ClassicaLoid S2

June 23, 2018

If the first season of classical composers in their shenanigans and antics weren’t enough for you. Behold! ClassicaLoid S2 brings more of that to the table. It’s like a 2 hour symphony wasn’t long enough and there you go hear another symphony that is equally long. I guess some people love hearing dead composers’ music but you won’t see those here playing theirs for hours. The last season had that far-fetched twist using aliens. I wonder if they are going to surprise us with angels and demons now. Oh, guess not…

Episode 1
The usual damning antics of the Otowakan residents that once again pisses off Kanae. Time to put down her feet again. It is interrupted when a young boy named Wataru and his pet pygmy hippo, Dovo are at her doorstep. Wataru claims he is her little brother and there is a letter from her mom to ascertain he is. This is all too much for Kanae to digest so sad Wataru doesn’t want to bother her and return to the institution that he was just released from. Kanae can’t let him be so she takes Wataru in. Oh, he hands her his allowance he saved up as advanced rent payment. Woah! Stacks of money! Welcome my little brother! Kanae introduces him to the rest of the tenants as well as the rooms of Otowakan. I suppose as the landlady, she has to power to kick out Beethoven from his room to give it to Wataru. Oh, Dovo wants his own room too so she kicks out Mozart from his. Got a problem? Well, pay your rent first then talk. The duo now share a small room together and Kanae continues to treat Wataru well that is so obvious that it is irking the rest. And what’s this staring showdown between Dovo and Hasshie? Naturally Beethoven and Mozart continue to b*tch to Wataru about their unfair treatment so Wataru tells them off they only share names of famous composers but have not accomplished anything special in particular. Later as the rest go about their own thing, we see Wataru mocking them and causing a little mischief on them. Liszt is suspicious and knows Wataru is not all that he seems to be. Beethoven’s gyoza machine malfunctions from the mischief. He gets so mad that he unleashes his Musik. But Wataru isn’t surprised. In fact, he have seen this sort of thing before. Because Dovo can also do the same. With that, Dovo does his Musik and becomes a conductor of his hippo train and taking them all on a galaxy railways ride? So the soul of music was born in Africa? Returning to reality, Wataru further explains Dovo used to put up such performances for him. The rest are stumped because they thought only ClassicaLoids can do this. He questions them if they think they are the only ClassicaLoids around. Back in his room, it seems Wataru reveals a little more about himself. Dovo isn’t actually a hippo and Wataru’s real name is Richard Wagner. There is some revolution he is planning.

Episode 2
More b*tching from losers Beethoven and Mozart the continued super treatment of Wataru over them. Do they have to be reminded about their rental payments? Wataru continues to mock Beethoven as unworthy of that composer’s name, making that guy throwing a tantrum like a kid. Beethoven then wants a showdown over the room but Wataru disagrees. He will not end up in some kiddie contest. But when Beethoven calls him a botched gyoza, this seems to hit Wataru’s nerve. He hates being called that and accepts Beethoven’s challenge! With Kanae as the referee, I think I know the outcome. Because the ‘contest’ she has them go through looks like house chores. Like the first one is painting the walls. Whoever finishes first wins. Both sides have help. Wataru flatters his teammates to motivate them to work but Liszt is not amused. She is only playing along so she can expose his true colours. Wataru finishes first and wins. Beethoven is not satisfied and wants another round. This time they clean the pathway. For once, Beethoven uses his flame thrower for good. Use what?! Actually he modified it into a super jet spray and cleans the entire path in no time. It’s his win. For the final contest, they are to buy stuffs for dinner. Easy, right? Only, Beethoven has more items on his list! Unfair? He is an adult so it should be tougher for him. Before he could even begin, Wataru has already finished. Almost resigning to his fate, it seems the other ClassicaLoids have helped out so the odds are now even. It is a race back to Otowakan as they try to shove and outdo each other. In the final stretch, Beethoven pushes Wataru aside and although he might have won, Wataru’s eggs broke. He starts crying. But Beethoven can see through his act that he is crying crocodile tears for Kanae’s sympathy. This angers Beethoven as he unleashes his Musik. It was a piece that Wagner was impressed of. With all the shiny gold coins, Wataru is touched by this Musik. So much so he cries and runs away? At the park, Wataru understands his significance being born as a ClassicaLoid. He will surpass Beethoven in this new world as his revolution. He returns home and looks like the contest is a draw so it is status quo for everyone.

Episode 3
Mozart holds a single’s party. Those involved are Sousuke, Chopin, Dovo and Kanae’s friends, Eiko, Biiko, Shiko and… Uzuki. Man, I thought she was going to be Diiko but then it would have sounded so wrong. Mozart starts off playing the king’s game. Something feels wrong because Mozart ends up always as the king. When Uzuki is made to kiss Wataru whom she mistakes as that hippo, she tries to make it look like an accident and wiggle her way out but accidentally bumps into the real Wataru who is hiding underneath the blankets. Love at first sight for her? Mozart teases Wataru he wanted to attend this. Flashback shows Kanae’s friends minus Uzuki visiting their favourite Mozart. They are introduced to Wataru for the first time. Mozart teased him for not being good with girls since he is blushing and all. Sousuke suggested a single’s party and Mozart threw a challenge if he could manage to let Wataru get a girlfriend, he’ll get his room back. Of course Wataru didn’t want to attend. So why is he here? It’s his room. Uzuki discovers Mozart has been cheating during the king’s game and vows to bring order and reform this party as the new organizer. Her passionate speech of revolution awes Wataru. So being the fair organizer, Uzuki tries to be considerate to Wataru so he is not left out. Mozart feels his plans are in shambles so he goes to gather other ClassicaLoids to ‘revolt’. Yeah, I guess Liszt wants in on this game of love. So this party goes out of control with Tchaikovsky acting like an old drunk man, Sousuke trying to obviously hit on Bada (fail as usual), Beethoven trying to play his guitar over his supped up amplifier (fail as usual), Chopin ditching the party, Dovo and Hasshie enter a food tussle. Uzuki tries to protect Wataru from all the chaos. Kanae returns and hears the commotion. She takes Wataru away and forces the rest to clean up. With everyone deserting and leaving it to Mozart, he can’t let it end this way and unleashes his Musik to bring love to everyone. Wataru can’t leave Uzuki alone so he goes to tell her how impressed he was with her revolution. She gives him hope he too will get his own revolution when he is older. In the aftermath, Mozart teases Wataru for kissing Uzuki. He didn’t do it but it seems everyone else does.

Episode 4
Kanae’s friends love Dovo and take pictures of him. It seems there are rumours circulating if you do so, you will be blessed. Sousuke gets pretty jealous since the hippo is a hit but not as jealous as Chopin. Flashback reveals Dovo sometimes go into Chopin’s room to sleep. However Dovo noticed Chopin always hiding in his closet so he minded his business and left a note apologizing for the intrusion and that he only came here because it is quiet. It was then Chopin realized Dovo was always being noisily surrounded by the other pesky ClassicaLoids. He understands how it feels. With Sousuke uploading and spreading false rumours about Dovo’s good luck, soon more people throng Otowakan. Well, they bring lots of goodies and offerings too. I guess it is better than shooing them away and telling Dovo isn’t a real god. Chopin thinks of saving Dovo by trolling on the internet but it only serves to backfire. Each time Chopin tries to do something of that matter, it only serves to enhance Dovo’s reputation and craze. Yeah, it got to a point he gets interviewed on TV, doing recordings and a festival celebration in his name! Chopin goes as far on a pilgrimage to stop this madness but I guess his god isn’t that strong. We hear Dovo narrate that he has the rationality of a human being but stuck inside a hippo’s body. Therefore at times he cannot help find himself drawn to do hippo things. To calm himself over this, he meditates. Uhm, doesn’t he look like napping? Anyway before he knows it, he is already a god in the middle of this Dovo craze. Yeah, it’s basically like a cult worshipping him. Dovo notices Chopin staring at him. Suddenly Dovo has breathing difficulties. The rest think Dovo has gone wild and start whatever shenanigans. Chopin unleashes his Musik to save Dovo from falling off his seat and turns everyone into dogs for a taste of their own medicine on what it’s like not being able to convey what one wants to say. When Chopin talks to Dovo, the latter is grateful he is concerned about him. But then begins his hippo lecture on Chopin’s bad habits and how he should fix it. Not the kind of talk Chopin was expecting… Soon, the Dovo craze dies down like as though it never happened. Now Chopin has this animosity each time he sees Dovo.

Episode 5
Kanae tells Wagner a story of the legend of the local lake. Yeah, it makes him emotional to realize how lucky he has a sister. Time for some emotional feels. Sibling hug! Only to be ruined by annoying ClassicaLoid jerks. Kanae has had it and kicks them out. But since they are still fooling around, she threatens to leave. Yeah, they don’t even care! And now Sousuke is having this reggae craze. Ya man! Life is beautiful! Kanae has no time for this crap. Apparently this craze is hitting the world. A man known as The Great has been going around unleashing his reggae songs for world peace! All wars and conflicts end instantly! And now he is back in Japan as all citizens affected by his music is now happy and in peace. Ya man! Life is beautiful. Only ClassicaLoids are not affected. If your observation is great, you would know The Great turns out to be Schubert. He returns to Otowakan and too bad Beethoven almost doesn’t remember him. To understand why he was ‘missing’ for many episodes, he narrates after that hippo express, he got depressed and left Otowakan. But a giant kite suddenly swoosh him away all over the world before dropping him in Jamaica. There he found reggae and his calling. His story is taking too long so he is interrupted that they need to return Kanae and Sousuke back to normal. Wagner doesn’t want to as he has never seen his sister this happy. This prompts an argument between them so Schubert decides to unleash his Musik, reggae style. But Beethoven is not amused and unleashes his Musik and giant emperor penguin to fight him. Schubert’s Musik absorbs it and becomes larger. However he is reduced to tears when Wagner admonishes him about his music style and the lack of self-identity. Even more disheartening for him when Beethoven adds to all that. With that, Schubert returns to normal and the happy reggae effect wears off. The craze is over and everyone returns to normal. This means Kanae continue to be pissed with the ClassicaLoids as usual. But the best news is Schubert returning to his old classical identity and has vowed to stay by Beethoven’s side forever since he opened his eyes. Too bad he doesn’t need his help in making gyoza.

Episode 6
The ClassicaLoids decide to play an elaborate prank on Wataru. But a strange lady arrives at Otowakan and misses all the traps in good timing. The ClassicaLoids wonder if their traps didn’t work and test it out but got pranked themselves instead. When Kanae returns, she is surprised to see this lady, Himeka is her mom! She tries to seek answers about her sudden departure long ago and never called so Himeka explains the trip around the world to get some sort of ingredients. Oh, she’s got lots of presents for Kanae too. Forgiven? Not yet. Kanae tries to talk about Wataru, the brother she never knew she had but the topic was promptly evaded. Meanwhile Wataru assimilates as Boy Wonder wannabe and Dovo as a rhino. Flashback shows they lived a poor and abusive life as a bellboy in some hotel. When he saw Himeka staying, he quickly ran back to her. Himeka also tells this story to Kanae but is glad she isn’t lonely. On the contrary, she has had it with this freeloaders. Speaking of the debt, Himeka shows her entire suitcase of cash! No, they’re not illegal. When she is short of funds, she went gambling and betting. Wow. She must be one hell of a lucky woman! With this much money, she decides to treat them all for lunch! Hooray for mom! We return to Wataru and Dovo as they wreak havoc and storm into Arkhe to confront Bach. Wataru offers himself to be a producer and lets him hear his composition. I guess Bach didn’t like him and rejects. This makes Wataru throw a tantrum and believes Bach also considers him a botched. Wataru unleashes his Musik but soon tires out. Security is about to throw him out but Bach changes his mind. Meanwhile Himeka treats everyone to expensive Shanghai crabs! Then she has to ‘ruin’ it by asking Kanae which guy she likes. Nobody is impressed. Not even the guys. Back to more crabs, anyone? Himeka gets a call from some random stranger pleading for help so she deposits all her money into that given account. Oh no. Broke. How to pay the bill. Wash the dishes! Don’t break any or you’ll have to compensate. Too late. But how come Himeka and Liszt are exempted from the work? Bach appoints Wataru as the company’s new executive producer and is given his own luxury office suite. He returns to Otowakan and is delighted to see his mom. Family reunion is interrupted when Mozart plays a prank with Dovo’s fake rhino horn by using it as his penis cover.

Episode 7
Himeka is worried about her daughter if she’ll find a husband. So she teams up with Liszt to see which of the potential guys in Otowakan could be it. While Himeka sees them in a positive light, Liszt knows them better and makes her see their drawbacks. Then it turns to fixing their shortcomings but this ends up causing more trouble for them. Eventually they hear what the plan is about so a nicely timed Kanae returning home is confused when the guys apologize and reject her outright! It is also bad because it shows she got rejected by 5 guys in a row! I guess that says a lot about her popularity with guys. Back to the drawing board for our loving women. Liszt wonders they should start looking elsewhere but Himeka insists it has to be one from Otowakan since Kanae met them all here. So now they convince the guys whoever marries Kanae will become the master of this place. This means free rent or high speed internet or just simply having Musik implanted (that’s for you Sousuke). Now they’re all gunning for her! Using the funds she won from the bet, they quickly renovate the home into some shifting labyrinth, I bet we’ll never get that kind of construction service that completed everything in half a day! Kanae is confused by the layout but it is to see which guy she bumps into as they play out their cheesy proposal. I guess mostly are no good. At this point Kanae thinks her time to be a hit with guys is here. Might as well go all the way because she would prefer her own prince charming. Yeah, don’t want these bunch of losers. The guys aren’t giving up and it got so intense that all of them start unleashing their Musik. Even Liszt wants in on this game of love! But all comes crashing down when Kanae finds out their ulterior motive to marry. You better run! In the aftermath, Kanae wonders why mom wanted her to get married so fast. She believes the sooner she experiences happiness, the better. I guess she is saying from experience with Kyougo. Kanae assures her she will find her own soul mate when the time is right. So please stop using this search like as though it is a game.

Episode 8
Everyone has had it with Mozart. They are planning to stop him from lying and making empty promises. So they tell him if a ClassicaLoid lies, he will turn into a hippo! Look at Dovo! Not buying. That night, Beethoven promises he won’t grind his teeth while he sleeps but he did just that. Next morning, Mozart is shocked to find he has become a hippo! This is actually Dovo in disguise and everyone has a hand in it. Except Schubert. Nobody told him. No wonder his ‘acting’ is so convincing. This convinces Mozart to not lie anymore. And the only way is to turn his lies into truth! This means that a young girl, Mari Mihara whom he told and promised to marry earlier on, he introduces her to the rest of his gang. Not a joke. It seems she too likes him and wants to stay here. Himeka has even talked to her mom to give the approval for her stay! I don’t know how she managed to convince her mom to allow this seeing ironically Himeka is one who abandoned Kanae for many years. Mari tries to be helpful since she will be Mozart’s future wife. Does Kanae love the ring of being called a big sister? Meanwhile Schubert is sad he still cannot understand Beethoven and thinks of becoming a hippo like him. Mari then stumbles into the real Beethoven camping behind Otowakan. He gives her gyoza. Presenting this to Kanae, she lies that is a gyoza fairy! Mari’s mom comes by to take her back since they are moving tomorrow. This is when Schubert thinks this is a good time to lie and says this hippo is Mari! Not buying. Mari throws a tantrum that everyone is a liar. She relates her friends promised to keep in touch when she moved but they never did. Mozart believes his feelings then are still true. Unleashing his Musik, in the past Mozart too asked a girl to marry him. That girl was Marie Antoinette. Mozart and Mari have their own mock wedding. Even if it all feels strange, as long as Mari is happy, everything is okay. Mari returns home as they vow not to forget each other. Then the rest come clean about the lie… Meanwhile Schubert is awaiting the moment he will turn into a hippo. Then Beethoven waltzes right back in and teases him with fake hippo noises… The biggest fool ever…

Episode 9
It seems Beethoven is being hit by an inspiration of anything round. But shortly after that, everything that is round starts to go missing from Otowakan. After everyone accuses everyone, they realize the only culprit left to show himself is Chopin. True enough, they find his room with all the round stuffs. As they try to understand why he did so, Chopin grows more and more uneasy until he unleashes his Musik that rains on everyone inside the mansion. After being scolded to stop, it seems only Beethoven still has a rain cloud over him. Chopin will not answer when Beethoven demands and keeps on playing. And so Beethoven lives the rest of his days like this? But it is going to get worse because now he sees all round things as squares! It gets worse when now everything looks so blocky. Minecraft? Schubert tries to talk to Chopin but it seems this only agitates him as he unleashes an even bigger Musik. Oh great. More rain. Himeka then comes by to give them croissants. Surprisingly Beethoven can see its original shape. Then he realizes the croissant looks like a crescent. A moon. That’s it. The moon! Beethoven unleashes his Musik to overwrite Chopin. It is revealed that one of Chopin’s pieces resembles closely to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Because of that, he is often accused of ripping off this piece (Chopin saw this rife on the internet). Schubert and Beethoven admonish him about being ashamed of that because great pieces sometimes sound alike. Don’t care what others say and the most important thing is how much the piece resonates in the heart of the listener. As long as you put your soul into it, their pieces will transcend space and time for eternity. Things return to normal but Schubert catches Chopin trolling everyone on the internet that he is better than Beethoven. Have some shame!

Episode 10
Aoi Risuto just opened a piano school. He is such a handsome guys that all girls would swoon at the sight of him. However Liszt is against of him doing this. As their name is almost similar, she believes it is misrepresenting her name. Either change your name or get out! And so a piano duel is set to see who the real Liszt is. Well, Liszt lost. What’s this? Being drunk at a roadside stall? She is found by Beethoven and brought home. Everyone is worried why she got so worked up. Flashbacks shows Liszt was a great pianist and everywhere he went, the ladies loved him. It made him cocky. Until he met Carolyne that he truly felt what love is. Unfortunately her father did not approve of it. It was then Liszt realized he had nothing capable of persuading anyone else. All he had was youth and beauty. So now Liszt is doing power training and has ordered a grand piano? Do you need such workout for the piano? Okay. She’s the expert. Her aim is to have a rematch with Risuto and at this time the entire town knows. It is thanks to Arkhe promoting this duel. Wataru is the mastermind as his goal is to humiliate Liszt. However Risuto is so popular with all the girls. How will Liszt get enough supporters? Sousuke and Chopin troll over the internet for the single lonely guys. Yup, they are on Liszt’s side. Come the day of the duel, Risuto goes first and plays Libestraume. Good and as perfect as the real deal. When it is Liszt turn, why is she dressed in her gym clothes? Oh my. She is buffed up! She explains how she drew inspiration from a violinist named Niccolo Paganini and hence the piece she will playing is La Campanella. It is so good that everyone starts crying! Even Risuto. But when the piece gets intense, she smashes and breaks the piano! Don’t worry. There’s a spare. But she breaks that too! No more spares left. With the audience still enthralled with Liszt, Risuto shows his ugly side that it is impossible as she didn’t finish her piece. Liszt then lectures him about earthly desires, she unleashes her Musik to box bells and wake up his heart? In the end, everyone is captivated with Liszt’s performance and Risuto loses all his hair?! Liszt now works at the piano school with Risuto as they also teach the many forms of love. Yup, money is love. This is a safe bet to repay her piano loan. Oh yeah, all you need is love, the most important thing of all.

Episode 11
Wataru has taken over Bach’s producer post for Claskey Klasky. But with the duo gaining popularity as comedians for old people in the rural areas and Mitsuru never answering his calls, this is not the revolution he is seeking for. He thinks he has found a way by dressing up as Bach and talking like him. Too bad they don’t understand and still don’t like him. Wataru changes their schedule to work in a salty ramen shop. They don’t want to do it at first but a pre-recorded clip of the real Bach made them do so. It seems the owner is quite condescending. With only a salty ramen on the menu, he has a strict specific way for his customers to eat his ramen! This is part of Wataru’s plan to make them be cocky and look down on customers so they could aim for the top again. Thinking this is part of the protocol, the duo also become condescending. But the next customers are those ClassicaLoids! Since they are picky, they get kicked out. A couple of festival committee members enter and since they are quite nice people, Claskey Klasky return to their kind ways. So Wataru cancels whatever festival they will have with them and will have them put up a new performance. Wataru unleashes a reborn Claskey Klasky. In military police outfit, they act condescending on stage and are now known as Salty Klasky. It looks like the crowd love it. But with the schedule getting stricter, the duo run away and take refuge at Otowakan. Too bad the place is in crisis because of inadequate gyoza pieces. This has the duo telling everyone off, surprising them. They then realize their bad behaviour and regret it. However everyone gives their gyoza share to them as they feel like eating salty ramen. They impress the owner by eating in the exact protocol order. No talking and giving exact change as well. With the owner talking about this perfect attitude and how everyone can get along and become one with the salty ramen, the duo now realize this is what they’re supposed to aim for. So in their next concert, after their typical idol one, they turn into the condescending Salty Klasky and tell the audience how to watch their performance. Everyone comes together as one, loving it all. Wataru believes he has surpassed Bach and usurps the show with his own appearance. Wataru’s achievement hits front page while Claskey Klasky is reduced to something minor. They run away again to Otowakan but are quickly found. Back to work…

Episode 12
Wataru is trying to have the executives abandon Bach and jump ship to his side. Bach just discovered Wagner and Dvorak as the hidden ClassicaLoids. He summons Mitsuru to explain why she never told him. She never considered them worthy for the Octovas. One being a hippo and the other having a fatal flaw that he cannot perform Musik. Flashback shows Wagner and Dvorak waking up shortly after other ClassicaLoids. They were put in a room and overheard Mitsuru talking about Wagner being botched. It became his taboo word. He wanted to see Kyougo but he had left. So the duo also left and travelled the world, vowing to teach those who called him botched a lesson. His resolve was strengthened during the incident where everybody turned into Bach. Bach summons Wataru and knows his identity. He has Dovo unleash his Musik but is quickly put down. Bach shows who is boss with his Musik. Wataru is so upset he cannot use Musik that well, his will suddenly activates his Musik. It is much more superior than Bach and he is sent packing. It seems Wataru stole Bach’s Musik and without one, he is forced to leave Arkhe. Tchaikovsky and Bada aren’t too pleased and they want to follow him but Bach tells them to stay put and keep a watch on that kid. But soon all Salty Klasky’s activities are put on hiatus and Mitsuru is ordered to become his manager. Tchaikovsky and Bada are salty that they have been used as a stepping stone for his revolution. Even more so when Wataru introduces a new super idol: Himself. He is known as World Amazing Galaxy Never Ending Revolution AKA Wagner. With Wagner hitting the waves, I guess the Otowakan people final take notice. Amidst the confusion seeing Wataru on stage, Claskey Klasky duo waltz into Otowakan, making the others think they have been fired by Bach. More shock when Wataru and Dovo show up in the flesh to reveal the truth. Is Himeka relieved that now it is confirmed the reason why she couldn’t remember giving birth to him? Yeah… It seems Wataru’s plan is to meet Kyougo whom he regards as his true father as well as bringing a revolution that Octavas failed to achieve. He thanks Kanae for the hospitality as he will now be staying at the office. Why is Beethoven so happy? He gets to have his room back.

Episode 13
This series is so random that even with this random year-end special makes no difference. Yeah, Kyougo even points this out. Anyway, this so called Musik contest festival also works as somewhat as a recap because each of the ClassicaLoids get up on stage to perform one of their Musik pieces. While most of the clips are of this season, a few are from the first. Starting off with the talentless Sousuke and his soul zapping death music, even Bach, Wagner and Dovo have their chance to strut their stuffs. In the end, nobody wins because Beethoven claims there is no winning or losing in music. No enemies or allies. Just enjoy yourself and sing along!

Episode 14
As Wagner becomes more arrogant to the point of snubbing Claskey Klasky, Dovo feels bad for them. Since he is unrepentant, Dovo leaves Arkhe and lives at Otowakan. While other ClassicaLoids feel for him (thanks to Pad-kun for translating hippo language) and welcome him, Claskey Klasky remain doubtful if he is a spy. Sousuke comes up with an idea since the duo are no longer idols, they are free to date. Yeah, he nominates himself to date Bada. But she agrees?! As revenge for her idol career cut short, she is going to live a normal life. And so happy Sousuke begins his date with Bada. However we tend to notice Bada is just angry, mad and unsatisfied at everything while Sousuke tries hard to please and not offend her. This is going to be tough. As Dovo feels sad for being treated as a hippo (not to say he is mistreated but being treated as a hippo than a human does have its significance), he decides to take on Pad-kun (who is feeling the blues too after Sousuke ditched him) to go on a soul searching trip. Meanwhile bad luck befalls on Beethoven and Schubert as the former is blown away by the kite and the latter drift away in the seas. Sousuke realizes it is hell when Tchaikovsky and Bada start arguing about the situation they’re in. Dovo thought he saw Kyougo and abandons Pad-kun in the train (left to the devices of naughty kids who play Space Invaders on him?!). Too bad it is the wrong person. Dovo yearns for home so he unleashes his Musik to collect the lost ClassicaLoids back to Otowakan. Dovo as the kind train conductor has stolen Bada’s heart. In the aftermath, Claskey Klasky decides to try again from scratch as an indie. Dovo is more appreciative of the hippo home Kanae made for him.

Episode 15
After seeing a sumo match of TV, Himeka gets this idea to hold their very own sumo tournament. Even with all the food prizes, the guys don’t want to join. Until Himeka says this to bring Wataru down a notch. With the guys getting into training, Kanae is tasked to bring Wataru. At least he still has the decency to come see his family but not too sure about wanting to participate in this sumo fest. The guys force him in and his nervousness is banished until their sumo opponents from the international stable come to see and mock them. It hits Wataru’s nerve when they judge his scrawny size as botched and easy victory. Taboo word. You bet he is going to join and take them down! The first order of the sumo is to eat like hell and they grow really fat. As they continue training, Chopin sprained his muscles so he quit and becomes the referee. As for Dovo, because you cannot touch the grounds of the sumo ring with anything except your feet, he is disqualified. Uhm, isn’t a hippo technically has all 4 feet? On the day of the tournament, the Otowakan side manage to reach the finals to face off with their international opponents. Dovo returns and shows his adamant side that he can do it. By becoming bipedal? Whatever. It works. He replaces Sousuke who lost to him. In the finals, Beethoven and Dovo win their matches while Mozart and Schubert loses. It boils down to Wataru. The final match is drawing out that they need to take a break. Wataru seems to make a breakthrough with his revolution throw but eventually he loses because his face falls to the ground first. While the loss is disappointing, Himeka is happy with the outcome. She noticed he is lonely since becoming an idol and thought if he was with everyone in Otowakan, he would be more lively and boisterous. It worked because they’re like bonded brothers now. Kanae realizes if Himeka sponsored the prizes, she should have just bought them all for her. Sorry, spent it all and now she’s out of money.

Episode 16
Beethoven and Sousuke are at the music hall. The former impressed with the orchestra playing his symphony that his aura causes an explosion?! Though the hall is destroyed, nobody died. But back at Otowakan, Beethoven is acting strange. He is imitating Mozart! He is also retarded like as though he is a baby. The rest don’t give much thought and believe he’ll be back to normal tomorrow. Unfortunately it has gotten worse. Schubert decides to raise him up properly but Mozart is trying to teach him bad things. Schubert realizes this is the closest he could get with his senpai and is in a dilemma if he would return back to normal. While Schubert demonstrates playing the melodian on the rooftop, Beethoven unleashes a beam of his Musik. He hints that he is calling for home in the sky. Schubert deduces from his gestures that by tomorrow’s sunset he will be picked up at the summit. When the rest hears about this, it brings back some memories of that alien encounter last season. Suddenly the police barge in as they believe the person behind the hall’s bombing is here. Thanks to Sousuke putting up a selfie. Mozart distracts the police with his Musik as Schubert gets Beethoven out of here and to the summit. Peddle power can only do so much and with the police cars chasing behind, Beethoven unleashes his Musik to turn the bicycle into a mecha. ET reference flying across the moon? At the summit, an alien spaceship appears. During last season’s alien invasion, one of them fell and got lost. Spotting Beethoven as someone familiar, it possessed him and hence the explosion. Now it is going home. The alien, that is. Schubert misinterprets this is Beethoven as an alien race coming to Earth to give his music and is now going home after believing the world has enough of music. Schubert wants to come along! Beethoven reverts to normal but still believes he is at the hall. Back to normal. Meanwhile Schubert is on the spaceship. Oh no. Experiment time? A few days later, he returns as a hi-tech robot. Despite his super technological displays, everyone believes he is still the old Schubert and might just be into aliens now.

Episode 17
Western spaghetti! Welcome to WesternLoid! Beethoven and Mozart just defeated Sousuke and hang him on a tree. Liszt arrives in town where Schubert awaits her. The lore goes down that Kanae as the owner of Otowakan recently has vacancies in her room after Wataru and Dovo left. Tchaikovsky and Bada wandered into town and she took them in. But Beethoven and Mozart are planning to usurp them and take their rooms. Hence the duo confront the ladies while Schubert is tasked to stave off Liszt but loses. It seems the showdown called ClassicaDON isn’t a gun fight. It is a quiz to guess correctly what piece they are playing. Nobody wants to fight with Bada since she only has 1 bullet (reference to her one hit wonder). Even if she tries to steal Tchaikovsky’s gun, she won’t be able to add to her list. And so heartbroken Bada has to sit out of this. Beethoven and Mozart argue among themselves to fight with Tchaikovsky so she dares them to team up against her. But she might regret it because between them they have 13 bullets compared to only 2 she has. Just in time for Liszt to show up to aid her with her 3 bullets. She is a sheriff who is after Beethoven and Mozart as wanted criminals. Liszt draws with the guys. Tchaikovsky intervenes and they thought they could confidently guess her songs. Although Beethoven gets it right, Mozart gets it wrong. It seems Bada secretly snuck into her fight and played her song. With Mozart’s loss, this only improves Beethoven’s plan as to kick all of them out since he plans to take over Otowakan by himself. However he is usurp by Chopin in a sneak attack. Chopin now will take over Otowakan for himself as he needs a place to be a free shut-in. He transforms Otowakan into a giant stagecoach and rides away. Liszt tries to catch up but with Dovo’s train help, Liszt is able to face off with him. Chopin is confident of the bullets she has left but he got it wrong. Even though she used that bullet against Schubert, she has a secret fourth one. With that, Otowakan is destroyed. Uhm, happy ending? Liszt rides into the sunset. Turns out it is one big fantasy of Liszt and her Musik after she watched a western movie.

Episode 18
Wataru arrives at Otowakan with all the ClassicaLoids welcoming him! Best of all, Kyougo hugging his best ClassicaLoid and son. Good news: This isn’t a dream. Bad news: This is a story he is writing! It sucks… So when he visits, nobody gives a sh*t as they’re all doing their own stuffs. Even Kanae says hi for a while before leaving to buy errands. Hence he goes back to order Mitsuru to do aggressive promotions. Yeah, Wagner’s name is on almost every brand. So will this give him the reverence and love he dreams? Nope. Nobody gives a sh*t. Again. So what’s the next aggressive plan? Have his agents to sneak in his product placements everywhere in Otowakan?! I don’t think that loud blasting of his sound is going to help. Yeah, I wonder how long he can write this happy story. Not satisfied, he calls Mitsuru in the middle of the night to organize a concert now! Kanae wants to go but the ClassicaLoids don’t give a f*ck. However all of them are soon kidnapped and forced to watch his concert. Kanae and Himeka get the best seats while the ClassicaLoids are in a cage. Sousuke remains at home since he was taking a dump while the abduction occurred. Wagner performs and wows the crowd. He hopes dad is watching. Too bad he is hitchhiking in some American desert. Wagner sings his new song and stuns the crowd but his family sense he is not the Wataru they know. It gets ridiculous with knights on Pegasus? Then all out of control when they turn into chibi versions with forks and sausages. It causes havoc attacking the crowd. The ClassicaLoids fight back unleashing their Musik to teach him a lesson. At the end of this chaos, the crowd is super thrilled with the great special effects. They are certainly entertained. The ClassicaLoids ended in a draw as Wagner won’t admit defeat. When Kanae wants him to cut it out, he is sad she has taken their side and casts away his family. Dad is the only one he needs. Back at Otowakan, Sousuke is mad for being left out, the ClassicaLoids are mad for that idiotic concern but Kanae is shocked when she gets a call from Himeka. She has left for a journey to find Kyougo.

