Uhm… Wow… You mean after almost 7 years since the second season aired, they finally make the third season?! Damn. That felt like an eternity in anime years. To Aru Majutsu No Index III was a surprise to me as I wasn’t a big fan of the series and probably the series I blamed for making me dislike very heavily themed sci-fi shows (although that doesn’t mean I don’t watch them from time to time). I didn’t think it would come out after that long but anything is possible. Having said all that, the only reason why I am watching this and allowing myself to be confused even more is because of the upcoming third season of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. Uh huh. I think I need to see this if I want to understand what happens in that series. Wait. Did I say understand? Looks like when science and magic collide, I become a retarded NPC otaku who feels obligated to watch this because, reasons :’(. Such a misfortune…

Document Of Constantine Arc

Episode 1
Fukou da. Bad luck for Touma. Lost his wallet. Can’t buy food for Index. She bites him. At school he gets reprimanded along with Tsuchimikado and Pierce Aogami for entering some heated debate about Playboy bunny girls. Yeah… On the international scale, there are protests everywhere to puts tension between Academy City and Roman Catholic Church. Of course, more trouble for Touma when he sees Misaka doing her kick on the vending machine. He ignores her but she spots him. Then she blames him for never replying her mails and goes to search his handphone. WTF?! Are they dating?! I mean, is Misaka his girlfriend or something?! Then she gets mad seeing a selfie of him and her mom! She would have roasted him had his right hand not nullify it. He manages to escape when she tries to talk about that fight he got into. When Sphinx escapes, Index chases after it and bumps into a nice old lady, Monaka Oyafune. She treats her to some food and learns about Touma probably being a nice guy (because he feeds her). After that, Monaka goes to talk to Touma and needs his input to solve a simple problem. That’s because he has what everybody else doesn’t: Imagine Breaker. As a board member of Academy City, she leaves the rest to Tsuchimikado to explain but he shoots her! Touma is mad but Monaka explains this is her wish. What she is doing is against the board’s will as they want to aggravate the confrontation and eliminate the Roman Catholic Church. She was against it and knew would be taken out. If she ran away, they would target her family. Tsuchimikado takes Touma on a trip to France now. Their target is a Roman Catholic mystic artefact that is the key to resolving this mess: The Document of Constantine AKA C-Document.

Episode 2
Stiyl is interrogating a couple of detainees about God’s Right Seat. However Lidvia wants the release of Oriana so that she can continue to guide the weak. More mumbo jumbo about God’s Right Seat not only to eliminate the original sin of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit but to be just that: be God’s Right Seat and sit next to Him. Fukou da na, Touma. Parachute have difficulties opening. Crashed into a river of a small town in France, Avignon. Luckily saved by Amakusa Church member, Itsuwa. He tells her what Tsuchimikado told him about C-Document. Supposedly some document gives the Pope absolute powers to rule over the land. It also can make what the Pope says become the truth. Hence the Roman Catholics are trying to use that document to make Academy City as evil. Itsuwa explains about the history between the Pope and king of France. What I understand is that Avignon has lots of leylines that would allow the Pope to use the artefacts freely instead of going through all that protocol. Something like a remote. The only drawback is that it takes time to be activated. That is where they come in to stop it. They have to flee when protesters identify Touma as from Academy City. Their goal now is to make way to Palais des Papes. However Tsuchimikado calls and says they don’t necessarily have to go there. They just need to sever the leyline connecting to the Vatican. But he doesn’t want Touma using Imagine Breaker at is still unknown and they are not sure the effects and exceptions. Itsuwa can perform the severing based on her Amakusa skills. In some old building that is housing a leyline, Itsuwa prepares for the ritual (including putting white pantsu?!). But before she could finish, they are attacked by Terra from God’s Right Seat. Did the freak show came to town? If not for Touma’s Imagine Breaker, they would have been goners. Touma could feel the might of Terra’s magic but this guy can pass through solids and spring surprise attacks.

Episode 3
What? What? WHAT?! I don’t understand the explanation of Terra’s precedence magic skill that allows him to change the laws of whatever. Whatever. Forget it. Tsuchimikado drops in to help but with Aleister sending in those powered suits from Academy City to attack, Terra flees. Tsuchimikado fights the powered suits while Touma and Itsuwa find Terra. I don’t know what Tsuchimikado did but he immobilizes all the powered suits because of overflowing data? But Aleister unleashes his next phase. Now those stealth bomber planes fly in. One of them is carrying Accelerator. Touma calls Misaka (surprise!) and asks about the news on Avignon. She mentions about some terrorists creating illegal weapons so Academy City is assisting in some search and destroy operation. Conversation interrupted with Terra attacking. He has C-Document in hand. After knocking out Itsuwa, Terra realizes that Touma has no memories about Imagine Breaker. The prolonged fight allows Touma to deduce his abilities. The reason he cannot kill them is because he couldn’t. He is weak. His magic cannot affect multiple targets at the same time. That’s why when they took full force of his magic, they still live. Touma manages to land a punch in his face and then destroys C-Document. Before Terra could reveal what Imagine Breaker is, he is burnt to a crisp by Accelerator. Lidvia continues explaining that God’s Right Seat isn’t about its members wanting to become angels and stand beside God like Michael or Lucifer. It is to become something above God. Kamijou? Play of words? Terra still lives and returns to Acqua. As the Russian Orthodox Church has sided with them, he thinks of using this incident to invade Academy City. However Acqua asks him about using his skills on tourists and children. Wasn’t he supposed to save humans without discrimination? Terra claims it is to hone his skills so Acqua drops a slab on him to kill him. People like him will never be God’s chosen one. The Pope is here and he hears Acqua’s plan to fight in the upcoming battle himself. Meanwhile Misaka is confused. Yeah, she overheard the entire conversation between Touma and Terra and is not amused about Touma’s lost memories.

Battle Royale Arc

Episode 4
An illegal trader is willing to cooperate with Tsuchimikado but is shot in the gut instead. While being taken away in a police wagon, some weird computer head guy, Banka Yobou slices the van in half! Too bad the trader got killed by him too. Unabara checks the house as Tsuchimikado fills him in on that trader’s job to find people to fill positions of a small and newly formed organization. It is believed they will make their move soon. SWAT people known as BLOCK storm into the house. Later Tsuchimikado and his team check the place. Unabara used his ability to blend in and disguise with BLOCK and has left clues. A small unofficial unit under the name of SCHOOL has hired a sniper, Chimitsu Sunazara to snipe at Monaka who is about to give her speech. Accelerator has Awaki to teleport Monaka and have the sniper miss. A discontented Sunazara wants to snipe Accelerator but is told by his employer to fall back. Hamazura has the misfortune as a manservant for ITEM. Realizing that SCHOOL sent another sniper targeting Monaka after they disposed an earlier one, it is safe to say their warning went unheeded and they’re going to kill them. After the failed Monaka assassination, SCHOOL massacred the scientists at some lab. ITEM drops in as they meet their match in Yobou. Although they emerged victorious, it was a tough fight to defeat him. Mugino realizes the one behind this is Teitoku Kakine, the second ranked Level 5 in Academy City. She has Hamazura chase after some cargo they stole but SCHOOL’s Dress Girl (as she is only known) intercepts. They split up and Hamazura sure does have misfortune with women as Dress Girl goes after him. Lady luck smiling on him as he manages to escape from her hot trail. Tsuchimikado informs him team about a district being under cyber attack. As it houses a lot of viruses including experimental ones, you bet all infrastructure will go haywire and all hell break loose if it gets out. Their job is to intercept it although it pretty looks like a trap to bait them. Unobara calls Accelerator to inform some satellite control centre is the real target so Accelerator hijacks a car and heads there.

Episode 5
Accelerator is ambushed by a member from, uhm, MEMBER. Thanks to his predictable teleportation ability, Accelerator shows no mercy in killing him. At the same time, Kakine is also ambushed by a professor who is a member of, uhm, you guessed it, MEMBER. F*ck his bragging since Kakine easily kills the dude. The last member of, sighs, MEMBER gets trapped in a room that is filling up fast with water. Meanwhile BLOCK has prepared 5,000 mercenaries outside ready to ambush. But Unabara cuts short that plan by making a pre-emptive strike first. This causes Academy City’s deadly helicopter drones to attack and kill many of those mercenaries. Tsuchimikado and co interrogate one of them and from what I understand, they want to use Awaki as a bargaining chip to get into the windowless building where Aleister is. Arriving at a facility, they see lots of BLOCK members dead. They killed themselves? Thanks to the Aztec spell of Xochitl (a member of MEMBER) that made them do so. She has a grudge against Unobara and wants to kill him for his betrayal. To his horror, Xochitl has somewhat merged herself with the original grimoire and is now turning into some horror monster at the expense of her own life just to take him down. Not if Unobara can save her. Tsuchimikado and Awaki confront Tatsuhiko Saku and Megumi Teshio of BLOCK. Megumi isn’t pleased to learn Tatsuhiko plans to use hostage to get to Aleister so she kills him. She faces off with Awaki as she explains her goal to kill Aleister due to some tragedy she experienced and wants to know if Aleister was involved. Awaki defeats her. Meanwhile Kakine beats up Frenda to find out ITEM’s hideout.

Episode 6
Kakine enters ITEM’s hideout and attacks. Kinuhata calls Hamazura about their situation. Their target is Takitsubo. They need to protect her. By the time Hamazura arrives, Mugino has fled and Kakine is about to kill Takitsubo. Even at this point, Takitsubo wants Hamazura to run away and not die. She then uses Body Crystals that makes her abilities go wild. Knowing that she will die if she uses it another time, Kakine doesn’t even bother to kill her and leaves. Hamazura then gets a call from Mugino to counterattack SCHOOL. After Hamazura leaves Takitsubo in the hands of Yomikawa, Mugino confronts him (with Frenda’s corpse in her hand – she got killed by her for her failure). Hamazura has had it with Mugino and will not let her use Body Crystals anymore on Takitsubo. He gets pissed off knowing that she doesn’t care about Takitsubo at all and if she dies, she’ll just find a replacement. Hamazura runs to an unmanned facility to fight Mugino. All I can say is that because Mugino is arrogant, viewing herself as Level 5 as compared to Hamazura’s Level 0, he beat the sh*t out of her, knocking her out with one punch to her face. Accelerator gets a call that Last Order is in danger. She was lost and Uiharu found her. After Last Order went off, Kakine beats up Uiharu for not telling about Last Order’s whereabouts. If he knew she was with her, why didn’t he follow the loli? But thankfully here is Accelerator to settle the score. Yeah, they’re turning this place into a hellish battlefield. Kakine thinks his dark matter is superior to his vectors since it doesn’t exist in this world and hence not subjected to its laws. His plan is to defeat Accelerator to steal his top spot so he gets to see Aleister. However Accelerator shows him why they are different as Accelerator managed to protect the innocent people from their destructive battle. Kakine becomes mad and this allows Accelerator to defeat him. Before he could kill him, Yomikawa tries to reason with him not to be the bad guy but is stabbed by Kakine. This causes Accelerator to go berserk with Kakine adding fuel to the fire by blaming him he can’t protect others. Accelerator turns into his dark mode and beats Kakine to a pulp. Until Last Order shows up. That cute loli smile makes him want to kill her but can’t. When he calms down, Last Order hugs in. Nobody can beat the loli power! Tsuchimikado narrates about Alesiter’s secret plan of spreading millions of surveillance nano-devices called UNDER_LINE around that would give him direct info. SCHOOL, ITEM, MEMBER and BLOCK are names from the dark faction. And there’s one more: DRAGON.

Acqua Of The Back Arc

Episode 7
Itsuwa warns Touma that Acqua has sent a challenge to the Church of England and Academy City that he will hunt Touma down. Touma downplays that although Itsuwa and her Amakusa group are here to protect him. I guess Tatemiya is bored with the job so he executes some sick plan to make Itsuwa’s boobs grow bigger by kicking a football at Touma so his head falls into Itsuwa’s bosoms. Misaka not really liking that… Even Index isn’t fond of him bringing home an Amakusa girl. However with Itsuwa being useful helping around unlike useless Index, Touma even tells off Index to clean the bath! More weirdness with Maika busting in to learn of Itsuwa’s secret recipe. I think it’s time for time out so they take a break by heading to a public bath at an underground district. Misaka is there to blow off some steam too but I guess she’s going to need more than that with Index and Itsuwa there too. As Touma and Itsuwa leave, they realize the place suddenly is void of people. That is when Acqua attacks. He claims he has defeated Tatemiya’s groupie. Acqua wants Touma to give his right hand and since he won’t, he gets beaten up. Itsuwa tries to heal him but with no effect. Touma tries to be a hero and get up to beat this guy but gets beat down again. Acqua will wait and give him 1 more day to cut his right hand and give it to him.

Episode 8
Itsuwa falls into depression for her failure to save Touma. That guy is lying in hospital. Tatemiya had to scold her that by doing so, Touma’s sacrifices were in vain. Acqua will be back and she moping around will not extend the deadline. If she wants to apologize to him and prove she is not useless, then fight. Thanks to that, Itsuwa now turns into a scary yandere, sharpening her blades. Did Tatemiya say too much? Tatemiya gets a call from Orsola who has done some research on Acqua. William Orwell is his real name and was a British mercenary who fought in hellish battles. He was about to be knighted but went missing. When he reappeared, he became Britain’s enemy. I guess this is to show what they’re up against with. Someone who is both strong and smart. When the Amakusa guys surround Acqua, Itsuwa is in no mood for negotiation and attacks first. This time she is better prepared, though Acqua is still way better than her. There’s some rant about Acqua having some ability to use both humans and angelic powers but then the Amakusa guys got a trick up their sleeves as they pull off some move that breaks that balance, allowing them to defeat him. But too bad, that is just short-lived. That trick would have worked had Acqua been an ordinary saint. Yup, he isn’t an ordinary saint. Remember, he is one of God’s Right Seat. Acqua goes on the offensive and the Amakusa guys could have been done for had he not leave. So why are they lucky? Acqua instead goes to square off with Kanzaki.

Episode 9
Kanzaki is no match for Acqua. As expected. But it’s still too early to call, right? Misaki is complaining how she can’t get out when Touma pops up in front of him. Because he still feels the need to go, Misaki scolds him about never asking for help and shocks him that she knows about his memory loss. However Touma replies even if he had them, there are things he still must do. He is moved by the heart, not the head. Misaka just stood there in shock. She probably would have wanted to help him but realizes this is something he needs to fight to get back on his own 2 feet. We return to Kanzaki’s beat down. When she calls the Amakusa gang to assist her, this is because she has realized that her own arrogance and labelling others as weak has brought this upon herself. So there’s some more explanation about Acqua holding tremendous powers of a saint and because of that, he is the most susceptible to anti-saint spells compared to other saints. So when Acqua tries to attack, our hero Touma pops up to stop his tracks, the Amakusa gang hold him down while Itsuwa delivers the finishing blow of Saint Destroyer to purge his powers. Acqua’s flashback shows the moment he decided to leave Britain after turning own being knighted. Knight Leader gave him a few punches as dissatisfaction. Acqua’s plan was to protect Britain from the outside while Knight Leader from the inside so as to allow them to have the widest range of options. Touma is back in hospital and Itsuwa by his side. Because they look so close together, it made Index mad. I think leaving the hospital without her knowledge is just an excuse. And Itsuwa sides with Index… While the Pope is devastated over Acqua’s defeat, Fiamma wants to strike Britain. Forget about Academy City. There is something in Britain they must get. The Pope refuses to allow this madness and attacks him. But you know, Fiamma as the leader and most powerful of God’s Right Seat blows the Pope away. He didn’t die but he took the brunt of it, hence preventing further damage from affecting the Vatican. The news report some sort of infighting among the Roman Catholic Church but everything else is speculation.

British Royal Family Arc

Episode 10
Itsuwa looking up on long distance dating? And how to snatch a man’s heart? Well, good luck. Yeah, even Misaka is feeling really embarrassed over her recent close up with Touma. She didn’t abuse the vending machine this time but her sparks went out of control… More bad luck for Touma. Sleeping gas suddenly gets thrown into his room. Tsuchimikado calls him right in time to tell him he needs to head off to Britain with Index. Yeah, some bombing of the Eurotunnel has strained the relationship between Britain and France. During the flight, Touma goes to the toilet but sees blood stains. He is quickly apprehended by the stewardess who tells him that is the blood of her colleague. Apparently there is a French anti-Britain terrorist on board making some demands otherwise they’ll bring down the plane. Touma wants to help but is told to stay put. Meanwhile the terrorist tries to fix some connector that is near Touma’s seat. With Index returning and wondering what he is doing, he takes her hostage. Touma hears her cries and barges out to beat up that guy but he runs away. Touma is done doing nothing and will go stop the terrorist. He learns the connector is some stabilizer thingy. Without it, the plane will crash. Touma goes on the search and tries to lure out the terrorist by pressing the emergency button. But then the co-pilot sees his instruments of fuel leakage and hence they are going to force to land the plane on the highway. Apparently this is the doing of Laura. Even if this risks the lives of the passengers, as long as she can secure Index, that’s okay. The terrorist contacts the captain and threatens to kill the passengers if he doesn’t bring the plane back up to altitude. Thanks to the jamming interference, Laura’s plan fails so she sends Stiyl to do the job. Touma finds the terrorist and punches him out. He is then suspicious why he waited so long only to act. He then realizes he had a comrade hidden in the cargo during the transit from Paris. So only 1 comrade? Yeah, Touma takes him on and he is crazy enough to take the plane down if everything fails but luckily with the help of Stiyl to cause some air pressure vacuum to pin down that guy and Touma to take the grenade off his hand. The plane safely lands in Edinburgh.

Episode 11
Kanzaki brings the duo to Buckingham Palace as they meet up with Knight Leader who will bring them to meet Queen Elizard of Britain as well as her daughters-cum-princesses, Rimea, Carissa and Villian. Elizard shows a sword, Curtana Second which is only a replica of the first which supposedly gives you powers similar to Archangel Michael. They discuss about the Eurotunnel explosion and because Elizard believes its cause is magic, hence she called Index to determine if it is French type. People might see it as a quarrel with Britain and France when actually it is between Britain and Academy City, and Rome and Russia. Intelligence also showed interference during that plane hijack originating from Scotland. This means they have enemies within. They are identified as New Light, a small unit that has 4 people. Elizard assigns her subordinates each a mission. As Touma is a civilian, he cannot be forcefully participate. However this means he is going to get billed heftily for the services… Yeah, glad he volunteer himself. Touma and Oriana are driving around the streets of London when New Light already blunders because Lessar got confused of a few similar bags with the same design as hers. This allows Touma and Oriana to go after her. Meanwhile, Bayloupe is found by the Amakusa side and although she defeats Itsuwa, she is then caught in by some magic trap. Touma and Oriana continue their chase of Lessar. Touma is told that the bag they are carrying is Skithblathnir. It can teleport contents among each other. When they corner her, Lessar calls this a victory because there is a fifth member. Lessar is prepared to die and could have taken a direct snipe had not Touma saved her. Though, she is still injured. The perpetrator turns out to be Carissa. What New Light was transporting was Curtana Original and now in Carissa’s hands, she rallies all knights of Britain to begin their attack. Claiming herself as the new head of state, she vows to change Britain by destroying the current one.

