Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari

October 20, 2019

Naturally when one is to select a weapon, many would have opted to go for offensive melee weapons like swords, spears, lances, axes or ranged weapons like guns or bow and arrows. Not many would have picked shield as their primary weapon and would have only viewed it as some defence mechanism. Hence shields are not given as much prominence and does not receive its fair share of reputation, the most being relegated to fancy designs for coat of arms. But now we have an anime series to tell that shields can be as badass like any other weapons too. Herald, Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari. You know what they say that a good offence is a good defence. And our shield hero is going to show you why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of shields. Oh, is this another isekai genre too?!

Episode 1
Naofumi Iwatani is your typical otaku. He has enjoying this lifestyle but all that comes crashing when he reads a strange fantasy novel at the library. You know, world in danger. Four heroes each holding a different weapon (sword, spear, bow and shield) are summoned to help save the world. The moment he turns to this strangely blank page he is suddenly summoned to another world. There are 3 other guys who were also summoned, Ren Amaki (why do I have a feeling he is taken after Kirito?), Motoyasu Kitamura and Itsuki Kawasumi. The summoners beg them to save their world after using some ancient ritual. However the other guys want to talk business and rewards before accepting any mission. They are brought to King Aultcray Melromarc XXII who explains destruction is about to beset this world in Waves. They already experienced the first one and underestimated it. They survived but at a great cost of casualty and damages. Unfortunately the heroes don’t start out strong. They must train and power up their weapons before the next Wave hits. The heroes retire to their rooms. To their surprise, they learn each come from a different alternate version of Japan. Naofumi feels he got the raw end of the stick because shield heroes are regarded as losers. Can only defend and not attack? Next day, the king has gathered brave warriors to join the heroes. So the warriors are the ones who get to choose which hero to join? Too bad for Naofumi, none joins him! Why do all the hot babes join Motoyasu? Sure he is hot guy but he’s such a cocky jerk… Because Naofumi keeps complaining, Myne Suphia from Motoyasu’s side decides to join him. She shows him around and brings him to Elhart who is a blacksmith to buy some gear. Too bad for Naofumi, he cannot wield any other weapon besides his shield bummer. He practises but the most he could do is destroy those weak orange ball monsters. Naofumi works hard to kill and sell monsters, enough to buy him a decent armour.

One night Myne wants to drink and flirt with him but Naofumi decides to be a gentleman and turn her down. But when he wakes up the next morning, he realizes he has been robbed. Worse, the royal guards arrest him. Before the king, he realizes he has been set up as Myne accuses him of raping her. More salt to his wounds as his armour is now worn by Motoyasu whom he claims Myne gave it to him as present for rescuing her. With nobody believing in Naofumi, he screws everything and wants to return home. However it cannot be done until the Waves are over. So you’re all in for the ride. As he is one of the heroes, Naofumi cannot be executed but banished. With rumours of his crime spread, Naofumi leaves and has turned into a bitter and resentful man. At least he is no longer naïve and has wise up. Elhart almost believed the rumours but choose to show some sympathy and give him a meagre gear as parting gift. Naofumi channels his anger to kill those orange balls and sells them for money. Those who threaten to pull a fast one on him will get their just desserts. He tinkers with his shield’s branching abilities and also try his hand at making medicine. When ‘adventurers’ claim they want to join him but Naofumi sets harsh terms for them, turns out they are robbers but nothing could beat a man who has been bitten once. Even more bitter as Naofumi realizes he cannot farm his offensive ability as cannot attack. A slave dealer, Berocas sees potential in him and decides to show him some slaves. They cannot disobey their master and demi-humans are usually used due to discrimination. Hello there. What have we got here? A cute raccoon girl?

Episode 2
Raphtalia is the cheapest slave he can afford and he will use her to upgrade his shield. Berocas then conducts a ritual to make a mark on her that makes it hard for her to defy him. He goes back to Elhart to get her some gear and forces this scared and meek girl to kill. He tells her straight she will fight monsters for him and to recoup the cost of acquiring her. He did say he doesn’t see slaves as people but he still treats her decently to food and trains her. Raphtalia learns he is the shield hero and remembers her parents told her that the shield hero treated them good. She still reels from the nightmare when a monster killed her parents who bought time to save her. All Naofumi can do is hug and console her. These nightly screams are going to be routine? Better get used to it. One day during training, Naofumi is attacked by a vicious monster. He tells Raphtalia to kill it but she is scared of blood. More truths lectured into her about the Wave and the likes. If he dies, he cannot protect her. He needs someone to fight for her as he cannot attack. With that, Raphtalia makes her first bloody kill and vows to fight for him. In order to make fast money, they head to the mines to collect gems. Nobody goes there as monsters inhabit it after the first Wave. However a dog monster similar to the one who killed Raphtalia’s parents pop up. She is paralysed in fear. Naofumi tells her the truth her parents cannot come back but she can prevent other kids from sharing her same fate. If he dies, so will her. As she is still is still afraid, Naofumi changes his mind. He will buy time for her to run away. This has Raphtalia realizes it will be the same as then. She picks up her sword and stabs the monster to death. She hugs him and cries not to die or leave her alone. So that’s the deal between them. She attacks, he defends. Simple.

Episode 3
I don’t know how long it has been but Raphtalia has now matured into a hot raccoon babe! She even has guts to talk back to Naofumi especially when he doesn’t put his own health as priority. With the Wave drawing closer, oddly this must be some huge coincidence as all 4 heroes converge at the cathedral to see how much time left before the next Wave hits. This gathering only brings bitter memories for Naofumi. They’re all still cocky and Naofumi bites his tongue to stay quiet and tries to leave. Jerk ass Motoyasu trying to flirt with Raphtalia? Thankfully that raccoon girl stays loyal to Naofumi. Who feeds her, right? She is still grateful to him for giving her a second chance in life. The day of the Wave is here. Sky changes colour. Weird portals throwing down monsters. Naofumi tries to defend the abandoned Lute village. Not sure if he can do much by being the bait and lure all the zombie monsters to a burning tower and let it crash. His brave act has the villagers returning to help him but he doesn’t want them to waste their lives and die for nothing. It gets worse when the royal guards simply fire their artillery to take everything out in the village. Naofumi is not pleased they aren’t defending the people they are supposed to but that’s none of his business. He would have let them become monster feed but he can’t sink to their level and still defends them. While some cocky guards leave to assist other heroes, those who see Naofumi’s true character stay behind to help him defend the village. With all the monsters defeated, the sky reverts back to normal and the portals disappear. Woah. You mean it was that easy?! Maybe that was just the warm up. Next Wave should be harder… The villagers thank Naofumi from the bottom of their heart although he remains sceptical and brushes it off as nothing. At least he commends Raphtalia for doing a good job.

Episode 4
A lavish party is thrown. Naofumi attends only because of the reward. Otherwise he is like the wallflower. However Motoyasu still isn’t pleased. He challenges him to a duel thinking he is mistreating Raphtalia as a slave (despite slavery is legal here). Naofumi sees no reason to accept this until the king orders him to do so. Even if Raphtalia stands by Naofumi, they think she is brainwashed. Yeah, everyone continues to think badly of this shield hero. In this one on one duel, Naofumi relies on his tricks. Not to say they are underhanded but everyone else thinks otherwise. He supposedly had the upper hand until Myne interrupts and deals a serious blow, allowing Motoyasu to win. When Naofumi calls her out, no one in the crowd saw what happened. With everyone continuing to badmouth him, Naofumi realizes everything has been a setup since Myne is the king’s daughter. With Raphtalia freed from her curse, Naofumi thinks she has turned against him. He blames his shield and starts hating this world. So much hatred that he activated some curse series?! Raphtalia slaps Motoyasu for doing something she never asked. She explains how Naofumi took care of her and never abused her. Can Motoyasu do all that? Ren and Itsuki call out to Motoyasu that he actually lost that duel since they saw some wind magic interfering. Raphtalia goes talk to Naofumi. At this point, he is already at the peak of his depression and burning with hatred. Raphtalia reasons that his shield save others many times over and that she believes he did not rape. Even if the whole world is against him, she will always be by his side. After all, he gave her a purpose in life. That warm hug must have did the trick to make him open his eyes and ears to her again. Raphtalia evolves to an even hotter raccoon chick. I don’t see any difference but Motoyasu can’t recognize her? He sleeps on her lap till morning comes.

Episode 5
All the heroes are given their rewards. Naofumi gets his minimum but Aultcray deducts the expense for freeing Raphtalia so he gets nothing. However Itsuki and Ren vouch Naofumi should get something as he defended Lute and also fought an unfair duel. Naofumi takes his minimum and leaves. Raphtalia returns to Berocas so she can get the slave mark back on her chest. She regards this as a symbol of his faith in her. Berocas introduces Naofumi to some monster egg lottery. If you take care of the hatched monster, it can fetch a handsome price when it grows up. If you win the jackpot, you might get a dragon. Naofumi buys one. Thanks to his heroics, store owners give him freebies for saving their relatives at Lute. The egg hatches into a small bird known as filolial. Amazingly Filo grows up into some Chocobo spinoff in 2 days! Trouble comes when Myne declares Lute under Motoyasu’s domain as one of his rewards. They are going to impose some levy to help rebuild it. Of course the villagers oppose it and so does Naofumi. Myne would have resorted to blackmail had not messengers drop in with a message. Whatever it is, she challenges Naofumi to a race over Lute. Initially Naofumi refuses but the villagers vow to reward him. The winner gets Lute after a 3 lap race around the village. Naofumi teases Filo and gets kicked in the crotch! Ouch! During the course of the race, of course Myne has her subordinates use magic to cheat but whatever attempts they do, Naofumi manages to get back. In the end, Filo’s beak seals the win. Sore loser Myne calls Naofumi a cheat and all but with the messengers detecting magic properties that do not belong to Naofumi or Raphtalia, Myne and Motoyasu back off for now. Since Naofumi doesn’t want to take money, the villagers give him a carriage. Good timing since Filo evolves into a bigger bird! Naofumi is also give a traveller’s pass that exempts him from tolls and can traverse many other roads. They take a rest since Raphtalia has motion sickness. Next morning, who the heck is this naked loli sleeping next to Naofumi???!!!

Episode 6
So let me guess, this loli is Filo levelling up? Sounds pretty fishy but there’s an explanation about how filolial can disguise itself as human… Anyway, with Elhart convinced Naofumi is some lolicon, because Filo has this penchant to change between forms, she rips her clothes. Need to find clothes that don’t rip between transformations. Where is Bruce Banner when you need him? It is possible to make such magic clothes but special materials are required. So as they travel to the next village, it seems a peasant request an emergency delivery. Naofumi does so and realizes in addition to become merchants, providing transport can also fetch a handsome profit. He continues with this trade and one day as he transports a wealthy trader, bandits ambush. Of course Naofumi’s team easily defeats them. When they think of throwing lies of him if handed to authorities (because he is the shield hero), Naofumi decides to kill them. How does it feel to become filolial feed? Now they are begging for their lives? Okay. He spares them but in exchange loots them? Sorry, donate all their tributes! The grateful trader pays back by teaching him how to craft gems and also introduce some connections. Naofumi heard the exploits of other heroes. They are doing well on their own but he finds Itsuki’s story all over the place and less credible. Naofumi’s party enter some mine to get the special ingredient. They overcome aural illusions and fight off some badass monster (did Filo and Raphtalia did some Mortal Kombat X-ray move there?!) before getting the desired gem that is crucial in making Filo’s magic clothes. And when it’s done, damn she looks like an angel! So cute that Raphtalia is jealous Naofumi is staring a lot at her.

Episode 7
Arriving at a village ravaged by vines, as expected the desperate villagers plead for Naofumi to help them. Long story short, the village was facing famine when Motoyasu brought a sealed seed here. Without a doubt it solved their food problem for a while but the tree mutated and started growing vines and plant monsters that destroyed everything. Even some of the villagers are being infected by the parasitic plant. Since they will pay and perhaps some sort of score to settle with that spear jerk, Naofumi heals the infected and then goes off to destroy the core. Not sure what ability he has because it seems the vines have no effect on him as he could easily approach and poison it with his medicine. Because he learnt a new skill upgrade, he even did some genetic mutation to create a better plant that will only produce greater food yield. Wow. This guy is soaring to greater heights. After leaving the village, they stop by and rest at a hotspring area. This part feels like filler as Raphtalia feels insecure since Filo is clinging too much to Naofumi. Thoughts of trying to snag Naofumi for herself fail since Filo is always with him. That night, both have this same idea to get some rare egg. It started out as a race but they realize it is better to cooperate since a giant wild boar stands in their way. Unfortunately the rampaging boar destroys the egg. I guess the boar can even sense how mad these girls are. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… Bringing back the dead meat boar to town, villagers want to pay them handsomely for it because it is used as offerings in their ritual. With the money, they buy an expensive metal crafting tool for Naofumi.

Episode 8
Entering a village where the people are dying of a disease, Naofumi treats their symptoms but didn’t cure them. As long as the root cause is around, the problem will go back to square one. It seems recently Ren slain a dragon on the mountain. This attracted visitors but they soon started dying because of the poison its rotting corpse emitted. Of course Naofumi will fix this for a fee. As they approach the dragon, it revives?! Zombie dragon?! Filo has a grudge against dragons and starts attacking it. Uhm, how do you kill a zombie anyway? Unfortunately, Filo gets eaten! Oh sh*t! Naofumi becomes so enraged that he unlocks his curse. Damn, he is so overpowered but evil! His trauma of betrayal fuelling that hatred. As he is about to dangerously go berserk, the voice of Raphtalia brings him to his senses. He realizes Raphtalia has been infected. He desperately tries to heal her but he needs that curse power to defeat the dragon. Don’t worry. Suddenly it dies. Filo bursts out from its stomach! She claims while eating through its stomach, she found a crystal that is supposedly its core. Yeah, she ate it too. Naofumi tries to use his reward money to get Raphtalia healed by the doctor doesn’t have enough materials nor power to stave off the curse. He lets him keep the money and perhaps the churches in bigger towns might help. Naofumi reflects on his actions. He realizes the difference between bravery and recklessness, caution and cowardice. As that cursed shield isn’t in his upgrade tree, had he continued to use it, he would have killed both of them. He realizes the need to protect them. The duo also share some of the blame for being reckless. Naofumi promises they’ll get stronger so he could protect those who believe in him. Raphtalia wants to him to accompany her tonight but he has Filo do it instead. Bummer.

Episode 9
Naofumi finds a girl frolicking with other filolial. She is Melty and because Filo can talk, they become friends! Wow. Naofumi now playing doctor? Because he is going to the capital tomorrow, Melty wants to hitch a ride. Isn’t it odd if she is part of the nobility, she got distracted playing with filolial and the guards left her behind???!!! Were they doing their job???!!! Along the way, one night they thought Filo ate her because her clothes are only left behind. Naofumi thinking of destroying evidence? Luckily, she was just sleeping in Filo’s feathers. So warm and fluffy… After Naofumi buys an expensive holy water from the church, a young soldier calls for him. Guts tell him to run but this has him bump into Motoyasu who immediately attacks him. What now? He claims he made a slave out of some blonde angelic loli and wants her freed! Damn, this guy a lolicon now?! Uh huh. His fetish is blonde angels. I don’t even… Motoyasu continues to attack, causing destruction around. The young soldier stops them because this is a public area but Myne uses her authority to turn this into an official duel. Only to be stopped by Melty! With all the guards bowing down, this girl must have some authority. You mean Melty is Myne’s younger sister???!!! Stop this or she’ll report to mom. Motoyasu tries to be nice to Filo but when he badmouths that fat chicken, I guess Filo has to show him again. Motoyasu realizes they’re both the same as Filo kicks him in the crotch again! No padded armour can save his crown jewels now… Later Melty explains to Naofumi that despite being the second daughter, she is the next in line to the throne since Myne has always been a problematic child. Before she could explain further, Naofumi will not listen anymore. He cannot trust her. Go away.

Episode 10
Melty is ushered away by her guards before she could tell the truth. Her mom the queen knew about the king’s mistreatment on Naofumi. She wanted to admonish him but from what I can see, she is on house arrest and sent Melty on her behalf. That young soldier brings back more of his friends. Inspired by him, they want to join Naofumi and fight alongside him when the next Wave hits. He wants them to bring 150 silver. That’s to build trust, right? With Raphtalia eligible for class upgrade, he tells her to pick a path instead of relying on him. Because once this mission is over, he will return to his world. This makes her worry. As they can only do upgrades near the hourglass, the nun charges a high price. When Naofumi is able to afford, they shift the goalpost that Aultcray has a decree to refuse any upgrades for the shield hero. Hence he goes to see Berocas for this service. He doesn’t offer such service but mentions a few nations that have that hourglass. Shieldfreeden or Siltvelt are most suitable as demi-humans there welcome humans but the journey is long and they won’t have time before the next Wave. Berocas suggests buying weapons for Filo. She gets talons and she tests it out on sewer monsters. Raphtalia talks to Naofumi about wanting to follow him back to his world once this is over. But is interrupted with Filo accuses her of trying to kiss him. End of conversation. Naofumi visits a dilapidated town in the north and the few people are starving. It seems it has gotten worse after Itsuki gathered revolution warriors to overthrow the despot king. Back in the capital, Naofumi sees Itsuki and Ren together. Both seem to think that somebody is impersonating them to get rewards because after they did the job, they couldn’t get it as the rewards is already paid. They accuse Naofumi as the impersonator but he tells them off their actions have caused the rescued towns to be worse off. Like that town Itsuki saved, the revolutionists increased their tax with the excuse to rebuild the country while that rotting dragon corpse Ren did, no reward was paid because the job was cancelled and he had to clean up the mess. If they don’t believe him, go see for themselves. Ren and Itsuki see no reason why Naofumi would lie. The young soldier and his friends have returned with the money. But Naofumi tells them to buy better gear with it so they can fight the next Wave. I guess they’re in.

Episode 11
With the next Wave here, Naofumi and his merry band defend the village from invaders. Who the heck is this granny giving kung fu kicks on the monsters?! She is one of those patients he saved so it makes me wonder if his drug is really that potent. Naofumi goes off to handle the big boss on this flying ghost ship. The other heroes are also there. However they are not cooperating and doing things their own way. Hence the deadlock in trying to spawn the Soul Eater since the enemies keep reviving. Eventually Naofumi spots an oddity in their shadows and strikes it to lure out the Soul Eater. With everyone pitching in to fight it, their attacks seemingly don’t have any effect. Hence Naofumi is going to unleash his cursed shield. He gets engulf in the flames of hatred and hears the voice of the zombie dragon vying for revenge. Naofumi turns into a wild beast to attack the Soul Eater. Filo also gets affected and follows suit. With the rest standing around and in shock at this transformation, Raphtalia chastises them for having so much power but yet they don’t use it to fight and help him. Though, she blames herself for being weak if not otherwise Naofumi won’t be in this situation. Luckily her voice still resonates within him as he returns to normal. Naofumi does an overkill on the Soul Eater with his Iron Maiden piercing ability. Just when the heroes thought everything is over, pops out another Soul Eater. However this one is easily destroyed by the heavenly zaps of Glass. This dark Japanese chick mocks the heroes as weaklings because they’re already having a hard time handling the small fries. She only calls Naofumi as the true hero and begins what is now the true battle of this Wave. So this is like the true hidden boss fight?

Episode 12
Nothing works up the other heroes more when Glass calls them Naofumi’s servants. No matter how much they power up, they couldn’t scratch her. Now it’s Naofumi’s turn to dance with her. He also throws everything he’s got and nothing affects her. So much so she teases him to use his trump card in which he unleashes his Iron Maiden. Still no effect! Is this dark babe on God mode?! Thankfully Naofumi lives up to his name as the shield hero and also withstands her attacks. Glass could have actually won had not she murmured something about the time limit. Yup, the Wave is ending soon. Hence Naofumi uses this last moment to escape. Glass uses her range attack but it is less effective. Time’s up. Glass returns and hopes he would be stronger next time. Otherwise he won’t survive. This signals the end of this round’s Wave. But soon, Naofumi against his will is brought to meet Aultcray who wants to know how he did it. But Naofumi plays hardball. You want to know? Bow and beg before me! This makes Aultcray mad as he threatens Naofumi who threatens back he can kill all of them right now. So leave him alone. If he dares threaten his party members, he will hunt them down and kill them all! After he leaves, Melty confronts her father and notes how things ended on a sour note. It seems he hints his grudge against the shield hero is because letting him and the demi-humans do as they please, he believes he will lose his family again. Myne as usual tries to be a b*tch and convince Melty to stand down. Melty replies back that this is none of her business. Myne trying hard not to let her angry b*tch face show… Naofumi thinks of visiting Shieldfreeden for his servants’ upgrade before the next Wave. So Elhart gives them a few weapons and accessories goodies for their journey. As they rest, Melty confronts them and hopes Naofumi can return to the capital to make amends with her father. Of course he rejects. Then the loli starts throwing a tantrum how stubborn the guys are. Does this run in the family? Like father like daughter? Naofumi suddenly has a bad feeling like as though all this was a setup. Then he spots a guard trying to stab Melty from the back. Luckily Naofumi is quick enough to shield her. Damn, is the guard that stupid to attack so obviously?

Episode 13
Other guards start attacking, claiming Naofumi has taken Melty hostage. But after a while, they retreat. Indeed, the footage that has been recorded and re-edited so as to make them look like bloodthirsty killers. No wonder the guards were acting so lame. This fake footage is then spread to other villages. Hence Naofumi’s party have to camp outside and cannot easily enter villages as they are also heavily guarded. Melty believes Myne is behind the attacks since her elimination would mean she would be the next in line to the throne. That’s why Naofumi suggests she come with them. If she goes back, she’ll get killed. Following him means the least he could do is protect her. Melty tells about her mom the queen and she has a higher authority since the country is matriarchal. They have to start running when guards are on their tail. This time the other heroes have also joined in. When cornered, Myne accuses Naofumi of brainwashing everybody, the reason why Melty and others so willingly follow him. He is ordered to hand over Melty but Naofumi hatches an escape plan. It falls apart but it gets more appalling as Myne tries to kill Melty giving an excuse she attacked first and if her brainwashing is this bad, she’ll have to die. Meanwhile Motoyasu is trying to rape Filo?! WTF?! Ren and Itsuki are in shock that Myne is trying to kill Melty but Myne was so engrossed in focusing on trying to kill Naofumi, she didn’t sense Raphtalia sneaking up and owning her. This allows Naofumi’s party to escape. Later they are approached by this ninja woman who is one of the espionage members called Shadow directly under the queen. She wants Naofumi to see the queen and he’ll get his answers. We slightly distracted with Melty throwing a tantrum at Naofumi until he calls her by her name. Weird. So weird that even Raphtalia feels weird out. Can we move on? Speaking of which, crazy Myne b*tch is now setting the forest on fire…

Episode 14
Has the word spread that Naofumi was the one who started the forest fire. We didn’t start the fire! They arrive in an area whom Melty knows the noble. Seyaette was a kind noble who treated his demi-humans well but he died in the first Wave and all those loyal to him were spread out across the kingdom. This place also brings back bad memories for Raphtalia as she was from this jurisdiction and after the first Wave, soldiers stormed the place and attacked them. Van Reichnott welcomes them and allows them to stay at his place. Though, Naofumi remains sceptical. Next day, they see Reichnott being taken away by guards. The lord of the neighbouring domain, Idol Rabier accused him of hiding them and marched his way in. As a maid hides them, Melty confronts Idol and claims Naofumi abandoned her here and escaped. She wants to return to the capital to talk to her father. After being taken away, Naofumi and co hatch a plan to go rescue her. That night when demi-humans are protesting outside Idol’s mansion, Naofumi uses this chance to sneak in. Meanwhile Idol is trying to force Melty to reveal where Naofumi is. Despite she maintains she doesn’t know, he then beats up Reichnott in hopes this will get psychological on her. When all fails, why the heck does he look like having that rape face and wanting to rape her?! Thankfully our shield hero crashes in to save the day. After Melty is secured, Raphtalia confronts him and even turns the table on him. With Idol begging for his life, Raphtalia is not amused because lots of demi-humans also begged for their lives like this. After all, she was part of the demi-humans whom he rounded up and sold as slaves.

Episode 15
Idol still begs for his life and Raphtalia ponders about killing him until Naofumi asks if doing so will have her closure. Has she not grown stronger only in terms of her sword? Raphtalia recollects herself and despite how much she hates him, will not kill him. Otherwise she is the same as him. Obviously being the typical baddie, he tries to kill her when she lets his guard down but she is fast to defend. Ah, the best way for scumbags to die is to trip and fall out the window. Good riddance. But Raphtalia still needs to confront her past. In the basement where the slaves were kept and tortured, she remembers being forcefully brought here with her other friend, Rafina. Together they suffered but kept each other alive until one day Raphtalia was sold to a slave merchant. Rescuing other demi-human slaves, Raphtalia recognizes another fellow friends, Keel. He doesn’t recognize her at first but after recounting a few incidents together, he remembers. But it is all tears for Raphtalia when she discovers Rafina is reduced to bones. She’s a corpse. Crying over her death, it’s that moment when Raphtalia begins to feel she is useless and weak. And it’s that moment where Naofumi reminds her how she was the one who gave him hope and trust. So in order to avoid others from going through the horrible things like them, they have to protect those who survived. And I guess this weird vision of Raphtalia and Rafina so they could find their closure and move on. When they resurface, it seems that fatty bastard is still alive. He has gone crazy and undone a seal that sealed a monster. So this T-rex is the monster? Fatty thinks he will be blessed by God if he destroys everything but looks like he’s got the devil’s curse. Because T-rex stomps on him. I’m pretty sure no one can survive that. Good riddance for real.

Episode 16
Chicken vs T-rex? The reason the monster is targeting Filo is because both have crystals inside that are resonating. Are they hinting something about T-rex are related to modern day chickens? Naofumi takes his team to lure the monster away from the city. They end up at a lake where they fight it but they’re not making any headway. Naofumi tries to use his cursed mode but a voice tells him not to rely on it. Then the place is surrounded by filolial and the one taking on the monster is the giant filolial queen. She makes it look so easy when she kills it! She transforms into her loli version since we all approve of this cute form that is better for conversations. Introducing herself as Fitoria, she takes them back to her base to talk. But first, Naofumi cooks for everyone. Can’t talk on an empty stomach. Yeah, he has to feed the entire filolial herd too! Damn, this looks like a KFC farm… Finally Naofumi and Fitoria can talk. She is against him relying on his cursed shield despite he views it as his only way to survive. It might give him power now but the consequences will be immense too. Fitoria came to Naofumi’s aid because she heard news of a potential filolial queen candidate. Fitoria might be powerful now but that won’t last forever. She is appalled that the heroes are bickering among each other and not fighting Waves in other countries. So you mean the heroes aren’t aware of this? She thinks the heroes should be talking their differences out as much as they don’t like it. Fitoria views her mission is to protect and save the world from Waves. Despite not liking humans and not caring for them, she is only doing so because the previous hero raised her. It is also the reason why Filo is growing differently from other filolial because of being raised by a hero. Because Naofumi is still stubborn not wanting to patch things up with other heroes, Fitoria has no choice but to kill them.

Episode 17
Fitoria takes Melty hostage in hopes Naofumi would change his mind to reconcile with other heroes. Nope. If she wants to kill him, feel free to do so but he won’t go down without a fight. Let’s see if he can do so when she locks his shield’s properties! Hence Fitoria challenges Filo to a fight. She will disregard all this if she defeats her. As expected, we see Filo getting owned left and right. Fitoria is so powerful that she can even take care of Naofumi trying to sneakily rescue Melty. She uses this to blame Filo as weak. Otherwise why resort to this? She continues to taunt her weak will to protect Naofumi. That’s the cue for Filo to turn stronger as she absorbs mana from the air until she breaks through Fitoria’s shield and just scratch her. Well, I guess she passed. So it is no surprise this was just a scheme to see if Filo is worthy to become her successor. And since she has proven that, here is a crown. And also being the next filolial queen means you grow an ahoge? Don’t mind that since she also gets a considerable stats increase. Fitoria also helps boost Naofumi’s shield attributes by unlocking more branches. Then they have a party to celebrate Filo becoming queen. So Naofumi has to cook more KFC? Damn did he get filolial raped? Later Fitoria talks to Naofumi seriously that she still would have killed him and the other heroes if they won’t continue to cooperate. Since they’re going to die at this rate, might as well kill them off and summon new heroes. She doesn’t know how many Waves will come but there will be a time when the world demands sacrifice from all life. The heroes then must choose what they fight for. Saving the world isn’t the same as saving its people. She casts a spell to help slow his shield’s corruption. You might have guessed Fitoria’s previous hero who raised her was also a shield hero and Naofumi is now sounding a lot like him. Sometimes a queen also needs a gentle pat on her head. Ren and Itsuki are in a cave supposedly housing the legendary weapons of the heroes. However it is empty and they realize too late it’s a trap. Boom!

Episode 18
Naofumi’s party nears the border. Fitoria previously sensed another hero nearby so Naofumi hopes he could talk to Ren or Itsuki to let them pass. Unfortunately it is Motoyasu. He looks mad, attacks Naofumi mercilessly and blames him for the killing Ren and Itsuki! Of course when Naofumi tries to explain, he won’t listen and even thinks his party members are still under his brainwashing. Myne forces both their sides to fight in an enclosed ring. No surprises that Naofumi’s side wins. Filo using all that she has learnt from Fitoria and Raphtalia doing some sneaky combo with Naofumi to get the better of them. Before Naofumi can further talk, Raphtalia senses something strange. All the soldiers that were surrounding them are now gone. Filo also senses something dangerous so she has Naofumi put up layers after layers of shield. And then some gigantic beam hits them. Everyone is okay. Just one big huge crater left behind except for the ground they stood. This kind of devastating power can only be from the pope, Bisca T. Balmus. He views them as sinners and will be purify them in God’s name. But he almost killed Myne who is of the royalty, right? He believes the script goes as they are killed by Naofumi’s side. And now they are just walking corpses. WTF?! Which sci-fi did he pluck that out from?! You know he is starting to be the bad guy when he claims the royalty is nothing but nuisance as the soldiers have already taken over the castle. They have already planned a system of government to take over the royalty. No one can rule the country but them! Is this all God’s will? He further explains the damage done by the heroes despite these weren’t intentional. They thought they were doing the world some good but they are just naïve. Balmus further hints he killed Ren and Itsuki for doing some unnecessary investigation. Oh Motoyasu, you sure look very shocked for a hero. Didn’t see this coming, eh? How could he after being blinded for so long? And now Balmus takes up his sword. Time to receive God’s punishment.

Episode 19
Naofumi manages to block the attack. And that was just a trial run? The sword then changes into a spear. Melty realizes this was a replica that was created and can transform into the 4 weapons. It was rumoured to be lost centuries ago but apparently the church created that lie. If it’s so powerful, why need to summon the heroes then? Because it really sucks up mana from believers. See that long line of believers stretching for miles? It’s draining and also takes time to gather. Motoyasu’s feeble attacks didn’t work but before Balmus could finish them off, Ren and Itsuki return to fight back. The duo were investigating this replica in secret but the church knew they were snooping around and sent them to a fake location to assassinate them. The assassination could have succeeded had Shadow not saved them and they barely escaped it from the skin of their teeth. Now that the church is the one to blame for taking their rewards, credit and framing of Naofumi, Naofumi sure isn’t looking impressed because he had that I-told-you-so look. The heroes want to unite to fight but Naofumi refuses to play along. He is confident his party can survive without their help like they’ve always been. Now the heroes start arguing and pointing fingers but ultimately it is Naofumi who has the last say as he reminds them of the mess they did and the cleaning he did after that. In short, they let their hero status get to their heads and didn’t spare a thought for anybody else, thinking their justice version is right. It won’t be surprising if the people got sick of heroes like them. So in his eyes, they are no different than the pope because they use and abuse people for their own gain. Worst of all, they tried to take things precious to him. Naofumi won’t forgive them but will only cooperate to take Balmus down and also to make good Fitoria’s promise. Are we ready to continue now? Because too much talking and infighting has Balmus licking his lips as he has gathered enough mana to summon the greatest magic power to finish them off.

Episode 20
Mirelia the queen dons her armour and decides to make her move. It’s about time. So decided to wait till the world is on the verge of destruction only to act, huh? Nothing our heroes do could put a scratch on Balmus. Balmus has his followers put in more mana because there is nothing greater than dying as a martyr. With the heroes at their wit’s end, Naofumi’s curse then unlocks. A voice telling him to unleash all his anger and in return he will be given the power to strike back. Naofumi tries to resist but ultimately with the spamming of all the humiliation and disrespect he has been through, he gives in. Only, now his party members manage to talk and calm his heart. Yeah, the journey we had together, blah, blah, blah. Thank you for taking care of me, yada, yada, yada. Because he keeps to himself and doesn’t open up, they have a hard time understanding him. This helps suppress Naofumi’s curse at the expense of them being blighted. With this, Naofumi is like a changed person. He apologizes to the other heroes and seeks their cooperation. Shocking but yeah, people can change. We see all of them pulling off their coordinated combos on Balmus. If you think that will be the end, too bad it isn’t. Because Balmus’ weapon is able to mimic their high level attacks and at this point he uses his high level power to cast a scary illusion on them all. A kaleidoscope of Balmus? That’s scary indeed! Is that all our heroes have to offer? Okay. Queenie, your cue to move in. She freezes Balmus to give the heroes the much needed chance to take this traitorous pope for good. As Naofumi chants his spell, shockingly it backfires as he starts bleeding all over. Balmus won’t have the last laugh because some monster pops up and devours him and breaks his prototype weapon. I guess that’s the end. Devil beats God. With Naofumi looking like he will bleed to death, Mirelia vows to save him. Yeah, couldn’t you have arrive a bit earlier?

Episode 21
With the best treatment from the royal clinic, it took a month for Naofumi to heal. Mirelia explains what has happened. She was on a journey to meet with other nations to discuss about each nation summoning a hero for the Wave. Unfortunately Aultcray went ahead to summon all of them and this angered the other nations. Mirelia has to do damage control, that’s why there was inaction from her for so long. For some reason, Aultcray hated the previous shield hero and the church knew about it and took advantage to manipulate him. In addition to reward him for his heroics, she will also help clear his name and thus tomorrow everyone will be gathered at the royal palace. That night, Naofumi dreams of Aultcray and Myne being executed via guillotine. He doesn’t care for those jerks who deserve what they got but something just doesn’t feel right. In the throne room, all the heroes are summoned before Mirelia. Aultcray and Myne are now criminals and therefore a public trial will be held. In order to make them tell the truth, a temporary slave mark is put on their chest. Not sure if Myne is stupid or just desperate because she continues to lie and deny even though the mark zaps her for lying. Even till the end Aultcray still hates Naofumi and believes he did the right thing trying to rid of him before he ruins the family. At the end of the trial, Mirelia sends them to death and will be executed now. The people are baying for their blood for deception as Naofumi’s weird dream comes true. Myne pleads for Motoyasu to save her but when he abandons her, now she turns to Naofumi. So Naofumi steps in. Killing them would be too easy. After mocking them for who they are, he hereby wants to change their name to Trash and Bitch/Slut and live with it for the rest of their lives. If they refuse, they can die now. And with their lives spared, the queen also abolished the church. Once this charade is over, Naofumi intends to head to Siltvelt instead of staying here. However he will still work with all the nations to fight the Wave. Naofumi’s party is given an honour guard as he leaves. Melty won’t be joining but she learns from mother that she had intended to take her own life to beg Naofumi to spare the executed had Naofumi didn’t stop the execution. Perhaps he saw through her and stopped it. One last big thank you from Melty to Naofumi for bringing her home and saving her family.

Episode 22
With the corrupted church gone, Naofumi is free to upgrade Raphtalia and Filo. However something is preventing them to choose their class. Talking to Mirelia about this, she thinks certain accessories may hinder the upgrade like in Filo’s case, it could be what Fitoria gave her. There is also a party held for the heroes. Actually this is for the heroes to sit down and discuss. Meanwhile Myne, oops I mean Bitch/Slut tries to poison the food but gets busted by Melty. She doesn’t give up, does she? Then a drunkard tries to piss off Raphtalia for her kind as well as badmouth the shield hero so it descends into a free for all. Mirelia tells the heroes of the activation of Cal Mira Archipelago. It only comes once a decade and on this island they can level up greatly before the next Wave. Hence this ‘conference’ is to exchange info. The heroes are reluctant to work together but after Mirelia points out that only Naofumi has a real chance of surviving the next Wave, they relent. Naofumi shockingly learns from them how they could easily power up and copy powerful weapons. Just touch and copy?! That easy? There are loads of other easy skills and this shocks Naofumi since he did it all the hard way. Well, at least you can say Naofumi levelled up because of his own hard effort. Eventually the heroes disagree on the important factor that makes a weapon great. Proficiency? Rarity? Refinement and stats? This farce has Naofumi abruptly leaving the room. Can’t deal with these idiots. Naofumi then tries out this new knowledge at Elhart’s store. Wow. It really works. Copy everything for free! Damn this guy is going out of business!!! I’m sure it’s reassuring he’ll pay him back one day. Before leaving for the archipelago, Raphtalia requests to stop by her village to pay her respects to her parents and fallen brethren. Of course, her insecurities of Naofumi leaving has her bringing up this loneliness issue. Naofumi assures he won’t leave. He can’t leave the world in the fate of those idiotic heroes. How reassuring. I’m sure Naofumi didn’t say to them that he won’t leave until they find their own happiness. Otherwise they won’t find other happiness other than being with him. As they leave on the ship, because it is crowded, they have to share rooms. Naofumi’s party ends up sharing a room with L’Arc Berg and Therese Alexanderite whom they’ve briefly met recently at Raphtalia’s village.

Episode 23
L’Arc doesn’t believe Naofumi is the shield hero because he believes that dude is a demon in human’s clothing. But looking at Naofumi, he isn’t that of a bad guy so he can’t be the shield demon, right? Don’t waste your energy refuting this guy… On the deck, Naofumi sees the other heroes… They’re all seasick?! At Cal Mira, the heroes start farming for XPs but since an island isn’t big enough for all of them to share and hunt, I guess Naofumi can’t be bothered to join in the argument and leaves for another island. Farming XPs must be so good that Naofumi decides to hunt more into the night and camp on the island. However L’Arc and Therese come looking for them and they were worried. Because the boatman didn’t see them return, they thought they were killed. Understanding Naofumi’s desire to level up, even so a good rest is needed. So they head back to the main island where they party with the other heroes. Next day, Naofumi agrees to join L’Arc to hunt together. Raphtalia has finished crafting some jewel item as per requested by Therese and she’s so happy with it. On this island, they start killing… Killer penguins! Therese uses her new jewel spell on Naofumi. It burns away the killer penguins but Naofumi is not even effected and he felt the burden of his curse even lifted from this spell. After defeating the penguin boss and splitting their shares, Naofumi thinks of asking them to join his group when this is over. As they take a break by the beach the next day, Filo discover an underwater ruins. Inside it is an hourglass. This means this place can be attacked by the Wave. Speaking of which, it is in the next 48 hours.

Episode 24
Naofumi returns to report to Mirelia and she wastes no time in gathering a huge army for this Wave. Uhm, wouldn’t the humans be at a disadvantage because you know, monster fish can sink the ships? Apparently there is only a huge swordfish shark monster that can do damage and the rest are, uhm, fish people? Yeah, one of them must be a lolicon and tries to kidnap Melty! She is however saved by L’Arc. Noticing how strong L’Arc is, Naofumi needs his help to defeat the big mother. After luring it out from the waters, L’Arc deals the finishing blow. The heroes are going to get the drop items but L’Arc attacks the other heroes whom he views as weak. His target is Naofumi. So what’s going on? It seems L’Arc and Therese are also heroes like them but of another world. Their world is also on the brink of destruction and that’s why they are fighting towards a goal. L’Arc and Naofumi begin their fight with each other but L’Arc has an ace up his sleeve because he has some attack that deals damage to Naofumi the higher his defence points are. Naofumi also has some tricks up his sleeves. Mind tricks and his team combo. With this fight taking too long (and didn’t you notice the Wave is still ongoing?), Glass then shows up. She is on L’Arc and Therese’s side. She notes Naofumi has gone stronger as he manages to deflect her powerful attack and deal a lot of damage to L’Arc without even resorting to that cursed shield. That’s why she is going to take him down with her own hands.

Episode 25
Noticing that Glass anxiety towards his Soul Eater shield, Naofumi decides to fight her alone while letting the rest of his party take on L’Arc and Therese. Naofumi learns that she is also a hero from her world. A fan hero. She claims she must kill Naofumi and destroy this world or risk hers destroyed. When Naofumi sees a short glimpse of her world fending off the Wave, this makes him question his own motives. Because Glass is fighting so hard to protect her own world, why is he fighting hard to protect a world that isn’t his? Does he care enough for this world to crush Glass’ hopes? In the dying minutes of the Wave, Glass powers up so Naofumi also uses his cursed shield. He views himself as an outsider but this world is all Raphtalia, Filo and Melty got so it is worth to protect. But before he can use his cursed shield, Mirelia has Lecia (from Itsuki’s party) to use her wind magic and splash rum all over? So apparently Glass is weak against this alcohol? Literally can’t hold her glass! Haha! Time is up so L’Arc admits their defeat and takes Glass to retreat. See you again next time. In the aftermath, it seems Lecia is trying to drown herself. She was kicked out by Itsuki’s party after being accused of breaking something she didn’t. Naofumi doesn’t think she is as useless as she claims to be because she helped him a lot during the Wave. Also, is she going to accept this accusation? He can help her grow stronger. So is this his way of letting her join his party? Returning to Melromarc, Mirelia still feels the need to reward Naofumi. Speaking of which… Naofumi soon takes Raphtalia back to her hometown. I guess she is the only one left in the dark because surprise! It’s being rebuilt. Under Mirelia’s orders, Naofumi shall become lord of this domain. Naofumi explains of making this place as his base and a symbol of resistance, recruit more people and build an army. However Raphtalia doesn’t want him to say anything more. She thinks he is doing all this because he is going to leave them. She doesn’t want to live in a world without him. Please don’t go. Please stay. Naofumi makes it clear that he once thought of going home. But thanks to meeting them, he wants to protect this world as a shield hero. Hence this will be their origin. Their starting point. Their home. He hopes she will keep fighting as his sword. Of course. Probably steamy kiss interrupted when they realize everyone is spying on them! Is this how their new story starts?

Do Not Fear But F.E.A.R.: Face Everything And Rise!

So uhm, Naofumi finally has a change of heart and decides to stay? I suppose it is more fun playing the shield hero than being some boring useless otaku back in his world. After all, in the most remote of chances if he ever returns, where would he put to use all the skills he has attained? What a waste. Might as well stay here and write a new story of his legendary heroic feats! All hail Naofumi the greatest shield hero ever! Yeah, at least this puts to rest Raphtalia’s insecurity of him leaving her forever. Happy ending for everybody. Hope he doesn’t bump into Myn- I mean Bitch/Slut. Uh huh. No more episodes for this series means no more having to put up with Bitch/Slut’s antics. It’s a trade-off we have to live with. So yeah, the ending is reasonable. A good happy ending that we probably need after a very rough and dark start for a main character, even if it’s a weak one. There are a few slow parts in the series and it somewhat got a bit draggy with Naofumi still being viewed as a baddie and the final arc of the season on Cal Mira felt a bit rushed but overall it has been a great story.

This series was in danger in falling into that much loathed isekai cliché and tropes when you have your main character being summoned from our world to another world. It was a good thing that they didn’t make Naofumi an overpowered character from the start and because they ostracized his character, this somewhat plays on our emotions that would eventually lead us to support him because he has been mistreated so badly by the people in power and betrayed by those whom he trusted. Therefore when Naofumi somewhat becomes powerful, it is only because through the sheer hard work and effort he put in to become where he is today.

To justify how skilful and powerful he has become today, that is why his character is made to become bitter and distrustful. Look at it this way, if he was still the nice and naïve guy even if the shield hero wasn’t prejudiced against, he wouldn’t have actually put in a lot of serious effort to level up. Only when a man has his back pushed to a corner, he will bite back and challenge his limits. That’s why Naofumi being a truly powerful shield hero is very much justified. And I think that is what makes this isekai series so different from the rest of those ubiquitous and similar titles in the genre. Even though Naofumi looks overpowered towards the end, I wouldn’t consider him as overpowered. Sure, his shield skill tree has so many branches and it looks like he has unlocked a lot of them but there are still certain fights that he struggles with especially during the Waves. So I figure with Glass being so much more powerful than him, it shows that there is still room for him to improve and to remind us that Naofumi isn’t overpowered as we would like to think he is.

Speaking about the Waves, there are still a lot of things about this phenomenon that I don’t really understand. Like as though it is some sort of excuse to setup the plot and the likes. Because if the Waves hit countries that have the hourglass, how many countries are there in this world? And can they actually summon more than just 4 heroes at the same time? Can they summon other classes too other than the usual four? How long has the Waves been going on because it’s not like it just happened two or three editions ago. Did it? And the recent Wave we saw happened over the seas. If the heroes didn’t come to fight it, I mean would it danger any country? Are they just going to kill the marine life if the heroes didn’t show up? Unless the monster fish and fish people start swimming to the nearest island. And how nice of the Waves to let people know the countdown of their next attack so they can prepare and take appropriate action. So everything feels like some sort of game.

With the recent hints of the guardians from the other world, I am theorizing that there is some overseer higher entity who is so bored with its existence that it is sending worlds to fight to the death in mortal combat called Waves. And the world who wins the Waves will eventually get spared. I guess you have more than one try because we see this fantasy world being attacked a few times and even though each time gets stronger, it isn’t over yet. Hence the world Glass and co are from as they mentioned it is on the brink of destruction, the more they fail, the more their world will be destroyed so it’s like they are running out of time to win this Wave and save their world. Yeah, maybe they need to win it once or 10 straight defeats would mean the end of them. Yeah, they could have just tweaked the storyline from Mortal Kombat anyway…

Also, it was never fully explained about the previous shield hero nor what happened to him. Maybe this is saved for later instalments or seasons but it just leaves a confusing taste in my mouth. Because I am ever so eager to know why in the world Aultcray, oops I mean Trash, hates the shield heron the first place? Was it something to do with the previous shield hero whom he blames for ruining his family? Which family? The royal one or before he got married into the royalty, assuming he has that because Melromarc is said to be matriarchal. Even during his trial, he never did fully expand on this grudge of his. But I guess they didn’t want us to sympathise with an old fart who has done our main character wrong. So they leave this part in the dark and let us speculate. After all, trying to take out his grudge on an innocent man who only holds the title he hated is still wrong.

I guess this series has some character development especially for Naofumi and his team but mostly on Naofumi. After all, there is the pitfall of making him a really overpowered character or a very weak ass character and both types do not sit well with viewers. There needs to be some sort of balance so that Naofumi is the kind of character we would support instead of loathed since he is the main character and star of this series. So like I’ve said, having him turned from a naïve otaku into one who has to suddenly grow up and face reality overnight, it might sound harsh but I guess most of us would love to see that kind of character because it gives room to grow and develop. After all, many main characters have some sort of tragic past or need to face some biggest trials in their life in order to get where they are. Eat or be eaten. It’s a dog eat dog world even in this new world. Thankfully even though Naofumi can be considered as aloof, he isn’t as bad as when he started. He could have turned into a villain during those dark days for all we know. We see him trusting his comrades a lot more and opening up when needed. But still he maintains his distance because it would be just a shocker if he suddenly ditches his badass attitude and becomes all nice and glossy. That would make him so wimpy and I think his badass is what attracts his harem. Is this really Naofumi then? But there is still a possibility that Naofumi might become a villain. The final episode scene with Berocas hinting Naofumi is his golden goose to bring him more patrons, I figure Naofumi might turn into a dictator and cause others to rise against him, hence those seeking slaves or selling them for revenge or profit, keeping Berocas’ livelihood pretty much going.

Then there is the case of his cursed shield that is still as mysterious as the Waves I just mentioned. All we know is that it is able to give Naofumi all the power he needs in exchange for his rage and anger, thus losing his mind and turning him into a mindless berserker. But alas, to show that he doesn’t need to be tempted to use this method, that is why the all-important bonds he made with his party members so as to tell us that he isn’t all that lost nor desperate. Like I said, he could have screwed everything and become a villain and destroyed everything but despite how bitter and resentful he has become, thankfully he still has not his humanity so I think that’s why he might not be the nicest or the most pleasant of sugar coated main characters but this also makes him likeable. So the cursed shield ability thingy feels for now it is just lying dormant, waiting for the moment they need to move the plot forward in the future.

Because of Naofumi’s attributes as the shield hero, hence the excuse and reason why he needs to form a party to let others do the offensive and attacking role. Why do they all have to be lolis? Some sort. Well, at least Raphtalia was a loli racoon at one point before they decide not to somewhat turn her mature so it won’t be so obvious the shield hero’s party is a loli party too. Of course Raphtalia has some moments focused on her too since it won’t be right for Naofumi to be hogging all the spotlight by himself. So yeah, Raphtalia coming from a long way as a demi-human, her suffering and fears. Naofumi giving her that second chance was all she needed to turn it around albeit she might take a little time. He could have picked another slave but it was her. Lucky racoon. Raphtalia becoming Naofumi’s sword makes her an indispensable asset to Naofumi. This also tries to set up some sort of romance but it’s just one-sided. Because you know, Naofumi the kind master who teaches her, protects her, how else to get closer and bring their current relationship to the next level but to become a couple? I don’t know when the Waves will end but Raphtalia’s current insecurity being left alone if Naofumi returns to his own world, you bet she is going to try to get closer and snag him to prevent that. And now she can do that without worrying him going home because he has already decided to stay.

Then there is Filo who naturally doesn’t have any back story since she was born while the series is running. That’s why the need for that meeting with the Fitoria so as Filo would have something going for her instead of just being a combat assistance and carriage puller. Now that she is the filolial queen successor, you better show some respect for this loli chicken. She and Raphtalia might be gunning for Naofumi’s love but I say their kind of love for their master are different as Filo feels more like the master-pet relationship. But still, love rivalries nonetheless. And of course so as not to make her as one of Naofumi’s loli party members, hence she is sometimes in her giant fowl form. Last but not least is Melty who feels like a fringe party of the group. Because she is great friends with Filo, it is somewhat an excuse that she considers herself to be part of Naofumi’s party. Although mostly the first part was to escort her back home. Melty completes the party as she has magic attacks albeit not very strong ones but it is better than nothing. With Lecia joining Naofumi’s party in the final episode, I guess I can’t completely say he only recruits lolis into his team. Maybe now he is into retard-cum-joker? Because that is the kind of feel Lecia gives off in the final couple of episodes. Is she supposed to be cute being like that? Kawaii!

The other heroes aren’t anything much. There isn’t much back story on them so as not to take away the focus on the shield hero. Therefore we don’t really put our support fully behind Ren, Itsuki or even Motoyasu for any kind of reason unless you are an obsessed fan of the weapon they are holding. Though their intentions are good, the mess they created that Naofumi had to fix only helps makes us feel the need to vouch for the shield hero. It’s not like they’re the bad guys but we prefer a lot characters who can keep their sh*t together as well as solving problems, right? I keep thinking if Ren was a rip-off from Kirito since they even employ the same seiyuu to be this sword hero. But he isn’t as friendly as you hope he would be like Kirito. Motoyasu is the obnoxious guy whom you would love to hate. Just because this guy thinks he is hot and popular, he thinks what he does is correct. Unfortunately to set him up as Naofumi’s initial main enemy and a character whom we wouldn’t like, I feel Motoyasu has more screen time than Ren and Itsuki. Ren and Itsuki are calmer and more rational unlike Motoyasu who jumps the gun without thinking since he was so bent that Naofumi is the bad guy and trying to add more hot chicks to his party by trying to steal raccoon girl and chicken loli. I guess other people’s girl are hotter than yours, huh? When the rivalry between Naofumi and Motoyasu is gone, Motoyasu is then relegated to the same unimportant focus like Ren and Itsuki.

But I think many would agree with me that the most spiteful character whom you would love to hate is Myne, oops I mean Bitch/Slut. I had my guts ringing like mad like Spider-sense when she first joined Naofumi’s side. There were tell-tale signs here and there that throws suspicions on her character. And true enough, the ultimate betrayal that has viewers alike loathing this b*tch. If that wasn’t enough, it felt like she was really trying to make herself as the number one most hated character in our personal top 10 list by trying to muscle her way around, pick a fight with Naofumi using dumb Motoyasu for her ends but usually end up paying the price for her backfired schemes. If she was really beheaded then, I think most of us wouldn’t have shed a tear and would have cheered instead. But of course to show that Naofumi is merciful (they gave an excuse that death is too easy a way out), that is why she continues to breathe. Too bad she doesn’t learn from her lessons and still tries to get back whenever she can. Like as though the pain from the slave mark gives her pleasure and is some sort of masochist. I mean, does she really think she can actually get away with it! Oh well, you at least have to praise her persistency.

Action wise, I think it is great although not as exhilarating as say, the recent third season of Shingeki No Kyojin. They have a variety of moves and combos in taking down the enemy but I guess it is better than using once and then never used at all. Yeah, I would have complained about that had they do it and now that they have a few varieties, I even complained that I can’t remember those moves or that they aren’t memorable to begin with. Naofumi’s shield skill tree has branched out so much that it feels like those we see him used in battle are just a fraction of it. I assume he has practised in using them all otherwise it feels like he is a pro when he could instantly bring out that specific shield properties. Filo who provides fighting support to Naofumi, it feels like this giant fowl can do almost everything. From flying to kung fu kicks and even recently, she can swim?! Man, she is like the all-purpose vehicle and weapon that everyone dreams of. Naofumi really won big time with that lottery, huh?

Art and animation are decent. Some drop in quality sometimes but nothing that would be of real concern. For a world that is facing gloom and doom, there are quite some livid colours especially the characters like the heroes who sometimes feel like colour coded heroes. Red = Motoyasu. Blue = Ren. Green = Itsuki. And uhm, darker green = Naofumi? Naofumi’s shield has a lot of weird designs seeing that he has levelled up and branched out his shield tremendously. Sometimes I feel it is like there was a design contest to see which of his shield’s design would make the cut. I mean, like how is that Iron Maiden even a type of shield???!!! On a trivial note, does Raphtalia’s design take after Horo from Spice And Wolf? Does this allow Naofumi to circumvent the rules and attack personally? This anime was done by Kinema Citrus who gave us Yuyushiki, Code: Breaker, Barakamon and Made In Abyss.

Voice acting, a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Ren, Jun Fukuyama as L’Arc, Saori Hayami as Therese, Hiroki Yasumoto as Elhart and Kikuko Inoue as Mirelia. The other casts include Kaito Ishikawa as Naofumi (Genos in One Punch Man), Asami Seto as Raphtalia (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Rina Hidaka as Filo (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Maaya Uchida as Melty (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Myne, uhm, I mean Bitch/Slut (Yuzuru in Date A Live), Makoto Takahashi as Motoyasu (Kouta in Majimoji Rurumo), Yoshitaka Yamaya as Itsuki (Sugino in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Megumi Han as Glass (Akko in Little Witch Academia), Natsuko Hara as Lecia (Mei in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Sakura Tange as Fitoria (titular character in Card Captor Sakura), Takayuki Sugo as Balmus (Wanyuudou in Jigoku Shoujo), Yutaka Nakano as Aultcray (Ishikawa in Ghost In The Shell) and Kenichi Ogata as Berocas (Genma in Ranma 1/2).

The rock paced first opening theme, Rise by Madkid fits the series like a glove and should have maintained as the only opener. Not to say that the second one, Faith by Madkid sounds bad but adding some hip hop elements to the rock music somehow just doesn’t appeal to me. Both the ending themes are slow rock ballads and sung by Chiai Fujikawa, Kimi No Namae and Atashi Ga Tonari Ni Iru Uchi Ni respectively. Personally I prefer the latter. I didn’t notice the BGMs but when I tried to sample some of its soundtrack, it has over 2.5 hours of music! Of course I couldn’t wait that long to hear them all but from the random samplings I heard, they’re rather okay with a wide variety of styles from the usual medieval style music and orchestra strings to hard rock punk metal ones and creepy eerie/dramatic Gregorian style chanting voices.

Overall, not a bad series and one of the better isekai genres out there despite its dark theme. It’s not that we hate characters who are overpowered and can do everything right from the start, it’s just that we need a reason to justify why we want to support that main character. It’s not like we are sadists wanting to see him struggle and improve through all the sufferings but we can see it brings out the best and worst in a character during those trying times. Naofumi does it not because he is the one who has to wield the shield bur rather he has to. So it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from or what you have, it is how you make the best and adapt with what you’ve got and this series shows us how to tackle internet trolls without stooping down to their low level and engage them directly! Just ignore them and do your own stuff! Is that not how it seems?! Don’t let them dominate and step over you. Otherwise you would just F.E.A.R. Forget Everything And Run! Or F.E.A.R. F*ck Everything And Regret!

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE SUPER HYPE!!! DOUBLE SUPER HYPE!!! IT’S FINALLY HERE! AGAIN! We’ve been waiting for this like forever! I don’t know why they did this by breaking up the third season into 2 parts and taking a cour’s break. Did they think we can’t handle the shocking truth and sheer awesomeness and we will die before the series reaches its conclusion? Don’t underestimate us! Because of that, just to be clear, Shingeki No Kyojin S3 part 2 is actually the second part of the third season and hence making it the fourth instalment of the TV series overall. Confusing? Nah. They did that with Shokugeki No Souma’s third season so I’m not surprised. But we’re not talking about cooking food here. We’re talking about Titans eating humans as food! GAWR!!!

Episode 50
Our usual gang is taking Eren to Shiganshina. They stumble into a Titan but thank goodness it is motionless thanks to the moonless night. Eren realizes his hands are shaking. You scared? You might not want to admit but everyone is too. Will this mission be a success or failure? Once they reach Shiganshina, everyone takes off to their positions. As Erwin narrates, everyone is wearing hoods because they do not know if there is an enemy in the midst so this is to also help conceal the real Eren and avoid him being directly targeted. Once everything is ready, Eren transforms into a Titan to plug the outer Wall Maria. Success. The world is completely sealed up. If something feels off because it’s too easy, damn right it is because Armin has done some investigating and realizes someone has been camping nearby. There could be at least 3 enemies and they might have seen them coming while camping on the wall. Erwin is impressed with his thinking and makes him in charge. Armin is awkward with this new chain of command but issues his first order to sniff out enemies. As he thinks and thinks and the soldiers could not locate them, he realizes the enemies could be hiding inside the wall and has the soldiers look for cavities near the wall. When one of them finally found a hole, Reiner pops out and kills this dude! Although Levi swiftly stabs his sword through his neck, Reiner didn’t die. He was a second quicker to activate his Titan power as he soon transforms into the Armoured Titan. This signals to all his other comrades outside. The Yeti Titan and all other Titans now surround the inner entrance of Shiganshina. Yeti Titan then throws a rock and seals off that inner entrance. Erwin realizes they want to prevent them from escaping via their horses.

Episode 51
Smaller Titans rush in to attack. But Erwin is puzzled. The enemies could have just killed the horses and wait until Survey Corps tire out and unable to fight back to capture Eren. Whatever their plans, Erwin’s goal now is to prevent their horses from being slaughtered. He orders Hange’s squad to take down the Armoured Titan and approves the use of Thunder Spears. Indeed Reiner’s goal is to kill the horses but seeing Eren running in the opposite direction, he knows this is a bait. However he is forced to take this bait because Eren might circle around and escape, thwarting their plans to capture him. Once that happens, they have no reason to stay back and fight. Eren and Reiner clash and the former has gotten and improved in his close quarter combat. So while Eren keeps Reiner busy, Hange has her team get ready the Thunder Spears. Flashback shows she used this powerful technology that was kept secret by the Military Police that gives them a fighting chance against the Armoured Titan. Once Eren has got Reiner in position, Hange and co drop in their first Thunder Spears. Their environment makes it advantageous for this to be used because the buildings can be used as anchor while using Thunder Spears that literally explodes upon contact. With Reiner in pain, the rest use their remaining Thunder Spears to finish him off.

Episode 52
Flashback shows when Eren first transformed into a Titan and plugged up the breach, Marco overheard Reiner and Bertolt’s plans. Though, he thought it was a joke. But then Reiner pinned him down and knew he was too clever to brush that off as a joke. He then forces reluctant Annie to remove his 3DMD to prove her warrior status. They then left devastated Marco to be eaten by a Titan. Oddly, Reiner’s split personality then made him go in shock upon seeing Marco getting devoured. Fast forward to moments before Erwin’s squad arrive at the wall. Reiner and Bertolt are talking to their boss, Zeke (the Yeti Titan) about recovering the Coordinate and ending this cursed history once and for all. Connie and Sasha crying over Reiner’s death? Wow. Must be real bros. But Reiner isn’t exactly dead. He manages to give a loud roar in which Yeti Titan throws a barrel over Shiganshina. This is where Bertolt is hidden. The plan is for him to transform into the Colossal Titan in mid-air. The explosion will cause all those around to perish. But the moment he sees Reiner, he goes down to him. His head might be blown off by Bertolt can tell he is still alive because using the Titan power, Reiner managed to transfer his consciousness to his nerves. Bertolt has made his resolve. He needs Reiner to just move a little. Armin wants to negotiate with Bertolt and even throws Annie’s name into it. But Bertolt knows this is just to buy time so the rest could kill Reiner for good (at this point, Reiner turned on his back, making it hard for the soldiers to kill him off). Bertolt mentions about their mission of capturing Eren and annihilation of all humans inside the walls. He doesn’t view his friends as evil but they will still have to die. Conversation ended with Mikasa trying to do a sneak attack on him but he got away. Then Bertolt goes into mid-air and transforms. The blast seems to have killed almost everyone in the squad except for our usual heroes. As the Colossal Titan, he is using debris of the buildings and raining them like projectiles. Armin’s plan is to retreat for now but when Jean points out Bertolt might set fire to the wall and make everyone stuck in between the fire and the Yeti Titan, Armin dreads the idea of defeating Bertolt right now.

Episode 53
Armin is so panic that he passes the leadership to Jean, believing he can make better judgment. Though quickly makes a decision to get near the river, he will still be counting on Armin to come up with the ultimate plan. Yeti Titan is now smashing rocks into smaller ones and throwing them. This takes out many of the soldiers. Almost everyone is wiped out except for Erwin, Levi and the new recruits. They are forced to take refuge at houses near the wall but at this rate, Yeti Titan will flatten all the houses and there will be no place left to hide. Bertolt is moving closer to the wall. Jean has Eren to distract him but Bertolt ignores him. In a desperate move, Eren tries to stop his feet but is easily kicked away like a football! The rest try to use Thunder Spears but it backfires as Bertolt releases his hot steam to deflect everything. Armin, how is that plan coming up? Nope? Ah sh*t. Reiner has fully been recovered too! Levi’s plan is for Erwin to wake up Eren, have him take as many people to escape. A demoralised soldier, Floch Forster then rants about the dream of becoming a hero but he realized too late when reality sinks in. They’re all going to die. Everything is for nothing. But Erwin has a plan that could have Levi take down Yeti Titan. He didn’t say it because it involves everyone else sacrificing their lives just to give him this chance. He will lead them to a suicide charge and so as to ‘convince’ the new recruits to die to him, he will lead the charge and die first. His only regret is not seeing what’s in the basement. So close yet so far. When Erwin is breaking down, you know sh*t has already hit the fan. Hence Levi has decided. Give up on your dreams and lead your men to death. In exchange he will slay the Yeti Titan. So we see Erwin giving one last ‘motivation’ speech for his soldiers to go out there and die. Sacrifice and meaning of lives, blah, blah, blah. You ready? Here we come! CHARGE!!! They fire their flares simultaneously so as to affect Yeti Titan’s aim. Meanwhile Levi goes around taking down the other giant Titans while what’s left of the Survey Corps acts as decoy.

Episode 54
Oh well. Erwin went down first. Now it’s a crazy charge to their deaths. Yeti Titan gets more and more angry each time he sees what’s left of the Survey Corps inch closer to their mindless death. Till there is none. By the time it’s over, he realizes the other Titans have fallen. Too late as Levi cuts everything up and pulls Zeke out. Levi hesitates to kill him because he is hoping for a single survivor to use that Titan transforming serum and eat this Yeti Titan to take his abilities. This causes a Titan to snatch Zeke away as Zeke orders the other Titans to kill Levi. Levi is only left with fury. His promise to Erwin… You Titans will pay! Ironically, Floch is the only survivor and unscathed… Armin has observed the Colossal Titan is getting thinner thanks to expending a lot of power. He now has a plan. He will wake up Eren. They will be enough take Bertolt down. The rest are to distract Reiner and keep him at bay. Reiner’s memories are still hazy. Mikasa and the rest have to cautiously use their limited Thunder Spears to take him out. The first part almost fails. Connie while nailing his Thunder Spear, Sasha misses and this also causes her to be wounded. Mikasa is carrying the last Thunder Spear. The goal to open Armoured Titan’s jaw has not succeeded. Time from Hange to return from being dead to plant her Thunder Spear and force open that jaw. Enough for Mikasa to blast her last one inside and send Reiner blowing out. Bertolt uses his steam to blow away Armin but he seems to be hanging on. His observations were right. Using his 3DMD to cling onto the Colossal Titan’s teeth that is the only part that isn’t affected by the thinning of the steam. Bertolt cannot understand why he is doing this. Eren is down and not moving and the rest are busy with Reiner. Armin hangs on until he is totally burnt and blown away. Bertolt then realizes that Eren Titan was just his hardening skin. Armin has bought enough time for Eren to get out as he slices Bertolt out of his Titan body. Sadly, Eren sees Armin’s charcoal corpse… Armin… NOOO!!!!!

Episode 55
No time for tears. Zeke arrives so Eren becomes defensive and threatens to kill Bertolt. Zeke claims Grisha has brainwashed him but will be back to save him another day since Levi is hot on his trail. Levi is out of gas and wants Eren to give his 3DMD. Then he hears Armin’s cough… Meanwhile Hange takes something from Reiner. A letter supposedly from Ymir to Historia. Because he won’t let them know what they want, Hange will kill him. Ironically Jean stops her. Why not use the serum and take his abilities? Hange cannot risk it so Jean argues how are they going to kill the enemy if they don’t know anything about them? Flashback shows Erwin explained to everyone about the serum. As it is the only one left, he left it in Levi’s care. Hange wants Mikasa to seek Levi and if for some reason she cannot get it, fire her flare. It will be her signal to kill Reiner. For the longest time we haven’t seen Mikasa this emotional as she sees Armin’s charred body. Eren arguing the need to use the serum on Armin to take Bertolt’s power. Mikasa fires the flare. Just then Zeke retrieves Reiner. Jean feels guilty it is his fault that led to this but Hange asserts the decision was hers. As Levi is about to give the serum to Eren, here comes Floch carrying Erwin on his back! Barely alive, he wants Levi to use the serum on their commander. Because Levi views Erwin as the one who has the highest chance to save humanity, it becomes a showdown between Erwin and Armin camp. Mikasa pins a weakened Levi down while Eren paints a picture of Armin being the brains and the one who got them out of all situations. Then Floch blows his top. They’re not the only victims. He relates how everyone else from the Survey Corps is dead from Yeti Titan’s baseball practice. When he returned, he noticed Erwin still breathing and wanted to kill him. Then he realized he shouldn’t let him go so easily and should suffer like them. That’s why he brought him to Levi. With Hange somehow managing to convince Mikasa to calm down because in that case there are hundreds of more comrades whom she wants to bring back alive, Levi has everyone clear the area as he will inject the serum into Erwin. Last ditch effort by Eren to talk about Armin’s dreams of the sea compared to his blinded hatred to kill all Titans just for revenge. No change of heart. As Levi prepares to do it, Erwin smacks his hand away. Levi thinks hard. In the end, we see a Titan Armin devouring a very scared Bertolt in his final moments. Levi’s reason to give the serum to Armin was his realization that it was everyone else who forced Erwin into a demon. He was finally freed but they almost brought him back for another round of hell. As Erwin kicks the bucket, the other friends pull a revived Armin out from his Titan shell.

Episode 56
Armin wakes and since his memories are still hazy, Levi has Eren explained all that has happened. Shocked at Erwin’s death and other developments, he too has the same thinking that Erwin should have been administered the serum. While it looks like Armin would be replacing Erwin as commander, it doesn’t mean he is Erwin’s substitute. Levi doesn’t want anybody regretting this decision and that’s an order. Now Levi, Hange, Eren and Mikasa head to Eren’s house. Walking through the abandoned streets, time to hit up the nostalgia. The moment of truth we’ve all been waiting for. What’s in the basement. The key… Doesn’t fit!!! Levi just kicks down the door! That was easy. You’d think Grisha would have given Eren the key to the lock of something flimsy, huh? So they search the basement but mostly are Grisha’s notes and medicines. Then Mikasa spots a keyhole in the drawer. This time the key fits. There are 3 journals that are very well preserved. Opening the first one, there is a photo of a family (note, photography is not known in this world, at least not to those living behind the walls). Behind the photo is a note claiming he is from a civilization outside the walls. Meanwhile news break that the Survey Corps have successfully retaken Wall Maria and the people erupt with joy as they prepare for the heroes’ return. We have a short glimpse of Grisha as a young boy living with his younger sister, Faye. They were curious about the airship so one day Grisha took her past the restricted zone to its landing strip.

Episode 57
The duo are caught by officers, Kruger and Gross. Because they don’t have exit permits from the Liberio Internment Zone, he gives them a choice of manual labour or punishment. Grisha chooses the latter and will also take it for Faye’s part. As Gross leads Faye away, Kruger beats him up and then lets him watch the airship. He came here for that, right? Next day, Faye’s body was found by the river. Gross and Kruger talked to Grisha’s parents and lecture them about raising their child right. Grisha is in shock because he knew the officers were lying as they were slacking off then. At that moment he started hating Gross and especially his father because he obeyed the authority’s words like a dog. Grisha’s dad then starts to indoctrinate him about the sins of their ancestors. 1820 years ago, Ymir Fritz made a pact with the devil and obtained the power of Titans. After her death, her soul split into 9 Titans who built the Eldia Empire. They then destroyed the Marley Empire just to rule over them and persecuted other races inferior to them. This went on until some Eldians conspire with the Marleyans to bring down Eldia from within. They managed to do so by stealing 7 of those Titans. The Eldian king retreated to an island known as Paradise Island and hid behind 3 walls he constructed with his people. The rest of the ancestors were abandoned on this mainland. But the generous Marleyans did not kill them. At this point, Grisha didn’t care all that BS because it’s a sin neither he and Faye committed. Father tells him it doesn’t matter. All they can do is live humbly in this zone and please don’t send them to Paradise Island. Grisha backs down and continued this mundane life, taking over his father’s medical practice. Until one day a guy comes to see him and has info about how Faye was killed (Gross let loose the dogs to devour her). These people are a small group of Eldian revolutionists and are planning to restore the old Eldia Empire. Grisha soon became the leader, even go so far as to decipher the real history how Ymir actually brought prosperity to all nations. The revolutionists also receive a boost with the joining of Dina Fritz, the last surviving member of the royal family. Grisha fell in love with her and they get married. Soon they have a son named Zeke.

The revolutionist has an informant working inside Marley only known as Owl and they discover that the Marley side also has plans to infiltrate Paradise Island as it is rich in minerals. However the then Eldian king warned if they do so, millions of Titans will be unleashed upon them. That is why the Marleyan government is selecting children in an experiment to become Titans to storm the island. Grisha realize they have only an option left. He is going to use Zeke and make him a double agent in Marley. Like father, like son. History repeats itself as Grisha indoctrinates Zeke. However this backfired as Zeke rats them out. The revolutionists are brought to Paradise Island. One of the guys is dropped and left running for his life while his other partners turned into Titans to chase after him. Grisha becomes dismayed when Dina is also turned into one. He is shocked that the deal was to let her free after he told everything he knows but I guess that didn’t happen. Making it worse, Kruger and Gross are here. More disgusting is how Gross mentions he is doing this because it is fun and shows no remorse in killing others. Especially Faye. Ah, nobody forgets that day. We take a short detour to see Eren and Mikasa dreaming this same dream in their insubordination cell. Back to the story, with Gross hoping for the complete annihilation of Eldia, Grisha thought this is the end for him but Kruger pushes Gross down and lets him get devoured by the Titan. Not so fun now, eh? Kruger then reveals himself as Owl. Why am I not surprised? Then he shows Grisha how to use the Titan power as he himself transforms into one and goes on a rampage.

Episode 58
Kruger explains more about himself. His full name is Eren Kruger and the bearer of one of the 9 Titans. In other words, a subject of Ymir. Kruger managed to infiltrate into Marley because of the help of a doctor fabricating his blood result. Grisha blames him for letting everyone else die but Kruger gives Grisha his final mission. He wants him eat him and take his Titan power to storm into the walls and steal the Founding Titan’s power. Kruger can’t do it himself because those who bear the Titan’s power only have 13 years to live. This is called Ymir’s Curse. Guess this is his final year. Kruger goes on further to explain his father was also part of the resistance but died without achieving anything since the Marleyans burnt him alive. Since then he vowed to get revenge on Marley and restore Eldia. However by doing so he has only sent many of his brethren to death just to keep his identity safe. More explanations on Ymir’s Curse that if a bearer dies without passing on the power, that power awakens within a baby among the Ymir subjects. In some way, all of Ymir’s subjects are connected. Eventually all those paths converge at a single coordinate: The Founding Titan. Thus all Ymir subjects are connected by the Coordinate. Grisha wonders why Kruger didn’t help Dina even though she is of royal blood. He couldn’t afford to let her fall into enemy hands. Because it would be messed up if she bears the child of the enemy nation. Grisha is now depressed and feeling all the guilt that he tries to give excuses he can’t do this final mission. Kruger tells him the reason why he chose Grisha is because he was the only one who went past the walls. Had he not taken Faye past the walls, he would have inherited his father’s medical practice and Faye might have grown up and bore children. However this is reality and the story he started ever since he went past that wall. The Titan power he is about to take has a name like with all the 9 Titans. This Titan moves forward and fights for freedom and is hence called, wait for it, Attack Titan AKA Shingeki No Kyojin! Roll credits!

Eren and Mikasa’s imprisonment has ended. They are taken to see Historia who will have an audience with the surviving members of Survey Corps. We see her reading a letter from Ymir. Nothing really important except her regrets of picking the other side instead of her and not being able to marry her. I don’t think it was meant to be a joke. Historia seems to receive Ymir’s memories when she touches part of the letter. With the journals, the truth about the Titans and human civilization is now known. Hange addresses the audience in the hall about the true enemies not being Titans but humans of the entire world. As they are able to transform into Titans, it is a reason why the world wants them eradicated. If Marley get their hands on the Founding Titan, it is all over for Eldia. Grisha thought the king will not let that happen but unfortunately as Kruger states, the king has renounced fighting. Hence the million Titans threat was just a ruse to keep other nations from attacking while he hypnotizes his own people that the outside world is decimated so they could live in this fake peace. Kruger views a king who doesn’t protect his people is now king and that’s why he wants Grisha to seize the Founding Titan from within the walls. Grisha completed that mission and passed it to Eren. Any royal descendants who inherit the Founding Titan’s power becomes subordinated to the king. Eren is not of royal blood and he may have potential to use this power. That is when Eren realizes something very important. He has not told anybody about this. The Titan who killed his mom and Hannes was Dina. Eren realizes by touching a Titan that carries the blood of the royal family, it is possible to use the Founding Titan’s power. If he tells anybody about it, what would they do to Historia? Lastly we see Kruger telling Grisha to start a family once he gets inside the walls. He believes someone down the line will be watching this. If he can’t do that, history will only repeat itself.

Episode 59
With this newfound information, the hall is divided whether to tell the public as it will create chaos. However if they withhold this, would they be no better than the previous king who lied to his subjects? Hence Historia announces to release all the details to public. There are various reactions from shock to laughing it off and it is all just hogwash conspiracy theory. Well, you do what you want with the info. There will be an award ceremony for the Survey Corps and to honour the fallen. Surprisingly Hitch attends but I figure this is so that Floch could tell how Marlo died a hero. However he might have said too much that Marlo could have regretted his last moments there. But it’s the truth. I think Hitch can’t take any more of that. But this has Floch now questioning that everyone would have come to the same conclusion after reading all this: Why wasn’t Erwin the one alive. Despite Eren trying to speak up for Armin, Floch gets honest. Sure, Armin is not his friend and he knows nothing about his achievements. He blames them for making Levi make an irrational decision because they let their emotions take over. Eren might think he did the right thing and is dead set on it, that’s why he isn’t remorseful. Medals and awards don’t matter. What matters next if they tell the truth to the next set of Survey Corps recruits. Don’t you dare let cowards like him sign up. But no matter how useless a coward is, he is still entitled to his own opinions. As Historia gives out the medals, Eren is still indecisive. He isn’t willing to sacrifice Historia yet. Touching her hand, we see glimpse of Grisha’s flashback when he managed to find Frieda and her family. He explained about being the same as them as Eldians and subjects of Ymir. He warned her to kill all Titans that breach the will or their people will die. A year after the attack on Trost, all the refugees are returned there and life in the district blooms again. The Survey Corps are able to exterminate every Titan and then venture outside Wall Maria. They spot a crawling Titan and Eren can tell its origin by touching it. Another Eldian sent here as punishment. They just leave it there since it can’t do anything. The long journey finally leads them to the ocean. The first time everyone is amazed and stunned by this endless huge body water. Everyone except for Eren. Maybe he seen it too many times in his father’s memories? But despite everyone frolicking like kids in the water, Eren puts on his gloom cap. Because he once thought freedom awaits them across the ocean. But he is wrong. There lies only enemies. Would they be truly free if they kill every last one of their enemies? So it is no longer kill all Titans but kill all non-Eldian humans???!!!

Clash Of The Titans
OMG! WTF?! Only 10 episodes for this second part. Oh man, I’m so ‘disappointed’… But nothing says hype and much more hype when the final season of the series is announced. Uh huh. You can’t get more hype than that when you add ‘final season’ into your title. Oh boy. That is sure going to drive up the hype and excitement. Don’t forget all the anxiety and worrying too along the way. Now I am ever so eager to watch the final season… There had better be some good animes to keep my company while I wait for that very anticipated final season to arrive… Or a whole load of crappy ones which will just make me fully appreciate this truly awesome and superb masterpiece when the time comes and thus making the painstaking wait worthwhile.

This season is still so amazing and awesome that I might sound like a broken recorder if I continue to praise everything about it all over again. But I’m so lazy so please read my previous blog ;p. This series is one of the very few and rare anime series that I have watched throughout my entire life in which the next season gets better and better. So many other series have fallen to the wayside to even live up to their second season but this one is still going strong. And my only ‘fear’ of all this is because of the hype and excitement that has been building up over the years, the final season would come out sputtering. I know it’s wrong for me to be so negative even when I haven’t even started to watch the final season yet but this anxiety originates from that Game of Thrones final season… Yeah… Remember that fiasco? I didn’t see that HBO series but because of the disappointment of the final season, it left a negative impact (comments and criticisms alike) so great on the impact that even I had taken notice. So can you blame me for being so negative when there is already a precedent that something so great can even stumble so hard? Yeah, I guess better than never getting a conclusion at all.

Besides the awesome Titan action in retaking Wall Maria, this season we have some few shocking developments like the death of Erwin (as well as Bertolt) as well as finally the damn truth. Finally we get to see what is in the basement that has been a nagging thorn to us viewers. The truth of course but I was expecting to be some sort of hologram device with audio to narrate the entire true history! Haha. Just kidding. The history of the real world is indeed interesting and sometimes it feels like a big fairytale. But then again, remember the characters who have been living within the walls are as good as the frog who lived in a well. It was also shocking that Erwin had really died. Honestly, I thought that guy would never die. At least because he is such an important figure and reeking that charismatic aura that is on par with the main character, they can’t kill him off, right? I was wrong. His guilt and reflection of standing atop the corpses of his fellow Survey Corps to get where he is seemed like a death flag now… Oh well, rest in peace, Erwin. Because of his sacrifice, we’ve come to where we are right now. So it’s not just Erwin who won’t know the truth but all those dead Survey Corps who died previously too. Maybe they’ll learn the truth as they watch in heaven… Hey, we got a history here talking about gods and demons and Titan powers so why not our departed souls watching from heaven?! Also, RIP Marlo… So with the big revelation about the people of the world, come to think of it, isn’t this entire series just one big civil war among the Eldians? Yeah, they have to be united before they can face the entire world who wants them dead!

Possibly the ‘funniest’ realization is when they gave this Titan that Kruger gave Grisha, a name. Not so much funny if you’re Japanese but if you know the official English title is called Attack On Titan. And now we have this roll call that this Titan’s name is Attack Titan. Both carry entirely different meaning literally. Japanese won’t have any problems but we English speakers might be left confused. Truthfully, even when this official English title came out when this series first aired, I was even sceptical of how this naming sense even made sense. Attacking Titan would have been such a better and accurate translation but I guess it doesn’t sound as cool as Attack On Titan. After all, Attack On Titan shows us from the viewpoints of the heroes doing just that whereas Attack Titan would also still be correct but sounds a lot lamer. And now with this revelation on why the series is named so, it would be weird for the English side to officially change it so. If this was some subtle way for us not to figure this out, then in some ways it worked. We didn’t see this coming, right? Did we?!

This season Eren doesn’t feel like a wuss because I guess when you’ve been such a big wimp last season, he has somewhat hardened his heart and resolve to end all this crap. So thankfully he does his mission well that ultimately helped the Survey Corps regain Wall Maria and obtain the Colossal Titan’s power. It was a scary moment for us when Eren and Levi almost go head to head over who to save with this last serum. After all that they have been through, this one little decision on who decides who to live could have become the biggest deal breaker and it would have been really heart wrenching for us all if that fallout and bloodshed actually happened. We don’t need another ‘civil war’. We have already seen that when Reiner, Bertolt and Annie have defected and what is left of the Survey Corps is threatened to split apart even more? Wow. It was sure scary. Mikasa still kicks ass and like in previous seasons, isn’t so overprotective over Eren.

Armin and Jean try to showcase their leadership and thinking skills and I think they’re cool but somehow I feel it is to give them some screen time. Same case with Connie and Sasha. Can’t be jokers in this time of distress. Though, (thankfully) Sasha is still Sasha despite being gravely injured. Historia so lacking this season because she is already queen (she still think it’s unofficial?) since last season she already had her run so I guess she now has to play her real duty instead of going on a dangerous adventure. One last note on Armin, I know he feels guilty about being alive in Erwin’s place but he better not turn into an annoying one because it will also start to influence and make me think that yeah, perhaps Erwin SHOULD have been the one to live! It’s like as though he doesn’t value the second chance he has been given. He might not be able to be as charismatic as Erwin or come up plans that will assure victory but I’m sure in time something will change and happen. Like how we see a year later Eren has grown his hair a bit longer and he looks slightly mature and giving off this gloom face. Haha! Yeah… So Armin, don’t make us all believe including yourself regret that decision to be alive! Please, just don’t. We want to face this reality and move on already.

Remember how last season I complained that the opening song sounded like a wuss? Sounded so gay that it took away all the epic feeling that defined the series? Well, probably they heard my complaints (and from others as well) so they decide to go back to that trademark epic theme. Yes, Shoukei To Shikabane No Michi (once more sung by Linked Horizon) might sound like a copy and paste of its predecessors, Guren No Yumiya and Shinzou Wo Sasageyou (just change the lyrics!) but I guess I must live up to my promise not to complain about it. Better to have this than some gay sounding sh*t! This season’s ending theme, Name Of Love by Cinema Staff is a slow ballad. It might sound unsuitable for the series at first but after watching the events unfold and all the madness that had happened, I think this homecoming-like song is definitely fitting to wind down.

Oh well. I suppose it is that time again where we have to wait for the final season to arrive and it is that agonizing moment of waiting again. But it is good to know that good things come to those who wait. So just a little while more, okay… But for now, I’ll have to be contended with this amazing second part of the third season that left me breathless and yearning for more. Amazing Titan action as well as intriguing story have certainly defined this season. At this point, I can safely and definitely say that Shingeki No Kyojin is definitely the top and best anime series that I have watched in recent years. Even ousting One Punch Man and Boku No Hero Academia per se. Even Gintama too. Once this series truly ends, it will be difficult to find another series to top and replace this masterpiece, let alone get even close to it. As Erwin said about everyone dying one day and this doesn’t mean life is meaningless, I’d like to modify that: Even if no other series outshines or surpasses this one, it doesn’t mean all animes are crap or inferior! (Although, some definitely are!).

After that rather tepid and lukewarm alternative spinoff story that was Gun Gale Online, I guess Sword Art Online (SAO) fans can now be happy that the next season of SAO would be continuing and adapting one of the more popular and important arcs of the series, Sword Art Online: Alicization. Yes, having an SAO series without the main character Kirito seems so off and weird. Even weirder for me was that I was having a hard time trying to pronounce or remember Alicization. I don’t know how, but I keep initially remembering and pronouncing it as alkalization. Heh. I thought with all the toxic acidity of online players in VR, maybe some sort of neutralization and alkalization is needed to bring things back to order. Damn, I’m getting side-tracked here…

Episode 1
In this 1 hour special, we start off seeing a young Kirito and Eugeo taking turns trying to chop down a tough cedar tree with their axe. Not making much progress. And this is all the mark that Eugeo’s 6 generations of chopping have left! They take a break when Alice comes by to give them her lunch. Because Kirito suggests getting some ice so their food can last longer, they believe the End Mountains hosts the coolest ice. However there is talk about breaking the Taboo Index in which the Integrity Knight of Axiom Church will whisk you away. Then there’s this legend of this hero, Bercouli who entered the End Mountains and faced off with a huge white dragon guarding treasures in the cave. He defeated it with a sword. Next day, the trio make their way into End Mountains. They stumble into a cave and find that the legend was indeed true. Dragon bones, treasures and a sword too heavy for the kids to lift. They aren’t here to steal loots and got the ice they want but realize they forgot which exit they came from. I guess it’s not down to guts, huh? Too bad it’s wrong as it leads them to Dark Territory. They see an Integrity Knight defeating a Dark Knight. The latter somewhat hypnotizes Alice to cross over to the Dark Territory. Although her fingers only touched the Dark Territory, this violation is detected. The trio return home without realizing the consequences they will be facing. Because tomorrow, an Integrity Knight flies into town and arrests Alice. She will be questioned before being executed. Kirito wants to save her but is of course no match. Eugeo is paralyzed in fear while the villagers hold down Kirito and they can only helplessly see Alice being whisked away. Kirito wakes up from this simulation world but doesn’t know why he is crying.

We now see Kirito and his harem trying to take down a group of formidable PK players in GGO. They manage to give our heroes the slip and escape with minimal casualties. Later Asada talks to Kirito about entering the next BoB tournament so they can face off with the legendary Subtilizer. With Asuna joining them, the topic changes to Kirito’s part time job as a tester of some virtual game. Asuna is worried because it is taking a toll on his health. This job that Kirito is doing is a new next generation full dive system developed by Rath. The thing is, to keep the secrecy and anonymity, any memories created in the VR world will be erased. Though he is certain it doesn’t put the stress on the brain like previous models. Then they talk about where the soul of a human’s body resides. Not really getting into all these terms now but that’s what Fluctlight sounds like. Hence the Soul Translator (STL) from Rath supposedly reads that Fluctlight. Yeah, it’s getting heavy so I’ll skip this. Anyway, Kirito’s experience was that he couldn’t tell he was in the VR world. Like as though it is a realistic dream. The only thing Kirito was told that the project is called Underworld. Like the one from Alice In Wonderland? As they part, Kirito tells Asuna he plans to go to America where the technology for full dive is more advanced. He wants her to come with him. But of course. And yes she will. Oddly, they kiss in the streets. Nobody watching? Soon they are confronted with a guy who is the last surviving member of Laughing Coffin. The guys go at each other and both are struck down. However Kirito was injected with a strange serum.

Episode 2
Kirito wakes up in this familiar VR world. Strange. Can’t log out. He also retains his memories of the real world. He then sees Eugeo trying to chop down the tree. Kirito makes up a story that he has amnesia so Eugeo thinks he is a Vecta, those who got abducted as a prank by demons and then released. Whatever. Kirito tries to test if Eugeo is an NPC but nothing conclusive as he might be a test player with restricted memories. Eugeo will accompany him to town but he needs to finish his job of chopping this tree. Kirito hangs out with him and learns he has a childhood friend named Alice taken away for stepping into the Dark Territory. He believes she is still alive in the central city. With the other terms like Taboo Index, Kirito can’t help feel they sound familiar. After learning how to draw out the interface, he also learns Eugeo’s Calling (fate) to chop down this demonic tree because as long as it stands, they can never expand their wheat fields. And they’ve been doing it for 300 years and 7 generations! Chipping it bit by bit every day! Kirito tries to help out with his sword skill but as expected, no significant impact. At the end of the day, Eugeo brings him back but is confronted by this arrogant Zink who thinks he is going to be the best swordsman as per his Calling. Because he badmouths Eugeo’s pathetic Calling, Kirito shows his swordsman skills to shut him up. Kirito temporarily lives in a church run by Sister Azalia and he gets acquainted with one of the young nuns, Selka. Kirito ponders about the people of this world. Like as though they were born and raised here from the start. Are they copies of souls of newborns who were raised in virtual worlds? The only explanation is that they could be artificial Fluctlights.

Episode 3
Kirito’s goal is to go to central city but with no money, he believes he needs Eugeo’s help. So he hangs out with him and learns Selka is Alice’s younger sister and some high level sacred art that could stop life from decreasing. Of course this means you have to be a lot powerful like those high priests in Axiom Church. Eugeo then drags this heavy Blue Rose Sword from the legend to show it to Kirito. That Bercouli legend again. It is believed this sword is made from divine intervention. With Eugeo still regretting he couldn’t save Alice, Kirito tries to help using this sword to strike the tree. Will it make a difference? Just lost 1 HP… Maybe he strike at the wrong place so Eugeo believes if he masters this sword, he can cut down this tree faster. But for now, back to the old fashion axe chopping. Later Kirito talks to Selka since she is now learning the sacred arts in place of her sister. He thinks she likes Eugeo as she is sad he hardly smiles ever since Alice was taken away. Selka was never told the reason Alice was taken away so Kirito tells her. Next day, Azalia wonders if Kirito has seen Selka since it is unusual for her not to be around. Then when talking to Eugeo about this, it dawned to him she might have gone to End Mountains since Kirito said too much. They have to bring her back before Integrity Knight does. Kirito will take responsibility and take Selka to run away from the town since Integrity Knight will only fly in the next day. Then they hear Selka’s scream. In that cave, they see unconscious Selka being kidnapped by goblins. Sure they’re not going to rape her?! Eugeo was so worried he gave away their position. Now the goblins notice them, their big boss tell them to kill those white boys because they cannot be sold. So do they rape young girls first before selling them? Eugeo is paralyzed with fear.

