was in prison, those black cosmos people released imprisoned Minimum Holders. Takahiro is here with a request. He wants to return to his normal body since his mind and voice did so and thus he thinks there is a chance. However Nice refuses to take this job. Why? He isn’t interested. He finds it odd that Takahiro wanted to be strong so back and now he doesn’t want the power anymore. Birthday tricks Hajime that she is getting fat to take her pudding. She believes it and decides to go on a diet with Takahiro. Maybe it will slim him down and look better. Murasaki agrees and will help them out. Honey goes around looking for a place to rent but gets rejected since the real estate agencies have this policy of not dealing with Minimum Holders. Itou ramps up her campaign against Minimum Holders. A street interview is held to seek opinions about Minimum Holders. Some support, some against and some don’t really care. When it is Nice’s turn, he notes there isn’t any difference if humans have power or not because it shouldn’t affect a human’s worth. It doesn’t matter if you’re confident about yourself and he is mad that people look down on each other. The internet forums are rife with postings against Minimum Holders. But after that posting, each get a nasty link that reveals their exact location. Shortly, they get attacked! Effective! This is all part of Moral’s plan to make those weaklings realize their place. Once they are faced with reality, they will seek power to get stronger and he will provide power to those who desire it. Yokohama is under riot. Itou takes away Three’s orphanage kids despite their plea to stay with him. He cannot lift a finger and must hold in his anger because one wrong move and he’ll fall into their game. Birthday and Ratio hurry to help Chiyuu but it’s too late as she gets beaten up badly. Nice goes to see Art but is not in office. He notices something strange. He never drinks black coffee and there is a black cosmos on his table. He goes to the rooftop but it is Moral who is waiting for him.

Episode 11
Surprisingly, Nice brings Moral back to the office. Koneko thinks he is such a nice guy till she learns he is the one responsible for everything. Nice explains how he used Honey’s Mighty to look for him and that looking for Moral won’t have him find him since he wasn’t ‘wearing’ his face. Moral demonstrates his shape shifting Minimum and his plans of making everyone into a Minimum Holder for equality. The riots aren’t totally his fault because he merely answered their call and people are just expression their newfound powers. Better to let it out than pent it up inside, right? He also mentions his goal to save Nice and to be his equal. He will become a messiah for that. But Nice laughs it off that he didn’t ask for that. He also doesn’t like his attitude of going around deciding who is strong or weak. Before Moral leaves, he tells them a side show is going to happen at the civic centre. Nice is forced to let Moral go because he has a sharp wire around Koneko’s neck. One wrong move and her head will fly. Meanwhile Murasaki is beating up other Minimum Holders who are misusing their power. He’s like taking out all his frustration. Takahiro sees this and laments he is still weak after transforming. He really wants to be strong. Itou at the civic centre is surrounded by Minimum Holders who want her blood. Takahiro jumps in to protect her with Hajime and Murasaki helping to keep the other small fries at bay. Takahiro screams and transforms into a hideous monster. Is this the result of getting more power? He narrates that all he wants is to live together with her like normal again. Even if mommy doesn’t acknowledge him or love him anymore, he will always love her and wants to protect her. He will never compromise that. Nice shows up like a hero to take out the remaining baddies. Itou hugs Takahiro and feels proud of him. Moral feels so sad after seeing this tragic scene so he is going to save Takahiro from this humiliation. A bomb inside Takahiro rips him apart. Mommy cries like mad. Nice is mad. Even Hajime is going to explode.

Episode 12
I’m not sure if Hajime is hungry, the reason she is feeling all the rage. You don’t want to mess with her when she is in this mode. But she can’t rage for long and passes out. There is an ad telling those who want to seek Minimum powers and to come to a certain place. People in droves make their way there, ignoring police orders. All because they want the power and claiming self-protection. However there are those still ignorant about this so hideous robot ladies are seen firing and injuring them to ‘wake them up’. But thanks to Honey’s Mighty, Birthday and Ratio go around stopping these robots. Momoka who is monitoring all these events from her home is arrested by Gasuke and taken in for interrogation. Nice and Murasaki board a ship to face off with Moral. Obviously Nice is not being Mr Nice and is going to beat the crap out of him. To his surprise, Moral can move faster than his speed of light and beat him up! Nice deduces that this Minimum power of his isn’t about speed. It’s teleportation. Moral admits this forbidden Minimum he got makes him anywhere within a 10 metre radius. It’s like he is everywhere but yet nowhere. Get it? Of course, he continues blabbing about being his equal, blah, blah, blah. Then he reveals his plan. The chaos in Yokohama is being transmitted to all the social sites throughout Japan. Everybody watching this must be judging based on their arrogance, stereotypes, whatsoever. He reminds Nice of a Minimum Holder he defeated last year, Hibiki. His ultrasonic waves can destroy people’s brain within a 100 metre radius. Now, this ship is heading closer to a tower and this will trigger a mechanism to stab Hibiki whom is captured and tied up. His shriek will be transmitted and everyone who hears it will have their brains pop out or at least permanent loss of hearing. So this will have them realize their weakness and powerless existence and thus lead them to seek power. Of course Nice can put this to a stop. All he has to do is defeat him.

Moral is happy that he has already rattled him with deaths of certain people like Takahiro and Art. He continues to outpace Nice and beat him up. Murasaki joins in but gets beaten to a pulp. Moral hints that because of him, people will die. Nice goes to Murasaki’s aid in which the latter says he isn’t acting like himself. It is not like him to avenge others. Nice gets back up and starts snapping his fingers to a certain rhythm. Theo and Rei who are watching the chaos on news (as with the other minor characters in the series) feel they want to support him and send him a mail. However Nice throws his handphone into the ocean and curses the people who are trying to disrupt his concentration!!! Your goodwill is not appreciated! Nice then explains. He doesn’t care about all those innocent people Moral is going to kill. Because he was never a hero of justice. Never will be. He uses his Minimum for himself and doesn’t have a grand purpose like him. But he still won’t let him get away with this for one simple reason: Because he doesn’t like him. The next time when he moves, Nice is able to avoid being touched by Moral. Although he misses at first, gradually he is able to tap into his rhythm and touch Moral! It must be so damn fast that if this was played in normal time, you wouldn’t see a thing. Murasaki steers the ship away from the tower as Nice finally lands the defeat blow to Moral. Moral is impressed but he starts coughing blood. A sudden shock entry by… ART!!! HE LIVES???!!! He explains that Moral is paying the price for having 2 Minimums and he knows it well that the human body cannot withstand it. Art pulls out his gun and shoots Moral. Revenge served? Nice feels he shouldn’t have done that for he was already incapable to fight. But here’s another surprise in store. Art points his gun at Nice’s head and apologizes for being late. Bang!

It’s A Sin To Be Weak
If that sudden abrupt ending is well, too abrupt, then bear in mind the 3 magical words of ‘To Be Continued’ flashing big and bright right at the end indicates that there will be another season. Yeah. Just taking a one season break before its resumption. By the way, the second season is in the midst of airing by the time of this blog. Overall, this anime was quite interesting although I felt that the build-up was a little slow (since the first half was about Hamatora getting into random detective jobs) and was in danger of writing it off as an okay series. When the pace starts to pick up after halfway and especially after Art’s supposed death, it was getting interesting as all hell breaks loose. Then the sudden ending disrupted my flow and pace of watching this, which is actually quite annoying. It is like you are having a nice car ride, cruising along at a comfortable speed on the highway when suddenly you jam on the brakes causing that sort of backlash when everything comes to a crashing halt. This is my exact feelings of the sudden ending of this season in which otherwise it could have been really great. I am just worried that those feelings might be diminished by the time I get around watching the second season. But with the mysterious return of Art, it could mean more than meets the eye. I mean, Nice did hint Art isn’t acting the way he usually is so there is a chance this might be another impersonator. Or the real Art himself and the one we know is just a fake. With Nice’s fate hanging by a thread, I am sure that is enough suspense to last till the next season comes around.

The colourful cast of characters is one reason why this series is interesting as well as their interaction with each other. Don’t mind them with odd names like Nice, Moral or even Birthday because certainly with these kind of names, it would have raised an eyebrow or two if this was reality and the first thing is that people would certainly ask them if that is really their name. For Hamatora as a detective agency, they are not perfect nor are they some sort of superheroes that we perceive them to be. Despite being casted as the protagonists, they aren’t your usual heroes of justice. Take Nice for example. He is certainly the most impulsive member in the team. He does what he wants and when he feels like it although it might look like utmost justice that he doesn’t take on a job for money. Cool. But who is going to pay for the bills? He is also quite perceptive in a sense that it might seem that he is selfish and doesn’t give a sh*t about friendship and the likes (at least not our rendition of it). Take for instance Takahiro’s case. You think he would feel a little sympathetic about that kid’s case of wanting to turn back. Wrong. Instead he feels wary because he wanted the power so much and even though it is not what he got, don’t tell me he doesn’t want it anymore? True enough, he admits he is selfish and does things for himself. But maybe all that is just his way of justice.

Other characters in Hamatora are cool too and they have their short episode in focus to help us understand their past a little better. But more could be done and I hope the next season would delve into it a little more. Sometimes I feel that the behaviours of the other Hamatora fellows are like a running joke. For example, Ratio whose brand new car always seem to get hammered in such situations. I wonder how he can afford to pay off the 10 year loan. Maybe that’s why his other job is a doctor. Oh, you know how doctors charge… Then there is Hajime who is mostly seen stuffing her face with some sort of food. It’s like she is on an endless streak of hunger. If she feels pity for you, then she offers you her food. Food is what defines her. The last episode reveals her Minimum which has something to do with her injuries and going berserk. This might be interesting and hopefully I could see more of her mysterious power instead of just some girl who bums and hangs around doing nothing but eat. Although Master isn’t part of Hamatora, the only thing I see him do is grind his coffee beans. That is besides him giving advice to the rest. And there is Three sometimes reading his sports or romance manga. Looks weird, though. Big cat guy with a small little comic book in hand… There is also something mysterious about Chiyuu whose lines only consist of colours. It’s like she is a friend of Birthday and Ratio but these guys don’t even know that she is a Minimum Holder (or at least that is how I viewed their relationship).

Most amusing character is Birthday because of his carefree personality. You could say he is the troublemaker of the group but that is what makes him so likeable. It is like everything is fun to him so he laughs, he mocks, he plays and he has fun while he can. Murasaki is the most serious and reserved among the gang, even surpassing Ratio. You could say that Murasaki and Nice make a nice pair because the former is like the voice of reasoning and rational thinker to counter the latter’s impulsiveness. Something tells me that Koneko is for the moe factor, Honey the fanservice factor (the clothes she wear somehow makes her boobs protrude and stand out a lot) and I have a feeling Three is like a pet mascot. Oops. Big scary lion guy as a Hamatora mascot? Can’t say. Besides, there is this mysterious tiger mascot that keeps popping up randomly in each episode either in person or as a symbol or logo. I do not know the significance of this as I thought this tiger mascot is related to the Japanese baseball team mascot of Hanshin Tigers. Nope. I thought Hanshin Tigers’ mascot looks more like a mouse… Oops, sorry! Unless they are just screwing with our minds, I was hoping that some sort of revelation would come forth, say, that Art was hiding inside them all along and observing everything! I know I’m stretching that but so far nothing about this tiger mascot that plays a pivotal role in the anime. It could be just some Easter egg that I am not familiar with.

The voice acting is acceptable with some familiar seiyuus in the line-up. Like Jun Fukuyama as Birthday, he is partly why he makes his character sound so amusing. Just like how he voiced Grell in Kuroshitsuji and Kakeru in Akikan. Other recognizable seiyuus include Hiroshi Kamiya as Art (Trafalgar Law in One Piece), Eri Kitamura as Honey (Cana in Fairy Tail) and Megumi Ogata as Momoka (Shinji in Evangelion). Yuuichi Nakamura as Ratio wasn’t recognizable at first since he wasn’t in angst mode like Gray from Fairy Tail or Tomoya of Clannad. Part of the other large set of casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Nice (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator), Wataru Hatano as Murasaki (Gajeel in Fairy Tail), Emiri Katou as Hajime (Kagami in Lucky Star), Katsuki Murase as Three (Masa in Seto No Hanayome), Kiyono Yasuno as Koneko (Sakura in Aikatsu), Yuuki Ono as Moral (Kiyotaka in Da Capo III), Atsushi Ono as Master (Edward Rutherford in Unbreakable Machine Doll), Yousuke Akimoto as Gasuke (Robert Reynold in Stratos 4), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Theo (Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Ayaka Ohashi as Rei (Uzume in Fantasista Doll), Takuya Eiguchi as Mao (Hikigaya in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru), Takahiro Mizushima as Takahiro (Furuuichi in Beelzebub) and Miki Itou as Itou (Taiga Fujimura in Fate/Stay Night).

The songs are mostly rock based with the opening theme, Flat by Livetune featuring Yuuki Ozaki of the rock Japanese band Galileo Galilei. They seem to make this a point in the credits. Maybe there are lots of people named Yuuki Ozaki out there? The style of the song somewhat reminds me of Kamisama No Memo-chou’s ending, Asunaro. The opening credits animation feels like it is paying tribute to that astronomer because of that world globe in it. The ending theme is Hikari by Wataru Hatano and the insert song for the final episode, Nowhere Living Now by Kishou Taniyama (voice of Torao). With so much testosterone going about, no wonder this anime feels like a guy series.

The action is not too bad but it could get a little boring since each Minimum Holder is only bequeath with one power. How much variety can you have with that? Unlike One Piece’s Luffy whose Gomu-Gomu move can be stretched (pun intended) to several variations in which personally some look like the same to me, here we see them punch and kick their way and there is hardly any excitement to that after a while. For example, Nice just zooms past his enemies and takes them out before he knows it. Birthday is always relying on his taser to use his electric power while Ratio relies on his good old gold metal arms to give that metal punch. But the unique thing about this is when a Minimum Holder starts using his/her power, the colours of everything go into psychedelic colour. It is as though you have taken some drugs and it causes your vision to see such distorted colours. Cool, though. I thought I was going back to the hippie and flower power era.

The comical bits are spontaneous and in that sense it makes certain scenes quite funny. It can be serious or solemn at first and then a joke is cracked and it at least makes you break into a smile. Though the dramatic and tragic pace of the show at the end of the day overwhelms the comical bits because in almost every episode, somebody dies. And even if nobody meets their maker, you can see the chaos or the kind of crime that they pull off out of desperation or for their own selfish means. The detective work too isn’t too shabby with the clues and connection placed out well throughout the episode but I won’t consider it anywhere near Sherlock Holmes material. They keep you entertained enough, though.

I believe the main issue in this season is about Moral’s equality in humanity. Perhaps the other best character in this series because of his twisted logic that makes him a psychopath obsessed with his one true goal of equality. For better or worse, can you say he is living up to his name for his actions? Despite his noble intention to bring equality to all humans, perhaps he is doing this the wrong way and it makes him this season’s antagonist. Every one of us wants to be equal but yet unique. It is not wrong to wish for that. However basic human nature means that it will be an impossible dream and can never be achieved. Humans will always exist to judge others, to look down upon others, to feel superior to others. That’s why personally I think that even if Moral does succeed in making equality come true, it will only worsen everything than before. Because to be imperfect is human and to human is inequality. When you have perfect human beings, you are no longer human. So better to have all the fighting and differences than a peaceful and boring world? Yeah. That makes life so interesting. No wonder people continue to fight. It’s so much ‘fun’ that way.

Therefore, partially it is not Moral’s fault that the chaos in Yokohama escalated. Because selfish people see it fit and their right to obtain more power just to stay ahead of the rest. We all tend to have this thinking and herd mentality in such situations. At the end of the day even if the chaos is quelled, people in general will not learn their lesson and the inequality and persecution continues. So the moral issue (pun intended) is that everyone is weak and nobody is perfect. Including those with Minimum powers. They might be different but not entirely perfect. We see how Moral bested Nice’s Minimum before the latter finds some sort of a counter attack. Therefore no power is absolutely 100% perfect. Each power has its own flaw and weaknesses. Whether you have super powers or useless powers or even God-like powers, it doesn’t make you any different than other men in terms of being a human being. That is what everyone should prioritize and look at first.

This show may not be perfect or for everyone (blood, gore and death included although I consider them to be mild) but I recommend casual viewers to have a go at this one. Unless you don’t like sudden cliff-hangers, then you might as well see both seasons at one go to stem the waiting in between. After all, it is up to you and everybody else who has at least the power to decide what you want to watch and what you want to do with your life. I am very tempted to say this and since I can’t hold it anymore, watching this anime makes me want to say, “With great power comes great responsibility”! Or you can just don’t give a damn about everything. Because who cares? If people like Hamatora or Moral do, then you’re screwed. Have a Nice day!

Futari Wa Milky Holmes

June 28, 2014

What in blazes is this???!!! What the hell is going on???!!! What happened???!!! Am I dreaming???!!! Because… WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO MAH MILKY HOMES???!!!Those bumbling, clumsy and incompetent disgraceful quartet of loli detectives have become competent and adept!!!! YES!!! You read that right!!! Milky Holmes is suddenly useful!!! Well, actually nothing wrong with that. It is just that we’ve been so used to the awkwardness of Milky Holmes that we have accepted this as the truth of reality so when they really become effective, it’s like they changed everything in the series. It’s like turning One Piece’s Luffy into a responsible and highly dependable leader. Not right, no? Alternative was ‘alright’ since we all were ‘informed’ that it was going to be different (although it proved Milky Holmes shouldn’t be some serious detective show) but this supposedly third season of the Milky Holmes series? Shocking? Where will we get our sadistic kicks of laughing at failing lolis then?

However, Milky Holmes isn’t going to be the main heroines of this third instalment (which takes place a few years later after the second season) because a new pair will be in focus in Futari Wa Milky Holmes. They will be the new team of friends-cum-detective that you will see in solving the crimes and catching phantom thieves in their quest to become the greatest detective as per their dream. So now our original Milky Holmes will be relegated to just side characters and making cameo appearances. Hmm… I wonder if that is a joke itself. Also, the third season’s duration time per episode is slashed in half. 12 minutes for each episode? I suppose they don’t want to bore us with serious detective work without any humorous jokes and gags along the way.

Episode 1
Kazumi Tokiwa meets up with her friend, Alice Myoujingawa for school. Along the way they talk about how cool it would be if they could enrol in Holmes Detective Academy. However Alice’s brother, Shion was dead against it. As long as it is other detective academy except this one. When they see a picture of Milky Holmes in the street, Alice fawns over them because they are her idol and she aspires to be like them. However Kazumi argues that in the eyes of commoners they are deem as legends due to the fact that phantom thieves have been laying low. So the lack of solving cases caused people to think they do not exist. Huh? Of course Kazumi wants to be like them too and thus the reason why they are working hard and aiming to become detectives. Alice praises her for such lofty goals since her parents are also detectives. However Kazumi says it has nothing to do with them. They live separate lives. Father is always busy working for overtime money while she doesn’t even know what mother does and is never home. It’s like they don’t care for her. Meanwhile Kokoro is bored and stuck in traffic enforcement. I guess it’s much better than her Genius 4 pals who are stuck in office doing desk jobs. She also has an apprentice under her wing, Keiko Totsugawa. Then the alert is sound. A phantom thief is sighted at the city museum. At last. Time for some action. However it is also reported that phantom thieves are hitting different parts of the city simultaneously. Kazumi and Alice see a shady guy run pass them. They think he is a phantom thieve and start chasing him. Kazumi uses her bow and arrow Toys but missed. The guy shoots back his beam but Alice’s Toys shields them from harm. This guy thinks he has gotten away but to his surprise is brought down by the real Milky Holmes! But he’s not out yet because his comrades help him escape. Then before the girls, a group of phantom thieves appears. The leader laments that detectives and phantom thieves have been making secret deals behind the scene and thus a shame to those phantom thieves who have ground away their fangs. He believes detectives and phantom thieves will always be the opposite side of justice and crime and never together. He declares a war against the world and those phantom thieves who have sullied their title. This group consisting 7 phantom thieves is called Coloured Phantom.

Episode 2
Although Alice is happy that they got to see Milky Holmes in action, this only makes Kazumi feel sad because she really wants to become like them and help catch phantom thieves. So how? Alice suggests going see them directly. And so a bunch of girls sneak into the academy just to see them. But they hear Milky Holmes somewhat arguing in their room. As they inch closer to eavesdrop, Milky Holmes slams open the door, knocking them out. When they come to, they are in their room and very much happy to see their idols. They’re the graceful and elegant detectives they know. When they mention about their intention to be like them, their reply is to just do it. Although they don’t have a licence yet, what is important is they pick a name for themselves, wear a detective’s uniform and do a Nike. Just do it! After they leave, Milky Holmes ‘crumbles’ from exhaustion because it was really hard trying to put up their graceful act. Tiring to keep up their public image, eh? As Alice’s grandma has made her a detective costume for making it into Holmes Detective Academy, she also requested one for Kazumi. Meanwhile a phantom thief contacts Violet Shadow, the leader of Coloured Phantom for permission to strike and have his revenge against Milky Holmes. He allows it but warns he is on his own and won’t help out. The rest deduces that this dude has outlived his usefulness. And so this shady guy, Red Lion leaves a warning letter as trap for Milky Holmes. However Kazumi and Alice spot him in the back alley in his suspicious activity and go to stop him. He is not convinced with these amateurs and easily overwhelms them. He thinks of using them as bait to lure Milky Holmes but Kazumi won’t be defeated. She gets back up and fires her arrows. Her will to become a great detective is so great that her arrow suddenly becomes a huge bright light. So powerful that it sends this guy flying crashing into the wall! Because feathers are floating down in the aftermath, Kazumi decides to call themselves as Feathers. Kokoro and the police are investigating the scene and baffled why this phantom thief is lying around. She notices a card on his sunglasses which states that Feathers were here. Who?

Episode 3
Kokoro is being interviewed on scene and it’s not so much about Red Lion taken into custody. It’s about who Feathers are and how they apprehended him. She wants them to come down to the station to give a statement. Of course our Feathers duo are ecstatic watching it back at their home. Shion knows Alice is watching this news instead of sleeping. He sighs he should have objected her enrolment into the academy because he views her as a gentle girl and shouldn’t be doing something so vulgar. Even in school, Feathers become a much talked topic among the students. Happy, Kazumi? But the teacher cautions them to get their licence first instead of causing trouble like those fakes who aren’t even nationally accredited detectives. Of course this upsets Kazumi but there’s nothing she can do about it since Feathers are still pretty much a secret. Kazumi has dinner at Alice’s home and while watching the talk show, the people are divided. Some are sceptical that this happened since Milky Holmes didn’t do anything about it. But super sleuth, Ryouko Komatsu vouches her support for Feathers. Suddenly the station receives a video from a Coloured Phantom, Yellow Black Hole. She challenges Ryouko to join Feathers to protect them and will be targeting her detective’s licence that she values more than her life. Shion turns off the TV believing nice young girls like them shouldn’t be watching such violent shows. So the Feathers duo feel somewhat responsible because they got Ryouko involved. They’re going to solve this one. After this little transformation scene that could almost rival a magical girl, they sneak out of the house. Meanwhile Shion is looking through the comments made by other Coloured Phantom about Red Lion’s capture. Oh no… Could it be… Say it isn’t… Okay, it is. Looks like he is that leader of Coloured Phantom. Feathers heard Ryouko’s scream and it seems her licence got stolen. They find her licence outside a warehouse but find it suspicious that the phantom thief would drop it. As they head inside, Yellow Black Hole casts a trapdoor on Alice and causes Feathers to be separated. Kazumi is all alone and faced off with Blue Hunter. However his Toys is replication so Kazumi’s arrows cannot hit his clones. Once she is surrounded, she is overcome with fear and loses her ability to use Toys.

Episode 4
Blue Hunter senses Milky Holmes coming so he abandons the scene. Alice is safely returned. When Milky Holmes arrive, no phantom thief or Feathers around. Kazumi felt frustrated that they had to be saved by them again. They creep back into Alice’s home and it seems Alice’s parents know about it but choose to keep quiet (heck, they left a big trail of curtain hanging out of their window). They don’t want to let Shion know about this too. Depressed Kazumi thinks of seeing Milky Holmes for advice but she sees a never-seen-before stairs. It leads her to a secret library and a forbidden door that she believes contains Milky Holmes records. She learns that Milky Holmes once lost their Toys too and then it hit her that everyone can only have 1 Toys. Elsewhere Alice is at the warehouse scene to investigate. She notices no real trapdoor so it must have been a work of a Toys. However she is made to leave by Kokoro. Ryouko closes her detective agency since she doesn’t have her licence. But it’s in Alice’s hand, right? She won’t give it back yet as there is something she wants to investigate. They follow Ryouko and see her suspiciously trying to trigger something with her PDA. Then Feathers reveal themselves. Ryouko wonders how they escaped the trap. Alice knows the licence is the trigger for the trapdoor and tricked Ryouko by using a bird fly around with it. Birds don’t fall through a trapdoor, right? Because everyone can only have 1 Toys, it wouldn’t make sense that Blue Hunter will have this trapdoor Toys. Ryouko admits she is Yellow Black Hole. Feathers are appalled a phantom thief is disguised as a detective. Kazumi is about to fight her but Blue Hunter arrives to assist his comrade. As he charges, they get into formation when Kazumi’s arrow again grows, blasting away Blue Hunter’s mask, revealing him to be one of the detective talk show’s host. Yellow Black Hole tries to convince Feathers to join them as their Toys are very much suited for phantom thieves. Rejected. She then explains she was once a detective and admired them. But then she realized a mystery that could never be solved. She leaves them hanging with that and escapes with Blue Hunter. Later, Kazumi deduces that it was Alice’s shield that amplified her arrow. I suppose whenever they combine their Toys, this is what happens. Alice wants to be more than somebody who protects Kazumi. She wants to catch phantom thieves with her. Kazumi agrees.

Episode 5
Feathers are handing out flyers to look out for activities that may need their detective skills. However Alice notices a lonely old woman frequenting the bar after alighting the same bus alone and never touches her drink and always seating in the same seat. Kazumi deduces she is a phantom thief. Of course she was just over thinking. So for 5 days they tail her since she got on the bus but nothing suspicious so far. Then one day she didn’t take the usual route and got off early. They tail her to a park where she reveals herself as Yoshie Kawashima, a national spy! Just kidding! She knows they are detectives in training and had been tailing her so she got off early just to surprise them. Of course being detectives, she isn’t going to give a straight answer and they have to figure it out themselves. She only hints that she gets on the bus to see someone. As for why she never touched her drink, she started frequented the bar a month ago and loved some cocktail. However recently the bar master changed the formula and though she tried to talk to her about it, she remained stubborn. So she comes every day to test if the taste would return back to original. Sadly not today. One day, they see her talking to the bar master. She’s acting strangely like she’s never seen her for so long. They tail her to the back alley and confront them. Yoshie reveals this person whom she gets on the bus to talk to is her son (the bus driver) whom she has never seen for a long time (she put him up for adoption when he was young). As they leave to talk, Kazumi tells them to hold their horses. She saw Toys activated when the son introduced himself. He deceived people that way, the reason why the drink’s recipe changed was because he took over the bar master’s place. With the cat out of the bag, the phantom thief reverts to her true form and reveals she was trying to get granny’s fortune. She makes a run for it and tries to throw her boomerang at them. Alice’s barrier deflects it and cuts the rope she was climbing. Left hanging on a pipe, Kazumi finishes her off with their big combo. Boom! Once again, the day is saved thanks to Feathers. In the end, the real bus driver actually turns out to be her son. She never said anything initially because she was preparing herself mentally for it. And now that she is, she finally goes talk to him.

Episode 6
Yellow Black Hole is about to steal some golden panda artefact but was intercepted by the legendary phantom thief of their time, Visconte. He was believed to have disappeared after a great heist 10 years ago. Alice walks Kazumi home after the former had dinner at her place. Kazumi’s dad is worried she came back so late and didn’t call or anything since phantom thieves are getting bolder and more violent lately. Kazumi is not impressed. He’s always at work and they hardly spend time together. Besides, Milky Holmes and Feathers will keep this place safe. Father thinks Feathers are amateurs. Kazumi doesn’t take this insult well so she vows to become a great detective and catch all the phantom thieves. Later that night, Alice calls Kazumi that on the news, Visconte has left a challenge letter that he will steal a diamond that commemorates this city’s founding at midnight. A bunch of police and even Milky Holmes are at the scene. This means Feathers can’t let this chance go. Kazumi sneaks out of the house but don’t think father doesn’t know… Outside the museum is crowded and Feathers can’t get through so they decide to go up the nearest tall building. As the clock strikes midnight, Kokoro starts laughing like a maniac that she wins. That’s what you call counting your chickens. She didn’t think the phantom thief would be a few seconds late, didn’t she? After a couple of policemen drop unconscious, here is Visconte with the diamond in hand. How did he? Ciao, baby. Kokoro orders Keiko to get the chopper to go after him but the apprentice is nowhere to be found. Feathers see Visconte gliding in a glider. They use their combo move to shoot him out of the sky. Visconte spots it in time and avoids. Feathers chase after him but it seems he has already abandoned his glider. He even left the diamond there! A note says that he was so impressed by their Toys that in respect of their courage, he returned the stolen gem! Of course this only serves to piss off Kokoro even more. Damn those Feathers again. But Milky Holmes is singing all praises about their Toys and think they will become great detectives. If you have been wondering that familiar feeling about Visconte, wonder no more because true enough as I suspect, he goes home to his loving wife and they turn out to be Alice’s parents… All in the family?

Episode 7
Alice notices her father’s back a little pain. Shion hints he ‘fell out from the sky’. After she leaves for school, the parents see Shion about his interference in the Beika Hall incident. They guess he is the leader of the Coloured Phantom and that phantom thieves should always conduct themselves with grace. Shion is not amused and is sick of this grace thingy. He asks them what they think of this place now because detectives and phantom thieves should be natural enemies. Father hopes he will understand one day what it truly means to be those. Yellow Black Hole proposes with Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution that her plan will make Violet Shadow happy. Alice shows Kazumi their team’s logo.  As they make way to the printing store, Yellow Black Hole spots them and sets off an explosion at the mall. The duo are then being told by Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution (in ordinary clothes) it was Yellow Black Hole’s doing. They took the bait and went after her. Meanwhile Shion enters Alice’s room and finds lots of crumpled paper in her wastepaper basket. Hmm… You’ll never know what you’ll find… Kazumi keeps finding small diamonds believed to be dropped by Yellow Black Hole. In a straight line? Obviously a trap! Kazumi goes after that phantom thief when she is in sight but Alice knows better that it’s a trap. She uses her shield to block Kazumi from falling into her trapdoor. However her amateur skill causes her to bump Kazumi away. Yellow Black Hole once again tries to coax Alice to join their side and ditch that clumsy oaf. Rejected. Then they combine their powers and zap her. Yeah. Wonder why she was making it so easy to let them zap her as she just stood there. Unknown to Feathers, their data is being collected by Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution. Shion arrives on the scene to see Yellow Black Hole being arrested by Kokoro. She winks at him, a hint that the plan is going well. Of course he didn’t approve of this but there’s nothing he can do now. Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution show Shion the data. Now they can defeat Feathers and begin their grand revolution. Shion didn’t know his little sister was part of Feathers, eh? Now he does.

Episode 8
Feathers are surprisingly invited to tea with Milky Holmes. Upon entering their room, they see Sherlock and Kokoro in a childish tussle over, Ellery Himeyuri. She is the director that took over Milky Holmes after Kobayashi. She was once a police but became a detective after learning about Toys. Currently she is on a journey to find her purpose and returned here to check things out. So the childish tussle was about whose place she should stay with. How to solve this problem? Himeyuri goes with Feathers. Problem solved. Sorry Sherlock. Sorry Kokoro. Meanwhile Shion has been acting strange since, locking himself up in his room. Truth too much to handle? He even deleted the data and video so Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution couldn’t do anything about it. This makes their fellow phantom thief, Pink Lovely Doom more interested in Feathers. Himeyuri could guess the duo are Feathers because Kazumi accidentally left their box of name cards on the table. Oops. She won’t tell their secret and wants to learn about their Toys when they get a distress call that another phantom thief has been spotted. Mush Miller from France is running away with his loot and fools Kokoro with his mirror image. He also tries the same thing when stopped by Feathers and Himeyuri. Not even their combo can stop him. Himeyuri wants Alice to use her Toys to trap him and has her maintain putting up some of her barriers. Then she borrows Alice’s Toys and has Kazumi come along with her. She has Kazumi fire her arrows at him as she manipulates the arrows to ring the crook in. Once they tie him up, Himeyuri reveals her Toys is Induction. She can use other people’s Toys and hopes they will forgive her selfishness of using their Toys. She also feels they have great potential in them. Meanwhile Keiko snaps a shot of them and looks up in the database. She is amazed to learn Alice and Shion are related. Well, what do you know? Because Keiko discards her police uniform and her true self is the Pink Lovely Doom! Why am I not surprised? Does this answer the question why she is always not around when Kokoro needs her? Although Alice is particularly happy about Himeyuri’s praise, but Kazumi isn’t because she didn’t acknowledge their strength as a team and was only acknowledging Alice’s strength.

Episode 9
There is some rule that police officers must not have Toys. So when Keiko’s reading goes off the charts, the higher ups want an explanation but she activates her Toys and makes them forget. Shion might be out of his room but he argues with father about letting Alice go to a detective academy. It was funny when sleepyhead Alice walk into the scene unaware of everything so Shion had to put up that perverted big brother act that his little sister is oh so cute to make her feel a little disgust and leave in a rush. Father says that if Alice wants to be a detective, there is nothing he can do about it. But Shion is not going to accept it since their family are phantom thieves. So can he bring himself to fight Alice since detectives and phantom thieves are eternal rivals. They realize too late that Keiko had heard everything. Now she knows their leader is the son of the legendary Visconte but she still needs him as their symbol for the new generation of phantom thieves. Shion is shocked to see Keiko is one of his comrades but nobody can do anything because Keiko unleashes her Toys. She gets away scot free. Kazumi is still reeling from Himeyuri’s words that she’s not focusing. Till the teacher had to tell her Toys reflects the strength of her heart and must believe in herself. Pink Lovely Doom lets the gang know that Feathers are not real detectives and can be dispose of anytime. Besides, they are ready to go ahead with Violet Shadow’s plan to take on Visconte. He himself doesn’t even know he had such plan. Kazumi continues to sulk… Thinking back how much Alice’s Toys is much better than her. WTF. Don’t you believe in your friend?

Suddenly there is a projection of Violet Shadow proclaiming he will steal Visconte’s precious treasure. Keiko is conveniently near Feathers just to tell them Violet Shadow’s location at the tower. All going according as planned. Visconte checks his treasure room and since everything is untouched, it could only mean one thing. His wife wants to join him. Feathers arrive at the tower and see Visconte and Madam Visconte. Alice couldn’t recognize her because she put on a little weight. Wait till you get an earful from mommy… Pink Lovely Doom is here too and notes they are going to take his precious treasure. Visconte warns not to lay hands on his daughter as he orders Madam Visconte to take them away. Kazumi is baffled they know their names. Pink Lovely Doom is not panicking yet and notes Milky Holmes is now on scene. They cut away their only balloon escape so Madam Visconte and Feathers are grounded. Now Violet Shadow comes in. He wants Alice to come with him because she belongs to him. Alice recognizes that voice. He takes off his masks and shocks them over his real identity. He wants Alice to become a phantom thief and promises no one will hurt her again. Pink Lovely Doom relishes everything is going as planned and they’ll gain a more powerful member on their side. But did she count on this? It is Kazumi who begs that she wants to become a phantom thief!

Episode 10
WTF?! Kazumi becomes part of Coloured Phantom?! She is so ‘eager’ to learn the ways of the phantom thief? Pink Lovely Doom thinks back what went wrong in the perfect plan. In that confusion when Kazumi wanted to become a phantom thief, Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution dropped a smoke screen for them to escape. She wonders what Kazumi is hiding, though Kazumi sheepishly says she may have always wanted to be a phantom thief. Unconvinced, Pink Lovely Doom will test her out. Meanwhile Alice is reeling from the shock alone in her home. Who wouldn’t if you find out your entire family is a phantom thief. The rest of her family members are ‘missing’. She stumbles upon a secret passageway to see many newspaper cuttings on the wall on Visconte. She thinks Kazumi must have figured she is the daughter of a phantom thief and thus cannot work with her anymore. Milky Holmes receives a letter of challenge from Kazumi. They reason she became a phantom thief as part of her training to become stronger. Pink Lovely Doom has Kazumi bust into the museum to steal the cap of Kobayashi to prove she is a true phantom thief. However moments before she could do it, she breaks down and couldn’t. Pink Lovely Doom deduces she just wanted to leave her friend. As she possessed a great Toys and helped her whenever she is in trouble, if she accepts that she’ll end up hating her. That’s why she left her and insisted in becoming a phantom thief. She doesn’t need her in her plan. When Milky Holmes arrive, Pink Lovely Doom uses her Toys to make them forget she was ever here. So now it’s Kazumi alone facing off with Milky Holmes. Thinking she is in training, they will not hold back and throw all they’ve got! However Kazumi is saved by Alice. She will become a phantom thief too as she was responsible in making Kazumi make that decision. She is relieved that Kazumi didn’t become one because of her family. However Alice will still be one. She wanted to be a detective only because she doesn’t want to be separated from her. She wants to be with her. Kazumi thinks Alice is innocent and pure and should be a detective. In order to protect that, Kazumi reverses her decision and decides to become a detective again. The friends rejoice and hug. Back a whole again. Milky Holmes leaves satisfied that this ‘training’ had come to a happy ending and notes Feathers have a very powerful bond.

Episode 11
Pink Lovely Doom rues that her plan ended up strengthening their bond so she asks the boss what will be their next step. He wants everyone to gather. And looks like the police security is still lax because the captured Coloured Phantoms have somehow escaped. Once all the Coloured Phantoms gather, Violet Shadow drops the bomb shell that they will disband as they have served their purpose. Of course this doesn’t sit well with the rest especially Red Lion who is going to claw him up. He also reveals Violet Shadow doesn’t even have his own Toys. However he is knocked away by Darkside Revolution’s shadow claw. He will not allow anyone to hurt his big brother. Then Great White Fallen Angel wraps her Soul Binding chains around Violet Shadow and put him in dream land. They are going to get rid of a couple of feathers that are standing in the way of his ideals. A giant shadow monster, Gigantic Phantom destroys a huge building. Kazumi and Alice get a call from Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution that they are issuing them a formal challenge to settle this once and for all. They are acting on their own and nothing to do with Shion. As Feathers reach the ground floor of the tower, they are faced with Red Lion and Blue Hunter. However Kokoro and the rest of her Genius 4 gang are here to buy Feathers some time. Up the stairs they run, they run into Arsene and her gentlemen thieves! They give her a free speedy ride to the top. Why are they helping them? Arsene replies it is a detective’s duty to solve riddles. At the top floor, they see unconscious Shion tied to the chair. Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution consider Shion their true brother and disregards Alice’s true blood relationship with him. They reveal they were abandoned by their parents because their Toys were too powerful. But Shion took them in and treated them like family. For this, he shall always be their big brother. If Feathers are not around, he will not have to suffer so much and they’ll forever be together. Darkside Revolution unleashes his Gigantic Phantom to finish them. Suddenly… Milky Holmes makes their grand entrance via elevator and will challenge Coloured Phantom. Don’t take too long babbling because the elevator door is going to close…

Episode 12
Not only are those kids planning to destroy them, they will also destroy this city and make a new world where they and only their onii-chan can live. Grand plans. Can it work? Maybe this big dark orb can help them achieve it. As they shift their position to the rooftop, Milky Holmes wants Feathers to go after them to save Shion while they handle Gigantic Phantom. It’s going to be since it replicates. But they can get by with hard work and their trusty Toys. Great White Fallen Angel chains Kazumi in her Soul Binding to render her unconscious. When the dark orb has enough energy to be released, the duo get absorbed instead. All their Toys that were in effect are now stopped. Gigantic Phantom disappears and Soul Binding is gone. When Shion sees what is happening, he realizes their Toys are going berserk and at this rate they and the city will be destroyed. He wants to save them but can’t get near the out of control orb. Kazumi too wants to save them but feels unconfident that she lacks the power. Till Alice gives her that nod and Kazumi now has the confidence. Believe in yourself! They unleash their usual combo attack at the orb. The biggest ever! It neutralizes everything so safe to say, the day (or night, rather) is saved. When the kids pop out from the orb, Shion jumps to grab them but falls off the edge! OMG! Don’t let this end in a tragedy! Of course not. Here Shion comes flying back in his white angelic wings. What the hell? Is he a messenger of heaven? No. These wings are his Toys. Milky Holmes gets a pleasant surprise when Kobayashi makes his appearance and praises them. In the aftermath, the Coloured Phantom incident ended. Each member went their separate ways. Blue Hunter and Red Lion continued to be phantom thieves but risked getting caught. Yellow Black Hole quit being one and decided to make her way back up as a detective. Great White Fallen Angel and Darkside Revolution have found a new home. Keiko is still Kokoro’s apprentice although nobody is sure if she is still continuing her phantom thief ways. Shion still continues to care for Alice. I hope it won’t turn into a creepy siscon level… That painting of her may just suggest the start… As for Feathers, they are called to tea again with Milky Holmes. They are surprised to see how clumsy they are handling their tea. But Milky Holmes has good news. From now on, they will work together as detectives. Thus their new name: Milky Holmes Feathers! Though they still operate as a duo, they continue their ways as the mysterious detectives in the eyes of the public and showing no signs of slowing down. Only Kokoro is complaining. They’re stealing all the spotlight! Got a problem? The road is long but they vow to become the best detectives in the world.

Bring Back Mah Dummies!
Yeah well… It’s nice to see that things worked out for everything and everybody but even so it doesn’t feel satisfying because… I WANT MAH MILKY HOLMES’! Retarded version, that is. Although Milky Holmes has been very helpful and different from what we know them, at least there are signs that they are still the incompetent fools we are familiar off. At least behind closed doors. In those instant, fans of the idiotic Milky Holmes in seeing such scenes will be hoping that there will be full blown idiotic silliness and then we can burst into laughter in seeing such classic nostalgia. Hey, many of us never tire to see the antics of 3 Stooges or even Mr Bean, right? But they have kept their clumsiness well under control so in this sense they aren’t really the useless Milky Holmes they are from before. Good work girls but… We still prefer the clumsy you.

For our new pair of Feathers, as budding and up and coming detectives, they are a great pair as well as inseparable friends. There is nothing wrong that this season and series trying to tell us about close friendship and to believe in yourself and your friends but I feel that Milky Holmes series isn’t a good place to do it. We are after here for the silly laughs, am I right? Sometimes I find the duo a little boring since their combo Toys are the same. It’s like their only trump card. Kazumi fires arrow into Alice’s barrier to amplify it. It usually wins. End of story. Since no friendship is perfect, we are shown cracks in the relationship for a while when Kazumi starts thinking the unbelievable that her friend is better than her and loses confident in herself while Alice discovers she comes from a family of phantom thieves. Everything of course has to end well as expected because you don’t want your heart broken seeing Kazumi and Alice turn to the other side forever. The only thing that bugged me is their so called secret identity. To the few characters like Milky Holmes, their family and even Coloured Phantom, they are known. But to the public, they are ‘faceless’ and never seen before. Especially Kokoro who is so pissed every time she hears their name. So my point is, if they have been solving a lot of crimes and catching phantom thieves, won’t they be recognized? I mean, nobody is around when they usually solve things. But there is always a risk. Heck, it could have been easily solved if they just wear a mask and I won’t even raise this issue. All they did is just change their outfit and run around the city without anything to cover their face. Isn’t that how Keiko managed to connect the dots? That’s why it is a big mind boggling question that they are still a relatively big mystery to the public. I can imagine the shock when their faces are known especially to their friends.

Other characters for this season are pretty sufficient too but they lack making an impact. For instance, Coloured Phantom as the antagonist of this series failed to live up to whatever they are doing and I don’t even know what the heck is this new revolution thing that they want to bring.  The rest serves as just ‘pawns’ for Feathers to face off and capture. Although Shion was the leader of Coloured Phantom, I feel Pink Lovely Doom is the real mastermind and the one pulling strings from the shadow because of her Toys that makes others forget. Oh, it was going to be evident that the way the real identities of the Coloured Phantom are revealed, you can make a guess who that phantom thief is based on their voice and sometimes the way they act. Thanks to Violet Shadow AKA Shion getting the ball rolling, therefore it was no surprise who Yellow Black Hole, Visconte and even Pink Lovely Doom are in the end. I still can’t believe Shion’s Toys are his angelic wings because it felt like some sort of convenience for a happy ending. I personally thought it would have been more believable if Visconte and Madam Visconte dived into the scene with their glider and saved him but they had to showcase Shion unleashing his Toys instead. Maybe it’s all thanks to Pink Lovely Doom making him forget he even has Toys. Shion sometimes whenever he is in siscon mode, he is one funny dude because it gives off a feeling that he really fawns over his sister which is just creepy. Just the perfect disguise to not notice your brother is the leader of a phantom thief group. And now he is no longer one (not sure if he really quit being a phantom thief for good), it is going to get a lot worse with Alice always preoccupying his mind.