Episode 12
Knights vs witches and nuns?! Weird. After Index confirms that France was behind the tunnel’s explosion, Carissa orders her side to make preparations for retaliation. Carissa mumbles about the need for Britain to stand up on its own separate power to avoid getting owned in this mix up between science and magic as well as those Christians and Catholics. Now she turns her attention to deal with her royal family. She will kill them all because the less people who can wield Curtana Original, the better. As they have already fled the palace, Carissa is now confronted with Kanzaki. She has no time to deal with her so she lets Knight Leader handle her. Well, that was a quick defeat. Carissa intercepts Villian’s carriage. As Knight Leader is about to behead her, here comes Acqua to the rescue. Man, if he was just a second late… He then lets her ride a horse directly to Necessarius’ hideout and will catch up later after he deals with Knight Leader. Acqua takes in a lot of damage but it’s time both side put an end to this epic power fight. Meanwhile Oriana will stay and handle things and lets Touma sneak away on a train to France. As he tries to hide from inspection, he stumbles into Floris of New Light. Since she is magically cuffed, his Imagine Breaker easily breaks the spell. He takes her to escape by jumping off the train. Don’t worry. There’s a river below, right? Yeah, just 1 metre deep! Oh sh*t! Elizard and Laura manage to break free from their captors. Blame Laura’s careless explosion for that. Laura’s plan to hitchhike using her sex appeal failed. Truck drivers must be very wary these days. I guess it’s riding the horse to London then.

Episode 13
It’s not science. It’s not magic. It’s crap that they survived that fall into the shallow river! Luckily Villian is here to pick them up but Touma leaves Floris in her care. Because Knight Leader is shocked and distracted at Acqua’s goal to fight for United Kingdom without siding with the church or royal family, this caused his defeat? Touma returns just at the end of the fight and sees Acqua trying to rescue Index. They both have to cooperate since Carissa is here to finish them. Some explanation about how Curtana Original can alter dimensions. Whatever. It blew Touma away. Acqua leaves Index in Touma’s care, mentioning that Carissa and the knights’ interest aligned only because of Curtana Original. If they destroy that, the coup will be over. Touma and Index are picked up by the Amakusa guys. With Carissa returning to Buckingham Palace to retune the sword due to its unstable power, they plan to use this chance to strike. With Knight Leader defeated, it is a good time to destroy Curtana. So they make plans to infiltrate via subway underneath the palace. Meanwhile Misaka is eating at a restaurant that she believes will enhance her boobs? WTF?! Then Touma calls. First time. You gonna answer it? As expected, he asks her suggestion how to open electronic locks on a subway’s shutter. You mean there are no electronic locksmiths around? Touma, Index and Villian walk through the subway. Touma accidentally activates a golem that attacks them. The trio combine their efforts to take it down. Thanks to that, they got the train running. But before the big strike, everyone has a big feast. Can’t fight without an empty stomach, eh? Do they even have time to talk about squandering excessively large boobs?! Elizard and Laura finally reach London and they picked up Rimea along the way. Elizard doesn’t think those guys can actually defeat Carissa with just their willpower and without any trump cards. Hence she is going to get some mystic artefact from the museum.

Episode 14
The big chaotic battle is here. Touma and Villian arrive first at Buckingham Palace to face Carissa. She is alone and disposed all the knights by her side. Slowly the rest come by to pitch in to fight Carissa. Everyone vs Carissa. Carissa has got the command of several destroyers to fire devastating bombs at the palace and even if they manage to destroy one, she can order another. Rimea has realized Carissa’s actions, the reason why she hasn’t killed anyone yet. She relays to everyone how Carissa is doing this for the sake of Britain. France and the Roman Catholic Church were using EU as their pawn with pressure from Russia. With their nation’s dignity violated, Carissa wielded Curtana Original to fight against all of them. At the same time, she resolved to seal this weapon for eternity along with herself in a cave she has chosen as her tomb once this is over. She hopes the knights will come to save her. Knight Leader leads his knights to face Carissa. Despite she can threaten to call more bombs, Acqua disables the telecommunication satellite. More of everyone vs Carissa. However she can still hold her ground because with the bloated heroic side, this means more of them to defend and she just have more targets to strike. Finally Elizard steps in. She uses the power of Union Jack to equally distribute power to all the people in the United Kingdom. This gives them the power to fight and be heroes for the day. How can 90 million citizens march to Buckingham Palace and fight against Carissa? Literally now a whole lot more of everybody vs Carissa. The people vs Carissa! United Kingdom vs Carissa! But they don’t have to lift a finger because it is eventually Touma’s Imagine Breaker that breaks Curtana Original and one good punch in Carissa’s face, sending her flying away! Team Rocket?! I don’t know why in the aftermath, nobody picks up Carissa as she lies weakened in some British alley. Because of that, Fiamma is here to thank her that this war he instigated paid off and he was able to get what he wanted. Before he could dispose her, Touma comes to her rescue. Fiamma won’t fight him as he doesn’t want him destroying the mystic artefact he worked so hard to get. That artefact is some safety device for Index. Man, she sounds like a broken computer? Fiamma needs to go to Russia to collect a material he needs to summon an angel. While he is away, he hopes Touma can fix Index and take care of his right hand until he returns. Index is left in the care of Stiyl and as you guessed it, Touma is going to Russia to punch the hell out of Fiamma.

DRAGON Arc

Episode 15
Tsuchimikado gathers his team with orders to eliminate a terrorist group called Spark Signal who has taken some hostages. We take a detour seeing Hamazura and Kinuhata visiting Takitsubo in hospital. She is doing well but has lost her fighting abilities. Kinuhata mentions that ITEM has been dissolved and she is waiting to be assigned to a new group. Then this WTF distraction with Kinuhata trying to tease Hamazura by almost flashing her panties since that guy is more into Takitsubo than her. WTF?! Spark Signal plans on destroying this huge particle accelerator to prevent the board from making any open moves. They are about to kill a hostage but a hero in the form of a villain (read: Accelerator) kills them all. This mission might be simply over except for that one fact bothering Accelerator: The terrorists were demanding the higher ups to release to public info on DRAGON immediately. Stephanie Gorgeouspalace is hired to replace Sunazara to take out Accelerator as well as other targets like Kinuhata. However she kills him because her enemy is everyone in Academy City. Tsuchimikado’s group is then contacted by Shiokishi of the board to dispose the remnants of Spark Signal. Of course they want to get this boring job over with but if they do as they’re told, they might lose their lead to see DRAGON. Perhaps side with the enemy this time? Kinuhata tells Hamazura that she along with the surviving remnants of ITEM, SCHOOL, BLOCK and MEMBER are now drafted into a single new team. Yeah, she’s already disobeying orders by being with him instead. That’s why she needs his help to wipe out all the terrorists before she gets dragged back into this new team. Before they can start doing that, they are being chased by a drone attack helicopter. Dress Girl contacts him and possibly the one who set up this attack. She tells him the terrorists he is after have occupied a salon in District 3.

Episode 16
Hamazura tries to hijack a helicopter to go save Takitsubo. Then he gets a call from her not to come because the terrorists are well armed. She is okay but is in hiding. With Hamazura getting really desperate, the pilot agrees to help. And he jumps onto the roof, the plastic tree breaks his fall? And he manages to shoot straight and kill several terrorists?! WTF???!!! I guess a guy in love can do the impossible. At the same time, Accelerator busts in to kill the terrorists but Sugitani ‘assists’ in killing them. Sugitani hopes they never meet again. Accelerator checks around and sees Takitsubo unconscious. Hamazura got the wrong idea that he did something to her. Accelerator shows no mercy in beating him up but spares him. From what he said, Hamazura realizes Accelerator was only helping her. While lying in his pathetic state, he gets a little reprieve with Takitsubo hugging him, commending he was the only one who came to save her. Aww… So sweet… As Tsuchimikado’s side contemplate about DRAGON (since all those who know about it are dead), Accelerator connects the dots and realizes it must be connected to Last Order. Accelerator knows and escapes an assassination attempt from Shiokishi. He is going to kill him but Tsuchimikado believes in getting Monaka on their side for political preparations. When Accelerator does so, an aide warns him not to because it will drag her back to the double underground life that she has escaped from. But when a kid whom he saved during the hostage incident wants to fight alongside him no matter how dangerous, Monaka agrees to join him to meet Shiokishi. Hamazura and Takitsubo see several simultaneous explosions in the city. They see Kinuhata trying to escape Stephanie’s assassination. Sugitani reports to Shiokishi about Monaka and Tsuchimikado’s group cooperating and will definitely come here. Shiokishi will make preparations to meet them. Inside the building, the gang is separated. Accelerator is confronted by Sugitani. He mentions once Monaka is done for, they will use Academy City’s collective power to get rid of him and then secure Last Order. Monaka talks to Shiokishi that she wants to revoke his powers. She also wants to know about DRAGON. Eventually, negotiations break down and Shiokishi wants to kill her. Too bad it is Unabara in disguise. Shiokishi plans to escape and have his guards keep Unabara at bay but is killed by them. Seems his guards are Unabara’s Aztec buddies in disguise, Tecpatl and Tochtli. They are here to kill him.

Episode 17
Tecpatl possesses the original grimoire and uses it to attack Unabara at the expense of Tochtli. But he didn’t read his grimoire well enough so Unabara is able to cast some spell that blows a hole in his guts. Sugitani thought he jammed Accelerator’s device to immobilize him but Accelerator reconfigured it and turned the tables on him. Kinuhata manages to defeat Stephanie since she is all just firepower compared to Sunazara. She then realizes the target is Hamazura and wants him to run away with Takitsubo. Kinuhata is apprehended by Dress Girl and is explained this is all part of Aleister’s plan. People like Touma and Accelerator are just outliers that could be incorporated easily to his cornerstone plan. However, Level 0 like Hamazura is hard to predict and poses a threat since he is able to take fate into his own hands when he should have died. Hence all of Academy City is now going to kill him. Accelerator interrogates Shiokishi about DRAGON. He mentions that it is all around them. Then this angel thingy pops up before him. This is DRAGON? Some mumbo jumbo explanation about his being but if he is to be specifically called, he is Aiwass. Some of his words are inaudible because our human ears can’t comprehend such beings. He offers to destroy Aleister’s plans since it is already starting to show cracks. When he mentions that Last Order will eventually break down if things continue this way, that’s the taboo word that gets Accelerator all revved up to kill him. Of course he can’t even touch this being and gets trumped. Hamazura is cornered and praying for some hero to save them. Good news: The guards are killed. Bad news: By Mugino. She wants to kill him herself! He runs but Mugino is trying to force Takitsubo to use Body Crystals to save Hamazura or he dies. Hamazura won’t let her do that. If blasting explosions at her won’t do, maybe this jet burning testing chamber will burn her to smithereens. I can’t believe she allowed him to get into the safety area to start the burning! Was she lamenting how the higher ups won’t let people like her die so they can reuse her again and again? Hamazura gets a call by Kinuhata to run some more since more guards are coming their way. So can he fly this jet?! Oh well, it’s on autopilot. Thank goodness to autopilot because Hamazura and Takitsubo can kiss and make out! Best reward for surviving this sh*t! Meanwhile Accelerator has taken Last Order and on a train to Russia as advised by Aiwass. Yeah, this guy looks traumatized. Aiwass calls Aleister about being obsessed with the kids of Academy City because they have what he lacks and will always stand up no matter how many times are defeated. Aleister’s reply is that he will use anything to achieve his goals. Including him.

World War III Arc

Episode 18
Russia declares war on Academy City. They believe they are hogging all the world resources for their science and technology that will leave the world devastated. If they do not comply with the demands to be transparent and drop all their projects within the deadline, it’s all-out war. Hamazura is travelling through the Russian wilderness and Takitsubo is sick from the effects of Body Crystals. This guy is desperate to rob a store to get some goods to save her but thankfully the store is currently being robbed! He beats up the robbers and gets the stuffs for free as gratitude. Meanwhile Carissa leads the nuns and knights to protect from the onslaught of the invading French. I know Touma is on his way to Russia but is he walking the entire way there?! But he isn’t travelling alone but with Lessar. She claims she is here to protect him from death as it would be a pain to Britain if he dies. Also, he needs a translator, right? Not sure if the mission is unimportant or Lessar’s life is so boring that she tries to outright flirt with him. WTF?! Touma and Lessar find Fiamma’s secret base. Hearing that he is looking for Sasha who is hiding in the Elizalina Alliance of Independent Nations (EAIN), they plan to find Elizalina first to ambush Fiamma. They manage to do so and though Elizalina acknowledges Fiamma as an important figure in this war, she doesn’t want her EAIN citizens hurt. Knowing that Fiamma and Touma are looking for Sasha, Touma suggests to send Sasha out of her borders and execute an operation to fight Fiamma there. Before the plan could reach further deliberation, Fiamma attacks. Imagine Breaker saved their skin a few times but can Touma defeat Fiamma if he just defends? This fight has also do away with the need to find Sasha since she drops in to fight Fiamma. Oh, Vento is also here to fight against Fiamma as she can’t tolerate his actions messing with the Roman Catholic Church any longer. After Accelerator dispatches a few attackers, he found some operation plans that could be related to Aiwass. But upon reaching the Russian military unit, it is decimated and he believes Academy City could be behind this. A few sorcerers surround him. Time for some fun.

Episode 19
Though Accelerator disposes of them easily, he notices the different laws in their magic. Could this be what Aiwass was talking about? Then flies down Misaka Worst. Another one of those Sisters whose goal is only to kill Accelerator. Vento thought she could kill Fiamma with her new powers. Sadly, she’s mistaken. He is still a lot superior. He then collects Sasha and will be back for Touma later. He claims they are both the same. Just that he has confidence he is doing this for the greater good. Touma doesn’t share the same sentiments. He doesn’t care if it is right or wrong but making Index suffer is unforgiveable. Fiamma wonders if he can say that to her face since he might look like he is protecting her to satisfy his own consciousness but is this what Index really needs? Takitsubo is being treated but with the village’s insufficient facilities, she might not hold out. The village will soon be attacked by privateers, unofficial mobs under the army. They’re trying to take this village and make this as their foothold for the Russian army since this village is near the border of EAIN. Accelerator runs from Misaka Worst and cannot fight back due to his vow never to hurt them again. Hence she has a blast beating the crap out of him. She even mocks how the Sisters never sympathized with him not because they decided so but rather they were incapable of expressing such feelings. So once the next phase is launched, those hatred will accumulated and it will be revenge time. When she decides to target Last Order, that is when Accelerator screws it all and fights back. Now it’s his turn to beat the crap out of her. His trauma activated when she pleads for help. He goes berserk thinking Sisters’ are meant to be killed by him and then make his mind broken. All those higher ups must be watching and laughing at this spectacle. Well, he is going to show them that his power can also be used to protect. Hence he is going to save her too.

Episode 20
Misaka Worst wakes up. She is mad Accelerator saved her. I don’t think it’s the right time for her to be ungrateful. Because Accelerator is going berserk trying to destroy everything. Does she want to get destroyed? Hamazura is trying to defend against the bloodthirsty privateers. Land mine came in handy to immobilize the tank but how will he fight against the helicopter? Don’t worry. Acqua is here! Touma arrives where Accelerator is. The latter is mad he is here and starts blaming him he couldn’t save Last Order and that this little kid had to go through lots of sh*t. That’s why the only way he could protect is by playing the bad guy. Touma tells him off it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. You don’t need reason or status. Just protect the person you want and stand proud of it. Man, Touma’s words must be so resonating that he allows to be beat down like that? Yeah, he lost to Touma again. I guess Accelerator has come to terms that the guy who doesn’t think about whether good or evil is the strongest. Carissa faces off with the Maiden of Versailles and tells her about the Kremlin Report. Something about the Russian military able to take measures during an invasion and capture nuclear installations. The nuclear arsenal takes priority over human lives. Versailles accuses her of using French territory as a stepping stone to attack Russia. Once France prospers under the Roman Catholic Church, they cannot disregard their orders then. Carissa speaks the truth that this war is not the will of the Roman Catholic Church but Fiamma. They still have a chance to end this or will they become pawns of Fiamma. When Misaka sees Touma in the background of some TV news, she packs her bags to head to the warzone. Sorry Shirai, a certain guy is more important. Accelerator wakes up with Last Order by his side. A note left by Touma that only states Index’s name. Touma is doing some serious reflection if his doing has benefited Index in any way. He realizes he has been deceiving Index and is the worst but he will not tolerate submitting to Fiamma.

Episode 21
The Pope realizes the cardinals are holding a meeting to elect a new Pope. This means he has lost his authority and whatever he says will not end the war. But he is going to do what he can. Hyouka is talking to Aiwass about the situation in Russia. Though Aiwass doesn’t intend to do anything unless it interests him, Hyouka intends to head to Russia but on a condition her friends will not be hurt. Otherwise she will also make him her enemy. Acqua just finished clearing out the privateers. Those powered suits from Academy City arrive. Hamazura doesn’t want Acqua to destroy them. Instead, let them use this village as their base. Although they will temporarily lose their territory, at least it will be guarded. Accelerator doesn’t understand whatever magic is related to this document who took from the train. He is told that perhaps Elizalina could read it. However she is injured and recuperating at the battlefield. Accelerator shoots all the spies since he is going to leave Last Order here and get Elizalina. Hamazura and Takitsubo are running away from a powered suit. Thankfully Accelerator saves them. Elizalina diagnoses Last Order and Takitsubo’s situation. They have toxins in their bodies. Although Takitsubo’s can be removed and she is safe for sure, the same can’t be said for Last Order as her toxins will ‘replenish’. Accelerator shows the document to Elizalina and wonders if she can read it. Maybe. But he wants her to concentrate on healing the girls.

He goes to see Misaka Worst and wants her to work for him to collect data from the spies. Why would she work for him? Dark May Project. Misaka Worst needs to find an ability that makes her irreplaceable and not easily disposed of while Accelerator is going to find a way to save Last Order. As Academy City has crafted them to be evil, they are going to fight against them. They interrogate the spies but find lots of inconsistencies in their stories. Realizing this document is to be brought to the Russian’s frontlines, Accelerator is going to storm it. Touma is puzzled that the Russians and Academy City are fighting each other but Fiamma hasn’t come out of his base. Is he in some magic ritual? Ponder no more because Fiamma tells him himself that this is all to lure Touma out and make sure his right hand is safe. Stiyl accuses Laura of trying to mess with Index’s body to prevent Fiamma from getting all her grimoire as she has the other remote artefact that controls her. When Stiyl intends to do something about it, Laura uses her remote to activate Index. The time has come for Fiamma to finally materialize his floating island, Star of Bethlehem (SoB… ;p). This is his intention rather than preparing for a large scale mystic artefact. Misaka has hijacked a plane to Russia. Oh my, how could she see Touma right on that floating island?! Is her Touma vision really that strong? An angel cuts down the jet. Misaka lands but stumbles into one of her Sisters.