Episode 4
Kirito quickly devices a plan to fight the goblins. He gets the big boss while Eugeo gets the small fries. Thank goodness for his grass light that keeps them at bay. Kirito heavily damages the boss but takes some serious damage too. This makes Eugeo feel the need to save him or it will be just like Alice’s case. So he recklessly swings his sword and gets a fatal strike in his guts. Ouch. Oddly, Eugeo somewhat remembers the promise made with Alice and Kirito during their younger days about dying together. Mad Kirito now turns into Goblin Slayer to decapitate the boss. The other goblins flee. Kirito frees Selka and wants her to heal Eugeo. She is unconfident and comparing herself she isn’t Alice. Can we just try? Selka and Kirito transfer some of their life force to save him. Kirito then hears Alice voice telling him she will be waiting for them at the central cathedral. In the aftermath, Eugeo felt strange about that promise since Kirito only just came, right? But it felt like he was there before with them. Kirito uses Blue Rose Sword on the tree since his skill levelled up after defeating the goblin boss. Damn, the tree takes a massive damage!!! Eugeo pleads to Kirito to teach him swordsmanship as he wants to go to central city to save Alice. He has been regretting that for every day that he didn’t do anything. He wants to be strong so as not to repeat those mistakes again. Under Kirito’s guidance, Eugeo finally cuts down the tree! The village holds a party and because Eugeo completed his task, he has the right to choose a new Calling. Without a doubt, he wants to become a swordsman. Later he talks to Selka about his goal to bring back Alice with Kirito. She wishes him well but promises all of them must come back alive. Kirito and Eugeo soon leave the village. It’s going to be a long walk…

Episode 5
Before we forget this simulation is real, we return to reality. After Kirito was attacked, Asuna sent him to hospital and he has been in comatose state ever since. Although his condition stabilized, he might have suffered brain damage when his heart stopped for a few minutes. He needs to be transferred to a facility with better equipment. That was also when Kikuoka popped up to suggest this facility where Kirito could get the proper treatment. However when Asuna visited, they were told Kirito was to have no visitors and the supposed ambulance that brought him here never actually arrived. Asuna and the girls discuss about Rath and STL and Asuna with Yui’s help detect the last known location of Kirito’s heart monitor. The trace stopped at a port warehouse. Heading there, Yui even checked the security cameras that a helicopter took off on that day. There is a possibility that Kirito was taken overseas. Remember how Kirito went all out to save her? Now it’s her turn to save him. Trying to remember what Kirito said that may have been related to his job. Hmm… Medicuboid… Rinko… Shigemura Lab… University in California… Speaking of Rinko, she receives an email from Kikuoka that needs her participation in a project. She also receives email from Asuna. Rinko and her assistant, Mayumi Reynolds arrive on a pyramid-cum-oil-rig platform dubbed Ocean Turtle. Heading inside the command centre, here is Kikuoka. He welcomes them to Rath and is happy the last of the 3 indispensable people for this project has arrived. The other being Takeru Higa of Shigemura Lab who is devoted to continue Kayaba’s work. When Kikuoka refuses to disclose the other indispensable person, that is when Reynolds reveals herself to be Asuka! Surprise! Did Kikuoka not feel suspicious why Rinko accepted his invitation so easily? Asuna found her email on Kirito’s PC and sought her help. She has a friend who could hack things and that’s why she easily passed all the background checks. Asuna demands to know where Kirito is now.

Episode 6
Kikuoka claims Rath is the only place with the technology to heal Kirito. Something about using STL and Fluctlight and generate new neural network. The purpose of this experiment is to create a bottom-up multi-purpose AI. All AI are created via top-down approach. You programme it and it learns from there. However its drawback is that they are unable to handle situations that they have not learnt. So by using bottom-up approach, they try to copy a human soul and store into this Lightcube as medium for a human brain. Despite successfully copying a human soul, it seems they missed something. He has Higa show them a clone of himself. The clone is panicking and thinking he is the real Higa and wants out of this dark space. In the end, the programme crashes. They have tried copying 10 souls but none of them could bear the thought they are just a copy. Hence the next answer is to raise them from the start. Thanks to virtual worlds and the Seed, they managed to create a small world and start out a small civilization using Rath staffs. Using acceleration, in 3 weeks, 300 years passed in the virtual world and its inhabitants grew to a massive 80,000 population. A governing body called Axiom Church created laws known as Taboo Index. All inhabitants obey the laws without question. This is when Asuna realizes the project is to create AI designed to kill. Asuna knows Kikuoka didn’t say this to Kirito because he wouldn’t have participated in this project. Even AI have rights? Sure, they lack physical bodies but they are the same as living things. Kikuoka understands her concerns but to him, 100,000 AI lives are worth far less than an actual soldier’s.

As for why he needed Kirito, he needed someone who has years of experience in moving in virtual worlds. There was a girl influenced by Kirito who broke the Taboo Index. Ironically she is named Alice, the same name as this project. She is a highly adaptive AI known as Artificial Labile Intelligence Cybernated Existence AKA ALICE. Their goal is to convert a Fluctlight into Alice. Welcome to Project Alicization. Asuna manages to see Kirito lying in the machine. She is surprised he has a personal nurse: Natsuki. Unlike Kikuoka who ‘deceives’, Natsuki is a real nurse. Just that she graduated from the SDF nursing school. Later Rinko confesses to Asuna about the atrocities she did to all former SAO players. Although Kayaba planted a bomb in her chest to force her to collaborate with that project, it was fake. If Rinko was ever caught, she would not be implicated. Flashback shows Rinko started liking this nerdy and scrawny Kayaba. Oddly they dated and it’s not like he was ever interested in her but never pushed her away either. When Kayaba became a murder suspect for that SAO incident, she went to his lodge to kill him but couldn’t. Asuna doesn’t bear any grudges towards Kayaba or her. She is grateful that she managed to spend time living with Kirito in that world. It’s one of her best days of her life. Even though Kayaba’s crimes are unforgiveable nor if amends could be made, they have to continue to face what they’ve done.

Episode 7
Back to the virtual world. 2 years have passed since Kirito and Eugeo entered the city of Zakkaria. They honed their sword skills, entered a sword tournament, won and are now part of the garrison. Under the tutelage of Sortiliena “Liena” Serlut, their skills are further honed. Kirito narrates he has learnt the mechanisms of this world. In short, if you are filled with confidence, this could be enough to give you some power boost enough to rewrite the laws of the world. Kirito spars with Liena and loses. He has never won against her. Even if she is this good, she has never won against the top student, Volo Levantein. She also believes Kirito couldn’t beat her is because he is hiding some sword techniques. As she will be graduating soon, Kirito promises to show her his greatest skill as her graduation gift. Later Eugeo feels worried because if Kirito’s memories returns, he might return to his world. Kirito assures him he will not go home even if that happens because they made a vow to become an Integrity Knight. They are only here now because of each other. Kirito sees a blacksmith, Sadore to get some special sword done. It is going to be costly but will give it to free if he could swing it. Of course he flawlessly wields it and gets it FOC. While he is practising with it, he falters and attracts the attention of Volo. Normally it is forbidden to train on rest days but he will overlook this because he too is guilty of doing that. But he won’t let him go because somehow he got a puny dirt on his shirt. So they’re going to settle this via duel with real swords. Stop-short matches aren’t Volo’s style but he gives Kirito the choice. In turn, he throws that decision back to him because he is the one being punished.

Episode 8
Liena warns Kirito that Volo’s family tradition means his sword absorbs the blood of his enemies. He plans to convert Kirito’s sword strength into his and feed on it. Kirito believes Volo also has the power of imagination. As they fight, Kirito sees his entire family giving him strength. Sure, Kirito has his too. His friends and harem. But the killer support is the cedar tree! Yeah, his imagination must be so strong that his sword grows bigger! Enough to withstand Volo’s strike. Kirito could have faltered had not Azurika (the dorm supervisor) stopped the match. Liena holds a mini celebration for Kirito in her room. She reveals that Volo’s family sword skills originally belonged to her family. But a distant family displeased the emperor and they were forbidden to pass it down. So they develop other weird sword styles but Liena is nonetheless proud to master them. She believes Kirito’s style is different because he doesn’t feel inferior compared to those trained in traditional styles. That night, a couple of noble bullies who aren’t fond with Kirito’s win, Raios Antinous and Humbert Zizek destroyed his little garden. Kirito is sad because those flowers don’t bloom here and he is trying hard to bloom them in foreign soil via his imagination. The flowers are also a great significance to him as it symbolizes Kirito trying hard in a foreign land, not knowing if he could ever return. Then a mysterious voice gives him hope to ‘feel’ the meaning of magic. What do you know? They revive! Wow. Truly the power of imagination. On the final exam day, Liena faces off with Volo in the finals and beats him. Did the power of imagination do its tricks again? She graduates as the officially top ranked student of the academy. Kirito and Eugeo became ranked 5 and 6 respectively after their advancement exam and are promoted to elite disciples. Yeah, they’ve got a couple of cute trainees of their own, Tiese Shtolienen and Ronie Arabel.

Episode 9
As Kirito mentions, you can infuse your sword with some sort of pride of feelings to make it stronger. So what goes for Eugeo? Alice. But of course. Eugeo continues his training and his mocked by Raios and Humbert. They offer him to teach him and Eugeo shocks them by accepting a lesson from Humbert. Eugeo uses his unconventional skills to dodge his attacks and Raios is forced to end the match with a draw. Raios offers his lesson next time but gets irked when Eugeo replies he doesn’t mind it now. Eugeo tells this to Kirito who thinks that they may be acting arrogantly because they are reluctantly obeying the laws of Axiom Church. As long as the Taboo Index is not violated, you can do anything you want. When Tiese and Ronie complain to their mentors about their friend, Frenica Cesky being made to do inappropriate chores by her mentor, damn it’s that Humbert name again. Then they talk about noble’s pride in which nobles must use the power and privilege they have to protect the weak. That pride is more important than any law or regulation. So the guys confront Raios and Humbert. Of course they play dumb over Eugeo’s accusations. So it seems Humbert who was reeling from the draw tried to train more. This means having his muscles sore and hence having Frenica to massage him during bath. Eugeo is so mad he wanted to strike them but thankfully he didn’t bring his sword. He manages to keep his cool but warns them if there is no improvement, they’ll consider asking the instructors to investigate. Raios dares him to do as he please. Later Kirito warns Eugeo that they may be targeting him. Because had he lost his cool and done something wrong, they may use it as an excuse as impropriety and punish him with maximum penalty. So stay cool always. Then Eugeo tells Tiese the actions he has taken. He also wants to apologize to Frenica since this incident stems from that duel. However Tiese isn’t in favour in setting them up to meet. Instead, she tells how she will take over as head of her family after she graduates. Then she will marry to a guy with similar rank or a rank above her. She fears her future husband will be cruel. Can we see where this is going when she asks Eugeo for a favour while being THIS close to him? She is confident he will represent their academy at the Swordsmanship Tournament and compete in the Four Empires Unification Tournament and get a high ranking. She didn’t say it but I’m guessing she wants him to marry her when he achieves that tall order. I hope he didn’t get the wrong idea by accepting this.

Episode 10
Kirito realizes their disciples are late for cleaning. Suspecting something amiss, he goes to check on them. As Eugeo waits, Frenica comes in to tell that she confided in Tiese and Ronie about yet another inappropriate order. They went to talk to him on her behalf and have never returned. Eugeo realizes they were the target and not him. He rushes to their room and demands their whereabouts. They lead him to their room in which they are tied up on their bed. Raios claims because they have acted inappropriately, something they can use the higher Taboo Index judiciary to punish them as their family noble rank ranks higher than theirs. Hence they are going to rape them before Eugeo’s eyes! Eugeo is paralysed due to the Taboo Index he is bound to. But seeing the poor girls scream and pleading for help, I guess something activated in his eye that ultimately explodes? This allows Eugeo to move enough to cut off Humbert’s arm. Raios now uses this excuse to execute Eugeo. Before he can decapitate him, here comes our Kirito to clash swords with him. So great their clash that the windows shatter! Eventually Kirito cuts off both Raios’ arms. The scumbag panics as he loses blood. Strangely, he experiences some weird digital glitch before dying. Our heroes rescue their disciples but some strange system admin detects, traces and reports this incident. Next day, Azurica heals Eugeo’s eye (you mean he didn’t get treatment after that?). However she is here to hand them over to the Integrity Knight. In a way, she gives them encouragement because Eugeo was able to break a seal that she was never able to break. Now he is able to go where she was unable to go. The duo are shocked to see the Integrity Knight picking them up. Alice?! Alice Synthesis Thirty to be precise.

Episode 11
When Eugeo tries to touch her, she beats him up! Do that again and you’ll die! With Eugeo very certain she is Alice, Kirito suggests playing along so they can get into the central cathedral. Before they depart, Tiese and Ronie are kind enough to give them their swords? Of course confiscated by Alice. She is kind enough to let them speak for a minute? At least they say their final goodbyes. We take a break and return to Ocean Turtle. Asuna is surprised a robot is moving around on its own. Ichiemon is created by Higa and fine-tuned by Rinko. From what I understand, they are trying to make an AI robot auto-balance like a human’s body to create a near perfect humanoid body. We return to the central cathedral. Kirito and Eugeo are imprisoned in an underground cell. Kirito wonders if this Alice was the real one, what was that cave incident Alice spirit whisper thingy all about? Could there be a spell that manipulates memories? They use the chains to destroy each other because they’re both the same high level, using them against each other is like wearing down the other’s life! It works! Video game logic! I guess they can escape easily because nobody escapes here before so no guards or even if there are, they’re sleeping. Making their way through the labyrinth garden, Eugeo who is still bent and determined on bringing Alice back hopes that bringing her back to their hometown would blow away the fake memories. This gives Kirito an idea on how he could retrieve his lost memories. They are confronted by an Integrity Knight, Eldrie Synthesis Thirty One who claims Alice is her mentor. She had foresight that they would escape and had him stationed here for the night. He will send them back to their prison but first he is going to exact punishment.

Episode 12
Eldrie is formidable with his whip as Kirito and Eugeo cooperate to fight on the same footing. When Eugeo finally recognizes him as Eldrie Woolsburg, the winner of the Four Empires Unification Tournament, Eldrie panics and denies it all. He believes he was summoned by Administrator from the heavens as an Integrity Knight. As Eugeo discloses more info about him to revive his memories, Eldrie then ‘stops working’. This funny prism in his forehead must be impeding his memories. Before they can do anything further, an archer Integrity Knight starts sniping at them. The duo make a run for it. A voice in Kirito guides them safely into a portal. She is Cardinal and the sole librarian of this great library. There are records of everything here from the start of this world’s creation. But the records here are all fabricated by the pontifex of Axiom Church. All to preserve their rule over the people. This makes Kirito realize that Cardinal is a system supervisor and that she is actually the Cardinal System. She might be the system supervisor but the one who holds all the admin privileges is no other than Administrator who is also her elder twin sister. Otherwise she would not be stuck in here. Time for some history. When this world was created 450 years ago when humans descended on this world (employees of Rath), these Gods taught their children how to live before logging out. But one of them was filled with malice and selfishness that gave rise to nobles and Axiom Church. When the first political marriage was done centuries ago, Quinella was born. She tinkered with the sacred arts that include killing cute forest critters and healing the people’s wounds. With the people awed by her godly powers, Quinella started to rule over them and as time as the city grow, so did the tower they built to worship her that she resided. To continue her rule so that no one would be above her, she wrote laws that became the Taboo Index. However she grew older and fragile but just before her death, she somehow managed to open a list that contains every command (it is rumoured she may have help from outside admins). This allowed her to restore her youth and be ageless. Quinella went a step further as she doesn’t want the Cardinal System to have equal authority with her. However she ended up fusing her soul with it. That is the reason for the existence of this system as if there is any slight irregularities that skews the balance, it will be soon detected. Hence the constant observation of ‘players’. Now that Quinella is no longer human, she seeks to continue ruling and preserving this real forever as both supervisor and rule, the pontifex of Axiom Church.

Episode 13
After 70 years of rule, Quinella realizes her soul’s capacity to preserve her memories had reached its limit. She thought of copying hers onto by overwriting a child’s Fluctlight. That child is Cardinal. But doing so means Quinella had made a mistake. Now there are 2 Gods wielding same level of authority. Both started fighting (more like redefining object structures). But with Quinella holding the upper hand, Cardinal fled. Only 2 places were beyond the reach of the Administrator: Dark Territory and this great library. She isolated herself and has been waiting for a chance to strike back. Quinella anticipated her ambush and assembled loyal and powerful followers known as Integrity Knights. The first one being Bercouli. Cardinal continued to observe the world but couldn’t figure things out and that’s why she wanted a human collaborator. She has pondered why would the real Gods (Rath) let this fake God (Administrator) rule? Her conclusion is that Rath doesn’t wish for people of this world to lead happy lives. They are observing how people will resist them and slowly tightening their load. Eventually the greatest trial will arrive. In short, the monsters in Dark Territory will come slaughter all humans and that day isn’t too far off. Quinella has underestimated them and thinks she and her Integrity Knights would be enough to stop them. Cardinal has resigned to the fact that Dark Territory will besiege this world. Hence her conclusion is that since she doesn’t accept Rath, her only way is to turn everything in this world into nothingness. She needs Kirito’s help to eliminate Administrator and regain all her authority. In exchange, he gets to name a few Fluctlights he wants to save and she will archive them before he returns to his own world.

Kirito wonders if she is a copy of Quinella, shouldn’t she have that selfish and greedy trait? In her senses, eliminating Administrator and normalizing the world is her desire. But there is something she has wanted to know for the last 200 years. So she just wants a hug? Oh yeah. She feels so satisfied that she’s crying. Weird. Kirito accepts to cooperate but will still find a way to save this world. Cardinal doesn’t know if this Integrity Knight Alice is the same as Eugeo’s childhood friend but she knows a way to stop this Synthesis Ritual. Just take out that prism, Piety Module. As you have guessed, it seals their original memories and makes you obedient to Administrator. Of course this means you need to get the original memories back to fill that void. It won’t be easy as it is locked in the highest tower of central cathedral. Eugeo worries to fight Alice because killing her would defeat the purpose of his goal. Hence Cardinal gives them a mini dagger. When stabbed, it links an irremovable connection to her and she will use her sacred arts to put her into sleep mode to buy them time to remove the Synthesis Ritual. She can also help get their swords back in the armoury but that won’t be enough to stop the Integrity Knights’ terrifying amplifying technique. She has them think of their sword and then comes up with a list of commands to remember? Whatever. Now she has told and given them everything she could, it’s time to step back into the real virtual world.

Episode 14
After getting their weapons, Kirito realizes Administrator doesn’t intend to create an army but kept all their weapons here. It could be the pontifex is the one with the least faith in the church’s authority. They are attacked by that archer Integrity Knight. Kirito uses all the defence he’s got to defend against his flames. Once Kirito is out, Eugeo strikes a couple of lethal blows to defeat him. After archer dude learns about their excellent skills, he tells them there are other Integrity Knights waiting for them with orders to kill him. He knows he will be stripped of his knighthood and frozen for failing his mission. To avoid that humiliation, he wants them to kill him. However when Eugeo learns his name as Deusolbert Synthesis Seven, the Integrity Knight who took Alice away, he becomes engulfed in rage. He would’ve killed him had Kirito not stopped him. Let’s not be ugly in killing a man who doesn’t resist. Kirito believes Deusolbert doesn’t even have memories of taking Alice away. He theorizes he got promoted for bringing Alice. But to maintain his fealty as an Integrity Knight, those memories are also sealed because it would be weird if the sinner he brought in showed up as an Integrity Knight. Kirito has him remember if there is a memory that no sacred arts could manipulate. There is one but he can’t really remember much. They let him be as they make their way up and plan how to counter the other Integrity Knights. Then they spot a couple of cute loli chicks watching at them. Hello girls. Want to come out and say hi?

Episode 15
Fizel and Linel are sisters in training. Since Kirito isn’t good with kids, he lets Eugeo handle this. They’re quite nice and cute until they get up close and stab them with their poison daggers! Damn, they’re Integrity Knights?! As they drag them up the stairs, they explain that they are born inside here and their mission was to help Administrator in an experiment with resurrection sacred art. Hence they kill each other. However many other experiment candidates either explode or become monsters after being resurrected. After many failed attempts, the experiment is called off and since the duo are the only survivors, they were promoted to Integrity Knights. But they are confined to only studying sacred arts so they got bored and wanted their own dragons and Divine Objects. They heard about the escapees and thought it would be a good idea to prove themselves. In the top floor consists of top Integrity Knights and their vice commander, Fanatio Synthesis Two. They plan to decapitate the boys so the witnesses can report to Administrator of their great feat. Suddenly Kirito stands up and stabs them with their own dagger. He was suspicious the moment they popped up and knew they couldn’t be just sisters in training due to their dagger gear. Hence he recited some poison dissolving art while Eugeo was attending to them. He won’t kill them but will let them see how strong real Integrity Knights are. Kirito faces off with Fanatio and while the latter brags about her sword made from sunlight, Kirito strikes off her helmet, revealing her female face. She gets agitated thinking Kirito is shocked to discover that she is a woman and won’t fight at his full strength. Just like many others. However Kirito mocks her that she is the one being conscious of being a woman. He had his fair share of losing to female fighters and won’t hold back. Fanatio gets desperate as she summons some dangerous sacrificing move. Cue for Eugeo freed from his poison to summon his sacred art to frozenly bind her. But will it be enough? As he gets pessimistic about his chances, Kirito reminds him that hate will not defeat her. It is love! His love for Alice and those feelings aren’t in any way inferior to her justice.

Episode 16
In short, Kirito defeats Fanatio. After Eugeo uses some of his life force to heal him, Kirito still wants to save Fanatio. If she is erased, everything is for naught. Kirito gets desperate to scream for help. When no one replies, he uses the dagger on her. Cardinal takes Fanatio into her care. Now that they are free to make their way up, damn this cathedral even has a lift operator? She has been operating it for 107 years?! Oh Eugeo, it puts your previous Calling to shame. At the highest floor the operator could go, in this garden, Alice is seen resting. WTF she wants them to give her some time to bask in the sunlight? Probably an excuse so the boys could plot how to take her down. So when she is ready to fight, they have to improvise quick because her sword seems to be in perfect condition. They get blown away and even this is just a warning strike from her. Kirito challenges her to a duel as he asks her about her immense power that originates from a small tree. Something about how her sword was grown from a single Osmanthus tree when the Gods were building this nation. Hence as the oldest creation, its attribute is everlasting eternity. Kirito plays a little cheat as he restrains her so that Eugeo can freeze her. Unfortunately that is not enough as she manages to break out from it. Kirito tries to give another chance to Eugeo and strikes back. However the force is too great that the wall is blown open. The vacuum sucks out Kirito and Alice. Before Eugeo can go after them, the wall builds itself back.

Episode 17
Don’t worry. Kirito and Alice are hanging by their swords. Alice wants him to let go so he lectures her about Eugeo is going to go up and kill Administrator. Isn’t it her job to protect the pontifex? That’s why she must survive. In that case, why don’t Kirito let go? He mentions his mission is not to destroy Axiom Church but protect human territory from Dark Territory’s invasion. They talk about the arbitrary rules and laws set. For now they call a truce but once they enter the tower, she will slay him. As the walls are created with infinite regenerative abilities, looks like they’re going up. Using a chain to chain themselves together, Kirito then uses his skill to create wedges to climb up. Damn, this guy must be real strong and have a really good balance. Because Alice feels ashamed to do the same, WTF she has Kirito pull her from underneath. Is this her pride as an Integrity Knight?! Their goal is to make it to the 95th floor since there will be an open garden. Looks like this is going to take a while. We take a brief detour to Ocean Turtle. Asuna and Rinko notice a destroyer moving further. An agent is perplexed because it’s supposed to escort them. He calls Kikuoka about it. Back to the VR world, looks like they’re still a long way to go and it is going to be night fall. Noticing a ledge a few metres above, they can rest there. However, statues turn into monsters and start attacking them. Can they fight with their balance on the edge? Worse, Alice is scared?! WTF?! Mind boggling moment when Kirito uses all his strength to swing Alice up to the ledge. She then does the same to him. Now they can fight the monsters and easily slay them. Alice is baffled because these monsters are from Dark Territory and created by evil dark art users as soulless familiars called minions. How are these lined up on the most sacred walls of the human empire and how did they get past the detection of Integrity Knights? Could it be someone of high authority within the church placed them here? Because minion blood brings you sickness, Alice lends her handkerchief to wipe it off Kirito’s face. Have it clean and return to her before she slays him. Gee, how kind. Another excuse to delay slaying him immediately? Meanwhile Eugeo has reached the hot bath level. Don’t worry. Not sexy hot naked chicks. But a burly muscular guy with scars. Have fun…

Episode 18
It is no surprise he is the leader of the Integrity Knights and that legendary hero, Bercouli. Eugeo tries to take him on is blown away by his mysterious slash. Don’t worry. Bercouli won’t kill him since he didn’t kill Fanatio or any of the other Integrity Knights. He reveals his sword didn’t slash air but slashed the future! WTF?! Okay, more explanation how it was made by the Divine Object of a clock that existed since the start of this world. Eugeo prepares for his next attack as Bercouli guesses he is going for long distance attacks now. That’s what all his opponents think after seeing that move. Of course Eugeo thinks out of the box. He freezes everything and throws away his sword. This shock stuns Bercouli as Eugeo physically tackles him before getting his sword back to checkmate him. With everything slowly freezing, Eugeo’s plan is also to take themselves out because his blooming ice roses are sucking their life force. Eugeo then gets upset because Integrity Knights like him don’t remember their past and serve blindly to Axiom Church. Hey, you want to blame an amnesiac person for not remembering? Well, before Bercouli starts having a feeling those stories about him, then comes in this clown. Chudelkin the prime senator accuses Bercouli for treason because he did not use his other time ability that would have instantly killed Eugeo. Bercouli denies this and claims he has given everything he’s got while accusing the jester back he has deceived him. Chudelkin deep freezes him so that he would be reprocessed. However he feels Bercouli will not be needed anymore as Eugeo will be a better pawn. We take a detour to the awkward moment of Kirito and Alice spending the night together on the ledge. Kirito tells her about her sister. Starting to remember something? Yeah, keep denying. Despite he assures her everything he said is true, of course she doubles down and will slay him if there is a hint of deceit. She’s a really good tsundere, isn’t she?

Episode 18.5
Recap episode! What a better way to spend the night on the ledge and let time pass as Kirito tells Alice everything from start to finish. Although the visuals are 100% copy and paste (no new scenes, sadly) but at least there are some parts that Kirito narrates like a more summarized version of what has happened so far in their quest to bring back Alice. So now you believe? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Episode 19
Wait. Kirito narrating a quick recap on what happened to Alice? Yeah, I guess it’s for those who skipped that recap episode. Alice wonders why he is doing this and of course as we know, it is to protect this world from Dark Territory. He asks her back about the Integrity Knights’ chance in defeating Dark Territory and she remembers even Bercouli has his doubts but Chudelkin admonished him to think of a way. Despite nobles being corrupted, Kirito has an idea for the people to protect this world. With the large stash of weapons in the armoury, the Integrity Knights can help dispense their knowledge and skill to the people to have a fighting chance. They can at least be ready in a year. And it looks like Alice seems to have been taken in by Kirito’s words because she wants to see Selka and Kirito even promising to let her see her sister back at her village before she regains her memories. I guess she somewhat remembers since she is crying. When she decides to forsake her role as an Integrity Knight, her right eye starts to act up. She is in pain as Kirito finds a barcode in it. He believes if she tries to think differently and defy the church, this barrier will be activated. Empty your mind! Or your eye will explode! However there are things she needs to do and continues to defy. Meanwhile Eugeo finds himself possibly at the top floor of the cathedral. Who this sleeping beauty? A voice tells him to run away but too late, Administrator wakes up. She claims Eugeo wants to be loved and although he denies, the way she words everything makes him start to doubt. Like his mother who didn’t truly love him alone because she shared her love among her brothers. That’s why he hates them. Then there is that Tiese’s case where she was almost raped. He killed Raios because he hates him, right? But does Tiese loves only him? Alice? Yeah, she shows a past clip whereby Kirito and Alice are seemingly close to each other behind Eugeo’s back. With Eugeo in shock, Administrator goes in for the kill. She is willing to love only him. So… Sex = love? The deeper your love, the more she’ll bring him ultimate pleasure. Confused Eugeo hears to voice of Tiese, Alice and Kirito but are all soon blocked out. With Eugeo fully enchanted by her, she goes down on her. That’s right. Come into me! Deep inside me! Into eternal stasis! Damn, this could be good hentai dialogue!

Episode 20
Kirito and Alice manage to climb up to the balcony. Because Eugeo is not around, Kirito uses his System Call to locate Eugeo’s sword. Still below them. Entering the bath level, Kirito can tell the frozenness is Eugeo’s doing. Alice is sad to see Bercouli turned into stone but he is strong enough to break free at least his eyes and mouth to speak to her about some conspiracy and Eugeo being taken away by Chudelkin. As they move to the next level, Kirito asks about the senators’ role. Apparently they oversee the Taboo Index. If anybody breaks them, they send an Integrity Knight to deal with it. Kirito finds it odd since Administrator is giving lots of power to them to act as her proxy. Then they enter the room where all the senators are. Them inside chambers and monitoring everything. This is sure some freaky sci-fi. Then they hear Chudelkin screaming in agony in his room. Something didn’t go as planned? Alice confronts him and after he runs his mouth about her going to betray Axiom Church, he continues to reveal the sweet moment before Alice was synthesized. She was begging and crying and all. He revels just thinking about that. Alice then stabs him but it didn’t kill this fatty and instead he explodes into some red smoke to escape. Trying to chase him to the next floor, shockingly an Integrity Knight arrives to face them. Eugeo?! Alice finds it odd that the ritual can be done so quickly. Kirito is close to losing himself seeing his best friend in this state and ironically it is Alice reminding him that they need to stay calm and find another way to restore him or they will forever lose him. Kirito asks Eugeo if he remembers him. Nope. He doesn’t even want Alice or want to know anything about it. Administrator gave him what he wants and nothing else matters. I guess talk time is over. Time to see if the student can defeat the master.

Episode 21
Kirito and Eugeo clash with all they’ve got. No harm trying to awaken Eugeo’s memories by mentioning the important people in his lives. But did it work? Because Eugeo got a little sloppy. But then again, he could be trolling because after Kirito lets his guard down, he freezes them. He returns to Administrator who wants to give him his reward but first, she tries to adjust his Piety Module. Because she allows him to freely move, this chance allows Eugeo to completely break free and tries to stab her with the dagger. Too bad Administrator’s barrier is thick. She gives him a chance to redeem himself and forgive his sins if he destroys the dagger. Because her view of eternal love means eternal control, he mocks her as the pity one who has never been loved. Because Eugeo’s view of love isn’t something like a transaction or reward but something given continuously. With that, Administrator finds it a shame she’ll have to do force Synthesis on him just like how she it to Alice many years ago. Hearing that makes Eugeo mad. He charges at her and of course her protection is still intact. This is interrupted when Chudelkin comes running in for help. He thought of finishing off Kirito and Alice but he realized Eugeo fooled him and now they’re after his ass! Yeah, dumb joker just brought them back to this room. Eugeo is happy to see Kirito and Alice again but apologizes for giving in to Administrator’s temptation. Hence he thought he tried to atone for this himself. Don’t be silly. Kirito knew what he was thinking all along. Yeah, you sure had us all fooled. Maybe. Because Administrator senses something wrong with Alice’s logic circuits, she gives her a chance to say anything without any risk of reprimand. Alice explains how she has been disillusioned by everything, especially Administrator’s conflicting actions that would eventually bring harm to the human empire. This has Administrator thinking there is no error in the logic circuit and her Piety Module is still functioning. Could it mean she disabled Code 871 (the seal in her right eye) on her own? She then gives Chudelkin to redeem his honour by disposing off them. Chudelkin will gladly do it but pleads, to put it bluntly and crudely, he wants to f*ck her! Administrator agrees for a one night stand offer if he fulfils his mission. And we can see the power of boners makes a horny guy power up as Chudelkin summons a fire genie to burn them all!

Episode 22
While Alice distracts the genie, Kirito powers up and pierces Chudelkin. Well, that’s that. Easy. This spectacled allowed Administrator to collect some data and realizes that Kirito is a human from the other world. Kirito warns her about the impending invasion from Dark Territory while Alice derides her for planting false memories. Administrator knew of all the pain and suffering her Integrity Knights went through. That’s why she erased them all. It doesn’t matter what Alice feels, once she is synthesized, she will no longer remember or feel. Kirito then warns her about the other humans on the other side who holds absolute authority and they can eliminate everything just by the push of a button. But that is that same reason that Administrator reasons why Kirito has no reason to criticise the methods she uses. As she will not grovel before them or beg for her existence to continue, the only proof she needs is the control she exerts. Her feet exists to trample upon others. Hence she is going to show them the ultimate weapon that she needs to fight Dark Territory. One that is not even human. She combines all the divine weapons and turns into a killing machine named Sword Golem. All it needs to do is endlessly massacre its enemies. And it will taste its first blood as it stabs Alice. Being mad won’t do you any good because Kirito also gets stabbed. A voice tells Eugeo to stab the floating platform while Cardinal’s spider tries to hold it off. The spider dies but holds it off in time for Cardinal to pop out from her library and blast Sword Golem away. Damn, she has time to heal the wounded and even mourn the death of her favourite pet? Administrator must be real confident… So is Cardinal going to lecture this hollow fool about love?

Episode 23
Administrator claims Sword Golem isn’t just made out of weapons, they are actually humans. Hence Cardinal can’t technically kill them since they aren’t monsters. Administrator claims this is just a prototype. Once completed, she’ll use about 800,000 human lives to complete a perfect one and thinks it is enough to repel Dark Territory’s invasion. The source is the Piety Modules and all those crystals on the ceiling’s mural are actually it. Cardinal agrees to be defeated by her in exchange the lives of the trio is spared. Administrator blasts her several times. Gotta have some fun first, right? And then she is so kind so as to let them say their final goodbyes. Because Eugeo realizes what needs to be done. What he needs to do. From what I can see, he wants to be turned into a sword to fight Administrator because he realizes that she is resistant to metal weapons, the reason why his dagger cannot pierce through. Somehow Eugeo takes Alice’s Piety Module and then begins his transformation process. See, Administrator? Had you taken action earlier, this wouldn’t have happened. Too late as Alice staves her off until the process is complete. Eugeo the sword is able to destroy Sword Golem and gravely wound Administrator (because of the sword’s silver properties). But it comes with a price. Eugeo is left broken. Yes, his real body is split in half! Kirito falls into depression as Administrator heals herself. Fun time is over. Time to kill the last remaining brat. As she is about to slay him, suddenly Alice jumps in front to protect him. Damn, this awakens Kirito that he might repeat the same mistake so he gets even faster to draw his sword and protect Alice. Was Administrator that slow? With Alice passing out from exhaustion, it’s time for the final boss fight.

Episode 24
So for nostalgia’s sake, Kirito transforms into his trademark SAO uniform to fight. But Administrator knows how to counter all his sword techniques. Then time out. Because conveniently time for Kirito and Eugeo to talk things out and give the former motivation. Damn, do they have to make it look yaoi? Anyway, Kirito is now dual wielding with Eugeo’s sword. The fight continues. Administrator still b*tching she is the ruler of this world and how control = love. That’s why she loves everything. Can’t argue with that. Their swords are glowing red so this might as well turn into a lightsabre duel. In the end, they cut an arm of each other. Kirito still has an arm but Administrator no arms left! So how? Why, she uses her hair to strangle him! Damn, why didn’t she use this for multiple weapons? Was covering her modesty more important?! Anyway, Kirito dealt a fatal damage to her core. She’s all cracking up. Literally. She tries a tactical escape and hints she is bringing the fight to his world. But as she escapes, Chudelkin clings onto her, hoping to take her with him. She tries to shoo him away but he turns into a flaming ghost and burns everything. Damn! Is this how Administrator is taken down?! It’s like saying porn virus destroyed the main super computer!!! HAHAHA!!! With Administrator gone, Eugeo still isn’t dead. You mean he is still alive after being cut in half for so long? I guess this is good excuse so as to why Kirito can cry hard. Friendship talk thingy, blah, blah, blah. That scene whereby Kirito and Alice are supposed to be flirting behind Eugeo’s back? Actually they made a wooden sword for his birthday. See the power of context? Final goodbye. Time to walk their own path. Eugeo’s dead for good. You can tell when his body disappears. Kirito hacks into the PC and calls out to Kikuoka. Before he could blame the scientist, he hears a commotion in the back. Looks like military men are trying to storm into the place! With no time, Kikuoka tells Kirito to find Alice, take her to the World’s End Altar. Unfortunately the soldiers are trying to cut the power line. The Lightcube may be protected but the surge will hit Kirito’s STL. He’ll be fried. Kirito is confused when he hears Asuna’s name. Why is she here? Too late. The power cut. Kirito dying? WTF is this angel Asuna floating down to rescue him?! What a dramatic and confusing end…

Debugging Art Online
As we all can see and already know beforehand, there is going to be another season. Hence the final episode that ended in such a chaotic and dramatic way didn’t come off as surprising or disappointing. Well, maybe when the last episode suddenly ends. But after all, this arc is so far the longest arc and story in the original light novel series and since the anime is going to fully adapt its entire arc and being faithful to it, they are going to need a lot of cours. I suppose it is good that they decided to take a break after back to back twin cours since if they continued (it is rumoured that the total episodes for this Alicization arc itself is to be around 50 episodes), it could feel like a one long draggy affair. I mean, I have to say that the SAO series isn’t just for everyone. Not even for yours truly. Even if you’re a masochist and can binge watch the entire series, it is still good to go outside and stretch your legs, take a breather before resuming. Heh. Now I can see and understand why a few animes employ this tactic although sometimes my guts tell me it is for economic reasons.

Anyway, I’m not saying that this Alicization story is really interesting because you know like I’ve said, the SAO franchise isn’t for every Tom, Dick and Harry. For those who have reached this far into the original light novels, you have got to already be some sort of elevated status of a fan. I have been watching SAO since it was first adapted back in 2012 and I continued to watch all its TV series (but somehow skipped the movie, Ordinal Scale) in hopes I could understand something. But you know me. I didn’t really get a lot of the technical terms. This season’s Fluctlight and other technical terms I am still struggling to understand even as I type this blog. I feel that artificial soul is the best I could understand for what it means for Fluctlight but I am also pretty sure that isn’t as accurate as what the producers intended its definition to be. Then there are other commands inside the VR game like System Call and the likes which I am still blur in and going “What the heck are those again?”. Every time a character says those commands to open or change some options, it feels more like some sort of magical spell. You know, those charm lines you say when magicians and wizards cast a spell but only this time they sound like programming terms. The story for this season might seem long and dragging out but the way they flesh out the characters and other development, it is all not a waste of time.

Sometimes when I think about this whole Alicization story, it could have been actually another spinoff or an entirely different story not related to SAO whatsoever. It could have been a totally new story, make and change Kirito to another new character and voila, we’ve got ourselves a totally new series and anime. It doesn’t feel so much like an SAO series as the plot delves around 2 young boys trying to rescue a long lost childhood friend and at the same time trying to rid of the big ruler who rules over everything before the ultimate tragedy of the other side invades and destroys everything for good. And add some programming terms into their lingua. So if we substitute those programming jargons with classic magical ones, this could again be passed off as entirely another series. But of course it can’t be a totally new story altogether since Reki Kawahara, the creator of this series wrote this arc. But I guess it is better than those isekai animes of the main character being killed in the real world and reborn again as an overpowered one in another magical fantasy world! Uhm, can VR be considered isekai?

Just like how I said SAO felt weird without Kirito, it also feels weird without Asuna. Naturally as we can see from the flow of the story, Asuna is now reduced to a very concerned girlfriend waiting for Kirito outside while Kirito himself is probably having an adventure of a lifetime as he lays in coma. Hence the dynamic relationship now isn’t Kirito x Asuna but that of Kirito x Eugeo. It is a good thing that the series didn’t really show it in a way that makes it look like their friendship is going beyond just good friends and potential to be gay partners (f*ck the PC culture!). But just pure and hardcore friendship among the boys as swordsman. Perhaps the final episode was the closest into seeing that suggestive yaoi scene but it might just be our dirty minds. Kirito doesn’t feel so much as the sole star of this series as Eugeo too has his fair share of the limelight. Hence both of them being given enough time to develop and being fleshed out, by the end of this season, you’ll come to at least want to support them as a team instead of one over the other. Perhaps to a point that it would be weird if Kirito is without Eugeo and vice versa. Yeah, f*ck Asuna! At least for this season. So hardcore and amazing their friendship that you can see them in sync during the opening credits animation. Especially they have this weird sync of hand gestures. So weird but so cool.

With Kirito and Eugeo developing their (virtual) friendship, so much so that I never once think that they would end up in some weird romantic love triangle with Alice. Hah. It’s not that kind of series but you know me, I’m inclined to somehow think of that. I never thought of this until the series ended and it only makes Alice looks like as though she is a third wheel! Alice despite being the boys’ main reason and motivation to do what they do, she feels mostly like a side character and not really doing much. Partly because she has been brainwashed for most of the part as an Integrity Knight and even when she somewhat started to question her loyalty and then witnessed Administrator’s hypocritical actions, it’s not like there is a whole lot that she could do, right? After all, Kirito and Eugeo still continue to dominate as stars of this story. So sorry folks, no Kirito’s cheesy harem moments to get in the way of hardcore male bonding friendship here. Not sure if the next season will feature Eugeo since he is seen riding off into the sunset with loli Alice. Eugeo turning himself into a shota so that it won’t look like some pedo thingy might be the ending Eugeo and Alice need. Because that Integrity Knight Alice has may just be a vessel and several hints she may be a separate manner than the original loli Alice. But we’ll see when the next season rolls in.

The thought of Administrator playing God although she is just some programming entity, maybe her character doesn’t get me thinking a lot about her twisted thinking and personality but rather about the sentient life called reality. What if this simulation is actually what is happening in our lives in reality too? There have been debates about whether or not this reality is just a simulation and the things that occur after death that are beyond our imaginations. And what if there are higher beings than the one and only Almighty God we know? A lot of things about this simulated VR game can be drawn parallel to reality. Like God could just be another being because He has more access to shortcuts and other debugging stuffs that the rest of us don’t. Hence, administrator privileges. And God bringing Revelation and Doomsday to the world? That’s like you delete this game forever! Coming back to Administrator’s character, but think about it, can you blame her twisted thinking and definition of love because she is programmed that way? In a sense, it’s like as though she is written and setup to be an antagonist, don’t you think? And it was pretty ironic that a pervert took her down completely…

I wouldn’t say the action and sword fighting scenes are a masterpiece but the action bits are enough to satiate those who want to see some sword clashing battles. It feels like Kirito doesn’t have a lot of options what he can do here despite his Aincrad style somehow being carried into this world. His and Eugeo’s sword have their own unique properties and sometimes they seem like they pull off all the stops for that one exaggerated over the top moves but I guess it’s necessary just to show us how far they have come along and improved on their skills. And if you can’t hack your way through via programming, just hack and slash your way with a sword! I never expected to use both meanings of hacking here…

One of the superior elements in this season is that the art and animation are very good. If I should say, it is comparable to the standard that we see in Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works TV series. There are lots of high quality put into the visuals and it doesn’t disappoint. After all, A-1 Pictures have animated all its previous adaptations (except that alternate GGO spinoff) and it pays off here with an important arc like this one. Can’t disappoint fans of the series, can they? With a lot of hype that went about, it’s too big to fail! Thank goodness. So if the story is hard to follow, at least the high quality visuals may be something to give you the wow factor. There is also some CGI employed and it doesn’t feel disjointed. It feels seamlessly woven into the superior quality of the animation.

The first time when I laid eyes on Alice as an Integrity Knight, I thought she looked familiar. Isn’t that a more serious and zero perverted version of KonoSuba’s Darkness? Well, almost. Must be the golden armour. And more suspiciously, same seiyuu… Anyway, Administrator being a character who is mostly in the nude, I wonder if it is a lazy way out so as not to design some sort of fancy garb for her. After all, all of the Integrity Knights have their armour so shining and colourful that you wonder if they are a liability in battle. But as we’ve seen, they’re not so it looks like they look as good and nice as they are in their skills. But Administrator being naked all the time especially in the final stretch makes me feel weird. Imagine battling a naked last boss. Isn’t that distracting? Yeah, no backlash since Administrator is a smoking hot babe. Because remember that video game uproar for a naked final boss fight in Bioshock? Yeah, nobody wants to see a naked macho man monster boss… Isn’t it no wonder why Chudelkin brought Administrator down with him? Who could’ve resisted such beautiful pure naked body? Something to literally die for… And so it goes to show that something she deemed perfect became her undoing.

Voice acting is pretty fine too with new casts joining the line-up including Nobunaga Shimazaki as Eugeo (Yuno in Black Clover), Ai Kayano as Alice (Darkness in KonoSuba), Maaya Sakamoto as Administrator/Quinella (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Sakura Tange as Cardinal (Angela in Melty Lancer), Hitomi Nabatame as Fanatio (Reina in Circlet Princess), Kaori Ishihara as Tiese (Azusa in Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko), Reina Kondou as Ronie (Hana in Slow Start), Wataru Takagi as Chudelkin (Alaindelon in Beelzebub), Megumi Han as Liena (titular character in Mushibugyou), Hikaru Hanada as Deusolbert (Akihiko in Junjou Romantica), Ryuuichi Kijima as Humbert (Lenka in God Eater), Shuuhei Iwase as Raios (Yasutaka in Sankarea), Takeaki Masuyama as Eldrie (Ida in Nora To Oujo To Noraneko Heart) and Kaori Maeda as Selka (Mari in Back Street Girls: Gokudolls). The only new cast I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Bercouli.

The first opening theme, Adamas by Lisa feels a bit chaotic. The frenzied pace of this rock piece tries to sound epic but to me it comes off as noisy. Except for the last bit which has a funky bass solo. That’s the only part I like. The second ending theme, Resister by Asca is also a rock outfit but it is toned down I think this one suits the pacing of the series better. The ending themes are slow rock with Iris by Eir Aoi being the first one and Forget Me Not by Reona as the second. I still prefer the former, though. There is a special ending theme for episode 19, Niji No Kanata Ni by Reona and this is quite a slow lovely ballad. Feels a bit disjointed from the series but I think this song is the one I like the most. I want to note that some of the sound effects are, how do I put it, deafening. Like when there is an epic magic sword clash or something, it’s like the bass and effect goes really loud and one kind. Are they trying to test my sound system or something?

Overall, not a bad season. An SAO series that isn’t your typical SAO, it feels both weird and refreshing at the same time. Infusing sword fighting with some computer programming setting? Strange indeed. After all, my experience with the first 2 seasons of SAO had this similar pattern in which the first big chunk of the series started off great but towards the end with its lesser arc, it disappoints. Remember that mediocre ALO that reduced Asuna into a damsel in distress for the first season and then the WTF Calibur and trying-to-prop-up-the-feels Mother’s Rosario in the second season? Yeah… Thankfully for this season, it is Alicization all the way and no disappointing small side stories to be distracted with. So huzzah for long story arcs? I promise I won’t complain about this story being draggy! Unfortunately no System Call or any delete button to erase those disappointing arcs. That’s why here’s to hoping the next continuation of this story would be a lot better to erase those dissatisfying ones. You can’t change the past but at least we can programme and create the future to be better. And no, delete and format everything isn’t the answer!

Wait. What?! WHAT?! There’s still some more? Oh heck. I guess they really want to play into our nostalgia and introduce newbies to it. Because it has been more than 5 years since Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation graced the airwaves and then all of a sudden… Boom! Hyperdimension Neptunia Summer Vacation OVA! Like I have said, this single OVA is to make old veterans like yours truly feel nostalgic and sentimental and perhaps go back and watch everything again, or expose this ‘old’ series to newcomers in hopes that they will be attracted and start buying some of the merchandise. Yeah, the bottom line. I don’t know how popular this series is but I suppose it does has its followers in Japan. Enough to make this single OVA that doesn’t has no relation or continuation with the TV plot whatsoever. So like even yours truly who has forgotten almost everything can just jump in and watch it without losing much.

Summer haze & dreams…
WTF is this dramatic start?! Neptune is dying?! Oh the horror! Nepgear tries to tell her to hold on because help is on the way. Yeah, as you would come to expect this dramatic exaggeration, IF and Compa finally bring out the shaved ice treats… Yeah, we’re all dying for that for summer! Histoire reminds Neptune that she has a lot of work to be done but apparently she doesn’t want to waste her summer so she continues playing more video games… We see our lovely sisters take a summer trip to the pristine mountains. Nothing like some outdoor activity to relax, huh? Later as Nepgear and Uni try to find Ram and Rom, they see them being attacked by a giant beetle. Bad news: They cannot transform. Good news: Neptune comes to save the day with her kickass kung fu kick. Hiya! As quickly noted, this is not the Neptune we know and she is from another dimension. When the young ones try to bring Neptune back to their villa, it is not there. This is when Neptune realizes they have crossed over to another dimension. They must have passed through a giant shrine. But don’t despair, as explained by her own mini Historia, Croire says that the gate opens briefly every half a day. So while they are being stuck here for the time being, Neptune offers to take care of them. Nepgear observes Neptune to be very reliable as she can’t help make comparisons to her other carefree sister. Speaking of the other sisters, they are seemingly locked in some video game battle! Is this more fun than nature? But it isn’t that they don’t care. You see, time flows differently in this other dimension and much faster. Hence in their original dimension, it is still noon compared to night time here. This Neptune also wishes she had a nice and cute sister like Nepgear. They know they can’t stay like this forever so they are glad they met each other and spend whatever time they have together.

In the original world, it evening and the sisters are worried their young ones haven’t returned. They start looking for them. Meanwhile in the other dimension, it is morning and it is about time the young ones depart back. Apparently there are monsters on both sides of the dimension so it’s some excuse for the girls to transform and kick some butt. To show the focus on Neptune and Nepgear, they hear each other’s voice resonating from the other side of the gate. Uhm, their hands touch and voila! Your sexy transformation scene to blow away all those negligible monsters. The sisters are reunited and when Nepgear wants to introduce Neptune to her other counterpart, luck has it that the portal is closing so the other mature Neptune has enough time to say her goodbye. Yeah. We’ll always remember you. From that confident and charming voice, our Neptune can tell she is a cool person. It’s good she thinks highly of herself… And the sisters return to the villa and continue to have their usual (Japanese) summer fun of baths and fireworks till IF and Compa arrive to pick them up. Definitely the best and weirdest summer vacation ever.

The Sister You Have Always Dreamt Of…
Oh well, I guess that’s it. But it is hinted there might be more because you know how ambiguous ‘mata ne’ (see you again) sounds, right? I’ll probably watch it when that happens because, no harm, right? Gotta have more dopamine of nostalgia! Anyway, as far as this OVA is concerned, it’s relatively simple and straightforward. The focus is on Nepgear who has experienced the mature and reliable big sister should her actual Neptune be this cool and steadfast. Thankfully because of all the cuteness and adorability of this series’ pace, nothing twisted or dark is going to happen like Nepgear suddenly wanting to be this alternate Neptune’s sister and ditching her real one. Or telling her Neptune to buck up. No siree. Can’t have that here because we can see all the sisters love each other so much that they might as well be married to each other. Oops. Gone too far there. Alas, this experience only has Nepgear appreciating her own Neptune even more because you know, Neptune is Neptune. There are some things you can’t change. Even all the more so, this Neptune is her Neptune. You just accept it as it is.

The other motivation for me to watch this series as well as the other factor that increases my nostalgia points is that I get to hear the voices of veteran seiyuus. Rie Tanaka, Yui Horie, Eri Kitamura and Kana Asumi are great to hear again since the more seasons of new animes pass, the lesser I get to hear them as they are already in semi-retirement and with the competition of the voice acting industry heating up with new ones coming out, I guess old ones like them have to take a back seat and let the newer generation take the spotlight. Hey, don’t want to do this for your entire life, right? Well, maybe. Some like Rina Satou and Yui Ogura are still in the industry but it is sad to note and come to realization that there will be a time that the seiyuus I recognized will completely stop and retire. Will there be another dimension where they will always do voice acting forever? Only in your dreams. So yeah, probably this OVA has invoked a lot of these kind of thoughts and the lesson learnt is to appreciate what you’re doing now. Because it won’t last forever. Even one day the annual summers will stop coming… :’(. Better go get some shaved ice while I still can.

Sarazanmai

September 21, 2019

What the heck?! What the hell is this trippy LSD trip?! Is this Mawaru Penguindrum 2.0? Apparently not quite so. Because Sarazanmai might have all the crazy and weird visuals that is seemingly similar in Mawaru Penguindrum, it is only because it is connected by the same director, Kunihiko Ikuhara. Otherwise this series is very much different despite all those bizarre stuffs keep reminding you about Mawaru Penguindrum. Just replace penguins with kappa. Replace destiny with desire and hope. Replace the coveted mysterious item that is Penguindrum AKA apple with something that is not so mysterious like magic dishes that grants your wish. Crazy, huh? Told you this felt like Mawaru Penguindrum v2.

Episode 1
Kazuki Yasaka narrates connections are important to him. He’ll do anything to protect them. Hence there are 3 rules he must always do: 1) Carry this box (Kappazon?); 2) Check lucky selfie fortunes of this idol, Sara Azuma; 3) Send selfies to a person he is connected to but doesn’t know. Having done all this, he doesn’t need anything else. Toi Kuji is trying to break into a car when Sara is seen taking a selfie. Naturally Toi wants her Smartphone but she won’t hand it to him and runs away. As Toi gives chase, he stumbles into Kazuki praying at the kappa plaza. He notices his Smartphone the same as Sara’s and attacks him. This causes the kappa statue to break and a small explosion occurs. Next thing Kazuki knows, he is in class. His friend, Enta Jinnai is mad he quit the football club without knowledge. More weirdness when Toi is the new transfer student in class. Throughout the day, Kazuki and Toi seem to be doing weird kappa stuffs like pouring water on their head and eating cucumbers. They start to hear weird bell sounds. It leads them back to the plaza. The broken statue acts up and turns into Keppi, the prince of the kappa kingdom. He claims he erased their memories this morning and since they know about his existence, he must do something about them. Keppi begs to help his kingdom! But Toi refuses and calls him a frog. This taboo word makes Keppi angry as he devours them and sucks out their Shirikodama from their ass! Both realize they have become kappa!

Keppi explains they are now in an alternate dimension called Field of Desires. Neither humans nor kappa can see this. When Enta is seen running by, because he can’t see them, Keppi puts a sticker to allow him to see them. Guess what? Enta thought he saw frogs! Extraction time! Now we have 3 boys turned into kappa. As explained, Shirikodama is an organ that stores human desires. But in the anus? Underlings of a zombie kappa steal boxes that contain desires. The only way to defeat it is to extract their Shirikodama. And so the trio begin fighting this cardboard zombie via musical? Yeah, it is one trippy fight to extract it. Doing so also has them learn the darkest secrets that is kept. Keppi tells them to give him the extracted Shirikodama before it melts via Sarazanmai. What is that? Whatever. Some weird dancing and poses. We learn that the box Kazuki carries contains female clothes. He cross-dresses himself as Sara and takes selfies. So it was him who stumbled into Toi trying to break in and the person he sends the selfies to is Enta! Keppi further explains Sarazanmai refers to the connection of the soul and mind and this means they share all their deepest secrets. Enta despite is shocked to learn Kazuki’s secret, believes their friendship is strong. But Kazuki is upset. He doesn’t care if anyone understands him. As long as he can be connected to Harukappa, he will pretend to be anything.

Episode 2
For their troubles, Keppi gives them a Dish of Hope that allows a wish to be granted. Stupid Enta got so excited and wastes it for a year’s worth of cucumber sushi. Damn. Hence Keppi’s job for them is to fight kappa zombies if they wish to get more Dish of Hope. Back home, we are introduced to Haruka, Kazuki’s little brother. Uhm, looks like a girl, acts like a girl, name of a girl, but a boy?! Whatever. As we can see, Harukappa is her online account name and Kazuki is pretending to be Sara for him. He wants a Dish of Hope for Haruka. Haruka is a happy little brother and has Kazuki to thank for because he wanted a cat and now they have one, Nyantaro. Meanwhile Toi and his brother, Chikai are doing really shady things. Toi doesn’t want to do this anymore although big bro says the next gig will bring in big money. With all that is happening, Toi also wants a Dish of Hope for his brother. Enta orders a package but inside is a gun! He realizes his package has been mixed up with Toi’s. Toi is trying to make some, uhm, condiment? Not sure if it contains catnip because Nyantaro waltzes in to steal it! They bump into Kazuki (dressed as Sara). Both chase after the fat cat. Weird part it enters some ninja festival that is only opened to couples. Good timing, right? Yeah, they chase a cat inside while holding hands. Can the park let a cat do as it please inside? Toi is willing to give back Nyantaro if Kazuki gives his Dish of Hope. Not going to fly.

Meanwhile a corpse of a man has been found in the river. This guy had a penchant for skinning cats but has been released since no evidence was established. This guy was once interrogated by policemen, Mabu Akutsu and Reo Niiboshi. It seems they fire some special bullets into him to extract his desires. Yeah, some weird otter dancing ritual… With cats now going missing. I guess it is cue for Keppi to signal to our kappa boys to defeat another kappa zombie. Enta shows Kazuki the gun belonging to Toi and that he is bad news. However Kazuki needs Toi to pull off this mission. It is all for Haruka. Transforming into kappa, the trio battle against the cat zombie and extract his Shirikodama to learn his secret that he has been skinning cats for their fur so he could wear them. Uh huh. His girlfriend loves cats and recently left him. So he thought by being a cat he could get back his love. Sarazanmai also reveals that when Haruka wanted a cat, Kazuki actually stole somebody’s cat just to make him happy! With the cat case solved, the policemen believe somebody is interfering. The view those who can connect desires can have a future. Toi threatens the rest to give their Dish of Hope. However Keppi points out that they must collect 5 to truly have their wish granted. So the first time was just demo? Work harder, boys. With Haruka happy that Nyantaro is found and thanks Sara for her lucky selfies, Kazuki feels relieved as he falls asleep. Just like that in the open? Because cue for Enta to steal a kiss!!!! Only the fat cat is the witnessed…

Episode 3
Enta pulls back as Kazuki wakes up! Nothing suspected. We hear Enta’s thoughts that he has a crush on Kazuki. He doesn’t know when those feelings started but he has had them for a long time. Worse, today’s lucky readings from Sara is a kiss! Otone, Enta’s sister even teases him by giving him a kisu. The fish, that is. Yup, it’s from her boyfriend. Later Enta and Haruka talk about Kazuki. Haruka feels sad that Kazuki has stopped smiling ever since he quit football. Enta remains positive that Kazuki will come back to play football with him. As Enta is thinking on how to do that, suddenly Kazuki comes by and regrets leaving football. He wants to play with him again. That’s quick. Unfortunately this is just his delusion as that person is actually Otone. She is supposed to meet up with her boyfriend but he is late. Enta then gets mad when he sees a couple of football boys playing in their secret area. When he tries to act tough, they beat him up. WTF Kazuki beats them up and saves him? Oh dear. Another delusion. Turns out to be Toi instead. Enta explains why he wants Kazuki to play football with him. A reason why he wants a Dish of Hope so badly. Meanwhile the police is investigating a corpse of a murdered man who happens to be Otone’s boyfriend and he has records of being a womanizer. Mabu and Reo claimed to have arrested him the day before, interrogated him and extracted his desires.

With brides gone missing, of course the zombie kappa is doing all this. The kisu zombie is turning brides into kisu. Among them is Otone. Enta begs Keppi to transform him so he can go save her. Yeah, get your Shirikodama extract first. So the trio extract the kisu zombie’s Shirikodama and Enta’s secrets are revealed during the Sarazanmai. We see him secretly sniffing on Kazuki’s jersey and also blowing on his recorder. And yeah, that kiss on sleeping Sara. In the aftermath when Otone returns to reality, it seems she can’t remember who she was waiting for. It seems Kazuki isn’t fazed about the kiss as he thinks it was a penalty game the football club imposed on him. Enta denies and claims how Kazuki always gave him motivation, the reason for him to play football. After Enta confesses he loves Kazuki, OMG a yaoi kiss scene! We should know better by now it is a delusion as Enta just kissed Keppi. How does it feel kissing a kappa? Meanwhile with yet another interference, Mabu and Reo are being admonished by their mysterious boss (only known as Otter) because the harvested energy has dropped significantly recently. Buck up or else he considers this as betrayal. Enta talks to Haruka that he can’t get himself through to Kazuki and wants to give up. But Haruka gives him a missanga bracelet that he threw away. Because he can’t run with Kazuki, he hopes Enta could give it to him and run together. We see Haruka wheelchair-ridden at a hospital.

Episode 4
Haruka is happy that she is going to have a handshake session with Sara. The real one. Toi gets a call from Chikai. The former is sick of living apart but the latter promises they’ll live together once things are settled. Later Toi meets Enta because the latter continues to bug him to give his Dish of Hope. Not a chance. Asking about Toi’s recent transfer to their school, he explains he was once from this area but left for a while after his parents died. Currently he is living with his relatives who are running a soba shop. Subsequently, Kazuki in a Sara’s drag seeks out Toi’s help. It seems he wants him to kidnap the real Sara so that he could substitute her place for Haruka. It’s an identity he needs to protect! This has Toi remember the ‘teachings’ of Chikai how the weak perish and will be forgotten. After their parents died (he later found out that they were cheated into debt), Chikai is seen trying to sell their belongings for money. Hey, they aren’t of any use to the dead, right? Toi was mad but was told off that only bad people survive in this world. Toi then saw Chikai meet up with his yakuza boss and being given a gun. When the family soba shop was about to be evicted, somehow Chikai managed to bring in the cash to keep the store running. Before Kazuki could finish his Sara kidnapping plan, soba bowls are now flying everywhere? And of course, a soba shop owner is found dead. He was arrested on suspicions of stealing his girlfriend’s bathwater but was released due to insufficient grounds. And also of course, Mabu and Reo arrested that guy and extracted his desires.

With a soba zombie in action, our trio transform into their kappa form to extract his Shirikodama. So that soba owner guy just wanted to make soba using the water from his girlfriend’s bathwater? Sick. And now for the Sarazanmai. Toi later found out the money Chikai got was from swiping his yakuza boss. They wanted to make him pay but because the relatives disowned him, they couldn’t touch the shop. However the boss thought of using Toi as bait to lure him out. But Toi used the gun and shot him. As Chikai witnessed this, he took the gun from his hands and shot the boss. This is to claim that he is the one who shot and killed this bad person. The brothers vow to survive in this world together. With yet another loss, Mabu and Reo contemplate of taking action. Since it is inefficient for them to go out there, they’ll have to raise the target’s desire level. Enta is devastated that Toi killed a guy but Toi insists had he not, he would have killed the brothers. It is easy to talk about morals and justice means nothing to the strong. Hence Toi decides to live for Chikai’s sake and won’t let his sacrifice go to waste. He will not hesitate to kill them if they let this secret out. Surprisingly Kazuki gives his Dish of Hope to Toi. He needs it more than him. Furious Enta opposes. He thought he was doing it for Haruka. Kazuki cuts off his ranting and claims he hates Haruka. Say what?!

Episode 5
Kazuki narrates he was the happiest kid in the world when Haruka was born. But a few years later and grandpa on his deathbed muttered the words that Kazuki’s mom is an indecent woman. He found out and realized that he had a real mother whom he was taken away from. And that was when his happiness shattered. He wasn’t connected to anybody. The plan to switch the real Sara begins. Toi knocks out the manager and then escorts the real Sara out on pretence to take some promotional photos before Kazuki in drag moves in. Meanwhile the police has found a corpse of an unemployed guy who was suspected to be involved in some natural treasure sachet incident but of course released due to insufficient evidence. And our usual duo interrogated him and extracted out his desires. No matter how many times Toi tries to lock up Sara, it seems she always escapes by transforming into some sort of kappa?! Kazuki is up on stage to greet the fans. Yeah, nobody realizes this is Kazuki except for Enta. Haruka is thrilled to meet ‘Sara’ since ‘she’ knew their password (Haruka texted her that password regarding connections before the meet). This has Kazuki remember a time when he found out about the truth about his mom and contemplated to leave so Haruka said the same things of how they are all connected in a big way. Handshake interrupted when the manager pops up to call out this imposter. Haruka refutes him and believes this ‘Sara’ is the real deal. It gets worse when the real Sara shows up. When Haruka asks for the password, she doesn’t understand, making Haruka believe this fake is the real deal. But that soon comes crashing down when the manager pulls off Kazuki’s wig. Oh no! Kazuki runs away in shame and fear.

Later Toi says some harsh words that he is the one who hurt Haruka and that eventually all their secrets will be exposed. Kazuki laments he promised never to hurt Haruka but has done it again. Suddenly Keppi interrupts them because a kappa zombie is detected. Yup, better go fight that sachet zombie. After they manage to defeat this sachet zombie, Sarazanmai reveals that Kazuki one day for the first time met with his real mom. The thing is, Haruka also had the same scent pouch as her. This regret causes Kazuki to lose the sachet zombie’s Shirikodama and thanks to that, no Dish of Hope for them. Mad Keppi also lets them be in this kappa form although Kazuki thinks he prefers it this way. Then he starts lamenting about how Haruka knew that they weren’t real brothers. More revelation as that day when he met his real mom, they both found out they each have their own separate families and decided to keep this tryst a secret and return to their respective family life as they viewed it as important. But soon, Kazuki decided to leave the family and Haruka didn’t want that. He thought he was being a bad boy and pleaded for Kazuki to stay. Kazuki turned his back and when Haruka tried to go after him, a car rammed into him. This left Haruka paralyzed from waist down and the thing that Kazuki regretted a lot is how no one blamed him despite it was really all his fault. They all continued to be a real family to him and he continued to stay with them. However he feels all he has done isn’t enough. From quitting football, stealing Nyantaro and even dressing up as Sara. It was a lie that he is doing this all for Haruka. He deceived Haruka just to protect himself.

Episode 6
Kazuki didn’t come home and his family is worried. Especially Haruka. But oh, Kazuki has gone crazy living the happy kappa life! Oh yeah, having fun doing kappa sumo? What about kappa football? Of course this isn’t going to last as Kazuki remains gloomy. When he sees Haruka in the streets, he runs away. Haruka is worried if Kazuki is ever coming back. He is approached by Reo and wonders will be arrested for stealing Kazuki’s smile. Reo is interested to see whether the inside of him is desire or love and puts Haruka to sleep before taking him away back to his police box to have his desires extracted. Nyantaro is flung away. Kazuki still can’t face himself until Nyantaro lands near him. He realizes Haruka is missing. Keppi then receives a call that Haruka has been taken away by the Otter Empire. They kill humans and turn them into kappa zombies. Time for a little history. It seems kappa and otters having been at war since the dawn of time. They fought over the energy inside Shirikodama and when the otters won over the kappa, they set the humans as their next target. Keppi is the only one who can create Dish of Hope so if this secret is blown, his life will be targeted. Keppi takes the trio to the Otter Empire’s secret underground hideout where they extract all desires and put them in a box to devour. How can they find Haruka in all the boxes? Yeah, Kazuki calling Haruka’s handphone somehow pinpointing Haruka’s position. But as they chase after it, it is too late as it gets dropped into the pit. Desperate Kazuki wants to save Haruka’s life. How? Keppi suggests the other way is to transplant his Shirikodama into him. However this means that Kazuki will be disconnected from everything. To cut things short, he will be erased from existence and the memories of everyone who knows him. A fate worse than dying. That is exactly what they have been doing to kappa zombies they defeated.

But Kazuki starts thinking that exchanging his life would mean Haruka’s accident would never happen and that is good enough of a deal to do it. Of course his pals won’t allow this sorry excuse. You think that would make Haruka happy? STFU about this is your choice to make. Enta shows him the missanga he threw away that Haruka saved. It shows that he never gave up on him. He believes in him and is waiting. This is enough for Kazuki to change his mind. Back to operation rescue Haruka. The system detects Haruka’s desire as love and is rejected. It is being sent to the shredders but at least there is window of time for them to rescue him and he is still alive. Flashback shows Haruka’s final message to Sara that he did something horrible to a certain person. The reason he chased Kazuki down was because he was afraid he would leave him. It seems Haruka also stumbled into Kazuki’s real mom. They look alike and he picked up her dropped scent pouch. Similar scent. Haruka told her not to take Kazuki away but she smiled and said everything is going to be okay. But Kazuki stopped smiling after that. He is happy the things he has done for him and will continue to believe he will come home and smile again. How to save Haruka moments before being dropped into the shredder? This is where their football skills come in handy. Use Keppi as the football! Goal! Keppi also conveniently acts as a glider-cum-parachute to land Haruka to safety. With that, the trio are able to defeat the sachet zombie for good. Mabu is not pleased with yet another defeat. However Reo is ecstatic. Calling Haruka’s real love as something they never needed in the first place, he is glad he kidnapped Haruka because he has found Keppi, their hope. Kazuki feels he has been reborn into a new person despite staying pretty much the same. This is the real him. He is glad to have friends like them.

Episode 7
From what it sounds like some ambiguous gay sex between Otter and Mabu turns out to be a ritual for the latter to become his vessel. When Mabu returns from his ‘maintenance’, Reo is not pleased since he is trying hard to eat his old favourites and trying to pretend to be his old self doesn’t mean he will accept him. He is just nothing but lies. Even so, Mabu is doing this for a certain person precious to him. Flashback reveals that Mabu and Reo got entangled during the otter’s invasion of the kappa kingdom. When Reo woke up, he was in the care of Otter who claims he is the chief of the science and technology division. Although Reo was relatively unhurt, the same can’t be said for Mabu. From what it looked like, he died. Reo was devastated and would do anything to bring his partner back to life. Mabu reports to Otter that the energy reserves of the kappa zombies are dangerously low. This of course would mean both their lives are in danger. Otter wants Mabu to prove his loyalty via action. With summer break here, Kazuki happily tells Enta that he will rejoin the football club once the next term starts. They also invite Toi to join them since he is quite good. But as they head to their usual spot to practice, they see it vandalized. Undeterred, they start cleaning up. However the next day, it is again vandalized. Kazuki hasn’t lost his spirit and wants to clean up so as to send a message to the vandals this won’t break them. However Toi gets a call from Chikai. Looks like he can’t continue playing football with them. Seems a huge job just fell through as a partner betrayed him. They have to leave town for a while as they are being wanted. Kazuki remains positive. All they need is 1 more Dish of Hope, right? Let’s defeat a kappa zombie and help Chikai. That way, they don’t have to leave. Toi wonders why they are willing to go this far for him. Enta explains this is Kazuki’s real personality before that Haruka’s incident. He is always helpful. That is why what Kazuki wants, Enta also wants.

The trio go to the plaza to see Keppi but he just got back. From a date with Sara?! Anyway, Keppi claims somebody trespassed on his home while he is away. Proof: The Dishes of Hope the boys keep here are missing. At the same time, all the balls start to go missing. Time to go fight the kappa zombie which is a ball zombie this time. After another victory, the Sarazanmai reveals a nasty secret. It is Enta who vandalized their football spot and the one who stole the Dishes of Hope! Enta did so because he is jealous that Kazuki is paying his attention to Toi. Mabu and Reo’s flashback continues. When Mabu was revived, Reo wasn’t happy at all. He believes this isn’t the real Mabu because of that eternally sad look. But Mabu claims he is the real deal as the otter’s technology is truly amazing. His personality has perfectly replicated. Otter adds that Mabu has been fitted with a mechanical heart and needs Reo’s help to keep it working. If he doesn’t like it, feel free to stop his heart. Reo is in distraught because that means he has to kill Mabu. Otter tells them they will be transferred to the human world along with the hope that they seized from the kappa kingdom.

Episode 8
It seems Toi and Kazuki met before when they were young. Toi was contemplating of following Chikai and decided to throw away his love for football. At the same time, Kazuki too just had his problems about being connected so Toi gave him his missanga because some dreams come true when one is disconnected. Chikai meets Toi so they could leave town together but Toi wants him to wait a day for him to settle things. But Chikai’s mug is all over the news. It is rumoured that there is evidence he killed a yakuza boss a few years ago and is now a wanted man. Kazuki is most upset that Enta betrayed them and surprisingly Toi is cool with it and believes he must have his reasons. Bummed out Enta is hanging out at the pachinko when he meets Chikai who is coincidentally there. Because Mabu and Reo are on his tail, Enta helps him to get away. Enta could figure he is Toi’s brother after the way he says things. Chikai even goes as far as to reveal Toi loved football when he was young and wanted to be a football player. He tossed away everything because big brother sacrificed everything for him. Some sort of reciprocation I guess. Kazuki then sees that missanga. They have to move again when the cops close in on them. However they stumble into this yakuza guy who is the yakuza’s boss’ brother and is out for revenge. When he charges, Chikai uses Enta as bait to escape. As this dude deals with the kid, the cops come by. Naturally Enta escapes as this guy won’t let the cops take the spotlight. So he attacks them and gets shot by Reo. When other policemen arrive, they believe the duo have shot him and they will be charged over this police brutality. However they get brainwashed and believe the shooter is now Chikai.

Keppi and Sara now have clues that Mabu and Reo are the ones who have captured Dark Keppi. They have finished creating some secret anti-otter device that will capture their prey alive. Enta is furious Chikai used him but he advises him about that bad people survive line before they part ways. Just in time for a call from Toi. Enta is mad that he didn’t say anything to Kazuki about the missanga. Well, no use saying something that he doesn’t remember. As Kazuki is looking for the dishes, Toi calls him to say he doesn’t need those dishes anymore as he is going away. Kazuki desperately tries to convince him to stay and doesn’t understand what he is saying about people only believe they have connections once they lose them. Toi wants to protect the connections he has left. With that, Toi leaves with Chikai. Frustrated Kazuki is squashing cucumbers at the plaza? With Enta coming by with the dishes to help, however Kazuki jumps the gun and punches him. Blaming him that Toi would have stayed if not for what he did. Enta also snaps back at Kazuki for not remembering something important but the latter won’t hear it from someone who has betrayed them. Mabu and Reo have found them. The Dishes of Hope, that is. Reo shoots at Kazuki but Enta jumps to protect him. The cops leave with the dishes and Kazuki is left confused why Enta did all that. Despite everything that happened, Enta can’t bring himself to hate him.

Episode 9
Sara accidentally uses the device on Keppi and freezes him. Then she slips while trying to move him. Yeah, right into the middle of the road as the truck slams into him! Pieces of kappa… You mean Sara is going to do surgery and piece him back together?! And it worked?! With Enta being admitted into ICU and Chikai as the suspected shooter all over TV, Toi is devastated when he sees this. Chikai gives him one last chance to go back or else there is no turning back. Toi reasons that Enta has someone else important. But for Chikai, he is all he’s got. The duo then go meet one of Chikai’s underlings, Masa who prepares for their next stage of escape. Kazuki is sad that the police do not believe him that he saw a couple of cops shoot Enta. Of course they are brainwashed and maintain Chikai is the shooter. Otone hopes Kazuki could take to Enta and be by his side. Kazuki doesn’t think he has the right so Otone elaborates how the family is always overseas and only returned here 4 years ago. Enta had a hard time fitting in but Kazuki quickly made friends with him and they became football buddies. That is why Enta owes him his life and will do anything for him. Kazuki sounds desperate praying for Enta to wake up and do his usual smile. Surprise! Enta lives! But only in his kappa form. It seems Keppi transformed him so but he still has a limited time to live. After Masa sees off the brothers, Chikai shoots him! He views Masa as being unable to survive in this world and did him a favour. Of course there are other enemies gunning for Chikai’s head. Talk is useless so a gunfight ensues. When Chikai runs out of bullets, it is Toi who pulls out his own gun to start shooting to give his brother some time to escape.

When Reo returns to his police box, Mabu is not around. Some strange sounds coming from the basement. Taking a peek, he is shocked to see Otter trying to do something to Mabu’s mechanical heart. Even more shocked to see Otter is taking Reo’s form. Otter explains that they only exist in concept and take whatever form in your heart. Otter continues to mock Reo that he is the one who wants to own Mabu. That is his desire. He is merely being made to dance by his desires by them otters. The question now is what matters most to Mabu. How does Reo look to him? Reo is in distraught as he vows to get back the real Mabu with his own strength. All he needs is the final Dish of Hope. Haruka talks to Kazuki and knows he is going somewhere to help Enta. Haruka also has Enta to thank as he always accompanied him during rehab. He claims he and Enta have the same wish of seeing Kazuki run again. He shows a drawing they drew to cheer on Enta. It is behind Enta’s prized football poster. Lionel Kappa???!!! That is when Kazuki remembers about Toi. Chikai manages to get away when Toi confronts him. He doesn’t care if he is bad to the core. He is still his brother. But he wonders if Chikai is going to throw him away as well. Chikai pulls out a gun on him. However it is one of those enemies who shot Chikai. Though he got paid back the same way soon. Chikai knows he won’t make it so he doesn’t bother to go to the hospital. Toi is left devastated over his brother’s body. Lots of memories of the good and bad they had :’(. He’s gone… All the money he’s been left can’t bring him back…

Episode 10
When Mabu was brought back to life by Otter, it was only so he could be his doll. He could let him see Reo again but with a condition. Reo finds Keppi and captures him. It seems Reo and Mabu were also kappa and Keppi’s vassals. Taking Keppi and the kids to the otter’s underground base, however Kazuki and co manage to escape when Reo b*tches about Mabu being the fake doll that he doesn’t want. At the most bottom of the base, they stumble into Dark Keppi. This is Keppi’s other half that he separated when he was captured by Otter. Hence he has been finding it to be reunited so he can defeat Otter. Otter then pops up and tries to gain control of them. First he possesses Enta trying to convince him to hand over his dish. But Enta stays strong and will not lose his connection to Kazuki by breaking his dish. Otter now wants Reo to hand over the dishes he stole but of course he isn’t going to do that. Oh well. Time to let him see the truth. Otter turns Mabu into a Mabu zombie. Reo has no choice but to see Keppi’s help to become a kappa and defeat Mabu. When Otter gave Mabu a condition, he must not say words of love to Reo otherwise his mechanical heart will explode. In other words, in order to stay connected to Reo, he must hate him. No choice, Mabu uttered those words. During Sarazanmai, we see Reo running his mouth about Mabu being an emotionless doll. However he realizes he was the one who didn’t understand. In the final moments, Mabu says the one thing he has always wanted to say to Reo: He always loved him as his partner. With that, Mabu explodes. With the final Dish of Hope at hand, Reo goes insane, thinking this is Otter’s tricks. He starts shooting everything in despair and wants Kazuki to hand over the final dish. He won’t of course. Before Reo could kill him, suddenly he doesn’t understand why he is sad and upset. Because now all memories of Mabu are gone. Mabu is then shot in the heart by Toi. Chikai’s dead. You know what’s coming. But with only 15 seconds to go before Enta dies… Enta then lives as the dish is used on him. It seems that is what Toi would have done to had Kazuki given him the dish. It’s not over yet as Otter unleashes despair on the world in the form of Dark Keppi. It swallows Toi. Kazuki tries to save him but Toi hears Chikai’s voice of getting out of the circle together. Forget all those connections. Toi lets go of Kazuki’s hand.

Episode 11
An apparition in the form of Chikai is trying to convince Toi to shoot himself and his past in order to sever connections. Had he done that, all this suffering wouldn’t have been necessary. Of course, Kazuki, Enta and Keppi dive in to try and save Toi. But with Otter trying to get in their way, the kappa prince faces off with him to let the boys go ahead. As Toi talks with Chikai, eventually Toi shoots him. Of course this is Otter in disguise. But Toi isn’t done yet. He is prepared to shoot himself but his friends get in the way. Dark Keppi aggravates things by stealing his missanga as the trio drop into some alternate dimension and their connections threatened to be erased. We hear the trio coming to terms with themselves, their weakness and what they have realized. Finally it is Toi who realizes he doesn’t want to lose what is precious to him. They come together as Keppi transforms them into their kappa version for their final Sarazanmai. They must deliver this missanga to Kazuki’s younger self to complete the mission. While Keppi confronts his dark self, Otter again tries to get in the way. When Keppi reunites with his dark self, memento of Mabu and Reo revive the police duo to help the kids deliver the missanga. Once young Kazuki has it in his hands, Otter starts disintegrating. He is but an abstract concept after all. And Keppi is now in his true prince version? WTF is this weird looking newt-cum-lizardman look?! The final Sarazanmai has the trio talking about wanting to keep connecting. Weird, it’s like they need to score a goal before the time runs out. Thanks to that, it is safe to say that the world is safe for now. In this weird scene of Sara turning into her equally strange kappa mode and Mabu and Reo flanking her like kappa angels, Keppi narrates that the future is not necessary a bright one but hope and despair are both one with life. Never forget that only those who connect their desires through the pain of loss can take the future in their hands. In the aftermath, Toi enters a juvenile detention facility and is released after 3 years. I don’t think he is committing suicide by jumping off the bridge, but it feels a very odd way for his friends to go pick him up this way too. Is that how they decided to greet him on his release? And happily the trio head to their favourite football spot to practice.

Otterly Krazy Kappa-nings & Konnections
Wow. Who needs drugs when you can have this sort of crazy hallucinations and trippy experience, no?! Heh. Just kidding. Don’t do drugs by the way. Anyway, the series has been quite a mixed ride of drama and craziness. Friends trying to stay connected and finding their place of belonging among each other and in the world. Yet again, the cliché power of friendship wins the day!

Desires and connections are the main themes of this series but I feel that the latter permeates throughout the series more than the former. Desires feel like it is an element to move to plot along or provide a narrative for the episode but the overall main theme would be connections. It may not be very obvious here but connections are a very important factor in everybody’s life. You might think that you are a loner but as long as people remember or know who you are, you are in a way still connected. It is only when everyone in the world forgets about you that your existence is truly severed. A fate worse than death is to have never existed in the eyes and the memories of others. That is why our characters here fight hard to try and maintain their connections. Once it is severed, there is no telling when it can be connected again. It’s not like it can be glued back with duct tape, right?

The use of kappa and otters are also a strange concept. While in this anime, kappa are the good guys and otters are the antagonists, in actual life it is actually the other way around. Sort of. You see, because of today’s media, kappa are now portrayed as some cute harmless little creatures. Lest you do your research, you will find that their true origins have a very dark nature. Let’s say that are not friendly creatures to begin with and the Shirikodama ass extraction you see here is just a light take on the horror aspects of their origin. And otters are supposed to be cute, lovely and helpful to the environment, right? And aww, they look so cute holding hands while they sleep together at sea to prevent from being drifted away. So cute… Well, if you love otters that much and can see no fault in them. Just like many other animals, otters too can be dicks (you should read an article about otters raping seals. No kidding!). Obviously otters are portrayed as the antagonists here only because of its Japanese word ‘kawauso’ in which ‘uso’ means lies.

Speaking of that, this series also has its fair share of puns. While it may not be as spamming and ubiquitous, say like the Monogatari series, there are still quite a few of them for those who are sharp enough to pick up and of course if you have a certain standard in Japanese vocabulary. For example, Toi’s episode regarding his relatives running the soba shop is definitely a wordplay of the ‘soba’ word which also means ‘next’. Toi wanting to be next to Chikai is definitely his desire. The start of every flashback scene you will see the words seaweed with it because ‘kaisou’ in Japanese means both flashback and seaweed, albeit same pronunciation but different kanji words. And of course it goes without saying that all the kappa zombies are puns of their desires. But I guess the puns that take the big share of the cake are kappa puns. You will see them in product placements (Kappazon?), places (Kappabashi? Yes, this place actually exists) and even celebrities. Lionel Kappa… Hah! I will surely remember one. Sorry, no Kappa-tiano Ronaldo, KR7! For more insights to the puns in this series, this site provides a good explanation as well as trivia and Easter eggs.

This show might be even weirder considering how it spams us a lot of butt and ass scenes, especially that Shirikodama extraction. But remember what I said about the darker origins of the kappa? Yes people, kappa is technically a yokai that loves butts! Therefore there are a few butt and ass visuals so it may look weird as hell and cringey. After all, when the kappa boys had to go inside deep into the ass of the kappa zombie to extract the Shirikodama out, it really looks like one weird sexual fetish. Even when Keppi begins his Shirikodama extraction, you see from a point of view that focuses on his butt. And Keppi doing farts and sh*tting out the boys because his anus is some sort of magical transformation device thingy, could really twist one stomach if you’re not used to this sort of craziness. There’s also some gay suggestions other than Enta for Kazuki or a hardcore male friendship among them leading to something yaoi and especially Mabu and Reo hinting to be close enough and more than best partners-cum-friends but it could be just my imagination. Yeah, just our imaginations when Otter seemingly tried to make out with Mabu!

The characters are rather okay. I suppose the main trio are fleshed out enough that you would want to support they stay together till the end. Everyone harbours secrets so it is no surprising that these boys too have some secrets that would put their friendship to the test. I wouldn’t say that many of the episode’s revelation like Kazuki being a cross-dresser or Enta as the culprit who vandalized their football spot, to be mind blowing. Sometimes it feels like a detective themed series. You know, whatever mysterious/curious case/phenomenon is eventually being revealed in the end. Only here, we aren’t furnished any clues to pinpoint the culprit and we should have known and see it coming by the connection theme of this series. By the time we probably are getting used to this, the series has probably already ended. In a way, Sarazanmai serves more than just revealing the darkest secrets of the main characters as it also helps in developing their characters forward. Kazuki wants the best for Haruka. Toi wants to be with Chikai. Enta selfishly wants Kazuki for himself. With Haruka reminding the previous Kazuki was better and more smiley and Chikai dead, it is like the wakeup call for the trio to realize that there are more important connections than their own selfish desires.

Chikai as a shady character, it was hard for me to determine if he was just playing the villain or truly a villain in his own right. From the circumstances that have arisen in his life, not to say that resorting to a life of crime is justified but it lets us understand why he took the path that he need to take. Bad guys surviving the longest is the world rings eerily true in real life and it might be heartless for him to teach this to his younger brother but that is how life works for them. Life wasn’t going to be a bed of roses for them so what else do they need to do to survive? Had Chikai being truly despicable, he would have left Toi and not cared for him a long time ago. So I believe he is just playing the big villain just to help Toi move on. The brothers are both each other’s strength and weakness. Because they have each other, they strongly trudge on in life but that is the same reason why it drags them down. While it is sad that Chikai dies in the end (live by the sword, die by the sword), it was probably a twisted blessing in disguise for Toi to set him free and open his eyes that he also has something else of importance other than his brother. What good is a guy when he is dead except for nostalgia and memories?

Mabu and Reo being antagonists feel a bit underdeveloped. Like as though they are characters created just for kappa zombies to run havoc. But that is okay because Mabu and Reo aren’t antagonists to begin with. Unwilling antagonists if I should say. After their truth is revealed, so as not to let them have a bad ending, somehow they revive and return to being the kappa prince and princess’ vassals? I don’t even know how that happened except for plot convenience. After all, it is not like they have been completely forgotten by being thrown out of the connection circle. Yeah, pretty convenient for them to just turn into memento after being defeat. And I thought Mabu’s mechanical heart was supposed to explode and leave nothing. Nothing. But I guess Otter was also lying. Because Otter is just an abstract concept, is the otter kingdom created because of all the negative emotions from humans? I mean, there is enough to go around because with so many unfulfilled desires and twisted secrets, enough for that cliché factor of bad feelings amass into an evil being that is what the otter kingdom represents. It’s a vicious cycle since they feed on the energy of humans. Otter being defeated in the final scene could it merely just mean the boys have overcome their obstacles? Because with the future still not secure, it could mean that Otter could come back anytime when some strain is detected?

The art and animation are sleek. I would be repeating myself yet another time if I try to explain how the visuals all look nostalgically similar to Mawaru Penguindrum. Crazy, weird, odd, strange, bizarre, flashy. Did I leave any other words out? But that basically sums up my main point about this segment. Especially some of the movements during transformation and the ritual to extract Shirikodama, they’re just wild as hell. Wow. You have to go through all that just to get there? Truly flashy indeed. Unimportant people are portrayed as stick people. You know those male and female signs you see outside the toilet? Yeah. Toilet sign people… And for those other characters who don’t matter but are slightly ‘important’ like those dead victims, all of them have a white paper covering their face. Don’t have to draw their face. Better than putting a censor over their eyes. I suppose we don’t care for them that’s why they can be thrown out of the connection circle so easily. Keppi looks weird as a kappa because I at first I thought he was some duck! Hey, at least I didn’t mistook him for a frog! And with him having red eyes, yeah I thought he was high on drugs. Can’t say I like his new handsome kappa form, though… Looks even weirder. While some of the backgrounds are 2D animation, I think some of them are using real backgrounds. I may be wrong since the 2D animation might be so good that I couldn’t tell the difference. This series is animated jointly by MAPPA (Kakegurui, Shingeki No Bahamut series, Banana Fish) and Lapin Track.

For the voice acting department, Rie Kugimiya sounds quite meek as Haruka. Though, she is still recognizable. Glad to hear that she is still around and it might not be a main character role but it’s still good enough to hear her voice once in a while. Looks like I’ve reached a point in time where I am starting to worry that I won’t be hearing seiyuus that I am familiar with because they are already on the path of retirement. And with so many new and young upcoming seiyuus these days. Ah well. Better be grateful for all that I can get. The other recognizable seiyuus are Junichi Suwabe as Keppi, Kenjiro Tsuda as Chikai and Mamoru Miyano as Reo. I was thinking Mamoru Miyano would be a flamboyant character but that is only because I was amazed by his performance as the main character in Zombie Land Saga and think he could replicate that in this crazy series. Guess not. The other casts are Ayumu Murase as Kazuki (Riku in Show By Rock), Shun Horie as Enta (Koshiyama in Nana Maru San Batsu), Kouki Uchiyama as Toi (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Mabu (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Takaya Kuroda as Otter (Dagger in Show By Rock), Mariya Ise as Otone (Levi in Fairy Tail) and Teiko Kagohara as Sara (debut voice acting role as she is originally a singer – maybe that’s why she sounds a bit raw and weird).

Fitting the crazy pace of the series is the opening theme, Massara by Kana-Boon. This rock outfit also feels suitable for those who would love to do their own AMV. Yeah, it feels pretty much like that. Stand by Me by The Peggies isn’t a cover that was originally sung by Ben E. King. Instead this rock piece has this edgy feel to it. Sounds okay to me and not bad. But it is the insert songs that take the cake. Sarazanmai No Uta and Kawausoiya are the songs featured as the kappa boys begin their fight against the kappa zombies and the policeman duo extracting desires from their victims respectively. The songs are pretty catchy and I can’t help sing or even dance along to the tune each time it is played. Sarazanmai No Uta has this jazzy and samba mix to it while Kawausoiya blends traditional Japanese fold dance with modern music. There is also Houkago Kappa by Teiko Kagohara. But this sounds more like a children song if you ask me. Cute but not as exciting as the former duo.

Overall, despite all the craziness and bizarre presentation, this series is still fun, enjoyable and at times thought provoking especially on the concept of connections. While it started off looking and reminding us a lot like Mawaru Penguindrum v2.0, slowly when you get drawn into the setting and concept of this series, it starts to stand out entirely on its own. So the lesson of the series is to keep your connections and count your blessings for having them. You may not know it but still take the time to thank those around you and putting up with your incorrigible habits. Every day. But the irony in today’s world that despite we are being so connected and staying connected 24/7 via technological advances, the classic and traditional connection of human to human relationship is eroding. We are already zombies looking at our Smartphones every day. Otters could be personified as giant tech companies, brainwashing us and feeding on our raw emotions. Literally, f*cking us in the ass! Hence the only true fear that we will dread the most is when we lose connection to the internet! Oh the horror!!! Usooooo!!!

Grimms Notes The Animation

September 15, 2019

Just when you thought classic western fairytales have been given their fair share of anime style adaptation and interpretation throughout the years, here comes another one. Grimms Notes The Animation now takes many of those classic stories from the Brothers Grimm’s collection and turn it into another anime based on western fairytales. Yeah, we’re running out ideas, aren’t we? The stories here are indeed somewhat ‘twisted’ but that is only because some anomaly is turning the stories to not follow their original script and go astray. Hence a group of young people going about through different stories to correct them to its original tale. Yeah, I guess that is why people love originals instead of reboots, retellings and remakes… Or even sequels. Oh yeah. Those were the days where fairytales just ended without any sort of sequels that some franchises these days do that tainted the overall story.