Although the gentlemen thieves do make their cameo appearances in a handful of episodes, they do not have any spoken dialogue until that penultimate episode with Arsene. Their cameos feel like to tease and make us viewers pinpoint in glee, “Hey! That is that nipple erecting joker beauty sicko! He is still around masquerading as a teacher!”. So why appear to help Feathers? Here is my theory to solve that riddle: Because there won’t be a place to have detective-phantom thief cat and mouse game fun if the city gets destroyed by a pair of selfish kids who only want their onii-chan. And since this is Feathers’ problem, they have to solve it themselves. They’re here just to give a little push and extra service to us viewers. Heck even the rest of Genius 4 make their stinking one scene appearance. Better than none, right? Yeah. There are some that never made their appearance in this third season such as Milky Holmes’ pet cat, Kamaboko, that mysterious is-she-a-good-guy-or-villain Mori Arty and uh huh, who could forget the Kokoro obsessed Irene. Speaking of Kokoro, she feels more responsible this time although there is an air of bratty-ness and you wished that every time she starts getting pissed off, you wished she’d become her joker self like in the past. Uh huh. She still doesn’t like Sherlock to call her “Kokoro-chan” but this time no golden mask to whack her as retort. She also doesn’t resort to her annoying bragging about her massive IQ. I know… This way it made her look ‘smarter’… So really, these original girls have matured? I want mah original Milky Holmes back, boo hoo! Himeyuri as the new character who only appeared in one lousy episode was because as I found out, she was the heroine players control in the second Milky Holmes PSP game (in the first, players helmed Kobayashi).

Some of the mystery can never be solved. In other words, certain things left me mind boggled like what was Ryouko’s mystery that she quit being a detective and turned into a phantom thief? Was there a loved one involved? I don’t know. Not that we really care. Then about Kazumi’s mom. All we see is her dad and it seems their relationship is strained. We didn’t see it resumed back to normal and after this series ended, I began to think back and thought… Hey, could Kazumi’s mom be a phantom thief as well? Hah. Not that we really care. Here is another trivial one that we might not care too. I remember Feathers facing off with Yellow Black Hole and Blue Hunter. The latter got injured and they escaped. So how did he end up getting captured by the police instead? Maybe it’s during one of those unseen missions not shown in any of the episodes. Yeah, who cares. Why the heck did I even notice this even though praying for Stupid Holmes to return was largely occupying my mind. And what does it mean to be a true detective and phantom thief? I don’t know. I am neither so I’m guessing it is this series’ cops and robbers. I figure there is some sort of romance when you play tag in the city. Catch me if you can! And why did Visconte even allow his daughter to become a detective? Don’t know. That because she wants to sounds like a flimsy excuse. I know it’s good to give your daughters freedom in what to do. Or if he is going to be a strict daddy, it will be closer to revealing his true identity? So by being such a flexible father, does this mean if Alice wants to be a slut, he’ll allow it? Just saying…

The art and drawing mainly remains the same. However I can’t help but notice that there is a very slight difference. Because when I first looked at Milky Holmes, they are less ‘prettier’ than they are in the previous 2 seasons. It is like as though their drawing have become somewhat simpler. It is not that obvious but obvious enough for viewers like me to tell the difference. Especially Cordelia, I thought she looked a little different than usual. Otherwise, the art style remains as good as before ranging from your typical cute girls with cute bright sparkly eyes to the background. Just like in previous Milky Holmes instalments, the end card features a chibi style drawing but this time it is mainly on the Feathers duo. Funny. Amusing.

All those returning characters in this series have their seiyuus retained and they still play their part well. The new ones also aren’t too bad especially with Ayasa Itou as Alice, this is her debut voice acting and so far her only anime role. Aimi Terakawa voices Kazumi (Emi in Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko, Roxanne in Freezing Vibration) though she played a minor role in the original Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Other casts include Kazuyuki Okitsu as Shion/Violet Shadow (Madarame in Genshiken Nidaime), Hiroki Touchi as Visconte (Panther Lily in Fairy Tail), Sayaka Ohara as Madam Visconte (Alicia in Aria The Animation), Ikumi Nakagami as Keiko/Pink Lovely Doom (Yukari in Girls Und Panzer), Aya Hisakawa as Ryouko/Yellow Black Hole (Maya in Tenjou Tenge), Yuka Ootsubo as Great White Fallen Angel (Kyouko in YuruYuri), Yuka Takakura as Darkside Revolution (Mai in Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko) and Natsumi Takamori as Himeyuri (Misaki in Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo). The opening and ending themes are generic lively anime pop so there isn’t anything special that attracts me. Despite this season is about Feathers, it is the original Milky Holmes quartet who sings the opening theme, Glory Glowin’ Days. Milky Holmes Feathers takes the ending theme entitled Seishun Beginner.

In the end, this third season didn’t actually break any new ground because everything else felt the same. It is just that it gives us new characters but nothing that really impresses in the long run. Long-time fans of the anime series may consider this season as a fall from grace although I won’t put it to the point that it is utterly disappointing. It tells us that going back to basics is what is important. Maybe they want to redeem Milky Holmes’ pride of being respectable and useful detective lolis but to us all, they are best doing what we know them for: Making hilarious whimsical mistakes, bungling all over, messing things, screwing up everything and looking cute while doing that. So producers take note. If you’re going to make a fourth season for Milky Holmes, please BRING BACK MAH DUMMY DETECTIVE LOLIS!!! And then I wouldn’t mind seeing them spam us with super erected nipples.


June 13, 2014

A detective agency that will do anything? Sounds more like Gintama’s Yorozuya, right? Well, that’s what I thought when I watched Strange+. Yeah. A bunch of oddballs in a private detective agency, Mikuni, going around handling not-so-normal requests and at the same time meet different and interesting people. Oh wait. Let me correct myself. Meet odd and strange people is more like it. True to its anime title, in fact everyone here is just plain weird. Odd. Peculiar. Bizarre. Strange. You have the leader of the quartet a little boy Takumi who has a fetish of stripping naked or dress in female clothes. His younger brother Kou who dotes over him who is usually the voice of reasoning or the butt of jokes, the Rastafarian Masamune and the sexy Miwa. But that is what makes this short series (3.5 minutes per episode) quite funny.

Episode 1: Thief
The quartet are being chauffeured in by a maid to see the rich lord of the mansion, Doumoto. He has received a letter that a phantom thief, Rusty Nail is going to steal his prized family treasure: A little golden statue of the old geezer in some ambiguous position! Hey, at least it is made of gold. Turns out the maid is Rusty in disguise as she steals the treasure and makes a run. The detectives chase after her but get into silly traps like rolling ball down the stairs and butt punches from all the doors they open. Just when they thought she exited via underground, it was a decoy because she flew off in a hang glider. Takumi laces the butts with gunpowder and fires at her. Success. However the spark fuses all the other butts and the entire mansion is burnt down! Hey, at least the gold is saved. But how the heck are they going to repay his 2 billion Yen mansion???!!! Just laugh it off everybody. Hahahahahahahahahahaha…

Episode 2: Princess
Another old geezer hires the detectives to be the bodyguard of his daughter, Kiyoko. But Kiyoko is being an unfriendly b*tch that pisses off Takumi and Kou. They have to hold back if they want to see this mission through and get paid. She is also looking like a tsundere as she has her bodyguards meet her at a fast food joint after school and they must come dressed in her school uniform. Seems what Kiyoko wanted is to experience the normal life as a high school student. She thinks chatting with friends at the fast food joint is so. So what did the guys talk about? Panty shots! Kiyoko is enjoying her burger but the rest misinterpret her smile as she likes the panty shots topic. Later Kou and Kiyoko seem to be talking fine with each other. The rest don’t want to ruin their ‘romance’ but a bunch of shady guys prepare to kidnap the princess. The rest jump in to stop those bozos while Kou feels being a bodyguard is boring. He doesn’t even know what’s going on behind…

Episode 3: Hospital
I don’t know what sick dream Takumi is having but he grabbed Kou and it looked ambiguous from Masamune’s point of view. Anyway the big guy has got some injury so Miwa suggests he go look for Doctor Ozu. Oh no. You scared? But Takumi loves this shady doctor a lot that it is just pissing off Kou. He has to stop being jealous of all his brother’s friends. Ozu gives Masamune an ointment or if he wants to heal faster, take the mysterious Ozu soup. No thanks. He’ll take the former. Ozu’s cute little nurse, Dorothy shows them the way out. Later that night, Ozu comes stumbling in all bloodied. Actually he fell from the stairs. But the emergency is that Dorothy is kidnapped. There were shady people knocking on their door and he fell for the trick of junior high girls going through puberty and opened the door before some gruffy bad guys took Dorothy.

Episode 4: Trap
And so the gang head off to a rescue mission. Inside the building, they have to traverse obstacles that you see in outdoor parks like rock climbing. Meanwhile the baddies are having a hard time dealing with Dorothy as the whiny brat keeps crying and demands for her plushie. They do just that to shut her up. Ozu senses Dorothy nearby but it turns out to be a giant monster! It turns out to be her plushie. WTF?! And so without the guys lifting any finger, Dorothy is saved and the baddies beaten up. So it’s like they just came to pick her up? When Kou mentions that Takumi is a nice person, Ozu wonders if he has seen his true side to him. He hopes he will work hard and not be left behind. He leaves Kou with a lot of thinking to do. Could it mean Takumi has something to do with that plushie’s transformation or something?

Episode 5: Mistress
The quartet are to infiltrate a building like in a spy movie. Instead of doing it covertly, they knock out some guards to wear their uniform. Takumi wears nothing but the hat… They are so noisy that they got spotted and captured. But Masamune is strong enough to rip out from those ropes and free his buddies. They try to escape through the vent but a couple of guys, Kaori and Mera stop them. The quartet recognize the duo as those guys working under their employer. They claim they are double agents (doesn’t sound convincing). The duo begin their attack and target Kou and he panics. I don’t know what he’s thinking but he uses the wire screen. What is he going to do with that? Takumi just stands there naked looking cute. Don’t even ask. The alarm is sound and they recognize it as end of the game. The rest laments they won’t get any bonus this year because they failed to clear the game as Kou learns their employer is no other than the founder of their detective agency and Kaori and Mera are her subordinates. This building belongs to her and she likes to do surprise tests on them that determine their bonus. So how much will Kou get? 300 Yen! Not enough to cover a beef bowl …

Episode 6: Precious
When the quartet enter the supermarket, they see Rusty doing her shopping! She reminds them she is the kind of chivalrous thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. She’ll be coming to their agency tonight to steal something. Oh, she already went off without paying… So that night as the gang waits, they wonder what are the precious things in their agency. Takumi thinks it’s their ancient TV that doesn’t even have a remote. Then Rusty appears and tries to take what she thinks is precious. Let’s say it wasn’t worth it. Do you want strange fungus growing out of your hands after touching that odd mushroom lamp? Or what the heck is this embarrassing drawing by Kou? Definitely not Picasso level. Not wanting to give up, she clones herself into Takumi but that kid clones himself even more and nails the true perpetrator. Then Rusty and Takumi get into a battle of agility, jumping down a building and hopping on electric poles. Takumi throws a mushroom into her mouth. She starts growing into giant size and a helicopter shoots her down like Godzilla. Turns out she was just hallucinating but it knocked her out. Next morning, Kou is flattered when Takumi mentions they were able to protect their most precious thing. No, it’s not them but the TV. Disappointed?

Episode 7: Procession
Masamune feels somebody is watching him. Miwa has him relaxed with a cookie but it was swapped with an octopus! Enter Kyouya. Who the heck is he? Don’t remember? The last they saw each other was 2 nights ago. Masamune calls his bluff because he was waiting in line at some otaku event. Yup. That is exactly where they met. In fact, they met at the same circumstances for many times. Kyouya is always behind him during such event and he lucked out when Masamune gets the last of the limited edition. So he throws down another challenge for the upcoming event. On that day, Masamune brings Kou and Takumi along and he thinks of not worrying as they have plenty of time if they start out this early. Unfortunately they get distracted by silly things that eat up a lot of time. Or even traps that are just playing psychological on them. By the time they reach there, the line is long and Kyouya revels in his victory. However Masamune will just use his reserve tickets. Kyouya just realized that he spent all his time making those traps he forgot to make a reservation. And from now on, Kyouya keeps showing up now and then with Masamune. Like friends, like rivals… Go home already!

Episode 8: Intruder
Kiyoko’s friends are appalled at these ‘foreign exchange students’ who are no other than the weird Mikuni detectives under disguise to catch a panty thief at school. At this rate, they could even be mistaken for that pervert. So when they say birds of the same feather flock together, I guess it really means the perverted guy, Baron Eros actually makes his entrance. But the rest or more surprised to see Kyouya here. He is a student in this school, what do you expect? I don’t know what kind of challenge Takumi and Baron Eros had but it lead the former to punish the latter for being distracted by swimsuits. Miwa thinks she is going to be his next victim but he is searching only for young high school girls… This next pain is going to hurt a lot. When Baron Eros thinks he is going to have a peeping chance of a girl changing, it turns out to be Masamune. Takumi beats him up for not coming after him instead. WTF. To make him regret his actions, Takumi did some brainwashing and he did change and turn into a different person. But his dead eyes… Something awful must really have happened for him to turn into a zombie. Or at least someone who doesn’t see attractiveness in anyone else but Kou… Don’t even ask.

Episode 9: Guard
This time, the quartet are to protect an important political figure named Bill in this hotel. That foreigner politician look familiar to you? The rest think it’s some game and if they clear it, they get their bonus. Yeah, they’re really excited. Till a real bullet almost hit Kou! Is this still a game? The rest still think so. They have to run away from assassins in the elevator, hiding in the vending machine and a sexy dispatcher who threw clothes melting acid onto Takumi. The assassins try to fight fire with fire. Because they become oddball perverts! The detectives aren’t please with this because there shall only be one pervert in this world no other than them! And so the fighting goes on… In the end, Bill excitedly reports to Mikuni that he loves the quartet’s excellent work. Farting into vending machines, hitting someone’s face with his butt… Sure he wants to say all that?

Episode 10: Curse
The detectives are now to hold on a medallion worth 80 million Yen! Wow! Till they are told its curse. Whoever holds it will have bad luck. Now everyone tries to pass it off to the other! So while the authorities are going through legalities to donate it to the museum, they want them to guard it. Takumi makes scaredy cat Kou wears it. Masamune tries to take it off but lots of accidents befall on him to prevent him from even touching it. Out in the open wilderness where nothing could possibly go wrong, here comes Ozu trying to show off his scalpels!!! Ozu tries his hand to take it off but bamboo shoots suddenly grow and hit his crotch. True awakening? Rusty appears to steal it but was told it was cursed. Takumi cheekily pushes Kou to her and in her panic, she punches it off. She is happy to have stolen the medallion till she experiences all the bad luck. She doesn’t want it anymore and throws it back to Kou. Shouting some curses with it. Next day, the news reports that the medallion have fallen off a cliff and shattered into pieces while being transported. All the work for nothing…

Episode 11: Antique
The gang is at Kiyoko’s home to see her father’s antiques without appraising them. Inside his treasure room, it seems that most of the antiques are weird. But which antique isn’t? Thinking there is some sort of interesting history in all of them, however daddy mentions that each one is inhabited by a Tsukumogami spirit. Haunted? Disappointed? It’s no wonder they keep calling him a geezer. Even Kiyoko calls him that. Father is going to teach her a lesson by unleashing a ghost in a pot but it possesses Kou. Since the ghost died without being loved, the only way to solve this is to kiss. Seriously, the old man wants to kiss him?! The ghost goes on a love attack rampage. Kiyoko feels responsible for this and will allow him to kiss her. But the romantic mood is ruined when a possessed statue bumps her away and kisses Kou. Both ghosts ascend to heaven very much in love with each other. In the end, the detectives receive the pot and statue as memento…

Episode 12: Hero
Kaori and Mera have a new job for the detectives. They are to act in a live hero play based on an anime 21 years ago made for kids: Sailor Bloomoon. All the audiences… Are grownups! Heck, it was an anime that aired 21 years ago, right? Masamune as the bad villain didn’t like how some of the audiences comment on him so he takes them ‘hostage’ like as done in such shows. Herald Takumi in the lead as Sailor Bloomoon to save the day! With his teammates against the villains, it seems the hero side is acting like the bad guys so much so the audiences are rooting for the evil ones! They’re asking the monsters to save them instead! Who are the bad guys now? Takumi even takes out a real knife for real slashing and bloody effects! With the audiences cheering them on, the baddies make a return and win! Was it supposed to happen like this? Since the show is a success, the guys already have their next hero show in line: Futari Wa Muri Kuri! NO MORE HERO SHOWS PLEASE!

Everyone Makes Strange Bedfellows
It was quite fun watching the spontaneous and nonsense so it is no wonder that another season is in the works. Of course the comedy is perhaps just the saving grace of this anime because in other aspects it just feels sufficient. Firstly the art. Although I won’t go so far as to say it is bad enough that my one year old nephew can draw better, the art feels so unpolished and at times makes the character feels cartoonish. But I think that is to enhance the comedy effect since Kou and Takumi are the biggest jokers in the series. Heck, everybody else is but these two are the main ones. Because of so, the ‘sacrifice’ means that if the art is purposely made to look funny, that means conventional anime viewers like myself won’t really enjoy the style it has to offer. Maybe except for Rusty who was looking pretty in a maid outfit…

There is no plot whatsoever even if the synopsis of this anime starts out as Kou coming to town to find his brother Takumi but ends up in his detective agency doing weird errands and meeting weird people, this shouldn’t discourage you from enjoying the silliness of everything because who cares about all that when you can laugh like mad? Each episode is random and can standalone by itself (I think that episode involving Dorothy despite being split into 2 episodes, I can consider both to be independent of each other) so much so that if I submit my stupid ideas, they can even make a short episode out of it. Even if there are some foreboding plots like whatever Takumi’s true form is, I’m sure we can’t be bothered with it since we’re here to enjoy the antics. So for those who really want to see some storyline progression, please look elsewhere. Besides, how much can you cram into 3.5 minutes per episode?

Then there are the characters. Because we have been told what the title of this anime is, we already have our mindset of what to expect from the characters. Despite being fearless detectives who would do and take on anything, they are all just probably big idiots who don’t really know the meaning of fear. They’re likeable because they are being silly and you can probably guess their behaviour from day one right up till the end. To sum it all up. They’re idiots. Strange idiots with no common sense. At the end, you would have clearly known that Takumi is some sort of perverted exhibitionist who loves stripping down to his birthday suit whenever he has the chance. The other minor characters are oddballs too but you wished they had more screen time to add to the silly fun. Like Ozu’s shady doctor business, Dorothy’s cute moe factor, Rusty’s determination to just steal and fail badly, Kyouya being some sort like an ‘extension’ to the detectives and Kiyoko… Is she in love with Kou?

For the voice acting, everyone plays their part well with Jun Fukuyama playing as Takumi (Lelouch in Code Geass), Tomokazu Seki as Kou (Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile), Ryotaro Okiayu as Masamune (Byakuya in Bleach), Satsuki Yukino as Miwa (Kagome in Inu Yasha), Mitsuki Saiga as Kyouya (Phantom in MAR), Shoko Nagahiro as Rusty (Sora in Inugami-san To Nekoyama-san), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Ozu (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Taeko Kawata as Dorothy, (Hisami in R.O.D.), Wataru Hatano as Kaori (Gajeel in Fairy Tail), Katsuyuki Konishi as Mera (Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) and Ayano Terasaki doing her debut as Kiyoko. The opening theme is Beauty Boy by Jun Fukuyama and despite the animation has some crazy action, they changed it to a Sailormoon parody for the last one. On a trivial note, every episode begins with some sort of illustration. Some are funny, some are sexy, some are disturbing (especially those involving guys in fanservice or seemingly yaoi shots!) and some are just plain strange. Also, the end card illustrations are done by different people. Some funny, some sexy, some disturbing and some just plain strange. Did I repeat myself again?

I won’t try to make comparisons of this anime with huge random nonsensical comedy animes like Gintama or even Cuticle Detective Inaba, Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt, Yondemasu Yo Azazel-san or Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. Each has their own distinct uniqueness so it won’t be quite fair to judge them by comparing. All I can say is that if you have a little spare time and want to watch something that isn’t serious and something that makes you burst into hilarious laughter, Strange+ has that little dose for that temporary fix. I know it’s strange but like they say, laughter is the best medicine. When you have a world where everybody is just so strange, then everything is pretty much normal, don’t you think?

Sometimes it is nice to see things that do not work out the first time to make their return and try again. Sometimes not every failure is bad because eventually with perseverance it will lead to success. Or maybe sometimes it is just me who wants to see certain people fail and fail all over again. There is some mysterious attraction to that. Just like a certain squid girl who failed miserably to invade mankind, we have another eternal failure on our hands. Folks, once more let me introduce you to the most adorable bungling detectives ever in the history of detective-ship. With that said, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes II might have been long gone over the airwaves more than a year ago but it never hurts for me to start watching this series much later than usual. Saving the best for last?

As those who are familiar with the quartet of prodigy detectives known as Milky Holmes, they have fallen from grace ever since the start of the series. Losing their supernatural powers called Toys in the midst of their battle against arch enemy and super thief Arsene and her gentleman thieves called Phantom Thief Empire. Life has not been the same for Milky Holmes ever since they lost their Toys and they are spiralling downwards into a decaying whirl of decline and uselessness. Even their arch enemy took pity on them and decided to guide them back to the top once more so that beating them at their best would be the best prize ever. How that is not to be and a long and frustrating journey it must have been. This season is no less different as Milky Holmes is struggling with pretty much everything. Who will break first? Milky Holmes? Arsene? Expect lots of nonsensical slapstick idiotic comedy to go with that. Now you know why I keep coming back to watch them fail?

Episode 1
Even right off the bat, we see how deteriorated Milky Holmes have become. Such heavy sleepers that they didn’t even hear the alarm setting off. By the time they wake up, it’s already night. They fall into the lake and so positive these bungling detectives, they think it’s killing 2 birds with 1 stone because they can do laundry too. You can imagine how upset Henriette is. To add salt to injury, Milky Holmes isn’t going to school either. Instead, they are happily frolicking in their own farm! So pissed Henriette/Arsene is that she even chides her own men for not doing their duty to bring Milky Holmes to their senses! They in turn blame Milky Holmes for making Arsene gloomy. Meanwhile Nero makes Hercule take up a job. The kind that has her pose as a model in front of enthusiastic painters. Thank God she didn’t have to do it naked. The gentlemen thieves try to cheer Arsene up in what they do best but she is clearly not in the mood. By now, Milky Holmes has racked up a reputation. The kind where everybody hates them! See them fighting over food in the cafeteria? Shameful. Henriette confronts them and asks them what they want to be. And they even have the cheek to answer like jokers. The gentlemen thieves are going to make their move since they are further causing Arsene mad. First they had to try shooting several letters of challenge because they are too stupid to understand the implications of a letter tied to an arrow! After spelling out the challenge letter, what are they going to do? Sleep over it!

And so… Gentlemen thieves wait at their farm only to be pissed that they aren’t showing up. When Milky Holmes decides to visit their farm, they realize it is destroyed! Can you blame gentlemen thieves for taking out their boredom and frustration? It is then that Milky Holmes turned into vicious bloodthirsty avengers! No, not prideful detectives but the kind that will kill them! Monsters!!! All because of the tomato field is destroyed. So terrible Milky Holmes that the gentlemen thieves start to regret what they do!!! Pleading for mercy???!!! Gentlemen thieves are defeated but tell them off they want to be defeated by detectives. Does that word ring a bell? Apparently Milky Holmes screws up in changing into their correct detective uniform. And they got tired after all that changing… Meanwhile Kokoro, who is running away from pesky Irene, accidentally enters into a cannon. It fires and she crashes into Milky Holmes and gentlemen thieves. Arsene notes that even though Milky Holmes has remembered about being detectives, they are still useless and some shock is needed to wake them up. Gentlemen thieves are thrown into prison and Stone River wants them to stay here till morning as repentance. Next morning, Milky Holmes happily rushes to their farm but their horror it is being burnt down and overrun with heavy machinery.

Episode 2
Gentlemen thieves easily escape their prison come morning. Meanwhile Milky Holmes is enjoying every morsel of their leftover food. Hercule suddenly remembers something familiar about their Toys power. She has a hard time conveying it to the rest. As expected, they are too stupid to get it. They try to do part time jobs but suck at them. The ‘best’ one is Nero, calculating what she can do with the meagre money the rest will earn her. Hercule returns with a ‘superb’ painting as a gift from being a model. Looks horrible. Doesn’t even look like her. Suddenly an old wealthy man, Drill comes running to them and wants that painting. It reminds him of his first love, Higatha Christie. Does her face look like that? Well, since she is a shy girl, she always wore a mask. That’s what this painting resembles that mask. It’s been 80 years since he last saw her. Milky Holmes don’t want to stay and listen to his boring crap but when he mentions about the sickening amount money he will give them, wow, they’re suddenly all ears. He tells them how they were separated on that fateful day when they were touring the Pyramids. He has never seen her since and resigned to himself as a bachelor as he couldn’t find her. He wants to repose himself with that painting but Nero tells him to splash the cash. Does 10 million Yen sound good? OH YEAH!!! Hercule notices in Nero’s happiness, her Toys just went off. Everyone else too dumb to notice, Hercule too shy to speak up. Nero is excited to order 1000 pieces of first class sushi. Then the wind blows the painting away. GET THAT MILLION DOLLAR ART BACK!!!

So we see Milky Holmes, Drill and even the sushi guy chasing after the painting, miraculously evading fatal accidents everywhere they go. It finally leads them to a beached whale. It’s not that they’re so kind in wanting to push the whale back into sea, it’s because it is sitting on the painting! For that moment, Hercule thinks of using her Toys and suddenly she has this great amount of strength to toss the whale into the ocean! Gentlemen thieves who arrived in time also got flung away. The whale crashes into a ship over the horizon. As Milky Holmes savour their sushi and Drill his painting, suddenly Higatha comes to shore riding the whale. They emotionally reunite as Higatha explains she was looking for him all this while too. However she got kidnapped by pirates. A whale crashed into it and saved her. Now that Fatty Holmes has eaten up all the sushi, Hercule forces Nero to give the cheque to the sushi guy to pay for his daughter’s surgery. Gentlemen thieves are once again put behind bars. When Milky Holmes returns to the academy, Henriette confronts them. She is not happy. She tells them the police are doing all the work and this renders detectives virtually useless. As usual, Stupid Holmes is too dumb to understand what she means till she spells out the academy will close down and will be used to erect a pavilion for the upcoming Detective Fair. Back in their room when Hercule finally tells them about Toys, they realize they have forgotten all about it while trying to survive. And Nero had the cheek to blame her for not telling them earlier. They get excited to protect this academy. But first, let’s have sushi for dinner…

Episode 3
Based on Henriette’s words, Milky Holmes is going to Hakkei Island to steal some deed and seal for the academy and prevent the pavilion’s erection. They paddle a boat made out of mud and halfway through, it sinks. When they are washed ashore, they are taken in as prisoners by some Macho S&M Uncle and his henchmen. He tells them this is actually a sea prison and this island is an island of despair! HUAHAHAHA!!! Arsene and her men arrive on the island to steal an ultimate treasure called hope amidst the despair. She is dressed as a guy but I don’t understand why Twenty is part of S&M Uncle’s henchmen while Stone River and Nezu are treated as prisoners. Milky Holmes and the other prisoners pick up sea cucumbers and this scene turns into a musical while Twenty whips everyone into work using his nipples!!! Arsene snoops around and learn from one of the prisoners about some legend. That person who knew the legend thought to have escaped was actually dried up and hardened as some statue. So he didn’t escape, didn’t he? So he tells them about some tacky tapestry he saw that pinpoints the treasure. Milky Holmes and Phantom Thief Empire go into action to obtain the treasure as S&M Uncle initiates traps to separate them all. Cordelia and Twenty are stuck in some dungeon filled with creepy slimy sea cucumbers. While Twenty is having ecstasy, Cordelia goes bonkers. I don’t know what explosive force she used but it made a crater in the room! Twenty is traumatized!!! Hercule uses Nezu as bait for the shark while she escapes! At least she’s not so dumb. Nezu thought her Toys are back in action but all Stone River sees is that she coincidentally presses the stop button on the machine that would have squished them.

Sherlock and Arsene find themselves in a ring against S&M Uncle and his octopus. Arsene wants Sherlock to handle this herself. First she loses hope but after remembering the words of the ‘wise one’, she gets her confidence back and boils the octopus! Her comrades come by to help eat the octopus. Arsene gives directions as where to where Milky Holmes is to stand. Turns out they fulfil the requirements of the tapestry. They transform into their detective outfit and defeat S&M Uncle. Arsene rides up to the top of the tower to get the treasure. It turns out to be a flower that in flower language it means hope. She and her men flee after thinking they’ve wasted their time. Milky Holmes arrives and sees the flower. Sherlock plucks it out and suddenly everything crumbles! The entire island is made out of sea cucumber?! The dried cucumbers are enough to form a land leading back to the main land. Everyone escapes. Back at the academy, Milky Holmes gives Henriette the flower but she is not amused. She shows them the news report that the island they have destroyed is the island prison. You know what this means, right? Runaway prisoners escaped to the city… Yeah. Ironically the detectives let the prisoners escape. It took G4 to put forth all their effort in recapturing them all. By the way, S&M Uncle is a government worker in charge of the prison. Don’t let looks fool you… Milky Holmes is thrown into prison and this only gives Kokoro more ammo to insult and chide them as the most retarded of the retards. Yeah, she’s enjoying her victory. Repent, Stupid Holmes!!!

Episode 4
Cordelia is having the nicest dream when some foot monster stomps on her face. Turns out to be Nero’s bad sleeping posture… Even during the cafeteria, Cordelia and Nero ended up arguing so loudly about it that Henriette had to tell them off about their shouting match in addition to skipping classes. And they had the cheek to blame something else except themselves! Save for Hercule. Back in their room, they think everything will be solved if they fix their sleeping postures. They try to relax by thinking something fun (Hercule’s dream is all mosaic out!!!). Since it’s hard, they decide to play a game. Sherlock sucks at Jenga because she causes the blocks to tumble even at first go. Nero cheats by licking Cordelia’s ear, causing her to lose. She is forced to cosplay as Arsene. Since Kamaboko was impersonating as her boobs, Cordelia and Nero once more ended up arguing about each other’s chest. Elsewhere, G4 are hot on the trail of Phantom Thief Empire as they have stolen a precious vase. Arsene suspiciously gives up the vase and throws it away. Kokoro dives out of the helicopter to save it. She could have been splat had not for her mates holding on to her. Then it is revealed the vase is fake and the real one is kept within her cleavage (how ‘roomy’ is that area?!). Kokoro is left to rue her lost while Phantom Thief Empire makes their clean getaway. Arsene laments that playing with the police doesn’t satisfy her. Because Nero and Cordelia continue to argue that they intrude into each other’s bed space, everyone changes their sleeping position.

Milky Holmes is deep in their sleep and experience some sort of nightmare due to their sleep walking. How worse can it get? Cordelia being faced off with a lion (Kamaboko being pushed in her face), nervous Hercule poses as a model in the painting class, Sherlock eating her fish paste and Nero and Cordelia stomping on each other’s face!!! The ruckus is enough to draw Henriette’s attention as she heads to their room. However she witnesses something. As they are asleep, it seems their Toys power in their eyes momentarily flash. Nero dreams of transforming into a robot to face giant iron Cordelia when in reality her Toys causes the alarm clock to dismantle and combine all over her body like a robot. Cordelia uses a Sherlock as shield from Nero’s pillow attack. Hercule becomes so embarrassed that her model picture has been featured in the magazine, she uprooted the building. Actually, she lifted the bed and causes the trio to fall off. She returns sleeping on the bed. Can you imagine? The trio can have such ‘nice dreams’ while beating up each other in reality. Best in the world. When all has calmed down, Henriette leaves the room with slight hope. Next morning, everyone except Hercule feels their body aching all over and that deprivation of sleep feeling. Though they accuse Hercule of being the one pushing them off, she doesn’t remember anything. They think she is the one with bad sleeping posture and should return back to their original positions. For once, Milky Holmes turns responsible as they rush over to class. Henriette decides to wait a little longer for their revival.

Episode 5
Ishinagare puts up posters in school to warn about a flasher going around. Milky Holmes have degenerated that they are thinking of eating a slug on a leaf!!! They hear about this flasher thingy but don’t know what it means! I think they should eat more brain food. Anyway only Hercule knows what it means and is forced to demonstrate. Ishinagare sees this and thinks Hercule may look innocent on the outside but is actually a pervert. Milky Holmes sees a girl in coat and promptly accuses her as the flasher. Actually she is a detective from the Kansai region, Coron. She also heard about the flasher incident and needs an assistant in catching them. Seriously? Milky Holmes as her assistant? Guess what? They are cocky enough to tell her they have better things to do! Well, they WILL become her assistants because she throws them free fried sticks!!! And free cabbages if they call her Coron-sama!!! Cheap Holmes… Coron has Insight as her Toys. But this baby god of hers keeps smacking her on the head after giving his ‘answer’. They are to search around the academy grounds. As we suspect, Nijuuri might be the culprit, flashing his body while telling the students to beware the flasher. I don’t know how Coron and Nijuuri end up with a fight using fried sticks and nipples. WTF. Milky Holmes feels it’s a shame to waste those sticks!!! So the girls conduct their investigation asking the public. They sound like they eagerly want to meet the flasher… They come into Kokoro and G4 (what the hell is with that bomb disarming robot called Poporo? Is it supposed to take after a certain G4 member?) and seek their help. They think Phantom Thief Empire all fit the description of being flashers. You never know they may have a darker side. Coron thinks they are the culprit.

Arsene and her men have stolen another diamond. They think something is wrong since it’s too quiet. The police aren’t coming. Well, Kokoro and Poporo are fighting each other over the calling of each other’s name. And they’re blocking the door so the rest can’t get to work. WTF. So a bomb disarming robot just went nuts? Arsene thought she heard a genuine challenge from Milky Holmes. Turns out to be another goofy performance. They are wearing coats because Coron told them flashers hate to be imitated and thus this is an attempt to draw the flasher out. They can’t even unbutton… Useless… Twenty is dismayed that they are doing it wrong and shows them how it’s done! Why is Cordelia agreeing with him?! Arsene has had enough of this and whips their coat to pieces. Seems they are wearing clothes underneath, which goes against the being naked underneath thingy. Except for Hercule. Poor girl. Naïve girl. Stone River is going to chop her up for accusing Arsene as the flasher when she herself is the pervert. Coron makes her debut but blunders. Arsene and co retreat. Hercule was running away from Stone River and finds herself lost. Suddenly the flasher appears before her! Coron?! More precisely, she is Po, Coron’s other personality who likes to show off her desires. Coron is a rich kid and her strict life means she isn’t allowed to show herself. She reluctantly covered up herself and this is where Po was born. Po admits she likes being naked and will turn herself in to the police. Sherlock takes everyone to the public bath. They can be naked here for all they want. Yeah, Coron is a rich girl, right? When Coron’s original personality returns, she knows who the real flasher is. Soon, that flasher is caught by G4. Coron did some investigation and concluded she couldn’t be the flasher. Milky Holmes sees off Coron at the train station. She gives them fried sticks as a symbol of their friendship rather than rewards. Whatever. These bird brains find it delicious. Yum!

Episode 6
On board the Eno Express, we suddenly find Milky Holmes and G4 pretty messed up!!! What happened?! We go back 40 minutes earlier. G4 was onboard the train on their way to stop a bomb threat from exploding a giant statue that serves as Detective Fair’s centrepiece. Shortly before the door closes, Milky Holmes made it onboard. Yeah, they’re not here to stop the bomb but to attend the fair. Somehow Kokoro is already beaten up and unconscious so the other G4 members decide to go look for clues themselves. Milky Holmes decides to join them too. Noting that the culprit is the one among the train, the conductor leads them to the rear. I guess they’re going to arrest to most suspicious looking one, eh? Well, we’ve got piggy boy, the flasher, a nervous Irene’s dad, a very build assassin and his foreigner lover. They’re all suspicious! Hercule opens the window only to be bombed with bird’s poo. She is splashed with water. The flasher offers his coat but Hirano takes him out and kicks him out on the next stop. Then the assassin tells Hercule to strip. Actually he wants to give her wear his black coat. Nero accuses piggy boy for being the culprit because he is eating like nobody’s business. How can she say that when her belly is full and burping all the way? The rest tie Nero up. Irene sneaks onboard on the next stop and kidnaps Kokoro. Irene’s dad is so nervous that he blunders saying there is nothing suspicious with his suitcase. Hirano knocks him out and opens it only to have an alien facehugger hugging her face! Is that a horseshoe crab? Something about he found it on some website and wanted to release it in the ocean. Then they find Irene taking pictures of Kokoro in magical girl outfit. After the father and daughter are tossed out on the next stop, Tsugiko thinks how good Kokoro looks good in those clothes so Saku tells her to put it on. Tsugiko gets swayed by everyone’s support and puts it on herself. Cordelia hears a ticking sound in a suitcase. Fearing this will bomb her friends, she jumps out onto the flower field to be a sacrifice. But after hearing how everyone will praying for her to reach heaven, Cordelia isn’t going to die alone and rushes back into the train! Live together, die together! Why the hell did she bring the suitcase back too?

Anyway Poporo Mark II hitches a ride on the train. The bomb disarming robot goes berserk as it starts trashing the suitcase! Then lots of Kokoro memorabilia falls out. The ticking sound is just an alarm clock. They put Kokoro’s blazer on Poporo and the robot continues to beat up unconscious Kokoro. Everyone continues to look for clues and since none are found, the culprit must be among them. Sherlock accuses piggy boy so he has had enough of this and jumps out of the window. Wrong guess, huh? She tries to suspect between the assassin and his lover when the conductor confesses he is the one. He is a big fan of Kokoro and cooked up that threat letter so that he would be able to ride with her. The suitcase filled with her memorabilia belongs to him. However nobody blames him since he came clean. With the case close, that is how we see the gang messed up in weird outfits. Before the conductor is taken away, he hands over the switch for the bomb. By this time Kokoro is awake and learns what happened. She beats up Sherlock because she is mad that Poporo beat the hell out of her during her ‘sleep’. But who knocked her out first? Going back 45 minutes earlier when Milky Holmes just got onboard, Kokoro smacked Sherlock as usual. This causes a chain reaction of the rest bumping into each other. It ends with Sherlock slipping on a banana peel and accidentally punching Kokoro in the face. Not funny! Milky Holmes feel excited of solving this case. They decide to return being great detectives and that being farmers was a mistake. Sherlock accidentally presses the button and this explodes the statue’s head. What a way to make a great return…

Episode 7
Milky Holmes might be in prison for blowing up the statue but they love the prison food! They think it’s heaven! Kokoro is so pissed that she kicks them out! Yeah, they even think Henriette should have been here to get them. Well, it seems she is drowning her sorrows via alcohol. Oolong tea rather. I can understand why she is so frustrated and depressed. Milky Holmes tries to cheer her up and unintentionally makes it worse. Especially when they say that ‘useless’ word back at her. That’s when she snaps. But wait. Did she turn polite? I mean, she is serving a luxurious feast to Milky Holmes and G4. Her men thinks it’s part of her plan to degrade them by giving them a taste of heaven. And then the news report comes in. It is announced that Arsene will destroy Milky Holmes academy tonight. Now we know why she is giving them their last supper. G4 helps out in stationing their men around the academy. Kokoro thinks she can command the crowd but Henriette does it better and naturally. Suddenly lightning strikes over Henriette! Arsene drops in to mock the student council president is no match for her. She uses her Toys of Resplendence to have everyone see each other as Arsene. G4 fighting among themselves! Milky Holmes fighting piggy boy. Can’t they tell Arsene is not that fat???!!! Poporo knocks G4 to their senses. They overcome her illusion and fight her. G4 is eliminated when Saku uses Kokoro as a cannon ball to fire at Arsene. She dodges. A big chunk of the academy gets destroyed. Oh boy.

Stone River cannot understand why she is doing this because she usually steals first before destroying. Arsene claims she wants to crush this academy with her own hands and challenges them to fight her. The gentlemen thieves realize this is not the Arsene they knew and want to open her eyes and stop her. Though they swore their allegiance to her, she announces Phantom Thief Empire will disband tonight and she will leave this place. Despite the trio having improved a lot, the flashy and exaggerated battle with lots of WTF moves ends with Arsene still coming out tops. She has all the power she needs to easily fight back. The sad truth is that she is always stronger. The impact is so great that there’s a crater now!!! Not even Twenty and Stone River homo combo could stop her. Once all her men are down (Stone River’s last pathetic attempt to stop her was futile), she disbands her team. Milky Holmes is pathetically clinging on to her trying to arrest her. The last straw came when Arsene asks Sherlock what she is. Though her reply that she is a detective of this academy isn’t bad, it is the part that she bit her tongue while saying it that made Arsene furious. I don’t know what super power she summoned because it’s like all her anger and rage summed up into one giant punch into Earth!!! Aftermath check: Academy destroyed. All students unconscious. G4 out cold. Gentlemen thieves knocked out. Milky Holmes ‘sleeping’. Arsene the only one left standing. And there were none… Shameful… Is this their determination to protect the academy?

Episode 8
The crushing defeat leaves gentlemen thieves reeling in defeat. They even see the cloud as Arsene! Kokoro becomes such a despicable loli rubbing salt into their wounds and relishing in it! Look at how ecstatic she is running them down in their pitiful state. Who’s the real baddie here? G4 captures them as they don’t even put up any resistance. Milky Holmes is digging to find Henriette. How the hell did Sherlock mistake a camel to be Henriette? Boing-boing… They hit a box and open it. Some dead warrior chase after them (because they insulted him for being poor). Their hide is saved by Abe. He cautions them that there are several Toys buried around. That was Toys? Morning comes and piggy boy delivers several stuffs. Firstly, a sign to confirm the academy’s closure. Then a letter from Henriette saying goodbye. Next, letters to everyone who will be transferred to other better detective academies to improve themselves. They get fired up to do better. What about Milky Holmes? They have a letter too. It’s blank… No hope, eh? Lastly, this land will be a wasteland and some other place has been picked for the pavilion. Totally abandoned, eh? And Kokoro does not waste any chance in running Milky Holmes down too. People, don’t be as shameful as her. Gentlemen thieves are in prison. They lost everything. Even their minds. Even the shadow reminds them of Arsene. How can they heal this hurting? They blame Milky Holmes, the source of why Arsene did all these. It’s time for revenge as they easily do a prison break to go defeat Milky Holmes.

Milky Holmes is at a loss on what to do. They have nothing and lost everything. Henriette isn’t around to tell them what to do. Can’t they think for themselves? Suddenly Cordelia loses it. She escapes reality via her fantasy. Henriette is around! Yes she is! The rest gets absorbed into her fantasy. Gentlemen thieves appear before them to get their revenge but are seriously ignored. No reaction from them. Realizing they are escaping reality, they too get pulled in. Gosh! It’s really Arsene! Yipee! Little do they know, they’re making out with the camel… Don’t ask… Kamaboko bites Stone River as he feels a tingling pain. He realizes this isn’t reality and takes Hercule with him. He shows her the rest in fantasy land and must break free of this spell. He lectures they have been left behind but taking the easy path isn’t what Arsene/Henriette wanted. His face is getting creepy to convince her so Hercule throws him towards Cordelia. He cuts down her delusion to free everyone. Then he lectures about picking themselves up and getting stronger for their future. Everyone ignores him. So both sides part with their own goals to achieve. They still ignore Stone River… Milky Holmes creates their own makeshift home as Sherlock writes on the blank paper about their future. At least they’re being positive why it is left blank for them. They decide to call this the New Milky Holmes Academy. This will be their future and they set the deadline to become splendid detectives before the Detective World Fair in 4 months. Not only Kamaboko joins them but Arty too.