Episode 19
Schubert and Mozart are stuck in an elevator playing shiritori. Flashback reveals Kanae wanted Mozart to buy some stuffs at the supermarket but he isn’t around. Schubert thinks he can handle it but she is unsure as he has a habit of vanishing once in a while. Schubert takes up the job but bumps into Mozart along the way. He too wants to tag along and during their struggle, his hair gets stuck and entangled with his shirt’s button. They try to go to stores to buy a scissors but all of them are sold out! Apparently Chopin bought them all to cut envelopes of stuffs he bought online. After so many detours, they head up the elevator to a hardware store. However the faulty elevator stopped working. Schubert tries to push buttons to get help and Mozart wants to try too. The struggle causes his hair to be ripped from his shirt but he spilled his orange juice on the buttons. Why is the juice like a glue? It’s still on the buttons… Schubert is left to reminiscent how much he hates Mozart, especially he has been accused of imitating his works. Once they manage to crawl out of the elevator, Mozart’s prank has them get locked inside a locker room. Yeah, this building is breaking down that nobody is bothered to fix anything. Schubert laments how close Mozart is to Beethoven as they call each other by their nicknames. Women start to come in so they hide inside the locker. Then they got busted. There is nowhere to go if they climb out of the ledges. Schubert plans to use his Musik to turn Mozart into a baby and use himself as soft landing. Trying to sacrifice himself? Mozart has a better idea. He will use his Musik to turn them into birds and fly away! The duo have fun flying in the sky until they reach the supermarket. Too bad it is all sold out. Schubert tries to explain himself to Kanae but Mozart makes it worse by ambiguously putting it in a way that makes Schubert looks like he was fooling around. ‘Mad’ Kanae will have Mozart do the errands next time. Just when Schubert thought Mozart was a pretty decent guy, it is back to square one hating him.

Episode 20
Even hippos can get depressed. Dovo wonders why he is the only one not human when he stumbles upon a bottle of pills in Kyougo’s room that could turn him back into one! Seriously? If he could only open the bottle… Cheeky Mozart thinks it is candy and snatches it away to share with the rest. Before you know it, it is all gone. The ClassicaLoids suddenly have a bad case of stomach before turning into… Chibi versions of themselves?! Why do they remind me of Smurfs… Yeah, the faded label on the bottle actually reads to turn back into small humans. Kanae and Sousuke see them in the streets and as they explain, they are pounced by girls who love their cuteness. A talent manager scouts them to become the town’s mascot. They won’t do it at first but quickly accept it when they know they are getting paid. Hence our ChibiLoids are now rising in popularity with so many merchandises under their name! Dovo is called by Wagner and treated nicely. He wants to know the cause of ChibiLoids’ popularity. He claims it is Dovo’s fault and he should take responsibility to turn them back. Dovo searches Kyougo’s room until he finds a bottle of pills that would turn one back into human. However the ChibiLoids think he wants to eat it himself and tricks him into doing so. At first nothing happens but later Dovo starts to transform… Everyone is shocked to find a weird looking old man around. Dovo is now in human form but a paper cut-out?! Nobody believes he is Dovo and despites his best attempt to imitate a hippo, it looks creepy and they kick him out. Even the people on the streets are mocking his strange appearance. He tries to look for Wagner but since he learns the ChibiLoids still remain, he has security throw him out. Thanks for nothing. The ChibiLoids are in an argument who should get the biggest cut of royalties when they suddenly turn back to normal. It must have worn off. They try to find the pills to turn back or kiss goodbye to their popularity. Kanae is the only one worried of Dovo and goes out to find him. But she sees policemen trying to arrest a strange old man. Dovo tries to plead to Kanae for help but she sees him as creepy and scary instead. Dovo is thrown into prison as he laments if he had turned into his train conductor form, they would have loved him. Next morning, the police station is abuzz. They wonder why a hippo is in a cell. Luckily Kanae is here to take him back. Dovo has never felt grateful being a hippo again. Back at Otowakan, they are going to be in shock as the ClassicaLoids are now paper cut-out versions! Since they bug Kanae and ignore Dovo, poor Dovo realizes being a hippo is still bad.

Episode 21
Kanae wonders why everyone in class is laughing at her. It seems there is a popular web manga going around about Otowakan! Everyone is depicted as stupid idiots and Kanae as the devil lady! Of course she is mad. Oh, she is turning into that character. Yeah, even the disclosure says all buildings and characters are real! She knows the one behind this is Chopin despite going under the penname FreFra since he is the hero of the manga. He is now being praised by the manga club members for their club’s revival. Until Kanae comes in… Sh*t is going to hit the fan. So the reason he did this was to take out his frustrations because everyone is always bothering him. He didn’t expect it to be a hit after uploading it. Chopin becomes a different character in front of his disciples. High and mighty, isn’t he? Yeah, now he has loads of fans. Just when he is getting used to all the fame at school, the other ClassicaLoids aren’t too pleased to see this… It gets worse when Chopin begs them to act in character as his disciples are coming over. They don’t really care despite him explaining about hope and all that crap. Till he agrees to do anything for them… The disciples arrive with Chopin as the respected hero and the rest playing their character. Better retrain the anger. I guess there is so much they can take so they stop with the farce and this turns Chopin into his cowardly self. The disciples are disappointed to realize the truth. Chopin knows he can’t end it like this so he tells them that despite everything is fake, the feelings they had were real. He adds his Musik effect to turn them into their ideal heroes. This revitalizes their hope and the manga club goes on to make their own hit manga. The ClassicaLoids are knocking on Chopin’s door and want him to make good on his promise. But he is not in. A letter left behind says not to look for him. Looks like he is travelling and making a new travel blog series.

Episode 22
Claskey Klasky sings in the streets. Only Sousuke and Dovo are watching. It’s like everyone else is deliberately ignoring them. Tempting to blame a certain kid, eh? Mitsuru is here to deliver a pendrive from Bach. It states his journey all over the world to find Kyougo but luck isn’t on his side. However he bumped into Himeka with the same goal and now they’re in Europe shopping? Keep trying. Also in this pendrive is a song he wrote for them. The ClassicaLoids find it the perfect weapon to fight Wagner although Beethoven remains sceptical he sent it to them instead of using it himself to fight Wagner directly. That is hen Claskey Klasky explains about Wagner’s ability to steal Musik. With this hype, only Kanae is worried because she really wants everyone to get along. Claskey Klasky sings again in the streets and with the other ClassicaLoids playing instruments, they start attracting the crowd. Wagner is on a nationwide tour and plans to go on a worldwide one once he is done. However his last nationwide tour did not have all his tickets sold out and when he learns Claskey Klasky is rising in popularity (despite having a sold out hall of only 350 people compared to his 50,000 stadium) and holding their concert on the same day as his, he plans on taking them on. Aggressive marketing can only get you so much and with still unsold seats, he is going to take drastic action. Claskey Klasky is now performing at the hall. So Wagner ditches his own concert to be at theirs? He then unleashes his Musik and the rest follow suit (while live streaming this to his own concert). But this is part of his ploy to steal their Musik. Having all their wands, he believes he is the best and only ClassicaLoid in the world. Cue evil boy laughter. Back at Otowakan, the ClassicaLoids aren’t upset since they were expecting this and was trying to test Wagner’s ability. They’re unfazed that they can’t do Musik anymore. Kanae is the only remaining worried. Her brother has all their powers and they aren’t even bothered. This is the perfect time to ask dad what to do.

Episode 23
Himeka and Bach are at a horse racing event. Oh, that’s Kyougo before them! He lost the bet. Time to get down to serious business. Sousuke seems to have serious issues that the ClassicaLoids have lost their Musik and are unperturbed. He thinks they are like him without Musik but they brush off even without Musik, they have actual musical talent! In your face! You’re still talentless after coming this far! Thus he thinks it is a good idea to defect to Wagner’s side. Wagner is about to leave for his international world tour but is still sad there is no word from dad. Kanae comes to see him and hopes he would come by the house once but he ignores her and reminds she is no longer his sister. Sad. Kyougo and Himeka try to infiltrate Arkhe as hippy musicians? Bach in a weird mascot outfit? Security stops them and with Mitsuru noticing their return, she unleashes her MitsuruLoids in Bach’s image that she secretly developed to stop security and let them through. Bach confronts Wagner and warns his current Musik will bring ruin to the world. Kiddo doesn’t believe him until Kyougo walks in. Tears of joy that he finally reunites with dad. Bach leaves them to settle this because he believes with Kyougo the father, only a father’s love can settle this! Wagner talks with his parents for all that has happened. Till he mentions he stole his Musik from everyone else, Kyougo tells him to stop that. Wagner is shocked to learn that Kyougo is the one who made him botched unable to wield Musik as he stopped it while he was in his capsule. Before Kyougo could explain further, Wagner becomes enraged. He fires his flurry of Musik at them. Bach comes back to stall the kid to allow the others to escape but can only do so much.

Kyougo calls Kanae and she is finally glad she gets to contact him. She tells him about everyone’s Musik being stolen but Kyougo says that is impossible. However, Wagner’s Musik attacks them and makes it impossible to explain further. Before line is cut off, he wants her to bring all the other ClassicaLoids here. Yeah, Arkhe looks like it transformed into some serious evil ominous tower. Sousuke is bragging to the receptionists about his ‘talent’ and gets caught up in it. Kanae begs to the ClassicaLoids to save her family. Except for Claskey Klasky who are going to save Bach, the rest aren’t interested and view this as Kanae’s family problems. But when she reminds them Wagner is like their little brother because they are all made by the same father, they love this idea of them being family and agree to go. Too bad without their Musik, they have to take a bus there. I wonder if the entire town is evacuated, why is there a dedicated bus driver to even bring them close enough to Arkhe? Sousuke just finally got out of this mess and thinks the rest are here to save him. Too bad they force him back in thinking he knows the way in. He thinks there are 3 paths to reach where Wagner is so they split up and take different routes. Sousuke must be the happiest since he pairs with Claskey Klasky. Schubert not so since he goes with Mozart and Dovo. The rest goes with Kanae. But it seems Kanae’s group is blocked by what is known as an emotional barrier. With Kanae being emotional she just wants her Wataru to return to those fun filled days, she transforms into her musketeer form and breaks through the barrier in style. Wagner is curled up trapped in his own Musik. I guess he is waiting for big sister to come save him.

Episode 24
Wagner unleashes his Musik. But it is filled with depression and this depression is trying to keep them away. Schubert’s group finds Kyougo and Himeka trapped in a cage. Mozart resonates with Wagner’s depressed Musik and is able to wield Musik himself. His power freezes everything and breaks the parents out from their cage. Dovo now pounces Kyougo of why he was turned into a hippo. The truth is, he is a hippo to begin with. He wanted another animal aside Hasshie and chose his other favourite animal. He never intended to turn him into a ClassicaLoid but apparently even letting him hear Dvorak’s music could turn a hippo into one. He promises to turn Dovo into human when they get back. Hippo so happy that he could now use his Musik. Schubert admits Mozart’s Musik is great and this too allows him to wield his Musik. Bach and Mitsuru are free thanks to Mozart’s Musik reaching far and wide. Bach transforms into… A giant golden Buddha???!!! Bach-dha?! Seeing Mitsuru having fun with him has Claskey Klasky jealous and enables them to use their Musik. Soon Chopin and Liszt too. Only Beethoven left. Any time now… Reaching the top, a huge door blocks their path. The ClassicaLoids combine their Musik to break through but soon more doors come shutting down. With them exhausting their power, it is time for Beethoven to shine. After ranting about destroying destiny, his Musik transforms him into… A giant genie punk?! WTF?! So strong he punches through the doors! His Musik also replenishes the other ClassicaLoids as they give their final push to let Kanae through the final door. However she is faced with her evil clone who claims this is what Wagner wants, his music to resound all over the world and forever be remembered. Kyougo explains even before he woke up, there were indications his Musik will go berserk. That’s why he stopped it and sealed it away. He didn’t care if he became a ClassicaLoid. He wanted him as a family member. Kanae defeats her clone and reaches into Wagner’s mind. He is still upset, claiming everything is a lie and no one is his family. Kanae slaps him to shut him up and then gives him a big sisterly hug. All that don’t matter. He is her little brother, that’s all. Yeah, enough for everything to return back to normal. Uh huh. Family love saved Wagner. However they are free falling so Wagner unleashes his Musik with beautiful Valkyrie angels to cushion their fall. Everyone happily heads back to Otowakan. Except for Sousuke. Conveniently forgotten as he slipped off earlier and is now left hanging on the building’s ledge.

Episode 25
Kyougo begins the process to turn Dovo back into human. But before that can happen, the rail company is looking for him. It looks like they want him as their train mascot as the kids love him. Thanks to that, Dovo abandons his desire to become human and is now the official train mascot making kids happy. With Bach back at Arkhe, Claskey Klasky is getting even more popular. While things return to normal at Otowakan, the only one who isn’t happy is Sousuke. He has been thinking he has gone nowhere. Partly, Pad-kun abandoned him to become Dovo’s translator. Yeah, that’s a better deal, right? It makes him think he has no talent at all! Finally he admits it! Yeah, we figured that out last season. Then he sees his old yearbook message that he will become great and is inspired. But before he could tell everyone, looks like Kyougo, Himeka and Wagner are leaving on a trip together. Don’t worry about the debt. Wagner’s idol stint earned enough to cover it all. He has had it being an idol and achieved the acknowledgement of the person he wants. Kanae is also shocked at their departure. She is invited to come along but she has responsibilities of protecting Otowakan. Himeka leaves the door open if she should ever join them and hopes she will venture into the world. After seeing them off, Sousuke begins his music training to his road of greatness. Uhm, why is he doing shady training that might lead to his arrest? Kanae is shocked to see Beethoven throwing away his favourite stuffs. That is because he is leaving for his own journey! Of course Schubert will follow him and then Mozart. What is happening?! Sousuke continues to dream big but struggle. Yeah, live concert on Mars? Not impossible since we have aliens here. Anyway during his training, he comes across Beethoven and Mozart who dispense their advice.

Kanae soon realizes Chopin gone when his room is cleared out. He resumes his blog traveller role. Liszt as the last one left talks to sad Kanae that everyone’s departure is because they are going to the next stage. Also, it could be everyone is leaving so as to help set Kanae free. Do what she wants without anyone pinning her down. Yeah, great timing for Liszt’s taxi to pick her up. By the time Sousuke returns to declare his big dreams, Kanae is preparing to leave. She is going to live with her other family members. She leaves him the spare keys. Yeah, last one left. Sitting around and thinking till it finally hits him this isn’t right. He doesn’t want this. So while screaming at the organ, it somehow unleashes his Musik! OMG! Finally for Sousuke?! But could it be Hasshie because that bird is in a conductor outfit… Anyway his Musik brings back Kanae and the ClassicaLoids back. The reason being he doesn’t want them to leave so fast and he likes it here with everyone being happy and having fun. Things doesn’t have to change! So prefer relaxing waters over next stage advancement? Seems like it. Then a call from Kyougo reminding Kanae he has accumulated debts due to overspending from the trip. Are they eating lavish food? But why put the debts in Otowakan’s name then? I guess this is an excuse so that Kanae could have a change of heart to continue staying here and have everyone work to the bone and pay their rent. Otowakan is open to more vacancies and new tenants!

RevoL LoveR: Family Is All You Need
It is with mixed feelings not to see all ClassicaLoids converge together again as one big happy family. With them leaving one by one, I was sure they were going to troll us like the first season whereby they all left but only to suddenly return. Yeah, they pulled that off somehow. But it doesn’t feel satisfying that they are shoehorned back together again. Just because Sousuke needed some screen time and they had to make him do this final reunion thing. Besides, why only the regular ClassicaLoids of Otowakan? I thought he was so much into Bada so at least bring her back too? But I guess having them all as a whole for a short period of time was better than never at all. Just like in life, there are a few stages and since they have achieved this, time to move on to the next. Yeah, I share Sousuke’s similar sentiments of idling in the comfort zone than venturing out to the risky and unknown for greener pastures! Status quo is best! Why fix it when it is not broken!

Just like last season, many of the episodes feel like standalone fillers. In between, they insert a bit of something of importance for the overall plot but with all the hilarious antics going on, you won’t feel annoyed or the impatient urge to pester future episodes to quickly bring about the so called important plots of the series. It will naturally come by when needed. Since it is not really that convoluted to begin with, when the plot slowly builds up as the season progresses, it is easy to pick up from there on after a few episodes of ‘break’ of watching the ClassicaLoids in their random mischiefs.

So it is quite nice to see some of the ClassicaLoids becoming the star of the few episodes they are the focus of. Though, they are still overall the same crazy ClassicaLoids we have known and love them like Mozart and his skirt chasing-cum-pranks and Chopin being the shut-in. But I notice that Beethoven this time around isn’t as annoying as last season with his gyoza and coffee craze since that was somewhat solved last season. I guess the plot needs to move along instead of harping on this running joke that would definitely be a very irritating one. Good riddance.

Therefore with only a couple of new ClassicaLoids introduced, I don’t know if I should be disappointed that a few whom I suggested at the end of my last blog didn’t appear except for Wagner. If they spam us with more classical composers and add to the burden of Kanae and her Otowakan, the quality of shenanigans would be reduced because too many composers spoil the composition (sorry for the bad pun). This means less screen time and they might need more episodes to showcase more personalized episodes for more ClassicaLoids. So too bad Brahms, Handel, Haydn, Debussy, Vivaldi and Mendelssohn, I guess you guys aren’t that famous to make the cut. Maybe next time, huh? So with only Wagner and Dovo as new ClassicaLoids, I guess they are sufficient for this season. Don’t be too greedy.

Wataru/Wager as the new character doesn’t feel like he is the main character nor he is one who became the main antagonist halfway through. In short (no pun intended), I believe Wagner has daddy issues. All he wants is for Kyougo to acknowledge him. That is basically his main goal. Being acknowledged is music to his ears. I suppose despite being a ClassicaLoid, like other ‘extraordinary’ kids who doesn’t have what other ordinary kids usually have, he is trying his best and do all it takes to gain acceptance. Poor kid got his dreams shattered as part of the series’ twist when Kyougo somewhat rejects all this so he had to become his own antagonist (is this what you call facing the music? Sorry, bad pun) and one who will overcome it with the help of his family. Because like the power of friendship, the power of family is what all ClassicaLoids need. Aww… So touching. After all, Wagner despite being a genius ClassicaLoid in his own right, is still a kid and the youngest among them.

Though I’m glad that the Claskey Klasky duo get more appearance in the latter half after they quit Arkhe and started living in Otowakan, Bach still feels missing for the most part like last season. I was hoping he would be part of Otowakan as a regular because it’s nice to see all ClassicaLoids becoming one big family but he remains the enigmatic and wandering type.

I’m glad that Schubert reverted to his original classical outfit early in the series because I really prefer him looking like this instead of him being a reggae dude. But he is still the comical punching bag of the group thanks to him always sucking up to his Beethoven senpai although I do notice that his running joke of going missing from time to time is much less this season. Though personally, I don’t really like Bach and Beethoven’s Super Saiyan ultimate Musik form. They look more like monsters than anything grand. But I guess having a monstrous strength means looking like one that matches it. It’s only their looks so why am I nit-picking this?

Sousuke remains one of the ‘worst’ characters this season thanks to his constant daydreaming or should I say dreaming big but hardly puts in any effort himself. This guy is an even bigger freeloader than the ClassicaLoids because at least the latters have great talent. Even naturally. So Sousuke is like the guy who is waiting for that big wave and opportunity to ride on to fame. Well, no harm in dreaming but he still continues to do that instead of waking up. No wonder he’ll get nowhere. Keep waiting then… Even Pad-kun left him in some ways. Somehow I feel that his final awakening of his Musik (even if that feels a lot like a fluke), is like out of pity. I mean, no matter how useless he is despite his big dreaming-cum-delusions, you have to admit and give him points for never giving up and staying positive even if they are baseless. So it’s like, okay kid, you’ve earned enough sympathy points to do your own Musik for a few seconds. Good luck trying to do it again.

Himeka is an interesting addition to the cast. She is quite happy-go-lucky and feels like she is born lacking any stress. She takes everything that comes her way, any good news or negative ones with a lot of positivism with her airhead personality. Her fickle lady luck seems to be a running joke because it is as though they’re also trying to tell us this saying easy come, easy go. Yeah, it feels like her sudden immense wealth and instant losses only happen to the convenience of the plot. Kyougo has more screen time this season despite being in person late in this season. But better still, he is here with his family and ClassicaLoids unlike last season he was always away, always only staying for a short while before disappearing, dropping hints only from a phone call. But it makes me wonder if he created ClassicaLoids just so he could have a big extended family (because f*cking Himeka 10 times to have 10 children just seems too cruel and improbable) instead of that scientific reason back in season one but shelved it due to being too much trouble. I wonder if there are any more hidden ClassicaLoids lying in their slumber in his lab…

For Kanae, it was an irony to see her sad about the ClassicaLoids leaving Otowakan. We clearly remember her as one who doesn’t hesitate to kick them out especially a couple of them who don’t pay the rent. And when everyone started leaving, she felt empty. It’s so lonely at Otowakan. Is this really home? So it goes to show that she too has totally come to terms and accept these freeloaders as they are. Otowakan is so much livelier with them around, annoying or not. ClassicaLoids will always be ClassicaLoids and Kanae will always be Kanae. Money > Freedom.

With Dovo now being the resident of Otowakan, it looks like this hippo now takes over Hasshie’s role as the series’ mascot. It feels like Hasshie is slowly getting forgotten as the series passes because why have a menacing looking shoebill when you can have a cute looking pygmy hippopotamus? I mean, doesn’t Dovo look cute wearing a t-shirt? Even though it is mind boggling for a hippo to wear one but not pants. As though this is one of the ways to make us subconsciously accept Dovo as one with his human counterparts. I wonder what happened to his human body seeing Dovo now wants to remain as a hippo. Ah well, any museum out there want to take Dvorak’s body as an exhibit? But something that Kyougo hinted about Hasshie’s secret that is left to our conclusion is that Hasshie could also possibly be a ClassicaLoid. I mean, we saw his conductor outfit in the final episode. It makes me wonder which composer he was taken after assuming he is really one. Yeah, Hasshie could be the biggest mystery of them all. He is the first, last and always at Otowakan like as though he is its guardian overlooking it all. Sounds ridiculous but it may be possible. After all, how much do we know about Hasshie?

Someone one said that classical music is the best and cheapest mind altering drug in the world. This is particularly true especially when the ClassicaLoids unleash their Musik. Because of their majestic fantasy-like effects, you could say they are like one big hallucination and even better than all the marijuana, ice, LSD and meth combined. It’s going to be the best acid trip in the world and it isn’t even illegal. Uh huh. How else can you go on an origin trip to Africa on a nice train or watching a march of penguins through except via Musik? It’s so much more magical than magic and yet mind blowingly mind blowing. But nevertheless, still entertaining to watch with some of them getting new power ups like Liszt’s boxing, Beethoven’s moon bunny and Schubert turning into a giant reggae yaman. But too bad Bada, still the eternal one hit wonder… Don’t hate… But all their Musik featured here have a real history behind them. They are briefly explained by Pad-kun but if you want to know more, doing your own research is better.

Another mind boggling issue I have with the ClassicaLoids is their origins. If Kyougo created them in his lab (simply playing classical music?), how do they then retain original memories of their actual lives? It’s like they underwent a long cryogenic slumber and then awakened in the modern era since they seem to recall their old memories like as though it was yesterday. I suppose Kyougo is such a genius professor that simpletons and dumbasses like myself won’t get it. Or just screw logic because it’s anime. Anything is possible. If a hippo can unleash Musik and the possibility of transferring minds to another body, what else is not possible for this mad scientist?

With the old casts retained this season, new ones joining to the list are Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Wagner, Junichi Suwabe as Dovo and Sayaka Ohara as Himeka. It was hard to identify Junichi Suwabe as Dovo as in his hippo form he was going like “Pugi, pugi!” all the time. I guess it must hard doing that kind of voice for a big majority of the series. Think it is an easy job? Like seiyuus who only do voices as an animal role the entire series, it is not entirely an easy feat. You could go crazy if you do that for the rest of the series. I wonder about Pikachu’s seiyuu’s sanity then… Only when Dovo is in his handsome train conductor form that he sounds familiar like the Junichi Suwabe that I always know.

It is very rare for anime series these days to have just a single opening or ending theme. That is why in a way it is ‘refreshing’ as well as surprising-but-not-so-surprising-still to see this season’s opening theme to remain the same as last season. I suppose nothing beats ClassicaLoid No Theme and it has become the general theme for the series. But of course, this means just like last season, every episode features a different song. Classical compositions being ‘ruined’ and mixed to death with lyrics and other instruments and effects that they basically ‘killed’ the song. Once more, I was in a dilemma to classify this as creative or lazy but similarly like last time, it is definitely a weird experience for me to listen even though I am not familiar with many of the classical pieces in the first place. But for this season if I had to point out one of those songs which attracted my attention, it was that Chopin one about dogs. This samba heavy tune has very cute lyrics relating to dogs and is by far the most memorable one for me.

Overall, this season is still very much enjoyable. It still feels very much at home like the first season with all the random and funny shenanigans but the only difference is throwing that out-of-this-world alien plot for a more closer-to-home family issues thingy. Hey, even genius composers have their own issues and tragedies. Isn’t that why they translate them into their greatest compositions and works? Music can only do so much to entertain, soothe and heal your soul. The rest is all the bonds and ties in between that really makes it count. I don’t think we appreciate enough how much that brings music to our ears.

It isn’t over yet? Maybe this one will end it. This is the third instalment of Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai OVA but this time the ‘stars’ of this episode won’t be a certain young uncle and his 3 nieces. In fact, you can say that they come from the stars! They were never featured prominently in any previous episodes before. Who you might guess? Why, it is no other than the girls’ parents, Yuri and Shingo! In the form of a ghost! OMG! I guess every parent who has departed early would always want to come down to check on how their kids are doing. I don’t know why or how God granted them this single day visit to do so and 4 years later after their demise. Well, better late than never.

A Spring With Special Visitors
Gosh, how time flies. Things have definitely changed within the last 4 years. So of course when they’re standing outside the gates and pressing the bell, nobody could actually see them and either Sora must be thinking some naughty kid is playing ding dong ditch or she must be hearing things. But as ghosts you don’t need to let your hosts open the door. You just walk through the walls! And so the parents see how their lovely kids are grown up and mature. They’re interacting well and fine with Yuuta. Yeah, they should be very proud parents. So after everyone leaves for school and work, time to check out their rooms. First stop, Sora’s room. Plain. Lots of books. Going to college, I guess. Good girl. C-cup bra size?! I guess Sora is at that age to have a boyfriend… NO WAY! Daddy doesn’t approve! In Miu’s room, they see lots of clothing sketches. They believe Miu has decided to become a fashion designer. Finally, Hina’s room. Lots of cute stuffs. Lots of photos of the family. And a heart-warming note of the fun times she spends with everyone and how good her uncle is and that she wants to marry someone like him. Why not him? You’ll see… So with the parents having their fill, is it time to go back? It’s never enough! They decide to go see how their girls are doing at school. They fawn over cute Hina in her PE class. As it is her turn to jump over the horse vault, she trips but did daddy give some divine intervention to make her perfectly land on her 2 feet?! Should be a perfect 10 score! They continue to observe Hina in class for the rest of the day (including getting into trouble for accidentally breaking the lamp during cleaning session – but there’s nothing they could do about it). Yeah, think about it. Doesn’t it feel weird to have a ghost watching and following you the entire day even though they are your parents?

Next, they visit Miu’s school and are shocked to see her on stage singing in a band! I don’t know, Miu sounds pretty much out of tune or rather tone deaf… Then it is Sora’s school and they see her more responsible now as opposed to being the bashful one. After school, a guy comes up to her to confess! Daddy does not approve! Turn him down! She apologizes she can’t. Yes! Because there is somebody else she already likes. SAY WHAT???!!! And no Shingo, that person is not you! Even more heart breaking is because Sora notes to herself that the person she likes is also going to get married! Oh daddy, if you’re alive now, you’d die of a heart attack. So I guess this means the parents can’t go back yet. So they go home and find somebody else in the house .Who could it be using the shower? It is Sasha (Shingo’s ex-wife and Miu’s mother) using the place like her own. She has also designed a wedding dress for Sora as per requested. It is revealed that Yuuta and Sora are really getting married! Oh my God! I suppose Shingo was desperate enough to go read Sora’s diary and it seems they have went through a lot of thinking to have come to this decision. Daddy is sad but understands. I don’t know how this is possible but I guess you can if you want because the parents go soak in the tub like they usually do. Can ghosts do that? When everyone is home, they hear Miu and Hina teasing Yuuta and Sora to kiss. They’re not going to rush it. Good news for the parents that they haven’t kissed before that too.

Whatever the case, the parents are of course worried for them. Even more worrying is how Hina is sick that night. If those 2 didn’t notice this, they don’t fit to marry each other. But surprise, Yuuta and Sora come in to cool Hina’s fever. Hina tells them she saw daddy and mommy. Must be in her dreams, right? The parents now feel assured the way they take care of Hina. The last stop is their own room in which it was left as it was. Like as though time has stopped here. That is when they see Yuuta and Sora coming in all dressed up as newlyweds. Sora isn’t sure why she wants to do this right now but she feels sad she can’t give thanks to their parents at their wedding. Get ready a box of tissues because this is going to be an emotional heartfelt thanks from both of them, thanking and praising how cool and good sister Yuri and daddy Shingo were when they were around. In short, they will always love them. At that moment, the parents push them together to hug and the duo felt like as though they were being hugged by them. When the sunrises, the parents are gone and they wonder if they were really there. Oh, you don’t know. They were right under your noses…

Watching Over You Always…
Sniff, sniff. Oh my. How fast everyone grow up these days. Everything just went by in a blink of an eye and before you know it, they’re already getting ready to marry. If you’re wondering if it is morally right for Sora to marry her uncle Yuuta, please bear in mind that they are actually not blood related in the first place (Sora and Miu are from Shingo’s previous marriages). So perhaps this is the best way to end it (because it was always greatly hinting that Sora the tsundere had feelings for Yuuta) and that includes the series. Assuming that the series ends of course.

So like a time lapse fast forward, despite we do not see anything much Yuuta and the girls, but from what we can see is that they have come a long way and matured greatly. I suppose the girls now have much longer hair is to show proof that time really indeed has passed. And Yuuta has this mature look of a responsible adult instead of some poor college kid. That is why I believe Yuri and Shingo can rest easily when they go back to heaven. Don’t have to make second trips to check on them again in the next 4 years? I am sure they want to be there physically for them every single second. It’s just sad they can’t. Time is a great healer of such wounds. It is not like the kids have forgotten about them either but they have come to terms and accept reality as it is now. No use continuing to wallow in depression for 4 years, right?

Seeing the importance of this OVA, I guess other side characters were left out. For instance, that oddball Raika but I suppose with already 4 years passed, those characters would already have graduated from college. There goes the teasing/love triangle whatsoever. Interesting enough to ponder, now that Miu and Hina are grown up, would that lolicon maniac Sako still love them? Will he classify them as ‘grandma’ like how he always did for Sora? Ah, it would be nice to know but his absence here I would pretty much assume that he has got over them. This also means Nimura doesn’t have to be around to protect those lolis from Sako’s perversion. I do remember Nimura has a soft spot for Miu or may that too have come to passed. The strict landlord Sawako and the next door neighbour who is a seiyuu Kurumi too are not seen anywhere. This OVA is ‘too important’ for the likes of these supporting characters to appear ;p.

This OVA adds lots of heart-warming moments and even better for those who have watched the previous episodes and are fans of the series. The final moments would surely pull your heart strings and for anyone without parents since young would definitely connect and relate to the emotions that are shown here. So this OVA teaches us a lot of things. To be happy with what you have. To be thankful with what you have. To take things in their stride. Things may not work out well and it may be tough initially but it could be a blessing in disguise like in this case we see how everyone turned out so beautifully well that it would bring envy to families who still have their parents around. Wherever your parents are, they will always be proud of their children no matter what. So does this mean I need to get married now to appease my parents before it is too late? But even more disturbing to think that if it is possible for late parents to come down and visit and only watch their kids for a day, doesn’t it feel like stalking, ghost version? The feeling that someone is watching you but there is really nobody there. Be wary… They might catch you in the act. Can’t watch porn and fap in peace…

Arcana Famiglia OVA

April 18, 2014

What? There was an OVA for Arcana Famiglia and it came out more than a year ago back in March 2013? Probably I wasn’t too impressed with the very filler-like TV series and thus didn’t have the interest to find out more whether it had any OVAs or specials or even any sequel. Nobody even subbed the OVA till recently and that’s when it got my attention. After all, I get to hear Mamiko Noto’s voice again… So people, if you could swap bodies, how would you want to be for a day? Unluckily for our guys here, they can’t choose that…

Capriccio – Stile Arcana Famiglia
Jolly has concocted something devilishly good and you know he is going to put it to devilishly good use. Next morning, all the guys received a letter from Felicita to meet. They can’t refuse, right? I mean, it’s from the milady that they love so much. To their delight, they see chocolates on the table and without giving much thought, they munch them down. Then they start to feel strange and pass out. When they wake up, they realize their bodies have been swapped. Nova = Liberta. Luca = Debito. Dante = Pace. And they know this was a trap set up by that no good Jolly. For the rest of the blog, I will name the characters as their original self and not their swapped body. It avoids the confusion. Or enhances it. Pace will find a cure for it in the library and suggests that everyone should act as their swapped bodies to prevent Jolly from finding out. Or else he will know that the drug works. This means Debito gets to make tea for Felicita and be with her all day long. Oh, Luca. Better hurry in finding the cure. Nova and Liberta get to experience what the other feels now that they’re in each other’s body. They can learn a thing or two too. Like Liberta’s patrol watch from the rooftop is so that he could cover a large area and head to where trouble is quick. Or Nova’s way of doing it on the ground is to interact with the people and nip the problem in the bud.