Episode 1
Ex, Reina, Shane and Tao defeat a Villain and revert it to the human it possessed. They are looking for Red Riding Hood because something is happening in this Story Zone and they need to destroy that Chaos Teller messing with it and restore everyone’s fate to what it should be. In town, everyone is worried since Red Riding Hood has been missing for a week. They are even worried about meeting the travelling quartet since their Book of Fate says nothing! So they follow the Woodcutter into the forest as he was the last to see her before she disappeared. When they arrive in a cave behind a waterfall, there she is hiding. She chased away the wolf?! Actually somehow the Woodcutter transformed into that. As they walk along, Red Riding Hood tells of her worries. It is understandable that she is going to be eaten by the big bad wolf. Her fate and life lead up to this. Ex assures her when that happens, they’ll save her. Uhm, isn’t that going against the fate of the story? As they return to the village, everyone has turned into a Villain. Outnumbered, they run to grandma’s house. Nobody is around and Shane realizes something amiss. Asking Red Riding Hood a few questions, it is revealed that she plans to feed them to the wolf. They manage to get out of the burning house as they realize Chaos Teller has possessed her. Red Riding Hood laments her fate. She knew the Woodcutter used her to get close to his mom. Because all men are wolves, she turned him into one. Because everyone knew she would be eaten and didn’t care, she has had it and will make them all suffer. She thinks people are worried only because she might not be eaten by the wold as was supposed to. No choice, the quartet use their Bookmark of Guidance to transform themselves into other fairytale characters to fight her and the hordes of Villains. After she is defeated, Reina tunes everything to return it all back to normal. Though, everyone’s memories of this will vanish. The story returns to normal. Red Riding Hood’s mom cares for her and gives her the strength to go face the wolf. The Woodcutter plans to marry her mom and talks to Red Riding Hood about it and assures they both love her very much. Ex narrates everyone is given a Book of Fate when they are born that dictates their entire life. But how is one supposed to act when it is blank? That is Ex’s Book of Fate.

Episode 2
The quartet are a small group of people with a blank Book of Fate. This allows them to travel between Story Zones to correct them. Now they enter the Story Zone of Don Quixote. He offers to help them fight the Villains but thanks to his back pain, they are the ones who did the bulk of it. He also keeps thinking Ex is Sancho. Back in town, he has a reputation of being a lying old man due to his exaggerated stories. They are brought to see Dulcinea who is helping the nuns tend the wounds of refugees who fled from neighbouring towns. The quartet split up to find out more about Don Quixote. When monsters pop up to attack, Don Quixote will fight them and some of the people are pessimistic. But Dulcinea rallies them to fight alongside him since the threat is real. In the end, they emerge victorious. That night, Ex is confronted by Loki who mocks Don Quixote as just a sad puppet dancing to the Storyteller’s tune. Ex refutes him but Loki tells him Red Riding Hood is now trembling inside the wolf’s stomach before disappearing. He reminds him that they are always right beside him. Dulcinea talks to Ex and Reina. They should know she is not a real person. Don Quixote’s imagination is so strong that she became real. It all began when he mistook a windmill for a monster and after that she was created. It is most likely his desire to be a hero created the Chaos Teller. Speaking of the devil, the windmill monster then attacks the town. Don Quixote bravely defends it from its hurricane attacks but there is only so much he could take before he hands it to Sancho, or rather Ex. Cue for the quartet to use their Bookmark of Guidance and save the day. With Reina’s tuning, Dulcinea disappears and this Story Zone reverts back to its original state. Though he insists that Dulcinea is real although the real fat and ugly Sancho thinks it’s another one of his fantasies.

Episode 3
Ex’s flashback. Born with a blank Book of Fate, his uncle and aunt took him in after his parents died. Though they aren’t very fond of this and hope to get rid of him one day. Is that written in their Book of Fate? Or is this just whimsical? Soon he met Cinderella and helped her with her errands. As we all know, she lives with a wicked stepmother and equally b*tchy stepsisters. She finds solace befriending Ex and when he learns her Book of Fate to go to the ball and then marry a prince, he vows to help her achieve this. Uhm, I know he doesn’t have a role but wouldn’t this still be her fate regardless he intervened or not? Many years passed, on the day that the ball is to be held, Ex is confronted by Loki who claims he has made preparations for this unforgettable event. Ex starts thinking about his fate once Cinderella is done with hers. For some reason that night he went out and stumbled into Reina fighting Villains. Yeah, I’m surprised the heavy log she is stuck beneath didn’t kill her. She gives him her Bookmark of Guidance that turns him into a hero to slay the Villains. She doesn’t want to explain or answer his questions but lets him keep her Bookmark of Guidance? WTF. Eventually she just tells him. For the sake of progression of this story, I guess. Reina is looking for the main character of this Story Zone. Well, what do you know? Cinderella’s Book of Fate sounds like she is the main character… So cliché, right? So they have to rush to her because since she is the main character, Chaos Teller almost always lurks around them. Better hurry because the fairy godmother has turned Cinderella into a splendid princess (also, T&C apply because that 12 midnight caveat too) while Loki has turned everyone in town into Villains.

Episode 4
Cinderella arrives at the ball. Eh? Wrong ball? Because this looks more like a Villain party! It is revealed the fairy godmother is on cohorts with Loki as she wants to preserve Cinderella’s happiness. Wait. So to do that she now turns Cinderella into Sleeping Beauty? This is confusing. With Ex meeting Tao and Shane, Reina explains more about the Chaos Teller. When they are to power up using their Bookmark of Guidance, they are shocked to see Ex is a wild card. This means he can connect with any kind of hero unlike the rest, the heroes they can connect to are limited based on their crest. Time to kick some Villain butt as warmup before the big showdown. As they get into the castle, Loki shows up. He is one who creates Chaos Tellers and he believes he gives others hope to break out from their repeated fates. Reina only accuses him of making everyone suffer. Then they face off with the fairy godmother who is no other the Chaos Teller. She rants about Cinderella’s fate. Despite being married to the prince, she never found true happiness. Yeah, married woes. You mean they really divorce after that? So making her sleep is for the best? Fairy godmother then turns into her true hideous form. Ex eventually defeats her and manages to speak to Cinderella for one last time. Must be exhausted from that nightmare, huh? Reina is about to begin her tuning and this means Cinderella will not remember Ex after this. He doesn’t mind since that is what he wants. After all, he wanted her to have a happy ending and can’t get in her way. In the aftermath as the Story Zone returns to normal and Cinderella happily married to the prince, Ex joins the rest on a journey and an adventure he can call his own. He thought being born without a fate was normal. But now he realizes he has yet to pick one.

Episode 5
Beach episode? Well, they pull out John Silver almost drowned at sea. Yup, welcome to Treasure Island. According to Silver’s Book of Fate, he is supposed to help Jim find Flint’s treasure but that boy went down with the ship when a monster attacked. Tao is eager to help him the treasure since he has the map. But Reina almost messes things up with her bad luck, setting off traps. I’m starting to think that because of her bad luck is so bad, she survives all the traps. Yeah… When Shane spots somebody else, she follows him hiding in the cave. Turns out to be Jim and he reveals that Silver is the culprit who sank their ship just to get the map to the treasure. Conveniently when the truth is out, Silver bombs and traps them in the cave. Don’t worry. Shane has some bombs to blow them out. Then they make their way to the treasure. If something feels wrong with the treasure being so openly displayed, it’s because it is definitely a trap. The moment Jim touches it, he turns into a Villain. Cue for Silver to cue in and rant about screwing fate because it tells him he could never get the treasure or become the greatest pirate. Our heroes transform. I suppose they all had to transform into female characters because fanservice swimsuits. Anyway they face a hard time until Tao sheds some light of truth whatever. A vision of Flint is enough for Silver to admit his loss and accept his fate. After Reina tunes this Story Zone, it seems Silver is still trying to be a rogue but doing it on his own and without the power of a Chaos Teller.

Episode 6
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all? I think we know the answer. Until the mirror tells more about the ugly truth that one day the evil queen’s daughter, Snow White will surpass her. Ex and co are in this Story Zone when Ex is whisked away by, uhm, 7 septuplets are actually the 7 dwarves? They force Ex to kiss sleeping Snow White. She wakes up and thinks he is her prince. I’m sure the rest aren’t too happy to see Ex getting kissed but whatever. So these 7 idiots are actually fairies named Tsuberks? Whatever. Seeing there is no error in this storyline, they want to leave but Snow White refuses to let Ex goes and really believes he is her prince. She throws a tantrum that she gave him her first time (what a way to say a kiss) and needs to take responsibility! The rest thought the story will restart if they bring her back to the castle and Snow White is delighted as she wants to introduce Ex to her mother queen whom she loves so much. Flashback shows she was strict but as loving. Then there’s a twisted time she told Snow White that her Book of Fate said she will be killed by her own daughter. When that time comes, don’t hesitate. Meeting the queen, she wants them to stay as thanks for saving Snow White. Dinner is great but desserts? Apple themed… Damn, this looks suspicious. Snow White didn’t think twice in sinking her teeth in but luckily or unluckily, those 7 idiots barge in. They ruin everything but saved her. Because Snow White still loves her mom, the queen reveals she was the previous Snow White. After eating the apple, she hated her mother and eventually went on to kill her. So that flashback was hers? The apple’s poison actually made her forget the love instead of killing her? The memories were enough for the queen to realize her mom also loved her a lot and let jealousy get the better of her. Mother and daughter have the greatest big hug. Reina theorizes because Ex broke the curse before it could take effect, it is a reason why the apple didn’t have an effect on this Snow White. As they leave, Snow White admits she knew Ex wasn’t the real prince but couldn’t let him leave because he was such a wonderful person. Don’t worry, you’ll find a much better prince. It’s in your Book of Fate, right? Oh wait. Does this mean she must eat another poisoned apple and fall into a deep slumber?!

Episode 7
In this Story Zone, Ex and co stumble into an unconscious lady in the snow, Gerda. Sorry, not Elsa. They take refuge and rest up in a nearby cabin belonging to a blind lady, Curly. As we all know the story from Frozen, oops, I mean the Snow Queen, Gerda is on a mission to retrieve her brother Kai who has gone to serve the Snow Queen. Next day as they arrive at the ice castle, Kai pops up but refuses to return with Gerda. He will be contracted to the Snow Queen as stated in his Book of Fate. However Gerda then thought of exploiting this contract loophole. She immobilizes Shane in hopes she would take Kai’s place instead. However the Snow Queen isn’t amused and sends the ground crumbling. Our heroes are okay at the bottom. Gerda feels confused with what she has done thanks to partially some cursed mirror shards stuck in her eye but due to recent events, she is getting some of her feelings back rather than being some emotionless girl. Shane and Gerda really hit it up as they talk about siblings’ love. They manage to get out and confront Kai again. He reveals his contract is to stay by the Snow Queen’s side forever and in exchange she will remove the shard from Gerda’s eye. However Shane points out that the Snow Queen will not remove it but Kai himself. Because you know, when the siblings start reconciling, lots of emotions welling up, voila! The shards break from Gerda’s eyes. Because tears of happiness. With the happy siblings reunited, the only one not happy is the Snow Queen. No prizes to guess she is the Chaos Teller. She reveals that she was the one who brought sorrow to them so as his sadness and all are purest. That makes him beautiful. Whatever. Can we just transform, fight and defeat this crazy b*tch and move on? There. Easy win. Before Reina could tune things, Curly pops up. She claims she created this Chaos Teller and warns them about forcing her into eternal solitude. Giving other cruel fairytale fates, she believes this is the only way these characters can break out from their vicious cycle. Turns out Loki is working under her and whisks her away to do some priestess duty. Gerda is grateful and will forever remember Shane. Yeah, wait till Reina tunes everything. Ah, all back to normal.

Episode 8
Tao once told Shane since they both had a blank Book of Fate, they can wander anywhere. However to prevent being lost, it is best they venture together. Since it isn’t Tao’s policy to take on a servant, he made Shane his family. Now the travellers are in Momotarou’s Story Zone, Tao and Shane’s homeland. Momotarou being owned by Villains? As he explains, he already went to Onigashima and defeated them. However his animals did all the work and left him. He hopes they can help him defeat a few oni making boats as they are planning to assault the coastal village. Shane recognizes Onihime as dumb Momotarou tries to attack her. Tao knocks him out. It seems the oni aren’t going to attack humans but return home to Onigashima. Tao agrees to help them. When Momotarou wakes up, he is told what happened by grandpa. Even more so about Tao being the traitor because he was the one who betrayed the previous Momotarou and let the oni defeat him. Without his animals, Momotarou is lost. Don’t worry. Grandpa has new servants for him. By the time Tao and co reach Onigashima, the place is razed. How the f*ck did Momotarou get there faster than them? Yeah, he’s got Villains as his servants. He talks about Tao’s betrayal and although Tao doesn’t deny it, his friends believe in him. Momotarou further tries to implicate Shane as she is an oni born without horns. Tao then tells the true story. As a boy despised by others because of his blank Book of Fate, impressed with Momotarou, he wanted to go on a journey with him and was made his partner. It is believed that the oni injured Momotarou and because he didn’t want Tao to die along with him, he pushed Tao into the sea to escape. Now this Momotarou is in disbelief. He orders the Villains to attack but they turn against him. Grandma reveals the weakness in his heart and it gets creepy as grandma and grandpa are the same person! Is this Quirinus Quirrell?! Then they transform into their true twin headed oni form. Yup, they’re the Chaos Teller. Time for our heroes to transform and defeat them. In the end after Reina tunes this world, it is back to the oni planning an attack on humans. Tao and Shane aren’t sad and have accepted this. Tao further remembers Momotarou despite his Book of Fate saying he will be victorious, he still have doubts. Because it said nothing about Tao. It could be possible their fates have changed. Momotarou although considered Tao his family, however it is not eternal. One day he must find new connections and leave. And when he finds that, never let it go.

Episode 9
The gang finds themselves in the desert. With Reina dying for water, she is saved thanks to Aladdin. Now that she has got her groove back, Ex notices her book is missing. Damn thief stole it! Luckily she manages to track him down and slap him. Guess what? He likes it! Is this some sort of awakening?! In fact, he loves her and wants to marry her! But that aside, it seems Aladdin got his magic lamp stolen by the sultan. But don’t worry. His Book of Fate says he will get it back and will eventually marry a princess. That’s Reina, right? As the Story Zone is starting to collapse, so is Reina. Aladdin is intrigued with her past so the rest say she wants revenge against the Chaos Teller who destroyed her home. She was a princess in her Story Zone and Loki destroyed that. With Villains all around, the rest go fight them. Yeah, Aladdin left to protect his princess. WTF he is a wimp? Luckily Reina had enough strength to get up and fight back. But the next Villain stabs Aladdin as he protects Reina. Oh sh*t?! Main character died?! Really?! Although Reina can tune this Story Zone, it doesn’t bring the dead back. Somebody else will become Aladdin and the story goes on. Then Ex gets this idea. What if they get back the magic lamp and wish for Aladdin’s revival. Nah, that’s not going to cu- WTF you mean they believe it is going to work???!!! I hope this isn’t made up. As they head towards the palace, Loki is before them. He mocks Reina’s hate and continues to blah his usual of freeing the people. Then he warps them into the sultan’s palace. Is he going to give up the lamp? Of course not. I wonder if this lamp has unlimited wishes as he orders the genie to attack. Red genie? Better than being blue. I mean, the new blue one and not the old original one! They transform, fight and defeat the sultan. However Reina can’t use the lamp. It’s broken! With the Story Zone close to collapsing, Reina has no choice but to tune it. She has come to accept the choices made by others and because of those choices is also why they live. So why is Ex b*tching about?! Can’t he see this is hard on Reina too? Poor Aladdin remains dead. The world returns to normal as the gloomy quartet ponder on their actions. Well, a new Aladdin became the sultan after marrying the ex-sultan’s daughter. And they at least saved thousands of NPC lives, right? Yeah… Meanwhile Loki and Curly are glad their long awaited ritual is soon finishing. Soon they will end all old tales and write their own stories!

Episode 10
Wait a minute. Is Jeanne d’Arc a fairytale? I thought she was a real historical figure? Anyway, with Ex and co joining the French’s side after the battle at Orleans, Ex seems to be very worried about Jeanne. Ex also spots Curly here but she finds it baffling that he is worried about Jeanne. Does he not know how her fate ends? That night he goes to talk to Jeanne and the latter isn’t particularly afraid of death but rather failing to achieve what she believes in. She fears there will be no one to carry on her feelings after she dies. Cue for some weird English monk fairy monster (?!) to sneak in and own them. He takes Jeanne and will execute her soon. Because Ex is cursed, he is weakened and grounded while the rest try to go save Jeanne. Curly visits Ex and this guy tries to be strong for Jeanne. He isn’t concerned about her fate but her feelings that he wants to protect. With that, Curly heals his curse. Do as you wish. Meanwhile Reina and co have a hard time fighting the monk since he has no physical form and was born out of the hatred of the English. Gee, he is so focused in trying to eliminate them that he didn’t hear Ex free Jeanne? Because now Ex rejoins the group, now their attacks connect and they can defeat this monk?! I thought they can’t even touch him?! With Ex talking to Jeanne about believing in fate till the very end, I guess Jeanne lets him carry hers. Because Reina tunes to world to return everything back to normal. Ex still feels sad that Jeanne will eventually be executed by the English but hey, remember he has the duty to carry her feelings like he has for other characters. Hope it doesn’t get too heavy the more feelings he takes on in time…

Episode 11
We’re in Alice In Wonderland now! Reina is being flirted by Mad Hatter and March Hare when Alice comes in to arrest them? She’s part of the moral police squad?! But Reina is amazed to see Alice. She is a big fan of this story. But no time to admire, they have to run or risk being arrested. In town, Alice continues being a b*tch to arrest anyone who violate the slightest of rules. Reina won’t have that and reveals all her dark secrets to turn Alice squirming. This allows Mad Hatter to kidnap her to their base to have a tea party. Reina wants to talk with Alice. The latter thinks stories and fantasies are stupid and is done with those stuffs. But Reina thinks otherwise and the reason she loves this story because it saved her. Alice relents and they talk about Reina’s other adventures over tea party. However, Alice’s assistant, Watch Rabbit surrounds the place to arrest them. Because Alice doesn’t think they are bad people, Watch Rabbit thinks she has been corrupted by them and will arrest them all. Reina and co are ready to put up a fight but Mad Hatter gets kidnapped. Watch Rabbit retreats. Bad news because Mad Hatter will be put on trial by the Queen of Hearts and her ruling always ends in death! So as they arrive at the palace, they are surrounded. It is all a setup. Alice was just playing along to lead and capture them in one fell swoop. The Queen of Hearts (damn, she ugly) orders their death and of course our heroes won’t go down with a fight. Transform! They are going to show Alice why stories aren’t useless as she thinks they are. Eventually they defeat her and this confuses Alice. Yeah, her entire outlook about being an adult staying rooted in reality just got smashed. Too late for Alice wanting to talk more with Reina but she starts tuning the world. However something is wrong. Alice still remembers them and the Queen of Hearts is missing. Mad Hatter is the culprit as he unleashes a dragon to go on a rampage. Everything going according to plan…

Episode 12
This dragon is Jabberwock and Mad Hatter was just his false form he used. Jabberwock’s attack separates the team. Ex is forced to take Reina to safety but she gets emotionally upset thinking Tao and Shane are left to die. Cue for her explanation why she is traumatized when people die. Because everyone in her world died instantly and she was all alone. That’s why she must continue to keep living. Cue for Ex to assure he will always be with her. Trolling romance scene interrupted with Shane and Tao popping up. They’re doing fine eavesdropping their faux romantic conversation. Reina is so happy that she hugs them instead. Also with them is March Hare. However they realize this is not her from Alice In Wonderland but Through The Looking Glass. She and Mad Hatter help draw a map to the Red Queen’s castle where Alice is supposedly held. Of course stopping them is Loki and Curly. Time to remind us they are from Church of Fortem and their role is to free this world from Storytellers. Freeing by destroying? They consider others here like puppets and having no feelings. Like NPCs? On the contrary, Ex and co would love to disagree. Since they can’t agree on this, no more talk, action time. After a tough fight, Jabberwock is down. But Loki intervenes. Since he has a blank Book of Fate, he transforms into Aladdin. Not just Aladdin but Chaos Aladdin! Stronger and faster! I’m sure this guy wants to traumatize Reina because he aims for her. Ex is weakened when he hears a voice telling him if he wants to keep his promise, say his name: Ludwig Grimm. He transforms into this character and kicks Loki’s ass while defeating Jabberwock for good. Met your match, eh? Ludwig disagrees in Church of Fotem’s ways because what good would all that do by destroying the one who tells the story? With the battle over, Ex reverts back to normal as they listen to Jabberwock’s rage of only existing within the poems and wanted more listeners to get out. Sure they don’t understand but Ex knows he is lonely. But now he has friends whom he can share his feelings. Damn, is that what a dragon needs? Oh well, time’s up. Back to your slumber. Alice is returned and as they exchange their last words, Reina then tunes this Story Zone. I guess Reina needs everyone’s assurance that they’ll stay with her. Okay. Off to your next adventure.

The Pagemaster: Spoilers Alert!
Oh well. Looks like the story has only just begun! Since we still know nothing about the Church of Fortem except for the fact that they want to free the Story Zone from the cruelty of the Storytellers but I guess that would be a story for another time. Translate: If this is popular and profitable enough, stay tuned for next season! But sadly this is where this season ends for now. A story that is left hanging and incomplete. Heh. I wonder if there is a Book of Fate that writes your life’s story halfway and then suddenly it goes blank. Yeah. You were just getting to the good stuffs in your life and then suddenly all the hints and spoilers just ran out. Life abandoning you and you’re on your own.

My only advice is that if you really want to love this series, it is best to play the role playing game this anime was adapted from. There are more heroes in addition to the quartet and possibly features ‘big bosses’. You know, the Storytellers! I didn’t play the game so I don’t know the story and mechanics but it would have been awesome to see them face off with the likes of William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Hans Anderson, Charles Perrault, Dorothea Viehmann and even, get this, Mother Goose! Damn, this could turn out to be like Kingdom Hearts but Brothers Grimm version!

Despite the story having a good premise, but that is all only on the surface. When you try to think deeper on the mechanics and everything, it all falls apart. There are so many loopholes and the unexplained that you will start to think that it was poorly written and not thought out properly to begin with. For instance, every character in Story Zone possessing their own Book of Guidance. While it looks good that all the characters know their fate, but that’s about it. Because everything else just feels like hogwash and nonsense if you really start to analyse and think deep about this Book of Fate thingy. With this Book of Fate dictating that character’s fate from start to finish, I find it odd that people can still go about living their daily lives. Like as though the book isn’t part of their lives. You see, with everything laid out almost to perfection for their lives, do you not think that they are motivated to do beyond that? Hey, it is stated here in my Book of Fate. Can’t argue with it, right? Just blindly follow it. My life already has spoilers so no need to worry. No wonder, everybody with a Book of Fate here is NPCs! Besides, can you get rid of your own Book of Fate like burn it?

Then there is the issue of others knowing what is written in your Book of Fate. At first I thought everyone can read it but it is subsequently said that only you yourself can read what is in it. So who is to say that you would lie about your own Book of Fate to others because if your fate is less favourable, what are the chances that you would lie and make up some other stories, right? Hey, it’s not like other Book of Fates have something to cross check your story, right? So one who destined to live a life of poverty and die of hunger in the streets, you think they would try to lie to others and say hey, I’d be a normal salaryman or something. But then again, remember all of them are like NPCs so everybody is following their fates so diligently. Wow. Like as though they are programmed to do so. Besides, if one is fated to die in a cruel way, it is just mind boggling for them to accept that fate. Yeah, it’s my fate. Can’t do anything about it, can I? Like Red Riding Hood who is forever destined to be eaten by the big bad wolf. No wonder I keep calling these extra minor characters as NPCs!

The other mind boggling thing is how this story isn’t just a looping story. Sure it does loop but that story happens again like the next generation or something. So it is mind boggling that when someone becomes Snow White, she becomes a lesser somebody else after she becomes old? And then her daughter or some other girl becomes the new Snow White? I was once Snow White in my heydays. But now I’m just an old jealous hag and trying to stop my own daughter from becoming the next Snow White! WTF?! Sounds really weird and messed up from all aspects if you ask me. And if you wonder if it is in their Book of Fates to meet Ex and co, well, remember their Story Zone is being corrupted and out of line. Definitely they weren’t meant to meet blank Book of Fate adventurers and that is why when Reina tunes the world, everything returns to normal like as though contact with those adventurers were never made in the first place.

Another interesting concept but also fails in its execution is the baddies’ intention to free all the roles. I can sympathize and understand why Loki wants to free the characters from their cruel fate. Isn’t it much more fun without spoilers? I mean, you go to watch a movie and somebody spoils you the ending. Not fun anymore, right? The same case can be made here. You people are happy living what is being told in your Book of Fate despite how crappy it is? Why don’t you go write your own damn stories! This idea looks fun and nice but it is poorly fleshed out as our antagonists seem to be biding their time and with Reina and co being successful in tuning a lot of the Story Zones, it feels like Loki isn’t really interested in freeing them but merely seeing Reina’s party do what they do. On a side note, if those characters are freed from their Book of Fates, wouldn’t that be chaotic? Because Snow White wouldn’t be Snow White. Cinderella wouldn’t be Cinderella. Alice In Wonderland wouldn’t be Alice In Wonderland. That is why there are spinoffs and alternate retellings. With this, now I am in a dilemma to support whether or not these characters should be free because the story will change and it will not be the original we know anymore!

But don’t worry if you don’t know if all the stories here and if you think that they are being rewritten again. Good news is that in the beginning when Reina and co enter a new Story Zone and the start of getting involved in this ‘trouble’, viewers will be told how the original version of the story goes or at least what it is about. A good short narration told in some silhouette style storytelling. Not everything is totally made out or strayed differently from the original too. For instance, those Tsuberks whom at first I thought it was just nonsense. But my Google search ‘enlightened’ me as I discover that it is a bad translation of Zwerg, which is German for dwarf.

On to the characters, well the main characters feel like they are also poorly written and not much is developed from them. Ex, Tao and Shane are given their own so called origins but somehow I feel that they are ‘shallower’ than Reina. Because we don’t know which story Reina comes from. All we know she is a princess in some story (thousands of stories have princesses and even so, is she a lesser princess?). Therefore personally, Reina seems to have a lot more ‘personality’ than the other trio because they write her character to be some sort of a joker and comic relief. Because her traits are easy to get lost AKA poor sense of direction as well as a very gullible and naïve girl when it comes to treats. You can see that in many troublesome situations the gang doesn’t want to get involved but with Reina being susceptible and already taken the bait, I guess it can’t be help. Time to stick our noses in. Then the rest like Ex is the newbie and the more serious guy who is worried about those around him, Shane sounds like a slacker but shows great interest in antique guns (unfortunately this is never fleshed out properly) and Tao trying to be a lead character and calling everyone in his group as his Tao Family. These characters may have blank Book of Fates but they are sure not writing their own stories well! But I have a speculation that these characters who hold a blank Book of Fate, they could actually be the Storytellers themselves. So Ex’s real identity could be Ludwig who is part of the Grimm Brothers. Hence they are diving into their own stories to save it from being corrupted by those who intend to destroy their original tale. Yeah. It’s too bad that in today’s world, the original authors are not alive to see their works being readapted with different versions. Definitely turning in their graves.

Even the antagonists, Loki and Curly are a bit of a joke. Sure, I did say I somewhat support their idea of freeing the NPCs (who doesn’t sympathize with Thanos’ intention to snap and wipe out half of the universe’s life to save resources?), but like I also said, it seems that they prefer to see Reina and co in action and bide their time to wait for something rather than take action now. For example during Jeanne’s story, Curly was like being an ally to Ex than being a thorn by his side. Not that she has been a thorn as much as Loki did but what I am saying is that if these baddies really want to achieve their goal, they could have done so from the start. But instead we see them pull the strings by turning certain characters into Chaos Tellers and let the havoc wreak for a while. And when Reina and co are successful, it’s not like Loki is super upset when he retreats. He looks a lot satisfied with today’s entertainment. All according to the plan. All according to the script… It would have been also good to flesh out the past between Rein and Loki but I guess with only a dozen episodes, better to parody other fairytales instead. Not sure if Loki is gone for good but I highly doubt it. After all, considering Loki is just another character, a Storyteller can just bring him back to life with the flick of the pen. Yeah, revivals and resurrections are so the in-thing in today’s stories and franchises that love killing off their characters too.

The fight scenes aren’t the best nor the main draw of the series. They felt like obligatory scenes needed because, how else do you defeat the Chaos Tellers? It’s like a side distraction that is unnecessary but only necessary because the script says so. Ah… After all, it always comes out predictable. The Chaos Teller despite being cocky and confident (because who doesn’t want to be the ruler of their own world?), usually their downfall is because they underestimate our heroes. Yeah, it’s all in the script already… Didn’t see that one coming, huh? One thing that confuses me is how the heroes obtain the fairytale characters in their crests. Do they have a set of stories laid out already in their crest or they only obtain that character after visiting his/her Story Zone? If that’s the case it sure feels confusing because since Alice In Wonderland is the final episode of this season, I remember seeing our heroes using Alice in prior episodes. Unless you tell me they’ve been to Alice In Wonderland before and now they revisited it again because the baddies decide to mess with it again thinking they might have forgotten this story they have saved. Hey, nobody said you can’t alter a story again after it is tuned, right? If that’s the case, truly a vicious cycle.

Having our heroes transform into different fairytale characters look interesting at first but it quickly becomes boring. Their special moves are based on the story is from and they are not memorable at all. Yeah, they all shoot some sort of fancy magic with effects and their names of the moves are boringly named after their traits in the story. No prizes to guess whose move is called Beware The Wolf! Do you know Miracle Of Orleans belongs to who? Yeah… And those useless Villains feel like all those useless foot soldiers you see in those tokusatsu series. They’re just there for the numbers to give the hero some warming up before they fight the big monster boss of the week. Not threatening at all unless you’re a wuss. Like Aladdin… Yeah, that is still the most ‘shocking’ one because I never expected a main character to actually die! But yeah, the heroes transforming into their fairytale characters do feel like some tokusatsu imitation. But all in all, still better than that Marchen Madchen series disaster!

The art and animation are just pretty average. Classic western fairytales being given the anime style treatment, I guess I still can’t get used to Snow White or Cinderella looking this kawaii and bishoujo. Damn the Disney’s version of them is still strongly stuck in my memories after all these years… And Alice doesn’t look anywhere near with that trademark blue pinafore that I always pictured her (thanks again, Disney) but this Alice’s uniform somewhat reminds me of the uniform used in Absolute Duo and Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate. And those Villains are so lazily designed that I thought they were ripped off from some tokusatsu series’ foot soldiers and added a pinch of Halloween. Seriously. This anime was done by Brain’s Base who did Baccano, D-Frag!, Durarara, the Natsume Yuujinchou series, Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun and Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru.

Voice acting isn’t anything special. I didn’t recognize any of the main characters but it is ironically that the cameo characters appearing in the different stories whom I recognized some of the veteran seiyuus. For instance, Aoi Yuuki as Snow White, Yui Horie as the fairy godmother, Yuu Kobayashi as the Snow Queen, Sayaka Ohara as the Queen of Hearts, Risa Taneda as Red Riding Hood and Fumihiko Tachiki as Don Quixote. Some seiyuus play several roles like Reina Ueda (Miyako in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita) doubling as Reina and Cinderella, Miyu Kubota (Medusa in Jashin-chan Dropkick) handling Shane and Alice while Rumi Ookubo (Aguri in Gamers) also did Jeanne and Kai. Sumire Uesaka (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a lot of roles like Curly, Jim, Onihime and Dulcinea. I guess they must be quite flexible in their voices that’s why I didn’t realize they were the same character. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention as I was trying to wrap my head around the weird stories…

Anyway, the rest of the casts are Ryota Ohsaka as Ex (Climb in Overlord), Takuya Eguchi as Tao and Aladdin (Koikawa in Mushibugyou), Takahiro Mizushima as Loki (Christopher in Scrapped Princess), Hiroshi Shirokuma as Silver (Gazef in Overlord), Ai Kayano as Gerda (Darkness in Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shikufuku Wo) and Sachika Misawa as Momotarou (Sakuyo in Mahou Shoujo Ore) and Junji Majima as Mad Hatter (Kinji in Hidan No Aria). I was expecting Ayana Taketatsu to be voicing one of the cameo roles but unfortunately she only performed for the opening theme, Innocent Notes. Typical rock outfit, kinda fitting for this genre, I guess. Iris sings the ending theme, Endless Notes that sounds more like a slow rock ballad. I guess this one also sounds okay. There are a few BGMs that have that medieval feel which is fitting seeing the origination of these classic stories.

Overall, the animation adaptation may have a lot of shortcomings despite its interesting premise and idea, it falls short in a lot of aspects like its execution, characters, action scenes and even the mechanisms. To put it shortly, a bad story. With so many stories being left out and not told yet, it could only get ugly if this series went on for another cour. Or have another season. Because I’d be flabbergasted to see Rapunzel using her hair as a whip and to strangle everybody! Or the Ugly Duckling turns out to be a giant fowl that runs rampage over the kingdom! Then there’s the naked emperor who went on flashing as a serial streaker to his people in his kingdom… And Goldilocks killed the bears just for their paws to be sold to the Chinese for medicinal properties! Grim indeed! Hansel and Gretel? They become a pair of witch hunters! Oh wait! Hollywood did that back in 2013!

So you see, in today’s world where nothing is that original anymore because we keep borrowing elements here, there and everywhere, it all boils down how you tell a story. Many stories are best left as it is in its original form no matter how twisted and dark it is (remember The Little Mermaid had a true tragic ending?). Because it is definitely weird to see cross culture fairytales being given such an adaptation like white guys playing samurai (remember that Tom Cruise one?) and white guys playing Dragonball characters (still shuddering over all that mediocrity?). It’s like we all want to write our own best of the best stories but we often forget that all of us are the main characters in our own story known as life. After all, what good is a story if there are no listeners and people to tell to. But unfortunately for this series, this is one story where we will put down away forever after picking it up. Left to grow dusty on a forgotten bookshelf in time… Didn’t hear of anybody’s Book of Fate saying this series could be rescued…

Isekai Quartet

September 7, 2019

Oh God. The isekai genre is so freaking popular these days that in order to do the ultimate isekai series, here it is, the mother of all crossovers, Isekai Quartet. Four of the most popular isekai animes recently, Overlord, Youjo Senki, Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo somehow come together in this epic mash-up to relive their life in yet another world. School life, that is. And in chibi form too. I guess when life is too tough in the world you were sent to, they give you a chance of respite by sending you to another world. Because Japanese high school life is supposed to be the best time in one’s life, right? Unless it causes more stress and tension due to the vastly different culture and tradition. But can they smash all that difference and work together as one? That is what school life is for, right?

Episode 1
It’s already bad enough Kazuma has to put up with another one of Aqua’s complaints. Then he finds a weird button inside his bag. Meanwhile Ains is having a briefing with his Nazarick guardians when Demiurge reports the sighting of a strange phenomenon regarding buttons. Ains orders to take precautions. Kazuma tries to stop Aqua from pushing the button but it is Megumin who did it. Now they are warping into another world! As Ains sits back on his throne, he didn’t know he sat on the button. Warp time! Both sides find themselves in the school compound. Confused, it is going to get more confusing when they are ushered in as class is about to beginning. Also in this class is Tanya and her unit. She too is troubled over how this happened. She was testing a new prototype when it went wrong. The only way to abort was to press the button. Which button?! Schugel insisted there was only 1 button and so Tanya pressed both of them. Now that she is here, is this another test from Being X? Finally, the last group now comes in. It’s Subaru and his girls. Some going crazy at this weirdness, some in shock, some trying to stay positive. School life is fun, they say…

Episode 2
Roswaal is their teacher and he lays down the simple ground rules for their school life. Ains asks if he does not wish to participate in this and he is replied that there is no choice. For there will be punishments if there are violations. The class’ first task is to introduce each other. You bet it is going to be chaotic. For example, Kazuma briefly introduces all his girls rather than letting them do it by themselves because you know, it will take forever if they do it on their own to make it sound so epic. At the end of the day as Ains and his Nazarick guardians are walking home, they are being confronted by Aqua. She is not happy that there is another being who calls himself God as well as a myriad of undead creatures. She zaps him and WTF it causes Ains pain?! Though, still not effective enough to kill him. It ends only when Kazuma beats her up and takes her away, apologizing for the troubles caused. This has Ains to ponder a goddess was able to hurt him and yet a human beat up a goddess. This world has serious balance issues! Next day, Aqua is punished to stand outside the hallway while carrying water. Well, she is the water goddess after all.

Episode 3
Tanya narrates she would have really loved this school life had not the situation makes everything look baffling. Monsters as classmates, Rudersdorf as principal and Zettour as his vice, even the battlefield makes more sense than this! She remembers Roswaal warning Albedo wanting to get revenge on Aqua but Demiurge explains what he noticed why the school rules must be observed. Basically if they break it, they will not be able to return to their world. This makes sense to Tanya but I don’t think the upcoming hidden annual show for them to be closer friends is going to sit well with her. As Beatrice gets ‘teased’ by Koenig and Neumann as a little girl, she storms into the teacher’s room to complain to Roswaal. As he is not in, only Rerugen is around. She has not accepted all that is around her and demands to see Roswaal. It seems Rerugen’s words hypnotizes her to calm down and obey. Tanya thinks that Ains could be Being X and confronts him to have a private talk. This sets Albedo on rage mode, thinking she wants to seduce his beloved Ains. With Rem somewhat agreeing love knows no bounds, Albedo quickly becomes friends with her. Too late as Ains leaves with Tanya and Albedo can’t follow since Rerugen’s class is going to start.

Episode 4
At the park, Tanya accuses Ains as Being X. Of course he denies and soon points out if Tanya comes from Earth and more specifically Japan. Because of this ‘similarity’, they become good friends. It’s hard to think that Tanya is actually a salaryman and Ains a gamer guy-cum-programmer, right? Right at the moment the bell rings to signal school is over, Albedo and Viktoriya rush out to go get their comrade. Tanya sees Viktoriya and ends the conversation. She leaves a note that the food here in this world tastes good but unfortunately for Ains, he can’t eat. He then notices a very jealous Albedo stalking behind the trees. Barely keeping her rage in check… Next day, Rerugen is in shock. Did Tanya just smile? Never happened in their world, right? As Subaru is running late, she has Rem carry him. He isn’t the only guy being carried by a girl as Kazuma is letting Darkness to the same but he has no shame in doing so. Once the guys see each other, they realize they just need to get to school on their own feet. Unfortunately they are just a second too late. As they are being punished, both guys could tell they come from Japan. Best friends now. As they talk on about everything, it is only when Subaru starts talking about how great his harem that Kazuma starts getting jealous. He declares him the enemy and accuses him for having such a great harem compared to his. Some guys have all the luck, huh?

Episode 5
Roswaal will randomly draw a name from the box and he/she will perform his talent. First up is… Rerugen! I suppose he must lead by example since he is their teacher. So what does he do? Sing the national anthem? Lame. Nobody impressed. Maybe except Darkness. How embarrassing. Somebody please kill him. Then we have Subaru doing some lame cat’s cradle out of Tokyo Tower followed by Rem smashing a watermelon with her mace (hitting Rerugen in the process). WTF Weiss tries to strip himself but luckily Tanya puts a stop to this shamefulness. Darkness wants a volunteer to whip her to show she has a strong body so for some odd reason, Grantz volunteers. Since she is pestering him and looking so forward, this leaves Grantz in a lurch and everybody starts calling this poor guy a scumbag. Even his own comrades. Aqua wants to vaporize everybody but is stopped by Kazuma. Hence Roswaal considers her talent being idiotic with Kazuma as her show. Megumin wants to do her explosion so Roswaal prepares a target outside. Indeed the most impressive explosion. This in turn has Ains wants to show off his. So he uses his magic to make it snow. Super impressive.

Episode 6
It’s that time that every class must have: Elect a class rep. With the Nazarick team vouching for Ains, only Aqua opposes. Quarrel ensued, of course. With Emilia also volunteering to be one, Roswaal starts the draw. Emilia becomes the class rep while the vices are Ains and Aqua. Of course this means Albedo and Aqua protesting. With Aqua threatening to quit, this means an open post. The Nazarick guardians now become enthusiastic to be serving next the Ains. In the end Albedo wins the lottery becoming the vice with Ains. Other roles are: Animal care (Subaru, Aura, Aqua); Disciplinary (Tanya, Demiurge, Kazuma); Lunch (Ram, Viktoriya); Library (Beatrice, Mare); Gym (Cocytus, Darkness, Weiss, Koenig, Nuemann); Nurse (Rem, Shalltear) and Intercom (Megumin, Grantz). Demiurge once again comes up with the deduction that all of them are in different groups so as to gather info for Ains for his world domination plan. Yeah. Let’s go with that. When Demiurge orders Kazuma and Tanya to kneel, it only has an effect on Kazuma. Also, Tanya’s orders seem to have an effect only on Kazuma too. Since Demiurge and Tanya are having the same opinions about rules, both of them get along very well together. Oh Kazuma, you’re always screwed wherever you go. Meanwhile Darkness is trying to take out her masochism before her gym committee. It just gets weirder and weirder…

Episode 7
Emilia feels tired after a hard day as a class rep. However she feels happy as nobody calls her a half-elf and of course she’s never been to school before so this is fun. Subaru narrates how he was taking care of Hamusuke in her pen and that giant hamster had the penchant of chewing on his head! Rem is upset because he was injured but didn’t come to see her at the infirmary to get treatment. Beatrice doesn’t think much of her librarian job. Just reading books all day. With Mare. Subaru teases her about making a new friend and this makes this princess throw a denying tantrum. Ains and Albedo are discussing with Emilia and agree with her plan to do an activity that involves making school fun for everyone. With Roswaal announcing the upcoming field trip to the beach, Ains gets this idea to do an activity that all can participate. Emilia is motivated and gives off her best smile.

Episode 8
Ains chairs the class to discuss about their beach trip. Does anyone oppose this? Not unless you’re Aqua! Opposing for the sake of opposing? She really does have a bone to pick with Ains, eh? She only relents when Emilia says it is her idea and wants everybody to get along. Everyone discusses the activities they’d be doing but when it comes to night activities, certain females get turned on fantasizing about the other kind of ‘night activities’. Kazuma suggests kimodameshi but Subaru opposes. There are real monsters in this class, right? Unwittingly he exposes his own ulterior motive to get some sexy fanservice scene of feeling their boobs in jump scares. Eventually everyone agrees on it. I guess that is because pure Emilia doesn’t know what it means. Yeah, it sounded great but she doesn’t know how ‘scary’ the truth is… We see Albedo and Shalltear shopping for swimsuits. For Ains. Then Aqua shows up. Oh dear. B*tch fight on the cards? Luckily Kazuma is here to remind them about getting along. Kazuma gets turned on when he realizes Albedo is a succubus. Shalltear then whispers to him some embarrassing secrets that makes Albedo seething in anger. Something about she is supposed to seduce men but finds herself being seduced by Ains. Amazingly it is Aqua who butts in and lectures that it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you’re in love. She’s a real goddess for once. Then she hints about Shalltear wearing pads. That’s bad because it’s like lying to others. Now it’s Albedo’s turn to have the last laugh and Shalltear seething with anger wanting to kill Aqua. Patience, my vampire girl…

Episode 9
The beach trip is here. Tanya’s men think this is their reward after fighting hard in the battlefield. Until Cocytus tells them to give him 1000 push ups! Darkness also joins in and as expected her depraved mind hopes she’ll be exhausted and the men do something unthinkable to her body. Maybe those men are satisfied in just staring at her boobs… Kazuma tries to peep on girls but Demiurge flashes him to temporary blindness. I don’t think he flashed his monster dick… After loads of fun in the day, it’s time for kimodameshi at night. Nothing scary happens. Well, with monsters and far worst things that happened in their world, this is relatively tame. Aqua is in the same group as Ains, Subaru and Tanya. She notes how all of them are from Earth since Kazuma is also from there. After all, she is the one who sent him to his world. This statement makes Tanya lose her sh*t. OMG! Did she go full Super Saiyan?! With Aqua reduced to chicken sh*t, Tanya is absolutely mad that she is Being X. Luckily Ains and Subaru calms her down that this so called Being X can’t be as weak as this self-proclaimed goddess. They got a point. Sorry for getting worked up. That forced knocked out some of Tanya’s men so she berates them for lacking mental discipline. Aqua complains to Kazuma that nobody believed her as a goddess and they got mad when they did. Probably she deserved it. Ains noticed Subaru managed to withstand Tanya’s rage. In Nazarick, only those level 8 or higher can tolerate that. He wonders what kind of mental stress he used to live under.

Episode 10
The sports festival will soon be here. Roswaal motivates his class to win because the reward might be returning to their worlds. However, who are they going to rival with? Roswaal points out the other class besides them. So if you’re wondering why you don’t see other characters like the Pleiades Maids, Reinhard and Chris, yeah they’re in this class. Subaru, Ains and Tanya discuss their chances against these characters in their rival class when they overheard Chris talking to Kazuma and his girls that if you die in this world, you will not revive. This makes Subaru wonder if his curse is still relevant. Not sure what he did to Tanya’s ears but looks like his curse is still alive and well. But it also causes Hamusuke to run amok? With Ains rallying his class to win, however the only person against it all is Kazuma. He is fine staying in this world and doesn’t mind being a lazy scumbag. This is when Tanya snaps and will have him undergo some harsh training. Tanya and Puck rain magic on him. Not so lazy now, huh? Kazuma using all his energy to dodge and run. Even Megumin wants to join in the fun. Look out for some explosions!!!

Episode 11
Sports festival is here. Yunyun approaches Megumin who at first pretends not to know her. Yunyun is then spammed with the usual Megumin cockiness and is being told off if she even knows what to do and has friends to help her. So apparently there is a third class? The games start as we see snippets of it. The main rivalry is between the first and second class until before the final game is to be played, it is announced the winner will get 100 million points! Yeah, everything they played for was for nought, eh? The final match is kibasen but only 4 are chosen to represent their class. We have Tanya-Ains-Subaru-Kazuma on one side and the other consisting of Felt-Reinhard-Julius-Chris. And if you’re wondering about Yunyun, yeah, she is the only person in the third class. No wonder we don’t see her class participate in any games… However, surprise teacher team of Roswaal-Vanir-Pandora-Rerugen join in last minute. Hence both classes agree to cooperate to take down this menace before resuming their fight. All have their tricks up their sleeves but with the teacher’s team slightly at a disadvantaged, Rudersdorf and Zettour decide to unleash a giant robo spider to aid them. Beat that!

Episode 12
At least they have a chance to beat it. Not destroy it but as long as they take off its headband, they win. Of course it won’t be easy since it is so powerful and the teachers are putting up resistance. Julius and Reinhard discuss with Subaru to split their jobs. It seems the former duo will handle the teachers and they’ll leave the spider up to Subaru’s team! Why are the most powerful characters handling the easiest opponents? Something about not wanting to steal the limelight… But remember, we have the powerful Ains. So after unleashing his brand of magic, he throws his teammates into the air. Then he summons the undead to protect everyone. The trio are now flying towards the spider. Subaru sounds like he is going to sacrifice himself but that’s okay. His ability is to revive, right? He did just that for the rest to fly further but luckily the undead save him. Now it’s Kazuma’s turn to give Tanya her final push as he claims luck is his best ability. Well, I take that as long as it is not luck with girls. With all that, Tanya is able to steal the spider’s headband and win it for her team. In the aftermath, looks like they are still stuck in this world. Roswaal reminds them that he only said maybe. With them resigning to their fate of staying in this world a little longer, they think it is not a bad idea since they are having fun. Then Roswaal introduces new transfer students…

School Daze – Nippon Koukousei Banzai!
I guess the only logic that since everybody is having so much fun, they can’t return to their own worlds yet and thus this warrants another season! Hooray! Banzai for another season of chibi comedy isekai crossover! Uh huh. They did a lot of standard and typically cliché Japanese high school stuffs but they haven’t done everything yet. That is why the cliché transfer student trope as the surprise and shocking ending twist that leaves us hanging means we have to come back next season to find out more, right? Only then when all of them had their high school fun, their graduation means returning to their original worlds. Yeah, they’ll have so much fun, make so many close bonds that they’ll start crying and not want to leave each other. Sob, sob. Oh yeah. I can see this coming from a mile already. Assuming this speculation of mine comes true, that is.

If Avengers: Infinity War was the ultimate crossover for the Marvel universe, I guess this series is the anime equivalent. Although there is literally no real storyline and that everything is just random and light hearted, it still helps if you know the characters and the series that they come from. Not to say that you will totally miss out on anything if you did not see one or any of the other series but you would seemingly understand why some of the characters act so. Like for example why Kazuma is the only one among the main character quartet who is being ‘mistreated’ by his loser harem. Those who watched Overlord would definitely understand the subtle b*tch rivalry between Albedo and Shalltear. Among the cute maids, there is a reason why Ram treats Subaru coldly compared to her twin, Rem. But don’t worry, as I’ve said if you have not watched any one of these series, you won’t be at a total lost. Everything is meant to be funny and light hearted so nothing really serious in expecting any sort of drastic change in the characters.

I’m glad that the epic crossover is confined to these popular isekai series. Because imagine if they had crossovers from other crappy isekai series or do another series incorporating those sh*tty animes, it would have been a total disaster. Can you imagine if there was a crossover on shows like Isekai Wa Smartphone To Tomo Ni, Hyakuren No Haou To Seiyaku No Valkyria, Death March Kara Hajimari Isekai Kyousoukyoku, Kenja No Mago and even Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken. It would have been an absolute disaster! Imagine these overpowered main characters getting together and owning it all in this alternate high school world is one thing, imagine again bringing their damn harem over! Damn, this world is going to be filled with overpowered cheesiness and girls! Babes, babes everywhere!!! So I’m happy we have popular and amazing isekai series for this crossover and not those sh*tty ones. I hope I didn’t give those producers any weird ideas! Because I sure hope these characters from these crappy animes aren’t the hinted transfer students!!! Say it isn’t so!!!

Still weird when you think that a high school setting is used. Sure, as said, high school days are the most fun in a Japanese kid’s life, right? RIGHT?! However as you can see, many characters here don’t really need high school or go to high school at all. The Nazarick floor guardians, Kazuma’s harem, Subaru’s harem and Tanya’s military dudes. Just take a look at them. Do they really need school? Monsters, fantasy babes and military guys all coming together to experience something they don’t need because it is not applicable in their lives back in their original world. A sad reminder that what we mostly learn in school aren’t applicable in real adult life… :’(. Good thing we see them having fun like field trips and sports festival. No homework too. Because seriously, if they are supposed to be studying for a test… What test?! For what purpose they need to receive an ‘A’???!!! Totally weird. But whatever. Three cheers for high school life! Now we need a crazily powerful student council body as the ruling autocratic dictatorship to fight against…

Despite all the familiar characters from the 4 series, unfortunately there isn’t enough screen time to let them all have their proper limelight. Uh huh. Me nit-picking that there are too many characters! While the main quartet like Ains, Tanya, Subaru and Kazuma get the bulk of the limelight (since they are the faces who represent their respective series), some mostly fall to the wayside and aren’t as memorable like Beatrice and Tanya’s men. Don’t expect to see any sort of character development because what’s the use of having so when everything is just for fun. Part of the fun sees how the characters try to get along despite coming from different worlds. Some try to do their best and assimilate like sweet dear Emilia, others doing it because their superior says so (Tanya’s men and the Nazarick floor guardians) and some just simply opposing and be a pain in the ass. Like Aqua. Although I can’t say they are 100% compatible but at least we can see them get along without turning this into a battle royale bloodshed. Oh yeah. Thank goodness it didn’t. Just when you think other characters in those series won’t appear, surprise! Another class! Oh boy. This is really getting crowded for one small but epic crossover.

If there was the most dislikeable character, it would be Aqua because even in another world, she still tries to be a b*tch and pick fights especially with Ains for whatever dumb reasons. Then she becomes a total chicken when she starts losing. That’s so Aqua for you. I guess some things don’t change. Albedo is also a b*tch herself but at least she obeys Ains. Aqua is like a loose cannon that not even Kazuma could control. Not that he really wants to care anyway. And then there are characters who are meant to be losers or the punching bag. Aside Kazuma, we have the lately introduced Yunyun (poor girl, still trying to be Megumin’s friend-cum-rival in another world – they really set he character up to be a pitiful loser) and Rerugen himself (always getting the raw end of the stick among the teachers if you noticed).

I’m not sure watching this series is meant to hype us up for any upcoming sequels (other than this one). Because the most I can see is the second season of Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (date yet to be confirmed) as well as the prequel movie. Then there is also a movie for Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo movie but it might be just me as I don’t see as much hype for the former. Youjo Senki’s movie just came out before this series aired. Oh damn, you mean this movie was the sequel to the TV series that I was hoping for another season? Not sure if I can sit through 2 hours of little evil girl… But the most anticipated series that I would love to see have another season is Overlord. Nope. Still no fourth season. Grrr!!!

The art and animation look great and of course with the characters in chibi mode, everything looks cute. But those who have watched these series other than their main TV series would be of no surprise with how these characters look in their chibi form. For instance, the characters of Overlord already have their chibi style in the Pleiades Maid’s special. Youjo Senki too have their chibi parody called Youjo Shenki. Remember those Break Time specials for Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu? I guess only Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo only didn’t have their chibi versions, so uhm, welcome to the club? This series is animated by Studio Puyukai who specializes in chibi shorts. As you have guessed, they did the chibi specials of these anime series here as well as the chibi specials in Madan No Ou To Vanadis, Suisei No Gargantia, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou and Kaijuu Girls.

For an epic crossover like this, it needs to have a really epic theme song. And nothing sounds really better and epic than this song that is of the same name of the series. Sung by the main quartet and faces of each of the 4 series, there is this frenzy pace to match all that greatness. But is it just me that there is one stretch of the song that sounds a bit like some Christmas shopping commercial? I don’t know. That thought comes to mind first when I heard that part. The ending theme isn’t as epic but doesn’t sound too shabby either. Isekai Girls Talk is a quartet piece by Emilia, Aqua, Albedo and Tanya. I guess they had to replace the guys for the ending but since Tanya is the only main female, it’s like she won the lottery and managed to sing for both themes – I guess Viktoriya doesn’t sound good, huh? This song has synthesizer effects and sometimes sounds close to those techno dance songs. Maybe it would if they hasten the beat and add more blaring synthesizer effects. Hollow Veil by Nonoc is a special ending theme song to complement Ains’ special snow magic as it is a nice and lovely slow ballad.

Overall, even if this is an epic mash-up, it is only in terms of fun, light heartedness and comedy level. I mean, compare this to Avengers: Infinity War, it’s easy to see which is one his seriously more epic, right? It has been a while since we have had a funny and satisfying crossover like this. Oh, you don’t remember Carnival Phantasm? But Carnival Phantasm is mainly characters from the same universe of their creators (Type-Moon). Something like Tsubasa Chronicle and those under the CLAMP name. But Isekai Quartet is a little different. They are characters from different creators and the only similarity they have in this sense is that they are all published by the same manga publisher, Kadokawa. Still much better than that One Piece x Toriko x Dragonball crossover still…

With another season confirmed, they could add other awesome series as well to the mix. Then they’ll have to change their name to Isekai Quintet or Sextet, Septet, Octet, Nonet or even Dectet! Hell, Centitet! That’s 100, for your information. But let’s not overdo this crossover thingy because adding too many worlds might dilute its worth and then explode since the world is not big enough to cram in everything. That’s why classes are more effective if they are smaller in size compared to having stadium level ones. Still, all of us could learn a lesson from a classroom like this one. Because it is so inclusive and has cultural diversity! Diversity is our strength! With such badass characters like these, you bet they’ll whoop your ass right back to your alternate universe safe space.

Kenja No Mago

August 18, 2019

Oh no. Here we go again. Yet another isekai genre with overpowered main character theme. Main character who is supposedly a normal guy whom nobody will ever notice in his life somewhat dies. Gets reincarnated in another world. A fantasy world filled with magic and, uhm, other fantasy-like stuffs. Retains memories of his old life. Grows up to be the most powerful character. Ever. Easily creates or overcomes anything because he is main character. If that sounds so cliché, overused and generically done to death, don’t be surprise this season we have Kenja No Mago having the same thing. One reason why I decided to watch this (because seriously, I am ‘hooked’ on this sort of bad genres) is because the synopsis said how the grandpa of this main character taught him everything he could. Except he forgot to teach him common sense! Ah, I am expecting this is going to be funny but still keeping my low expectations not to expect so much. Because they shouldn’t have made this anime had they had common sense in the first place! Haha!

Episode 1
Typical Japanese salaryman works late. Overworked. Goes home tired. Gets hit by speeding truck while crossing the road. End of story. On Earth, that is. Because now he is reincarnated into a baby in another magical world! Shin Wolford learns all kinds of great magic from his grandpa, Merlin who is of course the greatest wizard who ever lived. He is further trained by his friends, Melida Bowen and Michel Colling. At 10, Merlin reveals to him about demons. Apparently anything can turn into a demon if the magical power goes berserk. On his first try, Shin manages to detect a demon and kills it! Merlin lets him know the truth that he isn’t his real grandson but saved him from a carriage attacked by demons. However Shin also knows this. This is because he somewhat retains his memories from his previous life in Japan. As Shin turns 15 and into adulthood, he must now think what to do. Discussing with his relatives, it is most likely demon hunting due to his great skills. However he lacks common sense since Merlin never thought him any. After Shin shows them his great teleportation skill (that surprisingly doesn’t exist in this magical world) as well as a super fire power explosion, this has everyone think he can’t really go out into the real world like that. It will be dangerous. Aside putting others in danger, think about how he might be targeted by others who want his power. Hence his uncle, Diseum von Earlsheid suggests to attend a magic academy in his kingdom and make new friends around his age. Did I mention that he is the king of his own country? This means his siblings, Christina Hayden and Siegfried Marquez are his royal guards. Diseum and Merlin are good friends due to a demon incident that attacked his kingdom when he was still a crown prince. The subjugation team was decimated and Diseum could have been done for had not Merlin and his then assistant Melida saved the day and destroyed the demon. Oh, did I mention that Merlin and Melida was once married? I think these few news surprises are too much Shin can take for today. Shin makes his way to the capital. Because Merlin and Melida are such great celebrities, everyone loves them. While they take care of matters at the super luxurious mansion Shin is going to live in (maids, butlers and even an own chef!), Shin explores town. So far so good for a guy with no common sense. Then of course he sees ruffians harassing cute chicks at the back alley. He easily defeats them and is instantly taken by the beauty of Sizilien von Klode.

Episode 2
Sizilien and Maria von Messina introduce themselves. Coincidence they are all going to take the entrance exam to the magic academy? They also talk about the revered Merlin and Melida without realizing Shin’s relationship to them. At the school gates, Shin gets into trouble when douchebag Kurt von Rietsburg accuses him of some petty stuff. He is forced to back down when August tells him off that this is against the rules. August is Diseum’s son and this means he is Shin’s cousin. During the entrance exam, Shin witnesses and is embarrassed to see candidates chanting and making elaborate moves but their firepower is so weak! When it’s his turn, he almost destroys everything without putting in any effort! It goes without saying he passes and the top scorer. Because of that, he has to give a speech during the entrance ceremony. You mean Maria and Sizilien now only discover he is related to Merlin?! You mean they never bother to even find out or noticed his name on the results board?! Soon Sizilien turns to Shin for help as Kurt has been harassing her and trying to force her to be his fiancée. We can see Kurt the jerk trying to throw his weight around and even threatening to use his family’s position to ruin her father’s job. With Shin vowing to protect her, August then steps him and reminds him of what he said. Back down again. Fearing Kurt might strike again, he invites them to his home. August also tags along since his father will be there. Shin has to accommodate a couple of more friends, Thor von Flegel and Julius von Littenheim as they are August’s escorts. After meeting Merlin and Melida, Shin offers to rewrite the enchantment on Sizilien’s uniform. However Melida cautions her that this will make her uniform national treasure grade level. Is she worthy to accept it? Sizilien feels guilty and can’t accept it. She felt she had used Shin for her own gains. But this is just a test by Melida to see her true nature. So I guess she gets to get her uniform enchanted, huh? With Shin easily doing so, Diseum suggests to keep this a secret because there will be nations who are willing to wage war just to get this. To make Sizilien even safer, Shin will send her home from school every day. Will that be imposing on him? Nah. Just use his teleportation! Since he only can teleport to places he has been, he needs to go to her house once.

Episode 3
We are introduced to the rest of the S-class that Shin and co are in. Alice Corner, Lyn Hughes, Tony Freyd and Yuri Carlton. Their teacher, Alfred Marcus shows them around school and also talks about forming a club. Everyone seems to be deciding for themselves that Shin should create a new club and be its president and that they’ll all join it. Heck, they’ve even already got a name for it: Ultimate Magic Study Group! Lame! Meanwhile Diseum receives reports of an increase in demon sightings and orders an investigation since the reports sound like they are artificially induced. Kurt’s father reprimands his son because he received a summons to the king. Kurt maintains they are the chosen ones and are different than everybody. Dad has no choice but to beat him up and lock him up for this unruly behaviour. With Kurt grounded, does Shin have any more reasons to escort Sizilien from school? Oh Sizilien, why the sad looks? Even if the menace is no more, is there any reason not to? Their homes are in the same direction. Oh Sizilien, you looking so relieved as you are embarrassed. On to serious talk regarding Kurt’s behaviour, as August went to the same middle school with him, he was not like that at all. He only noticed after he was summoned to the lab of Oliver Schtrom that he started behaving this way. You know it’s bad news when that magician has a reputation of being exiled from an empire. Speaking of which, he visits Kurt’s residence as requested in hopes to talk that boy to his senses. But unfortunately he aggravates the situation as he imposes more magic on him and tells him to get rid of this hindrance. Later Shin could feel somebody having great ill will towards them. It’s Kurt! Thanks to his fast reflexes, his barrier protects them all from Kurt’s roasting. With Kurt as a demon, Shin wants everyone to get out of here and he’ll face Kurt alone. They will only get in the way. Shin fights the raging demon but notes Kurt doesn’t display any full symptoms of a demon so he might not be fully one yet and there’s a chance of him turning back. However with Kurt threatening to blow up himself and everything caught in the school’s radius, Shin has no choice but to decapitate him. It’s the only way. First human killed. There’s a first time for everything.

Episode 4
Schtrom is satisfied with the results of his experiment. Meanwhile Shin is baffled because is it that easy for one to turn into a demon? Fighting Kurt, he was weak and has not lost all his sense of reasoning. Hence he deduces that Kurt turning into a demon could be artificially induced. As word of his heroics spread, Diseum awards him a medal. This doesn’t please Merlin as this would mean politicizing the issue and making Shin the target. Diseum assures he has issued a gag order and will take any steps to prevent anything bad from happening to his people. Merlin takes his word for it and if he breaks his promise, they will leave the kingdom. With Shin’s popularity, many want to join his club but luckily Marcus imposed high standard requirements to join. I guess Mark Bean and Olivia Stone are the lucky ones. As Mark’s family is a blacksmith, Shin hopes he could forge a better sword for him to slay demons. The security investigators trace Schtrom as the last person who has seen Kurt and talk to him. We find out he is blinded in both eyes due to a family power struggle and hence he was exiled. Schtrom sounds sympathetic to Kurt’s case and when invited to join a group of specialists to examine Kurt’s body, he agrees. But soon royal guards surround Schtrom. They know he is the culprit. As Diseum has put a gag order, Kurt’s name has not been released to the public to allow privacy for his family and yet Schtrom knew he was the demon. Schtrom admits he did it for an experiment but it’s time to flee since all his experiments here are done. Good timing or coincidence as Shin and co are walking home when a blast occurs nearby. Schtrom attacking his captors. When Shin realizes who he is, he jumps into attacking him. Shin manages to destroy his blinds and is shocked to see red eyes. He is a demon but how could he maintain his reasoning? In that case, Schtrom asks to define reasoning and on what grounds. If so, all humans mean nothing to him. Shin defeats him by burning him with God’s ray of light???!!! Because he doesn’t sense his presence, did he really get him? But Shin remains sceptical. With Dominic Gastor (Michel’s knight commander successor) and Rupert Olgran (court magic division captain) praising his efforts, Shin tries to explain how he used the sun powers to magnify that magic. Of course, nobody gets it. And true enough, Schtrom lives but badly wounded. Managed to escape in the nick of time.

Episode 5
Melida asks Maria about Shin and Sizilien. They’re perfect for each other although they don’t know it. Even worse for Sizilien as she doesn’t know she is in love as she has many boys confessing to her but all were rejected. Because of that, Shin is actually her first love. Later Shin deduces and confirms Schtrom is alive because he tested out the same magic but the outcome and effects were so much different than that battle. Shin meets Mark’s father and puts in his order to develop a new weapon. Meanwhile in the Blusfia Empire, Zest reports to King Herald about his info Earlsheid Kingdom. With that, the king is ready to go to war with them. When Shin wants to buy Sizilien an accessory, she flusters greatly about it. Only to learn the accessory is supposed to be a defensive charm. No wonder everyone is so disappointed with him! Realizing his mistake, Shin gets a small ring for her. Why does it look like an engagement ring? Shin must be a tired and popular man because after the award ceremony and party, now the public is hounding him. Thank goodness for his teleport magic, right? But he explains it isn’t teleportation but rather relocation because it just closes the distance. Huh?! Shin has his friends level up their magic due to the recent events. Because of their different perception and thinking of magic (they think it is chanting and visualization instead of magic power), he demonstrates the difference in the magic barrier they create compared to his. And then he shows how to control magic and his aura was so freaking intense that everybody thought they were going to die. I guess no pain, no gain. With that, everyone is tasked to train and control their magic every day. Good for them, they also get some hints from Merlin as he tells them Shin does his magic is not by visualizing the outcome but the process. Thus Merlin displays he can also open the same teleportation gate as Shin once he understands the process. The sword prototype is ready and Shin likes it. August seeks his permission to mass produce it since it will be cost effective. This is because it seems war with Blusfia is imminent as the latter has been having a massive build-up for war. If that happens, the students might be enlisted to fight. Even if the kingdom take steps not to make Shin fight, he will not let his friends be in danger. Yup, he is going to fight with them. Oh yeah, we are so assured and safe when our Shin the hero is around.

Episode 6
Herald is devastated to learn the Earlsheid ambushed them and is way more prepared than their side. More fury when it is reported that Zest has been missing and Herald takes this as a sign of betrayal. That’s not all. Reports that demons are attacking his Blusfia capital. Hence he orders his troops to pull back. The Earlsheid side would love to pursuit but it seems the demons are aiding in Blusfia’s retreat? Back in Blusfia, demons ravage the entire capital and the one behind this is no other than Schtrom and his assistant, Miria. When Herald returns, he is personally killed by Schtrom. A few days later as the Earlsheid side waltz into the devastated capital, they realize Schtrom is behind this and everyone in the capital has turned into demons. Man, Schtrom must be kind enough to let them go and report back. To counter that, there will be a joint training between the magic academy and knight academy. Some of the magicians are frowning over this because there is some rivalry between both schools. Magicians are superb in magic but physically weak while the knights are vice versa. You can see where the taunts are coming from. Not sure if it is jealousy or admiration as the friends learn that Shin was trained under Michel. If Merlin is the magic genius, Michel is the sword version. The joint training is divided into several groups. Shin, August, Sizilien and Maria get to be with top knights, Kreis Lloyd, Miranda Wallace, Neun Curtis and Kent McGregor. As expected, the knights look down on the magicians and don’t even think highly of Shin despite his reputation. This forces August to have them learn the lesson the hard way. If they face a demon, the knights will take it down without any of their help. Good for this team, their advisors would be Christina and Siegfried. Damn, those 2 have fan boys and fan girls?! The first demon is sighted and the knights go into action only to be pathetically defeated. Then in one fell swoop, Shin decapitates it. With Miranda denouncing their pathetic showing, they regret their arrogance and promise to work together. And Sizilien being kind to them treating their wounds, have they found a new person to look up to? Shin, you jealous? But Maria too? I guess she wants some of the guys’ attention too. When the next wave of 100 demons come, Shin now takes centre stage. A single blast not only destroys the horde but clears a path through the forest! Thank goodness environmental laws don’t’ exist here. Miranda is so awed that she apologizes to him for her earlier arrogance. She thinks Shin and Sizilien are a couple, causing them to deny and react in the obvious and most embarrassed way that proves that they somewhat are.

Episode 7
Shin’s group is getting along pretty fine. Siegfried is interested to know how Shin’s study group practise their magic. So after August explains the boringness of their daily practice of magic strengthening, he then has Maria and Sizilien demonstrate. Their barrier might not be as thick as Shin’s but they’ve improved a lot. Meanwhile we see the other groups still somewhat not getting along. Yeah, a frosty relationship still. Tony is hated by Julio not because the former defected from a knight to a magician but rather the girl Julio likes confessed to Tony and they went out together. Although they broke up shortly, the straw that broke the camel’s back was they kissed. Yeah… Meanwhile on Alice’s side, the knight guys think they’re tough enough to let the magician chicks be protected by them. Of course we seem them getting owned by weak ass demon pups (are they fighting or just playing?) so the girls unleash their devastating magic to show them who’s boss. All those training paid off. All groups finish their joint training with no unwanted incidents. Shin’s group continue to train in a desolated place. The best place to take out all their raw magic power! August then tells them a secret regarding some info they got on demons. He has to since they are basically not the general populace anymore and if anything happens, they’ll be an important part in their forces. The info is about Blusfia having all its citizens and even nobles turned into demons. Hence Earlsheid must form a coalition with other nations or they won’t stand a chance. How to counter this gloomy news? A training camp! Summer break is coming up anyway. Since a resort area isn’t ideal in the current situation, it is suggested that Sizilien’s place would be for the best as her family runs a hotspring. With that, even Merlin and Melida want to join in under pretence to keep an eye on the young ones. Hotsprings are so irresistible. During the journey, a few demon wolves attack. Heck, they look vicious but we know they’re pretty weak. The gang even draw lots to see who attacks them and Lyn won the lottery and gets to blast them all away. Easy pie. Reaching at Sizilien’s estate, everyone takes a dip after a long day’s journey. Nothing exciting over the men’s section. Guys grateful to each other and Shin thanking Merlin so much that it makes the old man cry like a baby. BORING! What about the girls’ side? All those with big boobs like Sizilien, Yuri and Olivia get molested after Melida describes her exercising regimen actually made her boobs smaller because you know, exercising burns away fat! Can’t argue with that!

Episode 8
Everyone’s doing well in their magic training. Shin won’t fall behind too and this causes everyone to take precaution and form a barrier. Just in case. True enough, Shin ravages the mountains! August wants Shin to send him back to his castle for a while so he can get updates on the demons. However he didn’t expect to see his fiancée, Elisabet “Ellie” von Koralle and his little sister, May. They aren’t happy since they went to a camp without them. August reminds them this camp isn’t all fun and games and won’t allow it. Unfortunately Diseum approves of it since it would be a nice change in pace for them. Can’t disobey a king’s words. Both promise to not get in the way of their training. Ellie seems to be more worried of Shin than the other girls as she has this misinterpretation that he is close enough to August for some hot BL action???!!! WTF?! August dispels that thought with some sweet words and then turns the topic about Sizilien. He hopes Shin would make his stance about their relationship clear. Would he rather have he come out and say it instead? Ellie and May are introduced to the rest. May is a big fan of Melida and is thrilled to meet her. Then everyone starts teasing Sizilien about her love, causing her to blush so red that it makes her run away. Oh Shin, better do something quick. And so that night they both talk things out and in the end, they confess they love each other. Finally. Before they seal it with a kiss, only to be interrupted by the cliché of all the busybodies crashing down. There’s no way they could miss this big event, right? Even Merlin and Melida are in on this big scoop. With that, Shin and Sizilien are now officially dating. The magic training continues the next day with Shin coming up with a new practice. It isn’t your ordinary beach volleyball. But one with magic infused! Yes, everybody can use their magic to their heart’s content to send the ball over to the opponent’s side. If there was a championship on this, they’d be winners. Consecutively. At night, August talks about him meeting Ellie for the first time and was the only girl who caught his attention and eyes since unlike the rest, she never tried to butter him up. Everyone has to hide since Melida is coming to check on them (they’re supposed to be sleeping at this hour?). Unfortunately this is the much needed fanservice cliché moment for Shin to hide underneath the same blanket with Sizilien and he accidentally got his hands all over her boobs. I guess you can say they’re busted. But the blame falls on Shin since Melida thinks he is trying to take the relationship to the next level too soon. Oh, everyone also gets busted and punished.

Episode 9
Nothing is more important than interrupting training camp for Sizilien to bring Shin back to her home and introduce him to her parents. Thankfully, instead of that cliché overprotective dad that cute daughters have, Sizilien’s dad is so happy and thankful. He could have further made a fool of himself had his wife not stop him. Of course they remind him that since they are part of the viscount, there needs to be proper steps. This means they must be engaged first before marriage. They’ve at least thought this far, right? Back to the training, you can tell the gang is definitely overpowered when all these explosions are just warm up! Everyone gets defensive again when Shin tries out his new magic. Thankfully it is just floating magic and he successfully can make himself fly now! Later as Shin tells Merlin and Melida about his engagement, looks like they need to go see Sizilien’s parents for an important business. That is, they reveal Shin isn’t their real grandchild and apologize if they accepted their engagement based on this. Though they are disappointed, however that is only because they think little of them. Sizilien’s parents are in fact happy that there is a boy who cares for her and they agreed to their engagement not because of Shin’s status but because he values her. With that out of the way, Shin thanks his grandparents for being his grandparents. Age must have caught up to them because they’re now so teary eyed. Shin has boosted up the stats of the uniforms of his friends. Looks like they’re going to go hunt a dangerous catastrophe level demon. Before that, May feels side-lined again so Shin makes a paper cup and string telephone for her? This isn’t magic! It’s just basic science!!! Shin has those playing support role attack a catastrophe level demon. Damn, they make it look so easy. If they are this powerful, imagine what those offensive level magicians could do. Yup, individual they could easily roast those demons with no sweat. Fast forward to the engagement party. Sizilien looks absolutely stunning in her gown. Diseum leads the party to cheer and drink to their engagement. After the party, Shin proposes to Sizilien with a ring to marry her. Yes! Yes! I do! Man, they really move things along fast.

Episode 10
Now everybody can fly! Yeah, thanks to Shin’s new flying magic! Meanwhile Schtrom has finally destroyed all nobles in Blusfia. He did it by turning the suffering commoners into demons and then exterminate the nobles who still continue to enjoy their lavish lifestyle. With his goal achieved, Schtrom has no other objectives but his demons want to conquer other nations and the world! However Schtrom won’t do something so troublesome. He already achieved what he has to. He tells the rest to do whatever they want. Miria wonders why he doesn’t have any more desires so Schtrom tells his tragic past. During a time he was an imperial duke and going by the name of Oliveira, he truly worked hard for his people. This stems from his journey to Earlsheid during his younger days when he saw commoners living a normal life compared to his Blusfia nation that has a slavery system. Of course the nobles were not pleased by this. They fear when he becomes emperor, he will make policies in favour of the commoners and they will all flock to him while nobles lose their powers. Led by Herald who was then just a noble, they plan to invite Oliveira to the capital for some management training and keep him there. In the meantime, they spread lies to his people about some fake kidnappings Oliveira did. After all, why would a noble treat you so kind, right? They even staged a fake kidnapping trail to show the people the ‘kidnapped women’. That’s when the people decide to take the law into their own hands. Yeah, they burn down his house? Oh, did I mention Oliveira had an expecting wife?

Coincidentally, Oliveira is on his way home and saw his house burnt to the ground. Not sure if the mob beat up and killed his wife because she doesn’t look burnt at all. And they all confront Oliveira inside his burning home?! Once Oliveira heard the rumours he is accused of, he quickly realizes his naivety and connected the dots of the culprits behind this. With him so mad and sad, he Super Saiyans into a demon! Too late to beg for mercy now! He is going to destroy everybody! So Super Saiyan his aura that it turned everything into wastelands!!! Now with his story told, Zest tells Lawrence they need to set a new goal for Schtrom. He is to attack the small kingdom of Sweed that borders with Earlsheid. Doing so will attract Shin. This guy will be the next perfect objective for Schtrom and will make him stronger. Meanwhile August is in some public ceremony when some guard can loudly announce the attacking of demons at Sweed? Man, he really wants to cause a panic, no? But no fear as August assures. They are prepared because they have Shin! But of course. WTF unrobing with style is this part of the tactic? We’re so confident. Now August wants Shin to come up with a new name for their group to add more bite. I’m sure he is looking around for answers. Aha! Don’t worry, people. Ultimate Magicians are here! Oh well, we should have known better. Nothing says like more assurance as Ultimate Magicians take off to the sky! Ultimate Magicians, roll out! Oops, I mean, move out!

Episode 11
The demons begin their attack on Sweed. The Sweed people don’t have to wait for days for reinforcements to arrive. Ultimate Magicians just fly in! A big chunk of this series follows this sort of pattern: Demons terrorize the people, about to kill the weak and helpless, just in time Ultimate Magicians drop in to fight them, demons get cocky and underestimate those kids, realize too late they are f*cking powerful and die standing. Uh huh. We get to see all of Shin’s friends at least having their bit of spotlight in kicking ass. Those who fight Shin themselves draw the raw end of the stick because you know how absurdly powerful he is, right? This sends Lawrence panicking. He thought it was easy to scout his weakness. Only, DOES THIS GUY EVEN HAVE A WEAKNESS???!!! OH SH*T!!! Not only Shin, but his Ultimate Magicians are also f*cking overpowered! Better rethink your strategy. Hence Zest felt he has got more than he bargained for. The plan to gauge Shin’s strength has backfired. Since it would be too much for Lawrence to help the surviving demons to retreat, he sends Miria in. Damn, Dark Phoenix rising? Should’ve sent her in the first place! Meanwhile Schtrom feels envy that Zest didn’t tell him he was having so much fun. Now he wants in. Hey, don’t blame Zest. Weren’t you uninterested in conquering the world in the first place? But at least we can get to the final boss fight very soon… I hope.

Episode 12
Wow. Sizilien healing everybody like Jesus! Until she meets her match when one just couldn’t stop bleeding… Meanwhile Miria takes on some of Ultimate Magicians. I don’t know whether to feel happy and support Miria as she gives them a beat down. For once they aren’t so tough. This distraction allows Lawrence to get the other demons to evacuate. Of course Shin won’t let them escape and is close to doing overkill. However he has to let some go when he spots his friends fighting against Miria. But sorry, no epic showdown because Lawrence assists her in setting up some great explosion to help her escape after the other demons are gone. Damage report, despite the city in ruins, none of Ultimate Magicians suffered any real injuries. Yeah, they’re back up walking. Meanwhile Sizilien is at her wits’ end to heal this guy. She can’t go on anymore. She is even thinking of stripping and let this guy where her auto healing robe. Unfortunately Sizilien’s naked body is only for Shin to see. So he can’t have her stripping and takes over. It’s tough and I don’t know how he does it but he did it. Guy lives. Wow. Sizilien is on the verge of breaking down over her uselessness. But Shin reminds her not to let this near defeat shake her up because look at all the others she has healed. August and Ultimate Magicians have an audience with the king of Sweed. August feels weird about this attack. Because Schtrom didn’t enter the fray, he thought it was a diversion but there are no reports of demon attacks elsewhere. Since this is not over, he proposes an alliance between both nations and will organize a meeting in a few days. August returns to report back to Diseum and is given permission to become the negotiator between both nations. Meanwhile Zest and co get a little lecture from Schtrom. He knew what they were doing but didn’t intervene just to let them know the hard way how formidable Shin is and that is why he must be left alone. When Schtrom asks Miria about that matter, she needs more verification. It hints she might be carrying his baby! Holy sh*t! Ultimate Magicians take off for another mission. Merlin and Melida thought it is going to get a little quieter now. However all of them suddenly come back since nobody booked any accommodation and they don’t want to sleep in the woods. No you appreciate your peace and quiet more?

Wild Child, Wiser None The Less
Oh God. I don’t know how much more I could take but thank goodness it ended. Despite the lacklustre ending that leaves a lot to be desired, I guess it is better than having a rushed ending that would even ruin everything. There is this dilemma to see Shin and Schtrom in an ultimate epic showdown for the world’s fate but I guess it is best to leave the possibility that an ultimate demon baby born between powerful demons to be the one who will get in Shin’s way! Yeah, I think I prefer this but considering after a dozen episodes of mediocrity, I’ll leave that to my wildest imaginations. If I ever want to think of this series in the future, that is.

I thought having low expectations was already bad enough but it seems that wasn’t enough for this series and they went to exceed that by being even more disappointing. Heh. Maybe I was unconsciously not putting enough low expectations on this series in the first place? Even though this series does have some potential, I don’t think it would be anything that would be ground breaking. I mean, the most I can see is turning up the tragedy of humans turning into demons with higher intelligence capabilities. Even so, how far can one go with that kind of storyline? Instead, the series meanders about aimlessly with the initial episodes trying to establish the characters, especially Shin and his friends whose groupie is now known as the Ultimate Magicians (*chuckle, chuckle*)!

Despite the looming threat and introduction of Schtrom as a potentially dangerous demon, the middle of the series further wanders about into some time wasting fillers that don’t mean anything much except to establish the fact that Shin and Sizilien are now officially a couple. I guess that puts to rest the debate of whether or not this should be a harem series. And then the final stretch of the season has the demons attack the neighbouring country and our Ultimate Magicians face their greatest battle yet. Too bad. Not enough episodes left. That’s why it also somewhat feels rushed. Then again, after all that straying, one would wish this would end and not waste any more time.

The characters are just boring, generic and cliché as ever. Especially the main character like Shin whom we have all seen numerous times in other animes. It is like as though he is that same character but existing in a different form in a different universe. To add more cliché insult, they make him overpowered from the start. He can do anything, fix anything, make everything better! It is such a good thing this world lacks the kind of R&D technology despite having magic. Because if they can’t figure it out, let Shin do it! Wow. Everything so easy. Don’t need for any more magicians in this world. One man Shin can do the job. That’s why given all these clichés, it is hard to find Shin likeable or a reason to support him because for us to really want to root for main characters, we have to see him grow as a character and that includes overcoming all his shortcomings and weaknesses through trials and tribulations. What did Shin ever go through? We see him come up with the solutions with ease and even besting the toughest of the toughest mother monsters in the land without breaking a sweat! Without any worries on his face! WTF???!!! I bet the hardest he has ever need to go through was his confession to Sizilien! Yikes!

Making all this seemingly worse is how they start off by letting us know he is from our world and then gets killed off and be reincarnated in this new world. In exchange for losing his old life, he retains his memories. That is isekai logic for you. I guess this isekai thing is so that the series can make a big deal of why he is so overpowered in the first place. Because plucking him out from the common fodder with no background to boot makes it all so suspicious and cheesy. Yeah. Damn if they do, damn if they don’t. Therefore by letting us know that he comes from a different world, it gives an excuse (no matter how flimsy and weak it is) so that this main character is a genius and overpowered one. Hey, remember, isekai logic. Can’t be August. Can’t be Sizilien. Can’t be Maria. It has to be Shin. Despite the rest being talented themselves, Shin is the chosen one. Because he comes from another world! So now you see why this isekai genre is so popular lately?!

I guess I was wrong in the first place to put any sort of hopes regarding Shin’s lack of common sense. To say that he lacks so is somewhat misleading. Sure, he is not taught the proper social ways because of his intense training but it is not like he is stupid, right? Besides, he is more of oblivious and this character you can see everywhere in so many other animes. You know, characters who are just basically dense. An important ingredient (although not necessary) for main characters. Thus with the synopsis having labelled him as one with no common sense, I guess my own common sense failed me as I got taken in to expect something that would make Shin different than the rest of the other main characters. He’s just the same like any dense and oblivious character. But hey, aren’t all geniuses eccentric and hence their quirky behaviours aren’t really that common after all?

The rest of the other characters feel like they don’t matter. So as to show us that Shin is not a lone wolf, therefore he needs to have his own circle of friends. Well, it’s another catch-22 situation because it is a good thing they are growing as powerful as him instead of the need for him to always protect them forever. So if you’re tired of seeing Shin always hogging to overpowered spotlight, sometimes we get to see his friends. Following his footsteps to become the next destructive force in the land! And then the world! So to basically sum up his groupie: August the royalty trope. Ellie also the royalty trope but female version. Sizilien the cutie girlfriend. Maria her token best friend. Also the girl who sometimes b*tch about wanting to have her own boyfriend. Yuri for fanservice since she got the biggest bust. Alice the loli type for those not into big boobs. But don’t call her a kid. That’s her taboo word. May the little sister trope. Lyn the megane girl. Also comic relief for her magic to get overpowered enough to blow up and cause some afro hairstyle joke. Thor the girly guy. Julius the manly guy. Mark and Olivia the normal people. I guess that sums up the kids.

I don’t want to go through the same cycle for the adults because who likes to talk about old people, right? This series seems to introduce a lot of irrelevant people and they make it look like as though they are going to be significant later on since their name pops up on screen. But it could be just red herring. You know, don’t want this certain butler and maid to be just nameless NPCs. Here, slap a name onto them. Yeah… That should make them feel a little more important. Otherwise, Merlin and Melida feel like a grumpy old couple and being that famous magician during their heydays feel a lot like anime fantasy. Heh. I feel Diseum has the weirdest name because it sounds like, “Diss ‘em”…

The antagonists are also big fails themselves. I wonder if Schtrom knows how to be a proper villain. Sure, he has a goal. He just wants revenge on those who wronged him. I won’t say it’s noble because like they say, a thief with a cause is still a thief. So destroying the entire empire and turning commoners into demons isn’t exactly justice but I guess when you’re in his shoes at that desperate situation, you don’t give a f*cks anymore. Funny Schtrom didn’t kill and destroy Blusfia the moment he turned into a demon. What took him so long? I thought he could just Super Saiyan and his aura is enough to devastate everything? Was the plot telling him to wait for Shin to come of age? Maybe his demon experiment needed that long to be successful. Because of that, his past despite being tragic, I just can’t help feel any sympathy for him. Oddly at first he didn’t want to anything more after destroying Blusfia because funny, he never really thought that far his next move? Because had he turned greedy and decided to conquer the world after that, despite how cliché that sounds, I guess it is better than ‘retiring’. Now he is probably going to play daddy to the greatest demon baby ever…

This mind boggling reason is probably to make his other ‘generals’ move and be put to some use. Because otherwise why the heck do we need Zest, Miria and even Lawrence who was lately introduced. Yeah, suddenly this Lawrence dude pops up. Like, who the f*ck this guy?! Kurt as the initial antagonist was easily a one-dimensional bad guy to make viewers obviously hate him. Like as though they forced him to be this a big asshole and jerk. And he became a sacrifice to be killed off as the shock factor so our main character Shin can look like he has grown and matured because killed somebody by breaking the status quo he tainted his hands. Killing for the greater good is allowed, right?

I did mention a few paragraphs ago about the middle episodes in the season losing its way to eventually set up Shin x Sizilien. Well, it seems they want to add some romance factor into this series but it feels like a distraction and not really important. Perhaps important to show us that these kids have something else other than improving their magic. Got to level up on your love life too! Thus I feel Shin x Sizilien romance sometimes feel awkward and forced. I mean, we expected them to end up together. But like this? Those blushing, shy-shy moments so cheesy… Yeah, just to confirm it all, they go a step further with that Meet-The-Parents session so that they can really tell us they are serious with this dating stuff and future marriage thingy. So as not to spam Shin x Sizilien romance, there is Mark x Olivia but I guess we’re not interested in normal and established childhood friend love drama, right? Because it’s not that they show their affections in public either.

Not to be outdone by Shin and Sizilien, I guess August too must have his own. That’s why they brought in Ellie. A character otherwise that can be done without. Strangely, all the guys are taken. Even Thor and Julius have their own fiancée since they don’t brag about it and we won’t know about it if they didn’t mention it. Hence it is the rest of the girls in the group who are still singles. WTF this logic. Nobody interested in busty Yuri or Ellie or even loli type Alice?! Megane type Lyn also nobody interested? How about kickass Maria?! Oh yeah. Maybe they’re too high to be reached by any other ordinary guys. Remember, they are already in the next level of magic greatness. They’re the Ultimate Magicians!!! Hwarhwarhwar!!!! So stay strong girls. One day there’ll be a prince for you who could match your standards. Just keep waiting…

With everything so overpowered and so freaking easy, it is no wonder that the action bits look and feel boring. You’ve heard me say a few times already that Shin and his Ultimate Magicians are just too powerful for anything. Heck, if they turn evil, they could easily conquer the heavens, dispose of God and become Gods themselves! Hence with lots of big magic firepower and explosion to reflect how overpowered they are, it comes off as cheesy than any wow factor. They have the strongest offence in the land thanks to all that ‘rigorous training’. They have the best defence in the land since Shin conveniently enhance their uniforms so no more messed up uniforms from now on if they ever get trashed in battle. If that ever happens, that is. And now they also have the best mobility in the land because Shin taught them to be Superman. Up, up and away! Look up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Ultimate Magicians!!! Hahaha!

Art and animation feel mediocre. Sometimes you can see the drop in quality and even during action sequences, the quality of the animation takes a dip. The characters also look pretty bland and generic maybe except for Schtrom before he lost his visor. Because I thought he looked cool with those blindfolds. Like as though he is this anime’s version of Rider from Fate/Stay Night and Godot from Gyakuten Saiban S2. I don’t know, it feels like a lazy reason that when one turn into demons, their sclera just turn red. That’s all. You mean, no fangs or claws? Or even wings to boot? Okay. Fine with me. This series is animated by Silver Link and since they’ve animated so many varied series in their long line of history such as Strike The Blood, Non Non Biyori, Masamune-kun No Revenge, Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism, Kokoro Connect and Imouto Sae Ireba Ii, one would thought the quality would at least be decent. I guess not.

Voice acting part, there is a hell lot of characters, many of whom probably made short cameo appearances. I only recognized Kenjirou Tsuda as Zest and Sayaka Ohara as Miria. It’s good to hear the latter back as voicing yet another antagonist, a role I pigeonholed her voice for a long time. Initially I thought Aoi Yuuki was Alice. Yeah, that spunky squeaky cutie voice. To my surprise, it isn’t! That’s Miyu Kubota as Alice (Medusa in Jashin-chan Dropkick). Damn she sounds close enough. Or am I losing my touch? There is one character whom I feel wasn’t suitable for her character. Maya Hinanogi as May sounds very, uhm, horrible! As a virtual YouTuber, being an amateur is understandable. However the way May sounds is like as though some gay guy is using his falsetto voice in one of the worst attempts to make a little sister sound like a little sister! Just horrible. This makes May doesn’t sound anywhere close to a little sister at all. But having said she is a virtual YouTuber personality, it could be that he real identity could be some otaku guy… I don’t want to know…

The rest of the other casts are Yuusuke Kobayashi as Shin (Subaru in Re: Zero Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Rina Honizumi as Sizilien (Saaya in Hugtto Precure), Yuuki Wakai as Maria (Sumeragi in Kakegurui), Shohei Komatsu as August, Juri Nagasuma as Yuri (Yuka in Circlet Princess), Arisa Shida as Thor (Amanda in Little Witch Academia), Keisuke Koumoto as Julius (Nozomu in Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda), Megumi Yamaguchi as Lyn (Hifumi in New Game), Shouta Hayama as Mark (Ichiro in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Happy Kiss), Saya Satou as Olivia (Clara in Ange Vierge), Chiaki Kobayashi as Tony (Keiji in Boogiepop And Others), Yuusaku Yara as Merlin (Rod in Shingeki No Kyojin), Gara Takashima as Melida (Hild in Aa! Megami-sama), Mitsuaki Hoshino as Diseum (Friedman in Toji No Miko), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Schtrom (Sasaki in Gintama), Noriaki Sugiyama as Lawrence (Shirou in Fate/Stay Night), Nozomi Kimura as Elle, Makoto Kaneko as Siegfried (Daichi in Tsuki Ga Kirei) and Aoi Koga as Christina (titular character in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai).