Episode 9
We catch a glimpse of Tsugiko, Hirano and Saku in their daily lives when they suddenly receive a screaming call from Kokoro to get their asses back to work as the paper work is piling up. However they won’t because they submitted their leave form and somehow Kokoro approved it. Meanwhile Milky Holmes is conducting lessons to little kids! Nero even asks them for payment! WTF?! Taking candy from a baby? Anyway their lesson is so disappointing that the kids leave. They can keep the candy for all they care. Then Kokoro butts in and decides to help them become great detectives. But this is a ploy to give trouble to her comrades on her day off. She uses Milky Holmes to rip off all the ingredients and get free food from Tsugiko’s stall, rip apart Hirano’s dojo (Cordelia went berserk like a killing machine when the lights go out) and disrupt Saku’s ultimate mahjong hand at some sailor mahjong club. Yeah, it’s ironic they can be ‘useful’ in this sense. Of course Kokoro’s mates know she is the one behind this and warn her to stop this harassment. They won’t come back to work as long as Phantom Thief Empire isn’t around. They won’t be around anymore, right? This gives Kokoro an idea. She forces Milky Holmes to dress up as Phantom Thief Empire. So weird… So to be a great detective, they need to put themselves in the shoes of the villains? Their first task is to steal and conveniently Kokoro has them steal a suitcase that a group of security men are bringing out. Kokoro becomes implicated in their getaway so not to let her identity bust, she wears a cabbage as a mask. The security men chase them and they pass by Kokoro’s comrades. Thinking Phantom Thief Empire is back, they also join the chase. They assure the security men that they will take it from here but the guys give that dumbfounded look. It is revealed that they are criminals so the trio chase after them. Kokoro and Milky Holmes end up near the Detective Fair. They realize the suitcase is talking and it pops out a woman, Haruko Minami. She is supposed to sing a theme song to open the expo. However she was kidnapped by those guys. G4 has apprehended the criminals and thank Milky Holmes for doing something good for once. As Haruko sings on stage, there is also advertisement to thank Milky Holmes (they’ve become the main guests of the expo) and their desire to request Henriette to come back since they are confident she is watching this somewhere. Meanwhile Arty steals a Shard of Pandora from the expo. But since nothing happens, she notes she needs the power of Milky Holmes’ descendants.

Episode 10
The expo is officially open. Milky Holmes failed to become great detectives as promised themselves. By the way, the kidnapping case they solved was a fluke and doesn’t count. They see a poster of the fair organizing a competition looking for a mascot girl. They would have joined it if not for a tiny requirement: You must have Toys. That’s when Arty butts in. She is looking for Pandora’s Jar and convinces Milky Holmes to help her as it would get their Toys back. Giving Sherlock the Shard of Pandora, it starts reacting so Milky Holmes follows its guide. Meanwhile piggy boy returns from overseas and has lost weight! He looks like a poor version of Buddha! I guess foreign lard won’t do. Yokohama’s lard is the best. However each time he is about to eat his lard-filled food, Milky Holmes bumps into him and spills his food. And those foods are the last piece. Sold out. The hunger lard pangs continue… The Shard of Pandora guides Milky Holmes to their school’s statue of Sherlock Holmes. There is an underground hidden passage which leads them to a jar. Arty is waiting for this moment because this jar contains all the Toys of Phantom Thieves the original Sherlock Holmes sealed within. Finally Sherlock manages to rip off the seal and all the Toys burst out. Piggy boy is digging his final and secret lard treasure. Fate is to be that Milky Holmes once more bumps into him and spilling his lard all over. That’s the last straw. After Arty snatches one of the Toys, she leaves. Piggy boy becomes so angry at Milky Holmes for causing him trouble all the time, he absorbs all the Toys. Powering up, he absorbs the spilled lard and returns back to his fat self. Now do you recognize him? He then attacks Milky Holmes with his lard powers. After that, he drains everyone in Yokohama of their fats. Feeling all the moisture in your skin gone? Sense your hair very dry? Yeah, Twenty must be bloody shock that his nipples cannot erect! Eventually the gentlemen thieves and G4 confront piggy boy but they are no match since they can’t even hold or pick up their weapons (blame electrical charge friction for that). Plus, piggy boy releases the most fearful Toys in history: Toys of Uselessness! Everybody now lacks motivation to do anything or is just totally useless. Milky Holmes is fine since they were covered in lard. When they confront piggy boy, he unleashes the same Toys of Uselessness on them. But why are they still fine? Because they have been useless from the start! They even admit it!!!!!!! SO NOW DO YOU BELIEVE HOW USELESS THEY ARE?! Piggy boy absorbs all the lard power and transforms into… OMG! Is this handsome hunk him?! IS THIS REALLY HIM?! Wow. Lard power.

Episode 11
In the beginning, there was lard. Lard… Lard! LARD!!! Who wants to hear this lard evolution?! Anyway it’s so yucky that it’s causing Milky Holmes to feel disgusting. Why not? If you’re talking about greasy fat lard all the way. So as Lard God (as what this piggy boy villain is now calling himself) brags about all the lard, he plans to steal the legendary lard of Nero Wolfe (Nero’s grandpa) to turn this world into a new age of lard. But Milky Holmes won’t allow that and steal the lard before he could. Then they make a run from his attempts to steal it from them, including running through Arsene’s treasure mansion. Meanwhile Arsene easily steals the Beowulf sword in London. However she is confronted by Sonia who tells her she has walked the wrong path. Instead of facing reality, she took the other path to escape it. She labels Arsene a weak person. But Arsene easily pins her down. Sonia believes Milky Holmes will walk on their own one day even if they’re crawling now, they’ll never forget to move on. The student council can show them back the right path. Arsene views Milky Holmes will always be useless. Lard God initiates his plan to absorb all the lard in the world. Everything in this world is made of lard, eh? Is that lard wine he is drinking? Gross! But Milky Holmes won’t give up yet and cut short his victory. They vow to protect Yokohama and their friends.

Suddenly their Toys return and they use all they’ve got in this power battle to bring him down. Lard God isn’t out yet so he absorbs all the lard to become some giant gladiator with wings. Pigarus? As in Icarus? Milky Holmes is having a tough time fending him off so Hercule suggests the wheat straw she saw in Arsene’s mansion. It is believed to be able to suck out all his powerful Toys. Before Lard God can launch his final attack, Arsene in one strong jump, leaps all the way back from halfway around the world to slash the guardian and turn night into day! The lard wings are melting! While Hercule restrains him, the rest tries to suck his Toys out. This scene might seem gross but somebody has to do it. Sherlock hears an inner voice wanting her to just do it. Forget about saving the world or Yokohama and focus on just putting all her effort into sucking. Sherlock reads closely the label and it says to blow instead of suck. With all their might, the trio blow until all the lard is released and returned to its rightful place. Everything’s back to normal. The inner voice turns out to be the true Lard God. He tells them not to hate the lard because it takes only a little ill will to revive the sealed evil. He’ll be taking it with him. And remember, don’t hate the lard. Love the lard! Then it starts snowing lard. A beautiful sight to behold. Yes, ironically it is. Looks like snow… Gentlemen thieves sense Arsene’s return and pledge their loyalty to her. She’s back. They’re back too. Milky Holmes revels in the beautiful ‘snow’. Merry Lard-mas!

Episode 12
Milky Holmes is reworking on their farm. But this time with their Toys! G4 is busy engaging with the recently returned Phantom Thief Empire. But Arsene has no time to play with them. She is stumped that with their return, Milky Holmes isn’t making their move. Apparently they are handing out flyers for people to join their new school. They aren’t convinced. No doubt they are the heroines but also the culprit who caused the incident. So much for public confidence. Then they see the news of Arsene’s return and Sherlock got so excited to fight her, her Toys destroyed the TV! Stop breaking public property! Arsene in disguise feels the need to send them a challenge letter after finding out they were busy working on their farm and thus didn’t hear about her return. She tries to make coincidental appearance before them as Henriette but their stupidity makes them get distracted by other stuffs. Doesn’t it look bad on Arsene? She’s not giving up yet. The last straw came when Coron shows Milky Holmes the flyer of Detective Fair’s mascot girl contest. Since Milky Holmes has gotten their Toys back, they’re going to enter it. Sounds like a good idea to Arsene too. Due to lack of participants, we see many past minor characters taking part in this contest. Even Kokoro. Arsene impersonates as the mysterious Jermaine in this contest. So… We get clips of interview with the losers like Coron (God wasn’t on her side?), Kokoro (it’s her attitude that made her lost as pointed out by her mates), Hercule (too embarrassed), Nero (where’s her politeness?) and Cordelia (still in her delusions she got chosen). And the final two will be Sherlock and Jermaine. And instead of having some debate, the duo have to dance. What does have to do being a detective?

Sherlock hopes this would get Henriette’s attention. Right under your nose… When they dance, Sherlock felt something familiar with Jermaine. Her hand feels familiar and even though Sherlock slips, Jermaine properly guides her back up to dance. Sherlock then had to screw up by doing some weird solo dance move because she got desperate to bring Henriette back. They both resume their elegant dance and at the end, Jermaine wins the mascot girl contest. I guess the judges love her bouncy boobs… When she gives her winner’s speech, she takes off her mask and everyone is well surprised Henriette has returned! Not as emotional as Milky Holmes who really welcome her return. Henriette acknowledges them as great detectives and just when they are about to hug her, they bounce off her boobs and wash basins drop on them. Guess what? They lost their Toys! So dark! Can’t get out! WTF???!!! Nooo!!! NooOOOooOOooOOOO!!! Not again!!! Such a sorry sight… But this time Henriette doesn’t give up. Back at their new school (I guess the open air is such a refreshing change), Henriette and her gentlemen thieves (in their respective school disguise of course) continue to guide Milky Holmes and will start all over from the beginning again. She is confident they will one day arrest Arsene. Now, read out the meaning of Toys. Slowly the other students who left come back.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Alternative

What’s this?! Wait a minute! Did I believe what I just saw?! Milky Holmes not being the useless and stupid loli detectives we know and the hardworking case solving prodigy detectives that they ought to be?! Is this really true?! And they have their Toys intact too! No Arsene, no gentlemen thieves, no G4 either. That seems to be the case in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Alternative. Ah, yes. That is why the ‘alternative’ word is there. In a different parallel storyline that sees Milky Holmes being useful detectives for once and without any sort of bumbling and slapstick idiotic slip-ups that we used to see. This couple of alternative TV specials are based on the PSP game of the same name whereby Milky Holmes reunite with their teacher, Opera Kobayashi in London as they take up cases and solve their mystery.

Episode 1
Just arriving in London, Milky Holmes relishes the chance to experience all things British when they hear the scream of a girl, Lily Adler who just became a victim to a snatch thief. Milky Holmes get into action effectively using their Toys to stop the petty thief’s menace and return Lily’s bag. They learn Lily is a student of Bond Detective Academy and she has a request of them. Kobayashi is having a hard time paying off his rent to Mrs Hudson. The relatively safe streets of London (*eyes rolling*) seem to have affected his ‘rice bowl’. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? No case, no payment. But Milky Holmes is here to save the day as they bring Lily in as their customer. Lily begins that her great grandfather, John Adler’s painting was stolen. He wasn’t a good painter since the painting of her great grandmother was quite amateurish. It went missing from home 6 months ago. Although she reported to the police, no clues were found and she was at her wits end. She views her Toys as useless and hopes they could find her lost painting. The gang gets cracking as they list down several victims who got their paintings stolen. They visit Carl Steirer and despite born a Swiss, he has very much adapted to life as a British. Showing a picture of his father’s group of friends after World War II, in the picture is also John. The painting he received from John was of his final guests. Since they were all acquaintances of John, he gave them each a picture as commemoration. Next they visit Olivia Hunter, the widow of Thomas, one of John’s friends. She pinpoints the other people in the photo that includes Ronald Harker and Major Adair. As they are taking a break, Kobayashi accidentally trips and spills the drink. But Lily’s Toys freezes it. They learn her Toys as freezing liquid into solid objects although she cannot do so over large bodies of water. She does not have confident in her Toys but Sherlock gives her some encouragement that hers too isn’t great but use it when they can in their investigations.

When the gang visit Harker, they see him close to unconscious. Looks like he has been attacked. Before he passes out from sleeping pills, he points out to a book called Invisible Man by R.G. Wells and murmurs the culprit as “Griffin”. Cordelia uses her Toys to smell faint scent of Jasmine when the police inspector Quinn (Kokoro clone?) enters the scene. She does not get along well with Kobayashi and wants him and his amateurs out of the police scene. Milky Holmes are even afraid of her! Noting that Harker’s painting has been stolen, this means there is one more painting left. They visit Mrs Adair but her painting is still intact. Milky Holmes has a strange feeling when she serves them her hospitality. She tells them not to panic and shouldn’t worry about anyone wanting to steal such worthless painting. Back home, Kobayashi knows Milky Holmes has learned something from the investigation. That night as Mrs Adair is seen leaving in haste, Kobayashi and his girls confront her. They know she is the culprit behind the serial thefts and is a con artist. They realize this because the way she serves them wasn’t very British-like. Lemons in tea instead of milk? Raisins in scones instead of sultana? But shouldn’t that boils down to individual taste? Well, Mrs Adair is a very British person, right? Besides, Cordelia picked up the same jasmine scent. Kobayashi has checked the airports and states the real Mrs Adair has left the country a month ago so this one is just an imposter.

True indeed, Phantom Thief Kitty Evans cast away her granny look. This young sexy cat brags about the American art galleries she has robbed and runs away. Catch her if you can. Arriving at Thames River, the gang are surprised they lost sight of her. That’s when they remember Harker’s clues. Since Griffin is the main character in the Invisible Man book, it means Kitty’s Toys is invisibility. Sherlock uses her Toys to pinpoint where Kitty is but it’s not enough to pin her down. Not until Lily freezes the puddle and makes her slip that Milk Holmes is able to arrest her. See? Her Toys came in handy. Before Kitty is taken away, Kobayashi wants to know why she stole those paintings that don’t amount much. She gives out a big laugh and hints about those painting having hidden values. She is after something more valuable than the paintings. Before she could finish her sentence of forever being the best underworld criminal, an air impact knocks her head. Though there is no physical wound, Kitty seems to have lost her memories. Kobayashi types his reports as the serial painting thefts have come to a close, all the paintings were safely recovered and Kitty’s sniper was never found out. Milky Holmes suddenly moves into his home claiming they are bored with the hotel life. Yeah, they’ve got permission from Mrs Hudson and he can sleep in the roof. Plus, Lily will be staying with them till she is able to get back her painting from the police. This is going to be tough…

Episode 2
Mrs Hudson brings her grandson Tommy (Detective Conan dress?) to Kobayashi’s office since afterwards she’ll be bringing him to the Ferris Wheel at Thames River Festival. Among the highlights of the festival is an exhibition of a jet black diamond known as Black Widow once owned by the late Queen Victoria. As Lily prepares to head home with the paintings, upon knowing that her great grandmother’s name is Irene (no connection with the one in the TV series), Kobayashi suddenly sees a connection with the paintings. When Quinn confiscated the paintings there was also an x-ray machine they took in. Putting the paintings under the x-ray, they see haphazard lines. But when put together it looks like some sort of map. The initial letters of the paintings, Irene, Reichenbach Falls, English Channel, Napoleon and Empty House spell IRENE. Putting Irene’s painting as the final piece, there is a raven crest and some sort of message, “The Raven will be hatched from the Black Egg”. Suddenly news just came in that Black Widow has been stolen. The culprit drops in from the ceiling and seemingly fires an invisible gun from his hand. But they don’t have to look far for the culprit because he soon makes an announcement to the detectives. Edgar Moran admits he has the Black Widow in his hand. He explains England used to lurk in London. People were afraid of the darkness. Till electricity and gas came about, London then never slept and filled the streets with constant radiance. With Black Widow, he will suck the country back into the dark ages again. Kobayashi deduces that the Black Widow is the Black Egg as said in the message. Kitty was perhaps under his orders to steal the paintings and when he had no use of her, he eliminated her. London’s route map has been changing ever since the war and the map they’ve got from the painting is the old underground routes of London. The raven crest sits over the British Museum. Probably that was how Moran easily entered and escaped via some secret route.

While Kobayashi and Milky Holmes search the underground routes, Quinn does her research and finds out that Raven was a codename for a virus developed during World War II. Scientists loyal to the Crown reworked on the virus and found it to be very dangerous. Under pressure from ethical researchers, the royal family stopped all research on it and destroy every trace of it. Of course it was impossible to do so with the technology they had. Thus it was sealed underground. One of the scientist’s ancestors must have discovered the secret and drew those pictures as clues for detectives and descendents to destroy it. The virus will remain dormant until a certain light wavelength is shone on it. It is this reason why the Black Widow was stolen. Kobayashi and Milky Holmes manage to find Moran’s underground base. He doesn’t hide the fact that he wants to bring darkness to this world. Why, oh why? Long ago, he fought loyally for his country but a stray comrade’s grenade ‘stole’ his leg. No longer any use to the army, he was discharged. As a handicap, he couldn’t find a decent job or have nowhere to go. In his despair, that’s when his Toys to compress air awaken in him. He vows to use this power to avenge his fallen brethren who died protecting this country. So that’s the reason why he wants to take it out on millions of innocent lives? Milky Holmes sure wouldn’t care about all that but he makes his escape. They have no time to arrest him since he already tells them when Big Ben’s needle reaches eight, the Raven shall rise. Black Widow is sitting atop the Ferris Wheel that Mrs Hudson and Tommy are now in. While the detectives were running about doing their investigation, Moran’s sexy blonde bombshell partner-in-crime coolly planted the egg there.

With time running out, Kobayashi, Sherlock and Lily ‘hijack’ a plane from the museum to get to the Ferris Wheel. Sherlock wants to do a crazy stunt to jump onto it. Of course Lily is afraid but Sherlock wants her to have faith in her telekinetic Toys. See, all safe and sound. Seconds away before the hand strikes eight, Sherlock needs Lily’s power to freeze the egg. As usual, she still doesn’t have much confidence and views Kitty’s arrest as a fluke. Eventually she puts her mind into it and freezes Black Widow just a second before it ends! Hooray! Everyone is saved. Now they get to enjoy the beautiful fireworks as resort. As narrated, Raven is put into eternal slumber (how they do it is a mystery since they did say it was impossible to destroy it). Lily leaves for home while Milky Holmes patron the Sherlock Holmes’ museum. They see a picture of a woman and think it’s his lover. But that great detective was never good with women. Kobayashi points out that woman is Irene, the only woman whom he respected. So, have we seen this woman before? Yeah. Sounds pretty familiar, right? Wait a minute. If Irene is Lily’s great grandma, could it be that she is related to Sherlock Holmes?! Milky Holmes doesn’t think so but back at Lily’s home where she places the painting back in its original place, we see the trademark cap and pipe of that great detective. I presume those aren’t fakes.

Bringing Uselessness To New Heights…
Oh yes! The uselessness is so great that it had to spill over for a third season! Woohoooooooo! Me love Milky Holmes very much! Thanks to their uselessness, this season is once again as enjoyable as the first. I know I was a laughing riot right from the start seeing Milky Holmes in their very deteriorated state and all the silly antics-cum-troubles they get into. I’m guilty in the first degree for harping so much on their uselessness and wanting to see them fail so badly that loli lovers might want to burn me over the stake. Okay, so I do admit that there are times when I felt pity for them. I really wanted them to improve but there is this part of me that says if they do become the great detectives that they are meant to be, they wouldn’t become funny anymore. That takes away a lot of fun. They wouldn’t be the Milky Holmes we know anymore. Being useless is what defines them! But such ‘fear’ is dispelled when I watched Alternative. No doubt that Milky Holmes is much more reliable and there is basically not even a hint of slapstick comedy, the short series itself is enjoyable. Perhaps there are only a couple of them. I’m not sure if I could find that same level of enjoyment if Alternative was extended to a dozen episodes. Anyhow, Alternative is also a good watch but I just feel that Milky Holmes didn’t stand out that much as they did in the TV series. Yeah. Blame the uselessness thingy… Admit it! Who doesn’t love them being so adorable despite being useless?

Once more, Milky Holmes remains the same bunch of useless but lovely loli characters that we know them since the first season. I have said it so many times and I will said it again that we see them from hero to zero to minus negative! You thought they had gone so low that they won’t sink any further. Boy, how wrong we are. They just keep plummeting to all-new record low depths. They forgot about being detectives and went on to play their own Farmville. They even fight for scraps of food! I know it’s not good to waste food but really, they should be using such energy for better things. If I need to point out the worst character among the quartet, it would be Nero. In many instances you can see her scheming and greedy character. She makes others work for her and then takes their compensation. Is this what she has been taught? Even if she has forgotten her Toys or forgotten how to become a detective, she shouldn’t lose touch of her humanity. Of course being the scheming and greedy character is only in the sense of being funny. Hercule is the most decent character. Just that she is just too shy to speak up. She might be the least ‘stupid’ among the quartet as seen in her observation as the first one to notice their faint Toys. I think she really needs to take up some self confidence classes. Sherlock is still that lively detective with some tenacity in her spirit. There’s always sun in her voice despite her overall performance still rates useless. And Cordelia… I think this time she easily sinks into her delusions whenever she wants to escape the harsh reality. The more deluded she is, the more dangerous and berserk she becomes. Ultimately, you shouldn’t mess with Milky Holmes when they are useless too because as proven by the gentlemen thieves, they become ultimate bloodthirsty villains! Holy cow! If not for the comedy genre, it could have turn into a bloody yandere style hack and slash!

Arsene is the most hardworking (and perhaps the coolest) character in the series. For a villain to play the good guy just to get our loli heroines back into shape, she is one to be respected. It is no wonder why the gentlemen thieves will follow her to wherever she goes. However she is also human and every human has their limits. After all that is said and done, Milky Holmes did not improve a single bit and went further down the drain, don’t you think Arsene/Henriette would have had it up to here? I really sympathize with her when she snapped. And when she went on a kill-all spree, I was rooting for her to just beat the crap out of everyone, innocent or not, related or not. Still, she is too strong and even destroying the academy didn’t bring her joy. In her moment of weakness, she ‘ran away’, only to be brought back to her senses. So now that her head is clear, her goal is clear too. She is going to get Milky Holmes back into shape no matter what it takes. Because when she crushes them at their best, all the effort she puts in will be damn worth it. I guarantee you. The gentlemen thieves are still hanging around her. I have nothing much to comment on Stone River or Rat for this season. Stone River is just more fiery and Milky Holmes has trouble remembering Rat’s name. However, the annoying scale of Twenty has shoot through the roof, say by 200%! Yes. For this season, I find sex fiend Twenty more hilariously annoying because his nipples gets more screen time! As much screen time as G4 if I should say. The way he ‘plays’ with his nipples, twisting them, spinning them, elongating them like ropes, its erection sometimes longer than German frankfurters would easily disgust you but at the same time it makes him look so perversely funny. Is this what he calls beautiful? Like they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Seriously, you will either laugh or puke when you see Twenty go into ecstasy. So gay. So funny. So revolting. Beauty… Such complicated subject.

This series won’t be complete without G4, though I feel that their presence is particularly lacking with the exception of Kokoro. Tsugiko is still wielding her guns. Hirano still holding on to her lacrosse stick. Saku still typing into the computer with that deadpan look on her face with a lollipop in her mouth. With the decaying of Milky Holmes, G4 has put in more effort to stop Phantom Thief Empire, though the thieves ultimately will get their way in the end. Kokoro has been brattier than ever especially with her favourite sentence of bragging about her IQ intelligence. Each time, it gets more and more zeroes. From 140 to 14,000 to 140,000 to 140,000,000,000,000,000,000~. Ugh… It goes on and on… I don’t think my maths is that good. I don’t even know what a number with 100 zeroes is called Does Kokoro know? Yeah, getting exponential, eh? If she was such a genius, she would have caught Arsene by now. So what does this say? I guess Kokoro and Sherlock are on the same length of stupidity because this has become a running gag for the series. Sherlock calls her “Kokoro-chan” and the loli cop will not hesitate to smash her with her golden mask and retort “Don’t call me that!”. Sherlock never learns her lesson, Kokoro never manages her anger. So they both deserve each other. Heh. Now with Poporo in the picture, are things going to be livelier with this quirky bomb disposal unit in the picture?

As for the other minor characters, those that appear in the previous season, some didn’t appear at all (do you still remember the Kamaboko-abusing Mary and Kate?) and some made very short cameos like Sonia. Irene (the one in the TV series, not the Alternative one) doesn’t feel like she is stalking Kokoro as much before although each time we see her, we can still tell that she is pretty much very obsessed with Kokoro. Kamaboko as the mascot of the series also feels lacking. It’s like I have almost forgotten Milky Holmes have had a pet cat. What can you do when their uselessness is so overwhelming? At least piggy boy has got more screen time and he even gets to play the villain for a single episode. Yeah, how many minor characters can do that? The most baffling character to me is still Arty. She suddenly entered the scene right at the final episode of the first season and in this season, she played a trickster role in tricking Stupid Holmes to do her bidding. After she got what she wanted, she left. You’ll never hear from her ever since. So what was it that she was seeking among the numerous sealed Toys? It’s like her goal never mattered. It’s just a catalyst to drive the story and lead Milky Holmes to the next level in their short-lived evolution. I’m intrigued about her. She doesn’t put on any evil expression and her liveliness is comparable to Sherlock so it is a surprise that when she did this, it never occurred to me that she would be such a character. More than meets the eye, I suppose. I hope the next season will address this. In Alternative, Moran was never captured along with his partner after his plan was foiled. So it’s a sign that it isn’t over yet. The new characters bring fresh quirkiness to the series. Personally the funniest one is still S&M uncle…

Keeping in line with the first season, several ‘traits’ of the series are still present like the mid-intermission which shows Milky Holmes (and sometimes Arsene) in different outfits and poses. There are also the end card drawings and sponsor screen drawings that turn Milky Holmes into chibi characters. My favourite one has got to be chibi Milky Holmes crossing Abbey Road imitating like a certain famous Liverpool rock band. Also, the titles of each episode are based on a detective novel but since I don’t read them, I don’t really recognize them. And as always, the amusing next episode preview in which the narration ends with somebody being accused as the culprit. Do you accuse yourself as the culprit? Except for one next episode preview, the one whereby Arsene is going to slaughter everybody. You can tell the grim tone of it when there is no punch line or joke in there.

The opening theme for the second season is also sung by the quartet seiyuus of Milky Holmes. Entitled Nazo! Nazo? Happiness!!, just like in the first season, it sounds like your typical genki and cheerful anime pop. But unlike in the previous season, we do not have a dark theme that Arsene hogged in the ending credits. Instead, Lovely Girls Anthem by Natsuko Aso is another lively anime disco pop. Although all the girls in this series are the main focus of the ending credits animation (cute girls, cute outfits, cute poses – except maybe for Arsene), notice how Twenty is part of the group?! At least in the final group shot. It just feels funnily odd. So did he really barge in or now not only he considers himself as the most beautiful but the most feminine too? For Alternative, the opening theme is also another lively and cheery piece. Sung by the same Milky Holmes quartet seiyuus, this song was also used as the opening theme for the PSP game. Alternative’s pop rock ending theme is Kimi No Naka No Watashi by Milky Holmes and SV Tribe. At first it was odd to hear a rocker’s voice singing along with such cute loli voices. Then for a while I thought his voice sounded familiar. Hey! Isn’t that Hiroshi Kitadani! The one who sang One Piece’s We Are! I thought he was from JAM Project but recently found out that he was associated with a few other groups like Lapis Lazuli and Stagger, as well as collaborated with other female singers, Masami Okui and Aki Misato.

Watching too much Milky Holmes, laughing at their silly retards and then mocking how dumb they are, has it really made me as stupid as them too? It would have been the case of the pot calling the kettle black and that it takes one to know one. Even being useless, they are still useful because it brings out the best in everybody else. You can only call yourself smart if there are stupid people around, right? Light and shadow must exist together. The question is when are they going to ever get back their Toys. It is not like they have lost it since they have shown signs that it is still there, dormant. Just too dumb to notice it all. Just like me. I’m here sitting and watching Milky Holmes rather than fulfilling my full potential to the company or nation, etc. Wow. If that is what it takes to achieve total bliss and happiness, I think I would want to remain in the comfort zone of being useless for now. Didn’t my father always call me a useless person since young? And I think I’m still on that streak of serial uselessness.

Cuticle Detective Inaba

August 11, 2013

What happens when you have a detective character who is half-wolf and a mafia head who is in fact a goat? You’re in big time for one crazy nonsensical funny anime series, that’s for sure. In addition, this wolf dude has this strange hair fetish while goat guy eats real money for lunch and spits out counterfeit notes! What’s more, you have other supporting characters like a vengeful cross-dresser who doesn’t hesitate to kill those who gets close enough to his beloved, a loyal subordinate who wears a bag over his head, an sharp shooter assassin lady whose boss ends usually ends up as her target, a super strong cop and a normal cat lover boy whose role seems to be the straight man. This is definitely going to make you laugh a lot. If you are into this kind of genre, that is. The general plot of Cuticle Detective Inaba may seem to be like a wolf chasing a goat (if you really want to summarize it in a nutshell) but each episode brings in such randomness and silliness that you wouldn’t really care about the actual plot or if it ever gets achieved and just start laughing.

Episode 1A: Counterfeit Currency Printing Incident
Detective Kuniharu Ogino goes to see Hiroshi Inaba, the legendary werewolf police dog who can track suspects just by the touch of a single hair. Well, first thing… Hiroshi throws salt at the client and refuses his request before doing his cuticle dance. We are introduced to the weirdoes of this agency. Hiroshi the boss has hair fetish. The self appointed assistant of his, Yuuta Sasaki is a cross-dresser who is always at odds with Ogino (serving tea in a rice cooker pot). Kei Nozaki probably the voice of reasoning nobody listens too and the only one who works. He’s working because he needs the money. He’s a cat person by the way. Ogino explains the criminal Hiroshi is supposed to catch this time. Don Valentino is a skilled counterfeiter in his home country, Italy. His organization was thought to be dissolved when no news of him was heard. Then suddenly he popped up in Japan. Hiroshi agrees to take on this case upon learning Valentino’s hair is white. They arrive at a wooden single storey house. This is where an Italian mafia resides? And the mafia dude himself is a little goat???!!! And he’s got an assistant with a bag on his head in traditional Japanese clothing?! After Ogino falls into a trap and gets sealed underground (Yuuta helps seal it too), Valentino explains how the Japanese Yen tastes better than Euro or other currencies. He eats them and what goes in, comes out as the counterfeit bill with his face. Kei starts beating him up for disrespecting money. Yuuta does some finger technique on Hiroshi’s back to turn him into a wolf. I just thought his hair grow longer. He unleashes some dark aura that has everyone lose their motivation to do anything. In the end, Lorenzo manages to take the Don and flee. In a human carriage. Valentino is going to call his family and vows to crush the wolf at full force. Besides, aren’t wolves extinct in Japan? Oh, they got pulled over for not having a licence for this kind of ‘vehicle’.

Episode 1B: Kidnapping Incident
Valentino has called Gabriella for this job to take out Hiroshi. They also got information about his past that he has a brother that disappeared 2 years ago. That’s when he stopped working for the police to look for him. Gabriella seems to have this height fetish. Anybody between 146 and 162 centimetres is considered her minion! Hiroshi easily gets fooled in a shady letter that states his brother will meet him at a factory. An obvious trap, no? Why, Hiroshi doesn’t suspect a thing because he thinks everybody loves him!!! After a little spat with Kei, Hiroshi rushes out in tears. Of course Kei and Yuuta will be going too despite being ordered to stay back. Yuuta’s plan is to get rid of Kei forever. But the duo are at the factory and nobody is there. Seems Hiroshi got lost and returned to the office. When Gabriella points his gun at Kei, Yuuta escapes faster than the speed of sound. Maybe he got his wish? Valentino doesn’t remember who this kid is! Gabriella totally digs Kei because he is within her height range. She wants him! But her patience is running thin after waiting 6 hours for Hiroshi to show up! She really wants to go home and feed her minions when that wolf comes stumbling in. He is tied up as Valentino makes the call to Ogino to threaten him. However Hiroshi plays dirty and mimics the voice of Ogino’s daughter, Azusa. That detective dotes on his daughter so much that when he thinks Valentino has kidnapped her, he is going to kill that goat!!! Serious! Gabriella is going to kill Hiroshi now when the place is up in fireworks courtesy of Kei and Yuuta. Hiroshi is free as he rants about his love for his brother. Kei thought maybe he ran away. I can see why. Do you want this freak to be your brother? Hiroshi transforms and subdues the Don (after Gabriella puts lots of the goat’s kisses in his face). By the time Ogino arrives, Hiroshi has already got the Don in his hands. Oh wait. Isn’t that a real goat? How did this even happen? Back home, Gabriella tortures Valentino and makes him sing for that rescue.

Episode 2A: The Secret Documents Robbery Case
Valentino sneaks in to steal a secret scroll. Ogino is paired with handsome hunk Yuzuki Ogata to solve the case of the missing secret documents. Note, they are rivals and it’s believed this is a competition to see who solves the case first. And Ogata loves dogs means Hiroshi is going to have a tough time fending off his lewd advances! Hiroshi asserts he won’t be anybody’s partner for this case but he has no choice. Ogino explains from a replica scroll that its contents resemble a board game. WTF. There are spots left blank which is believed when a die is cast, words will appear on it. At the end, the one who reaches the goal gets to rewrite history. Kei knows Valentino did it and whispers to Ogino as he wants to help him with a head start. But Ogino feels he can win this. So they make a trip to Valentino’s hideout and because nobody can agree with anything, Yuuta suggests settling this with a game. They agree to this? So the teams of Valentino-Lorenzo, Hiroshi-Ogata and Ogino-Kei get on the way as they are warped into different time zones of Japan’s history and need to achieve certain goals in order for them to return. Whether it’s getting a king stamp, defeating 6 commanders, petting all the dogs, eating up all the rice or turning a polar bear into a panda, the it is eventually Ogino versus Ogata for the win. Valentino and Lorenzo got hypnotized into a cat. Don’t ask how. Ogata admits defeat when his usual extreme molestation causes Hiroshi to scoff him off and blurt out Ogino is his partner. The way they blush is so creepy…  Now to ring in the Don. The detectives are fooled when the baddies disguised themselves as cats and run away. Ogata thought this is a draw since Ogino won the game but lost the culprits. So everybody abandons the game and goes to find the goat. Nobody reaches the goal, eh? Is anybody interested in retrieving the board game?

Episode 2B: Mother And Child Stalker
Valentino is about to retrieve a key buried in the sands to obtain to most poisonous toxin ever. He is shocked to see Azusa excavating like nobody’s business and taken the key while she’s at it. He confronts her but got buried. Azusa’s mom, Wakaba politely picks him up. The goat is smitten with her. Lorenzo jealous. Ogino brings his daughter and wife to Hiroshi’s office. It seems somebody is stalking them and wants Hiroshi to be their bodyguard for the day. Want to bet it’s that goat? He warns Hiroshi if anything happens to Azusa… He doesn’t even need to finish his sentence to send shivers down his spine. He gives Azusa a goodbye kiss but none to his pretty wife who is looking forward to one! Make do with the octopus then… At the park, Hiroshi gives orders to his assistants on this life-and-death mission. Valentino is nearby and knows he needs to just kidnap Azusa. Ogino will kill off Hiroshi. Azusa is a handful. She brings in all sorts of wildlife from the bushes (where did the gorilla come from?!). The guys can’t match her. Play blocks? She builds a log cabin. Play house? She gave Hiroshi the mama a passionate kiss. Where did she learn that? Valentino drops in to kidnap her but was string in by Azusa instead. With Wakaba in the picture, the goat relates how Azusa stole his key. He gets fed up of them not looking at him as a villain and kidnaps Azusa. However she starts crying and bites Lorenzo’s hands! She even threw the key into Wakaba’s forehead! Lorenzo is forced to apologize to Azusa when Wakaba labels him a bad goat. Wow. That worked. Lorenzo gets jealous so Valentino had to go after him. What about the key? Doesn’t he want it? Ah, whatever.

Episode 3A: The Chocolate Enchantment Case
Yuuta is ready to give her Valentine chocolates to Hiroshi. But wolf boy barges into office and starts sealing off the door. It doesn’t hold back Ogino. What gives?! Seems Azusa made chocolates for Hiroshi. None for daddy. Obviously he is mad. Hiroshi must take it or he’ll die. Try and take it from him and he’ll die. Death in both ways! Valentino too has his Valentine chocolate plans. From his medical family’s division, they have made a chocolate with love potion inside. He plans to make the wolf eat the dark chocolate which causes him to fall in love with the one eating the white chocolate. Valentino will break Hiroshi’s heart by dumping him. Watching his broken heart will be delightful. Lorenzo is tasked with delivering it but Hiroshi and Kei won’t stop since Ogino is chasing after them. Gabriella fires a bazooka but it hits Ogino. This destroys the chocolate. Oh sh*t! Hiroshi switches to Ogino’s side so he can beat up the assassin woman. Gabriella distracts Ogino so she can fire at him. Ogino pushes Hiroshi out of the way (presses him down in the ground actually) and takes the shot. Think he is made out of iron? Well, no. The bullet contains paralysis. Valentino forces the dark chocolate down Hiroshi’s throat. The heartburn scare causes Valentino to lose his white chocolate. Kei ate it. Hiroshi x Kei? Valentino is sure that kid will reject him but since Hiroshi is acting like a cat, it’s lovey-dovey time. Hiroshi wants Yuuta’s help to transform but it seems the cross-dresser is enraged. She powers up to blast everyone but Hiroshi uses Ogino as a shield. They didn’t expect it would be a sword too because Yuuta uses his finger technique on Ogino to turn it into some power spear and turn everyone into charcoal. Jealousy is a deadly weapon. Kei spots Yuuta’s chocolate lying around and gives it to Hiroshi. He eats it and returns to normal since there is hair inside it! GROSS!!!

Episode 3B: The Wolf Girl Assassination Case
Valentino is distressed after learning France’s Secret Doberman Headquarters is sending in another wolf to Japan as part of their police dog training. But after looking at this picture of a timid girl, he thinks there is no reason to panic. Ogata is tasked to be the SP of Stella for today. He’s so into her. She’s not. First stop is Hiroshi’s place to greet her senior. Who doesn’t love a cute little wolf girl? As the gang chill out at a cake shop, Hiroshi explains about a Secret Doberman’s abilities. They aren’t from birth and Stella’s one doesn’t seem to have awakened yet. Data gathering ability is determined by the first medium they gather. Hiroshi got it from hair and that’s how he developed his hair fetish. If it was blood, he would’ve developed blood fetish and would have been taken out. The gang realize it’s a trap when the store shuts down and the chef is no other than Lorenzo. Valentino starts throwing acid pies and deliberately separates them. Kei, Stella and Ogata are faced off with Gabriella. Ogata and Gabriella are evenly matched but she gets the upper hand by showing him a dog badge picture. He got shot. Kei panics and throws the pot to fog up her glasses. Can’t see now, eh? Kei revives and knocks her out. Thanks to his dog encyclopaedia, he survived. How the heck did he hide it in his pocket?! Stella is now mad. She wants to get even with the goat. How? She is going to eat him! Oh no! Better stop her before she develops a fetish for blood! Thankfully Valentino’s skin is elastic. Hiroshi reels in Stella and mocks the Don he has got no chance in beating him if he doesn’t beat Stella. He gets upset, embarrassed and then escapes. Erm… Shouldn’t Hiroshi have arrested him? With Stella continuing to stay in Japan, she now develops an obsession for elasticity…

Episode 4A: Uniformed Police Raid Incident
Kei and Yuuta wants to help Hiroshi look for his long lost brother, Haruka and have prepared posters with proper information to distribute. Meanwhile it seems Haruka is having a meeting with Valentino. Haruka introduces himself and his little sheep, Soumei. NORA, his group’s goal is to eliminate the police. With them gone and disorder and chaos lingering, they will swoop in as heroes. But this still makes Valentino the villain, right? Explaining about light and darkness, a hero needs a charismatic villain and he believes Valentino can play that role to threaten the peace. They’ll work together on the outside and behind the scenes since they can’t confront the police directly. Until the police are overthrown, Valentino can control his group and use it as he likes. Valentino agrees to cooperate but cautions they aren’t that close yet. As Hiroshi and his assistants hand out the flyers, Ogino whisks him away and puts police uniform on him. No, it’s not his cosplay fetish but rather there have been cases of police officers around Japan being attacked. They are to dress up as baits. He thinks Valentino is behind this but why would a goat do something that doesn’t profit himself? Hiroshi and Ogino walk straight into a large roach motel trap courtesy of the Don. Haruka makes his appearance. Valentino is shocked Haruka and Hiroshi are brothers. That means another wolf? Haruka disagrees since his features are more rabbit-like. Plus, they have a sheep and with a goat, they are enemies of the wolf, right? Haruka reveals his grudge towards his brother. He always put his work first instead of playing with him. He felt lonely and now his thoughts are only filled of killing him. Hiroshi punches him and says looking for him was the very reason he left his job and regretted being born a police dog. So the brothers play ‘tag’ as Haruka unleashes Soumei which is somewhat a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Hiroshi wants to show his true powers but jealous Yuuta’s finger technique just made him weaker. Valentino thought this is his chance for victory but forgot Ogino is still around. So they retreat for today. Hiroshi threatens to shoot him (Yuuta supporting him) but it turns out to be a toy gun… Back at the Don’s base, Haruka is being nursed because he exerted himself too much and now has fever.

Episode 4B: Cat Lover Enchantment Case
Haruka introduces Valentino his subordinates: Natsuki and Yataro. Haruka needs advice from the goat. How does one change a cat lover into a dog lover? This is to know how much he can control the hearts of people. If that is successful, in no time he’ll turn Japan into goat lovers. Sounds good, eh? Sure, he has a prototype. Now they need a cat lover. Guess who? Kei is showing off his cat idol (looks scary) when a pair of cats come knocking on their door. Kei doesn’t resist getting kidnapped by the NORA subordinates in disguise. So an abandoned house didn’t exactly turn out to be Kei’s ideal paradise of cat heaven. Haruka tells him he won’t leave till he brainwashes him into a dog lover. Kei thought he could lie but Haruka can read hearts so it is impossible to trick him. They strap him to some dangerous looking brainwashing machine. Haruka reveals his intention to increase their supporters by creating a new police force with Secret Dobermans as the central pillar. But isn’t he a rabbit? What about the goat? He’ll toss him away once he outlived his usefulness. Evil… Hiroshi and Yuuta arrive at the mansion only to see Kei an extreme dog lover. Seems Haruka is regretting it because Kei has become so annoying rubbing himself over any dogs he could find. Not even Hiroshi’s Cuticle Bolt could defeat Kei. Not even Natsuki or Yataro. Kei breaks Natsuki’s sword with a dog nail clipper and sticks beef jerkys into Yataro’s guns. Then Kei puts Haruka into a rabbit cage. Thinking his cat lover still exists in his sub-consciousness, Hiroshi tries to make him remember his cat idol. The shock treatment is enough to return Kei back to normal. Although Yuuta is disappointed he didn’t die…

Episode 5A: The Genius Tag Team Case
Ogino informs Hiroshi of Noah, Valentino’s back alley doctor who specializes in creating anything. All inventions are from this genius and without her, Valentino’s family would be reduced to just goat lovers. That bad, huh? They need to look for her and surprisingly Hiroshi doesn’t object since finding anything to do with Valentino is his only lead to Haruka. Where do you find back alley doctors? In an abandoned hospital. At night! Hiroshi and Kei turn into scaredy cats… They bump into Valentino but he runs away. Security robots capture Hiroshi and bring him into a surgery room whereby Noah examines his fabulous body… I think she has fetish for nice bodies… She won’t kill him like Valentino ordered because wolves are rare creatures and wants to experiment on them till the max! Isn’t that animal abuse? Hiroshi learns Haruka is in this hospital under Noah’s care since his weak body gave way again. That’s why Valentino is here to visit him. When Ogino comes in, Noah takes a liking for his body structure. She wants to kill him! Instantly Yuuta sides with her. Noah unleashes her latest creation, a chimera. Doesn’t it look like a normal goat? Yeah, but its insides are made up of other animals! The chimera beats up Hiroshi. Super powerful hooves! Ogino is on par with the chimera as Noah and Yuuta happily discuss what poison is put inside the chimera. Yuuta then shoots a sleeping medicine into Ogino’s forehead. Hiroshi sacrifices himself and gets bitten by the chimera. Yuuta is devastated and regrets what she did. Hiroshi becomes dramatic because he is happy he made some friends. Yuuta wants Noah to hand over the antidote but she can’t since Valentino will start complaining. In that case, Yuuta holds the goat hostage! Erm… Isn’t that the chimera? But Noah falls for it! Maybe she was just acting but gives Yuuta the antidote anyway. In the aftermath though the baddies escape, Yuuta and Noah exchange handphone numbers. Everyone else teases Noah about it.

Episode 5B: The Pleasure Trip Paradise Case
Valentino and Haruka’s group are at the hotspring for their pleasure trip to strengthen their bonds. Haruka is reeling from the lack of oxygen at this place. Too much energy exerted… In the room, Gabriella and Noah tease Natsuki if she is trying to go after Haruka or Yataro, though they are just going by they own types. She views Yataro as her older brother and Haruka barges in looking so proud because he too has this brother complex thingy. It’s time to head for the hotspring. Haruka didn’t want to join them but when he sees Lorenzo’s bag mask in the basket, he joins in just to take a peep. He’s wearing a towel over his head. Disappointed? Seems this bath is mixed too… Gabriella beats up Yataro till the bath turns red because he has no reaction in looking at her. Valentino is surprised that Hiroshi and his assistants are here too. Too cold to fight… Gabriella continues to pound Yataro when he reacts to Yuuta. Is he into that type? Because both sides are calling a truce with no blood and guts, Lorenzo suggests a ping pong match. So it’s Hiroshi-Kei against Natsuki-Yataro. If Hiroshi wins, Haruka must rejoin them. Otherwise Haruka will have him do what he wants. Like sleeping in the same futon. Either way, this doesn’t sit well with Yuuta. Kei is in a pinch. It starts off with Yataro playing like a pro and raking in the points. Hiroshi notices Kei’s power comes out when he retorts so he has Yuuta play the funny man. With all the jokes and retorting, Hiroshi’s team makes a comeback and both teams are a point away from victory. Yuuta loses motivation to joke. If Haruka comes back, Hiroshi will rejoin the police force. Lose, the brother complex brothers will still be happy. So it’s a lose-lose situation for Yuuta. Haruka doesn’t want anyone to make a sound to give Kei a chance to retort. But Valentino’s accidental assurance of that itself is a joke so Kei smashes the ball at him! Out! Looks like Hiroshi will have to read Haruka a children’s story before bed time. And since they’re coming to their room, which means Gabriella can hog Kei and Noah can talk to Yuuta about killing with poisonous gas. Don’t ask. At night, everyone remains energetic having a pillow fight except for Haruka who is close to dead.