Episode 22
Fiamma has materialized the archangel Gabriel and uses her to remove all those who aren’t related to this. Takitsubo has recovered. Together with Hamazura, they decide to go back and protect that little Russian village since the Russian military might be planning to use a biological weapon on it. EAIN can’t act because the Russians will think they might be after the nuclear silo info. When Elizalina tells Accelerator about SoB and Gabriel being somewhat incomplete is because of the document in Accelerator’s hands, he believes this might be all connected in saving Last Order. Touma bumps into Sasha. She was used by Fiamma in a ritual to materialize Gabriel, hence the archangel manifested on its own rather than possessing her. Touma thinks she is connected and tries to touch all over her. Did he have a good time feeling her up? Too bad no nullification effect. Just Sasha beating him up. Touma thinks he might be using a remote to control Sasha like he did for Index. The next Pope hopeful thinks he will become the next Pope. But with the ex-Pope rallying the people, they are marching towards the Vatican and the guards can’t stop or harm them. Hence this Pope potential curses his fate what should have been him as the next Pope. But ex-Pope somewhat praises him for his actions pf uniting his followers and will vote for him in the next Papal Conclave and will aid him in his path. All he needs is to head to the library to do some research on how to bring down Fiamma. Fiamma cuts ties with his Russian conspirator seeing he already has what he wants and this dude no longer has any role to play. Carissa and Elizalina take on Gabriel. Can they really take on God’s archangel? Don’t really think they can win but what’s with Carissa’s plan to call in her surface to air missiles to fire at SoB? Gabriel returns to protect it. She turns her attention to Touma and Sasha but Hyouka kicks down Gabriel?! Hyouka > Gabriel?

Episode 23
Stiyl tries to attack Index but she eliminates him. What are the chances of she killing him for good? Hyouka and Gabriel continue to battle but the latter soon departs as she detects the document nearby. She tries to steal it from Accelerator so he too joins in the fight with Hyouka to pound this archangel. Fiamma is confronted by Acqua. I don’t understand this part but since Gabriel is under Acqua’s control, he is going to do some suicide move by absorbing telesma to remove it from the field. Fiamma dares him and believes his actions are futile but when he tries to order Misha to finish him off, she isn’t responding. Touma is randomly trying to use Imagine Breaker to break Fiamma’s power source. He deduces that Misha only appeared after SoB was in place. If Fiamma could control an archangel, he wouldn’t need to start World War III to achieve his goals. Hence SoB is needed to summon and maintain the archangel. With Gabriel weakened, Accelerator manages to beat down Gabriel. All for Last Order! Hamazura sees Acqua dying. The latter is more than happy to sacrifice his life and take Gabriel with him. However Hamazura yells at him about the people waiting and relying on him. Don’t you dare be the tragic hero now! With that, Acqua screams back to life. Wow. The power of words. While Fiamma faces off with Touma, Accelerator is dismayed after finding the jeep driven by Misaka Worst and Last Order has crashed. Is Hamazura really going to take on the entire Russian military? Don’t worry. Academy City bomber plane is here to bomb it all away.

Episode 24
Hyouka tells Accelerator that a song that Index once sung to Last Order is the key to save her. She can also do the same but he needs to find out some parameters for her to adjust to it. Takitsubo is missing from the bombing. As Hamazura searches for her, misfortune finds him in the form of Mugino. Damn, this b*tch is really hard to die. She eats some Body Crystals to power up. Her powers enough to go berserk. Thankfully it didn’t last long as she goes back down to powerless. Even in this pitiful state, Hamazura can’t kill her. Instead he hugs her and wants to save her (is this considered cheating?). I don’t know how he is going to do it but he vows to protect her (despite choosing Takitsubo) and find a way to bring ITEM back. You mean he is confident of reviving Frenda? Lessar finds Misha and strikes a deal with her to put a dent on Fiamma’s plans in exchange she helps England out in their time of need. Fiamma prepares to take Touma’s right hand. If Academy City’s super satellite laser can’t even touch him, is Touma f*cked? We hear Fiamma explaining about his goal to bring salvation to the world. He isn’t going to brainwash everybody but open their eyes with this power of his. Oh yeah. Like that will definitely work. Will it?! Fiamma cuts off Touma’s right arm and absorbs it. The power is his. However something still feels odd. Touma still has power? And then Touma’s right arm just grew back out! Damn, is this science or magic?! Fiamma is looking pretty scared as the most powerful being closest to God. From what I understand, Touma threw away all his power to get Imagine Breaker back. Touma now knows why Fiamma is doing all this. If he was all that powerful, why does he need to create this large SoB? Why does he need to gather all the churches and temples? This means that his power depends on how strong the enemy is. But still why does he need that much power? It’s because he is scared. He is scared that he cannot save the world. After all, he never saved the world before so there is no way to know if he has the power to do it. Touma can say he saved the world. Technically he saved many people so I guess that counts. He saved the world of those people. The final lecture to nail the coffin: A person who tries to be the saviour of the world cannot protect it. The world isn’t so weak to need one lousy bastard to be saved.

Episode 25
Hamazura still desperately trying to find Takitsubo. Happy to find her, however the hugging has to wait since she detects a couple of coneheads sent by Academy City to retrieve the failure that is Mugino. Does he think he can take them on with his machine gun? The power of deception as he deceives them about accidentally breaking some bottle with some virus. Enough for him to fire at point blank to a couple of them. The last one Mugino has the honour of taking out with Takitsubo’s help. Meanwhile from all that explanation that I don’t understand, Accelerator seems to have found the parameters to save Last Order and he need not be the villain anymore. Accelerator singing? Weird. He is bleeding all over, papers falling everywhere, feathers falling everywhere… Is he witnessing God right now? Touma and Fiamma’s fight continues. The former still shocked he can still block and do more than just nullify. Although Fiamma blames human for all the war, poverty, destruction of nature, etc, Touma argues that humans although may contain malice, but that is not what they only have (something that Fiamma only sees in them). Also, people don’t need a reason to fight for those they love. Touma believes he can save the world because unlike Fiamma, he believes people are strong. Strange, huge right arms appear all over the world and explode. Humans put aside their differences to take it down. The Russian side dispose of their greedy pope and rescue the real patriarch pope (a kid). Because Fiamma’s power may not originate from the Russian or Roman Catholic so their only choice is to seek the power from England’s Archbishop. Oh, Stiyl still trying to fend off against Index? He just needs to hold out long enough till Touma fixes everything… Anytime now… SoB is starting to lose its powers. Fiamma acknowledges he might be at a disadvantage now but he isn’t going to sit by and do nothing. The original plan was to gradually transform Earth. But thanks to Touma’s goodness some unnatural distortion has arisen between Heaven and Earth. Accumulated telesma will rain down on Earth, wiping everyone out. So much about doing good. Too late to do good?

Episode 26
Last Order wakes up. Look at the relieved look on Accelerator’s face. Because those lights are still going to rain down on Earth, Accelerator is not happy with this sh*t and is going to stop it. Damn! He becomes an angel complete with halo?! He was drenched in blood a second ago and now he is so clean and pure! Fiamma tries to use Index but his remote isn’t working since the English did something. Hence perfect timing for Souma to land one knuckle sandwich in his face. With SoB crumbling, Lessar leaves a note for Touma to escape. He still wants to save Fiamma? Okay. But only 1 pod left. Touma lets him use it since he has something to do. So Misaka’s trip all the way here was to be shoehorned to rescue him off via a jet she hijacked? Too bad that is wasted since Touma can’t go yet. Touma finds Index’s remote and conveniently talks to her consciousness. He admits about deceiving and doing something horrible to her. And then something inaudible about his memories. Damn those crashing loud sounds. But Index doesn’t mind. As long as the Touma she knows returns. He touches and nullifies the remote. Stiyl talks to Touma about destroying certain numbered artefacts so that SoB could crash into the sea. However Misha (Gabriel) is heading towards SoB. As she is trying to replenish, the power will grow but too forcefully that it will explode and release a massive amount of telesma. I don’t how Touma did it but he made SoB slam right into Misha! You mean she actually stood there and took the hit?! With everything sinking deep, Touma manages to get close and use Imagine Breaker on her.

Hamazura is trying to find something as a bargaining chip against Academy City. They are surrounded by Academy City people. This helmet woman spouting some crap about retrieving Takitsubo as she is top priority. Something about her rare ability to exert her influence as seen when she cooperated with Mugino to take down a conehead. Something about she can be able to provide the functions of Academy City all by herself. However all her men are shot by the villagers. That easy? It’s Hamazura’s turn to interrogate her all about this Parameter List she was talking about. Accelerator is retrieved and restrained. He tells those blokes to never use Last Order or Sisters again and never let him do their dirty work. So what if they don’t want to? Yeah, he just easily breaks out. That’s one lesson they’ll never forget. Fiamma crash lands safely but upon exiting the pod, his right hand is cut off by Alesiter. He claims he has grown too obsessed with it and almost went beyond that and discover some truths. Too late for Fiamma to be motivated by Touma words. He wants to fight back but Aleister promptly kills him. Aiwass is glad his form was transferred to a different domain than eliminated. Hyouka advises him to learn more about humans because betray them and they’ll get you back when you least expect it. Aiwass doesn’t believe it because they would have done so had they had that kind of power. Misaka is looking through the icy waters. Gasp! Not Touma she found. His handphone strap. Oh no! But don’t worry. Touma is seen floating on some board and is picked up by Leivinia Birdway and Mark Space. Russia’s Pope suspends all military action and agrees to talk with Academy City. Fiamma is apparently alive. Picked up by Ollerus and Silvia. WTF Ollerus was supposed to be a Magic God but is now just a normal sorcerer?

Screw Science! Screw Magic! Screw Religion! Screw Humanity! It’s Revelation!
So this is how it ends? Well, if you think this is the end of the Index series, then you’re both right and wrong. True, the Index series ends here. But the story somewhat continues into a new story, Shinyaku To Aru Majutsu No Index. We’ll have to see if that will get adapted in the future. Of course with so many developments and even throwing in a few new faces in the final episode, it is safe to say that something bigger than a world war is going to happen but that would be for the next spinoff. After all, the Index series itself has many spinoff novels where these other characters popped up. So those who have been reading up wouldn’t find them entirely alien.

So yeah, you might be bored and annoyed and predicting that I am going to be a broken tape recorder. Repeating myself and telling the whole wide world how I still don’t understand everything. What to do? I wasn’t born a rocket scientist nor became one along the way. I don’t know if I could say that I wasted 26 x 24 minutes of my life watching this third season because ultimately I still don’t comprehend the finer things of what this series had to offer. All I know is that some people in here wants to play God, wants to become God and in in the name of bringing salvation to humans because you know, we are such malicious creatures with no redeeming points. Oh no. That’s not at least what our heroes in this series believes. So it’s always that conflicting cliché that bad guys are the ones who want to change the world while the good guys want status quo. The reason we don’t often resonate with the baddies is because of their methods and how they go about to reach their goals. Hence it’s that dilemma of rather than wiping out humans or brainwashing them into mindless but good NPCs, it is better to accept the good, the bad, the ugly, everything that defines us and continue this sh*tty life. Because life isn’t fair. Because that’s life. Yeah. Heroes often love to argue this when saving the world from villains.

With the final arc being the longest arc ever in the entire To Aru Majutsu No Index series, however my pet peeve is that this World War III arc doesn’t really feel like a World War III arc. Personally it feels like Fiamma Versus The World arc. Because the scenes are mostly concentrated around SoB and we don’t really see the world fighting each other. Therefore it doesn’t give me the feel that the entire world was actually against each other. Sure, they may be fighting in the background and the series doesn’t want to distract us with ‘meaningless war’ elsewhere that doesn’t contribute to the plot. Therefore World War III might just be mislabelled like World War I because the latter only involved Europe and yet they named it World War. How grand. Furthermore, from what I see and remember, wasn’t it just England vs France, Vatican vs Russia and Academy City vs everybody else? I don’t know. It just feels like that to me. And in the end, World War III somewhat became World Liberation because humans finally found the strength to put aside their differences to save their world. Damn, it’s really wishful thinking that a bunch of mortals on Earth can actually defend themselves from the onslaught of God and Heaven.

I didn’t study the bible so I know nuts about all the biblical terms here. Yeah, a very Christian anime, right? Sometimes it feels all the plot and whatever shenanigans they pull off here, it’s like as though they pull it out from thin air. God have mercy on my soul. I’m sure very fanatic and dedicated Index fans can enlighten me a lot or I do my own extensive research on the internet but you know me, I’m just lazy and not interested ;p. The way they show how Christians are being at odds at each other feels like a big thing because how come no other major religions like Muslim, Buddhism or Hinduism are caught in this conflict? Oh yeah. I’m an atheist so I’m somewhat safe, right? So we have England being Anglican Christians, Roman Catholic Christians representing the Vatican, Orthodox Christianity widely practised in Russia and in Academy City, uhm, scientific Christians?! Haha, don’t worry I made that one up.

Character wise, surprisingly Touma isn’t the only star here. Heck, triple stars here. Touma along with Accelerator and surprise package Hamazura are the main heroes. I believe for the first time that there are a couple of arcs that Touma was completely absent thanks to being him having his overseas mission so often here. Hence this gives Accelerator and Hamazura to shine and time to build up their plot and character. Among the trio, I think I prefer to vouch for Hamazura because he seems so normal and yet he defies all the odds. It might look like he gets into unfortunate incidents but I feel it is the ‘opposite’ of Touma’s misfortune and that he is such a blessed guy anyway. Accelerator is as weird as he is filled with angst and it’s strange just to think that his life’s mission is to save Last Order and the only way he could do that is to play the villain. Not that I understand. Is he being an anti-hero? Does he know how to actually play the villain? Because he sounds crazy doesn’t mean he knows how to be one. But whatever. Even weirder he sprouts hurricane vortex wings when unleashing his ultimate power. Sure, he is still crazy but I find he isn’t as crazy as before in the previous seasons. Did the loli tame him? And then he became an angel. I think that was really pushing it and I lost my WTF mind. Everyone is screwed if there was this type of angel.

Lastly this Touma dude, there might be some secret about his real identity that I might not have understood. Especially about his surname which is more than just coincidence than a play on words. Oh wait. I don’t think it is revealed yet. Just teased. Otherwise, typical cliché main character. Don’t care what is right or wrong. Just do what your heart tells you! And you don’t need a reason for it! You know that won’t really fly in a lot of other situations. After all, nobody could best his right hand. At least, nobody yet. So yeah. He’s got that kind of main character vibe.

Oddly, I started thinking how similar these 3 characters are because they have got a girl they love or some b*tch girl who is after them. For example, Touma probably loves Index and he’s got this tsundere biri-biri Misaka ever so ‘concerned’ over him. Then we have Accelerator who is protecting Last Order while Misaka Worst despite working with him in the end, is ultimately still a b*tch. No prizes to guess that it is Takitsubo for Hamazura while psycho b*tch Mugino always returns from the dead to haunt him. So yeah. Do you see a particular pattern here in this sense? I forgot to add Itsuwa to the mix and even Lessar to a certain extent. I guess Touma being the top main character means he has these extra babes, huh?

With a host of other characters, it is just hard to keep track of them so I’m skipping them because when some made their recurring appearance, I had to dig back deep into my previous blog just to remember this character’s name. Heck, I was lazy so I Google for faster search results. With too many of them to remember, I believe many of their fates are still left hanging as the season ends. But remember, the series itself is technically ongoing and not over. However what I want to say that Index being the titular character here feels so side-lined that sometimes it feels that she doesn’t really matter. Like as though she has been reduced to some plot device and convenience. Because in the early arcs while Touma or the other guys were at the forefront, Index was like at home bumming around and doing nothing really significant. I’m sure Touma is keeping her safe and hidden from those who are after her grimoires but really, Index feels more like an annoying brat who complains about not having her regular feeding time when Touma fails to do that thanks to his ‘busy’ schedule. And then in the later arcs, Index becomes immobilized as she goes into some sort of coma because Fiamma has some weird remote control over her. Whatever. She didn’t get to even reunite with Touma in the end. That spiritual vision in the final episode feels forced. Got to give us some peace of mind before the season ends.

Other trivial things to note, the British royalty seems to have really weird and unusual English names. Like Elizard and Rimea are names of the old English (I guess it beats having the usual Elizabeth, Victoria or Catherine – or Jane or Sarah) but Villian? Did they misspell Vivian or something? Because I keep misspelling her name as Villain. Or at least each time I see her name it looks like that synonymous word for antagonist. Carissa might sound so English but that name is actually of Greek origin. Yeah, the irony. I think I want to get this off my chest because Aiwass calling himself so, I can’t help want to tease it as Ai-what-ass?! Ai (I) was an ass… Haha! I never thought Aleister would leave his windowless building but I guess he got bored hanging out upside down in his tube. Sometimes you need to take a walk outside and throw the trash. Sort of. The creepiest character goes to Gabriel because whenever she ‘speaks’ there is this very eerie frequency that comes with it. Our puny human ears cannot hear words of an angel. But yeah, still creepy.

If there was something that was less confusing for me to understand, perhaps some of the action sequences brought in a little reprieve of my prolonged headache. Sure, they are packed with divine power and punch but ultimately it feels a lot like sci-fi fantasy when they get to do such weird overpowered moves. Becoming angels, summoning the powers of angels because of some certain characteristics and traits, I wonder how science can explain all that. Heck, even some of the technology of Academy City feels so bizarre that it is more fantasy than sci-fi. And don’t get me started of how WTF certain action scenes look. They defy the law of physics just for the sake of action. I don’t know if science or magic is behind this but it’s just mind blowing (like Touma’s jump from the train and Hamazura’s jump from the helicopter). Physics give a pass for those who are trying to save what is important to them!

This season it isn’t Mami Kawada who sings the opening themes. They are replaced by Maon Kurosaki (who sang the ending themes for the previous seasons, by the way). The first opener is Gravitation, a dramatic rock piece with a hint of synthesizer effects. Although the second opener, Roar has the same feel to it, but it sounds a lot darker and heavier on its metal side and in comparison, I’d prefer Gravitation. Because Index was insignificant in this series, I figure that is why Yuka Iguchi sings both the ending themes. However Kakumei Zenya (first ending theme) and Owaranai Uta (second ending theme) are slow ballads and these sound unfitting for this sci-fi action series. Though, it isn’t the first time the series had slow ballads as the first season had them too. Honestly, just weird.

Overall, I couldn’t fully enjoy this season because of all the complicated sci-fi terms and plots. Too many characters to remember and many feel irrelevant as the season crosses into its final stretch. And like I’ve said, I’m only watching this first since To Aru Kagaku No Railgun is getting another season subsequently. Not that I’m pinning my hopes that spinoff will get me to understand things better but it’s the only way Misaka, Shirai, Uiharu and Saten are going to have more screen time of their own compared to this paltry cameos here. Oh wait. You mean there’s more? You mean Accelerator is getting his own f*cking spinoff?! Damn, is this science or magic behind this trickery?! Is it because that guy got elevated into an angel that he now must have his own spinoff?! In that case, why didn’t they make a spinoff for the erotic fallen angel maid Kanzaki?! That would have been the most epic storyline ever! WTF, you guys?! Did you miss this one out?! I definitely would see that one! It’s not science. It’s not magic. It’s not religion or faith. It’s just love. You don’t need a reason to love maids. Ah, the misfortune of not having that godly spinoff…

ReLIFE S2

May 11, 2018

I don’t remember reading ReLIFE was getting another season. But when it did come out, how come there are only 4 stinking episodes?! Yeah, so few that it all came out simultaneously over the internet. Oh wait. That was how the first season’s format ran. But why only 4 episodes? As I read, the first season already covered a big majority of the manga that had already ended. So why not give the anime its due closure as well? They’re already there, a few steps away from the finish line so how hard could it be? It’s like they’re all doing guys like me who don’t read the manga a favour. Can’t leave those lazy otakus in the dark and left hanging. Uhm, thanks?