As they go patrolling, they fall off a roof and crash into somebody’s tent. They are made to repair and help him sell his stuff as compensation. To Nova’s horror, some kids come up to him (thinking he is Liberta) and want him to tell them stories as promised. Yup. Now he has to babysit. Liberta hears a customer accusing a store lady of selling stale fish. When he goes check the problem, he panics and runs away. The crowd cheers over his arrival. What just happened? Meanwhile Luca can’t concentrate in finding the cure because his thoughts that Debito might do something vile to Felicita. True enough, Debito seems to be flirting with unsuspecting Felicita. Luca interrupts their adult time (horrified after seeing Debito holding Felicita’s hand) and brings that playboy away. Elsewhere, Dante is so happy that he has hair on his head that he is washing and scrubbing it in the public fountain! Heavenly, hair-venly… Hah. Feels so good to have hair back on his head again, eh? Then some guy comes up to him and wants him to pay his (Pace’s) tab. Since that guy is broke, he is forced to do clean the dishes and to add insult to injury, Pace is there in the same restaurant ordering plates after plates of food. And whose money is he using to pay off his bill and even his own debt? Oh Dante, if you’re getting this mad, please be warned that you may lose some hair…

Luca relays the bad news to everyone. He can’t find a cure. There are none in the books. The only way left is to sneak into Jolly’s lab and find it. Nova and Liberta are tasked to guard the door if Jolly comes back. But Debito, Dante and Pace are seen trying to distract him. Debito goes up first and of course you can sense that Jolly already knows what’s going on so he badmouths and mocks Debito about his womanizing ways and that he is like a dog satisfied in seducing every woman he could. Debito couldn’t stand it anymore and gets rough with him. Pace bumps him away before their identities could be busted. And then his stomach starts to growl… What a coincidence. Jolly has some lasagne. Dante and Debito take it away but Pace couldn’t hold on any longer. He becomes a rampaging demon to get the lasagne. Meanwhile Liberta and Nova end up fighting with each other over their differences and this disrupts Luca’s search. Weren’t they supposed to guard the door? Then they calm down and compliment each other as they have seen from each other’s eyes how the nice people treated them. Of course when Liberta makes a comment that Nova isn’t impressed about, he is about to be cut when Luca has found the book. The book is sliced in half.

Pace is feeling sorry he ate the entire bowl of lasagne. So Jolly wants an explanation of their weird behaviour. Because he observed them throughout town today and found them acting weird. ‘Luca’ serving tea to Felicita, ‘Pace’ washing his hair in public and ‘Dante’ devouring loads of food. That’s when Luca signals the rest to escape. He has made a drink that will return them back to normal when they drink it simultaneously. However Dante seems to be the only one who is not willing to do that. Because he can kiss his hair goodbye. So he purposely spills his cup many times but Luca has made lots of extras. Jolly sitting elsewhere is smiling… The real book is with him… This could mean… Yup. They didn’t swap back but further swap to another body. Looks like another trap from Jolly and he had it planned out so well. I’m so confused. I don’t know who is who anymore. But I know Dante is one happy guy because now in Nova’s body, he’s acting like a host guy. Nice hair, smooth skin, youthful appearance, puns aplenty… Smooth operator? Creepy…

Chocolates Are Good For The Soul!
As usual, this OVA wasn’t anything but another one of those random silly stuffs and the antic of body swapping isn’t something that is new or original anyway. It’s a good thing I didn’t have my hopes and expectations up but the series never told us to have them anyway. There are some funny bits here like Dante having fun with his newfound hair but I figure this is the only amusing stuff in this OVA. I don’t know how to put it about in the character development segment because despite you don’t really see any here (just like in the TV series), the body swapping has the characters learn about each other especially Nova and Liberta. But that doesn’t mean that they will understand or like each other better. Jolly’s mysterious and odd character perhaps is the reason that gives rise to this randomness. What does he plan to achieve by observing them? Trying to catch them with their pants down? The biggest gripe is the very limited appearance of Felicita! Which means not enough lines for Mamiko Noto! Because of that, it makes this OVA feel like a guy movie. So remember, think twice before putting something suspicious in your mouth because sometimes the bitter aftertaste can be really hard to wash off, hard to wash away. Unless they’re chocolates that I cannot resist…

I guess the allure of the lolis was too much that they had to make another OVA. Heh. Sorry. That was just my speculation. I didn’t expect there would be a second episode for Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai OVA although this one came out much later after the TV series and first OVA were released. That is, around a year later somewhere in June 2013. So the only reason you should be watching this is if you are a lolicon. Oops. Doesn’t that make me a lolicon? Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not a lolicon.

Okay, okay. You should watch this to feel complete that you have watched the entire series and if you like to see cute little girls in their cute little antics that do not impact the overall story, then this OVA should serve as a nice little dessert. Lolicon… Separated into a few stories, each of them gives each of the Takanashi sisters their little spotlight. As I said, don’t expect anything dramatic to happen. It’s just Yuuta and the girls. But more of the girls. They’re the main focus of this show, right? Lolicon…

Is Sora-chan’s Chastity In Danger?
It all began when Sora was lying around in her room in her underwear. Cheeky Miu barged in to report to Yuuta who is on the phone about what she saw. Sora wanted to get back at her but she couldn’t. Since Yuuta had to work overtime, that was what the call for as he won’t be back early and sent Raika over to take care of the girls. Sora complains to Raika and wants to get back at Miu so Raika had the perfect idea. She brought 2 bunny suits. They will hide in the closet and pop out to scare her. Seems pretty good on paper, huh? As they lay in wait inside the closet, Miu enters to look for them. However her friend Shiori was ringing at the door so she left the place and accidentally the duster hooked on the closet door. Yeah. Trapped. While Shiori and Miu go watch the horror video at the former’s place, Raika and Sora need to find a way out. Yeah. Yuri fanservice. The bunny suits are killing them so they have to take it off. First thing that comes to mind if a lolita and busty babe are trapped in an enclosed space. I wonder if Raika’s humongous boobs are taking away Sora’s precious space. That’s beside the point. Raika has an idea. Taking off her bra and using it to try and hook the duster through the small gap. She failed. One chance left. Sora’s turn. Please lend your bra. Also failed. Now they’re topless. Sora wonders if she can maintain this position any longer. Those boobs are very intimidating. Not enough space. So close that it’s rubbing against each other. Their face is so close that they could even kiss. Is Raika even serious about kissing her? At that time, Yuuta came back and it seems he worked his ass off so that he didn’t have to do overtime. Similarly, Raika had this idea of stringing their panties together and use it as a hook. Success! When they fall out of the closet, Yuuta happen to walk in to look for them. See where this is going? How often do you get a pair of naked girls busting out of the cupboard? Even those bunny Playboy girls popping out from the birthday cake isn’t this bad. I don’t know if Sora’s punch or kick or whatever was so strong that Yuuta broke through the glass door and almost fell off the balcony!!! Hold on tight to him!

Miu-chan’s Fashion Lesson
Shiori brings some cake to Miu and since nobody else is at home, they want to eat it. Miu messes up and has her face splat right into the cake. Don’t ask how this even happened. This causes the cake to also splatter all over Shiori. Now you get your yuri fanservice with both the girls taking a shower and bathing. As usual, cheeky Miu teases Shiori about her prized assets and feels the need to become her fashion designer because she thinks her casual wear won’t make her stand out. So Miu blindfolds Shiori and puts on several dresses. Till she puts on the school swimsuit, Shiori starts fantasizing about ‘uniting’ with Yuuta along with the rest of the sisters. Share the love! Shiori gets embarrassed when Miu puts on a bridal outfit. Miu wonders if she herself will get to wear this. Shiori is confident when she gets a guy of her own. Maybe she’ll get to wear a dress she designed herself. It’s time for Shiori’s revenge to put on clothes on Miu. That night when everyone puts on their yukata and plays the fireworks, Miu ponders Shiori and Sora can be rivals for a certain somebody in 2 years’ time. She also wonders where they will all be in 10 years.

Hina-chan Goes All By Herself
On a rainy morning, Hina wakes up early and goes out by herself. So it is natural that the others start to worry and start looking for her since she left without telling them anything. Even that lolicon Sako wants to help. He can’t bear to know his angel is missing. Somehow I feel it would’ve been better if he hadn’t desperately chip in. You can say Hina is lost but she tries to remember the directions as said by her sisters to the amusement park. When it stops raining, Hina plays at the playground with her creative imagination of taking off in a rocket through the clouds. Shiori spots her and seeing that she is on her way to sit the Ferris Wheel, she will accompany her there (because Hina went in the wrong direction). Shiori calls Yuuta and they are relived they know she is safe in her hands (and not some lolicon senpai). Yuuta reveals that today is his sister’s birthday and they’re supposed to bring a birthday cake to her grave. Of course Hina is too young to understand so Yuuta promised her to take her to the amusement park without knowing about this. Shiori and Hina reach the amusement park and wait in line to ride the Ferris Wheel. But here comes mad Yuuta. Mad for making them worry sick. I know it’s wrong on her fault but cut her some slack. She’s just a 3 year old and whose heart wouldn’t break to see a loli breaking into tears? Hina can’t hold back her tears and cries in Yuuta’s arms while apologizing. Everyone rides the Ferris Wheel together and when they reach the top, Hina takes out a drawing of her mom. Personally, I feel it’s horrible. I didn’t even think it’s human. I know. She’s only 3 years old. It’s fine, right? Yeah. Don’t hate me. Please. But there is a reason she drew this. She knows it is mommy’s birthday so she wanted to come here and sit this and show it to her. Which is the highest point and closest point to heaven? Aww… Everyone is so touched by Hina’s gesture so they wish mommy happy birthday out loud. I guess Hina is slowly growing up after all. Yuuta promises to look after them all till they walk down the aisle. Meanwhile Sako is cursing himself because he is stuck in the train which had an emergency stop. He could’ve been there with his angels right now. Thank God he didn’t.

They Grow Up So Fast…
Well, it was rather okay seeing it brought back some memories of the TV series. I’m not sure what else to comment since everything feels like it is the same. Yuuta trying his best to provide for the girls as their uncle-cum-father while he juggles with his studies and part time job. It may be tough but I believe they can go through it together. That’s what family is for, right? The girls also never change. Sora the tsundere, Miu the cheeky and Hina the cutie innocent. Not forgetting Raika the oddball and Sako the lolicon too. I don’t remember if the TV series had this much fanservice because when they started off with Sora-Raika fanservice, I thought it would set the tone for the rest of the OVA. I was thinking, were they serious in turning something innocent just for that? Were they really going to satisfy the horniness of lolicons? Apparently it was somewhat lessened in Miu’s story and practically none for Hina. You’d be a real pedo if you see any of that for Hina. As they say, time flies. One minute ago it seemed that the children might look like innocent kids. The next they’ll be hitting puberty and before you know it, all grown up and have flown the nest. It’ll always be the hardest part for a parent to let go of their child. Eventually one day, all the little girls will grow up and become beautifully matured fine young ladies. Nothing wrong with that. But it’s the worst nightmare for a lolicon!

Arcana Famiglia

February 17, 2013

The last time an anime about a group of Italian mafiaso was Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. I thought it would be more or less the same with Arcana Famiglia but the only thing they have in common is that the family is Italian, though it is odd that they’re speaking Japanese (for convenience of course) and they look like your typical Japanese anime characters. Well, that’s anime for you. Also, this anime isn’t based on a manga but a game of the same name. Calling this Arcana family a mafia group isn’t exactly right as they are more of a vigilante group that protects the fictitious island of Regalo and its inhabitants. But the storyline as I read is something like this. The head of the family is about to retire and is to marry his only daughter off to the guy who wins in the upcoming battle to determine who will be the strongest family member. Of course as the daughter of the boss, she is not one who would like her father to decide the path she walks especially about her love life. And so it begins her journey to be stronger so that she can defend herself and null the marriage proposal in a family that consists of mostly half-siblings and cousins. It must be tough to be the only girl in a family dominated by men, eh?

Episode 1
Nova is apprehending crooks for trading contraband goods but they resist. Liberta comes to his aid though they don’t really appreciate each other’s help. The baddies run away via car so the duo use a shortcut to catch up by foot. Felicita is annoyed by Luca’s pestering about tonight’s birthday party when the car dangerously closes in. Liberta does a dangerous stunt by leaping off a rooftop onto the car. Debito fires his gun to throw some of the goons off and it ends with Dante firing his bazooka into the vehicle! Thankfully everybody jumped off by then. Liberta into the arms of Pace. The crook thought he could fight back till Nova slashes his clothes till bits and he instantly gives up. A couple of new traders wonder what that ruckus was all about so the local lady tells them they are the vigilante group that protects Regalo Island, Arcana Famiglia. Back home, Luca is disheartened that Felicita decides to wear her suit instead of her dress for the birthday part of Papa Mondo. Even her maids blame Luca for not raise her properly seeing he was her attendant since young. So I guess every other guy too had hopes seeing her wearing a dress. Till Liberta came along and Felicita gave him a good kick. What gives? As Jolly explains, it was because he was thinking bad thoughts. All of them received Arcana powers when the made a deal with Tarocco (tarot cards). Each of them has powers corresponding to a card. Like Liberta holds the starting card, The Fool. Nova holds the thirteenth card, Death while Felicita the sixth card, Lovers. This allows her to peek into the heart of others and so she accidentally saw his unholy thoughts. Since Arcana powers use emotions as their foundation, this means Felicita doesn’t have control over powers yet. Mondo makes his appearance to the rousing welcome of his men. In his speech, he surprises everyone that he is going to retire. Therefore he seeks a successor. In 2 months time, there will be an Arcana Duello and all those with Arcana powers will participate to determine the strongest Arcana. He assures on his 21st card, the World that he will grant the victor the title Papa to lead this family and any wish he desires. Also, the winner gets to marry his daughter Felicita. Surprise?

Felicita can’t accept that but Mondo reminds her she when she joined the family, she must follow his rule. Felicita is bent on walking her own path so Mondo challenges her to fight and beat him here. Felicita only had her kicks so Mondo easily overpowers her. The ‘deathblow’ is when he tells her choosing her own path is a right she has not earned. He even mocks her like a child and to cry to gain pity from the men. Liberta didn’t like it and tells Mondo off he is robbing Felicita’s freedom and should be ashamed he calls himself her father. So if he doesn’t like it too and can’t follow orders, feel free to fight and beat him here. He is going to do that but Nova stands in the way. He reminds them Mondo is still their Papa. As they are about to clash, they are broken up. Nova is tripped by invisible Debito because he holds the ninth card, Hermit while Pace who holds the eleventh card, Strength holds Liberta down. Mondo tells Liberta if he wants to free Felicita, then participate in Arcana Duello. Because he will grant any wish to the winner. Mama Sumire hints to Felicita since she wants to walk her own path, there is also a way for her to win. While we see some of the guys dreaming of becoming Felicita’s bride, Liberta talks to Felicita outside and assures her he will win and gain her freedom. Nova doesn’t believe he can do that because he could hardly control his power. Liberta thought Nova can’t use his Arcana powers because he has never seen him done so. Nova tells him off not to put him in the same group as him. The guys calm down as Nova also assures Felicita he will prevent her forced marriage should he win. That makes 2 of them, right? Yeah well, if Nova only had confidence in Liberta. Which he doesn’t of course.

Episode 2
Luca drives Felicita to her new home where she’ll be staying. I guess she ignored him when he started talking about his fourteenth card, Temperance. She is greeted and introduced once more to the familiar guys who are heads of their respective division such as division leader (Dante – he holds the fourth card, Emperor), intelligence/diplomacy (Liberta), coin (Debito), audit (Pace) and defence AKA Holy Grail (Nova). Felicita is made in charge of the sword division. No prizes in guessing what this division does. Next morning, Felicita and Liberta spot Nova looking around searching for something. He didn’t want the duo to get involved so Felicita accidentally peeks into his heart, much to his dismay. Seems he saved a white kitten from being run over by a carriage. Felicita and Liberta want to help him find it. Liberta finds it first but it runs around causing him to break an expensive vase. The kitten made a fool out of the guys. Getting Luca stuck in a tree and having Nova and Liberta banging each other’s heads when they try to corner it. I know they’re loggerheads but… The kitten seeks solace in Felicita who chide the guys for trying to be too rough. Nova suggests returning it to the street where he found it but there is a chance it might get run over again. Felicita suggests returning it to its owner so they try to look for hints on its expensive material collar. Felicita couldn’t make out of the flower perfume the kitten has so Jolly pops up to advise her the perfume mix it has on. The guys are surprised this alchemist left his lab so he mentions even though he holds the eighteenth card, Moon, he isn’t confined to just coming out at night. As the family’s advisor, his job is to advise those who are in trouble. The trio try to find the owner but end up disappointed. Pace thinks he knows of a person who can help: Debito. At his casino, he can think of 15 women who have that smell of perfume but knows none who owns a cat. Felicita accidentally peeks into the kitten’s heart and sees a blonde. Well, that narrows it down to 8. Debito notices the expensive material collar and knows who the owner might be. They return it to Federica and as reward, she gives her a dress. On the way back, Nova reminds her it is bad for her to peek into hearts of others without permission. Due to the upcoming Arcana Duello, it is all the reason why they must strengthen their Arcana powers and control them at their own will. He believes she can do it. Meanwhile… Luca is still stuck on the tree! I’m not sure what the end part is all about because Dante and Liberta by majority find Nova guilty about the thought of returning the kitten to its original spot. As repentance, he is made to sing some song.

Episode 3
Felicita reports that one of the maids, Isabella had sighted a ghost in the kitchen. So of course they go check it out just in case. Liberta has some accidentally perverted mishaps with Felicita. She tries to kick him and he falls through the kitchen door. And what did they see? IT’S A GHOST!!! Soon they realize it is just a white cloth and a hat and put up by Luca as a Pace repellent. A repellent? You see, there was this sleepwalking incident whereby Pace ate all the cakes he baked. Yeah, Pace looked a lot spookier and freaked the hell out of Luca. Luca is making them for the piccolino, an event they hold at the church to entertain the island’s children. At the church, the children weren’t impressed with Luca’s dove magic (only Liberta was) while Debito scares the children with his made-up tale of a child ghost in this church. Felicita notices despite Debito’s scary looks, he is good with children. Pace and Luca are his childhood friends and can attest to that. After lunch, they play football with the kids and Pace I’m not sure accident or not, his super kick sent the ball right into Luca’s face. Nova as the only one sitting out is visited by Sumire. She is here to give him a ‘scolding’ for sitting out this event again. Though he says he is busy with work, he notes that he doesn’t know how to interact with children. The storm is picking up as the Arcana guys suit up the children and escort them home. Sumire knows Nova is worried about them but he shrugs it off. She notes he is kind and should go to them but he thinks kindness is a weakness. She disagrees because there is nothing to be ashamed of. To be kind and weak, both hold great powers. He has imprisoned himself within an amour though she and Mondo felt heavily responsible for taking away his childhood. He is afraid of hurting others or being hurt himself. All she wants is for him to enjoy life the way he desires. So out Nova goes to the church. Liberta is trying to keep a couple of kids at the church company before Debito comes back with his last round. He remembers in the stormy seas sailing with Dante. The crates fell off and he his powers were activated. After Debito returns to take the last of the children home, they check the place and are ready to leave when Nova busts in. He learns all the children have been sent home. If so, what is this last one doing here? Didn’t notice this Elmo kid sitting on the chair? Elmo wants asks Felicita a question. He doesn’t know this feeling, the kind of thumping pain in his heart all of a sudden. And he’s not sick. Can you guess what it is? The next lightning flash, Elmo disappears from his spot and is seen close to the door. He thanks them and will go home by himself. Nova goes after her but to his surprise and the rest, he’s missing. Don’t tell me Elmo’s a ghost! The repentance corner has Pace and Luca finding Debito guilty about his talking manners at the church. They make him drink some ‘magic tea’ that will refine him. Sure, he becomes polite to the point it is so creepy that they want the original foul mouth Debito back!

Episode 4
A short flashback sees how Dante brought young Liberta into the Arcana family as they sail into Regalo. Liberta and Felicita are tasked by Sumire to give a scarf to Giovanna but since the map Nova drew had too many detours, Liberta takes the shortest cut which is via roof to roof. They stop to admire the ocean view as Felicita notes how close Liberta is to Dante. They’re like father and son but something bugs Liberta. He can’t seem to remember his past nor how long has he known Dante. As they make a move, this thought continues to bug him so he became careless and falls off the roof, dragging Felicita along. Thank goodness the tents broke their fall and though they are all right, it’s not all right for the shop owner. As compensation, they are made to help sell his stuff for the day and coincidentally Giovanna was there so they gave the scarf. The shop owner is grateful that his sales doubled today so he has them take anything he wants. Liberta is looking at the masks and has interests in them because when he was at an orphanage, a mask man busted him out. He picks up a rare mask in which the shop owner mentions this mask is from Nord Country and legend has it a masked hero saved an orphanage that was doing bad things to orphans. Liberta goes back and happily shows the mask to Dante but he is not pleased reading Nova’s report that he endangered Felicita’s safety earlier in the day. He chides him to put more effort in becoming stronger. I guess he didn’t take that well and runs out. Felicita accidentally reads Dante’s heart and saw a horrifying past. Later she goes to talk to Liberta but he assures her it’s not Dante’s words that put him down. He made a vow to live by the sword and needs to be stronger. When he becomes strong, he might be able to remember his past and the guy in the mask. Felicita still worried goes to ask Nova but unfortunately he doesn’t know. Even if he does it is a problem between them and if she is still really concern, she should go ask the person herself.

That night Felicita calls Dante to talk so he knows she already saw his heart. Dante relates he was in Nord Country and there was an orphanage that looked like normal from the outside but on the inside they are doing horrible experiments to children. Because Liberta had special powers, he was treated even more inhumane. That’s when Dante, who was the masked hero broke in to beat up the bad guys and save him. However one of the villains held Liberta as hostage. Liberta just said “Burn” and everything in the orphanage exploded into flames. Dante says Liberta has the power of words. Whatever he says becomes true if he wishes so. When Dante brought him back along with him, though Liberta was able to get along well with others, there are times the wound of his heart would cause him to lose control of his powers and go berserk. Dante used his power to seal his memories while Mondo used his to seal his power. If he doesn’t grow up and become stronger, he will not undo the seal. He hopes she will keep this a secret from him. Meanwhile Liberta is being picked up by Pace and co for dinner. They suddenly hear a fire nearby. Though everybody tries their best to evacuate the building and put the fire out, Liberta is just stunned and paralyzed in fear by just looking at the flames. Then he walks home and remembers his lost memories. How could he have forgotten such important memories? He goes to see Felicita and tells her he remembers bits of his memories but some parts are still blur. He hopes she could read his heart to see those parts. She apologizes she can’t. Next he goes to confront Dante and knows he is the masked hero. Dante wonders if Felicita had told him but from the way he said it, Liberta knew even Felicita knows. He was the only one who didn’t. He wants to know why his memories were sealed. Was it because it might go berserk again? Dante feels he hasn’t become strong enough to accept his past. Not the answer he’s seeking for. So as Liberta is moping outside, Nova ‘kicks’ him and reminds him how worried Felicita was and his promise to become stronger so that others won’t have anything to complain. The repentance corner sees Sumire and Jolly finding Dante guilty for having Felicita being able to read his heart. As punishment, they have Felicita read it again. He takes up the challenge and what she sees is the sun rising… And it turns into Dante’s shiny bald head! WTF?!

Episode 5
The much awaited and delicious Limone Pie made by Felicita and Luca is here. Though it tastes good as usual, they complain the portion is small. Liberta is still feeling awkward with Felicita so he takes his early leave and once again Nova had to ‘talk’ to him. Felicita and Nova deliver Limone Pie to others and while eating with Sumire, they remember how Nova first joined the family. He was to be Felicita’s future husband and even get to eat Felicita’s first attempt at making Limone Pie (poor Papa lost out). Felicita agrees to follow Nova on his patrol shift (as part of their plan to get fertilizers for the flowers). She praises him doing a good job in his department and the need for herself to work harder and stabilize hers. She accidentally bumps into a suspicious guy who is acting nervous. She peeks into his heart and realizes he is a thief who had just stolen a lady’s wallet at Debito’s casino. They corner him at an alley and the thief thought he had the upper hand surrounding them with his friends. They see Nova’s Japanese sword and start mocking the family (since Sumire is Japanese) that they are doomed to fall with a woman like that as the head. The duo don’t let their emotions get to their head and easily take them out. In the aftermath, the wallet is returned to the lady and Debito hopes Nova should properly praise Felicita because of her powers that this case is solved. A woman blooms when she’s given praise. On the way home, Nova passes her a bag of fertilizers he had his subordinates go buy while they’re dealing with the thieves. Felicita mentions she gets along well with Mama although she treats everyone nice in the family. However Nova says she doesn’t understand. Great things are expected from her, the reason why Mondo brought up Arcana Duello is to make her, the family heir stronger. Nova wakes up from a dream whereby his original parents try brainwashing him to get into the good books of Arcana family so that they can replace Mondo and take control of Regalo.

Luca has been Felicita’s attendant for so long that he knows something is bugging her. So he goes to confront Nova to have a word that he was too hard on her. She wanted to get closer to him but he pushed her away. Nova feels it’s unacceptable for her to be content in her present state. Luca understands his past and his engagement to her voided but this doesn’t justify him being cold on her. He wants him to be friendlier. Luca calls Felicita in and has him taste a pot of soup she made. Taste good? Now make sure you finish everything. Everything! Nova has a favour to ask of her. Because there are reports of high research funds, he suspects Jolly may be misusing them. She is to enter Jolly’s lab and gather information and see if he’s doing anything suspicious. Even if she’s caught, she’ll get some information without bringing too much suspicion to herself. Felicita can’t seem to enter Jolly’s lab and is caught red handed by Jolly. He changes the locks every now and then and even knows Nova sent her to find out about his improper fund usage. He gives her a stack of documents as proof. Of course that’s just a distraction because he notes he can’t let them know of the real experiment he is doing behind those curtains. While Nova goes through the documents, he is surprised to see clinic charts of his parents. Why does Jolly have them? Felicita thought he is researching a way to cure their illness. But Nova says their illness is a cover up. They have been ‘asleep’ for 7 years and he made them so with his powers. He doubts Felicita would understand because she grew up with Papa and Mama’s love whereas his own parents used him as a tool to try and take over the family. He couldn’t forgive his parents and his powers went berserk. Felicita feels so sad that she cried for him. Nova talks to Sumire about this and she asks if he remembers what he gave her and Mondo when he voided his engagement with Felicita. He can come for it whenever he wants and believes Felicita will be there for him. He doubts she will understand. Rather, he doesn’t want her to. The repentance corner has Luca being the sinner. Why? Because he made Limone Pies too small! His punishment is to make 20 more of them!

Episode 6
Jolly summons the other heads for a meeting except for Dante who is out at sea for ‘negotiation’. Seems pirates have landed on Regalo. They have kidnapped Moreno, Mondo’s older brother and Nova’s father. However their motives are not clear and will wait for their next move. Till then, nobody is to make any move till instructed. Liberta becomes upset that Nova is calm about the whole thing and thinks he should go save his father. If it was him, he will regret it if he doesn’t. Felicita suggests the three of them should go rescue Moreno so I suppose Nova can’t say no. Well, I guess it’s easy spotting the pirate ship off the coast. Because it’s the only ship there! The trio sneak onto it and find it suspiciously void of people on the deck. As they tread deeper, they try to hide from the pirates but because Felicita’s boobs are pressing onto Liberta’s back, safe to say their cover is blown when they take a tumble. And here comes the pirates. Erm… Masked and caped pirates? They fight them off but their numbers are overwhelming and no end. Nova decides to use his Death power and tells the duo to go look for Moreno. They see Nova recite a spell that puts them all instantly to sleep. He is weakened though he tries to fight to stay conscious because if he falls unconscious, the effect goes off. His parents are still in coma because his powers went berserk. The duo find Moreno and reunite with Nova. Before they could get off, they are confronted with a familiar masked hero. Liberta fights him alone but he is too skilful. Nova goes unconscious so Felicita joins in the fight. Even so, they still can’t beat him. A few ‘accidents’ involving one Liberta’s face was shoved into Felicita’s boobs has her beating him up instead.

Liberta comes up with a plan to hold him off till there is an opening for Felicita to take advantage of. That opportunity comes as Felicity tosses her knife right into his mask and Liberta sending him back with a kick. Amazingly his kick must be so powerful that it cracks the mast! OMG. The mast is falling! And it’s going to fall on Felicita! Liberta gains confidence to use his power and wishes the mast to shatter to bits. He loses consciousness after that. Felicita is knocked out by the masked hero. Of course as we all should already know, the mask breaks to reveal Dante behind it. Also, the ‘pirates’ are his men and they were putting up an act to help them realize how weak they are in controlling their powers. When they awake, they find themselves locked in the underground cellar. Jolly reports Moreno has been secured but no reports of any masked man. Besides, the pirate ship had already left when they arrived. Because for going against orders, they should’ve been severely punished but their job well done means they just get to stay a night in this cellar. He hints that the entire incident is a test for them to use their Arcana powers. Felicita is glad because they’re able to save Moreno and return safely. But they realize something off. How did Jolly know what happened on board the ship? For the repentance corner, Liberta is the sinner because the idea of rescuing Moreno came from him. He is made to drink some weird potion made by Jolly. Don’t worry. He won’t die. Maybe that’s what’s worrying. It turns out to be a confession drug that reveals everything what happened back at the cellar in an erotic way fuelled by his carnal desire. Sounds like he is narrating like an erotic book on his views of Felicita! Nova can’t take anymore of this and knocks him out. I guess he is going to get punished too.

Episode 7
Liberta and Nova are being tasked by Sumire to hand a letter to Felicita personally. Most of the family members don’t know where she is and even Dante only knows she went somewhere with Dante. They try going to the restaurant to ask Pace but he’s not there and was made to pay for his tabs. They try going to the casino to ask Debito but ended up chasing a swindler girl. Worse, she somehow escaped from her cuffs and put it on the duo! Now they’re stuck together and Debito’s key is the only thing that can free them. By the way, he’s not in too. Jolly spots them ‘holding hands’ and he notes that somebody has used up caraway herbs he uses to make medicine. Love potion? The only other person who can make this is Luca so he suspects him why all the caraway is gone. Liberta rushes to go find her but Nova wants to calm down and look for clues instead of looking blindly. So happen they are in front of a fortune teller’s tent and she offers to help them out. Nova deduces her riddles and this leads them to seek Federica’s help. Sumire tells Mondo about her scheme that she made for Liberta and Nova because she wants them to get along. By spending time together, they will understand each other better and respect each other while improving their Arcana powers. Meanwhile Felicita tags along with Luca, Pace and Debito to Luca’s secret garden. Seems a bit far, don’t you think? Because Luca grows herb in his yard for alchemy, Jolly often takes and uses them without his permission. So he made a secret garden out here where he can’t find and this is like his secret base. Every year, Luca drags his best friends to help harvest the herbs. Inside a cave, Pace nearly became a victim to the traps Luca set for Jolly as emergency measure. He didn’t learn from last year and made the same mistakes again. Felicita thought Luca went too far but he mentions despite Jolly being his alchemy teacher, he cannot admire him and advises her not to get too close to him. They arrive at the secret garden which looks like a giant green house. I wonder who maintains it if they only come here once a year. Everything looks beautiful and kempt.

Nova and Liberta follow Federica’s cat and this leads them outside the cave. They almost got done in by the traps set off by the cat and borrowed each other’s sword to fend off threatening traps. They think Luca is serious in setting traps of this calibre when they hear Felicita’s scream. They make haste and the guys welcome them for making it. There’s a bug on her apple… Luca reveals Sumire asked him to make a potion that is only effective on cats. He left a trail that’s why the cat led the duo to them. The guys also reveal that they are accomplices with Sumire in setting all this up. So did they have fun? Nova doesn’t think it’s that bad. Finally free, they hand over the letter to Felicita who suddenly flusters upon reading it. It ends with them having taking a group photo. Pace puts that photo on his mother’s grave and assures her they’re all happy. The fortune teller turns out to be Giovanna and also Sumire’s accomplice. And the contents of the letter reveal to be Felicita having to kiss the brave men as their reward. Pace is the sinner this time because Luca didn’t get to take a picture with Felicita only. If only Pace’s plates didn’t break. WTF. As punishment, Pace is tied up while they torture him making him see them eat his favourite lasagna. You think ropes can hold him down? The monster breaks out and…

Episode 8
Jolly checks up on Elmo and records his terrific growth. Elmo has a request and wants to go out to town with Jolly. Felicita thought she saw Jolly with a child and tells Luca but he rebuffs it because he is a person who cannot be affectionate with a child. Though he admires Jolly for his techniques and research, his character is a different story. One day, he’ll be able to tell her the true story. Oh great. She is now even more worried. Debito notes the pain in his right eye too pain for him to sleep. Even if he does sleep, he only gets unwanted nightmares. Felicita is surprised to see Elmo playing with Liberta and they chat. Soon Jolly picks him up and assures them he is not his illegitimate child. Jolly requests Felicita to send a letter to Debito and to come see him in his lab since that guy refused to listen to what he says. Pace talks about his worries about Debito to Luca and the latter will make a medicine to sooth his pain though Pace thought it would be better if they ask Jolly himself. Luca doubts that since lots have happened and their hatred for that guy runs deep. Debito’s scary story during piccolino had some truth in it. Looks like he was that child. He wakes up from that dream only to see Felicita next to him. She heard his voice and was worried. I’m sure he had other ideas but upon reading the letter, he becomes upset. It is only because Felicita is a signorina (Italian for woman) that he didn’t kill her. He wants her to relay a message back to Jolly that his right eye is fine. So fine that he wants to kill him. Pace goes to see Jolly and wants him to stop torturing Debito. He understands that his research is for the family but stop making people suffer. But Jolly points out he understood that fact too. For the family. So suck it up and deal with it. Pace leaves and comes into Felicita. She wants to know if something happened between them with Jolly. Since he can’t tell her, she gets even more worried and talks to Nova. He points out her bad habit of wanting to know everything and sticking her nose in other people’s business despite being the heir of the family she needs to know her family members well. He states they can’t use normal methods to deal with Jolly so Felicita suggests something that they all can do when Liberta comes in requesting help from family members to clean the church.