Episode 6A: The Mastermind Black Fang Arrival Case
Soumei breaks out from his sheep doll to possess Yataro since he wants to go for a ‘walk’. First thing, he sexually harasses Natsuki but she fends him off with the smell of garlic since that smell fetish guy can’t stand it. Soumei then decides to visits Hiroshi’s office. But he went too early and falls asleep. So when Hiroshi and his assistants see him sleeping on their couch, Yuuta pressing pushes Soumei out of the body. Yataro is in a daze. Haruka and Natsuki enter to bring him back but Soumei repossesses Yataro. As explained, about 30 years ago there was a police dog who was very dangerous. That would be Soumei, their charismatic boss. On nights of full moon, he can leave his body and take the form of a wolf spirit but needs to return to it or his energy will deplete. Alternatively, he can possess others to do so. However he can’t return to his body because he has been imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. A police officer he didn’t get along with was found dead as he committed suicide and it was suspect this was Soumei’s doing. He was imprisoned but left his body on a full moon night and some of the Secret Dobermans left the police and form NORA. It is believed his body is still around and not disposed otherwise his spirit wouldn’t have lasted this long. Noting Hiroshi was born through artificial insemination, Soumei drops the bombshell that he is his father! As proof, they can use their powers on full moon nights too. Soumei wants Hiroshi to help find his body but he refuses and wants to arrest him instead. Soumei challenges him to a fight and will prove why he is called Black Fang. Is he sure it isn’t because of tooth cavities? Hiroshi’s Cuticle Bolt easily zaps Soumei. Soumei possesses Kei’s body and explains he can do so as long as the victim allows him in. Plus, he won’t die even if the body is harmed. He points a gun to Kei’s head and forces Hiroshi to take up his case. Hiroshi shows him a cat and instantly Kei kicks Soumei out. He thought of possessing Yuuta but was easily spit out and his energy further depleted! Going back into Yataro, they want Hiroshi to take up the case and run away.

Episode 6B: Extra – 5/27
Ogino laments spending his birthday night at office. Not surprisingly, Ogata comes in to celebrate with him. He teases Ogino has reached the big three-o. He brought a cake too. Isn’t that a dynamite? Quick blow it out if he doesn’t want to die. Ogino is confident his iron body can survive the blast but can Ogata’s? Haha! Better beg for him to blow it out. As they talk, Ogino is irritated that Ogata knows more about his parents than he does and treating him better than their own son! Well, he never brought friends back. Ogata was even told his weakness: He sucks at look-over-there game. They give it a try and both sides neither win nor lose for a very long time. Ogata gives him a final present in which is an annoying voice of his each time he gets a text message. Yeah, Ogata is spamming him! Ogino remembers Ogata did something outrageous 10 years ago and wonders if he is going to repeat this harassment every decade. Next day at Hiroshi’s office, everyone laughs at him when he sucks at playing look-over-there game.

Episode 6C: Extra – The Wolf’s House
Papa wolf Soumei had Hiroshi, Haruka, Natsuki, Yataro and Stella as his kids. One day he wants them to follow him to work so that they could be independent. His job is to catch bad wolves. They arrive outside the goat’s house and the kids are bored with daddy’s tactical explanation (they are to guard the exits) till he gives them permission to eat the goats if they resist. The kids see how daddy barge in and round up the little goats. Soumei counts one missing and goes out to look for it. Time passes and he doesn’t return so the little wolves sleep while waiting for him to return. But it’s not papa who returned but mama goat!!! And there’s a bloodied scissors in her hands! Mama goat chases the little wolves around the house. When she has them cornered, Soumei returns to punch her out. His kids are so relieved and emotionally reunite with him. And they lived happily ever after.

Episode 7A: Extra – Acceptance Into Hair Cuticle Academy
This is what happens when you turn this anime into a high school theme. Kei is the new transfer student being introduced by Hiroshi the homeroom teacher. He is made to sit next to the cross-dresser who may turn out to be a sadist. Along the way, Kei meets the other faculty members like Ogata the foreign language teacher, Gabriella the tough PE teacher, Ogino the social studies teacher and Noah the school nurse. Kei is fooled for a second when he thought Yataro is actually a hug pillow! No reaction at all… In no time, Kei gets used to this school. Even if the principal is a goat and the school song is in goat language. Baa baa… Oops! Don’t mix it up with sheep language.

Episode 7B: Cuticle Life – The Idiot Sons, 13 Years Ago
When Hiroshi and Haruka were small, Haruka was crying uncontrollably in a crowd during the sakura blooming season. Soumei sees this and realizes the awakening of his powers and brings them away. He knows Haruka can read hearts of others and reading everyone’s insulting and bad comments about him made him cry. Soumei consoles Haruka and then talks to Hiroshi. He used to be a super hero but not anymore. Super heroes are usually lonely. Now he is a super villain and has more friends. In fact, he was supposed to kidnap somebody today. Is this a joke? Hiroshi doesn’t view him as a bad guy but hopes to catch him one day when he grows up. Back in present, Hiroshi wonders if he has already been caught. Right under your nose…

Episode 7C: Extra – Bar Ragdoll
Valentino and Lorenzo enter Bar Ragdoll to chill out. The bartender, Iyori Hamada keeps making self comments about them. I mean, who wouldn’t if a goat and a guy with a bag over his head starts walking to the bar. He is surprised Valentino orders the king of cocktail, Martini. The last straw came when the goat could even tell the Martini he made wasn’t up to standard. Iyori turns out to be Kei’s roommate and ever since being told by a goat, he is working twice as hard on his cocktail mixing.

Episode 7D: Cuticle Life – The Idiot Sons, 10 Years Ago
Soumei is training Yataro of his smelling ability although the latter may still have a long way ago as he is a bit slow. It is revealed that Yataro’s dad was responsible for the loss of Soumei’s right eye and it is ironic that Soumei is making him take responsibility for it. Yataro promises he won’t betray him like his dad. But he seems rather confused because Yataro knows Soumei picked him as his next vessel but this isn’t confirmed yet as he is slow in learning and yet he still personally trains him.

Episode 7E: Kujou Group Boss Assassination Case
In a time when Valentino looks more of a menacing goat than a short stubby one! OMG! He is perplexed that a Japanese yakuza hired them to assassinate Toukichi Baba, the head of the Kujou group. Aren’t there any Japanese samurais left? Meanwhile Hiroshi smells the hair of Torayasu Kurami, the young head of the Kujou group and instantly knows what is going on. Especially the head who is undergoing surgery which is supposedly a secret. Torayasu wants to know all the information on the Valentino and his family because they are out for the head’s life. Hiroshi wants him to forget about the goat and concentrate on the surgery. Because it’s being done by Noah who is part of Valentino’s family but isn’t completely loyal. So of course Valentino learns the ironic situation he is in. Gabriella is supposed to assassinate him but Noah is to save his life. To put a stop to this, the first one who gets their job done is the winner of this argument. The assassination or the surgery. Noah tells this to Torayasu so he knows what he is up against with. Valentino and Gabriella storm into Hiroshi’s apartment and force him to spill the details on Noah’s whereabouts. Hiroshi then calls Torayasu to warn him but the latter won’t run because he owes the head his life. And it looks like they are short of men because they are away at zoos and farms looking for goats… Don’t even ask. Valentino, Gabriella and Lorenzo barge their way in as Torayasu surprises them with his sneak attack but it wasn’t enough to overcome them. There was a funny part whereby Valentino thought he could fend off Torayasu’s sword slice with his hands. Too bad he had hooves… Thankfully his skull must be thick. Just when Gabriella is seconds from killing him, Valentino sees Noah rushing out so the goat uses his body to protect Torayasu from Gabriella’s bullet. The surgery is successful and she won the bet. As to why Valentino saved him, he views him equivalent to a leader in his family. It would be a shame for him to lose such person. Because that is what being family is. In the aftermath when Hiroshi arrives, Torayasu praises the goat and understands why people flock around him. Not that Hiroshi understands anyway. Torayasu thinks Valentino may be the last samurai. Is this an exaggerated story told by Hiroshi and Yuuta to sick Kei? So he can’t even be sick in peace, eh?

Episode 8A: Yuuta Sasaki Kidnapping Case
Hiroshi is in panic mode because Yuuta has been kidnapped by the Don. Kei smells something fishy because why would that cross-dresser allow himself to get kidnapped? We know how strong he is, right? Plus, this picture was sent to Ogino’s handphone. Definitely a trap. But they have to go save him nevertheless. In reality, Yuuta agreed to get kidnapped as this is part of their scheme to kill Ogino. Valentino has a hard time dodging all the traps in his castle because of Yuuta’s itchy fingers. Yuuta is not happy Noah isn’t here and demands that her presence. Man, the goat just got ordered around. So Noah is thrilled to be part of this mission as they happily discuss how to kill Ogino. So Ogino arrives but as Noah blabs, the entire castle is filled with traps since she was so excited she heard he was coming. However so many traps that those inside cannot get out. That includes the goat and Haruka. Also, there’s a bomb that is timed to go off in an hour. Kei and Noah follow Hiroshi into the castle to save Haruka (he couldn’t care less about the goat). Hiroshi climbs straight up to the tower where Yuuta is, braving all the traps thrown at him. Yuuta is not happy it isn’t Hiroshi who is coming after him. Not even when Ogino says it was Hiroshi’s order that had him come to save him. He throws a tantrum and has the dragon breathe poison gas. Uhm… Don’t you think this tower is too cramped for a big dragon? So Yuuta inhaled some toxic gas and he is still sulking Hiroshi cares for his brother more than his assistant. Ogino had to tell him off that Hiroshi still believes in him. Because he believes Ogino is the only one who can save him. Hiroshi and co have got Haruka (and Valentino too) and are making their scary escape from the three-headed dog. It is taken out by Ogino using the dragon’s tail. Needing to save Yuuta, Hiroshi notes he can’t transform without his finger technique (and the Don somehow gets blamed). Ogino uses some forceful words to wake up Yuuta. The ‘sexual harassment’ worked so Yuuta got enough strength to give Hiroshi the power up he needs. At the end of the day, Yuuta is forced to apologize or thank Ogino. No killing option. Yuuta surprises Ogino by hugging him and saying he loves him before pushing off the ledge. Extreme. Ogino got petrified for the entire day.

Episode 8B: Inaba Family Breakdown Case (Part One)
While Valentino and the rest are trying to discuss a way to kill Ogino, speaking of the devil, here he comes in for the raid. Everyone flees but Soumei (possessing Yataro) will stall them. He learns how tough Ogino is when his bullet doesn’t even make a scratch! When he smells Ogino, he remembers a nostalgic scent. Asking why he has the scent of Kaoru Jojima, the cop who committed suicide 30 years ago, it seems Ogino is his grandson. That’s when Soumei possesses Ogino’s body. Then he calls Natsuki to let them know what is going to happen and wants her to make some poison to kill him (apparently it’s the only way to kill him) while he figures out a place to dump his body. As Soumei and Yataro make the necessary preparations, Soumei gets a little nostalgic. Flashback time. When Soumei and Jojima first met and throughout their 18 years as partners, there were lots of arguments. But thanks to Soumei’s keen sense of smell, lots of cases were solved. Of course some of the wolves in Secret Doberman couldn’t handle their abilities and kept vomiting due to the smell of lies. One night a little wolf made a fatal error by getting her first information via blood. She must now be taken out but she wants Soumei to do it with his hands. The rest are pushing him to do it. He strangled her. As the police force becomes more and more corrupted, Secret Doberman started to become dissatisfied and even had their own white separate uniform and won’t listen to anyone but Soumei. Jojima confronts Soumei about this and the latter tells him that the heart of this problem lies within the police organization. Jojima is thankful he was able to rise up the ranks thanks to his nose so if there is any corruption within, he will be the one who will take care of it. However they levied false charges against him and in the end led him to commit suicide. He believed in the force so much so the shocking truth was unbearable. He even left a suicide note for it. Then Soumei was accused of being Jojima’s killer and the force denied there was any suicide note left. That’s when Soumei began hating the force and vowed to hunt them down like a pack of wolves till they are exhausted and killed off. In reality, Hiroshi in wolf form ambushes the place and bites Yataro’s hand but is kicked away by Soumei.

Episode 9A: Inaba Family Breakdown Case (Part Two)
So when Hiroshi is back to his human form, he becomes devastated of what has been done to Ogino: His bangs were cut. That’s his concern? Now Hiroshi sounds like a villain because he wants to kill Ogino/Soumei! Can he? Well, Yataro is toast from that Cuticle Bolt Max but no scratch on Ogino’s body. So the duo go all out against each other with Hiroshi unleashing his powers using brown hair: Wings. Doesn’t does wings look like cockroach? He targets Yataro when Soumei shoots him as he is wide and clear. Unfortunately it is Haruka who shot the poison into Ogino’s body. What better timing… Soumei possesses Yataro and faces off with Hiroshi. Hiroshi is serious he won’t let Ogino die because he is his partner. Those same words reminded Soumei of Jojima. Ogino manages to regain some strength and fires a shot into Yataro’s arm. Natsuki forces Yataro/Soumei to retreat because at this rate Yataro’s body will die. Hiroshi heals Ogino and vows to track down Soumei as his prey. Ogino seems pretty depressed since he was used by Soumei. Yuuta is down too. Because Ogino didn’t die… Back home, Soumei notes how Jojima’s life is connected to his grandson. He notes he himself couldn’t move on after 30 years.

Episode 9B: Love Flag Jumble Case
Noah seems to take a liking for Yataro when Soumei possesses his body and saves her from an experimental monster gone awry. Of course Haruka lies by saying Yataro has split personality. Soumei has this idea of dating Noah using Yataro’s body and perhaps lure her into NORA. Natsuki objects but Haruka sees no reason to stop them if they both agree. Valentino and the rest are elated to hear Noah going on a date and are supportive. Of course Noah is in a dilemma because she is wondering if Yuuta is a friend but not exactly either because he’s the enemy too. On date day, our concerned busybodies are following the love birds from afar. Natsuki, Haruka, Yuuta and Kei (forced to). They get ideas to get involved by staging several must-have events on dates like getting surrounded by delinquents or a road filled with bananas (WTF?!). Natsuki feels worried when Yataro holds Noah’s hand because it has been a long time they’ve stopped holding theirs. Lonely Natsuki seeks solace in Haruka because she thinks Yataro is going far away so he allows her to hold his hand. At the back alley, Yuuta confronts Yataro. He thinks there is a need for a rival and to reveal his true form. Soumei takes over and they both fight but Yuuta manages to press a pressure point that turns Yataro’s body into a wolf and kick out Soumei. Noah sees this and is devastated. She slaps him. She doesn’t know he is one and now that he is, she is saddened that the Don won’t accept him. Valentino believed him so why did he lie to them? Yataro telepathically tells Haruka to take care of Natsuki for him. He plans on sacrificing himself. For his life, he hopes Noah will not tell Natsuki he is a wolf and to save Soumei. Soumei repossesses Yataro and properly introduces himself. He reveals he got closer to them in hopes she could save him. As his body is somewhere else and has been borrowing Yataro’s for the last odd 30 years, he was even wondering what he would do even if he found his body. Even if he does, he needs her help and gives her permission to use Yataro’s body too. She can study the rare werewolf all she wants. Soumei makes Yuuta to make up to Noah for ruining this date. Good thing. She needs a friend to talk this out. When Soumei returns to his NORA pals, emotional Natsuki immediately hugs Yataro.

Episode 10A: Goat Park Revelry Case
Ogata brings the gang to a goat farm! Serious! He thinks Ogino who has trouble catching a single goat is because he has goat phobia! Serious! So there are lots of weird goats. I mean, a squid goat with 10 legs and spits ink! There is a goat that resembles like that chimera… A cat goat too? Are you sure it isn’t just a cat? Ogino becomes a crazy shutterbug snapping away all the shots with Azusa and Stella. But too many goats cause Ogino to go crazy because he really thinks the Don is among them! He should have some time off from work… Meanwhile Valentino is distressed as he complains to Noah that Ogino and the gang are here. It seems this farm is actually a secret lab created by Noah to look like a goat farm so they won’t suspect a thing. Guess not. Now they are ‘snapping pictures of evidence’ like crazy. Noah is confident that the body doubles created by this farm is to fool them of the real Don. The gang look around and see disturbing bipedal goats with slight variations of the Don. Ogino can tell they are all fake. Plan failed. Suddenly a huge gigantic bipedal goat appears behind Ogino. Could this be the real Don? Looks menacing! Looks like they’ve been fooled that this may be the real deal. Ogino confronts it but on his mind he wants to have this goat lined up with Azusa and take pictures. I think this goat got scared of his scary eyes and immediately obeys his orders to sit! Ogino becomes a happy father snapping shots of Azusa and the goat. Plan failed. But Valentino and Noah are left to ponder what the heck they came here for since everyone has left at the end of the day.

Episode 10B: Don Power Spot Conspiracy Case
After watching a TV report of sites containing power spots, Valentino becomes interested and unleashes his Don power. Lorenzo feels it? Gabriella doesn’t? Gabriella fakes passing out to send the goat into frenzy. Why does he need to call an ambulance when he got Noah? Anyway Noah is sad that they left her out. Hey, even shut-ins need to socialize and have fun once in a while. After learning  this, she suggests that Valentino charge some money for the power spot he is leaking. Soon word gets to Hiroshi about Valentino’s money making power spots. Feels like rip off, eh? Built right in the middle of a forest believed to be a famous suicide spot. Gullible people must have fallen for the stones of guidance left behind at the shrine that is believed to lead the living out of the forest and the dead to heaven. So grateful, they’ll leave lots of donation in the donation box. And yeah, the stones are then sold in online auctions at high price. Ogino wants to ambush Valentino when he comes to retrieve the donation but Hiroshi isn’t interested. Till Ogino convinces him that his homing senses can lead them out. Feeling reliable, isn’t he? When they finally make their way to shrine, it seems it is a trap by Valentino to lure them in with those forest rumours. They have also removed the rope which they used as marker to get out. Now they’re going to leave them stranded forever. But each time Valentino and Lorenzo run away, they end up back at the shrine! Lost too, eh? They are captured and Hiroshi tries to use his homing sense to get out. Since he is desperate, he needs some Don power on his stone of guidance. Valentino and Lorenzo put some fake act but something really did emerge from the stone! Valentino passes out cold and the spirit turns out to be Soumei. He possesses Lorenzo and almost takes off his bag if not for Hiroshi and Ogino putting it back on! Did we catch a little glimpse of his face there? Soumei guides them back to the main road and it seems he is helping them with the idea that now they owe him one. Lorenzo wakes up back in the limo driven by Yataro. Unsure what happened in the forest, he thinks the stone of guidance with Don power must have been a miracle that led them out. But back home, Valentino is reeling scared and wants to seal the Don power forever! Get rid of all the stones forever!

Episode 11: Don Valentino Jailbreak Case
Suddenly… Valentino has been successfully caught! But Hiroshi and Ogino are arguing with the Commissioner because the Don has been sent straight to prison without a fair trial. The Commissioner asserts that the Don is a goat before a villain. So, he’s not put in an ordinary prison? Is there a prison for non-humans? Don’t tell me it’s the zoo… Alcamone reminds us of a certain US island prison. Valentino is being locked up here and admonished by the guard who has a hot water dispenser as a head. Serious. Valentino’s cellmate seems to be a quite human, Akiyoshi. Hey, and I thought there were only animals behind bars here. Valentino and Akiyoshi soon become friends. At the cafeteria, Thomas the big bully koala makes Akiyoshi trips. The guard punishes Akiyoshi instead for wasting food. Valentino wanted to protect him but Akiyoshi protected the Don instead when the guard dispense his hot water. Sent back to their cell with no dinner, it is no surprise that Valentino accidentally ate Akiyoshi’s book during his sleep. He doesn’t mind but Valentino vows to replace it. Valentino views him a good person and wants to make him part of his family. Over the days, they become close and really good friends, doing just about anything together. One day, Thomas rats out on them and tells the guards about the partially eaten book. Akiyoshi quietly takes his punishment up on the rooftop while Valentino is forcefully restrained. As the guard abuses Akiyoshi who is now running high fever, Valentino’s family drops in to rescue their boss in a jailbreak. Nobody is going to stop Lorenzo from reuniting with his boss… Soumei possesses Akiyoshi to knock out the guard. He reminds Yataro and Natsuki that Akiyoshi was his former vessel before Yataro. I see. So those previous episodes were actually Akiyoshi, not Soumei in the flesh as I thought. How could he? He has been locked away for 30 years. Besides, Akiyoshi doesn’t seem to have aged.

Soumei releases himself to give Akiyoshi a chance to talk to the kids. Seems he is Alcamone as he believes Soumei’s body is here though Soumei doesn’t think so and wants him to return. Despite ordering him, Akiyoshi won’t go back so Soumei had to repossess his body again. Gabriella senses Valentino and bursts him out of his cell. Must she shoot and bomb him? Maybe that’s her love for him. But Valentino is distraught and wants to find and bring Akiyoshi with him. Thomas tries to convince him to take him along and accidentally reveals himself as the culprit who rat them out. Valentino is upset. He is going to let him out of his cell alright. It’s the ultimate showdown between the goat and koala. Nobody gets involve in this personal matter. Then the fight turns out to be like cute animals hitting each other. Feel like taping it and uploading it on YouTube? When Akiyoshi and the NORA duo enter the picture, suddenly Akiyoshi’s transformation takes place. He is a wolf. This devastates Valentino. Gabriella is going to shoot Akiyoshi and possibly take out the NORA duo too so Akiyoshi had to feign attacking the kids to let them off the hook. Everyone else busts out but Akiyoshi remains behind. Valentino is saddened that he had been betrayed because he despises wolf very much. Meanwhile, Hiroshi’s office is so peaceful (and they are enjoying every moment of it) when a helicopter hovers by. It’s Valentino and he is here to stick his tongue out at him! WTF?! Ah well, what a short-lived peace. Back in Alcamone, Thomas becomes Akiyoshi’s annoying minion though he laments it will be harder to do his search now. At least it’s must peaceful around here.

Episode 12A: The Cuticle Phantom Thief Appears Case
Hiroshi is in distraught. His precious hair collection is gone! In panic mode, he even calls Ogino to weep about his precious hair he kept. Creepy. Hung up. And we should have known who the culprit is. Hooves all over the place. It’s the goat, damn it! Seems Noah has come up with some invention to turn hair into fine diamonds. Imagine how much it will be worth from hairs of famous people. Before Valentino could make this his business, he gets a threatening challenge card from Hiroshi that he will raid him tonight! The Don panics and even calls Ogino for help! Hiroshi is serious in reclaiming back his hair collection and even rants about hair history and potential, blah, blah, blah. Kei didn’t think Ogino would side with the goat but it seems the reason is to prevent Hiroshi from turning into a criminal. Suddenly everything blacks out. Gabriella fires at the intruder but when the lights come back, she shot the goat!!! Noticing Noah missing, Valentino orders his henchmen to look for her. They split up. Bad move? Slowly, Hiroshi like a pro stalker does in the subordinates one by one with his traps. Don’t ever mess with this guy’s hair. Since Hiroshi is this serious, so will Ogino. Kei doesn’t want them to fight and end in bloodshed but Ogino must do what he has to if it comes down to it. Hiroshi enters the room and for once, captures Valentino and threatens to kill him if Ogino doesn’t hand over the diamonds!!! Oh sh*t! Ogino will give it to him since he wants it so badly. He throws it out the window and Hiroshi like a good dog goes to get it. Before he realizes it, he got caught. With Hiroshi getting his hair collection back, he calms down and everyone realizes the Don and his family have escaped. However Hiroshi notes he did not do in Noah. What happened to her? During the blackout, Yuuta whisks her away to avoid his best friend from getting the wolf’s wrath. Valentino and the family might have escaped with them but they’re still tied up…

Episode 12B: Evil Organization Expansion Case
There is this mysterious dude, Forest Masashi or Mori as we would love to call him, is walking around with a goat skull and cape speaking in great evil lengths. Normally, that would be translated as he is looking for a job and stumbles upon a vacancy ad and goes to Hiroshi’s office for an interview. The wolf instantly rejects him and he leaves. On his way out, he bumps into Ogino. The police dude has info on Valentino’s whereabouts. It seems he has been trying to recruit new members. However Ogino can’t find the flyer Valentino put up for his recruiting but remembers the venue is an interview hall. WTF?! Mori has spotted that flyer and makes his way to the interview. Once more, his grand evil words translate to that of being nervous. Once it is his turn, he talks his usual style but this has Lorenzo suspicious about his intention and position he is aiming for. Lorenzo proceeds to dress down Mori for all his worth and this puts a damper to this goat head’s confidence. I guess his application is rejected. On his way out, Hiroshi and co enter to arrest Valentino. The goat won’t have it and escapes with Lorenzo via window. Hiroshi and Ogino go after him as they pass several other supporting characters in the series. Hey, it’s the last episode so let’s make a last appearance. Kei delivers the final punch line that a random character closed the show when Mori spouts his usual crap lines about the endless battle and the next battlefield.

Playing The Goat Incident & Near-Death By Too Much Laughing Case
Yeah, I almost died laughing with the random jokes and nonsense. Too funny in my case to hold back. Almost on par with that anime series with a squid girl in it. Do I see a certain similarity here? Anime shows with a cute leading animal character-cum-mascot and random standalone funny episodes serve as good comedy animes? Even if it was just coincidence, the overall series is quite a good watch if you want something cute and funny without too much drama and plot to go with. Besides, how often do you have a goat as the main villain? We all hear of wolves being bad guys in children fairytales and goats the victim but in this case, it is pretty much reversed. But be warned, you may either turn into a goat mania or goat phobia. I’ve never seen so many goats (even if it is the same one) in such a short period of time so I think such an impact may be possible. Thankfully I didn’t become either.

All the characters feel like clowns (since half of the show depicts the characters in chibi form when the situation turns funny). The hero isn’t really a true hero and the villain isn’t really a total baddie. It’s good in a way that you know having a mafia head as a goat with bungling schemes to a certain degree, rest assured that you will feel safe from any real threats. Valentino may be the antagonist but he isn’t the coldest and most evil bad guy ever nor will he land in the top 1000 baddest baddies of all time. He has shown importance on what many would take for granted: A family. Even after NORA’s introduction, you’d be thinking if they would be an effective villain since Haruka has a weak body. It looks like their plan to become the country’s hero never took off. With Haruka harbouring so much brother complex, I suppose it’s never going to start. Likewise, sometimes the stupidity of the good guys may be a cause to worry because if they can’t catch a goat or easily fall for its tricks, it’s time to think again the kind of police force that we have. We have easily seen how Hiroshi easily crosses to the dark side whenever his hair collection is in jeopardy. I’m sure that was a hair raising experience for the Don, eh? So the line between good and evil is very much blurred in this anime. But we all know that they are being jokers for the sake of this anime’s comedy. Since it made everyone laugh (at least me), I guess that this is not so bad after all. Though not every scene will make you burst into laughter as there are some touching moments like the one between Yataro and Natsuki. There may be some interesting back story especially about Soumei and his whereabouts of his real body but I guess we’d rather be engrossed by the comedy than something serious.

The most dangerous character I would presume would be Yuuta because that cross-dressing guy can turn yandere in the blink of an eye. And he wants to kill you, he really WILL kill you. It’s like he can cross over to the dark side any time. Just that this anime genre stops him from taking lives. As long as you threaten his position of being close to Hiroshi or get closer to that hair fetish detective, Yuuta will not hesitate to do some serious revenge only to be greatly stopped by Kei. Speaking of that kid, he has done so many retorts and come back lines, it makes you wonder if he is getting tired of it. I know it’s his role in the anime but it also reminded me of how similar his role to Shinpachi of Gintama is. As long as these jokers are around, safe to say he can still keep this ‘job’ of his. The other dangerous character is Ogino but that is only when it involves his precious Azusa. Even Satan would tremble with fear if he messes with his daughter. Otherwise, he is really a tough cookie to kill. Really. You can’t kill him. He could survive a direct nuclear fallout. At least he is made more human when we get to know his weakness as poisoning. But really. Anything else that doesn’t really kill him doesn’t make him human at all. The rest of the casts are amusing in their own way. Like Gabriella who probably have shot the Don more times than her intended target. Yeah, you can say the goat may have been her practice target. Maybe it helps builds resistance since Valentino doesn’t die from all the shots. Unless she is firing blanks. Then there’s the quirky doctor-cum-scientist Noah who can create just about anything. Whether it works the right way or not is a different story. If Yuuta and Noah team up, I think this is where the real danger is. Soumei can be wise sometimes but other times he is also an idiot like how he won’t waste any chance to be perverted on Natsuki. Thankfully she still keeps her guard up around him.

To add to the hilariousness of everything, almost every character in this series has a serious fetish or obsession over something. It makes them look like perverts. Like how this anime is built on Hiroshi’s fetish for human hair. So amazing his fetish for them that he his knowledge on them right down to its cuticle even for different species surpasses all the hair experts put together even if they sound like crap to us. Then we have Kei who obsesses over cats, Ogata over dogs, recently it is elasticity for Stella, anybody with great physical attributes will do for Noah and Gabriella will fawn over anyone who falls under certain heights. The goat loves eating money while Haruka despite playing the so called antagonist role is pretty much having brother complex as much as how Ogino dotes on his daughter. And we all know too well about Yuuta’s extreme admiration for Hiroshi. Can it be considered as unrequited love? Speaking of romance (as in, not extreme affections. There is a big difference in that), I would say there would be close to none but that short dating episode did indicate that Natsuki does have feelings for Yataro. What happened to that development? Like we care…

It is very subtle but there are a few shonen ai or yaoi moments. All for the sake of comedy of course. But mostly they are one way. Like how Ogata annoyingly harasses Hiroshi but I feel that has lessen ever since he has to take care of Stella. The most obvious case is Lorenzo. His loyalty is one thing but his obsession for the Don can be seen to the point that he might be gay for his boss. So much so if there is any indication that somebody else loves the Don more than him, you can see how Lorenzo painfully endures every agony of it till he bleeds from his mouth or eyes! He must have a lot of blood if he is going to do that all the time. Won’t his bag stain with blood already? How about the way he screams out his trademark “DOOOOOOOOOONNNN!!!!!!!”, which I feel accounts for almost half his dialogues in the anime. Yuuta’s obsession for Hiroshi is not as obvious nor does it give rise to any immediate yaoi impact because of his cross-dressing ways. Looks like a girl, sounds like a girl, acts like a girl (sometimes), so it must be a girl, no? We don’t see anything much between Ogino and Ogata but if your imagination is too vivid, you could view their rivalry-cum-friendship as mild yaoi. Maybe Kei has something for Ogino too because he always side him in most cases.

For a comedy genre, it is very rare for such genres to spill out lots of blood (think Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan or Yondemasu Yo, Azazel-san). Especially in the case of the goat whenever he gets owned or shot, you can see him bleed ounces or blood gushing out like geyser. However they are done in a cute way so you won’t really throw up even if you are the type of person who cannot stand blood. Unless you are that weak… Then you are even worse than Haruka… On a trivial note, the next episode segment is another funny corner. One of the funniest if I should say. Despite showing clips from the next episode, what makes it funny is how the characters adlib their own fake script to somewhat match the action in those scenes. We definitely know it is not what the characters will be saying in the next episode since it has really nothing to do with what is going on in the series’ plot. For example, watching this series on your handphone, the release of the Blu-ray versions or the fact that this show didn’t win any Academy Awards! Totally hilarious! Of course it wouldn’t be complete without the one breaking the fourth wall about the inevitable final episode and the need to keep it going. How can they when no additional episodes were made?

Toru Ookawa put up a brilliant performance as Valentino to make him sound real hilarious whether he is blowing his top or go into panic mode (which mafia boss often goes into such mode? Well, if your boss is a goat…). It’s funny to hear the goat gloat (I just wanted to say this). His previous anime roles include Taira in BTOOOM and Roy Mustang of Fullmetal Alchemist. Other casts include Junichi Suwabe as Hiroshi (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Ogino (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Miyu Irino as Kei (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle), Asami Shimoda as Yuuta (Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Takehito Koyasu as Soumei (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou), Mitsuki Saiga as Haruka (Phantom in MAR), Youko Hikasa as Gabriella (Mio in K-ON!), Yuiko Tatsumi as Noah (Riko in KissxSis), Juurouta Kosugi as Lorenzo (Kiritsubo in Zettai Karen Children), Asami Seto as Natsuki (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Tomokazu Sugita as Yataro (Gintoki in Gintama), Kousuke Toriumi as Ogata (Kiba in Naruto), Shintarou Asanuma as Akiyoshi (Izayoi in Mondaijitachi Ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo) and Rina Hidaka as Azusa (Niko/Scarlet Rain in Accel World). Ai Fukuda makes her debut as Stella. Jun Fukuyama makes his cameo as Mori and the way he sounds as if he might turn into Code Geass’ Lelouch or Ao No Exorcist’s Yukio any time with that almost serious voice tone. The rock outfit of Haruka, Nichijou No Naka De serves as the opening theme for the series and sung by Junichi Suwabe. If the hero takes the opening, then the ending has to be the villain, right? Toru Ookawa sings the ending theme, Prima Stella and it sounds quite amusing as it feels like a mix between Japanese Enka and Italian love ballad. How often do you see a goat beeeeeh, oops I mean, belting out a song?

It is funny for this anime to turn wolves into good guys and goats into bad guys unlike in many stories when the reverse is true. Still, it is the carnivorous wolf that goes after the herbivorous domestic livestock. Even funny, they can’t catch a stinking little goat… Either the detectives are slacking way too much or the mafia head is a true master of escape. I guess now the perception of being the richest of the richest and maximum filthy rich isn’t measured by the luxurious mansion you have or the fact you use money as toilet paper. You’re so rich that you could even eat your money! Imagine a whole new range of possibilities it can open up and the creativities that celebrity chefs might cook up if money does become edible. Besides, don’t goats have this tendency to eat paper? I wonder how the Malaysian Ringgit will taste like. Sambal belacan mix with char kuey toew and roti canai. Yum! Tastes like indigestion… But with a Don like Valentino who eats money as his regular meal, I can’t say that he will be laughing all the way to the bank when he gets the heist done. Won’t eating money cause heartburn? After all, there is this saying that the best way to spend your money is to put it in your stomach. Literally.

Cinderella Boy

October 26, 2012

When you mention about a boy who is able to transform into a girl and vice versa, the first anime you will think of about this is Ranma ½, right? Well, if you’re old enough to have watched that anime anyway. Despite having the lead character named Ranma, Cinderella Boy isn’t actually a sequel or spin-off from that said series. Though the theme of a guy and a girl swapping each other’s body is one of the main highlights of this series. But the body swapping ability similarity with Ranma ½ stops here. In this series, we have both protagonists fused into one body instead of the same person. Plus, they don’t conveniently ‘transform’ when being splashed water. It’s a time factor instead. You’ll understand once you see this show. And when they’re in one form, the other has no recollection of what happened while being ‘dormant’.

Ranma Hinamatsuri and Rella Shirayuki run a detective agency together called R&R Detective Agency in this very dangerous city called Kirin Town. Yeah, high city status must have the high crime rates to go along with it too, right? So bad that you can even be robbed by a kid. Ranma is an impoverished detective who has his own sense of justice but beautiful Rella is just a rich lady thrill seeker. How can they both work together when they are so different like night and day? Well, they say opposite do attracts. In a city so bad and dangerous and the police on the take, you’d wonder why everyday people come knocking on their doors to seek a job request (no matter how bizarre or boring it is). Well, if the authorities are corrupted, who else would they turn to? As long as there is this little hope and gives them a piece of mind. As they go along solving cases from, they stumble upon something big, almost got killed and though miraculously alive, find themselves in a troublesome pinch of sharing the same body. Talk about being one mind, one heat, one soul and one body with your partner. The ultimate team combo?

Episode 1
While Ranma is playing Blackjack, Rella is being tackled by a guy who wants to invite her to a super VIP gambling room at the top, where she can experience real thrill and excitement. A place where the amount of money gambled is insane. Rella orders rose champagne and if he can out-drink her, she’ll follow him for the night. Ranma loses big time and suspects the dealer has cheated (which was what happened). The casino manager and his bouncer tell Ranma to leave so he obediently goes but not without stealing the manager’s super VIP card in his pocket. Rella out-drinks the guy as he is too drunk to even stay conscious and she takes this chance to steal his super VIP car. Both Ranma and Rella are a pair of private investigators as they head up to the casino floor. The stakes are high. You win big or you lose it all (and end your life on the spot too). With a properly timed diversion that bursts the water pipe to flood the first floor, the goons guarding the main room leave their post to go mop up the mess. Inside the room, Ranma starts searching but Rella isn’t interested in helping him out since it was him who wanted to take this case. Switching on the computer, Ranma is glad to have found data on some loans of a client and relishes the big investigation pay off fee he’ll get. But Rella stumbles upon something even bigger. This is no ordinary casino and there are records of illegal arms trade transactions and in huge amounts. The casino manager has released his card has been stolen so he and his goons head back to the room to catch the duo in the act. They start firing but the unbelievable thing is, they are such bad shooters that even if they have unlimited ammo, they can’t even hit Ranma and Rella! Unbelievable! And they made the skeleton ‘dance’. But no… They can’t even hit the detectives. The duo reach a dead end and the only way out is to jump. Jump? Is she crazy? Rella dives down with Ranma but they don’t go splat because she has this string accessory that slides them down safely (the baddies are still such bad shots). So now it’s the car chase and the villains even have a helicopter to go after them. In the end, their car drives off the incomplete bridge. Crash and burn! Ranma isn’t really conscious when he thought he saw himself going under the surgeon’s knife.

When he wakes up, he is surprised to find his body in one piece with no scratches whatsoever. Asking a local person about the car, he realizes that it has already been a week! That dude even says nobody would have survived that crash since the burning was horrendous. Rella’s dead? Ranma bums around all day remembering his partner. She’s the kind of lady that teases him of his acrophobia and straight to tell him that she doesn’t want to investigate love affairs but thrilling and exciting cases. Ranma buys a bouquet of flowers and puts it on the site supposedly where Rella perished but is met by the casino manager. Surprising to see the detective alive, he forces him to come with them. Inside Kirin Tower Hotel, Ranma meets Son Tai Jin, a guy who is a charity worker by day but the boss of the bandits and mafia of this town by night. Though Son has gone through the trouble to change the locations of the trade, Ranma asserts he was only there to investigate on loan matters. Anyway Son is going to kill him via hotel fire accident. His men pour gasoline around the room and lights up a smoke in his mouth. Why go through all this hassle when they can just kill him in the alley and dump his body in the river where no one will know? Ranma uses his hidden file to cut his ropes. He manages to do it before the ashes fall. However the room is on fire so Ranma makes a mad dash out, stripping down to his underwear. So when the baddies see him, the goons go after him and it’s like déjà vu all over again since Ranma is hit with a dead end. The only way is to jump out the window and many storeys below. Can he? Well, he creeps his way outside the edge of the building. And what did I tell you about the goons’ bad shot? He’s such a slow turtle moving along and they can’t even shoot straight at him! Wasting all those bullets! Just when he thought he is going to slip into an open window, the clock strikes midnight and his body starts feeling different. He falls off and his body changes into Rella! Oh, the underwear came off too. Naked woman falling down!!! How often do you get to see this?

Episode 2
Rella falls into the pool below. The last thing she remembers was the high speed chase and the car crash. She wonders why people are staring at her. Is there something on her? Actually, she’s got NOTHING on her! The guy gives her a towel to wrap herself. Son and his men start searching the pool but don’t find Ranma. To avoid being seen, Rella kisses a guy, Alamis and sends his girlfriend into jealous. I guess that poor chap got dumped. The fire is causing a commotion so Son decides to search another day. Rella returns to the crash site and asks a local about the crash. He thinks it’s a joke because some guy asked that exact same question hours ago. Realizing it’s a week and seeing a flower bouquet at the crash site, she thinks Ranma is dead. Returning back to her mansion, her old maid, Dorothy is glad to see her alive though Rella herself doesn’t know what happened to her for the past week. When Dorothy hears Ranma is dead, she sounds rather happy. She thinks she shouldn’t befriend such scum. As Rella sleeps, she thinks how Ranma first hired her and they formed the R&R Detective Agency. Of course Ranma is the kind of detective who thinks justice must prevail and that to help those in need. Well, Since Ranma is dead, no use brooding over it so Rella remodels his office and moves out all his antique car toys and makes it her style. She receives a call from a father worried about her runaway daughter but Rella refuses to take up his case since it’s boring and only wants exciting and thrilling cases. The next call she got is from the president of a talent scouting agency, Miracle Production. He wants Rella to retrieve a model of his, Maya who has run away with their money and wants her back before any scandal could happen. Rella agrees to pick up this case. Rella sees the president to get more information and even logs on to her Fairy Chat website to see Tinker Bell and obtain whereabouts of Maya, who is working in a host club. Dorothy feels Rella shouldn’t be doing this detective thingy but since she insists, she gives her a wrist band that enables her to attack the enemy with just a flick of the wrist.

Rella is outside the strip club and gets entry under the pretence she wants to work here. She sees Maya and approaches her. Well, if you introduce yourself as a detective and with your aim of returning her, don’t you think Maya is going to run? Rella corners her but it seems Maya doesn’t know anything about the money. Suddenly a couple of goons try to kill them (again, they are such bad shots). They manage to give them the slip by hiding in a room filled with changing women. Maya thinks those guys are hired by the scary president and has hired them to kill him and pleads to Rella to protect her. As Rella goes to check outside, she feels something weird with her body. The clock strikes midnight and she transforms into Ranma. The ladies are appalled to see a guy and since Ranma only remembers falling from the hotel ledge, he thinks he is in heaven! Not! He gets thrown out and the baddies don’t recognize him. Only see him as a pervert. Realizing he is in woman’s clothing, he changes them and bumps into Maya who thinks he’s a killer. However he introduces himself and Maya is relieved. Ranma learns Maya wants to be a model so she lied to her parents and ran away from home. But the talent agency that recruited her was a scam and they’re selling girls in a black market auction. So she got scared and ran away. Thus the president is out to kill her. Ranma assures he’ll send her home but the maze-like alleyways got them lost and bump into those baddies again. They fire and being the bad shots they are, it ricochets off Ranma’s wrist band. Enough time for him to pick up their gun, fire back and run. A strange lady points the way out for them. So on the main road, Ranma hijacks a guys’ motorbike for their getaway! Do good detectives do this?! The president is appalled by his goons’ failure but the police detective marches in to arrest him as they have received reports from a private detective about his shady business. Ranma returns Maya to her home and she is grateful. Returning to his office, he is shocked to see his place remodelled. Father’s Maya comes by to show his gratitude of returning his runaway daughter. He is surprised because when he first called, the person who picked up didn’t want to accept his case. I guess Ranma doesn’t understand what he is talking but his monetary reward was enough to make him happy. So remodelling his office back to how it was, Ranma sees a note on the board and the writing belongs to Rella.

Episode 3
Some shady guy with a threatening message to pay up for his services or else he’ll clean out everything in his bank. Dorothy thought Ranma has returned as a ghost! If he’s a ghost, why can she still hit him? Ranma is relieved to hear that Rella is alright and has been doing investigations on her own. Dorothy would be happy if he doesn’t associate himself with Rella anymore as he’s been fooling around but Ranma can’t exactly remember where he was the day before and thinks he has some serious memory lapse. She thinks he is sick. He goes to see a doctor but he thinks he’s tired and needs a rest. So much for that diagnosis. As he leaves, an injured guy called Lou Cheng stumbles into him and passes him a bag and a bloodied paper. He wants him to take it to the police. Just then, the assassin shoots him. Ranma pulls out his gun his shot scrapes the shoulder of the assassin (he didn’t look like he was hurt) as he runs. Lou Cheng’s final word is “Joker”. Ranma picks up his ID to see he works at Electro Planets Incorporation. The nurse who came walking out mistakes Ranma as a killer (he’s still got his gun in his hand). I guess this is no time to explain. Maybe nobody will believe him either. So he makes a run for it and at the alley, he investigate the bag’s content in which they are just ordinary items. Ranma has become a prime suspect in this murder case and the police are on a lookout for him. Ranma gives the bag to Dorothy for her safekeeping before rushing off. With a cheesy disguise, he infiltrates Electro Planets as a business consultant to do some snooping. This company is doing internet business and Ranma is taken to Lou Cheng’s workplace to fix a PC problem. Yeah, he’s just hitting it. Then he hears Lou Cheng hasn’t been to work for 4 days. Suddenly the police come in asking the boss if he knows this person. Hmm…  Looks familiar. Ranma tries to sneak out but his cheap disguise fell off at the right moment, giving him away. He makes a run and loses those guys.