Episode 14
Flashback shows Yoake meeting with Hishiro to tell her she has been selected for this ReLIFE experiment. She accepts it and as he watches her, he notices she doesn’t interact with others so he advises her to involve herself more with others since she has been given this chance. Despite Kariu is now the class number one, she is still mad at Hishiro thinking she went easy on her. You just can’t please her, can you? Of course Hishiro denies as she wants to be friends with her. Kariu wonders if she was unwell then or something to do with Kaizaki as she is recently seen around him more often. Hishiro isn’t sure herself (cue for more anger from Kariu) but she is at least now her mind is a lot clearer on what to do. She then goes to confront Yoake and asks if Kaizaki is also a test subject under ReLIFE. She notices his mature habits as well as his belongings that indicate he is a young adult. He cannot confirm and deny because in the event if he is one, his experiment will end and she won’t see him again. Yoake is impressed she is showing interest in others. This brings him to introduce Onoya who will be mainly supervising her this term. This only serves to make Hishiro suspect that Kaizaki is a test subject and Yoake is assigned to observe him. Otherwise, why this braided glasses girl for her and Yoake not transferred away but supporting her? Onoya wonders about her curiosity of Kaizaki. If he is an adult, she wouldn’t have to suppress her feelings for him and she might be suspecting him out of this desire. Hishiro gets fidgety but is unsure.

The class decides who to represent them for the cultural festival. Surprisingly Hishiro volunteers, surprising many. Kaizaki becomes her partner as they discuss the English style café their class will be doing. Later they go hear out Oga’s problem. He went out with Kariu the other day but when she wanted to come to his house, he rejected her. She got mad. He then relates how his older brother is now a shut-in due to bullying from his job. He doesn’t want Kariu to know about this. Kaizaki advises to just act normal because if everyone around him is being careful and gloomy, how is he going to improve? Especially in one’s own home. As for whether Kariu would approve this, Hishiro believes she would because she is a perfectionist and strives for so via hard work and doesn’t force her beliefs upon anyone. Just tell her the truth. She’ll understand. The preparations for the festival is well underway. Those Victorian maid are sure looking good. Double thumbs up! Hishiro falls asleep at her desk after a tiring day. Kaizaki can’t help steal glances of her. It is then he realizes he is in love with her. Why am I not surprised?

Episode 15
ReMAID is well underway! Kariu is embarrassed in the outfit (WHY?!) but nothing like Oga’s admiration to have her come out of her shell. When the festival is less hectic, Hishiro and Kaizaki walk around. Suddenly, Hishiro starts holding his arm. He gets nervous and tries to hint to her others will get the wrong idea. So what? Now she wants him to hug her. You serious? Of course he won’t and wants to know what has gotten in to her. She wonders if this is infatuation. After apologizing, he thinks she was just rushing for something after overthinking. At the festival’s closing, Yoake talks to Kaizaki to assure him even after this experiment is over and some memories will be gone, there are many other things that will still remain like the results of his actions. Things would definitely end up differently had Kaizaki not been around. Kaizaki, Hishiro and Oga are taking some counselling for their university choices. Oga thanks Kaizaki for his advice the other day and everything is now clearer. He notes all of them going to the same university so nothing will change once they graduate. But Kaizaki knows better it won’t. Kaizaki feels bothered by this so he talks to Yoake about having to go back to his old life no matter what. Yoake explains he has changed in a way that he has gone to regain his old self. As he was a friendly and straightforward person, this is why he was chosen as a test subject. He is able to fret over the problems because of his past before ReLIFE. He hopes he won’t abandon the old original version as this high school version is just an illusion. Yoake hopes they can go drinking and talk about this experiment once it is over.

As Onoya writes her report on Hishiro, she too is facing a dilemma. Because if Kaizaki and Hishiro are test subjects, once this is over only the test subjects will retain memories and everyone they meet will have their memories of them erased. So will Kaizaki and Hishiro be erased from each other’s memories? Yeah, now I’m so confused thinking about it. Hence Onoya doesn’t want them to get closer. It is cruel just to think how they will end up. All Yoake can say is that they cannot decide for them and their job is to enjoy and bring out the fullest in life of this experiment. What is this experiment called again? If they support them to the fullest, they will not have any regrets. Hishiro continues to ponder. That ‘flirting’ with Kaizaki was trying to find out if he is a test subject as well as ascertain her feelings. She didn’t get any close to the former but for the latter, I think she realizes it… As the class have their group photo, Kaizaki and Hishiro monologue about their thoughts about others not remembering them and becoming like an unexplained ghost in a photo. Damn Kaizaki and Hishiro ruined the photo by looking at each other.

Episode 16
Oga needs Kaizaki’s mature advice on dating? When Kaizaki teases him for climbing the stairs to adulthood, Oga tells him to just date Hishiro because there are many of their friends who saw them together at the festival. But strangely every time Hishiro sees him, she avoids him like a plague! Apparently she is confused with her feelings and this is the ‘stupid’ thing she could do. Her friends tell her not to run away as she is one step away. Tamarai suggests she should go on a date. So the next time she doesn’t avoid him, she sums up her courage to ask him to meet her on Christmas. But she can’t go on anymore and will message him the rest of the details. Well, Kaizaki should have seen this coming so why is he surprised when she messages the details for their date? Unsure, he calls Yoake for ‘permission’. He allows it as it will be a valuable experience from a ReLIFE perspective. Both are early at the meeting point and Hishiro has researched and prepared date routes. I guess it’s okay for first timers at dating. As they walk around the mall, Kaizaki wonders why she picked Christmas as standard dates are on the Eve. Yoake and Onoya are watching afar but also give them some private space by not eavesdropping all the time. Onoya is still sad that eventually this date will be forgotten. It might be but that doesn’t mean it has never happened. Yoake pokes his nose a bit as he messages Kaizaki an important detail. It seems today is Hishiro’s birthday so Kaizaki buys her a present that also doubles as a Christmas gift. While riding the Ferris Wheel, although they talk about looking forward to next year, both cast a gloomy outlook. They are talking like how they will look back to this year and remember how special it is. In the end, Kaizaki knows he is in love with her but feels he cannot tell her as all this would vanish and his feelings won’t matter. When he tries to hold her hand, she quickly pulls back. Hishiro blames herself for not understanding such feelings. Kaizaki too but this time he gets to courage to confess he loves her. After a bit of shock and panic, Hishiro says her feelings are not any different either. But is that the same as saying I love you? Cue for the rain so they could share an umbrella close together.

Episode 17
Yoake narrates Kaizaki’s ReLIFE will be ending soon and will be reported as a success. He regrets that there will be a secret he will not be able to tell him. Knowing they don’t have much time with each other, they talk with each other via phone as much as they can even if it’s bedtime. Graduation day come and go. Hishiro asks Kaizaki for a hug. As she is pondering if this was the right thing to ask, he gives her a big one. Then all the tears keep rolling to tug our heartstrings. They proclaim they won’t forget about each other but inside they know that is not possible. Maybe that is what the tears are for. Yoake sees Kaizaki and announces his ReLIFE has officially ended. As promised, there are prospect jobs for him listed so take your time choosing. After asking his thoughts on this experiment, Kaizaki takes the pill. It is the same for Onoya and Hishiro. Only, Onoya is like on the verge of being emotional. However she soon blows up into one when she sees Hishiro wrote on her palm that she loves Kaizaki. Distraught that she should done a better job at hiding it, it pains Onoya that now she must do something about it.

In the aftermath, Kaizaki remembers all the friends he made during the experiment. However there is someone else he feels missing but can’t quite put his finger on it. After looking through the prospective jobs, he feels all aren’t suitable and asks if he could choose outside these. Of course. He wants to work at the ReLIFE lab. As he has learnt valuable lessons from it despite only for a year, he wants to use this experience to help teach others. And so he gets the job and puts his passion into it. He heads to the house of a prospect ReLIFE candidate. Wow. The shut-in quickly opened the door to hear his proposal of this experiment. Must be his smile. Kaizaki attends the company party. Guess what? Hishiro is also working there! Unfortunately they do not remember each other. When the party ends and they coincidentally leave together, Hishiro overheard his boss called him an ex-test subject. He admits he was and she wonders if he should let others know about it since it is confidential. He is only here thanks to ReLIFE. Hishiro also relates she was an ex-test subject but failed at first go. She too didn’t favour the prospective jobs after her experiment ended and thought of working here and got into the research division’s pharmaceutical section. When he asks her about how her ReLIFE was, she explains it like fireworks. Fun and beautiful but sad once it is over and you long for it. Suddenly they start to remember that fireworks incident together. And voila! Conveniently they remember each other now! So the memories weren’t really erased? Time for the tears of joy to roll and a big reunion hug.

Don’t Forget To Remember Me Always
Uhm, although I very much welcome the happy ending that Kaizaki and Hishiro get to reunite with each other, but it feels rushed and out of convenience. Sure, had they remain separated, it will literally be a bitter pill to swallow. So my qualm for them suddenly remembering their old memories is like a convenient plot tool and device or lazy writing. This is to say that the memory erasing pill does not work and if others they met in their life were to at least try as hard as they can to remember an event or some coincidental thing triggers or simply jogs their memory, the effect will be off. Yeah, so is this part considered a failure? Better research more on that memory erasing pill, Hishiro.

This brings into question how the f*ck can the organization erase memories of everyone else about a single subject in ReLIFE. Do they secretly insert the pill in everyone’s meal? If that is the case, boy they are going to need a lot of pills. And what if a test subject met somebody outside the surveillance? I mean, it is not like the observers are constantly watching them 24/7, right? For example, a test subject goes to meet a hooker and has a one night stand. And assuming if they miss out on erasing that hooker’s memories, many years down the road she sees the test subject and remembers him. Will that be super bad? But then again, we have seen at the end how effective the memory erasing pill was. But don’t destroy your brains in trying to think of how they are going logically doing it because it will never be answered. Heck, I don’t even need a pill as I already have forgotten many parts of the first season already!

This season’s final 4 episodes give Kaizaki x Hishiro the much needed focus. After all as I vaguely remember from last season, it seemed that the series paid its attention towards Oga x Kariu and we were left wondering if there would be Kaizaki x Hishiro romance at all. Our hopes finally answered, they trolled us by making us watch through their painstaking parting before that coincidental convenient reunion at the end. Like as though God was watching and He sympathises and feels bad about them being separated, hence somehow making them have the same idea of working in the same company that saved them. Yeah, it also props the question of why can’t the duo retain memories of each other. I mean, are they going to freak out and realize they are test subjects of ReLIFE? Are they going to sue to organization? I doubt it at this point they are at now. Therefore it is mind boggling that despite part of the contract says all memories regarding the test subject will be removed, doesn’t it prove that removing somebody from your memory means that person is the test subject? Oh right. You can’t even remember that person so it doesn’t matter.

With this final season focusing on our main duo, all the other side characters feel like chopped liver. Oga and Kariu whom I mentioned felt like the main characters in the last season now deservingly takes a backseat since their relationship are going steady. But all the other supporting side characters like Asaji and Inukai who were forgettable in the previous season are even more so here. Yeah, it’s like we don’t remember them when ReLIFE comes to an end. It will be mind boggling to think from their perspective that a couple of people they decently interacted with would be blank. I mean, what would they remember during the time when they had a conversation with Kaizaki or Hishiro? Especially Kariu who has conversed with her a lot recently. This means if she thinks back during her high school years, boy there are going to be a lot of blank spaces. The series never said about filling in with fake memories but just saying… Also, before the duo signed up for ReLIFE, what about the friends in the past whom they know? Don’t they know they went ‘missing’ for a year? Unless you tell me when these people who failed to land jobs at their first go have no friends in the first place. No wonder they make good ReLIFE test subjects. If they fail, nobody would remember them and nobody would care too.

The only character that was surprisingly different to how I initially know her as is Onoya. I thought she was always the happy and sporting girl but in this season it feels like as the experiment draws to a close, she shows more and more of her emotional side. Has she got too attached to her test subject? I know Kaizaki and Hishiro changed a lot during the course of the year but I did not expect this from Onoya. It’s like she is breaking into a totally new character. A side we have never seen nor would have expected to see. No doubt she is a newbie on the job and perhaps the series is trying to tell us that even these observers aren’t heartless human beings. Seeing her breaking down shows that she has a conscience about this experiment. But hey, this experiment is considered new (why are the test subjects 001 and 002 then?) and that is why they are experimenting if this trial is successful or not. Based on Kaizaki and Hishiro’s overwhelming success, it is safe to say that more people are going to be ‘saved’. But I can’t say the same for workplace bully culture. Yeah, that scourge will never be eradicated so long as the hierarchy exists.

As this ReLIFE experiment seems like it changes one’s life for the better, in fact it doesn’t as it only helps to enhance or make better your old self. Because Kaizaki and Hishiro aren’t really such bad people in the first place. They just had no luck in the employment scene. Therefore it somewhat rings true when Yoake said not to forget your old life because that is what the original Kaizaki and Hishiro are. Maybe for Hishiro she opened up more than before. There are some changes but ultimately they are still the same but better person. After all, you have got to remember the original goal of this experiment. It is not intended to completely change you into a totally different person. That is why they call it ReLIFE instead of ReLIE! Oh yeah. That was a good one I came up with. No? Sorry… At least it’s not ReWRITE. Oh wait. That name was already taken by another anime…

Overall, the short second season is pleasant enough to bring closure to the series (make sure to watch the first season first as this continues directly from where it left off). Despite some questionable mind boggling sci-fi logic that would be bugging you, romance is supposed to be the main focus. You would want to root for the main characters, share their heart breaking moments knowing the inevitable is coming, weep when they (briefly) became apart after making it this far and then heave a sigh of relief and cheer with bravado when they are finally reunited. If future experiments follow this pattern, man it’s like a big elaborated social experiment for hooking up people. Then they might rename it as ReWIFE. Haha! Oops. Sorry… So uhm, cheers and here’s to celebrating (re)life!

I didn’t know this was getting a sequel. So I am guessing that Okusama Ga Seitokaichou+ got another season is because we have waited long enough for some borderline hentai material but none that quite matches all the ecchi stuffs we want put into an episode that is 1/3 the length of a normal anime duration. It is time to feed our horny need again. Yes folks. Time to get ourselves ready for some more fapping and wanking material even if we have forgotten the reason why a pair of high school student council members are living with each other in the first place. All that matters is that they provide the right amount of tits and seductive panty shots fanservice. That is the real goal of this series! Hell yeah!

Episode 1
Everybody loves Ui. Smart and sexy. And occasional free pantsu shots courtesy to God being naughty with the wind. Because she maintains her dignity instead of beating everybody up like how other embarrassed girls used to, this makes everybody love her even more. Back home, Izumi knows something is wrong when Ui is trying to get more physical with him. It looked like she learnt something from watching porn because she puts her feet on his crotch and starts rubbing!!! Apparently this was suggested by Karen. Izumi thought he could stand this since she is a noob but from his point of view, her panties are visible so he cuts short this fanservice. WTF. You prefer to go study than let your horny wife do this?! GAY!!! After she takes a bath, she tries to distract him with her boobs but it seems he prefers studying more. GAY!!! While lying frustrated on his bed, that is when she gets turned on smelling his blanket. A little masturbation and then it turns into some sort of poorly imitated sex with his blanket. She gets very embarrasses since Izumi has been watching since the start! She blames him for not giving her enough attention and what do you know? He pushes her down and starts sucking her tits! OMFG! You, you monster!!! Can you blame a guy when you’re trying to control yourself and your hungry wife accusing you for not doing a manly job? But porn time is interrupted when Kei knocks on the door drunk. Oops. Wrong home. But Kei whispers to Izumi that she knows he is f*cking Ui and to keep it down. She won’t tell anybody about it but don’t push your luck. Somebody always knows what you’re doing…

Episode 2
The girls are changing and as usual sizing up each other’s boobs. But the thing is, they’re doing it at Izumi’s place! And he can hear every damn thing they say. When he hears somebody scream, he rushes in. Nothing much. Except ladies in undies and Misumi and her bare tits. Looks good. But doesn’t look good for him too. They visit the festivals and Izumi can’t help staring at Misumi’s boobs because despite in her yukata, they’re still humongous! This doesn’t sit well with Ui so she tries to grab some attention by putting water balloons into her own to match. I suppose Izumi said more than he should as he comments on male urges because Misumi has noticed him staring for quite a long time. So she dunks the water balloon on his head and runs off. She notes how disgusting when boys stare at her tits but somehow she doesn’t feel so with Izumi. When Izumi finds her, he tries to apologize but some other guy bumped into him and causes his face to fall into her boobs. Then she brings him to a deserted area. Her bra is unhook so you need him to fix it? Thinking he is really into big boobs, she is willing to put her body on her line. Meaning, she gives him permission to touch her tits and vent his sexual urges. So how is this preventing further sexual conduct in school? Anyway he takes up the offer and he must be so good that she gives off satisfying moans. Embarrassed, she beats him up. Fun time over. When they return, Ui gives him suspicious stares. A woman knows…

Episode 3
When Izumi’s friend shows upskirt pictures and boobs shots of girls from their school, this means the underground photography club is back. They were shut down after that pool incident but looks like they’re back on track. Ui decide to go talk to its president, Haruka Saijou but Misumi is already there warning them. Though, Saijou explains they are doing this to raise funds to buy single lens reflex cameras for each member. Thank capitalism! But Saijou has an ace up her sleeves. She hints she was there at the festivals and took some risqué shots of Izumi fondling Misumi. Therefore they can’t take any drastic actions against the club so long they have this little HD card gem. So they stay and observe the club meeting. It seems the club is able to get all those sexy shots is because every member is female. Therefore they have free reins in many places like locker rooms and toilets. But Misumi points out a photo is fake because this isn’t really her. It is her but it isn’t because she doesn’t own a black bra. Saijou then proceeds to demonstrate how all the members strip and take sexy poses of themselves and then Photoshop it with faces of other students (Izumi is blindfolded during this). But during this explanation, Ui has swapped her HD card and destroys it. So much about putting all your eggs in one basket. Now that they have nothing to blackmail them, Ui is willing to overlook this provided if they all work as the student council’s photographers. Izumi disagrees and accidentally takes off his blindfold. Why does he always get to see the juicy parts? With the chaos, Misumi thinks she’ll buy some black lingerie because Izumi quoted saying she looked mature in it.