I find the opening theme somewhat unsuitable for the series. Ultimate Magic By I-ris sounds like a bubbly, happy-happy cute idol song that I believe suits better for a high school rom-com than this fantasy failure. You know a series has signs of failing when the opening scene of the credits shows Shin bursting into topless-ness! WTF???!!! Among the happy-happy scenes you see in this credits like Merlin and Melida doing some weird old couple dancing together and the gang getting chased around by a demon boar (was this their pre- overpowered magic days?), it gets harder to take it seriously when the face of those villains finally pop up right at the end of the song. Happy-happy song and then finally badass villains’ mug comes up. I don’t know. Feels so weird. And it’s not the trippy kind of weird.

I also feel the ending theme is unsuitable despite Attouteki Vivid Days by Nanami Yoshi sounds badass with its rock tune and its ending credits animation looking a bit edgy (at least the opening moments). Because after the kind of mediocrity seen here, it feels this song is too good to be wasted on this. This rock outfit reminds me of Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka’s ending theme and would have fit that kind of action series better. But the weirdest and mind blowing is that one of the episodes, the ending credits animation suddenly becomes this strangely horrible CGI Vocaloid dancing sequence. I think it was inspired by that cute Chika dance in the special ending theme of Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai. However this isn’t cute or infectious at all. It comes off as lame and stiff. Horrible to watch. Like as though somebody did a fan video of this but accidentally uploaded it to the series. Worst of all, it has no relation to the series whatsoever. Because who the f*ck is that girl dancing?! Not even one of the characters! Is that Maria, seriously?! I don’t think so.

Overall, yet another disappointing isekai anime added to the list. Poor storyline pacing that lacks substance and characters that you don’t want to even care (plus a lot of other characters that don’t really matter) and a really easily overpowered main character leaves a bitter taste and not a good impression in this genre. It felt like this series is done just to cash in on the rising isekai popularity but the staffs aren’t interested in developing properly but had to because higher management said so because otherwise this season’s anime slot will be 1 show less had not some crappy show being produced. Heh. I could be wrong but it still doesn’t hide the fact that this series is bad. Very bad. It’s just common sense. If there was only a magic solution for Shin to formulate to fix this. But just like stupidity, no magic or miracle can cure it. Hence the Ultimate Maji Deshou Ka (Ultimate Seriously)?!

Slimes are supposed to be the weakest monsters that beginner adventures would face in many RPGs, right? They are mostly use as target practice to help adventurers level up and gain experience points to fight other tougher and stronger monsters in their journey. So I suppose somebody didn’t like how slimes got discriminated against because their only other stereotypic role is to melt through women’s clothing for fanservice. Yeah. Thus the need to change our perspectives that slimes aren’t weak and perverted. Slimes can be powerful and almighty too. Slimes can be fearsome and respected at the same time. Do not underestimate slimes! Do not disrespect slimes! So yeah. That’s how we get Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken. Just kidding. Sort of. But true, somebody died and had to be reincarnated into a slime in another world. Using all the abilities and chances available to build from scratch to turn himself into a lowly slime into a powerful creature you would think twice about messing with. Oh boy. This is going to get cliché…

Episode 1
You know it’s a jinx when a middle aged guy narrates he is successful but has not have any girlfriend in his largely uneventful life. Yup, Satoru Mikami meets up with his junior whom I think wants to show off his new girlfriend. I guess she is some famous idol or something because some jealous stalker jumps out of nowhere and tries to stab her but Satoru took the stab. As he lies bleeding to death, it’s like some internal voice/computer/processor/God thingy trying (Great Sage as he refers it to) to ‘accommodate’ his wishes like nullifying the pain and making him unable to feel hot or cold. And the ultimate wish is that he thinks he is a sage since he is a virgin at this age and hence he is going to be one. The next thing he knows, he wakes up in a cave. Feeling weird about himself, he realizes he is now a slime! But not just an ordinary weak slime. He can devour anything, break it down to analyse and even obtain/absorb whatever attributes or nutrients. And with help of Sage thingy, he gets to upgrade and level up, earning lots of skills in the process. Yeah, it’s going to be really convenient for this blob to do whatever he wants. With all the wandering, he now stumbles into a very ferocious being. Promising not to fear, he is then given sight and is shocked to see this storm dragon, Veldora imprisoned by a powerful barrier. I guess they make good company since there is nothing else around them that could talk. Slimey relates how he was once human but somehow reincarnated here. Veldora finds it unusual because although his case is not the first, many are brought to this world via summoning. These Otherworlders possess the ability to cross worlds. Like the hero who sealed him here 300 years ago. This is the price he pays for burning down a village accidentally and underestimating his opponent. Tsundere dragon wants to be slimey’s friend and not leave so quickly because even such majestic creatures can get lonely after 300 years.

Episode 2
It seems unsealing the barrier is impossible and at this rate, Veldora will die once his magic runs out. Slimey analyses for a while and has this risky idea to eat and quarantine him in his stomach while he finds a cure. Better than rotting here forever. Before that, they decide to give each other a name. Slimey suggests a family name and so he will be Veldora Tempest. In return, Veldora names him Rimuru Tempest. With Veldora swallowed, in an instant everyone in the area could feel that the dragon has ‘vanished’. Rimuru wanders about to find a way out. He encounters various deadly monsters but all of them serve to enhance and add to his skills. Finally he reaches the exit. He manages to sneak out thanks to a group of human adventurers entering to find Veldora. These puny rookies want to take on the mighty dragon? Good luck. Rimuru continues to wander in the great forest of Jura. Then he stumbles into a weak group of goblins who are begging for help. Bringing him back to their dilapidated village, he meets the feeble goblin head who explains ever since Veldora is gone, monsters constantly attacked their village, especially the Direwolves. Rimuru is puzzled why they pick a weak looking slime as their strong champion until he views himself from a different perspective, he is shocked to see himself overflowing with magic! The goblin head continues that their only warrior who is his eldest son died in the recent battle against Direwolves. Many are injured and the rest are females. Their fighting chance is very slim. Rimuru would like to help them and isn’t looking for compensation but still needs to put on a show worthy of his might. So he asks what they can give in exchange for his services. The goblins pledge their loyalty. Rimuru agrees and now he becomes their guardian and leader.

Episode 3
Rimuru sees the injured. He swallows and spits them out. They’re all healed. That night, the Direwolves pack attack. Rimuru warns them to retreat and no harm will come to them. Their boss is stubborn and will not listen. Luckily Rimuru has set up wires to trap the wolves and the goblins could easily kill them. When the boss directly attacks, Rimuru kills him. The pack is in shock so Rimuru absorbs and mimics the boss. Subjugate to me or die. When it seemed like they still want to fight, actually they just trolled him and pledge their loyalty. Now goblins and Direwolves are living together, Rimuru pairs them up. Because they have no names, he decides to name them, bringing absolute delight. The goblin head is now known as Rigurd and his youngest son, Rigur. And the rest feels cheap… Gobta, Gobchi, Gobte, Gobtsu… Is he even trying?! With the goblins done, it’s time for the Direwolves’ turn. As soon as he names the boss’ son as Ranga, Rimuru suddenly collapses! It seems naming monsters take quite a bit of magic and his has fallen below critical level. It took 3 days for Rimuru to replenish but what’s this?! All the goblin guys are buffed up and macho???!!! Did Rigurd turn into Arnold goblin version?! And why are all the goblin females so sexy?! Despite only naming Ranga (unicorn wolf?), the other Direwolves also evolved as they are bonded as one. They also discard the name Direwolves and will now be known as Tempest Wolves. Rimuru lays down a few rules like not attacking humans, don’t fight each other and don’t belittle other races. He delegates tasks like finding food, making shelter and clothes. But they suck in the latter so Rigurd mentions the dwarves in Dwargon may know how to build houses. Hence Rimuru decides to travel there and is excited to meet the king of dwarves. Oh the oxymoron, I bet he can’t be standing tall. Haha! Oops. Just kidding… Don’t belittle other races…

Episode 4
Rimuru asks Rigur how his older brother was named. Apparently by a passing Demon Lord general, Gelmud who saw potential in him. Then he asks Ranga if he ever wanted revenge. Although Rimuru killed his father, he spared them and even named them. Their loyalty now lies with him. Arriving at Dwargon, it’s a long queue to get in. Some punks think this slime is easy meat to bully. Hence Rimuru mimics a Dire Wolf to scare them off. Too bad his howl is so great that some even got confused or soiled their pants. For this chaos, Rimuru is thrown in prison. He could easily get out but he doesn’t want to break any rules and get on the king’s bad side. When he hears the security chief, Kaido that his men are having problems in the mine (being attacked by a monster), Rimuru makes some potion to heal them. Grateful, Kaido introduces him to his brother, Kaijin who is the greatest blacksmith. However he is busy trying to fulfil Minister Vesta’s request to make 20 longswords in a week. So far he only made 1. Due to shortage of supplies, he initially rejected. But when mocked about his reputation, he can’t let that slide and took the job. Even if he had materials, if he can’t finish on time, his licence will be revoked. Rimuru remembers he absorbed all the magic ores in the cave. Hence he spits them out. Looks like they’re ripe for the picking. After making a deal for Kaijin’s men to come to his village to teach goblins and Tempest Wolves crafting, Rimuru then absorbs the longsword, analyses it and spits out 19 of them in perfection. The dwarves are so grateful that they want to take him to a cabaret club. Initially he rejected but after hearing there are beautiful busty elf babes, bring it on! And they don’t disappoint! Hell yeah! Elf babes banzai! Do elf babes love slimes? Yeah, soft and bouncy…. Just like boobs… Haha!

Episode 5
Vesta is also in the establishment and he is shocked to hear Kaijin managing to fulfil the job. He notices Rimuru and looks down on this slime. Although he pours water over the slime, Rimuru keeps his emotions intact. But it is Kaijin who punches Vesta for being rude to his guest. As expected, all of them are rounded up and put in prison until their trial. Kaijin tells his story that he was once the head of the royal knights for King Gazel Dwargo. Vesta was his vice and they have not get along since. Until one day a failed project to create magic soldiers, Vesta pinned all the blame on Kaijin but he took responsibility and resigned. He doesn’t think bad of Vesta and maybe if he leaves Dwargon, he can be a better man. So will Rimuru take him in? You bet. During the trial, it is obvious their lawyer has been bribed as he exaggerates how Kaijin barged into the establishment and beat up Vesta. Initially the charge is for him to be sentenced to 20 years of hard labour. But Gazel asks if he would return to his service. Long story short, Kaijin refuses because he has found new master and will not back down even if Gazel orders. With that, Gazel exiles him immediately. Later, Gazel talks to Vesta and is disappointed he lost a loyal retainer. He wasn’t talking about Kaijin but Vesta. For years he has waited for him to tell the truth but unfortunately it never came. He shows Vesta a healing potion made by Rimuru. Vesta’s actions have caused them to sever ties with the slime. Vesta regrets his actions and now only sees all this stems from his jealousy towards Kaijin. But too late, Gazel drops him from his service. With Rimuru and the dwarves returning to their village, Gazel still won’t let that slime go and knows he is the real monster. He sends his agents to spy and observe.

Episode 6
Those humans who ventured into the cave, Kaval, Eren and Gido report to the guildmaster, Fuze that Veldora is gone. They are then sent to investigate the forest further and they’re not too happy about it. A masked girl, Shizu wants to join them. Rimuru is back at the village and the dwarves are teaching the goblins how to make homes and craft other stuffs. However, during his absence, Rigurd took in more goblins who were fleeing from the power struggle of other monsters like orcs and lizardmen. Yeah, 500 of them. Rimuru can’t shoo them away and accepts them. Oh boy. Time to name them all. Reports of humans are seen in the forest. It’s Kaval’s party running away from monster ants! Though Shizu cuts most of them down with her flame powers, the last ant could have got her had not Rimuru’s black lightning struck it to death. Rimuru then recognizes Shizu as she was the prophesized woman by those elves girl that he is destined to be with. Taking them back to the village and treating them with food, Kaval didn’t hesitate to relay their mission. Rimuru tries to act like a retard in hopes they don’t see him as a threat but this makes Shizu laugh. Later he talks to her alone and asks if she came from Japan. Yup. She was. Unlike him who was reincarnated, she was summoned. And that was a pretty long time ago. From the way she describes the bombing raid on her village, it sounded like WWII. Rimuru then lets her sees his memories (hide the ecchi ones!), clips of Japan’s progress after the war and living in peace. His goal is to make this world where everyone can live in peace. Shizu for a while there felt some sort of pain but assures it is nothing. Flashback shows when Shizu was running away with her mom from the bombing, she was suddenly whisked away. In some hall, she was given Ifrit, a fire spirit as her power by Leon Cromwell.

Episode 7
When an assassin immediately attacks Leon right after Shizu’s summon, he puts her to the test. Ifrit takes over her body and burns the assassin to smithereens. We see young Shizu making friends with a forest girl and her little monster pet. Because it growls at Leon, Shizu turns into Ifrit and burns them! Shizu was left in despair and is still reeling from this nightmare. From time to time, she still feels the pain in her heart. Shizu decides to leave the village since her goal is to find someone. Rimuru will always welcome her if she comes back. As Shizu begins departing with her human members, suddenly she starts to experience unusual pain. She then bursts into flames. Kaval realizes she is Shizue Izawa AKA the Conqueror of Flames. She was the guild’s hero 50 years ago and is supposed to be retired. Shizu eventually turns into Ifrit. Summoning his fire demons, they burn down the entire village. There goes all their hard work. Rimuru has the goblins retreat. The humans won’t since they view Shizu as their comrade and won’t abandon her. First they have to take down the fire demons and Rimuru realizes that magic is especially effective against them (water evaporates before it could touch them). So he absorbs Eren’s icicle magic and creates his own icicle shotgun to destroy the fire demons. However the last one self-explodes, injuring the humans. Rimuru orders Ranga to bring them away. Now it is one to one with Ifrit. Ifrit clones himself but Rimuru easily destroys them. Too bad he fell into his fire trap. Rimuru thought he is going to die but this process seems to be taking longer… Oh right. He is fire resistant and can’t die! With that, Rimuru turns the tables and it is now Ifrit who is sweating in his pants since his fire has no effect on the slime. Rimuru swallows Ifrit as a whole. Shizu is freed. Ifrit tries to get out from Rimuru’s abyss stomach. He can’t. At least that’s what Veldora says. Now he is going to keep him company for hurting his friend.

Episode 8
Shizu tells Rimuru her life story. After being possessed by Ifrit, she served the Demon Lord until she met the hero. Instead of being slain, she was spared. This brought her emotions back as Shizu now followed the hero. She gave her this mask to suppress Ifrit but as you can guess, she is getting older, the power is getting weaker. Shizu learnt many things during her travels with the hero but one day she disappeared. Shizu then became a teacher as she wanted to help those in need. Some of them went on to achieve greatness like one of them became a guildmaster. As Shizu nears the end of her life, she remembered about the one who summoned her and hoped to find him. Hence taking this journey. At this point, Shizu is close to death and wants Rimuru to eat her as she doesn’t want to be absorbed by this world she hates. Rimuru agrees to find Leon for her and her wish is to perhaps get him to acknowledge that she existed. And also something about returning some kids to their world. Once Shizu dies, Rimuru eats her and is forever to dream a sweet dream of her original life. When the rest come in to visit, they are shocked to see Rimuru taking on Shizu’s form. From time to time, Rimuru will appear like this to honour her. Before the humans leave, they want Rimuru to transform as Shizu so they could thank and say goodbye to her. Rimuru notices their worn out gear and replaces it with better equipment. You can thank Kaijin for that. An orc is dying in the desert but is saved by Gelmud who feeds him and names him Geld. One day, he will conquer Jura and become the Orc Disaster.

Episode 9
Rimuru tests some of his humanoid forms. Androgynous, male, female… I think the last one was too sexy and might be an insult to Shizu. As he can now take on a humanoid form, this means he can taste and suggests a feast tonight. Rimuru puts on the mask that suppresses his aura and magic, making him just an ordinary human. He gets a distress call by Ranga. The party was out hunting for food but are attacked by a group of ogres. Rimuru comes to their aid but the ogre leader insists they are the bad guys who attacked their village and slain their brethren. They identify Rimuru’s mask as the evil majin perpetrator and are out for revenge. Since they are not on talking terms, Rimuru knocks out some of them. Although they manage to cut off an arm, Rimuru easily regenerates it. Then he takes off his mask to show them his true power. Even demonstrating this huge black flame that indicates he is inherently f*cking strong. Still want to have a go? The ogre leader is afraid but will not run away and willing to die to avenge his fallen. His sister stops him. She has him think if such majin was so powerful, why not wiped them out himself instead of sending low level orcs to do the job? Rimuru reverts to his slime form and lets them examine the mask. It does look similar to the perpetrator’s and the only difference is this one suppresses magic. The perpetrator’s mask did not. The orcs apologize for their ruthlessness and Rimuru forgives them. He also invites them to his village for a feast and talk things over.

Episode 10
At the feast, the ogre leader explains the orcs wearing human-like armours killing his brethren. It is unusual since ogres are way stronger than orcs. This could mean that there is a great one controlling them. He saw a masked majin among them and that’s why he mistook Rimuru as the enemy. He doesn’t have plans so Rimuru suggests becoming his subordinates. Although it might involve the entire village in this revenge battle, Rimuru believes with the other races jostling for power, they need the numbers and help they can get. The ogre leader takes his time to think and finally decides to become Rimuru’s subordinate. This pact will last until they avenge their fallen. Then they are free to do what they want or join Rimuru’s camp. With that, Rimuru names them. I guess being named means transforming into ogres into kijin. Yeah, bishoujo and bishonen alert! Folks, meet Benimaru (ogre leader), Shuna (cute princess sister), Shion (sexy busty babe), Hakurou (old dude), Souei (the other handsome guy but more sullen) and Kurobe (big middle aged guy). Meanwhile the lizardmen are unsettled. Scouts picked up a strong 200,000 orc army and they think they are going to be invaded. It might be unbelievable that there is somebody who could control a rowdy bunch and keep such a great number fed but the only one possible is a unique monster. In this case, an Orc Lord. Hence the lizardmen’s chief summons his son, Gabiru for a task. Benimaru further explains before their village was massacred, a masked majin named Gelmud came and offered to name them. However Benimaru rejected as he didn’t trust him. So was the attack based out of spite? Souei reports lizardmen around the area. Gabiru is not pleased his father sent him to seek alliances with goblin villages. His subordinate egg him to be the next chief. Initially Gabiru didn’t feel he was up to the task and was just talking big. But seeing how his subordinates believe in him so squarely, I guess he really thinks he is that great!

Episode 11
We take a detour with Rimuru narrating Shion is now his secretary and bodyguard. Yeah, first class seat below her boobs, right? However she sucks at cooking so Gobta had to ‘die’ as a sacrifice for Rimuru to issue an order she must get Benimaru’s approval first before she cooks. The other goblin villages agree to serve under Gabiru not because they find him credible but to defend themselves from the impending orc invasion. Hence this misinterpretation only fuels Gabiru’s ego. Now that he is at Rimuru’s village, he acts so snobbish (complete with some flashy WTF entrance) to have these weaklings serve under him. Everybody wants to kill this asshole when Gabiru looks down on Rimuru. Luckily this won’t turn into a one-sided bloodshed as they make Gobta fight on their behalf. He better win or else he will have to eat Shion’s cooking! Everyone is stunned when Gobta uses some shadow manipulation skill to knock out Gabiru. OMG! Is he some prodigy! With Gobta’s win, Rimuru will agree to cooperate to fight against the orcs but not serve under them. The lizardmen retreat. Rimuru and the rest now discuss about this. With Souei confirming there is indeed 200,000 of them and heading towards the lizardmen’s marshlands, they wonder if a Demon Lord is behind this. Souei then receives contact from a dryad who wants to speak to Rimuru. You mean those sexy tree spirits? Okay. Bring her in. Treyni has a request of Rimuru and it is to defeat the Orc Lord.

Episode 12
Rimuru wants some time to think and gather some info instead of stirring the hornet’s nest. Discussing about the orc’s goal, Treyni further explains that they have no goal in particular and just to move forward as per their Orc Lord’s wish. Like locusts, they devour everything in sight, including their fallen comrades. This gives them even more strength than before. Rimuru is still thinking but Shion believes nothing can defeat Rimuru so he agrees to Treyni’s request. He wants to make an alliance with the lizardmen but wants someone more responsible than Gabiru. So he sends Souei to see the lizardmen’s chief to broker an alliance. Meanwhile Gabiru thinks Gobta is the real master! He is interrupted by Laplace, a subordinate of Gelmud who tells him of the advancement of the orcs. He also instigates him to take his father’s place. Souei sees the chief but will only agree to an alliance after he meets Rimuru in person. Souei promises to do that in 7 days. The chief summons all his guards to defend this place but not engage in any battles with the orcs. Because if one of their own dies, they will be eaten and this only provides strength to the orcs. However by the fourth day, Gabiru returns and forces his father off the throne. He takes his spear that signifies the leadership of his race. With all those loyal to his father imprisoned, the younger ones side with Gabiru who is going to show them how real lizardmen fight. His hit and run tactic might look good but he is then shocked to see the orcs doing cannibalism.

Episode 13
As Rimuru’s team march into the marshlands, Souei reports a lizardman is fighting a group of orcs. With permission to assist, Souei kills all of them. This lizardman is the chief’s personal guard and Gabiru’s sister. She mentions of the rebellion as well as Gabiru’s intention to fight the orcs on his own. Rimuru recognizes her as the representative for the lizardmen and forms the alliance now. He has Souei rescue the chief while the others back up the other lizardmen in battle. The lizardmen are surrounded by orcs. They realize their movements have become faster since eating their lizardmen comrades, they also gain their abilities to move through the marsh faster. Gabiru thought he is going to face off with the Orc Lord. Unfortunately he is just an Orc General who is much inferior to the Orc Lord. Meanwhile Gelmud and Laplace are delighted with their plans in motion. Treyni tries to kick them out of the forest but they escape. Gabiru puts up a brave fight but before he gets owned, here comes Gobta and Ranga to his rescue. We see the kijin so powered up like as though they are on cheat code mode to destroy the swarm of orcs easily. Ranga shows his true power by summoning some death storm that zaps Orc General into nothingness. So powerful that he grew another horn?! Souei rescues the chief and others who are imprisoned. They are shocked to see him dispose so easily the orcs. So flabbergasted… Gelmud is panicking to see the tides turning against him. He fears all that he has prepared will be for naught. You mean this guy didn’t know about Rimuru? He must do something quick lest he faces the wrath of his master. Rimuru has finally spotted the Orc Lord. Time to ends this.

Episode 14
Gelmud drops in to complain how his plans to create a Demon Lord is ruined. He tries to kill Gabiru to have the Orc Lord eat him but is saved by his subordinates. Time for Rimuru to move in and beat the crap out of this annoying whiny guy. Gelmud wants the Orc Lord AKA Geld to help him. Hurry up and evolve into a Demon Lord. Guess what? Geld decapitates and eats him! Good riddance. But now Geld has transformed into Orc Disaster thanks to the mana he devoured. The rest use all they’ve got on him but no effect. His regenerative abilities is so great that even when decapitated, he just needs to put his head back on. Time for Rimuru the big boss to show what he’s got. Using Sage to come up with the best measure, it seems Geld is also now immune to fire and burning. Rimuru doesn’t need Sage’s help to come up with another plan because he knows what to do. He turns into a slime to devour Geld! So it becomes a battle to see who can devour who first. Of course Rimuru being a slime, he is unbeatable in this game. Rimuru sees Geld’s memories. As the king of his tribe, they were facing starvation. He gave parts of his body to the starving children although he has regenerative abilities. But this cannot go on as the infant mortality rate is rising so he went on a journey to find food in Jura. The rest is history when he met Gelmud. Geld is adamant he cannot lose or his sins fall upon his brethren’s shoulders. But Rimuru the greedy one will not only eat Geld but all their sins as well. Geld then sees utopia and thanks Rimuru for satiating his hunger and freeing his people from starvation. The orcs are sad their king is dead but at the same time could not be happier that their king is now free. With the invasion over, Rimuru releases the kijin from his pact. However they want to swear their allegiance to him till the end of their lives. After seeing all that greatness, you’d be a fool not to!

Episode 15
Rimuru presides a conference for all the races. Firstly, he will not punished the orcs as he has agreed with Geld to shoulder their sins. This might sound unreasonable to the lizardmen as they suffered the most but to all the monsters, there is rule of survival of the fittest. Rimuru suggests cooperation from everyone. The lizardmen will provide water and fish, the goblins will provide housing while the orcs will provide labour. With that, Treyni makes Rimuru the chancellor of the Jura Forest Alliance! Geld’s right hand man wants to sacrifice himself to the kijin to spare his men but Benimaru doesn’t harbour anymore hate for him since they serve the same master. Rimuru then names this orc, Geld in honour of his king. Yeah, 150,000 more orcs to name!!! Now they are high orcs! The lizardmen’s chief is named Abiru. Instead of giving the death sentence to Gabiru for treason, he excommunicates him. He won’t go alone as his loyal subjects follow him to be excommunicated. Laplace reports back to Demon Lord Clayman about the failure to create another Demon Lord. He doesn’t sound worried though he needs to do something about that slime. Gazel and his men fly down into Rimuru’s village. After the battle with Orc Disaster is over, he is worried with the gatherings of evolved monsters and feared this would threaten his country. Hence he wants to see Rimuru with his own eyes and fight him to see his true nature. The fight ends with Rimuru winning since he is able to block Gazel’s greatest attack. Gazel is relieved he is not evil. Rimuru can thank Hakurou for the sword lessons and it seems this old dude was also Gazel’s sword instructor. What a small world. Gazel suggests their nations could form a treaty with each other. Rimuru panics as he hasn’t named his nation, let alone his village. So he plucks out what he can think off. Hmmm… Aha! Jura Tempest Federation! And this leads to the rest naming this village as Rimuru Capital City! History is now being made.

Episode 16
A few days later, Gazel returns to give Rimuru a gift: Vesta. As he can’t work under him and to avoid his talents go to waste, he hopes Rimuru could take him in and use his research talents. After that, Gabiru wants to join Rimuru. Yeah, where else to go? His sister also joins in not because she missed him but Abiru sent them to train under Rimuru. This means he has to name them. Yeah, the sister is now known as Soka. Evolved lizardmen become dragonewts! Damn, dragonewt females look like hot sexy ninja babes?! Rimuru didn’t want to give Gabiru a name since he already has one but apparently somehow he unwittingly overwrites it. Same name but this time it is as though Rimuru is the one who named him. Demon Lord Milim Nava is curious about Rimuru’s exploits so she drops down to check him out for herself. As they talk, Rimuru’s comrades come to attack her. WTF, I thought they were talking nicely and they start attacking? Isn’t this their fault? Don’t blame Milim if she goes all out. Rimuru analyses her and sees she is already 10 times more powerful even not at her best. So the only way is this: He throws her delicious honey! Like the kid she is, she really likes it and wants more. Rimuru can give her more if she admits defeat. But she wants to call it a draw and promises not to mess with them. Deal. Happy Milim eats her honey and wonders why Rimuru didn’t become a Demon Lord. Aside fighting and bossing around others, doesn’t that seem boring? Wow. Milim in shock. Instead, she bugs to join his side since it looks more fun. What’s a slime got to do? He introduces her to the entire town and Milim now wants to stay here! They’re best friends, right?! While everything seems to be going well and Milim enjoying herself, the other guys talk to Rimuru about this. There might be a problem with the other Demon Lords. Being friends with Milim means they are in an alliance. She might use this to increase her influence and hence upsetting the balance. Other Demon Lords may become hostile. They stay positive that at least they will have Milim on their side despite standing no chance if facing other Demon Lords. Then they dump this responsibility on Rimuru. The great chancellor will take care of this, right?

Episode 17
Now it’s Fuze turn to see Rimuru with his own eyes as he has Kaval’s team take him there. Meanwhile Vesta has successfully created a very high end potion but they can’t sell it as Rimuru wants since it isn’t viable for daily use and only used in near death situations. Rimuru has this idea to let Dwargon sublet making potions to them while they only need to procure ingredients. A little trouble brews. Phobio, an underling of Demon Lord Carrion thinks this town is fit for his master’s subjugation. Because he beat up Rigurd, Milim beats the crap out of him. She’s expecting Rimuru to praise her but since he reminded her about the promise not to make a fuss, she takes it out on Phobio. Talking things out, Phobio reveals Carrion’s order to scout a mysterious majin to serve him. Rimuru doesn’t want war but if Carrion chooses so, they’ll be prepared. He prefers to talk and to set a date to do so. After Phobio leaves, Rimuru smooth talks his way to make Milim reveal more about Carrion. Demon Lords, Clayman, Carrion, Frey and herself used Gelmud to create a puppet Demon Lord just to kill time but seeing what happened, it’s not doubt Rimuru will be targeted for messing about. Fuze hires Youm and his men to fight off monsters. However it is Gobta who easily cuts down this giant spider and cook it for dinner! Fuze sees Rimuru for himself and is shocked to learn Rimuru has entered a treaty with Dwargon. Rimuru wants to have good relations with human too but Fuze would like to see if he is really an ally of humans. Rimuru welcomes him to stay and observe. Learning that news of Orc Lord’s defeat didn’t spread like wildfire, Rimuru suggests hiring Youm. He wants him and his men to be the champions who defeated Orc Lord. Rimuru will be introduced as a monster who helped him and this would easier for him to befriend humans instead of being seen as a mysterious powerful monster. Youm after thinking a lot, decides to accept Rimuru’s terms. He reveals his men accepted this mission so that they will be officially dead and use this chance to escape to another kingdom. Meanwhile Tear reports to Clayman that Frey has no interested in getting involved with Jura. It seems she is preparing for battle as Charybdis is going to be revived. Clayman is delighted and tasks her to find the location of the seal.

Episode 18
Phobio still feels sore about losing to Milim and wants revenge. Just in time because Tear and Footman can offer him that power and turn him into a Demon Lord himself. They sound tempting but they seal the deal when they mention Charybdis. Thus Phobio tells his comrades to return and report all this to Carrion while he himself will resign from all positions and become carnage itself to force Milim to acknowledge his power. He is taken to a cave where Charybdis is sealed. It seems the catch that he must use his own body as a vessel to combine as one with Charybdis. Otherwise Charybdis will break out itself and nobody will be able to control it. Phobio takes up this challenge. Meanwhile Fuze is really enjoying himself and is he overstaying his welcome? Well, Youm and his buddies have already left to spread the news so why is this dude the only one left taking easy? Anyway, Rimuru wants to build a road directly to his kingdom of Blumund. This will make it easier for both their nations to trade. He can provide the labour but in exchange wants to sell their goods to other countries. Soon, Trya who is Treyni’s sister comes to warn of the revival of Charybdis. It seems the dryads are waging a futile war to stop it as it is coming for this place. Rimuru calls an emergency meeting with everyone as Trya explains that Charybdis can be said to be Veldora’s child as it was generated from his magicules. From time to time it was defeated and revived. Many times. Rimuru fears Charybdis might know Veldora resides in his body and hence attracted to this village. While he is more than happy for Milim to take it down, too bad Shion and Shuna interject she shouldn’t rely on friends too much and this is their village’s problem so it is theirs to solve. Oh well, looks like Rimuru has to show everyone he is the strongest again. He has everyone make preparations against Charybdis and his flying Megalodon sharks it summoned from the spirit world?! WTF?!

Episode 19
The plan is for each team to separate the sharks and attack them individually. Only Milim is complaining as Rimuru told her she can’t join in the funny. Puppy dog eyes won’t sway his decision. After all the sharks are taken out, it’s time for the final boss Charybdis. It’s tough taking down this mother because his scales can attack you like flies. I guess it’s time for Rimuru to enter the fray. Despite he stops the scales, Charybdis has ultra regeneration. This is going to be tough. Even if it takes almost the whole day, they only deal 30% damage. Rimuru then hears Charybdis harbouring intense hatred towards Milim. He realizes Charybdis is after her rather than Veldora. Hence he goes to wake up that sleeping Demon Lord to put a stop to this. I suppose Milim is itching for this action as she easily destroys Charybdis with 1 blow. This is already considered restraint? With Phobio kicked out of Charybdis, Rimuru collects him and even removes whatever remains of Charybdis inside him. When Phobio wakes up, he apologizes and regrets what he has done. As to how he stumbled into Charybdis, he mentions about a few clowns. This has them realize this Moderate Harlequin Alliance are comprised of jack of all trades, pretending to help you out but use you to fulfil their goals without getting their own hands dirty. Phobio is shocked that Rimuru spares him. He thought of being killed in exchange they don’t go after Carrion. Apparently Carrion is here and heard everything. After smacking and reprimanding Phobio for giving them trouble, he agrees to Rimuru’s suggestion of forming a nonaggression pact with him and will never go to war with him.

Episode 20
With the threats gone, back to partying and peaceful life. Milim decides to get to ‘work’ by spreading the word to her fellow Demon Lords not to mess with Rimuru. Oh, she’ll be back. Before Rimuru and us really forget, time for that timely reminder of Shizu’s dream. Time to make good your promise, Rimuru. Leaving his city in the capable hands of his people, Rimuru leaves with Ranga to the Ingrassia Kingdom where Shizu once tutored. Freedom Academy was established by Yuuki Kagurazaka, one of Shizu’s students and his plan is to meet him. Thanks to Fuze arranging the necessary documents, Rimuru enters Ingrassia with ease but needs to keep his monster aura hidden. The moment Yuuki sees Rimuru, he gets agitated because that mask belongs to Shizu. He starts fighting him but immediately stops when Rimuru mentions about things that happen in their former world. Yuuki is impressed as Rimuru reveals all the spoilers of anime and manga that happened after he died. Yeah, Rimuru lived long enough to watch the ending of certain series. If hearing isn’t enough, heck this slime can replicate a manga magazine from his memory on paper!!! Free manga reads forever! Anyway, back to proper business, Rimuru mentions his mission here is to make good on Shizu’s promise-cum-regret regarding the children of Freedom Academy. We are reminded of the summoning of Otherworlders that takes many mages, days and resources to summon a powerful one. However sometimes a kid is summoned but their body cannot withstand all that power and they will be incinerated. Shizu took them in to save them but none of those kids have ever lasted more than 5 years and no way has been found to prevent their destruction. He hopes Rimuru can take on and save these kids. With Shizu becoming a teacher, he is shocked to see how lively these brats are. Full of life. Full of energy. Full of mischief. They don’t like they’re kicking the bucket soon. Folks, meet Kenya Misaki, Ryouta Sekiguchi, Gale Gibson, Alice Rondo and Chloe Aubert. Rimuru thought he felt Veldora resonating within.

Episode 21
The students aren’t respecting him so nothing like a little threat from Ranga to make them listen. Then he has them fight him one on one. This is to see and test their abilities and each of them have some pretty good quality skill and magic. The students agree to put their trust in him since he swears on Shizu’s mask that he will save them and not abandon them. Later Rimuru goes to see Treyni. He wants to meet a higher spirit. She notes there is a place called Dwelling of Spirits. Although it has many entrances, unfortunately the previous spirit queen she served has long passed away. She is unfamiliar with the current queen so she doesn’t know where those entrances are. A month into Rimuru’s teaching job, a sky dragon soars down to attack Ingrassia’s capital. Time for Rimuru to show off to those kids why he is so powerful. He easily defeats the sky dragon without any sweat. After Charybdis, this is nothing. He is then invited by a merchant, Mjolmire as thanks for saving his life. He might be a loan shark and has other shady dealings but he is trustworthy as a merchant. Rimuru takes up on his offer and also invites him to his town since he would love Mjolmire to teach them how to trade and make some deals. As they leave, Mjolmire’s assistant chants a blessing to the kids. Rimuru becomes interested because her prayers are based from the current spirit queen. At least from her hometown. Rimuru and co now make their way to the Dwelling of Spirits at the Ulg Nature Park of the Republic of Ulgrasia.

Episode 22
Because Shizu had Ifrit inside her, it was perhaps that spirit helped controlled her magicules instead of dying young. Hence Rimuru theorizes if these kids had a superior spirit inside them, they would also avoid dying young. Inside the labyrinth, a cheeky spirit toys with them and will grant their wish if they pass her test. So they have to defeat this powerful golem? Not a problem for Rimuru. Yeah, the spirit is in extreme shock to see Rimuru easily taking it down. Now she is summoned out of her hiding and real scared of Rimuru. Ramiris claims she isn’t just a fairy but a Demon Lord. Really? Mind her being an idiot but she is really a Demon Lord as Milim is a friend and was here not too long ago. That’s why she knew about Rimuru. Ramiris continues to talk about her greatest spirit engineering in that golem that used all the elements to make it move. This reminds Rimuru of Dwargon’s failed project to make magic soldiers and Ramiris easily completed that research herself. After Rimuru explains what he wants, he is shocked to hear that Ramiris is also the spirit queen. Believe it. Can she be a Demon Lord at the same time? Actually, she fell from grace as a spirit queen to become a Demon Lord. The same can be said about Leon. He was once a hero who had the blessing of the spirits but along the way he fell from grace. Ramiris is the former and also current spirit queen. Confused? Although she died and reborn, she retained memories of her old self. That’s why Treyni doesn’t have connections. Ramiris leads them to the deepest part of Dwelling of Spirits. She explains they can summon a superior spirit and they will respond if they like it. But if they don’t, they can create a new one. Wow. Sounds easy.

Episode 23
Those who summoned inferior spirits like Gale, Alice and Ryouta, Rimuru absorbs and combines them into a superior spirit. That easy, huh? Rimuru doesn’t need to do anything for those who summon superior spirits like Kenya. They just directly inhabit him. Finally when it comes to Chloe, it seems she summoned a super superior spirit. She gives Rimuru a cheeky kiss before inhabiting Chloe. Ramiris finds this dangerous and from what I understand, this spirit is supposed to be from the future and has implanted herself into Chloe as a vessel to be reborn in the future. Rimuru doesn’t understand and since all is well, I guess they’ll leave it at that. I guess with everything solved, there is nothing more for Rimuru to do, huh? He leaves the kids with Yuuki as they will continue their studies in Freedom Academy. It’s going to be a teary goodbye so say what you want to say before Rimuru leaves for home. It’s not like they won’t see each other forever, though. They’ll visit sometimes. Rimuru feels it is best to leave Shizu’s mask with them as a parting gift. He isn’t sure why he did that but he feels it is the natural thing to do.

Episode 24
We go back in time when Shizu was an active adventurer. Somewhere, a dying woman desperately summons a demon known as Kuro. She wants vengeance an in exchange gives him her life. Shizu is one of the many warriors summoned to Flitwood Kingdom to defeat a revived demon. The minister relays the bad news that their heroic champions have died and this sends some of them panicking. Even more so when the minister doesn’t relay enough info about the demon who was supposedly sealed by a hero named Orthos but the method was never mentioned. Shizu asks some questions and learns that the revived demon has no name and hence it cannot be an Archdemon. Still, she finds it hard to believe champions would lose to it. When an adventurer refuses this dangerous mission, he is promptly killed. It is revealed there is a lesser demon residing in him. Shizu thinks this is bad because with the adventurers forced into cooperation, could it be they also want to find which among them are the demons? This is when Kuro who is part of the adventurers start laughing. He calls this a charade and knows they planted the lesser demon into that guy just to put on a show. Shizu confronts him and from what Kuro says, he intends to kill everyone here to reveal the true demon. They both fight and Shizu manages to cut off an arm. But when he targets her mask, he finds it has some infinite properties and decides to back down. Everyone cheers for her but Shizu only knows Kuro was only using half his strength and that somebody had summoned Kuro. Later, Shizu is summoned by a knight to see the king. She is puzzled since she didn’t see him around and how could he know she fought Kuro? Then it all starts to make sense when she sees him colluding with the minister and king. The knight is actually Orthos and was never sealed away. By gathering adventurers and eliminating them, he would gain more power. Hence Flitwood is ruled by demons and the king is just a puppet. Orthos wants her mask and plans to sacrifice her. Shizu is forced to fight him in her weakened state and has a tough time fighting this Archdemon. He even dares her to combine with Ifrit. Before she could do it, Kuro pops up and kills the other goons. Too bad Orthos cannot judge the strength of others so his underestimate Kuro and gets killed by him. In the aftermath, the official story goes that Flitwood is purged of all demons and Kuro was the one who killed the king and minister. Shizu then defeated Kuro. This is a story cooked up by Kuro so as to have Shizu’s story straight. Do that and he won’t target her. But Kuro is interested again when the mask showed up in Rimuru. But spoilers ahead as Rimuru says, Kuro would be summoned by him and be named as Diablo.

Episode 24.5
This supposedly recap OVA episode is narrated by Veldora and Ifrit trapped inside Rimuru. It isn’t exactly 100% copy and paste. Although it is for the visuals, the dialogue is completely different. Veldora has Ifrit as his shogi partner because, what else to do, right? Great dragon teaches fire spirit how to play as they talk and comment about Rimuru’s progress among other stuffs. Yeah, Veldora sounds like some crazy emotional insecure old dude while Ifrit’s replies sounds more like out of pity. I guess that is what loneliness can do to you. In the end, Ifrit manages to checkmate Veldora and the latter tries to change the topic and everything. Oh well, they’re going to be stuck in here for the while so buckle up for more solitude insanity…

OVA 2
Shion and Shuna are fighting over Rimuru. This slime will one day break in this tug of war. Rimuru thought of cloning himself but the thought that everybody wants a piece of him eventually, nah, bad idea. Hence he has this idea to make cushions in his image for them. I guess explaining to the dwarves about the materials called styrofoam and polystyrene isn’t exactly making them understand. But they think that sort of material can be found near a lake. But beware. There is a rumour about a monster that will drag you down. A monster that can defeat Rimuru? No way! Since it would be lonely to go on this trip alone, Rimuru has the usual gang follow him on this picnic trip. It gets off to a bad start as Shion has cooked for Rimuru! Well, he did carelessly say everyone should make their own food! So bad that the container melts and burns a hole in the ground! If that’s not bad enough, Shion also made an onigiri that is equally as bad! Fortunately for Rimuru, she trips and the onigiri rolls into the lake. Phew. Fanservice time as the ladies put on their swimsuits. Super sexy! Rimuru approves! The guys also do the same! Rimuru disapproves this macho gay sh*t! Then Milim crashes in. She is mad she wasn’t invited on this picnic. Well, I guess we know why. But since she’s here, might as well. As they swim towards the sandbank in the middle of the lake that is the supposed material, suddenly a tentacle drags Rimuru down. After he cuts himself loose and swims to the surface, he sees the ladies getting tentacle raped! Nice spectacle! Yeah, the guys too! Shameful! Rimuru swims to the bottom and sees a monster who is the source of this. He realizes the monster is more of in pain rather than intentionally doing harm. The cause? It’s that onigiri! Rimuru splashes a few healing potions to heal it and the monster calms down. He realizes it is also blind and lonely and promises to do something. Returning to the surface, looks like the swimsuits have melted. I’m sure Rimuru would have loved to feast his eyes on the ladies but the guys too?! Mood ruined. The sandbar seems to be the perfect material to make cushions as it is made out of the monster’s mucus. Rimuru wants the entire sandbar to be taken back. But do they have enough bags to carry it? This is part of Rimuru’s plan to make frequent trips to and fro so as to keep the monster company. Once the cushions are done, Shion and Shuna continue to fight over Rimuru. Eh? I guess nothing beats the real deal.

Overlord: That Time I Got Reincarnated As God
Well people, looks like there is some ‘good news’. Because this series is going to get another season! Huzzah! More slime exploits and greatness! All hail the great Rimuru! I mean, this slime has gone on to defeat the most badass of the badass and gather a lot of powerful monsters, is there no other creatures he could not face and take down? Oh right. He hasn’t fought God and his angels yet! OMFG! That would be so f*cking epic. And so f*cking insulting if the slime ever brings down God! That would be just, I don’t even know how to put it in words. But for now, there are still a lot of potentials and development even though it might seem Rimuru has greatly solved them all with ease. Like Leon whom I am guessing will be his ultimate goal as well as the mysterious Moderate Harlequin Alliance that are like the wild joker cards in this world. And yeah, don’t forget Veldora (and Ifrit) still imprisoned inside Rimuru. Better hurry before they go insane when it’s their time to finally be set free.

I find myself having mixed feelings whether to love or dislike this series because despite being filled to the brim with lots of overpowered clichés, it seems that I myself have enjoyed many of the scenes despite how clichéd it was. One of the biggest problems that one might find is how Rimuru is overpowered from the very start. I mean, he has literally everything at the tip of his fingertips and just needs time to get used to them. Therefore it becomes very cliché and predictable that the plot goes something like this: Some enemy wants to pick a fight, Rimuru uses what he has or something his skills as suggested by Sage to defeat the opponent. In many cases, the opponents he kills, their clan members become his allies. Next enemy comes by. Repeat process but this time having some help from his monster associates. Continue to rinse and repeat. It gets really repetitious and boring but somehow I didn’t find myself being bored or sneering with sarcasm and disliked each time a chapter of that ends. Is it the way they executed the pace of the story? Hard to say.

Thus one might come to love or hate Rimuru as the main character not because he is a slime but rather because he is so overpowered that it makes everything look so easy. Note that I said in my previous paragraph how he monsters he defeated become his allies soon after. While it is great to see Rimuru gather and make allies with various monster nations, however the fact still remains that he was overpowered in all of his fights and if I should say, all of them are just so freaking easy for him. Hence the irony he doesn’t really need to have allies in the first place. But I guess he needs to because it beats being a lonely slime. I figure that this is to showcase how powerful this slime is because if somebody else were to get the job done, then Rimuru wouldn’t have been called to the fore.

So with great monster attacks like the Orc Disaster incident and the revival of Charybdis, it is just to showcase and crystalized Rimuru’s greatness. While I understand it is so because he is the main character, the problem is how he does it with ease. I mean, I don’t feel that there is any sort of challenge he has to face. Sure, he thinks a little bit, gets a few suggestions by Sage or his comrades. But eventually just one swift action is all it takes to end it. Is this the monster’s equivalent to One Punch Man? The only reason why Rimuru isn’t as hated as an overpowered character is because he doesn’t have a Smartphone! Oh yeah. We’re still reeling from that disaster, eh? With Rimuru being like some sort of immortal since so many things just can’t kill him, my conspiracy theory that the only thing that can kill him is Shion’s cooking! Hah! Even the great Rimuru has his weakness! Imagine the thing that made him keel over is poison cooking. You mean Sage can’t analyse this toxic abomination and turn it into some weapon instead?

So my guess why I find this series fascinating and entertaining is because of the action bits. I think this is what I will personally remember the series by. Not to say the action sequences are such a masterpiece as they are filled with such over the top and overpowered moves and magic (which it is supposed to be) but they are a lot entertaining nevertheless. I have to admit that despite Rimuru making it really look easy to defeat the big boss, I still enjoy seeing him do it. We also get to see his other minions fight but they are minimal and just to showcase and strut their stuff before their boss joins in and shows it how it’s done. So yeah, the action is also pretty cliché and over the top but it’s done in a satisfying way so I guess they pass. I also guess I can’t complain since I don’t really want a boss fight to last for episodes like Dragonball or One Piece. Yeah… Sure, the big battle might last for a few episodes but it is important the climax of the match isn’t dragged out.

With so many characters joining Rimuru, it seems that many of them lack any proper character development and I could say that many fall to the wayside when they are no longer in focus. We do see them from time to time but it feels like it is to assure us that they are still sticking around with Rimuru. But of course. After all, many of the creatures like the goblins, ogres and orcs have lost their home so there isn’t much to tell on that since by following Rimuru, it gives them a purpose of existence. Like Shion who becomes Rimuru’s secretary and carries him around feels more like an excuse for fanservice because of her big tits that Rimuru loves to cuddle under. Then there is Gobta who is supposedly a comic relief character and many of his scenes and actions can be seen as comical. But don’t write him off as he has shown some growth under the tutelage of Hakurou. Gabiru is the next comic relief with his egoistic ways but he got less screen time after becoming Rimuru’s follower. So no more funny lizardman poses. Then there is one of the dwarven brothers who has no lines and can only nod in agreement. To everything! I think this is a running joke that Rimuru sometimes even scoffs at. Ranga… Animal mascot! It’s amazing Rimuru has managed to build a great city for his monsters to live. But the city is so human-like… Complete with hotspring! Damn these monsters really have it good. Rimuru is God!

Rimuru as the big boss himself, he isn’t such a bad character. Has his own ideals and justice that fits into any main character tropes and clichés. I just wonder why they need to showcase to us at the start that his true identity is a dead normal guy from our world. Was this even necessary? I guess it is this or either a strange slime creature awakens in the deep parts of the cave having no recollection of who he is. Yup, cliché amnesiac main character. Uh huh. I guess we were tired of that trope too. So by having someone from our world getting a second chance at life in another fantasy world, my speculation is that because this fantasy world isn’t as advanced as our world, hence chance for our main character who conveniently retained all his memories to live out his wildest dreams. Something that he can achieve here and even more compared to when he was alive in his own boring world. Therefore I can’t blame recent many isekai anime series for following this formula because we were definitely complaining at one point about amnesiac main characters. Sheesh. We customers are going to be harder and harder to please. Besides, that Otherworlders plot seems to be just hanging there. I feel they could have fleshed it out but perhaps they somewhat forgotten it this season…

Like I have said, having Leon as the endgame is a reason why this slime’s adventure is going to continue. So in the meantime, more other adventures, more gathering of other fellow monsters. In no time I am expecting Rimuru to have a vampire in his team. Yikes! Why can we not have a vampire in such a fantasy setting?! You have fairies, right? You have goblins, lizardmen orcs and ogres, right? Damn you got dryads too. So why not vampires and add zombies to that mix? And since this world has demons and Demon Lords, what are the chances of having an angel by your side? Damn, this would have been the ultimate monster combo ever! That aside, Rimuru who vouches for peace and doesn’t want war is commendable because I would also want to make friends, pacts and treaties if I were in his shoes. Therefore this brings me to the point of how easily Rimuru makes friends with. I know I’m repeating myself with this cliché but I guess I have to point it out again because not only in battlefields but in the diplomacy segment Rimuru also rules. Humans and some Demon Lords easily becoming his allies? Too f*cking easy! It feels like lazy writing. Thinking about it, even if I were in the other shoes, I would think twice of making this slime as my enemy because we’ve already seen how powerful he is. After all, that is why Rimuru is a slime in the first place so that enemies could look down on him and then he owns them by surprise. Heh. That should show them.

I’m not complaining about the art and animation since they’re rather okay. The fantasy world feels a bit bland as we mostly see the Jura forest since this is where many of the incidents and setting take place. Character designs are rather okay too. Oddly everyone powers up after they are being named and this means they look even hotter. Especially females. Mind boggling how lizardmen’s females can take after humanoid form. Some females like Shion are definitely for eye candy fanservice as well as Milim because it feels like she forgot to wear her pants and fly around in her skimpy pantsu. Really. Then you got some looking comical like Gobta (why do I feel he is a combination of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie? Is it his round nose?) and the lizardmen who are followers of Gabiru especially when they have those cute round puppy dog eyes. So weird. I wonder if Rigurd is taken after Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why do they have to make fairies so annoying these days? Because like Ramiris, it reminds me of another certain annoying fairy in Black Clover… Is this trend started by The Legend Of Zelda’s Navi?! Animated by 8bit who did Infinite Stratos, Tokyo Ravens, Grisaia No Kajitsu, Rewrite and Yama No Susume.

The voice acting is fine too but with so many characters the list is long. I only recognized Takahiro Sakurai as Kuro/Diablo, Takehito Koyasu as Clayman, Kazuya Nakai as Laplace, Hochu Ohtsuka as Hakurou, Kenjirou Tsuda as Vesta, Kana Asumi as Trya and Jun Fukuyama as Leon. I thought Rie Tanaka has retired for good so I didn’t recognize her as Treyni. I guess sometimes you have to come back in a while just to surprise people like me. Or is it? The other casts are Miho Okasaki as Rimuru (Miku Nisho in Ongaku Shoujo), Yumiri Hanamori as Shizu (Seth in Radiant), Chikahiro Kobayashi as Ranga (Sugimoto in Golden Kamuy), Makoto Furukawa as Benimaru (Banri in Golden Time), Mao Ichimichi as Shion (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Takuya Eguchi as Souei (Kaidou in Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan), Sayaka Senbongi as Shuna (AnchoR in Clockwork Planet), Rina Hidaka as Milim (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Kenji Nomura as Geld (Ushiyama in Golden Kamuy), Kanehira Yamato as Rigurd (Kunimi in Noragami Aragoto), Jun Fukushima as Gabiru (Kazuma in KonoSuba), Ken Narita as Fuze (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha), Takaya Hashi as Dwargo (Joujin in Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou), Anzu Haruno as Ramiris (Mafuyu in Blend S), Asuna Tomari as Gobta (Ryuou in Dorei-ku The Animation), Tomoaki Maeno as Veldora (Junichi in Amagami SS), Taku Yashiro as Ifrit (Natsuo in Domestic Na Kanojo) and Megumi Toyoguchi as Sage (Revy in Black Lagoon).

I prefer the rock based opening and ending themes. At least the first ones. Nameless Story by Takuma Terashima and Another Colony by TRUE respectively. They fit the pace of the series better. Not to say that the second opening and ending themes suck but they sounded a bit toned down. Meguru Mono by Takuma Terashima and Little Soldier by Azusa Tadokoro feel like as though they are better suited for a non-action genre series.

Overall, this series has its ups and downs and many will accuse it of being another isekai cliché with the main character being so overpowered and making everything look so easy. Lots of other cardboard cut-out characters that don’t really matter too. In other words, many regard this as a bad copy of Overlord. That time when they reincarnated the isekai genre and churn it out as a super cliché. Although I agree with the bad clichés and overpowered main character don’t make it any much better, somehow I can’t find myself to hate or even dislike this series. The action bits kept me entertained but is that enough to trump all the other bad aspects? Maybe. I’m such a simpleton. After all, I think it is better to become a follower of an overpowered slime than to become part of a harem of a guy with an overpowered Smartphone! Phew! No App Disaster to be brought into this world!

Radiant

July 28, 2019

How often it is for an anime to adapt manfra? That’s French manga. Japan has taken countless of French stories and adapted them into anime like The Count Of Monte Cristo being adapted as Gankutsuou (don’t even get me started over that countless Jeanne d’Arc stories). But I think Radiant is the first that it is based on a manfra. So I suppose that is a big achievement, no? We’ll have to see if this ‘foreigner’ can live up to what Japanese manga expects since some Chinese and Korean manhwa do have got their adaptations but French? That’s really got to be the first. It must really have something.

As narrated, monsters known as Nemesis fall from the sky. When humans touch them, they are permanently cursed. But those who survive obtain magic known as Fantasia and they are the only ones who can fight against Nemesis. Even so, these people face great discrimination among the other normal humans for they fear it is a punishment from God or the wrath of mother nature. This is the story of a young boy who strives to become the greatest sorcerer ever. Why does this sound like Black Clover?

Episode 1
In the peaceful Pompo Hills, Seth tries to show off to Tommy his magic. Since nothing works, he tries his own original magic that of course goes berserk and causes the nearby elephant cows to rampage into town. Thanks to Alma, the damage is put to a stop. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. The townspeople blame Alma for bringing back luck despite it is clearly Seth’s fault. In fact, people don’t really have a favourable view on sorcerers and blame them for bringing bad luck. Seth would have wanted to give them his own piece of mind but Alma doesn’t want to provoke the situation any further and brings him home. Of course he gets reprimanded to clean the place and the usual lecture that if he wants to be treated like an adult, then act like one. Apparently being the rebellious kid he is, Seth doesn’t really learn from his lesson and continue to experiment with his magic. Worst case scenario happens as a Nemesis Egg lands right smack in the middle of town. I guess there’s a first time for everything since this town has never had a Nemesis attack before. Seth gears up to go tackle the Nemesis menace. Nothing really works until the Nemesis hatches out from its egg. You bet it is way stronger than Seth. Seth might be useless against this thing but when it comes to protecting Tommy, he has no qualms doing so. After letting Tommy escape, Seth is in danger of being squashed. How can he still think of showing others sorcerers are good when he lacks the strength to get out of his predicament? But do not fear. At such times, a hero will pop up to save the day, right? Here comes macho old guy Don Bossman, the leader of Bravery Quartet.

Episode 2
Bravery Quartet looks like a bunch of weirdoes with their own poses but they easily bind the Nemesis even if it is temporary. With cool motivational words, Seth wants to join him and fight Nemesis. So Don tells Seth to keep the Nemesis at bay while his gang go warn others to evacuate. And so Seth lets the Nemesis chase him around town while thinking of ways trying to outsmart it. Meanwhile we see Bravery Quartet’s true colours. They are actually bad sorcerers and are taking this chance to rob the bank when everyone has evacuated. Too bad the bank people haven’t yet. After rounding everyone up and stealing all the cash, Seth comes in to report he managed to restrain the Nemesis (how the heck does Seth know they are at the bank?). He is shocked to learn their real identity and is really disappointed because he believed in them. Don tells this naïve kid the harsh truth that sorcerers are blamed for everything. They only ask for help when threatened by Nemesis and once that is done, they hand you over to the Inquisition. Yeah, those people even prove that right now blaming them that Nemesis won’t come here had sorcerers been here in the first place. So are these people still worth saving? Luckily, the justice is still strong in Seth. He doesn’t accept their pathetic ways but when try to fight back, he is put down by their great magic. Bravery Quartet escapes because it’s time for the Nemesis to blow everyone to smithereens. Don’t worry people. Seth is the main character so you bet he is going to get up and protect them all with his awesome magic.

Episode 3
Seth dealt some damage to the Nemesis but not enough. As usual, had not Alma come back in time to finally put an end to this, it would have been over for this series. Seth recuperates back home as Alma explains she apprehended Bravery Quartet and at least Tommy gave his thanks. With Seth still bent on defeating every Nemesis so humans can get along, Alma talks about the legendary Nemesis Nest called Radiant. That is where all Nemesis Eggs come from but of course nobody has ever found it. You bet Seth wants to go find and destroy it. This brings back some old memories for Alma. She has no recollection of her past and the most she could remember was waking up after a fiery fight with a Nemesis. There was a young boy named Seth with her and the doctor mistaken her to be her son but as far as she is concerned, she has none. So as she travels to find her identity, she has Seth tag along. He was always a burden and the only reason she never tossed him away was the belief he is a link to her past. One day Alma went faraway to hunt Nemesis and left Seth alone. Some kids bullied him and unwittingly he unleashed his Fantasia. The townspeople wanted to burn this cursed boy but luckily Alma came back in time to shoo those heartless bastards away. It was then she realized how small and weak he was and took upon herself the role to not let anyone treat him like a villain again. Now Seth decides to set out on his journey and he thought Alma was going to stop him. I guess she knew he wouldn’t listen so she hands him some of her stuffs as parting gifts. One last big emotional hug before Seth gets going.

Episode 4
Doc sees Alma to get parts of the Nemesis. He sent his assistant, Melie in advance to tell her but apparently she never arrived. Seth has the bad luck of crashing into the Inquisition ship of Captain Dart Dragunov. He puts up a fight before being put in a black silver cage that nullifies his Fantasia. Seth regrets not listening to Alma properly. He was told to head to the town of Artemis and find a sorcerer named Yaga who might have an idea about Radiant. Seth meets Melie and her familiar Boobrie who are also captured. Doc then comes by but is also captured since Melie revealed the reason of her capture: She was tasked to retrieve Nemesis part (a crime under existing laws). Seth continues to brag how he is going to find Radiant and defeat all Nemesis while Doc isn’t so optimistic since he is more of a researcher and doesn’t want to die. Thanks to Boobrie stealing the guard’s keys, they are free. However Seth needs to get his stuffs back. He does but gets ambushed by the guards. As they put up a fight, Seth is impressed with Melie’s defensive magic. But when they are cornered again, Melie suddenly changes character into a badass girl. When in extreme stressful situations, her character will completely flip. Dragunov has got Melie in his point blank range but Seth uses his magic to bust them out of here. In no time, they finally reach Artemis.

Episode 5
In Artemis, Doc rushes Seth to be a citizen in hopes of ridding him. The ceremony is initiated by the head of Artemis, Master Lord Majesty. After Seth signs the contract, looks like he has also take on huge debts. Karma backfires because since Doc is Seth’s guardian, he will also share the debts! They go round looking for Yaga but Seth and Melie only incur more debts. Yeah, everything here costs money! A strange wizard approaches them and is willing to tell them were Yaga is if Seth answers a few questions. Seth gives his honest opinions on Artemis. As for why Majesty ‘extorts’ from his citizens, he shall see the answer now as the alert is sounded. The Inquisition’s ship is nearby and would have initiated a full scale attack had not they received orders from HQ to back down and not risk war with these powerful sorcerers. Majesty has used the money to pay off these people. Wouldn’t that make them come back for more? Anyway, this is where the money goes and that is why Artemis is the last sanctuary sorcerers go. No discriminations or persecutions. The wizard suggests Seth live here and protect this paradise. However Seth still wants to find and destroy Radiant. This might be a safe place but the rest of the world. If they want to help others, they must change it. If no one will do it, he will. With that, the wizard reveals himself to be Yaga. Hardly surprising unless you’re as dense as Seth and Melie. Dragunov reports his failure to capture Seth to General Torque. He is ordered to keep a close eye on his movements.

Episode 6
Because Yaga tells Seth to get stronger if he is to teach anything, Seth bugs Melie. Too bad she can’t explain well and thinks Doc can do the job. Hate to break your futile flirting with Kettle Café’s Melba (her herbal tea sucks, by the way – and she has a hand puppet as her father!) but Doc was initially reluctant to teach Seth anything at all. Until Melba notes about all the kindness and that crap that Doc wants to show off. But since Seth fails, Melie gets desperate. She turns into her crazy side and starts attacking! This is sure going to rake up the debts with all the buildings damaged. When a slab threatens to fall on her, Seth could suddenly pull off basic magic to save her. Why do I have a feeling his gloves are the one suppressing his power? So with Seth a bit stronger, as per agreed, Yaga takes him as his disciple. I don’t think strict hell training is going to scare him. On a side note, Seth lives with Melie since he can’t sleep anywhere for free and Doc refuses to take any more debts. Oh sure, conveniently she has an unused room in her home.

Episode 7
Looks like Seth still has a long way to go from Yaga’s training. I’m surprised Melba’s bad coffee isn’t going to be a running joke because Doc tastes her latest brew this one tastes really good! Suddenly Doc is kidnapped by a tentacle monster! Don’t worry. It’s not Nemesis. I guess this Kraken is classified as an animal that lives in Artemis’ sewers. Yeah, it likes coffee… Seth and Melie head down to rescue him but all their plans backfire. Yeah, somehow Doc is the one falling into their traps. This guy still alive after being dragged by Kraken for so long? So before the young ones can give up, time to remember what quitting is not in Seth’s vocabulary. The next time they face Kraken, looks like Doc has become acquainted with it! They’re coffee buddies! Seth’s plan is to dump a cauldron of Melba’s coffee onto himself. This makes him irresistible as Kraken swallows him whole. Despite the mind boggling nice coffee aroma, it tastes like sh*t. Even Kraken spits everything out. Is he going to get some stomach discomfort? Seth and Melie combine their power to take Kraken down but before that, Doc protects Kraken! Don’t hurt my friend! Devi? I guess that’s that. If Kraken is Doc’s friend, it is also Seth’s friend. Doc returns to normal life and he thought he could have more of Melba’s good coffee. Then the truth is revealed. It is actually her dad who makes it. Yeah, from now on, he will be making coffee for this loser. Doc is so the biggest loser.

Episode 8
All the training has wrecked Seth’s gloves. So Yaga makes him wear special black silver gloves that restricts any use of magic. Seth is unhappy but is made to think that there is more to this world than just power. If he takes off the gloves, he will be expelled. Seth and co are called by Majesty. Yeah, they have the highest accumulated debts ever in history. Seth, I don’t think that’s a record to be proud of. They must pay this up now or… Oh well, I guess it’s hard labour for them. Seth and Melie clean Artemis’ top. Then they spot Bravery Quartet trying to break in. Looks like they escaped from their low security imprisonment and why are they only in underwear? Because it gives them magic! Seriously. Don tries to make a deal to help free Seth from the gloves in exchange he lets this slide. But Seth refuses. Don then tries to sweet talk him about his potential strength and that the strongest in this world only gets what they want. The resisting force is still strong with Seth. He sure wants power but not use it like they pathetically did. Time to square off. Seth might have no magic but he uses Melie’s explosive magic as springboard for a dropkick on Don. When Don tries to take Melie hostage, Boobrie pecks him off. Don would have fallen to his death had not Seth swoop down to save him. But not after breaking his gloves. Later he apologizes to Yaga for breaking his promise but Yaga saw the whole thing and let this slide. He also repaired his gloves with some modifications and hints why Alma made him wear it all along. Because sorcerers cannot use magic with such gloves, those doing so bare handed will be considered a heretic. Alma’s foresight saved him from unwanted attention. It is discovered that Majesty setup this so he could capture Bravery Quartet via cheap means instead of deploying the army.

Episode 9
Dragunov’s team has been stationed near Artemis for so long that they are running out of provisions. Not if Dragunov can do some fishing and cook for his men. A newbie is starting to feel disillusioned with him as he thought being an Inquisition would be a more glamorous job. Soon they receive word that another Inquisition team led by Captain Edmund has been damaged after a fight with a Nemesis. They are to assist and repair the ship scheduled for HQ. Edmund boasts about his skills that drove the Nemesis away and also shows Dragunov the evil sorcerer prisoners he captured. Women, children and the old? As they fix the ship, the newbie thinks of requesting a transfer when the Nemesis returns. However it ignores the Inquisitions and head for the nearest town where there are lots of people. Edmund is relieved they don’t have to deal with this and doesn’t care if the people gets killed. But it’s a different story for Dragunov. He and his men’s goal is to take out threats that threaten the lives of powerless people. Hence taking out Nemesis is the same as weeding out evil sorcerers. Dragunov’s team easily defeats the Nemesis and it is only so since somebody else has already fought it and put a deep wound on it. When Dragunov returns, he arrests Edmund. His men has checked the prisoners and they lack any markings that indicate they are evil sorcerers. He knows it is easy to round these harmless people up and then accuse them of being sorcerers. He realizes Edmund has been using his false achievements to get where he is and will report this to Torque who will then judge him. The newbie has seen this side of Dragunov and decides to stay on his team.

Episode 10
Majesty throws a festival so foreigners can spend the cash. But the highlight is the broomstick race. Although the prize money is high, so is the participating fee. Seth contemplates on entering but this arrogant jerk, Nick who is double winners of this race starts badmouthing Alma. Seth won’t let it slide (excuse for this episode to air some recycled footage of Seth’s parting with Alma) and will win this race to prove Alma is the strongest. So as the race begins, Seth is put at the lowest odds. His broom might not be the most high-tech and expensive like Nick but it’s filled with Alma’s love! Majesty plays cheat by entering the race with his giant spaceship! Well, technically you keep the money if you win your own race. So with him blasting other competitors out, Seth puts a stop to this foul move. Thanks to Yaga’s training, he has gotten better and forces that greedy cat on eject mode. With the race entering the final stretch, Nick is in the lead but Seth is catching up. Desperate, he uses his turbo mode and blows his lackeys away. Although he reaches the finish line, Seth is the real ‘winner’ since he went to save those lackeys. Hey, I thought all those who participate wear a parachute? Whatever. It’s just to show that Alma’s teachings are never wrong. And Seth can only later dream he won the race because now Doc is once again exasperated for the increase in debt. He had to pay for his participation, you know. It’s not like taking on another debt would make a difference, right? Oh Seth… I understand money is of no value to him but sometimes…

Episode 11
Doc needs to find a job that makes a quick buck fast. So definitely he won’t take this Nemesis hunting job. Not if Seth and Melie wants to take it up. He tries to give excuses until Melba notes how brave it is for one to take up this job. Yeah. Love makes you do silly things. They make their way to Rumble Town, supposedly a noisy and industrial area but it looks more like a ghost town than densely populated. They stumble into that Nemesis but realizes there are 2 of them. A short bout before some pied piper calls them back. Man, there are hundreds of them now! Seth chases them but is attacked by a weird sorcerer, Grimm. He wants to know Seth’s goal in chasing those Nemesis as those Nemesis are his. They may be a clue to his past. Seth is not obliged to answer him so they fight and Grimm is much powerful than him. Melie helps out but the commotion will certainly draw attention and that is what Grimm dislikes. He retreats and as long as they are connected to that Nemesis, they will meet again. The Inquisition sees this and reports to the captain of the area, Konrad de Marbourg. He is happy he can go sorcerer hunting.

Episode 12
Konrad is shocked to see Dragunov, his former superior here. Konrad tries to assert he is now the boss here and won’t take any of his orders but instead Dragunov plays it cool and it is Konrad who gets impatient and loses his cool. Seth and co see Zeda who requested the hunt. He explains that his son, Taj had come into contact with a Nemesis. Thankfully he survived but he is now sneezing purple snot. Is this the curse? Because they are immigrants and highly discriminated against, nobody will believe their story and if they tell their son is infected, what would others think? Because Seth is determined to see this through, Taj shows him the place where he saw the Nemesis. Inside this building is a large tree with feathers. Melie mentions about Source Nemesis, the original Nemesis that could curse others. It can also create smaller clones called Echo Nemesis but those do not have the ability to curse and serve more like scouts. Then the ground starts shaking. Doc deduces that the constant boring of the land made it unstable. Hence some parts had no people because they were ordered to move. Seth has an idea. After everyone is evacuated, they observe from the sky and wait for the Nemesis to come out. True enough, they do. They use their magic to trap and capture it. The more Nemesis they capture alive, the more those money signs in their eyes begin to flash. Yeah, not only their debts will be gone, they’ll be filthy rich! Until Grimm destroys the trap. Like, WTF?! If he isn’t interested in them then why destroy their catch?! Luckily as he escapes, Melie has put a mark on him.

Episode 13
Doc wonders if Grimm is behind the disappearance of immigrants too. When Seth asks him about the marks on Nemesis, he explains when it glows, it means they are being controlled by sorcerers called Domitors. Dragunov hears rumours of the immigrants being blamed for everything. He knows this is Konrad’s doing and that his target are the immigrants. He will not interfere but warns if he is getting Nemesis get away while being so preoccupied with his goal to protect citizens (apparently immigrants don’t fall under the category of citizens). He shows him a letter that Torque and his Thaumaturges will be coming here since that sorcerer kid they are targeting is believed to be here. Looks like Konrad is definitely hiding something. He knows he can’t hide it any longer and will proceed to his final phase of his plan by using the sorcerers to create a chaos. Seth and Melie visit Taj’s house but it is destroyed. A passer-by says the Inquisitions have taken them away as immigrants and sorcerers are being accused of plotting terrorism. Konrad then rallies his people to cooperate with him to witch hunt immigrants to protect their town or risk repeating that tragedy 15 years ago. Doc hides from the mob and stumbles upon an abandoned home that serves as a nest for Nemesis. An Inquisition catches him now that he has seen the secret. The mob tries to burn Taj but luckily Seth comes to their rescue. The people retreat as they are scared, claiming they are only following orders from Konrad. Learning that Taj’s family are arrested by the Inquisitions for sheltering an infected, Seth vows to take Konrad and his men down. He downplays crazy Melie’s logic to hurt the people as they are only afraid. If they attack them, everything will be blown beyond repair. It won’t take long for Seth to encounter Konrad. Because he orders his men to fire on the district despite the people have not yet been evacuated. Because some sacrifices are needed to protect the peace.

Episode 14
Dragunov helps Konrad to defeat Seth. He has to give up because they see Doc as a prisoner. Oh my, he looks so old. Did they suck out his life force?! With the riots against the immigrants happening, Konrad uses this chance to lie to the public by blaming Seth as the one siding with the immigrants and hiding a horde of Nemesis. So to eradicate this quickly, he will destroy them all. This means trapping normal people in the area and sacrificing them too. Seth uses his Fantasia to beat up Konrad. However he orders his troops to fire. Grimm absorbs the shells. He asks if Seth knows about the Domitor. Since he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, consider Grimm his unexpected ally. Speaking of the Domitor, Hameline makes her move as she unleashes her Echo Nemesis to attack the people. Konrad wants to settle the score with Seth and reveals that Hameline works under him. The Echo Nemesis run rampage. Sorcerers and Inquisitions put aside their differences to save the people. Hameline has summoned a whirlwind and intends to crash the bell into the ground to cause a massive ground collapse.

Episode 15
The bell crashes into the Inquisition’s HQ. You mad, Konrad? Cue for Hameline to tell her sad story 15 years ago. She was part of a group of tainted children gathered to fight Nemesis. However they were thrown into prison and the people hated them for just that. Only the kind Major Oxumare treated them nicely and gave them a flute to play to ignore the mockery. However, Konrad who was a mere soldier at that time, detested all that. So one night he let the children escape prison. However he also told the crowd about their escape and hence began a witch hunt. By the time Oxumare intervened, all but Hameline died. When actual Nemesis dropped into Rumble Town, Konrad used this chance to have Oxumare put Hameline in the frontlines. But it is just a ploy for him to kill him. Scared Hameline fled and at a lost, started playing her flute. The Nemesis became attracted to her. At the same time, the Inquisitions bombed and let an entire district fell from the sky. Konrad continued to blame immigrants for this and he himself admits all that with the excuse of protecting this town. Hameline accuses him of accepting her offer when she said she would help rid of all immigrants. Though, Konrad denies this. But Konrad continues to admit he is willing to sacrifice more people to keep the town safe. Naturally the townspeople turn against him and think Hameline will be their saviour. Sorry to disappoint. She isn’t here to save them. She’s going to kill them. She considers all of them as the same as Konrad. Accomplices in murder. They never changed. Even if they said they weren’t around during that time or try to wash their hands off this, she views this all the same. Because they don’t want to shoulder the responsibility, they picked a leader to decide for them. Hence, she is going to destroy Rumble Town and lived for this day. Her destruction put on hold since Grimm has a question for her. Meanwhile Seth blames it all on Konrad for this mess. Epic power battle with Seth now even stronger without using Fantasia. I guess we’re tired of hearing Konrad blabbing about him being the impregnable wall of Rumble Town so here comes Seth’s Skull Burst to break down this immoral wall. XD.

Episode 16
With Konrad defeated, Seth goes to stop Hameline. Dragunov vows to arrest him after that. When Seth meets up with Melie, she is sad that Doc had died. However Seth shows Doc has turned into a baby! Seth stumbled into Doc’s corpse and bursting out from the stomach was this baby! Cute cuddling put on hold with Grimm telling them he doesn’t intend to sink with Rumble Town unless they have a plan to stop Hameline. Seth believes he can do so without killing her and Grimm would gladly lend his assistance. As they fly up the clock tower, Hameline unleashes Nemesis to attack them. In some strange burst of power, Seth is sucked inside the clock tower whereby he meets this strange guy with horns, Piodon. Melie and Grimm fight Hameline. Melie manages to seal Hameline’s Fantasia in a giant lamp while Grimm goes on a Nemesis killing spree. Piodon wonders about Seth’s strange seal that makes him unable to use Fantasia efficiently. He offers to get rid of it but asks whom Seth is fighting for. Is it the weak? The infected? The Inquisition? Seth can’t stay to chat so he leaves but thanks him for saving him earlier. Piodon believes they will meet soon again because they are family. Because of Hameline’s strong bond with the Nemesis, she could combine her powers with them. This means, Melie’s lamp is unable to absorb anymore of her Fantasia and Grimm’s giant sword has reach its limits. But don’t worry. Seth is here.

Episode 17
As Seth and Hameline fight, the latter accuses him of helping his enemies. Even when Seth says he wants to protect the people, this doesn’t bode well with her. She doesn’t care about the people and will let them die. Seth points out she is only doing the same things Konrad did. She does have a point about the people will never acknowledge him and will only use him for their own purpose. People’s attitude will never change. Despite Seth disagreeing with her, he points out he is the same as her. Although people treated him badly and at times he wanted to destroy everything, he refuses to become the monster they painted him. Seth overwhelms her but refuses to kill her or hand her over to the Inquisition. He wants her to join him in his journey to find and destroy Radiant. Only then everyone can happily live together when there are no more Nemesis. Conversation interrupted with Santori making his divine entrance. So people like them don’t use Fantasia but Miracles? Is there a difference? Must be the power being bestowed from God. Anyway, Santori wants Seth to be handed over as he lists down all his crimes that ranges from killing, stealing, etc. Seth doesn’t know all that but can’t help feel familiar with those murdered names. Hameline then takes Seth hostage in hopes to negotiate. However Santori rejects her demands. She attacks Santori so as to buy time for Seth to run away. She leaves her Nemesis siblings in his care. Bye. Seth would have wanted to stay behind to save her had not Melie and Grimm take him away and not let Hameline’s wish go to waste. Sadly, Torque kills her.

Episode 18
Seth tries to take on Torque but Von Teppes puts him down. Before he can kill Seth, Piodon did something that turns Seth into some monster that oozes out tremendous Fantasia. He easily pulverizes Teppes. Torque strikes him down and in the midst of the chaos, Grimm and Melie whisk him away. Grimm then shows some dimensional coffin where he put all the missing people. Those who were infected or witnessed Konrad’s atrocities are kept here and hence many thought people were missing from the Nemesis. But to get off Rumble Town, looks like Artemis sent a train to save them. Thaumaturges prioritizes saving the injured of Rumble Town and hence ‘allowed’ Artemis’ train to escape amidst the fireworks distraction. Seth is inside his own consciousness, blaming himself he couldn’t save Hameline. He also accuses Piodon of doing something but the latter explains had he not, he and his friends would have died. Seth laments that in his monster form, he couldn’t tell between friend or foe. Everything that Seth did was on his own. All Piodon did was to help him get in touch with the powers and memories he doesn’t know of yet. Then the revelation that we aren’t too surprised: Piodon is Seth’s older brother. After a week, Seth finally wakes up in Melie’s room. Grimm explains of Torque’s ability to nullify Fantasia. Since Seth’s arm was hit by it, it cannot be healed by any magic and he might never use Fantasia again. Seth doesn’t think it’s bad since he realizes all he is capable of is reckless violence. Rumble Town is under construction and since Konrad is gone, it will be better than before. Oh Seth, still blaming yourself that it was the Inquisition who saved the day? A bit of good news, Hameline’s Nemesis brothers are safe, living in Artemis’ facility.

Episode 19
With Seth’s heroics all over the news in Artemis, he is a hero. Too bad that gloom face that says it all. Because the news labels Hameline as an evil sorcerer. Oh, how will Melba ever love Doc now? Oh well, she finds him adorable and he has more skinship than ever he has of her in his life. Too bad her papa changes his diapers… Doc uses his secret stash of cash to buy an expensive potion to grow up. At least, he is now the body of a young boy. Just in time for the party Majesty throws to celebrate Seth’s heroics. But you know, Seth is still gloomy over his failure. Even when everyone sings praises of him, he denies of being a hero. F*cking Seth, still so down over Hameline’s death. Like, WTF?! Like he needs Nick to challenge him to some strength competition. Not in the mood. But Nick crosses the line by badmouthing Hameline so here comes a great sucker punch in his face. Seth snaps about many other sorcerers out there that shares Hameline’s tragic fate. That’s why he must destroy Radiant as soon as possible. He sounds disappointed that with so many sorcerers here, none know anything of Radiant. More sulking until Alma shows up to give him her usual beating. She wouldn’t have known had not Melie contacted her. She gives him a letter from Taj. He thanks him for what he did. Everyone now is helping to rebuild Rumble Town. He hopes to meet again. Seth might not been able to save some but he did change those he touched. Even back in Pompo Hills, everyone treats Alma nicer than before. Also, Melie disregarded her own wounds to nurse Seth back when he was in ‘coma’. With Seth’s blues blown away like that, now he goes around thanking those who helped him. At least better than moping around.

Episode 20
Thaumaturges discuss about Konrad’s actions have led to people’s trust in the Inquisition dipping. Teppes has been removed and punished for letting emotions get the better of him. Then there’s the case of Dragunov too… Speaking of him, his unit is facing food shortage as they had to give theirs to Rumble Town to help it rebuild. So hunting a few wild animals didn’t yield anything. Even calling towns for help, they are turned away. Yeah, nobody likes the Inquisition as much as before. When the newbie asks Dragunov about the things they do because at this rate the world will not get better, Dragunov replies that despite doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee good results. The newbie suggests asking from the town they saved from Edmund and surprisingly they are more than glad to help. So everything isn’t wasted. Kindness goes a long way. We take a detour as Melba’s coffee is getting thinner? Sorry, lack of coffee beans. Thanks to all the coffee and other supplies being rerouted to Rumble Town. At this rate her shop might close down. But what could me more concerning for Doc than her? Devi! Yeah, dried squid is so dried without coffee! Seth tries to help but after a few blunders, he gets it right. Only, he took out a loan from Majesty for the beans. Better enjoy the world’s most expensive coffee. Dragunov has got a personal letter from Torque. His vice knows it is an invitation to join Thaumaturges. At first Dragunov didn’t want to accept because he was worried about his men. But looks like he knows they’ll be alright. Just like Seth, he believes he needs to leave to protect those around him. His men will wait for his return one day.

Episode 21
Alma wants Seth to bring him to Yaga to talk about Radiant. However that guy went into hiding as he doesn’t want to see her but left a note. It says to go to Caislean Merlin, the capital of Cyfandir and meet the knight sorcerers as they are a bunch of people who are also looking for Radiant. But beware. The Inquisition has begun to hunt them down in hopes of regaining their reputation. Of course Doc will not go with Seth this time and doesn’t want to die again. He’s got enough problems on his hands already. Friends you say? Doc tells him straight that he is going to fight even stronger and crazier enemies. Is he willing to put Melie in danger? As he thinks about it, I doubt Majesty is here to give him any solid advice but a reminder to pay his debts. Because if he’s dead, he’ll still has to repay them! Does he have connections with heaven? Just then, many Nemesis Eggs plummet into Artemis. The sorcerers go to battle them but with Seth ‘frozen’, Nick mocks him for being a fake. Oh no. Seth, are you pitying Nemesis now?! Because Hameline said they are not all monsters. But with an egg dropping in to where Melie is, Seth ‘borrows’ Nick’s broom to rescue her before she becomes Nemesis chow. They both take it down but a moment when Melie let her guard down, the Nemesis strikes again. This scene traumatically reminds Seth of Hameline’s fate. He pushes out of harm’s way and takes the brunt. He is being dragged deep into the waters and this is when his berserk mode unleashed. This time the Nemesis is blown to smithereens. When he comes to, he is sad he once again lost control. Now that Seth is determined, the next morning he left a note to Melie saying that he has left since he can’t be bringing her along to his dangerous journey. Take care. He left with Alma and didn’t say goodbye to everyone either in fear he might want to stay. Yeah, blaming himself he caused everyone problems. Especially Doc with his debts, right? Oh, that guy is the most shocked in hearing Seth left.

Monster Hunter World
And as expected, there will be another season. But I am surprised that it only had this odd number of 21 episodes. It fuelled my speculation that it wasn’t expected to do well but I suppose it did and that’s why another season was announced. From the sneak preview that I see at the end of the final episode, it looks like it is going to notch things up a bit and things might get a little grimmer. After all, for light to shine the brightest, there has to be the darkest of the dark, right? And of course, don’t count on Seth going at this alone as Melie and Doc will soon catch up. You know, they’re friends, right?!

Also, despite that speculation of mine, initially I thought this series was going to be the next big long running anime. It was going to be the next Fairy Tail. The next Black Clover. The next Naruto or Boruto. The next Bleach. The next One Piece. So for them to just have 2 cours for the first season, hmm, something doesn’t feel right. Because as far as I can see the way the story and the pacing plays out, it certainly is going to look like one of those very long running animes that is going to lust for multiple cours. There are still other things and developments to flesh out and from what I can see from this season, this is just merely touching the tip of the iceberg.

Hence this season can be both good and bad at this point in time. As the manga, oops I mean, manfra is currently ongoing, there is of course the need to wait for more materials to be published. As you can see, this season has only 2 big main arcs: Artemis and Rumble Town. With the series taking several episodes to flesh out the stories and characters in both these arcs, it is good pacing to see Seth grows as a character but at the same time it hardly moves anywhere. Sure, Seth’s heroics of Rumble Town may skyrocketed his fame and status but if a story is about a boy who goes on an adventure to seek some imaginary place that is not supposed to exist, it is definitely going to be a very long journey and don’t tell me that Seth is going to find Radiant after hitting a few places. I mean, look at how freaking long One Piece has been running and they still can’t find that One Piece! Heh. You get what I mean. But thankfully, Radiant doesn’t take as long as One Piece for its single arc that could span to as long as a half a year to a year! Is that good? Is that disappointing? I know it is wrong to directly compare this series with One Piece but with the vibe Radiant has been giving off initially, I really thought it was going to at least be Black Clover’s rival.

Like I have already said, the story and pacing is building up at a reasonable pace. It does take its time trying to flesh out Seth as the main character as well as the other supporting characters. Sometimes they have time to even put in fillers especially after the big Rumble Town battle, we get this very slow moving and boring couple of episodes as the characters ponder their next move. That is why I thought this series was going to be the next big thing (sorry if I sound like a broken recorder on this). Because when you have long running series, it is without a doubt that sometimes they need to put in filler episodes to fill up the space while they make preparations for the next arc. Even though this Rumble Town arc lasted for about 10 episodes, somehow it felt like a bit draggy to me. Initially I thought it was just going to be 3 or 4 episodes and the final arc would be something else but it eventually lasted till the end of the season. Oh well, goes to show that sometimes my own guts and expectations can be dead wrong. On a trivial note, is Rumble Town’s immigration problem a take on the current USA’s issue of influx of illegal immigrants? Must be just coincidence.

On a trivial note, sometimes I believe Radiant is aimed for younger audiences like teens. Sure, there are some dark themes and well, some character dies but the overall feel of the series can be said as, uhm, how should I put it, bubbly? Like the narration at the beginning as well as the next episode preview is narrated in a way that makes me think that well, maybe this series is targeted for young teens to watch. This is no Shingeki No Kyojin or even Goblin Slayer but if you put Radiant and One Piece side by side and if I had to pick one for my young nephews to watch, I would have gone with Radiant without a doubt. Of course One Piece keeps going forever and that means they’ll be glued to the screen forever… Theoretically!

Character wise, surprisingly there isn’t a lot of characters. At least not yet. We have the main character, Seth. His groupie, Melie and Doc. The master, Alma and Yaga. Animal mascots, Boobrie and Devi. Mystery ally, Grimm. The scheming brains, Majesty. The supposed antagonist, Torque and his Thaumaturges. And the anti-hero or how should I put it, fighting on the wrong side? Yup, that’s Dragunov. Did I miss out anybody? Oh Melba, where should I put her? Anyway, if I look at this series generally about character development, not really good either. I did say that the story and pacing was to help develop the character. Yes, but that is for the long run. For this season, it doesn’t look like it moved anyway. I mean it did. But not very much.

Seth as the main character, we see him grow from a reckless sorcerer into one taking fate and destiny into his own hands. Oh wait. Seth has been the same reckless sorcerer with his staunch ideal of justice from the start. Literally Seth is Seth from the beginning till the end. Lots of anime main protagonist seem to fall into this cliché trap. How much different a character can you make Seth from Luffy, Natsu or Naruto? And hence you’ve got a kid who has lots of power but is a simpleton. I guess that is why they usually always win in the end because it is not complicated unlike complex brainy villains who planned this and that with backup plans here and there. Yeah, how not to fail like that? Also, they rant about their plans to the heroes cliché. Heh. And oh, to top the cherry on the icing for being a cliché main character is that Seth has this hidden latent power, now taking in the form of his berserk mode. How convenient. Wanna bet he is going to learn and control it by the time the climax comes around?

Anyway, I am fine with Seth being that typical stereotype of main character until they made him such an annoying kid when he couldn’t get over the death of Hameline. I mean, that was like the worst. I know they want to portray him as a character who realized he is weak and needs to get a lot stronger (because there is always room for improvement) but they spam it so much that it is just intolerable. Like, WTF?! Oh God. Can we move on already? Instead of looking at the positive side of the numerous lives he changed (Tommy and Taj to name a few), he had to focus on his one miserable failure. And it’s not really his fault either. So he wants to mope around forever like that? Oh yeah, thank goodness for Alma to come smacking some reality back into his mind. I guess that’s the only reason to bring her character back. While it looks like Seth might have gotten over it, but that ghost of a regret is hinted to linger on. That’s fine too. But don’t overdo it, okay? Don’t make it Seth’s weakness that when he is faced with another similar situation, this fear paralyzes him. Please don’t. I know Seth can do better. Don’t even start on him starting to slowly sympathize with Nemesis. It makes his life’s mission and setting of this series redundant for the sake of plot twist.

As for the other characters, not really much is known about them or fleshed out properly. Especially Melie and Doc. Melie feels like your token cute girl because every main character groupie needs to have a kawaii bishoujo, right? Right. Since she has another alter ego, it is never explained how she got this and it would be interesting to see the backstory to this side of hers in the next season. Yeah, I guess Boobrie really loves this sadistic version because you see hearts in his eyes whenever she is in this mode. Doc is like the whiner, complainer and pessimist of the group. He feels like a comic relief character because of his failed one-sided love to Melba and constantly being piled up with debts thanks to Seth. He claims he doesn’t want to help them but from what I can see, he still cares for them despite all he has said because he could just walk off and not entertain them anymore but keeps coming back. Yeah, maybe it’s fate. And those damn debts that tie their fate together.

Speaking of love interest, this series seems to lack every inch of it as it is marketed as some fantasy action adventure oriented. But if our guts and experience tells us, will it be Seth x Melie? Has cutie pie Melie already fallen for Seth from the start? She might be sticking around him because she is so impressed with him whatsoever but what if it is because she likes him? What if her alter ego was just a fake front to hide her love for him? Notice how she usually gets stressed up when Seth is in danger, causing her to be this BDSM queen? No? Must be me then? Since Seth too has another dark alter ego, I guess they’re a match, no?! Because I think Seth x Melie is more probably than Doc x Melba! My conspiracy theory is that Melba also likes Doc but puts a barrier in the form of her hand puppet father. She looks and sounds a bit dumb but I think she isn’t. Especially making poisonous coffee all the time. Think about it. How can her business survive when she makes such bad coffee? Oh sure, her father backs her up but I want to really believe her father is just a hand puppet.

Torque looks like the big bad guy but I doubt that he is so and he only looks mean and his goals might sound a bit tough but I am predicting that his sense of justice doesn’t stray too far as from Seth’s. After all, this guy doesn’t talk much unless when necessary. I’m thinking there will be another hidden bigger baddie to all this and that Seth and Torque will eventually cooperate with each other. Same case for Dragunov. He might be fighting against Seth now but in time I foresee they will be fighting on the same side of justice. We also assume Grimm is on Seth’s side but that is only their goals somewhat aligned. Remember, this guy who talks in third person may be more than meets the eye.

One of the biggest nonsense I find about the setting of this series is how sorcerers are treated badly by others. Yes, it is stated that they are cursed by Nemesis but the only ones with powers to take them down. Are they trying to teach us that the world itself is ungrateful no matter what you do? And that only those with strong sense of justice and goodness can arise from this? That’s so screw up if you asked me. People who have no qualms scorning them but yet cower behind sorcerers during Nemesis’ attack, they are the worst. Damn, it’s not like they are even trying to hide it! If I existed in this world, I would have gladly joined Bravery Quartet! (Why do I feel these characters are like those jiggly butt jokers of Fairy Tail and Rave?). It doesn’t make sense since Inquisition are also out to capture such sorcerers but doesn’t Thaumaturges have one? Piodon, anybody? Oh come on. Do you not see his costume is clearly from the Inquisition? Oddly, if Torque’s main ability is to nullify Fantasia, wouldn’t it be a lot easier if he just went around and do that to other sorcerers? Turning them back into normal human beings? No more sorcerer discrimination, hooray! Sometimes I think that Nemesis randomly rain down on human civilization to attack them is because to wipe them out for being assholes. People are the real dicks (which is somewhat true). Only if those sorcerers didn’t get in the way! Uh huh. Plot twist! Nemesis aren’t the bad guys! Isn’t that why Seth is starting to think that not all Nemesis are bad?