The Arcana family helps the priest to clean the church as Felicita wonders if Jolly will come since she invited him too. Luca, Pace and Debito see their initials inscribed on a chair when they were young. Brings back nostalgic memories when they were living in this church with Pace’s mom. Luca notes they hardly get any cleaning done because the duo always played around. Then here comes Jolly. Though he can’t refuse Felicita’s invitation, it’s a good chance to check up on Debito since he didn’t come. Debito notes his face makes him sick so Jolly dares him to strengthen his heart if he wants to kill him. He provokes him that if he makes Felicita read his heart and point out all his darkness and weakness, it may make his Arcana powers stronger. Then he wouldn’t have to rely on the amethyst he planted in his right eye to control them. Jolly lets Felicita in on a little secret seeing she wants to get along with everyone in the family. Luca, Debito and Pace’s stigmata are the result of his experiments. He experimented on many subjects on how Tarocco chooses its host and only the trio were successful in establishing a contract. It also was the reason why they as complete strangers were able to stay in the family. They should be thanking him instead. Debito goes crazy and points his gun at Jolly’s face, threatening to kill him. Jolly dares him but questions if he can defy him. He then subdues Debito and notes there is no way he could kill him. Pace couldn’t take any more of this and punches Jolly, only to be blocked by his barrier. He wants to settle their fight now and uses his strength to break the barrier and send Jolly crashing into the window. But Jolly remains cool. He says doing this has changed nothing. They only have more cleaning up to do. I guess Felicita is indeed worried now. So Nova and Liberta had to talk to her that the trio would have eventually fought Jolly. But she wonders why he conducted Tarocco experiments on them. No use moping around so they go talk to him in his lab. Since he is not in, they let themselves in and to their shock, see Elmo floating in a giant tube behind the curtain. You could say curiosity killed the cat, eh? Then Jolly pops up and explain Elmo is a homunculus, an artificial human he created.

Episode 9
If it’s not bad enough Felicita is worrying about the homunculus, here comes Liberta and Nova with emergency news. Mondo is unconscious in bed and… So he’s just exhausted from excess work? Sumire assures them things will be alright and to continue their duties as usual. After the young ones leave, Jolly notes Mondo’s knack in pretending to be asleep. But this is something he wants to do. Because Felicita is still hanging around and wanting her curiosity satisfied, Jolly is going to do just that even if Dante protests. Bringing her to his lab once more, he explains Elmo holds the sixteenth card, Tower. Elmo’s birth is due to the fact he created a homunculus to contract with Tarocco. Why? Long ago Mondo undid the seal of Tarocco and contracted with the World card. But there is a major consequence. All the cards of the Major Arcana exist by consuming emotional strength of its host. There are cards that are not contracted and without a host and they survive by receiving power from the host of the World card since that card has the power to unite the other cards. This is the ‘excess work’ Mondo had to do and if this goes on, he’ll eventually fall into a coma. One way to prevent that from happening is to ensure each card has a host. The reason why Jolly conducted experiments on Pace, Debito and Luca and they were the only ones successful. Felicita thought it was the reason why Jolly created the homunculus but he notes that kid is just trash. However there is another way to save Mondo and that is, Felicita has to use her other Tarocco power, the tenth card called Wheel of Fortune. This card’s power is to change the relationship of the host and the Tarocco. She did use this power once to save Sumire 13 years ago. Back then Sumire used her Judgment power to heal Mondo but that power backfired on her. Felicita waltzed in and unknowingly used her power to heal Sumire and saved her. Felicita of course couldn’t remember. Well, she was too young and passed out soon after that, right? Jolly then reminds Felicita about Mondo’s intention of sending her away from this mansion and only allowed her to interact with a small group of people. It’s because so she won’t unconsciously use that power again. Also, Mondo knows he doesn’t have much longer to live and summoned her back to spend his remaining time with her and decided to hold the ridiculous Arcana Duello to find an heir. That way she’ll have someone to support her after she loses her Papa.

Felicita has heard everything and goes to talk to Sumire by Mondo’s side. Upon touching her hand, Felicita is given a glimpse on how Mondo contracted with the Tarocco. When the island was ravaged by soldiers trying to eliminate every Arcana family member, Mondo established a contract with the World card so that he could protect the ones he loves, not caring what happens to himself. Felicita wants to save Papa and use her Wheel of Fortune so Sumire asks her if she has been able to control her Lovers power with her own free will. Since she doesn’t, it means her heart isn’t strong enough to use the Wheel of Fortune either. She promises to find a way to save Mondo so she hopes Felicita won’t ever mention that power again. Felicita sees Nova and Liberta sparring together. She uses her power to peek into their hearts and sees how determined they are in achieving their goal. I guess she’s going to do something about it. Sumire notes how Felicita is truly Mondo’s daughter because she doesn’t care what happens to herself to help others. Dante wonders why Jolly didn’t tell Felicita about the consequence of using the Wheel of Fortune. Simple. If she had known its consequences that it will cause her to lose her memories again, she won’t be willing to use the power.

Episode 10
Disaster strikes. Felicita has used that power and is unconscious. You can understand why Mondo is frantic calling out to her daughter. Alas, thank heavens she comes back to life. But wait! She doesn’t remember everybody! No! And Mondo continues to feel the pain. Physically and his heart. Nova wants to help out but Sumire says that this is best left to matters of the family. Isn’t he part of the family? Liberta talks to Nova and finds out about her second Tarocco power. They discuss how they were born with the powers because they never made contract with Tarocco directly. Nova thinks they are all related because one has a higher possibility of contracting with a Tarocco if you are related to an existing contractor. Liberta thinks it’s just coincidence. Could it? But what Liberta understands is that he doesn’t want to lose another family member so for a rare moment, they both agree on wanting to retrieve Felicita’s memories. First they bring her back to her old place in hopes the nostalgia will trigger her memory. Not working. Liberta finds an engagement ring in the drawer and is surprised to learn it belongs to Nova. But he says he was just merely holding on to it and had it returned. Because he used his Death powers on Moreno, he has no right to be called their son despite Mondo giving it to him in hopes he will give it to Felicita and be her husband and his son. Meanwhile Elmo wonders where Felicita’s memories went and his statement hit Jolly. He never thought of it that way. Perhaps the memories aren’t destroyed and just sealed in her heart. With the other family members hounding Dante for answers, Jolly tells them the truth about Felicita using her Wheel of Fortune power to save Mondo and losing her memory as its consequence. They get upset that Felicita was used as a tool and Debito is really going to blow his brains this time. But Jolly remains cool because if he kills him, their chance of regaining Felicita’s memories will be zero. That’s because his Moon card forcefully retrieves memories. Mondo won’t rely on him too but still he can’t forgive he used Felicita. Liberta begs to Papa to seek Jolly’s help to save her and that it’s their duty as family to bring her back. Though Luca doesn’t approve of this dangerous procedure, there is no guarantee that even if there are other ways to save her, that method would endanger her life. They’re merely taking a calculated risk with Jolly.

Jolly uses his power to enter Felicita’s heart. It’s dark, gloomy and taking too long. He’s about to give up and lose it all when Mondo intervenes. He will help out by amplifying his power. They see her being attached to a large thorny vine. I know they have to pull her out before she is forever sealed away but tearing the vines with their bare hands? Furthermore, once they’ve pulled out, it regenerates. It never ends. They’re not making any progress. Mondo is bleeding and couldn’t care less about his life because he’s here to retrieve something important. Then here comes Nova and Liberta joining in, slashing their way through the vines. I guess this beats pulling out the vines with your hands. And much faster. Duh. In the end, Felicita regains her memories and returns back to normal. Yeah, it was that easy. Mondo is grateful to Jolly but he says he should be thanking Nova and Liberta instead. He thanks the kids and is grateful for having the best family. Sumire apologizes to Nova she said those words but it was precisely that why Nova realized something important. The reason they have Arcana powers is to protect those dear to them. Luca and the rest also have their thanks to Jolly but he notes he’s just cleaning up his own mess. Felicita thought it’s over but then… Yeah, she had to overhear this important dialogue between Jolly and Dante. The relationship between Mondo and World card hasn’t changed. So what Felicita did was futile. It means that she was not able to fully utilize its power in her current emotional state. Now she’s worried she didn’t get to save Papa. Suddenly she hears the voice of her Lovers card. It tells her it can provide emotional power needed and negate the effects of the Wheel of Fortune. However to establish this, she must have someone else as love cannot be completed with herself alone.

Episode 11
The card also tells her she needs to have sufficient strong desires to share with it and that other someone to share those desires too. As because true love cannot be found alone. Felicita asks Luca’s opinion about love but he’s going crazy. Yeah, she might have asked the wrong person. Felicita goes to see Jolly and he knows what he is going to tell her that her Wheel of Fortune had no effect on Mondo. This means if this goes on, he’ll fall into coma again. She also tells him how Lovers talked to her and he finds it an amusing research subject. He suggests choosing either Liberta or Nova to be her lover since they are the reason why she is sitting here today. He doesn’t care what decision she reaches since she is the only one who can save Mondo. Liberta and Nova feel ashamed that they weren’t brave enough as Felicita to risk their life to save someone dear. They want to do something for her and invite her out to sea. They also give her a butterfly hairpin as a gift they got from Federica. While they have fun throughout the day, she tires out and falls asleep. Liberta takes this chance to explain his past to Nova and that the masked men they encountered on the pirate ship was Dante. He is always chasing his back and wants to surpass him. Nova believes he can do it. Because if he doesn’t believe in himself, who will? A storm picks up and as Felicita helps to pack up, the wave rocks the boat and throws her off balance. She loses the hairpin and tries to save it. Though successful, the result is that she falls over. The guys rush and dive to save her. They got the girl but the boat drifts away. Thankfully they’re near the island and the waves aren’t that violent enough so they made it onto shore. Inside the cave, they see her holding onto the hairpin. I wonder how she could hold on so tightly for so long when she’s unconscious. Her body is getting colder and they need to warm her up. If you’re hoping to see naked body warmth, forget it. There is a nearby wood and Liberta uses his Arcana power to burn it. He can do it now because they believe in him. So now he believes in himself. Felicita dreams of talking to the Lovers card. It is telling her if she chooses one to get close to, it would be easier to determine the nature of the relationship’s feelings. She still doesn’t understand what love is but the card points out she must hurry as they’re running out of time. It tells her they have found their answer while she still hesitates. Felicita wakes up and Nova explains Liberta uses his power to burn the wood to make fire.

Dante reprimands the duo for putting Felicita’s life in danger but Nova defends Liberta’s back and that he was the one who saved Felicita. Dante notes he has matured and he may be the one Liberta needs to surpass. Because of this, Nova now has the resolve to go try and wake up his parents even it is regretted that they plotted to kill Papa and Mama. However he doesn’t regret doing so because it was the only way to stop them. Liberta didn’t like the way he is lying and punches him. He wants him to be more honest himself and wants to help out too because he is family. Oh, Felicita too. The trio do research in the library but they’re not making any headway. Especially Liberta whose mind isn’t made for books. Feeling sleepy? But he wonders why those pirates on the ship woke up only after Nova had woken up then. It means they weren’t asleep forever. Then here comes Jolly. He doesn’t mind telling them if they tell him the results of this experiment (Nova’s parents are part of his ‘research’ too). Nova is told there is no way one couldn’t break the effects of his own Arcana powers. Because his parents are asleep due to his berserk power, then he needs to exert that same amount of power as before. Use them with more desire. The consequence is that he may fall into a coma. The trio make their way to Nova’s parents where they are sleeping. Nova mentions he always thought he envied Felicita for her parents’ for unconditionally loving her. But it is rather she has genuinely loved her family is what he envies. Nova starts using his power but lose consciousness. At least there are some fond memories of the good times they had together. When he wakes up, his parents are still asleep. I guess they’re going to try again tomorrow. The guys give their thanks because without them, they wouldn’t be here together or come to terms with their power. But Felicita is still pondering the meaning of love. Jolly and Dante report to Mondo that although Nova’s parents have not fully recovered, their condition is improving thanks to Nova’s strong feelings that reached them. And finally, tomorrow is the much awaited Arcana Duello.

Episode 12
The battle starts and in this knockout tournament, only the winner of it all will have the right to face Mondo. We start off with our usual protagonists raking easy wins against lowly unknowns in the preliminaries. The round proper begins with Felicita taking on Debito. He’s crazy not going to hold back and suddenly! He lost! What just happened? Next, Felicita fights Pace. He has some words for her and before you know it. He lost too! Then Felicita faces Luca. You know what her attendant is going to say about this and that. And yeah. He also lost. How the heck did it happen? Jolly who has withdrawn himself from the tournament thought the trio were having a loser’s party. The fact that they feel Felicita has grown is what constitute to their loss. Jolly says the correct answer is that she used the Wheel of Fortune. The trio realized that Mondo isn’t out of danger yet and Felicita’s previous state means she wasn’t able to change Mondo’s relationship with the World. However now she has found a way to save that with Lovers that will nullify the Wheel of Fortune’s effects. The trio understand why they lost. Because her fate is far crueller than anyone could’ve imagined. In the semi-finals, Liberta fights Dante while Nova takes on Sumire. Though the kids are seemingly overwhelmed and hesitating at first, after reflecting on their past, etc, they use their Arcana power to turn the tables and win their respective match. During the break, Nova shows Sumire the engagement ring they found by chance. But Sumire believes it is fate and it was destined to be back in his hands. Nova vows to win at all cost so he can give it to Felicita. And so the inevitable match between Nova and Liberta has come. They both fight with all their might as Felicita still undecided who to love takes a peek into their hearts. Same ol’ determination why they want to win. Enough said. I guess they’re so equally matched that the day is turning into sunset! What a long match. Isn’t anybody tired? Where’s the suspense anymore? They both are going to bet on their final swing and use their Arcana power.

The next thing they know, they are in bed. So what happened to the match? It ended in a draw. After all that fighting, the match was drawn? Well, that last blow knocked them both out. This meant Felicita advanced by default to face Mondo. Who won? Felicita! Her victory also assured Mondo’s prolonged life as the Wheel of Fortune changed its relationship with the World without any negative consequences. So flashback during Felicita’s match against Papa, she was kicking hard but has grown a lot. She reads his heart that he needed to show her his strength as she will one day succeed him. She cannot be stronger if she isn’t kind. If she isn’t kind, she can’t give each member an equal amount of love. She always had sufficient kindness but needed to become stronger so she’ll be able to become someone kind enough to love someone. Then Felicita realized. She was putting that feelings Nova and Liberta they had for her on a scale. Papa didn’t want her who picked someone she loves because of calculations. As the Lovers tell her, that which the Wheel of Fortune desires is the strong, kind heart that is able to truthfully reply the feelings of a loved one. Felicita rushes into the room to hug Nova and Liberta, relieved that they are okay. In the aftermath, Mondo and his family celebrate Felicita’s 17th birthday as well as her victory in Arcana Duello. Though the promise of marrying her off is voided, he will still grant her wish. And her wish is for Papa to remain as Papa for as long as he lives because she can’t accept that title yet. I know. It’s odd if a girl is being called Papa. Mondo accepts and grants her wish. Noting she has grown during the fight, there is no need to marry her off easily. This means anyone who wants to marry her has to step forward because Papa will take you on and see if you’re worthy! WTF?! He’s not going to give her away as long as he lives! My, how things have reversed. Looks like he is the one who has least grown from it. She’ll forever be Papa’s girl, I guess. Felicita and the guys jump straight into duty when they hear reports of some suspicious activity at the harbour.

We Are Family
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am disappointed with this anime but it somewhat fall below my expectations. You could also say that it somewhat failed to live up to its promising potential. Maybe it was partly my fault as I was hoping from reading the synopsis that it would turn into something like a fight to gain Felicita’s attention or woo her in their whatever ridiculous or underhanded ways. Didn’t turn out like that or even close to it. That would have been a comical farce and probably made everything even worse. What we see here is lots of drama and the bonding Felicita makes with the rest of her family members especially Nova and Liberta. We get a short glimpse about their sad past and come to understand how they grow up to be and would’ve walked on the wrong path had not for the Arcana family been there for them and save them from their fate being sealed.

I had mixed feelings whether this anime should have lasted more than a dozen episodes but from what I feel, perhaps everything there is to tell has been told. Sure, you can expand some of the flashbacks and past stories but how far can you stretch it? Like how Sumire did note she and Mondo took away Nova’s childhood. How did that happen? What did they do? Thus maybe it is best that they just end everything as it is for now. That’s why viewers won’t really know if Felicita had to ultimately choose between Nova or Liberta and even their fight ended in a draw. I guess this is to satisfy fans of both sides. Just like that Twilight triangle, huh? So we won’t have the pain to see which of the guys get to fight Felicita in the end (I suppose it would only show that the winner would mean being superior to the loser) and perhaps ending up losing against her because eventually the person that is best to take on Mondo is his own daughter.

Felicita may not be your typical damsel in distress but she is not perfect either. For most of the time, I observed that she worries too much because she truly wants to help out her family members and their problems. While this is a good thing, from my perspective it can be a little annoying since I am seeing Felicita’s worried face instead of her smile. Because she looks cuter when she puts that smiley and happy expression :). It also makes me wonder if she truly understands the meaning of love in the romantic sense. We see her pondering the meaning of it which is the source of her dilemma to choose between Nova and Liberta. Can’t she have both of them? She’s the future head, right? Unless you know guys, they really want to monopolize their woman. But that’s a different story. I won’t say Mondo and Sumire are the perfect parents but at least they give their family the most important thing: Love. Sumire departs lots of advices especially to Nova and Felicita whenever they are in doubt. That is why the family stays loyal and faithful to them.

Liberta and Nova are poles apart. One is the brash and solves things by doing them while the other is more reserved and would rather come up with a plan before jumping straight into action. Despite their different personalities, their goal remains the same. To bring happiness to Felicita and of course the family. Of course both didn’t start out perfect and can be considered ‘weak’ due being stuck with their past. Because of each other, Liberta now doesn’t fear to use his Arcana power while Nova has opened up himself more and would gladly receive or offer help instead of trying to do things alone. Although Liberta holds the Fool card, I feel that Luca is the one that is being made the comic relief among the characters. I won’t say he is overprotective over Felicita since he has been her attendant since young but sometimes he cares too much for her that his plan to do things for her backfires and it makes him look like a fool. I guess Pace just doesn’t have physical strength because he has quite a strong appetite too. If he is not serious, you would see him eating food. I wonder if he has a bottomless stomach. Debito may look like the craziest and mafia-looking guy among all the characters but he has a heart of gold especially towards children. His animosity is only towards Jolly but that is perhaps he doesn’t understand the implications of his experiments. The only thing that I thought Dante lacked was (no, not his hair, mind you) is his cool bazooka. He should have more screen time in using that piece of weapon instead for just a short time in the first and final episode.

Jolly seems to be playing the role of the villain because of his mysterious exterior. He is cool not to let his guard down. He is cool and never gets himself cornered. Even when his schemes are exposed, he coolly tells everything. After all, what is there left to hide? I guess sometimes playing the role of the baddie is also good because if there is none, the rest would become too lax and not being able to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Because of the cool and monotonous way he speaks, he gives off this air of mystery around him so it is hard to tell what he is thinking. Sometimes his actions are questionable but his ultimate goal has always been for the family and to save Mondo. It could have solved lots of problems if he just told it straight but like I said, if the rest found out about the truth so easily, they may not have that extra spark of determination to go the extra mile. So how does he have lots of information like Nova’s parents’ clinic charts is still a mystery. Maybe being the advisor to the head of the family, which is the second highest command position means he needs to know lots of things. Say what happened to Elmo? So he is just a homunculus not a ghost or an illegitimate child. A trash as Jolly considered. So? What was his role in here for anyway? Since he had the Tower card, shouldn’t he be in Arcana Duello too? Didn’t hear children below a certain age or those who are non-human aren’t allowed to participate. And now that Felicita has managed to change Mondo’s relationship with the World, does this mean Jolly doesn’t have to do any more experiments to see who can host the other Tarocco cards?

The fight scenes I won’t say are impressive but they are nothing to shout about. On and off in certain episodes we see the characters clash swords and the way the series was heading, I thought we would never see Arcana Duello at all. So when they reserved the final episode for this special event, I don’t know, I felt it was cheap and like as though they were cutting some corners. Not the animation. The fight scenes. It’s good that fights don’t last an entire episode because that will be tad too boring but seeing them in just a few seconds and just unleashing their powers for an even shorter period, that just feels like as though the fighting part was just to pass the time. Since each of the main characters had a particular Arcana power, we also don’t see them use it often and I feel there isn’t a variety if they are shown using it too much. Too repetitive and the feel of its specialness fades. So for example in the case of Nova and Liberta, they are shown more often clashing their swords but even so, they don’t really pull off any special sword techniques. Who am I kidding? Am I expecting some Bankai move here? What happened to that repentance corner at the end? It seems that almost every main character with Tarocco had their turn in becoming a sinner once (except Mondo, Sumire and Jolly).

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my main reason for watching this series was because Mamiko Noto was having a main part in this series as Felicita. After coming from a long way since one of my early animes featuring her like Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo, she’s still going strong and hasn’t lost that distinctive voice that I love so much. Jun Fukuyama as Liberta is suitable as the character since he did play feisty guy roles before like Kazuki in Busou Renkin. On the other hand, Tsubasa Yonaga’s boyish voice also fits Nova’s personality. He was the voice of Teiichi in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia and Jun in Special A. Hiroyuki Yoshino did an excellent job as Debito because the character really has that slang accent to go with. He was the voice of Firo on Baccano and Hibiki in Vandread. Other casts include Tomokazu Sugita as Pace (Gintoki in Gintama – since he was sounding serious instead of goofy characters, I couldn’t recognize this voice), Yuuichi Nakamura as Luca (Tomoya in Clannad), Juurouta Kosugi as Dante (Alan in MAR), Koji Yusa as Jolly (Gin in Bleach – since he wasn’t speaking in his usual kansai-ben characters, I couldn’t recognize his voice), Fumihiko Tachiki as Mondo (Gendou in Neon Genesis Evangelion), Kikuko Inoue as Sumire (Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama) and Misato Fukuen as Elmo (Yami in To Love-Ru). Magenta Another Sky is the opening theme and rock outfit sung by Hitomi Harada (if the series only had more intense fighting scenes, I thought this song would’ve fit the overall series as a whole) while Pieces Of Treasure as the pop ending theme sung by the duet of Jun Fukuyama and Tsubasa Yonaga. I personally thought they shouldn’t be singing together. Or singing at all…

The main emphasis of this series is the importance of being family (even Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn emphasized on this). Despite many of the characters coming from different backgrounds, they all blossomed thanks to the love shown by Mondo and Sumire. They could have grown up into adults with a traumatic childhood past but thanks to their undivided love, they are able to realize what is important and reciprocate it to others. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that blood is thicker than water. Anybody even strangers can be part of the family as long as they love and protect each other. Acceptance of your past and whoever you are, forgiveness and moving forward by becoming stronger as a whole. That is why the origins of the word ‘”FAMILY” is an apt abbreviation of Father And Mother I Love You. See how parents play an important role in shaping a child’s future?

Whether your family unit is big or small, dysfunctional or normal, nuclear or extended, you know what they say about the families that play/pray together, stays together. Yeah, so it’s that time again for me to reflect and be grateful for having such a wonderful family despite having certain flaws here and there but hey, no family is that perfect. We’re just happy and happy to stay that way. Just glad that we don’t have in-house fighting for power struggle and odd tournaments to see who gets the bride. I believe I can walk down my own path to find my own. Can I? Otherwise the dreaded arranged marriage…

Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai

November 9, 2012

Here we go again with another single parenting anime. But there is a big difference with this one. In Usagi Drop, we have a single elderly guy hitting the big three-o adopting an illegitimate kid of his late grandfather. But in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai (PapaKiki), we have a college kid taking care of three young girls from his late married sister. There is a huge gap to see how the single male protagonist handles the responsibility of taking care of a new family member in his life. Usagi Drop’s Daikichi is a working adult with a steady income but PapaKiki’s Yuuta Segawa is just a university freshman. See the big difference? So how can a university student take care of 3 little girls and not neglect his family and studies? Man, this is going to be very tough. When most students his age are already fretting over their assignments, here Yuuta is trying to juggle everything he can with what he has. Like everyone would fear, he might just burnout.

That is basically what you’ll see in the dozen episodes of PapaKiki since of course Yuuta feels the need to take care of his sister’s 3 daughters after her untimely demise. I get a feeling that this show is made for lolicons because of the cuteness and kawaii-ness of the young girls that are being projected. Maybe their trying to tell lolicon lovers to be responsible people instead of just fantasizing and fawning over underage girls (which to a certain extent is a crime). While Yuuta is no lolicon, he is just a normal kid and faces the dilemma of what to do in his course of life to keep together a happy family unit while trying to deal with the harsh reality that they may never return to their former lives again.

Episode 1
Yuuta just began his life at Tama University and he has got his university life planned out. At least he wants to work hard at a good part time job and make it on his own. Hey, that’s good enough, right? So while out drinking with his new university buddies, his beer must have been drugged because the next time he regains his consciousness, he is in a dark room and this fat bespectacled otaku guy, Shuntarou Sako is interrogating about violating the busty Raika Oda. Unfortunately Raika is such a bad actor that anybody can see through her emotionless acting. Yeah, it’s all made up. Kouichi Nimura thinks Sako should stop all this. Nimura explains he drank non-alcoholic beer but still got drunk due to the smell of everyone else’s alcohol. Whether true or not, Sako says Yuuta stripped and danced himself around naked. Till Raika smacks him with a slipper. Followed by repetitious whacking of his butt with her harisen (paper fan). Is he enjoying it? Anyway, what the heck is this all about? It’s their way of welcoming new members to their club, Roadway Observation Research Institute or RORI for short. Back at his dorm, Yuuta gets a call from his sister Yuri who thinks he should come visit their new family sometimes. Yuuta isn’t too enthusiastic giving excuses he doesn’t want to bug them and all. Yuri tells him he’ll always be family no matter what. Even though she married Shingo Takanashi, this husband of hers had 2 daughters from his previous 2 marriages and they now live with them, she still considers them as her daughters.

In university, Yuuta befriends Raika and gets to know her more. Despite being an odd girl, you could say Yuuta takes a liking for her. I’m sure any guy would with those huge racks ;p. But as womanizer Nimura explains, although she is a smart student and excels in sports, there aren’t even any other guys trying to get close to her. Maybe she’s like a beautiful flower on a high cliff? The perverted RORI president (that’s Sako) is the only one who hangs out with her. Nimura concludes Raika is a weirdo (why would a beauty like her join the weird RORI?) but Yuuta disagrees and believes she is just shy and protective of herself. Yuuta believes if he joins the club officially, he gets to be closer to her. The next time Raika calls him out, I’m not sure what kind of experiment and observation she’s pulling on him because she asks him to pull her dress to reveal some skimpy outfit. Is she trying to observe Yuuta’s likes? On the way back, they bump into Yuri who is early on visiting Yuuta. She helps him clean up his place (all those porn magazines he claims are from Nimura) and teases him about liking busty Raika (he has a picture of her as his handphone wallpaper). Yuri wants him to come to her place this Sunday and will only tell him the important thing to him then. Yuri returns and tells her daughters, Sora, Miu and Hina, their uncle Yuuta will be coming this Sunday but they don’t remember him much and since they only met him twice, they don’t really have memorable memories of him. So come Sunday Yuuta makes his way to Yuri’s house and cheeky Miu greets him. Then he meets Hina who starts crying thinking he ‘stole’ her toy trumpet. He made a funny sound with it to appease her and she starts laughing and tries it herself (nothing’s coming out). Yuuta wishes to use the bathroom so Miu gives him directions. Probably he didn’t count Sora changing inside. What a way to make an impression as her uncle after a long absence.

Episode 2
Thank goodness Sora didn’t report a pedo in her house though she is still grumpy for that untoward incident. She’s still sulking so Miu suggests to leave her alone while they play video games. Of course Yuuta is much better and beats Hina, bringing the poor girl to tears. Sora joins in and avenges her sister’s defeat. While they have lunch, Miu was pretty direct to ask if he has a girlfriend (why is Sora choking if she claims she doesn’t care?). Yuuta’s body reaction makes it so obvious. Hina fell asleep in the middle of her meal so Sora puts her to a proper bed. Yuuta also naps on the couch and remembers how Yuri always took care of him when he’s young. When he wakes up, he sees a note from Miu that they all went out shopping. Shingo returns but that guy instantly gets upset to see a stranger in his house. He doesn’t believe he is Yuuta since he is spotting a blonde wig and scribbles all over his face! Yikes! He is going to kill him! He is worried he might have done something to his daughters! He is serious! Till Yuri steps in. I guess Shingo was so blinded by rage that he couldn’t recognize Yuuta under that hideous wig. Cheeky Miu apologizes for her prank. Yuri notices Yuuta getting along fine with everyone and is assured she can follow Shingo on his business trip for a week. So this is the important thing? Yuuta has to babysit the girls? The girls plead for Yuuta to stay since her parents haven’t had time for their honeymoon and this is their best chance. Can’t say no when cute girls are asking him, eh?

So on his first day home alone with them, the girls put down several rules for him to follow. The tough part now is whom he is going to play with. Hina wants to play games. Miu wants him to help out with her homework. Sora wants him to help out with the cleaning. A man can only be at one place at a time. He might not comply with all their requests at the same time but in succession. Phew. It’s going to be a tiring day. At night, they see the meteor shower across the starry sky and they sing along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Bedtime and the girls wonder what lovely things their parents are doing now. However fate has a cruel way of tearing apart your happiness. That very night, the plane Yuri and Shingo were on crashed and they perished. A funeral is held at their place and the big headache of taking care of their children comes. The older relatives contemplate who is to take responsibility of them. Unfortunately Sora’s mother is no longer with them and they won’t handover Miu to hers since that foreigner can’t speak a word of Japanese. Their uncle, Nobuyoshi has decided that all 3 girls will be separated and live under the roofs of different relatives. However they want to stay together. The adults tell them not to be selfish and though they may be living apart, they’re still in Japan and will still be able to see each other. Yuuta remembers the shock when his own parents died. Yuri asserted she will protect and raise Yuuta by herself because they are family. Thus Yuuta stands up and will take all 3 of them in, shocking the rest. It doesn’t matter to him because he believes a family has to stay together.

Episode 3
Of course we know the adults won’t approve of this and the only way this is going to happen is for Yuuta and the girls to make their runaway early next morning. Back at Tokyo, Yuuta is trying to find a decent place to eat. Either the place is too expensive or fears the family atmosphere that would traumatize the girls. They end up at a karaoke box. Nimura happen to be there (womanizing, what else) and he thought Yuuta has turned into an evil lolicon! Till he learns they are his nieces. Learning the predicament he is in, he agrees to help out. He uses his charm to accompany the girls (except for Sora who still has her reservations). Outside, Yuuta gets a cal from his aunt Yoshiko about his irresponsible act. He has decided he wants to raise them but she reminds him about reality. How is he going to get the money to raise them? What about his studies? It sounds so simple when he says he’ll take up more part time jobs but if this ends up hurting his studies, it won’t make Yuri happy. She wants him to bring those 3 back but even if hell freezes over, Yuuta won’t. He brings the girls back to his dorm. It might be cramped and messy but they’ll have to make do. Hina is only 3 years old and the only one who doesn’t know that mommy and daddy are dead and its implications. So to their best, they try to tell her this will be their new home from now. Adjusting life to his dorm isn’t easy because the bathroom walls are so thin that Miu had to point out she could hear Sora making ‘those noises’. Whatever they were. Because of that, Yuuta can’t use the toilet as he pleases. I’m sure he’ll have to learn the meaning of delicacy with girls in the house now. The girls also make a makeshift temporary changing room with the little space. While they’re playing cards, Hina once again brings up the subject of when mommy and daddy will be coming home soon. Miu excuses herself to go out shopping but Sora sends Yuuta to go after her. Sora hugs Hina and puts her to sleep while Yuuta talks to Miu. Once she’s calmed down he brings her back. Sora hugs her in her relief. They tug in for the night as Sora notes the 3 of them will always be together.