Episode 4
Misumi is proudly doing her jobs as public morals committee. She notices Izumi still staring at her boobs so this time she coolly says she’ll gladly help divert his lust again. Yeah, Izumi is starting to sound like a sexual deviant. Of course Ui’s appearance means he will still be keeping his lust. She fires back the student council’s works have begun taking root if Misumi is acting like that. Of course she denies and claims she has helped assist in Izumi’s sexual urges on her instead on someone else again. Again. I think Ui needs an explanation. Misumi is proud of her work but she realizes she is seeing many more couples recently. Has Ui’s work really taken off? So when Misumi wants Ui to accompany her to learn their sublime ideals, she makes Izumi accompany her instead. Shouldn’t she be worried? Ui is confident Misumi is still inexperienced in these matters. Misumi and Izumi are supposed to head to the meeting room but they spotted a couple starting to make love at a lab. As their actions get more risqué, Misumi is watching with full focus! Uhm, shouldn’t she be stopping them? Their indecency reminds her about that festival incident. Feeling good? No? Then what’s with that face? When the couple’s indecency is moving into hentai area, that is when Misumi snaps out of it and stops them. Later Izumi asks what that was all about. Misumi can’t bring herself to break apart people who are looking so happy together. Really? She wonders if they were doing that, would they look like a happy couple? Wait. What? Of course not. She just trolled him.

Episode 5
Ui is so freaking hot and sexy. So hot because she is sick!!! Izumi nurses her and he wonders how feeding porridge can make it look like a porn scene!!! You know, white rice dripping all over her body and the spoon can’t fit into her mouth… Oh Ui, you’re the master of ambiguity. I guess somebody is going to get sick if he doesn’t control himself. Hurry or Ui will be broken forever. Luckily (or not) Kei is here so he gets her to help. Unfortunately she is the wrong person to ask because she fondles Ui’s boobs to check her temperature. In the end, Kei gives him a suppository and condom. One to stick it in the butthole and the other in the other hole!!! OMFG!!! As expected, Ui can’t shove the suppository on her own and wants Izumi to do it. Oh God. He is really going to do it?! Look at his shaking hands! Because he puts a cloth over her butt, he can’t see where he is going so his hands start to fondle around. Let your imagination run wild. I hope he inserted it into the right hole. Maybe. Because now Ui is acting like a deprived slut. Her sexiness has increased many times fold and you can’t blame Izumi for having a boner right now. She smothers his face in her boobs and sits her leg is rubbing against his crotch, he can’t hold it any longer and… Uhm… Erm… Oh dear. Did he soil his pants? I mean, the other kind of ‘soiling’. Shouldn’t he feel good? Because he locks himself in his room trying to repent his actions.

Episode 6
With Ui’s love liberation making good ground, Niikura seems to want a piece of that action. So she pleads to Ui for permission to borrow Izumi as her boyfriend for a day. Ui might agree but do you think she can leave them alone? So here they are with Izumi helping Niikura try some new clothes. Because the changing room is big enough, the clerk pushes them in together. Izumi tries to not look but with mirrors on all sides… He blows his top when Niikura changes her clothes like as though he isn’t there. Because she is exposing her lower regions! She didn’t even realize her panties are missing?! So while he doesn’t look and she puts it back on, she trips. And as expected, she falls over Izumi and somehow he got his face in her crotch. They’re making so much ambiguous noise during the struggle at this rate that you might want to suggest they get a room. At the park, Niikura sits on his lap. The thought of her possible naked ass is constantly filling his mind. Then, she wants to go to a love hotel and has a condom ready in hand! She wants him to teach him love etiquette and is ready to kiss him but Ui who has been watching since the start now interrupts to break them up. Niikura understands this gesture and pushes Ui close to Izumi. With both girls flanking him, Niikura approves this threesome at the love hotel! WTF???!!!

Episode 7
Kei accidentally mentions to Misumi that Izumi and Ui are living together. Wow. She’s saying it like there is no repercussions for her. Yeah, there isn’t. Misumi blows her top and marches next door right away. She lectures Izumi like as though she is his mother. He doesn’t say anything back as he thinks it is about time this cohabitation term needs to be settled. Misumi turns her anger on Ui as she is very casual about this still. Why so mad? Are you jealous of being left out of the fun? Just saying… She sounds so sad thinking they must be laughing behind her back for not knowing. Anyway to see if they have been indulging in immoral activities, Misumi goes to check his room. So what is this condom in his drawer?! That’s from Kei but Ui put it there for him to have easier access! Then she is going to check under his bed for porn magazines but Ui shows it to him his folders where he keeps all his porn! A wife must know her husband’s taste?! Noticing they are all women with big boobs, Misumi takes pride that Izumi requested her to release his pent up lust for those jugs. Ui won’t lose out and puts his hand on her breast. Misumi won’t lose out too and does the same. Then she says it is fine if he likes big breasts. But girls are more than just their parts! So true. They realize Kei has been watching them. If she didn’t make any noise, she could have continued watching this interesting scene. When Izumi tries to get his hands off, he accidentally lifts up Misumi’s shirt and unveiling her tits. She knocks the daylights out of him.

Episode 8
Ui decides to wake Izumi up via sexy wife call. No response. But this makes her fluster in glee. That woke him up. Izumi dreads tasting the toast she made since it looked like some poison. But it actually tastes good. This makes him think she is really putting some thought into this instead of just slacking around. While studying, Izumi drops his eraser underneath the kotatsu. As he goes pick up, he sees Ui’s pantsu! Good thing or not, she is sleepy so she didn’t notice as she toss and turn, giving him the ultimate fanservice. This has him quote how ‘loose her vagina’ is! When he hands some salad snack, she thought he made it but it is actually from Misumi who came over last night. Ui can’t stop pouting. Izumi notices Misumi has been staying over at Kei’s place more often to spy on them but Ui knows another reason well. Like any typical women, she won’t say what it is and further pouts. Then she sleeps on his lap and has him feed her tangerines. His fingers are dripping with the juice so she sucks on them. He immediately envisions her in a sexy swimsuit! He is so turned on that he is about to get steamy with her when Misumi comes over and knocks lunch over his head! Yeah, the door was unlock. How careless. So what is the meaning of this lunch? Misumi has officially moved in to stay with her sister forever and will be their neighbour! Let the spy games begin?

Episode 9
Misumi is now like Big Brother America! Always constantly watching them! Even walking to school with them. The moment they try to hold hands, she breaks them apart and revels in it! If under constant surveillance from Misumi wasn’t enough, he noticed Saijou has been spying on him too. As he takes her to the student council room to be rebuked, Saijou takes advantage of him by clinging on to his arm. She continues to flirt with him and despite Ui is mad, she keeps a calm façade. Saijou gets bolder and puts his hands on her boobs because she wants to know what intimate romance is about. Is she serious? Thankfully (or not), Misumi barges in and misinterprets the situation as Saijou wanting him to take naughty pictures of her. Why is only Izumi painted like a sex beast? Before you know it, suddenly Izumi and Misumi are in a kissing position?! Actually Saijou needs to snap a romantic picture for a photography contest. Ui lost the draw. Of course they can’t do it. But this is where the ‘problem’ starts. Izumi wants to opt out and Misumi won’t let him because she wants to opt out first. And when Ui wants to trade place, Misumi won’t allow since she won the draw and continues to prepare to kiss Izumi. WTF???!!! Their face gets close enough before Misumi pushing him away. As expected. Ui takes over and assures she will not run away like Misumi. Too bad he can’t take the heat and excuses himself to the toilet when he is just sitting on the stairways to clear his mind. Saijou comes to talk to him and thought she could show off her pantsu fanservice when she realizes too late she is wearing none! He just got a free view of your butt. But it looks serious when she gets up close to him and says if she really fell in love with him, would it make her pictures look better? Don’t hold your breath. She was just trolling. As expected.

Episode 10
Kei is trying to tell her sister that romance isn’t a bad thing and of course Misumi is denying it is happening to her whatsoever. Kei even tells her own sexual fantasy experience with a ‘slave’. Unfortunately Misumi can’t take it anymore and runs out. But it is her comments that Kei sounds like a perverted old man that leaves big sister all heartbroken. As Misumi ponders over things, Ui passes by and is happen to be in high spirits. This makes Misumi wonder if she’ll understand her ways if she fell in love. The way she says of not dating any guys before and just waiting for Mr Right to come gives Ui all the ammo she needs to fire back at her for being blind to love. Even Sawatari is on Ui’s side to point out that Misumi is already in love! As Izumi’s birthday is in a week, Ui has Misumi tag along to help pick out a present. But why is she making her wear a sexy negligee? Misumi ponders if this is what Izumi likes and starts to feel good. Ui won’t lose out and also tries one out. Sawatari appreciates Ui’s doing in helping Misumi realize her feelings although this isn’t what Ui had in mind. Because of that, Ui declares Misumi as her rival. The girls give Izumi a man’s shirt for his birthday (I guess the negligee was too indecent for Misumi to eventually pick it up). He thanks them and Misumi turns into a tsundere before leaving.

Episode 11
One morning on his way to school, Izumi bumps into Karen and the wind blows up her skirt. She isn’t wearing anything underneath. So oversleeping makes her forget to wear panties? Karen is acting all tough before she is starting to show cracks of being embarrassed. Then she beats him up to warn him not to tell anybody about this. Or else. In class, Izumi can’t get that indecency out of his head and it is obvious. It makes him look like fantasizing naked Karen?! He can’t take this anymore and runs over to Karen’s class just to tell her to put her PE shorts. Unfortunately she didn’t bring them. Desperate, he tries to give her his! WTF?! Don’t you know how misleading taking off your pants looks in front of everybody?! She shoves him out before anything untoward could happen. As they carry some paperwork, Izumi feels Karen is trying to purposely make him peek. The worse possible person to come by, Saijou (sorry, not Misumi) as she wants to take pictures. While Izumi argues with her, true enough the wind from the window blows up her skirt. Saijou starts snapping although Izumi tries to block every shot. Saijou goes away as he warns her about misusing those pictures. One of them has Karen in the edge with the skirt flipped… Karen then beats up Izumi for not thinking ahead. He could have like walked in front of her to close the window or something. Though it is Karen’s fault for acting this risqué, Karen gets hard on herself claiming nobody is interested in her. Izumi realizes she is sulking all this time and remembers what Ui told him about her being a sensitive person. He eases her worries saying that they are both from the student council and he doesn’t want to see her shamed. Her further actions has him realize she is just shy and it is no wonder Ui finds her cute.

Episode 12
Ui is down. Her first Christmas as Izumi’s wife and she can’t think of how to make it a burning hot sexy night! WTF?! Even Izumi is shocked to hear it. So why Karen had to beat him up? Eventually on Christmas Eve, the student council and public morals committee gather at Izumi’s place for a party. Ui is down for real because this means no privacy for her and Izumi. He thought of leaving and make it an all-girls’ party but Sawatari brings him back because he is qualified to join them. How? Remember his cross-dressing last season? Holy sh*t! Ui sees it for the first time and she can recognize it is him. However she gets disappointed she didn’t tell him this kind of things thinking she would make fun of him. Misumi adds fuel to the fire saying Izumi confided in her a long time ago. Izumi has a bad feeling when he notices Ui starting to get mad. But then it was a challenge that she wants to put makeup on him to satisfy his cross-dressing desires. Yup, definitely bad. And Kei gets involved too since Ui had to borrow her makeup kit. Izumi looks decently beautiful as a woman but Sawatari notes all that is missing are boobs! She suggests Misumi to lend her bra and she would gladly do it since Ui is unable (because she is braless at home). Before Misumi can fully unhook, Saijou is at the door. She got a call from Ui about the cross-dressing and wants to take pictures! Fortunately Izumi returns to his normal self and Saijou suggests a group photo. It gets chaotic when Saijou gets playful by sitting on his lap and the picture ends up with everyone frenzied.

Okusama Ga Porn Star Potential!
Seriously, nothing much changes. Almost everything stays the same way and every episode of fanservice is like something similar just wrapped and coated in a different way. Because if you don’t have bare tits naked girls in sexy seductive poses, you have, uhm, bare tits naked girls in other sexy seductive poses. And to think I thought maybe this season would have some sort of serious flashback and plot that tells us a bit more about the characters because I was fooled by the opening credits animation to see the girls in their cute chibi form when they were kids. I should have known better myself what this show is supposed to be from start to finish. At least they stuck to it all the way. No plot okay. Have fanservice, all is okay.

That is why this season feels like it has up the steaminess in its fanservice with almost every possible fanservice scene as fapping and wanking material that makes it hard for any straight guy to resist. The only reasons this isn’t classified as hentai is because there are no real penetrations and clear shots of the female’s lower anatomy. But still, super great fanservice and even more so when you have the girls’ giant boobs bounce so freely and easily like jelly or sponge. The fanservice level gives you all sorts of imaginations and makes you crave if you could ever do this to your girlfriend, vice versa. It makes us loser otaku guys wish we had such sexy and highly sexually active girlfriend. Will we ever get one? Hint: No, real life would never allow that! So shut up and keep watching these kinds of anime!

With these seductive fanservice teasing, sometimes I find it hard and can’t blame Izumi for getting mad or he just turns into a demon and ‘attacks’ Ui. He is like in a catch-22 situation. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. So he is trying to maintain his sanity as a decent high school boy but with a sexually charged self-proclaimed future wife, it is going to be hard to keep his libido in check sometimes. And if he doesn’t, he is gay (although, none points this accusation yet). How nice almost everybody (especially you Misumi) wants to blame and paint him as a sexual assault monster. I have a feeling that at this rate with so many fanservice spamming in his face, Izumi might have difficulties sleeping because each time he closes his eyes all he can see are sexy naked versions of the girls! Talk about extreme conditioning. Well, at least this proves he isn’t gay.

As for Ui, I wonder if this kind of sexy seducing is her way of deepening their relationship because every guy would love to have a chick like that. Because sometimes I’m a bit confused that although she doesn’t get that all mad when Izumi gets into misunderstandings with other girls. It’s good she keeps a calm head and stays true to her love liberation policies. That maybe on the outside, but what about her personal level? Don’t tell me she is indirectly training Izumi to make love to her. Fighting fire with fire? With enough push, he might just be that monster… Anyway, Ui’s sexiness makes her a potential to be a natural porn star. Just saying… Imagine if this saved their relationship… It’s unthinkable.

The only thing that ‘develops’ is that now Misumi knows about the duo living together (the other being Ui discovering the cross-dressing but that is not as impactful as this big secret). Sorry, when I said ‘develop’ I was not talking about boobs although Izumi did once mention about Misumi’s boobs growing again. Wait. He can tell? They’re already so freaking humongous and he can tell they have grown? Wow. How many times has he groped boobs to become an expert? Blame/Thank Ui for that. Anyway despite Misumi knowing about this big secret, it is not like anything has really changed. Because Misumi is still the same hypocritical tsundere that we all know. She claims to do it to stop immoral and indecency among youngsters but in many instances you can see her dreaming and fantasizing about that same immoral thing. I understand that at this point with her being the public morals committee member, if she suddenly lets loose her ideals and gone wild, imagine the effect it will have on her reputation on a school level. Nobody would trust her anymore and she would be labelled as slut, whore, nympho, etc. Then she would fall into depression and contemplate suicide. WOAH! I didn’t realize I was going down a dark path here. But thankfully since this show is about satiating our horniness, let us not think that far of this what-if. Now that she has moved in, is she going to constantly survey them until graduation? College? Married? This is worse than living in a police state.

Hence with Misumi knowing Izumi and Ui are living together, it only serves to increase her own hypocriticalness and bug them even more. I mean, allowing to sacrifice herself so he could vent his sexual frustrations on her? How noble. It’s just a roundabout way of saying, “Please f*ck me because I’m a horny b*tch”. Yeah, that would be such a porn material. Another reason Misumi jumps into doing such indecent things without a second thought (okay, maybe after a slight hesitation) is a weak excuse to one up Ui. Yeah, this should cover up her hypocrisy. In view of this, we could look at all this in a positive light this means Izumi has his own harem. Speaking of that, I believe at this point now almost all the main and supporting female characters have hint to us that they have a thing for Izumi. Even if they don’t but at least the way they show it to us makes us feel we can’t discard the possibility of a 2 horse race between Ui and Misumi. Like Saijou as the only new character in this season, she makes a handful of appearances and why else would you introduce a new girl if she isn’t going to play the role of a competitor? After all, Saijou’s face is as prominent as Ui and Misumi in the opening and ending credits. So this might be a big hint another girls is jumping into the fray.

We have an episode each on Niikura and Karen to at least not make them feel they are just the other student council members with names. Their episode show a different side to them like Karen who is always never fond of that ground beetle (Izumi) and could be a way to just hide her tsundere. Sawatari is one of the two whom I believe doesn’t harbour any real feelings for Izumi as her role seems to be more of trying to support Misumi and make her realize her feelings. That itself is minimal. I might be mistaken but I feel Sawatari AKA the scheming little monotonous sounding doll’s presence is very much lacking this season. It feels like her running joke is to stay under and support the girls with big heavy boobs. Like a symbiotic relationship they can rest their heavy jugs on her head and she has a nice cushion for it. In the final episode it feels like she is making a bolt in trying to support and push Misumi for Izumi but it seems too late for that. Last not least is Kei, the other I believe who isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with Izumi but she prefers to be entertained watching the young ones from the side-lines. After all, she might be the biggest master of perversion. I was going to mention that Ui’s kid-like parents who didn’t make any cameo but now I can’t because for that paltry 5 seconds in the final episode, that is where they popped up. Excuse: They missed their chance to enter.

The series is already so short and it bugs me they have opening and ending themes that are even shorter. Well, that doesn’t really have anything to do with it. What I’m trying to say is that because Ayana Taketatsu who voices Ui is also a great songstress, it would be a waste to not showcase her singing talents and that is why I think no matter how short the ending theme of Koi Ni Matsuwara Etcetera is (20 short seconds only!!!!!), we need to hear her voice somehow. Oh, that is just one version. There is a version for Misumi and Saijou too but it doesn’t make any difference. At least the opening theme, Kira Kira Exploer lasts a little longer. 30 seconds to be exact. At first I thought Ayana Taketatsu sang the opener but it is Rekka Katakiri who also sang the opening theme for the first season.

Overall, this sequel feels like it is made for lonely horny guys who don’t want to be fully corrupted by the viciousness of real hentai. Yeah, what the heck am I saying? If you want big boobs, bare tits, pantsu shots, sexual innuendoes and sexy seductive poses, this season has got it all covered (or uncovered in this case) for you. Because this never happens in real life is the reason why this kind of shows exist. Even if it does, I think such series will still exist anyhow. Men’s horniness knows no bound. Now if they only made a series where the student council president is a maid-sama. Oh wait. They did that anime many years ago!