Action bits are rather okay. Not to say they are mediocre nor are they mind blowing but for an action series, I suppose it is suffice. With big explosions and effects, I guess they really exaggerated the effects of using Fantasia. It’s magic! After all, with Seth being just somewhat a beginner in using his Fantasia, we see him pull off a few variants of punches and the recent Skull Burst. Then we have Melie casting her Meteor Drops, barriers and traps. In time maybe they will learn more and add to their repertoire of skillsets. Does Dragunov shoot anything else except with his bow? Oddly, a series about hunting down Nemesis, there aren’t really a lot of them. Sure, you can count them with your fingers. And I don’t mean Hameline’s brothers as individual Nemesis but a collective one.

As for the art and animation, everything looks clean, bright and colourful, also the reason why I said it looked like a series aimed for younger audiences. Some really weird character designs because what’s with the main female characters having weird hairstyles? Like Alma’s big bushy broomstick hairstyle and Melie’s killer croissant drills? Some character designs look familiar like Torque I thought Fairy Tail’s Gajeel was moonlighting as the high commander of Inquisition. Before Doc turned into a baby, I thought he look like that character from Cartoon Network’s Codename Kids Next Door, Numbuh 2. Why does the Nemesis feel like they are rejected designs of Bleach’s Hollow? This series is animated by Lerche who did Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Asobi Asobase, Mahou SHoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Kuzu No Honkai, Danganronpa and the reboot of Kino No Tabi.

Voice acting, they used a lot of popular seiyuus like Aoi Yuuki as Melie, Takehito Koyasu as Grimm, Romi Paku as Alma, Koji Yusa as Dragunov, Kappei Yamaguchi as Majesty, Nao Touyama as Melba and Sho Hayami as the narrator. Saori Hayami and Ayane Sakura also lend their voices as members of Thaumaturges but sorry I didn’t catch their characters’ names here. The other casts are Yumiri Hanamori as Seth (Hayasaka in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Shintarou Oohata as Doc (Morgan in Beast Saga), Kenta Miyake as Torque (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Hiroyoki Yoshino as Yaga (Favaro in Shingeki No Bahamut), Ryohei Kimura as Piodon (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Yumi Uchiyama as Hameline (Maki in Toji No Miko) and Katasuki Murase as Konrad (Three in Hamatora) and Tetsu Inada as Don (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill).

The opening theme is Utopia by 04 Limited Sazabys. I didn’t like this because it is like punk hard rock and the constant bass drubbing feels like you need to be high are on drugs while doing head banging if listening to this song. Really. Hence I prefer much the ending theme which is as the same name of this series and sung by Polkadot Stingray. It has this funky feel to it and the electric guitar accompaniment isn’t too shabby either. Though, the singer’s voice might sound a bit flat but it is still way better than mine!

Overall, even if this doesn’t seem like the next big anime that will stand alongside the other aforementioned big anime titles, Radiant is still Radiant and stands by itself as a decent fantasy action adventure genre. Story, characters and action all feel pretty much cliché and standard like any other stories about a young character setting out on a journey to defeat the main evil and bring ultimate peace to the land and in the midst discovers more about himself and changes for the better. It is still too early to call and judge it and even maybe a second season won’t be enough if it is to strive for higher greatness and garner followers and fans from all around the globe like One Piece. Even with its flaws and shortcomings, this series still did what it takes to shine through. There is still a radiant of hope after all. Because (to borrow a quote from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) if the series (and Seth) wants to shine like the sun, they must first burn like the sun. Keeping shining forward!

Marchen Madchen (cont)

July 13, 2019

Oh well. Better late than never. After that horrendous production issues, I never thought Marchen Madchen would have their final 2 episodes released. But yeah, call it a miracle and that all stories must come to an end, finally those couple of episodes made its way out instead of being lost forever in the wilderness of abandoned production hell. Uh huh. Better make a few bucks off those DVD and BD sales. Unfortunately I can’t remember anything much although the series only came out less than a year ago. Girls using their fairytale origin powers to fight in some tournament. Remember that? Yeah. We’ll always remember this series for its infamous art and animation quality then.

Episode 11
Lynne has gone crazy. She thinks papa is so good to give a useless girl like her a present. Meanwhile our Japanese side are hanging out together and Sachi is bragging about taking on the Germans since her debut wasn’t enough. It’s not like she did anything right then either. Speaking of Germans, yeah they overheard her. Want to have a go now? Thankfully Agathe doesn’t want to waste time with this since tomorrow’s finals will prove everything. Later Hazuki talks to Agathe who starts talking about the doll she has. Funnily, Hazuki doesn’t laugh like Agathe expects since others always do so. Hence Agathe goes into b*tch mode reminding her she isn’t here to make friends. Huh? When Hazuki is teased by Misa about her ‘boyfriend’ and to introduce that loved one to her family, Hazuki is motivated to win Hexennacht to bring Shizuka to her home. Sugami tries to get Committee 13 to postpone the finals for tomorrow because it looks like James is plotting something but you know, they’re not going to do anything unprecedented. They’re going to regret it because right before the finals start, Lynne unleashes her present from papa. It is a tube containing a Fleck. She gets swallowed and turns into a rampaging Fleck. Everybody evacuates but apparently Agathe tries to be a heroine and got swallowed by it. Uh huh. Some C-grade horror flick with silver liquid coming out from all her orifice before she turns into one. Why the f*ck is everybody standing there watching in shock? Aren’t they going to try and stop her? Because Agathe is now going to destroy the library that houses all the Origins. Yeah, for a place that keeps all the important documents, its defence is pretty much weak. And f*ck, now the English side moves. So is this what they mean about you’ll know when the time comes? Arthur explains with Agathe as the vessel, Shizuka’s new magic and Arthur’s holy sword, the prophecy will be fulfilled to stop this disaster. So Shizuka gets to avenge her mom? Don’t forget, Hazuki is the main character and she’s going to do something about it. She unleashes her magic but this teleports her to another dimension. She meets a person who is the personification of Cinderella. Not sure what crap she’s spouting about miracles. Because of that the backlash of altering reality is so heavy that one would shatter. WTF?! She claims Hazuki doesn’t have to do anything as her friends will stop Agathe. It might not be perfect but it’s still a happy ending. However Hazuki can’t accept it. She’ll make her own ending.

Episode 12
All the girls cooperate to combat Agathe. Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, a group of heroes fighting a giant lone baddy is now the standard everybody vs Thanos. Arthur has Shizuka power up because looks like the only way they’re going to end this madness is to sacrifice Agathe and Lynne inside. Yeah, got to do what the prophecy says. And everybody doesn’t like this. But what else can they do? Don’t worry. There’s always the other option. Because Hazuki returns. She has everyone join powers. Come on everybody! Join your hands together! Before Agathe and Lynne could be swallowed forever in the Fleck, those hands pull them out! With them in safe hands (pun intended), this allows Shizuka to drop her moon on the Fleck! You mean that really killed the Fleck?! And why does Arthur looked so shock? You mean she never saw this coming or even expect this? No wonder she isn’t the main character… In the aftermath, Hazuki invites Shizuka to her place. Saeko and Misa shocked and confused she isn’t a boy… Yeah, how did they jump to that conclusion? In Hazuki’s room, Shizuka sees a picture of Hazuki’s real mom. Hmm… Doesn’t she look like the actual identity of that personified Cinderella? Shizuka reports this year’s Hexennacht ended in a draw. So no victor. Why not cancelled all the results outright if that’s the case? Agathe is recuperating well. She wanted to thank Hazuki because when she was inside the Fleck, she heard a voice and that was the reason that she was able to come back. Meanwhile Lynne is sulking. But eventually becomes a cry-baby after Angelina gives her sisterly hug. Hazuki and Shizuka revisit ground zero of the moon drop. It’s going to take a while to repair the damage. Then Shizuka brings her to the original site where the tragedy occurred 7 years ago. Still nothing growing till this day. She was here on the day she first met Hazuki. She accredits Hazuki for saving her and the reason why she could fight in Hexennacht. Hazuki helps sprinkle her magic all over the world and he friends could tell it’s her brand of magic. Wow. So magical that it sprouts flowers and greens all over???!!! Damn, it’s really a miracle. Sugami is approached what seems to be the ghost of Shizuka and Hazuki’s mom. Take care of our daughters, please. And finally the words we all have been somewhat waiting and expecting to here: Shizuka confesses she likes Hazuki and wants to be her friend. Hey, I thought they were already one? I guess this is official since Hazuki accepts her friend request. Sorry yuri fans. No kiss.

What The Fleck?! The Magic Of Crappy Ending
I wasn’t really that enthusiastic going in watching the couple of final episodes of the series. After all, I was only doing so to get some sort of closure and not really expecting anything much. And the series did stay true to that. It didn’t exceed any of those expectations and hence, uhm, a successful failure? Like I’ve said earlier on, the production issues plaguing the series has been a curse and bane and it is somewhat a miracle that they managed to release them in less than a year instead of taking 10 years later or forever. So even if the ending is pretty much cliché and meh, at least the ‘happy ending’ is that we get somewhat of a closure to this series. We can now file everything and dump it all in the darkest corners of our minds or wherever. This series is done. We can all move on now. Heh. Sad ending, really…

Looking at the art and animation quality this time round, they seem pretty decent and passable. I’m not saying they really put in a lot of effort in those months to make it look good but at least it wasn’t so obviously bad when they aired those horrendous episodes on TV. This was and should have been the quality of the overall series from the start to finish. Just borderline okay with nothing much to shout about and nothing special. Thanks to that no-QC episodes, the series will forever be remembered as such no matter how decent the animation quality improves or even if it really becomes super gorgeous like Shingeki No Kyojin or the Fate series.

Character wise, it’s like they try to make some sort of redemption for the other multi-national girls but it really falls flat. Remember how we couldn’t see those Chinese and Indian schools in action? Well, yeah. We get a glimpse of them here. And that isn’t amount to anything much since everybody is just giving their one shot effort to bring down the Fleck possessing Agathe and Lynne. By the time it all ends, you won’t remember them nor do they actually matter. And they throw in the twist hinting that Hazuki’s mom may be among those Origin users who fought Fleck 7 years ago and perished. So it somewhat makes sense and connects to why her daughter is drawn to this fate. But I’ll say the most interesting-cum-annoying character still goes to Sachi. This girl should be given her own spinoff. She never stops yapping about wanting to be in the spotlight and even right till the end, still shamelessly b*tching about not being credited. Oh Sachi, you’re just a minor character. What more do you want? That’s why I suggested having your own spinoff where you can be as lame and energetic all you want.

Overall, still a mediocre series that ultimately disappoints. They say time heals all wounds and maybe that is partly a minor reason why I don’t really hate this series nor do I feel so dramatically dissatisfied. Because my heart is not there anymore for this series. Haha! What is supposed to be a story about 2 girls who lost their moms from a tragic incident trying to be friends, instead dragged in a myriad of fairytales that aren’t related into a poorly written plot. Will the Fleck be back again? Because it sure looks like some discount Terminator silver liquid metal thingy whose weakness seems to be the moon. Will Hexennacht be the same again next year? Fire those damn Committee 13 spineless old hag b*tches. Will Lynne be forgiven? Always give America a second chance! Will Hazuki and Shizuka end up having yuri sexual relations? Hentai versions if you look harder, definitely. Some stories are not meant to be told. Ever.

Old propeller planes like the Zeros and Spitfires are boring compared to their modern counterparts like F-15 and MiG, huh? Lacking the firepower and the exhilarating Mach speed that would make you go faster than the speed of sound, huh? Well, I’ve got news for you. Don’t look down on old single propeller fighter planes too. Because in the world of Kouya Kotobuki No Hikoutai where the enter land is filled with nothing but desert sand and there are air pirates threatening the skies and livelihood of isolated towns, there is literally no one else you could rely on but these magnificent girls riding their magnificent propeller planes to come save the day. Thank your lucky stars for such great piloting skills.

Episode 1
The Kotobuki Flight Corp girls consisting of Kylie, Reona, Emma, Kate and Zara are chilling out in a bar when Adolfo from Yamada from Nazarene Air Force tries to hit on them. He mentions some of his records and achievements but the girls aren’t impressed and instead make a mockery out of his puny achievements. He really would have wanted to have a go had not his friends stop him. Just in time because the alert has been sounded. Pirate bogeys have been spotted and all pilots are to sortie. The captain of the Hagoromo blimp, Saneatsu issues his orders to take down the pirates and protect the cargo. It is very important because their employer, Madame Loulou despite will reward them for every enemy they shoot down, if one of the cargo goes down, that’s it for them. And so we see the Nazarene side being easily taken out without a fight. Time for Kotobuki to strut their stuffs. They stray a little too far and more pirate reinforcements pop up to attack Hagoromo. Although Hagoromo takes some damage, it is still airworthy and the Kotobuki girls manage to return in time to smoke them out. With the remaining pirates fleeing, Reona gives orders to her crew not to chase and return. However Kylie spots a rogue pirate and chases after it. This is a skilled one as they continue to engage in aerial dogfight. A tricky one too with, leading Kylie into the clouds and almost letting her crash into the ground. If not for Kylie’s skill and good luck, she would have crashed hard. Ultimately the enemy deals some minor damage to the plane but when Kylie is within range of defeat, it looks like time is up for the enemy so he flees instead. Kylie is frustrated and insulted. When Kylie returns to base, she is punched by mechanic, Natsuo for doing something reckless again. When Hagoromo lands safely, the Kotobuki girls immediately head off to town to do their own thing instead of receiving the reward.

Episode 2
As the Kotobuki girls drink in town, they hear a commotion outside. Looks like their comrade, Chika is trying to teach a few men who are looking down upon them. Yeah, she beats him up with her crutches. Kylie even joins in when her pancake was accidentally wasted. Once all that is over, Chika seems jealous that she wasn’t invited to their ‘party’. Technically she is hospitalized but is now discharged early. Bratty girl always seem to quarrel with Kylie on the pettiest of things. They have to put it on hold since they get a call from Saneatsu for another mission. As Loulou explains, this time they will escort Councillor Julia. You can instantly tell she has an attitude problem and basically a b*tch. So why choose to fly this crappy service? Because she hates Loulou. So as Saneatsu shows her around Hagoromo, the rest deduce Loulou and Julia must have go a long way for them to hate each other like that. It seems she gets her kicks by making enemies wherever she goes. Then there’s this sick perversion of men always flocking to Loulou but Julia will steal them before they get to her, twist and use them before tossing them away. Talk time is over with bogeys spotted. They thought they are just the usual pirates but their numbers suddenly rise up to 30. Even more surprising is how they are using the expensive Hien type planes and their formation is very controlled. Skilled fighters to say the least but of course our Kotobuki girls are still better. Even during the dogfights, Kylie and Chika can continue to be buttheads with each other and still shoot down the enemies and cover for each other despite not really liking this order Reona put them up to (they have to or she’ll ground them the next time). They are so in unison. Are they friends? Enemies? Frenemies? In the end, Julia arrives safely and Loulou hopes she would never fly with them again. But what if Julia flash the cash? Loulou is not impressed as Julia waves a load of lovely goodbyes to her. The Kotobuki girls hang out and nobody is paying attention to bratty Chika bragging. For the eleventh time…

Episode 3
Upon reaching the town of Rahama, they find it partially destroyed. Talking to the mayor, it seems a small group of salesmen from Elite Industries flew in. They want to exchange their old Raiden plane for this (fake) painting. They rejected of course and when they leave, they attacked the town as sourpuss and promised to return with their full force. So is it worth to give up Raiden which is the pride of Rahama just to save the town? The mayor thinks so because Loulou’s bill is too much for his budget. But his vice thinks they should fight. Too bad in the name of democracy, the mayor decides to hold a discussion with everyone to come to a solution. As expected, the town is split. Everybody’s shouting and disagreeing. Until Emma steps in to give them a piece of her mind. If they allow this trade, they will be back to demand more. Plus, if everyone agrees to help out, Loulou might cut him a deal. With everyone reminiscing the old days of protecting each other, they want to fight back and thus the mayor finally decides to go with that. With Elite Industries returning with a strong 40 plane fleet, they take Rahama by surprise by coming from the other direction. This is the opposite of where Kotobuki is. Hence the local vigilantes suit up and take flight. But Elite Industries won’t have it easy as they display Raiden in the middle of town (they can’t damage it) and they have ground artillery support. The locals hold them enough for Kotobuki to return for a real challenging dogfight. When Emma is shot but before being blown out of the sky, here comes the mayor flying the Raiden to save her. A dilemma for Elite Industries because they cannot shoot it down. Too bad Raiden runs out of bullets so the boss hijacks it and kicks the mayor out! That easy?! With mission accomplished, Elite Industries retreat. Kotobuki is forced to give up. Although this is a failed mission, the vice believes this is a wakeup call for Rahama to believe they can protect their town like they used to. Emma apologizes to the mayor and thanks him. But it’s not over for Loulou yet. Because as per their contract, they are to protect Raiden. Yup, they’re going to get it back.

Episode 4
As Kotobuki reach the next town, they receive a warning shot from an old guy. However it wasn’t the Elite Industries but those darn air pirates. It gets personal when Kylie realizes the pancakes are also the casualties. It’s getting personal. They discuss about getting into Elite Industries’ base which is located in the natural canyons. When they show him a painting, he claims it is drawn by the boss’ daughter. Since Elite Industries just ordered a bunch of dance girls to their base, this is a great chance for Zara to disguise as one of them and infiltrate. Yeah, she’s hypnotizing the men with her dance moves. She challenges them to drinking and none can even hold their beer. Perfect time for her to sneak around. She finds Raiden in chains and the boss’ daughter holds the key. So she visits her and sees her trying her hand at drawing. Zara gives some motivational advice and Zara wants her to be her model. Meanwhile the other Kotobuki girls take this chance to ambush the base as distraction and in hopes Zara will get Raiden in 10 minutes. Or else they will have to find and rescue Zara and abandon Raiden. I wonder how they could fly through those tight canyons at night!!! It’s like they know the place like the back of their hand or are they on auto pilot mode?! With Kotobuki beginning their attack, Elite Industries is taken by surprise as they scramble to sortie but many of their planes and equipment have been grounded by the sneak attack. With some managing to take flight, however there seems to be a rebellion from within the company. The HR chief along with the sales division have teamed up to attack the boss. Kotobuki is confused but it buys more time for them. Meanwhile some men try to steal the daughter’s key but Zara easily beats them. The daughter gives Zara the key in hopes she could save her father. Zara takes Raiden to the skies as she chases after the HR chief. He pulls a sneaky move on her by escaping via a hidden small hole and this forces Zara to pull up hard. Luckily she is still in one piece as she rendezvous with her pals. Since they’ve got Raiden, they’re out of here. In the aftermath, the boss and his loyal men have turned over a new leaf and will make an honest living. His daughter is pleased when Zara keeps a painting of hers.

Episode 5
The usual Kylie and Chika bickering almost had them being run over a car. Luckily this driver is quick. Such an eccentric joker too. Is he a street magician? Kotobuki is called by Julia for a mission. In a few days, she will have to attend a meeting she hates. She has to meet with Isao who is the head of View Trading because she can’t stand the way he tries to preach his ideals to become famous. I guess there’s nothing wrong about justice, safety, unification, mutual benefits, etc. Is it because Julia can’t be a sneaky shady b*tch now that Isao is turning those in power to his side? Because of that, there would be air pirates targeting the meeting. Julia could ask the local Areshima services for protection but she doesn’t want to be in their debt and would rather be in Kotobuki’s. By now, we should know that eccentric street magician is Isao and man he loves playing pranks. Either you love him or find him annoying. With Loulou not around, looks like Kotobuki is split in whether to accept the job but Reona is adamant to take on the job. This has the rest wonder her strange act ever since Isao came into the picture. Is it love? Is it some debt repayment? The day Julia and Isao have their meeting (I thought it sounded more like a comedy talk show!), air pirates attack. It looks like there’s a handful of them so Kotobuki should be enough to engage. The couple of guys who are remnants of Nazarene just get to patrol the other peaceful end. Until it turns out it was a diversion and the enemy horde is heading from this direction. I figure Nazarene has to hold them until Kotobuki arrives. Just in time because they run out of bullets. Time for the guys to head home in shame while the girls do their usual kickass. Their aim is to take out a couple of heavy bombers. During the dogfight, Reona becomes ruthless, something that Zara points out to the rest that this is her true nature. But so ruthless that she almost fell for a trap and Kate had to cover for her. Kylie lashes out at Reona if she wants to get ahead of herself, do so by all means but don’t let others take your fall. With the enemies closing in, Julia will not evacuate as not to be deemed a coward. Isao? He is going to fly! Yup, he was once known as the Soaring Magician. And now only Reona remembers him?! That guy who shot down a dozen enemies in some war?! The guy who saved her from being shot down?! I know she hasn’t seen him in 8 years but she can’t even remember him until he flies? As usual, Isao shows off his skills and even takes down the last bomber that crashes right at the doorstep of the hotel of the meeting. The tea must be still warm and nice for Julia.

Episode 6
Reona feels guilty for acting out of line and wants to be indebted but is told to believe in her squad and let them help out whenever they can with no strings attached. Hence Chika asking to borrow money! That was really a fast one! Kylie went to see Julia to get their payment. On her way back, she spots that rogue air pirate and chases after it. It seems the rogue pirate is toying with her as they fly through the skies and canyons. The rogue pirate is much better than her and you bet Kylie is mad and trying to get the better of her. In the end, Kylie is shot down. End of chase. Thankfully, only her engine is blown out. Her plane is still intact as well as its fuel tank. Phew. Man, how did she even landed so perfectly? She recognizes this place as Ofukouyama, a small slab of flat rock in the middle of nowhere that rookie pilots used to practice short landings but always ended with disaster. Hence the wreckage all around. Meanwhile the other girls are worried that Kylie might have run off with the money but they believe she won’t because she’s not into all that. Okay. Time to mount a search. As Kylie scavenges the wreckage to find parts, we see her flashback. She met an old man name Sab and is interested in him because she thinks she come from outside and knows a lot. She often hangs out in his place and is not scared of him despite his fugitive status. Better than her own home where they always fight for food. She soon learns he came from Yufang. People there came here via a hole to build planes and factories but one day they left. Did Sab get left behind? He didn’t say. Since she continues to be amazed by his stuffs and wants to know more, Sab takes her flying in his plane. Awesome view for a kid flying the first time. One day she overheard a guy wanting Sab to come back but he rejects the deal. Soon Sab shuts her out and the next time she returns, his hut is burnt and she felt disappointed he left without her. Kylie has fixed her plane and prepares to take off. Remembering the teachings of Sab, she pulls it off. Yup, you don’t fly a plane. It flies itself. You just follow its lead. Not sure if Sab died but Kylie made a tombstone for him and promised to go see the world. Just in time for Kylie to rendezvous with her comrades. Feels good to be home.

Episode 7
Kylie and Kate are having a mock dogfight as Natsuo is testing the octane level of the cheap fuel they bought. Kylie thought for once she beat Kate but soon realized it’s because Kate was being held back by the cheaper fuel. This cheap fuel proves a drop in performance and they should avoid using this fuel altogether. The irony is that Standon Oil Company as one of the biggest companies out there is supplying it. Kate goes to see her brother, Allen in hospital. He is interested in finding out the disappearance of Yufang but was attacked during one of his flights and still recuperating. The Nazarene guys stop at Nanko to refuel. They notice a plane from Standon here. Talking to the bartender, it seems they are here to make a deal to buy out their oil. However there is no deal struck yet since Nanko rather have quality over quantity and know these corporate guys will make them work to the bone for every last drop. Soon after, the oil fields suddenly explode and the entire town is on fire. Hence the Nazarene guys fly over to the next town for reinforcements. Good thing Kotobuki girls are there. Saving the town is more important than evacuating its people. If they lose their access to Nanko, they’ll be forced to deal with Standon. Despite their inferior quality, they will soon monopolize their oil and jack up prices. Also, there is no other place closer to refuel as Nanko. Losing this means they will be block off and grounded indefinitely. Loulou agrees to help put out the fire but Nanko will have to pay one year’s worth of gas at reduced price. And how are they going to stop the fire? Kate’s answer: Fight fire with fire: Bomb it! To Kylie’s dismay, she will be in the driver’s seat of the bombing plane with Kate guiding her since her plane was damaged the last time. As expected, Standon’s planes come to ‘greet’ time. However they are flying Hayate types that have better power and turning speed. Also, their body armour is thicker. Kotobuki meeting their match since these pilots are really pros and don’t give them space to fight back. Our speculations that emotionless Kate might be a robot as she guides Kylie to move directly while she mans the gunner. When it’s time to bomb, she has to light the fuse manually and then calculate to release the bomb accurately! It does!!! The explosion wipes out the fire and at the same time the enemy retreats. A mission accomplished although Chika is frustrated she couldn’t shoot down any bogeys.

Episode 8
Isao has become the mayor of Ikesuka, he formed the Brotherhood of Freedom Union and to celebrate that he bought a rare arowana fish for public display. Hence the Kotobuki girls are to transport it there. Loulou didn’t want to take this job but since he recommended them and the press asked if they were up to the task, certainly she can’t say no. With Saneatsu having stomach discomfort, Loulou takes command of the bridge. As expected, multiple bogeys in sight. As Kotobuki goes to intercept their unusually large numbers, to their surprise this is only a decoy. Because a few more air pirates crept up on Hagoromo by flying very close to the ground. Because Kotobuki took too long to deal with the decoy, the others have boarded and took over Hagoromo. They order the Kotobuki girls to go away in which Reona orders her girls to do so. Then the pirate leader makes an announcement. In addition to the fish, they demand Isao’s resignation and the disbandment of the Brotherhood. Otherwise they will blow up Hagoromo. Kotobuki isn’t giving up of course. After they receive word from Saneatsu about the situation on board, Emma flies up to Hagoromo’s radar blind spot so that Reona and Kylie can board it.

First they have to go find Johnny the bartender and Ririko his barmaid. Although this is where most of the crew are being held captive, Reona hints to Ririko to make a scene. With Reona crashing in, she hints to Johnny and he is forced to use his gunslinger prowess to dispatch the pirates! You mean this wuss is a sharpshooter?! Because we see him ‘dance’ as he guns down all the baddies?! OMFG!!! So cringe! So cool! Ironically all the pirates are dumb. They have machine guns but cannot even shoot straight? The other crew just throw whatever they got and it counts! Isao has received word of Hagoromo and takes his own action. When Loulou retakes the bridge, a small struggle ensues. Stray bullets damage the controls. With some of the pirates escaping, Kotobuki wonders why they aren’t fighting back. Well, Isao’s full air force is coming their way. Loulou contacts them but no response. This could only mean they are here to take down Hagoromo. Can’t have it explode over Ikesuka, right? Hence Loulou wants Reona to shoot down Hagoromo. No, not destroy it. Take out enough helium so it could safely crash land. Of course Reona the pro does it perfectly and Isao’s air force don’t have to cause any tragedy. In the aftermath as the fish gets displayed, the girls learn Johnny was once a good mercenary but left this trade when he met his wife. However because he continued his gun collection, she resented this and left. No wonder this wuss is still praying for her to come back. Not a chance… Loulou hands Isao the bill and hopes never to take another job from him.

Episode 9
Kylie’s unhappy. She has to hold the fort while the rest of her Kotobuki girls are away on a mission. Yeah, this sucks. It seems Kotobuki are to be guards for some retirement ceremony. Something about the new licence system and union registration red tape made it unbearable for them to go on even if they are just flight postal workers. Meanwhile Julia is being heckled by the men in the council for speaking the truth. Something about giving up their own culture and system to adopt another city’s system. But you can’t beat all those sexist men, right? They kick her out of the hall as she notes being an air pirate will definitely be better than working for Isao. Her underlings know it is not safe for her here anymore and suggest she flees before they come arrest her. Kylie is summoned by Loulou for a job. It is giving Allen a scenic flight around Rahama. She also tells her she has been invited to work under a new company in Areshima. In fact the offer comes for any one of the Kotobuki girls. They’ll double their pay and get whatever aircraft they want since they are teaming up with View Trading. Kylie interprets this as she doesn’t want them anymore but Loulou puts it this way: She has no right to tell them to stay. Kylie takes Allen on a scenic flight with her mind preoccupied with this. But Allen talks about the portal to Yufang. He could have seen it had he not been shot down. He believes the portal didn’t close forever but on and off on a smaller scale. At the same time, the ex-Elite Industries HR chief and his men are rummaging through Allen’s room to find some info. Allen gives Kylie directions until they reach a certain point where they see strange circles in the sky. That’s the portal? However suddenly they are attacked by bogeys. I don’t know how Allen fitted his machine gun in this aircraft but at least they have a fighting chance. I know it’s just fantasy he gets to shoot down the enemies while they all miss but I’ll believe it because he says his aim gets better after drinking! Just when they think they’ve gunned down all the enemies, more of them pop up! Can Kylie outrun them in this canyon chase? Soon reality catches up as they are hit and Kylie crash lands. Oh, they also pretend to be dead to stay alive and let the enemies fly away. If not for Chika, they wouldn’t be rescued. With Kotobuki returning, Loulou tells the rest what she told Kylie. But Kylie instantly says she will always stay with Kotobuki as she doesn’t want to take orders from anyone else but Reona. She shocks everyone by optimistically saying another portal might open over Rahama.

Episode 10
Allen tells he gang about the portal. There are many sizes and opened up here and there many times. It was just coincidence the one that appeared 70 years ago connected them to Yufang. The holes may also be the culprit that absorbed the seas of this world. Then Julia barges in, complaining how she is no more a councillor as all the men voted to kick her out and framed her with fake allegations. While the rest think Isao is a pretty nice guy, Julia then reveals this whole thing is just a setup so Isao can become a dictator of the world. As Rahama has not decided to join the Brotherhood, she doubts he will let it go scot free. Because as per Allen’s calculation, looks like another hole has opened up over Rahama. This is why Isao is targeting this place. They take in a damaged fighter plane. Woah. Who this sexy dolly babe? Camilla from Shouto Vigilante has been shot down despite being allies of Isao. They were accused of plotting something and bombed out. Even though Camilla wanted to surrender, they continued bombing so she escaped. The town of Rahama is now in a discussion over the portal over their town. They are discussing whether to join the Brotherhood or not. Isao knows about this hole because his men stole Allen’s notes from the hospital. Then here comes the HR chief who is now representing the Brotherhood. He is giving Rahama a chance to join them and hand over Julia the fugitive or risk being bombed in 24 hours. However it soon dawned to them that their plan is to evacuate Rahama so that Isao can monopolize the entire portal himself. Rahama’s mayor had balls for the first time to reject all that and with the crowd chanting for them to leave, looks like it is war.

Hence Kotobuki and their allies now take to the skies to defend Rahama from the oncoming onslaught of huge bomber planes. The good news is that the bomber planes are huge so you can’t miss them. The bad news is, it’s going to take a while to shoot through their thick armour. Kotobuki shoots down a couple of bomber planes but they were too late for the last one as it unloads over Rahama. Uhm, did it not see the portal was in its path and hence everything just went through the hole?! The explosion causes some sort of huge temporary suction before the portal closes for good. With the hole gone, the enemies retreat. As Kylie is about to land, she spots this rogue pilot. Grrr! Time to chase! Eventually both run out of fuel and land safely. Next to each other! Time to get down for a fist fight! Kylie is no match for the verbal bout with Naomi as she accuses this little girl for always getting in her way. I think it’s fun to see these ladies trade some verbal barb wires but Naomi is the one who always have the upper hand. Yeah, she’s even better than you not only in flying but sarcasm too. Naomi claims she is neither friend nor foe and does what she wants. This time she just sided with Julia as she made more sense than Isao. Naomi then accuses Kylie of copying her plane’s mark that resembles the mark of her mentor’s. That is when Kylie is shocked. Does she know Sab? Oh yeah. Now the girls are like good friends talking about that old bastard. Naomi relates how she was his student training under him but he eventually abandoned her. Since Kylie was abandoned too, now they’re the abandoned sisters! Her goal is to find him and shoot him down with the techniques she stole from him. As for why Naomi flies, because it feels good being up there.

Episode 11
Isao uses his charms (and magic tricks) to convince the crowd that their Brotherhood is the only one that could bring true freedom to this world. Hence anybody else who tries to keep Yufang to themselves are criminals. Like Rahama and Porokka. So to say they aren’t? Rahama and Porokka combine their forces to lead an attack against Ikesuka. Kylie is spaced out not because the briefing was a really long one. She just couldn’t understand what they’re fighting for. Especially their mission to attack Ikesuka. Are wars fought on a whim like this? Is this what Kotobuki stands for? Well, she’s got a point. But no time to think all that because Isao has sent in hundreds of planes to fight them. Man, this is going to be one messy dogfight. I can’t tell who is who shooting each other down. But I’ll bet that the Kotobuki girls will be the ones staying up. Kotobuki is supposed to bomb the factory that makes the firepower for Ikesuka. However it is abandoned and empty. Is this a trap? Speaking of which, yes. 200 enemy planes in sight! At this point, Loulou makes the order to retreat and will not turn this into a gamble to lose any more of their side. They have underestimate Isao. However the Porokka side will not retreat and push on. Unfortunately their blimp gets shot down under heavy fire. And then Isao comes into the fray himself. Because of his more aerodynamic and specially designed plane, he climbs and turns faster and shoots down all his enemies at ease! Reona tries to talk to him to get his side to pull back so they can retreat. He lies so as to get her guard down and then shoots her down. Mad Kylie tries to take on him but Isao recognizes her mark that belongs to Sab. He explains something about Sab being abandoned by Yufang who call themselves the Japanese army. And when that stubborn old goat tried to fleet, Isao shot him down too! Not too sure where he is rotting in desert. This makes Kylie extremely mad and is going to teach this jerk a lesson. Chika is shot down and Hagoromo is about to take heavy damage too. But thank goodness for Elite Industries backing them up. Isao eventually shoots down Kylie but as he brags, he lets his guard down and gets shot by Kate. She confirms that it is this jerk who shot down Allen. In the aftermath when everyone is retrieved back to the blimp, Allen shows them that another hole will appear. This time right over Ikesuka.

Episode 12
Naomi leads her squadron to take on the Ikesuka fighters who have the air pirates on their side. Yeah, money does buy everything in this world. With the battle raging on, Kotobuki is to sneak in and attack Isao’s tower. Along the way, Zara asks Reona if she would like to run away and leave all of this behind. She can do whatever she wants. That will have to wait when the enemies have spotted them. Time for the most exhilarating dogfight action scenes through the narrow streets of Ikesuka’s infrastructures! When Kate gets shot down, it is by a plane with jet engine and using missiles! Just to show how good our girls are, they manage to dodge its radar missiles. Even better, Kylie and Chika trick it to fire multiple missiles at them. Then they dodge for the missiles to hit the huge statue structure to come crashing onto the jet plane. I guess with Chika being taken out because Isao is now itching to get into the fray, as the price to pay seems worth it. Emma gets taken down after her fill of shooting down many enemies. Isao’s butler uses a dirty trick to have the crane crash into Zara’s plane. Don’t worry. She still lives. In return, Reona sacrifices herself to take down the butler. All that is left is an angry Kylie trying to take down Isao. When the portal has fully materialized, that is when the signal is given to Hagoromo. It blasts off into the sky carrying loads of explosives to seal off the hole for good. So Saneatsu is going to do a suicide mission?! Desperate Isao tries to shoot down Hagoromo and even though he took down Kylie before that, Kylie like as though saw the spirit of Sab and remembers his words to let the plane fly itself. I guess it’s a cue so that Kylie’s plane could amazingly land a few more shots on Isao. Hagoromo explodes upon contact with the portal. Saneatsu not on a suicide mission after all. He escaped in his mini plane. Good for him now that he has a chance to confess to Loulou. Isao now being a desperate greedy megalomaniac hell bent on keeping the portal all to himself, gets sucked in as the portal closes. The air pirates retreat and all our heroes fly home, dreaming all the things they want to do. Wait a minute. Naomi seriously considering dating Adolfo?! Amazingly, Kylie’s plane still manages to fly home. I guess her plane really does fly by itself. Reona explains to the rest that Kotobuki comes from the Yufang word of good fortune. I guess it really served them well till the end.

With Flying Colours!
Is this the official retirement of the Kotobuki girls?! But I’m sure like Kylie, she’ll continue to do what she loves doing and even with Kotobuki or not, she’ll continue flying. The final episode to close to portal to Yufang felt more like a revenge plot because I am sure the portal will open up somewhere. It is probably to teach Isao a lesson and open up the eyes of all those who blindly follow him. Who knows if Isao will survive through the portal but I guess the important thing is that this world is now freed of his madness. Perhaps Yufang could have brought more and better technology and equipment to this world. But I figure that each world should retain their own culture and even if this one seems primitive, so be it as long as everyone here is free and happy.

Now, the very interesting aspect that I believe what makes this series stands out apart from other animes this season is the fact of its cool and exciting flight scenes. Whether it is just joyride or in the midst of some hot dogfight, the first person views of the flights are very thrilling. Even a casual viewer like me having no sort of interest in aviation have been charmed by the awesome and breath-taking first person flight views right from the start. I was so immersed in watching them that thinking back about it, it was as though I was in some sort of flight simulation! The visuals and views are done in a perfect manner that it really gives the viewers a great experience of what it is like to be in the cockpit of a plane.

Hence the dogfights are pretty much as exciting to watch too. Your staple fix for every episode guaranteed. Although it can be sometimes a bit farfetched that our Kotobuki girls are so skilled that they don’t usually get shot down. Maybe once in a blue moon. But other than that, they are so perfect in their shooting and flying skills that they could be the world’s greatest pilots. No wonder they are called the Magnificent Kotobuki. They live up to their name. Oh heck, I think that title is an understatement to their awesome talents. Sure, all of them got shot down in the final battle but after notching up their victory ratio to over a billion, it was probably time to bow out. It was worth it. A high score that no one can tops for a long time. Hey, can’t last forever being undefeated. The other unbelievable thing is how there are no casualties or deaths from the dogfights. Once a plane gets shot, you see smoke trails from its engine and the plane crash lands. Yeah, planes don’t explode in mid-air. They really avoided shooting the gas tank, huh? I rarely see people eject out so I’m assuming they went down with the plane. Even though the desert wasteland is vast, I don’t see wreckage of downed planes. Even the final big battle with so many planes shot down, where are those wreckages? Is it too small to see from up there?

The final battle at Ikesuka was exhilarating as well as it was exciting. But because Ikesuka looks like a typical modern urbanized city from our world, it felt so different than the rest of the other towns that we see that looked like old ranches from the wild west. So I wonder if Isao somehow managed to steal some ideas to create this big metropolis. I’m sure it wasn’t built in a day or night. However during the final battle, it felt so devoid of people. Like as though it is a giant ghost town. Such a shame with such beautiful skyscrapers and even roads, it really feels abandoned. Perhaps he has evacuated everyone. Or maybe this is one big giant personal playground Isao built for his dream world.

While there is nothing much from the overall story, I believe there is a lot more potential to be fleshed out. We mostly see the Kotobuki girls taking on job requests of certain towns and while they don’t constitute much, it does contribute a bit to the overall story and bigger picture. What could be fleshed out better is the Yufang side and it is confirmed that this world is another parallel world that exists aside from the real Earth. And since Yufang are actually the Japanese military, this feels like a plot rip-off from Gate. Instead of a single fixed portal, many random portals pop up here and there from time to time. It doesn’t help that these portals are not clearly explained except that they are gateways to Yufang’s world. Like as though they are pulled out from the air for plot convenience. Literally. But then again, more details could be clarified if this had another season.

The Kotobuki girls feel a bit shallow. Each of them has their own backgrounds and past but some are just merely touching the surface. I wish there were more meat to show the girls bond together but with the limited number of episodes, this would have replaced the cool aerial scenes and that is a definite no-no. Because of this trade off, the character development suffers. However you can still feel the closeness and bonds of the Kotobuki girls because of the amazing banter and dynamism in their conversations. Some of them are pretty witty and sarcastic especially Chika and Kylie who often don’t get along with each other and even when they do, still have time to throw a few banters at each other. Kylie gets the big bulk of the focus as we get to know her as a simple girl who just loves to fly. Her relationship with Sab makes it more intriguing and it’s like she continues to fly in hopes of looking for him one day.

Even in this world, there is deception. I thought Julia was going to be the antagonist and Isao some sort of hero but it turns out to be the other way round. Yeah, they had me fooled. Hence a valuable lesson to learn, never judge a book by its cover. Julia may look angry and sound a lot like a b*tch but that is only because of all the other men trying to bring her down and put her in place to toe the line. Understandably anyone could get this mad. Her relationship with Loulou also leaves much to be desired. It’s like a love-hate relationship between them and Loulou always keeps her cool and professionalism at all times. It is hard to see Isao as the baddie because he is always laughing and joking at all times. Even during hard times he can still make comeback lines! Not sure if this guy is the Hitler of this world because since Julia paints him in a bad light so I guess she must be right? Uh huh. Remember, don’t be fooled by appearances. If they really want to take on him, they have to be way more prepared than they are now as Isao still walk the talk and remains true to his legendary status.

Johnny. This minor character is really amazing and amusing. Better than the Hagoromo bridge crew whose names are I think puns of ABCs. His gunslinger skills are really so cool and had he been a pilot, his skills would have been even more extraordinary. This series’ mascot is a dodo bird who is supposedly the captain of Hagoromo too. I don’t see its significance except being a minor comic relief like sending messages to the Kotobuki girls. And laughing at Saneatsu’s forlorn picture of Loulou he keeps in his room.

On a trivial note, sometimes I feel that this series is more of a feminist series. Given that the politically correct era we now live in, I can’t help think about this even though I believe it is just coincidence and me overthinking. All the women here are capable, independent, strong and reliable. Even Ririko kicks ass. I have nothing against it but many of the men here are just weak and lame ass. Like the Nazarene guys are just losers. Especially that Adolfo dude who just talks big. Even when he tries to help, he’s just like useless. And he is even trying to impress and hit on Naomi? Yeah, that kind of strong girl doesn’t need this wuss. Oh wait. She did. Maybe he has some merit after all. Johnny is so gay, the mayor of Rahama is a wuss, Saneatsu is a wuss (I suppose he is doing it all out for his love for Loulou), the boss of Elite Industries is a conman and Isao is a bad guy. More than often you see females piloting on the good side, that is the side siding with Kotobuki like Camilla and Naomi. Sure, there are other guys fighting on their side too but they are so insignificant that they don’t matter. And here we assume all the faceless piloting bad guys flying on Isao’s side are males. I hope I’m just overthinking…

Like the few animes in the same season, this series is animated via CGI. However I am unsure as if to label the entire series as being done by CGI. Although the main characters like the Kotobuki girls are fully rendered in CGI (you know, you can see that one kind animation), there are some characters like the bridge crew of Hagoromo that I cannot determined if they are CGI material or not. It looks like they are your typical 2D animation but I just can’t say thanks to the lack of screen time. Overall if the CGI feels weird, at least it is not that bad. Luckily the environments and background sceneries are nice to look at despite it is mainly the desert wasteland. I guess I am really enthralled with the first person view flight experience as the animation here is seamless for a really good wholesome experience. I’m not an aviation enthusiast but I can see that they put in some details for the planes. Generally speaking, they look nice. This series is jointly animated by WAO World (Animegataris) and Gemba (Berserk – the new one).

Oddly when I first glimpsed the Kotobuki girls, I thought they reminded me of the same bunch of girls in Akanesasu Shoujo. But that is merely because Kylie has this strange resemblance to Asuka (and replace chikuwa with pancakes), Kate having this uncanny resemblance to Mia and perhaps Emma and Nana do look a bit similar. And Reona had the same seriousness tone as Yuu. It made me wonder if those Akanesasu Shoujo girls did the right frequency, would they have ended up in this strange Fragment? Well, frankly speaking, we did see our heroes and heroines fly off into the sunset. Geddit? Sunset? The twilight? Oh, never mind…

Voice acting feels fine with me only recognizing Shizuka Itou as Naomi and Keiji Fujiwara as Saneatsu. Sayumi Suzushiro as Kylie sounds so lively and amazing that it is hard to think of her as the one who voiced Oono in High Score Girl. The latter felt like it was really a waste of her talents. The other casts are Asami Seto as Reona (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Hibiku Yamamura as Zara (Sara in Island), Sayaka Nakaya as Kate (Orine in AKB0048), Eri Yukimura as Emma (debut role), Miyu Tomita as Chika (Aoi in Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou No Holmes), Akiko Yajima as Loulou (Kohaku in Inu Yasha), Ayaka Shimizu as Julia (Masaki in Sasameki Koto), Katsuyuki Onishi as Isao (Oga in Beelzebub), Kazutomi Yamamoto as Allen (Yumoto in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu), Youji Ueda as Johnny (Kisaragi in Basilisk), Nao Touyama as Ririko (Chitoge in Nisekoi), Mai Fuchigami as Camilla (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) and Rumi Ookubo as Natsuo (Aguri in Gamers).

The opening theme is Soranone by ZAQ. Nothing exciting that attracts my attention. It just sounds lively and okay, trying to breathe some sort of life into the series but I got my kicks from somewhere else during the episodes. The ending theme is Tsubasa Wo Motsumonotachi by the quintet of the Kotobuki Flight Corps. A slower and calmer pacing than the opener and although still not that appealing, it still is a good song if you’re just going on a joyride flight. There are a few fanfare and marching-like military BGMs here. If you heard Girls Und Panzer, you can have an idea what they sound like (heck, they both had the same director). Such BGMs add more thrill and excitement to the dogfights.

Overall, despite the less than stellar storyline and characters, the amazing dogfights and aerial views are the ones that blast all those minus points away. Not to say it is perfect but this is easily one of the best and favourite animes of the season. At least by comparison, still way much better than that other flight anime in the same season, Girly Air Force. To say that old is gold isn’t exactly accurate. It is all in the execution and this series did it right from the start. Truly the top flight. To quote a saying, the sky is the limit to some but to others who love aviation, the sky is their home. And truly this is where the Kotobuki Flight Corps feel at home with. Thank you for letting us fly with you and have a pleasant flight.

Murder Princess

June 28, 2019

Remember my case with Melty Lancer a short while ago? Yup. It’s the same for Murder Princess. Although this series isn’t that bad as there are still subs around the internet, I guess the panic button was pushed and so here I am. After all, alphabetically Murder Princess comes after Melty Lancer in the list of anime titles, right? Uh huh. I must have missed all the other titles that fall in between them and didn’t find them attractive. Anyway the title sounds as suspicious and intriguing because I thought it would be some crazy princess who goes around killing people using her royalty status or at least she was labelled as one when some royal family member framed her by killing the rest of the royal family and hence she has to fight her way back to reclaim her throne and innocence. I am both wrong in that instance. Instead, princess and bounty hunter switch bodies. The fight to fend off rebels from their country begins. And oh, don’t forget that royal conspiracy…

Episode 1
Alita Castilia Arago Forland meets up with her father, the king in the throne room. It seems the palace is under sieged by rebels. The king is gravely injured and he wants Alita to escape through the secret passageway into the forest. As long as their bloodline doesn’t die out, their family will continue to live on. Thank goodness he said all that before he kicked the bucket. To fool the enemies, Alita’s maid, Milano Entrasia substitutes as her as she makes her getaway. The rebels crash in. A bunch of lolis? Anna and Yuna? Make that mecha lolis. Because of their android features, it is believed that a traitor has sold the nation’s secrets and true enough it is Dr Akamashi behind this coup detat. They are given a chance to live if they surrender Alita but fighting to the death is their answer. As Alita runs through the forest, a monster kills her escorts. Run! She bumps into Falis and in her fear, accidentally fall off the cliff together. In that instance, they switch bodies. Luckily they are caught by Falis’ underlings, Dominikov and Pete Armstrong. Falis is shocked to see her own body before her and herself in the princess’ body. No time to rest and think yet as the monster is here. So Falis has Alita throw her sword to her as she cuts it down like hot knife through butter. It is explained that when both are facing death at the same time, their souls may intertwine. Alita then apologizes for bringing trouble to them and then begs for them to help save her country. Falis refuses. They are bounty hunters who do jobs for money. Alita offers anything as reward but what about collateral? She will use her own body for that. So that’s it? Enough for Falis and co to ride back to the palace and start saving the kingdom. Meanwhile, everyone is dead except the king’s aide, Jodo and Milano. Just in time for Falis and co to barge in. Akamashi’s monsters attack but Falis slices them all down. Then she dukes it out with bratty Anna and somehow manages to disable her body. Then she throws Akamashi sitting off her rightful throne and claims her right to it. So cool!

Episode 2
Yuna might be meek but when she panics, she releases a lot of weird weapons. This distraction allows the loli rebels to escape. Dominikov is suspicious since those weapons are from the old world. Alita is sad since Milano is dead. Next morning, still saddened over her death, she decides to cast away her own identity and continue to live as Milano. Then she goes to wake up Falis to get ready for the coronation ceremony. No matter how much she points to the maid as the princess, I guess the rest are playing dumb that Falis is the princess. Time to learn princess etiquette. It isn’t going to be easy seeing Falis is such a crude woman… Later Milano explains that their country’s law that a king must be crowned within a week (can’t they change this stupid law?!) and the only heirs are Alita or her brother Kaito. However he is away in another kingdom for military service and cannot be contacted. Milano hopes Falis will take the throne till he comes back. After all, the pact still hasn’t end yet as the rebels haven’t given up. In exchange for doing this, Falis will gain everything she has lost. I don’t know how Anna got the plans for the coronation procession but she did and they will as expected attack and kidnap Alita then. Falis is coronate as king (from now on, I’ll refer to her as Alita for easier reference). Jodo wonders if this is okay and Milano believes this is the only way. That night when she was running away in the forest, she already lost her title and her identity. She has given everything to Falis in exchange to save this country. Hence right now she is only her maid. Alita accepts her role but still acts a bit crude, confusing the crowd. A parade is held and Alita finds this country to be quite nice thanks to all its friendly people. As expected, the Akamashi unleashes his giant Frankenstein to attack. Time for Alita to go into action. She slices and dices with ease so Yuna shoots some booster into the monster. It’s like Alita herself has her own booster as she powers up into a merciless killing machine. By the time Dominikov confronts the rebels, they escape again. Even when the monster is down, Alita continues to kill it. Then when a kid is close by, Alita tries to strike her but Milano protects her, willing to be cut down. In that instant, Alita returns to her senses and although has no recollections of what she was doing, regrets what she was about to do. Milano calms her down by hugging her. In the aftermath, Alita’s actions have earned the people’s trust but Alita knows that the stronger one is Milano.

Episode 3
Milano tells Alita about Kaito. A very good swordsman but left on an expedition for a peace negotiation in a neighbouring country. Hey, that country is just next door. It’s not like it’s half a continent away?! Milano continues to sing praises of his kindness and loyalty but then the thought of passing the throne back to him, what would become of Alita? When Alita accidentally breaks a doll, they start quarrelling. WTF Milano blaming her she doesn’t understand her feelings?! Of course she don’t! How long did you guys met?! Thanks to the battered army, just in time for Alita to head out and lose some steam and kill some goblins making ruckus in some valley. She leaves with Dominikov while Pete stays back to accompany Milano. Jodo tells Milano not to blame Alita. The doll was given by the original Milano to the original princess Alita and though he is glad she still treasures it, the new Alita doesn’t share those same feelings. While praying in the church, those loli rebels manage to sneak a monster inside and kidnap her?! When Pete comes to rescue, one punch was enough to knock him down. WTF???!!! IS HE THIS WEAK???!!! Good thing Alita just finished kicking goblins’ ass and heard the news from Jodo that Milano has been taken hostage to the northern ruins. The lolis interrogate Milano. They know she is not the maid because they killed her. They believe she could be someone else and the one holding the key. They try to scare her enough not to kill her (although eventually they threaten they will) but as long Milano keeps her mouth shut, she thinks it will be fine. Alita leaves Dominikov and Pete to fight the monsters outside as she heads in. However she is told to drop her weapons lest she wants Milano dead. She does so and gets pounded by the monster. Anna mocks Alita that she may have some secret because a princess coming to save a mere maid. Alita shuts her up by replying she made a promise to save this country regardless to whom she made it. She’ll protect everything! Just in time for some guy to drop in, cut off the monster’s arm, disarm the lolis, free Milano, bring her to reunite with Alita (for some yuri hug), let them ride away to escape on his horse and then finish up the monster. Yeah… As expected the loli rebels run away when the going gets tough. Heck, even the other monsters know how to retreat?! Of course not surprisingly that guy is revealed to be Kaito. Awkward. Does he know who his real sister is? Awkward for Alita to welcome back his onii-sama…

Episode 4
A pre-coronation party is held. As explained by Dominikov, once the coronation is over, Alita and her subordinates will leave the palace and travel. This is because if she stays with Kaito, sooner she will be exposed as a fake. It is better for things to cool down while they’re away before returning. Hence Alita talks to Kaito that she is leaving for a journey after this. Big brother hugs her and wishes her well. Meanwhile we see Akamashi and the twins in the party. Where the heck is security check?! They’re supposed to be the highest on the alert list and here they got in so easily by just change of clothes?! WTF???!!! Milano is looking for Alita in her room but notices she left a note of apology and ‘fixed’ the doll. Meanwhile Alita is being led by this strange woman to a secret passage underneath the palace. Took some time for Alita to be suspicious about her and when she does, Cecilia forces her hand to activate something. Cecilia then attacks her. Milano and Alita’s subordinates continue to look for Alita. Strange, she left her sword behind. Oh look. Oil lamp trails. Lead to dead end AKA secret passageway. You know what this means. They arrive in time to throw Alita’s sword to her. Enough for her to slash out of Cecilia’s grasp and make a run for it. And damn, now they run into the loli rebels. Do we have time for this?! Anna hints about Alita being the key to Teoria. And just when Akamashi is about to have the rare moment of opening his mouth to explain that, he gets killed by Cecilia’s dark knight!!! WTF???!!! Lolis become sad-cum-enraged with his death but gets easily incapacitated. When Cecilia unmasks herself, Alita remembers her as the culprit who burnt her village and killed her people. Now it’s Alita’s turn to attack but with the dark knight defending her, she cannot cut through his magically infused thick armour. The battle then reaches the party. Milano thinks their worries are over as she calls out to Kaito for help. Surprise but not surprise, Kaito is the dark knight! He then accuses them of being the real rebels, conspiring with Akamashi to commit treachery and replacing the real Alita with an imposter. He orders the guards to arrest them. Milano is paralyzed in shock so I guess it’s this series’ specialty for them to make their escape via simple smokescreen. The next day, Kaito is crowned the king, much to the crowd’s delight while our heroes-cum-rebels are resting at the outskirts of the kingdom.

Episode 5
Kaito and Cecilia order a nationwide search for the traitors. Luckily they manage to get help from a group of travelling performers thanks to Pete’s kindness in helping their caravan out when stuck. With them hiding the rebels, they are able to easily pass checkpoints. Yeah, those guards sure didn’t do a thorough job. And since when did Jodo join the rebels?! As they rest, it gets awkward for the lolis since they’re once enemies now they’re allies? So they relate about Akamashi’s struggle. He was a scientist of a kingdom when his research was suddenly halted. Then he met Cecilia who introduced him to several lost technologies. That was when he created the lolis via that lost technologies. And when Teoria came into light, that is when he began executing his plan. The rest is history. But now they realize they have all been used by Cecilia. Dominikov demonstrates his own android abilities. This is the same lost technologies as the lolis but his and Pete’s are different as they are not completely robots. They are bioorganic forms infused with lost technologies. Hence Teoria is lost technology. Milano then explains the legend of how this world was created. Gods fighting, they cried at the end, their tears flooded the world, water gone, life appeared. Yeah, sounds pretty far-fetched. Humans then pop up and started living and now they are in the 672nd year of the Shandena Era. Before that, human civilization reached the peak of science and arts. The ability to even control time?! It was all thanks to the power of Teoria. But due to their constant wars, Teoria went out of control and human civilization ended. The few survivors sealed Teoria away and in time it was forgotten. Of course not all have forgotten of it as its arts were bequeathed to a certain country’s royal family. Jodo and Milano are forced to admit and apologize a secret they have been keeping for them. They do have the key that would unlock Teoria that is located underneath their palace. However the key can be handed to only female successors. It’s a good thing they had male successors all the while, eh? And does it activate when the female reach a certain age? Because why now instead of when Alita was born? It is believed Kaito betrayed them for this power that could literally change the world. Yeah, create a world the way you want it.

Storytelling time is over since the royal army is hot on their tail. Did they take too long to tell? As they run, the lolis ran out of juice so Dominikov and Pete try to stall them. They transform into their true hideous monster form to fight Cecilia and her army. As the caravan reaches near the body, I wonder how Kaito was able to ride this fast ahead of them? With the caravan toppled, Milano tries to be the decoy and runs away. Yeah, Kaito took the bait and caught her. This guy who committed the biggest betrayal dislikes being tricked like this?! However he can’t kill her. Milano’s piercing gaze looks familiar. And when she calls him a traitor, he is shocked to realize this is his real sister. Alita who was weakened and injured since the end of last episode, somehow manages to draw out her strength to save Milano. How the f*ck did she cut through Kaito’s thick armour and even injure him???!!! Is this the power of yuri???!!! Then it’s like since both sides are weakened, let’s call it even, let’s withdraw. WTF… And Cecilia calling the retreat order? I thought they’re not supposed to fail in this mission to capture the traitors? Alita has this nicely timed flashback. Cecilia killing her father or master before her eyes as he protected her. She vowed revenge and picked up his sword. This timely flashback has Alita remember why she became a bounty hunter. Realizing that she and Milano are now facing their destinies, they are not going to run away and will face it. This means returning to the palace once more.

Episode 6
With many of the guards thinking they have crossed to another nation, looks like there aren’t many around and hence they’ll use this chance to strike. But first, Alita and Milano talk things out. Alita has decided on what she wants as a reward: Her body back via Teoria’s power. They will go back to their old ways and of course she will still keep her promise. As the gang infiltrate the palace, Alita faces off with Cecilia. She asks why she burnt down her village. Oh, for fun. Just to test out her new power she got. As they fight, Cecilia zaps her but thank goodness for Milano throwing her doll as distraction. You mean the doll didn’t break at this impact?! WTF?! Anyway the distraction was enough for them to head to the Teoria room. Too bad Kaito catches them and forces Alita to open the door. Inside, he activates Teoria and wishes for the world to be destroyed! Alita has her second bout with Cecilia and this time she manages to destroy the crystal that is the source of her power. Turning Cecilia into an old hag before she bites the dust. Literally, turning into dust. Kaito explains why he wants to world destroyed. He is sick with all the wars and constant fighting and with them clinging on to lost technologies, is there any value in this kind of world? Well, he’s got a point but… For some reason, Alita goes into her berserk mode and only the voice of Milano easily snapped her out? With Kaito defeated, Alita explains there is a princess who is willing to risk everything just to make her happy. That itself is enough for her to find this sh*tty world to be worth protecting. But if Teoria is activated, can it be stopped? Oh, Jodo says it can with a switch! WTF?! Did the sealers create this in mind that this would happen???!!! Of course the only caveat is that everything related to lost technology will cease to exist. This means Dominikov, Pete and the lolis will disappear. Oh Alita, don’t waver now. So we hear Dominikov making his peace with her. Do it. As products of lost technologies, they aren’t supposed to be in this era. They’ve lived long enough to know that. And he explains it so well to the lolis and they’re like, “Okay, bye-bye”. Wow. Better go off with a cute smile, huh? Alita does so and with Teoria stopped activating, all lost technologies related beings disappear. In the aftermath, both ladies realize they failed to swap back their bodies. Alita will continue to live like this for a while and protect the country until they figure things out. And so with an enemy nation attacking, Alita does best what she does as she heads to the battleground to slice them all up, hence earning her the legendary nickname of Murder Princess. Good job for that title to send shivers down your enemies’ spine.

Battle Princess Alita
I guess it wasn’t all that bad. The story is clear cut and simple and doesn’t have anything long and complicated so it is easy to digest. So if you are hoping for really drawn out stories with convoluted plot twists (heh, I saw Kaito as the dark knight betrayer twist coming from a mile ago) or very long complicated character histories, this series isn’t going to cut it. Yeah, you’re going to need anime series to be as long as One Piece or Naruto or even Black Clover to drag things out. So I can’t complain with that kind of ending. Alita and Milano continue to reside in each other’s bodies because I figure if they somehow return to their original bodies, everything would just really, really, really, really, really end there. They part and that’s it. Sounds bittersweet. Because at least with them still being in switcheroo mode, it gives this sort of excuse for them to be together. For how long it may take. And they also ‘wrap up’ nicely her subordinates and the lolis by conveniently disappearing with the cessation of Teoria so that you don’t have to wonder what they’ll be doing in the aftermath. I mean, it would look weird and suspicious if a bunch of ghouls and lolis hang out with our princess, right?

Like I’ve said, the story is simple but so much so there are quite a few WTF moments that will make you raise an eyebrow or in my case, start laughing. From as simple as the numerous times they have to return to the palace (like as though this is the main setting of this series) as if fate always draws them back here (from the princess’ first escape to the final return to fight the final boss scene). Then there’s the use of Teoria which sounds just as suspicious and shady as it is. I think they want to give some sort of story to what this super power is but the execution just feels laughable. I mean, when those human survivors decided to seal it, you mean they also foresee that those greedy descendants will also want to use it for their own selfish reasons? Isn’t that why somehow there is a switch to deactivate it all despite the popular belief that once it is activated it cannot be stopped? And once deactivated, can it not activate again? Because from what I see, it’s like it is forever lost. Yup. Truly lost technologies now. WTF, dude???!!! It’s like I’ve got a wish to change the wold, and then changed my mind. Heck, this means Teoria is only good for one use!!! Like WTF???!!! If that was going to be the case, should have destroyed it instead of sealing it in the first place!!! Yeah, I don’t know what those humans were thinking. It’s like they want to save humanity but let’s just keep this little power just in case. Just in case… Or maybe not… Make up your mind!!!

Sometimes it feels more like annoying and a comedy too with certain scenes especially those that involve Akamashi and his lolis. They come into the picture for a while and then when the going gets tough, they do their best tactic ever which is to escape. And they’ve been doing this for a while for the first half of this series that sometimes I think it’s a running joke. And for them to be able to this again and again for a while, damn the kingdom’s security must be really flawed. I know they give excuse that the recent coup detat has decimated their main forces but allowing this to happen feels more like a joke than anything serious. Damn, the clincher was when they entered the pre-coronation party. These people should be on the wanted posters everywhere!!! Speaking about the royal army, I guess they’re a joke too because they’re so weak and useless I’m thinking that they are newly recruited amateurs. I guess all those really good ones died along with the previous king, huh?

When the princess and the bounty hunter first switched souls, the mind boggling thing is how Alita is now suddenly able to pull off her fighting moves with ease and flexibility. I am assuming that the original princess does not work out or train in ways of the martial arts so I don’t believe her body was able to adapt so quickly to fit the bounty hunter’s deadly techniques. Yeah, in this sense it doesn’t make much sense. Heck, when they swapped bodies, their voices also swapped. This leaves only their body as the outer shell while everything else from personality to skill is switched. Probably that is why it was so confusing for me at first. And before I know it, I got used to them as they are. Note, if they’re really desperate to change back to their original bodies, perhaps they can try another near-death experience? Say, fall off the cliff together again? Yeah, who knows if it would work again and besides, I think they got used to and liked their new bodies so it’s no use trying this risky scientifically unproven (heh) stuff because it’s the same like using Teoria to destroy the world, right?!

Character wise, nothing really deep about them. Alita and Milano are an odd pair due to their circumstances. It is hinted there is some budding yuri relationship between them. After all, they’ve spent some time together. In each other’s bodies. So what is there not to slowly grow to like the other? Yeah, it might be confusing at times if they make out with each other. Are they masturbating, because they’re like playing with themselves? Haha! Oops, went too far… Alita’s past is simple. Just motivated to become a bounty hunter for revenge and she finally got it. But it is never explained well about her berserk mode that allows her to have temporary boost of her power. Does that only happen when Milano is in danger and it puts stress on her mind and hence this mode? Well, good thing Milano was able to stop it otherwise she would really live up to her Murder Princess nickname. Yuri power banzai! As long as Milano is by her side, anything is okay. And yeah, Milano = maid character!!! Huzzah! I approve!!! The past between Alita, Dominikov and Pete is also never explained. How did she team up with those guys? It would have been interesting to see how they pair up but it won’t matter now since they’re gone. Dominikov feels like for plot convenience, at least he is there to explain things while Pete as the gentle giant so as to tell us that not all such big brutes are dangerous creatures.

The funny thing about Akamashi is that I wonder if he is a shy person or not. Because at points he is seen whispering into Anna’s ear for her to explain to the rest (and us) about things. I thought he had no voice but at very rare times, we do hear him speak. Besides, I wonder if Akamashi’s faceless expression is permanent. He has this boring look on his face that screams, “Damn this is troublesome, I don’t want to do this sh*t”. Yeah, it does give off that feel. Funny. But not as funny when he was instantly killed off. That moment for me was like, oh sh*t, you really kidding me?! Not kidding. Dead scientist for sure. The lolis are there for some loli cuteness. Even though they are androids and not supposed to have feelings I suppose they do because we need to sympathize with them. Because Anna said they aren’t supposed to have taste when they ate food but they do anyway so I’m assuming they too have feelings since Anna is the brat while Yuna is the shy one. But they look like they’re handling it well with Akamashi’s death. It’s not like they’re so overly emotional about it and even when it’s time to disappear, they’re cool with that. Yeah, maybe they do have feelings but not a wide range.

I wonder what will happen to Kaito now. Will he still be the rule of his country? I mean, he wanted the world to be destroyed. Didn’t get that wish. Now he is stuck ruling his sh*tty country in this sh*tty world. But then again, with Alita taking the frontlines of the battlefield as their fighting princess, could Kaito have been exiled? I mean, it’s not like the people found out about his treachery, right? Did they? The last we know is that Alita’s side have been branded traitors. Maybe somewhere in the epilogue that wasn’t shown, things were explained to the people. Otherwise, how would Alita have led the royal army to fight the enemies?

One of the reasons why I wanted to watch this series was because I read it was action packed. Well… Not exactly. Sure there are action bits but they aren’t from start to finish. Not to say they are shown sparingly either but at least in every episode you are guaranteed to see Alita go into some sort of sword swinging action. But the action sequences aren’t really top-notched either. Sometimes a bit laughable. Like when Alita slashes Akamashi’s monsters, it all feels so easy like as though she is cutting through just waves of mindless monsters whose sole existence is to be cut down like that. Dominikov and Pete don’t really do anything much since we focus more on Alita so they’re relegated to fighting whatever small fries in the background while Alita takes the bigger slice of the cake. This series has blood too but nothing that would really spook you. I think blood is ‘necessary’ so that you can see how it somewhat lives up to its namesake title when you see blood stains all over Alita’s white princess dress. I think Milano is doing a great job as a maid removing those stains every time…

The art and drawing aren’t anything to shout about. Came out in the last decade (year 2007 to be precise) so everything looks dated like from that era. The character designs, the monsters and even the fantasy setting. Some characters do look weird, though. Like Jodo whom I thought is some leprechaun without the trademark Irish green lucky clover hat. With that kind of serious looks, I thought Jodo would be some sort of traitor but thankfully nope. Then there’s Dominikov whom I thought is some discount version of Ghost Rider. I mean, did his design take inspiration from that? At least his bike on fire wheels made me think so. And Pete is he looking like some kind of punk rock golem? Well, don’t judge a book by its cover? I’ve already said about Akamashi’s look, having this boring outlook expression. How can you not identify this dude as he is the only one in the country with this broomstick hair?! When the dark knight (no relations to Batman whatsoever) first appeared, the first thing I thought was damn, how this guy looks like Overlord’s Ains-sama! More accurately, Momon! They are also dual handed sword wielders. Did Overlord take inspiration from this design? Because Overlord also have dark elf twins and was it these android loli twins they also get their inspiration from? This anime is made by Bee Train who did Tsubasa Chronicle, Noir and Madlax.

It’s nice to hear a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here. Oh, just Romi Paku as Alita/Falis, Ami Koshimizu as Milano/Alita and Chiwa Saitou doing twin roles as Anna and Yuna. The rest of the small casts are Kazuki Yao as Dominikov (Franky in One Piece), Akimitsu Takase as Pete (Tamotsu Kodate in Fafner), Takkou Ishimori as Jodo (Sengoku in One Piece), Megumi Toyoguchi as Cecilia (Revy in Black Lagoon), Daisuke Namikawa as Kaito (Mystogan in Fairy Tail) and Hiroshi Tsuchida as Akamashi (Grisha in Shingeki No Kyojin).

The opening theme is Hikari Sasuhou by Back-On. Typical hard rock music that suits this series. However, somehow hearing this song reminds me of hearing that American punk rock band, Green Day. I don’t know. Perhaps people who sing like that sound like that to me. And oh, also this reminds me a bit of Linkin Park because there’s a little rapping in this hard rock piece. As for the ending theme, Naked Flower, it is very rare to hear Romi Paku sing. I’m not saying that it sounds bad but she is one of those few seiyuus I know that don’t really have that kind of singing voice (I hate to admit it, because my utmost favourite Mamiko Noto’s voice also isn’t suited for singing). So rare that the only other time she sang was one of those ending songs for Ueki No Housoku. Yeah, it’s so long ago that I’ve forgotten about it that I Google it. But this ending theme in general is quite nice since it has that Latin vibe to it and those killer violins at the start.

Overall, looks like another one of those anime series resting in the back burners of my mind being checked off the list. With only 6 episodes in total, I guess I can’t really complain and b*tch about the simple story and characters since I do have to admit that I enjoyed watching this series despite some of the WTF moments that made me want to laugh. The action scenes are supposed to be the big draw but it didn’t really quite cut it for me and it felt more like just to showcase why Alita is badass enough to slice and dice with her sword while still in her princess dress. I wonder if Disney is thinking of incorporating her as part of the official Disney Princess line-up because she sure does kick ass with style like some of them. But then, not likely since Star Wars’ Princess Leia is still waiting her turn and most unlikely she’ll be that part of that elite group ;p. Don’t want to market to kids bloody stained dresses of a princess with an equally bloody sword now, do we? Kill Bill this isn’t either…

Endro

June 9, 2019

Once upon a time, a long time ago in a land so far away, a group of heroes went on a journey to defeat the Demon Lord. They win. The end! Holy crap! That was it?! When you have a fantasy land that is freed from the fury of the Demon Lord, what else is there for the denizens to do? Let’s frolic all day long! Yeah, cute girls doing cute things, RPG version. But wait! It’s not yet over! Because in Endro, the Demon Lord hasn’t been defeated yet and everyone is merely thrown back in time. And with our budding loli heroes still trying to learn and grow as one, this is the chance for the big bad baddie to nip the problem in the bud once and for all. Hwahahahahahar!!! Evil laughter cue. Just don’t get swept by the cute girls doing cute things stuff…

Episode 1
A group of loli heroines, Yulia “Yusha” Chardiet the hero, Mather “Mei” Enderstto the mage, Fai Fai the fighter and Ellenoar “Seira” Seiran the priestess work together to defeat the Demon Lord and eventually seal him in another dimension. Hooray! The day is saved! End of series! No kidding! I guess times must be so peaceful as we see them heading to adventure school to level up their skills. They have a new teacher, though. This chibi demon, Mao is so cute that nobody even sees her as a Demon Lord?! After learning Yusha is a hero class, she claims she is classless since a hero only exists when there is a Demon Lord. Since there are none, she has no class (it’s right under your noses, people). But that doesn’t stop Yusha from staying positive. All she needs to do is find one! Next day, Mao has everyone do some practical training. Retrieve some item from the ruins and you pass. Or else you are expelled. Of course it is easy for everyone and our quartet is the last the head in. We hear Mao narrate that she is actually the real Demon Lord whom the quartet fought. However their spell was incomplete and hence instead of sealing her, she was sent back in time and turned into this state (although her memories were intact). Hence this is when the quartet defeated her and she is going to make sure they never get to there. The ruins is of course laced with false directions to lead the quartet astray. Not sure where they travelled to but they end up in some prison. Seira is the only one crying over their predicament and the rest are like, “Meh. Seems fine”. Yusha accidentally press some secret switch that has them falling into another chamber. Oh look, a hero sword. Yusha pulls it out without reading the warning and hear comes this kitty golem as her trial. With the help of her friends, she manages to turn the sword into some awesome lightsabre that destroys the golem and the ruins. Just when Mao thought they are going to be expelled, here they are popping out and Yusha pretty confident she is now a hero with this sword. Oh Mao… Looks like you’re going to have to work harder…

Episode 2
The quartet are describing their ideal love. Of course it turns out to be their favourite monsters. In class, Mao has Seira explain the history between the hero and Demon Lord. It seems that when one is vanquished, another will soon pop up. Hence the fight between the hero and Demon Lord has been going on that now it is the 999th one. Mao tests her students and finds the quartet to be strong and extremely lucky. So when Mao goes drinking with her colleague, she inadvertently notes how the 4 will become respectable adventurers and even defeat the Demon Lord! Is she drunk? Yeah, she’s taking this teaching job so seriously. Demon Lord plots again and this time wants her class to take a quest. Her plan seems to be in motion because the quartet have always thought themselves as the leader. This is part of Mao’s plan as she knows them as free spirited. By trying to force them into a group with no clear leader, they will only splinter and disband. So the girls think hard who should be the leader and give weird excuses. They think their pet monster, Chibi should be the leader because it tries and manages to be bipedal? Of course Mao rejects! Hence the quarter try a test run to see who will be fit as leader. Of course all fail because Yusha barged into somebody’s house without permission to start searching whatever, Seira got clumsy in housework and eventually everyone cleaned her room, Fai ate everyone’s food and Mei did the illegal night camping outside a store for some goods. So is Mao finally going to hear the good news of their disbanding? Heck, no. They are all going to be leaders! Eh?! They even quote Mao on what she said about combining their strengths. Yup, they are all leaders in their own respective field. Then we cut to a scene of the girls entering Demon Lord’s chamber. But they’re so scattered and in their own pace that it’s just vexing to watch them. Finally they unleash a spell to fight Demon Lord but Yusha mispronounces the incantation and a void swallows them. Mao realizes the failed spell and stupid mistake sent her back in time again. Thoughts of how this will happen again and again as long as she becomes the Demon Lord. History repeating itself. So? Screw becoming the Demon Lord! She’s going to take life easy and drink to her heart’s content! Oh Yusha, looks like you’re going to have to wait longer for the Demon Lord to show up…

Episode 3
The quartet talk about their ideal quest. With Seira ranting on about her horned gorilla thingy, saving the world from evil, blah, blah, blah, little did she know the rest already fell asleep. As they head to the guild to seek a quest, others get very cool quests. What do they get? Find a cat. Not that glamorous but they manage to do the job. They didn’t lose heart and next day return to get more exciting quests. Guess what? Find a cat. Is there a conspiracy against them? Well, the quests are all pulled at random. Yusha thought they could do multiple quests so guess what? For 5 consecutive times, she pulled out searching for a cat quest!!! Looking on a positive side, they decide to do it and at the end of the day are successful. Next day just when they decide to find more cats as quest, they are given a quest to find moss in some cave. It took them for a while to realize it’s not finding a cat! On the way out, they spot a young girl crying. Looks like she lost her cat. Not to disappoint her, they decide to help her find it in this ‘side quest’. That’s what heroes are for, right? So they head to the forest to look for her cat. That night, Seira realizes she forgot to bring food and this ‘activates’ Fai hunger pangs. Oh no. Is she going to cannibalize them?! Well, just nibbling on Seira’s ears. Yusha better come back with her hunt soon or her ears will be damn sore… The quest leads them to a tower filled with traps and enemies. Just with Yusha’s luck, they find a shortcut all the way to the top and battle and defeat a monster boss. There’s the cat. But it is stuck up there in the centre. How to get it down? Seira reluctantly uses he bow to shoot it down. It isn’t that she is not good with a bow but rather she is near-sighted. She has to wear glasses every time and doesn’t want to so as not to make others think she is a bookworm. They return the cat to the girl and she is so happy. Then they realize they forgot the most important thing: That moss quest! Oh no! Hurry up and finish the real quest!

Episode 4
Summer vacation is here and of course Mao is going to give them homework in the form of quests in which they must submit as a report. The quarter figure where to go and it seems they want to go to the sea. Seira can guess they all have their own motives but majority wins. Despite Seira’s attempts to remind them they are here for a quest, the rest continue to have fun. I guess when you can’t beat them, join them. So they have fun the entire day while encountering a lot of weird monsters. When it is time for food, looks like their rations are empty thanks to Fai eating all of them along the way. The only way left is to fish. They pull out some mackerel dude and he pleads for their help. While he was flirting, accidentally he broke a seal of a temple and unleashed an evil god. Now his fellow mackerels are taken hostage. Our heroes take this chance to rescue the mackerels and complete their quest. After freeing them from as slaves, they head into the temple to face the evil god who is trying to scare them with his huge words. Too bad our young heroes’ vocabulary isn’t that good yet. Eventually the evil god is defeated with Yusha’s sword. After they leave, little do they know he has reverted to his true spirit form. He then leaves the sea and is hell bent to bring darkness to the world. Only, Chibi eats him! Burp. Mackerel guy thanks the quartet although his girlfriend is now flirting with someone else. Don’t worry. There are plenty of other fish in the sea! The quartet eat their fish catch as Yusha thanks them for coming and helping out. Yusha offers some fish to Chibi but obviously he is still full… Burp…

Episode 5
Yusha hands in their homework report. Mao rubbishes this fantasy and asks her to redo it! I guess Yusha must face reality she isn’t accepted as a hero yet. Oh, look at her sword. It’s rusty and covered with barnacles! Princess Rona Pricipa O’Lapanesta of the Lapanesta Kingdom arrives. She is here to look for the hero. Mao is sceptical but here comes Yusha and co doing their explosive entrance! Yeah, the guards arrest them thinking they want to harm Rona! At first Rona is in disbelief to see the hero as female. But I guess she has no qualms trying out lesbianism and so she jumps into Yusha’s arms. She narrates the story how the first hero defeated the Demon Lord and hence established Lapanesta. Then she uses a card to determine Yusha’s credibility as a hero. Easily, it confirms her. But what she says strikes fear in Mao. Something about the hero and Demon Lord sharing a close bond and one might be under their noses right now… Because not everyone admires Yusha that highly yet (although they love her), Rona creates a festival to honour Yusha. Yeah, the academy is run by the royal family so you bet even if Yusha wants her freedom, eventually she’s just a pawn for them and politicians. Oh so true! So they go around having fun in the festival that pays homage to Yusha. Yeah, everything in her image. Including that whack-a-mole is whack-a-Yusha. WTF?! Then there’s this lame play of them. I think it’s comedy because of how everyone is laughing their ass off. Except Seira. She thinks she is being misrepresented… More Rona and Yusha moments as Rona explains how she often read books of the hero when she was young and dreamt of one popping up. Mao accidentally pulls the tail of a monster bull that is supposed to be used for a show. It goes on a rampage. Yusha goes to save the day to prove herself. This has Rona believe it is not Yusha being a hero but rather Yusha being Yusha. In the aftermath, Rona becomes a transfer student in Yusha’s class. With Rona whispering about this fate thingy to Mao, petite little teacher realizes she knows what’s going on. Don’t mess with this princess…

Episode 6
Mao falls ill. Don’t worry. It’s just fever rather than transforming into her true form. Resting in bed, she finds she has no food or just scraps of honey. Reflecting on her pathetic life, she remembers her recent resurrection and was being taught by a golem maid (why do her teachings sound like trick questions?). When Mao was ready and sent her minions to dominate the land, however Mao felt empty and unfulfilled. Until Yusha and her friends came did she somewhat smiled. The rest is history. As Mao curses them, looks like they’re here to visit. Worried Yusha’s hug is so strong that she could almost kill Mao… Yeah… If that’s not bad enough, Fai eats all her food! Damn, her fever is going to rise. The quartet realize that they don’t need magic to heal Mao. Because they remember the power of mother’s love! Oh yeah. And so they decide to become Mao’s mother! Oh dear. Can’t blame her thinking they want to kill her! However to her (and our) surprise, they do great cleaning and cooking. OMG. Is this a dream? Nope. It’s real. This has Mao remember when she was sent back in time. She noticed her powers weakened and must have gone back so in time after researching a hero doesn’t exist. Needing to regain her power and procure a base, she goes around looking for a job but many brush her off as a little girl and gave her candy. Mao sleeps and when she wakes up, she realizes she is being taken away by a woman (her future colleague) because she is on her way to a quest and couldn’t help pick up a cute girl. She faces off with a ferocious dragon and Mao realizes her power has returned partially due to candy. She tells its weakness and off they go to defeat it. As colleague works as a teacher, she offers Mao a teaching job. Mao declines at first but after hearing it is run by the kingdom and this means stable income, she’ll gladly take it. Mao wakes up and finds colleague sleeping next to her. After the quartet left, they left Mao in her care. Mao realizes her students really loves her. Even the cold stew tastes warm. Mmm…

Episode 7
Rona knows everything about the hero. But now it is also time to learn about her comrades. Yup, she wants to get to know Yusha’s friends well. As she hangs out with them, whenever she is impressed with whatever they’re doing, she will quote how similar their action is to a comrade from the nth hero party. Wow. She really memorized them all, eh? Starting with Seira, she observes how responsible she is but also her room is untidy and unkempt. Next is Mei as she brings Rona around to find some rare magic Cartado cards. In a tavern, Mei battles with an old dude for a rare card and loses. However Rona claims she has a few of them! Legendary ones too! Then she uses her money to buy all the rare cards to give to Mei. She is tempted to take them but the old dude tells her all her collecting efforts will be wasted if she accepted something so easily. Next is Fai and it looks like a wild jungle adventure! Having fun? I wonder how Rona keeps her dress clean considering all the dirt and filth they’ve gone through. This jungle journey leads them to a village that is holding its annual watermelon eating contest. Fai was last year’s winner and this year they’re going to hold it as a team event. Last year’s runners up were the Macho Brothers and you bet they’re not going to let Fai win. In the preliminary rounds, Fai-Rona pair wins. Rona didn’t even eat any! The final round has Fai-Rona and the Macho Brothers eat as many as they can within a time limit. As usual, Fai starts gobbling all on her own and builds up a considerable lead. Then she hits her limit, allowing the Macho Brothers to make a comeback and tie. However with Rona’s determination, she finally ate her first melon and with time’s up, Fai-Rona pair wins by a melon! A year worth of melons as first prize! Eww… I think Rona isn’t such a melon fan and gives them all to Fai who is of course so happy. When they return, their other friends are amazed that Rona is able to keep up with Fai’s wild trip.

Episode 8
Rona talks to Mao that Yusha isn’t so heroic and is more like a normal girl. In fear that she might not be prepared when real disaster strikes, she hopes Mao can help out. She won’t. Until the gold bars as bribes become too hard to resist. Hence Mao tells the quartet that the Demon Lord has revived and kidnapped Rona in his castle. Go save her. They get hyped for the rescue mission and as they enter the castle, they are faced with lots of traps. But most feel like props. And the enemies are kinda weak… WTF a hotspring to even replenish their health?! Is this being taken seriously?! The quartet now face the strongest generals of the Demon Lord who are just Rona’s strongest servants. They lose but because Yusha will not give up, they get back on their feet to fight. With that, the generals let them pass. The generals have been serving Rona since young and note the great friends she has made who care a lot about her. Rona is now in a dilemma to carry on because she still wants to see her hero in action. Hence Mao transforms into her Demon Lord form so she can witness how her hero fights. When the quartet arrive, the Demon Lord puts Yusha’s friends in a barrier. She must defeat him with her powers alone to save all of them. When asked why she is doing this, Yusha dismisses it is for money, fame or destiny. It is because Rona is her friend! With that, Rona feels bad for setting everything up. She realizes Yusha has always been calling her by her name instead of her title. She puts a stop to this and admits all this was her setup. She apologizes for imposing her hero ideals on them as she was too hung up on the heroic stories of the past. Put all that aside, Yusha is glad she is okay and not really kidnapped. The quartet are shocked to learn that Mao is behind the Demon Lord. Don’t worry. You weaklings won’t even scratch her. Our friends return to their daily lives with Rona appreciating the natural company of her friends more.

Episode 9
Mei is so happy that she has been invited to a secret Cartado festival by her Tarka friend, Dodo. But she isn’t the only one having that exclusivity as Dodo believes it is okay for her friends to come. Arriving at the Tarka village, feast your eyes on how Cartado cards grow on trees! I think Mei really wants to harvest them all but luckily her friends stop her greed. Dodo brings them to the village where they change into the local outfit to celebrate the festival. It begins with singing the festival’s song and then having fun at the local festivities that is a lot like Japan but substitute them with Cartado. Then the main event is here. Whoever harvests the best Cartado will become Cartado King for that year. Of course you can’t just find common ones lying around the forests so our friends try the cliffs. Just when they think they spot a super legendary rare one, it is snatched away. Mei doesn’t want to give up and continue searching for better ones since she wants to enjoy herself for participating. But at the end of the day as they are about to give up, they spot a jumbo size one buried in the ground. But Mei has her reservations since its content indicates it is pretty normal. They submit this and surprisingly Mei wins! Legendary rare cards might appear in a few years but this is the first jumbo size they’ve seen so that itself is legendary. Mei is paraded as Cartado King and she has the happiest look on her face. To end the festival, the girls are shocked that all the harvested cards will be burnt as part of their offerings to heaven for a good harvest next year. Although it looks like a waste, Mei respects their culture as a Cartado fan. Let the tears flow, Mei…

Episode 10
Our quartet are trapped on a snowy mountain after being sent by Mao for a mission. They try to keep each other awake but can’t help fall asleep. Hence they start telling stories. Of course with disastrous results like Fai who talks about food suddenly gets hungry herself and turns into beast mode. Poor Seira the victim again. When their tent collapses from the snow, they use a pole to help support but it bursts through the roof. Now we see Yusha defeating the Demon Lord, Fai eating to her heart’s content, Mei marrying a Cartado character and Seira having a clean room. And boobs. Of course you would know this is all a dream as Seira snaps out of it because there is no way she could have all that. Then she sees a little monster over the girls’ heads. It escapes when it is noticed. Thanks for Fai’s monster encyclopaedia that she realizes this monster lulls adventures to sleep. As ordinary methods can’t wake them up, she uses a Cartado to dive into their dreams. However they don’t want to face reality and tell her if she really wants to destroy their happiness. They even give her a chance to join them. Yeah, she’ll have her boobs big! However this only makes Seira mad! Even if they’re big, they’re just empty! Seira is going to force them to wake up and becomes the dream destroyer! To get out of here, they combine their dreams into some weird character and start eating it. Once they had their fill, they spot the monster and beat it up. This returns them to reality. Although everyone is mad at Seira for destroying their dream, ultimately they praise her for being strong as she was able to resist them with willpower. They also thank her had she not wake them up, the monster would have eaten all of their Cartado. Yup, Mei’s worst nightmare. Seira is humble in her rescue. It’s only natural to save your friends. But she notes she needs to start cleaning her room.

Episode 11
Yusha and co defeated a griffon. Since Mao doesn’t believe them, luckily Rona has records on their victory. Because of that, the girls want a hero quest but is rejected. How can they go on a hero quest when the Demon Lord isn’t even revived? Do they really want to be up the Demon Lord that bad? Hence all of them decides to visit Mao’s house. Hey, what else have they got to do? As it is messier than Seira’s, I guess it’s cleaning up time. Mao won’t lose out and cooks for them. However they almost died! OMG! Don’t you see, Mao-chan?! It’s your chance to kill them! But yet she thinks they’re here for a sleepover! WTF?! Anyway, she force feeds Chibi and this causes the monster to vomit out everything. Everything. One of them being that golem maid. Mao is worried if she remembers her, she’ll be screwed. Luckily, she has no recollections of anything. Meigo (maid golem, geddit?) now follows Mao around as her maid-cum-assistant. And this is making Mao’s colleague real jealous. One day when everyone gathers at Mao’s home since Rona has finished finalizing her hero records, Rona thinks of using magic to restore Meigo’s memories. Oh sh*t. Luckily, she still can’t remember. Phew. However, Yusha and co’s memories return! OH SH*T!!! They remember they actually graduated and defeated the Demon Lord but came back in time due to Yusha’s blooper. Yeah, it’s her fault. They remember Meigo as the sub-boss defending the Demon Lord’s room. Rona suggests keeping her in her castle for now. Mao thought that would be best for her but seeing Meigo shivering and then whispering in her ears not to worry, Mao has second thoughts. With Yusha being prideful as the hero, this reminds Mao that she too has her pride. She will not let her servant be taken and transforms into the Demon Lord. She kidnaps Rona and if they want her back, come to her castle. Everyone is left in shock that Mao is the Demon Lord. Yeah, I guess they never figured it out from her name… Back in her castle, Mao regrets doing so because she was just caught up in the moment.

Episode 12
Everyone is at a lost on what to do so Mao’s colleague gives them a Cartado that shows the path to the Demon Lord’s castle and also hints if they ever get lost, go back to the start. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Rona doesn’t really know about Mao’s true identity. She said seemingly ominous things to her because she quoted it from previous heroes. As Yusha and co camp outside the castle and discuss what to do, here comes Meigo to talk to them. The land has seen the revival of the Demon Lord and hero for 998 times. Each time the hero vanquishing the Demon Lord. However with the Demon Lord so powerful, they always regain the power to revive. However it is not that the Demon Lord is reviving on his own. You see, the generations of heroes have been for long trying to wear down the Demon Lord’s power. In this 999th time, this means if they defeat the Demon Lord, Mao will forever be gone. And if they don’t defeat the Demon Lord, the land will be destroyed. She is telling them this because by knowing the truth, they won’t kill Mao. Not that they can measure up to her either. With our heroes in a pinch, I guess it’s time to go back to the start. Yes. Literally to the school! So as they reminisce how they got together and all, suddenly the Demon Lord appears. I guess he got tired of waiting. Take out your weapons now and fight! But Yusha won’t. All of them claims Mao is their teacher. I guess those heartfelt words got through her as Mao too said it was fun. If she destroys the island, all that awaits her is cold loneliness. She doesn’t want that anymore. She wants to be defeated by her students.

Yusha agrees and readies her sword. So she’s really going to kill Mao? Nah. Just throw her sword into Chibi’s mouth. She reasons if being a hero makes Mao cry, she doesn’t want to be a hero. So does she mean letting the world get destroyed? Didn’t think that far, eh? Then Meigo tosses Mao into Chibi’s mouth! I don’t think she tastes that bad so as to be spitted out. During the last failed defeat of the Demon Lord, Meigo was also caught up. As she was floating in some dimensional gap, Chibi swallowed her. Normally, golems cannot move on their own, but after being eaten by Chibi, it is like she has taken on a life on her own. Hence she thought the same concept would apply. Meaning, Mao now will lose her concept as the Demon Lord. True enough, Mao doesn’t sense any power from within herself. So Mao is going to reprimand them for keeping such a pet but none of them knows who actually owned it. It just popped up like that? Heck, it wasn’t around when they defeated the Demon Lord. So? Who cares? Everything is back to normal! Life returns to normal. Yusha must be crying because since there is no more hero and Demon Lord, why the heck are they still going to school? Rona shows them a new volume of her hero series. Sorry, it’s still blank. She just got preoccupied in designing the cover. This gives Yusha an idea. Because the future is still blank and they can be what they want, she is still going to become a hero. Yeah well, Mao says good luck and try your best.