Ranma goes to see his informant friend who is washing windows. The height… With not much cash, Pinocchio only gives him the information of Club Papillion. It’s a gay club… But Ranma is trying to get information out of this Wendy girl but she doesn’t know much. Realizing a liquor bottle named Joker on the shelf, he enquires her and she mentions an ordinary salaryman has been recently coming here. But she can tell he’s no ordinary salaryman as one couldn’t afford such drink. She points Rose may know because he always requests her. Ranma wants to talk to Rose but Wendy forces him to drink. She’s using her mouth to transfer to liquid! So while Ranma pukes outside, guess who he bumps into? Son. Wendy quickly shifts side and blames Ranma he forced her into this and that. Son orders his goons to take care of him. Guess what? Even if they had machine guns, they’re still lousy shooters! Running here, running there, Ranma bumps into that mysterious lady once more. Introducing herself as Alice, she points him the way out. But it seems she also lets the goons know where Ranma headed because that place is a dead end. Ranma realizes he has been sold out when the goons corner him. Before they can do anything, Rose points her gun at them. She wants Ranma to handover the bag. Throwing off her wig, Ranma recognizes her as the hospital’s nurse. A gunfight ensues and Ranma uses this confusion to escape. Machine gun versus handgun? And nothing got hit? You got to be kidding me. Then the clock strikes midnight. Ranma turns into Rella and got almost hit by a car. She is shocked to find herself in the middle of the road (she was last in a strip club) and wearing Ranma’s clothes. The owner of the car turns out to be Alamis. He has finally found his angel and wants to date her. Rella gets into his car and changes into a more fashionable and sexy outfit. Then she leaves. What about dinner? She didn’t agree, did she? She returns to office and is shocked to find everything remodelled back to where it was before. More perplexing, a thank you video from Maya for helping her out. She thinks she has super powers for solving cases without realizing them! Heading back to Dorothy, she learns of Ranma’s predicament. Yeah, he’s very much alive. Taking a look inside the bag, she finds a CD. Checking it out, she discovers it’s a sophisticated hacking programme to steal any data and the programmer’s name is Joker. Realizing one can blackmail or fetch a high price for any data, she notes Ranma has gotten into trouble because of this programme. She is going to clear this false murder charge but needs to lure Joker out first.

Meeting Joker at a construction site, he turns out to be a worker at Electro Planets and that assassin (and of course that shady guy in the beginning). He is willing to pay any price to get the CD back but she isn’t in for the money. She wants him to give this up and surrender to the police. He further reveals his colleague discovered his identity and tried to deal with me by stealing his programme and killed him to seal his mouth. The same fate is about to befall on Rella as Rose points a gun at her head. Joker takes the CD back and says when he discovered his hacking abilities, he did it not for money but for the thrill of sneaking into stuff people try to protect. After he leaves, Rose tries to get rid of her but Rella knocks her out with the sleeping gas hidden in her high heels. Joker goes back to his hacking but realizes someone is gaining access and has rewritten the programme. How? It makes Joker in the video confess his identity and his role as the killer! The police sees this as this video is being broadcast everywhere. I guess this Joker guy is dumb enough to run out to the streets so it’s naturally everybody would start pointing “Hey! Isn’t that the killer?!”. Serves him right if he breaks down like a cornered rat. Rella is floating in her pool noting Ranma is still alive.

Episode 4
One of Son’s goons approach a group of gangsters called Bloody Sharks. He confronts the leader Billy and wants him to stay away from this warehouse area for the next 3 days. Or else, they will kill his brother Rex who is in their hands. Billy didn’t like it and sends his man, Charlie to tail him without being noticed. Along the way, they bump into Ranma who is trying to find a pet named Lily of a rich lady in the sewers. They think he is one of them who kidnapped Rex and threaten him. He falls back down the sewers and I guess it’s midnight so you know who comes out. Morning comes and Rella is attracting attention. The kind of attention she doesn’t want because she stinks! Cleaning herself up at her home, she is furious Ranma is never around when she’s back. Then at the office, the rich lady bugs her wondering if she has found her pet and Rella is again appalled Ranma took up another useless case. Soon a man from Handel Company who has been looking for her all morning comes knocking on her door. His company deals with jewels and precious metal and shows an Angelic Vale necklace to her as proof. However she can tell it’s a fake. He is astonished and shows her the real one. He says they have sold it to Queen Natasha of Anderson Kingdom and only realized later that it is an imitation. Though they’ve got the real one, there’s no way they can reveal the truth about the fake as they will have their heads roll. They believe she doesn’t know it’s fake yet. However the queen will be onboard a ship in town for a party tomorrow and if this is broadcasted to the world, they’ll be done for. He wants her to do this job of sneaking the real necklace in. Rella isn’t sure since it’ll be tough as she’ll have bodyguards and all. But he knows she’s the only one can pull this off. Showing her a picture of Natasha, well, Rella looks very much like her! I guess this is exciting enough for her to take this case up. I think she wants to wear the necklace too.

Rella is waiting outside the ship when she bumps into Alamis (his father had some business onboard). She uses him to get onboard and then dumps that loser. While Natasha is watching the fireworks, Rella dresses up like the real queen and sneaks into her room to switch the necklace. However she got knocked out by Charlie. I can’t believe a ruffian like him sneaked onboard. Charlie brings her back to Billy and once they dock, the necklace falls off and into the mouth of a crocodile. Rella wakes up tied up and gets to know Billy is going to use her as their trump card to exchange Rex. He thinks she is behind it all and even tried to get rid of them for her crooked exchange. Son meets Romel, a minister from the royal palace as the latter exchanges a genuine painting as agreed. He is a big crook himself and has been doing these underhanded dealings since it’ll be hard to suspect him and the royal room is well suited to cover up crimes. However the circulation of stolen artefacts is a different case as it’s hard to move so this is where Son’s organization comes in. Suddenly a dagger comes flying into the painting. Bloody Sharks come into the scene and they show their trump card. Son and Romel start laughing since they have made their job easier. Natasha is supposed to be assassinated in exchange for all the art works. Romel will then be promoted to Prime Minister. Rella tells them they’ve got the wrong person and shakes off her wig. Surprise? Son says it doesn’t matter since she knows everything and wants them all dead. Oh dear. The goons and their machine guns again. When will they ever learn? Still missing everything… Everyone runs but Rella’s dress got caught in the plank and trips.  She could’ve been done for if not for a crocodile popping up. Good thing the goons are scared of it and run off. As for Rella, she is cornered, her dress ripped and she fell into the water. Then it turns midnight.  With Ranma resurfacing, he is glad to find Lily. The crocodile. Bloody Sharks think he is Son’s men and don’t believe he is just a detective searching for a pet. But to proof he’s telling the truth, they’ll keep the crocodile and want him to return Rex who is being held by Son. So Ranma goes all his way out to get information where Rex is (there goes his cash to Pinocchio) and manages to retrieve Rex locked in a warehouse on the outskirts. Lily is pretty tame the reason why everyone haven’t been eaten yet. Billy trusts Ranma and lets him know about the queen’s assassination. Rama is going to solve this case but Bloody Sharks will help him out.

Ranma and Bloody Sharks sneak onboard the ship as logistic workers. Son and his men are waiting to assassinate the queen from his speedboat. The Handel guy is appalled to see the imitation on the queen. He’s dead meat. Ranma lets loose Lily in a container so panic ensues. The bodyguard start huddling around the queen and it disrupts the assassination attempt. Son sees Ranma foiling their attempts again and even if the assassination on the queen failed, he wants Ranma taken out. But someone is sniping at them. Son decides to retreat this time. The mysterious sniper turns out to be Alice sniping from the port. Ranma and Bloody Sharks discover a crate filled with treasures. They know Romel is the culprit because who else would be pointing a gun at them? Like typical bad guys, he rants about his plot that includes the queen’s assassination. Of course Natasha heard that too. He is going to shoot her but didn’t anybody realize Lily sneaking in and then BITE! It bit Romel’s leg. Odd, it didn’t snap off. Romel is arrested as Ranma retrieves the real necklace which has been inside Lily’s mouth. For his brave efforts, she has him request anything. Well, one sturdy cage for a crocodile. And that Handel guy, he drowns himself in liquor but sees the real necklace back on. Phew. Ranma is dismayed that for a rich lady, the reward he got was so little. He returns to his office only to find Dorothy waiting. She wants to know what happened to Rella because she saw the incident on TV. He assures her that the queen looks very close like Rella but Dorothy knows Rella has gone on a mission disguised as the queen. Ranma brushes her off, will talk to her about it in the morning and goes straight to bed. Then it strikes midnight as Ranma transforms into Rella right before Dorothy’s eyes.

Episode 5
Dorothy wakes Rella up to tell her Ranma disappeared before her eyes and turned into Rella. At first she didn’t believe but after thinking about her memory lapse, the fatal accident, the stroke of midnight and why she keeps missing Ranma, if she is him then everything makes sense. She realizes they are taking turns as each other every alternate day. Next day, no use thinking too much about it so she goes for some food. At a distance, Alice observes her. Rella makes her way to a Chinese restaurant and soon Son also comes in and sits right behind her. The duo start ordering almost everything so it confuses the waiter so much so he screws up the Mapo Tofu dish meant for Son but it went to Rella. Yeah, she can’t remember if she had ordered it and just ate it anyway. Son is feasting since he’ll be leaving for Italy soon and won’t be having Chinese food for a while. He hates pasta. After Son leaves to catch his flight, the waiter sees a note has instructions to be passed to the person who ate the Mapo Tofu. Rella reads the note and it says she has just eaten the tofu dish laced with poison and die within 24 hours. It is no use purging it as the poison has already spread throughout the body and the effects will be felt gradual. So if she doesn’t want to die, don’t go to Italy and wait a home for the antidote to come. So this note was meant for Son? And Rella got mistakenly poisoned. She rushes to the airport but the plane has left. That’s an hour wasted. Back to the restaurant, she tries to ask who put this note but nobody knew who it was since they were busy the note was already there when they noticed it. Rella contacts Tinker Bell to find out more about Son’s intention at Italy while she narrows down the suspect. Thinking only a specialist could make such a poison and the only one from Italy turns out to be Gulliver Medicine Company who is a major player in the industry and its president is Roberto De Panini. Alamis happened to pass by her and once more he tries to charm his angel to having dinner with her. She wasn’t so interested till she heard his family name. Yup, his father is Roberto and she wants to meet him. He thought she wants to be part of the family.

Upon meeting Roberto, she finds how similar they both are. Like father, like son. The passion, the idiocy. Asking if his company deals with poisons, he laughs it off since he only does honest business and probably Gold Medicine Manufacturing by Daibal Company are believed to deal in such things. About his connection with Son, they occasionally met at political parties and their relationship is cordial. Rella temporarily excuses herself since she has a reply from Tinker Bell. Seems Son is in Italy to see the Sicilian mafia boss, Don Margarita for a systematic agreement. Resuming her talk with Roberto, seems he also knows Don Margarita as they are childhood friends. Rella realizes the link. If Son and Don Margarita form an alliance, Gulliver will become Kirin Town’s largest pharmaceutical firm under Son’s control. With enough information, she leaves. My angel, come back! It was hard finding Gold Medicine’s location so Rella has only 30 minutes to the switch. She sneaks in but gets spotted by the guards who think she’s an industrial spy. Again, such lousy shots! Machine gun with unlimited ammo also no use. Rella hides and realizing her time is almost up, she records a video for Ranma to watch. So when it’s his turn, he watches to video but finds it hard to believe about the alternate day switch between themselves as they share the same body. She also lets him know about being poisoned and the need to find an antidote. Otherwise, he will kick the bucket this coming noon and this will be the last message he’ll here from her. So how? He might be dropped in the middle of the mess but no choice, he’s got to solve it. Entering a lab and hijacking a scientist to spill the details, he learns this is a rat poison lab and that they’re secretly conducting a new drug to gain market share against Gulliver since Kirin Town has the world’s worst rat problem. I think that statistics include scums and gangsters too. Haha! Then the guards enter and think Ranma is that lady spy’s partner. Those dumbasses start firing right in the middle of the lab!!! Fortunately their shots were so bad that all Ranma experienced was some tap dance. He even manages to escape the facility and Alice snipes from afar to let him get away. She is baffled and thought Rella came here by herself.

Realizing Rella’s info is way off, he decides to investigate more on Son. He meets up with Wendy who is just happy to see him. Wants to kiss her darling, eh? Wanting to know where Son lives, currently he is staying at his 4th lover’s place and has a cute young son there named Marco. Despite his lover’s house, he has got guards all over the place. But what’s the use when they’re so dumb that even Ranma can sneak into the study to do his search. However he has to hide since he hears Marco coming in. He thought it was his father had come home. Well, Son is actually home. Turns out his plane got engine problem and made a u-turn. Marco is happy that Son remembered his birthday. Erm… Yeah, sure. Whatever. He apologizes for the prank he played earlier on. What prank? The poison one. There was no poison as he only put sugar into his Mapo Tofu. He wanted to spend with birthday with him no matter what and didn’t want him to go abroad. Son doesn’t understand what’s going on but I guess he’s okay. Marco then points out a strange voice coming from his study so when Son sees Ranma, he blows his top and lets his bullets fly. Better  run! Heck no need to rush since he’s such a bad shot too. Next day, we see Alice informing to the person at the end of the other line that their targets are not displaying any special abilities. Dr Grimm has no contact with them either. She wonders what is going on with those two. Ranma leaves a video for Rella about how everything was a prank. He chastises her for just eating anything and everything. She doesn’t see what he’s so upset about. Well, making him run around like a wild goose chase and with his life on the line and time running out, I can see why.

Episode 6
Alice is let known by his boss that a wealthy family is murdered. Nobody is spared. Not even the staffs and bodyguards. Since the way they were slaughtered was with sharp objects and no guns were used, it could be done by the Mad Pig Brothers (comprised of Saute, Fry and Boil). They seem to be after the simulation data of their plan and must have copied it onto something and carried it away. The ones who hired them is probably a director of a European terrorist group who have acquired info on them and the deal is supposedly going to take place in a used house that was sold 10 days ago. The brothers were seen to board a plane to Kirin Town and arrive in 2 hours time. Alice is tasked to obtain and handle the data. Then asking about the target’s abilities, Alice thinks this is a good time to find out. Meanwhile Ranma tries to ask Pinocchio for more information about his body transformation but he can’t sell if he doesn’t have any info. Ranma takes a break at the café when Alice pops up. She has a job request for him. She tells him about the Mad Pig Brothers and wants him to retrieve a micro disc from them. Ranma is not sure if he could trust her because at times she helps him out and other times she tricks him. She explains the disc contains an article on environmental issues from her sister’s job as a geologist. Many companies will be in trouble if her article goes public and one company hired hit men to take the article from her. She wants to fulfil her sister’s request and have it academically published. In order to do that she needed to find a talented detective agency and thus the tests she put him up to. Ranma is convinced and takes up the job. Of course Alice was just putting up a very good act and crocodile tears. So good that it may have won her the Oscars. Ranma asks Pinocchio for more information on the Mad Pig Brothers but the latter advises him to reject the case as they’re the top 5 hit men in Europe and prefer killing over dinner. Ranma isn’t going to back out and asks for their location with the little cash his has.

When Boil returns from an errand, he hears the voice of Alice behind him. He attacks her with his mechanical arm but it’s just a decoy. The real Alice pops up from opposite pointing a gun at him. However she sells Ranma out by telling him about a certain detective will come here tonight to take the micro disc and he won’t know they’ll be waiting for him so it should be easy to kill him. Ranma begs Dorothy to give him a secret weapon. She agrees only because she doesn’t want harm to befall on Rella’s body. Ranma sneaks into the house that night with Alice closely observing. Ranma easily takes the micro disc but didn’t expect the brothers to be waiting for him. Ranma slips out and makes a run as the brothers chase him. From the highways to the subways, Ranma narrowly dodges his relentless pursuers’ attacks, especially that kill-crazy Fry whose Freddy Krueger claws can just slice about anything and Saute’s boomerang ball with sharp blades. I don’t know why windows of the train can be opened so easily because Ranma decides to escape to the top. Ranma uses the belt with gas to knock Fry off (amazing he didn’t die at the speed he fell off) while Saute had to dodge an incoming train. Boil kills the railway operator to shut down the train system (won’t the passengers panic or the people in power notice something since the rail network system went down? How the heck did Boil enter the control room so easily anyway?!). Ranma again narrowly avoids the trio once he gets out of the tunnel and goes into hiding in a building. His time is almost up so he starts recording a video of himself. Alice is baffled why he is doing something like this and when midnight strikes, she saw before her eyes Ranma’s transformation into Rella and realizes that they both share the same body.

Rella is confused in the new situation she has gotten into. She couldn’t finish viewing Ranma’s video because the brothers have arrived and destroyed it. Alice confronts Boil waiting downstairs. He is confident the job will be over but she fires a shot into his body. I guess it’s her nature to just backstab everybody. Since Fry has torn most of Rella’s clothes, she feigns to give her a good time and let his guard down. She uses this opportunity to kick his crotch and make a run for it but bumps into Saute. I guess her kick wasn’t that powerful because Fry is still able to get up and walk albeit his ego has been crushed. Rella is cornered but Alice rolls into the scene to pump bullets into Fry and Saute. Since Rella is still confused what is going on, Alice notes that their minds are separate despite sharing the same body. The ladies are being attacked by Boil. He is still alive because part of his body is robotic. He has Alice in her grasp so quick-thinking Rella remembers how Saute’s weapon works as she presses the ring on this dead man’s fingers to send the ball coming back. Since Boil is in the way, it stabs his neck and Alice is free to finish him off with a few more bullets into his body. Rella realizes this is the Alice that Ranma mentioned and wonders what she has requested him for. Alice replies that the job is already done and got more than she had asked for. As for the micro disc, she can keep it since it is empty. Alice reports to her boss that she has retrieved the copy of the data (recorded in her sunglasses) and that she didn’t find any special abilities in the target. She also refrains on reporting about the transformation of Ranma and Rella and will continue her investigation.

Episode 7
Ranma pays a visit to a grave of his old friend, Akira Dobashi. It has been 3 years since his death. In this flashback episode, we see Ranma just starting his detective agency. He was an ex-gangster and his ‘friend’ Rao seems to be extorting him for protection money in exchange for letting him snoop around his territory without raising his boss’ suspicions. A man named Lee pulls up before them and tells Rao of their usual meeting tomorrow night. Ranma plays pool with Akira and he narrates about Kirin Town’s soaring crime rate that it is also known as Killing Town. People die every day. Literally. A detective job is no different. It’s just to uncover the dirt hidden under the clean surface. Even if you get clean, you’d be smeared by other dirt. Ranma and Akira are no angels themselves as they even robbed from others when they’re just kids. Akira has a job for him. Ranma is suspicious since it has ties with Rao but Akira dismisses it’ll be completely safe and they’re not breaking any law. Seems there’s this guy with sunglasses who enter his bar and passes memo to his customers. Akira wants Ranma to watch him for 2 weeks and find out where these memo recipients stay. Akira found out the recipients are made up of 3 guys and a woman. He knows where the guys are staying but he lost the lady. This is where Ranma comes in. He shows him the photo of the woman, which turns out to be Rella. Akira mentions his wife is expecting and plans to expand his bar. Once Rao gets this information, he’ll be paid 5 million bucks. Ranma will get a cut of 1.5 million. So Ranma snoops around and his lead tells him she frequents the Casablanca Bar. It might just be his luck (or not) when Rella comes collapsing into his arms right outside the bar. She thinks he is here to challenge her to a drinking competition. Well, all the men who challenged her are out cold. Besides, Rella is drunk. Ranma takes her back to her mansion and meets Dorothy for the first time.

Akira goes to relay the information to Rao. Soon, they hear news on TV that the 3 memo recipient men have been killed. Apparently they are drug dealers and the police have their eye on them for quite some time. Akira wants to go talk to Rao but Ranma cautions he might be deceived and will do the snooping. Ranma thinks hard why Rao used Akira to do this job and not himself. Then he realizes if those 3 men were killed, that means Rella will be next. But he doesn’t need to find her because she just waltzes in. She is here to return his coat that he left when he brought her back to her mansion. Thinking she is a drug dealer, he asks if she frequents Akira’s bar. She admits she did once but it sucked. And the memo she got was just some guy who wanted to hit on her. He thinks of using her to lure that man out and offers Rella to help him out with his detective work. Rella declines seeing it’s a boring job. After all, all detectives do is just snoop around other people’s secrets. Suddenly Rao’s men barge and start firing at them. Guess did they hit or miss? They tore up the bar except their targets. Duh! Ranma and Rella make their escape and even hijack a taxi. During the car chase, the baddies continue to be lousy shots. Rella feels excited and borrows Ranma’s gun to fire a single shot. It flips up the bonnet and puts them out of commission. She agrees to help him out. In order to get more information, seems there are only 2 top informants in town. One is Tinker Bell whose identity is unknown and is only via internet. Since that is no go for Ranma, I guess he’ll have to go with the other one: Pinocchio. Rella laughs at his fear of heights while Ranma learns the quality of the information he can obtain depending on how much cash you can give. Let’s just say he only got the information that he has already met him. Ranma asks Rella for further traits of this sunglasses guy and she mentions about a scar. Ranma remembers Lee having one. He realizes in order for Rao to look good in front of his boss, he killed off his rivals in the organization. He can’t do the job himself since it’s against his own men. Ranma rushes back to tell Cathy to pack and wait at the airport and promises to get Akira back.

Akira is being tied up by Rao and his men. They have double crossed him and are planning to kill him. Rao goes off to his usual meeting as he and Lee meets Son. Son is not pleased that Lee still hasn’t found out the drug dealers’ killers but he praises Rao for expanding his territory. Ranma and Rella invade the place to free Akira. Stupid bad guys can’t even shoot straight. With the police siren in the background, Son notes how Rao has screwed up and kills him. Lee makes his escape and glimpses Akira in the opposite taxi and thinks he is the one who set up everything. Ranma brings Akira to meet up with Cathy at the airport. Before he reunites with her, he is shot in the back by Lee. Back in present time, Ranma isn’t shedding tears because it seems Akira’s graveyard is fake. He is still very much alive and has a son. Cathy is expecting another child. When Akira was shot back then, he was wearing a bulletproof vest. This way, the mafia won’t come after him anymore as they think he’s dead. And when Ranma thought he wanted to give up his detective job, Rella disallows him since he has got her involved and wants him to take responsibility.

Episode 8
A hitman named Angel kills some mafia guy. He finds a little girl named Maria sleeping on the bed. Ranma must be having a hard time trying to get away from Wendy’s kiss. He trips on an antique car toy model. Wendy got it from some mafia boss and is about to throw it away. Since he wants it so badly, I guess he can keep it. Ranma goes to bed without any food. How can he sleep on an empty stomach? I guess if he’s got the car, everything’s alright, eh? So when morning comes, Rella isn’t amused about Ranma not having anything to eat last night because now she’s famished. Worse, she thought he wasted money buying this antique car. She goes back to Dorothy for food but it seems she has news that her father is ill and wants her to return and see him. Rella refuses since she knows it’s a ploy to make her go back. Even if he is ill for real, she won’t go back either. Rella can’t get any decent food since her platinum credit card has been blocked courtesy of Dorothy. So she goes to sleep hungry. Yeah, leave it to the next guy to solve your hunger woes, eh? An old lady named Emily seeks Ranma’s help. She suspects her husband has been doing shady things with the yakuza and wants him to check it out. Good news: She’ll pay upfront. Bad news: He has to take a flight to Japan and she already has booked his ticket. Wow. How high can planes fly? Better summon up your courage because you’re in for a ride! Meanwhile the Coroccione mafia threatens Wendy about the toy car. Unless she wants a hole in a head, she better tell them. Arriving in Japan, Ranma gets his luggage stolen. Hungry and broke, he came hits an idea. Hey, how can you think on an empty stomach? He is going to sell his car to buy a kimono for Rella so that she can sneak into a restaurant where Emily’s husband is meeting, to pose as a geisha and investigate. However the antique dealer only valued it at 1,000 Yen since it has scribbles underneath it. Till an antique car enthusiast, Kantarou walks in and offers a million Yen! He also translates the Italian writing which says “Help each other as brothers”. He’s feeling good so he has the cash to splash as his daughter will be in for a marriage meeting. And guess what? The sneaky antique dealer sells Ranma the kimono for a million Yen. After discount from 3 million. WTF?! Total ripped off! This is not Japan!

At the alley, Ranma is ambushed by the Coroccione guys. They think Ranma is lying when he told them he had sold the car. Of course the goons are useless in the sense that Ranma could do a little kick and get away. He runs and hides in the restaurant’s toilet. Knowing his time is near, he records a video for Rella. She isn’t too happy to be taking on this case. Especially she has to pose as a geisha. But look at the bright side, she may get to eat all the Japanese food and sake she wants. Rella puts on the kimono and enters her room. She is surprised to see her father: Kantarou. Daddy is totally happy to see her and thinks Dorothy has finally succeeded in her persuasion. Rella realizes Ranma has been tricked since Dorothy was disguised as Emily. Kantarou has already arranged a marriage meeting for her but Rella shows her rebellious side. She makes up the biggest lie that she has a daughter who is now 3 years old with Ranma. That nearly killed daddy… The Coroccione boss, Carlo isn’t please his men let Ranma get away and wants them to get that car back at all cost. Receiving word about the traitor Angel, since he has arrived in Japan, he orders them to check on the Japanese yakuza group called Shirayuki since he was once from them. Rella returns to her Japan home but sees blood on the doorbell. Something is not right. The security has been disarmed too. Following the bloodied footsteps into a room, she is surprised to see wounded Angel, whom she knows as Amano, and Maria in his arms. He recognizes her too. The Coroccione guys are outside the house that belongs to Shirayuki’s boss. Do they need to fire a bazooka just to bring down the wooden door? Great. Just let them know you’re here, would you? Rella takes Amano and return, driving in one of Kantarou’s antique cars. Amano notes how Rella has changed. She says her old self died then when he betrayed her. Rella sees Maria afraid and tries to talk to her but Amano says she is deaf and came back here hoping Kantarou would look after her.

With the car chase on, it’s the usual: Bad guys never took their finger off the machine gun trigger and still couldn’t hit what is important. I clapped my hands when they hit the car’s body and the lamp post. But that’s so much about it. Amano, he just fired a couple of shots enough to send some of the baddies’ car crashing. I don’t know how but suddenly the steering wheel came off! Really! How the hell can Rella steer without it?! Brake or accelerate?! Before they could crash head on with the incoming truck, Amano shoots the wheel to send the car swerving off the bridge and into the water. The bad guys continue the search as Amano leaves the ladies in a safe place before making a run and let the baddies go after him. Rella dreams how she was happy being admitted to college. Her father, mother and Amano congratulate her. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own room and Kantarou by her side. Then a different ‘angel’ walks into her room. Oh God. Not that annoying Alamis! “My angel!”. Carlo has arrived in Japan and won’t tolerate any more failures. He notes 2 artefacts are in this country right now and that the gold is within sight.

Episode 9
Rella gets another surprise. Alamis is supposed to be her arranged date. Why is he here? Kantarou views him as a hero who saved his life when in actual fact he was dejected after being rejected by a Japanese beauty. He kicked a stone in his frustration and his shoe flew off and hit the head of an assassin gunning for Kantarou’s life. WTF? She has had it off her father imposing his version of happiness over her and leaves. However she and Alamis get electric shock! Seems they both have this hand bracelet (made by Dorothy of course) and if they are 3 metres apart from each other, they will get shock. Rella has no choice but to live with it and takes Maria and Alamis with her. To calm herself down, she goes on an eating spree. How many sets did she wallop there?! From Alamis, seems he knows Amano because he is a famous hitman in the underworld. He is dubbed Angel because he never misses his target (with lousy shot bad guys, I can see why he is number one). But he is the Angel of Death rather than one who brings happiness. After paying a visit to her mother’s grave, Rella drinks all night with Alamis. I guess that guy couldn’t hold his glass. Rella remembers she first met Amano around Maria’s age and considered him her first love. Her world came crashing down when she was 15 years ago. Her mother was gunned down in front of her due to some gang related matters and would’ve been a victim herself if Amano hadn’t killed the assassin. That was when she found out Amano was secretly her father’s bodyguard instead of a live-in secretary. She became upset with all the lies and deceit her family put up with. Rella takes a shower and Alamis thought he could get naughty with her. However he hugged Ranma! Oh sh*t! Shock! Another electric shock for running away! Oh, it just turned midnight. Ranma sees the video of Rella telling him about Dorothy’s trick and this bracelet thingy. Because Alamis won’t shut up, Ranma just knocks him out with a bottle. Then Kantarou enters the room since he has word from his men Rella is staying at this hotel. He is delighted to see Ranma till he learns his name. Not that detective bug that Rella works with! I don’t think explaining about killing him will kill Rella will make him sheath his sword back. It’s amazing that Ranma can run faster than Kantarou while carrying Alamis and Maria. Corrocione’s men happen to see them and go after them. Ranma is cornered by the Shirayuki group but the Coroccione guys have business with Ranma. Since both groups can’t agree, they fight. During the brawl, Ranma dresses Alamis back, paints his hair black and shoves him into the fight. I can’t believe everyone fell for the trick thinking Alamis is Ranma and chase after him! Blind cows! Were they so intense in fighting among each other that they didn’t see Ranma slowly dressing him up? Definitely dumb. Amano then passes by and wants Ranma to hand over Maria. However due to his injury, he collapses.

Ranma treats Amano back at Rella’s house. Ranma is surprised to see Amano possessing the toy car he sold to Kantarou. How did it end up in his possession? Well actually not. The one he sold is still with Kantarou. This is the other pair of the twin car models. Noting Ranma is a good man for taking care of Rella, he needs to meet her. Yeah, it’s close to midnight. Rella drives Amano and Maria to Kantarou’s house. Since she is already involved, she wants Amano to explain everything. It began when the former boss of Coroccione got killed. Then his hidden stash came to light and both his sons, Tony and Carlo started searching for it. They realize from their father’s will that the only clue was in the twin car models that were given to them in their childhood. The engraving means nothing by itself and both cars must be together for the gold to be revealed. Tony and Carlo hated each other and the truce their father made between them backfired as they started to steal each other’s car. Eventually Carlo killed Tony but before he died, he hid his car somewhere. Amano has one of the cars because he killed Maria’s father. He was one of Carlo’s men who betrayed him as he wanted to get rich himself. Amano was sent to kill him. That’s when he saw Maria sleeping with the car. He wants to cure Maria’s deafness and take care of her. Since that surgery will take an insane amount of money, that’s why he betrayed the Coroccione family and went to see Kantarou. Outside the house, it seems Kantarou’s men are beaten and their boss being held inside. No problem. Let Amano do the job. See how those Coroccione goons standing around fall like flies? Man! He’s effective! Why need a group when you can have this single man? Carlo is threatening Kantarou to reveal the other car. Whether he knows it or not, he’ll never tell it to him. The tables are turned when Amano shoots the gun off his hand. Kantarou slaps Rella for being reckless because he couldn’t live with himself if she had died. Maria wanders into the room do Amano uses his body to shield her from Carlo’s bullet. Shouldn’t he have dived or kicked away the gun instead? Amano was quick enough to return the favour to Carlo. In his dying breath, he asks Kantarou to take care of Maria. He explains he left his group because he couldn’t save his wife. But Kantarou rubbishes it because Rella survived. So the reason why Amano picked Maria up was because she reminded him of Rella when she lost her mother. Rella flies back to Kirin Town and Dorothy is going to get what’s coming. However she relays a message from Kantarou about Maria’s surgery date so this cools her down. Rella solves the clue of the gold using the tires of both cars. Then she calls up a charity organization, reveals the location of the hidden stash and it donates all to them. Won’t they suspect a prank call? Who is this calling? Who would be so good to donate all the gold in the safe? Consider this a gift from an angel.

Episode 10
Rella is disheartened she forgot to pick up a dress for a party in 2 days’ time. She insists on that dress since it’s a party that gathers 10 famous chefs in a competition which will be an all-you-can-eat gourmet party. Yeah, Rella has her dress design with a looser waistline so as not to miss out any dish. So why not pick it up tomorrow? She’ll be Ranma. And so she explains to Ranma to remember to pick up her dress on her behalf tomorrow or else his precious car collection will be dismantled. Better get your ass moving. Ranma picks up the dress but a girl, I Lyan Rain quickly wants him to pretend to be her boyfriend to escape a land shark who is after her. They lose the guy as she learns Ranma is a detective and wants him to be his bodyguard for the rest of the day, claiming the bad guys want to kidnap her and use her as a tool to threaten her father who is a kung fu master to give up his property. Why not call the police? No use. They’re on the take. I guess she’s good enough to play on his conscious she may turn up dead and at least accompany her till she meets her dad later today. A pair of baddies from a secret organization, Kei (gypsy woman?) and her big baldy partner Bob are supposed to deliver a teddy bear to a girl and prove to Son that they are the best in their business. At the supposed café, they see I Lyan and think she’s the girl and give her the teddy. Of course she doesn’t know what’s going on. Kei and Bob are about to leave when they bump into Wendy. She’s supposed to be the one to collect the teddy bear as Son sent her on his behalf. Realizing the mistake they made, they try to get back the teddy but I Lyan and Ranma (who just came out of the toilet) are already gone. Find them and get the teddy back!

Doesn’t it look like a date? I mean, I Lyan dragging Ranma around going shopping. She looks happy. He isn’t. Each time the baddies get close enough to snatch the teddy, something else interferes. Then at the amusement park, I Lyan feigns land shark each time she wants to sit ride. I guess this way Ranma has no choice but to run with her, eh? Oh hell! He didn’t realize he is in the Ferris wheel or the roller coaster!!! What a scary day for him. As I Lyan goes to get drinks, Ranma sees a movie trailer of Lady Fighter 4. It’s about aliens called land sharks targeting a kung fu master’s dojo and it stars the action idol, I Lyan. Hey… When she comes back, Ranma strips her wig and glasses and realizes she is that actress in person. I Lyan comes clean. Everything was made up. She snuck out from her movie set and the guy who was after her is her manager. Ranma is not amused he was dragged around for her amusement and could’ve been arrested for kidnapping an idol. She doesn’t want to return to her workplace but he doesn’t care anymore. He thought she’s crying wolf again but this time it’s for real. Kei and Bob force I Lyan into their car. Bob is so stupid to tell I Lyan the reason why they want the teddy back is because it contains mould to forge money. Just great. Either way, I Lyan will have to die. Ranma drives a speedboat alongside the car and tells I Lyan to jump. She’s an action star, remember? The chase continues till Ranma grounds the boat and bad luck has it they end up in a dead end and cornered. Fortunately, Kei’s gun has run out of bullets so Bob is going to take care of this. At this instant, I Lyan starts posing some of her kung fu moves. The baddies were convinced she really kicks ass and ran for their lives!!! Man, she’s a really good actor. I Lyan laments her life as an action idol which is somewhat the opposite. She has stunt doubles doing the action and she is just good in doing those poses. Hey wait a minute. Then how did she jump from the car to the boat?! As an actress she feels like a caged bird day in day out but after seeing too much girls with their boyfriends, she got jealous and felt she too wanted to be an ordinary girl.

Ranma drives her back to her workplace and wants her to call her office and call it quits if she wants to stop acting and be an ordinary girl. It’s her life so she decides. The baddies haven’t given up yet and toss a dynamite to send the car turtle. Ranma has broken an arm and can’t do much except tell I Lyan to run. She runs inside the cinema but Kei starts shooting indiscriminately! Just when she thought she hit her, she actually hit the teddy and destroyed to mould. Then this unbelievable part, Ranma drops a sofa from the top level to nail those goons down. How the f*ck did he carry and push it over if he has one arm broken?! Unbelievable!!! When the lights focus on I Lyan everyone recognize her as the action star and thinks this elaborated setup was just a stunt to promote her new movie and applause her with cheers. In the end, the baddies are arrested and I Lyan thinks she wants to continue acting. Ranma is relief as I Lyan realizes he knew this from the start. Well, he says he is a fan of the Lady Fighter series and if she started to hate acting, she won’t look so lively on screen. Rella is grateful Ranma got the dress for her. However she’s got a surprise for him. Because she got a broken arm, she couldn’t attend the party. As a result his car collection was dismantled! Curse this body!

Episode 11
Alice gets word from her boss that there is a scandal involving the Secretary of Defence. This will mean their organization will lose their access to the military and needs to accomplish their mission fast. This means they need Dr Grimm. Ranma returns to office only to meet Dorothy. She is here to give Rella her laser beam ring but he’s not too interested. She demonstrates by shooting at his butt! See, useful, eh? Dorothy goes shopping and Alice picks her up on pretence to help her carry her goods. However she becomes her hostage as Alice calls Ranma to make him find Dr Grimm in 24 hours or else Dorothy’s safety cannot be assured. Of course the first person to get more information is Pinocchio as Ranma learns Dr Grimm is a very famous biologist. He retired and lived in a countryside house though he continued his research. However 2 years ago he disappeared and nobody knows his whereabouts. Not even this information master. But Ranma learns a surprising info that he might be the person who is able to pull off hosting 2 people in the same body. Ranma hopes he could help further in his case and he will contact him once he has more information. Dorothy seems to know who Dr Grimm is. At least they went to the same university though she majored in engineering. She is made to shut up when she realizes Alice might have something to do with putting Ranma and Rella in the same body. Ranma researches in the library and asks passers-by but doesn’t get much information. Then he gets a call from Pinocchio to meet up. At an abandoned bowling alley, Pinocchio mentions he has gone through lots of trouble to get this. A delivery boy has always been delivering medicinal stuff to a bunch of guys in lab coats from an old house in the outskirts. Probably it’s Dr Grimm and his assistants but that old house is now abandoned. That house is near the place his car crashed. The only remaining lead is a guy in this picture, Nero. One of the assistants who hopes from job to job. Meeting him won’t be easy as he is in prison now. Suddenly a group of armed men storm into the building and start firing away. Oh God. Not bad shooters. Wasting bullets! Pinocchio just threw a bowling bowl and fired a couple of shots to make their escape. Useless people. So what if they’re from the organization? Meanwhile some dude from the organization, Jackal meets Alice. Seems he has now been put in charge of searching for Dr Grimm instead of her since the scandal is making the headquarters restless.

Ranma is at his wits trying to solve this case. Then he gets an idea. He robs someone, makes him call the police to arrest him on the spot. I can’t believe he is thrown into jail that easily! Ranma kicks up a big fuss he doesn’t want to be put with Nero. So noisy the other prisoners are getting annoyed. This is a ploy to let the officers to assure him Nero isn’t in the same building, thus revealing where he is located. Once in his cell, Ranma regurgitates the laser ring (he had it in his throat?! Revolting!) and cuts the iron bars. I wonder why the other prisoners didn’t even notice this. Not even Nero himself till Ranma fully cuts and enters his cell. Nero knows him since he was there with Dr Grimm during the experiment. He will tell him everything if he busts him out. Then it turns midnight and everyone hears Rella’s scream. The officers run to Nero’s cell and she accuses him of kidnapping her. I don’t even know how that is possible but the officers believed it and gets rough on Nero. Maybe her pretty face and convincing acting did the trick rather than logic. In that distraction, Rella knocks them out and they make their escape. That’s it. So easy. Only 2 guards? How the hell they escaped the facility is a mystery to me. Nero brings her to the abandoned house which was the lab they used to conduct the experiment. Rella had this feeling she has been here and she isn’t entirely wrong because Nero says he’s the one who brought them in. That night when Dr Grimm has a mental block, he usually goes to the park to sort out his mind. Nero accompanied him and it seemed he found a solution to something. Driving back, that’s when the crash happened so Dr Grimm ordered to retrieve both their bodies. They’re barely alive and their injuries were serious. For that entire week, Dr Grimm locked himself up in the room and in the end managed to fuse both of them in a body. Then he released Ranma’s body at the crash site, curious to see his reaction when he awakes. Then he told Nero he is going to disappear. Since Nero liked that guy, he is not going to tell on him. Soon Alice and the organization storm the lab but found nothing and Nero claimed he doesn’t know anything. The organization gave this lab to Dr Grimm and fully funded him. He disappeared before completing his research that’s why they’re desperately looking for him. For what purpose he isn’t sure. So if she wants to know why he made them like this, she has to ask the doctor himself. Also, he saw a strange photo. It wasn’t human either. Something like a muscular monster. He has a feeling the organization’s leaders must have connections with the military and isn’t doing this out of goodwill.

Alice and Jackal get news about Nero’s prison break and more interestingly the new inmate of the day too: Ranma. Jackal curses she should’ve just killed him when she got the chance but she reminds him he is worth keeping alive. About finding Dr Grimm, Alice never put her hopes on Ranma to find him. She was merely using him as bait for Dr Grimm to contact him. She knows he will be near him as he can’t leave his own precious research behind. Jackal is going to kill Ranma but Alice says he won’t find him anywhere in this world. Not at least today. Call it a woman’s intuition. Dorothy wakes up and since she is alone, uses her gadget, mobile hands hidden in her spectacles to send a message to Rella! Amazing! How can she control those hands so efficiently and type a decent message without making mistakes? Hey, she took an engineering degree. Don’t play play. Rella returns to her mansion and is surprised to find a mail from Dorothy. She gives details of her surroundings’ sights and sounds so Rella could trace where she is being held: A water filtration plant. Rella is about to head in but she is being stopped by a painter who doesn’t want her to die yet. You know that painter we’ve seen making short unimportant cameo appearances throughout the series? Guess who he is? Yes, he is Dr Grimm!

Episode 12
Since Rella claims she has Dr Grimm, she is taken into the hidden base beneath the plant. However she is not going to hand over Dr Grimm easily and wants to make a deal in exchange for Dorothy. She knows they are desperate in looking for him since they deployed excessive armed force and if harm ever comes to Dorothy, they can bet their ass they won’t see the doctor again. Rella sets the exchange place and time. Both sides meet at the petroleum plant. Jackal thought Rella would be sneaky and has his men well placed in several buildings just in case. Who’s the sneaky one? The exchange begins with Dorothy and Dr Grimm walking opposite. Jackal gives orders once they’ve passed each other, to fire at will. But when they do, Dr Grimm tells Dorothy to make a run. That’s what they did and Rella runs with them. Jackal orders his men to get them but it seems Son, on an anonymous tip and his men surround the area. He doesn’t like Jackal stirring up his town with military presence. Jackal can’t fire because the area is filled with inflammable plants and they’ll all go to hell. So both sides fight using knives. Guess what? The specially trained operatives lost to a bunch of mafia! I guess they don’t have enough survival experience in Kirin Town. Alice from a distance fires a tracer onto Dr Grimm’s back. Rella and the senior citizens are at the office and Doris has already packed up the necessary equipment. But they’re not going to run. If they hand over Dr Grimm then they don’t have to. Unless he returns their body back to original. So he explains, this is mankind’s dream. He has Rella tell him what she ate the day before. Man, she describes all the food she ate! Amazing glutton! How the hell does she keep a perfect waistline?! Hearing all that food made his stomach hurt. Yeah, not even hungry. But hurting his stomach. What’s his point? He thought mankind had no hope. When mankind multiplied rapidly, the world’s food supply decreases steadily. So he came up with this idea called Personality Fusion Theory. If 2 people share the same body, this means the food intake is halved. Or in another perspective doubled because you only eat one serving instead of two. He doesn’t stop there. What if 3 people share the same body? How about 4? The whole town? The entire world? In the end there will only be 1 human! So wait. Is this organization out to solve world hunger? No. This organization, Neverland Group kidnapped him to oversee some evil research to fortify humans. Though they already have a prototype (called Peter), Dr Grimm refused to bow to them and used their funds to promote mankind’s future instead. So fusing Ranma and Rella is beneficial to mankind? Isn’t this the same? Rella complains about the frequent blackout every 24 hours and wants him to revert them back now or else she’ll surrender him to them.