Yuyushiki Special

April 21, 2017

Hold on a second. I thought this series was dead? So when Yuyushiki Special came out in early 2017, I was really surprised because it has always been almost 4 years since the TV series ended. And with not a very good impression on me since all I remember was the boredom in sitting through the dozen episodes. Then they come out with this special like as though they want me to remember the boredom back then with another new episode of boringness. Of course I have the option of not watching it but what to do? My nostalgia sensors were ringing (even if it was for the wrong reasons) so I can’t let this slip by. Maybe things have changed. Maybe the jokes are better. Maybe I should give this a chance. A few minutes watching into the special and then I saw the title of the episode… Too late… Having that sinking feeling now…

Annoying Someone And Being Annoyed By Someone
* Yuzuko always wanted to shout “I love you” to Yui. Yukari? Soak in a bathtub with her school uniform. Yui? Eat sukiyaki. With her clothes on of course.
* They email a photo of Yukari riding Yuzuko like a horse. Its caption reads “Driving without a licence”. Do you learn how to drive like this at the driving school?
* Yui talks to Yukari about how some people’s hands go up when they try to explain. Yukari falls for this trick so Yuzuko takes advantage by hanging her bag over them.
* Yuzuko is hungry and wants Yui to get her something to eat. She’s not saying what so Yui had to guess. She came with all the correct food. Maybe she’ll just eat anything.
* Yuzuko tricks her friends into making them think she has caught a bug with a handkerchief. No bug! Oh, but there is. It is squished dead.
* Yuzuko feels like kicking Yui. But Yukari softly kicks her leg but her own leg is in pain? Is she trolling us? Yui is annoyed by this but as Yuzuko says, if they don’t annoy her, they will have to annoy Aizawa! Yui in that case would prefer to be annoyed then. Though, Aizawa wouldn’t mind being annoyed. Are you annoyed? Because of that, Yuzuko will continue annoying her like a fan. Is this domestic violence?
* They later look up its definition. The duo try to follow its definition by messing around and annoying her but without bad intentions and then also making up for it. I think blowing your warm breath doesn’t quite cut it.
* Aizawa is afraid to come into the club since Yuzuko is fiercely denouncing the person outside as the enemy. Bread faction? When she does come in, she is made to sit on Yui’s chair. Okaasan comes in to talk with Aizawa. This prompts Yuzuko to have Aizawa call Okaasan her mom. Because Yuzuko likes the sound of it.
* They ask how Okano became friends with Aizawa. Because she is cute. How about Hasegawa for Okano? Because she seems pitiful.
* Yuzuko wants to clean Yui’s ear. However she would rather have a curry party than that. The duo agree to that although they would still want to clean her ears.
* Yuzuko tricks Yui into doing some finger hook thingy. Yukari can’t help laugh her ass off.
* Next month is Yukari’s birthday but Yuzuko is already asking what to do for her birthday next year. Again Yukari can’t stop laughing.
* They discuss about the definition for the idiom ‘there is no way of knowing what is in the demon’s jar’ (impossible to predict the future) and come up with all sorts of silly ideas on what is in it.
* Yuzuko suggests going on a trip and making a memorable one. Of course by that she means Yui will have to take care of everything. Can’t Yui have fun like them too? Isn’t watching them have fun good enough? They thought it was her only source of happiness! You kidding her?
* Yuzuko wants to take a bath and say “Choo Choo!”. Yui thought her parents would be worried if she said that but nothing would be more worrisome if she said, “I wanna die!”. As the friends leave, Yuzuko just wants everyone to say “Choo Choo!” when they go to the bath for the sake of world peace. Peace is never having her annoy me again. And they quietly enjoy a nice hot bath.

Being Annoyed Bored To Death…
Just as I feared. The special wasn’t anything special. It was still as boring as hell. Sure, I did quip at the few silly jokes (bad enough that it had to be funny) but that wasn’t enough to label this special any better than the TV series. It is sad that because my overall sentiments for the TV series were already low, that mentality will be stuck with me for the rest of my life and thus the special will have to do way better than this if they really want my opinion of the series to change. For instance, it would have been way better and more interesting if this special actually come to realize that conspiracy theory that I mentioned in my previous blog on how Yui’s friends are just imaginary friends! Oh yeah. Imagine how shocking that would be. I would have understood why it didn’t turn out so but now I wished it would even if it was a lie. All for the sake of being entertained!

There is nothing more for me to comment on as the characters remain the same from what I remembered. Yuzuko is the main troublemaker and the crazy oddball as well as Yukari as her accomplice. They are supposed to be the idiots that make the series funny. Yui on the other hand is supposed to play the straight (wo)man and for most of the time have this annoyed looks on her face. I understand it can really get to you when you have such annoyed friends. Is it me or is Yukari breaking out laughing a lot here? Is this some sort of conditioning to tell us it is funny and make us laugh? I know I didn’t. Because it’s like saying Yuzuko is an idiot. Whatever she does, you must laugh. Not funny. Just annoying. Other characters like Okaasan, Aizawa and co make their cameo appearances that didn’t amount to anything much so that we could remember this series is more than just about the trio.

Overall, if this special was to rekindle any sentiments for fans of the series and perhaps to make another comeback and a sequel, it certainly didn’t work for me. It still felt boring and despite a 27 minute of running time, it felt like I sat there for an hour. Maybe I’m so bored that I am already going crazy. Just like how Yuzuko is a reminder that inside everyone one of us, we have a crazy side making us say and do crazy things. That’s why I hope I can leave this series behind in peace by saying “Choo Choo!” once it is done. CHOO CHOO!

ReLIFE

March 5, 2017

It is pretty normal that all of us as adults would feel that mid-life crisis of having to achieve whatever we aimed for when we were younger. We always dream of going back to our younger days in hopes of redoing things and changing for the better. We all love looking at things retrospectively, huh? Well, don’t worry. According to ReLIFE, you can go back to at least your high school years and redo everything again. Of course, this is just an experimental project but if everything goes right, you might find yourself having a better job. And you can do all this without even having to go back in time via time travelling or to a parallel universe and deal with that time paradox sci-fi crap. All you need to do is take a pill that will turn you looking like in your teens and then pretend to be a student for an entire year. Are you sure they aren’t promoting some sort of age reversing beauty product?

Episode 1
Arata Kaizaki is 27 years old and is still unemployed. After yet another failed interview, he gets this wakeup call from his mom that she is no longer going to support him and send him monthly allowance. Better think fast. Before he can fall into the pits of despair, his ‘saviour’ comes in the form of Ryou Yoake from ReLIFE Lab. He offers him a ‘job’. An experiment actually. It will last for a year and depending on how he performs he might get a real job after that. So do you want the red pill or the blue pill? Next morning when Kaizaki wakes up, he realizes he now looks 10 years younger! Just like in his high school days! He remembers Yoake’s explanation about the experiment that he is going to relive his life as a high school student for a year at Aoba High School. Making the deal sweeter is that all his expenses will be paid but he must keep this a secret or else he will be kicked out of the experiment and his memories of it erased. I mean, what does Kaizaki have to lose, right? He’s on for the ride. If starting (or in his case restarting) his high school life in his third year is already weird, it gets weirder as Yoake is also his classmate! To observe him?! Kaizaki strikes off as weird to the rest because he uses very formal speech. The other main characters that will intertwine with Kaizaki’s life are Kazuomi Oga (smart showy guy), Rena Kariu (bad loser), An Onoya (another transfer student) and Chizuru Hishiro (seemingly unsociable girl but honour student). Their homeroom teacher, Kokoro Amatsu has everyone clear their desks because she is going to give them a quiz. To Kaizaki’s horror, he didn’t bring his stationery. Even worse, when the teacher empties his bag, there is a box of cigarettes! This carelessness could cost him his normal high school life. Please see her after class. But he still has no stationery to do his test. Thank Kariu for lending hers. Kaizaki gets lectured by Amatsu about the dangers of getting hooked on smoking, blah, blah, blah. If she’d only know… Surprisingly he asks her age! The reason being he is envious that she is younger than his actual age and already has a steady job. Later Kaizaki and Yoake talk. The latter confirms his job is to observe and report Kaizaki as a test subject. When Kaizaki complains of how tough it is, Yoake sternly reminds him he told him about this programme to rehabilitate NEETs. So why wouldn’t it not be tough? Later Yoake writes his report on Kaizaki’s complete unpreparedness on his first day. But he is better off than the first sample last year who completely failed.

Episode 2
Well what do you know? Kaizaki failed all his tests! Never thought going back to school was this hard, huh? The test is also to choose the class reps. Oga and Hishiro being the top students got the honours. That’s not the end of it yet. Those who failed will have to retake them. Looking at you Kaizaki. Thankfully he has a ‘comrade’ who did as bad if not worse: Onoya. Oga takes Kaizaki and Onoya to the canteen for lunch. The transfer students cheekily ask if Oga and Kariu are dating because they are quite close. Sorry to disappoint, they’re not. Kaizaki sees Hishiro arguing with the canteen lady. Thinking she forgot her wallet and couldn’t buy lunch, he lends her a thousand yen. She is suspicious of his big money because most things at school do not cost above 300 yen. It’s like as if he is like an adult… Oga explains to him about Hishiro’s predicament. Apparently if you are a top student, you get this silver pin (like him) in which you get to eat for free, tuition fee exempted and all sorts of other perks. Hishiro doesn’t have hers yet. Later in the evening as she goes to pick it up, she stumbles into Kaizaki and they chat. Hishiro has another issue is that she is not the sociable type and doesn’t have many friends. She would like to change so Kaizaki suggests her to smile. Wow. Looks scary! Maybe that’s why she doesn’t smile. It took some time before Kaizaki understood her hint that she wants to be friends with him. They then exchange phone numbers. Back home, Kaizaki is having it tough doing his homework. After a decade, he’s given it back all to the teacher, eh? Also, he almost got tempted to smoke but remembers Amatsu’s words. He gets a call from Yoake who observed he made friends with Hishiro. Yoake knows a bit on her because he was in the same class with her last year. She was alone the whole time. He reminds him once this experiment is over, everyone in his school will get their memories erased on him. Of course Kaizaki will retain his as it would pointless doing so. Unless he breaks the rules. Kaizaki gets a mail from Hishiro thanking him for covering her during lunch and adding her as his friend. It made his day.

Episode 3
Kaizaki receives a thank you letter from Hishiro in his shoebox. The funniest thing is how she folded the money to repay him. Bad news: Kaizaki and Onoya fail their retake tests! And they did much worse! What the f*ck happened?! Hishiro tries to make friends with others but she had to put up that creepy smile and this sends wrong signals to Kariu thinking this is some sort of challenge and making fun of her. The class take a fitness test. The first task is to see how far they can throw a ball. Kaizaki sniggers at Oga when he can only manage 2 metres. He’s got the brains but not so athletic? Snigger, snigger. When it is Kaizaki’s turn, he is going to give his best shot but his shoulder gives way! Only manages a metre. Oga gets the last laugh. I guess despite Kaizaki’s young looks, his body is still old on the inside. When Kaizaki is ogling at Kariu with her friend, Honoka Tamarai, Akira Inukai is about the beat him up for leering at them but luckily Nobunaga Asaji takes him away. Kariu misunderstands Hishiro further when the latter asks her to take over her duty of timekeeping (since she was the closest to her) and putting up that creepy smile. When it is the guys’ turn to run, Kaizaki makes a mad dash. He feels good for taking the lead when suddenly his feet give way and tumbles badly. Oh man, his knee is really busted and bleeding like mad. But that’s not the most embarrassing thing. Asaji carries him like a princess and rushes over to the infirmary. Thankfully it is nothing serious as he can still walk normally the next day. Kariu is shocked when he sees Kaizaki and Hishiro together. It is the fact that Hishiro can naturally smile while she is with him. But when they contact, Hishiro puts up that creepy smile. She thinks Hishiro pretends to be serious and acts nice around boys. Yoake compiles a very detailed report on his observations on Kaizaki about how he is fitting in well and already forming his own circle of friends. Compared to Kaizaki’s ‘lazy’ report of ‘nothing out of the ordinary happens’ in each entry. Yoake notes Kaizaki’s life is improving and smiling more than he was as a NEET.

Episode 4
Kariu narrates that she couldn’t care less about the perks of having the silver pin. It was the status of being number one. Making it even worse is that Hishiro is always putting up that creepy smile and she thinks this is some sort of harassment. Although her friend Tamarai has a better smile, Kariu still sees her as a rival in another sort of way since Tamarai is better than her in other stuffs like athletics. Making Kariu’s blood boil is seeing Hishiro eating alone at the canteen and she thinks she is trying to make her situation more sympathetic. Oga is not pleased that Kaizaki and Onoya continue to fail their makeup tests! It’s giving him a bad name at this rate. So when Oga suggests to get Hishiro to teach them since they are both silver pins, Kaizaki is reluctant. Oga thinks he is jealous of other guys talking to her. Back home, Kaizaki talks to Hishiro about her being unsociable especially he noticed Kariu had that aura that was ready to kill her. But from her answer, it’s as though Hishiro is like emotionally unstable. Kaizaki then calls another loner: Yoake. However he prefers to stick to his observation job instead of making friends. Next day, before Hishiro could say anything to Kariu, the latter gets up and leaves. Hishiro goes for a committee meeting with Oga and this makes Kariu wonder if she puts up the same smile to Oga as she does for Kaizaki. Too much thinking on this has caused her to lose concentration. When she was in her first year, she got the silver pin for the first term but failed to maintain it for the next few terms. Next year, she made sure she got it for the entire year. Now, the silver pin isn’t just about status. It’s about the right to be by Oga’s side. When she goes to return the gym key after school hours, she sees Hishiro talking to a teacher in the staff room. She gets jealous thinking Hishiro is tops without putting in any effort so she decides to steal her bag and drop it somewhere. Unfortunately she bumps into Kaizaki. He notices she has 2 bags and recognizes one of them belonging to Hishiro. Kariu runs away but he catches her. During the struggle, she falls off the stairs. Kaizaki grabs her but cannot maintain his balance and also falls down. Once Hishiro is done, she finds her bag missing and sees the duo unconscious at the bottom of the stairs.

Episode 5
Kaizaki wakes up in the infirmary. No serious injuries. As he tries to think why Kariu did this, he remembers bullies in his workplace sabotaging his senior out of jealousy. Although she knew it wasn’t her fault, she still apologized to the boss. She told Kariu that those bullies have lost their way and resorted to this to win. Seeing this doesn’t make her mad but sad. So when Kariu wakes up, he asks her a lot and tells her straight up not to run away. She tells the truth so he advises her based on his experience not to give up because she has been working hard on her own accord. Kariu is still annoyed because despite doing her best, she is not good enough and even more so she is not even acknowledged as a rival. He tells her not to compare herself to others. She breaks down for a while but gets back on her feet. When Kaizaki leaves, he sees Hishiro waiting at the gates. She was curious about something and needed to ask him and so she waited. Kaizaki tells the truth on what Kariu did. Since she is a little dense, she decides to wait and ask Kariu directly. After all, the other question she wanted to ask was why Kaizaki was hugging Kariu when they fell. Better to ask this question later. One question at a time. Kaizaki can’t leave this suspense alone and hides nearby to eavesdrop. Kariu is now at the gates with Hishiro. She thinks she is screwed but Hishiro straight up asks if she would be her friend if she gives her silver pin. And also everything that Kaizaki said. Kariu accuses her for mocking her each time their eyes met. But Kariu thinks back for a while on what Kaizaki said and has her smile. See that creepy smile? Yup, she sucks at smiling! So this smile was what Hishiro was hoping for them to be friends? No wonder the misunderstanding. Hishiro although admits is a smart person, is not good in interacting with others and wants to change. They reconcile and shake hands to become friends. Kariu vows to get the silver pin from her but not the easy way. So don’t you dare lose on purpose. Later Kariu texts Kaizaki about ratting her out but thanks him for this. Kaizaki wonders if he did the right thing because he knows all too better that reality is crueller. Yoake says whenever she is in a tough situation in the future, she’ll probably remember what he said to her because it stood out. Then Yoake teases him for being a kettle calling a pot black.

Episode 6
Kaizaki is shocked that Oga and Onoya are already outside his doorstep to do group study. Hold on. Need to clean up the beer cans, cigarette butts and past high school certificates. While studying, Kaizaki and Onoya tease Oga to get a girlfriend and they could use this as motivation to pass their test. Kaizaki almost gets into trouble when Onoya picks up his calendar and sees his ReLIFE schedule. He quickly takes it from her hand and throws it at the wall like as though it was to kill some bug. After Oga has to leave for a part time job, Kaizaki dreads being with Onoya alone. She asks about the calendar and all. Kaizaki manages to bluff that it was for a part time job. It makes her start thinking he might be the one working at the convenience store at the train station. She takes off her glasses and undoes her hair. Look familiar? Nope. Well of course. She thinks he looked more mature then. Kaizaki is shocked when Onoya claims she fell in love with him at first sight. She starts flirting with him and wants to be his girlfriend. Fortunately his resistance is strong and rejects her. She needs to take better care of herself. Yoake who has been eavesdropping makes a mad dash to Kaizaki’s place. He has a key to his place so don’t worry about breaking down his door. Onoya gets the wrong idea the guys are in a gay relationship! But Yoake is serious. He reminds Onoya about getting too close with the subject matter all the time. Now forcing her way into his room is too much. Yup, Onoya is from ReLIFE Lab with Yoake. So that love at first sight was a lie, eh? Just a test? At least he is prepared if he is in a similar situation. Kaizaki further learns that both of them are actually the same age as him. Onoya mentions not all she said was a lie. She did ‘fall in love at first sight’ and did meet at that store. In fact, she was the one who picked Kaizaki as the subject when she saw his data. She was supposed to be Kaizaki’s support but since she didn’t complete her training, Yoake took over. They apologize and hope they can work together. It’s a good thing Kaizaki isn’t mad, right? A can of beer is enough a solution to calm things down.

Episode 7
A flashback on Yoake’s term. He was warned by the executives for getting too close and involved with the first test subject termed as 001. So when 001 asked for advice and Yoake reminded him he is only a support. At the same time Yoake got a request to check out Kaizaki who is potential as test subject 002. He visits him working part time at the convenience store and plants his lost wallet. Surprisingly it took Kaizaki fast enough to return to him honestly. When the experiment on 001 failed, Yoake is again reprimanded for not giving enough support. So what do you think he should do then? Onoya thought she could cheer him up by telling him that Kaizaki has been approved to be selected as a test subject. Yoake knew Onoya would be mad at him since she wanted to handle Kaizaki but he jumped on her and met up with Kaizaki to offer him this experiment. Later Yoake and Onoya discuss about Kaizaki as a good potential for ReLIFE since he has lost his confidence for his social skills, which makes him perfect for this experiment. That night Yoake gets a surprise call from Kaizaki that he needs a medicine to turn back to his actual age for a while. Because he is going to quit his job and tell everyone he’d be away for another year, at least he wants the courtesy to tell them face to face. Yoake processes his request in time for him to do the necessary. Kaizaki is grateful for helping him out. Then he takes the pill again and knows he can’t turn back. Now Yoake happily types his report that Kaizaki attempts to improve each time he demonstrates remorse. His forward thinking nature is infectious and starting to change things around him. Yoake can’t wait to see what kind of effect this will have on him and those around him.