Hataraku Mao-chan: Yuusha Ni Haiboku Narenakatta Ore Wa Shibushibu Shuushoku Wo Ketsui Shimashita
Oh wow. The hero and the Demon Lord actually living together in harmony? Damn. Life is going to get boring. Maybe on certain occasions and anniversaries they can do some mock battles of the hero trying to defeat the Demon Lord. Failure to do so means having to clean up Mao’s room for a year. Haha! But I guess that is the end roll that these characters have decided to achieve. See the power of bonding? Instead of the typical hero conquering the evil Demon Lord for good, they now coexist so it’s not entirely a bad thing. Especially if the Demon Lord is a cute little loli. I bet everybody wants to have a Mao-chan now! So let future hero and Demon Lords in other series and genres take note of this. Spend more time together and see if you like each other. If it doesn’t work out, then go back to killing each other. But more importantly, try getting along first.

Either you will love and can’t get enough of all the loli cuteness the story and characters have to offer or you will puke at all the loli cuteness the story and characters have to offer. From time to time I have said this over and over again. I have been watching such genres since for who knows when for so many years, that this genre is starting to feel generic and nothing new. And I still keep coming back because of how they portray everything in a different light, order, sequence, form, etc. So thankfully for this series, they manage to keep it funny where I do find myself laughing at certain scenes. But I guess that is better than being bored to death. Or worse, being bored to death after suffocating from all the cute loli goodness permeating in each and every episode.

Hence basically there is no general plot of the story since our heroes have already defeated the Demon Lord so early in the series that had the foul up never take place, this could have just been a 3 minute WTF anime short that everyone would have forgotten by next week. We either see the heroes going about in their daily lives or do some sort of ‘simple’ quest, that’s all. Eventually they are all having so much fun that it feels like they’re living a fantasy life. Just need to wait for the big bad Demon Lord to show up. And Mao is like, just f*ck all that Demon Lord thingy. Why bother to kill the heroes when she can enjoy life as a teacher and go drinking? I suppose in this world, there is no age limit for those who can drink. Because technically Mao could be the oldest character around. But it is interesting to note about the generations of heroes being destined to suppress the ‘reviving’ Demon Lord. I guess I never thought about this side of the story and this might answer to questions to why the bad guys keep reviving. Because one hero wasn’t enough, they needed generations to do it to subdue the Demon Lord. Nice thought there.

Basically for a comedy genre like this, the characters are funny and in a way retards. Do you not see how Yusha, Fai and Mei are so in their own pace and world that most of the troubles created are basically their fault? Not to say that Seira is faultless too and although she usually serves as the voice of reasoning that no one listens, eventually she too falls into the retarded pacing of her friends. Because, that’s what friends are for, right? So we’ve got a really colourful hero party with Yusha being so lively, cheerful and energetic that it has become a subtle joke that her obsession is to defeat the Demon Lord even when the big baddie hasn’t appeared yet. I guess that is what it means to be really dedicated to your job and role, huh? Fai loves eating and Mei sounds like she is stuck in dreamland and loves nothing but Cartado. Seira who is more reasonable of the pack often becomes the victim to their foul ups but she is no total angel either. That’s why her room is the messiest and she has this inferior boobs complex. Ah well. Nobody is perfect.

And Mao is trying to be realistic here, trying to live a decent and normal life but with the usual heroes being retarded and absentminded enough to give her trouble, she has to keep her back watched at all times. I guess she realizes the merit and benefit to earn a decent living than becoming a Demon Lord and destroy the entire world. After all, history has always dictated that the hero will eventually defeat the Demon Lord. So how will this time be different? Just be different and go against the flow! Hence the irony of the ex-Demon Lord now tutoring the future heroes in what could be the biggest irony because eventually she’s like training them to defeat her in the future. If Mao ever materializes back to her true form, that is.

Rona feels like a fringe member of the quartet. I thought she would be a regular and turn the hero party into a quintet but she more than often is always away. Her usual excuse is that she is studying or reorganizing the hero archives. I guess that is her obsession and running joke. Maybe it is weird for an RPG to have a class called princess but have they not heard of warrior princess? Nah, maybe not in this world. Besides, have you seen Rona kick ass once? Hence her role is so cliché that she was kidnapped not once by the Demon Lord, but twice! Sure, the first time it was just all a set up but still, that is considered a kidnap nevertheless. Her character feels like to set up some yuri loli relationship with Yusha but I guess the hero is being too retarded at her own pace to even think about this. Thank goodness.

Last and not least, Chibi the pet mascot of this series that is so underutilized. Its stomach is like a black hole and I suppose it also preserves time because nothing that it spits out is rotting or decaying as that evil god from under the sea is still alive! Damn they should use him as a fridge instead of the need to hunt food and turn Fai into some serial Seira assaulter. Seriously. In the final episode, Chibi is hinted to be much more than some cute little mascot. Since we never know its origins, could it be that Chibi is actually God? I mean it can exist outside the normal time, dimension and space and nobody knows about where it comes from. Yeah, a penchant to pop up everywhere? What if Chibi is the one who watched and preside over the destiny of the hero and Demon Lord over the millennia? And because the current generation was too goofy, it’s like let’s do away with all the fighting and destiny crap and live together in harmony. Yeah… Who knows? Chibi could be the most powerful character ever and no one cares because it’s so cute.

Art and animation of this series is colourful and cute. It is like the fantasy version for young children since everything is so adorable. Heh. Even the Demon Lord who looks the most menacing isn’t that scary at all. Maybe that is coming from my perspective. Hence this series feels like it is targeted for younger audiences with all its cute and colourful visuals. This series is animated by Studio Gokumi who did animate a number of cute loli yuri series such as Kiniro Mosaic, Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san, A-Channel, Koukaku No Pandora, Saki Achiga-hen and Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha.

Voice acting of course has all the characters sound as cute as their characters are. If Mao sounds extremely one kind cute, that is because she has such a trademark squeaky voice and you’ll definitely identify her as Hawk in Nanatsu No Taizai, Belphegor in Beelzebub-jou No Okinimesu Mama and Momo in 3-gatsu No Lion. Thanks, Misaki Kuno! It was shocking to learn Satomi Satou as the voice of Meigo. I haven’t heard her for a while and thought she retired but it never would have really occurred to me that she was the one behind this monotonous maid golem considering I am more familiar with her voice like Fairy Tail’s Wendy.

The other characters are Hikaru Akao as Yusha (Chika in Back Street Girls: Gokudolls), Shiina Natsukawa as Seira (Nonoka in Sora No Method), Ari Ozawa as Fai (Nozomi in The Rolling Girls), Inori Minase as Mei (Chino in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka), Momo Asakura as Rona (Ayumi in Charlotte) and Chibi even having its own seiyuu, Asuka Nishi (Ravel in High School DxD). The opening theme is Endor~ru by the main hero party quartet. Such a lively and fun genki anime music that it shows basically everyone is having so much fun! Yeah! But I prefer the slightly slower tune of the ending theme, Wonder Caravan by Inori Minase. Feels a bit like a marching song or a song suited for departing on a journey.

Overall, if you are looking for blood and gore action packed fantasy series, try elsewhere. Because cuteness is the order of the day and there is nothing much to it unless you find the shenanigans and antics of our main loli characters to be its charming points. So why go on and train yourself and defeat the Demon Lord one day when you can actually co-exist together in peace! Sure, it sounds so oxymoronic that the hero and villain living together. But hey, even cats and dogs can live in peace. The only war is between cat lovers and dog lovers! So yeah, maybe the hero and Demon Lord don’t really hate each other (as proven here – but only after lots of teacher-student bonding moments together). Just the warmongering people and denizens. When our lolis can no longer cutely frolic together like they do now and force to become brutal, that is when the Final Dead End Roll truly begins.

Manaria Friends

May 11, 2019

I never expected this series would see the day of light that it would get released. You see, a few years ago when Manaria Friends was scheduled to be released, it was then hit with some sort of unexplained problem that caused it to be postponed indefinitely. So instead, we got the very amazing and awesome sequel of Shingeki No Bahamut. So I suppose whatever technical issues they faced then were solved now since it finally got its airtime. Although it is set in the same world, it is entirely a different storyline and not related to that fantastic action adventure. The daily lives of 2 best friends from 2 different races studying and spending time together in this exclusive academy.

Episode 1
Princesses of their respective races, Anne and Grea are having breakfast together. Anne asks why Grea studies here at Manaria Academy and it is because Grea’s mom was an alma mater. Suddenly Lou comes crashing in. It seems there is an emergency at the library. The phoenix guardian is mad after Lou accidentally stepped on it. With the librarians having a hard time dousing the fire, Anne steps in and unleashes her frozen magic. In the aftermath, Hanna beats herself up over her uselessness to contain the emergency and believes she isn’t fit to be the class rep. Anne then returns to Grea and is shocked to find her still waiting at the same place just for her. I guess it’s too long the wait that it’s time to go get something to eat. Owen narrates he is one of the greatest paladins of the kingdom. But one day he is tasked to be in the service of the princess. He notes Anne is blessed with great magic and has long studied how to be an effective ruler while striving to improve herself, thus making her popular at school. However he noticed a hint loneliness in her smile. Owen keeps watch over her but he looks like a suspicious stalker…

Episode 2
Grea is in great pain that no magic or medicine can help. When Lou brings in forbidden books thinking it might help, Anne gets an idea and darts off. So she’s like rushing to every place and completing some sort of tasks to get the whatever? Man, why does this arduous journey feel like a method to get the ultimate video game cheat code or equipment?! Even when Anne makes it back, she still needs to analyse it?! You mean it’s not ready?! Can she make it?! Because now something is happening to Grea… Uhm… Just shedding her scales? But since she is fine, this brings a great relief to everyone. Yeah, Grea didn’t remember all that and didn’t realize how big that incident was. Grea gets embarrassed when Anne keeps some of her shed scales. Later Grea thinks her tail has grown bigger is a sign of getting fat. She tries to diet and hide it from Anne. But Anne eventually sees a tail and finds it splendid. Unfortunately Grea didn’t take that as a compliment as she walks away depressed. Was it something Anne said?

Episode 3
Anne and Grea head out to town. Anne thinks her incognito will work but everybody soon recognizes her. In town, they discover a secret alley that leads them to a shop filled with various (cosplay) clothes. Turns out this shop is owned by their teacher, Miranda and this is her big hobby. But since school prohibits a side job, Miranda agrees to let them take whatever they want just to keep quiet. And so Anne tries her hands trying different outfits, much to Miranda’s glee. Grea wants to stay out but the cosplay maniacs force it upon her. She looks beautiful in that dress to say the least. Later when the duo go boating, Grea can tell Anne is afraid since she is holding onto her tail. Anne lets out a secret that she cannot naturally swim although she can use magic to float, etc. Grea thanks her for letting her come along today. Anne so happy that she rocks the boat. Thankfully it did not capsize but has them in an ambiguous yuri position. The mood is right for Anne to ask if she can stay in her room for a sleepover. Sorry, Grea rejects. Anne sounds so surprised… The reason being Grea’s bad habit to sleep cuddling her tail. So embarrassing she doesn’t want Anne to see. After Miranda finishes class, instantly she pops up her atelier and let her passion run wild. Once done, all she needs is somebody to try them. Anne and Grea return to retrieve something they forgot. Welcome, my guinea pigs…

Episode 4
The test is coming so you can see everyone studying and putting their focus into that. But why does Anne feel so sad? Why does she look forlorn? Does she feel left out because she is smarter than the rest? So we see some flashback of her waltzing into some place whereby she saw and heard Grea playing piano underneath some giant beanstalk tree for the first time. The test come and go. I know Anne is so smart that she handed in her paper first and probably got full marks. But does she have to walk away like as though she’s still so sad about something? I mean, what’s eating her? Thankfully, Grea notices this. So she finds her sitting at the piano. So it turns out that she was lonely all the while. Yeah, I guess that happens when you’re a genius. So with the test over, this means she can continue to do friendship thinks with Grea. On a side note, why do I have a feeling this episode feels like promoting this particularly calming piano piece that is permeating throughout the episode?

Episode 5
Finally we get to see some action? The academy is under attack by waves of monsters. Hanna as the student council president is in charge however with buildings collapsing, the monsters advancing their invasion and those getting injured increasing, she is under immense pressure. Will she flip? She wonders what Anne would do in such situation. Anne and some of the other students and teaching staffs are located safely in the other half of the school. Anne wants to help but is reminded of her duty and stay put. With the situation worsening, Hanna makes the decision to abandon their base and evacuate. When they are at a final stretch, a golem pops out from the ground. Grea tackles it but is no match. But thankfully here comes Anne to help out. With Owen guarding her back, she summons a giant knight to stab through the golem. It crashes into a building before crumble. That is when the teacher calls this drill off! Looks like they’re going to take a while to fix this building. Anne is an observer and shouldn’t have intervened. Now look at the damage done. As a teacher tells Hanna the flaws in her leadership, another building goes down. School is going to be closed for a while. Flashback sees the student council planning this drill. Anne was really excited to participate but is told to only be an observer since this drill will help student think for themselves instead on relying on Anne’s powerful magic. Complain this, complain that. Promise this, promise that. What to do? The answer is still the same. Life is so unfair when Anne learns Grea will be part of the intercepting group.

Episode 6
Beach episode! Sexy girls in swimsuit! Oh yeah. While we see a furious beach volleyball game (Hanna using her super flaming spikes while Liz defends by bending her voodoo doll and use Lou to block them all!), we see Grea take Anne through some dark cave. Anne is reluctant to go but Grea insists it was her idea. After all, she wanted to practice without anyone looking and Grea promised to see it through with her. At the end of the cave, a beautiful scenery of ruins by the sea. Anne is still reluctant but after constant pestering by Grea to get into her swimsuit and to not even use any magic, we see Anne being very afraid of the deep waters as she clings on tightly to Grea. Cool Grea guides her on how to float. Anne struggles at first but once she gets the hang of it, it is the best and most beautiful experience ever. Yeah, she’s doing it naturally now. Thank goodness she learns quickly. Thanks Grea. Not sure what happened to the volleyball match but I guess everything got destroyed. You thought Hanna and Liz’s handshake meant something sportsmanship but their grip is so tight… At night, all play sparklers and fireworks. It’s Anne’s turn to pester Grea for a sleepover. Look who’s turning all nervous now.

Episode 7
It must be a slow day as Grea helps Anne with her library job. So bored that Anne reads a book on how to snag a man. It even comes with a love potion. She wonders if it will work on a girl. I guess they’re really bored and no one is visiting the library on a rainy day so Anne suggests playing hide and seek. Anne counts to 100 as Grea hides. Anne is confident to know where Grea is hiding but she’s not there. Slowly as she looks around, the enthusiasm turn into worries. Where are you Grea? Has she really vanished? I guess Anne regrets this game and calls out to her this instant. Then she floats down. Miss me? Instantly teary Anne hugs her. Found you anyway. Later as Grea is invited to drink tea with Anne, she is suspicious if she laced it with the love potion. It doesn’t help with Anne sounding pushy and suspicious. Uh huh. She made it extra special today… As they talk about the books they read, Anne says she reads the kind that would bring them closer. Much closer. Grea freaks out and spills her tea. Is Anne trolling or Grea just overthinking?

Episode 8
Today is a big day. It’s the school play. Miranda just finished putting on Grea’s costume and she looks stunning. Gorgeously stunning. However she is nervous and naturally her stomach feels pain. But Anne interprets that to an extreme point. She thinks it is really big trouble and will use her magic to cure her! Luckily Grea convinces her it isn’t such a big deal. To help calm her down, Anne starts reciting her lines from the play and Grea also follows suit. The play begins with Hanna belting out a spectacular opera-like hymn. With Anne realizing it would be their turn next, now it’s her turn for her stomach to feel pain. Nervous, aren’t we? Flashback to earlier in the morning, we see Hanna up early practising her lines, Grea also up early but still feels nervous and Anne… She just went back to sleep. Pretty confident, eh?

Episode 9
Tension between Anne and Grea?! Really?! It all started because Anne saw Hanna coming out from Grea’s room. Anne was upset that she wanted and begged to go to her room but was always refused. They’re not on talking terms and this awkward silence is causing those around them to fear! It gets worse when Hanna calls Grea for some help. Anne then avoids Grea like a plague. As Grea spends time alone, she remembers all the moments spent together with Anne. I guess that’s when the power of friendship says it is enough. Grea rushes to find Anne and finds her sitting at that piano. The power of friendship weaves its magic. Grea sits next to her, touches her hand and invites her to tea. Okay. There. Back to friends again. We see Hanna giving a brave speech to her fellow student council members. What’s this? Something about some chaos will destroy the world and that this crisis will threaten the peace? Grief and despair? War between nations? She’s going to protect everything? Is she talking about Grea and Anne? Wow. So touching and moving that her friends want to support and help her! As she and her team make their way to Anne and Grea, looks like they’ve already made up and are back to being best friends. Hanna looks like a fool now. Deep in shock, she screams to return all the time and effort she spent to solve this!

Episode 10
With the seniors graduating, Grea ponders how much time they have left together. So Anne gives her a letter and they’ll talk about this when she returns from her trip back home to do some official duties. Now it’s Grea’s turn to be melancholy. She wanders around the campus and not even the library is her best friend. She goes to Anne’s room but it’s empty! Except for the bed. Probably it’s too big to move. Grea feels sad and starts crying. However Owen is here to get her as Anne was looking for her but couldn’t find her. Grea asks about her empty room. You mean she hasn’t read the letter yet? It states her application to share a room with Grea. Remember what she said earlier about how much time they have left together? Perhaps the best excuse to get yuri with her every morning. Oops! With that, Grea signs and acknowledges the slip and makes it official. We see Anne returning to her homeland to do her duties. Once she is done, she wants to leave immediately but her father the king wants to chat. She is not thrilled about it because yesterday’s quick chat lasted till sundown! Hence she makes her sneaky escape through all the secret corridors in her castle until she meets Owen outside for her getaway carriage. She says studying and experience at the school are her important priorities right now. But I can think of the other greater importance… Yeah Grea, Anne’s coming home soon…

Serenade Of The Bahamut: Madonna Friends
After all that mind blowing fantastical action in the first two Shingeki No Bahamut series, is this considered a let-down? Not quite. Even if the pacing here is slow and there is nothing much that basically happens, it is still able to weave a decently beautiful tale between 2 friends. But that is basically so much about it and if you really want a lot more than this, you’re definitely going to be disappointed. This slice of life series is meant to go at a slow and relaxing pace without any sort of convoluted plot and twists that would have ironically undermined the beauty of this series. Sure, there might have been some trolling moments (like the ‘attack’ on the academy) and ‘suspenseful’ moments (Grea being sick as well as Anne and Grea having a fight that turned Hanna into a worrywart, overthinking it to be the end of the world), but eventually it all boils down to the wonderful nature of their friendship. So those who are into fast moving plots, you’ll have to look somewhere else.

Some of the stories are really exaggerated and trolling like that attack on the campus. Even when Grea was sick and Anne and Owen went to great lengths and journeyed across the universe just to get some sort of solution that eventually didn’t amount to anything. Is this their brand of humour? It feels weird but, okay. Whatever. Some just feel like a long draggy drama like that hide and seek episode. You expected some sort of punch line or twist (or maybe jump scare in this instance) but in the end, perhaps we did a Hanna and overthink, thus nothing really happened.

At times I was contemplating with myself if because of the slow and relaxing pacing of the series, with nothing much that happens, are the characters a bore too? Well, there are always 2 sides to a coin. The problem when you are trying to expect something from characters and then they don’t turn out to those expectations, it is surely disappointing. Therefore this series just showcasing their friendship might simply be nothing much. Some might go, “So what?”. But if you stop being impatient to want to see their character development go somewhere, you would realize that being slow and steady is what builds this development. Like they say, it is the journey and not the destination that matters. Therefore watching Anne and Grea’s friendship unravel at a snail pace over the 10 episodes might not seem to amount to anything much but that is where the beauty of this series lies. You don’t come into this anime with any sort of expectations. You just go with the flow and accept all that has to offer. If you do basically just much that, the characters and series are very much enjoyable in this aspect. So sorry folks, don’t expect this to turn into some hentai flick with a hot dragon chick banging a cute human girl.

It would have been a lot better if the series fleshed out more of Anne and Grea’s back story but in some ways, perhaps it is a good thing that we just know them as best friends forever. Anne being seemingly the perfect princess who could do almost everything but she also harbours a few insecurities of her own (like swimming and fear of losing Grea as her friend) that makes her less than perfect as others may seem to think of her. She as after all a princess. At least for the human side. Grea is on the polar end with her character being meek and reserved despite being from the dragon race whom we all have stereotypic views that dragons are fierce and majestic. It makes you wonder if she is of the same dragon tribe that Nina of the original series is from. But I suppose the series do not want to delve too deeply on their character background and instead continued to focus on their friendship. Hence that’s why the English title of this series, Mysteria Friends. Maybe there is a certain charm when you don’t know much about the characters. Because if you do, you’ll look more like some sort of obsessed fan-cum-stalker!

Not much to comment on the other characters with Lou looking a lot like a comic relief character. Due to lack of screen time, she is almost as forgettable as the rest. Including Owen whose role is just hiding from the shadows and guard his princess. Probably the most wasted role ever since there is hardly anything threatening and even if there was, Anne probably could have handled it herself.

If the story and characters do not interest you, perhaps you would be a little more impressed with the animation and artwork. To say the least, the sceneries and backgrounds around the academy are picturesque and quite breath-taking. They are quite nice to look at if you are feeling a bit bored from the slow pace and this eye candy makes it worthwhile to sit through the 15 minutes. Though, the character designs are just normal and average, nothing really that spectacular. Just want to comment how Anne suspiciously looks like Princess Principal’s Princess. And Anne’s a princess too. Hmm… Suspicious… This series is done by CygamesPictures, a subsidiary of Cygames who developed the Shingeki No Bahamut series.

Voice acting is also okay with me recognizing Nana Mizuki as Hanna and Kikuko Inoue as Miranda. But I was stumped to learn Anne is played by Youko Hikasa and going back to listen to her lines again, I still couldn’t really imagine it was her. Maybe I have come to stereotyped her to sound something like Rias from High School DxD so making this slightly squeaky voice made her unrecognizable. The other casts are Ayaka Fukuhara as Grea (Kasumi in Dies Irae), Wataru Hatano as Owen (Gajeel in Fairy Tail) and Kimiko Koyama as Lou (Komoe in To Aru Majutsu No Index). The other spectacular thing about this series is the background music and I believe the piano themes are the one that take the cake. It is slow and easy, definitely relaxing. So once again, if the story and characters are too slow for you, the visuals and the music balance it out to make it enjoyable.

Overall, this series might not be for everyone and personally I was initially on the fence to call it boring or interesting. Seeing the hectic pace that I am watching animes these days, it soon dawned to me that perhaps sometimes this kind of slow and relaxing anime is what I need to relax my mind. So yeah, I personally rate this series to be a little bit more than average towards the interesting side. Perhaps the reason why our main characters’ friendship could blossom so peacefully because the other casts of the original Shingeki No Bahamut were on the other side trying to deal with all the chaos. And then one day, maybe, just maybe when things are so boring and slow, that we’ll get to see some hentai flick of a hot dragon chick banging a cute human girl.

Goblin Slayer

April 21, 2019

Have you ever hated something in your life so much that you dedicated your entire life to eradicate and eliminate every last bit of thing you detest the most? Well, some people do go that length and in the case of Goblin Slayer, that title says it all. One may not think much of killing goblins since they are one of those low level monsters like slimes. Yeah, others prefer to slay dragons and more powerful monsters so slaying goblins isn’t going to turn heads. Unless you’re like the titular character who has an obsession in taking down every last one of them and turn their existence status into extinction. He’ll hunt them down to the ends of the earth and spill their blood with extreme prejudice. No mercy. Is he the fantasy goblin version of Liam Neeson’s Taken?

Episode 1
Onna Shinkan (Priestess) is a rookie adventurer and is eager to start her first adventure. She teams up with another group of rookies to go goblin hunting. Shinkan feels worried as they make their descent into the goblin cave because she thinks they should make more preparations. However they are confident they have dealt with goblins before. In the dark cave, they get separated. And then the goblins start to ambush them. Real sh*t hits the fan when one of them gets stabbed. Reality check. The warrior guy tries to fight back in anger but with the cramped space of the cave, his sword is useless. Defenceless, he gets overwhelmed and killed. And then this female fighter she thought she could kick some mini goblins’ ass. When the big daddy is here, she gets owned. To add salt to injury, the goblins rape her!!! OMFG!!! Shinkan tries to protect the injured comrade. Goblins too want to rape her?! Until Goblin Slayer shows up and kills them. After treating Shinkan’s wounds, he has no choice but to kill her injured comrade. She is beyond saving. Shinkan follows Goblin Slayer deeper into the cave as he dispenses his knowledge of the goblins habitat. Near the goblins’ nest (where there are other kidnapped females as their playthings), he sets trap to kill the big daddy. He also quickly kills the shaman who is leading the leader of the pack. He finds a hidden room where there are young goblin offspring. As they breed very fast, Goblin Slayer shows no mercy in slaying them all. Shinkan is very conflicted and sad seeing all the blood and violence. But it is either her or them. In the aftermath, the kidnapped girls are rescued and it is a sad thing that many of them will live the rest of their lives with trauma. As for Shinkan, she continues to be an adventurer and unofficially teams up with Goblin Slayer to hunt goblins. Best chance she has for survival if she wants to stay as an adventurer.

Episode 2
Ushikai Musume (Cow Girl) once had a childhood friend. But they ended up in an argument before she left for the city. Many years passed and she finds it hard to apologize. Goblin Slayer stays in her village and every morning he does his routine checking for any trespassing goblins. At the guild, many adventurers badmouth Goblin Slayer because despite his high adventurer rank, he only slays small fries like goblins. Not that he cares what they say. He is only interested in quests that exterminates goblins. Hence it is an unofficial rule nobody picks such goblin slaying quests. There are a few of them but he chooses to destroy the one with a nesting cave. There was a group of rookie adventurers who took an easy goblin slaying quest but Goblin Slayer places more importance of the nesting. He gives Shinkan the choice to go save them if she wants to. For a few days, Goblin Slayer never returned home as he prepares to take out the goblins’ nesting. We get a glimpse of his past of why he hates goblins so much. Apparently they attacked his village and burnt everything down. He was hiding and could only watch in fear of what is hinted that his sister got raped and killed by them. He made a vow to kill every single last one of them. He will kill and kill even more. There will be good days and there will be bad days. You test every idea you have and before you know it, you start to enjoy the killing. It is hinted that Ushikai is his childhood friend but at this point, it seems he has lost it. Now we see Goblin Slayer along with Shinkan’s help, burn down the entire colony and hunts down any that escaped. Ruthless. And the rookie adventurers who did the goblin slaying quest, thank goodness they all came back alive. Ushikai welcomes Goblin Slayer back and cooks for him as always.

Episode 3
An odd adventurer group consisting of Elf, Dwarf and Lizardman are looking for Goblin Slayer. There he is. While they go talk to him, another group of adventurers talk to Shinkan in hopes of joining them as they talk bad about Goblin Slayer. They heard rumours he is only using newbies as bait. Luckily Witch shoos them away and talks to Shinkan about her experience of working once with him. Something about help with magic scrolls. He might only be slaying goblins but this also helps out the world for the better. Hence Shinkan should make up her mind if she really wants to follow him. Elf explains the Demon Lord is going to be resurrected and unleash hordes of monsters upon the world. She wants his help but Goblin Slayer rejects her. Goblin slaying is more important than the end of the world. Dwarf calms her down and explains in detail. It seems there are goblins bothering their land. You interested now? Very. Too bad the military and politicians won’t budge over these small fries and if they raise their own army to fight the goblins, the humans will become suspicious and hence why they come to him. There is nothing left to discuss. Except how much they will pay for his services. So we see the gang camping out as they talk why they became adventurers. And then it feels a bit like a cooking show because all share their special food. I guess the winner is the cheese. Glorious cheese! Then they talk about how goblins came about. There are many legends but the one Goblin Slayer learnt from her sister is that they come from the moon. Because they had nothing, they come down here to steal everything. Thus those who filled with jealousy will become goblins. It sounds like a load of crap but Goblin Slayer believes his sister is never wrong. Next day, they begin their assault on the goblins’ base.

Episode 4
Trekking deep into the base, Elf detects a strange trap. Although this means there is no shaman leading the goblins, it is very worrying since normal goblins cannot set such traps and it could mean some other beings are leading the goblins. They enter a very smelly waste room. They see a tortured elf woman. They think Goblin Slayer is going to kill her to put her out of her misery but he kills the goblin hiding behind her. With Lizardman’s familiar, they send her out to safety. Elf is most affected by this brutality but she has to be strong and continue. After all, her hometown is near here. Then they trek deeper and at the bottom, they see a horde of goblins sleeping. With Dwarf and Shinkan’s magic to make them drunk and sleep, the rest begin their kill. Again Elf is having a hard time killing just 1 goblin as she ponders if Goblin Slayer has done it so many times like that. Once all the goblins are dead, here comes the big boss. Actually, an ogre. He is mad that the army granted by one of the Demon Lord’s generals is massacred. He uses his fireball to eliminate them but thanks to Shinkan’s protection, they live. Too bad she is all out of miracles. The rest go on the offensive but the ogre has healing capabilities and Goblin Slayer takes a near fatal blow. While the rest fight to buy time, Shinkan tends to Goblin Slayer. Thank goodness for the healing and stamina potions he brought. Now back on his feet, he has a plan to face this big daddy. The next thing we know, the ogre is cut into several pieces! It seems Goblin Slayer used the gate scroll to link it to the bottom of the sea. Hence the intense pressure cut the ogre in many places. Goblin Slayer then kills him for good and mocks he is not as troublesome to kill as those goblins. As they emerge from the base, the elf reinforcements are here to take over and scout the area. They all head back for a well-deserved needed rest.

Episode 5
Goblin Slayer has been asleep for 3 days! I guess he needs the rest. When he’s up, Lizardman is asking him for more… Cheese! And what’s this? Elf is blushing while asking Goblin Slayer’s help to survey some ruins? I don’t think the issue is the ruins… And Shinkan tells him the good news that she got promoted. Meanwhile a couple of rookie adventurers are hunting monster rats. Unfortunately his sword gets stuck in the corpse and they had to flee because monster bugs are now descending to feast on it. With their failed mission, they don’t get any reward and this puts them in a punch. They can’t fight without a sword and they have no money. They ask other adventurers to lend a spare but it’s not that they don’t want to, rather their swords are incompatible with him. You know, he is too weak to even hold them. Finally they seek Goblin Slayer’s advice and he thinks a club should do the trick. So back to hunting but this time to retrieve the lost sword. He looks like a barbarian smashing the club but it’s hell of an effective. It is detected that a monster bug ate his sword so they have to flee but with the help of a miracle and some guts, I guess he has to bite the bullet and club the bug to death and then slice it up to take back his sword. Gross. Meanwhile the guild’s Receptionist requests Goblin Slayer to be an observer for a promotion test. He’s not interested but since they’re in a pinch… So we see the cocky adventurer trying to talk big but his lies are easily detected. Because he has also breached the trust of his comrades by keeping the treasure to himself, he shall be demoted and banned from adventuring in this town. He is mad and would have wanted to kill her but had the thought of Goblin Slayer punching the hell out of him cross his mind, he goes away. Mad. Just go away. Receptionist is relieved the scary part is over and thanks Goblin Slayer for being an observer. Oh my, is she another one of those girls who has a crush on him? Why do girls really like hard to get guys? Soon Goblin Slayer gets a quest to slay goblins. However this letter has a special seal on it and is specifically requesting him for the task.

Episode 6
There are tales of heroes taking down Demon Lord’s minions. But Goblin Slayer isn’t interested in that. It’s goblin slaying time. His party members aren’t that happy that he isn’t giving much of an option to discuss. You either go with him or not. But they should have been used by his style by now. So they head to this water town to meet the Sword Maiden, the second highest rank adventurer who requested Goblin Slayer. Goblin Slayer lacks tact as he sounds pushy trying to get more info so Sword Maiden explains a girl was sent to do errands but her corpse was later found in the alley. It is believed to be the work of a goblin. Even with increased patrols, this continued to happen. As this town was built on an old settlement, the goblins may have settled underground. And without haste they head underground and kill a lot of goblins. Yeah, there are lots of them. I guess somebody is going to have fun counting the kill streak. When Elf hears something weird coming, to their surprise, a group of goblins on a boat! Pirate goblins?! Doesn’t change a thing to kill them all! Since they are wearing armour, it is easier for them to push them off. Yeah, should have just sank the boat in the first place. But what is worse than a group of pirate goblins? A monster alligator! Not goblins so… Run! If you think they’re going to be sandwiched between another group of pirate goblins, Goblin Slayer has this bright idea to use the alligator against them! Have fun feeding. As they leave, Goblin Slayer mentions the oddity of the circumstances. Goblins aren’t bright creatures and for them to be steering boats, somebody must have taught them. Plus, if they have been breeding down here, how come they are unaware of the alligator? They would have avoided using boats. This means they aren’t breeding natural and somebody is artificially causing this.

Episode 7
Fanservice? Shinkan and Sword Maiden bathing in the aqueduct together. Not sure if the heat got to Shinkan because when Sword Maiden mentions one day Goblin Slayer will disappear, she gets really worried. I mean, really, really, really worried. Like as though the end of the world is near. The party return to the sewers to hunt more goblins. This time they reach the end of the map. Uncharted territory. It is believed this place is the graves of the heroes fought alongside the order side during the war. But now it is dark and it is perfect breeding ground for goblins who can see perfectly in the dark. Opening a door to the room, they see a chained warrior. Turns out it is a trap as it is just a corpse. And they didn’t hear the goblins closing the heavy door behind? Now they’re trap. I guess the goblins really did wise up. Even more so when they release poisonous gas into the room! With Goblin Slayer having some measures and plugging up the holes, they just wait for the goblins to barge in. When they do, it’s clobbering time! Then the big boss arrives. It is a goblin champion. When Goblin Slayer takes it on, he takes a lethal blow. Oh dear. Goblin Slayer gets done in?! Oh dear. Don’t you guys start panicking now! Too late. Shinkan is so paralyzed in fear that her protection barrier is gone, allowing the goblins to overwhelm them. Time to relive the trauma of the goblins trying to rape Elf!!! OMFG!!! If you’re wondering why Shinkan isn’t getting done in by them, well, big daddy has her all by himself. Damn he is eating her! No, I mean literally eating her out! The screams and cries of them reminds Goblin Slayer of a similar trauma. Then some taunting how he can’t kill all the goblins. It’s like his trigger mode as he turns into some killing machine? He uses the fake wig from the corpse to strangle the goblin champion. Apparently such hairs are strong so don’t worry them snapping. Then he gorges out an eye! With the goblin champion limping away, the other goblins get scared and retreat. After Goblin Slayer learns Shinkan is safe thanks to Lizardman’s healing, it’s his turn to collapse. I’m sure he isn’t dead but I don’t think this party needs any more of such surprises.

Episode 8
Short flashback shows a young Goblin Slayer being taunted by his master he couldn’t kill any goblins and watched his sister got raped and now he wants to kill them all? He is made to pass several tests. Now we see Goblin Slayer in bed with Shinkan. Naked! Double damn because he did it with Sword Maiden too! WTF is this double virgin resurrection?! Is this a new fancy sex technique???!!! Is this why they drew her nipples out?! OMG. If this was an ecchi romantic comedy I know what the reactions will be but alas this isn’t… And we’re stuck with our boring mundane Goblin Slayer who is all cured. So we hear Sword Maiden talk about how she isn’t exactly a virgin as she hinted she was raped by goblins when she was young and the irony that despite she slew the Demon Lord, has some sort of fear of goblins. But why the angle and sound like she’s seducing Goblin Slayer? Expected reaction from Shinkan when she wakes up naked. But Goblin Slayer assures her he has seen it… Thankfully no scars on her body (like his). Reuniting with the rest, as promised they go eat together before repairing their gear. And then some private moment with Goblin Slayer and Shinkan but nothing much comes out of it if you’re really expecting something. Then it is back to underground hunting. But now they are faced with some eyeball monster that disintegrates any movement it sees or dispels magic. It’s like Goblin Slayer got a solution for everything. So this time he has Elf be the decoy (thank goodness she is faster than the eyeball laser), Dwarf using his magic to spread the flour that Goblin Slayer got from Witch, Lizardman summoning a familiar to further distract it and once everybody is out of the room, Shinkan casts a barrier. Because in that closed up space and fine flour all around, one spark from the laser means boom! Yeah. One shrivelled giant eyeball coming up. And now before them is a strange mirror.

Episode 9
The mirror serves as some sort of gateway to a goblin settlement. This is how they enter and exit to this city. Elf picks up a horde of goblins coming their way to secure the mirror. Goblin Slayer and co make preparations to ‘welcome’ them as they fend off wave after wave of goblins. When the goblin champion is in the picture, Lizardman just in time manage to pry the mirror out from the wall. They use it as cover after Dwarf unleashes his spell to cave in the ceiling and crush the goblins. Goblin Slayer returns to Sword Maiden to report the job done. However, from what I understand, it seems he has been suspecting she knows everything from the start. Like how the sewers have no precise map and nobody even requesting quests to kill sewer rats. Something about a familiar guarding the place. From her story, it isn’t goblins who kill women and rip out their entrails because they would take them back to their nest to toy with them. Sword Maiden says the minions of the Demon Lord is trying to use the mirror to plot something as the mastermind is no longer around. She knows a sect is plotting revenge against her and what would others think when she asked for protection from goblins? She did all this because she wanted others to understand there are creatures in this world that would commit such atrocities. She allows him to keep the mirror but too bad he has no interest for it and toss it to the bottom of the sea where it would make a good bed for the alligator. She tells the irony that the world would be saved if the hero slays the Demon Lord but nobody would listen to a girl asking for help from the goblins. Goblin Slayer rubbishes thoughts about saving her since he doesn’t know how she feels. But if she wants goblins killed, call him anytime. Even if it is in her dreams. Is this enough as the salvation she seeks?

Episode 10
Goblin Slayer narrates his goal was to become an adventurer and then a hero. He might not have achieved the latter but at least he became the former. When he was young, he loved his sister’s stew. Of course now he can’t even remember how it tastes like. As the official news have gone around that the Hero has defeated the Demon Lord, the kingdom is now quiet and quests are rare. Goblin Slayer doesn’t think the minions will stay quiet. At least not the goblins. He visits the guild without his armour and some doesn’t even recognize who he is. He gets his armour and gear fixed up and later Receptionist hands him a letter from Sword Maiden. His party wants him to join them for lunch. Goblin Slayer wanted to refuse but with them insisting, looks like Ushikai and Receptionist are joining in too. Will this get interesting? Receptionist tells them about the proposal of opening a training hall to train new adventurers. This is also beneficial to retired adventurers as they can impart their valuable knowledge and experience as well as it can serve as a retired home. Is this her way of warning Goblin Slayer to not get himself almost killed next time because she can ground him with no adventures for the next 6 months? Later Goblin Slayer reads Sword Maiden’s letter. The usual thanking and how miraculously she has no more bad goblin nightmares. Although the Demon Lord is gone, his minions are still around and they can’t rest on their laurels yet. Dwarf and Elf have a drinking competition. Everybody else starts taking bets. Except for Goblin Slayer and Ushikai. She ponders about his future because what Receptionist said somewhat rings true. One day, he will grow old and tired. One day, he will have to stop slaying goblins. These days won’t last forever. When that day comes, he won’t probably know what to do nor has any answer for it. For the record, Dwarf wins the drinking competition.

Episode 10.5
Damn recap episode at this point?! WTF?! I don’t see any new scenes. Just recycled scenes of past episodes. Mainly starting off with Ushikai’s narration of their past, especially that petty childish argument. Then Goblin Slayer joining the odd party, the water town adventure that had him almost killed and his party wiped out and raped before the redemption fightback that caved in the entire place. What will the future hold for them and especially Goblin Slayer who will one day cannot slay goblins anymore? Yeah, we already know. That nobody knows.

Episode 11
Goblin Slayer tells Ushikai to escape. Checking the perimeter, he believes hordes of goblins will attack this town tonight. So, can’t Goblin Slayer deal with it as always? He could if they were in a cave. But out in the open, he stands no chance. Especially when there is the king of goblins leading the pack, Goblin Lord. Wow. Did I hear right? Goblin Slayer can’t even slay goblins? Ushikai will not run because she doesn’t want that to happen again, him losing his home. Hence Goblin Slayer heads to the guild to plead for help. However many aren’t interesting and besides, this is a guild and they’re not doing charity. What can he offer? Everything he has. Assets, equipment, knowledge and his life. It puts a lot of them in awkward position. But with some agreeing to let him buy drinks, they and the usual suspects join in. But Receptionist returns with approval from management for 1 gold coin for every goblin slain! Now everybody’s in! From high ranking adventurers like Lancer, Warrior and Paladin to amateurs and noobs, everybody wants a piece of a gold goblin. Wow. Money makes everyone look at the positive side of this adventure. So that night as they lie in wait, the goblins as predicted show up. However they use naked female prisoners as shields. Dwarf and Witch put the frontlines to sleep, enabling the adventurers to collect them before an all-out war breaks out. Thanks to Goblin Slayer’s knowledge and plan preparation, everyone is well prepared to face the hordes and even the goblin riders as reinforcements. Sh*t gets real when the macho and buffed goblin champions pop up. The heavy hitters are here. It’s time for the veterans to show their mettle. Getting bored of killing small fries. If you’re wondering where the heck Goblin Slayer is since he looks like missing out on all the goblin killing action, yeah, he went straight to fight Goblin Lord.

Episode 12
Goblin Lord’s plan is to retreat and reproduce again. Then he’ll come back with a bigger army to wipe them all out. However Goblin Slayer predicts his plan. That is why he was away destroying his base. It’s time for the final boss fight. Both take damage but it is Goblin Lord who had the upper hand. Laughing and stomping over Goblin Slayer’s head, only with Shinkan’s protection barrier put a stop to it. Being crushed, Goblin Slayer starts crying and even speaks to apologize, promising he will never do this again. But we all know this is too good to be true. Crocodile tears. Snippets of people letting goblins live, once they turn their backs, the goblins kill you. Yeah, more goblin rape scenes! Goblin Slayer gets back up and slices his throat. Good thing his injuries aren’t that bad. Because Shinkan’s mini cure is enough to get him going. Don’t need that double virgin resurrection, eh?! Shinkan was worried he did something reckless again despite it was all part of his plan to make himself as the bait and Shinkan caging him in multiple barriers. Goblin Slayer apologizes because he trusts her. With them returning, it’s the best news ever. Victory sealed. Now everyone parties hard at the guild and Goblin Slayer lives up to his promise to buy everyone drinks. Paladin thought she was ‘cheated’ since she killed goblin champions and they’re like only worth a gold. It was the deal. No matter what kind of goblins, each is worth a gold. Goblin Slayer hands his gold to Shinkan since she was the one who defeated Goblin Lord. She asks why he didn’t post a request instead of going this roundabout way. Because nobody came to save his village that way. There were no guarantees. He had to trust luck. Shinkan says if he ever needs her help, she will gladly do so. Hence luck has nothing to do with it. Shinkan then requests a ‘reward’. Please take off your helmet. I guess there’s no reason for him to decline. Got a good look at him? And with that, everyone is now fascinated to see how Goblin Slayer looks for the first time! Wow. This is the main attraction of the party. Is this some free viewing freak show? Sorry to those who are expecting he is a woman or a goblin. Just a handsome young man. Only we viewers are screwed because we didn’t get to see his face.

Goblin Slayer Is Very Strong
They say Goblin Slayer will return. I take it that means there is going to be another season but it is highly speculative since I haven’t read anything about it. Because I’m sure it is going to be more or less the same thing. Hell, what is the name of this series again? It doesn’t take a genius to guess what Goblin Slayer is going to do after the party ends. Yup, back to more mundane grinding of killing goblins. After all, it is not like the goblin threat has been totally exterminated. It’s not like goblins have been killed to extinction. It’s not like there is only one Goblin Lord in this entire world. This world may be filled with other more dangerous creatures and somebody has got to do the job in taking on low level ones. Thank goodness for Goblin Slayer, right?

I have mixed feelings whether to call this one of the better or worse series of the season. Many felt like the latter only because they fell into that hype trap. Initially there was hype surrounding the promotion of the anime. And when it turned out to be as we seen, nothing really that spectacular, disappointment was naturally to follow. Now, this series to me might not be a masterpiece but it wasn’t trash, garbage or crap either. Yup, my usual middle ground stance.

But the furore that had some screaming their heads off was the controversial first episode. Uh huh. The goblin raping young girls. So much so in subsequent episodes they had to put warning notices of graphic scenes that viewers may find disturbing. WTF. I guess some snowflakes couldn’t take the heat and got scorched. And yes, you could say that was the reason why I wanted to take a look. It reminded me back in the days when Mahou Shoujo Magical Madoka was airing and there were controversies about magical girls killing each other. Looking back then, it was nothing. It still is now. Hence when I watched goblins raping girls, sure it was shocking and evoked some emotions within (shock, that is, duh) but it wasn’t so much so to a point that I wanted to complain and call out. I mean, I’m watching anime. I have come to expect some sort of level of controversies, right? So for those pussies who couldn’t really swallow this, you’re better off watching Barney the purple dinosaur. Are they still making that today? I won’t be surprised there are fan made porn of goblin rape over the internet. You have furry porn and beastiality so what is new in the world of porn?

So the only thing that I find ‘entertaining’ is of course the action scenes of Goblin Slayer and his party mowing down the hordes of goblins. It looks repetitive after a while because there are only so many ways you can take them down. But still, somehow the bloodthirst in me never seemed to wane since I get to see such vile creatures being hammered to pieces. After all, goblins aren’t humans so no love lost, right? Goblins are certainly portrayed as vile creatures who rape our beautiful women so when you see humans and others fighting goblins, you’ll be sure you want to vouch for all goblins to die! There better not be any goblin sympathizers out there calling for goblin rights! Seeing the goblins being stabbed and cut in half with lots of blood sometimes feel like playing a video game. You know, waves of low level enemies and you do your button mashing just to hack them down. Bloody. Messy. But they’re all dead so it’s okay.

A few things that bug me about the lore and setting of the goblins here. I wonder how goblins breed seeing that so far I’ve only seen male goblins of all kinds here. Maybe that is why they seek females of other races to toy around with. Preferably females of the humanoid type because I don’t see them kidnapping and raping lizardmen women. Unless you tell me the horror story of goblins raping to impregnate these women, that is how goblins are bred! No way! That would be the controversy I can’t accept! But what about eggs? Do goblin lay eggs? Don’t see one either. I suppose they don’t make one out of thin air using magic, huh? I don’t think that is what the shaman types do.

Now, the story of this series isn’t particularly a masterpiece either. It is just the simple plot of a guy who hates goblins and will kill them all. That’s it. That’s basically what the entire series revolves around. So for those wanting more meat in the plot, you’d be better off finding your story driven anime somewhere else. We’re all here to see goblins getting slaughtered. Maybe those rape scenes are to stir up some emotions and get you to hate goblins, not the series. But sometimes I feel a bit disjointed the overall flow of the series. What I mean is that, after every goblin slaying mission and action, it is followed by some boring daily life episode. It is good to take a break and breather instead of constant goblin action that would numb you in the face. But these daily life episodes are slow and draggy and they don’t add anything special to the mix. If these were taken out, the series would go on probably fine. Yes, I feel such episodes are a waste of time. Because remember, what are we here for? Goblin slaying! When do we want it? NOW!

As for the characters, they fare as bad as the story itself. Don’t expect any bit of character development otherwise you will be even utterly disappointed. It may be unique that all the characters here do not even have names! Yeah, they are called by their profession. Imagine if there was a porn star here… This isn’t the first series that has characters named after their roles, they did it too in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. So we must be really fortunate that there is only a single elf, dwarf and lizardman to appear. Otherwise we would be confused. Because even if they are other elves, they would be labelled as elf henchman 1, elf henchman 2, etc. Weird. Heck, I think they call each other with their own versions of nickname like how Goblin Slayer is called differently by them. Some I believe never ever had their names called like Ushikai. Does she even have a name, you wonder. Yeah, I got that from the credits. Pronouns are so important in this world that lacks names.

Anyway back to the characters, all feel one-dimensional with nothing really more fleshing out on them. Even Goblin Slayer’s back story of watching his family and village burnt down by goblins and hence turning his hatred into his lifelong mission to eradicate them, that’s as shallow as we can get from the main character. Now if only they fleshed out that training scene with his creepy master and his weird power up technique… But otherwise, Goblin Slayer feels like a generic main character whose goal is to kill all of a certain species. Looking at you, Eren (of Shingeki No Kyojin fame). Not to mention he is blunt and straight to the point in your face. He sounds tired and lethargic and you wonder it stems from his endless slaying of goblins or his hatred of them in mellow form. Maybe kinda both. It is just a bit disappointing that we didn’t get to see his past where he was trained by his weird master and how he came to possess that seemingly Terminator-like killing machine mode that sometimes feel like a cheat code.

If that is so much I can say about him, what else can I say for the rest of his motley crew? Shinkan’s just like a side character who needs to stick to him after her horrible first outing. She feels safer following him than anyone else. Without her miracle protection, I feel she would be more inclined to become a damsel in distress. Then there’s the other trio who are skilled warriors in their own right but make a quirky character off the battlefield. Like Lizardman’s penchant for cheese and ice cream! Do lizardmen really eat that? Dwarf loves drinking while Elf is just too short fused and loves arguing with Dwarf. Goblin Slayer is so central to them (at least in missions we see) that he better not die on them or else it would be all hell break loose.

Because Goblin Slayer is such a stoic guy, there is this danger of setting up some sort of weird romance with him. Many of the female characters here do have a thing for him. From the obvious Receptionist (probably that’s why she never quit her job) to Shinkan (isn’t that why she follows him around?), Elf (tsundere’s actions are easy to pick up), Ushikai (childhood friend, enough said) and even Sword Maiden (boobs and tits won’t do?). Is there room for love in his heart when it is only filled with hatred for goblins? Speaking of Sword Maiden, her back story too is tragic and it shows that even the most revered of warriors still has a weakness that many would consider as petty. Why do I keep thinking that Ushikai is only for fanservice purpose? Those humongous racks are perhaps the reason why the goblins decide to finally attack this town! Damn those are huge! Can’t let that plaything slip now, can we?! Milord, 2 huge boobs in sight! When do we attack? TONIGHT! Haha! That’s what I thought at the start of the penultimate episode… Sounds more like a setting for a porn parody… Yikes!

Art and animation are pretty average (although animation for action scenes are considerably good). Nothing that is spectacular but I have a feeling that this world setting seems to be gloomy. Many scenes here are just downright mundane and depressing and even the guild that is filled with sometimes lively people, have that sort of miserable atmosphere. Probably with goblins running rampant, that’s why. What about other monsters we don’t see? After all, this is supposed to be a dark fantasy series. Also, my other complaint is that some scenes are quite dark so it is hard to make out. As for the character designs, seeing Goblin Slayer for the first time made me think if he is the medieval version of Halo’s Master Chief. Really. I never realized it but I read that Goblin Slayer is rendered mostly in CGI. Probably the dark scenes I can’t tell the difference but in brighter scenes I didn’t take notice at all. With Lizardman’s headgear, I keep thinking he is some native American tribe while Dwarf looks more like some period Chinese drunken master and Elf some bratty teen. About Shinkan’s outfit design, was it inspired by Aria The Animation?

There are a handful of veteran seiyuus lending their talents to this series. Most notably, Yuka Iguchi as Ushikai, Yui Ogura as Shinkan, Tomokazu Sugita as Lizardman, Yuuichi Nakamura as Dwarf, Nao Touyama as Elf and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Lancer. There is also Yoko Hikasa as Witch and despite she talks like as though she is a retard, somehow this mirrors almost exactly as the role she played as the narrator in Yuragi-sou No Yuuna-san. Others that I couldn’t identify are Aya Endou as Sword Maiden (Matsu in Sekirei) and Maaya Uchida as Receptionist (Rikka in Chiinibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai). In early 2018, Yuuichirou Umehara as Goblin Slayer (Mitsuhide in Akagami No Shirayuki-hime) was temporarily out of the voice acting scene seeing he was hospitalized for some disease affecting the nervous system. Many roles he was playing were affected and had to be replaced by another seiyuu (I was watching Tada-kun Wa Koi Wo Shinai at that time when the sudden switch happened). Glad that he is discharged in the second half of that year and is now slowly making a comeback.

The opening theme, Rightfully by Mili feels one kind. Weird, if I should say. For this series, I must say it isn’t that suitable because of its very dramatic tone (sometimes I think of it has a dramatic Broadway-like feel), it better suits series that has a dark and mysterious fantasy to it. Uhm, doesn’t Goblin Slayer fit into that genre too? The pacing of this series as I personally feel doesn’t make this song suitable. The ending theme, Gin No Kisei by Soraru is more of a slow rock, having this tinge of sadness in its tune. I didn’t find out more about the lyrics but I have a feeling if it is supposed to reflect Goblin Slayer’s life of tragedy, it fits perfectly well.

Overall, this series is entertaining because of its bloody goblin massacre scenes. Otherwise there is nothing really special from its story and characters (simple and straightforward is not a term I want to use here). I still enjoyed it in that sense despite those shortcomings. There are some questionable and uncomfortable content that sparked a futile controversy but what else more do you expect when the title already tells you everything that you need to know? For a guy who has been killing goblins for his entire life, you can say that he literally slayed the game.

Ple Ple Pleiades

April 19, 2019

After the third season of Overlord ended and me having some sort of Ains-sama withdrawal syndrome, I went in ‘desperate search’ hoping there would be some sort of sequel. Well unfortunately as of today, not hearing any news of Ains-sama’s recent great exploits. But it did make me stumble into something that somehow slipped my mind all the while. I don’t even know how I missed the short comical specials of Ple Ple Pleiades. I did catch the first season but the subsequent seasons and other wacky specials, they just seem to fall out of my mind. And here I am, somewhat happy to catch these specials and give my Overlord addiction some fix. Hopefully it will be enough to last me till the next season runs. Or at least announced.

OVA
This is supposedly the OVA from the first season. Ains gathers everyone and intends to show them an item in his hand. It looks like a party popper but Yuri seems to fear it. She claims it is an item to destroy the world! Ains assure it isn’t and it is one that will further his relationship with them. Apparently this item, Absolute Excitement – Modified (AE-M) has everyone reveal their true feelings. Like Shalltear becoming a slut, Cocytus a pervert (?!) and the twins becoming more childish. WTF Demiurge adding weird words to his sentences?! Later he summons his Pleiades maids. They are not affected because he was testing the floor guardians. He does hope they act as casual. When Sebas goes to prepare, they wonder if it had affected him and is just holding in his feelings. True enough, Sebas is affected and really wants to burst out dancing but has been holding it in all along. Ains first interviews Shalltear. She is troubled about boob size. Ains says there are fans of those being flat but this only digs his own grave because now Shalltear and Albedo wants to know which he prefers. Can he just say he loves both instead of diverting the topic away? Next, Ains interviews the twins and Cocytus. However Cocytus is feeling too sensitive. He gets shocked when Ains tells him to keep quiet. Hence Entoma scares him with a bug in which the twins burn it while Entoma eats it live! Next interview is with Demiurge and Sebas. Sebas is still holding it in and is trying to find the best time to let it all out naturally. However he blunders all the chances. Even more shocking when Solution becomes fat after trying to eat 10 consecutive humans!

Yuri, Narberal and Lupusregina confront Pandora. Yuri believes AE-M was made by him in which he admits it is. Yuri could tell the difference because when AE-M is popped, a statue of Pandora’s face can be seen. Demiurge eavesdropped on this and now knows the whole story. He wasn’t affected by AE-M and was just acting. Pandora argues the one in hand is only a prototype and not the complete model. For the latter, it includes changing one’s personality entirely and that is hard to do. The prototype just reduces someone’s personality to a simple quality. To tell if it is a prototype or complete item, the latter will reveal a statue of Ains instead. So this means you can’t tell until you open it. Demiurge contacts CZ over the situation of Ains’ interview. Not good. Everything is wrecked. To solve this problem, the toy hammer (?!) is recommended to be knocked on all the heads of the affected. Everyone returns to normal and has no recollection of what happened then. Demiurge makes up a story that Ains was testing the Pleiades maids but Yuri went berserk and threw her head around, destroying the set. Ains feels bad for Yuri taking the blame but at least the case is settled. Just to be safe, Ains knocks the hammer on all those not affected as well on himself.

Season 2

Special 1
Ains and his Nazarick team… They are now a corporate company! Ains is the boss and the rest of the floor guardians are his workers. Some things don’t change with Albedo still talking like as though she wants to bang him… Ains has this similar feeling of being transported to Yggdrassil but no matter what world he is in, his goal has not changed. That is, to build the best company in the world! If only he knew what the company does.

Special 2
Ains doesn’t understand the summary that Albedo gave. He then notices his Pleiades maids are working as his secretaries. Then he sees Lupusregina sleeping. Is she on break? Nope. She is resting. Eh? So what does she do? She attends drinking parties. Best role ever?

Special 3
Summoning his floor guardians for a meeting, they introduce themselves now as floor managers. Ains notices all of them dress the same but they said it was him to dress as they wish. I guess he didn’t remember that. This means Cocytus is stark naked, right? Albedo wants to compete and strip naked too.

Special 4
CZ introduces Ains to Shalltear’s department. Ains remembers Shalltear once got brainwashed and fought against them. Will she do the same here? When he asks, she starts to go into panic mode. Ains tries to calm her down and mentions he was just asking a hypothetical question if she was being headhunted. Shalltear vows her loyalty to him and will even prove it by becoming his chair. Now, sit on her! CZ’s comment: Power harassment…

Special 5
Ains visits the sales department which is now headed by Cocytus. It seems Cocytus has made some error and caused some loss for the company. Hence he will take responsibility and resign! Of course Ains will not accept it and wants him to use this as a lesson for the future. With that, Cocytus gets motivated and will forever follow Ains.

Special 6
Ains is now at the department manned by the dark elf twins. He narrates how Aura is tomboyish while Mare is so feminine. This has Solution think Ains is sexual harassing Mare because of the way he stars at him. Ains changes the subject by talking about this department. Personnel department? What the heck is that? So basically they hire people. So far looks like no one passed their test. Solution comments to hire young and tough people.

Special 7
Ains sees Demiurge efficiently conveying his ideas to his underlings. He praises him for his efficiency but Demiurge refuses such compliments because he is his slave! Ains then wants to know the status of that project. You know, that matter. He lets him handle it. Of course Ains doesn’t have a clue what the heck is going on.

Special 8
What does Victim do? He answers the incessant phone calls of complaints! Yeah, he really lives up to his name in this sense. Yuri explains that thanks to Victim, their company image has been saved many times. But is he the only one for the job? Can others help? Yuri has Ains imagine the other Pleiades maids handle such complaints. Rude, crude and creepy… Yeah… But don’t worry. Sometimes CZ helps out too.

Special 9
Ains realizes he hasn’t visited Gargantua’s department yet. Lupusregina will accompany him but Albedo wants to tag along too. Upon entering this huge empty room, Gargantua is fast asleep. No matter, he doesn’t wake up. So why the heck employ him? So Albedo’s concern in following is because she fears Ains and Lupusregina will be alone all together and do something indecent. Technically with the sleeping golem around, they won’t be alone. But what the heck, the ladies continue to argue…

Special 10
Ains notes Sebas as the head of the Pleiades maids. If that is so, what does this make Albedo then? She manages and handles all the floor departments. I think Ains can think for the rest himself. He asks Sebas’ opinion of Albedo’s emotions. Basically it is love. Sebas surprises Ains by saying he too is in love. With the company. Oh no. Is Sebas going into a long monologue about love?

Special 11
Ains visits the company’s cafeteria. Albedo believes he doesn’t need to eat such food and her bento is more than good enough. It’s made with her love! This only makes Ains want to eat the cafeteria food. Éclair accompanies Ains as he rants about his goals to become the next president. Albedo shuts him up and suggests firing him, turning the penguin into a coward pleading not to be fired. But the cycle repeats again and again…

Special 12
Ains and his floor managers are in a meeting. As Demiurge talks about the acquisition, Ains accidentally blurts out he doesn’t know anything about it. To save his skin, he gives Demiurge a chance to explain on his behalf. Phew. So this isn’t just a mere acquisition but also to have the media side with them. This includes finding scandals and having the public turns against the other company. And the company in question for acquisition is… Re-Estize. Sounds familiar…

Special 13
And so the merger with Re-Estize has been done. Ains realizes running a company isn’t that easy and never thought so as a salaryman. Now that he has experienced it, if he ever returns to his own world, he will be more optimistic. Suddenly Ains returns to Yggdrassil. Was it all a dream? I guess this means back to the usual business of spreading his fame.

Season 3

Special 1
Ains sees his Pleiades maids practising weird lively actions?! It stems from Solution telling them about some great spell casting by Ains. So when he ordered the transition for Pleiades, they too want to introduce some awesome moves. Yeah, somehow it increases the effects of their magic and skills too. Ains isn’t too sure about it but the maids continue to train.

Special 2
Ains remembers Solution saw that moment and hence was awed with it. Since Cocytus and Demiurge was also there when it happened, Ains thinks of closing this case before it spreads. Too bad he hears Shalltear practising her actions. Of course she still has that guilt of being brainwashed. With Shalltear spotting him, she asks for his opinion. Not wanting to disappoint her (since she practised hard day and night), he claims it is good. While posing too.

Special 3
Yeah, Ains is still watching Shalltear’s action. When Aura comes by, Shalltear shows off to her. Cool. But one thing, though. Did she copy from Pandora? This has Shalltear blowing her top and raging. Ains signals to Aura to calm her down so she admits her mistake and praises how cool her moves her. With Shalltear feeling happy, she decides to show the rest of Nazarick. Damn. Ains’ request for Aura: Pretend she didn’t see all this.

Special 4
Now Albedo’s underlings are doing such actions. Albedo doesn’t approve of this because nobody understands Ains’ ideas so this level of acting is just ridiculous. I think Albedo wants to spread her actions that she thinks are superior… Ains is willing to explain this and it the truth supposedly stems from Pandora impersonating on his behalf. However he could never get to explain as Albedo continues to rant her love for Ains and then rushes off to tell this to everyone.

Special 5
Safe to say that the weird action has spread all around Nazarick. However Éclair believes that such actions mean that everyone is worshipping him! He thinks the time for him has come to be the leader of Nazarick. Ains narrates that many in Nazarick hates Éclair because of his behaviour. But given the situation, does it mean they like him now? So when he asks the Pleiades maids about this, they without batting an eyelid say they still hate this irritating motherf*cker.

Special 6
Ains calls Sebas and Solution to put an end to this. Though, Solution is still making those weird actions while speaking that it’s annoying. All for the sake of improving magic and skill! But what about Sebas? He doesn’t seem to be trending like them. Actually he has put a lot of thought in it and thinks it is wonderful (oh no). He wants to try it but cannot make up his mind (oh no). With Solution cheering him on, Sebas goes full retard in his action and in sync with Solution.

Special 7
Ains sees Mare practising but he is having a hard time. Apparently he saw everyone doing it and wants to do too but can’t seem to nail it right. Ains doesn’t want him to push himself but on the contrary Mare believes the actions originated from him and must do it in order not to disgrace Ains. Here we go. Still as lame as before… Is it just painful to watch?

Special 8
Ains needs to go somewhere peaceful away from the madness. But at the coliseum, he sees Hamusuke trying to teach a Death Knight the action. Hamusuke demonstrates but it turns out to be more like martial arts moves. Then the Death Knight tries out, which is quite cool in Ains’ opinion.

Special 9
It must be weird for Cocytus to try out those actions because of his warrior status. Ains manages to explain the truth about this originating from Pandora. Because do you think as Nazarick’s ruler, would he ever do such weird actions? Cocytus sees the point but further misinterprets that Ains would have done it even way cooler! He praises a cool move Ains did and believes Ains taught Pandora all about it. Well, Ains feel he could go along with this…

Special 10
Time to confront the source of all this. Ains sees Pandora and blames him on the recent Nazarick craze. However Pandora is unsure what he is talking about. Those weird actions he is talking about, Pandora doesn’t think they’re weird. Because every action he made is cool! Hence when he impersonated as Ains, he believes he has become his perfect substitute and acted accordingly. Every. Singly. Pose. Ains is in disbelief if he himself does all that. Does he?

Special 11
Ains wants a solution to stop this craze. Hence Pandora suggests using this, uhm, toy hammer? Yeah, just knock it over one’s head and it will stabilizes the mind. Hence Ains uses it first on Pandora! Wham! However Pandora acts even more dramatically. Is this how he acts normally?!

Special 12
Ains calls CZ and Entoma for an important mission to stop this craze. They are to set traps all around Nazarick and lure them into it. Once they are trapped, use this hammer to turn them back to normal. Because they might face difficulties in capturing floor guardians, he will give them some useful tool. However they claim there is an easier way. Summon everyone here and whack it to them. They’re sure everyone will accept it. No need for all those roundabout traps. Hmm… Good idea. Ains gives time for everyone to gather in the throne room. When it’s time to move in, guess what he sees? A big massive action contest!!!

Special 13
Ains has everyone line up and start whacking them on their head. Phew. Now everything is back to normal. Demiurge who was away on a long mission and the only one not affected by the craze, returns. He sees what is happening and could tell it all stems from misinterpreting Pandora’s impersonation. However he goes on to add that this is only to be expected to those who have worshipped Ains greatly after thinking and acting independently. After all, Ains always told them to think and act for themselves. Yeah, whatever Demiurge says. Ains once again takes all credit with Demiurge predicting this would all happen from the start. Let’s leave it at that. Ains promises to act in a more imposing and dignified manner from now on. Pandora wants to take a little credit that it’s all thanks to him but Ains shuts him up before any more trouble could stir up.

Theatrical Version

Special 1
Hamusuke in love?! So the hamster’s telling to the Pleiades maids because she wants their advice on how to snag the love of her life? The maids don’t really care but they have not picked up any strange creatures and any other similar hamsters all over Nazarick. Could it be just her imagination? Not if Hamusuke says it’s real. Too bad, it’s not like the maids have any experience in love. But they still try to help Hamusuke out as they go seek Albedo’s advice. But she is enraged thinking that beast has stepped over her line to fall in love. Until she is told that it isn’t Ains that the hamster has fallen in love with that Albedo is all for Hamusuke’s love. She suggests setting traps around Ains’ room since that was where the creature was spot. Then they go seek Ains’ permission to do so and Ains realizes somebody has seen it. Flashback shows he told Pandora to mimic Hamusuke. Was it because he wants to pet a hamster? Pandora felt good and wanted more but Ains kicked him out. It is then Hamusuke saw this. Hence Ains gives permission for the traps to be set. Then he goes to see Pandora and wants him to turn into Hamusuke and come to his room. But Pandora wonders why go through all this trouble when he can just order Hamusuke to give up. As a supreme being, he must be sincere to the promise he made to all of them no matter how trivial. Since he did initially promise Hamusuke to help find, he must follow through and cannot give up while the whole of Nazarick is watching. When Ains shows Hamusuke her ‘love’, Hamusuke has lost interest and is now interested in one of the Death Knights as a friend. Albedo explains that Hamusuke was merely going through a phase and was in heat. Yeah, Albedo toyed with all of them.

Special 2
Pandora thinks everyone hates him. Damn right. He seeks Ains’ advice. Ains says he might think he is cool but others might not. If he wants to be loved, he must put in the effort too. How? Why not be a cat? Try becoming something cute and making contact with others just to see what it’s like. And now Pandora is a cute little furry feline. Please stop with the weird poses if you want to really act like a cat. Hence Ains tells him not to give away his identity as part of this ‘mission’. Pandora is put under CZ’s care. But the rest of the Pleiades maids aren’t really fond of this living thing. Too weak, not edible and just looking weird. Ironically CZ spends time with it and even calls it Kinkan (brass pipe). Meal time, she feeds it some meat. Cockroaches… Sorry, have to decline. What about this cat food? Okay. Ate the whole can too. I guess it was worth it to see her eke out a little smile. When Ains summons Pandora about a missing item in the treasury, Pandora can’t come now since CZ has got a little too attached. So being a cat, Pandora slips out and runs towards Ains’ room. The maids give chase but they notice the cat is going to step on a trap left behind to catch Hamusuke’s love. Yeah, the trap that kinda overkills when activate. Thus the maids cooperate to save the cat and diffuse the trap. Ains praises their efficiency and asks CZ if she would take care of this cat as a pet. She declines. Because they are his protectors and have no time for pets. Ains will leave this cat in Carne then. With this episode over, Ains hopes Pandora understands what it means to be loved. Next time when Pandora sees CZ, she still treats him with disgust. Oh well. Nothing’s changed, really.

Clementine Toubou-hen

Special 1
Oh yeah. Clementine has somehow been resurrected for this little special. She laments that despite being one of the strongest warriors of the Black Scripture, she now finds herself as a fugitive running away from them. I guess failure wasn’t really an option. She is tired so she hits town and starts drinking at the bar. Meanwhile, Yuri and Lupusregina are on a mission to find more info when they stumble into her. They want to sit and drink with her and it’s not like Clementine (going under the alias of Claire) has any reason to reject them. They don’t look like pursuers from Black Scriptures so she thinks she can deal with them. At times she just wished she could just kill them. But that’s all in the past. As they drink, it soon turns into a drinking challenge between Clementine and Lupusregina. I think the way they guzzle the alcohol, the town’s going to turn into a desert. As the competition continues, it soon turns into mocking Yuri as a tomboy. Yuri got so embarrassed that she pushes them into the barrels. What a wreck. And so is Clementine. I guess the drinking is over. Hey, at least Clementine didn’t die from that, right? The duo return to the other Pleiades maids to report and it is obvious that they did not gather whatsoever info at all. Just loads of heavy drinking.

Special 2
Clementine is having a bad hangover for the last 2 days. Meanwhile Solution and Entoma are now out in town to gather info and they enter this same bar. At the same time, Clementine passes by here too and has this familiar feeling she has been here before. But screw that. Time to go drinking! As expected, both sides’ eyes met. The maids think she is good source for info but Clementine has a bad feeling about them. They aren’t normal people. But screw that. Just join them drinking! Flashback shows Ains needed somebody to gather info on martial arts. Because his floor guardians are busy with their designated task, Lupusregina suggested the Pleiades maids for the job. Although she is assigned to protect Carne Village, she further suggests taking turns. But with the maids away, who will serve Ains? I see Albedo is waiting for this chance to work in place of the maids… So back to the drinking, Clementine definitely knows these are dangerous people. Suddenly bugs swarm the place. Of course it is Entoma’s doing as Clementine crazily tries to dodge all of them. To solve this, they have to leave but not before erasing everyone’s memories. In the end when they report back to the other Pleiades maids, I suppose a girl who is fast in dodging fast isn’t the kind of info they’re looking for. Yup, no info gathered whatsoever.

Special 3
Clementine wonders why her body is so beat up. She heads to that familiar bar and wonders why it is partly demolished. The hysterical owner should give her a hint but she needs to stock up and leave the kingdom. Narberal and CZ have the same thinking. Yup, the bar is the best place to get info. Then she sees Narberal coming in. Holy sh*t! Hide! Then she remembers the other Pleiades maids. That same uniform. Could it be they are trying to gather info if she is still alive? CZ surprises her. Desperate Clementine makes a deal with her to get her out of here in exchange for anything. At the same time, Momon summons Narberal as there is trouble. With Narberal gone, Clementine is puzzled over her disappearance. But CZ will make good of her promise and drags Clementine out. Blasting off into the sky! Hang on for the ride! It’s a good thing she didn’t die. Just more trauma. CZ wants to know about martial arts so Clementine just tells her whatever she needs. Clementine is on the verge of going crazy of the ‘monsters’ she met. Then she sees in the distance Momon using his raw strength to throw away a huge boulder blocking the path. It’s official. Clementine has gone crazy. Momon and Narberal are on their way back when they see Clementine sitting prettily on a rock. Is she stoned? They don’t recognize her and have never seen someone with such a pure face. How are the flowers, Clementine? Finally CZ returns with some important info on martial arts.

Play! Play! Play-A-Desu!
Yeah, it was definitely a fun ride indeed. Despite not having the awesome and epic feel as the TV series itself, but this as a standalone spinoff is suffice. Can’t complain much. After all, Ains is just a background character and his Pleiades maids are the ones taking the limelight since they didn’t really make much impact in the subsequent seasons. Maybe except for Lupusregina who had a decent shot of screen time as guardian of Carne. But others like CZ were sorely missed and it’s nice to see her getting a bit more focus here albeit not much.

The irony of the monsters of Nazarick as scary and ferocious beings, seeing this other side of theirs sometimes makes you think if they are so at all. Sure, they lack the understanding and the empathy for humans but if the people from the outside get to see them behind the scenes like this, I’m sure they’ll have second thoughts. But then again, because they are as powerful as they are in battle, you might think twice to mess with them. These shorts may portray them as in a light and fun manner but it is twisted in its own wicked way that you wouldn’t want to be part of this huge dysfunctional family.

Watching these shorts was the first time that I realized that Hamusuke was actually female! I always thought that this giant hamster was always male, given that kind of name he was given by Ains since ‘suke’ is usually a male suffix. But then again, this is Nazarick we are talking about and that human norms do not apply. Pandora also seemingly does have more screen time here than the TV series proper and as he is the only creature created by Ains, he is one of the very few creatures in Nazarick that doesn’t follow him blindly. In the sense that you can see Pandora in disbelief when Ains gives his opinion that contradicts his. It’s like Pandora is a little hesitant to just accept it at first but eventually does so because ultimately he is still loyal to Ains.

Sometimes Ains as the great ruler of Nazarick has some sort of relatable connotations to real life people in high positions who don’t know anything. Yup, that company running spoof feels very close to all that. Ains may be powerful and can do anything but yet he doesn’t actually know what is going on. Hence always relying on Demiurge to rescue him from awkward situations by explaining on his behalf. And because everyone is so blinded to his greatness, they accept it all without question. But I suppose it is partly because of this blind loyalty that puts Ains in such precarious position. It is a good thing that everything eventually works out fine and Ains’ reputation is elevated to unprecedented levels. Boy, maintaining that kind of respect is sure tough.

While Clementine’s spinoff story is fun in its own little way, I can’t help feel a little disappointed because reading from the cool synopsis, I was expecting her to really be chased down by various pursuers. Especially that poorly animated CGI goblins that were sent to hunt her down. Boy, that sounded like fun. A lot of fun. I was expecting to see Clementine getting out from one trap to another barely by the skin of her teeth but all we get is her unknowingly in the company of the Pleiades maids in search of martial arts info. It feels very watered down. And in the end, not too sure if we feel any sympathy for this He-man’s hairstyle rip-off girl because she has become so weak that by living, it is some sort of torture that is far worse than death. No more bloodthirsty killings. Just a pure innocent girl. Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine…

Also fun to hear are the opening and ending themes. They’re nothing new but sung in a different way. For example the first season’s OVA, although Clattanoia is used, it was really hilarious to hear the Pleiades sing and voicing over the lyrics. And for those who know the signature line and tune of the chorus, it was cleverly and amusingly replaced with Ains’ flabbergasted gobsmacking surprise. If you think that was funny, wait till you hear the ending theme. They still used L.L.L. but with all the Pleiades maid taking turns singing their lines in a very flat, monotonous and cacophonous fashion, damn this song is just so f*cking epic and hilarious!!! All hail the Pleiades maids! They can win American Idol with this masterpiece! For Clementine’s story, Party Out by OxT is a fun and lively rock piece opener and the same can be said for its ending theme, Daily-Go-Round also by OxT. There is also the retro pixel game midi style for the Theatrical Version’s ending theme, Crazy Scary Holy Fantasy – Chiptune Version doesn’t sound all too shabby either.

Overall, these shorts do cheer me up a little since the third season of the TV series ended. Who knows if there would be a fourth season in the future. If I see today’s trend in anime sequels, perhaps in like 5 years they may do the next season. Uh huh. With time making you forget all that has happened, suddenly they announced a sequel and hit you with nostalgia and hype. Looking at you animes, To Aru Majutsu No Index season 3, To Aru Kagatsu No Railgun season 3, Chihayafuru season 3, Date A Live season 3, Yama No Susume season 3 (WTF is all these third season pattern?!) and even Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen. World domination would be so easy for Ains and he could just obtain it with the snap of his fingers. The problem is maintaining control over his varied Nazarick servants. Maybe a hotspring special training camp arc for the next Pleiades feature.

Here I thought Kujira No Kora Wa Sajou Uta Ni Utau OVA would give some much needed answers and continuation to the TV series. But it turned out to be one of those high school fillers! Damn it. So they just take the characters of the series and put them in some high school setting that only lasts 10 minutes per episode. This isn’t really unique as many animes have done in this in the past. Oh well. Can’t complain. Might as well watch this and get some laughs.

OVA 1
Chakuro is running late for school thanks to his habit of writing down records. Outside school, he sees a new girl standing outside, Lykos. He hears her murmur how much he hates school. When class starts, Shuan introduces Lykos as the new transfer student. Lykos is unable to introduce herself as she claims she has no name. Since ‘Lykos’ is written on her shirt, they assume it is her name. Shuan begins class but starts playing a video. This has the students grumble and complain he should really do his job properly. However Shuan even thinks of tossing away responsibility and work, making the students grumble even more. Later as Chakuro and co try to talk to Lykos, she stays indifferent and continues claiming she hates school. Chakuro can’t let her be and will do something about it. Hence with Suou as the student council president, they take her around school. But they stumble into the delinquent students, Ouni and his gang. It seems their goal is to get out of this school and into the real world. But why is Ouni being studious?! He claims that they don’t know much about the outside world and if they head there without much knowledge or preparation, how long are they going to last? His gang is so touched that they all started studying. So they’re like honour students now?! Seeing them so makes Lykos laugh a little. When the rest see this, Lykos brushes it off and runs away. Chakuro is then visited by a spirit (Neri) who claims that if he doesn’t become friends with Lykos, nothing will change. He vows to do all that. With everything able to see Neri, Chakuro is disheartened that this wasn’t some enlightened moment he thought it was supposed to be. What’s this about Neri being the toilet spirit?! Following Neri’s advice, Chakuro and co hang out and have lots of fun with Lykos. Just when Chakuro thought things are looking up, Lykos then tells him there is something she hasn’t told him yet. She sounds so ominous saying that…

OVA 2
Araphne’s class is strict and forbids freedom and individuality. Therefore when Ryodari tries to break tradition and vouch for freedom, he is punished. Then Orka tries to be a smartass too. He asks how long Araphne has been a teacher. 3 years. Oh yeah? Orka has been a student for 10 years!!! Araphne reprimands him otherwise he will be expelled. Can’t have that so he stands in the hallway with Ryodari. When Lykos sees them, she runs away. Then she reveals the truth to Chakuro. Orka is her brother and that’s why she hates going to school. Yeah, there were rumours circulating how he refused to graduate. Shuan explains the Peter Pan syndrome that Orka doesn’t want to grow up. He understands because he too doesn’t want to work! With Shuan revealing the world is about money and connections, this scares off Lykos. She doesn’t want to be like Orka or Shuan. Damn right. With the marathon festival here, Orka hijacks Suou’s speech to throw down a challenge. It will be their class against each other and the winner gets to take 1 student from the loser’s class. It seems Orka’s aim is to take Ouni but that delinquent will not give up without a fight. Oh, Orka ‘persuaded’ the old fart director to approve this farce. When the race begins, Orka sits out and leaves his class to do all the running. Of course Ryodari plays dirty to stall Chakuro’s class. Then it turns into an ugly brawl. Lykos is touched that her friends are doing this for her. It is hinted Orka never graduated so as to wait for Lykos to reach high school and go to school with her. Siscon!!! It is night fall and Suou thought he is last to reach the finish line. But as pointed out, he is the first! Because the rest take the wrong route, they are now trying to settle it with other ways. All ended in draws. Looks like they’re going to have to go at it again… Chakuro is glad that Lykos now finds school fun.

The Lost Records Of The Mud Whale School
Yeah… It was funny and cute in its own silly way to say the least. Nothing really serious that would have any impact on anything. Especially the ‘mystery’ surrounding Lykos turned out to be nothing more than her big brother with a notorious streak of not graduating. I mean, could she have gone to another school? If you say they are all on the same Mud Whale, I beg to differ since we see the setting as a normal town. A much bigger place and not some limited confine like the real Mud Whale as seen in the TV series. It’s just the school name as Mud Whale. Unless it is the only school in town. But it’s a good thing that Lykos is now joining in the fun despite I don’t really see much of Chakuro doing anything (maybe it’s all in the snippets). It’s only 10 minutes, what do you expect? Chakuro said he will continue to record this high school life but I just wonder if it is just part of his many fantasies. I wonder how many more alternate settings are there. How many are recorded. How many are not recorded at all. Some things are perhaps destined to be forever lost in history and annals of time. That’s why it’s a shame that I feel that despite this OVA being ‘recorded’, in no time it will soon be forgotten…

I think Jeanne d’Arc AKA Joan of Arc has got to be one of the most famous female character in western history because from time to time the Japanese would borrow her name and weave her into their whatever story. From Fate/Stay Apocrypha to Nobunaga The Fool and even the obscure Drifters where she is the villain, it’s time again for another Jeanne d’Arc adaptation. This time it is Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc To Renkin No Kishi. Though it follows closely the historical events, it adds a few other extra things just to spice things up. This time we have got harem, magic, alchemy, fairies and even God Almighty himself coming into the mix. Oh yeah, this is one version of Jeanne d’Arc I would like to see how it all turns out in the end.

Episode 1
It is 1415. England and France are at war. Montmorency prefers to borrow books instead of attending class. As he explains to Arthur de Richemont, his goal is to master the secret art of alchemy to prevent anyone dying from the war. He believes the old guy in the bookstore is the famous alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. But the old fart insists he isn’t. Thus Montmorency has to read all the books to decipher everything, though he still hopes on Nicolas will teach him one day. That night, they sneak out but Charlotte de Valois and Philippite “Philip” Valois Bourgogne also join them. Montmorency claims he has seen fairies at Nicholas’ place and believes they must be connected to alchemy somehow. But in the forest they are being ambushed by English soldiers. Only Richemont can fight. To buy time, the rest pretend Montmorency is an alchemist under Nicolas and threaten to turn them into stone with his Philosopher’s Stone. I don’t think the English understand French… Luckily Richemont despatches her enemies in time. The young ones lament in the crazy time they live in. War is upon them and yet ironically the girls come from different houses (Richemont = House of Brittany, Charlotte = French royalty, Philip = House of Burgundy) but study in the same school. They make a vow to stay as friends even after graduating. Next day, Richemont’s brother, Jean d’Alencon challenges Montmorency to a duel for putting his love Philip in danger. Richemont just kick him in the balls!

Richemont then talks to Montmorency that France and England will fight a decisive battle in which she has been put in the frontlines to save face for the family. Montmorency becomes desperate to save her and seeks Nicolas for help on alchemy but he warns not only the church will banish you but you will forever be alone as an immortal. He is then chased out. The fight rages on and when Montmorency heads to the battlefield in the aftermath, he assumes the worst as he sees Richemont’s broken sword. She has been captured by the English. Meanwhile Philip’s family decide to join forces with the English. Montmorency is even more desperate as he will use alchemy on himself to become immortal. If there is no God, he’ll sell his soul to the devil. After conducting the ritual, Astaroth, the queen of the fairies and guardian of the Philosopher’s Stone pop up. He agrees to be her slave in exchange for power. She mentions great people like King Solomon and Jesus Christ used the stone and achieved great works. They earned the title of Ulysses. Montmorency has it possibly his ancestors was a member of Knights Templar. She warns swallowing the stone as it is will kill him because of the poison. He must find a way to turn it into an elixir and only then his body will be able to withstand the poison. For 7 years Montmorency tried and failed. Yeah, time passes by in a flash when you’re in obsession.

Episode 2
The battle ended with the English winning. Hence they advanced and captured Paris, causing the royalty to flee. With the Burgundy side aligning with the English, the region soon fell into chaos. In a small village in France, Jeanne d’Arc is praying for the war to end with her fairies. Montmorency as the travelling alchemist is here to get some ingredients to help with his alchemy. But with Jeanne interrupting, the slightest wrong mixture causes it to explode. Montmorency is lucky not to have died from it. He and Astaroth argue about the supposed completion of the elixir within 3 years but look how long it has turned out. La Hire and her mercenaries arrive in the village. They are sent by Charlotte to warn and protect them from the invading Burgundy army. However they blackmail them into giving all their food for this protection. Suddenly Montmorency starts drooling?! I don’t think it’s because of La Hire’s boobs but Astaroth points out after so many experiments, he may have absorbed some amount of the elixir and become a vessel himself. However he can’t just eat the stone wholly right now. He will only stay as Ulysses for 3 minutes before meeting a horrible death. Arguing on this too long and the Burgundy side has arrived.

As the village is burnt down, the fairies try to protect Jeanne’s home, only to be killed off! Damn Burgundy f*ckers don’t like cute fairies! Jeanne tries to save them but is also killed. Lamenting if she only had the power to stop wars, Montmorency has an idea. He asks if she truly wishes to live and risk banished from this village forever. He plans to put the stone in her wounds to regenerate her flesh. She won’t be alone, though. He will always be with her. Montmorency breaks the stone in half and puts it into her wound. Then the kissing to transfer his elixir drool. Hot and sweet. Until the immense pain takes over. Once she overcomes that, she turns into an evil super human! Too fast! Too strong! The Burgundy bastards don’t stand a chance! Did she enable some cheat code?! The remaining soldiers run away and she would have gone after them had Montmorency not stopped her. Astaroth explains the stone not only amplifies her powers but her emotions. Jeanne then challenges La Hire a duel to the death (on grounds that she has bigger boobs?). She dares her to shoot her brain to effectively kill her. But this only makes it easier for Jeanne to predict her moves. But Jeanne is a millisecond too late to kill La Hire as the Ulysses effect wears off. Phew. Astaroth further adds that for the power of acceleration for 3 minutes, her arrogance intensified. In the aftermath, Jeanne says goodbye to the villagers as she prepares to leave with Montmorency. La Hire believes she will now be hunted down by the inquisition as a heretic but Montmorency thinks otherwise. She will become a saint.

Episode 3
The French royalty relocated to Chinon and with the French king suddenly dead and other male heirs died in battle, Charlotte ascended the throne. Montmorency spreads the word that Jeanne is a saint sent by God to save France. I guess in desperate times, people will tend to cling on to any hope. Even more so when they think Astaroth is the archangel Michael. Astaroth is of course not amused by being used by all this. She claims Montmorency cannot become a Ulysses and instead turned into an elixir factory. Jeanne’s side effect means she wants to taste his elixir very often. Your excuse to have an indecent French kissing scene. Oh good, the Burgundy army is here. Time for Jeanne to kickass. This is just a ploy by Girard to gauge Jeanne’s time limit as Ulysses. Montmorency sends a letter to Charlotte, requesting her to knight her as a saint. But that letter is intercepted by La Tremoille, the chamberlain of the palace and Montmorency’s cousin. When Jeanne and Montmorency are let into the palace, the latter gets kidnapped and thrown into prison. Guess what? Same prison with Richemont! It seems Charlotte escaped from the English army back here but is arrested for investigating corruption within the ranks. Flashback shows she lost to Henry V in battle. Instead of killing her, he made her his knight. Her plan was to be a mediator but Henry V died shortly after an illness and her plan fell into ruin. Then his heir, Bedford got horny and wanted to rape her (thank goodness he waited for her to mature) and that’s when she ran away. But Richemont is disappointed. She always thought Montmorency would come save her but he did not. He admits he is useless for being unable to save her. But he was running the entire time from the inquisition so that he could keep their promise alive. Elsewhere, Astaroth tries to investigate. She stumbles into La Tremoille’s room, only to see weird creepy dolls. Too bad she gets captured by him.

Meanwhile Jeanne is brought before the queen. Charlotte notes that many has requested an audience with her, claiming they have the power to save France but only embarrassed herself before her double. She laments no one will save France or her. However Jeanne can tell the one at the throne is a double and the real Charlotte in the crowd. How can she tell? The boobs. You mean Montmorency knows his girls’ boobs even when they’re far apart? Was photo invented then?! Talking to Jeanne privately in her room, Charlotte finds out about the letter she never received. She thinks Montmorency was too scared to face her and fled. But Jeanne believes he is not the kind of guy who will break promises. Charlotte still can’t forgive him as she was alone and scared. Even her own mother abandoned her. The talk is interrupted when a bulky knight assassin tries to kill Jeanne. Can she activate Ulysses mode any time? Jeanne easily fights the guy and defeats him despite wearing such heavy armour. After collapsing, Girard reveals himself. His intention is to wear her out and then steal her Philosopher’s Stone as ordered by his employer.

Episode 4
When a peace talk was attempted with Burgundy, Duke John I was betrayed and murdered. With both nations’ ties severely irreconcilable, Philip succeeds her father and is on her way to Chinon for a top secret mission. La Hire and her mercenaries get paid. However she knows this is hush money to not be involved further as Montmorency is captured. La Tremoille sees Montmorency and Richemont. He reveals his plan to end this war via politics. France will surrender its lost territory to England and in exchange secure rights to the land south of Loire River. As Philip will be visiting soon, there is no way for French royalty to survive other than making peace with England. La Tremoille accuses Montmorency for trying to overthrow Charlotte with this saint ruse and end the royal family. Montmorency believes Charlotte won’t give in but Richemont gives him some reality check. After seeing so much bloodshed, Charlotte has become withdrawn and left all the decision making to La Tremoille. Speaking of her, she is in trauma mode as she watches Girard torment Jeanne for answers of the Philosopher’s Stone and elixir. Despite telling the truth, he doesn’t believe and continues to beat her up. Brilliant idea for La Tremoille to let his prisoners out of their cells so he could kill them. Because cue for La Hire and her mercenaries to barge in and cause some havoc. Here’s the money back. Astaroth who was stuck in a bottle was saved by her. Because Charlotte screamed loud enough, Montmorency and co arrive in time. Montmorency is willing to give the stone in exchange for Jeanne’s life. But Girard won’t be fooled as he has heard from Jeanne how it works. So Montmorency covers the stone with his elixir and tosses it to him to devour. However Girard didn’t know the reason why kissing is necessary. Because the elixir evaporates upon contacting with air. Girard’s body soon explodes! Charlotte is grateful to Jeanne because she risked her own life to save her even if they just met.

Good timing for Philip to be here. Greatest reunion timing? Philip talks to Montmorency as the latter believes the war will not end if France surrenders to England. This is because the royalty has so many branches and relatives, everyone will start fighting to claim the throne. All France need is to unite and for Burgundy to become their allies. However Philip is fighting her own inner demons. The ghost of her father, that is. He continues to haunt her to carry on his ambition to make Burgundy the most powerful empire in Europe. We take a detour with Jeanne bugging Montmorency for his elixir. In front of the other girls. Since when did Jeanne has got monopoly over his kiss? WTF is this logic Charlotte has bigger boobs so she can’t kiss him? Philip has decided. She tells Girard is from Burgundy and was acting on his own for her father’s wishes, which is to use the Philosopher’s Stone and make Burgundy the most powerful empire. That’s why she can’t cooperate with them. Montmorency can’t accept this. He tells her about their promise. Not the ambitions of her father. The only thing she did in return is to kiss him! But this is just a sneaky move to steal his elixir. Is that suffice? With Charlotte rejuvenated and rallying her people to fight back, however they lack the military strength. Don’t worry. All you need is Jeanne. With Charlotte’s blessing, the people now believe God has not abandoned France. Let’s drive the English out! Uhm, why does Jeanne’s outfit make her look like a slut? However La Tremoille has ratted out to the church. Even if Charlotte has accepted Jeanne, God (AKA the church) will not allow a heretic to be a knight.