Suddenly the office rocks. Jackal has towed the office away in his helicopter. This is the only way to escape. While Rella and Dr Grimm break and gather parts of the office, Dorothy melds them together and turns it into… A manpowered flying bicycle for 3! It’s amazing how she can put them all together in such a short time. More amazingly, it worked! Can such a makeshift junk outrun a high-tech helicopter? We won’t find out because they crashed onto the highway. Just when they’re caught between the helicopter’s gunfire, then comes Alamis’ limo. My Angel! Didn’t he see what’s going on? So what devil luck Rella has as she takes over the wheels and run rampage throughout town. Yeah, he lost half his car throughout the chase. Because of Dr Grimm’s tracer, I guess Alice knows where they are and even sends ground reinforcements. But you know, they are such bad shots that they fire and destroyed everything but their target. The town’s on fire! Not even the police can stop them! Rella gets this sneaky idea. All she needs to do is the use her womanly charms to persuade Alamis. Once the car is out of a corner, the organization people got it right and the bazooka hits and overturns the car. Only Alamis is caught. Seems the rest have dropped off before the corner and escaped into the sewer. When they emerge, they find themselves on Bloody Sharks’ turf. Since they are in debt to Ranma, they help her out by sheltering them in a shack near the port. Too bad because of Dr Grimm’s tracer (nobody noticed it still?), Alice is waiting outside. To her dismay, seems Jackal and the organization are also outside. Rella feels she wants to go back to Japan. She believes her father can protect Dr Grimm. I think she should have known better not to take a walk by herself (she needs to sort out her feelings since she swore never to return there). That’s because those organization dudes start attacking her. Don’t worry, with such bad shots they are, Rella can be as slow as snail and not get hit. However she realizes it’s midnight and needs to tell Ranma. Oops. Too late. Ranma is caught in the midst of the fire and despite confused, makes a run for it. He bumps into Jackal whom he doesn’t recognize. But Jackal thinks he’s playing dumb since his partner has caused them lots of trouble. Since he’s got Dr Grimm, he doesn’t need him anymore and shoots him. Wait? Just a shot in his shoulder? Though Ranma falls into the water, what are the chances he’ll survive that?

Episode 13
Dr Grimm is taken back to Neverland Group’s headquarters where he meets the boss and founder, Mr Hook. Now that he has the professor, he’s going to make him work his research. As expected, Ranma couldn’t be a goner because Alice dives in to save him. But why the heck is she naked?! And can a mere mouth ‘kiss’ give him enough oxygen? By the time Ranma wakes up, he is back in Rella’s mansion (because Dorothy’s around) and Alice by his side. Alice doesn’t reveal why she rescued him but now that Dr Grimm is kidnapped, Ranma won’t have it their way because he has just found a way to revert his body back to normal. Alice explains Neverland Group’s headquarters disguised as a floating island. Something mind boggling here. If the base is further hidden as a dense jungle, wouldn’t it be a dead giveaway since the island is well, floating? Duh! Anyway the place is a high-tech research and facilities centre and with an extremely tight security, not even the bug can escape its security robots. Yes, no flies. Because they’re all zapped dead as unrecognizable personnel. Wow. General sees Hook about the uproar in Parliament but Hook isn’t pushing the panic button yet. He takes General to see Dr Grimm forced to do his research because if he doesn’t he will start killing his former research team members. Man, he has the entire list!

Alice returns to the base and the only way for Rella to sneak in is via underwater. Didn’t they put any security there? I mean, there are lots of sharks but the funny part is the sharks couldn’t best Rella! Look, Rella may have Dorothy’s gadgets but the water is supposed to be their domain, right? It’s like as though they were drugged… Anyhow Rella sneaks in, plants some bombs and soon she is spotted and the security goes on alert to find her. Suddenly 5 simultaneous explosions rock the place. This draws Hook out of his room to go investigate while Rella sneaks in and did something with his computer. Rella leaves but is confronted with a security robot. It was going to shoot her but it strikes midnight and she changes into Ranma. Because of the gender switch, the robot gets confused and gets an error! WTF?! Because of this, Ranma lives. What kind of high-tech robot is this to get a simple error just because somebody changed its body?! Hook realizes the miniscule damages are just a distraction. Rushing back to his room, he is surprised to see Ranma on video sneaking around (since Jackal told him he was killed). No worries. Hook sends Peter to greet him. I thought Peter looked like a cross between a Mexican luchadores and Batman’s Bane… Normal bullets won’t hurt this big guy so how? Run! But Ranma manages to knock that monster out temporarily. He shoots the pipe and whatever gas knocks him out. That easy? Hook gets a call from General saying that he uploaded his organization’s video about bringing chaos to the world (clips of that rampage throughout Kirin Town). Of course Hook doesn’t know what he’s talking about but General says the video that was sent to world leaders was uploaded from his computer (Rella’s doing). Now that the world views Neverland Group as terrorists, nations are going to attack it tomorrow morning so General giving his last advice as friend tells him to run because he too will be participating in the attack. Some friend. Hook isn’t going to lose yet. He sets the island on self-destruction mode and vows to rebuild everything from scratch. Really? He has got that much time and money? Ranma manages to find Dr Grimm and takes him along but bumps into Peter along the way.

Soon the island starts collapsing (killing Jackal in the process) and as Hook makes his escape to the rooftop, Alice points a gun at him. She won’t have him exploit Dr Grimm for himself. Hook couldn’t care less about that professor now when Peter shows up. Hook orders him to kill Alice but she’s looking pretty confident. To Hook’s surprise, Peter bashes him. Peter then rips himself apart and we see Ranma and Dr Grimm inside the body! So that replica is just a special rubber foam? Where the heck did they get that to look like the real deal? What happened to the real Peter anyway? He was killed by the security robots since it didn’t recognize that secret creation. So lasers can do the work but not bullets? But scheming Alice isn’t ending this yet. She points the gun at Dr Grimm and threatens to kill him now if he doesn’t hand over his research. She has been waiting for a chance like this to outdo the organization. After proving that the gender switch can cause confusion in an enemy’s security system, she will fuse it with any country’s top post personnel and bring a nation under her control. Dr Grimm agrees to go with her but she is not that trusting. No choice, he hands over the mini disc so she lets them live while she flies away in the helicopter. Dr Grimm is not fazed on what he lost since that disc only contains photo of Toto (whoever that is). Since leaving his research would bring conflict, all his findings are in his head! The building is really collapsing and the guys hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Thankfully Dorothy arrives in time with her mini helicopter (at least it looks reasonable than the first one) to take them away from the sinking island. Back at Kirin Town, Ranma gets double crossed again since Dr Grimm steals the helicopter and escapes. He is going back on his promise to return them to their normal bodies. As his precious masterpiece, he won’t undo his work. Next day back at his office (open air concept in the alley?), Ranma gets an earful by Rella. Good thing about this is that he doesn’t have to listen to her video rant, right? Yeah, he goes take off for another job: To find somebody’s lost pet. But I guess he didn’t hear the part whereby Rella wants him to find Dr Grimm quickly so that once their bodies return to normal, she’ll go out on a date with him. Serious? Not pulling a fast one, isn’t she?

And They Lived Happily Ever After Together… In The Same Body!
Except for the happy part of course! So what the heck is this ending? Feels so unsatisfying. And I thought in the end there would be a way for them to get separated in the end but they remained in the same body. Whose body was it in the first place? Did the professor use Ranma or Rella’s body? Or did he use someone else since after the horrifying crash, their bodies should have been badly burnt, right? Thus the inconvenience for the detective partners continues. Making their appearance only every alternate day and ironically getting a rude wake-up call at the stroke of midnight. That isn’t the only thing left resolved in the end. What happens to Alice after that? Now that her true colours have been finally revealed in the end, she took the fake data and flew off to wherever she may go. I could imagine the face she’ll put up once she realizes she’s been hoodwinked by the old scientist. Beaten at her own game, eh? Now that Dr Grimm has pulled the carpet off everyone’s feet once more, it’ll be tough to find him again. I mean, he was masquerading as a wandering artist and nobody in town recognized him. Or maybe people just don’t care. Besides, what’s the use of an organization boasting high technology facilities when you can’t even find an old geezer? What happened to Son? So I suppose he’s just the big bad boss of the underground world. I thought we would see Ranma facing him off in the end but his nose wasn’t seen anywhere near the end. No connection with Dr Grimm and the final arc so no presence, eh?

Besides Alice whom you’ll never know what she is thinking due to her mystifying ways of doing things, the other characters are one dimensional and are basically predictable. Ranma, the poor good detective trying to make a decent living as a detective. No job is too small as long as you pay. But he isn’t totally an angel since he’s got himself dirty a few times over. Partly due to his job and that’s what you necessary need if you’re going to survive Kirin Town. For a detective to be afraid of heights, I guess it’s good in a way since he won’t be able to ride his high horse and his feet will be more firmly to the ground. Hehe… Rella, the rich, beautiful woman who seeks thrill in her life. Maybe it is something that money cannot buy. Not to be mistaken as a dumb blonde because she’s quite smart and resourceful if she gets down to it. However her huge appetite is quite worrying (and amusing). The way she devours food like there is no tomorrow is definitely contributing to world hunger and food shortage, don’t you think? She could be on par with One Piece’s Luffy. Dorothy isn’t to be taken lightly and despite an old lady, her brains are still functioning perfectly with all those crazy gadget inventions and her body is fit like a young adult. Don’t let that thick nerdy glasses fool you. Alamis? Ever since that decoy escape, that’s the last we ever heard from that “My Angel” doofus. It’s unlikely he’ll give up chasing after Rella. Unless some other pretty angel walks into his life. Looks like Wendy got to try harder if she wants to win the heart of her darling. It’s going to be tough since Ranma will always have the other woman (Rella) in between. Haha! Kantarou? Well, that guy’s in Japan so I don’t think he’d have some bearings in Kirin Town. Ever wondered Pinocchio and Tinker Bell’s true identity? Not even all the money in the world would buy you that information.

The biggest gripe that I have about this show is the action sequences. If I had to put it in a word, it would be ‘silly’. As you would have known if you have been diligently reading my blog on this series, episode after episode the bad guys can never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever and forever shoot straight or hit their target! At first it was funny but it became such as running gag that it got annoying. And when they are firing the machine gun, there is no recoil whatsoever to show the impact. So much so it’s like they’re just firing a paper gun, posing just for show! Even if you let them practice third person shooter games, I bet they’ll never shoot down their first enemy in a hundred years. Cheat code of unlimited ammunition and all-weapons-available activated too. Give them a bazooka or heck, a missile warhead and they can just miraculously miss the heroes. Or are they just lucky? So lucky that all the good guys need is just to fire one shot at them and the clone goons will go down. I know they’re trying to tell us quality is better than quantity but this is too much. If there is another word to describe the action, then it would be ‘unrealistic’. Crocodile bites leg of a guy and no serious injury befall on him? His leg didn’t even get bitten off! Girl swims among the dangerous shark infested waters and comes out tops. Injured man drops heavy object to pin bad guys down and save the day. Fight on speeding train’s rooftop did not cause any commuters to panic despite assassins out for a certain detective’s ass. Creating a workable flying contraption in just minutes. Security robots are stupid enough to get an error when people transform. I mean they scan the bones and eye retina so if it’s not in your database, then that person is an intruder lah! So why get an error? Does this mean if I am a clothes changing artist, I can escape this trick too? You get the idea. The other odd thing is that though they try to project Kirin Town as a slightly futuristic city, I thought it looked a little odd when the cars don’t have wheels and are floating. It feels like the wheels are invisible.

Another mind boggling thing is Dr Grimm’s Personality Fusion Theory. While it seems like a noble and great idea to reduce the issue of starvation, but think about this if he ever decides to put all the humans into just one body. I know, first you may think the body will explode since it can’t possibly fit everybody physically. But here’s the real issue. Seeing that humans have already reached 7 billion to date, even if this theory works and everybody is being put into a single body, how the heck are jobs and works are going to be done? I mean, that guy may be a farmer so if it is not his turn, who else is going to plant the food? Then this guy may be a construction worker so if he is not out, who else is going to construct the buildings? I know too many cooks spoil the broth but like they say, many hands make light work. So having one human means it will take forever just to complete a job. And you only have 24 hours to do so. Then there’s the case of sharing the same body between good citizens and criminals. You wouldn’t want that, do you? But the biggest issue if this theory came true is how long will you wait before it is your turn for just a meagre 24 hours? So this means you have to wait 7 billion times or 7 billion days just to come full circle! How old will you be then? Wow. That will be like 20 million years old! Will you still be alive? Yeah, feels like the dinosaur age just came and went in a blink of an eye. Considering that Ranma and Rella have no memories when they are in hibernation, does this mean time for them has stopped too? In the sense they don’t age when they are in sleeping mode? But if their stomach remains the same that means their body will still age, right? Too many loopholes and issues in this theory that’s why I say it won’t work. Besides, how do you undo the fusion? Do you need the original body or can you use another body? So does this mean this is like transfer of souls into different bodies is possible? Argh! Thinking too much is making me have a split headache. At least I don’t split my personality ;p.

Now here is another point to think about. If Ranma and Rella switch bodies at midnight, what defines and constitute midnight? What happens when the clock is a minute slow or fast? Will that affect their transformation? Although it should be implied that the internal biological clock will make the automatic switch by the next 24 hours, the reason why I’m bringing this up is because of Ranma and Rella’s travel to Japan. That means a different country a different time zone, right? And I am assuming that Kirin Town isn’t exactly in Japan because of the American-like city theme (with some typical China Towns in it). When they were in Japan, their transformation again happened at midnight. Shouldn’t they be switching bodies several hours later? Of course unless you assume that Japan and Kirin Town are in the same longitude. I doubt it since how many countries share the GMT +9 time zone with Japan. Korea? Indonesia? Some Pacific islands? I didn’t mention Kirin Town’s GMT time zone since we don’t really know where this fictional city is. Of course like I said, one would very much assume it is located in USA. So yeah, my theory is because we always see Kirin Tower clock as the reference each time it strikes midnight for their transformation, I bet if somebody stops time, the transformation will stop or if you delay the time, either Ranma or Rella will stay longer in their current state. Don’t you think it’s a good theory to test?

Though this show being a year 2003 production and thus the art and drawing are of that era, I can’t help notice how the characters have this close resemblance to the anime series Lupin III. Especially Ranma. This detective looks like that gentleman thief, Arsene Lupin III. I haven’t seen this old series but that world’s most wanted thief is famous enough for a person like me to at least heard of and know how he looks like. Then Rella also has this uncanny looks to Lupin III’s Fujiko Mine. Just dye the latter’s hair brunette. Then as I found out, both series were created from the same manga author, Monkey Punch. I guess that answers a lot of curious questions. Oh, I thought I should mention this trivial thingy too. The style of the drawing makes baddies look like typical villains. You can tell this guy is a mafia or some big bad boss just by looking at his weasel or vile face. Heck, everybody in town is so bad that everybody qualifies to be a criminal. The opening theme is the same title as this series and is sung by DOMINO88. Sounds like old school pop and it’s about the adventures of Cinderella Boy in Kirin Town. Well, not really fairytale material if I should say. The ending piece by TAKAKO is entitled Out Of Eden and sounds like a sultry R&B.

The next time anybody has got any brilliant ideas about sharing bodies to reduce world population, I think I would tell them straight that it is the same as putting you in a prison without walls. True that the increasing population is causing a heavy strain on the world’s food resources but this theory will only prove to be more troublesome than effective as I have already argued. Sure, it’s fun at first to confuse your enemies but once they know the trick, you can’t use it anymore and it will become a liability. How would you like it to be sharing the same body with your eternal enemy? Yeah, you can’t even pick a fight! Would you love the idea of sharing the same body with your lover? Hell, you can’t even have sex! Oops! And if there are still believers of this theory, I don’t want to volunteer or participate in it because I’ll be losing precious time missing my favourite animes. And you know what kind of animes they only show at midnight, right? Before it gets to the good part, I’d lose consciousness and the other person isn’t really going to be amused with my midnight tryst… Not so happy ever after, eh?

Kamisama No Memo-chou

May 27, 2012

Do you know what is a NEET? It is an acronym which stands for “Not in Employment, Education or Training”. In layman terms, it is what a useless unemployed bum is. That is how many would see an otaku who is also a shut-in, right? But here is the ironic thing. Ever heard about a NEET detective? That’s right. A NEET working as a detective. How ironic can you get as that. But I suppose that is what Kamisama No Memo-chou is. Interestingly, the cute quote of this series was what attracted me to watch this: “Because it is the NEET thing to do”. Neat, eh?

But you find a typical fat chubby bespectacled otaku as the NEET detective here. Why, it’s a little girl who looks like she is just 12 or 13 years old! Hiring a child as a detective can only mean that you are really desperate or insulting your intelligence, eh? However don’t ever judge a book by its cover. Though it may seem pretty odd that this girl who locks herself up in her room apartment for the most part of her life, the oddity of seeing computer monitors and servers beyond her stuffed animal toys, she is a pretty good hacker and if you really requests help from her, she’ll see to it that she’ll at least answers the questions that you are looking for and dig up words from the dead (dead people tell no lies, right?). All from the comfort of her bedroom. Who says you need to leave your comfort zone to solve cases?

Episode 1
Miku Kimura is in a love hotel and doing compensate dating with an old guy. The old geezer wonders if she can do stuff like her senpai, Shouko did. Suddenly, Satoshi Teraoka comes in to snap a picture of what’s happening. He assures him it isn’t money he wants. Meanwhile Narumi Fujishima just arrived in Tokyo. Due to his father’s job, he has always been changing schools. This is no different. Perhaps he feels he’s just like a tiny camera pixel. I guess he got his address mixed up and finds himself at the love hotel area. To his surprise, he sees a girl (Miku) jumping out from the window from the second floor. She landed on the garbage pile though she is knocked out. The old guy runs out but drops a bloodied crystal ashtray. Narumi could feel someone pointing a rifle at his back. Hitoshi “Major” Mukai thinks he is the suspect but was pointed out by Tetsuo “Tetsu” Ichinomiya that Satoshi is it. Tetsu is carrying a bloodied Satoshi over his shoulders.  Hiroaki “Hiro” Kuwabara is consoling Miku as he notes Narumi having a weak presence. Then off they go leaving Narumi puzzled and eating their dust trail. In class, Narumi meets his classmate Ayaka Shinozaki. She toys around with him because he doesn’t remember her. So what better way to plant fake memories like helping her change during gym class, eh? Of course that was a lie. Ayaka proceeds to force Narumi to join the gardening club in which she is the only member. Later Ayaka brings Narumi to the ramen shop she works part time, Hanamaru. Narumi sees the familiar faces of Tetsu and Major slurping on their ramen. His first reaction was to go away, not wanting to have anything to do with those suspicious people. But you know, Ayaka can be forceful sometimes. Seeing he is friends with Ayaka, they see no reason to be hostile. Hanamaru’s owner, Min-san tells Narumi not to get too close to these dropouts or else he will become a NEET like them (though the rest would like to differ that they voluntarily opt out, Min-san isn’t convinced). Tetsu wants to teach him to be a professional pachinko player while Major wants him to be a military man. Hiro comes by and shows his name card. This day couldn’t get worse for Narumi, eh? He is surrounded by NEETs. An ex-boxer addicted to gambling, a military freak and a gigolo. Suddenly they get a call from Alice to bring scallion ramen. The problem is who will bring it to her. Yeah, this Alice girl might be in some bad mood to order this kind of ramen. I don’t know what kind of game they played but Narumi ends up having to do the delivery. And he didn’t even know he was involved. He has been every since he met those weirdoes.

Inside Alice’s room, Narumi sees the room filled with monitor screens, computer units and stuffed toys. Alice was sarcastic enough to say if he is going to deliver the ramen since her long isn’t that long to reach it. Seeing Alice has a hard time breaking her chopsticks, Narumi offers to help but was being told off he is the kind of person who acts kindly for self satisfaction but relishes in seeing others fail in the end. In the end, Alice couldn’t break clean her chopsticks and tears well up in her eyes. She chides Narumi for having no decency to watch her eat. As ordered, he goes to get some canned drink in her fridge. It’s not the fact that her fridge is filled with that single Dokupe drink, but rather she knows his name. She even knows other details like his height and class. Seems Ayaka wouldn’t tell her about the new transfer student so she did a little research. All those fancy words she said mean that she’s a hacker. Or in a nicer way as she put it, a NEET detective. There is a huge difference between a normal detective and a NEET detective. While normal detectives go out to do their investigation and gather information, a NEET detective is opposite. You stay in a room, watches the world to gather all the evidence and truths. Sounds like a hikikomori (shut in), eh? Plus, their true role is to act as a speaker for the dead. Only so they may bring back lost words beyond the grave. In order to protect the honour of the dead, she will hurt the living. In order to console the living, she will shame the dead. Alice allows him to ask her questions but is surprised his first question he posed is the kind of ramen she eats. Is this her usual diet? All the monitor lights up and Alice demonstrates how she does her observations, trying to find her purpose in this world. She lets him know the rate of children dying in the world per second. She attributes that tragedy as her fault for not having not enough power to do something about it or at least the ability to manipulate them. There are only 2 occupations that can do something meaningful to those that have died or lost: A writer and a detective. Writers can bring them back to life in the world of dreams while detectives bring them back from beyond the grave and materialize it into information. But the information detectives dig up when all is said and done is no more than reality that was already recorded in God’s notebook. Alice replays a voice recording of the scene with Miku and the old man. Pausing at the point Satoshi came in, she mentions about receiving a request to investigate through a certain channel.  The perpetrator was quickly caught and admitted her crime. She is showing him this because he was there at the scene. There are several surveillance cameras set up at the place by Major. Continuing the recording, they hear Satoshi is blackmailing the old guy not for money but information about Shouko’s whereabouts. But the old guy panics and starts attacking them. That’s why Miku jumped off the balcony. Alice wants Narumi to call the trio to her room.

As Alice wonders about Satoshi and Miku’s connection other than the crime, this Shouko girl has both of them and the one who is really engaged in compensation dating. The duo will probably repeat their actions till Shouko is found. To solve this case, Shouko must be found at all cost but it won’t be as easy as it seems because Shouko may just be an alias as there is no other information except this name. Alice allocates duties to the trio so Narumi asks why they couldn’t just ask directly those involved. Sure, rub salt into the wounds, will you? Miku did compensation dating, leapt from the second floor, admitted to her crime and you want to go talk to her about it? I’m sure Narumi is feeling red faced. Obviously, he is somewhat down in school. Not putting your hearts into gardening? Ayaka thinks of Min-san’s special ice cream to cheer him up but he doesn’t want to go to that place anymore. Ayaka insists. He doesn’t. Who wins? Ayaka lah. Upon entering Alice’s room, Alice in her cute moe crying loli face is in a pinch. Her favourite teddy bear is ripped and wants Narumi to help fix it. Eh? Hiro drives Narumi to the place where this specialist sewing master known as The Fourth to fix this bear or else Alice can’t sleep. Well, Narumi certainly could tell this place isn’t a toy store. Looks like a yakuza clan! The head Souichirou Hinamura AKA Yondaime meets them and he isn’t your nice and polite guy. Mess with him or displease him, he’ll beat the sh*t out of you without batting an eyelid. Upon knowing what is inside the box, he shuts Narumi up from saying anything more and has his goons carefully take it for repair. He wants them never to peep inside or else it’s sh*t for them. Yes, NEVER! Then he as Narumi uses the computer to print out the suspects. It seems all the goons are like idiots, at awe at every click Narumi makes. They think he’s some computer genius. Duh… Yondaime isn’t thrilled that there is no details on Satoshi except his name. That’s because everything on him is rubbish and as they speak, Alice is trying to trace his handphone usage history. Hiro informs Alice’s request to stop the incidents and nothing was mentioned about turning the suspects in. Yondaime orders his goons to find Satoshi at all cost and doesn’t care if he gets hurt. Narumi is against the use of violence but Yondaime smashes the wall (OMG! It cracked!) and tells him to shut the f*ck up seeing he is not related to that kid. Or else he could bring him in himself.

Narumi meets and talks to Miku. She wonders why he hasn’t reported her to the school but that’s not his intention. Asking why she is doing those things, Miku relates the last time she chatted with Shouko. She accidentally saw a picture of Satoshi in her handphone as Shouko confirms they are dating. Shouko also admitted that they have gone that far and had sex. Miku couldn’t believe it because she always believed she’s a cute and smart student that everyone looks up to. Suddenly Shouko’s character change. She dreads that sentence very much and blows her top in the middle of the food joint. She has had enough of it and tells her off she isn’t the kind of person she thinks she is. That was the last time Miku saw her and she went missing ever since. Something must have happened. As for that Satoshi guy, Miku clears the air he is not her boyfriend. Till she finds Shouko, she doesn’t plan on stopping. Elsewhere, Satoshi is sitting dejectedly like a zombie in a dark place remembering his days with Shouko.

Narumi rushes back to Alice to tell her what he knows. Alice now has decent details on Shouko. She praises Narumi for a job well done. Major calls in to say he has found Satoshi at the convenience store. Upon knowing what he is buying, he wants Major and all his troops to abandon their tailing operation and return to base. Alice wants Hiro to prepare the car because she is going outside. I thought NEETs like her stay indoors? Well, she still is a detective, right? She has to go out sometimes. Man, her black dress looks ominous. Shouko confronts Miku who is just coming out from the shower of a love hotel to stop her from making any more foolish moves. Seems she knows where Shouko is. But first she asks if Miku realizes why Shouko is doing compensation dating. It is the high expectations from her parents and her friends’ innocent but sinful idealization that drove her to hurt herself and self destruction since she had no means of resistance. Miku still denies Shouko is that sort of person so Alice tells her Shouko has always been using her real name, Shouko Sakuma. Unlike Miku, whose real name is Miu Ikuto, Shouko didn’t falsify her real name to her clients to hurt herself. Alice says that Miku should’ve received a direct message and at the same data, data on her clients. That is, Shouko’s handphone. Everything she did was recorded there but by that time she went missing and only her handphone with clues was left. That’s why Miku and Satoshi came up with an idea together of calling Shouko’s clients for information on her whereabouts. But there is one thing Alice doesn’t understand. Why would Satoshi join her in these activities seeing he fully knows where Shouko is. Miku couldn’t believe Alice telling those lies and pins her down, wanting to know the real truth. As Alice explains, ever since Shouko’s disappearance, Satoshi has been going to the convenience store daily to buy large bags of ice. This can only mean one thing.

The news report Satoshi has been arrested and police has found the body of a dead girl (Shouko) with her wrist slashed in the bathtub. Satoshi was very calm during questioning and mentioned his actions were because he wanted to stay with her forever. In the aftermath, Narumi ponders that the Shouko Miku and Satoshi knew wasn’t a lie. They just knew half of her. When they both put the 2 pieces together, they understood the real Shouko for the first time. They realized that and chose to be together. Or perhaps as Alice puts it, Shouko herself wished for that. Also there was a will found in Satoshi’s room from Shouko apologizing he had only half of her and wished time had stopped. Even to her, she found them both irreplaceable. Suddenly Ayaka comes in and forces Alice to take a bath when she heard from Min-san she hadn’t take any for 2 days. She must be desperate enough to strip Alice in front of Narumi. Poor guy gets kicked out and label as a pervert. It’s like it was his fault in the first place. With Ayaka ‘gone’, Min-san enlists Narumi to do Ayaka’s delivery job. Since when he joined the NEET detective gang? Well, even if he didn’t, I’m sure he can’t get out nor stay uninvolved.

Episode 2
Narumi must be getting used to his life as Alice’s assistant, eh? Serving ramen and Dokupe. They get a customer in the form of a Thai girl known as Meo. “Sawatdee”. She knows this NEET detective agency due to the card Hiro gave (that gigolo used to live with the woman next door). Meo starts relating her problem. Recently she got a sudden call from her dad to take a bag in the safe now and run. She is not allowed to call him anymore and he hangs up. No word has been heard ever since. Alice has all the details on Meo’s dad, Masaya Kusakabe. From his job to his marriage to a Thai wife. Previously Kusakabe was a yakuza but decided to live an honest living. Alice warns Meo that if she intends to open the bag, there is no going back because it is often that information that kills people. To know is to die. Unless she is willing to know what happened to her father, Alice will not help. Unzipping the bag, they see lots of cash inside. Alice concludes he may be involved in some crime and out of fear from being found out, he fled. Meo thinks that is a lie and though Alice traced she did try to call daddy once via public phone, it is essential she stop if she wants Alice to continue help. Meo takes the bag and leave but after Narumi stops her to reconsider and Alice’s pledge as a NEET detective to scour every corner of the universe for her answer, Meo agrees. Alice contacts the usual trio for the job. So for the time being, she stays at Min-san’s place. Meo is quite the happy girl because she believes in family even if they’re not related by blood. Narumi and Ayaka walk home and they talk about each other’s family. Narumi only has an elder sister and a dad who rarely comes home while Ayaka’s parents are estranged.

Hiro has got a picture of Kusakabe in his hands and hands it over to Alice. But there is an error and she can’t send it so she has Narumi do his stuff. That is, going down to Yondaime’s office computer. He is disheartened to see the computer filled with porn error. I guess the goons really did go to porn sites. Yondaime has his underlings make 500 copies of the picture. Then he tells Narumi to stay out of this if he doesn’t want to get hurt because it involves a former yakuza that left his daughter with 200 million Yen and disappeared. However Narumi can’t do that because they promised to help her and that he is Alice’s assistant even if he has to lay his life on the line. Yondaime gets rough on him to scare him out of it but it’s not working. He notes they’ve got another dumbass working. Narumi gets a call from Tetsu. He’s in a pinch. Gambling with yakuzas?! Anyway they manage to ask one out for a drink, Kiichi Nemoto AKA Nemo. He once traded pledges with Kusakabe and needs some info. Tetsu puts his balls on the line for that. Liking his guts, Nemo lets them know Kusakabe was a money launderer for the Kishiwada Group. When he left, his punishment was to take over and finish the job rather than lose a finger. So he took around 300 million Yen and ran but back then he wasn’t that kind of man. He cared so much for his family. While Narumi is asleep, he gets an emergency call from Alice. He rushes down only to see Meo and Ayaka in bath towels. Double slap! Yup. Her pinch was them giving her a bath. But back to serious stuff, they discuss about the money he took. The problem is the missing 100 million. Is he dividing his risk? Instead of taking it all, did he took a smaller amount and hid it somewhere safe and gave the rest to Meo? Or was he using his daughter as decoy and never coming back seeing he never gave her a handphone to contact him. Alice has them follow the money trail to find the connection between Kusakabe and Kishiwada Group. Ayaka talks to Alice about Kusakabe’s return, in which she cannot confirm nor deny. Ayaka believes Kusakabe isn’t that kind of person or else he wouldn’t have told Meo that her mother was watching over her in heaven. Narumi asks Meo if she has heard anything from daddy lately and since she hasn’t, he tells her he has run and is never coming back. Meo gets distraught but wouldn’t believe that her father would abandon her because he promised her. Ayaka overheard their conversation and runs away. Narumi gets a call from Alice to bring Meo’s back to her immediately. Beneath the pile of money, there is a handphone with a picture of Meo’s family. She feels they should have taken Kusakabe’s words more sincerely and that Meo knew the truth instinctively. And looks like they have trouble outside because a group of yakuzas are trashing the place.

Episode 3
The punks mess up the place and harass Min-san for Meo’s whereabouts but she’s not giving in. Because Meo tried to call her dad, the yakuzas manage to trace the call to this place. Alice’s assistants are ordered to keep an eye on the situation and follow them afterwards. The yakuzas leave and their boss, Mikawa notes they need to get the 200 million back before the head of Kishiwada finds out. Narumi is called to clean up the mess in the store (I guess he really is this useful). He regrets making Meo cry and learns Min-san wanted to open her own ice cream parlour but inherited the ramen shop from her dad. She hated it and wanted to sell it off but couldn’t do so and eventually came to love this place. As for Meo, she believes if they are true family, nothing he says will change the fact that they are family: To rely and be relied upon, to exchange selfish affections. Next day, Min-sans’ store has been vandalized with graffiti and her arm is a little bandaged due to the scuffle though she doesn’t think it’s such a big deal. Narumi goes to wake Meo up but finds she has left a goodbye note, saying she will search for Kusakabe herself. Alice also feels she has failed on her part and wish to rebuke her selfishness. From the recording, Meo left 30 minutes ago and couldn’t go far. She also has information on Mikawa. He runs a financing business that acts as a front company for the Kishiwada Group for their money laundering. They know Meo will try to contact the yakuzas and true enough she did to make an exchange for the money for her dad. Alice tracks her call so Narumi rushes to the scene and not heeding her advice to wait for backup. Narumi finds her first and wants her to come back but the yakuzas corner them. Narumi gets beaten up but before Meo gets pushed into the car, Yondaime and his underlings crash into the party to pick up their friends. Narumi wakes up in bed with Meo by his side. Meo is in a dilemma for what she did because she is afraid they may kill her dad. She doesn’t want to lose any more people she loves. Narumi assures her that Alice and her people will do what it takes to save Kusakabe. Meo reveals her real name, Charunee and promises not to run without saying anything anymore. Narumi talks to Yondaime about helping those he considers his relatives and friends. Because of this, he wants to make a sake pledge of brotherhood with him (not to be mistaken as his intention to join his organization) for his own sake. He has hurt Meo and wants to be someone whom she can trust or else he won’t be able to forgive himself. Next day, Yondaime and Narumi enter the sake pledge procession with Alice and her assistants also watching.

Narumi hands Meo her mother’s handphone and she is reduced to tears. He requests for her bag. As found out, the 200 million was supposed to be laundered by Kishiwada Group via Mikawa. However he embezzled 100 million out of the 300 million given by investing in his own company. Afraid of being caught, he planned to frame Kusakabe for the embezzlement and pocketed the remaining 200 million. When they don’t know where Meo or the money is, Mikawa couldn’t land a finger on Kusakabe so he will be asking for the money in exchange for his release. Narumi suggests using the money themselves. With Alice taking care of the minor roadblocks, we see the gang putting the money in envelopes and giving them away. Narumi accompanied with Yondaime and Tetsuo go see Mikawa. In the bag contains bank statements of the 200 million split into small portions. First thing on Monday morning, the funds will be transferred to Kishiwada Group’s account. Mikawa doesn’t believe his story because he needs the account holder’s permission to do so. Narumi claims he has professional hackers to hack the bank system. He warns Mikawa to hurry because the bank is closing soon.  After Narumi leaves, it is revealed he was just lying all the way. This is a ploy to get them to rush to the bank with Kusakabe to conduct all the necessary transactions. Mikawa couldn’t call the bank because Major had interfered with the phone lines. So once Mikawa and co arrive at the bank, Yondaime and his underlings start a big brawl outside the bank. Kusakabe was to be taken away but when he sees his daughter, he easily broke free from the yakuza’s grasp! That easy?! Probably the power of fatherly love. Narumi caught a glimpse of father and daughter reunited but was accidentally punched out by Tetsu. Friendly fire? In the aftermath, Alice is not happy Meo and Ayaka are using her room as a dressing room. Meo is happy she will be going out on a date with her father and is trying several outfits. That’s where Narumi comes in to chase them out. Can he? Should he?

Episode 4
While working at Hanamaru, Narumi notices a sunglasses dude leaves the place and paid for the ramen he barely touched. Because of that, Narumi is forced to work overtime with Min-san to make the perfect ramen. Seems this isn’t the first time. Each time he orders a different ramen, he will take a sip before leaving his payment and then leaving for good. The ramen is always untouched. So how long did Narumi work? Let’s say three days without proper sleep. One night, Narumi thinks he spots a thief in Hanamaru. He tried to stop him but got away. Min-san just came out from the bath and was told what happened. She didn’t think there was anything worth stealing till she realized her sarashi (cloth used to wrap around the chest) is missing. Major and Tetsuo heard this and straightaway want to get violent with the culprit. They view Hanamaru as the holy ground for NEETs (actually it’s a place they can run up the tabs) and won’t let this pass. Min-san isn’t willing to let them help out though Hiro guessed it’s the work of a stalker. Besides, she said yes to all the stalker-like signals (receiving silent phone calls, strange letters and feeling a presence behind her back). Alice is proud that Min-san finally seeks her help but Min-san ‘bullies’ her that only her attitude has grown big (see Min-san lift Alice up like a doll!). Back to serious business, they notice that whenever the sunglasses dude patrons, the thief always comes but Narumi dismisses the culprit as the same person because of their different size. This means there may be co-conspirators. To complicate things, Alice did not find anything on the surveillance cameras. Min-san still isn’t happy about requesting their help because it feels like they’re trying to ruin her ramen business. She walks off while Narumi tries to persuade her to seek their help. What made her change her mind? The culprit may be sniffing her sarashi and sleeping with it every night! That must be one scary thought! Instantly Min-san pleads for Alice’s help. Feeling needed again, Alice assigns tasks to the trio while Narumi will continue to remain doing the same thing. Because he was useless against the thief so he can’t probably help out. Haha. Was that an insult?

The sunglasses dude visits them again. Everyone watches closely as he sips his ramen. Same thing. He tosses his money on the table and leaves. Hiro tails him but loses him. Min-san gives Narumi taste her soup and in his honest opinion thinks the seaweed flavour is too strong so the ramen doesn’t taste like ramen. Min-san pours the entire pot down the sink and thinks that dude is here for her father’s recipe. Seeing nobody thought Min-san would inherit this place, she never asked for the recipe. Later Alice finds out a piece of information that Narumi forgot to tell her. When Major tried to replace an old front door lock for security, Min-san vehemently refused. Alice wants the lock to be left as it is, slacken their guard to let the intruder in. That night as Min-san showers (she’s the bait), true enough the thief comes in. Narumi stops him by throwing a blinding stun grenade from Major. The thief is rounded up and from his ID, he is Tomio Kimura, a design artist for women’s lingerie. His reason for stealing her sarashi? As an artist striving for perfection, he feels women should wear underwear that makes them shine and it’s his mission to produce ultimate beauty. So by distorting her boobs by wrapping the sarashi is like defiling God’s miracle! His passionate ranting may make him sound like a pervert because he can tell the exact measurements of a woman’s bust with only a glance! Min-san is G-cup if you’re interested. But all Min-san is interested is to beat the crap out of him. However Alice has one more question for him. About the man he witnessed breaking in to the place. Kimura entered the room because it was unlocked but Min-san insists it was always locked. Alice concludes that Kimura has been observing the house every day and happened to witness a certain someone unlocking the front door and entering. That’s how Kimura subsequently entered. Mentioning about Min-san not wanting to change her lock, she suddenly remembers her talk with Narumi that she is waiting for her father. If she goes down to the store, she will find the answer. Alice further explains they thought there was a co-conspirator but there are 2 culprits both acting independently. The sunglasses dude is Min-san’s father, Masaru Hanada. Min-san finds a box containing ramen recipes and a note from her dad to let her have a taste of her ice cream next time. This brings tears to her eyes. Major is telling his theory to Tetsu and Hiro, the sunglasses dude must be someone trained at a special facility seeing he can dodge all cameras, avoid passerby attention and slip inside in an instant. He might be stretching it too far when he mentions about altering his own shape and appearance. But how else would you explain Min-san not recognizing her own father? Min-san wonders a bra present left at Hanamaru. The trio realize it was a favour they asked from Kimura in exchange to let him off the hook. You know Kimura’s ability to guess correctly a woman’s bust size no matter how flat they are? Yup. It’s for Alice. Now they just need someone to deliver to her. Guess who the dumbass delivery guy is? Narumi gets proper shelling from upset Alice. She thinks it’s an insult for her to force her to eat Min-san’s ramen so that she could fit into this. I guess if she was stronger, she would’ve thrown all the servers at him.

Episode 5
Alice makes a fuss about washing her ‘friends’ (stuffed dolls). To convince Narumi that her teddy bear doesn’t stink, she forces him to smell it! But Yondaime seeks to ‘borrow’ Narumi to do advertising for an indie band gig. I guess you can’t expect to be profitable if you’re just running a group of hooligans. Ayaka volunteers to help out but Alice isn’t pleased because this means Narumi would spend less time as her ‘assistant’ in her office. Hiro ‘warns’ Alice about letting Narumi smell her stuff because since she touches it, it’s like making Narumi touch her bare naked body. Man, she believed it and throws a Dokupe at poor Narumi. Later downstairs, Yondaime tells Narumi something about the job that he couldn’t tell Alice. The job may be risky because the band had a previous promoter. They are the Yanagihara Group and had ties with the yakuza. The band cancelled their contract and came to Yondaime’s group instead but so far they haven’t make any overt moves yet. I don’t know how Alice is drowning herself washing her ‘friends’ but Narumi saved her. She’s doing it herself since she can’t risk him touching her skin. During her reprimanding, she accidentally tore her teddy bear. So looks like it’s up to Yondaime’s fingers to sew it again. Narumi and Ayaka go survey several places for the band gig. Yondaime gets word from his goons about someone asking about them persistently. Thing is, he is a kid and not from any yakuza. Yondaime warns Narumi to run if he senses trouble. While Narumi is surveying at a bar, he notices a guy, Renji Hirasaka nearly starting a brawl with a few punks. Narumi purposely splashes his drink on Renji’s shirt to take him away. At a safe place, Narumi reveals he did that to save those punks because he observed Renji was serious in fighting them. Narumi’s sharp observation he took off his sunglasses to head butt awes Renji and he mentions his promise not to use his fist when he gets mad. That’s why he uses his legs and head. I guess there’s always a way around it. Renji brings Narumi along to a shopping spree. Narumi is paying. Yeah, what better way to enjoy life by spending someone else’s money? At a cafe, Renji divulges about his bad attitude, leaving him no friends. He tried turning over a new leaf but isn’t confident. Narumi doesn’t think he is a hopeless case yet so Renji thinks of testing out their friendship. However Narumi feels being friends isn’t something one should test out. Renji spots some guys looking for him so he goes out to ‘greet’ them.

Narumi brings back Renji’s shirts he bought and decides to wash them. Alice is still sulking over everything. And when Narumi wants to leave early, she goes into a tantrum about him abandoning his duty of opening his Dokupe! She thinks he is shoving his obligations to Ayaka to slack off and that her phytoplasma is doing more work than him! That girl cracks me up! Well, it’s not that she officially hired him as her assistant but she tells him off to go to the employment centre instead. Narumi is asked by Min-san to retrieve her apron at a fabric store at Kita Senju. He sees Yondaime and that yakuza guy isn’t happy. He threatens Narumi never to reveal this place or else. Yondaime comes here for items he couldn’t find to fix Alice’s dolls. The storeowner, Yoshiki seems to be quite casual with Yondaime and has no fear in teasing that guy. Not to mention some embarrassing moments in Yondaime’s life (what is it with tough guys and crying?). Yondaime receives a call from the venue. Seems there is trouble. As explained by the staff, a group of men claiming to be from the Hirasaka Group insist they are let into the staff room. They force their way in to steal some spare t-shirts. Narumi contacts Alice for her help and manages to print footage of the surveillance cameras. Though the symbols on the shirt match, she doubts the suspects from the group. Major studies to lock and finds that it is not picked. Since Yondaime has the key and no spares, it means a super professional could only open it without damaging the lock. That means either Major or Yondaime. Screw that theory. And all of Yondaime’s goons are shirtless because since it got stolen, they pledge not to wear any till the thief is caught. Nobody wants to see your tan, buddy. Yondaime tells Narumi if something happens to him, he will be in charge of these boys. Great. Narumi returns to Alice and she is still sulking. However when he says he cares for her, she suddenly flusters over that surprise attack. She eases up and you could say forgives him when she mentions to at least tell her where he goes. Because Narumi is going to Ueno for his survey, Alice brightens up because she has something he wants him to do. Take pictures of capybaras at the zoo. Sometimes he just feels he wants to die. What will people think when they learn you are from the NEET detective agency? But at the zoo, he sees Renji.

Episode 6
What’s the first thing Renji asked when they meet? Where’s his shirt! Okay, he’s still happy to see Narumi. They talk about their lives as we learn Renji wandered around (he’s still a NEET now as admitted), raked up lots of debts and became homeless. Both his parents are dead. Renji is serious about them being friends and this isn’t just a test. They conduct some mock brotherhood drink ritual with the polar bear as their witness. Renji adds that the last time he was here, there was a guy he really hit it off with. He thought he’d never make another friend as close as him and wanted to make a ritual out of it. Then when Narumi gets a call from the concert’s venue, Renji doesn’t want him to go there. But he still did and saw the place on fire, albeit a small one. Suddenly Hiro’s call pulls up before him and Alice takes him in. She was worried sick because he didn’t answer his handphone and his GPS location is idle. She thought she had been burnt to crisp. But knowing that he’s alright, she makes an excuse that she was more worried about the capybara. He got her a stuff doll but it was the wrong one. Narumi gets a call from Yondaime. Noting he is okay, he wants Narumi to stay out from now on because he has found the thief who stole their t-shirts. But Yondaime isn’t amused Alice and Narumi came to his office. Though Yondaime did ask for Alice’s help it was just a mugshot of the culprit. Alice is here to ascertain if her information was accurate but was warned that the culprit has been beaten up to a pulp to a point she might not recognize. So how? Send Narumi in to check. Sure, that guy is badly beaten up but he’s gone crazy, talking nonsense like as though he is hiding something. Yondaime continues beating him up and though we didn’t get to see it, we know how terrible it is because his fists are covered with blood! Yondaime returns to Narumi and remembers something he didn’t tell him. He has a hunch of the person behind all this because he too had another set of key: Renji. Surprise to hear that name? Narumi hears more from Yondaime’s underling about how Renji and Yondaime met and teamed up, even stealing the turf from Gotouda Group and subsequently the formation of Hirasaka Group. The duo enter a sake pledge that neither was superior to the other and they exchanged something very important. But then they started butting heads. The underling pleads to Min-san to stop Yondaime and Renji before things get worse (Yondaime may take things into his own hands) but Min-san tells him off she’s running a ramen store and the most he could do is bring them here and she’ll listen to their problems and beat them to their senses.