Episode 8
Guess what Kaizaki fails his tests again! Fortunately Onoya passed. Bye. You’re on your own. Kaizaki is forced to see Amatsu but it seems there is another student who failed: Tamarai. Amatsu warns her she is already in her third year and if she keeps this up, she can’t play in the volleyball tournament. Later Kaizaki and Tamarai talk. She attributes Kariu for helping make volleyball fun for her. Tamarai then asks if Oga and Onoya are dating. Definitely not. When Kaizaki returns to class, Hishiro also poses the same question to him. He couldn’t stop laughing. Tamarai then tells Kariu that Oga isn’t seeing anyone. Kariu is shocked because she didn’t ask for this. When Tamarai is to go change to practice, she overheard girls badmouthing about her talent that probably gives her a free pass to a lot of things and they think it will upset Kariu. Tamarai hides when she learns Kariu is coming. Kariu also hears this trash talk and will not take any of it. She chides them how Tamarai works harder when everyone else has gone home. The girls cannot reply and run away. Tamarai feels very grateful she has a friend like that. Tamarai crashes at Inukai’s place to study. It pays off as she passes her tests. Kaizaki? HE STILL FAILS???!!! WTF???!!! Tamarai thought she could return to practice peacefully but all that studying has made her weak. She partially collapses on the court. Because she also accidentally spilled the box with volleyballs, it caused Kariu to trip and sprain her ankle. She’ll be out of action for a while. And the tournament is in a few more weeks. Both girls try to blame themselves. Tamarai thought of cheering her up that she could heal fast but Kariu snaps back that even if she heals, she cannot play because she needs to practice. She is not like her who has talent. Therefore by being on the team or not it does not matter or affect anything. As long as Tamarai is around, they’ll win. This hurts Tamarai a great deal. Only place of solace is in Inukai’s arms.

Episode 9
Tamarai is getting very friendly with Hishiro. But the mere sight of Kariu, Tamarai runs away. This leads Hishiro to think something is very wrong. When Oga tries to help, Kariu becomes agitated and short tempered. Although he still helps her, Kariu reflects how wrong she was and feeling guilty of taking out her frustrations on him. Of course Kaizaki also notices something strange going on because Hishiro, Kariu and Tamarai are close friends now and yet they’re eating separately. Kariu has also stopped going to volleyball practice. He gets a message from Hishiro wanting to talk to him for advice. She is outside his doorstep now. Couldn’t she just called? Didn’t think of that… She tells about the awkwardness between Kariu and Tamarai before expanding a bullying story in her class last year. She wanted to stop it but the bullying got worse but kept thinking maybe if she just put up with it, everything will go away. It didn’t and she regretted it since she didn’t do anything eventually and the victim transferred to another school. This has Kaizaki tell of his own experience of bullying in his workplace although he explains it in a high school way. Merely remembering his senior getting bullied and putting up with it traumatizes him. It got bad enough that he hugs Hishiro and apologizes before realizing too late what happened. Hishiro forgives him and suggests they team up and get their ‘revenge’. She wants to forget her failure of running away and maybe there are things one can learn through failing. The duo go to talk to Tamarai after her practice. She tells the truth. Inukai happen to heard this and he forcefully brings Kariu to come and listen quietly. Kariu hears Tamarai revealing she wasn’t going to play volleyball in high school.

Episode 10
Tamarai adds she is good in other sports too that other people resent her. Especially volleyball. So when she came to high school, she was just checking out in hope against hope since she was sick of the game. That’s where she met Kariu. She thought nobody would know her in this high school since it doesn’t place emphasis on sports. But Kariu called her out and tested her. She recognized her talents and became her friend-cum-rival. Thanks to her, Tamarai had wonderful memories. Now she is afraid they won’t be friends at this rate. Hishiro relates her own experience. It’s like saying if she continued her anti-social ways like her, she’ll end up like Hishiro. In a way the bond between them makes Hishiro jealous. When they leave, they see the busybodies eavesdropping. Too late to hide. Tamarai tries to talk to Kariu to come back but she has already made up her mind. She has resigned from the club and is done with this. Everyone hopes Kariu would show up at the volleyball game. They believed in her. Too bad she didn’t believe in them. Hishiro is going to drag her here but nobody knows where she lives. Yoake sticking his nose in by giving Kaizaki the address. Let’s just say he got it from sensei. They fake delivery so Kariu would open the door. Although Kariu claims she doesn’t want to go, it looks like she is dressed for the part. After all that stubbornness and Hishiro telling her to finally knock it off and not waste everything they have worked for, cue for Kariu to break down and give even more excuse why she just can’t come back in like that. Need a reason? Here’s an update on their volleyball team: They lost a set. And so Kariu changes her mind and comes back to play with Tamarai. It looks like they lost the set again. Kariu and Tamarai talk and reconcile while crying (partly due to the loss). Why is Hishiro sitting in between them? To cut a long story short, they can still continue playing volleyball in college and it’s enough for them to reconcile. Oh, a big girl hug for Hishiro as thanks too. Not that creepy smile again.

Episode 11
Kaizaki requests Yoake for the pill to temporary turn him back to an adult again because it is the death anniversary of his senior, Michiru Saiki. Yoake agrees to do it but on condition that he comes along with him to the graves. As Kaizaki prays, he remembers his past and regrets. The black company he works in has no redeeming factor. It was all worth it because of Saiki. She was a good mentor. Of course we all know about the bullying case. Against her advice to ‘grow up’, Kaizaki went to voice his displeasure against those bullies. The harassment only worsened. Shortly after, Saiki hung herself. After the police ruled this as suicide, what irked Kaizaki the most was that everyone in the company acted as though her death never happened. He lashed out at them once more and this time he has had it. He tenders his resignation. His boss reminds him to rethink since it will look suspicious on his resume he quit a job after only 3 months. Better than spending another second in this rotten company, right? That’s when his boss changed his attitude. Reminding him only executives can resign, trash like him will be given notice and then forgotten. So get the hell out now! You’re fired! This traumatized him for a while as he ponders had he took up Saiki’s advice, would he still remain as a productive member of society? On the way out, he bumps into a couple of people who recognize him. They claim they are newbies from the company he worked in and joined after he left. They know him from the photo album and the boss always talked trash about that guy who left after 3 months and kept praising Saiki as the company’s hero (so that everyone should follow her example and work themselves to death for the company?). They too are unhappy with this black company and want to quit but afraid of the repercussions. They admire Kaizaki for what he did because nobody could have done so. Kaizaki never knew his rebellion had this effect and looking at them just reminded him of himself. He advises them about the harsh reality after quitting. The failure to secure another full time job. He hates that company and not giving his life to it. But had he not joined, he wouldn’t have met certain people. He is glad to have quit. Later Kaizaki has a hunch that Yoake set this up. True enough he did. He thought it might help him to start looking forward if he learns what he did gave hope to those that came after him. Kaizaki might not have erased the guilt of not saving Saiki but he feels a bit better and knows his voice has reached someone.

Episode 12
Kaizaki is happy summer holidays are around the corner but Oga reminds him that he has remedial classes during that. Sorry pal. But isn’t that what he has been doing the entire semester? Yeah, he failed yet another makeup test. Because Kaizaki remembers Yoake mentioning about Oga’s feelings for Kariu, Kaizaki asks if there is anyone he likes. Shocked at first, Oga tries to give funny answers like he loves everybody. But for each question Kaizaki poses he would like to do with a girl, Oga can only think of Kariu. Oga then questions back if Oga has kissed a girl before. He has. The shocking answer has Oga in shock and now Kaizaki acts like a big boss. On the way home, they see Kariu talking to a guy. Isn’t that guy the junior from Kaizaki’s ex-company? It seems like she is rejecting something and when she loses her balance, he catches her. Oga immediately comes out of hiding while Kaizaki continues to cower in hopes his name will be called. Don’t ask me for help! When Kariu is reluctant to say, that guy is glad Oga is her friend. Seems Kariu has heat stroke. He was just passing by and wanted to help her by calling an ambulance but she refused. With this drama over, Oga and Kariu chat. Kariu didn’t like how he calls her weird because of her sincerity today. He is laughing despite she hit him. That night, Kaizaki gets a message from Oga that he has fallen in love with Kariu. He is glad this has finally happened. It’s like waited for this moment to happen in his boring high school life. So the next day, Oga is going to ask the master how to get the girl. Hishiro, Yoake and Onoya have heard this and also pitch in their ideas. Unfortunately they have no experience whatsoever so we can just ignore them. Hishiro seems to hint jealousy that Kaizaki has got ‘experience with women’ before. So Oga screws whatever they’re thinking because he has decided. He is going to ask Kariu out to the festivals and confess. Kariu is shocked when she receives his invitation. Did he send to the wrong person? She realizes her worries were for nothing since Oga also invited the rest.

Episode 13
Kariu texts back to the girls that she is worried because Oga might go to a different college and so as not to regret this might be their last chance together, she hopes they can make them alone together. So the plan works out well. If they didn’t do it in such an obvious way. On the busy bridge, Oga suddenly confesses he loves her. Is her heart ready to hear that? Not quite. After all that flustering and regaining her composure. It’s her turn to confess she has liked him since the first year and wants to go out with him. Is he ready to hear that? Didn’t think so. So after all the awkwardness, blushing and delayed reactions, looks like they’re going to be a couple. We take a detour to Kaizaki being left alone with Hishiro watching the fireworks. He is thinking Yoake’s irritating comment that he didn’t like seeing him with Hishiro (Yoake was with Hishiro at the start) although Kaizaki justifies that ‘jealousy’ to be the rare sight of him being with Hishiro. When Hishiro mentions she is glad to have met him, Kaizaki starts evaluating if this ReLIFE is worth living. Because it makes him sad that once this ends, she’ll forget about him. And he can kiss goodbye to this life. Yeah, school days are the best, right? Then this is the biggest shocking revelation ever. Maybe. Hishiro is test subject 001. Not too sure if she remembers her past (in which she shouldn’t) because she notes how the more fun she has, the more hurtful it will be when they part. She might be saying this unconsciously since well, the body might remember. When everyone reunites, they cheer at Oga and Kariu holding hands. Mission accomplished. After the friends part ways, Kaizaki walks Hishiro home. He ponders more about being forgotten. But you know what? Screw all that. The moment is now and he is going to live it. It feels like they’re trying to force some sort of final romantic liaisons between them but Kaizaki always stops himself with the dilemma when Hishiro won’t remember him in the end. There’s a moment he thought of kissing her and a moment she accidentally fall onto him and he catches her. Tempting, right? But no. Kaizaki remains his calmness. Can’t risk it. At least she holds his hands for balance to walk on her geta. Onoya and Yoake are eavesdropping this and although the outcome they hoped for didn’t materialize (you suck, Kaizaki), at least Yoake has a good report to write.

Second (High School) Childhood
Well, well, well. What do you know? I suppose that with the drama heading down towards boringness and that the end isn’t going to give us much closure, they decide to drop the revelation bomb that Hishiro is that mysterious test subject that we have all been wondering. If we cared anyway. Although I didn’t really guess it was her, when it was revealed she was 001, it didn’t come to me as a shocking surprise. Because my guts were telling that 001 had to be someone we all know. Well, it would have been better had 001 remained a mysterious because now my head is flooded with sudden unanswerable questions that I will forever be too lazy to find myself or even Google the answer. For instance, if Hishiro failed her ReLIFE (and it was a quick one too), what the f*ck is she still doing here in school? Isn’t she supposed to be dumped somewhere with no memories of her failed high school experiment life and going back to her useless life? Unless Yoake broke protocol and let her continue. Because it is also questionable how she remembers Yoake from last year if that is the case. If so, do you think the higher ups will allow this? This also means she is about the same age as Kaizaki, right? Another failure of society, right? Thus I can conclude my biggest assumption of why she failed the experiment miserably is because of her creepy smile. Yeah, that might be it.

Oddly, the broadcast of this series wasn’t your usual an episode per week. There are very few anime series that don’t follow this pattern like Katanagatari which aired an episode per month for an entire year. But for ReLIFE, when it was first aired, all of its episodes were released simultaneously on the Japanese streaming website, Comico. So instead of waiting for your weekly anime, you get to watch the entire 24 minute episode anime in one setting. Though, other traditional broadcasting stations did air it on a weekly basis but for those who cannot wait, the web is always you greatest source of instant gratifications. Sort of.

The story and pacing is moderate and for those who aren’t used to such romance drama, may feel it is a bit slow. The name of this anime and even the setting you read in the synopsis may give you a projection that this is some sort of sci-fi genre. There is literally none of it here. Just pure romance drama genre. That’s all. After all, what else can a 27 year old do back in high school? You make friends, you help out your friends, you study together, you eat together and you have fun together. Sounds kinda boring, right? But as you watch Kaizaki make his friends and continue his daily high school life, you will start to forget he is taking up this job as an experiment despite reminders from time to time. It certainly feels more like a high school drama.

The characters are a mixed bag. You thought Kaizaki would be the main protagonist in focus since he is the subject of the experiment and has taken the pill. This is only true for the first few episodes before it starts slowly shifting towards Kariu. So for the middle parts of the show, it feels like this show belongs to Kariu! Of course that flashback episode of Kaizaki and his employment just to remind us that he is what this show is supposed to be about but then we’re back on track of being distracted to other characters and now on Oga’s confession. Well, I suppose Kaizaki did get his wish of not wanting to stand out so often. A few supporting characters feel like a miss and disappointment too especially Inukai and Asaji. I thought these guys would play some sort of important role but they’re just forgettable. Inukai is like some guy with anger management issues if not grumpy outlook that makes you think he is some sort of unofficial ‘protector’ to some of the girls while Asaji is like his total opposite to cool things down with a smile and ‘neutralize’ the heated situation.

Personally, I feel Kaizaki seems to be doing better redoing his high school compared to still be on the streets finding a secure job. At least we see him being sociable and you might say his greatest achievement in his life is making a sociably inept girl more sociable and patching up a friendship between the volleyball friends. I want to point out about his running joke that he keeps failing his tests every time and seems to be on a 100% record streak. And this is just the first semester. But then again when I put myself in his shoes, I think I will not do any better! I mean, do I really have to go resit and study again all those topics that I have given back to my teacher? No way! I can’t do it! I just can’t! That’s why when I snigger each time this running joke comes into play, this instantly gets brought up in my mind. At this rate, can Kaizaki even graduate? Maybe he could take on this high school student as his permanent job… Kaizaki might not have gone back in time to fix things, but in this case he can improve on what he is now and move forward for a better future. See, it works too and you don’t need sci-fi to fix all that. Even if his ReLIFE will not work out in the future but at least he made positive changes to those around him.

Coming back to Hishiro again, she might be smart in books but dense in everything else. I’m sure we have this kind of character in our school days. With this fact that Hishiro is a smart student, it makes you think again how the heck in the first place did she get selected by ReLIFE? Isn’t that an experiment to test NEETs? Don’t tell me she improved like hell over the year. Oh, here’s another theory. Because they emptied her mind by erasing those unnecessary memories, her brain is now freer and clearer to absorb more materials. Yes! That must be it! Or it could be that schools don’t teach and prepare you about the working life… Great grades but zero in job getting requirements. She can thank Kaizaki for allowing herself to open up more and mix around with others. Though, she might want to work on her facial expression. And try harder not to smile like a serial killer, okay? Then we’ve got Kariu who takes up a bulk of the drama of this series with her insecurities. She tries to compare herself to others and when she doesn’t get the desired outcome, she tries to act tough. She needs to be more of herself. It is good to know that she has good friends like Tamarai around because bad ones will forever traumatize her but instead recovers.

Too bad if you were hoping for some sort of Kaizaki x Hishiro romance. Some subtle hints and seemingly forced ones at the end but that could be just our minds thinking too much. Instead, we get Oga x Kariu romance drama instead. Yeah, even smart guys like him need to have some romance. He is such a patient guy and doesn’t give up on Kaizaki who keeps failing every damn test. Last but not least, Yoake and Onoya. They’re trying to do their job and blending in without raising suspicions. Yoake isn’t as sporting as Onoya but they do try support Kaizaki in every possible way they can. After all, if Kaizaki fails, they will also fail. In the end, everybody too has their problems. Nobody is free of them whether you are young or old. That’s life.

This series subtly tries to highlight the shady sides of certain discriminating company policies and the grown up life. I believe not only in Japan but in all other parts of the world too there are unscrupulous companies like this. It feels like they are trying to paint society and the working life as bad while high school life is so much fun and free. Well, when you are a kid, what kind of responsibilities do you shoulder? That’s why it is such a pain when you grow up and suddenly all the responsibilities to be part of society fall right into your hands. That’s why typical salarymen everywhere always get drunk in bars after work, ruing the better days they had and wishing the what-ifs and opportunities had they taken. It’s like wishing to do it all again, right? There are certainly the good, the bad and the ugly in the working life. It all depends on your mind set and the culture you come from. Basically that is what a big majority of the modern life is. Unless you’re super special, it’s either you’re in and stuck with the flow or you’re out and a failure. Something must be very wrong with our modern society to have this kind of system, huh?

Art and drawing are also nothing to complain about. Everything looks pretty normal and bright, meeting today’s standards of Japanese anime. Furthermore, this is more of romance and drama so you don’t need intricate details in every artwork to make people go wow. Heck, will people even praise or comment the visuals? It’s not bad but it’s not something that you would notice right away and comment on it. This series is animated by the veteran studio, TMS Entertainment who also did Amaama To Inazuma, Orange, Kamisama Hajimemashita, Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Itazura Na Kiss. Yeah, don’t count the countless Detective Conan and Lupin III animations they did over the years.

Voice acting is pretty okay, nothing to shout about. I only recognized Haruka Tomatsu as Kariu and Miyuki Sawashiro as Amatsu. The rest of the casts are Kensho Ono as Kaizaki (Slaine in Aldnoah.Zero), Ai Kayano as Hishiro (Inori in Guilty Crown), Yuuma Uchida as Oga (Kasumi in Qualidea Code), Ryohei Kimura as Yoake (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Reina Ueda as Onoya (Mira in Dimension W), Himika Akaneya as Tamarai (Lala Manaka in Pretty Rhythm All Star Selection), Noriaki Sugiyama as Inukai (Shirou in Fate/Stay Night), Daisuke Namikawa as Asaji (Rock in Black Lagoon) and Shizuka Itou as Saiki (Haruka in Amagami SS).

The opening theme sounds like generic pop rock, Button by Penguin Research. But for an anime that has only 1 season worth of episodes, every ending theme is different. This isn’t the first anime to do it since very few and rare animes before it have done this before, namely Sora No Otoshimono and Seraphim Call. Lucky Star is another one but this anime mainly sings karaoke parodies of other anime themes. Yeah, they even beat the Monogatari series that has a habit of having a few different opening and ending themes but they repeat for a few episodes. This one is different for EVERY episode. Unfortunately, none that really attracts me but I’ll note a few noteworthy ones like Iijuu Rider by Tamio Okuda (first ending theme), the disco rock of Hot Limit by T.M. Revolution (second), the 70’s-like feel of Timing by Black Biscuits (third), the old rock-n-roll school-like Kore Wa Watashi No Ikiru Michi by Puffy (fifth), the lovely slow ballad of Yuki No Hana by Mika Nakashima (eight) and the calming Asu E No Tobira by I Wish (tenth). Later as I learnt that these songs are not new songs but old songs from the 90’s to 2000’s when they were popular in mainstream music. This choice of music selection is to somewhat parody the song preferences Kaizaki hear because we all know he is an adult in his late twenties. As I read too, each song also reflects an aspect in Kaizaki’s life. Not that I am interested to know more about this trivia anyway.