Episode 4
Why is Sora clinging on to Yuuta like as though he’s a bolster? Their faces are so close… So what happens when Sora opens her eyes? You bet the shock is going to make Yuuta on the receiving end of her punch. So here’s another delicacy lesson he’ll have to learn. Don’t undress as he pleases in front of the girls even though they’re family. Oh, what about breakfast? Yuuta runs down to the store and buys lot of food. Sora says they’ll pay for their portion but he doesn’t want their money. He goes off to his job and reminds them not to open the door to strangers. Yuuta thinks about his next step to get a job when he bumps into Raika. Another monotonous horrendous acting. Sako and Nimura are here too and the president is concerned of his lack of presence at the club. Sako has this uncanny ability to smell little girls and he suspects Yuuta of harbouring them! Yuuta can’t let him know about his nieces and conspires with Raika. She agrees and lets Yuuta escape while she whacks Sako with the harisen. The girls try to be helpful around the house but they’re being clumsy and making a mess. They feel the need to do the laundry and since there is no washing machine in this little room, they go to a public one. However all public laundry services do not do underwear and they’ll have to go to the coin operated one. Sora and Miu calculate the cost and suck up their pride to wash everything at one go (uncle’s underwear touching theirs in the laundry). Sora sees a stall selling cheap vegetables and decides to buy them and cook. Can she cook? She had some practice with Yuri. Oh dear. Back home, Hina and Miu scribble doodles on the wall to make things livelier while Sora as expected fails in her cooking. I don’t know how she ended up cutting everything so messy. Then some salesperson knocks on the door and the girls panic thinking it’s a bad guy. Their clumsiness has them messed up the place again. I guess he’ll come back later. Yuuta is working on double shifts and won’t be home early. But that didn’t stop the girls from cooking for him. Well, let’s say the meat is overcooked. Heck, it’s burnt! Yuuta reprimands them for doing something dangerous but is glad they’re okay. He surprised them with a strawberry cake treat he bought. Later Sora asks why he is spending so much on them. He replies it’s because he is happy. Happy that there is someone to wish him off and to greet him when he returns. That’s why he wants to make them happy. Of course tomorrow they’ll start saving and if they work together, things will work out. As Yuuta tugs in for the night, Sora again comes hugging him in her sleep and this time with whispering words of “I love you”. He puts her back properly in bed.

Episode 5
Another untoward incident when Yuuta comes back to see Sora changing after bath. Oops. So while Yuuta is off to work the next morning, Sora and Miu plan about rearranging the place for a proper changing room. Either that or it’s going to cost some money. Since Yuuta forgot his handphone, it starts ringing. It won’t go away so Miu picks up the call. It’s from Sako who has found him another job. This confirms that Sako is an extreme lolicon because he thinks he has heard the voice of an angel! So good he is that judging from Miu’s voice, he can exactly sketch what she looks like and accurately guess her age (10 years old)! SCARY! Raika snaps him out of his sick fantasy by whacking him with the harisen. Then she deletes the recorded conversation he had on his handphone. Good riddance. Sora decides to go find Yuuta and return his handphone and manages to do so at a family restaurant where he is working. Meanwhile Miu and Hina meet Yuuta’s neighbour, Kurumi Atarashi. She can’t be a bad person because… She’s got a watermelon for them to share with. They learn Atarashi is a voice actress in a kiddie show that Hina loves watching, Luna Luna 7 (albeit it’s a villain’s role). She is embarrassed to give a demonstration and when she does, she properly times it to make her escape. Sora got on the wrong bus and is lost in town. Oh, her handphone’s power is out too. And it’s starting to rain too. Just how bad can the day get? Yuuta gets worried when he can’t contact her so with Nimura’s help, they go search for her. Sora remembers meeting Yuuta the first time. It was when Yuri wanted her brother to meet her future husband Shingo. He wasn’t pleased so the girls thought he was a scary person. They bump into him outside toilet and panic. Sora trips but to her surprise Yuuta helps her and isn’t as scary as she thought. Yuuta finally finds her and sits with her in a shelter till the rain clears up. She hopes she could call him onii-chan instead of uncle and he likes it better that way. Then another unforeseen incident when Sora runs out in her towel to catch cheeky Hina out of the bath. Whoopsie again. Yuuta excuses himself to go to his job Sako found him. Now this is the funny part. In a daifuku factory, we see lines of macho men making the cute little strawberry daifuku! The boss wants Yuuta to keep what he sees a secret simply because… Strawberry daifukus are supposed to be made by cute animals in the forest! You can’t ruin the children’s dream! Oh yeah. Just like Santa Claus, eh?

Episode 6
Miu has something to get from her old home at Ikebukuro and hopes Yuuta can bring them there since he’s free tomorrow. They make their journey as Yuuta observes Hina and Atarashi close enough to be making Luna Luna 7 poses together, the shopping district people friendly enough to give them freebies when they smile (I guess it’s a plus point when you have cute girls). Yuuta gets an annoying call from Sako and this time he hears Hina’s voice and becomes ecstatic. Slam the phone down before anything weird happens! Upon entering their old home, the electricity and water are still running (the other Takanashi members are taking care of it from time to time). Yuuta is made to stay with Hina downstairs and to play with her while the Sora and Miu handle their ‘important’ stuff upstairs. Meanwhile Sako has tied Nimura upside down in his club and is interrogating him that he knows more about Yuuta than he shows. Yeah, the sicko uses his sick ability to sketch an exact image of Hina by just remembering her angelic voice. He is going to find them! F*ck no! Sora and Miu are done packing their bags filled with clothes. So I guess that’s where Yuuta comes in. To carry it for them. Too heavy bringing it down that Sora trips and all her clothes scatter. He accidentally touches one of her panties and gets double slap. Wow. His face is really swollen. They have their dinner, bath and stay over for the night. Yuuta thought he is going to be sleeping alone. But I guess I saw it coming that the girls had the same idea of wanting to sleep together with him. Miu notices something must have happened since Sora has started calling Yuuta onii-chan. But she dismisses anything of that sort. The next morning, they depart and Yuuta gives Sora the important photo of her family that she forgot. No matter how small his room is or how heavy her bag is, she should take the things she wants. Hina mentions her wish will come true if she takes care of this bunny stuffed doll (as mommy said) so Yuuta says if she’s smiling, he’ll be happy. She’ll do just that.

Episode 7
Yoshiko pays Yuuta a visit in his room while the girls are out. She is impressed he has managed well so far and will see how things go for a little longer. However she cautions things will get difficult once his classes start. At university, another poor acting by Raika in a miko priestess outfit but Yuuta ends up in a shallow pit trap by Sako. Seems Sako wants to meet his niece and with Raika asking if they’re cute, he has no choice but to invite them over for dinner. Sora puts up a tough act in front of Raika but she finds her totally cute. Sako dresses up as a gentleman and has roses for Miu and is over the moon to see the lolis. However he isn’t happy to see 14 year old Sora and calls her ‘grandma’. WTF?! A 14 year old isn’t loli enough for him?! Raika, your cue to whack him. Another cue when he wants his angels to feed him. Yuuta accompanies Raika back and she notes it’s good for him to change. However she wishes for him to turn up at the club from time to time as it sometimes get lonely. Who? Sako. Geez. Oh, she too. She offers to help him out and he hopes she could teach him how to cook. So one day Raika turns up for her coaching and since Sora wants to join in, Miu tells Hina it’s not a game they’re playing, but a ‘battlefield’. And it’s not Sora’s stomach that’s hurt, but her heart. Oh, Miu… Sora can tell she is no match for Raika and tries to ask more about Yuuta from her. He is a fascinating observation subject to her. Seriously? Sora trips and messes the place. Cue for bath time and for Sora and Raika to bond. Sora asks how she got ‘them’ so big. Well, she didn’t do anything and if she had to pick one, she just loved what’s cute. Raika’s staring causes Sora to laugh and it’s good because it’s the first time she has seen her done so. Raika hugs her and soon the already cramped bath tub becomes even cramped with Miu and Hina jumping in. If those lolis were busty, I don’t think they would even have any space. Haha! Just kidding. Yuuta thinks of getting commuter passes for Sora and Miu but they think of skipping school to take care of Hina if they can’t find her a day-care. Yuuta says he’ll do that but what about studies or work? He considers taking fewer subjects and could ask Raika for help when he’s at work. Suddenly the landlord, Sawako Midorikawa knocks on his door and demands to speak to him. She has been observing him for the past few days and thought his nieces were relatives paying a visit. Now that they’re permanently staying and since this violates his rental contract, she gives him a month to leave. B*tch! Don’t add to their misery!

Episode 8
Sawako doesn’t care about the circumstances since his room is only meant for one. Yuuta knows that too but brought them in anyway. She has nothing else to say in this matter anymore. Sawako doesn’t believe a student would do a better job in raising kids and adults would do a better job. Yuuta meets Raika and tells her the problem he is facing now and blames himself for not thinking things through. Raika says if it comes down to this, she’ll take Sora and the rest in. Yuuta starts fantasizing a wonderful family life with her. Too bad he said it all aloud. Must be his stress. And Raika had noted it all down! Good observation subject. Raika will ask Sako to search for new places since he has connections. No kidding on Yuuta’s worries. It’s causing him to lose focus on his job. It’s just straining him to think about getting more jobs to support the girls. The RORI members go house hunting but Sako isn’t happy Sora the grandma is tagging along instead of the angels. Where’s the harisen? They survey several places but it’s either too expensive or well, haunted. In worst case scenario, Sako is willing to bring Miu and Hina under his care! Don’t ever let that happen! Sawako is reprimanding Atarashi on violating her contract agreement for paying her rent late. Innocent Hina waltzes in between noting Atarashi is getting yelled at. Sawako sees the cuteness in Hina and lets Atarashi off with a warning. But when Hina wishes the ‘aunty’ goodbye, Sawako tells her off she is not that old and is only 29 years old. Oh dear. She made Hina cry! Everyone freezes not knowing what to do! So pitiful Hina’s cries were that she messed up her clothes and Sawako’s with her ice cream. Sawako bathes with Hina. Miu hopes she would forgive Yuuta if they leave. Sawako believes that she was acting out of concern for them for she fears Yuuta hasn’t the proper allowance to raise them and might abandon them. Miu believes Yuuta will never do that. The house hunt ends up with nothing but Yuuta is glad to know what to do now because he has always been trying to do things by himself and thanks them. He and Sora decides to go see the landlady. The real landlady turns out to be Sawako’s mother as she reprimands her daughter for making such rash decisions and being inflexible. Yuuta begs to push back the date till he at least finds a place to stay. However Sawako will let him off this time and rewrites the contract to have additional 3 tenants. But if the next time they cause problems, she’ll take Hina in. She really likes her, doesn’t she? Yuuta manages to find a day-care for Hina and gives the train commuter passes to Sora and Miu for them to commute to school.

Episode 9
An episode focused on Miu, first we see the girls having a tough time commuting to school and have to tussle with the morning hour rush crowd. Yeah, it took them 1.5 hours to get to school. Most of her friends notice a change in her character. Her shoes are dirty (from the trampling in the train crowd) and for someone who always dressed perfectly didn’t mind. She now eats eggplants that she once used to hate (because it’s expensive). They think she must be having a tough time dealing with her parents’ death. After school, Miu decides to hang out by herself for a while and meets Nimura. I believe he has good faith when he wants to ‘date’ her. Not because he’s tired of his university girls and turned into a lolicon. He takes her to the aquarium and then for lunch at a cafe. They talk about Yuuta’s hectic life when other people mistakenly note the cute siblings they are. They play along and agree that they are the best looking couple in this diner after all. Nimura continues to take her shopping for clothes, shoes (I guess she was just joking about wanting that pair of expensive Cinderella glass slippers), some photo shoot and finally up the tower of an observation deck. Nimura worried when he thought he saw her crying after getting nostalgic pointing out her old home. But it was just the yawn to adjust the pressure in her ear (really?). Miu explains she doesn’t like people being too worried about her but Nimura says it’s their way of being considerate. She notes he understands a woman’s heart and the reason why he’s popular with them. However she outright rejects him since he is not her type. She hopes Yuuta could learn something from Nimura. She thanks Nimura for taking her out today and will go home by herself since Cinderella doesn’t want anyone to see her after her magic is gone.

Episode 10
Now it’s Sora’s turn for an episode on her. Just like the rest, she is affected by the change in her new life. So much so she has a hard time coping with her choir club. Because the club is gunning for victory in a competition, Sora fears she won’t have time to do housework so she hands in her resignation letter to the club president. She is reluctant to let her go as she knows Sora loves to sing but since Sora is burdened with other tasks, she has no choice. One night Yuuta returns home to see Atarashi sitting on the stairs drunk. Seems she will be quitting her voice acting job. He tells this to the girls and Sora couldn’t believe it because Atarashi loved her job very much. This causes Sora to space out and think about her own predicament. She meets Atarashi at the laundry and asks her straight if she’s going to quit. But she explains she didn’t get any parts this month so technically she’s got no job (from what I understand, her villainous character was killed off in Luna Luna 7). And she made a promise to her parents if she hasn’t got any job, she has to return to her parents at the countryside. Sora realizes herself a hypocrite when she questions Atarashi if she really wants to quit since she started it because she loves her job. Sora sits along on a playground swing with pretty much everything else weighing on her mind. Till Raika pops up. Sora forces herself to put on a cheery face and dismiss that she has problems so Raika puts her face in her bosoms. At least this is what she read on how to make a girl feel better. Raika notes her kindness because she doesn’t want her to worry but on the contrary, Raika wants to worry about her. They go back and cook for the rest and though Sora is still not confident about her cooking, Raika explains that everyone’s happy when she’s making good food for them. Sora and Yuuta go out to buy some stuff that night and she laments she’s been causing everyone trouble. Yuuta says he used to think like that and wanted to avoid causing everyone problems and do everything himself. But he realized relying on others isn’t such a bad thing and that is what it means to be a family. Thus Sora expresses her with to rely on him more. Sora soon asks for her club president to return her resignation letter. Fortunately she has kept it and was thinking of a way to bring her back to the club but now that she’s came back on her home, I guess this solves everything. Sora is happy but with things the way they are now, she can’t come to the club often. She hopes she can come back here once she can sing. Of course she can. On her way back, she meets Atarashi who tells her she got a minor role in an anime. Thanks to her words, she remembers how much she loves voice acting. Sora is now able to make delicious omelettes for her family.

Episode 11
Sora has this dream that she marries Yuuta. I think in reality she really wants that too. Then she opens her eyes and finds herself nearly kissing Yuuta in his sleep! Phew! That was too close and dangerous! Sora walks back with Raika from an errand. Raika lets her know that Yuuta is happy now as a father. That’s why she wants to be their mother because the 3 of them are the cutest things ever. Sora dreams of another married life with Yuuta (she’s got big boobs now?!) but she might be just desperate because she’s sleep talking in the middle of class! How embarrassing. Then another dream of wanting to introducing Yuuta her husband to her parents but Yuuta is not by her side so they want her to go with him and look for something he’s forgotten. And then driving along in his red convertible sports car, probably the thing he has forgotten was Miu and Hina. And in another scene in the car, it seems Yuuta is speeding up and driving off a cliff. When Sora looks back, Yuuta is missing from the driver’s seat! Oh sh*t! Back to reality, Yuuta comes home to find his place cleaned up. Who could it be? Oh, it’s Yoshiko. Meanwhile Sora gets a call from the day-care that Hina is sick and they can’t get a hold of Yuuta (his handphone is out of battery). So Sora and Miu skip class and rush to bring Hina back. Once the girls return, Yoshiko could immediately spot what is wrong with Hina and like the pro mother she is, tells the kids what to do. She hopes this has opened Yuuta eyes on what he’s facing and to consider about the letter. That night when Yuuta and Sora can’t sleep, they talk about what happened recently. Yoshiko visited and cleaned up the place since she couldn’t stand the mess. He got reprimanded when he’s not going to classes properly and the note about Hina’s day-care upcoming performance he forgot. Yoshiko could also tell Sora hasn’t been going to her club activities and Miu visiting the infirmary quite often. A parent should at least notice this kind of things. So when Hina broke into a fever, that was the last straw even though it wasn’t his fault that his handphone was out. But he feels he should have at least kept it fully charged in case of such emergencies. One morning when everybody went out, Sora finds a letter in Yuuta’s notebook that Yoshiko mentioned. It’s a letter from Nobuyoshi. He has heard about Yuuta and the girls via Yoshiko. He felt he said some harsh things and made some harsh decisions then at the funeral and thinks the girls hate him. However he has finally prepared for this responsibility and has talked with her and the other relatives that he is willing to take all 3 of the girls under his wing. For he believes Yuuta should be free to pursue his happiness as Yuri had wanted instead of sacrificing himself for the girls. That night as they eat dinner, happy Hina once again unknowingly brings up this topic. She is going to put up a great performance she worked hard on and show it to her mommy and daddy. Then they’ll come back.

Episode 12
Now the tough part is to tell Hina her parents aren’t coming back. Will she understand it or not. Sora says she’ll do it. But seeing her cheery innocence is getting harder and harder, isn’t it? Then she just drops the bombshell. Daddy and mommy won’t be coming back. In that case, Hina will go to see them. She can’t do that too. She just can’t see them. Hina couldn’t understand and throws a tantrum she wants to see them because she practised her singing and dancing so hard. Sora sits alone at the swing when Nimura comes by. He has heard it from Yuuta but that guy too is somewhat depressed. When he talked to Raika about it, Raika harshly agreed to his comment that he can’t be their father. Sora and Miu walk home with Hina one rainy day but it seems Hina is being her cheery self. Did she forget? Rather, she decided not to cry anymore because if she cries, she’ll make her sisters cry too. That night Sora thinks about the contents of the letter in which Yuuta is given till the end of the month to reply. Since Yuuta leaves early next morning, Hina suspects he will visit his uncle and follows him. To her surprise, Yuuta visits Yuri’s grave. He ‘apologizes and talks’ to his sister that he has been thinking and that there is no other choice. Before he could finish his sentence, Sora jumps the gun and pleads to him she wants to stay with him. Even if Nobuyoshi takes all 3 of them in, she prefers that all 4 of them be together. That’s good because that is what Yuuta had in mind too. He was just sad that he couldn’t be their real dad (seriously?). He’ll do everything he can to protect them. Sora is so happy that she is brought to tears. Nobuyoshi and Yoshiko have seen everything. Realizing the strong bond they share, they decide to let them stay together. Yuuta asks why Yoshiko had let him do as he pleased then. It was her way to atone her sins. When Yuuta and Yuri’s parents died 15 years ago, she felt the same way he did but didn’t have the courage to take them in. Though they note Hina will be a tough one to handle, Yuuta says not giving up is what he is good at.

Yuuta and Sora walk back and he tells her the first time Yuri came to his parent-teacher open house. It was embarrassing the way she introduced herself as Yuuta’s father-mother-brother-sister-grandpa-grandma all-in-one. But after that all his friends were talking how cool she was. Yuuta goes back to RORI club to thank Raika. Because of what she said, it made him think. Now he understands why he couldn’t be their father. He is their father! Geddit? And now, he asks Raika to be his wife. EEEEHHHHH???!!! Oh, Sora. How are you feeling now? But not his real wife if that’s what he meant. Just to pretend to be his wife for the day to see Hina’s day care performance. Everyone they know from the shopping district to their landlord, uncle, aunty, Atarashi, Nimura and (unfortunately annoying) Sako are here to give Hina their support. Hina’s friends are amazed at the numerous fathers and mothers she has! Sora isn’t pleased that Raika got to be Yuuta’s ‘wife’ for the day so cheeky Miu pushes Sora into Yuuta’s arm. I guess it made her day. Yuuta narrates he feels better seeing Hina smile and the odd thing about being a family is that it can still remain as one whether it’s just 2 people, separated or not blood related. He is going to protect this happiness. Yuuta comes back late one night and to his surprise the girls throw him a surprise thank you party. However it’s off to a shaky start because Sora wants to change, Miu needs to go to the toilet, Hina can’t wait to eat the cake and Yuuta gets locked outside the balcony. “Will you listen to what your father say!”. Lastly, Yuuta gets permission from Nobuyoshi and Yoshiko to move back into Yuri and Shingo’s house. More spacious and feels like home, eh?

OVA
Lucky Hina wins a first prize trip for an overnight stay at the family leisure park hotsprings. As usual, Sora wants to get closer to Yuuta and desperate enough to put pads in her swimsuit. Doesn’t it make her boobs look a little bigger? Heck, not that Yuuta notices! Probably he needs another earful from Miu about delicacy because he didn’t comment on her swimsuit. So Sora ends up covering herself with a shirt because as Miu puts it, wants him to be the first to see her swimsuit. But it’s going to take a while because Raika is there. And Nimura. And oh God no, Sako. That lolicon pervert accuses Yuuta of wanting to grab his angels for himself and all those filthy sick things only a lolicon like him can conjure. Raika, it’s your cue for your harisen. Over the next few scenes, Sora notices Raika staring intensely at Yuuta playing with Hina. Could it be she really likes Yuuta? Till Raika wants to join them in riding the tube that Sora doesn’t want to lose out, lose her shirt and joins them. Well, the slide was fun. But it gave visitors an unexpected fanservice when Raika’s top slip off! Oh, and Sora’s pad too. Yuuta doesn’t even know what this ‘cushion’ is! Another earful from Miu about delicacy in line? Later Sora eavesdrops on Raika talking to Sako. He concludes she is in love and suggests a famous tourist spot called Lover’s Cape. Legend has it when couples ring the bell together, they’ll forever be united. Raika is going to make her move tonight. Sora is disheartened and Nimura can tell what’s wrong with her. Yuuta is surprised that Raika is going to sleep in the same room with Nimura and Sako and suggests she sleeps here in his futon. Sora jumps the gun and thinks they’re going to share the same futon together and gives them a piece of her mind. Actually what he meant was she sleep in his futon and he sleeps with the guys. See Miu smirking at Sora…

So the girls take a dip in the hotsprings. Sora doesn’t want to sit close to Raika. Hina and Miu are having fun with her. Hina squishes Raika’s boobs. Raika allows Sora to do the same but scoffs off that she is not a kid. Miu teases her about her pads so Sora tries to get Miu but slips and falls face first into Raika’s boobs. Now that’s what you call Faceboob! Raika finds them all cute and wants to be their mother. As long as Yuuta is with them. But if she really becomes that, it’ll ruin Sora’s chance of you-know-what. That night Sora sees Raika leaving her bed and follows her. Her suspicions were correct when Raika enters the room where Yuuta is sleeping and eavesdrop. Let your fantasies go wild! Anyway Yuuta gets a surprise wake-up to see Raika trying to seduce him in sexy positions. Sako and Nimura are missing. Well, Raika had them leave. Oh. She wants Yuuta to do as he pleases. Since he doesn’t really hate the way she looks (who would dislike looking at the body of this busty girl? Unless you’re a flat chest lover), now it’s his turn to please her because she’s in love for the first time and needs his help. Gulp. She explains to him about Lover’s Cape. Nimura catches Sora eavesdropping and ends the act by opening the door. Sako pops out from the closet not happy Nimura has ruined everything. Seems this was a setup to make Yuuta cajole his angels to follow them to Lover’s Cape and ring the bell. So yeah. Raika wants to ring the bell with Hina. Relieved or disappointed? So everybody rings the bell and pray that they’ll forever stay together. For Sora, it may didn’t go as planned but this has been a fun and memorable family trip. I guess there’ll always be another time and many more chance for her, eh?

Papa, The Girls Love You!
It’s always nice and heart-warming to see a family getting to stay together in the end. If it ended with them being separated, I’m sure it’ll leave a bitter taste in many viewers including yours truly. At least in the aspect of anime. We all want a happy ending, right? As for life, it may be a different story. That’s why sometimes when I think about it if the producers pulled off a crazy shocking ending to separate them, I would have come to a conclusion that eventually time will heal their wounded hearts. I mean, not to say that the girls have gotten over their parents death by with Yuuta around, they think less of them (in a good sense, that is) and don’t wallow in sorrow for the rest of their lives which may lead to future trauma. So in the scenario that Yuuta and the girls were separated, it might be painful at first but as time passes, they’ll get used to the new environment, carry on with their lives and once they grow up, they’ll understand and see things better. Provided if it turned out that way but since it didn’t, I’m just glad Yuuta gets to be their father. He may not be their real biological father and a substitute father, but to the girls he is their father and more than just an uncle. “More than an uncle” for Sora. Yeah…

Whether Yuuta breaks or makes it in his life is another different matter altogether. I can see and feel the hard time he is going through and sometimes wonder if he could really pull it off. Not to say that I have the same experience but when I was in college, I was already having a tough time just trying to study for my exams alone! So for Yuuta who has to learn to grow up suddenly overnight to pull off taking his university classes, taking care of his family and taking up part time jobs for financial support, it’s an incredible feat and I really salute and give my hats off to him. Call me pessimistic but if I were in his shoes, I won’t be able to do all that. Hey, at least I know my capabilities and limits. But Yuuta isn’t going through all these by himself as he has the support of his friends and the friendly neighbourhood (no, not Spiderman) in the form of the shopping district. Yeah, those freebies to Hina are a great help. It pays to have a cute little girl on your side, eh? Yuuta maybe just needs to learn to be a little more delicate when handling girls. He’s not just a university guy now. He’s a father so he has to take notice of such things. Accepting them was easy. Taking care of them may be a little tough but the hardest part is, can he let them go? When they’re all grown up and ready to leave the nest, can he ‘release’ them? It’s that heartbreaking moment that every parent has to face but we’ll leave that for another time and story. Let’s not get ahead and be too judgmental if Yuuta can handle it or not. Let him and the rest take it slowly one step at the time. After all, what is there to rush in growing up?

Thankfully the girls themselves do not give much trouble in the sense that you can be assured that they won’t turn into delinquents or stray to the wrong path. They just need a little more parental love. In short, Sora was just a tsundere, Miu the cheeky one and Hina the innocent little toddler. I guess when you’re at that age like Sora, girls should experience an early change in their hormones so it’s no surprise that she is in a dilemma about her feelings about her uncle. Technically they aren’t blood related so it’s okay for them to get married, right? Well, if she manages to get that far. So with her confused feelings, it’s no wonder Miu loves to tease and watch her sister when it comes to such matters. Miu is such a lively and cheeky girl that she perhaps has the best lines when it comes down to such scenes. Her friendly disposition is infectious and it’s easy to understand why everyone gets along with her. Of course the star would be Hina seeing she’s the cute little toddler that will warm your heart each time she opens her mouth or just do something. Even a cold-hearted Sawako fell into her ‘charms’. Although she is too young to understand about her parents’ death and it’s understandable that the rest doesn’t want to lie and keep hiding this fact from her, I suppose it’s better that they have all smiles rather than frowns. Be happy in the present and not drown in the past. I mean, it’s like how do you explain to a kid about God in a world filled with crime an injustice?

Raika is an odd and amusing person. Because of her expressionless face and her monotonous tone, you can never know what she is thinking. All we know is that she finds Yuuta’s nieces cute and really wants to be their mother. It’s not really clear if she does have feelings for Yuuta because she doesn’t really obviously display them. After all, she did say Yuuta is her favourite observation subject. Observe what? I don’t know. His reactions to her unconvincing acting? I’m sure she’s got a lot of ‘data’ on that by now. And I’m pretty sure that she’s not just sticking around Yuuta just to be close to the girls. I mean, that’s true too but she’s not using him as a stepping stone. Well, if the ‘battle’ over Yuuta ever gets intense, I’m sure Miu would love to stick around see the ‘fireworks’. I’m pretty certain she’ll say that too :). Busty babe versus flat chest loli. Well, if Yuuta ever gets wind of this. I’m sure Yuuta is too busy thinking to provide for the girl than for any romance with Raika. Hey, she did hear his dreams to have a married life with her, right? Nimura may be a typical lady killer, going out with other girls but he’s a nice and handy guy to have around. At least he targets girls his age (I feel that outing with Miu isn’t considered a date to woo her) and isn’t as perverted as that lolicon Sako. I wonder what will be his reaction when Miu and Hina grow up a few years later. Will he abandon them? I guess this is why Yuuta won’t trust this guy to handle his nieces. That’s the difference between a father and a lolicon. It’s also amusing to see this running gag of Raika hitting Sako with her harisen. It sometimes feels like an S&M play the way she smacks and spanks his butt with it. I’m not sure whether he is enjoying it or not. Sawako isn’t such too bad herself if she loosens up and smiles more. Maybe she just needs more Hina to brighten her day. If everyone adheres to rules strictly (that’s why rules were made, right?), it might caused problems for genuine people like Yuuta. After all, rules were made to be broken the first place too, right? Bending a little doesn’t hurt just like telling a white lie. Nobuyoshi and Yoshiko were worried about Yuuta and just wanted the best of him. Now that they have seen him with their own eyes, they’re ready to let him take the responsibility like a real man. I felt Atarashi’s role to not have a major impact in this series. Yes she’s a side character but besides being a voice actress of a popular kids’ anime and Yuuta’s neighbour, she doesn’t really stand out except for that Sora-focused episode.

I couldn’t say about the fanservice and if it was, it was intended for lolicons. I mean, even the opening credits animation, you’d get a glimpse of Sora, Miu and Hina sleeping in their negligee. Feels a bit suggestive. Then throughout the series you’d see them in their sleeping pyjamas, Sora bad-timing in changing her clothes and some bathroom scenes and like I said you’d find these a turn on if you’re a lolicon. For those who aren’t, there is always Raika. However this show focuses on the little ones so don’t expect to see too much of Raika time. To say that this is a harem anime isn’t exactly wrong because in a way, there are a few lovely girls hanging around a main guy, right? Though there are some depressing bits in the series, these are liven up with some cute (duh!) and funny moments. The funniest one (or scary, depends on how you look at it) still has to be that strawberry daifuku factory. That short scene has got to be a laugh riot. Now I’m starting to believe that those cute little colourful vitamin pills for children are being made by such elderly macho men! That’s true horror! As the drawing and art makes the girls cute and exuding with ultimate moe, but I can’t help notice the pink blemish over their cheeks and sometimes certain parts of their bodies. I don’t know. It makes it feel like as though they look like dolls and gives me an impression that their bodies are really smooth and shiny. Resisting urge… To touch…And feel…

Eri Kitamura does her usual style with cheeky lolis as Miu. Sometimes she reminds me of her other role as Rin in Kodomo No Jikan. Just not as horny. At first I thought they used an authentic young little girl to voice Hina but something kept bugging in my heart that she’s a grownup making such a kiddie voice. True enough, Hiromi Igarashi did a very good job in making Hina sound like a 3 year old with her character mispronouncing certain words like a baby kid. She was the voice of Aoi in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama and Yuuka in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu. Yui Horie as Raika surprisingly did well in making Raika sound emotionless but yet so funny when she tries to put in some emotion into her fake acting. She sounds a bit like her other role as Masako in Mawaru Penguindrum but more flat and monotonous in this one. I thought Sako sounded a bit too old as a university student (if he is a ronin, that’s a different story) like as though he has got something stuck in his throat but I guess I got used to this perverted lolicon. He is voiced by Junji Majima which I believe have never heard him putting up such ‘grandpa’ voice since I usually hear him as high school student roles like Ryuuji of Toradora, Kinji of Hidan No Aria and Shin of Memories Off series. Daisuke Ono as Nimura once more does his best in using his charming gentleman voice for charming gentleman characters like Sebastian of Kuroshitsuji and Koizumi of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu.

The other casts include Wataru Hatano as Yuuta (Gajeel in Fairy Tail, Yuuto in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu), newbie Sumire Uesaka as Sora (Yoshiaki Mogami in Sengoku Collection is her only other role at this point), another newbie seiyuu Sakura Nakamura as Atarashi (hope she gets more roles than her minor unimportant extra character roles in Mayo Chiki and Cube x Cursed x Curious), Rina Satou as Sawako (Kaoru in Amagami SS), Kyoko Hikami as Yoshiko (Urara in Sakura Diaries, Rabien Rose in Di Gi Charat), Sayaka Ohara as Yuri (Alicia in Aria The Animation) and Nobuo Tobita as Shingo (Domon in Flame of Recca). The opening theme by Eri Kitamura is called Happy Girl and sounds like your typical anime pop with her trademark style. The song is catchy in the sense that it is filled with lots of synthesizer sound effects and at certain points her voice is computerized. But the ending theme is even cuter and catchier. Coloring by Yui Horie is filled with that short little cute synthesizer bursts that it makes you feel like getting up from your chair and do a little robotic dance. Really. However those synthesizer beeps are too overwhelming that I can’t really hear what Yui Horie is singing till they are toned down during the chorus. Also, her voice is computerized to give off that cute effect.