Alice confronts Narumi and lets him know he is not obligated to answer. She wants to know what he was doing because he has been acting strange lately. He admits to meeting Renji and Yondaime telling him he was behind it. Narumi looks at Renji’s t-shirt and recognizes the butterfly shape embroidery which is similar to Hirasaka Group’s logo. Narumi admits to Yondaime about meeting Renji. He gets violent, strangling him for answers but Narumi pleads him to seek Alice’s help since they were friends and even held the sake ritual. Yondaime cools off so Narumi wonders what happened between them. He just said Renji broke a promise and nothing more. He shows him Renji’s shirt which is the unfinished design of the group. Something Renji said had sentimental value to him. Yondaime replies it isn’t anything concrete and the embroidery was done by a woman named Hison. He warns him not to go near Renji and if he contacts, let him know. Yondaime sends a couple of his underlings as Narumi and Ayaka’s bodyguard on their normal shopping day. They promise never to take their eyes off them but see how useless they are when they start sobbing and crying right after losing sight of them. Narumi and Ayaka run into trouble with several thugs wanting to hurt them real bad. If not for Tetsu’s return (he went horseracing at Niigata), they would’ve been toast. Thanks to Tetsu’s unrivalled boxing skills, he took them all out! Narumi feels bad that not only he went off on his own, he got Ayaka involved too. He doesn’t pick up Alice’s calls but answers one from Renji. He wants to meet and also to bring that t-shirt. Why couldn’t he just mail it? Otherwise there won’t be any reason for them to meet, right? Narumi catches Alice off guard once more telling her he is here to see her (the way he said it doesn’t sound like a joke but Alice sure reacts the usual). Alice lets him know the manager of a sporting goods store in Ikebukuro called Exeteria used to lead a gang of thieves. But they came into conflict with Yondaime and the gang was disbanded. Alice knows all this because Renji doesn’t know the existence of a certain NEET detective. Alice adds she knows how cruel and ruthless Renji is. He is a dangerous man who can unflinchingly do such things. Those working under him are largely the remains of teams crushed by Hirasaka Group. Only fear of him and Yondaime’s reputation kept them in line. Narumi shows him the t-shirt he is supposed to return. Alice chides him a fool for wanting to go, for wanting to insist on interfering at the cost of his own safety. She gives him her owl doll as safety charm so that he could give it back to her safely. But for now she wants him to sleep since he looks pale and that the sludge in Tokyo Bay has a healthier colour. Oh Alice… Before Narumi leaves next morning, he gives the t-shirt to Alice as keepsake. No, not as hostage but if he gives it back, he won’t have any more reason to meet Renji. Narumi meets Renji and he wants to talk.

Episode 7
Renji has only 2 things to say to him. First, thanks for being his friend despite how things turned out. Second, the next time he sees him, he will kill him because he is working with Hirasaka Group. Narumi isn’t satisfied with the answer and knows something more has happened. Using their sworn brotherhood thingy as an excuse, Renji mentions he and Yondaime used to live with Hison together. The guys always came back bruised but it didn’t matter to her. They made a promise that till one of them found a better woman than her, they will not make a move on Hison. However Renji wanted to protect her. He and Yondaime were making trouble with the Gotouda Group. Yondaime was believed to have used Hison as a shield and died. Hison’s existence was erased and Yondaime was paid to shut up about it seeing she was an illegal immigrant and a hostess of a club. Renji never saw her body and Yondaime even admitted to it. Narumi doesn’t believe it all because he believes there is still a bond between them. But Renji isn’t amused. He crushes his handphone with his fists to show how mad he is and reveals he is going to crush everything Yondaime created. Narumi returns to report to Alice about Renji’s grudge on Yondaime and is targeting the event. But Alice notes he didn’t attack the band directly. Only the concert staff, Narumi and Ayaka were attacked. Since she has not being formally being requested for help, there is nothing much she can do. Reminding him as detectives, they should not speak thoughts that others did not give form to because they only act as speakers and representatives of those unspoken thoughts. Narumi gets a call from Mika, the promoter for the event. She laments her boss is ready to cancel the job due to the incident but she vows to fight on since Yondaime came all the way to plead with them. This boosts Narumi’s morale. Later he goes to seek Yoshiki’s advice on the embroidery pattern and they chose the same pattern. Noticing he is always seated during his job (regular customers usually get the items themselves instead of calling Yoshiki to fetch it from the top shelves for them), Yoshiki reveals an old ache that doctors advised him not to work too much standing up. He also says when he first opened this place, Yondaime helped him out. Because he is stupidly strong and good looking, people just flock to him. Yoshiki quips Narumi and Yondaime should become a manzai comedy pair because the latter used to speak in Kansai dialect. Narumi realized something and calls Yondaime. Along with the sake ritual, Yondaime and Renji exchanged manners of speech too. Narumi is convinced neither of them has forgotten what’s important and there must be some misunderstanding somewhere. Otherwise their bond couldn’t have easily broken. He pleads him to seek Alice’s help but was told to stay out of his business.

Narumi feels down nothing worked out and felt he had only pretended to understand them. But Alice cautions him not to view Yondaime as a cheap man because he’ll return anything he’s entrusted with without fail. Speaking of which, Yondaime is here to seek Alice’s help. He doesn’t care how but to bring Renji to him. Poke their noses where it doesn’t belong and he’ll beat them up. The trio assistants knew it would come to this and already did the liberty to prior setting up and investigations. Yeah, they have some leads on the case. As found out by Tetsu, Renji owes millions of yen in the black market and that debt is transferred to Yanagihara Group so Renji’s got their backing. But Narumi still feels gloomy because he heard straight from Yondaime’s mouth that Hison was stabbed in his placed and he received the money. Alice warns him again about attempting to form thoughts of another. Showing him a newspaper article about a club hostess attacked by Hirasaka Group 5 years ago, Hison was working there and the ones backing the club were Gotouda Group. If she investigates the money trail, the financial connection with Yondaime will become clearer. That’s because the flow of money speaks volumes about human nature. Alice ends the conversation and wants him to leave immediately or he may turn from moss into fungus. Oh Alice… Narumi sees Mika and the final design of the t-shirts are printed out. She gives him a t-shirt made from Yoshiki with the feel of embroidery in the prints. Returning to Alice, she has scooped up more information. Looking from Gotouda Group leader’s account, he transferred what she believes to be living expenses to Hison, his supposed lover. In the month she died, a very large expense transaction was recorded. Half went to a surgeon in Shinjuku and the other a real estate agent in Adachi who is an acquaintance of Yondaime. Confirming if this is what Renji thinks (someone from Gotouda Group broke into the apartment, mistakenly stabbed Hison whom Yondaime used as a shield and then received compensation), Alice has come to conclude as the same conclusion as Narumi (not because she based it on some ‘virtue’ like he did with Yondaime). Something is wrong with the picture. It may be a big cover up. They may have got their premise wrong because if it was so, why didn’t Gotouda Group kill Yondaime and only went as far as paying him off.

With Yondaime’s men station around town 24/7 so Renji and his men won’t have much freedom doing as they like, Narumi hears Hiro’s testimony he got from a woman living next door to Hison. From the recording, she mentioned remembering hearing a loud noise of a woman from Hison’s room. Subsequently the Gotouda Group came and carried away Hison who was stabbed in the stomach. There was also a man with blood flowing from his shoulder though she didn’t get to see his face. But that voice she heard didn’t belong to Hison but another woman. Narumi rushes back to Yondaime’s place and he tried to touch his tattoo on his shoulder which serves to hide a scar. Yondaime quickly restrains him as Narumi mentions Hison was the target all along and that they were never after him. Returning to Alice, she mentions if it was a right choice for him working here as a detective. Narumi apologizes for not being useful but she says at least it is better than doing nothing (well, he handled 5% of her burden). Back to the case, 5 years ago right after the incident, Gotouda Group leader divorced his wife, who happens to be the other woman’s voice described in the testimony. She is most likely the culprit and the madness that drove her to stab Hison in the abdomen could only mean Hison was pregnant. Case of ex-wife jealous with husband’s lover, eh? Touching the embroidery print t-shirt Narumi is wearing, Alice finally understood and wants him to find Renji at once to tell him the truth. However Narumi gets a call with bad news that Yondaime has been attacked.

Episode 8
Yondaime is in critical condition in hospital, unconscious and still unstable. Calling Alice about the situation, she notes this was all along Renji’s plan. With Yondaime diverting his men to guarding the place, he is left alone and was attacked by the group. Narumi visits Yondaime’s place to see it in a mess. He was in the midst of writing an email when the attack happened. Seems he was about to email materials related to the event to Narumi. He returns to Hanamaru only to be greeted by Yondaime’s underlings who are crying for revenge. They have found out his location and are about to head there to kill him. They don’t give a damn about the concert. This causes Narumi to blow his top that Yondaime has put a lot of effort into this event to take shape. If they cause a scene while wearing that symbol on their t-shirts, it would have been nothing. Besides, don’t you think it is pretty funny that they know Renji’s location now seeing the event is pretty near? Yup, it’s just a trap to lure them in. He reminds them he is Yondaime’s little brother and till he recovers, he will be in charge of the group. The goons apologize about soiling Yondaime’s name and put their trust in him. Later as Alice saw through his tactic, he just put on a show in the heat of the moment. She quips he should be a con man. Even the theory of why Renji let them know his location as a trap, he came up with that at that instant. Alice notes he is truly a mysterious young man because when he gets hot headed, for some reason he arrives at the truth via shortest possible route. She lets him know that Major’s surveillance at the supposed place Renji is, there are around 10 of his men waiting. So if Yondaime’s underlings were to barge in, they would’ve really walked into a trap and an inevitable unruly scene. Alice reminds him about Renji’s goal to destroy Hirasaka Group and came close to achieving that had not his miscalculation of Narumi. Seeing he has failed, it is most likely he will come after him himself. Why? Because they still have his t-shirt as ‘hostage’. But how do they call him out? Alice says to do his job. Straightaway, Narumi calls Mika and wishes to take over everything related to the concert.

On the day of the concert, Narumi and the guys act as security. They spot 3 of Renji’s men camouflaging as the audience but they are told not to engage unless they disrupt the safety of the other people. Narumi goes to the backstage and this is a bait for Renji to follow him. True enough, Renji comes in but he is upset that the lead vocalist is wearing his t-shirt on stage. He purposely took the bait to find out but as Narumi pointed out, it wasn’t him who called him out but Alice. She assures him the shirt is a replica and the original one is still with them. She points on the embroidery on Narumi’s t-shirt that uses a traditional Korean technique, similar to the one on Renji’s shirt. In short, it is made by the same person. On that day 5 years ago when Gotouda Group leader’s ex-wife stabbed Hison in a jealousy crime, Hison was transported to hospital by Gotouda Group and her life spared. However it cost her her womb and ovaries and lost her womanhood. Renji thought Yondaime had accepted the money but in reality it went towards renting a floor of a building in Kita Senju. There, Hison set up a small shop and cast away her womanhood and continued living with a new identity while sealing her emotions towards Renji and Yondaime. Yes. Hison = Yoshiki. Oh sh*t! Plus, Yondaime continues to shoulder the blame for not being able to protect Hison and did this because he doesn’t want Renji to know Hison was Gotouda Group leader’s lover or she was pregnant. She presents him with a choice: To reforge their bonds or let them remain shattered. Yondaime has pretty much stumbled his way to the backstage and didn’t like how everything is revealed. Ironically, Renji didn’t feel so much hate when he sees he face. So what can guys like them do to get back together? Trade punches… Maybe it takes away the pain from their heart… The even ended without incident as Mika treats all the staffs to a celebration. At Hanamaru, Renji notices Min-san has received an embroidery carpet from Yoshiki. Seems he also has forgotten to take his sunglasses. But he realizes the deeper meaning to it. Rushing to Alice to retrieve the t-shirt so he can see off Renji at the train station, Narumi says that even if he can only manage 5%, he’ll still do his best so that she’ll feel he deserves to stay by her side. Once more, Alice is flustered by that sudden attack and starts spewing ‘insults’ such as overdose of employment has unbalanced his brain for this natural-born NEET. Oh Alice… I love how you say things. She probably wanted to admit something but she tells him to hurry. Narumi catches Renji in time and hands him back his sunglasses. He finds out he is trying out his luck in Osaka and can’t stay in Tokyo to take responsibility for what has happened. Plus, seeing Narumi again is considered good for a no-good-person like him. Handing back his t-shirt, the embroidery is completed. He remembers the thing he forgot. Seeing the t-shirt is the only thing he had, each time they moved apartments, Hison will stitch on bit by bit. In the end it took 5 years to complete, eh?

Episode 9
Looks like Narumi is hooked playing online baseball with an incredible database of player stats at an arcade. Not that his team has any luck winning. There goes his money… On a side note, there is a fighting game in the background called… Guess? NEET Fighter!!!However a bunch of yakuzas barge in to stop operations. Narumi is surprised to see Nemo. Seems he wants to up the rental for this place or else it’s eviction. Major wouldn’t allow for it so Nemo decides to settle this with a contest. A baseball game. Not the ones you play in your computer. A real baseball game. Oh sh*t. NEETs and outdoor activities don’t go hand in hand, right? If they win, the rental stays or else Nemo will have the place immediately evicted. Because of that, Major seeks Alice’s help. I guess he’s really desperate. Nishimura (the owner of the arcade) asks about Ayaka’s brother who frequents the arcade but recently hasn’t seen him around. Ayaka doesn’t seem too happy to answer so Hiro chances the subject of players. Because they have not enough players, Yondaime and a couple of his goons join in. The rest making up the team are Min-san, Meo, Tetsu, Major, Hiro and Nishimura. Alice too has a role. She is the coach. Seriously? Serious. What about Narumi? The assistant coach and substitute. He’s always got the best position, eh? Yeah, he’s in charge of training the goons who know nothing about baseball. So the days pass as everyone trains hard. Alice shows Narumi data on Nemo. He is quite the athletic person during his school days and his school baseball team (believed to be a high ranking one) even went on winning the coveted Koushien and him the ace player. At the arcade, Nemo shows he still hasn’t lost touch of his baseball skills because the baseball he threw got stuck in the vending machine. Be very afraid. Narumi asks him about his past playing baseball but he mentions he just want to beat up kids who play baseball because they are treating it like just some game. He isn’t happy that even they won the Koushien, once summer ends, they became nobodies. This game is going to make him money that’s why he is pitching. On game day, Ayaka becomes the cheerleader for the NEET Teddy Bears. Yes, this is what their team name is. Embarrassing? Well, Alice is the coach. Besides, she will be coaching from Hiro’s car stuffed with all her dolls. Can she really breathe in there? The game goes on with both sides equally matched though Nemo’s team has the slim lead. Narumi remembers the additional information Alice told him. On the year Nemo’s team was defeated in the semi-finals, he soon dropped out of school. There were no written proofs so Alice believes Nemo was suspected of being involved with a yakuza baseball betting scheme. After all, everything happened 30 years ago and the truth shrouded in darkness. So it’s like everyone has probably forgotten.

As the game is near its end, Yondaime is reaching his limit. Since he just got discharged from hospital, he is in no condition to play baseball. Why the heck did they let him play in the first place? I know his ego is one thing but they should’ve known about his medical condition, right? Not enough players? They can always pick 1 more goon, right? Alice has observed Nemo’s playing style and laments if only she had his past records. Even so, that is 30 years old and how reliable that would be. Narumi realizes something and dashes back to the arcade to get some data. It is a huge gamble he is taking because he believes there is someone who remembers. When Narumi returns, he sees Yondaime being escorted off the pitch and his ribs bleeding. Tetsu makes a bet with Hiro that he can hit Nemo’s throw. He does hit but his bat breaks! Yondaime wants Narumi to be the pinch hitter but Narumi is not confident. Suddenly Alice steps out and will be the pinch hitter. Is this a joke? Not. As Major notes, due to her small stature, the strike zone is shrunk. I don’t understand baseball so this part had me stumped. Seems Alice purposely missed several shots and on the final one, she tells them they had their eyes looking somewhere else and coolly walks over to the next plate. Nemo realizes he has been had and rushes to the plate but Alice already saves it. Alice passes the bat to Narumi. After several fouls, Narumi strikes a stance that made Nemo seems to recognize. Once Nemo pitches, Narumi hits a home run (I think) and NEET Teddy Bears makes a comeback and wins by the skin of their teeth. Is lady luck shining on Narumi? I think Tetsu is pushing it when he wants him to hit the auctions too. Nemo wants to know how Narumi knew his finishing pitch was the forkball. He read his records from the game. Nemo didn’t think that anybody would remember his stats but as Narumi put it, even if he hates the game, there are people who have remembered him and inputted that data. He is sure there was somebody by his side 30 years ago watched him pitched and committed that memories to heart. Nemo is graceful in his loss and maintains the rental of the arcade. In the aftermath, Major experiences his rare defeat. His tenth defeat in a row! Narumi notices the cute teddy bear uniform of the other team and realizes that it isn’t just them who got addicted to online baseball. Yeah, I guess Alice can be a baseball star considering it is confined to computers. Ayaka thinks of playing it too when Nishimura mentions her brother has returned.

Episode 10
They see Toshi playing the pinball. Tetsu plays a fighting game with him. And lost. It’s been some time they’ve last seen him and he doesn’t look like in good shape as he is coughing on and off. However he doesn’t want his concerned sister to touch him. Narumi follows him outside to see if he’s okay. Toshi starts acting like a strange person and badmouths his sister as stupid, annoying and always trying to drag him back. He mentions about Ayaka being the one skipping class and being worried about him is just to make herself feel better. Toshi feels Narumi is like his replacement. He begins coughing again but takes pops several pills with ‘AF’ inscription. The only thing Narumi knew is that it’s called Angel Fix. Toshi stumbles like a drunkard, not caring about the traffic lights. It’s amazing the cars didn’t hit him. Narumi sees an older guy picking him up across the street. Ayaka calls Narumi but Tetsu hijacks the phone. Learning he swallowed a pill and began behaving strangely, Tetsu believes Toshi is doing drugs again. He doesn’t want him to say a word to Ayaka. Ayaka pesters Narumi for information on what the guys said. Narumi can’t play poker because his straight face tells him that he is hiding something. Toshi calls Ayaka to warn her about not telling others more than she has to. Narumi overheard the conversation that Toshi is with Shirou Hakamizaka, a graduate student doing botanical research whom Ayaka has only met twice or thrice. Next day as Narumi goes to serve Alice her noodles, he sees a WTF moment. Why is Ayaka trying to wrap Alice’s hair?! Anyway Ayaka is kicked out and Alice ‘saved’ when Yondaime comes in to request for help. Because there are people dying, he doesn’t want Narumi to be involved. However seeing he is his sworn little brother, he has no choice. Yondaime wants to know how a new drug has been circulating around the neighbourhood. Remember about Narumi’s face about being poker? Yeah, they can guess from his reaction he knew something about Angel Fix too. With the usual trio assistants in the picture, they conclude Toshi may have either bought it from the source (which they have no info on) or a dealer due to the large amounts he has. They need to catch him and make him talk. But for Narumi, his job is to make sure Ayaka doesn’t find out about this. Again Ayaka tries to bug Narumi for what they talk about. She has a hunch it involves her brother. Narumi is reluctant to say and this causes Ayaka to feel that he is like the same as Toshi, always running off without a word. Narumi wonders if he is Toshi’s replacement since she didn’t quite work out with her brother. Those words hurt her but it’s too late to retract them. Narumi tries to apologize to her but the misunderstanding turns a little for the worse with him accidentally ripping her gardening club committee armband.

Over the next few days, he works hard trying to bring back Ayaka’s smile. One evening, they chance each other and apologized at the same time. With that as an ice breaker, Narumi gives her a newly sewn armband of the club with its own logo. He had Yoshiki help out too. With Ayaka being to her happy self, Narumi tells her what Toshi said the other day about her skipping class. She admits it is true because she is not good mixing with people. She loves hanging out on the rooftop alone till she saw Narumi. She wanted to talk to him but had no courage. She bought planters on purpose so she could come to the roof on pretence of club activities. She assures Narumi he is not a replacement and that Narumi is Narumi. The trio assistants are reading up on books on how the drug is made. Not making any sense, eh? Plus, they have no leads on Toshi. They thought Ayaka was coming and quickly hide the books but it was Narumi. He warns them Ayaka will be here soon as Alice calls Narumi and Hiro for yet another broken stuff doll ‘assignment’. Major chats with Tetsu about Hiro getting involved with this stuff, not knowing Ayaka is eavesdropping nearby. Wow. She must be fast seeing Narumi first said she’ll be late followed by she’ll be here soon. At Yondaime’s place, Hiro receives a list of people who were hospitalized in the area for the past month. Narumi returns to Hanamaru to get a taste of Min-san’s new tiramisu ice cream. He and Ayaka walk home as they chat about the cultural festival in which their teacher wanted to use the roof so they had to clean up the planters. Narumi thinks of notifying the teacher they can’t do so in such a short notice seeing the gardening club is their place. He got embarrassed when he realized what he said and says it was only meant as a figure of speech as he is part of the gardening club for what it’s worth. As they part, it’ll be the last time Narumi would see her smile because Ayaka jumps down from the school building in an apparent suicide. The bed of flowers below isn’t going to cushion her fall… Ayaka!!! NOOOOOO!!!!

Episode 11
Ayaka is still alive but lying in coma in hospital. Her condition is so bad that the doctor has placed no hope in her recovering. Only a miracle can save her. Narumi wallows in guilt and depression that he hasn’t set foot to Hanamaru since then and even skipped school. But he can’t stay like this forever like his sister said. One night he goes to Hanamaru and sees Tetsu. He wants him to teach him boxing. I’m not sure if he’s using this as an excuse to take out his frustrations. Once he feels better, he runs into Alice’s room. As usual, the cool reprimanding lines but Narumi is here seriously seeking her help. Why did Ayaka ended up like that? She warns him that by digging up the truth Ayaka wanted to hide, it will destroy his tranquillity maintained by his ignorance. Might as well since his tranquillity has already been shattered. Alice already knows what he wants to know: The reason Ayaka wants to die but that’s not what she wanted to know. Rather, why did she leap from a school roof which is a low level building compared to others and why the school? She didn’t left any suicide note so the police are investigating as an impulse act or accident. Alice gets emotional and blames herself that she too didn’t get to stop Alice. Narumi promises he will stay by her side and face the truth even at most he can only shoulder 5% of her burden. With that, Alice officially makes him her assistant. Every part of his body to the last drop of his blood belongs to her. Erm… Doesn’t that sound more like a slave? Narumi is to continue as he is, observing places Ayaka spent her time. Alice calls him at school and guides him to the greenhouse but he is surprised to see Yondaime there. He thinks the school has something to do with Angel Fix since he is here investigating but he tells him not to get involved anymore. Narumi returns the greenhouse keys to the teacher who is asking about the pretty bluish violet flowers Ayaka planted. However Narumi didn’t see any of those in the greenhouse. She mentions Ayaka growing a rare new flower breed from seeds her brother gave her. Then it hit Narumi what is happening. He rushes back to Alice to see documents Major put together but she wants him to see something first. A profile of Hakamizaka reveals he is an excellent student in the field of biological chemistry in a pharmacy university. Narumi recognizes this guy as the one picking up Toshi. Hakamizaka is researching and mutate breeding a flower that provides an active ingredient in Angel Fix. By mutating the flower’s DNA, he is creating a breed with a more powerful narcotic effect. Popping up on screen is a list of people who have had contact with Hakamizaka. Among them is Toshi. Seems he is aggressively recruiting help to grow, manufacture the drug but since he is an amateur, he didn’t get much foothold. Toshi was in a position to receive the drug directly from he and he used Ayaka to help grow the raw ingredients. Drugs after all corrupt people from the inside out. She wants Narumi to hand over this data she copied into her USB drive to Yondaime. Meanwhile Yondaime is rallying his underlings to string in those bastards and teach them a good lesson for messing with his turf. Narumi confronts Yondaime on what is he to do when he finds Toshi. Though he can’t forgive him, there is still something he wants to ask Toshi. But Yondaime will put an end to this and he being Ayaka’s brother is of no concern anymore.

Narumi sees the trio assistants who can’t do anything more. He lets them hear his theory how Ayaka found out. She probably saw Major’s documents. Narumi isn’t blaming Major but himself because he was the one who gave away clues about Yondaime’s request and Toshi. With photos of the flowers and documents on the drugs, she realized she had been growing narcotics. But it’s not what drove her to suicide. After she found out Toshi betrayed her, she probably thought of wanting to help him too. He is not sure if they met that night. But what he needs to know are words Ayaka were unable to tell him. Seeing him at a lost but with determination, Tetsu suggests asking for their help. Narumi instructs them to find Toshi is soon as possible. The trio get down to work at lightning speed and surprisingly got all the necessary info. As mentioned by Alice, they could’ve obtained this information sooner as this is what they are capable of. It was Narumi who gave their capabilities a direction. Deep down, those 3 always wanted to help Toshi but knew what would happen if they found him. They were poor in acting tough and unable to act on their own will. After Narumi visits Ayaka, he gets a surprise call from Ayaka’s handphone. It is Toshi on the line and he sounds crazy. He is ‘complimenting’ the good job he and Alice had done in putting up wanted posters of him and Hakamizaka. Toshi isn’t going to tell his whereabouts and Narumi knew he was with Ayaka that night. Suddenly Toshi gets a mood swing. He starts emotionally crying he didn’t want it to happen to her. He can’t run away now. There’s no more hope for him. He wants help. All of a sudden, Narumi hears him getting beaten up. It is Hakamizaka. Realizing he isn’t Alice, he wants him to relay a message to her, “Find me if you can. Catch me if you can. If you don’t, I might just fly away”. He doesn’t want to waste his breath explaining why he is doing this because commoners like him won’t understand his ideals. Only the chosen ones get to knock on Heaven’s door. In other words, those who sport the pink wings he has created. Asking if Narumi would like to sprout wings and fly just like that girl, he hangs up. Oh dear, could it be?

Episode 12
Narumi rushes back to Alice to inform what happened. This confirms Ayaka has made contact with Toshi prior to her jump. Alice has located Ayaka’s handphone GPS location and it turns out to be a disco owned by Hirasaka Group. However Yondaime is beating up a small fry in possession of Angel Fix. After retrieving Ayaka’s handphone, Narumi asks the guy about Hakamizaka’s location but that guy is so high that he can only see an angel. Narumi wanted to beat him up but was stopped by Yondaime that he was sent to provoke and fool them, that’s why Ayaka’s handphone was given to him. He doesn’t know a thing about Toshi or Hakamizaka. Yondaime wants Major to analyze the drug and has Narumi leave with him. Because after this, Yondaime is going to get violent with that small fry and have him spill everything out. Back at Alice, they confirm that those who took Angel Fix have the same ‘conversation’ of seeing an angel. The analysis of the pill has lower concentration than usual which means demand is exceeding supply. But if demand has become so pervasive, why hasn’t the merchant been identified? Narumi suddenly realizes something and requests for a pen, blacking out the packet of the pill, a mark of angel wings is seen (previously Narumi thought he saw something strange flickering on the packet when light went over it). Seems the drug heightens visual perception and it’s not a hallucination. They conclude dealers wait for people who are already high to find them and sell the drug (usually it’s the other way round). As Alice puts it, it’s an experiment to test how effective the drug was as well as whether he could create believers keen enough to seek out the wings of an angel. In order to find the dealer, Narumi volunteers to take Angel Fix. Though the rest disagree with this dangerous method, Alice feels if this is the only option left, by all means do so. Narumi visits Ayaka and also sees his teacher there. She tells him the cultural festival will continue but the rooftop will no longer be used. She also says to come to class because his classmates are also worried and care for him.

The operation begins with Narumi taking the drug. He finds it hard to maintain his sanity. Alice is giving him directions while Tetsu and Hiro are close by to take care of anything deemed necessary and not let Narumi hurt himself. The effect of the drug is getting too strong for Narumi to handle. He can’t find himself to obey Alice’s words anymore and finds it irritating. He suddenly sees a vision of Ayaka with angel wings. He chases after her. Next thing he knows, he is in contact with a woman but Tetsu was there to ‘retrieve’ Narumi. When the woman leaves, Hiro tails her while Tetsu tries to hold resisting Narumi. He wants to go to his ‘angel’. Narumi wakes up in Alice’s room with his sanity intact though a bit drowsy. She mentions the case is coming to a close. Pointing to the bruises under his eyes, they are a result of a strong immune reaction to one of the components of Angel Fix. So what he and Ayaka experienced was simply a bad trip. Narcotics exaggerate various mental processes so the thinnest sliver of regret or guilt of knowing that in raising those flowers, she had aided a crime. Tetsu comes in and isn’t pleased Alice has contacted Yondaime. She mentions he is also a client in this case and since they don’t know the enemy well, they may require Hirasaka Group’s strength one way or another. Anyway she has Hiro ready the car as they head to the final scene. Outside a shop, Yondaime and his underlings have surrounded the place. Securing all the floors, they make their way to the basement and see a drug lab with lots of people high on the drug. Among them is Hakamizaka. On a high, he considers his experiment a success and believes is going to His Kingdom in Heaven. Alice asks if Ayaka’s case was a success as well, he replies he had no choice when she discovered the truth behind the flowers and threatened to go to the police so he forced her to take the drug. Initially he wanted to thank her with cash but she wanted the poppy flowers instead. Noting an angel came for her, he wonders if one will come for him too. Alice decides to give him this parting gift. Asking what she looks like to him (an angel, of course), she says she has seen what is written in God’s notebook but among the 144,000 registered names, his was not to be found anywhere. He hasn’t been admitted to the Kingdom as this dim and stuffy room will where he’ll be spending the rest of his time. Hakamizaka panics and turns into a person full of despair. What Alice did was just to toy with his junkie delusions so that he doesn’t remain blissfully high. As for Toshi, Yondaime was going to get rough on him but Tetsu warned him so he gives Narumi the permission to do what he likes. Toshi is still high and wanting more of the good stuff. Narumi is so filled with hatred and anger that he punches him repetitively like a punching bag. Those boxing lessons sure came in handy, eh? See his bloodied fists? If Tetsu didn’t restrain him, it could’ve gotten worse.

In the aftermath, Hakamizaka’s drug ring is busted, the pill disappeared from the city but as the seasons pass, Ayaka remained comatose. Narumi continued to visit her and tell her tales, not knowing if she is listening but this is the least he could do to atone for his failure to notice Ayaka’s warning signs. On his way back, he meets Alice who wanted to check something at his school’s rooftop. Alice tells him NEETs aren’t useless people who can’t do anything or don’t try to do anything. Because of the different rules, others can’t play the game the same way. They get confused and rush to categorize and isolate them so they can regain their peace of mind. But NEET is not a label. It’s a way of life. As for Ayaka’s reason to jump off the building top, it is to seal this place off. When the cultural festival was supposed to be planned here, the school has no choice but to close down the roof for safety reasons seeing an accident had occurred. That way, nobody could intrude upon the sacred ground she shared with Narumi. As the sun rises, they see a beautiful poppy flower field covering the rooftop and what’s more, the pattern forms the logo of the gardening club. Though Ayaka is crushed by the influence of the drug, at the very end, she remembered this. She wanted to protect this place and was thinking of him. Narumi narrates the 2 jobs in the world Alice said can be meaningful to which that has been lost, a writer and a detective. That’s why Narumi decides to tell this story so that he could bring back to life in the world of dreams the words that were written in God’s notebook for he believes it is something meaningful he can do for what has already been lost. And the final miracle: Ayaka opens her eyes!

I NEET A Hero!
I consider the ending to be quite heart-warming. If Ayaka had not regained consciousness in the end, it would definitely have left a bitter taste in my mouth (I’m sure many viewers would also feel that way). So it goes to show that there is still hope no matter how tiny it is. The flow of the story is quite okay and because they are split into short story arcs and most cases are somewhat related to the main characters in the series, I thought I would be seeing one that delves deeper into Alice’s past or at least how she ended up as a NEET detective. I also thought we would have a glimpse of the past of her trio assistants but I suppose the short nature of the series doesn’t allow it so maybe if they were to make another season, they might throw in such stuff. I mean, it isn’t really just coincidence that a bunch of unemployed guys come to work under Alice, right? Say, I wonder how much they are getting paid. Maybe it is not in monetary terms we’re talking about. Perhaps the satisfaction in helping out others, those who lack the power to stand up against the circumstances.

Alice is by far the most amusing character in the series. She is serious, mysterious, cute and funny. Let’s look on the serious side first. For a girl her age, she exudes lots of professionalism in the cases she takes up. Maybe it’s her monotonous speeches but you can’t say that she’s emotionless because that’s where her cute and funny side comes in. But being serious, she doesn’t let emotions control her that’s why she is able to think straight and come up with conclusions that would be pivotal in solving most of her cases. I won’t go as far as saying that her vocabulary is of a high standard but rather the choice of words she uses in her dialogues are not what ordinary girls her age would use. Sometimes it’s enlightening as well as fun to pay heed to what she says. Either you’ll be in awe or just laugh. Especially those reprimanding words that she has to say to Narumi. Man, I could say she is that ‘creative’ in coming up with them. For the mysterious part, how much do we know about Alice and her past? None, right? Heck, you don’t even know if Alice is her real name or not. Now on to her cute and funny side. Because she’s still a girl, she has quirky habits like her stuffed dolls and her obsession for the Dokupe can drinks. I wonder if those fizzy drinks are good for her health. She looks quite frail so it seems anybody could easily overpower her if they wanted to. That’s why she’s no match for even Ayaka when it comes to bath time or anything that needs her to get physical (nothing yuri lah). So her tongue and fingers are her mighty sword, eh? Alice doesn’t just sit in her bedroom-cum-office all the time and when the time calls for it, she’ll go out on scene whenever needed. So you can’t say she’s all cooked up in her room all the time, right? However Alice herself isn’t perfect because at times she blames herself for not having the power to stop occurrences she thinks could have been avoided.

At first, Narumi didn’t quite like being associated with NEETs and the detective jobs they do. But slowly, he finds himself getting involved not because he is turning into a NEET too but because of his desire to truly help others. Okay, stay too long and he will become one. But he really can’t technically since he is under education, still schooling. I guess he is one of those nice guys who can’t turn down an offer to help others even if it means putting his life on the risk or getting reprimanded from Alice. That’s why he is thick-headed in wanting to become sworn brothers with Yondaime. Any normal kid would’ve been turned off by the threats that yakuza head would’ve made. But Narumi is stubborn, his desire and ideal to protect others stood firmly above anything else no matter how many times Yondaime warned, threatened and told him to stay out. But partly his ignorance is to blame. If he had done his research beforehand, he wouldn’t have become a dumb mule to take things the trio assistants that they themselves do not want to bring to Alice, right? If he had been more sensitive and conscious, Ayaka would never have become a victim of the drug. However it is precisely because of that Narumi learns from his mistakes and grows up stronger and becomes mature. So now he doesn’t mind being by Alice’s side and her assistant, eh? Even if he is just doing 5%, I’m sure he is doing quite a fine job. After all, what good is an assistant if he can’t even open a can of Dokupe. Haha! If you’re expecting to see any romance or chemistry building up, don’t get your hopes high up. Alice’s blushing and flustering is just her spontaneous reaction towards Narumi’s words she never expected. But then again, if she didn’t read his caring lines as anything deeper, she wouldn’t have reacted so, right? So no matter how great this NEET detective girl is, she’s still a girl after all. Does she really harbour any romantic feelings for him? Don’t really know. But I feel Narumi’s care for her isn’t the romantic type either.

Tetsu, Hiro and Major provide good assistance and backup to the NEET team and it is safe to say that you can rely on them and place your trust in them to a job for you. It just makes me wonder how they carry on living their lives without proper jobs. Surely being the NEET detective team isn’t the only way to make a living? Or it could be for them. They get ‘free’ ramen from Min-san? Hiro probably could live off from all the girls who would gladly sleep with him. Tetsu may get by with his gambling luck and since he is a boxer, you want to think twice before messing around with him. What about Major? I guess everyone else who doesn’t know this military freak well will always mistake this university-going guy as a school kid due to his diminutive stature. If he’s setup surveillance devices here and there, don’t you think the entire Tokyo is filled with spy cameras? Where is the privacy in that anymore? No wonder Alice sees and knows everything. Yondaime is quite a cool guy too. But he’s not the kind to shower you with love or show you his loving side. That won’t do if you’re heading a yakuza, right? He might be rough, rough and violent but beneath his actions he really does care. That is his way of love I suppose. His underlings, well I would say they are a bunch of loyal jokers. Especially when it comes to computers, they really see Narumi as their ‘God’. They’ve never seen someone working with their fingers that efficient, eh? I can’t believe that some of them don’t even know baseball considering this sport is quite popular in Japan. Plus, they have never seen the stuffed dolls Alice brings in a box. Because they are being told to handle with utmost care by Yondaime, they really go through all the trouble to make sure they deliver it with care even if they don’t know what’s inside. I can only smile seeing them do this because we know inside the box is nothing but a broken doll waiting to be fixed but to them, they’re thinking it must be one heck of something precious. The most intriguing side character has to be Min-san’s estranged father. Today it still bugs me if Major’s theory on that guy is true. I mean, if I understood it in another way, he would be a ghost! So that short story arc on Min-san really baffled me. Why couldn’t she recognize or at least sense him. And he has been patronizing Hanamaru many times. She could have guessed but never even came close. Was she in denial?

The aspect that this anime explores is the darker side of humans. Being evil is only human nature. Because of characteristics like greed, anguish, selfishness, melancholy, breakdown, betrayal and abandonment (you can find more of these in the ending credits animation which I plucked some from, filled with those words that perfectly describe the dark nature of human beings), it brings out the worse in us just for our own gains at the expense of others. Humans would do anything vile and despicable and going more than far enough just to get what they want. So for a bunch of NEET detective team made up by a bunch of kids, you can say them dealing with yakuzas and drugs is quite an achievement. So where the heck are the police officers?! Hmm… Maybe corruption got them. So just like Santa, you better be nice and not naughty because God is keeping a watch on you and jotting them down in His notebook. Hey, would that be the good ol’ paper notebook or electronic notebook?

Yui Ogura as the voice of Alice is most fitting of her role. She really fits the character. I like her when she starts throwing her tantrums. She makes funny sounds. Makes me laugh. Alice sounds like an authentic little girl rather than a grownup trying to squeak out a shrieky voice because Yui Ogura was only 16 years old when she voiced the character. Her other little girl character roles include Hinata of Ro-Kyu-Bu and Mint in Yumeiro Patissiere. Other casts include Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Narumi (Riku Seya in Hourou Musuko), Ai Kayano as Ayaka (Hibino on Kamisama Dolls), Masaya Matsukaze as Tetsu (Ren in Jigoku Shoujo), Takahiro Sakurai as Hiro (Jenos in Black Cat), Kouki Miyata as Major (Kouta in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Daisuke Ono as Yondaime (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Hitomi Nabatame as Min-san (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana), Kenichi Suzumura as Renji (Sougo in Gintama), Akira Ishida as Yoshiki (Chrno in Chrno Crusade), Satoshi Hino as Hakamizaka (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima series), Shinnosuke Tachibana as Toshi (Minato in Sekirei) and newbie Saki Ogasawara as Meo. Initially I thought the ending theme Colorado Bulldog by the American rock supergroup, Mr Big is going to be the main ending theme. But I guess it’s just a special ending for the first special episode in which its duration is twice the length of its subsequent episodes (48 minutes compared to the usual 24 minutes). But I guess the main ending theme, Asunaro by Kenichi Suzumura is quite pleasing too because of its rock tune. But the end of the ending credits animation, it left me wondering why the heck is Narumi handing a Dokupe to Alice stranded in the middle of an empty major road junction. The opening theme, Kawaru Mirai by Choucho beats to your typical anime pop.

This show may not change the perception of NEETs but it is partly true what Alice said NEET is a way of life and only the norms of society have labelled them as something utterly negative. I wonder if people who does volunteer job around the world would fit under this bill. Perhaps it is under employment? You may not get paid like a normal office job and in the sense you are ’employed’ by an organization to do charitable work in your area or internationally. Just because you’re a NEET doesn’t mean you have no other talents. Yeah, a talent at doing nothing. Haha! I may not be a NEET (because I’m still under employment, mind you), but that doesn’t make me different or less than a crazy anime otaku addict. Some people may consider the love of watching anime to be childish but it is what I love and enjoy doing. Why? Because it’s the NEET thing to do.

Before the start of the second season which is supposed to start in January 2012, there has been a release of a special episode called Tantei Opera Milky Holmes OVA. Yes, this single episode was enough to send back flooding memories about a bunch of ‘useless’ detective lolis even if they carry the great names of their famous detective forefathers. So bumbling and retard that their clumsiness and screw ups are the source of comedy and hilarity of the series. Do we really blame their lost of Toys or is it just them?

I’m not sure if this OVA is set after the events at the end of the TV series or somewhere in between. There was one flashback scene whereby it was from the final episode of the TV series (that was what I remembered) but then again at the end of the show, there is a next episode preview, which is one of the middle episodes in the TV series. Since this OVA is about Kokoro, I remember there was one episode whereby Irene kidnapped Kokoro so could it be a continuation from there? So could this be a missing episode in between or just something random. Heck, I couldn’t care less about that as long as they bring in the laughs.

The episode starts off with Tsugiko, Hirano and Saku preparing to infiltrate a heavily guarded mansion. It is a mission to rescue Kokoro taken as hostage. Probably the guards are just for show because the trio dispatches them easily like pros and when they arrive at the main room, their shock wasn’t seeing Milky Holmes at the scene but rather Kokoro happily singing like an idol in front of happy Irene. Uh… What’s going on? Anyway everyone is so thrilled by Kokoro’s singing that they join in the dance!!! WTF?! Till they realize each other. The girls are reprimanding Irene for kidnapping Kokoro but the smart girl gives and excuse that she found her unconscious on the road. Though, she was the one who made her that way. As for Kokoro, what’s with that getup? Feeling embarrassed? I’m sure she was just making up an excuse that they took too long to rescue her and thus dressed up like an idol to catch Irene off guard. Excuses, excuses… Well, Irene had 2 reasons why she ‘kidnapped’ Kokoro. Firstly, she’s cute (everyone has their weird fetishes) and secondly, her father’s company is going bankrupt. Again? The gold that she found was confiscated by the government. So Irene thought of turning Kokoro into an idol to scrounge up some money. Well, it’s not like Kokoro approved of it. Has she got a choice?

Back at the police headquarters. Seems G4’s office has been reduced to a narrow and cramped room. After all their failures and Kokoro’s recent kidnapping, I guess G4 has fallen down the ranks and got ‘reassigned’. The room is even smaller than Milky Holmes’ run down attic… Anyway Kokoro is shouting at the top of her lungs that she’s a police officer, bla bla bla, some unimportant flashbacks, bla bla bla, something about her IQ that has lots of zeroes in it (I agree with the zeroes and not any other number) that astounds those Harvard guys. Sheesh. You’re making the room feel even more cramp! Because her teammates aren’t interested, Kokoro threatens that she may take up Irene’s offer as an idol. You know what? They still don’t care! They don’t give a damn. Not a single sh*t! Kokoro panics and throws in a desperate move by saying that they’ll be lonely without her. Aren’t they going to stop her? Not interested… So much for friends. So how? I guess Kokoro is really desperate for some assurance so much so she ran down to Holmes Detective Academy to ask Milky Holmes if they will be lonely if she’s gone. Loser… Their reaction? They are ecstatic that she’s awakened to her idol side! Yeah, Nero wants to make character goods and sell them for profit! $$$ Ching! Ching! Even worse, Sherlock will support her all the way if that’s what she wants to achieve her dream. Fine. If that is how everybody wants to be, Kokoro slams her golden mask on the ground and calls it quits.

Soon Kokoro becomes the new idol in town, mesmerizing and racking up fans faster than filing up a glass of water. She attends lots of talk shows, lots of publicity and her face is literally everywhere in town. Kokoro! Kokoro! Kokoro! Come on. You want to cheer on her too, right? Yeah, that autography and hand shaking session has swelled her right hand. And you thought texting was the only reason that could sore your hands and fingers this big. While Irene is fawning over Kokoro, her dad is ecstatic that he can finally free himself from bankruptcy with all the money they have made. Milky Holmes is part of the crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of Kokoro coming out from the backstage into her limo. Sherlock calls out to her and her natural reaction was to protect herself from her gold mask. That didn’t happen. Did Kokoro hear her at all? Well, she’s in a different world now. So different that Sherlock feels somewhat empty. But why the heck is she bumming around at the cramp room of G3 (the new name for the police girls minus Kokoro)?! It’s already so cramp, they don’t need another one to fill in Kokoro’s shoes! Yeah, she’s annoying too… As Sherlock is feeling sad that Kokoro has gone away, Henriette reminds her of her duty to become a detective and not blame her uselesslesslesslessless-ness on someone else. This has Sherlock pondering the meaning of duty and dream.