Episode 5
With the death of France’s king, England saw this chance to crown Bedford in the Notre Dame cathedral at Reims to legitimize their rule of France. Hence it is race to crown Charlotte there but they must liberate Orleans to secure a safe passage there. However the tide is in England’s favour and France lost many men. Richemont goes to see Alencon (in the midst of making out with his lovers) to request for troops but he is only delaying and in the end she didn’t get what she wanted. Later Richemont is kidnapped and almost raped had not one of Alencon’s lovers led the soldiers to liberate her. They talk about Alencon being a weak and indecisive ruler. However she tells when Lord Bedford demanded Richemont to be handed over, Alencon opposed this not because it meant they sided with England but rather Richemont is his sister and will not allow it. Even if Alencon isn’t a good ruler, at times he can still be brave on her behalf. Jeanne is handed the sword of the French royalty, Joyeuse in hopes she could rally knights to fight for her. La Tremoille seeks an audience with Charlotte as he hands her a message that the church calls for Jeanne to take a virginity test. Yeah, possible rape by perverted old men. Others of course won’t want Jeanne to go but since Jeanne blames herself for not being able to raise an army, is thinking of going.

Charlotte and Richemont’s relationship is strained as they start blaming each other. The former accusing Alencon for not providing the troops and hence prolonging the war. Then there is also the touchy issue of the Brittany house being annexed. With that, Richemont quits and she hits rock bottom after seeing Montmorency hug Jeanne (to calm and assure her). She feels sad that it wasn’t that she was afraid of losing her purity to Bedford but rather couldn’t offer her purity to Montmorency. More woes as La Hire won’t send her men to fight and die a pointless battle. That night, La Tremoille leads some of the villagers to demand Jeanne take the virginity test. After all, bad rumours have spread that she might have received the power from the devil and Montmorency is a black magician. Montmorency tries to use diplomacy but gets beaten up instead. Jeanne shows up in Ulysses mode to beat them up and even tell them off that she’ll take the virginity test. After she collapses, Montmorency lets everyone know how Jeanne won’t even kill in this mode because of witnessing her sister died in war. She knows a life lost is forever and decided to use this power to protect instead. With the other villagers cooling their heads and accepting Jeanne isn’t as bad as she seems, only La Tremoille rues his ruined chance as he can’t get back his grand chamberlain title and continue with his fairy collection. Thanks to Joyeuse, more knights decide to fight alongside Jeanne. They prepare to march towards Orleans. Astaroth notes this is the first step to end the war and turn the world into a utopia. She calls Montmorency by his full name, Gilles de Montmorency Lavel or Gilles de Rais for short.

Episode 6
In the decisive battle at Orleans, Montmorency must also lead the soldiers to cross the bridge over Loire River as this is where the Tourelles complex sits and a frontal assault will be difficult. Montmorency is reunited with Batard, Charlotte’s younger brother who is forced to dress as a girl since young since she desired a little sister. That’s why he hates girls and is more into men. Like Montmorency. Also participating in this battle is Alencon who views this as a perfect chance to change his reputation as a useless brother. However he is struck down by a mysterious woman who calls herself as Ulysses Noire. Thankfully Jeanne enters the fray to fight her before retreating. With France obtaining victory and the English retreating to Tourelles, the people’s morale is boosted. We take a detour to see Jeanne in her usual raping of Montmorency. Not sure why Astaroth needs to point out the danger of them procreating (because it’s just natural) and hence unlocks some power in his Philosopher’s Stone. An image of the hottest babe ever appears and if he is able to draw this power out to its limit, this hot chick will be his and he shall never desire another human woman again. Montmorency rejects because he believes true love cannot be born without spending time together. With the high morale spirits of the French, this poses another problem as they are willing to go die in the frontlines for Jeanne. Alencon blames Montmorency for this and wants to assume command of this mission. While it might sound logical to use the mob as diversion while their limited forces conquer Tourelles, Jeanne is against this and will not sacrifice the people. She will go alone if needed to. Too bad the French people are already fighting the English army on the bridge. As the battle rages on, the English commanding officer, William Glasdale pops up. This is part of Montmorency’s plan to lure him out so Jeanne could go into Ulysses mode and strike him. However she is struck down by Noire. Uh huh. This is Glasdale’s trap to lure Jeanne so this could happen. Worse, Noire pins Jeanne down and is willing to die together with her (it is hinted Noire is Phillip). Glasdale uses his holy lance that supposedly killed Jesus to rip out their hearts! Because their organs won’t heal when coming into contact with the lance, hence Glasdale is the ideal Ulysses Hunter to exterminate all sorts of monsters. The French are left with a devastated blow seeing their saint dead. Glasdale orders the retrieval of Jeanne’s Philosopher Stone and corpse and anyone who does so will be generously rewarded by Bedford. Alencon grabs Jeanne but Montmorency is still reeling from the shock.

Episode 7
Montmorency is having bad nightmares that Jeanne is dead. He wakes up in Augustine’s Fortress where the French have temporarily seized it from the English during the confusion. But Jeanne is not dead. She is in a comatose state. She still has her head intact although she has lost her heart. The Philosopher Stone is barely keeping her alive. But even if she is revived, they cannot stand the force of the English might and need reinforcement. It is believed they need the mystical sword, Escalibor that lies hidden in the forest of Brittany but Alencon wants Montmorency to request troops from his grandfather instead even though their relationship is strained. Alencon will find Escalibor instead. Montmorency reluctantly returns home and meets up with his cousin, Catherine who is so glad to see him again. Grandpa has no qualms lending him as many men he wants. But on one condition: Marry Catherine. Montmorency refuses and gets beaten up. Gee, old man beats him up like that, Montmorency must be real weak. But Catherine must truly love Montmorency. Love him so much that she really wants his baby! Is this desperation. She narrates that his grandpa known as Jean the Redbeard plotted to marry his grandsons off to girls of wealthy families for their wealth. Wow. How many grandsons he has? But in reality he kidnaps them and brought to his tower where many die from sorrow and frailty. She is one of those girls but luckily for her, Montmorency somewhat ‘saved’ her and they made a vow to become siblings. Gee, that’s a step closer than a cousin, don’t you think? Meanwhile Charlotte pays La Hire in advance her Joyeuse to fight the English at Orleans. Jean is visited by Flamel. He remembers about his warning to kill Montmorency because of his prediction he will bring ruin to the world. Of course Jean didn’t because he is his grandson (is it for the future money?). Montmorency goes to see Catherine. He says he can’t marry her because of the promise he made to Jeanne and the responsibility he needs to take after turning her into a monster. Luckily he didn’t make any promises with Catherine, right? Catherine knows Montmorency loves Jeanne. Even if the world is against him and he still fights to protect her, that is love. I guess Catherine lost out on this game of love as she too is in the similar lonely position as Jeanne. She will lie to grandpa she lost her virginity to him so he can take the troops. After he leaves, Catherine cries as loud as she can. No one can hear her from this tower, right? And what the heck did Flamel lecture about one not being able to change one’s fate except after experiencing love? Is this the cliché power of love he is talking about?

Episode 8
I’m sure Astaroth clears us up about the spelling confusion of Excalibur, right? We’re in France and not in England. Also, they aren’t searching for the sword in particular but its scabbard. Because it will be too dangerous to put the sword and scabbard together. Hence Astaroth hints that she is actually the legendary Lady of the Lake! I want to doubt that because it seems she can’t remember where she hid it in the forest. Can we blame it has been 1000 years? Yeah, she even forgot the trap (I guess it isn’t Stonehenge) she set out to stop pursuers. Until she shows the Philosopher’s Stone did the stones stop moving and those little fairies she appointed to protect it pop up. They don’t remember her so she chastises them to keep a memo or something. Yeah, like she is the one to say. But as the fairies take them to the place, it has already been stolen by Thomas Malory, the princess knight of Wales and the one who is leading the search for Escalibor. She intends to hole herself up on this tree until her search team of 100 men come to rescue her. Batard tries to distract her but Thomas saw this coming and kills Astaroth! Not! Astaroth cannot die as long as she is the protector of the Philosopher’s Stone. Thomas is so shocked that she falls out of the tree! Alencon wants Batard to return with the scabbard while he uses Thomas as hostage to buy time. If he sounds like he is sacrificing himself, he is. Short flashbacks show his goal is to surpass Richemont and this is the perfect moment for it even if it means his death. Astaroth reunites with Montmorency and updates what happens. However his side now has to face off with La Tremoille who won’t allow him to be France’s saviour. Montmorency doesn’t have time for this but is dancing into his palms getting angry as La Tremoille mocks Jeanne. Suddenly Alencon returns! With Richemont and her strong private army! Flashback shows she was passing by and saved him. Thomas immediately had her troops retreated. Alencon thought he would be a laughing stock again but Richemont was proud of him for doing well. Thus Richemont’s side will fight on La Tremoille’s army so that Montmorency could go to Jeanne. Jeanne is given the scabbard and some of the elixir to revive. Kiss of life? Her wounds heal and Jeanne is back. So happy that they hug and she wants to stay like this for a while. Sorry to break you up, but there’s a war going on the outside and the French are losing ground, you know? Care to turn the tide sooner the better?

Episode 9
Jeanne’s voice revitalizes the French to fight back. However the rest won’t let Jeanne back to the battlefield. Because if she dies the same way again, she cannot be revived anymore. You mean the Philosopher’s Stone is only good for 1 use? We see Philip putting on the helmet which is the Holy Grail. She was expected to die when done so but Montmorency’s elixir turned her into a Ulysses and negated that effect. And that damn father’s voice telling her to fulfil her mission before she dies. So with Noire chopping down the French, Jeanne can’t sit back and watch her people die so she stubbornly enters the fray to fight Noire. Because of Noire’s helmet, she can regenerate easily. The rest of the French still motivated, fight on the pave a way to lead Montmorency to Jeanne. English dudes are getting pretty scared how fearsome these ordinary French people can be. Jeanne is supposed to win with her acceleration that Noire and Glasdale can’t keep up. So Noire plays this psychological trick by telling how Montmorency f*cked Catherine just to get the army. How the f*ck did she know?! Was she there to witness all that even if it was just lies? This works like a charm as Jeanne is now mad at Montmorency, thinking he thinks of her as a tool for battle. With her provoked, Noire kicks her into the air where she can’t move so Glasdale and other English soldiers fire their arrow. Can’t tell the real holy lance among them. Can she evade all of them? Just when she is about to succumb to her fate, Montmorency swallows his Philosopher’s Stone and suddenly becomes a Ulysses! As Jeanne’s half is offence, his is defence. With that, he is able to harden air and block all the arrows. Noire pins down Jeanne and wants Glasdale to shoot through them like the last time. Hesitantly he shoots. Although Montmorency tries to block it, his Ulysses effect runs out. The arrow hits Noire’s helmet but not enough force to pierce through. Jeanne manages to crack the helmet as Noire blames her for being loved by Montmorency. The bridge crumbles. I wonder how fast was Glasdale to dive in to save Noire. Luckily for Jeanne, Montmorency got her hand. The end of this battle signals the French’s victory. Montmorency believes Astaroth’s prophecy was off because he didn’t explode and should have ate it earlier. I hope he didn’t jinx it because now he feels something but wait, the entire sky turns ominous! Is this the end of the world? Flamel says love triggered the end of the world?! Astaroth is in shock that several dimensions are opening up. Are these monsters from those dimensions? Is this the effect of the Philosopher’s Stone going berserk?

Episode 10
The Hole of Babylon is opening and the monsters are killing everybody. Montmorency uses his air defence but he can only last for so long. He gets devoured and finds himself in an alternate dimension. He witnesses Astaroth and a human sealing a god in a Void Dimension. Yeah, god is ranting how without him, humans will lose their eternal utopia. STFU and get sealed forever. After that, the human dies (like Thanos’ snap?) and entrusts Astaroth to bring utopia to humans. Now Montmorency is possessed by the freed god (looking more like a demon) as he rains havoc on Earth. So god is an alien? Because he summons his spaceship to fire a laser to destroy the surrounding area! He is going to bring back utopia but must cleanse it of humans. Oh, how can you pray to God when God is now your enemy? Looks like this god has got a grudge with Astaroth. Nice timing for Flamel to show up and regret letting Montmorency live. He thought love will free him and mankind wouldn’t be a slave to fate but looks like he was wrong. Flamel is the last remaining survivor of Temple Knights, an organization by humans to create utopia for humans. They fought to destroy the Philosopher’s Stone but a traitor brought it back and it ended up in Montmorency’s hands. Thinking about it, everything could have been a curse. God demands Astaroth and Flamel won’t hand her over. So he uses his alchemy to fight him? Not going to work! Old geezer gets blown off. God is going to get his revenge over Astaroth’s betrayal. Even though she cannot die as she is the Philosopher’s Stone’s protector, he can kill her forever. Each time Astaroth dies, she resurrects and the killing resumes. Having fun killing her in many ways? Why does it look like a bad rape scene? La Hire isn’t going to sit around and do nothing. She stabs Joyeuse into her own heart and turns into some sort of Ulysses? Her magic bullets are able to fend off the tentacle monsters and will hit anything with accuracy. Her limit is up as she manages to shoot the Philosopher’s Stone out of Montmorency. Too bad the tentacle monsters can take it back. But for that slight moment, Montmorency returned to his senses and wants La Hire to kill him. Blow his brains out. When God resumes control, the Philosopher’s Stones resonate. This causes Jeanne to revive as she beats the sh*t out of God. Actually she is beating the crap out of Montmorency for trying to die. He promised he will not let her be alone and yet he is going to let himself be killed? Jeanne does multiple Super Saiyan punches in hopes of returning Montmorency. Not going to be easy. God won’t permit it. Meanwhile Montmorency is dreaming whereby Jeanne gets burnt by the stake as a witch.

Episode 11
Apparently this God has a name. Enlil. You mean it’s not Zephiroth? Okay. With Jeanne unable to detect Montmorency anymore, she gets mad. Meanwhile Philip continues to hear her father’s voice telling to go forth with her destiny to make Burgundy’s name legendary. F*ck you! With humanity ending, there won’t even be Burgundy left except in history. Philip is back to herself without the helmet. Wow. Did her bust shrink a lot. Philip believes Enlil is now a Ulysses since he absorbed the Philosopher’s Stone to maintain his form via a host, that’s why he didn’t kill Montmorency. This means Glasdale’s lance can pierce through him and Philip is willing to ruin her good name and sacrifice Jeanne for that cause. Philip puts back the helmet and reverts to Noire. Oh man! She just bust up and got her ass thicc!!! Jeanne and La Hire are no match for Enlil as he summons his demons to attack the humans. Wait. He has got lots of alien spaceships in space awaiting his command to fire?! When Noire holds down Enlil and Glasdale fires, Jeanne intercepts! This means Noire gets killed. I guess she has a responsibility to save Montmorency. Yup, she somewhat felt his presence. So this is how she is going to do it. Kiss Enlil! She goes back to the past when Montmorency was a kid believing alchemy could save the world. When Jeanne talks to him, of course he doesn’t know her, is confused and rejects her. Blown into another part of the past whereby Montmorency and his harem made that promise, same thing. Hi, I’m Jeanne. Who the f*ck are you?! Go away! Blown away. Next is Montmorency and Catherine paying tributes of the graves to all the girls Jean kidnapped. This time she just says they can end all tragedies together. Montmorency says they can’t. Next thing she knows, a vision of her being burnt at the stake. This time the real Montmorency explains with his assimilation with Enlil, he is able to see the flow of time including the future. This might be a fake world but he wants them to leave in this eternal peace. This time she rejects him. Even though the world is a sad and bad place, it is still the world she loves because everybody is there. So let’s go back. Uhm, so she’s a masochist? Montmorency fears she will not be there. Well, she’ll be in everybody’s smile. Technically. And so Montmorency returns by pushing Enlil out of his body. Hah! God is no match for a mere human! You mad, Enlil? Well save some because it’s time Montmorency and Jeanne kick you out of their world for good.

Episode 12
Have some elixir to turn you into Ulysses and kick this damn God’s ass back to where he came from! Damn that was easy! I guess it really shows God wasn’t necessary after all. And the ironic part is how the French people are praising to God that He has blessed them. Yeah… With our heroes collapsed, Noire is going to kill them. Can’t blame her. Philip’s bugging father tells her to do so. Get rid of Jeanne or else the English will be in a pinch and this will affect their Burgundy family who assisted them. The clincher: You will never be with Montmorency. It’s sad but Noire can’t do it. Instead she asks Glasdale to shoot and kill her. He only shoots and breaks her helmet. Finally he completes a mission. When Lord Talbot arrives, he is told by Thomas they are to retreat via Bedford’s orders. Talbot thought he could tough it out as the French side is in disarray. Well, not if every French soldier are motivated to fight like martyrs. But what about Jeanne becoming a legend with this victory? Don’t worry. Bedford has a plan… With the English retreating, time for the French to celebrate. Wow. Batard such a hit with the ladies that they want to f*ck him?! But he got so scared and prefers Alencon?! Is this early French gay shotacon? But where are the stars of the war? They’re not at the party. It seems Montmorency is trying to convince a sulking Jeanne after she learns he gave some of his elixir to La Hire. And what’s this about Catherine being his official wife? This battle isn’t going to be won any time soon. But here comes Charlotte kissing and hugging Jeanne for surviving the battle. Is this early French yuri lesbianism? So Jeanne and La Hire got medals for their bravery, huh? Okay. Better than nothing. Charlotte installs Montmorency as the highest general in the French army. He doesn’t want this but she says it is necessary. The French nobles are in disarray and with La Tremoille still alive (albeit wounded from his battle), he will no doubt plot a comeback. He accepts but with a condition she makes up with Richemont.

We see Astaroth trying to do something useful for once: Leaving them! Too bad Montmorency won’t let her abandon her duty so she scolds him for what?! His answer to that is even though he mastered alchemy, he cannot stop time. The present is the only time they can live. Oh, so philosophical. Who you learnt it from? But Astaroth notes she stopped his time when he was a boy. It must have been Jeanne who moved it forward again. Cue for whatever reason for Astaroth to continue following him. Glasdale reports to Bedford about losing Noire but the latter hints he doesn’t believe it. But no time for checking your subordinate’s loyalty. Time for another mission… Philip is sure shocked the helmet is back in one piece. Something about it cannot be destroyed in this realm? Oh boy, here goes her dead father trying to guilt trip her AGAIN into doing his bidding. Yeah, even dragging Montmorency’s name into it. It’s a good thing Philip is tired of it all and walks away. You go (away) girl! Enough of this sh*t already. Montmorency brings Jeanne to see Catherine as requested. Thankfully she is not here to remind about the pecking order of the harem. Instead, Jeanne wants Catherine to be Montmorency’s crying shoulder should he be sad. Next day, Montmorency announces his strategy to head towards Reims to crown Charlotte. This time they will be joined by Richemont who offers to help. Will her majesty allow it? I guess so. As the French army make their way there, I guess it is sooner or later that Jeanne starts asking Montmorency to make babies with her! Excuse for the other girls to chastise him for being a lolicon.

Full Metal Ulysses: Sainthood
So we get a very anti-climactic narration at the very last scene how Jeanne led the French to defeat the English at the Battle of Patay and hence Charlotte was eventually crowned as the ruler of France. I suppose the magic has run out. No more Gods, demons and fairies to help aid in the French’s victory over the English. Oh well, perhaps it is best to end it here. Because at least technically it is still a good and happy ending. An ending where Jeanne doesn’t get burnt at the stakes!

I’m not really into the history of Jeanne d’Arc but I suppose it follows closely to the historical events. Yeah, my lazy Google for a few seconds some time ago has me ‘convinced’ that this is what supposedly happened. Only, this anime added in some supernatural elements so as not to make you feel like you are watching an animated documentary. Heh. So I suppose the plot for this series can be considered pretty okay in my books. After all, I did speculate this might turn into some cheesy harem but thankfully that didn’t happen. It’s not like this series was gunning for total historical accuracy in the first place, right? Because even though all the characters are real but some of them have been given the gender bender treatment. Because cute young anime girls (and traps) are so much hotter than ugly old Caucasian guys. Thanks anime.

So perhaps this series took a different path because unlike in the history of how Montmorency AKA Gilles de Rais screwed over Jeanne and eventually became a serial killer, it turns into some ‘epic’ battle with space aliens. Heh. It just sounds complicated and mind blowing that an alien proclaims himself to be God based on his own dumb views and now he wants to destroy Earth to bring back utopia? I say this alien dude must be an outcast and kicked out from his own society, the reason why he targeted Earth and decided to become the almighty supreme ruler AKA God. If he could lose to humans and their power of love, I guess he isn’t so mighty after all. Yeah, so called ‘best twist’ in the plot ever. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… What turned out to be a simple plot of the French trying to throw out the English and gain their people back their freedom, turned into one giant end-of-the-world affair. Jesus Christ not coming down to save you from your sins again.

Eventually Montmorency screws over his harem just to be with Jeanne. Because promises made must be kept. Remember, despite making a promise with his harem during their younger days, it was just to remain as friends. It’s not like they said they all want to marry him, right? Yeah, so Jeanne got the better deal because now Montmorency has to accompany her until she dies. Technically not turning into a wife material (yet) but I guess this is closer than being friends (let those tiny boobs grow first, will you). Him experimenting and dabbling with alchemy for many years and ultimately turning into a vessel serves as an excuse for several kissing scenes but apparently that is how you power up and turn into Ulysses according to this series. And they had to make Jeanne drunk and addicted to his elixir and make her look like some deprived nympho. I suppose that is why they keep using the word ‘baiser’ instead of saying kiss. Because although this French word is a loose meaning of that, it is more often portrayed as a vulgar word to have sex. I think there are topics online to clarify and how not to be confused with sex and kiss because for the latter it should be something like ‘embrasser’. French, people!

Personally, the most useless character in this series as I can see is Astaroth. It is not like this fairy did anything that is so significant after all. All I see her from day one is to provoke Montmorency and complain just about everything. The worst part is that she talks like as though she knows everything but in reality isn’t. She sounds so mighty and know-it-all but when it comes down to the real deal, she doesn’t and just feels like all hot air. Hence putting her role as the protector of the Philosopher’s Stone somewhat redundant. It gets annoying after a while. While she talks big, she is pretty harmless so it was somewhat conflicting to see her killed over and over again temporarily by Enlil because despite finding her irritating, I didn’t really wish for her to be killed. Just hoping she would improve on her behaviour. Too bad Montmorency and Astaroth somewhat reminds me of The Legend Of Zelda’s Link and Navi. Coincidence, no?

Especially the Philosopher’s Stone thingy that Astaroth is supposed to be the guardian of. She won’t tell you its secrets but it always almost comes off rather as because she mostly likely doesn’t know anything about it. Speaking about the Philosopher’s Stone, I don’t really understand how it works and it could make one Ulysses. But apparently if you can split it into half, why not split it into 100 parts? So when that happens, it not only split the offence and defence parts but maybe it will split into more specific departments like the ability to have sex and hit on chicks. Yeah. Really. Damn this Philosopher’s Stone is like the most coveted thing in the world here like the Holy Grail. And I thought those horny men back then only coveted their women. Haha! Oops… Eventually it isn’t just the Philosopher’s Stone that can turn you into a Ulysses but any weapon that sounds legendary and holy enough. Can my grandma’s old toothbrush turn me into Ulysses then?

With Montmorency shifting his attention to Jeanne, I suppose the rest of his harem, I mean, old childhood friends have fallen to the wayside. Like Richemont trying to find her place between the English and French as if carrying the burden of her family name wasn’t enough. Charlotte almost losing her mind as the queen of France and Philip exists only to become an antagonist. Oh my. Such a broken harem, I mean, group of childhood friends. Then you have the supposed fiancée, Catherine still waiting and stuck in the tower back home. I wonder what happens when Jean finds out it was all a lie. Thank goodness pregnancy kits aren’t easily available those days. Oddly, Jean has kidnapped so many girls from nobles, do they not even once tried to send and army to claim them back? Are they that scared of Jean or don’t want their daughters anymore (because male heirs are preferable). If the latter, Jean must have done them a great service. Taking them away and getting nothing in return.

Too bad I felt Richemont was sorely missing in the final battle. I wonder if it could have been epic had she fought along Montmorency and Jeanne against Enlil. Could she have become a Ulysses herself? Nah. Don’t want to get in between them so better fight behind the scenes that we don’t get to see. Do you not agree with me that Philip’s vision of her dead father has got to be the most annoying part of the series? I mean, Enlil is also annoying but at least his context of trying to be God over humans sound funny overall. But Philip’s dad is just like, oh God, how should I put this. Every time this persistent ghost pops up to guilt trip his daughter, I would be going like, “Oh no. Not this sh*t again”. Now that’s what you call truly haunting. I’m so glad Philip walked away from the helmet that started this trouble in the first place. Assuming her father ghost is trapped in there forever. Don’t wear it, no problem. I’m very sure that if she goes back to Montmorency, he will forgive her. After watching this series, we know he is that kind of guy. So don’t worry, let the harem return to its original complete form!

Something about Alencon baffles me. If in this series he is the sister to Richemont, how the heck did he end up being part of the noble ruler of France? In actual history, the Alencon is of French descent but married the daughter of the Duke of Brittany. Wow. The English and French sure do have a long complicated history between them. Especially during the Hundred Years’ war. But here, it’s like they also want to portray him as some useless ruler because of his inaction as he prefers to fool around with his women. At the same time he has got this look on his face that says I-wish-I-wasn’t-here-doing-all-this-sh*t. Providing and raising armies seem to be a pastime during this age and in this series because you see both sides trying to lay siege and hence the need to get more soldiers. I don’t know about the population then but it seemed a hell lot of soldiers on the battlefield each time. Hence characters like Alencon and even Jean feel like a distraction and side plot for the overall series. Just like Batard who feels like the anime needed some trap to distract us. Otherwise, girly boy who proclaims of wanting to be a man can be done without. And now he is a man, what kind of a man doesn’t want to frolic in the arms of busty mature women?! Yeah, you have a long way to go… I think they even purposely named this character so. Yeah, it’s a pun of bastard. Because the character that he is based on, Jean de Dunois was an illegitimate son and thus the nickname Bastard of Orleans.

Despite the characters having the typical kawaii bishoujo and bishonen look, the general atmosphere of the series is mostly dark and gruesome to reflect the medieval and impoverished period. There are also a lot of violence, blood and gore so if you can’t stomach such scenes, feel free to watch something else. Heads coming off, limbs getting cut off and excessive blood overflowing from the corpses are just one of those ‘normal’ things that often happen in war and the battlefield. Really. That’s why their numbers are important so we can see Jeanne the future saint cutting them down in a flash and make us go “Oooooooh…”. The only character design I will ‘complain’ is how Jeanne’s uniform makes her look like a loli slut. I know she is a Ulysses and with that speed and strength, nobody could touch her. But shouldn’t she at least take some precautions and wear some armour? Even sexy armour would do. Okay, maybe not. Because La Hire is so busty and it’s like all the enemies misses her vitals despite her cleavage protruding so much. Thank goodness she kicks ass.

So I suppose it is pure fanservice when they turn Philip into Noire because it was damn unbelievable that she turned from a child-like body to some overly busty and curvaceous babe. I guess it is to hide her identity as Philip when they bring in the Noire character. Because Richemont and Charlotte grew up so busty and it feels like they don’t want to leave Philip behind, hence this sexy armour and helmet trick. Horny guys might want to get this set for their waifus.

One of the most mind boggling and amusing sections in every episode is at the end. The narration of the next episode preview isn’t about the next episode. Instead, the narrator rants about boobs and the likes! It feels so out of place and yet so funny. I mean, the series is already dark and gruesome and then suddenly we have this part relating the wonderful wonder of boobs. Like, WTF?! Don’t blame me. The French nobles dress kinda sexy and showing off their cleavage because before the age of internet porn or even Renaissance art, horny men probably like to look at their women like that. Just maybe. Can we pay more tributes to boobs that are so underrated in this series?! Yeah. I know it’s weird but it’s so funny too. Boobs forever! And then the episode ends with this ‘surprisingly useful French lessons’! In every episode, you are guaranteed to learn a French phrase that has even an advice of when to use it for! An authentic French to pronounce if you don’t know how to pronounce the word. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever want to date a French babe. Je t’aime, mademoiselle!

Although Ryota Ohsaka is the voice of Montmorency, somehow I keep thinking that Yuuki Kaji would have been more awesome helming this character. I don’t know. Is it because Montmorency sometimes closely resembles characters that Yuuki Kaji voiced like K’s Totsuka, Nil Admirari’s Hayato and Tokyo Ghoul’s Ayato. So okay, they’re just hot looking guys. But yeah, I thought Yuuki Kaji would really nail it as Montmorency but Ryota Ohsaka didn’t so a bad job either so I guess that’s okay. The only seiyuu I recognized is Takehito Takeyasu as Enlil.

The other casts are Yuko Oono as Jeanne (Asagiri in Mahou Shoujo Site), Manami Numakura as Richemont (Narberal in Overlord), Saori Oonishi as Charlotte (Eriri in Saekano), Yuuki Takada as Philip (Aoba in New Game), Hisako Toujou as Astaroth (Miko in Animegataris), Shizuka Ishigami as La Hire (Mito in Shokugeki No Souma), Junji Majima as Alencon (Kinji in Hidan No Aria), Hiroaki Hirata as Glasdale (Sanji in One Piece), Yuuki Kuwahara as Batard (Hakua in Shomin Sample), Miyu Tomita as Catherine (Sophie in Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san), Ayaka Suwa as Thomas (Non in Akkun To Kanojo), Abe Atsushi as La Tremoille (Touma in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Hiroshi Itou as Flamel (Augre in Madan No Ou To Vanadis) and Tessho Genda as Jean (Rudersdorf in Youjo Senki).

The opening theme is Liberation by Mai Fuchigami. Typical anime rock pop but not really to my liking. The one that captures my attention is the ending theme, Hyakunen No Melammu by Rionos. It is basically a slow ballad but sometimes with those hymn voices, it comes off as creepy but at the same time calming. At certain times too, the song sounds like it could be used for a religious ritual. Even more fascinating is the ending credits animation. Well actually, the artwork and sceneries are sketches and water coloured, giving it a unique but also eerie atmosphere. It feels like going through some weird abstract contemporary art.

Overall, a weird action fantasy, it isn’t the greatest but it doesn’t suck badly at the same time. Some no weird out brainer moments but I still enjoyed most of it. Historical accuracy it isn’t because I am very sure that the Hundred Years’ war ended with the English eventually leaving the French alone after being big invading dicks just because of a dispute over the succession of France’s throne. It didn’t end with some cheapskate alien-cum-God apocalypse that would have alleviated Jeanne’s sainthood to godhood. Funny how in Junketsu Maria, God and His angels were like sticking to their guns of non-interventionism in mankind’s petty war among each other, huh? Victory for mankind! Hooray! Oh mon Dieu, ca craint mais que c’est si tellement bon! (Oh God, it sucks but it’s so damn good!). Use it when anime is so crappy that you can’t hate it!

Shingeki No Kyojin S3

March 2, 2019

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! HYPE! HYPE SUPER HYPE!!! IT’S FINALLY HERE! Yeah, sounded like I have waited my entire life for the release of Shingeki No Kyojin S3. Uhm… Hey. Why does my opening sentence sound nearly as familiar when the second season came out? It doesn’t matter because one of the greatest anime series that have ever graced the planet is finally into its third season. God, why do such good shows feel like an eternity waiting in between? But that makes it only worth all the waiting.

Episode 38
What is the second most fearful thing to Titans? If you don’t clean up a room before Levi returns! Luckily cleaning can be shelved for today as Levi wants to start the experiment suggested by Hange. However it failed as a transformed Eren collapses and the lower half of his Titan form is like malnourished. This experiment was to see if the Titan’s hardening ability could seal the wall but looks like they’ll have to try another time. Back at the cottage, Eren is glad Historia is now talking normally again. Because she was also so happy acting as Krista that it crept him out. Bad news just came in that Nick is dead. When Hange went to check on him, a couple of First Interior Squad of the Military Police guarding the place claimed he was murdered. With some great acting by Hange, she was able to tell Nick was tortured by these guys and then murdered. Because he saw all of Nick’s nailed pulled out, she believed he stood firm to his beliefs until his very last breath. This could mean that nobody has realized they have learned about Historia’s background. Thus Levi has everyone move out now and leave no traces of their presence behind. Soon enough, other Military Police personnel came searching this cottage. Levi suggests hiding in Trost to have a better chance of hiding Eren and Historia since the town is in panic. But as they move about in Trost, suddenly Eren and Historia are kidnapped! The rest aren’t panicking yet since those are just diversions. Yup, Jean and Armin disguised as Eren and Historia respectively. Poor Armin, getting molested by the kidnapper… When Levi’s side locate them, they wonder why amateurs are sent to do such an important job. Mikasa and the rest easily disarm the kidnappers. Levi can’t help feel something is wrong with this. He wonders if the real perpetrators are waiting for a chance to strike. This reminds him of Kenny the Ripper who slit the throats of 100 Military Police. It is no urban legend as Levi grew up with him. And before he knows it, Kenny creeps up on him and kills a few of Hange’s soldiers with his other men.

Episode 39
Levi miraculously escape the onslaught of Kenny and his men. However the real Eren and Historia, they are hiding in some carriage and now they are truly kidnapped and put to sleep. Levi and the rest try to wrest back Eren and Historia. Jean hesitates to kill and would have been killed had not Armin shot her. However the carriage changed hands again and once it enters deeper into the walls, Levi and co are forced to stop their pursuit. While resting, Armin and Jean are having some reality check issues as they are still in shock. Levi explains Jean lived because Armin pulled the trigger. However that was also thanks to that girl who hesitated to kill Jean. Because he pulled the trigger, nobody else in their team died. Now his hands are tainted, he cannot go back to the old ways. Then they interrogate the kidnapper, Dimo Reeves. He was that merchant who tried to block the entrance with his overloaded wagon during that Titan invasion panic. He reveals they are only doing as the Military Police ordered them. Believing everyone will be silenced by them now, Levi thinks not because his company helped keep the economy floating during winter. Levi suggests they team up and they just need to know where Eren and Historia are. That night, Dimo lures a couple of Military Police, Djel Sannes and Ralph. Levi and Hange torture him to make him reveal their agenda but his mouth is tightly zipped. He sticks hard to his belief that because they eliminated scums and dirtied their hands to protect the peace, humanity survived. He is willing to die and accepts his fate to be killed. After all, they can be replaced. Levi and Hange take a break but outside it seems they make a deal with Ralph to reveal some juicy bits and Sannes overheard it. When they return to continue their torture, immediately Sannes says Historia is the real heir to the throne. Telling this to the rest, they believe Eren and Historia are believed to be where Rod Reiss is, Historia’s father. Meanwhile Dimo is taking a break outside when Kenny slits his throat for his betrayal. He won’t pursue Levi and knows he will come to him. Dimo’s son, Flegel is the only witness but out of fear he continues to hide.

Episode 40
We hear Historia’s past. She lived in a farm with her mom. She never talked to her and is always seen reading a book. By night fall, she always dressed fancy and headed somewhere. When she tried to interact with her, she was shoved away and mom’s reply was only if she could kill her. Soon mom left and many years later, Rod returned to bring her to live with him. But with mom denying she is her daughter and unrelated, Rod reluctantly agrees and her mom is killed. Historia would have been given the same treatment but Rod made a deal for her to live in a faraway place under a new alias, Krista. So now Historia is reunited with dad and he is glad to see her. He did all this to protect her and she is the only one who can save humanity. Sannes is disappointed Ralph betrayed his loyalty but realizes after Hange reveals they just threaten him to make him read out of a script. Sannes knows they are over and will be replaced. The world cannot be rid of cruelty so easily. So him wishing Hange good luck is it for real or sarcasm? Hange calls the gang to explain what Ymir said to Bertolt as heard from Eren. From what I understand it seems when a Titan eats a transformed Titan, that Titan can turn into a human again and gain the powers of that eaten Titan. This is probably Eren’s worth as he is a replaceable vessel for that power of commanding other Titans with a scream (that’s why in the last battle Reiner was throwing Titans at Eren in hopes one of them would eat him).

Pixis sees Erwin and agrees to lend his cooperation after hearing his plan to overthrow the current king without bloodshed and show the people the current system they have been following is all a lie. Word gets out that Erwin and his Survey Corps are suspects in the murder of Dimo. Erwin knows his days are numbered and hands over his captaincy to Hange. Erwin visits the murder site and whatever nonsensical accusations the Military Police throws at him, he agrees to surrender. Many of the Survey Corps members are also arrested. Time for Erwin’s flashback. His father was a teacher. Erwin was puzzled by the history of humans retreating behind the wall so his father told him the truth. Young and naïve, Erwin then told other classmates but a few days later his father was dead in an accident. He knew he was silenced by the government. When humanity retreated behind the walls over 100 years ago, the king altered their memories to keep them peaceful. Erwin never understood why his father died even if he was close to the truth. Then he realizes that many at the top aren’t interested in protecting humanity but their own self-interest. Knowing his father’s death was unjustified, he started believing in his theory and it has become his life’s mission to prove that theory is correct. The Military Police are handing out wanted posters of the remaining Survey Corps members on the run and go so far as to make up lies about them.

Episode 41
Marlo and Hitch are patrolling the forest. Marlo is stumped that the Survey Corps is branded as killers as they risked their lives for humanity. They see Armin fetching water but this is just a distraction so the rest could capture them. Meanwhile Flegel is being chased by several Interior Squad. Luckily he is saved by Hange as she knows he must know how his father died, hence they want to silence him. She wants him to fight with them instead of running around but Flegel is not willing to risk his life and views everything as lost. Too bad Hange won’t let him off. He’s in for the ride. Levi interrogates the duo when Hitch starts blaming them for causing that Titan destruction at Stohess. She thinks Annie is dead and her body beyond recognition but she’s in for a shock when she finds out that Annie was that female Titan. Marlo wants to help them but Levi doesn’t trust him. As Jean takes them away, suddenly he wants to kill them. They plead for their lives and that they truly want to help them but if you were in Jean’s shoes, could you trust them? Marlo adds he regretted joining the Military Police and as long as the Survey Corps risked their lives to save humanity, he will always be on their side. Of course this is all just a big test by Jean to see if they’re trustworthy. For starters, they tell Levi the weakest checkpoint before returning to their post to avoid suspicion. Levi and co barge into the checkpoint and interrogate the leader who is from the Interior Squad. Meanwhile Flegel is cornered against by those Interior Squad guys at an abandoned place. He wants to know why Dimo was killed before he dies. For betraying them and assisting the Survey Corps. Had he not done that, he too will be killed for knowing too much. Now that the cat is out of the bag, Flegel is done doing business with them. Hange overpowers them and calls out all the hiding people who have heard the big confession. With this, they decide to rebel against the government. Flegel grows up as he takes charge and becomes the new man of his father’s company and hires all these people. He promises to take care of them. Levi’s interrogation doesn’t yield results of Eren and Historia’s position although they get to know all Survey Corps will be executed and Erwin will be the first one. Erwin too is beaten up and interrogated but he said nothing. Niles sees him and tells him his audience with the king will determine his sentence. Oddly, Erwin asks about his wife, child and home. Because he entrusted something to Pixis and if something happens, it is up to them to act. Erwin is brought before the king and the nobles think his death means normalcy will return as the secrets of the walls stay safe.

Episode 42
They’re so kind to give Erwin say his last words. Erwin theorizes if Titans breach Wall Rose right now, people would flee into Wall Sina. This means food shortages and there will be factions fighting for survival. The only hope is to reclaim Wall Maria and give humanity a new future. Of course they brush him off and tell him his charge is the violation of the charter of putting his self-interest before humanity and that is to hide and refuse to hand Eren to them. After a few discussion, it is decided Erwin will be executed now. Suddenly a report comes in that Titans have breached the Wall Rose. Immediately Pixis and Niles order their troops to defend the wall and allow refuges to come into Wall Sina. However the nobles disagree. To prevent a civil war (even if it’s just a possibility), they are willing to sacrifice half of humanity. Niles is starting to see how all of this is wrong and opposes their decision even if it means him being branded a traitor. However Zacklay stands with Niles. He reveals that report was just a false alarm. Pixis now makes his statement. He thought it was best left to the government to make decisions if it was for the benefit of the people. After all, they possess knowledge of the Titans and walls that they do not. If that was true, he wouldn’t mind having Erwin been executed and he himself is prepared to die. But now that it has turned out like this, he daresay that their ignorance of such knowledge can save more people than them. This is not a threat. This is a coup detat. With that, the nobles and fake kings are arrested as they wait to install the true heir. Many of the Interior Squad members have also been arrested. Hange relays this good news to Levi and co. They couldn’t have done it without the cooperation of so many parties.

Erwin might be saved for now but his thoughts on the government’s decision also had some truth. Was it better to kill half of humanity than to face absolute extermination? He wonders if he should have entrusted everything to the government. After all, all of humanity is worth more than a single life. Even so, why didn’t he do it? Zacklay has his own answer. He hates those arrogant bastards ever since and even if Erwin didn’t do it, he would have at least wanted to try once before he dies. They might not be conscious about it but they too prioritize their own lives over humanity. Hange has also done some investigation on the Reiss family. There was an incident 5 years ago that shook the family. That night when all of the family was in the chapel, bandits raided and set fire on it. All but Rod survived. This means the first thing Rod did was to seek out Historia. All this happened a few days before Historia’s mother was killed. There must be a reason he is seeking her now. Hange finds it strange that the chapel was damaged in a way that would take a lot of time and effort. Bandits would normally steal and leave instead of going so far as to destroy it like that. Suspiciously, Rod is the only one who saw the bandits and he used his fortune to later rebuild the chapel. They are all rushing to Reiss’ estate now although they are not holding their breath that Rod will be there. But they have to get there before Eren gets eaten. The revelations only raised more questions for Armin. If Titans can turn into humans and gain their ability by eating one, how did Eren became one and who did he eat?

Episode 43
Historia tries to convince Eren that Rod is their ally. The best way to explain it is to restore your memories. As father and daughter place their hand on Eren’s back, we see snippets of his memories. Actually, memories of Grisha. Among them include him storming into the chapel as well as turning his son into a Titan in which it looked like Eren killed him. Also, this has Historia remember her own memories with her half-sister, Frieda. She was the one who taught her a lot of things but at the end of the day, she used her power to erase memories of her. Unfortunately she was killed by Grisha. 5 years ago when Grisha came to the family, his goal was to obtain the Titan power that Frieda had. Both transformed into Titans and fought but the got eaten by him as she lacked fighting experience. Grisha continued to massacre the rest of the family although Rod was the only one who escaped. Flashback interrupted with Kenny updated Rod about the coup detat and to finish things up quickly. Pixis informs Erwin that all the nobles have been saying the same thing, cementing his father’s theory that everyone is brainwashed. Although the Reiss family can alter people’s memories, some nobles are immune to the effects. If the Reiss family obtains Eren’s scream, this uprising will be forgotten forever. Because Levi just realized Kenny’s surname is Ackerman, he asks Mikasa if they are related. Her parents did tell her how their family was persecuted in the cities but nothing more. Because sometimes Mikasa used to have strange surge of power, Kenny also had that surge. So does Levi. Kenny’s flashback reveals his dying grandpa told him the truth of why the Ackerman who used to be protectors of the royal family became hated. Actually, they were feared because their members cannot be controlled. The royal family passed down powers of Titans from generation to generation, that is the power to alter memories. Some of them were immune and there were 2 groups who turned their backs on the king. One of them being Ackerman and the other an oriental group. Levi and his team prepare to barge into the chapel but Kenny’s men are also expecting to give them a warm welcome.

Episode 44
Levi’s side drop in a few bomb barrels. This is to create smokescreen and hide behind it while they fight the defenders. Strange, do they know this place well like the defenders if they cover it with smoke? Because our heroes are the one killing the enemies like pros with Jean not hesitating to make his first kill. Even Kenny joins the fray but Levi gets the better of him, enough for him to make his retreat. The attack stops only when Hange takes a seemingly fatal damage. Yeah, enemies dying like flies and the killing keeps going. But one of them falls and the plan is derailed. Rod gives Historia a serum that would turn her into a Titan to eat Eren. After all, this serum contains memories of Frieda so she’ll be able to see her technically. However Eren is in despair. He tries to warn Historia not to take it because that was the same serum that Grisha injected into him in hopes it will avenge his mom. Rod explains Eren’s power will finally return to her. The same Titan power that created this place and the walls. The Titan’s power controlled the people’s hearts and memories. Some were exempted. One of them being Frieda. Frieda obtained that power after she consumed Rod’s brother, a ritual that has been passed down by the Reiss family for generations. That power holds the memories of the origins of the world and had not Grisha come to steal it, Titans could have been eliminated from this world.

Kenny is not pleased to hear that only a Reiss bloodline can inherit the power. Because this means if he himself becomes a Titan and eats Eren, nothing will changed. Historia is bent on doing her duty to eat Eren and exterminate all Titans. Kenny thinks she is being manipulated because otherwise why would Rod let other family members do it instead of himself. Kenny won’t interfere anymore but will take away this advantage as he cuts Eren to make him bleed. As Rod quickly gives the serum to Historia, Eren isn’t transforming. He is filled with guilt that because Grisha did all this, a lot of people died. Knowing he can never atone for it all, the least he could do is get eaten and end it all. Historia now has doubts. She wonders if their family has been given such powers, why didn’t they save humanity and kill all Titans? Rod explains the first king who built the walls believed this was the only way to achieve true peace. Long time ago, Rod and his brother used to beg their father to save humanity from Titans but that look in his eyes said he was never interested in it. So when his brother took on the Titan power, Rod saw his eyes. He became an omnipotent being that will govern the world. In other words, God. Hence Rod can’t become a Titan because it is his duty to bring God back and lead mankind back to salvation. Historia has had it. Screw this justification to continue manipulate humanity. She throws away the serum and frees Eren. She shuts that whinny brat for still having guilty conscious. She doesn’t care about humanity anymore. She is humanity’s worst enemy. Rod licks what is left of the serum and turns into a Titan.

Episode 45
Rod is slowly turning into a Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan. This means he is going to break the cave ceiling and crush everyone in the process. Even with Levi and co coming to free Eren, this dude is still whinny and being a wuss. So he is giving up and willing to die now? Until Levi tells him he has to make a choice. For a long time, Eren starts to believe in himself. Eating some pills, he turns into a Titan as everyone takes shelter underneath him while the ceiling crumbles. This pills allows Eren to finally successfully harden in his Titan form. With this, it is now a possibility to use this and seal Wall Maria and investigate that basement. As they get out of the underground cavern, we see Titan Rod crawling its way towards the direction of Orvud district. They meet up with Erwin as they head to Orvud to make their next plan. As now the gang know about the powers of the Founding Titan as well as the first king’s brainwashing, it seems the most likely plan is to have Rod eat Eren to turn back into a human and undo the brainwashing. Something which Eren is prepared to die. However as they think further, Historia and Armin argue there is no guarantee Rod will turn back into a human nor will the brainwashing end. Historia allays Eren’s insecurities once more as she believes what Grisha did to kill off the Reiss bloodline was to save humanity since they possessed the power to brainwash. They need to find a way to free humanity without using the Reiss bloodline and thus the other possibility is the need to kill Rod. Historia admits she was willing to kill Eren not to save humanity but because she wanted to believe her father. But now it’s time to part ways. I guess that’s the greenlight needed to say it’s okay to kill her old man. Levi tells Historia that under Erwin’s orders, after all this is settled, she is to become the next queen as the people will not tolerate military rule for long. The rest feel it is unfair to thrust such a role on her seeing she just freed herself from the Reiss responsibility. Although Historia agrees to that but on one condition that she decides her own fate. As the strategy meeting begins, Erwin doesn’t call for the evacuation of the people in Orvud. They have the right to remain where they are.

Episode 46
The reason is that such a huge Titan is attracted to big crowds. If they flee to the capital, Mitras, it will only change its path and more people will be in danger. Of course the Survey Corps will still protect the people when it comes down to it. The citizens are told to do a drill and they’re not too happy thinking about it. Complaining the military is trying to show their strength after ousting the fake king and if that’s the case they prefer the fake king. I don’t think all that matters now when they see the wall cannons start firing. Not surprisingly, it does not have any effect on the Titan. Erwin talks to Historia about the queen role. This means he cannot have her on the frontlines anymore. She digress thinking the people will not simply accept her by name. Erwin hints that with his body in this shape, he can’t stop her. So you go all out girl? This has Eren reflect on how useless and weak he has always been. Oh no. Please not this again. Time to snap out of it by punching himself?! When the Titan has reached the wall, it’s like one big horror show. As it has been crawling all night, it scraped off its face and guts! The Survey Corps put their plan into action. First they bomb its mini hands to make it lose its support on the wall. Thanks to that gaping hole in its face, Eren now transforms into a Titan and drops all the bombs into its throat. That saves them from cutting its nape. Its heat will light up the bombs. As the Titan meat explode all over, the Survey Corps now have to move out and cut the core. It’s like a needle in a haystack so cut every meat you see. The one who hit the jackpot is Historia. I guess this is formally goodbye to father. Once she lands safely, she proclaims herself as the ruler of the walls. Meanwhile Kenny is bleeding and suffering from serious burns. Levi finds him and thinks he is done for. Kenny doesn’t think so. So this special vial is going to do it?

Episode 47
Flashback sees Kenny almost getting owned by Uri (Rod’s brother) in his partial Titan form. Scared and giving excuses for his life to be spared, Uri only did so thinking he is from the Ackerman clan and is doing this out of hatred and vengeance. Because Uri regretted he couldn’t bring peace within the walls and bowed his head, Kenny admired his guts and wanted to work for him. Kenny was made to do some work he didn’t like. But that ended the persecution of the Ackerman clan and he had lesser enemies. Kenny visited the underground city to see his sister, Kuchel who has been working as a prostitute. Unfortunately she died and she left behind a scrawny zombie son, Levi (he looks like Death Note’s L!). Kenny took it upon himself to raise him and taught him that power is the only thing you need to reach to the top. When Uri’s days was numbered, Kenny learnt how his power is transferable to the next generation. When Frieda took over that role, she preached the same crap of love and peace. It made him wonder if everybody who obtained the power became like that. Hence he formed his own squad of disillusioned Military Police member to further his dream. He wants to know if he can wield such power and see what those who have seen. Now, Kenny thinks this vial he stole from Rod can turn him into a Titan. He had chances to do it but why has he been hesitating? At that point he somewhat understands what Uri was seeing. Everyone had something in common. Their dreams, hopes, etc. Kenny reveals to Levi that his mom is his sister and he left him halfway because he thought he couldn’t be a good parent. He passes the vial to him before kicking the bucket. Historia is crowned queen and the crowd rejoice. They love her as they have seen her take down a Titan. This is all part of Historia’s plan and suggestion to Erwin to unite the people further. So as queen she can do anything she likes? Like punch Levi even if it is Mikasa’s suggestion? I’m sure she’s bragging about it but the shocking part is how Levi smiles and thanks them all! Backfired? It’s been a while we’ve seen Reiner and Bertolt. Looks like Reiner lost his Titan fight to Yeti Titan. This means saving Annie is put on hold and the priority is to retrieve the Coordinate.

Episode 48
Historia might be queen but she prefers to take care of the orphanage and less privileged. It is part of the deal when she assumed her role. At least the people from the underground are taken care of. With Eren’s hardening ability, Hange is able to test a new devastating weapon to kill Titans without risking a man. When a Titan gets stuck between the hardened shells, a heave log is dropped on their nape. Enough to kill it. Marlo has officially joined the Survey Corps and he is probably the few who is happy to do so. Hitch tried to talk him out of it but he tells her to take her cowardice elsewhere. Eren keeps wondering about a certain man from Grisha’s memories. Then it hit him. He is Keith! He was Erwin’s predecessor. They go to see him to hear his side of the story. During his younger days (when he had a full head of hair), he stumbled into Grisha. He was shocked that somebody was outside the walls but Grisha had no recollection of how he got here or the past. He only remembered his name and is a doctor. Keith got pretty motivated when Grisha thinks he is a special person destined for greatness. This inspires him to try to be the next commander of the Survey Corps. An epidemic sweeps through town but thanks to Grisha’s skills, they are saved. Including the barmaid that Keith has a crush on, Carla.

On the day Keith became the Survey Corps’ commander, nobody attended. At least there were a few crowd at Grisha and Carla’s wedding. With failed expeditions, it started to hit Keith badly. When he sees Carla with baby Eren, she asks if he was going to do this till he dies. That is when he snaps back that normal people like them lived their entire lives without accomplishing a single thing. Their lives are nothing and won’t know greatness when they see it. Keith then hands over the leadership to Erwin, coming to terms he wasn’t really anybody special to begin with. When the wall was breached, he was devastated to hear news of Carla being eaten. He saw Grisha take Eren along. Keith didn’t like the idea of Grisha putting the burden on revenge on his son. What if he is not someone special? None of your business. He is not like you. Keith later saw unconscious Eren in the woods and brought him back to the shelter. Hange is angry that Keith resigned out of inferiority complex. Looks like Eren also has the same thinking. He feels he is nothing special. Just the son of a special man. But Keith adds that after his lashing at Carla, she told him this: Is it not okay to be not special? Even if her son wasn’t special, she’s fine with it. The fact he is born makes him special to her. When Eren joined military training, Keith realizes he is following what Grisha wanted. Keith was the one who secretly tampered with Eren’s training device in hopes he would give up but he soldiered on. Proving there was nothing he could do to change anything. He was just a bystander.

Episode 49
It seems Hange can’t analyse further what is in the vial because when exposed to air, it evaporates. It is suggested that Levi is entrusted to hold it as he is the strongest soldier with the best odds of surviving if he ever uses it. The Survey Corps’ heads gather to discuss their plan to retake Wall Maria. Once that happens, they’ll be able to know the truth in that basement Grisha has been teasing us ever since the start. Later Levi talks to Erwin alone and wants to know his next action after taking Wall Maria. Naturally it would be to solidify their defence since there are others outside of the wall who want to kill them. The point is, Levi doesn’t want Erwin to go down to the battlefield due to his body’s condition and even threatens to break his legs. However Erwin is adamant to not sit idly when the truth of the world is discovered. This is even more important than mankind’s victory. The Survey Corps throw a party with glorious meat! Oh my. Somebody stop Sasha before she eats everything! Also, a timely reminder in case for some of us who have forgotten the silly rivalry between Eren and Jean. Yup, they’re turning it into a slugfest. Mikasa isn’t stopping them since Eren looks like having fun. Is everyone having fun watching them that the duo are even getting tired and thinking nobody’s going to stop them? Yeah, until Levi comes in to beat the sh*t out of them. Next day when the Survey Corps leave for their mission, a big surprise as everyone give them a great send off. Lots of encouragement. Never happened before, eh? Wow. Erwin is even shouting with the crowd for the much needed rallying. And now on forth to retake Wall Maria!

Titan Fall: Remember The Titans
WTF?! What the hell?! What is this sh*t they are pulling?! No, I am not complaining about the series in general. I don’t know why they decided to split the cour like how Shokugeki No Souma did (coincidentally, that series also split its cour for its third season). So now we have to wait for a few more months just to get to the second part of the third season? Why not just call it the fourth season? I guess they don’t want to disappoint fans with very high expectations (like yours truly) by announcing they only had 1 cour for the season. Of course this awesome series needs to have at least 2 cours, right?! Because having a single cour like they did for its second season definitely feels too short. But now we have to take a break and suspend our excitement until the second half comes along. Oh well. At least I know it’s going to be worth it.

It goes without saying that this season is totally awesome. The plot is really starting to pick up and going somewhere. We might not be anywhere near knowing about the real truth of everything but it is safe to say that we are much closer than when we started. So it might seem a bit out of place when they suddenly introduced a new character like Kenny. Like suddenly, who the f*ck is this serial killer? And has ties with Levi? But it all ties up nicely and related to just about everything. Too bad for Kenny, he feels like a plot device. A new character introduced and once done telling his side of the story, he is then killed off. Tossed away after playing his part and no longer having any use. Same like that Dimo guy. Admit it. You don’t remember him at all until when they brought up that exact scene. And when you finally do remember this guy and before you can wonder how he will fit in as a team player, plot change! He gets killed off so his son can take over. Yeah, just feel sad in that sense for these characters.

But this season’s biggest plot twist reveal about the Reiss family being able to do brainwashing on many others, I won’t say that I dislike that idea but I am not totally impressed either. Because these days, such brainwashing excuse for the story sounds like lazy writing. You know, like for example, it was all just a dream. Gotcha! So this power to brainwash people and change their memories feels like so and it is a convenient tool to cover up whatever inconsistencies. Because you know, their memories were altered. But it still doesn’t change the fact that we do not know a lot more about the Titans and personally I am ever more curious and dying to know the true real truth. Yeah…

Historia takes the cake here as she as the spotlight is now focused on her this season. It is nice to know that she is more than just a pretty face in the Survey Corps. Although the path she takes feel cliché (girl destined to continue family tradition breaks it, decides to follow her own path) but they execute her story nicely so I don’t see any problem with that. Thankfully, Historia will always remain Historia even when she is queen. That is just a title to her and bears insignificant meaning compared to the things her heart really wants to do. But at least she has authority now. Who is to say and oppose she can’t go down on the ground to do charity work? She’s the queen, baby! Show some respect!

Is it me or do I find it that season in and season out, is this some sort of running joke that Eren is always the target of kidnappers? Sure, he possesses some coveted power but the way they go gung-ho this time to get him has me going, “Oh dear. Here they go again. It’s that same plot device to kidnap Eren”. Yup. Just like I predicted the last time. But that is not the worst part. The worst part is when Eren descended into some wuss who has given up on fighting after hearing Historia’s tragic sob story. It’s like he just gave up on everything and wanted to take the easy way out by giving back the power that supposedly belongs to Historia’s family. Like shoving the responsibility back to her, eh? Making this part seemed even worst was how Eren’s crying and bawling made it look so cheesy and pathetic. Ugh. I was like, is this really you Eren? And then once he is over that and got his resolve back, he sounds more sullen and sombre. Yeah, I understand after that high octane roller coaster drama, you want to experience that ever again.

Levi also feels a bit subdued here (although not short of giving some cool advice and quotes). But I guess he has to play it cool since he isn’t the one leading the team and has to tackle the conspiracy against the Survey Corps. Instead, it was Hange who was the temporary de facto leader of the Survey Corps after Erwin entrusted it to her. So she had to get things going by doing some torture techniques and get the people to rally on their side to fight against the real oppression.

Other characters in Eren’s league feel like they don’t play much of a role this season. Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Sasha and Connie don’t feel significant enough to feel like they have contributed to something. If there were something for them to be developed or changed, it is just minor. Like how Armin and Jean made their first killed and have now blood on their hands that cannot be washed off. So I guess Jean can’t be that cocky anymore now that he has got a taste of what taking a human life feels like. But perhaps a few more times and his feelings harden, probably he’ll be back to where he was. Mikasa also feels like a side character. Although she is still staying by Eren’s side and thinking about him, this season like the last doesn’t feel like she is an overly possessive girl over Eren. Yeah, there are too many other things going around to focus on this obsessions of hers. Like overthrowing the fake king. I’m not sure if I can make anything out of Grisha yet. At first he might look like a dick stealing the Reiss’ family’s Titan powers and then putting the burden on his son. I hope there is more to this that will be revealed next season.

With the plot moving along, is it safe to say that this season has the least Titan action in it? Because ironically that is what the title of the series should be, right? Now that the enemy turns out to be their own mankind, Titan killing takes a backseat until they get to the bottom of this. But still, the most memorable action sequence was Levi evading with skill, Kenny’s men chasing him throughout the streets. That was just f*cking exhilarating and amazing. I suppose you need to move even faster when you’re dealing with humans who want to kill you. They should rename this season as Shingeki No Seifu AKA Attack On Government. Damn, this sound so real conspiracy if the series itself isn’t already filled with so much conspiracy.

Normally I have nothing to say about the art and animation as they are gorgeous as before and their eyes looking oh so real. But there is one thing that strikes me that I need to point out. In this season, Erwin talked about his past with his father. No, it’s not the story. It is how Erwin looked so mature when he was a kid! OMFG! It looks as though he is some sort of midget! And he sounds almost like his mature adult that we know! Seeing Erwin in his child form was just mind blowing. It just feels so odd to see him in that form. Weird. Really. If I’m not having Titan devouring nightmares, I’m going to have this midget Erwin one instead. Yikes! Also, adding nightmare fuel was Rod’s Titan with his scraped face off! That was really horror movie material!

Remember how the past 2 seasons we had the very epic and trademark opening themes that defined the series? Well, this season seemed to have thrown all that away and replaced it with a much gayer and toned down song! WTF?! I guess they heard me complaining how Shinzou Wo Sasageyo sounded so similar to Guren No Yumiya that it could be a rip-off. So this time no more Linked Horizon singing it by Yoshiki featuring Hyde doing Red Swan. Hearing this song feels so out of place although if you consider the drama and conspiracy happening this season, I guess you could say that they somewhat fit that narrative. But still, I believe that this song doesn’t suit the epic greatness of its predecessor. Okay, I promise I’ll stop complaining about the epic songs being a rip-off of each other and give me my “Seid ihr das Essen? Nein, wir sind der jager!”.

The ending theme isn’t as weird as last season’s alien-like song. But Akatsuki No Requiem is still weird in its own ways. It sounds like a song for a dramatic opera. But if they sound familiar, it’s because Linked Horizon sings it. But just not in the trademark epic way that we know them. If you take away the lyrics and words, I suppose this song can sound as worthy as a classical piece. Also to note, the children choir voices singing in the background can sound both cute and creepy. This makes certain parts of the song feel like it is a holy song for Christmas! No kidding! Now I just remember why I also felt conflicted and familiar hearing this piece. Also thankfully unlike last season’s ending credits animation where we see disturbing and creepy pictures of what I think it is as Titan’s history, at least this season is all on Historia.

Overall, this season still rocks and now that we are going into the supposed final stretch, let’s hope the second part can keep up this momentum. My expectations have grown so high that it is too big and titanic for this series to fail. RIGHT?! Or else there will be heads rolling and necks being severed! Hah. You can’t disappoint us now that the franchise has grown so popular and big. Bigger than the Colossal Titan many times over! I can speculate and theorize a lot of stuffs just to keep myself occupied while I wait for that season to come but I’ll see the real truth when it finally arrives. Damn that end credits teaser of Levi being disappointed in Eren, beating him up and Mikasa turning against him, they’ve turned up the notch and increased the hype in me now! I really can’t wait for the next season to arrive! Where’s a time travelling machine when you need one?! Until then, the wait feels like a Rod Titan slowly crawling towards its destination (date of airing) and I hope all the enthusiasm I had won’t be scraped off by then.

Conception

February 24, 2019

With a name like that, I’m sure that you must be curious and suspicious. Yes, people. Conception might be adapted from the video game of the same name and if you guess that you are supposed to date and charm women and have them bear your child, you are correct. But wait. This is not an eroge! Not even close. Hence those anticipating sex scenes would surely be disappointed. Yeah, I warn you first. Sounds mind boggling that you can conceive a child (for the purpose of fighting baddies in this world) without procreating and conceiving the normal way. So hey, this isn’t even close to porn so it’s safe for everyone, right? I wonder if this was how Virgin Mary bore Jesus of Nazareth.

Episode 1
Every guy’s worst nightmare to hear from their girl: I’m pregnant! That is what Itsuki Yuge hears from Mahiru Konatsuki. However they have not been doing naughty things together so rest assured Itsuki is not the father. Then who? Great timing for them to be sucked up into a portal. Inside a strange labyrinth, Itsuki continues what she was saying. There is no father! Holy mother! You mean she is like Virgin Mary?! However she took pregnancy kits and looked up online and she did show some symptoms of pregnancy. But she has yet to see a doctor as she is scared. Suddenly her body feels pain as she throws up a monster. Good thing Itsuki somehow manages to materialize a sword and kill it. Breaking out of this dark place, they stumble into this bear tanuki creature, Mana. Along with court scholar Narcisstes, they welcome them to this parallel magic world called Granvania. They are taken to see the king, Shangri La who immediately tells them Granvania is in danger and hence they are summoned for their help. Itsuki and Mahiru have marks on their body and they are called Visitors. They have powers that can only save Granvania. Itsuki is taken to see the court doctor. Next thing he knows, he is tied up in his underwear! Our sexy nurse Reone explains his body contains all 12 emblems of the zodiac constellations. At this time of year, Impurities fill the labyrinth and it is a Visitor’s job to purify the monsters they have turned into. Of course there is the big boss to deal with. Itsuki won’t be dealing with this alone as he has the 12 priestesses (each representing a zodiac) to aid him. Reone is one of them (Scorpio) and so is Mahiru (Virgo). Mahiru isn’t pregnant but rather Impurities build up in her body and she expelled them. That’s why she felt like she had pregnant symptoms. Phew. Now comes the best part. Itsuki must perform a Love Ritual with any of the priestesses to give birth to a Star Child since the priestesses cannot stand directly against Impurities. In short, sex! Oh yeah, Mana is really excited about this part, isn’t she? I guess this is where we say action speaks louder than words! So cut the explanation and let’s get it on! Reone suggests doing it with someone familiar. So first potential Star Child from Itsuki x Mahiru. Well, the duo don’t seem that all surprised and embarrassed. Just a bit. But nothing that would already shock them. Yeah, they’ve come to this crazy world, sex seems so normal compared to it all. Since they’re starting off slow, Mana tries to be pushy but isn’t she just wanting to grope Mahiru? So okay, let’s start. You’ve got your ‘reason’ that sex is necessary so that you can go home. So what are you waiting for?!

Episode 2
Suddenly! A Star Child is born! WTF?! No penetration was made. As explained, Love Ritual isn’t a sexual act and the mere emotional bonding and physical contact is enough to bear one. F*CK!!! SO DISAPPOINTED!!! And so the first Star Child is born, Virgo (Kingdom Hearts’ Sora rip-off?). But off Virgo goes to a foster home to be trained. Because Itsuki has a more important mission to f*ck, I mean to create other Star Children. So they are brought to meet other maidens: Arie (Aries – duh), Tarua (Taurus – double duh), Lilith (Gemini – wait, you mean this split personality is not Libra?!), Ruka (Cancer – you mean not Cancerina or something?), Femiruna (Leo – you mean not even Leona?), Mirei (Libra – I give up), Sue (Sagittarius – it’s so random now), Falun (Capricorn – yup, totally pulling it out of the air now), Collete (Aquarius – sighs…) and Yuzuha (Pisces – wow, so random it sounds fishy). But the best one is Mana retorting herself as the constellation of lewdness! All celebrate a huge welcome party and we can guess the next Star Child because we see Itsuki and Ruka spending some time together. Though, the latter is like tsundere and claims she can read minds. So she won’t bear his child if he has dirty thoughts? You mean your pride is more important than saving the world? Good news. She can’t read his mind! Not being from Granvania must be the greatest excuse. Then we see Mahiru getting a bit drunk so she can flirt a little with Itsuki. Also, an excuse to prop up some promise they made 10 years ago. As usual, guys don’t remember… More Mana mischief as we see her rubbing Itsuki’s dick just to turn him on! But this is a lesson for him not to underestimate the labyrinth as it will be the most dangerous place. WTF?! Yeah, I think Mana is the most dangerous one. Visiting the foster home, Itsuki sees Virgo being trained by Alfie. Nice boobs. So he can’t cheat on anybody else except for the maidens? Boring. Later seeing Ruka being nice to children somewhat has Itsuki now asking her to f*ck him. Oops, I mean do the Love Ritual. You mean that is enough to get in her pants? Yeah, some more talking about what they want in their future for their Star Child so it doesn’t look like outright sex. So are they going to troll us with no sex?! Damn, Itsuki taking off her clothes! WHY YOU TROLL US AGAIN???!!! And hence Cancer is born. Soon Shangri La gives Itsuki the Star Wards to seal the Impurities as well as conveniently open the door to the labyrinth. Does Itsuki think he is strong enough to fight an Impurity with just 2 Star Children?! They easily get owned and the young ones get turned into dolls. They retreat and I suppose this lessons only serves to motivate Itsuki to go f*ck the other maidens. Oops, I mean make more Star Children.

Episode 3
Once out of the labyrinth, the Star Children are fine and healed. Wait a minute. Why is Itsuki and co going back to the labyrinth if he thought he needed more Star Children and training?! Of course they lose again! So seeing Narcisstes for advice, he says the only chance now is for a Double Love Ritual. You mean an orgy?! Yeah, let Mana explain the juicy details. To help heal Itsuki’s wounds, Mana sets him up to go with Mahiru to the hotspring. So this guy is shy to get into the water with her when he has already been up close and personal with her body?! Anyway, I suppose this scene is supposed to play up some little doll thing she keeps, something related to the promise. I guess it isn’t important now. Mana then tries to set them up to make love in some transparent carriage and Itsuki only rebukes because of his different view it should be seen from the inside and not from the outside. Mahiru is not impressed. Did he just make her mad? So no sex? Besides, can she have another Star Child? Virgo II? So Itsuki sees Reone to heal some of the harder wounds. She learns about the Double Love Ritual and because of one single line Itsuki said that reminded her of her late younger brother, so she is willing to be his partner?! Got to speed things up. Hence Itsuki goes to find another ‘participant’ and lucky him he sees professional dancer Falun doing her hot moves. A little talk here and there and since she is the kind who can’t stay at one place or else she’ll suffocate, Itsuki turns on his seductive cheesy one liner charms (thanks to the guidebook Mana provided him) that he’ll take her to a better place and see things she has never seen before. OMG! She bought it! I guess we’re desperate. And so our Double Love Ritual begins with Reone and Falun. Naked ladies so sexy that Itsuki climaxed before even starting?! WTF?! Thank goodness sex isn’t the prerequisite so we can still get it on. And we welcome Scorpi and Capri to the family. Man, Itsuki must be so good that Reone and Falun are so tired out and can’t move! With this new party, Itsuki and the Star Children enter the labyrinth and manage to defeat the level boss. Finally! As a sign that this level is clear, Itsuki offers a Star Ward to the altar. I guess back to the surface to make more babies for now. Better hurry because an ominous roar is heard coming from the labyrinth’s depths.

Episode 4
So this weird hentai-like simulation opener (all the females have Mana’s face!) is so that Mana could set up Itsuki with Arie? Too bad it’s not her episode. Instead, Itsuki notices shy Yuzuha unable to get some bread. Because Japanese crowd is notorious for fighting over limited bread. So Itsuki goes to see her at her home as he learns she is a painter and this disturbing fact she feels safe sleeping in a coffin! That’s right. A coffin. They agree to eat lunch at the park tomorrow and what do you know? Yuzuha brought her coffin! Hitsugi No Yuzuha? Of course inside are painting materials. However this somewhat attracts some unwarranted comments from by-passers. This disheartens Yuzuha as she runs home in tears. The actual fault lies with Mana because she is doing some weird bird fornication thingy. WTF, MANA???!!! Lost, Itsuki seeks Arie for help as he learns more about Yuzuha being born with a frail body and hence this sleep illness (WTF?!) that she has (that has also no cure) means she hasn’t long to live. You serious?! That is why she feels safe sleeping in a coffin so when she dies, she won’t bother anyone. :’(. Oh Itsuki, can you give your support now? Itsuki then sees repentant Mana trying to make a coffin. But is this just an ulterior motive so they can get it on in coffins? But Itsuki approves this idea! So he goes back to talk with Yuzuha and his sincere words to hang out together with their coffins give her some confidence back. So they have fun together and she feels so relaxed that she sleeps on his thighs instead of her coffin. I guess with this flag cleared and ‘permission’ obtained, Yuzuha feels the need to give him something in return. What better way for him to have another Star Child, right? Yeah. Not so shy anymore, eh? Later Mana gives Itsuki a gift for Arie. He hands it to her as thanks but it contains some BDSM equipment that is to Arie’s fetish. So now the holy woman’s true colours have shown.

Episode 5
Wow. Just another Star Child allows Itsuki to defeat another Impurity. In fact, this is the third one already! Since he is so busy fighting in the labyrinth and haven’t had time to see his maidens, an excuse for Mana to organize a beach outing! Beach episode! On their way there, they see this playboy guy, Seiya trying to hit on the maidens. It seems the maidens noticed he has been stalking them one by one. At the beach, Itsuki and Lilith notice Seiya’s narcissist attitude. Making her fear him is that her fortune telling shows he is her destined lover. Because Lilith’s fortune telling is accurate and Itsuki doesn’t somewhat believe in it, this hurts Lilith as her other personality pops out, Lillie. She berates Itsuki but even so he still won’t believe. Nevertheless he gives it a try but Lilith sees something fearful and won’t tell him. Lillie is the one who discloses the fortune telling reveals Itsuki’s death. Itsuki isn’t shocked or anything. Hey, it’s not like he believes fortune telling, no? As fortune telling can also be used to prevent misfortunes, Lilith tries to change fate. Not sure what she did but Mana gave Seiya some climatic lotion rub and thus she is no longer targeted by him? With Itsuki believing in fortune telling now, so that is just the prerequisite needed for him to f*ck?! Oh my. Can a person with split personality split physical just for sex?! Is this considered Double Love Ritual or single? Damn my libido so confused! Later Itsuki visits the foster home to check on his kids only to see Seiya stalking Arie who is spying on him. When Itsuki materializes his sword to go after Seiya, Arie swoons. Then she goes to buy a naginata she ordered. We see her hidden secret: A room filled with weapons! Later Seiya comes to seek refuge in the church. She hears out his problem and after learning his secret, she also tell hers. So this sex trolling scene is actually Arie making topless Seiya pose while holding weapons? So this is her fetish? Of course he falls over her and Itsuki comes in to misinterpret everything. Luckily Arie clears the misunderstanding and this means showing her hidden weapon collection room. Fearing Itsuki would find her weird, he is impressed with it instead. So now she makes him pose with the weapons? Since he is amazed with her hobby, he now wants to have her Star Child?! Damn, that came out of nowhere! But this make out will be different because if you remember Arie is a sadist… Whipping time!!! I guess it’s sometimes good to have a different sexual experience. Later we see Seiya’s secret that even horrifies Mana: His target is Itsuki!!! Didn’t see this gay stuff coming!!! Yeah, it’s sometimes good to have different sexual experience… Say, if they make out, will they have a (gay) Star Child?! NO WAY!!!

Episode 6
I guess eventually this will come sooner or later: Can Itsuki f*ck a loli?! Don’t worry. Anime allows it! But Itsuki feels he can’t taint the pure Shoujo Alps girl of Collete. Yeah, even Collete has a feeling he helps her out in her bakery so that he could f*ck her! She’s not stupid! Anyway, this aside, her bakery has no customers and she believes she is talentless in baking bread unlike her grandpa. But there is another reason why her business is not so good. After Alfie brings the Star Children here for some much needed business, a couple of mean demons enter to harass Collete. They are workers of Lunch Pack, packed lunches that are currently popular in Granvania and putting many bakery out of business. They want this location and threaten Collete to give it up. However the Star Children tell them off and this really hurts their feelings as they run away?! WTF???!!! Mana reveals that Femiruna’s family runs Lunch Pack and if Itsuki talks to her, maybe she will help. Unfortunately there is nothing she could do but since he is so desperate, he accidentally causes her to slip as she knocks her head on the table! Oh dear! So the best solution? WTF Itsuki kidnaps her and puts her in a storeroom at Collete’s place?! I know hurting a maiden is a crime but didn’t he make it worse? So he wears a paper bag over his face while he leaves Collete’s bread for her to eat?! He can’t speak clearly, no wonder confused Femiruna is afraid of him. Oddly, Collete continues to bake more and Itsuki should have at least suspect something when she doesn’t eat any (she fears it is poisoned and he will do something to her body). I wonder how long she can last. Not long. Soon Itsuki takes off his paper bag (finally!) and tells her how much she needs to take care of herself. Well, if you dropped this charade and explained it properly… Because Itsuki cared about her, Femiruna starts falling for him! WTF logic is this?! Stockholm Syndrome?! Because she notes all men who get close to her are only after her father’s money and power. So the first guy to really pay attention to her? Oh yeah. He lets her feed her. In this storeroom? Couldn’t they change the place? Heck, he even bathes her here! WTF?! So are they going to do it here? Luckily, sex is sacred so they get a better room. Does Itsuki need to ruin it with this paper bag act? See how the lioness pounce on this guy! Meanwhile Collete’s grandpa gives her his recipes for her school festival. Aim for the ace! Yeah, he should’ve passed down his wisdom a long time ago.

Episode 7
Tarua seeks Mana’s advice because as a delivery girl, she can’t delivery all her letters in time. What’s the problem? Because she is so fast, she is slow. WTF?! Read that again… Meanwhile, Collete tells Itsuki that somebody tore the last page of her grandpa’s happy bread recipe. Old geezer doesn’t remember it and at this rate their bakery will close. Don’t worry. There’s always trial and error. Ironically we see Collete making lots of bread sexual innuendoes. Like how she wants him to tell her which body part he likes the best and he thought of getting away with (bread) ears and when she makes an ear out of bread but isn’t good enough, care to bite the real one? Oh Collete, don’t complain if he starts raping you! She goes on to make breads that look like certain reproductive anatomy and even eats them suggestively! It’s a wonder Itsuki hasn’t raped her yet. After more weird bread combos, she realizes the ultimate happy bread is made via coupling. You know, putting a sausage in a bun hole… WTF?! There you have it. Your Happy Chikuwa Sausage Bread! Although their bread is a sell-out at the festival, it seems Lunch Pack has appointed Mahiru and Yuzuha to represent them to sell theirs. And when theirs is not enough, guess what Femiruna gives for free? Panties! The more you can grab, the more pantsu you get. WTF?! Collete is so thankful to Itsuki that she wants to f*ck him?! Gee, that really escalated quickly. Yeah, the coupling just turned real. But this strange chikuwa dress as foreplay? Whatever. Happy coupling. Later Tarua hands Itsuki a letter. It’s obviously shady and by Mana as it leads him to some shady room where he is forced to train to become a delivery man. Yeah, unbelievable training methods I wonder how he can master it all in a short time. So once he passed, he is tasked to deliver a letter to Tarua. He finds her trying to find a lost letter in the mud. He helps out and realizes they’re looking in the wrong place. Yeah, how the heck did it end up the tree? Tarua is happy but first she has to finish deliver the letters. Many hands make light work as Itsuki helps her. Somehow Tarua wrote a letter for Itsuki. A thankful letter for his help and also stating how much she likes him. In turn, he writes back that he wants to have her Star Child. Straight to the point. Yeah… I hope this session won’t zoom by quickly. On a trivial note: Colette holds the record of most pantsu grabbed: 99! You mean it’s not 69 for this cheeky horny loli?

Episode 8
Mana hosts The Bachelor! Only one of the 12 maidens will win Itsuki’s heart and get to do the ultimate Love Ritual with him! Yeah, I somewhat had a feeling this series was resembling that reality TV one anyway… As you know, there are a couple of maidens not doing it with Itsuki yet and hence the first contestant to date him in this reality TV is Sue. She loves animals and we hear her sad background how her parents died while protecting her from Impurities. She still feels sad and can’t accept that they’re gone and that’s why she has all these animals as company. Damn, so sad can we even get to a make out scene? Stupid Mana letting the animals feed on her body with food isn’t turning anyone on… So if Itsuki feeds you his sushi, it means you are a candidate for his love making? Oh well, at least Sue got it. Mana then has the other contestants climb up slippery stairs while covered with suspicious white sticky substance. In the end, Mirei wins. Her reward is that she gets to bathe with Itsuki. Because she cannot see without her glasses, this increases her reliance to Itsuki as well as her sensitivity. Also meaning more suggestive flirting and she’s bold with it because she thinks it will help in her research. Whatever. And hence she gets the sushi too. He also dates other contestants but since he already done it with them, I guess we’re not going to have a repeat. Itsuki prepares to make out with Sue. Cat girl is lonely and wants his company to survive. This foreplay is borderline kinky and sad. Can they even make out? With Itsuki promising to stay by her side, blah, blah, blah, the mood is good enough for them to get going but wait! Mana suggests doing a Double Love Ritual with Mirei! Sue is embarrassed in having a threesome but don’t worry, Mirei has a potion that will make you bolder and hornier! And now let the orgy begin! This also means all of Sue’s animals start outraging Mana’s modesty. Yeah, this is so f*cked up… With a full set of Star Children, but why does Alfie feel sad once Itsuki’s mission is over, he’ll have to go home? Oh, it’s that roar again. Everyone assembles at the palace. Narcisstes’ research indicates there’s a 13th phantom. Too bad they haven’t found the entrance to it yet and the big bad Impurity will still revive. I guess this means Itsuki is a lucky guy that he gets to f*ck a 13th girl, right? Well… Mana points out it doesn’t necessarily needs to be female and suggests the 13th could be Narcisstes or Seiya! BL to increase female viewership! Is Itsuki serious accepting it or is he just trolling Mana?!

Episode 9
Suddenly Itsuki is uncomfortably looking at men?! Men everywhere! Mana trying to turn him into gay?! Will Itsuki be gay by the end of this episode! Itsuki keep bumping into Seiya means is he the destined one?! So when Itsuki starts questioning if this is even possible between men, Mana tells him off for being a homophobe! No siree, can’t have that kind of offensive thinking today! And we’ve already broke the fourth wall last episode hinting it would be a man so let’s get on with it! So it’s either this or beastiality. I’m sure he isn’t willing to do it with one of Sue’s horses then. Finally he gives in and such great timing Seiya is here. Yeah, the duo ‘dated’ and Itsuki feels even odder because now it is roles reversal. Seiya is getting on to him while Itsuki feels cornered like he did to those maidens. Eventually Itsuki can’t take the heat and baulks. He can’t accept the fact he almost gave birth to a Star Child! Can a man actually do that?! I guess no gay time. Mana then takes him to Narcisstes and this guy seems pretty understanding about his circumstances until he asks him about documents of a book that contains sexual positions!!! No gay time for this one either! With Itsuki more depressed, Mana tells her back story that she was once an Impurity created by a magician who tried to experiment on a way to coexist but died. Left all alone, Mana was going to be killed by the government but a Visitor saved him. Hence she is alive today and serves Granvania. That Visitor is Shangri La. Itsuki feels bad for him and does this mean Itsuki is into beastiality now?! Too bad for you Mana, he leaves you hanging because with his eyes opened, he is now willing to take on a man! Hooray! No more homophobe! Itsuki has to pick between Seiya and Narcisstes but he will have them both! My, greedy aren’t we? But in the end, nothing happened. The biggest troll reveal as Mana says you can’t do a Love Ritual between men! So was all this wasted?! Actually all this was to help level up Itsuki because now that he is open minded, he can start to find the 13th maiden with fresh feelings. Yeah, feelings are so complicated. Or maybe he just simply got trolled. Too bad folks. No gay time ever. But here is some consolation of Itsuki spending some (gay) beach time with Seiya and Narcisstes. Here, even some weird haiku about not being man or woman because love is all around.

Episode 10
Itsuki is trying to guess the 13th maiden. I think we all know who. But Itsuki even thinks it is Mana but can’t be because she is too lewd and FAT!!!! Oh dear. Fatphobe! But first Itsuki goes practice with Alfie and the Star Children to fight the 12th Impurity boss. After a hard fought battle, they win but nothing happens. Suddenly the labyrinth starts acting up and a light shoots out. As explained, this is the sign of 13th phantom’s awakening and this means Itsuki must expedite to find the 13th maiden. As you all would have guessed, even Alfie knows she is the 13th maiden but she tries to do up a few charms to make Itsuki notice her but all fail. Meanwhile Itsuki and Mana are advertising in the streets for the 13th maiden. I don’t think anybody gives a damn. They thought they heard Alfie’s voice. However she is drowned out by a stupid crowd of swooning girls crowding over Seiya. Recruitment failed. Attraction drive failed. As Alfie rues her chances, annoyed Mana goes to pick her up. She’s been waiting for her to show up as the 13th maiden! But Alfie won’t go to meet Itsuki like this. She gives a video for Itsuki to watch first. Itsuki is then told Alfie is the maiden he is looking for. Mana even breaks the fourth wall saying her face was in the opening credits and how we viewers already know! Anyway, the video is some trendy retro romance drama. So Alfie wants her romance trendy? I don’t think Itsuki has a choice. So uhm, the trendy date looks like we have a trendy car ride by the beach and then a trendy romantic Italian candlelit dinner. But the trendiness ends when Itsuki wants to go back to Alfie’s place. Is he trying to get lucky? He is amazed with all the retro trendy idol posters on the wall. They talk about a few things including Itsuki’s parents died in an accident. She feels sad. Then he sees he guidebook and strategies for the Star Children. The clincher is this cute dress he gives her as a present (why Mana sounds disappointed he thought Itsuki made it for his ‘secret hobby’?). The mood is so right and you can tell they are so lovey-dovey with each other that it’s making Mana jealously mad! Can they make out now? Not if Alfie’s stomach gives way! Yeah, some indigestion over the paper charms she ate earlier on. But now that is out of the way, it’s time to welcome the 13th Star Child.

Episode 11
Mana trolling us with this scene of Itsuki and Alfie making out isn’t some pay per view exclusive or some virus uploading trick. After Alfie’s Star Child is born (the most normal looking of them all), Alfie tires out. Is this an after-sex joke? So as Itsuki searches for some idol present to cheer her up, Shangri La summons him to the palace to tell him a secret. Guess what? You cannot defeat the 13th phantom! WTF?! Doesn’t that render the Star Children useless then?! Based on some legendary texts (yeah, bad handwriting), the only way is to seal it. Long story short, Itsuki must be a sacrifice for that sealing! Yeah, it sure made all that maiden thingy look redundant now. Mana overheard it and tries to act her normal pervy self but he is in no mood. So as though like this is going to be his last time, he goes around to help and make happy the other maidens. He even gives some doll charm to Mahiru. Man, this is sure some big bad death flag he is opening to. Itsuki returns to nurse Alfie and once she is well, she tells him a secret. Oh, not she too. She is actually born of a Visitor and a maiden! However her mom was killed by Impurities. So she was a Star Child born with maiden powers but lost them after the Love Ritual? WTF?! I’m so confused! You mean it’s like she lost her virginity?! And why is she such a hot babe instead of looking retarded like other Star Children?! Do Star Children even grow up?! WTF?! I’M SO FREAKING CONFUSED!!! For more confusion, Alfie then does some idol concert and variety show skit to motivate Itsuki. Like… WTF???!!! Last but not least, Itsuki has never forgotten about Mana so here is the present she has been waiting for. Oh my goodness… Don’t tell me… He wants to perform Love Ritual with her???!!!! OMFG!!!! Has Itsuki lost his mind that he is into beastiality now???!!! It’s true!!! But wait. If this isn’t Love Ritual and no Star Child is born, you mean this is just purely sex!!! OMFG!!! ITSUKI YOU BASTARD!!! 13 CUTE GIRLS ONLY EXIST FOR YOUR LOVE RITUAL BUT THIS PERVY TANUKI IT’S LIKE YOU HAVE REAL SEX???!!! WTF, MAN???!!! It’s just so freaking weird, dude. Morning comes and Itsuki now has the resolve to seal the 13th phantom. After that great sex, why not?

Episode 12
Shangri La now tells the maidens to help Itsuki by doing their Star Ritual to seal him forever. Yeah… Meanwhile Itsuki and Mana have headed into the labyrinth to fight the 13th phantom. So now it is conveniently found? The maidens reluctantly begin their ritual. Because it is either Itsuki is gone or the entire Granvania gone. Eventually Mahiru can’t bear the thought of sacrificing him and breaks the ritual. Yeah, might as well destroy Granvania. No fun without Itsuki, right? And of course we can’t have Granvania destroyed too so please ask if there is another way. Oh, conveniently there is?! If the Visitor truly bonds with all the maidens, a power to rid the Impurities can be obtained. However there is no proof of this flimsy reason and too much of a gamble. So you’re saying sacrificing Itsuki has better results because of ‘evidence’. Screw the former because everybody’s going to go with this. Yeah, should have just picked this in the first place. Thanks to the interrupted ritual, Itsuki who was fighting the 13th phantom and got ‘caught’ by the ritual, the 13th phantom has escaped. This is where the Star Children come in to fight. But they’re not alone. The maidens help channel their power to transform them into… 3 cheap mini mechas! Itsuki is alive thanks to Mana’s protection. Mana can still sound erotic but just to troll him to drink some invigorating juice to help save the world. With Itsuki reuniting with the maidens, he changed his mind about being sealed. Yeah, he want to have fun with all of them. So can we expect the biggest orgy after this?!

Before the fight gets too boring, suddenly Alfie takes a hit meant for Itsuki. Some last words here and there (you mean the baddie waited for them to finish their talk?). Yeah, time to get emotional. Alfie’s last wish is to be happy. So what does Itsuki give her? A kiss! And then Alfie disappears. OMG! YOU MEAN SHE REALLY DIED?! Oh well, this makes him mad as he powers up to obtain the Ophiuchus sign. Plus, with the maidens synchronizing with him, Itsuki combines with the Star Children to become… An ever cheaper mecha! At this point, the 13th phantom shows its true form (a discount mutated version of Overlord’s Ains?). He grabs Itsuki and wants him to join the dark side. They can go spread despair over the world because Itsuki too must have felt superior when he defiled the ladies, right? Can’t argue with that. But of course Itsuki rejects. You killed one of his girls and he is going to pay. So Alfie’s Star Child prays for some holy spear for Itsuki to stab through him? The Star Children then ‘sacrifice’ themselves to seal the 13th phantom forever. With Granvania safe, Mahiru talks to Itsuki that she wants to go home. She might miss the people here but it’s where she came from. He agrees. So as they leave, the other maidens come to say goodbye. So why the long face? Eventually they realize they don’t want to part with him and go with him! If that isn’t enough, Alfie and the Star Children are somewhat alive and also follow him to this world. WTF?! Mana has taken a humanoid form. Cute as she can be but she is still pervy. So now everybody is living on Earth but the ultimate f*ckery in the end is how Itsuki marries all of them and wants to bear their children! You mean he needs more children???!!! IS THIS EVEN LEGAL???!!! WTF???!!!!

Foreplay Folly – The Fault In Our (Horny) Stars: A Star (Child) Is Born
WTF???!!! WHAT THE FFFFFFUUUUUUUU????!!!! I was expecting a cheesy ending but I didn’t f*cking expect this gross harem ‘bad’ ending! Yeah, good for Itsuki. He has all the girls in his world now. It makes you think if Granvania must be a lonely place because now they are over a dozen girls shop. Think about this. Granvania is going to partly falter without them. For example, with Collete gone, who the f*ck is going to run the bakery?! Who is going to deliver the mails now that Sue is no longer around?! Granvania would be stuck with just old men and hot men and now they can all get yaoi with each other. Oh Seiya, looks like Narcisstes is the only option for you and you can add Shangri La for a threesome if you want. If that’s the case, was it better to just destroy Granvania? Looks like when the next round of Impurities hit them, it will be mostly from deprived jealous guys. Meanwhile other jealous guys in Itsuki’s school will be green with envy that suddenly he has babes from all walks of life clinging on to him. And he is already done them in! F*ck off you cherry boys. Itsuki is already in a league of his own!

You know, the whole concept of this conception thingy seems to be one big flimsy plot. I did not play the game so I am not sure if the game’s mechanics and settings are any better. But I think it would be even if it is just slightly since the video game had a sequel with completely new characters. But as far as this animated adaptation is concerned, the plot to have a Visitor make Star Children feels like a poorly written plot. An excuse so that we could have some sort of fake make-out scene and foreplay folly. Uh huh. I don’t know if this is sexy or funny but either way, when it comes to those scenes, it was also mind boggling.

The fact that you could create a Star Child from all those bonding because of the Impurities build up crap thingy feels a lot like a weak excuse so we can have those tasty delicious foreplay scenes. Which isn’t much either, by the way. Just a slight teasing and showing of our characters who are going to make out in their undies and that’s about it. I know it would feel awkward if they make out fully clothed but if no penetration was even required, why the heck do they need to strip? Maybe in the heat of the passion that is where the Star Child is born. In a way they put so much focus on making a child that every episode is literally named around making a child. Please bear my child. Try having my child. Will you have my child. Let’s give birth together. You get the idea. Like, WTF?! You think making babies is easy?!