I’m not really sure if blood is thicker than water here. Though it is true that this anime is trying to preach to us about the importance of a family staying together, but at the same time it is not necessary to be blood related to have a family. All you need is lots of love and support from each other. That is what counts to be a family. It doesn’t matter if your house is small and cramp, but if you’re a happy family, you’ll never feel lonely. This anime also teaches us about taking responsibility. Once you’ve taken up this ‘job’, there is no turning back. Abandoning and dumping everything halfway is just immature and too cruel. Caring for a family isn’t an easy job and it is the kind of work that is 24/7, 365 days a year and without any rest days. But the benefits are of course substantial and worth the toil and sweat you put in. I may not have experienced it myself but after seeing lots of shows like this, I can say that it’s something that is rewarding. Of course no life is without its obstacles but that is only minor once you’ve overcome them. Thus for Yuuta, he takes on several part time jobs to cover for their living expenses but he can never retire from his job of being their father. It may not be in monetary terms he’ll be compensated but the happiness and well-being of his nieces. Unless he kicks the buc-… Oops! Touch wood! Hope that never happens though I get this sinking feeling it’s a ‘family tradition’ to die young. Also teaching us is that we shouldn’t rely solely on ourselves to take care of everything. We aren’t superhuman so by doing everything by ourselves so as not to bother others will only tire ourselves out and in the end make it worse.

So if you are ever faced with the dilemma of taking care of someone else’s child due to some unprecedented tragedy, if you choose to be like Yuuta, then be prepared to kiss your freedom life away. I know this sounds unkind to what I’ve been saying so far but it serves as a warning that if you’re not up to task, then it is better for you to just walk away rather than have everyone including yourself suffer and regret later on. Which is what we see so much in today’s life. Next question: If a child ever starts asking about the birds and bees, don’t go saying that they are made by macho men in a factory line! This isn’t about ruining dreams. This is trauma!

Usagi Drop

July 21, 2012

Every family has their own skeletons in the closet. Other than reunion gatherings during the lunar New Year, I guess the only other time when most of the family members will gather is when one of them passes away. Now, what would you do if you found out that one of your family members had an illegitimate child out of wedlock? Shocking, eh? Are you going to take care of this lonely child or abandon this innocent little soul? The choice is yours to make. If you choose the former, then continue on and go ahead to watch Usagi Drop. Even if you do not fit into this criterion but is a single parent or a young parent just starting a family and having a few new additions to the family, I’m sure this sure will inspire you. I’m not saying this series is a solution to fix those age-old problems, but you’ll be motivated to carry on and do what is best for your child.

Basically, in this series we have the main protagonist, Daikichi Kawachi. He is already at the ripe old age of 30 years old. Still a bachelor. Still single. I suppose in today’s hectic life, people like him (and yours truly) are so busy about their own lives that they don’t have time to sit down and think about marriage and raising a family. But all that changes when he finds out his grandpa had a young child that nobody knew and since his demise, with nobody else looking after that kid, Daikichi takes it upon himself to look after her as his own child. Can a man just change his priority just like that in life? Well, like I said, this show is quite inspiring in that sense. So we see how the relationship between both of them blossom that they look like a genuine family unit. It’s good for the grownup because it opens his eyes to a wonderful world he has never known. It is good for the child because there will be less one lonely abandoned kid bumming in the streets resorting to crime.

Episode 1
Daikichi Kawachi’s grandpa, Souichi had just passed away. As he returns to his mom’s house where the funeral is held, he spots a quiet girl in the garden, Rin Kaga. She runs away. Talking to his mom who that girl is, she lets him know Rin is grandpa’s illegitimate child! Holy sh*t! Souichi is 79 years old when he passed away! How the?! What the?! Daikichi could even joke that this means Rin is mom’s sister and his aunt! Bad timing for jokes dude. Anyway his lover abandoned everything and ran away so looks like this kid has nowhere to go. So as all the other family members gather, Daikichi observes Rin doing her own thing around the house. Nobody else talks to her. Reina (the daughter of Daikichi’s cousin, Haruko) is being noisy and hyperactive, not fully understanding the impact of her surroundings. Well Reina did ‘interact’ with Rin and that’s just to steal her Cat’s Cradle and show it off to the grownups. Then the guys stare at Daikichi. Yeah, he looks like Souichi when he was younger. Daikichi takes over watching the incense that night and notices Rin trying to stay awake and keep watch. He lets her sleep on his lap. Next day, Reina continues to throw a fuss when Haruko tries preventing her from throwing chrysanthemums as she wishes to make a flowerbed over grandpa. Daikichi calls Rin over to say her goodbye to grandpa. But she refuses and jumps out of the house. She plucks a few bellflowers to put it in grandpa’s coffin. Daikichi knows these are grandpa’s favourite flowers. Rin asks if grandpa is going to wake up again and Daikichi replies he isn’t. Then Rin starts crying. Next day as everyone is talking about who to take responsibility of Rin, Reina complains to Daikichi (she pummels him with her stuffed doll?!) that Rin ‘cannot talk’ and is boring. Of course Daikichi disagrees. To shoo her away, he gives her all his candies. So back to the serious talk, Daikichi thought his mom should do the job but she instantly disagrees, giving reasons of how hard it is to raise a child and the sacrifices she made all over her years. In short, everyone has their own reasons why they don’t want to take Rin in. Till one of them suggests to put her in a facility did Daikichi stomp his foot down. Then he calls out to Rin and asks if she wants to come home with him, shocking everyone. Instantly Rin comes rushing into his arms. And so, now Daikichi takes on the responsibility of a 6 years old girl. She wakes this old guy up because he is hungry. But Daikichi didn’t like being called that. Because she is her aunt!!! A growing girl like her needs more food but all Daikichi has is rice. So how? Rin makes onigiri with rice and salt and it was simply delicious. Poor but happy as a family, right?

Episode 2
Daikichi brings Rin to buy clothes and other necessities. Then he realized that tomorrow is Monday and he has to start thinking of nursery school. I guess he bought a lot of stuffs, eh? Back home, he calls Haruko for advice on how to enrol someone in nursery school. Haruko can’t help much because that bratty Reina is bugging her to let her talk to Rin! I really want to say STFU to that girl. Reina gets to talk with Rin as Daikichi looks up the internet. I wonder if Rin is ‘controlling’ Daikichi’s life because she’s like teaching him a two about saying grace for breakfast and not putting his elbows on the tables as bad manners. Daikichi has work too so it is no surprise he rushes as fast as he can to the nursery school. Because Rin had that sad look on her face, he makes a promise that he’ll definitely come back for her. He rushes back to work across town and ponders he never thought of her feelings and that her mom’s position and grandpa’s lifespan aren’t under her control. Yet the sad fact was that she was left all alone. Daikichi catches the train and his panting is so hard that the woman next to him thought he is some kind of pervert! Daikichi is swamped with work and with meetings late in the day and working overtime, Rin is feeling that Daikichi may not turn up at all. All the other kids have left. So much so the nursery had to call and remind him. Once he manages to leave office, he makes another mad dash. Never thought it was THIS far, eh? The nursery lady was kind enough to wait with Rin till Daikichi arrives. Though Rin is happy, she acts up and gives him some paper burdocks she made for him as punishment. Daikichi eats them as a sign he haven’t forgotten about that needle-swallowing-promise, returning Rin to be her happy self. The process of Rin waking him up in the morning, sending her off and rushing back to work and coming back late at night becomes a ritual. He might even be slipping up at work. On another night walking home, Rin is feeling sleepy so Daikichi carries her on his back and sprints home. Isn’t that going to make him tired? But Rin is happy as she gets to see a different view from a higher perspective. Back home, Daikichi goes through all the documents that mom gave him before he took Rin in. One of them includes the maternity record book. He notes how the relatives talk like as though Rin is a horrible villain when the real one is supposed to be Masako Yoshii, Souichi’s lover and Rin’s mother. Next morning Daikichi wakes up and thought he had wet his own bed! Well, Rin may have crawled over to his side before returning to hers. She asserts it is sweat. Though Daikichi believes her, somehow she isn’t convinced…

Episode 2.5
These short 5 minute specials come with the DVD and there are 4 of them. Since I watched this series in chronological order, don’t be surprised to find a special episode sandwiched in between. For this first one, Rin uses coloured leaves with crayons to make her own marine life. Seeing how she is so into it, Daikichi buys her a book on fish but the way she could identify some of them made him think she just wants to eat them. They collect more leaves and Rin didn’t want Daikichi cheating by cutting them. However he makes an excuse that this is what you called adult intelligence. Can’t argue with that, can’t we? Then the leaves start to get all wrinkly and the acorns filled with holes due to bugs. He calls Haruko for advice. I’m not sure what they did for the acorns (the holes are gone!) but for the leaves, they are kept in their crisped form with books pressing over them. In the end, Rin compiles a magnificent album of underwater life called Aquarium of Leaves. Man, that’s creative work.

Episode 3
Rin didn’t like an educational programme about bacteria. This prompts her to ask if she will die too. He cheers her up by lifting her but the low roof means Rin got her head bumped on the ceiling. Oops. At work, Daikichi talks to colleague Gotou about children. She’s the best person for it because when she got pregnant, she asked for a demotion so she could go home at regular times. So the thing he discussed with her is about kids wetting their bed. No problem. Just make them go to the toilet before bedtime. Daikichi’s mom called up to check on them. He plans to bring Rin over this weekend and also to search for clues on Rin’s mother. Rin remains quiet and sticking to Daikichi like a leech at mom’s place. Yeah, she even wanted to follow him to the toilet. Daikichi’s other sister, Kazumi couldn’t believe he really took her in. So when they talk why Rin is being introverted, Daikichi explains it is because they were uptight at the funeral. If adults are gloomy, kids tend to think they’re mad at them. Mommy could feel the truth in his words because she too went through that. Daikichi continues to tease Kazumi. She got so pissed that she threw an orange in his face! Mommy breaks the ice with Rin by playing Cat’s Cradle with her. Actually Rin is much better than her. Plus, mommy may like Rin because the little girl notes she doesn’t look old enough to be her grandma. Yeah, young at heart. Daikichi goes over to Souichi’s place and finds nothing important. Not even a will. But a modem catches his attention. He returns to see Rin sporting a new hairstyle (to match Reina) and wearing clothes from Kazumi’s younger days. Daikichi talks to his father as the latter lets him know that mommy used to work even after he was born. But when she was pregnant with Kazumi, she had to return to the hospital. By the time she was able to return to the company, they already found a replacement. Since Kazumi was tiny, mommy often had to take leave from work or come back early to look after the kids. Perhaps she was always giving Kazumi the priority, which led her to become arrogant like that. Daikichi and Rin leave and Rin whispers in his ear wondering if they can come back again. Of course they can. Mommy seems to have taken a liking for Rin since she wants a grandchild. That’s totally opposite when nobody first wanted to take her in, right? Maybe she’s someone else’s responsibility? But Kazumi isn’t too thrilled. She doesn’t want to raise a kid while working because she’ll lose her womanly charms. Has she even got a boyfriend first or not? On the train ride home, Daikichi asks if Souichi had a computer. She mentions the maid used it. Who is the maid? Masako. Rin didn’t like her much because she was always angry at her and the feeling is mutual with Masako. Thus she wanted to forget about her. Daikichi seeks more advice from Gotou about sacrificing for a kid and changing jobs. That night Daikichi spots Rin getting up going to the toilet herself. Looks like she wet the bed again. “No it’s sweat!”. He talks to her wondering if she had a bad dream. Suddenly one of the hardest questions that a child can pose to you: “What’s it like to die? Are you going to die before me?”. He assures her she will be alright till she becomes a lady or at least an aunty. Till then he promises he will not die. It must be his big hug that convinced her. As for wetting the bed, he says it’s nothing to get mad or laugh about and that it’s fine to use the toilet before going to bed. He’ll accompany her if she’s scared. Next day, Daikichi requests from his colleague Hidaka to transfer him to a department that requires less overtime work. After learning about his situation, he understands and will go talk to the chief. But his junior didn’t like it and wants to continue working as they are. Daikichi mentions about transferring of managers which is pretty normal and the department will eventually settle down when he’s not around and return to normal again. So life with Rin becomes less hectic as he no longer needs to rush her to nursery. Daikichi thought that stuffed doll was Rin’s dog. She points out it’s a rabbit. Oh, I wouldn’t have guessed…

Episode 3.5
The second of the specials, Daikichi wants to know what Rin wants for her Christmas present. And she better decide soon since Santa has to come from a faraway place. She wants another bunny so that this one will have a friend. Coming home from work and school, they decorate the tree and Rin writes a thank you note for Santa with cookies and a carrot to go by. Carrot? That’s for the reindeer. Reindeer eats carrot? Rin can’t sleep so Daikichi gets her to quickly go to dream land by saying Santa won’t come to those who aren’t asleep. “Quickly turn off the lights!”. Dead in the middle of the night, Daikichi tries to take and put Rin’s present by her side while she’s sleeping. Hope the creaky floor doesn’t give him away. Next morning, Rin is one happy girl because her bunny doll has got a new friend by its side.

Episode 4
Rin’s friends ask her about her mom since it is always her ‘dad’ that picks her up. But Rin corrects them her dad is her Souichi. Confused? So who is Daikichi? Can’t be her mom, right? Yeah, she doesn’t know him that well either. Kouki scolds her friends for asking weird questions and takes Rin away to play. Kouki doesn’t care if one needs a dad or not. This means he lives with his divorced mom. Do kids know what divorced means? To put it simply, when you stop getting married. Daikichi arrives to pick up Rin and at the same time Kouki’s mom, Yukari Nitani is there for the same. Hey, she’s quite pretty. Both families walk back together till the different paths part them. Rin wonders if her mom got a divorce and if she’s like Nitani, she would like to meet her. Daikichi enthusiastically agrees. I guess he likes her, eh? Daikichi gets an earful from mom when he deduces that Souichi’s maid is probably Rin’s mom. Nevertheless she finds out for him that Souichi hired her from an agency and is Masako herself. Daikichi’s colleagues invite him to a farewell party. He didn’t want to attend seeing he is now a changed man with new responsibilities. But Gotou pesters him to come because she will bring her child along so he can bring his too. I think it’s an excuse she just wants to drink. So Daikichi and Rin did turn up. But Rin is quite timid in front of the adults but gets along well with Gotou’s son, Yuu. Gotou loves Rin so much that she wants her to be her daughter! I think she’s drunk when she said that. Soon Daikichi and Nitani enrol their kids in a nearby elementary school. Though Daikichi knows nuts about anything, he gets by with Nitani’s help. She notes how Rin fully trusts him despite always talking back and won’t keep quiet at home. No matter how you look at it, they’re like a family. As Rin is sleeping, Daikichi goes through the maternity book again only to find a website. Thinking that is what the modem is about, he goes online to see a blog page by Souichi. I guess he had trouble typing with the keyboard and there are lots of typo errors. Seems he was trying to write something as a secret code away from Masako. Since he got tired of writing the blog, the next clue is in the maternity book. Flipping carefully through the pages, Daikichi sees a hidden letter underneath a page. Reading it, the note says whoever reads it must be one who cares for Rin very much. This letter gives an account on Masako, Rin’s mom. Firstly, Souichi would like to state that Masako is the kind that is easily misunderstood and not a bad person. She loves Rin very much to the extend she is willing to continue to be his maid and hide her existence from his other relatives. However she may not have the maturity to act as a parent and left. At the end of the note is Masako’s number. Daikichi is pondering whether to call her or not when Rin bugs him to help her tie her hair into rabbit ears because she wants to be cute since her friend said she wasn’t. I guess girls at her age are starting to think like a lady. So Daikichi didn’t do a good job. It’s messy an uneven but heck, Rin still likes it. Then off she goes to practice some performance for Parents’ Day, Daikichi notes that Rin has matured a lot mentally but there’s still a side that hasn’t matured yet and needs an adult to keep an eye on. He thinks if Masako abandoned Rin thinking she’d get over it soon enough since she didn’t like her to begin with, he’ll truly hate her. Daikichi buys a study desk for Rin and though it may look plain, at least she can use it till high school. Well, Daikichi convinced her to get a table that is more lady-like rather than kiddie. But when Rin shops for a perfume, Daikichi puts his foot down and it’s a big no! I guess some lady-like things will have to wait for much later. Late that night, Daikichi calls Masako and to his surprise, she picks up.

Episode 5
Daikichi finds Rin crying in her sleep. He thought of letting her sleep with him but she just took her bunny doll and went back to sleep. Huh? While on the way to his mom’s place, Daikichi remembers making an appointment to meet with Masako. Leaving Rin in mom’s care, he waits for Masako at the family restaurant. He wonders why a person who went to great lengths to hide her existence lived so nearby. Then he calls her. He is surprised to see her sitting behind him. She is surprised to see Souichi. Well, didn’t his relatives note how he looked so much like grandpa? After showing Rin’s photo, Masako puts away her work materials (seems to me she is a mangaka). Masako explains that work was a reason why she left Rin. Even when she was pregnant with Rin, she was determined not to think of her as her daughter. The kind of work she does isn’t something she can do while raising a kid. Souichi convinced her to keep the baby and when Rin came into this world, she saw how cute she was and loved her a lot. But she couldn’t handle juggling between work and as a mother though at times Souichi cared for her. Daikichi learns she often takes walks at night so he tells her Rin still cries at night because it’s scary for her to find no one is by her side in a situation like that. That’s why Souichi wanted her to be part of the family. Masako has no objections of Rin living with him despite the fact she was once in her tummy. She doesn’t even know how she should feel for Rin. On the way out, Masako wants Daikichi to use his surname for Rin so it won’t be so hard on her. I guess you’ll be treated differently when your surname is not the same as your guardian. As a guy, Daikichi doesn’t understand the importance seeing changing one’s name won’t be that easy and that Rin is only 6 years old. Masako says that as a woman, she doesn’t feel attached to her surname because it’ll change when she gets married. She lets him know the name Rin is from Souichi. But Daikichi wants to talk to Rin and get her opinion first. It’ll be cruel if he decides without seeking her view. Daikichi returns to his mom and she instantly labels Masako as the villain. Then on to the talk of changing Rin’s surname, mom instantly agrees. Her reasons are exactly the same as Masako. It’s like hearing a tape recorder… Daikichi then decides to adopt Rin and he means it. It’s not like he’s passing the baton to someone else. If it’s for Rin, he’ll do anything. Later Daikichi buys a children’s kitchen knife Rin wanted. They make curry (Daikichi is good because he’s been living alone for so long), take a bath together (nothing fishy going on) and brush teeth. Daikichi has a hard time trying to put it in words about him becoming her father and changing her surname to his. She doesn’t agree and prefers her name. Besides, grandpa is her dad and Daikichi is Daikichi. She likes him the way he is. Daikichi is overcome with tears but brushes it off as sweat. It’s not even summer… Daikichi attends Rin’s graduation ceremony at the nursery. Then he calls Masako to update her of what has happened. She continues eating her pudding while some guy who could be her boyfriend just watches her eat all that fatty stuff. She wouldn’t mind because she thinks she’s a bad person. Rin thought she has graduated and hugs are for babies but Daikichi says sometimes adults want to be hug too although he doesn’t know why. Since it’s okay, Rin hugs him and he assures her he’ll hold her in her arms no matter how old she is. Then she realizes and apologizes she should’ve hugged him when he cried then. She promises she’ll hug him the next time he cries. Daikichi wonders if he is raising Rin or the other way round.

Episode 6
Daikichi takes some photos with Rin during her entrance ceremony. While shopping, Rin thinks a cereal is a snack instead of something you eat for breakfast. On the way home, they see the splendours of the blooming sakura trees. Daikichi thinks of planting a tree to commemorate Rin’s entry into elementary school. He continues he has a tree himself too. When he was born, his parents planted a fragrant olive tree and for Kazumi a sweet olive tree. But it was a bad memory for Daikichi because Kazumi was always ripping his tree as she was jealous his tree was more fragrant than hers. Seeing they have a few loquat seeds, they plant one in the house as Daikichi mentions about being a ninja who trains by jumping over a hemp plant every day till it grows taller. Now we know why ninjas can jump so high and far. Rin starts jumping over it several times… While preparing for school tomorrow, Daikichi gives Rin a whistle to blow in case she is approached by suspicious people and to take cover in any house or shops. Next morning, Daikichi gets a distressed call from Nitani. Seems Kouki got too excited and went off on his own. Oh by the way, the kid is here now. And he’s all messed up. After cleaning him up, Daikichi prepares himself from work when he hears Rin’s whistle. He panics and rushes outside to see if anything has happened but finds Kouki fooling around with her whistle and jumping over the planted loquat spot several times. Then off the kids go to school. Naughty Kouki convinces Rin to follow him through a shortcut. Seems like a long way round through people’s backyards. Kouki accidentally breaks a pot and they both make a run for it. So back home as Rin tells Daikichi about Kouki’s mischief, she feels her loquat tree is somewhat a different commemoration than Daikichi’s birth fragrant olive tree. She gets a little depressed wondering if grandpa did plant one for her. Daikichi feels sorry for her. Just when Masako thought she would never have to see Daikichi again, here they are talking again at the family restaurant. After passing a photo of Rin’s entrance ceremony, he asks her if she had planted a tree for Rin. She remembers there is one but was planted by Souichi. Daikichi wants to replant it in his place and asks for the location and type of tree. She’s not pretty sure and even if she’s a mangaka, she can’t draw maps well. Heck, she doesn’t even know where north points to! Daikichi finds the tree at Souichi’s place while Rin in his mom’s care, she shows her the olive trees she planted for her children. It is very big now. Mom has a tree that grandpa planted for her too. It’s a sweet olive and it is very, very big and tall now. Daikichi returns with the tree and it turns out to be a fragrant olive tree. Rin takes care of the tree and even measures her height with it. Daikichi notes that he doesn’t even know Rin till half a year ago. But even long before the day they first met, she was in the same flow of life as him. One morning, Daikichi hears the frantic whistle blow again. Kouki with Rin tagging along is in a frantic because a weird old man is outside the house. Just when Daikichi is going to give that weirdo a piece of his mind, Rin manages to get their attention and explain. The weirdo actually turns out to be Matsui the neighbour. Oh… Daikichi and Kouki (by force) apologize but Matsui also apologizes for being at fault because his call may have startled them. After that, Daikichi thanks Kouki because while he ran away, he dragged Rin along. He can count on him a little. A little? Because he’s still a brat.

Episode 6.5
While walking back together, Rin and Kouki are fascinated by the sakura petals at a park. So it is decided that tomorrow afternoon that they will come here to watch the flowers as its season is almost over. But that night Daikichi cautions that tomorrow may rain since spring storm is coming. Plus, it is now raining too. Rin suggests making Teruterubouzu. Next morning, the rain clears up and it’s a bright and sunny day. So did it work? Well, for the girl it did. But when they meet at the park, the sakura petals are almost gone and its leaves scattered all over the park. However they see an amazing and beautiful phenomenon. A big puddle of water that reflects the sky while the sakura petals sprinkle all over it like as though the sky is in full bloom.

Episode 7
Haruko and Reina suddenly pay Daikichi a visit. Hmm… Something must be wrong. Just as Daikichi suspected, Haruko is having problems with her husband and the in-laws so she and Reina ran away from home. Since she had no siblings, she didn’t know where to turn to. Look how convenient Daikichi has become, eh? While they are out shopping, Daikichi thinks it must be a worst case scenario when Nitani happens to be at the same supermarket. He tries to clear the air that Haruko is just his cousin but he worried for nothing because the ladies are getting along fine. Even Rin and Reina have already make friends with Kouki. Haruko teases Daikichi that he may have a thing for Nitani but he brushes it off. His body reaction doesn’t look very convincing. After the girls are put to bed, Daikichi lets Haruko know that he called her in-laws while she was in the bath. She didn’t like what he has done but it is obvious that there would be people are worried for them. Even if Haruko had left them a letter and may be fine for her, it may not be for Reina. I guess they’re arguing loud enough for Rin to eavesdrop on them but Reina ushers her to sleep next to her. She says her parents are always fighting and whenever that happens she always pretend to be asleep. Haruko is on the verge of a breakdown when she decides to go to sleep. They see the girls holding hands while fast asleep. Next morning, Haruko is surprised to see Rin up early doing the cooking. She thought Daikichi is making her cook for him so he scoffs off that they always cook together. Rin stops them before it turns into an argument (albeit the harmless kind). Then with Kouki coming in, he thought Daikichi got married! Then he gets disappointed to learn Haruko is just his cousin. The kids talk about being single, which is like divorced. Ah, kids don’t need to understand such complicated stuff. Yeah, cheeky Reina even asks if Daikichi wants to get married and if Haruko wants to stay single. Can’t really answer, do they? While Daikichi is washing the plates, Haruko thinks he’s been busy lately because of Nitani. Not that he would admit it all but he worded it in a way that he is helping her out since Rin and Kouki do get along fine. He might not know the details of what they went through and it’d be rude if he was being too forward. This has Haruko noting that it must be hard for a woman to live alone. Haruko sends Reina to school and wants her to keep their run away a secret. However as soon as she meets up with her friends, she blurts out everything! Oh dear. Haruko hangs around town alone while pondering over things. That night, Daikichi is relieved to hear Haruko isn’t going to make a big deal out of this and ask for a divorce. Actually, she thought about it every day! She explains how she only felt as a family with Reina and everyone else the enemy. She got married right after getting a job because it was her girl’s dream to be a good wife. Staying the way she is now is the safest for family though having a normal family is tough. She rarely talks to her husband because he works overtime and comes back late. She has bottled her feelings all these years and it is what made her get through most of the stuff. It may be unhealthy but if she doesn’t, she’ll snap. Daikichi notes she has become stronger but that is only when once you start raising kids. When you keep at it, you naturally get used to it. Haruko says she never wanted to grow or nor become strong in the first place. She wanted to stay a girl forever. This prompts Daikichi to think the meaning of being married and a parent. That night, Reina could guess it was her daddy’s car coming to pick them up though Haruko dismisses because he wouldn’t be off work this early. To her surprise, it really is daddy. Reina rushes into daddy’s arms as he soon apologizes to Daikichi for the trouble caused. Haruko thanks Daikichi for everything and the latter is okay if they come again next time since the little ones get along well.

Episode 8
Rin’s summer vacation starts but she’s up early and doing lots of chores around the house like normal. Meanwhile Masako is having a hard time keeping up with the deadline of her manga. She’s dozing off and has bag under her eyes. Her colleague takes her out to the family restaurant for a break to freshen her up but she’s pretty worried about the deadline. Yeah, it’s tonight. He tries to advice her not to overdo it and that she is earning enough. Though this may be the case, she is concerned it will be a different story next year since there are up and coming mangakas. He tries wiping her face but she blows her top and leaves when he refers to her as a girl. She insists she is a mangaka. Daikichi plans to visit Souichi’s grave next Saturday. Rin wasn’t too keen at first because she wanted to bring the bellflowers (which haven’t blossomed yet) to his grave. But Daikichi says the important thing is that she is there. While accompanying Rin and Kouki to the day-care centre, Rin spots the Obon Festival poster which is around 10 days away. Cheeky Kouki goes off to catch cicada skin. Yikes! He has a box full of that creepy collection! He sticks one behind Daikichi’s back! Daikichi and Rin are on their way to Souichi’s grave when he accidentally brings up the subject of his grandma in which Rin thinks she could be her sister. Thankfully the conversation didn’t steer into a bad direction. At the grave, seems someone has recently washed it and there are pen tips and an ink bottle next to it. It could only be one person. Daikichi wants Rin to pull the weeds while he rushes off to find Masako. A short distance away, Daikichi sees Masako walking away with her colleague. He calls to her to let her know that Rin is with him at the grave. He tells her Rin is important to him and couldn’t care about her circumstances and have no intention of letting her meet Rin unless Rin wants to. So what is he trying to say? She can come watch them clean the grave in secret. When Daikichi returns, he thought he saw the same lonely expression when he met Rin at Souichi’s funeral. Luckily it’s just in his mind as Rin is like a happy little bird. Masako watches in secret and is amazed to see Rin all grown up. On the way back, Masako feels she wants to work even harder and thinks of taking up that new job. She wants to work so hard so she won’t remember what she ate yesterday (?!) and forget these memories. Rin thought of visiting grandpa’s house but Daikichi notes it belongs to his uncle now. But it’ll be alright if they just go into the garden. Upon entering the garden, Rin is devastated to see the plot of bellflowers gone. Daikichi quickly cooks up a story saying that his uncle at least knew it was grandpa’s favourite flowers and since winter is coming, they’re not guaranteed to blossom when spring comes. Daikichi is relieved he took that olive tree back intact as Rin herself is thankful that they took some of grandpa’s bellflowers back home then. While Masako continues her manga work at full speed, Daikichi and Rin celebrate together the latter’s seventh birthday. On the day they’re supposed to go to the festival, Kouki arrives first. Where’s mom? She’s busy putting on her yukata. I’m sure Daikichi would love to see her in that. Yeah, he’s looking forward meeting at the stalls. Who is acting like an excited kid now?

Episode 8.5
It’s time to leave the festival but Kouki is still feeling energetic and not sleepy. Before he could rush off somewhere, Daikichi grabs him and then lets the kid swing on his arm like a monkey bar. I wonder how long he could hold up. Nitani gives Rin a hairpin accessory. Taking a detour to the river, the darkness is soon lit up by little fireflies. I guess Kouki is now feeling sleepy so he and his mom part ways. Rin hugs Daikichi and he notes how she has grown taller.

Episode 9
A typhoon is forecasted tonight. Kouki starts laughing when he misheard the news reporting the train will poop (unko) but Daikichi sets him right that it is the train will be operating (unkou). Then too much pooping talk means Kouki needs to head for the toilet too. Daikichi wonders Kouki’s call as running out of toilet paper. But he wanted a ruler instead. A ruler? What for? It’s a long poop. Yucks! As Daikichi takes a break at work, he talks to his married male colleagues about insurance and education for their kids. Though they are always seen complaining, he felt there is a sense of security deep down. In class, Kouki can’t seem to be a good boy and draw quietly unlike Rin. He fools around especially throwing his hat in the air like a boomerang. Even when the teacher tells him off, he soon returns to his playful ways. Then when Rin couldn’t take it anymore and tells him to instantly stop, he agrees! Everyone is shocked! Daikichi goes to pick up Rin and it seems Kouki will be the last kid left if they leave. Seeing his gloomy expression, they in-sync invite him to walk home with them. Not letting this chance pass up, eh? While walking through the rain, the kids play in the puddle like the kids they are. Back home after taking a bath, Nitani comes by to thank and apologize for taking care of her son. Since only Rin’s clothes fit him, it’s odd to see Kouki wearing them. Yeah, he wants Daikichi to lend his clothes. Wouldn’t that be too baggy? Then as the ladies cook, Nitani is surprised her son wants to help out. He never did so before. Okay, maybe he’s just playing around cutting the onions and making odd shapes with the burger patties. Hope it tastes good. Daikichi asks him if he loves his mom. Despite being a naggy old lady (gosh, the kid is calling her mom this?), he loves her. Kouki is dozing off doing his homework so it means it’s time to go home. Rin didn’t want them to leave and suggests if they could stay just like Haruko and Reina. Of course Daikichi says they can’t. Those two are a different case. Daikichi calls the taxi and a little spark of romance may have set off because Nitani notes Daikichi’s kindness in holding an umbrella and escorting them to the taxi. Next morning it is all bright and sunny and Kouki once more is early at Daikichi’s house. Because he was hesitating to come in, Daikichi and Rin just realized and quickly stop him before he does. Yeah, look at his dirty shoes!