The day of Kokoro’s concert, Arsene and her team steal Yokohama’s Red Shoes Riding Hood. Milky Holmes goes into action but they weren’t startled. Instead, they’re happy that they’ve found the meaning of duty and dream. Their duty as detectives and Kokoro’s dream of being an idol. What? Kokoro sees a news report of the battle between Phantom Thief Empire against Milky Holmes and G3. Looks like deep down in her heart, she is itching to get back into the action but Irene shuts the TV and passes her the mike. It’s idol time. Kokoro sings her heart out on stage while the battle rages on outside the stadium. Milky Holmes lives up to their useless reputation by getting beaten to a pulp. I’m wondering why Tsugiko and Hirano are fighting against each other? Saku is left ‘paralyzed’ when her lollipop is taken away from her mouth. Like taking candy from a baby, eh? Then the large screen in the stadium shows the battle outside. Kokoro stops for a while and is concerned but remembers that they didn’t give a damn about her because they didn’t even try to stop her from leaving. As she continues singing, she hears Sherlock confronting Arsene. Barely standing herself, Sherlock pours out her feelings on Kokoro. She didn’t want her to quit as a police officer and wanted her back because she was lonely (who else is going to hit her with the golden mask?). However she didn’t want to stop her from fulfilling her dream to become the world’s number one idol. So in order to put her at ease and not them see them in this pitiful state (too late girls), they have got to pull it together. For the sake of her dream. But Arsene doesn’t give a sh*t and kicks her away. Milky Holmes regroups and dart towards Arsene and her men. Look how cute they are dashing in tears, no? At that moment, Kokoro’s heart twitched. She knew what she wanted to do.

Before both sides could clash, a microphone is thrown between them. A girl in a golden mask stands before them. Heck, everyone can tell it’s you Kokoro. Then she throws her mask at Arsene but it hits Sherlock! Haha! I guess it’s her destiny to get whacked by it after all. So didn’t Kokoro give up being an officer? Well, she did not say she quit (eh? I thought she did? Did she forget?). That’s right, she’s back as a police officer. Oh boy. Milky Holmes and G3 are happy to see her and rush towards her to pester her for a plan. But being the stupid heroines they are, Arsene and her men got away scot free with the statue. Bummer. Another black mark in their records. Meanwhile Irene’s dad is in tears once more because he’s on the verge of bankruptcy. Something about he flopped big time selling his assets via foreign exchange. Maybe he should just leave running his company to Irene. As for that little smart girl, she isn’t giving up on Kokoro yet. Kokoro is back with a vengeance in the little cramp room. Yes, she’s laying down her goals but why the heck is Milky Holmes doing here? How cramp can the room get with 8 lolis in it?! While Sherlock is glad to have her back, Nero isn’t too happy because without her being an idol, all the character goods she made are now useless. Yup. She’s here to hand an invoice for the materials to make the goods. Yeah, why the hell must she pay! Lastly, Milky Holmes is watching a musical programme whereby Kokoro is supposed to star in and say her final goodbye to her fans. But it turns out to be Mori Arty making her debut song. The girls are taken in by her cuteness.

Idol Reject!
Yes, this OVA definitely lives up to its hype and serves as an appetizer before the second season. I’m very much anticipating to catch that to see more useless action from the bunch. They may be useless but they’re doing it in an annoyingly cute way so I guess that’s okay :). So basically this episode has Kokoro in focus as an idol though it feels as though she’s just trying to get back at her comrades for not caring enough for her. At moments you feel that even though she’s doing a fine perfect job as one, there is hesitation in her looks that could indicate that she misses the good ol’ police job. However if you really ask me, the police could be better off without her! Yeah, she should just join the Milky Holmes and become one big bungling family. On another note, I don’t think Kokoro would be good in any other jobs she ventures in. Haha! Is that an insult! Don’t worry, we all love you as much as we love Milky Holmes. Because of their twisted never-give-up attitude, it’s hard not to cheer for them. Looks like Arsene has still got a long way to make those loli detectives back to where they once were famed for. Oh, looks like they really stole the statue for good.

I think the number 130 is the number of the series. I don’t know what obsession Kokoro has with this number but this time her IQ level in this OVA just blew up to 1,300,000,000,000!!! I don’t even know how to pronounce this number. Then there are other times this number denomination appears like shaking hands with 1,300 people and her 130,000,000 copies of her debut CDs were sold. I thought the final number on Nero’s invoice should be 130,000,000 Yen instead of 38,000,000 Yen… The Gentlemen Thieves rarely had their screen time here. But it’s a good thing because it means we see less of Twenty’s self loving and distasteful nipples caressing antics. Well, there is one scene that he is scene kissing his life size bolster. So until then, my dream is that Milky Holmes never regain their Toys and continue fumbling in every mission and earn themselves a name in the Guinness Book of Records for being the most unreliable detectives in history. Or else they can quit and try being an idol. And fumble all over again.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

September 4, 2011

Who is the greatest phantom thief ever? Lupin, you say? What about the greatest detective? Detective Conan? Even if there is a cross-over movie about their battle of wits, this blog isn’t about them. Instead, where in the world would you find the world’s greatest fictional detectives of Sherlock Holmes, Cordelia Gray, Hercule Poirot and Nero Wolfe coming together as a team and combating and solving crimes together? In Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, that is! Well, at least their descendants.

In a typical detective comedy anime genre, we have Sherlock Shellingford, Cordelia Glauca, Hercule Barton and Nero Yuzurizaki as the quartet of the famous Milky Holmes team and of the famed Holmes Detective Academy which hones future detectives. Yes, not only they have their great forefathers as their background status, in this anime, the existence of Toys that grants users superhuman abilities and strengths. And thus, our Milky Holmes has always been protecting the city of Yokohama by thwarting the Phantom Thief Empire group, led by enigmatic and sexy Arsene and her band of fellow ‘gentlemen’ thieves consisting of swordsman Stone River, fire explosives expert Rat and the very-annoying, very-vain, self-proclaimed-most-beautiful-thing-in-the-world stripper but craft card magician Twenty.

Episode 1
However, Milky Holmes grand luxury life at the academy comes to a rude and abrupt halt. About a month ago while battling Arsene and her underlings to stop them from stealing a prized museum jewel, the detectives suddenly lost their Toys. As a result, Phantom Thief Empire got away scot-free with the jewel. Which also means, they’ve become relatively ‘useless’ and nothing but typical loli dykes. I mean, back at the academy, they get up late for class, take things for granted, blame each other and are even clumsy. Get what I mean? I guess it is part of Arsene’s plan to ‘revive’ their Toys back as the quartet infiltrate the academy grounds as school staff. Arsene as Henriette Mystere the student council president, Stone River as Ishinagare the gardener and cook, Twenty as Kai Nijuuri the sick-stripping homeroom teacher of Milky Holmes and Rat as Nezu their classmate (yeah, just Japanese translation of their original names). Perhaps the best phantom thief wants to only fight the best cream of the crop detective team so I suppose that’s why Arsene is ‘working real hard’ to get their Toys back as they were trained by the legendary detective Kobayashi Opera (note at all their awards and certificates decorating the room). Losing their Toys even makes them worse off than before as they don’t even fare well in their studies. Henriette notes that though they have been skilled detectives, the pampered lives in their dorms may have caused them to fall greatly. Thus she puts the Milk Holmes team to a test to diffuse a time bomb in any way they can. If they are successful, they will continue to enjoy the privileges that they deserved as the famous detective, otherwise they will stand to lose everything simply because, you can’t house a bunch of useless good-for-nothing lolis if they can’t even produce a simple result, right? Yeah, no special favour. Besides, it’s to see if their separation from Toys is a temporary one or not (what the heck is that useless uselesslessless uselesslesslessness tongue twister?!). Try as they might and no matter how hard, they couldn’t use their Toys and in the end the bomb explodes (ripping their certificate). Henriette announces their expulsion. However to be fair, she gives them 3 months to improve in which failure means absolute expulsion. Milky Holmes are grateful to her that they have a second chance. That is just the good news. Everything else, goes downhill from now. They have been kicked out of their individual rooms and are now placed in a creaky humid attic. Yeah, now they have to share a bed. They start blaming each other if the other had stopped the bomb in time but Sherlock says not to fight among themselves and that they promised each other to cooperate and become fine detectives. Well, better start working hard. Three months isn’t a long time.

Episode 2
Erm… Do we see them striving their best to amend the wrongs? Nope. Instead, we see them fighting over little food crumbs. Yeah, food has become such a scarcity. How does it feel like to live the life of the poor? As for Phantom Thief Empire, they’re making headlines with their steal once more. Hey, Milky Holmes isn’t there to stop them anymore, right? In school, more food woes for Milky Holmes. Not only they have been put at a rundown table, their food ration has been significantly decreased! From a roast pork to just a little potato? Be grateful, damn it! Yeah, they’re really breaking apart. Then in class, it’s no more first class tables but broken and shabby ones. On the positive side, since mushrooms are growing out of it, why not collect them and make a mushroom meal? Ever thought of it being poisonous? Heck, who cares? Hungry lolis can’t complain. And Nijuuri is upset that they’re cooking the mushrooms in the middle of art class (?!) than drawing his beautiful body. Sicko. WTF?! Sickly erected nipples?! Oh God?! Somebody stop this guy! It’s a sin not to look at his beautiful body?! WTF?! Milky Holmes are punished and as usual they argue. Later Sherlock finds a stray kitten and brings it home. Calling it Kamaboko (some fish paste – all they ever think about is food now), the little kitten does wonders in their strained relationship as the quartet are happy just with Kamaboko around. Plus, they have to keep it a secret since dorm rules disallow them to keep pets. Then one day, Ishinagare finds that the bread for other students are stolen and accuses Milky Holmes for stealing them due to their quarrel the other day (“I will sell my soul to the devil just to eat those bread”). Other ambiguous actions also points to them like Cordelia not hungry and Hercule not stopping their wrongdoings. However Cordelia notices the real culprit stealing bread in the background: Kamaboko. For the sake of the kitten and her friends, she decides to take the blame and admits she is the thief. She is thrown into prison while the rest try to bail her out. But seeing that they’re great (make that ex) detectives, they decide to do some good old investigation. Anyway their methods suck. Eventually the trail of bread crumbs lead them back to their attic as they see Kamaboko happily eating the bread it stole. Then they see a (lousy) sketch from Cordelia, how she values their friendship and realized she took the blame. And Cordelia must be going crazy since she manages to draw and fantasize her noble act as a great saviour. Maybe it’s just self-gratification after all. Soon Cordelia is released. As Henriette learns the truth and true culprit, she too admits that she is wrong for jumping to conclusions without doing proper investigations. But she asserts that keeping pets are still prohibited. However if the pet has already found a place to settle down, then it can’t be helped. You know what this means, right? Hooray. They can keep Kamaboko. And everybody goes back to have a good night’s sleep in their cramped bed while Stone River undergoes more self training for making such a blunder.

Episode 3
As they watch the news, a group of policewomen known as Genius 4 or G4, led by Kokoro Akechi, Tsugiko Zenigata, Hirano Hasegawa and Saku Tooyama are confident of nabbing Phantom Thief Empire since Milky Holmes weren’t able too. Plus, Kokoro is badmouthing the detectives and even showing them the middle finger (blurted out of course)! Milky Holmes invited themselves to help out but gets into all sorts of blunders and traps. This time the museum is heavily guarding a Venus-like statue. Kokoro doesn’t like those useless lolis one bit (always smacking Sherlock with her golden mask each time she calls her Kokoro-chan) and decides to play a devilish prank on them to regain their toys about playing some Twister-like game based on a Pharaoh’s lithograph. All lies! But Milky Holmes sincerely believed her! Makes you wonder how the heck they became cream of the crop. Did they lose their intelligence to when they lost their Toys? Milky Holmes obediently listen and do all the stretching Twister moves in hopes of getting their Toys back, much to Kokoro’s amusement. Finally the whole ‘process’ fails when Hercule couldn’t do a move which puts her in an embarrassing sex-like position and causes everyone else to fall. G4 gets back to work while Nero blames Hercule for her failure. Then Phantom Thief Empire arrives with the entire place blackening out. Cordelia has a fear of dark places so she’s going crazy. G4 are led on a wild goose chase due to Arsene’s illusion Toys. In the end, the thieves got away due to another blooper from Cordelia after she trips and destroys Saku’s computer that would’ve bring them to the culprit’s hideout. Milky Holmes are thrown into jail and it’s mind blowing that they’re relishing jail food! Haven’t eaten this much since they’ve lost their privileges, eh? Henriette comes by to bail them out since the academy’s reputation is at stake if they’re left here for eternity. Back in their attic, Nero continues to blame Hercule so she runs away. Thinking she must’ve felt responsible, they rush back to the museum to see her doing those Twister moves. They apologize and made up but it seems the gentlemen thieves are also here to return the statue (because it was fake in the first place). They start facing each other and in a twist of fate, Cordelia and Twenty got trapped in a coffin together. Oh the horror! She’s going to die from the grossness before the darkness could even get to her. Everyone cooperates to get them out but to no avail. Till Cordelia yells that something weird is touching her did Hercule suddenly lifts the top lid, throws it away so much so it landed and crush a parked car outside! Thankfully, it was just some strange mask was touching her. Why is Twenty wearing it?! Anyway the baddies retreat while the girls think that for that moment, their Toys returned. What does this mean? It means they go back and try that ridiculous Twister game again. Give it up already! Too dumb to even realize that it’s fake! Besides, shouldn’t they be helping G4 clean up the museum mess?

Episode 4
But God is fair because Kokoro gets a taste of her own medicine as she is being beaten up and made to do those embarrassing Twister moves. They finally found out the truth, huh? But no time for that as they are tasked to look for a girl, Irene Doala who went missing in Yokohama Forest that is close to the academy. Milky Holmes want to help out too but was tied up. Who knows the nuisance they will bring. Unfortunately I don’t know why the G4 tied them up with ropes that are edible. It took those hungry gluttons no time to chew everything up. They try to summon their Toys but all they summoned was just a giant black ferocious bear. It slammed Sherlock away. She finds herself following a group of lemmings leaping off the cliff to their doom. Is she going to follow? I don’t know what to say. She did. I don’t know how this happened too because she started flying somewhere when a speck of water got into her eye as she finds herself in a cave with someone familiar. G4 continues their search but Kokoro fell into a hole in the ground and ends up in the same cave with Sherlock and Irene. Now, Irene isn’t a damsel in distress. In fact, she is much more reliable and smarter than her rescuers. However after seeing cute Kokoro, she develops some kind of stupid imouto-chan fetish over her. Darkness falls so the other Milky Holmes return but follow a banana trail that leads them to being locked up by Henriette and co. They fell for the oldest trick in the book. But no matter, they seem to be enjoying their bananas. Sherlock and Kokoro learn that Irene’s dad’s company is going bankrupt soon so she wanted to save him by looking for some buried treasure based on some Warring States legend. She found it in this cave but it’s useless if she doesn’t get out and the deadline is tomorrow. The next day, they got out of the cave and start their trek home through the forest. How come it feels like Irene was the one saving and guiding them through? They take a break and fight over the last ration that Irene has: A banana. Then they come into that black bear again. Sherlock is going to protect the duo but gets owned instead. Irene temporarily throws a banana at it to buy them some time (and they thought she had no more bananas left). Then Sherlock suggests some resonating moves but they got owned again by the bear. All that’s left is to run away and I’m not sure why the heck a self destruct button is in the forest so they’re actually saved when the bear steps on it. I don’t know what it unlocked. Heck, I don’t even understand all this nonsense. Soon the other G4 girls come in their helicopter to rescue them. With the company saved, Irene bids farewell to G4, she knocks Kokoro unconscious and kidnaps her! I’m amazed that the rest didn’t notice about this. Have they gotten use to her absence? And for Sherlock, she is disheartened that her gang gave up searching for her and instead feast on the bananas till they’re bloated. Meanie!

Episode 5
While having their poor picnic of grilled mushrooms in the park, Hercule tries to rescue Kamaboko from being run over by a truck but they were saved by a pair of flashy girls, Mary and Kate (I hope they have got nothing to do with the Olsen twins). Was it necessary to even explode the truck? However it seems that the pair have ulterior motives as they plan to capture Kamaboko. Back in the attic, Milky Holmes are admiring the great detectives the pair may be while Kamaboko is in risk of being kidnapped by the said pair. While chasing it, they bump into Twenty who is annoyingly dating a pillow cover version of himself! F*cking gross! Then they accidentally meet Milky Holmes and have to play along as some sort of great detectives they admire. The lolis are too dumb to even sense that they’re here to kidnap Kamaboko but thankfully it’s their fluke that ‘foils’ Kate and Mary’s plans. They continue their chase over the kitten and successfully capture it when the lolis were engrossed in their mushroom grilling. Milky Holmes go in search for Kamaboko and Henriette approves of it since it will put to use their detective searching skills. They go around asking the people and stumble upon G3. Who? It’s G4 less Kokoro for now. Yeah, she’s really being kidnapped by a certain genius kid. Meanwhile Mary and Kate are going to have their revenge on Kamaboko and SPCA would’ve taken action for their animal abuse if not for the gentlemen thieves busting in. They are here to bring justice to them for trespassing through Arsene’s territory (the academy grounds) that night. Then they see the walls filled with pictures of Kamaboko. Actually, it is their ex-lover who resembles very much like Kamaboko. Yeah, they’ve already drawn graffiti on its face. So as they fight, it’s the case of revenge for being dumped. They were promised that there will be no feelings in which of the duo he’d choose but dumped them. Maybe it’s because they’re messed up? The funny part was how Twenty’s bolster took a hit and he was inconsolable that his beautiful best buddy sacrificed himself for him. Didn’t he throw the bolster instead? Kamaboko is reunited with Milky Holmes as they head towards where the battle is taking place. Twenty and Stone River got hypnotized into Mary and Kate’s ecstasy Toys while Rat escapes upon his comrade’s advice. Mary and Kate shift their attention to Kamaboko but Rat decides to throw a bomb at them. Kamaboko deflects it and sends the gentlemen thieves flying into the sky. Mary and Kate felt grateful that it saved them from a darkness of revenge from their hearts and brought them back to the light. Milky Holmes see them off in a ship.

Episode 6
Princess Claris of Marlo kingdom is upset that she has to get married to Prince Pero of Lipa kingdom. Anyway I don’t know how Kokoro returned to G4 but she’s complaining that they need to babysit her. Unfortunately too much blabbing means Claris could sneak out without any detection. It’s total freedom and a normal life she seeks. Meanwhile Milky Holmes yearn for a dehumidifier since their place is getting all damp in this rainy condition. They all have this great idea of gathering elsewhere instead of cooping up here. Sherlock bumps into Henriette (her face literally stuck between her cleavage!). Henriette reminds them about finding a way to retrieve their Toys but after seeing the determination in her eyes, she believes her. In the streets, they see on the screen Claris (she is here to be wedded with Pero in Yokohama) and thought it was Sherlock. Yeah, they look very alike. After dispelling it, they notice Sherlock is missing. Sherlock bumps into the real Claris in the alley. Claris wants Sherlock to be her substitute just for a day (she knows of Sherlock due to the badmouthing of a certain cop). Of course she wasn’t going to accept it but the word of ‘great detective’ seems to defeat all other rational. Yup, take the job. As a reward, Sherlock wants a dehumidifier. Uhn… They trade clothes and really look like a splitting image of the other. Milky Holmes find Sherlock (Claris) and drags her away while Claris’ grandma Marple is reprimanding them for their failed watch when Claris (Sherlock) suddenly returns. She is being reminded about the importance of their marriage since the fate of Marlo depends on it (if Lipa finances them, there’s nothing else to be said, eh?). And why the heck is Marple doing those weird squats while explaining this to her? Then Pero comes in. Hmm… Looks like the handsome macho gentlemen hunk. But wait, he wants her to say “meow” at the end of her sentences? Could he be?

Meanwhile the real Claris is really happy to be living a normal life with the rest so much so it brings tears to her eyes. Wow. Never experienced simple happiness before, eh? As for Sherlock, it turns out that Pero is some sort of a masochist pervert. Doesn’t Sherlock hate him? Heck, she’s having fun!!! Of course with both look-a-likes switching places, Sherlock can’t even sleep even if her bed is big and wide or her meals sumptuous. Claris is getting used to it no matter how much it sucks and loving it. She thinks that she can run away and dump all the responsibilities on Sherlock but the latter remains confident she will return. Henriette knows Claris’ disguise and talks to her, asking if this is alright. She mentions about her dream of living a normal life but now she has to marry a guy she doesn’t even love. Henriette replies she can’t obtain her dreams by running away unlike Sherlock who is trying her best to become a great detective. This opens Claris’ eyes so she decides to reveal her true identity to the other Milky Holmes girls. They don’t believe her! Till she tells the real value of pi! Oh sh*t! Is that all it takes? They’re going to storm the wedding hall but G4 stands in their way. As usual, they don’t believe she’s the real Claris till she blurts out pi’s value. Unbelievable! Yeah, probably it tells us Sherlock and co has always been dumb girls. The wedding is going to end as Sherlock starts panicking that Claris hasn’t returned yet. Plus, it’s kissing time. Oh, the horrible lips! Luckily the rest barge in in time and stop the ceremony. Claris reveals her true self and says she cannot marry Pero. Plus, she will not run away and will achieve peace within both kingdoms with her own hands. The crowd applause as Pero admits that he did all those masochist perverted stuff to get her to hate him. That’s because he has somebody else he loves: Marple. Argh! He proposes to Marple and the ugly lips locked. Eww… The ceremony continues with their holy union as Milky Holmes got the dehumidifier as their prized treasure. And why the heck is Sherlock playing S&M with herself?! Finding it nice? Oh dear. I hope she won’t be addicted to it. Hey, everyone come join in! Not!

Episode 7
Phantom Thief Empire are at Phantom Thief Killer Cape. It is believed a multimillionaire named Baskerville hid his lifetime collection of artworks here. Many have tried to infiltrate but none was ever successful. Looks like their plan will need some modification since Milky Holmes are here for vacation (they have to trek here since they have no money for a bus fare. Poor things) and also heard about that cape thingy which they believe will bring their Toys back (they heard it from a certain stripper teacher’s slip of tongue). Hey, G4 are here too. Henriette plays along with the girls while the guys hide and plan their move. Milky Holmes get hungry and try to get some seafood but they’re so useless and beyond help that even their crab got stolen by the seagull, got entangled by the seaweeds or get hit by Tsugiko’s bat instead of the watermelon (now she knows why there is a watermelon ‘growing’ on the beach, eh?). Since it started to rain, the ladies take refuge in a cave. As they trek deeper, there are suspicious signs pointing to the treasure. Of course, they activated a trap and cause them to be separated. Kokoro, Tsugiko, Hirano, Cordelia and Hercule falling to the bottom of the pit and the rest carrying on. Henriette’s group enter into an area that resembles a luxurious mansion. Nero triggers another trap (picking up a coin from the ground) and causes Henriette to be separated as she is switched into a secret room. The rest read on a library of books for clues of the treasure while Kokoro’s group strip themselves naked to make a rope long enough to climb themselves out. Why is Cordelia so enthusiastic about stripping? This leads them to a hotspring area but they are being attacked by a giant squid. Oh no. Tentacles. However Cordelia becomes some made monster because she sees it as a meal… Henriette finds herself in a room with a bikini mannequin while Saku also joins her when she activates a trap that sends her falling into that room. Sherlock and Nero are in a room with a safe. Nero tries using her Toys to open it but to no avail. However it opens probably it’s an old safe. They find a collection of idol figurines in it. Then cold water starts filling the room. Nero again tries to use her Toys to communicate with the safe. Though the water stopped, now hot water comes pouring in and they’re washed away to another room. Everyone is reunited in the hotspring area and having a good squid meal while enjoying their soaking moments. Henriette realizes how it has become ridiculous to even steal from this Phantom Thief Killer now. As for the gentlemen thieves, they’re adrift at sea with no food for 3 straight days.

Episode 8
Milky Holmes fall ill. Seems it was another black-hearted prank of Kokoro making them eat ice cream till they brain freeze, meditating under a waterfall and freeze themselves in the freezer. Yeah, it’s amazing they’re still this gullible. I know they’re desperate to get their Toys returned but to ask Kokoro for help? Of all people? She’s really enjoying and laughing her heart out. Bad girl. Even her G4 mates think so. Even Henriette takes pity on them and decides to nurse them back to health. The next day, Milky Holmes are good as healthy but this time Henriette collapses and has caught their illness. Now it’s their turn to take care of her. The gentlemen thieves want to have the honour of ‘cleaning her sweat off her naked body’ but the girls insist that the guys should stay out of this. They decide to change her clothes and the only one they could find in her closet is… Oh dear! It’s her sexy phantom thief suit! Oh no! Will her identity be blown? G4 are paying a visit at the academy (I guess Kokoro still wants to see the Milky Holmes suffer by bringing some iced peach cans) when they heard Milky Holmes yelling “Arsene”! They barge in and are surprised to see Arsene lying in the bed but being told by Milky Holmes she is Henriette. The gentlemen thieves are worried that this pinch is going to get worse and have to do something. But don’t worry. They don’t even have to lift a single finger. Why? How do the girls dismiss that Arsene is Henriette? Sherlock’s answer: She loves to cosplay! Oh sh*t! Everyone buys it! And for that moment, the guys thought she’d be a goner but remember, they’re retards. Big time. Anyway they change Henriette into her pyjamas as they try to nurse her by concocting medicine based on fairytales. Are they even attainable? I’m not sure the kind of medicine Sherlock mixed (it must be dangerous since it was mosaic out) and poured into Henriette’s mouth. She starts glowing and everyone becomes absorbed into some sort of twisted fairytale. Some Momotarou legend Sherlock is, trying to retrieve some peach at Arsene Island but meets the gentlemen thieves as obstacles. It gets more twisted when they fight Arsene using her boobs as missiles but their combined Toys allows them to defeat her. Henriette is fed by Sherlock a delicious peach. She wakes up and sees the other girls knocked out on the floor. She notes that Milky Holmes’ Toys returned to them briefly albeit it was only in the middle of her illusion Toys. Twenty’s crap words: “The world is beautiful. But I am even more beautiful”. Henriette thanks them for nursing her as Milky Holmes wonder what her Toys power is. Then they see Kokoro receiving her much deserved divine retribution as she is stuck in the giant ice and getting sick. Oh yeah. God is fair.

Episode 9
While Milky Holmes are happily pigging out with their poor meal, they are joined by another student, Sonia and even Nezu. Seems it is to celebrate the 1 year anniversary Sonia met her senpai Sherlock. Hercule finds an Ouija Board and their curiosity has them asking it if their Toys will return. Nezu pans them for fixing the outcome. To prove it, he tells them to ask which among them is the stupidest! They’re really fighting to pinpoint the answer! They then change the question to who is the meanest. Yeah, how come it quickly spells Nezu’s name? Later Nezu walks Sonia back to her dorm but shortly, he is being attacked. Next day, G4 is conducting some boring road safety class (everyone except Sherlock) and after the class, Kokoro finds a trail which leads her to see Nezu’s dead body in a room! As everyone is shocked over his death, Henriette shows them a picture which might implicate Milky Holmes as the perpetrator because Nezu’s wrote the initials of “M.H.” in blood before his death. They insist they are innocent but she wants them to prove it by tomorrow or she’ll hand them over to the police. Milky Holmes decide to request for their ancestor’s help via Ouija Board. It seems to work as the baldy (Hercules), the busty boobs (Cordelia) and fatty (Nero) possess their counterparts. Calling Henriette and Kokoro to the scene, they use their great detective deduction skills to solve the mystery of the initials. Erm… How come the theories sound so stupid?! No wonder their descendants share it! They deduct the culprit based on the animal they could draw on it? Monkey? Hamster? WTF?! Then a bronze statue of Sherlock Holmes comes crashing in as the spirit of the great detective possesses Sherlock. He’s late because he possessed the wrong statue. Oh no. Please not another idiot. Thankfully, Sherlock’s deduction is top class this time, deducting that the victim may not know the murderer’s name so he tried to convey what he remembered about the murderer, in this case via some numerals.

So “M.H.” by reading it in a different direction is “I-3”, which is the dorm block number. And the culprit is no other than Sonia who launches an attack on everyone. Sherlock Holmes’ spirit whisks Henriette away from harm and he whispers in her ear that he knows she’s the phantom thief Arsene. He starts chasing her but I don’t understand the necessity to use their telekinesis powers to uproot buildings and throw it to each other. Wow! I didn’t know Sherlock Holmes has such terror telekinesis! Besides, why does he need to avoid them if he’s just a spirit? In the end, he saves Sonia from falling off the roof. Nezu is seen alive and he doesn’t need to play dead anymore. The great ancestors take their leave and leave them a huge message on the ground, saying that they will get their Toys back after a great trial. Later Henriette sees Sonia and knows that she schemed all this so that Milky Holmes would earn back the respect they once lost. Plus, the message was written by her and not the victim and this means Milky Holmes will move to solve the case whether they want to or not since they’re being doubted. Due to the severity of the case, she has Sonia expelled but recommends her to start over again at Poirot Detective Academy because she feels she should not waste her Toys but become a great detective instead and not a phantom thief. Milky Holmes pray to Nezu’s altar and use the Ouija Board to talk to him but he barges in proclaiming he isn’t dead. They think he’ a ghost coming down to visit them! Something still bugs me. If Henriette didn’t realize it was Sonia’s plan till the end, does this mean Nezu secretly cooperated with Sonia for this?

Episode 10
Milky Holmes are excited over the prospect of their returned Toys. Henriette is expecting high hopes from them with the upcoming exam but they would like to go gather first. Hercule tries to persuade them to study but eventually gives in to their persistence to have fun. Yeah, they wasted a whole week gathering and having fun instead of studying. The gentlemen thieves are pondering the possibility of them getting their Toys back (on an unrelated note, notice a shirt being hang out to dry with the words “I Love Boku” – no prize to guess whose shirt this belongs to). The trio reminiscence the time they first met. Let’s say they aren’t the best of friends. Heck, they’re rivals. As they fight over each other while stealing jewellery, Arsene’s appearance and her display of her illusion Toys has them offering their services to her. Seeing that they are this weak to give in to their desires, she wants them to commit themselves to become phantom thieves with beauty and intelligence. Thus in their journey to ‘redeem’ back their pride, they swore loyalty to Arsene and to her cause. Of course, they start arguing themselves over their petty differences. And Milky Holmes are the one to say how lame it is after watching from afar their Toys going berserk. On the day of the exam, Milky Holmes undergo very weird tests that include a game show quiz, moving an elephant, staring into Twenty’s erected nipples and beautiful body (I can’t believe Cordelia drooled over it!) and some sort of bowling with them as the pins. In short, they failed them all. Henriette isn’t pleased. While Milky Holmes lament about their failures and the non-return of their Toys, they hear a report that Arsene challenges them to a trial that will decide whether they get expelled or not. Sherlock realizes that this is the trial that should have their Toys return and the ones they have taken are just tests (I guess there’s a difference in that). With high spirits, they head to the museum (got caught in G4’s trap again).

Inside, Milky Holmes face off with the gentlemen thieves but the trio are so focused in their petty feud, they couldn’t be bothered with Milky Holmes’ arrival. Why is Sherlock so insistent on announcing that they have arrived? She’s even concerned that they shouldn’t fight among themselves because it would be just like them. So when they do realize it’s those useless lolis, they do some tetrahedron formation. I don’t know the significance of this but how will Milky Holmes get out of this? They desperately try to summon their Toys but again to no avail. Then a blackout occurs. You can count Cordelia out. Then Sherlock decides to use a bomb they used during the test (where the heck did she hide that?). The guys escape while the bomb explodes, making a gaping hole in the building. I’m surprised Milky Holmes are still in one piece. This time, Kokoro’s upset is real. With the way they messed things out, she yells at them to get out of their crime scene. The guys return to Arsene while continuing to blame each other for their pettiness, it seems Arsene is in no mood for it. She is so mad that when she hits the wall, the entire top of the tower twist and bend worse than being bombarded by WWII bombers. Oh sh*t! Milky Holmes trudge back in the rain to their dorm but suddenly their room catches fire. Then they see Henriette. Looks like she has had enough. Her face is visibly upset. Very. She throws down their expulsion papers. Oh dear.

Episode 11
As Sherlock leaves, she bumps into a very displeased (enough to even scare me) Henriette. She apologizes for everything and thus Milky Holmes is disbanded as they leave the academy in shame, each going their own ways. The rest didn’t like her idea of bowing and saying goodbye and thanks to the academy. Meanwhile Henriette takes out her frustration by smashing all the awards, trophies and certificates of Milky Holmes in her room. She thinks everything turned out like this because she wasn’t serious enough. Sherlock continues to work in a ramen stall but she is so clumsy and useless (including pissing off her customers with her klutz), it makes you wonder why the owner didn’t fire her. Her buddies aren’t faring any better. Selling flowers? Selling magazines? Ouija Board prediction? Better avoid them. G4 pays a visit at Sherlock’s workplace and tells her about Phantom Thief Empire’s rampaging robberies. They’re on a hot streak. Sherlock goes to gather her other pals and then they see another news with Arsene announcing that she plans to make Yokohama a phantom thief haven by crushing the academy. Henriette is seen hanging precariously over the rapid river on a bridge. She invites those with a sense of justice to come rescue her. With every 2 hours, a string will be snapped and she will be closer to her doom. After the transmission, we see it’s actually Twenty impersonating as Arsene and the real deal is hanging over the bridge. I hate to admit it, but who is more qualified to play a beauty like her? Yeah, this is going to be a do-or-die bait. Milky Holmes aren’t confident of going to her rescue seeing that they are normal (and useless) girls now and hopes G4 will pull through. Speaking of which, they are first to arrive but are easily taken out and captured by the gentlemen thieves. Milky Holmes resume their jobs but Sherlock tries to convince everyone to go save Henriette. She nails it in when she gets all teary and says that they’ve got their priorities wrong if they put becoming great detectives first and saving others second. Plus, it isn’t about getting revenge on the person who expelled them and their failures are because they gave up halfway, gave up on themselves. This opens their eyes as they reconcile and don their detective suits to go to Henriette’s rescue. Can they make it in time?

Irene’s limo was passing by so she gives them a lift. Then they get a delivery from Sonia. It seems to be a ring infused with a single dose of her Toys’ power. Sherlock should be able to use it since it is from her same bloodline. And yeah, why did Claris send royal plates over? The gentlemen thieves are bored since they’ve taken out just about everyone. Then when Milky Holmes come by, they aren’t alerted, thinking they’re still the useless lolis. However to their surprise, they hit their raw nerve when they call them coward for holding hostages (Stone River), ugly (Twenty – oh, that’s got to hurt) and… Rabbit (Rat)? Cordelia, Nero and Hercule hold off the trio while Sherlock rushes to save Henriette. How can a bunch of lolis hold down full grown men? It’s called determination. When Sherlock reaches out her hand for Henriette, it’s part of her plan to detonate the last rope. Sherlock dives down to save her. Sonia’s ring temporarily gives Sherlock her Toys power but it is too overwhelming as the ring breaks. Falling again? She grabs on tightly to Henriette and probably deep down in her heart she wanted to save her so much that she got her Toys back! Then the other Milky Holmes also feel that they are getting their Toys back and put them to good use. For once, the gentlemen thieves get serious but they are no match and get a serious trashing! As Sherlock pulls Henriette up, the latter pushes her away and unleashes a smoke screen. She transforms into Arsene and relishes the chance she has been waiting for all this time: To fight and defeat the real and powered up Sherlock.

Episode 12
The other gentlemen thieves are pounded to a pulp as the other Milky Holmes join Sherlock in a Toys power battle with Arsene. Seems she too has powered up as the entire Yokohama citizens watch the decisive battle in baited breath. Milky Holmes combine their Toys to attack Arsene but each try makes her crave for more. She’s really enjoying the moment of fighting those detectives at their top form. The fight continues to a different dimension as Arsene unleashes clones of herself. In the climax of the face-off between Arsene’s giant fireball and Sherlock’s pink little energy projection, suddenly Sherlock got too close to Arsene and has her face stuck in her boobs. She is reminded of the bounciness and softness and is happy that Henriette is alright. However surprised Arsene denies it. Sherlock’s pals didn’t believe at first but taking up her advice to touch her boobs, they instantly believe it’s Henriette! I guess that’s her trademark. No matter how much Arsene denies, the retards firmly believe she is their student council president. Even if her mask falls off. Arsene summons a meteor to send the entire place crashing down to the academy grounds. Milky Holmes look very funny with their heads sticking out from the ground like grown vegetables. Arsene is in for another surprise when Milky Holmes identify her as the phantom thief instead. Amidst the blabbing confusing, Arsene deduces that the impact and shock must have made them lose their memories. Arsene decides to withdraw for now and give Henriette back to them but will not lose the next time. The schoolmates rush to Milky Holmes’ side and help out their revived heroes. Arsene and her men are looking forward to more battles with them.

Next day, Milk Holmes are given a certificate of appreciation, much to Kokoro’s reluctance. Everyone is cheering on for them. How does it feel to be back in the spotlight? Kokoro isn’t happy that they let Arsene get away but Henriette mentions that there will be another chance for that. In the packed hall, Sherlock is going to treat everyone with a demonstration of their returned Toys. A rock is sent crashing onto her. It crashes onto her! Wait a minute… What the?! Don’t tell me?! Oh no! Seems like not only the impact made them lose their memories, but their Toys as well! See how everybody’s face turn into despair and disappointment. Except for Kokoro and the gentlemen thieves who are happy they’ve returned to their retarded ways. Even Henriette is lost for words and quickly ends the ceremony. So, back to the dull life for Milky Holmes as they trek back to their room expecting to be expelled. However they get a present surprise it is back to normal and cleaned up. All thanks to Henriette. As mentioned, though they have lost their Toys, you can deny the fact that they saved Yokohama. That means, their expulsion will be… postponed till spring. Dang. And they thought it’ll be cancelled for good. But the quartet are happy that they’re together and since they have each other, nothing is impossible. Oh well Henriette. Looks like it’s going to be another tiring season if this keeps this up. Lastly a new transfer student barges in and is excited of meeting them. She is Mori Arty and knows them all. The quartet finds her cute and takes a liking for her. For those who don’t know, the character named Professor Moriarty is Sherlock Holmes’ greatest arch enemy in the stories. Ironic, eh?

Bungling detectives…
I have to admit that everything has been a fun ride from the start till the finish. There were laugh out moments and this is definitely one of the good comedy series that I’ve seen in recent times. You could say that this show is on par with Shinryaku! Ika Musume and Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt that I too enjoyed. It’s hard for me to totally recommend this series for the family to watch. I know, cute little girls running around may seem harmless but the only reason why I’m stopping my suggestion at that is perhaps of Arsene/Henriette’s over-sized and bouncy boobs. Man, do they even exist? How does she keep it all tightly wrap under that school dress? In a little way, you can call that fanservice. Oh, another factor why this isn’t for kids: Twenty. That guy says it all. Don’t want your kids to have a bad influence from this stripper, eh? The flow of the story is at a good pace as we mainly see how Milky Holmes try to regain their lost Toys by going through lots of tough trial and tribulations. Usually with hilarious and disastrous results. Each time you can’t help feel that glimmer of hope that their Toys will return for the moment but in the end, it all turns back to square one. Even if their Toys temporarily return, was it really fluke? When someone they love is in great danger, could it only be then that their Toys will return? The mystery and reason of their Toys’ disappearance is never explained nor given priority that it will be revealed somehow and though this feels like it needs some investigation but I don’t think that case will be solved any time given the way Milky Holmes are right not.

Milky Holmes as fallen detectives are a bunch of fun loving lolis. It’s hard to hate them since their fall from grace not only because they’re cute but the fact that they never gave up. Other than that, it’s hard to wonder if they’re the genius detectives they once were. I mean, their ‘stupidity’ and retardness is well, genuine from then. From being selfish spoilt brats to happy go lucky simpletons (all they worried at first is food and are easily swayed by it) to annoying useless dumb asses that obstruct others, even if you throw the clues and answers right in front of their faces, they’ll never be able to guess it. So much so I concluded that the only reason why they don’t really lose out is because they’re the heroines. Nothing else. Sheesh. Even the baddies are much more competent than them a hundred times even if one them really has a personality problem. Makes you wonder that they just inherited the name from their great ancestors. At the rate they’re going, they are going to sully and tarnish it. They’d even turn over in their graves. How can a famous detective academy even house such disgraceful retards? How could this even be possible? But you have to give it them and especially Sherlock for their sunny disposition as she is the one that glues the rest together. Hercule is too shy, Nero is too brute and tomboyish while Cordelia is, well, too delusional when she becomes afraid. Say, if Cordelia’s Toys is to see and hear things that others could not, how come she couldn’t sense that Henriette is Arsene then? Oh yeah, retard…

Aside from those ‘idiots’, Kokoro should have fittingly been part of the group if not for her utmost detest for the detectives. She thinks she is hell of a smart each time proudly stating her IQ level, which by the way increases 10 times fold from the 130 level to 130 billion by the time the series ended. Did she magnify that on purpose? Or does she have memory problems in keeping track of her own IQ? Not very smart, eh? Besides, I have no qualms if she even reaches 130 trillion. Yeah, I admit you’re smart. In monkey land whereby the average IQ is 130 quadrillion (that’s 15 zeros, baby!). And she’s a graduate from Harvard? Yeah, my dog also graduated from there with First Class Honours in Business Administration. It’s sad she ended up as the leader of G4 and even her partners are more ‘human’ than her. Even if Saku’s face is always monotonous like her voice, at least she’s more considerate than Kokoro. The only thing that scares Kokoro downright is the mentioning of Irene’s name. Oh yeah. She’s developed some sort of trauma in the end. After all, she personally knows how it feels to be kidnapped and treated like a doll. Hey, how the heck did she escaped from Irene’s grasp in the final episode? Besides it’s not like with Kokoro around, G4 gets the job done anyway. Detectives or police, what’s the difference if they’re retards? No wonder phantom thieves like Arsene can’t be caught.

Arsene/Henriette is full of mysteries and you can’t understand what is going on in her mind. It’s understandable that she wants to beat Milky Holmes at their top form but to go as far as to nurture them and even help them under the disguise as school staffs along with her men, how many baddies in other series do you know are this considerate? Put it this way. If you have put in lots of effort in growing and planting a fruit, when it ripens, it is going to taste a lot more delicious when you pluck it, right? Arsene has a short taste of that and looks like the fruit needs more tending if she’s going to enjoy the ultimate reap. One of the most disgusting and annoying character is Twenty. You have to agree with me on this. Each time, he never fails to deluge himself the super beauty he is (only second to Arsene, that is). He gets his thrills by not only stripping but molesting his own nipples!!! Yikes! Each time he is stimulated, you can grossly see how erected his nipples become! The more aroused he is, the longer his nipples! Oh sh*t!!! During such scenes, it makes me want to laugh and also flinch at the same time. So uncouth, so sickening but yet so funny. Well, it serves as a good lesson that I will NEVER do such a thing. Ever. On another thought, I think the gentlemen thieves will also be retards if they aren’t under the guidance of Arsene. So looks like Arsene is the only and real genius out of all the characters in here. Yeah, the world is filled with so many stupid people. So I guess even if Clark Kent admits himself as Superman here, you could say his secretly is definitely safe. Heck, Milky Holmes couldn’t identify Nijuuri as Twenty when he starts stripping and thought the latter just reminded them of the former. What more can I say? As for the other minor characters, they are quirky enough to have a slightly lasting impression even if they are just cameos for that particular episode. Like Claris’ desire to be free and experience the normal life, Pero’s love for Marple, Irene’s little sister fetish and the amusing poses of Kate and Mary. In a way, these people played a role in helping Milky Holmes to regain their lost Toys.

The opening theme is Sekai Wa Hitotsu! Janaii!! by the seiyuus of Milky Holmes and sounds like your typical genki and cheerful upbeat theme for the detective quartet. However the ending theme is much opposite and it’s like dedicated to the phantom thief of Arsene and her men. Entitled Honnou No Doubt by Faylan, this dark rock piece definitely suits her nature. Each of the episode title is named and based after a famous detective novel. If you look closely, when title is first displayed on the screen, it is the real original title and after the magnifying glass goes across them, the title changes to the modified version that will be the adventure of Milky Holmes in that episode. On a trivial note, the sponsor screen has the characters drawn in chibi form so they really look cute and funny. Of course the end card with different illustrations are also a little eye candy just like the mid-intermission with the characters in poses or places (okay, some of them felt like for fanservice). As for the next episode preview, we have the characters ranting about but it often ends with that character revealing herself/himself as the culprit even if she/he isn’t. Who? What? When? Why? Everybody is a retard, guilty as charged!

I might not get any interest of reading or watching detective novels and movies, but if there is going to be another season of Milky Holmes, you bet that I’ll be around to catch them in their silly antics. I know it’s bad of me to say this but I hope they keep failing their test to find back their Toys so that I could enjoy some laughs when they screw up. Bad me. I do sound like Kokoro enjoying seeing those lolis suffer and not even knowing it or what hit them till it’s too late. Forgive me if I called them retards too many times but it’s true. At least I know who NOT to call when a crime needs solving. Never let lolis do a man’s job. No wonder crime is flourishing. And I’m the guilty culprit for encouraging that. Doesn’t that make us partners in crime?

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