There are probably a lot of mind boggling questions I would love to ask especially the workings of this world and other stuffs that don’t make much sense. So much so that this series has the cheek to break its fourth wall to tell us to go visit their official website to find out more details about it! I suppose they don’t want to bore us with some legendary explanation and want us to go look it up ourselves while the episode is dedicated to some boring dating simulation. Yeah… So maybe I could find the reason why Alfie didn’t die and the Star Children obtaining their freedom (who is sealing the 13th phantom then?) but I don’t want to confuse myself any further. Plus, the site is in Japanese and I’m too lazy to Google translate. Yeah… And then the questions keep piling on like if Mana is an Impurity but is able to transform into a human, Alfie a Star Child but not really looking like a typical Star Child, Shangri La was once a Visitor, you just forget about everything and accept it all without questions. Life is so much easier that way.

Because I don’t understand if this Impurity thing was so bad and they need to seal or defeat it quickly, but yet you see the people of Granvania going on with their daily lives happily! Like as though there is no urgency. Do they put all their faith in the Visitor? Because I’m sure past records have shown the success rate is high because otherwise had the Visitor failed, no more Granvania. Even more mind boggling is how the maidens are chosen (yeah, suddenly that horoscope sign popped up somewhere on their body, so you must be the chosen one). You think that they would at least all stay and work together once they are identified. But noooooo. After their initial introducing, they carry on living their individual lives. Like, WTF?! Like as though they are waiting for Itsuki to come seduce them. Turn by turn. And to say that these maidens cannot fight directly and only produce Star Child is also very paper thin excuse. Every time Itsuki and the Star Children venture into the labyrinth, at least the most they could do is be there as support? I know, don’t want to put them in danger as they don’t have martial arts background. But still, it shows that the maidens don’t care and they’re just there to serve as plot device for some fake sexy fanservice! I keep thinking it is only a matter of time Granvania will fall…

So basically in most episodes follow somewhat a similar pattern as Itsuki will try to bond with the girl in focus before performing the Love Ritual. The problem is that it just doesn’t feel satisfying. Maybe the series doesn’t take itself seriously even when it comes to this part. But the fact that it is supposed to be somewhat like a dating simulation but it comes off as rushed and unsatisfying. I mean, there are actually 12 maidens already and since there is the 13th and some guys to troll us for possible BL, how else do you think they can fit all of that into a dozen episodes? That is why it feels pretty wasted and rushed that many episodes featured 2 maidens. Like as though they need to quickly move forward the plot and hence ‘fast forward’ and rush this dating thingy. I don’t expect it to last for a few episodes like Amagami SS or Seiren but if the series is going to feature a guy bonding with his harem, such hastiness is very much frowned upon and dilutes the worth of the series.

Therefore it feels like the Star Children are one of the most important and forgettable characters and plots here. They feel more like just plot conveniences. When the series started, I was under the impression that we are going to see how the Star Children fight against the Impurities. Even if it is not the main thing, at least make it look important. Heck, even the first episode felt like a big troll. Itsuki suddenly pulling out his magic sword to fight a monster. I thought that was going to be the staple of the series. However many of the plot for this part of fighting Impurities in the labyrinth is mostly skipped. Suddenly you see Itsuki and his Star Children conquering the labyrinth and making the offerings to seal the Star Ward. Wow. It looks so easy. And with the subsequent episodes suddenly turning into some cheesy second rate dating sim, I guess screw this part and give me more faux foreplay. Oh yeah, bring on those sexy scenes, baby!

Hence the characters feel more like tools for plot conveniences. If you ever think that there was a series that treats its females like objects, this show can be considered to be a close one. Because as you can see of how rushed everything is, the maiden in focus is given one (some half) episode of prominence. After her Star Child is born, she is not really heard of again. At least not as prominent as when Itsuki seduced her. That is the most limelight she’ll ever get. Then she’ll be tossed and become part of the background, almost and nearly forgotten. That is why I don’t feel the bond of Itsuki and the girls. Everything happens to fast! You know it’s bad when you come too fast, right?! ;p. I feel sorry that despite each of them have different backgrounds, they feel so shallow here. It just feels like a stepping stone for the Love Ritual. An excuse why Itsuki is going to bang them. So what Femiruna’s family runs Lunch Pack? So what Collete runs a bakery? So what Falun is a dancer? So what Sue wants to be a good delivery girl? It all doesn’t matter once Itsuki f*cks them. Yeah, I make it sound like Itsuki penetrate these girls in my paragraphs but rest assured it is just for dramatization effect. No wonder they want to follow Itsuki. He is the only one who can make them feel good! Damn Itsuki, you could run a pimp house!

Even more sorry state for the Star Children. As I’ve said before, they are born to fight Impurities and right after birth, they are taken to a foster home to be trained. Like, you mean mama doesn’t even care about them!? It’s like after the ‘mothers’ gave birth to them, they toss them away too. Not their responsibility anymore. Like WTF?! And what the heck will happen to them once the Impurities are all sealed? Will they all die and disappear? That will be sad if that happens. Because I sure don’t see Star Children from the last time around (even that was assuming decades ago). So yeah, the women and children of this kingdom are so forsaken!!! Somebody think of the women and children!!!

I also think there was a missed opportunity when they decide to bring about the 13th maiden and hence the 13th Star Child. Because they should have brought in the Ophiuchus as Alfie’s star sign. Oh wait. They did in the end. But a little too late. Ophiuchus is often believed to be the 13th zodiac and there are debates whether it should be included in the horoscope or just a pseudo member. But I can’t see how this serpent bearer would fit for Alfie’s personality. It’s not like she’s a snake, right? Oh right. She stole a kiss from Itsuki before her fake dying moments. Sneaky snakey… But heck, I don’t think many of the other girls also represent the zodiac they are assigned for. Like Collete who is more of a baker than anything to do with Aquarius. At least make her a waitress who pours water for the customers she waits. And how the heck can one associate Ruka with Cancer? Unless you tell me those twintails are like a crab’s claws. Too vague!

For better or worse, cheeky and mischievous Mana is indeed the ‘best’ character of the series and my favourite. Her tendency to break the fourth wall, make sleazy cheesy horny jokes at every moment must be some sort of talent. This is the reason why the series is so funny and interesting because of how easily Mana breaks into this slutty mode, trying to turn on Itsuki. Maybe she has some pent up sexual frustrations and that’s why you see her being kinky on purpose. Only if she was such a gorgeous human being, she would have easily been the fapping material of many! It is this same reason why the show is cheesy and sucks in some other ways. Once a pervert, always a pervert. Then they try to give Mana some background like she is an Impurity. Like, does that even really matter at this point? Are we supposed to sympathize with her? Maybe that’s why she has such impure thoughts. Haha! But Mana, carry on being you. We love you that way. I don’t even want to think how Itsuki made out with her… Mana acting all shy and blushing whether real or not, just feels so creepy… Imagine if a Star Child was actually conceived between them, it would be so disturbing. But now thankfully Mana is in her oh so cute human form and that would make making out (if that should ever happen) easier to palate. Not going the beastiality way.

Itsuki as the only other character aside Mana to appear in every episode, I feel his main character status has reduced him into a pathetic state. Just like the maidens, his role exists just as a tool for plot convenience. Oh, so what’s this that if he doesn’t save Granvania and get the job done, he won’t return back to his own world? Hence an excuse to go around seducing the maidens and then make out with her. He has got it so good in this world, I say screw his own world and continue living here. Do you not see he bums around a lot? It’s not like he has a real job or rent to take care of anyway. I see Mahiru is blending in pretty well. Since they don’t show her much so I’m assuming she must be getting along fine in this world. To show Itsuki isn’t such a sleazy guy going around banging chicks, that is why the final arc plot for the much needed drama to make him feel like he is on a guilt trip. I’ve shagged all the ladies (and a creature) that I can, now it’s time to contribute with my sacrifice. Don’t worry girls, he is not the only one with a dick in Granvania. But since he is the one taking their first time, I guess we can’t have him go that way either. And since he saved the day and has the maidens coming with him (pun not intended), it’s like this guy only has a win-win situation. As long as you make the ladies feel good, damn they will follow you anywhere.

The other guys here feel like as though they are a troll for some BL trap. Why else do you have this Seiya dude who is probably charming and a playboy with other girls, for Itsuki in that one episode to feel like he is going to fall for him? Trap! And then for a guy like Narcisstes, to even have this kind of name, I mean, WTF???!!! And why does Shangri La not look like a proper king because when I see him I thought he is some uncle pretending to be a king. Yeah… Oddly, assuming if Shangri La and Narcisstes have tackled this Impurities menace in the past (not too sure its frequency but from the way they said it, it happened before), they should have some sort of experience and knowledge about the past to help deal with the current situation. Therefore I am again screaming plot convenience about this 13th phantom crap. You mean it never happened before?! I don’t know how big the royal library is or if Narcisstes is doing his research wrongly because suddenly they pull out this legendary crap out of thin air. Like, are you sure you’re serious in dealing with this sh*t? I have a speculation why Shangri La as an ex-Visitor is now king of Granvania. It’s because he did not have any women who wants to sleep with him so he prefers to stay back here and rule over others! I mean, have you even seen the queen?! It’s not like she was ever mentioned she died or anything! Oh Itsuki, you should really count your blessings.

Art and animation feel average and pretty standard. I don’t know, is it me that the characters have this one kind look? This anime is animated by the veteran anime studio of Gonzo. They are still going strong in producing a lot of anime series every season but it must just be coincidence that the recent seasons the animes from them aren’t of my taste and hence didn’t catch their work for a while. While some of the maidens’ design look like cosplay themes (Ruka the miko priestess, Reone the nurse), it is the designs of the Star Children that feel pretty weird. It feels like as though they were the result of some mutation went wrong hence some look like a chibi retard. Serious.

For the voice acting part, my favourite is of course Mana who is voiced by Yurin (Honey in Space Dandy). She is so freaking awesome sounding as the sleazy perverted creature and really sounds the part. She sounds like she is having fun with all this that it is just convincing. She could be the next Satomi Arai if you ask me. But kudos to her for doing a great voice acting job because it is never a dull moment hearing Mana talk in her unique, uhm, accent? Surprising to hear Kana Asumi as Lilith and Lillie because I haven’t heard her in a while and thought she has retired. But she is more subdued here and even her Lillie counterpart doesn’t match the exuberance of her trademark like Nyaruko. The other recognizable seiyuu is Eri Kitamura as Sue. Yeah, she also sounds subdued here but it’s all part of her character role. Sho Hayami as the 13th phantom feels wasted in his role since the baddie isn’t looking all that menacing and cheap.

The other casts are Yuuki Ono as Itsuki (Kiyotaka in Da Capo II), Emiri Katou as Mahiru (Akatsuki in Log Horizon), Aya Endo as Arie (Tchaikovsky in ClassicaLoid), Riho Sugiyama as Tarua (Tanis in Frankenstein Family), Makiko Ohmoto as Ruka (Miki in Tenshi Na Konamaiki), Saki Fujita as Femiruna (Ymir in Shingeki No Kyojin), Sanae Kobayashi as Mirei (Ennis in Baccano), Yuriko Yamaguchi as Reone (Robin in One Piece), Kazusa Aranami as Falun (Fujiko in Dorei-ku The Animation), Asami Shimoda as Collete (Rin in Infinite Stratos), Yukiyo Fujii as Yuzuha (Harumi in Citrus), Ai Kakuma as Alfie (Julis in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Kengo Kawanashi as Seiya (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion), Daisuke Hirakawa as Narcisstes (Makoto in School Days) and Kenichirou Matsuda as Shangri La (Gordon in Black Clover).

The opening theme is Star Light, Star Bright by Nano. Although this piece is passable and not bad, I wonder if it fits this series or not. You see, this rock piece sounds suitable if the anime was more like an action shonen adventure or fantasy like Naruto or Black Clover. So hearing this while keeping in mind the genre of this series makes me feel weird. But it cannot be as weird as the ending theme. The aptly named Desires by Manami Numakura is not only a techno rock frenzy but the freaky part is the animation. We see strange cardboard cut outs of Mana with macho man body doing very weird dances! The kind of exuberant energetic dance that you wonder if she is doing some sort of sacrificial ritual! This part comes off both funny and creepy because the surreal visuals somewhat remind me of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (the part the magical girls fight the witches). Yikes! I’m definitely not getting a boner in seeing this one. If their goal is to make me go WTF and feel crept out, they certainly succeeded in doing that.

Overall, this series trolled and teased us a lot with some suggestive and steamy scenes. We get our hopes up in seeing the make-out scenes and despite being rewarded with just that, that’s all we ever get. Disappointed, you damn dirty perverts! But I have to admit that I had fun and some laughs while watching this series, thanks to the horniness of a certain bear tanuki, thank you. It’s not the best nor sexy anime of the season of the year but it does give a different take and angle on the fanservice aspect. No cheap cheesy pantsu shots or boob shots to get the job done. Just some horny and suggestive remarks and trolling of the sexy bits is enough to make us feel anticipated, horny and disappointed all together. Then we all laugh it off after we’ve been had yet again. But I’m sure this isn’t going to cut it as an excuse when you really knock up a girl. I think we missed the concept of conception here.

A group of fallen angels have been banished by heaven and are now residing in part of hell. Sorry if that synopsis seems misleading and if you get the wrong idea of fallen angels and demons trying to plot revenge against heaven or see the harsh life of the underworld. Because Beelzebub-jou No Okinimesu Mama is really none of that! Instead, we have these fallen angels working and living life like normal humans do in hell? Eh, what? And get this. The rulers and assistants of the governing side are into fluffy and cute things. Like… WTF???!!! WTF is this cutie sh*t?! ~Kyun!

Episode 1
Pandemonium is a place where fallen angels go. With Satan gone, the fallen angels are working hard to keep this place going and is currently the ruler is Beelzebub. Her head attendant, Mullin is distraught she isn’t even ready for an important meeting and goes to get her. Still frolicking naked in bed with those fuzzy Gossamers? Over the next few scenes we see her doing her work diligently but somehow she’ll drift back to her ditzy behaviour and hence a see-saw of emotions from Mullin as one moment he admires her and the next he feels disappointed with this kind of behaviour. It makes him a tsundere. Knowing she likes soft things, he gives her a dress made out of very soft alpaca fur. Instantly she wants to strip and wear it now! Beelzebub than has him kneel. Is he being knighted? Just a pat on his head. She always thought he hated her but is a good boy. All that admiration once more goes down the drain when the next morning as he goes to get her in high spirits, only to see her sleeping naked with Gossamers. Why does it look like she gave up halfway putting her clothes on? Next day as Mullin reads her schedule for today, she starts talking about the things they do as God’s will. This is just an excuse so that she could run back to bed and sleep because it’s God’s will! Too bad she has to go check town. It’s so Japanese-like. And peaceful. Sure this isn’t heaven? Mullin heard how she was a fearsome fighter and assassin but wonders if it was true as she gets owned by the town animals. He tries to remind her but she pouts and doesn’t him getting mad at her. Can’t get mad at her when she’s looking this cute? Mullin’s worst fears come true as Beelzebub gets lost. Yeah, now they’re in this shady part of town but I still can’t bring myself to envision this is hell. Anyway Mullin finds a couple of guys trying to harass her and beats them up promptly. He scolds Beelzebub for making him worry. Back at the palace, Mullin regrets saying harsh things then as Beelzebub ignores him. Actually her heart is still flustering from Mullin worrying about her. Is this love? And more fluffy Beelzebub dreams of candy, lamb and cotton! So nice that no wonder she wants to go back and continue sleeping.

Episode 2
Mullin gives Beelzebub cream puffs. It’s so cute that she can’t eat them. And 5 minutes of break suddenly turns into some fluffy Gossamer wonderland. When Mullin falls down the stairs, he is saved by this manly Azazel. However he finds him somewhat ‘shy’ as he only communicates via signboards. Mullin tries to be observe and follow him in a bid to become manly like him but in all cases it all turns out to be cute stuffs. It is confirmed that Azazel is indeed into cute things when Mullin enters his room. Not what you expect? Azazel explains he isn’t good at communicating and his fierce looks drives others away. Yeah, he is such a sensitive guy that if you say the wrong thing, he feels hurt and cries! Apparently Azazel also knows Beelzebub as he makes dolls for her. Mullin tries to get Azazel’s approval by saying he likes cute things. Azazel hugs him but Beelzebub doesn’t like it and breaks them apart. She keeps repeating Mullin is her assistant. Later Mullin sees an anxious girl outside Beelzebub’s room, Belphegor. He thinks something is wrong with her as she is very scared. Luckily Beelzebub ‘throws’ her into the toilet. As revealed, she has social anxiety and has the urge to urinate. You mean like all the time? Yeah, each time Mullin speaks to her, she runs to the toilet! Endless wave of urination! It gets worse when Azazel is here. In turn, Azazel thinks she is still scared of him. So they try to give Azazel a cute makeover but he looks ‘scarier’ this way. How about smiling? Can’t smile? Think of happy things. Like his cute dolls coming to life. Yeah, he is still frowning even in happiness. As Mullin thinks hard on how to be liked by girls, it turns into a topic of Mullin getting Valentine cookies from only his mom. Sad. Hence Azazel gives him his cookies. After Mullin leaves, Belphegor asks him if Azazel is still scared of her. To calm her down, he gives Azazel’s cookies. This causes her anxiety again. I have my suspicions why Belphegor is always anxious before Azazel and it’s something to do with the matters of the heart, am I right?

Episode 3
While eating at a café, Beelzebub wanted to share her parfait with Mullin but starts overthinking everything since this café is often patron by lovers. Do they look like one? Well, offer is over. Feel like a loser? Then they see a fallen angel attracting the ladies. He is Astaroth and he seems to know Beelzebub and wants her company. Though, Beelzebub is not so fond of him. Too bad she got ‘seduced’ by his fluffy fake wings. Astaroth thinks Mullin did something shady to be Beelzebub’s assistant. So why the flashback of how cute Beelzebub was when she was an angel? I guess it’s to tell some back story how he sided with Beelzebub during the heaven and hell war and got tossed to Pandemonium. With Beelzebub going away in a foul mood, Astaroth goes to find her. She fears she made Mullin sad since they had a fun time together. He hugs her to make her feel better. She returns but looks like she is swamped with paperwork. Astaroth seems to hang out in Beelzebub’s office recently. He analyses Mullin and is glad he is a boring person with no over the top personality. He also observes him serving Beelzebub which he thinks he is like her boyfriend or mother potential. When Astaroth is told to go back to his own office since he has his own female assistant, speaking of her, here she comes! And she fired a warning shot! Sargatanas is actually a sadist and often tortures Astaroth. No wonder he is seeking refuge here. So who is the master and the assistant? Asking if she could have just take him back peacefully, she admits she prefers this method. But she has a ‘weakness’: She likes fluffy things too! Don’t tell anybody. Or you’re dead! After she drags Astaroth away, we see her fluster for a while when Astaroth compliments her and says he likes her (are you referring to her torture?). But then she brushes it off. Is she now a tsundere?

Episode 4
The most important question for Beelzebub: An alpaca or rabbit… Which to hug first?! During a meeting, Mullin notices a beautiful and capable lady, Eurynome. However she gives him that disgusted look. Later when he bumps into her again, again it is that look but soon her face turns cherubic. Noticing she dropped her handkerchief, he goes to return it at the park only for her to tell him to keep his voice down. It seems she is here to spy on young boys on a field trip! OMG. Shotacon! She loves young boys and especially their feet?! But don’t worry, she assures she will not do anything that will harm them. Can we trust a pervert? We see her going back and forth of ‘dying’ from this pleasure but also being revived from it. As well as the angelic face and the devilish one that she has to put up with grown males. But thanks to her imagination, she can imagine any guys as a young boy to get her through the day. Astaroth is here and of course she is disgusted with his flirting. She tries to imagine him as a young boy when Sargatanas pops up to beat the crap out of him. Eurynome gets turned on visualizing an older woman tormenting a young boy? Later Mullin has movie tickets and invites Beelzebub to come with him. Though she is happy, soon he wonders if this is like dating. What has he gotten himself into? Because of that, Beelzebub is up all night and can’t sleep. But next morning, Mullin isn’t at work and she heard he has become sick (I guess he too got excited and ran around town all night). She visits him with Azazel. Since she is clueless how to cook, thank goodness for Azazel. She tries to help by cleaning his sweat but since he refuses, it turns and looks like a rape scene. Mullin decides to give the tickets to Azazel to go with Beelzebub so as not to waste. But she doesn’t look happy. After they leave, shortly after Beelzebub returns and she wants to stay with him a little longer. He agrees since it was getting a bit lonely. Meanwhile Azazel realizes the movie is a horror one! Zombie Guts! WTF?! As Beelzebub watches Mullin sleeps, she can’t help herself and kiss him. Actually, putting her forehead on his. So when she goes back, she is super embarrassed of what she did. She realized she used to easily touch him but now her heart beats fast each time or even getting close. Next day when Mullin is well, looks like Beelzebub is now out sick. I don’t think she caught it from him… Yeah, it’s that love sickness probably raising her temperature.

Episode 5
Azazel brings Mullin to meet the head librarian, Dantalion. But this young boy prefers to sleep and slacks on his job. If he isn’t sleeping, he is reading. He loves reading so much that he skips food! But the total opposite of Dantalion is Molech. This tall noisy guy is just really, uhm, noisy. It seems his only ‘useful’ is to serve as a stepladder so that Dantalion can get books that is high out of his reach. Dantalion is also smart and he could guess what kind of books interest Mullin. But beware if you’re too noisy, he’ll spoil this murder mystery novel for you… Later Eurynome confronts Mullin. She is mad that he is mixing well with this young boy that she is currently stalking. So why tell him not to tell Dantalion that she is here to see him? Shouldn’t she have kept this a secret to herself? Later Mullin discovers that Dantalion could be very old because he has read almost all the books here that could take centuries. Let’s just leave Eurynome in her fantasy… Since Belphegor still has trouble talking to Azazel, her assistant, Camio suggests baking. She enlists Beelzebub’s help but since she too isn’t good, she thinks of calling Azazel. Is this a joke? Thankfully she calls her personal chef, Nisroch. He cooks fast but at the expense of getting his clothes ripped! The girls eventually try making it on their own but you only learn something through trial and error. Why does it look like it is going the yuri way with them getting too close to each other, hugging and even saying I love you?! Once the brownies are done, the real problem emerges. Belphegor now has second thoughts if she could even hand it to him. She even fears he would hate her for it. Yeah, looks like she’ll be visiting the toilet many more times. You won’t know if you don’t try. So finally she sums up all her courage to hand it to him. Azazel is happy enough that his smile sends Belphegor unconscious! I think another visit to the toilet is necessary. Later Beelzebub gives hers to Mullin. He likes it and in return gives her a book he borrowed about fluffy stuffs. What a happy day.

Episode 6
While on her way to a meeting, Beelzebub’s heels got stuck in a gap. Mullin tries to get it out but in her embarrassment and struggle, the heel broke and she accidentally high kicked him! Unable to leave her like this, however Mullin is having a hard time carrying her like a princess or give her a piggyback ride. It’s embarrassing. Somehow he manages to get her back. We are introduced to Adrammelech who is in charge of Beelzebub’s clothing as he makes her new heels. When Mullin asks if she should wear shorter heels, she insists she must wear a taller one. Her secret is that so she would be closer to Mullin and talk to him. Beelzebub remembers God’s lightning struck her down and she found herself in ‘heaven’. A land with all the fluffy Gossamers? Heaven indeed. Beelzebub attends a photo shoot for a magazine and gets interviewed. At times the words she picked could almost reveal her slacking side but thankfully they still sound majestic. When asked about her dislikes, she says there are none. One stormy day when Beelzebub is not in her office, Azazel suggests Mullin to go find her. Although already soaking wet, why is she still cowering there? Mullin realizes she is afraid of the lightning although Beelzebub insists she isn’t. However it becomes more evident that she is really afraid as she huddles close to him the more the lightning flashes. She thinks he will find her disappointing and pathetic but he doesn’t find her so. She hopes this can be their little secret. Later Mullin learns that Azazel also knows of this since they know each other a long time. Mullin can’t help feel disappointed. The article on Beelzebub comes out and she’s quite happy with it. We take a detour to see prehistoric Beelzebub collecting chestnuts and shells with Mullin! This is actually her daydreaming. She might look focused and intense while working but this is all running through her head.

Episode 7
As suggested by the head doctor, Buer, not many are getting enough exercise so a gym is proposed to be installed in the building. However it turned out to be a bath instead. Apparently Astaroth abused his position as finance minister to get this installed. He thinks instead of making more sweaty people, a bath should be nicer! Oh well, what’s done is done. Might as well go in and enjoy. We see the guys getting in and Astaroth fantasizing about the girls talking about boobs. Too bad the other guys are being ‘gay’ with the muscular ones showing off their abs. Astaroth soon becomes desperate to peek at the women’s side. And when he really can’t find a way, he decides to peek at them changing. Mullin tries to stop him but this is what happened. Apparently the moment Astaroth opens the door to the women’s side, Sargatanas is waiting. She knew he would peep and thus the women didn’t get in yet. You mean they waited this entire time?! But this only disheartens Beelzebub as she thinks Mullin is in cohorts with Astaroth to be a pervert. Well, reflect on your crimes while the ladies now enjoy their bath. Later, Beelzebub discovers Mullin had a pet dog named Mitarashi. So cute that she could die? She also learns he has a younger pair of twin sisters. So she wants to call him onii-chan?! But this soon makes her sad as she realizes she knows little about Mullin. I’m sure she would like to know more about him but Astaroth being a busybody trying to practice talking to her as if Beelzebub was talking to Mullin? He asks all the normal questions until that question that made Sargatanas come torturing him (“What colour is your pantsu”). Beelzebub returns to Mullin and she would love to spam him with all sorts of questions that would make he sound like a stalker. So when she manages to eke out a question, it’s “What colour is your underwear”. Damn… Why does Mullin have to embarrassingly answer that?! And so the lesson learnt for Beelzebub is that she doesn’t need to know everything about him.

Episode 8
Sargatanas might look strict and all but deep inside she loves cute things. So when her subordinates mention about a new cute café opening, they think she is not interested but she’s dying to go there. In order not to give herself away, she dresses up suspiciously. Yeah, she stands out even more. Sargatanas is enjoying all the cuteness until Azazel comes by. Oh right. This guy loves cute things too. Awkwardly he shares a table with her. With Sargatanas worrying people will not perceive the way she is, Azazel looks at it from a different point of view. You can see he is all dressed up nicely because he wants to help improve the reputation of this store as the staffs here want them to be happy. Sargatanas is glad she came here today. Meanwhile Beelzebub and Mullin just arrived. She is so awed with everything cute that she bought all the merchandise on sale. Later Beelzebub tells Belphegor that they’ll be going to the beach and of course Mullin and Azazel are invited. As expected, Beelzebub goes into embarrassed pessimistic mode. Eventually she wants Azazel to look cute before Azazel. The first step is to buy a swimsuit and who else better than Adrammelech and his seductive assistant, Morrigan to help them choose. I guess most of the scenes here are about Belphegor being embarrassed at every suggested swimsuit since it shows too much skin. It is ironic since her midriff is always exposed. So she settles for a cute one. Still exposing lots of her skin if you ask me. As for Beelzebub, she thinks this one made out of strings will do but Adrammelech doesn’t even want to recommend it to her. And we have his fashion lesson of the day: Fashion isn’t just about what you look on the outside, but also improving one’s frame of mind. Beelzebub immediately calls Mullin over for his opinion. Of course he is shocked and covers his eyes, prompting Beelzebub to think the string version should be better. With Adrammelech telling the wuss to properly look at her, they’re starting to look like a couple in love. And then beach day… It’s stormy! Oh well, does seeing someone in their swimsuit beforehand jinxed it? Later at the café, Beelzebub finds the food too cute to eat and in turn, Mullin finds this reaction of hers too cute to stomach.

Episode 9
Mullin was gone for a while and when he comes back, he thought Beelzebub slacked and didn’t get any work done. She sulks that she was doing so since he was away. Because of that, Mullin threatens to transfer to the library since Dantalion requested his help. Beelzebub goes into shock mode as Mullin soon finds out Beelzebub has finished her work but was only trolling him. So now it’s his fault? Beelzebub seeks comfort talking to Belphegor. She wonders if Mullin hated her because of that incident putting her forehead on his. Meanwhile Mullin talks to Astaroth and Adrammelech for advice to make up. Perhaps the best way is to buy a gift and say it with flowers? Mullin goes back to talk to Beelzebub. Still sulking. Still putting up that tough act that she’ll be alright if he transferred. Mullin says he will never put in a transfer request and even if he is no longer working with her, they can still meet up. This might have made her feel a bit better but still they’re both feeling pretty awkward for now. Like a lover’s quarrel? Belphegor has a dream where she confessed to Azazel. Is this considered a nightmare? At the library, she thinks of the books he likes to read so she could share his passion. Thoughts of that frog kissing princess made her think if Azazel should always be a frog so she could always be with him?! While deep in her thoughts, she didn’t realize Azazel is there. A big shock has her being clumsy but Azazel protects her. Then a slip of her tongue, she gets embarrassed thinking she confessed that she liked him (suki) but he misinterpreted it as memorandum (shuki). Making it even weirder is that she runs away. To the toilet, I guess. We see our lovable demons on the brink of falling asleep due to working overtime. Like how Astaroth thinks he can get away after checking Sargatanas’ sleeping face. Failed again. Azazel sees Belphegor sleeping and is considerate not to wake her up knowing she will freak out and instead leaves his jacket behind on her. Molech ruins Eurynome’s admiration of Dantalion sleeping by being noisy. Mullin sees Beelzebub’s sleeping face close up and gets nervous thinking about things. As he gets closer, another aide comes in with refreshments, freaks the hell out of him and they go eat in the other room. Actual fact is that Beelzebub was already half awake and pretended to be asleep. Ruing she couldn’t open her eyes and see what Mullin was going to do?

Episode 10
Astaroth is missing from work and once more Sargatanas has to find and bring him back. Sorry to break your date with this cutie but it’s time to get back to work! Poor girl must be traumatized seeing Astaroth getting abused. However Astaroth complains he still wants a break so Sargatanas allows a coffee break by the bench. Because there are couples resting everywhere, this irks her but her mind keeps thinking if she really wants to be close to Astaroth. You know women like her. Mouth say one thing but the heart says another. Eventually she ‘rationalizes’ that she is just watching over this loser. Once it’s time to go back, Astaroth thanks her for always putting up with him and says he loves her. This doesn’t come to her as a surprise as he always says this in the past. It’s probably his pickup line. He then lies on her shoulder and since she didn’t react, he thinks she is always calm. Until he realizes that upset face she is making. Time to really get back to work. Back home, Sargatanas realizes how embarrassed she was just to think about that incident. So is the true answer of her heart? Next day, Astaroth didn’t learn his lesson and is missing from work. Time for Sargatanas to go fetch him back. But this time we can see her smiling. Yeah, she loves her job and her man? It’s a cold day in hell in Pandemonium. Literally. I can understand why Beelzebub is weak with it. Hell is supposed to be boiling hot, right? She can’t stand the cold and is barely functioning but with Mullin around, she gets by. Offering warm pocket patches isn’t enough and seeing her sneeze means her boobs bounce. Nice view? Hence Mullin suggests covering up but it still doesn’t work because those huge jugs are just too huge. Beelzebub didn’t like this either as this means she cannot feel the fluffiness of the Gossamers on her chest. On the way to the meeting room, they spot Molech as a snowman and Dantalion frozen in ice after reading too long in the open! With Beelzebub still cold, Mullin finally wraps his scarf around her. It makes her feel a lot better and perhaps such a cold day isn’t a bad thing. During the meeting she can’t concentrate as she is trying to sniff the scarf? Don’t get caught… Next day, the weather is back to nice and normal but Beelzebub still feels cold? Need something from him? Sorry, Mullin doesn’t get it.

Episode 11
Wow. Belphegor dating Azazel. Too good to be true. Yup. Just a dream. Damn. I guess she doesn’t need the umpteenth lecture from Camio to face her feelings. After a meeting with Beelzebub and as she is about to leave, Azazel enters the door. Immediately she gets freaked out and runs away. It’s that urinating feeling again. Sighs… Meanwhile Azazel thinks he has once again frightened her. Hence for their upcoming tea party, he is considerate to skip it. At the tea party, Mullin learns Adrammelech has got handsome male assistants while Morrigan is the manager of a popular succubus idol group. SCB39?! Mullin asks Adrammelech if he could help make a less scary clothes for Azazel but he isn’t interested. Morrigan wants to help but she is suggesting seducing lessons for Mullin. Adrammelech realizes somebody has drank his wine. The real culprit is Belphegor who thought it was some grape juice. Now she is rushing to toilet for yet another incontinence. However the wine soon overtakes her as she feels drowsy. When Azazel finds her, she thinks this is a dream. So when he wants to leave her, she will not allow it! At least stay by her side until she wakes up! We see Belphegor drunk, getting high and in wonderland. Best dream ever? Yeah, ironically it’s reality. This confuses the hell out of Azazel because she isn’t scared of him and when he wants to ask, she has fallen asleep. He hopes in the future they can be better friends. But for now he brings her back to the tea party where everybody else is shocked to see this. Next day when Azazel and Belphegor bump into each other again, Belphegor doesn’t remember much but was told what happened by the others. She is very embarrassed. But she feels the need to talk to him and clear things up. However in this panicky state, Azazel now assumes she will be even more afraid of him and needs to play it cool. He walks away. Too bad Belphegor misinterprets that as he is avoiding her. There goes her chance. Time to cry her heart out on Beelzebub’s shoulder. One step forward, two steps back. Better luck next time.

Episode 12
When Beelzebub heads to the toilet, she realizes that she almost has her butt exposed. A Gossamer was pulling on her sweater’s yarn and it almost became wardrobe malfunction and indecent exposure! But that is not the reason why she is down. However Mullin thinks he did something wrong. Because that sweater was from Mullin, panicky Beelzebub goes to see Adrammelech to get it fixed. And so he literally weaves his magic to knit them back. So the next day when Mullin wants to find out if he did something wrong, Beelzebub is all smiles and happy. Mullin thinks he might be too self-conscious. With spring here, we hear weird stories from other department on what they do during hanami. Like how Morrigan uses the chicken drumsticks as maracas! And she’s not even drunk! Amazingly, Beelzebub has never been to a hanami. Hence Mullin plans to invite everyone (AKA usual suspects) for this special occasion. The plan is for everyone to bring their own food for a pot luck. However 90% brought KFC just because Beelzebub says she has never had KFC before! Is this a KFC chicken party? And so Nisroch is called in to help cook some other foods. Mullin hands Belphegor cookies made by Azazel. Just holding it has her faint in happiness. She still got a long way to go. When Beelzebub chases a fluttering petal, she didn’t see ahead and crashes into the tree! Is this cute or what?! As Mullin joins her in catching sakura petals, he realizes how everything is ephemeral and everything could be gone in the next second. Suddenly he realizes Beelzebub is missing and panics. Luckily she is just hiding behind a tree. Phew. Is that embarrassing or what? Beelzebub gets embarrassed to hear about it so they start chasing each other around the tree? WTF?! Is this cute or what?! Eventually Beelzebub can’t catch a petal (what?!) so Mullin gives her his. Good for you. What is this feeling developing in her heart… But time to pack up and go back to work. A few days later, Beelzebub and Mullin have their own weird petal catching around a tree. This scene is either cute or WTF. Or both. Their other assistants watch but I guess they don’t say anything because they get to drink free and watch this adorable show.

Fluffy Wonderland Paradise
And so our characters continue to frolic and have happy days together in Pandemonium. Are you sure this is hell? Maybe this is some part of heaven that we don’t know. Or maybe this is Earth and the aftermath of some giant nuclear fallout. After millennia of dystopia, the beings have picked up the slack and slowly turned into utopia. No? Are you sure? Okay. Ironically for a great place like that to have such a name that is a total opposite of what it means.

If you don’t like animes with very confusing plot or the kind of storyline that you have to use your brains and think, I guess this one would really fir your taste. There is absolutely no real plot to follow as we just see the daily lives of our fallen angels and demons. All in a very cute and lovable manner. Aww, so cute. So adorable. So boring? Well, I suppose the intention is to make our hearts fluffy and go fuwafuwa with all the cuteness spamming in our face. Hence with the lack of any such plot, the only ‘plot’ that I find very interesting is during Beelzebub’s fear of lightning. It would have been a lot more interesting if this part of the story is fleshed out. Because I am really curious to see how everyone in Pandemonium got kicked out of heaven in the first place. I really wanted to see that war between heaven and hell that lead to all this. It is the only thing that I really wanted to see more. But I guess it would be to unbearable for a harmless series like this so it is back to more fluffy remedy. Damn, it would be too much and shocking if our characters suddenly turn out to be secretly planning to wage a revenge war against heaven! And all this having fun is just a ruse to bluff heaven and hide their ultimate plan! Gasp! Luckily it’s not like that, right? Yeah, I think forever fuwafuwa is the best then.

Hence the setting of this series is somewhat mind boggling. Because our perception of hell is such a horrible and terrifying place but yet when you see Pandemonium, it feels like one of the best places to live ever! Possibly even better than heaven! I guess heaven is no fun when God is so uptight and strict about his rules. Heh. It’s just mind boggling to think that when these fallen angels are casted down, it’s like God was considerate enough to give them a calm and peaceful land. Here, you fallen angels. This is some nice empty plot to live the rest of your lives. So take care, bye. Yeah, it somewhat felt like that and hence why Pandemonium is such a peaceful place. But I could be mistaken as the series is set mainly in the governing palace and not in the actual towns of Pandemonium. Yeah, there are shady parts of town that resembles a lot like the human world. Just reminds me of Soul Society in Bleach. Everybody who dies get to live their afterlife Japanese style. And I don’t know which country represents Pandemonium because I heard that they have another branch in France. FRANCE?! Like, WTF?!

And because of how Pandemonium resembles Earth so much, I was wondering if KFC actually bought hell. I thought it was f*cking obvious product placement since we have that logo and famous brand mentioned several times in the final episode even if it is just for a few seconds. Oh my. KFC has finally succeeded where other fast food brands like McDonalds and Pizza Hut fail. Yeah, you can say KFC conquered hell! And to answer my question in the previous paragraph, I am starting to believe Pandemonium takes after Japan because I noticed the currency they used is based on yen.

There are probably a few more questions that I would like to ask about all this here since you know, my normal perception of hell is just so different than this. And with animes throughout the years having their own interpretations of hell but mostly still a scary place even if the demons are the ‘good guys’, this fluffy underworld just seems so out of place and conflicting with my stereotypes. The more I continue to watch all the peaceful times in Pandemonium and all the frolicking the characters can afford to have, the more I feel that this isn’t really hell. I hope at the end of the day, this series isn’t going to make you think that hell is such a wonderful place to be and hence you want to really be here when you kick the bucket. And then I just realized this: If that is the case, could it be all the fluffy cuteness is just hell’s way of recruiting and drawing you to choose their side?! No way!

Series that lack any sort of story to tell will have to rely heavily on the characters to keep it fun and fresh. Yes, they are cute and amusing in their own ways. But as I have said that I have my own stereotypes on fallen angels and demons, the more I see them frolicking and having fun, the more I get conflicted if they are really fallen angels and demons. I mean, really? Names like Beelzebub, Azazel and Astaroth are from truly evil demons. And then you have this Beelzebub who is so into cute things and acting like a young girl falling in love, this Azazel who is a taciturn guy who likes cute things, and this Astaroth who is like a slacker and playboy, it really makes you raise an eyebrow or two. And these characters feel like ordinary people because they don’t have any sort of supernatural powers. Just ordinary plain citizens and denizens of Pandemonium. Did God strip them of it when he banished them from heaven?

Like Beelzebub and Mullin who are trying their best on a daily day to day basis to get things done. But Beelzebub just wants to slack, frolic around and do all the cute stuffs she enjoys and if not for Mullin who keeps constantly reminding her, I’m sure Pandemonium would have fell into a regressive state. So thank goodness, right? They aren’t perfect but they do complement each other after being with each other so long, you wonder if they really fall in love with each other, would it constitute to conflict of interest. Maybe they’ll get the job done faster, maybe love will get in the way of getting any work done. But we definitely would like to see them together. Because the way they blush with each other and hearing their own thoughts of how cute the other is, it’s just too cute and funny. At the end of the day, both give each other the motivation to face a day’s worth of work.

Then there is this odd pair of Azazel and Belphegor. Strangely, this pairing somewhat reminds me of another similar pair in Denki-gai No Honya-san. Remember Sommelier and Fu Girl? Yeah… I wonder if it is a coincidence. Big taciturn guy and a very shy petite girl. Only difference is that Azazel does a Gintama’s Elizabeth by communicating with signboards (does he prepare them beforehand or does he write super fast?) and Belphegor doesn’t get overly excited after watching zombie flicks but instead has the urge to go to the toilet. I somewhat feel this pairing won’t have a chance in advancing an inch compared to Beelzebub and Mullin. With Belphegor flustering just at the sight of him and Azazel just thinking of being friends and blaming himself to be scary, looks like this running joke will become annoying if it carries on without any decent progress. But I guess some of us like super flustering girls like Belphegor. Oh so kawaii.

The other third pairing is Astaroth and Sargatanas. You can tell that a strict woman like her who keeps beating up this idiot day in day out, there is bound to be some sort of romance, right? Yeah well, if this is the way they show their (twisted) love for each other, so be it. I mean, this is how this pair functions, right? It would be odd if one day Astaroth just stops his playboy ways and slacking and Sargatanas would then stop beating him up and bring him back. So I’m guessing that Astaroth purposely do all this so that Sargatanas could come fetch him. Because he subtly knows she likes him and this is the only way she could be justify to be with him. For that same reason why I can think this guy acts like as though he is interested in Beelzebub. So that it gives Sargatanas some sort of justification for her actions towards him. Or maybe he just likes to get beaten up by her.

The other characters are okay and add some spice but don’t really matter much. Like Dantalion who has this looks on his face that says he wished he wasn’t here doing this library job and would rather have his sleep. I guess geniuses need their sleep too. Then you have the complete opposite in Molech who seems to be the other idiot and offer some comic relief with his liveliness. And Eurynome being a shotacon feels more like a side running joke than anything significant. I think there is a missed opportunity to call her Shota-nome than Yuri-nome… Adrammelech and Morrigan aren’t significant too and feel like they could have been done without. But it is better than other nameless assistants serving under Beelzebub. Oh wait. They have names too. But I forgot because they’re so unimportant. Heh. And finally I wonder if those cute fluffy mascot Gossamers, where do they come from? Are they the natural creatures inhabiting Pandemonium? Because this place is full of them. Don’t you just want to hug and cuddle them and take a few home with you? It would be devastating if there is a plot twist that says they are actually some sort of soul sucking demons. Because you see all the fluffiness are just a hallucination they give out before they suck your life force dry! Horror! But can I still pet and hug one of those?

As you would have expect, the art and animation feels so fluffy and cute. All the characters look so cute and kawaii while maintaining their overall simplicity. The overall tone and hue of the series is quite light as well as colourful, hence making you really confused and wonder if this is really the hell you always thought it was. With its clean animation, the only thing ‘unclean’ are Beelzebub’s boobs and cleavage left exposed in the name and taste of a certain someone’s fashion. I’m confused. Can I call those boobs fluffy and cute? Animated by Lindenflims, the art style seems almost familiar like Koi to Uso but without the overly big bug-like eyes.

Voice acting I only recognized Kikuko Inoue as the narrator (she sounds like having fun with her dreamy voice doing the punch lines) and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Astaroth. I didn’t realize it was Aoi Yuuki as Dantalion as she is using a low voice. Yup, for the umpteenth time, hear me blame Aho Girl for the start of the trend for Aoi Yuuki to start voicing such young boys’ role now. One thing I would like to point out about Misaki Kuno who plays Belphegor. Because of her squeaky high pitched voice and because her character is constantly flustering and panicky, I can’t help think that she sounds like coming out from a porn shoot! It just rubs me the wrong way. It just feels weird. Sure, blame my perverted mind but that squealing sure makes her sound she belonged in some hentai. Well, I guess she specializes in loli roles like Momo in 3-gatsu No Lion, Elfnein in Senki Zesshou Symphogear series and Serara in Log Horizon. Oh, she is also the voice of a certain pig in Nanatsu No Taizai. Yeah, now the squealing sounds so familiar. The other casts are Saori Oonishi as Beelzebub (Eriri in Saekano), Rikuya Yasuda as Mullin (Taishi in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Happy Kiss), Satoshi Hino as Azazel (Gauche in Black Clover), Ai Kakuma as Sargatanas (Rossweisse in High School DxD), Chinatsu Akasaki as Eurynome (Alice in Shokugeki No Souma), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Molech (Hisui in K), Masaya Onosaka as Adrammelech (Momoshiro in Prince Of Tennis) and Aya Suzaki as Morrigan (titular character in Tamako Market).

The opening theme is Pink Lemonade by Sangatsu No Phantasia. A lively anime music. Nothing really special. Didn’t feel fluffy hearing this one until I heard the ending theme. Akuma De Koiwazurai by the trio behind Beelzebub, Belphegor and Sargatanas has all the fluffy cutie feel probably because this lively piece has the girls singing in their cute voices. There are a few cute BGMs as well but the one that really caught my attention is the main one that somehow reminds me of Bee Gees’ Melody Fair! It sounds really close to it but now I can’t get Melody Fair out of my head! Every time I watch this series and hear this BGM, I unconsciously hum this 1969 song in my head! Even after finishing watching the episode! The BGM isn’t all that bad but it’s not that I am obsessing over it either. And now I’m trapped with the Bee Gees’ piece in my head. Oh no… Here I go again… Who is that girl with the crying face looking at millions of signsMelody Fair won’t your comb your hairYou can be beautiful too

I don’t know if this is one of those series that helps to purify and cleanse your soul like Aria The Animation and Amanchu. Yeah, everything is so adorable and cute that the irony of your tainted soul being cleansed by these kawaii fallen angels and demons. You might be in danger of dying from overdose of fluffiness. This series is simple and relaxing, for those who want to get away from all the crappy quality anime series out there or those filled with controversial and cliché stuffs of excessive violence and cheesy fanservice. But with all the cuteness and fluffiness in every scene, this series isn’t entirely a fluff. It might not be your cup of tea but hey, it is how Miss Beelzebub likes it. Slow, easy and relaxing. And with lots of cute fluffiness.

Chrome Shelled Regios

February 2, 2019

Post-apocalyptic dystopian future, check. Horrifying vicious monsters that roam the wastelands and have no qualms attacking and devouring any humans dumb enough to come close to them, check. People living in large mobile cities, check. Some hold special sci-fi weapons to defend themselves, check. Main character with a past trying to start fresh his new life in a new city but the past soon catches up to him and he is forced to relive his old ways, check. If all that sounds pretty cliché and nothing exciting, please bear in mind that Chrome Shelled Regios came out a decade ago back in 2009. Yeah, I’m feeling a bit old when I decided to go pick a retro anime to watch. Now those anime series that came out 10 years ago are starting to feel like a very long time. Imagine I decided to pick those way back into 90’s, 80’s or even 70’s… But why this series? Coincidentally, Hollywood released a film about a post-apocalyptic world with giant mobile cities too, Mortal Engines! If you think the movie copied the anime, hold on, because the Hollywood movie was based on a British novel that predates the light novel that the anime adapted by about 5 years! So who copied who? Or just mere coincidences?

Episode 1
Huge monsters known as Filth Monsters AKA Limbeekoon attack a civilian transport that is making its way into a mobile city called Regios. But don’t worry, our heroes have stormed out to stop this menacing beasts with the special weapons called Dite and their inner powers called Kei. We now take a detour to the Academy City of Zuellni. Nina Antalk is not pleased that a member of her platoon is leaving. She can’t use violence to make him stay or her platoon will also be dissolved. But she’s in luck. Today is the new term for new students so she can go recruit some. With Harley Sutton and Sharnid Elipton, they go crew hunting but all the potential ones are taken. Meanwhile Layfon Alseif is a new student here and meets fellow new student and reporter wannabe, Mifi Rotten (that kind of name would surely raise some eyebrows about reporting credibility) as well as her friends, Mayshen Torinden and Naruki Gerni. Shortly, a couple of new students start fighting each other. Layfon walks away, not wanting to get involved but the fight seems to be destructive and a falling slab threatens to fall on Mayshen. Layfon hears a voice telling him to save her and using his power and speed, saves her from death. Layfon is soon summoned by the student council president, Kalian Loss who blackmails Layfon to transfer to the Military Arts department instead of the general studies he is in. Despite Layfon is in debt and is willing to work hard for years, he has no choice. Nina thought Layfon would be expelled and barges in to request that he is put under her care. And that is how Layfon became part of her 17th Platoon. On the way back, Layfon sees a girl, Felli Loss shouting out her frustrations. He recognized her as the one who gave the telepathic message to go save Mayshen (who is clearly in love with him). He also noticed she is from the 17th Platoon. Felli doesn’t say anything and walks away. We return to our Filth Monsters slaying team as they continue to fight against the regenerating monster. Layfon is part of that team. Leerin Marfes writes about the world of Regios they live in. She respects Layfon’s wish to leave everything behind and start anew. She hopes he would one day set foot on Grendan again. So was that a goodbye kiss she gave him earlier?

Episode 2
Nina once participated in a capture the flag battle in an inter-city battle. Zuellni lost and Nina blamed her teammate who stopped her from getting the enemy’s flag even though it was a trap that could have killed but she was prepared for that. Layfon wants to tell Nina he can’t join her platoon but she has him do a mock battle with her. He seems quite competent to fight on her level until she goes all out and went overboard. Although hospitalized, his injury isn’t that serious. Felli helps speed up his recovery but it is mostly thanks to Layfon’s large amount of internal Kei. After discharged, Felli knows that he is purposely hiding his true powers and took Nina’s blow on purpose. She talks about psychokinesis as she reveals her brother Kalian setup that fight to force Layfon to intervene and then join this platoon. Just like how he used her for the same purpose. That’s why she hates him as he will use anything as long as he wins. Now that Layfon is well enough to get back to his part time job, he is surprised to see Nina there to help him out. They talk about their past. Nina’s parent didn’t approve of her doing this so she ran away here and has to take up odd jobs to support herself. As for Layfon, he is an orphan and this was the only city that offered scholarships for passing exams. The long talk has them speed up the machinery cleaning because they have to be up early for tomorrow’s inter-platoon match. It’s like some sort of practice match before the big one between the cities. As the capture the flag match begins, Vanze Haldey isn’t pleased that Kalian maintains the ragtag team of 17th Platoon and should have transferred Nina out to develop her better. He tried but she declined. He wonders if this platoon is to be a sacrifice. That depends on their results. Nina knows she is targeted but holds her ground well. Layfon is seemingly taken out so Nina has to fight hard. But there is only so much that she can take and moments before she falls, Layfon returns. This time with more power and speed as he takes down all his opponents and even capturing their flag! OMG! So cool! His male buddies are so happy but what’s wrong with the ladies? Nina is not happy. They won, right? Even Felli is calling him a traitor. WTF. I don’t get these women!

Episode 3
Leerin thought Layfon has returned but only finds Synola Leisler whom she becomes friends with. Is it a custom for female friendship to grope boobs? As Layfon ponders about Nina’s sulking, he doesn’t need Kalian to lecture him about him hiding something. He knows he was one of the 12 skilled Lance Shelled Grendan who wields Heavens Blade. Layfon doesn’t wield that anymore and will not tell him anything more about himself. Kalian warns him he will do anything to protect this city, even if it means using his sister. Later Layfon meets up with Nina and learns she is mad because she hid his true powers from her. Technically he lied. He explains about life on Grendan where they practically had to fight Filth Monsters every day. Victory was their only option. Layfon became good in fighting and the Military Arts was only his option. However he is trying to find another path instead of continuing that since he already failed once. Suddenly Zuellni stops. Nina could sense something wrong. She rushes to find masked men trying to kidnap Zuellni, the electronic fairy and conscious of this city. All are teleported away by Dixerio Maskane to another dimension to fight. Nina tries to help fight but she is not skilled enough. Dixerio defeats the enemies and returns Zuellni to her but not before hypnotizing her and erasing her memories of this. Flashback shows a young Nina caught a man trying to steal an electronic fairy. She tried to stop him but was pushed off. It’s a miracle she survived that long hard fall! She is saved by that city’s electronic fairy, Schneibel as she gave her life to her. Nina felt sad and ever since she thinks it is a sin to be weak as they lose what they want to protect. She never wants to feel that way again. Layfon is interrupted by Mifi and co. Mifi brags about his recent achievements and Mayshen bashful thanks him for saving her. Meanwhile Queen Alsherya Almonis of Grendan dismisses a tournament to replace another Heavens Blade wielder. Actually this is Kanaris Earifon Rivin, the queen’s double as she begs the real Alsherya to return to the throne. Unfortunately she has found a new person to protect. That’s why she can’t stop being Synola.

Episode 4
Sharnid takes Layfon to the maid café just to show him Felli working at a part time job. Yeah, Sharnid laughing his ass off? Because Felli can’t smile, it scares some of the customers so the gay owner tries to train her to smile. Not working. Change in plans. But on another maid outfit and now all the guys love her! So is Kalian here to adore her too? Felli sees through his disguise and later destroys the photo evidence that Sharnid took. Later Felli talks to Layfon how her family destined her to become a psychokinesist. However she did not like that and hence came to Zuellni to find her own path. But it’s still not working out for her either. Felli then overhears Mifi doing some reporting job and wants in. Apparently there is this abandoned research lab said to be haunted that she wants to write for her article. Exploring the dark rooms, yeah, something is definitely lurking in there. And before you know it, this giant newt monster tentacle-kidnaps Mifi and co. Had not for Vanze coming into the picture, Felli could have fallen into the same fate. Vanze explains this was once a lab that tried to create monsters to fight Filth Monsters. However the Guardian Plan failed due to many failures and hence the research was cancelled. Vanze learns there are others here and he chides Felli for not using her telepathic powers to help them or call for backup. He orders her to do so and she isn’t happy but obliges. She manages to locate the kidnapped friends and also send a message to her platoon. Vance fights the monster and kills it. Mifi and co are rescued but are forbade to write any article on it. Layfon is glad Felli is okay but is usurp by Nina who is even more relieved Felli is not harmed. Vanze later talks to Kalian about Felli and it seems he put Felli in Military Arts just to watch over her. As for the Guardian, they wonder why it only awakens now. Layfon sees a rare smile from Felli. But she isn’t pleased and steps on his feet. WTF?! Is that some sort of weakness point?

Episode 5
Mayshen lies in wait to give Layfon her lunch. But since he is busy arguing with Felli, I guess it’s not going to happen. But she’ll get that chance soon because it is the 17th Platoon’s day off and with nowhere to go Layfon hangs out with her. If only Mayshen isn’t so nervous all the time. This is your big chance, don’t screw up. Too bad the city shakes. Larvae-like Filth Monsters are seen trying to invade Zuellni and are latching and jamming itself to its feet. With Kalian ordering his warriors to fight them, however Layfon doesn’t have confidence they can handle it and wants them to evacuate with the citizens too. Nina doesn’t share the same opinion because if they don’t fight, when will they ever? She blames him for having so much power but not use it to his true abilities and doesn’t want to hear his excuse how fearsome Filth Monsters are. I’m sure Nina and the other platoon units are seeing Filth Monsters this close for the first time. Reality sinks in when their exterior shell is hard and many got eaten alive. Meanwhile Layfon decides not to sulk anymore so he sees Harley to configure his Dite and then Felli to use her telepathy to locate that big mother nesting. With the units getting scared and running away (there goes defending the city to death), just before Nina gets eaten, here comes Layfon slicing all those Filth Monsters like hot knife through butter. He seems to be in a rush to kill them all and locate the mother since he only has 5 minutes outside or the toxic air will burn his lungs. Then he finds the mother. He realizes he was wrong to come to Zuellni to avoid fighting. He has come to the fact he must continue fighting if he is going to stay alive. This is after all the world he lives in. After easily killing the mother, he returns and collapses on Nina. He deserves sleeping on her since he did a lot of the work and saved Zuellni.

Episode 6
17th Platoon loses! Nina in shock. Enemy captain advises she relies too much on Layfon. Meanwhile Mayshen is being a bad girl as she finds a letter addressed to Layfon from Leerin. She is about to peek into it when her friends caught her red-handed. Feeling guilty, she goes to return it but by the time she sums up her courage, here is Felli. Mayshen runs away but drops the letter in which Felli picks up. Felli tells Layfon that Kalian wants to see him but first, follow her do some errands. We see Felli being a bad cook but thanks to Layfon, dinner is saved. Kalian then comes over to discuss about a drone scout being sent out and it seems in their path is what looks like a giant Filth Monster. Layfon immediately identifies this is its baby stage and once it matures, it will be very hard to take down. Felli is not happy that Kalian plans to use Layfon again. He has to. In order for Zuellni to remain peaceful, they have to rely on him for survival. Later Naruki sees Layfon because her police chief has a request for him to become a temporary dispatch. Of course he can turn down the job but Layfon can tell with her nervousness, he knows her job application at the local police is at stake. He wants some time to think this over. Mayshen realizes she lost the letter and tries to talk to Felli. However she lies she has given it to Layfon. But now technically it wouldn’t be a lie because after training, she slips it underneath his bag. Too bad he just picked up his bag without looking. Nina now takes the dropped letter. Layfon agrees to do with the temporary dispatch job and sees Naruki’s chief. The mission is to take down some spies. It’s easy pie for Layfon and with that, Naruki’s official recruitment is confirmed. When he returns home, Nina passes him the letter. Harley then calls Layfon with some good news as he has found the ultimate configuration for his Dite.

Episode 7
So Layfon can swing with more power and faster and windier? Layfon and Mifi’s group has noticed Nina acting strange for a few days. They tail her to see her do more private training to become stronger. Naruki understands what Nina is feeling. When Layfon helped her with her job, she realized Layfon was so strong it was impossible to fight alongside him. She frustrated and jealous. Mifi feels sad because they’re a team and should grow stronger together. Oh, Nina collapses. Good thing they’re there to bring her to the hospital. Her condition is stabilized as she was just straining and overusing her Kei. Nina realized she got greedy trying to be as strong as Layfon. Because if he can do it, so could she. That loss opened her eyes that something needs to be done. He advises her about wasting too much unnecessary Kei (and to abandon being human?! WTF?!) and also to give orders to her platoon because it all depends on her if they become strong or not. But please don’t abandon them. Layfon then rides out to fight that Filth Monster. Oh look, just in time for the Filth Monster to mature because it detect some food source. Meanwhile Harley and Sharnid visit Nina. Sharnid knows Harley and Felli were planning something with Layfon behind their back and forces him to spill the beans. Although Felli relays that Zuellni has changed its course (why didn’t they do this in the first place?), she wants Layfon to get back or he’ll get further away from Zuellni. No can do. Mature Filth Monsters can fly and catch up in no time. So instead of seeing Layfon hog all the glory, we see Nina and Sharnid riding in to help. And the theme of today’s episode is victory via teamwork. See? Easy win, right? And thankfully Zuellni returns to pick them up because their bike broke down. Layfon thanks them for saving his life, credits this victory to their platoon and hopes they can continue to work like this in the future.

Episode 8
17th Platoon faces off with 5th Platoon. The latter is led by Gorneo Luckens who also came from Grendan. He is the younger brother of Savaris Qaulafin who is a Heavens Blade wielder. 17th Platoon wins easily because Shante Laite abandoned her post just to go fight Layfon (now he has cloning abilities?). Now it is reversed. Nina is happy with the win but not Layfon. 17th Platoon even throw a party to celebrate their second winning streak. Wow. Must be a big deal. Later Nina talks to Layfon on why she is so happy when her team won (duh?). I guess it is much deeper than that because she hopes to see everybody fighting and protecting their city with their own hands and power. Layfon doesn’t look amused. Meanwhile there are rumours that Leerin’s life is targeted so Savaris and fellow Heavens Blade wielder, Lintence Savoled Haden are tasked to protect her secretly. Kalian calls the 17th Platoon and 5th Platoon. Up ahead is a destroyed city most probably attacked by Filth Monsters. They are to scout it. Entering the decimated city, they see lots of empty Filth Monster shells. Clearly the city is beyond saving and it would be a miracle if there are survivors. Nina is then shocked to realize this city is Gandoweria. The city that defeated Zuellni 2 years ago in an inter-city battle. Yeah, the one Nina lost. She is confused that a strong city like that could fall to Filth Monsters. Sorry to pour more cold water on your hopes because Layfon says even if you’re the strongest in inter-city matches, the reality is that Filth Monsters are stronger. Nina now asks Layfon’s meaning of victory. To survive and live. He will not die yet. This has Gorneo pointing out if this is why he is able to continue fighting without the pride of a Military Art and then continue living after tainting the name of Heavens Blade.

Episode 9
Gorneo reveals that Layfon participated in illegal underground matches while he is under Heavens Blade and made money off it. He was then expelled from Grendan. But this is not what Gorneo can’t forgive him for. He did something to his senior, Gahard Vallen. Later Nina personally talks to Layfon about this. He participated in those matches to live. As he is from the orphanage, they need the money badly. He did whatever he needed even if it means tainting Heavens Blade. It’s also why he mastered Military Arts so that he could live. If she was in his shoes, would she not do anything to survive? Nina however cannot accept this. Meanwhile Leerin talks to her father about the orphanage. They both had to quit the orphanage since they sided with Leerin. Suddenly they are attacked by Gahard and he is being possessed by a Filth Monster. He is looking for Layfon and he sounds like he blames Layfon for stealing his Heavens Blade. Father gets wounded but thanks to a mythical beast (Grendan’s electronic fairy) stepping in to protect them, Gahard flees. Savarin then traps and easily kills Gahard, boasting and thanking he wasn’t born weak like Gahard because he wouldn’t want to be caught dead on the side that gets killed. Gorneo meanwhile spots several strange hooded wolf men. He tries to follow them but is attacked by Shante. Monkey girl accidentally knocks herself out. Nina has done some thinking as she confronts Layfon again. She won’t deny his way of thinking but since she cannot understand it, they cannot be in the same platoon.

Episode 10
Felli detects some living organism with her psychokinesis but is unable to determine what it is. The only way is to head down and investigate. However Layfon is against this idea since it will be dangerous to face head on with the unknown. Nina vetoes his idea and will proceed with the investigation. Flashback shows some guy approached Layfon and had proof of his participation in underground fights. He will dispose of it depending on his actions on tomorrows Heavens Blade qualifying match. But in that match Layfon faces Gahard and seriously wounds him, rendering him beyond recovery. After the match, Alsherya ordered Layfon to be arrested. This is to hide the fact from the people that those with Military Arts and psychokinesis are a threat to humans. After that he was banished. The gang now arrive at a mass grave where Felli sensed the source from. Layfon goes ahead and dives down and when he reaches the bottom, he meets this, uhm, golden goat?! Not sure what crap it is spouting that it is dead, a tool and most of all nothing and therefore Layfon cannot kill him. Yeah, Layfon just slices him and he says it was a good strike and disappears. WTF?! When the rest rendezvous with him, Layfon wants them to the surface because it is getting riskier. They’ll get annihilated this way. But Layfon goes deeper only to be attacked by Shante. He easily dodges and defeats her. Gorneo only stops this mad cat from pouncing any further. Shante is doing this as she believes Layfon is Gorneo’s enemy. Even so, Gorneo doesn’t want Layfon dead even if he wants Layfon to pay for hurting Gahard. Shante is confused since she is doing it for him. If this isn’t a revenge story, then why did he stop smiling? The place is about to explode and Layfon uses his power to teleport the explosion heat outside. Phew. Layfon is going to put a stop to this Gorneo paranoia once and for all. He hasn’t forgotten about Gahard but isn’t actively remembering him either. On Gorneo’s part to deal with his anger and rage for revenge? That’s his problem. Deal with it! That’s why he won’t kill him. So I guess Layfon prefers to live with the fact that others hate him. Because Nina is now telling him how much she hates him. Whatever.

Episode 11
Swimsuit episode! With Kalian supposedly collapsing in a meeting, an excuse for him to rest for a few days at a resort. Yeah. Felli isn’t amused that she has to come either. Worse, the rest of 17th Platoon is here. Kalian then assigns Nina to teach Felli how to swim. She is reluctant at first but what made her change her mind? Well, Mifi and Naruki force Mayshen to be with Layfon alone. And since he teaches her how to swim, you can tell Felli won’t lose out. Be sure to breathe regularly or else… Oh, too late. That’s what you get when you’re too focused on a certain guy… So I guess Felli gets her revenge by kicking his leg later. I think his answer of whether Mayshen could then swim or not didn’t really matter. When Felli goes to sleep, she thought she heard Kalian making a deal with Nina. But it could be just a dream. Next day, Felli doesn’t want to take swimming lessons anymore and Nina panics. Sharnid suggests Layfon to teach her. Now she can’t say no, right? Poor Mayshen, you were a second too slow. Kalian didn’t like watching their ‘intense’ swimming lesson so after that he summons Layfon to the underground bunker just to go bonkers interrogating and warning him if he hurts Felli, he’ll pay for it! Oh, did Kalian assault Layfon already?! Meanwhile a few masked men take the women in the changing room as hostage. Yeah, real brave men there. Don’t really care about the crime they did and hence doing this out of desperation, but thankfully Nina and Felli are there, right? Beat them up in no time without breaking a sweat. Felli soon learns Nina was put up by Kalian to teach her swimming as he promised to give a special budget to their platoon. Realizing Layfon and Kalian are not around despite this hostage incident, now Felli gets mad and having a hunch where they are. So before crazy Kalian could sully Layfon about the purity of his Felli, here comes this mad little sister breaking in. No amount of explanation can save you, Kalian. Get ready for her trademark kick. My, did she go overboard and break his shin bones?

Episode 12
Time to give Sharnid some back story. Apparently he was from the 10th Platoon but quit the team. It’s probably the reason Dinn Dee, that platoon’s captain still acts cold whenever they bump into each other. Layfon joins Naruki to stake out a hideout as they receive rumours that a shady group is trading the illegal substance of Overload, Kei-vein accelerators. There might be buyers in Zuellni since the inter-city battle is near. When the perpetrator suddenly bursts into the open, he fights Layfon. He is Haia Salinvan Lyia and the leader of a mercenary gang back in Grendan and of course this means he knows Layfon. He hints doing this for some Haikizoku (electronic fairies of ruined cities). Meanwhile Sharnid knows he is being followed by Dalshena “Shena” Che Matelna. So she is here to bug him for answers why he left the platoon? It’s not like explaining now would make her understand. As for whatever promise they made, Sharnid still remembers the promise but is protecting it in his own way. Layfon’s fight with Haia ends when the latter’s comrade, Myunfa Rufa fires a distraction for him to escape. So after this where they go? To Gorneo’s room?! Elsewhere, Leerin sees Alsherya and informs her about Layfon’s wellbeing at Zuellni since they often exchange letters. Leerin worries if Layfon could one day return to Grendan.

Episode 13
Haia wants Gorneo’s cooperation. He should know since he is familiar with the origins of the mercenary gang. Haia is looking for a Haikizoku but couldn’t find one in the ruined city that’s why he came here for help. Haia then goes to meet Felli and Kalian. Naruki requests Nina and Layfon for their help in this Overload case. Unless they agree, she cannot furnish them with further details. I guess they have to say yes or else the plot won’t advance. It seems the culprit behind this are Dinn and Shena as they are in possession and using it. Naruki needs their help to capture them. So Nina confronts him directly to tell him to stop using Overlord or it will destroy him. However Dinn is adamant in defeating the 1st Platoon as part of his plan to protect Zuellni. Furthermore, he blames Nina for making Sharnid pull out from his platoon. He can do it and keep the promise without Sharnid. So when Nina reports back to Naruki that she is unable to make him stop, she further explains there is a story behind all of this and Sharnid is related. When the 10th Platoon was the strongest, during a match, Sharnid left abruptly, causing to platoon to fall apart. Dinn was mad and challenged Sharnid to a duel. However Sharnid never fought back. After that Nina talked to Sharnid and recruited him into her platoon. Therefore from their point of view, it looked like she stole Sharnid from them and as of now, 17th Platoon is strong enough that it worries 10th Platoon. The 17th Platoon is summoned to see Kalian. They are tasked to bring down the 10th Platoon since they will have a match with them soon. Once they cannot maintain their platoon, he will his authority to disband them. Nina doesn’t seem too happy with this tactic but Layfon has no qualms about seeing this through. Then Haia comes in and instantly Layfon accuses him of smuggling Overload. He talks about the Haikizoku they saw in the ruined city (that goat) and claims it is not safe to leave it there and hence he will be taking it.

Episode 14
Sharnid requests his teammate to leave Shena to him. Of course a short back story why so. 10th Platoon was a tightly knitted group thanks to the previous captain. However when they lost a match, the ex-captain regretted he would graduate without being able to do anything for Zuellni. That was when the trio made a vow to do so on his stead but at that point their friendship was somewhat broken. So as the match begins. Shena is separated from the rest of her platoon so Sharnid could fight-cum-talk to her. He is trying to make her realize that the vow they made was only a guise to hide their true feelings. Even if they seriously wanted to protect Zuellni, their method is wrong. If she thinks Dinn was right, why did he not ever told her about Overload or let her use it? Because he feels guilty of not telling anyone. Layfon faces off with Dinn but the effects of Overload is starting to show. Suddenly that goat appears and possesses him. Felli informs this to Haia because their previous deal was for her to just tell him if it ever appears. But Felli feels duped since she realizes there are things that he omitted to tell her. We hear Felli’s theory why this Haikizoku came to possess Dinn. After the city fell into ruin, the electronic fairy loss its purpose but its will to protect a city was strong. At the same time, Dinn had those strong feelings and it resonated within Dinn. The only way to free Dinn is to break his heart again. But don’t worry, leave it to Sharnid and Shena. Meanwhile Layfon fights and defeats Haia so that Shena is able to go to Dinn and speak to him. She tells him it is over. They don’t need to fight anymore. Since there are others who think the same way they do, letting them fight doesn’t mean breaking their promise. And with Shena confessing she loves him, I guess the magic of love frees Dinn from the goat’s possession.

Episode 15
Nina suggests a training camp since their next match will be the 1st Platoon in which Vanze heads. Don’t worry, Kalian has nothing to do with it this time but sponsored by Mifi’s publication. In exchange for that, they have to allow to be interviewed. Mayshen is in seventh heaven when Layfon comes to help peel potatoes with her. This has jealous Felli and Nina watching. Sharnid makes it worse by providing 1 extra potato peeler to them as they fight over it. By the time Nina ‘wins’, Layfon has finished peeling. Naruki helps out in training as she joins Nina, Felli and Sharnid to fight against Layfon. Too bad Layfon is too strong for them and wins. Naruki becomes shocked and overwhelmed by the power and speed he displayed. Meanwhile Kanaris suggests Alsherya to invite the Haikizoku in Zuellni to Grendan. She also talks about Grendan’s electronic fairy appearing before Leerin when Gahard attacked her. She investigated and found something that relates her to Alsherya. But before she can reveal, Alsherya strangles and warns her not to ruin her mood. Mayshen is delighted when Layfon praises her cooking. But when Nina finds it familiar to the lunch Layfon shared with her, Mayshen obviously becomes heartbroken. Nina immediately understood the situation but not Layfon. Hence she lectures him the need to apologize. I’m sure the rest are more interested to hear this drama than Harley and his boring technical stuffs. Yeah… As Mifi writes her report, Naruki feels conflicted because when she fought Layfon, she could also feel his sadness and wants to know what happened to him that made him left Grendan. With Layfon meeting with Mayshen to apologize, perfect chance for her to find out about it. So he tells that underground match thingy as well as that Military Arts and psychokinesis users aren’t normal humans. If the public knows about it, there’ll be panic. Because of their tremendous strength, they are like monsters. That’s why he was expelled and it was only at the mercy of the queen he wasn’t killed. Mayshen gets emotional and hugs hum, claiming she isn’t scared of him. Cue for Layfon to show his manliness as the place collapses and he swiftly dodges and slices the slabs while protecting her. Too bad he still had to pay the price of protecting her all the way with some grave injury.

Episode 16
Alsherya ponders Kanaris’ suggestion they need to fill in the vacant Heavens Blade spot when Savaris offers his service to hunt down a Haikizoku. She then goes to bug Leerin and knows she wants to leave to find Layfon. After all, he hasn’t come back and lately hasn’t replied her letters. So the best way is to go to him? She knows it is irresponsible of her to leave the orphanage and use the money he sent to her to travel but she just can’t let him shoulder all the responsibility. Meanwhile Layfon is in hospital and will undergo a spine surgery although overall his life isn’t in danger. This means he has to skip the upcoming inter-platoon match. Hence Sharnid scouts Shena not just as Layfon’s replacement but a temporary member. I guess it’s just how you word your words to convince somehow to join. After all, can’t be spending all her time taking care of vegetable Dinn, right? But too bad the match ends quickly with Nina being easily defeated by Vanze. After Layfon’s surgery, he is well enough to get discharged to go meet Kalian. Along the way, he bumps into Mayshen and it got a little awkward between them. She thanks him for always protecting him but starts crying upon thinking he won’t let her protect him. Is making lunch for him considered protecting him? As Layfon meets Kalian, he is told Zuellni is acting strange and has changed her path to a route with Filth Monsters. As usual Layfon is to destroy them but this time he will cooperate with Haia and his group. You see, that accident of buildings collapsing of Layfon could not be some mere accident. It could be a sign that the electronic fairy is dying and turning into a Haikizoku. If that is true, thus Haia and co’s service is needed. Haia introduces his psychokinesist, Fermaus Foa. He has another special ability and that is so sniff out Filth Monsters. Because he is exposed to the poisonous air outside, his skin and organs are messed up. But ironically he is alive and this gives hope that humans might find a solution to overcome the pollutants. Shena is really upset for this humiliating loss (poor locker bore the brunt of her punches) as Nina realizes she has relied too much on Layfon. Leerin’s father gives her a device that contains all techniques of Psyharden. Now she has a reason to deliver it to Layfon.

Episode 17
Nina receives word about Zuellni going berserk as well as Layfon heading out to fight Filth Monsters. Despite he just finished injury, Kalian says that they can only depend on him. Nina tells the rest of her platoon to go support Layfon. She can’t go as she has to find Zuellni. Inside the engine room, she falls into some deep hole and sees the goat taking Zuellni hostage. The goat is trying to seek a new master to justify its existence and wants Nina to reach him. Even if Nina isn’t interested, the goat still challenges her. Nina starts experiencing excruciating pain before passing out. Meanwhile Leerin is on her way to Zuellni. She realizes Savaris is on the same trip. Although he claims he is on an undercover mission, the truth is that Alsherya ordered him to protect Leerin no matter what. If she gets a little scratch, he will pay dearly. Also, he is to do whatever Leerin wishes. Felli contacts Layfon who seeks the help of his teammates to record the fighting and battle of Haia and his team. When the Filth Monsters awaken from their slumber, they start attacking. The 17th Platoon is in awe to see the perfect cooperation from the mercenary gang and even more so for Layfon since he is taking down Filth Monsters by himself. Although he still feels a little pain in his back since he just had surgery not too long ago. In no time, the Filth Monsters are destroyed. Vanze and his team are looking for Nina and since they cannot find her, they believe she has disappeared.

Episode 18
WTF?! Nina experiences some weird out of body experience thingy and next thing that shocks us, Zuellni kisses her?! WTF?! When Nina wakes up, she finds herself in another city, Myath. You mean nobody in this happy park noticed how she got here? Because Nina is missing, Layfon is working himself to the bone to destroy Filth Monsters and won’t rest. I guess this affected Felli too because now she collapses. Meanwhile Leerin and Savaris are also in Myath but the former arrested by Roy Entorio on grounds of possessing that Psyharden device. So it’s some stolen artefact? However she is free to roam around the city. This means bumping into Nina and then becoming friends fast. Layfon visits Felli in hospital. Caught her in the act of trying to touch his face while he was dozing off! As he leaves, Layfon gets shot. Strange things are happening in Myath. An electronic fairy appears, birds strangely swarm around it, the people are in panic over the incessant ringing of the siren and Nina being confronted by those hooded wolf men and trying to coax her to accept Aurora Field and disown some Riggzario belief. I don’t know how sharp Nina’s eyes are but she saw some device causing the strange phenomenon and hence risking her life to unplug that device! Do you know how f*cking dangerous is that?! And where the f*ck is Savaris?! Because it was Roy who saved her from her slip. So looks like everything returns to normal and Leerin gets this bird as an electronic fairy? Meanwhile Layfon is not amused Kalian shot him with a tranquilizer to rest. First he wanted him to fight and now he wants him to stop? Make up your mind! He explains at that time there were no options but now they have time. Since he is still stubborn, Kalian pins him down in a way that makes it look like BL gayness and tells him off he doesn’t care about the city or the future. The fact that Nina is missing and he is running away from reality. Layfon is in shock but that shut him up. Kalian gives his speech to his fellow citizens to fight against the Filth Monsters. Felli offers to help Layfon in any way but he declines.

Episode 19
Dixerio helps Nina defeat the enemies and hints Leerin is the only one who can stop that goat in her. We see Roy’s true colours as he is now chasing Leerin for that device. Why does he have that rape face? However Leerin knows his ‘weakness’ by making that pen clicking sound. Yeah… Roy rants about coming face to face with a real Filth Monster and ran for his life. That is unacceptable cowardice for a Military Artist. Nina just pops back and Roy runs away scared. I suppose anybody would after seeing her Super Saiyan aura. Nina explains to Leerin about Riggzario, a system in her homeland, Schneibel that is mechanically attached to its electronic spirit’s womb and creates other electronic fairies. Nina starts feeling pain from the Super Saiyan aura. Roy is still fleeing but is stopped by Savaris. He turns into a sadist by breaking his bones just to make him feel close to death. Because here is a Filth Monster breaking in just in time. It’s a miracle Roy didn’t die from heart attack as Savaris laughs at its destruction. Soon after, Savaris clashes with Haia. Leerin thought she had helped cheered Nina’s depression but that goat inside her starts acting up again. Hence Myath (the electronic fairy) tells Leerin to pray. Heh. Like that would help. YOU MEAN IT WORKED?! Oh well, Nina’s gone and transported to another dimension again. At the same time, Kalian lectures Layfon about other Military Artists risking their own lives because of their own pride despite knowing the chances of victory is near zero. He doesn’t want Layfon to leave his reasons for fighting to someone else. Felli then detects Zuellni (the electronic fairy) above them. Dixerio has this vague and confusing but brief explanation why strange monsters appear in her world. He says there is the origin of an electronic fairy residing inside her and to at least help protect it. Dixerio sends Nina back to her world. Diving down from above, Nina realizes how devastated her world is. You mean she doesn’t know? If she has left her own home, she would have at least seen all the devastation with her eyes. Unless she was asleep… Now that Layfon is ‘revved up’, he goes on a Filth Monster killing spree. Nina sees him in action. Layfon sees her falling down. OMG! They go to each other and give a big hug. Like as though they’ve never seen each other for years. Like as though there was long lost romance between them. Was there?!

Episode 20
Zuellni is moving away from the horde of Filth Monsters, electronic fairy seems normal, Haikizoku is gone and Nina is back. And nobody can explain why. Nina’s teammates are glad she is fine but now wants to know what happened. It isn’t that Nina doesn’t want to tell them. Rather, she doesn’t know how to explain it. Yeah, like describing colour, eh? So until that day comes when she can express herself, believe in her. Yeah… Nina is perhaps lost too as she seeks Dinn’s advice. Easy for her to ask and even show her emotions. Because vegetable state people don’t talk back. Meanwhile Haia receives a letter from Grendan and he is not pleased. It states a Heavens Blade wielder will bring the Haikizoku back to Grendan and this means Haia’s gang is no longer needed. Haia decides to settle an old score first. Busy day for Layfon because Gorneo requests him to train Shante and then another training with Nina. Felli doesn’t buy all that believe crap as she finds it unbelievable that when Nina came back, she looked so happy and everybody accepted everything without question. I think she’s talking about Layfon especially. Yeah, because he believes in Nina… Myath is seen approaching at it is believed they will be their next inter-city battle. Wait a minute. You mean there is no fixed schedule? Why is everybody acting so surprised? And of course with Myath in sight, Leerin and Savaris finally make their way to Zuellni. The night before the match, Felli is kidnapped by Haia as he leaves a message for Layfon alone to go meet him for a rematch. I’m sure we all know which Layfon will choose. This only proves that Layfon is so valuable and depended upon that I guess Kalian as to order Vanze to devise a winnable strategy without Layfon. Uh huh. This shows they really plan on using him and never saw it coming he will not participate.

Episode 21
So the plan for Layfon’s replacement is Gorneo and Shante? Not sure if this is an insult. Meanwhile Haia’s mercenaries are not pleased to learn about the letter from Grendan. Furthermore, what Haia is doing will only bring about to the group’s downfall. But Haia doesn’t care as he views the group will be disbanding anyway. They can return to Grendan and get the reward money and go home. Some pride thingy for Haia that he is doing all this. Do we care? Do we need to give some sympathy for this meaningless showdown? Oh well, Layfon is here as expected. Time for the epic fight. At the same time, Myath suddenly changes its course. This means the inter-city battle is put on hold and Kalian orders Nina to go assist Layfon. Layfon and Haia are on equal footing since they came from the same school. Not sure if Felli jinxed it because after she breaks out of her confinement, only to see Layfon getting slashed in the shoulder. Then we hear Haia rant how he has nothing. No friends, no home to return to. He sounds jealous of Layfon because he got to be Heavens Blade wielder as well as Psyharden but threw it all away easily. What’s this about proving that his father, Ryuhou who is also his master is not inferior to Derek who was Layfon’s master? What’s this about Ryuhou being happy when Layfon became a Heavens Blade wielder but that won’t do because Haia had to be the one to smile to father? Huh?! So this is his excuse to beat Layfon? Not sure if all that jinxed Haia since Layfon powers up and slashes a brutal one across his body. Layfon would have finished him off had not Myunfa come to his protection. Can’t leave him. Even his mercenaries too. Aww, you had friends all along, right? WTF. Do we need some unneeded cheesy romance now? Layfon returns to Felli. Sorry for worrying you. I think she’s too shaken to beat him up. Oh Nina, you slowpoke only just arrive when everything is over? Suddenly Layfon is slapped. Not by Felli. Not by Nina. It’s Leerin! She is disappointed he hasn’t changed. Still carrying the burden all on his own and nobody is happy. Boy, this is going to get complicated. Meanwhile the reason why Myath changed its course is because of the appearance of Grendan.

Episode 22
There is a possibility that Zuellni have to fight Grendan and if that happens, everyone believes Zuellni has no chance against a full-fledged city. Leerin talks to Layfon recuperating in hospital. He learns about Nina meeting her before and somehow popped up in Myath. Elsewhere Savaris meets Gorneo to inform he is here to retrieve the Haikizoku. He then starts waxing lyrical about Layfon but badmouths Gorneo as mediocre. The real kicker is when Savaris says Gahard is dead because he killed him. Gorneo refuses to believe him and experiences an emotional breakdown. Zuellni goes berserk as the worst possible outcome happens. It is moving towards Grendan. Hence Kalian calls Layfon and his platoon to meet. Leerin won’t let Layfon go and believes Grendan might be here just to take Layfon back (Grendan has not replied to any communications). Perhaps Alsherya has forgiven him. But with smooth words from Layfon that he wants to do this for everybody, how do you make a girl accept whatever you want to do? You kiss her! At least on her cheek. Oh Leerin, now you’re only starting to think why the hell you came here for? The 17th Platoon (minus Nina) meet with Kalian as Layfon tells Kalian about what Leerin told him about Nina being on Myath. All this makes sense as Zuellni was able to move again when she got back. The question is when the Haikizoku resided inside her. Kalian theorizes both the electronic fairy and Haikizoku have been living inside her. There have been some balance all this time but something disrupted that balance. The only way is to remove the Haikizoku from her but fears she might end up like Dinn. Speaking of Nina, she is experiencing pain and it’s that goat again. Suddenly a Filth Monster appears out from an Aurora in the sky. Alsherya believes this is no ordinary Filth Monster as it somewhat waited after Leerin left for Zuellni makes it look more orchestrated than coincidence. Kalian authorizes to fire the cannon at the Filth Monster. It takes a direct hit but so does Nina?

Episode 23
Felli detects the Filth Monster is still alive. It is believed the cannon split its heart and it will soon revive. Vanze suggests it is better to deploy troops to finish it off but with Grendan around, I guess Kalian authorizes the use of the cannon. Here is the thing. Nina is reported to have escaped from Zuellni and hence the city has stopped moving. Kalian orders 17th Platoon to bring her back within 2 hours because that is when the cannon will finish recharging and fire again. Otherwise they will get vaporized by the cannon. Zuellni is more important than a few lives, right? And once Nina is back, they’ll immediately have to extract Haikizoku out or in worst case, Zuellni. She might end up like Dinn but hey, Zuellni is more important than a few lives, right? Ironically Felli was supposed to stay out of this mission and when she wanted to join, Kalian objected. So he can sacrifice everybody else except his sister, eh? Felli stubbornly does not listen and joins her teammates. Meanwhile Dixerio and foulmouthed Heavens Blade wielder, Barmelin Swattis Nolne are fighting off those hooded wolf men. Dixerio blames them for killing everything he believes and those who betrayed him but they are hell bent on reviving Ignatius and destroy the Riggzario belief. Meanwhile Leerin realizes she really needs to hand Psyharden to Layfon. She had her chances and she didn’t give it to him until this emergency? Thankfully Naruki helps bring her to Gorneo. Nina is following the goat. Where the heck did she get the goat mask? When Layfon finds her, she attacks him. Of course he beats her and she returns to normal. He brings her back as she tells him her dilemma. She wants to protect the things she loves and wants to be strong. But with the Haikizoku inside her, she is scared to think what will happen to her. She’s not the only one with problems. Time for Layfon to tell his. There was a time he gave up fighting and now he is paying the price. Because the illegal underground matches are like betrayal to Derek, he banned himself from using Psyharden. But the last battle made him feel he needs to use it. He hasn’t atoned for his sins yet and the people haven’t forgiven him yet. Nina’s answer: Don’t entrust your reason to fight to your weapon. So basically, believe in yourself? After Layfon hands over Nina to his platoon, he returns to the battlefield. The Filth Monster has revived in 2 and some Heavens Blade wielders are already engaging it. Oh, the cannon is just about ready to fire again.

Episode 24
Gorneo argues Leerin’s act is useless because Layfon has only been using swords ever since coming to Zuellni. This has Leerin feeling sad again. Even so, she has to deliver it to him. So if Gorneo wants to hate somebody, hate them for making Layfon this way. When a girl cries and begs this much, I guess a guy has to do it. Shante still objects. Even if Gorneo’s reason is that Layfon is fighting to protect Zuellni, Shante is still not convinced. Zuellni can get destroyed for all she cared. He reminds her that whenever it came down to picking Zuellni or Grendan, he would always choose the former because that is where Shante comes from. And just like that monkey girl accepts all he says. Meanwhile Savaris is torturing Nina in hopes of luring the Haikizoku out. She could have died had not Layfon intervened. The Haikizoku gets kicked out and possesses Savaris. Yeah, he is thrilled to have this power. So much so, some barriers activate, cleansing the toxic air around? With newfound powers, Savaris toys around with Layfon. Via Felli’s psychokinesis, Leerin informs Layfon she is on the way to hand him Psyharden. He still wants to argue he can’t use it? He is still sticking to his principals? Until Leerin says she doesn’t want to regret making the trip here and fluffing chances to hand it to him. I guess he has to now, eh? Layfon could have lost until the Heavens Blade in the queen’s chamber that belongs to Saya, flies out into Layfon’s hands. Huh?! He uses it to blast Savaris into the sky! From the look of Savaris’ oh-sh*t face, he didn’t expect that, did he?

Leerin arrives too late to hand him the Psyharden. But Layfon is glad she is alive. Hug cue. Combining the Psyharden with Saya’s, Layfon achieves his ultimate Heavens Blade! Good timing for him to put it to good use. Because the other Heavens Blade wielders are all having their hands full and one of the Filth Monsters escaped. It flies towards Zuellni and starts destroying it. Kalian orders the evacuation and hopes Grendan will take in his people. Once all is evacuated, Kalian will activate and destroy the core and take out the Filth Monster. Hey, 1 loss of life better than the entire city, right? Too bad Kalian won’t be that hero as Layfon rides on his Heavens Blade to destroy the monster! Okay, it’s a teamwork effort with the cannon ready to fire and the Heavens Blade wielders going in for the final attack. In the aftermath, we see Dixerio telling Nina about the messenger of Ignatius sent to destroy Regios. As long as they fight here, they will never die. Grendan moves away from Zuellni and has retrieved Leerin. Savaris is said to have left and disappeared but they’re confident he’ll come back. Layfon gets ‘rewarded’ by Felli with a kick in the shin for his cheesy love scene with Leerin. WTF?! We learn Alsherya takes an interesting to protect Leerin because she might be her daughter of her fiancé who escaped somewhere! Oh, some complicated family history I don’t want to hear… As Filth Monsters are not from this world, the key to fight them lies in Leerin’s right eye. Zuellni is being rebuilt as everyone resumes their normal lives. Layfon writes to Leerin and hopes one day they can meet again on Grendan.

Regios In The Middle Of Nowhere: Now And Then, Here And There And Everywhere!
Well… Uhm… Did you understand all that? I certainly don’t. So everything in the last episode seems timed so coincidentally that it looked like plot convenience. All for the sake for Layfon to wield his Psyharden and Heavens Blade again. From the attacking of the Filth Monster, Savaris going berserk and the near destruction of Zuellni. So yeah. Make peace with yourself, fight for yourself and move forward. It’s not like they solved the problem of the Filth Monster or that Ignatius thingy. So can we continue with the inter-city battle now that everything is over? Oh, looks like it is cancelled forever. And seeing Zuellni walking towards the dusty sunset amidst the toxic air… Wow, what a way to end.

I find it hard to follow what this series is actually about. With the series heading into its final stretch, I was even more confused on what this whole story was about. Was it about the Filth Monsters? Didn’t look like it. Was it about the Regios cities? Not really. Not even Zuellni. Then was it about electronic fairies and Haikizoku? Don’t really know. Was it about the inter-city battles? Definitely it didn’t go close to that. Was it about Layfon then? Not really sure about that. And then there’s that Riggzario and Ignatius thingy throw into the mix to further complicate things. And Filth Monsters not from this world? Oh. Can’t blame our pollutions that create them now, eh? If that’s the case, we’re talking about alien invasion now? But since it is already at the end, I couldn’t care less. So perhaps maybe it is all and a bit of everything but it all feels so disjointed that I couldn’t really put it all together to see the bigger picture. Or maybe I’m just too dumb and didn’t pay enough attention.

Making this whole thing even confusing is that I found out the anime went for a totally different route than its light novel source. Hence there were complaints about how many things were not fully explained. Although the light novel has already ended long ago, it was still ongoing while the anime was still airing so I suppose they had to somewhat give some sort of conclusion or closure at least for the anime. Too bad it wasn’t a good one. I know they want to pay tribute to a staff who died during the production of this anime but I don’t think it has anything to do with the story. It just felt like an excuse that we will forgive this crappy ending if they put up this dedication because we can’t be mean to dead people, right?

One of the main problems that left me and many confused is how the basics of this world’s settings are not explained. Especially the inter-city battles. I thought this was going to be a staple of the series but as said in my previous paragraphs, it wasn’t about that. You see, I started having this confusion when I realized that the cities do not seem to have a fixed schedule to battle each other. It’s like when