Episode 10
Rin loses a milk tooth of hers. Daikichi attends Rin’s school’s cultural festival. He is surprised that the father of one of Rin’s friends is a handsome guy despite the same age. Even some of the mothers are swooning over him. Well, he was once a model. Then meeting up with another acquaintance of it, before you know it, Daikichi has made friends with a few fathers. He then sees Nitani at Kouki’s classroom. Hearing the talk from other mothers about the flu season depresses her. She is worried for Kouki because you know, boys don’t really like to put on much clothes even when told to. When Rin and Kouki comes running down the hallway without their jackets, Daikichi gives them a stern reminder but they continue as they are. Well, Daikichi knew this was coming because he was like that too when he was young. Nitani laughs and feels relieved since he was like that too. On the way home, Nitani notices Rin’s face redder than usual. Daikichi is surprised he didn’t even notice it. Touching her head, it seems she has a fever and it will get worse. Seeing a doctor, he assures Rin doesn’t have the influenza but gives advice to wear a mask as precaution. Rin’s condition takes a turn for the worse that night. Daikichi calls mom for help and she is even more dramatic. Call for the ambulance! Daikichi gets worried and couldn’t sleep when Rin doesn’t even want to drink a special juice with medicine he made. Next morning, Nitani and Kouki come by to check on Rin. Daikichi is starting to panic because he has never seen Rin in such a state so Nitani says he can’t lose his cool. An adult has to stay calm and tell the child they’ll be alright. Rin will be fine as long as he is here. Nitani does all she can to nurse Rin and makes her feel better before she leaves for work while Daikichi takes a couple of days leave from work. Though Daikichi seems calm on the outside as he puts Rin back to sleep, his heart is stirring. Nitani and Kouki also come by that night to make porridge for Rin. Kouki even helps out when he heard Rin asking for water. Daikichi thanks him and notes how Rin feels more relaxed when he’s here. However he still needs to keep his distance so as not to catch anything from her. He’s fine with it though. Of course not! Next morning, Rin is back to her healthy self and Daikichi’s nightmare is over. As Daikichi picks up Rin from the day-care centre, Kouki wants to come home with them. I guess that time was just a one-time offer. Isn’t he supposed to go home with mom? Well, Kouki points out mom is in bed with a cold. Oh dear…

Episode 11
While shopping for stuffs, Rin feels guilty for passing the flu to Nitani. Daikichi assures her that the flu is everywhere. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. Oh, Kouki’s tooth is starting to come out too and he’s pulling it out! Daikichi and Rin walk Kouki back to his apartment and don’t want to disturb his mom resting. But that kid was so noisy ringing the bell that mom had to come out. So Daikichi and Nitani meet face to face. I can guess their sentence is made out of these: Thank you, sorry, don’t worry. While brushing teeth, another tooth of Rin is coming loose. Daikichi and Nitani (already well) meet up with his other father friends at the park as their kids practice rope skipping for a competition. I guess it’s the season of losing your milk teeth because their kids’ tooth is also coming out. Daikichi realizes he doesn’t have a cute tooth container for Rin like the rest. He never thought there would be such things existed. Rin gets one from Nitani. Daikichi weighs himself and finds he has gained weight so the next time he joins the kids practising rope skipping (the other fathers had the same idea too). He might seem cool and like a boxer but he ran out of steam. Daikichi mentions he isn’t Rin’s real father and unlike them who has spent their entire time with their kids, he spent all his time for himself before Rin came in, in which his lifestyle suddenly changed. He is wondering if he can live without any time for himself in the future. The rest don’t think of it that way at all. Rin may have flopped in the rope skipping competition, but she got first place for skipping ropes backwards! 203 times! Daikichi and Rin visit his mom on a weekend and she really wants to do something to Rin’s loose tooth. While eating dinner, that loose tooth came off. And she’s bleeding! Later Daikichi talks to Kazumi as he found out she’s getting married soon. The problem is her soon-to-be husband wants a kid fast but she is not too keen. She still wants to maintain this single life of hers and doesn’t want to turn into a whiny old lady. Well, she sounds like one to me already. Besides, how did she manage to get married if starting a family wasn’t on her mind? Whirlwind romance? But for Daikichi, he is sure it will all work out since this is what she decided. He may sound like it doesn’t concern him but he had never been in a position of a mother, father or husband. True. He remembers what Nitani and the other guys told him then. Even if they don’t have time for themselves, the time spent with their child is also their time and it is very precious. Being a parent isn’t anything special and if you look around, there are parents everywhere. After the family prays at Souichi’s grave, Daikichi remembers the important moments from the time he first met Rin. He probably would continue to be alarmed over the smallest things from her (because she’s getting another tooth loose), in any case, that smile will turn into his own happiness. Oh, Rin has lost 2 of her front teeth. Looking very cute and funny… So what do you want to wish for Christmas?

Lovely Drops
Ah well. This is such a heart-warming and sweet series. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In any case I felt the focus of this entire series is on Daikichi and Rin (duh!). That’s because it didn’t really tie up what happened to Masako after that grave visit. So does this mean she really wants to forget about Rin? Rest assured Rin is in safe hands. I thought there was going to be some budding romance between Daikichi and Nitani late in the series but I guess it never happened. Perhaps the joy of taking care of their kids is more important than thinking of getting married. Look at it this way. It is only after that you are married and settle down that you get to know each other’s faults and less desirable qualities. Which of course may lead to divorce (and it will be the second time for Nitani’s case). So by staying the way as they are, they get to continue to communicate and help out each other as always and more importantly the kids don’t get dragged into the messy tussle of legal proceedings and such. Well, one day when they kids grow up, they’ll really know the meaning of divorce. But for now, let’s have them think it’ another form of being single, eh? So while the ending may not be much and it feels more like life-goes-on, I suppose this is the best way for this short series to end. It could have lasted longer but that will be repetitive and boring. All you see here is mainly Daikichi and Rin bonding with each other and doing things together. I know real life is like a routine but if this is going to be applied to the anime, then that’s a different story. From what I further read on the brief plot on Wikipedia, though the first half is what we see the focus on Daikichi adopting and bringing Rin up, the remainder of the manga focuses on Rin 10 years later as a high school student, the truth about her family ties (I guess when you’re a kid, you don’t really care about the details of who is who), her feelings for Kouki and her decision for a career. Seems interesting for a sequel. If that ever happens, I’m sure I’ll be sticking around to find out.

It is obvious that within the few months since Daikichi and Rin met, their lives have been drastically changed. For the better I would say. Daikichi learns how to take responsibility while Rin opens herself up more. They may not be directly related but it goes to show that they love each other like a real family. At first everybody was treating Rin like an outcast. Slowly, all that seemed forgotten and Rin is as though like part of their family from the start. That should be the way. It might seem odd that Daikichi is not married and yet he has a child to take care of but you don’t have to be a conventional family unit in undertaking responsibilities as a parent. Because Daikichi has lived alone for so long, he is quite self sufficient. With Rin in the picture it doesn’t add to his burden. Though it might be hard to get used to this life but look at how they are getting through. Daikichi is not alone in raising Rin because he has his family as well as other parents to help each other out (and I don’t mean using Google or play online simulations in raising a kid. It’s the real deal in asking for help in person). As far as I can see, he is doing quite a good job in involving himself in Rin’s life and trying his best not to make any traumatic memories. I won’t really say Rin comes from a broken family but the circumstances in which she arrives in this world would definitely make her the source of bully and ostracize. Kids can be honest and cute, but they can also be cruel. Thankfully Rin did not face this problem. Yet. Kouki is a cheeky boy and like boys his age, it is natural for him to be mischievous. I guess it reminds Daikichi of himself when he was younger, eh? Though naughty, at least he still thinks of Rin and protects her whenever the need arises. You can say Rin and Kouki are close enough to warrant that cliche childhood-friends-turned-lovers story once they hit puberty (as I have mentioned earlier on). Of course we don’t see any sort of that romance blooming between them at this young age. Ah, the age of innocence. At first Reina seems like a handful to handle with her tantrums and fits but after getting to know her a little, she isn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe all she wants is just some attention. Now good friends with Rin, she seems less naughty than before. Another point to ponder: If Rin is Daikichi’s aunt, that means to Reina, Rin is her grandaunt! How often can you have your grandmother the same age as you!

As with Daikichi taking care of Rin and the issue of family ties and dependability being addressed, I’m sure the other dark issue is Masako’s case of abandonment. Just like in the real world, there are mothers who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to abandon their child. It is worse if they do so right after birth. It is hard not to see Masako as the villain but I guess you can say what she did was also a blessing in disguise. For had not she left Souichi and Rin, Daikichi and Rin wouldn’t have met and these events leading up to where they are now will never happen. Of course it is still a bad idea to dump your kid at a crucial time when your child needs a parent’s love the most. Masako must have loved Souichi so much to even listen to him and keep the child rather than go for abortion. However maybe she still has to think about herself and that’s why she left. Souichi is at an age where he just may kick the bucket any time. And true enough it did happen. Masako is still young and perhaps that’s why she needs to find a way to support herself. Perhaps the reason why she became Souichi’s maid in the first place to earn extra income to supplement her mangaka job? It’s not my place to say it is good or bad what Masako did in general and even after seeing Rin in secret, she still doesn’t harbour that motherly love. But I hope there won’t come a time whereby in the future Masako would come knocking on Daikichi’s door wanting her daughter back. That I feel would be unfair to Daikichi who has put in all the effort, hardship and trouble to raise Rin, who has also bonded and trusted Daikichi like her own father (despite saying Daikichi is Daikichi, I feel deep down she looks to him as her father just like how she did with Souichi). Of course no family is perfect too as we see in Haruko’s case. Despite having a seemingly perfect family, she feels isolated and her husband is a workaholic. It is easy to always resort for divorce (like cases nowadays) but sometimes to make marriages work, lots of sacrifices to be made. I know I’m not the one to say either since I haven’t experienced it but being married is like give and take. You don’t just understand the other instantly. It takes a long time and possibly an entire lifetime to know the good, bad and ugly bits.

The drawing and art seem simple enough to be close to a water colour-like painting. However this is quite obvious during the parts before the opening credits. It is like as though the colouring wasn’t filled enough so as to see the water colour-like effects. Otherwise the drawing of the characters and background sceneries are quite simple and light. In a way, some scenes make Rin look quite cute. Especially when she makes her kiddie smile. Now that she has lost her two front teeth, she looks even cuter. Or like a Cheshire cat? There is a live adaptation film of this series but I didn’t watch it. I guess it’s more or less the same thing. The opening theme is Sweet Drops by Puffy AmiYumi. Yes, that girl group duo who had an American cartoon of their own. Since I don’t watch their show, it’s not like I recognized them. I think they even made a cameo appearance as the nursery school teachers. Seeing a little resemblance… However this song when I first heard it, it felt awfully familiar, like as though I heard it from somewhere before. Then I realized that is not the case. In fact it sounded very similar to Bobby Fuller’s I Fought The Law And Won. Well, it’s a happy, happy, happy song that makes you, er, happy. I swear I thought the ending theme was also familiar in this sense. High High High by Kasarinchu sounded like some pop country music but I just can’t put my finger on it. Anybody can help me on this? But hearing this song, you really feel like going high, high and higher. In both the opening and ending credits animation, there are lots of crayon and kiddie-like drawings scattering all over the screen. Cute?

At first I thought there was something unique about Rin’s voice. She sounded like a real kid instead of those grownup female seiyuus trying to do a squeaky high pitched girl’s voice. True enough, Ayu Matsuura was only 10 years old when she took on this role. I would say this is her debut in TV anime but her second since her first voice acting role was a movie for children. Another real young girl lending her voice is Nanako Sudou as Reina. She was 9 years old when she debuted in this role as her other role as far as I could find was that side character Risa in Shinryaku!? Ika Musume S2. I couldn’t find much info on Noa Sakai who is the voice of Kouki. Not sure whether the person is a kid but from my experience, she would be an adult who fits voicing boys’ role. However this is only her first and only anime role. At points I thought Mamiko Noto was the voice behind Masako because of the character’s soft and monotonous voice. Even so, there were parts whereby she didn’t sound like my favourite seiyuu so I wasn’t sure. Upon checking, Masako is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto who did Ciel in Kuroshitsuji, Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club and Morute in World Destruction. Other casts include Hiroshi Tsuchida as Daikichi (Masamune in Soul Eater), Sayaka Ohara as Nitani (Alicia in Aria The Animation series, Erza in Fairy Tail), Kana Ueda as Haruko (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Yumi Uchiyama as Kazumi (Nagi in A Channel), Yui Kano as Gotou (Kazuho in Nabari No Ou, Cecile in Gosick) and Atsuko Mine as Daikichi’s mom (Maiko in Okusama Wa Mahou Shoujo).

Being a parent or a single parent isn’t child’s play. May look easy and fun at first but when you’re in this kind of job, you cannot quit halfway, have no breaks, no compensation and it is full 24/7 attention and care. Of course the rewards you reap from all that will be worth a zillion dollars plus all the material wealth you would accumulate even if you have lived a hundred lives. I know I myself have yet to get hitched or think about starting a family. Can I blame anime for being my ‘baby’? I’m sure my uncles and aunties will start asking and the usual eternal question, “When are you going to get married ah?”. I’m around the same age as Daikichi when I watched this series but I just can’t find the courage to take the plunge. Yet. You know, that fear of failing, screwing up, falling short and not living up to expectations. But that’s life. The scary part is that after hearing so many cases of child abandonment, neglect and abuse all over the newspaper and internet, it feels so disheartening and de-motivating. But sooner or later I too would have to go through this phase or risk being a single otaku for life. Maybe I need to watch more of this sort of animes before I really get moving in my life. Really, I kid you not.

This is one of those OVAs that I initially thought would span more than 1 episode. So I waited and waited and waited and waited for Baby Princess 3D Paradise 0 Love to come out more episodes. Till I realized that there is only 1 damn episode! Well, that’s the thing with OVAs. Sometimes there is no fixed fixture of episode releases so it’s pretty hard to determine if there will be future episodes. Or maybe I wasn’t doing my homework. Sheesh… That’s why it took me a ‘long time’ to blog this episode.

So what is this single OVA about? Have you watched Sister Princess before? Yup. There is one very obvious similarity with this series. One brother, many sisters. Only difference is that instead of a dozen in Sister Princess, we have 19 sisters!!! YOU READ THAT RIGHT! NINETEEN FREAKING SISTERS!!! One Nine!!! And you thought having a dozen was a handful already. The eldest being 18 years old and the youngest a newborn who isn’t even a year old!!! So you’re going to have all kinds of personalities, cliches, shapes and sizes of all the sisters you’re going to see. Nineteen sisters… I really can’t believe this. And if you add the young hot looking mama called, erm, let’s just call her Mama, that will be 20 girls living in this big house! It’s chaotic! I’m sure it is. Hey, wait a minute. Did I say a young hot mama? If every sister is blood related and Mama is their real mother, then she must be one hell of a baby making machine, right? So who the hell is this amorous husband f*cking his wife to even get 19 daughters?!

The single guy who is currently living with them as I figured out from watching the series, Youtarou is not blood related to them because he is somewhat the latest addition to the family. Good thing or bad thing? Well, either way it’s going to be tough and I suppose lots of people would start thinking you’re living in a pimp house. Nineteen darn sisters, I’d say… It’s going to be hard suppressing all those male hormones. How can you not when you have 19 gorgeous sisters by your side? A house filled with only girls, eh? I really don’t blame him if this house ever turns into a pimp house…

So the chaotic episode opener sees us being introduced to all the girls in the Amatsuka household. Their names and their seniority. I’m still so darn surprised by the number 19 that I have a hard time remembering their names even if they are as simple as Jane and Jill (okay, none of the girls have western names here). Youtarou returns home from school to see his sisters in various activities. Some love him, some hate him. Tall ones, short ones. Cheerful ones, quiet ones. Responsible ones, cheeky ones. Big ones, small ones. Busty ones, flat ones. Yeah, sisters do come in all shapes and sizes. If physical appearance wasn’t enough, we have one sister who can see ghosts and has a nine tail fox spirit as her pet! So Youtarou as usually has a hard time pleasing some of his onii-chan fetish sisters and ends up flat on the floor, accidentally and almost saw the panties of Tsurara, one of the sisters that doesn’t like him and calls him a manservant. She isn’t going to accept him as part of the family. Mama heard that and it breaks her heart to hear her daughter say that. She has an idea to make them grow closer to each other. She has Youtarou be the cameraman to film a promotional video of his sisters. Some love it, some don’t. I hope this isn’t a start of the awakening of a voyeurism journey.

When you have so many sisters and want to make a promotion film, what is the best location and setting? Swimsuits and a river outing! Oh yeah, all the fanservice you need and desires you dream of in the world are here. Get that camera rolling! Another onii-chan hater, Urara slaps Youtarou when he touches her butt. Is he starting off his sexual harassment starting with her? Causing a commotion and not ever going to forgive him, 18th daughter, Sora pokes Urara’s butt to reveal a hole in her swimsuit. Urara gets embarrassed for jumping the gun while the rest comments Youtarou’s ‘kindness’. I’m sure he’s a kind person. Am I surprised his horniness isn’t awakened yet? Youtarou continues to film the other sisters, including giving his ice cream to daughter number 16, Sakura; daughter number 14, Mari allowing Youtarou to like this princess’ foot; filming Kosame’s shyness. Some of the lolis need to use the bathroom so Youtarou starts carrying Mizuki in his arms. Once that is done, Urara confronts him outside to thank him tsundere style. He compliments her beautiful swimsuit so she turns into 100% tsundere but eventually thanking him.

Youtarou plays beach volleyball with the elder sisters. I guess there are certain parts more bouncy than the ball so he couldn’t focus or take his eyes off them. Please, there are some flat chests playing too. As punishment for not paying attention, he gets hit by the ball in the head and almost got knocked out. Continuing the game as Youtarou spikes, his force must be too strong so much so he dislodges Hikaru’s top. It got washed away by the current. Meanwhile Tsurara and Watayuki are on a raft but the strong current means they’re heading down the waterfall if they don’t get off. Youtarou and Mizore swim to the raft to try and pull it aside but it’s too strong (they can swim with the strong current?). Hikaru throws a rope to pull them to the side but she also sprains her ankle.

Youtarou walks into the hotspring and becomes embarrassed upon knowing it is mixed. But Hikaru doesn’t mind him seeing this is their family bath and that he is part of the family. Elsewhere Rikka, Hotaru and Haruka are talking about their boob’s size and this irks Tsurara because she’s flat. She quickly heads to the hotspring but to her surprise finds Youtarou there. Not wanting to let him see her body and the bodies of her other incoming sisters, she forces him to hide underwater. Because that guy is struggling for air, his hands accidentally strokes Tsurara and Hikaru’s butt, causing them to make weird noises and baffling the other sisters. When Youtarou tries escaping via swimming underwater (using a submarine metaphor?), it’s too late because the other sisters jump in, blocking his path. He runs out of air and surfaces. Thing is, he surfaced when Tsurara was right on top of him. So it’s like she’s sitting on his shoulders! Some sisters surprised, some amazed. Tsurara starts beating up Youtarou so he slips and knocks them both out.

I guess some of them couldn’t sleep at night but why are Haruka and Hikaru teasing him to put dripping lotion all over their body?! Haruka was serious but Hikaru stops everything and reveals her impulse to just tease him while she takes her other sister away. But this isn’t the end of his troubles. He is soon forced (tied up to be precise) to watch Rikka and Hotaru’s mini skirt idol costume. Rikka is serious in wanting to show she is not a little girl anymore and pins him to the floor. Before the unimaginable could happen, they are scared off by Tsurara. The duo chat and Tsurara displays her tsundere part. She’s thanking him but she’s not. Get what I mean? Then their faces got too close to each other and they kiss! Seriously, did you expect this especially coming from a tsundere? Mizore saw everything and teases Tsurara so the latter excuses herself. Soon after that, Mizore also kisses Youtarou. Later Youtarou sees Hikaru trying to search for her lost bikini at the river. Seriously, at this time? The fish in the ocean must be wearing it by now. He carries her like a princess but she feels embarrassed. From a distance, this scene may look quite ambiguous the way Hikaru is struggling. Eventually she gives in. As he carries her back to the sleeping quarters, she mentions that it is a miracle that of all the countless people in the world, he became part of their family. I agree. A miracle and not a fluke indeed. Then they kiss. Not once but twice.

Back home when they are ready to watch what has been recorded, to their surprise it starts off with the girls changing into their swimsuits with some of them pulling off their pranks and antics. Oh dear. So this is what was filmed? Some like it, some don’t. Some embarrassed some just cool. Tsurara stars beating up Youtarou for this immorality but as they found out, it was actually the camera in Asahi, the youngest daughter’s toy. So she was the one filming? The real filming (which serves as the end credits) sees the girls dancing and doing other activities during the trip. As eldest daughter Miharu asks Youtarou if everyone was trying to kiss him. She reveals before the trip, Mama told most of them to be nice to Youtarou during the trip since he is having trouble fitting in with a big family and to perhaps kiss him. Hikaru who wasn’t there that time didn’t know about it and realized the kiss she made with Youtarou. So I guess her kiss is the most genuine and from her heart, eh?

Sister Empire!
Hah. This OVA wasn’t anything special in particular. With so many sisters in the spotlight, it’s hard for them all to get a fair share of screen time. Seems the ‘important’ ones like Tsurara and Hikaru do get more screen time but even so I don’t feel that there is anything significant other than to provide a little amusement and drama for this one-shot OVA. It would be a headache for me if I were to try and recall which sister is which. Their faint presence was precariously hanging on to my memory and once the episode ended, there is a big possibility I have forgotten about them. Not just their name (did I remember them in the first place?) but their appearance or any unique traits. There are quite a number of seiyuus that I know lending their voice here such as Yuko Goto, Rina Satou, Haruka Tomatsu, Ao Yuuki, Kana Hanazawa, Yuka Iguchi and Kanae Itou. They are instantly recognizable upon hearing their voice. Except for Natsuko Kuwatani as Mama. No “~desu”, no recognize.

Watching a series with a bunch of cuties like them, you would expect fanservice at every corner. Well, I won’t say that the fanservice is that mind blowing but are scattered throughout the episode. Even when Hikaru went topless for quite a considerable stretch, there are these natural censors that conveniently cover her boobs. Only at one point you’d be able to see everything clearly. With the wide range of ladies, I’m sure they cater to those who are lolicons or into mature ones. That’s why you have the first half of the episode with the girls in swimsuits and then the second half in the inn.

It still boggles me why Mama would want to take in Youtarou seeing her already huge family of girls. Maybe she’s got tired of having all females in the house and a male would do some good. So far so good. He must be doing a good job holding in his horniness. The occasional gawking is natural since he is a healthy growing boy. He must be the envy of his friends if they ever know he is living with a bunch of sisters. Well, if there is ever a perverted version of Youtarou, I’m sure this anime would have been rated as an H-game for adults only. Yeah, so many sisters, so much things to do, so little time. Will Mama be willing to have more additions to the family? I’m sure she’s up to the task. The world’s population has already hit 7 billion people, you know… She’s doing a pretty good job adding to that statistic if it’s not the fact this is just an anime story. I just thought about this too. Maybe the sisters are also adopted… They may be calling each other like as though they are a blood related family but that is just to show respect and act like a family because well, they are family. So maybe having 19 sisters who aren’t really blood related would work in this way.

An aspect of this series using such an extended family is perhaps to convey the meaning of what it is like to live with a very big family. Everyone may be different in each of his or her own ways, there may be big arguments and small squabbles but it boils down to one very simple and important fact: Everyone is part of the family. This special bond and love whether blood related or not is essential to keep the family unit together. Even if sisters like Urara and Tsurara don’t like Youtarou, rest assured it’s just their tsundere style of love and deep down, they love him as much as any other sisters. How I know? I’ve seen lots of these types to know they do! Hah. So if you think having 19 sisters is just so wrong, then have you heard of a certain man in a remote village having 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren! No joke! Yeah, he doesn’t mind having more and have what it takes to keep it coming. Well like they say, the more the merrier.

Mayoi Neko Overrun

December 11, 2011

If you ever see a stray cat on the roadside inside a pitiful cardboard box with a sign saying “Please adopt me”, will you take it home? If it’s not a cat, how about a cat girl then? Say what? Maybe if you’re an otaku and have a fetish for girls with cat ears, cat tails and cat paws, yeah, maybe. But that’s not how it happened in Mayoi Neko Overrun. So what does this show have got to do with stray cats by the way? Well, even if you read the title, ‘mayoi neko’ already means stray cats. Haha. Just horsing around. Why isn’t there catting around? Well, cats don’t joke around I suppose and when you use cats in idioms are when there is intense rivalry and arguing between 2 girls. You’re going to see lots of that here. Yeah, you might have guessed this is somewhat a romantic comedy harem.

Takumi Tsuzuki is an orphan but was adopted by his non-blood related busty sister, Otome and currently lives in a home-cum-bakery called Stray Cats. He once lived in an orphanage along with childhood friend, Fumino Serizawa. Now, this Fumino girl isn’t your honest-to-her-feelings kind of girl. She’s always saying the opposite of what she really wants. For example, if she says she doesn’t want ice cream, she actually really wants them. When she says right, then it’s left. Takumi has known her long enough to know this attitude of hers. Though he terms her as not honest, I have a better term for it. To be exact, she’s totally tsundere. More tsun that anything. So you can’t blame men for sometimes getting confused of what women want. Oops. Did I mention that Fumino’s favourite phrase and quote of the series is “Go die twice!”? At times maybe a thousand or a million. She’s worse than Jigoku Shoujo’s Enma Ai because in the latter’s case, she only tells you to die once. Haha. You get this feeling that Fumino likes Takumi but being the tsundere she is, she can’t help deny anything and let that poor guy have a taste of her kick.

Episode 1
Like in the first episode. Takumi woke up from a dream. A dream of the past whereby young Fumino was bullied by other kids just because she fed a stray cat. Kids can be cruel sometimes. They associated Fumino and the stray cat the same because they’re both abandoned. Takumi consoled her despite denying that she’s crying (though it’s obvious she’s crying out very loud). And when Takumi wakes up, he saw her striped panties. You can guess what happens next. The opener also introduces other characters like the otaku 2D-lover Ieyasu Kikuchi, old fashioned Daigorou Kouya and the bratty Chise Umenomori, a rich girl who turns out to be the granddaughter of the school’s founder. Yeah, she even treats her school like her own house! Don’t mind changing in class, eh? With changing curtains of course! She’s so high and might that she has 2 maids, Satou and Suzuki following her everywhere she goes. You have got to love her maids because they don’t tell lies and have a nice way of wording the truth to Chise. Chise loves ordering people around and you can guess that her target is always Takumi. However Fumino doesn’t really see eye to eye with Chise so you can guess many of the nit-picking and quarrelling are from. We also learn that Otome has a penchant of helping just about anything or anyone in trouble. When there’s a little problem in a remote part of the world, she goes all out to help. Thus leaving behind the bakery for days or weeks. No wonder it never does well. Not to say her baking skills are top-notched but the only reason why they even survived this far is because of Otome. Yeah, people grateful to her or just becoming patrons to see her large melons. And yes, Stray Cats is filled with lots of cute (or weird looking, depend how you look at it), erm, stray cats that she picked up during… Who knows when.

After school, Takumi and his pals are disheartened to see that a cake that was reserved by a customer has been eaten. Elsewhere, Fumino saves a kid who thinks he is being stalked but it turns out to be Ieyasu. By the way, he’s not the stalker. At Stray Cats, the rest thinks this kid has eaten the cake but he denies and tells them he saw a cat ate their cake instead. A big cat. Like the size of Fumino. He’s not joking, right? Fumino believes him but Ieyasu doesn’t because of his otaku beliefs. Fumino throws down the challenge that she’ll find it and settle this case. In exchange, they’ll all die twice! Is that last bit necessary? If not, she has to show her striped panties. Okay, only a pervert like Ieyasu can think of something like that. Takumi and Daigorou continue to remake the cake while Fumino and the kid go out looking for the large cat. Chise and her maids pop by like busybodies to help out. Because they’re out of ingredients, Chise accompanies Takumi out to town to get some. Along the way, they caught glimpse of a person that looks like a cat. Fumino, Chise and Ieyasu chase after it but she was too fast and agile. She escaped when they had to save Chise’s little chick from being road kill by a lorry. Takumi and Daigorou find the kid crying in the streets because he’s alone and he didn’t know what to do after the big cat appeared. Late into the night, Fumino continues to search for the big cat despite Chise offering her services from her maids and personnel to do a wide search. To Fumino, she understood the kid’s feelings to not have anyone believe in him. Flashback reveals it was Takumi who gave Fumino that die twice phrase if anyone bullied her. She should just give them a taste of their own medicine and he vowed to protect her. So they didn’t manage to find the cat. The kid is reunited with his dad and they manage to deliver the cake by dawn. Who the heck eats cake in the morning? Then Otome returns. She brings back another pitiful abandoned cat. Hey, isn’t that the large cat they’re chasing the night before? Everyone, meet Nozomi Kiriya. She was so cute that Otome just had to pick her up. Uh?

Episode 2
So Nozomi starts living with them. She’s rather like an airhead, not the slightest embarrassment when she’s naked in front of the guys. I wonder if she really has cat ears. Or maybe her lump of hair just resembles like a cat. Plus, she likes to say “Nyaa~”. Since Ieyasu is bombarding her with lots of questions, Nozomi says if she is a nuisance, she will leave. But Fumino disagrees. To cut her long-winded speech, what she means is that she is worried about her and doesn’t want her to go. Next day, Nozomi is thought how to bake and it seems she’s doing an extremely good job, much to everyone’s delight. Better than Otome. So at least Stray Cats have a saviour. Nozomi is also the new transfer student in Takumi’s class thanks to Chise’s power. Now Nozomi is in her debt and her henchmen. So that’s her scheme? She gets more than she bargained for when Nozomi pats her head like a kid. She gets so shock with that nice feeling that it renders her ‘paralyzed’. Wow. They call it the Hand of God! After the guys have their field day of watching the ‘beauties’ of Fumino, Nozomi and flat chest Chise in their swimsuits, Chise summons Takumi and his gang to her base on the rooftop. She wants to form a circle with them. Plus, today’s gathering is to decide what their circle is going to do. However they’re not too interested since they’re busy after school. Yeah, they ignore her and leave. That night, a storm starts brewing. Tsundere Fumino didn’t want to stay with Takumi (though we know she really wanted to) so Takumi accompanies her back to her home. Takumi’s mind starts to get wild whenever Nozomi is close to him but it’s a sign that he’s a healthy young male rather than a pervert. Thankfully, nothing happens because Nozomi was just cool all the way. Then in the middle of the night, Takumi gets a call from Fumino. She’s right outside Stray Cats. What? Back again?

Episode 3
Before Fumino came knocking on Stray Cats’ door, we see Takumi and Nozomi both unable to sleep talk about family, his past, Fumino’s tsundere and some mystery bits about Nozomi like she never had friends like that and she doesn’t know who her parents or where she lives. Their conversation is interrupted when Fumino came by. She forgot some little accessory? Sounds like an excuse because as she takes a shower, the power goes out and poor Takumi has to bear the brunt of her die twice trademark whacks whether it’s accidentally seeing her naked (it’s dark by the way so how?) or telling a ghost story. With the storm getting heavier, Fumino has to sleep here for the night. Guess their sleeping arrangements? Takumi in the middle and the girls by his side. Man, he’s going to get a sleepless night. Fumino gets afraid of the lightning and holds on to Takumi’s hands tight. Though she says it’s for revenge for seeing her naked. I don’t see the connection. Nozomi too holds on to his hand. Bright and sunny morning comes but there’s already trouble. Takumi wakes up to find Nozomi missing. He and his pals go all out to find her. Yeah, Chise even employed her helicopter! Takumi feels it’s his fault because he tried to pry into Nozomi’s past (initially everyone agreed not to talk about it until Nozomi tells them herself). But Fumino says it’s her fault since Nozomi found out that she wanted her to leave. Well, oddly, Fumino didn’t really say that. Do you understand this girl? Not even years of experience could Takumi decipher what the heck that means. It all becomes clear when Fumino sums up her courage to say that Nozomi realized that Fumino likes Takumi. She really does. And hates him too. And love him. And hate him. And love him. Oh, make up your mind! No time for that because they’ve received word that Nozomi has been spotted. They rush to her sitting in some abandoned area. Takumi wants her to come back with them but Nozomi feels she would be annoying. Takumi continues to tell about his past how he used to live in an orphanage run by a church till it closed down. That’s when Otome adopted him and he was the first human she picked up. At first he had no name and was named Tatami due to the mat he was found with. But for convenience of writing, it evolved to Takumi with fewer writing strokes. The point is, after all the trampling he’s experienced, he turned out stronger. At one point he too thought he was a burden after his parents died in a crash and thought of making it on his own but couldn’t. He was found by Otome and instead of sending him back to the church, she took him back to her bakery and was treated to a nice cake. Nice at first but when you have too much of something… So the bottom line is, it’s okay to be a burden sometimes. Because there’ll be people who’ll support them. He wants Nozomi to stay with them and hugs her. I guess she can’t say no now, eh? Besides, if she goes missing again, it’ll be another big problem looking for her.

Episode 4
What? A hotspring episode with fanservice already? That’s what this episode is all about. All thanks to Chise’s super financial whatever that the gang is able to enjoy such luxurious facilities. As usual, Ieyasu tries to peep on the girls but steps on a trap that sends all the guys flying away into the sky. And landing somewhere in the middle of the nowhere mountain. Naked. We’re here to see beautiful girls naked not 3 loser guys! Oops. Don’t worry, we’ll have our fair share of fanservice too. While the girls are having the nicest time of their lives with ultimate body massage (ooh, feels good), sumptuous meal (yummy), a ping pong showdown (what is it with the slow-mo effects?), the guys are lost and trying to find their way back and Takumi got separated from the rest. It starts raining but Takumi is picked up by Kaho Chikumaen (supposedly an acquaintance of Chise) as they dry their clothes in a small hut in the woods. When a guy and girl are alone together in a small place, that’s got to be inevitable, right? So Takumi thinks. At times like this, body warmth is essential for survival. So maybe Takumi is rather surprised that Kaho is going along with this but the hilarious part is Daigorou doing the same to Ieyasu! So gay!!! Let’s hope nobody ever knows about this! Meanwhile the girls are doing rock climbing up to some scenic hotspring (WTF?!). Chise receives a message from Satou and she looks sad after hearing it. Takumi and Kaho continue their skinship and talk about their friends till the rain subside. Kaho has her dress but I guess Takumi has to walk around in only leafs. Call it perfect timing because Kaho-Kaho and Daigorou-Ieyasu rich the top of their trek to see Chise and co naked at the summit hotspring. Do you think dying twice is enough? On the way back, Takumi asks Chise about Kaho. He was told this entire area belongs to her and it is weird that she got lost since she use to frequent this place when she was young. Though she thinks her hidden SPs were protecting her. Takumi gets into more trouble when he laments all the trouble he went through with Kaho so Fumino didn’t like the ambiguous things they did. Meanwhile Chise reflects Satou’s message that her parents were busy and couldn’t make it under any circumstances to meet her pals. She’s rather sad because it was part of her plan to have them meet her parents. But she throws away her gloomy mood and discusses the activities they should be doing for their circle. So when did everyone became part of her circle? Meanwhile we see hordes of SPs behind Kaho as she watches Chise’s helicopter fly away. Who is this girl anyway?

Episode 5
Stray Cats are doing slightly better. But they seem to be forgetting something. It’s Chise’s circle meeting! Yeah, nobody turned up. Even if they all eventually did, the agenda on the meeting was to find a name for their circle. All lame. Even if Chise is getting passionate about it. But the rest have important things to attend to and leave the meeting. Poor Chise. Do they find her that annoying? Well… Chise continues to be gloomy so surprisingly Kaho picks her up and they talk about Takumi, the unprofitable Stray Cats and her failed circle. Kaho has a suggestion. Stray Cats is having no customers after a busy week. To their horror, Chise has opened her own patisserie right opposite Stray Cats! She’s raking in the customers! It’s part of her plan to crush Stray Cats and once that place is closed, she’ll hire them and pay them higher with bonus and other ridiculous perks. However Takumi feels that this isn’t about the rewards and declines her offer. Man, for anybody else, they would’ve jumped at that offer. Because of that, Stray Cats’ sales plummet to a point it can’t go any lower. Can it? It went off the charts! I don’t think the floor is enough, though. Chise has a flashback why she’s quite infatuated with Takumi. On her first day at school, everyone ‘feared’ her because she’s the daughter of the Umenomori family. When she tripped, nobody dared to help her up except Takumi who was oblivious of whom she was. The rest is history. Stray Cats is facing the possibility of closing down. But do not fear. Otome is back! To help increase Stray Cats’ publicity, she suggests entering a local swimming competition. I guess Otome can’t participate because each time she wears her bikini, it somehow just comes off. That’s more distraction than needed. I guess Fumino will have to represent their store then. So when Chise finds out about this, is she going to stay quiet? Not if you’re a kiasu. And when Fumino and Chise meet, you can expect a full-out argument.

But this time it’s different. Chise lets her know that all she wants is to hang out with Takumi and co. She even made the rooftop base and patisserie for them and thought if Stray Cats disappeared, everyone would have, more free time. Even Kaho agreed to this plan of hers. Of course Takumi has overheard all of this and went over to Kaho. He went down on his knees and begs her not to aid Chise in making any more mistakes. Though he knows they have no intentions, Stray Cats is important to them because it’s where all their memories lie. He laments he didn’t realize Chise’s trouble soon enough. However Kaho says back is he implying his impudent words that she doesn’t know her friend as much as he does and is he able to give what Chise desires. His answer? He may not understand the rich, but he understands Chise’s feelings because she is one of them. Chise who was eavesdropping heard his feelings from the heart that her face really contorted when she cried. Kaho agrees to step down. Chise still continues to enter the competition but this time to give Stray Cats some publicity. She is trying to find the swimsuit Kaho left her but she is dismayed when she finds it. Seems to be a school swimsuit. Yeah, she won. Then at Stray Cats, Chise makes it their second base and calls their circle, Stray Cats Association. Lastly, we see a group of people in despair because they’ve put everything they’ve got into supporting Chise’s patisserie and moved against Stray Cats but all their actions were nought. I don’t know how they have got to do with all these but Otome barges in to punish all those ‘bad children’.

Episode 6
Stray Cats Association now discusses their plans. Because they’re unable to come up with anything agreeable, they take opinions from others. But the feedback they receive shows that they are not popular. To the outsider, what the heck is Stray Cats Association. So in order to make their appeal worldwide, Ieyasu suggests doing a video and posting it on a popular video sharing site. So their first activity is to do a video promo and to complete it in 2 weeks! Can they? Because Ieyasu has some ‘knowledge’ in this area, he appoints himself as the director. Takumi the assistant director, Daigorou the camera man, Nozomi will do script writing, music by Fumino and Chise. They have to come up with the lyrics tomorrow or else Ieyasu can’t decide on the movie’s image! Oh, now he’s starting to be a dictator. But putting Fumino and Chise together is a big mistake because of their constant arguing. Even before taking off, it’s like breaking up. Now to go onsite for filming. One of the locations is Tokyo’s Akihabara. Because there is a towering building right smack in front of the scene Ieyasu wants shot, he wants Chise to remove it quickly! Besides that building belongs to her family! Chise has to comply with his wishes or else she’ll not live up to her name and expectations that she can do anything and bombs the expensive building!!! OMG! After years and toiling to build it, it’s gone in a flash! And all just for 1 crappy short scene whereby the girls do some weird pose. And some explosion in the background too? Why don’t they use CGI to edit it? For realism. WTF?! Even with Ieyasu’s fear of airplanes, the gang fly overseas to take shots in exotic locations like the world’s largest water basin, the pyramids in Egypt and Machu Picchu. Each time, everyone had to do more unnecessary work like painting all the leaves or making it snow just for that 1 crappy shot which is all the same (the girls’ pose). Makes you think doing it via CGI is much cheaper. Each time, they see Otome helping out with the locals. Each time, tired Takumi starts seeing mythical creatures like half-fish man and UFO and starts freaking out since nobody believes him. Takumi is so tired that he is starting to lose himself and has no time to study for his exams. Then at the Himalayas, they’re supposed to shoot at the highest point. But after doing so, a storm quickly forms, trapping Takumi, Fumino, Chise and Nozomi. And Daigorou’s emergency kit didn’t help much: A book on how not to get stranded on a mountain. Too late. At this point, Takumi feels sleepy. No! You can’t fall asleep! Takumi wants them to finish the video and be on good terms as his final wish. Just when he thought angels are about to pick him up and calling Otome’s name, speaking of the devil, Otome pops up! She’s here helping to clean up trash on the mountain. Hey, there is not one, not two, but a whole bunch of yetis with her! They exist! When the weather gets better, they are lifted off the mountain. They head back and put in all the editing effort and finishing touches before uploading it. All I can say is, there are some unrelated scenes (a war zone?), the girls’ poses are for fanservice purpose (the camera was aimed at their panties) and even with the multiple exotic locations, it came and went so fast that you won’t even give a damn where they went. And at the end of it, a big name of Ieyasu as director. So all the hardships they went through… I think dying twice won’t be enough for this jerk. And bad enough, Takumi failed half of his exams. So did Stray Cats get the worldwide appeal? I have a feeling it turned into a laughing stock.

Episode 7
What the heck?! What the heck?! WHAT THE HECK IS THIS EPISODE?! Suddenly it turns into some mecha sentai thingy with its own opening theme. Well, the characters do look slightly better and have different names. Like Fumino = Sayaka, Chise = Chizuru, Nozomi = Shinobu, Kaho = Hazuki, Otome = Professor. So we have this Grand Braver robot episode with Hazuki betraying our pals do attain revenge for her Machine Empire. Then she herself got betrayed by her own dad, Machine Marquis as he plans to destroy Earth by merging the powers of Sayaka, Chizuru and Shinobu. He starts fusing with the ground and absorbs all the energy from around the world. The Grand Braver trio charge into Marquis attempting to find the girls while Hazuki gets beaten up. She is paralyzed from all the guilt trip when the Grand Braver trio emerge from Marquis with the girls safe in their hands. The typical battle that sees them combining and forming powerful weapons to take on the baddie but he too has some ace up his sleeve. Grand Braver takes a beating and they could’ve been goners if Hazuki didn’t snap out from her spell and help them out with her Light of Resonance. Another round of merging into a more powerful, more super-duper, even cooler robot. Okay, maybe just add on a little accessory here and there. But heck, he sounds too cool to be dismissed. Ultimately Grand Braver fires his sword beam that Marquis can’t even absorb and destroys him for good. All’s well, ends well as Hazuki being the loner leaves the party. But Earth is not safe yet because the Machine Emperor and his henchmen (robots, rather) are planning to bring Earth to their knees and that Marquis dude was just a weakling. And if you thought those Grand Bravers were Takumi and the guys, well, we’ve never seen their faces throughout the episode so you can’t just bet on their voices, right? Turns out that they are the Machine Emperor… So Grand Braver just another person?

Episode 8
Back to the story proper but this feels like another filler. Yeah, all the gang are participating in the First Super Blocks Championship sponsored by Chise. At first I thought it was going to be some Saki rip-off but this isn’t going to be a mahjong game. If you’re familiar with the Jenga game, you’ll know that you’re supposed to remove and stack blocks and if the entire blocks fall on your turn, you lose. To up the ante, there are orders on the blocks in which the player must obey if they pull that block out. Failing to do so or losing, they’ll fall down a dark pit. So the last one standing wins. That’s the only way out or the dark pit seeing this room is completely sealed off. Isn’t that imprisonment? As the game progresses, we see everyone doing funny and embarrassing stuff except for Chise. Seems she is in cohorts with Ieyasu and the place is filled with hidden cameras. Behind it all, her maids are closely watching and calculating which blocks are safe for her to pick. Yeah, cheating alright. First one out is Daigorou followed by Otome (because her boobs knocked down the blocks). However it seems Nozomi can decipher the hand signals Ieyasu send to Chise. They fear that their secret is out but it seems she has no intention of ratting them out. Then on a calculated move whereby it would be either Ieyasu or Chise who will go out next and they think Nozomi calculated is. Ieyasu is in a dilemma because if Chise loses, the deal for him to meet and date some super star is off. But he becomes selfish and saves himself. At this point, Kaho decides to forfeit herself, thus saving Chise. Oh Ieyasu, it’s hard to take back those words now, eh? Too bad, he was next to go out. Then on a turn, Chise takes a block with an embarrassing order. Seems Kaho has hijacked the maids when she suspected something amiss. She assures Chise’s safety though she’ll have to go through some embarrassing commands.

As the game progresses, flashback reveals that Chise wanted to invite a certain number of people to test out her new game and the winner can ask for anything he/she wanted. Nobody was interested. Takumi who was fixing the mixer notes that it is gone and it will cost a lot to replace or fix it. Fumino participates so that she could win and get the mixer. Of course Chise’s intention is to get on Takumi’s good side and even get engaged with him. After a few more embarrassing turns, Fumino picks out a block which needs her to kiss a member of the opposite sex. And Takumi is the only guy left. She’s in a dilemma to pick it. We know she wants to but is just too tsundere. But she can’t let Nozomi or Chise do it because they won’t hesitate. So what to do? What to do?! Worse, Takumi did mention if she doesn’t want to pick it, he’ll do it instead! Now, if he does that, which girl will he pick? Ah, the dilemma one can face in a small game. No choice, she takes it out so this alerts Chise (because she was pretty confident she didn’t have the guts to do it) so she and Nozomi (probably she was just copying) stretch out their arms to prevent her from taking it and this results the blocks to crumble. Thus, Takumi is the winner. So the prize that he wanted is a Stray Cats uniform not only for Chise, but Fumino and Nozomi. Well, he didn’t want the mixer replaced since the old one was kinda hard to let go. Otome notes that once the game is released into the market, they should all play together here. Takumi agrees with her so Fumino isn’t happy with that (probably it reminded of the trauma she went through) and sends him dying twice. Metaphorically of course.

Episode 9
Noticing that Nozomi is noting how fun a trip to the beach would be, Otome announces a relaxation trip for Stray Cats. So yeah, your beach episode with swimsuit fanservice. Be careful when Otome puts on her bikini because… What else is there to do at the beach? Play water or swim. Check. Watermelon splitting. Check. Beach volleyball. Check. Well, at least Nozomi is quite happy. That evening as Takumi and Fumino stroll together at the beach, he has to put up with her cry wolf antics again. He decides to rent a boat. I guess he rowed too far out when it suddenly starts pouring. Thankfully they manage to row back to shore and take shelter in a hut. Doesn’t this feel like deja vu? Don’t fret, they’re not going to take off their clothes. However Fumino realizes that Takumi didn’t pull the boat onto shore deep enough as it gets swept out to sea. You’re not going to ask him to get it back in this weather, right? Good. So back to the hut. More of Fumino’s tsundere. She is bothered that Takumi was gawking at Nozomi’s swimsuit and thinks he thought of something perverted. However he assures and promises her that he will not have any dirty thoughts if he spends a night or two with her. Guess what? She didn’t like that answer too and slapped him! Boy, she’s sure hard to understand. Poor Takumi is left wondering what he said to make her cry. Meanwhile the rest are worried that the duo haven’t return from their stroll. They receive word that they are the only ones yet to return the rented boat. Gasp. Chise uses her powers to contact all the coast guard and helicopters to do an all-out search. The rain is gone. Takumi lies outside and watches the stars. Fumino joins him though she’s just giving an excuse she’s just talking to herself. You can do that anywhere and not necessary with him, right? He asks what did she wish back then and did it come true. Well apparently it did not so she keeps blaming him that it’s his fault. She starts chiding him why won’t he understand or realize it. I can understand why he can’t. Nobody can. She gets so upset that she falls over him. Their romantic moment is ruined when a bright light is cast upon them. Yup, they’ve been found. Almost busted on doing something scandalous. Takumi had to make up a story that Fumino’s not feeling well. I guess for realism, she really fainted. I wonder how many coast guards did Chise called in. The bay is all too crowded. Back at Stray Cats, Ieyasu and Chise notice the odd interaction between Takumi and Fumino. Whatever happened, I’m sure they’re not going to accept this.

Episode 10
Chise’s first day working at Stray Cats sure has her making her grand entrance. Yeah, she jumped off her helicopter! Anyway, Otome has picked up another stray cat. Sorry, not a stray cat but a little girl, Honoka. I hope she didn’t become a lolicon. She leaves them in their care since she has to attend to other troubles around the globe but will be back in a few hours. Plus, Takumi isn’t here since he is undergoing some top secret training with Ieyasu. So the girls treat her nice but as usual Fumino and Chise don’t get along. They even try sabotaging each other during work. Like when Fumino tried to fix the door bell, Chise tickled her and caused her to lose her footing. They went into Street Fighter mode. Too bad. I really wanted to see them pull off some Shouryuken or Sonic Boom moves complete with health meter. Then it started raining again. While Fumino and Chise were just annoying in their squabbles, Honoka and Nozomi bond closer. Honoka shows her a notebook that she was sketching a bird. She chased after it and before she knew it, she was lost and that’s when Otome picked her up. Then Otome comes back but this time with Honoka’s mom. She is worried sick about her daughter. Otome was late because she went to the nearest police box to see if there’s a search request for a lost child. However along the way, she got caught with helping other troubles. Otome notes that Honoka can’t stay here since she has a place to return to. Before they part, Chise asks why Honoka never told them she had parents. It’s because they never ask! Chise advises her she should hold her parents’ hand and not let go. Nozomi says that she should come back here once in a while since everyone will be waiting for her. Next morning, Takumi treks back and he looks all messed up. Turns out his training was watching a marathon of selected anime DVDs. Can you blame Fumino for wanting him to die 2 million times?

Episode 11
Stray Cats Association’s first promo video may not have hit worldwide appeal, but it seems to have caught the attention of a person who is looking for Nozomi. She is Shimako Murasame and wants to find the origin of this video. With the sports festival coming up, Chise has grand plans for it to be broadcasted to the entire world! Showing the true powers of her technology, she builds a large stadium in just a day! Woah! However, the school starts divided into 2 camps when Chise supports the use of bloomers for the festival and has the guys including that otaku Ieyasu supporting her while Fumino who’d rather die rather than wearing that would prefer to wear tights and has her other best friend, Kanae Naruko backing her up. But there’s another problem cropping up. There is going to be a three-legged race competition opened to those in the shopping district so Otome certainly wants to pair with Takumi. Not if Fumino and Chise would have their own say about that. As for Nozomi, as she feeds the stray cats, she notices that a plate can only bring a certain amount of happiness. There are too many cats and limited food as she realizes that some of them have no chance of getting their share. The showdown between the bloomers and tights faction begin and it all boils down to whose side Takumi is to choose. Besides him, Daigorou and Nozomi do not belong to any faction. So it becomes a bloody fight to get Takumi on to their side. Nozomi is pondering that insufficient meal for cats and poses this question to Takumi but since he can’t come up with an answer she drops it. But Daigorou asks Nozomi if she’s alright not going back. Then Takumi could see through Satou and Suzuki’s trick to bring her to Chise but was ultimately caught anyway. Chise asserts Takumi will be on her side and do the three-legged race together when the bloomer’s faction is ambushed. Chise throws a question to Fumino what she wants to do with Takumi and this renders her speechless. After thinking, all she wants him is for the three-legged race, though I suspect it’s something more than that. To solve this problem, the president of the light music club (no cross-overs from the K-ON! series), Tamao Fujino suggests that they should settle their match a week before the real festival since it won’t look good to the townspeople having their conflicts. Lastly, Otome is visited by Shimako, a director from the Fourth Murasame Academy, a child welfare institution.

Episode 12
Nozomi continues to be gloomy. Something about Shimako congratulated her for becoming the 13th Murasame but she ponders about the meaning of being a family. The day of the showdown is here. Fumino advises Nozomi to come straight out with her feelings rather than keeping to herself. So it’s a 3 way fight between bloomers, tights and lazy bums (term for the neutral ones who aren’t in any faction). Bloomers are leading when Nozomi shows up wearing both bloomers and tights! What is this new fad called? Bloots. Eh? Nozomi enters the fray but she is one-(wo)man show and enters all the events herself! Can she do it? Unbelievably, she beats everyone flat! I can’t believe it! She wins every race on her own! Though it has a major strain on her, Nozomi wins and her command is to have Fumino and Chise get along (after hugging them both). With that, both sides accept the strength and weakness of each other. See, problem so easily solved. And it took a girl to do it. Yeah, everyone will be wearing bloots. But the problem of who should be pairing up with Takumi for the race is still on. Our usual suspects argue when Nozomi for once mentions that she would love to do it. Seeing her in such a state, I guess everyone has no choice but is happy to give Takumi to her. She is so happy that she says how she loves everyone. Except for Ieyasu. Just normal, for his case. Haha! Come the day of the sports festival, Otome is seen talking to Shimako. The latter mentioning how this academy is equipped with the best facilities and staffs. The most outstanding students are granted the Murasame family name and thus officially inducted into the Murasame’s parent organization and family. Though Shimako notes that Nozomi possesses high IQ and athletic abilities and is the greatest prodigy for the institution, Otome says that it’s that very same place she ran away from. Since they can’t reach an understanding, Shimako says the next time they meet will be in court and is confident since they have parental authority. But Otome won’t easily let Nozomi go unless she says she really wants to go back there. She invites Shimako to come watch the sports festival.

During the lunch break, Shimako spies from afar on Nozomi and refuses to believe Otome’s words. But she notices Nozomi making such happy expression when she’s participating. For the much awaited three-legged race, other than Takumi-Nozomi, the rest are Chise-Otome (I hope her boobs won’t pin down this shorty), Fumino-Kanae and Ieyasu-Daigorou. The race starts but Takumi-Nozomi is dead last. Takumi realizes Nozomi has a fever after asserting herself previously and wants to withdraw but Nozomi insists on carrying on since she was given this chance by everyone. Then Shimako pops up. She gives Nozomi some supplement pills and asks her why she left the institution. Nozomi’s reply was that she doesn’t want to make everyone cry again. When she was chosen to become a Murasame, she noticed other children crying. She felt she stole their happiness from them. Shimako thinks she may have misunderstood. Though it’s true that they cried, but it’s because they’re worried that she’s not around. That’s the same reason she came here to get her back and not as a director of the institution. Nozomi adds that there are laws regarding relatives but none for family. If she could choose a family of her own, she’d rather stay here with everyone because everyone here likes her (flashback cue for all the emotional scenes of Nozomi and the gang). Takumi also pleads for Nozomi to stay since she’s part of their family and they like her a lot. It was enough to convince Shimako that she won’t be bothering them for a while. Takumi and Nozomi finish the race in last place but everyone is happily waiting for them. As Nozomi rests in the infirmary, she mentions how Fumino and Chise like Takumi. And it’s a special kind of like. Fumino starts fumbling, denying everything she said like a true tsundere. She stumbles out to the door when Takumi just happen to come in. Their lips almost met so in her embarrassment, he has to die twice. Glad it wasn’t more. In the aftermath, Nozomi continues to stay at Stray Cats and receives a letter from Shimako and the kids at the institution saying that they’re doing fine. And poor Takumi continues to get caught in between Chise and Fumino’s feud. Not even Nozomi’s airheadness could help.

Episode 13
I was thinking this episode was going to be a filler episode since the previous one did mention everything had ended. It didn’t dawn to me that it was a recap episode! Not just your ordinary recap. Well, we have Fumino, Chise and Nozomi commenting and narrating the selected and ‘important’ scenes of the dozen episodes. Sometimes with sarcasm, sometimes trying to outdo each other. I know at this point the squabbling of Fumino and Chise can be considered annoying or amusing but the coolest one has to be Nozomi’s with her cool comeback lines (ironically, I feel she has the least lines). So you will hear the girls yapping away from start to finish. This means the opening and ending themes are not even spared. Yada, yada, yada. Bla, bla, bla. Watch this only if you want to know the main gist of the series and it serves as a good reminder if you have watched the entire series. And if you don’t mind incessant talking, yelling and rebuking. I mean, that’s what Stray Cats is all about, right? Hey, I just noticed that the first half of the series is filled with fanservice and near-nakedness!

Stray Cats Theatre
Of course with these days, the motivation to buy DVDs is the short specials that come along with it. Stray Cats Theatre as it is called, there are 6 specials and lasts less than 4 minutes. They are very random, nonsensical and spontaneous so much so at times you’d be rather puzzled and bemused rather than laughing because the gag is so fast you’ll be going, “Huh? What just f*cking happened?!”. Each special also has a recurring stint. Such as the opening warm-up exercise on stage to the annoyingly cute “Nyan, nyan” song, Ieyasu’s rallying speech like as though he’s running for president and the rock-scissors-paper match between Fumino and Chise in which the loser gets something dropped over them or dangerous befall on them. Otherwise she’ll get splashed and this is where the fanservice pose comes in. Yeah, fancy seeing the girl’s undies right through her soaked clothes? Does it turn you on? So like in Special 1 after Fumino’s exercise, we have Takumi getting beaten up by Fumino after he accidentally saw her panties due to the breeze, Chise trying to bend a spoon but she bended Takumi’s bones instead, Takumi opening a room door to see multiple Nozomi clones and Takumi again getting beaten up but this time flying into the sky after seeing you-know-who’s panties. Then in Special 2, Fumino again starts off with her exercise but it’s a little bit filled with fanservice and Ieyasu films up her skirt only to be later beaten up. Also, Otome handing over a drink to soldier Daigorou in a war desert, Chise trying to do some mind bending thing with a box but it ripped Takumi’s clothes instead and Otome helping some gorillas in the jungles only to return home with her clothes all torn apart. Chise takes over the exercise in Special 3. Then she tries to do another mind bending thingy with the cards but it causes Takumi and the guys to disappear to an uninhabited island. Others include, several takes on Takumi seeing Nozomi’s naked butt as she sleeps and some Armageddon battle between evil Chise and Takumi but since the latter got his face in her pantsu, she got upset and split the Earth in half!

Now it’s Nozomi’s turn to start off Special 4 with her exercise. More takes of Takumi viewing sleeping Nozomi’s naked butt and the rock-scissors-paper battle takes a twist because when either Chise or Fumino loses, it’s either Kanae or Kaho who bear the brunt of the fanservice. Variety is the spice of life! Also, Nozomi got chased down by a group of ruffian cats but was saved by a cool cat hero. Then some Cat-zilla terrorizes the place and licks Nozomi. Yeah, it’s her turn for some wet fanservice. It’s back to Fumino for the exercise in Special 5. Nothing special… Here, we have some mosaic blob thingy Otome brought back. Don’t know what it is but it squirt something into Ieyasu’s face, Chise hugging and loving it. Another twist for the eternal rock-scissors-paper duo. Since they’re drawing too much, Nozomi enters the fray and beats both of them. So now we have double wet fanservice of Chise and Fumino. Oh yeah. Twice the fun, eh? Lastly, Otome brought back a kappa to Stray Cats. Special 6 doesn’t start off with the exercise but a group of students fixing the stage. For the rock-scissors-paper game, as we are all tired of the water-for-the-loser punishment, the loser gets burnt, losing all her clothes. Yeah, naked fanservice! Chise, Fumino and Nozomi (when she entered the fray and lost) all get a piece each. The other side adventure sees Takumi and Fumino astray on board a raft. Takumi gets punched after seeing Fumino in her undies (there’s no place else to dry her clothes) and meets mermaid Chise and pirate Nozomi. Then washed up upon the shore, they are ambushed by natives (Ieyasu and Daigorou) but easily killed them off. Then Takumi treks through the jungle and sees Tarzan Otome swinging on the vines. He wakes up to see Otome, Fumino, Chise and Nozomi in their swimsuit calling out to him. It ends with the warm-up exercise and this time with Fumino, Chise and Nozomi together. Notice the backdrops moving now? Why didn’t they feature Otome in the exercise? Maybe something will jiggle too much and it will be an abomination! Haha! Just joking.

Lost And Trampled…
Unfortunately, it was painful to watch this series. I have to say that it was just mediocre and sometimes plain silly. There wasn’t much plot or character development in the series. Even that, there was nothing that brings about any real tension or drama that would make you skip a heartbeat. I mean, take a look at this. Otome found Nozomi in the streets, brought her back and with her airhead personality, you’d think that there is more than meets the eye. Then when it’s revealed that she’s some sort of genius who ran away from ‘home’, the person who supposedly came to fetch her back didn’t really put up much fight or resistance. I suppose she realized Nozomi’s feelings and noticed how she finally has a place to call home but that scene lacks the intensity that is needed to surely convince Shimako for Nozomi to stay. It felt like there wasn’t any much effort or feelings put into that climatic scene. So if they were to hold a nice gentle discussion over coffee without any hint of threats whatsoever, I’m sure Nozomi still would have stayed. Takumi and Fumino’s orphanage and bully victim past wasn’t that traumatic either to warrant anything that will bring forth something tense and dangerous (not talking about Fumino’s abusive tsundere towards Takumi) though it may be pitiful. Then there was the time when Chise really wanted her parents to come meet her friends. I thought they were going to develop something out of that to add to the drama but nope. Looks like they’ve forgotten about it. So the filler episodes like the hotspring, the super blocks game and video promotion shooting were somewhat more ‘entertaining’.

Fumino was just annoying with her tsundere behaviour. At times you really don’t know what she thinks or what she wants. And the die twice, die thrice and Takumi getting beaten up got a little stale after a while. It’s more or less the same thing. Maybe that’s her way to show her love. Besides, didn’t Fumino already spit out as early as the third episode that she likes Takumi? So why is she still acting like as though he doesn’t know that? More importantly, did Takumi forget he heard that? I don’t remember anywhere he made any decision to postpone his answer to return her feelings whatsoever. Maybe he really does consider her to be his childhood friend after all. Besides, that one episode whereby Takumi and Fumino got grounded together outside because of the storm was supposed to bring their characters closer. Maybe it did. For about 10 seconds. Then it’s back to normal like as though nothing of importance from that ever happened. Chise is another annoying brat. But she’s that because she wants to get the attention of Takumi and the gang. Couldn’t she just be honest and tell them she just wants in instead of beating round the bush like forming a circle, etc. I have mixed feelings every time Fumino and Chise start their usual spat. On one hand, it’s amusing to see them at each other’s throat. On the other, too much of something is not good and I think I’ve got an overdose of their catty arguments. Yeah, probably the cat fight is the other cat related theme for this series. As for Nozomi, I thought she would have some major bearing on the show but besides her runaway act, whether it’s from Stray Cats or the institution, there was not much to her. I mean, she’s acting like a side character so much so I thought the series could’ve moved along without her making a single appearance. She’s just there, nyan here, nyan there, that’s all. And I conclude and don’t think those cat ears are really cat ears. It’s just her hairstyle. But at certain scenes like her sharp observation skills and athletic abilities proves that she really is a genius after all.

Takumi, he’s just a normal guy caught in between all the spat. Enough said. There’s something ironic about Ieyasu I want to say. If he is such a 2D-loving otaku freak, why the hell is he, say, trying to take peeping shots up the girl’s skirt? And I mean 3D girls. Many times. It goes to show that if you’re a guy and perverted, it doesn’t matter whether it’s 2D, 3D or 4D, you’re not going to miss out a great opportunity if there’s a chance to see some pantsu shot, right? Daigorou, I think he really likes Otome since I realized his reactions when she gets too close to him. Speaking of that busty airhead sister, it really bugs me about her very helpful personality. Without any hesitation, she will travel to the ends of the Earth to solve the issue. In that case, isn’t she one busy woman? She won’t even have time to come back to Stray Cats anymore, right? She’d be going around making peaceful negotiations between warring nations, solving the famine problem plaguing Africa and perhaps find a cure for the world’s deadliest disease! Man, why the heck do we even need UN for?! All we need is more people like Otome! With her around, the world would have been a much peaceful place. Very, very much, I guarantee. Did you notice that she can just do about anything and go anywhere? Except making a good cake. Now that’s a problem. Unfortunately, since she only exists in this series, that’s why the Middle East are still in conflict, children are starving from hunger and AIDS is still rampant with no cure in sight. And all the stray kitties at Stray Cats, it should have turned into a cat compound by now. Nothing much is known for Kaho except that she deeply cares for Chise and would go all out to look out for her. Even if it means saving Chise from herself like playing dirty and cheating. Satou and Suzuki are amusing too but they didn’t make much of appearance. It would’ve been fun to see them comply to each and every wish of Chise.

At first when I first hear Fumino’s voice, she sounded so familiar, that shaky voice. So when I learned it was Kanae Itou voicing her, it immediately reminded me of that crazy squid-lover Sanae from Shinryaku! Ika Musume and To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Saten. Similarly, Chise’s bratty voice sounded like I knew I hear her from somewhere but couldn’t put my finger on it. Once again when I find out that she is played by Yuka Iguchi, I instantly remembered that she’s that annoying sister Index from To Aru Majutsu No Index. Yes, I find that sister annoying. But do I see some Index anime relation here? That’s because Satou and Suzuki are voiced by Rina Satou and Satomi Arai respectively as they are the voice of Misaka and Shirai in that said series. Sorority sisters there, maids here. Oh, here’s another Index-related one. Nobuhiko as Takumi did play Accelerator in that show. Only he doesn’t sound as crazy and just normal. Ayana Taketatsu as Nozomi was unrecognizable at first since she wasn’t in her reprimanding mode like her role as Azusa in K-ON! series and Vanilla in Yumeiro Patissiere since she’s so gentle and hardly (if not, never) raises her voice. But upon closer inspection, yup, it’s her alright. At least Yukari Tamura as Kaho (Yamada in B Gata H Kei), Mamiko Noto as Shimako (Enma in Jigoku Shoujo) and Yui Horie as Kanae (Kotori in Da Capo) were identifiable. Other casts include Satomi Satou as Otome (is this really the lady who voiced Wendy in Fairy Tail and Ritsu in K-ON!?), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Ieyasu (Firo in Baccano) and Junji Majima as Daigorou (Ryuuji in Toradora).

I find the opening theme, Happy New Nyaa by the seiyuus of Fumino, Chise and Nozomi quite weird. I know it’s on purpose and part of the song but I find that singing their lines too fast is somewhat awkward rather than cute. Why do I get this feeling that they weren’t serious in singing? The special opening theme for the mecha episode, Go! Grand Braver by Yoshiki Fukuyama is your typical rock outfit expected of the mecha genre. If you have heard Yoshiki Fukuyama’s type of rock style like he did for Busou Renkin’s opening (Makka Na Chikai) or that one in Crush Gear Turbo, safe to say you can expect his kind of male-rock-screaming style. The main ending theme is Ichalove Come Home also by the seiyuus of Fumino, Chise and Nozomi. Sounds like it has a tropical tune in it. Why do I get this feeling that they’re somewhat lethargic when singing this? The special ending theme for the video promo is also sung by the same trio. Entitled Mayoi Neko Dokokoukai Uta, sounds better than the other ones they did but I still feel it’s so-so. The slow-moderate ballad of the ending theme for the mecha episode, Kanadete Hoshi Uta by Hitomi Mieno sounds better. Then the Bloomer No Uta by those bloomer loving guys led by Ieyasu sounds like a manly Broadway giving their praise and tribute to bloomers. The next episode preview is my favourite section. Because it is a section that Satou and Suzuki rant away while in the midst of doing something like sunbathing, cheerleading or even soaking in the hotspring. This part should have lasted longer. Speaking of trivia, you need not have sharp eyes to spot them. Just decent knowledge on anime pop culture. See the Code Geass reference Fumino made when her eyes were like activating the Geass? What about One Piece’s Chopper’s outfit that Nozomi donned during the race? And yes, that Index line said by Chise about the magic-nullifying Imagine Breaker?

Picking up random homeless people may seem like a noble deed but in the real world, it could get you into lots of trouble. How far do you know the other person? How sure are you the stranger has no ill intentions? Besides, if you can help one, how many more others can you help? It’s not the case of throwing as many stranded starfish back into the ocean because it will make a difference for those who are thrown back. Besides, having caught between a tsundere childhood friend, a rich obnoxious brat and an airhead genius (note the oxymoron) is a bit of a handful already, don’t you think? So think twice before really taking home a stray cat girl no matter how cute, irresistible, moe, kawaii or kawaiisou (pitiful) she is. Sheltering and feeding her is a big responsibility and you can’t treat her like a mere pet. Unless you’re into that kind of play, know what I mean? Otherwise, you might end up dying more than twice.

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