I also want to point out that many of the BGMs I hear are piano based. While some are like lounge music, there are a few that are oddly strange. Especially those frenzy ones. Uh huh. There is one piece in which there is this very chaotic finger drilling frenzy played in short bursts, then it completely stops and a short silence follows then back to that chaotic play again. Repeat style. It’s like they take a five year old and tell him to mash the piano keys and you get this ‘cacophony’. It’s so bad that it’s good kinda feeling. It is really weird hearing this song especially they played in one strange during one of the dramatic episodes. It feels funny and odd that they are trying to match the pace of the song with the drama of the conversation. Well, they certainly timed it well but I just can’t seem to get that song out of might head each time I think about that scene.

Overall, this is not a bad anime but there is nothing that makes it interesting after you read the plot of undergoing an experiment to redo your high school life again. There is no sort of twist whatsoever (turns out Kaizaki could be sleeping in a pod like in The Matrix! Surprise, mother f*ckers!) and is just purely your high school romance drama. To some (like yours truly) it might bring back not so fond memories of your high school years. Yeah, those weren’t nostalgic times for me. And then when you put yourself in Kaizaki’s shoes of redoing school life again, it gives you the chills. Don’t want to study and fail my tests! Ever! The pill might make you look younger but your inside isn’t so you aren’t technically an immortal. Given a choice, I would not take the pill and go back to sleep, continuing my dream. I’d rather continue moving ahead with my boring uneventful otaku life than pick this. It’s the life that I’ve gotten used to. Sometimes changing for the sake of changing isn’t necessarily a good thing even if it is for better or worse.

N/B: If Yoake gets his seventh test subject, he should get James Bond… Test subject number 007… :-)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 EVERYONE! Ah, time really flies. Maybe I am getting old. Just like in previous years, I hope to watch more anime and hopefully they won’t suck as much. Yeah, maybe I should just change my taste and lower my standards, eh?

After the confusing I-don’t-know-what-this-season-is-all-about-or-heading-to sequel that left me more confused than ever, especially that kind of cliff-hanger ending that didn’t resolve anything but only raised more questions, I was sceptical if I should watch Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku OVA. Not too sure if I would understand what is going on if they decide to wrap and explain things up. The good news? This OVA isn’t all about that. It isn’t a continuation of where that ‘ending’ left off. I suppose that is good enough for me. So instead, this OVA is about Hikigaya ‘dating’ his girls. Oh yeah. That at least I can understand. I think.

Sugar, spice and everything nice… Thrice!
Woah! What?! Iroha meeting up with Hikigaya on a date?! What’s going on?! Yup, we’re as surprised as Hikigaya. Apparently yesterday she requested him to help out for a job. Since she put on her cutie smiley face, there is no way a guy like him can say no, right? So this ‘date’ is because Iroha believes Hayato is going to get busy so she would like to introduce some light casual fun. Is this just an excuse to date him? Oh wait. She makes Hikigaya say that this was his idea. So on their ‘date’, they first hit the movies but it seems they want to see different movies and Hikigaya is cool with that. Let’s watch what we want and meet back here once it finishes. I guess Iroha isn’t going to take that so change of plans. Playing ping pong? So Iroha is trying to make intimidating sounds during her smash but hits it all over the place. Trying to even cheat on the score? In the end, Hikigaya obviously wins but sly girl worms her way out that although she agreed for him to treat her if she won, he didn’t say anything about she treating him if he won. Loophole… Not that Hikigaya wants a girl to pay for him anyway. Next, Hikigaya takes her to a ramen store. I don’t know, she looks so disappointed. Hasn’t she eaten ramen before? She hates to admit it but it tastes good. Next, he takes her to a café for desserts. They see the student council vice president and secretary coming out together. She thinks they are dating and I’m not sure how Hikigaya’s comments made Iroha think he is trying to hit on her. Oh right. We got to have her usual annoying trademark on him. In the café, Iroha has Hikigaya take a group photo with her. He is getting quite conscious of how close his face is to hers. At the end of the day, Iroha’s criticism on just about everything landed him with zero points. But 10 points for being fun. I guess messing with him was it. I’m sure he finds her annoying at this point. However to show she isn’t a sly b*tch, she thanks him for today’s good reference.

Next day in the clubroom, Iroha thanks Hikigaya and the other girls are just giving that look. Iroha is here to request making a free newspaper by the student council. It will contain articles like places to hang out and restaurants with good food, etc. Thus yesterday’s ‘date’. She shows them the photos she took of the places they visited. But it’s that jealous look when they see the picture of Iroha and Hikigaya close together. Having fun, aren’t we? Not sure if Iroha was showing that on purpose as she now tries to give excuse on how he was trying to help out with the coverage. Since she claims it isn’t done yet, she wants them to help out too and take some pictures. Why looking at Hikigaya? I see. He must come too. So this time Mr Lucky Hikigaya gets to ‘date’ Yukino and Yui. They look through various clothing shops and there’s a lingerie store Hikigaya tries to avert his eyes but it’s like Yukino is keeping a close watch on him and matching his actions. Huh? Then he sees the inevitable of the push up bra on sale. So what? That’s pretty normal, right? Unless you see it with a girl… The rest of the outing feels quite normal. Iroha is satisfied with it. She wants to take a group photo of them. Hikigaya feels shy about it but relents. Yui’s nice smile, Yukino’s dumbfounded looks (?!) and Hikigaya’s typical sarcastic face. That makes a good photo? Hikigaya narrates he might not know how to define this club yet but it isn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

Date A Live Wire
Uhm… Okay, I guess… No, wait. ANNOYING! So I am thinking this OVA is a much needed excuse for Hikigaya to go on a ‘date’ with his ‘harem’ because screw everything else. Iroha is given more limelight because we just need to be annoyed by her sly ways. It is like trying to warn us guys that if you have this kind of girlfriend, DUMP HER IMMEDIATELY!!! Cute on the outside but devilish on the inside. In normal circumstances, normal guys don’t really want to put up with this annoyance so it is a sign to get out of the relationship or be trapped forever as her eternal punching bag-cum-slave. They didn’t really have to put Yui and Yukino’s ‘date’ in it because it somewhat felt forced. Like as though if they dedicated this entire OVA to Iroha, it would be unfair to the main duo. Besides, I don’t think we can stand it any much longer if their outing lasted the entire episode because as it is it already takes up more than half of the OVA. Yeah, I think it’s better to show some boring outing with the less radical ones than continue with an irritating foxy girl. Well, I figure that’s why some girls are sugar, spice and everything nice but at a price!

Tari Tari Special

March 18, 2016

Wait. What? There was a special episode of Tari Tari released? And that was way back in December 2014?! What? When? How? Where? Why? I know. It came of a surprised to me recently when I saw this title while randomly browsing the internet. I thought my memory was bad (it is) so I was wondering if this must be an OVA of the series that I have watched (there was no OVA for it whatsoever). Then I double checked and discovered that this special is supposedly a new animation to be bundled with the BD box set. Ah… Well, if you are a fan of the series, you might as well want to grab this. Me? I can’t even remember what happened…

Being Cloudy, Shining, Singing Again Someday
It seems to be taking place after the events of the TV series considering everything feels like in the midst of winding up. Christmas is coming and Konatsu is definitely bullshitting about the origins of Christmas in feudal Japan. We know the fat guy in the red suit and white beard is the same too but it has been accepted worldwide ;p. So our Choir Club quintet are cleaning up their clubroom for one last time since nobody is going to be here next year. Next door, they hear the wind instrument club giving its seniors a retirement ceremony. Taichi wonders if they should hold their own retirement ceremony and Konatsu might sound like she is a wet blanket as she is against it. She even tells him to go and sing karaoke by himself if he wants it so badly. Her reason is that one can never quit music. It is all around them. You sing when you want to. Therefore it is meaningless to have such a retirement ceremony. Meanwhile Sawa is having an argument with her dad. I believe she wants to move out and live on her own. Dad is of course against it. He wants her to graduate from high school first and think about it but her mind has been made up. Eventually he puts his foot down that he won’t let her do part time work. Because he is her father. That’s final. But mom says that is his way of saying she can go. Wait. What? I don’t understand. Complicated family matters… Sawa then texts Wakana to have some tea since they aren’t having any retirement ceremony. Later in town, Konatsu must be embarrassed seeing Wien dressed as Santa as he sings in public with Taichi as his backup. Well, she did say to sing when he feels like it, right?

Tarinai? Mou Juubun Da…
Translation: Not enough? Enough already… So erm… Wait. What? I don’t really understand what this epilogue is supposed to mean since there is literally nothing important that goes on here. The fact that this special is only 11 minutes but only 7 minutes of it is actual running time and the rest at the end is just the ending theme in which it showcases snippets of scenes from the TV series. Hmmm… Come to think of it, I believe I did read this is what this special is about too. To showcase a new recorded song for the series. Well, I could say that the full length of Itsumademo Kagayaki Wo is quite a lovely piece especially the harmonization of their voices in this slow and lovely ballad. This song is the saving grace of this little special that would otherwise leave a dull impression on the series’ end. Okay, so I can’t remember much to remember what kind of impression I had on the TV series. Except for that really funny bad English line, “I don’t money”!!! Oh yeah. I really remembered that one.

Time to get more analytical and critical comments from the point of view of a loner. Time for more ‘psychological lessons’ from a lone wolf’s point of view. That is why we needed another second season, right? Well, not too sure if I really needed another lesson from Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku but just in case I can find something related, maybe this will help. Since I am still a loner after all these years, might as well. I think. Though, I am not placing much confidence in learning a lot since the first season had lots of stuffs that I couldn’t understand albeit it was still amusing to listen and note what our main protagonist had to say and comment. So I hope this time around, things will be easier to my ears and I would pick up something or two.

Episode 1
School cultural festival. While the band is performing in the hall, there seems to be some bust up between Hikigaya and Hayato. The usual boringness at the Service Club. They talk about their upcoming school trip to Kyoto. Hayato then brings his friend, Kakeru Tobe. He wants to confess to Ebina without the risk of getting shot down. Hikigaya isn’t too confident about his prospects because he also experienced something similar before. They try to list down his good points. I guess they can’t. They then try to list down what Ebina thinks of him. This means calling her in person to find out. Like the true fujoshi she is, she wants to see Tobe and the other guys get down and dirty! The plan now is to create an atmosphere during the school trip for Tobe and Ebina to get together. During the trip, the duo are paired together during many sightseeing but nothing much happens. Hikigaya and Yui are paired together to keep an eye on their progress. Late that night back at the inn, Hikigaya and Yukino were talking when Hiratsuka brings them along out of the inn so she could go buy some liquor. They could get into trouble if somebody finds out. So they just need not to let anybody find out, right? I don’t know why but after she reaches her destination, they drop off and she lets them walk back together.

Episode 2
Before Hikigaya left on his trip, Komachi had a list of things for him to buy. She’s really looking forward to it. The second day of the trip, the same usual routine. Then at the magazine store, Yumiko hints that she knows Hikigaya is trying to do pull off something with Ebina. Whatever it is, she doesn’t like it. Because it is going to change things as it is now and she likes the way things are now. Later, even Hayato confronts Hikigaya about this. He likes things to be status quo. Because if this gets messed up, once you lose something, it’s gone forever. The bamboo pathway will be the perfect place for Tobe to confess. He is nervous as he waits for Ebina while the rest of his friends hide and watch from afar. Then Ebina arrives. Hikigaya who has deduced that this confession is doomed to fail from the start puts forth his plan. As Tobe fumbles in his words, Hikigaya quickly goes up to him and usurps his sentence. Hikigaya claims he has liked Ebina for a long time and wants to go out with her. Ebina then shoots him down and says she is not interested to be in any relationship now. Although it did save Tobe some face, he still won’t give up on her. Besides, she did say she isn’t interested now. Who knows in the future? Despite the friendship between the friends remain status quo, Yukino is not very happy with Hikigaya’s method. Perhaps Yui too. She’s crying how he could be so smart but yet couldn’t spare a thought for how someone else feels. Later when Hikigaya talks to Ebina, he knew that when Ebina talked to them at the Service Club, she wanted to prevent Tobe’s confession. She must have talked to Hayato too or else why would he be acting so strange. Ebina adds that she likes the way things are now. If she were to date someone, it won’t work out because she’s rotten to the core. That’s why she hates herself. But it might work out if it’s with him. He cheekily replies he might fall for her in that case. Hikigaya narrates about people having things they hold dear and do not want to lose. That is why they lie. But the biggest liar of them all is himself.

Episode 3
Komachi can tell something has happened. Hikigaya brushes it off. She continues to bug him. He tells her off. Fine. Back at the Service Club, the strain between Hikigaya and Yukino can be seen. Hiratsuka then brings in Meguri. Seems her friend, Iroha Isshiki has been nominated to run for student council president although it was meant as a prank. Now that it is official, she doesn’t want that. So why not just lose? She can’t. She is the only candidate so far. The only hope is for a vote of no confidence, something she also doesn’t want because it’s embarrassing to lose that way. Hikigaya thinks of somebody writing a bad speech for her. The question is who is going to write it for her but even so, don’t you think it will also affect her in addition to the speech writer? Yukino does not favour this idea. Since it cannot be solved today, Hiratsuka calls it a day and the find the solution another time. Yukino then wants Hiratsuka’s evaluation of who is leading (remember, the purpose the ‘trio’ joined this club was so that the winner could have the loser do something). It’s a tough call. Hikigaya is a step ahead with his results. Yukino is best for her long term vision. Yui has made some contributions too. In short, it’s a draw. No clear cut leader. In that case, Yukino believes they don’t have to use the same methods. She thought Hikigaya was like her, they hated superficial things above anything else. At the café, Hikigaya bumps into Haruno. Or rather, he forces him to accompany her. Then Hikigaya’s old female classmates happen to see them. One of them was the one Hikigaya tried confessing to and failed, Kaori Orimoto. I guess he is forever in that friend zone thingy since she coolly brushes it off that was all in the past now. Haruno then calls Hayato to come by to entertain the girls. Because it’s fun. I don’t even… Next day when Hikigaya arrives in the clubroom, the girls are already mapping out their plan with Iroha. But Hikigaya interjects that what they’re doing is only making things worse because it makes the candidate like a puppet. The difference in methodology has him clash with Yukino again. The tension got bad enough that he just got up and leave.

Episode 4
Haruno is like God. She calls Hikigaya and knows about his spat with Komachi and even about the invitation he turned down from Hayato when Kaori and her friend invited him to hang out with them. And like the God she is, she forces Hikigaya to turn up for that invitation. So they watch a movie, go shopping, bump into some classmates, all the while you noticed those girls are having fun teasing Hikigaya, right? And then at the café, Yui and Yukino pop up. Hayato called them. He is tired of them running their mouths over Hikigaya because this guy is more than they think. They shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The girls just get up and leave. Bye. Yukino mentions they were called here to discuss about Hayato running for president. Haruno who has been spying (and probably loving it) then makes her presence known. Seems there is some sort of high level tension between the sisters despite all the politeness, you can just feel they hate each other. Something about Haruno mocking Yukino that she doesn’t need to do anything and get her hands dirty. Others will do it for her. When all the ladies are gone, Hayato tells Hikigaya why he is doing this. To fix something he broke. Something about pinning his hopes on him and the need for Hikigaya to realize his own worth. He needs to stop sacrificing himself. Hikigaya disagrees with all that and doesn’t need his pity or force his ideals on him. He is not like him. He is always alone by himself. Next day, Hikigaya learns from Hikigaya that Yukino is running from president. She hasn’t told anybody yet because she wants to know what Hikigaya will do. When he confronts Yukino about it, she claims she is doing it not because of what Haruno said and on her own volition. Because she has so much free time in this club and she is familiar with the student council duties. Because their ideals clash again, Yukino warns him about overestimating and thinking too much of himself. Later Yui talks to Hikigaya that she too is running for president. Despite she believes Yukino will be the best student council president and improve the school, but it will be at the cost of the club that she has come to love so much. Sure it’s only the club? So by becoming president, she can do things half heartedly as nobody has expectations of her.

Episode 5
Hikigaya and Komachi can’t stay mad forever. So when he needs her for advice and she is all big smiles, they patch up after each apologizes to the other. Even Zaimokuza is so willing to hear Hikigaya out (after all that bugging). Komachi even brings Saki and Saika as ‘reinforcements’. They don’t like the idea of Yukino and Yui fighting each other especially Komachi who would love for them to remain at the club. Even if Hikigaya has got a job, Komachi makes him think if Iroha is more important than those girls. Hikigaya thinks about Iroha wanting to maintain her image and that his approach was wrong. The only way is to renegotiate with Iroha. Hikigaya and Zaimokuza did some sneaky preparations first like creating a fake campaign website to drum up the number support for Iroha. Of course it would be deleted once it is all over but so as long as nobody discovers this entire lie, it won’t be a problem. Next, Hikigaya talks to Iroha and asks her opinion on Hayato. He explains that those who nominated her won’t even vote for her and would be laughing hard when she loses. Doesn’t she feel the need to get back at them by winning? He shows her the list that he was making her copying. The list that contains names that support her. That’s quite a lot of names there. As Iroha still isn’t convinced she’ll do a good job despite the sweet perks as mentioned by him, what sealed the deal is that she is able to ask Hayato for advice or even order him around. With Iroha’s case solve, Yukino and Yui are still being stubborn to run. So he shows them the list and mentions about the campaign account. With that, they have no more reason to act. After Yukino goes off to inform Hiratsuka, Yui thanks Hikigaya for working hard although he as usual denies it. Iroha eventually becomes student council president. Hikigaya gives her motivation to do a good job since Komachi will be enrolling here next year. Iroha takes it as his creepy way of trying to hit on her.

Episode 6
Things return to normal. Their routine returns to normal. But it feels forced. Like as though they’re putting in a lot of effort just to keep up with it. Then Iroha comes in with a problem. There is a Christmas event that they need to work with Kaihin Sougou High School. Iroha wanted to turn down as she has her own programme but since Hiratsuka said she needs to do it, I guess she’s here. Hikigaya kicks her out saying that this is the student council’s problem and not theirs. But this is his way of not wanting the rest to get involved. But why doesn’t she ask for Hayato’s help? Don’t want to trouble him? So bugging Hikigaya is okay? So both schools meet to do brainstorming. Coincidentally, Kaori is from Kaihin and is sitting in this session. It seems Kaihin is the only side putting forth their ideas while Iroha has no idea what they’re talking, just nodding and putting up her sweet smile. Of course, Hikigaya having his own sarcastic monologue comments. Iroha’s own student council team doesn’t think highly of her as they rather do the work procedures themselves. Then Hikigaya uses flowery terms for his idea that he doesn’t understand himself what he is saying just to match the moderator Tamanawa (also Kaihin’s student council president) and his annoying hand movements. Oddly the moderator got that and I’m pretty sure Hikigaya is just as lost as Iroha. After the session, Kaori talks (tease, rather) to Hikigaya about the girlfriend he broke up with (how could he if he never had one in the first place?) and how he might be targeting Iroha. She starts laughing upon knowing those girls are from his Service Club.

Episode 7
Komachi’s present list. Electrical items? Yui seems to be worried if Hikigaya would be coming to the clubroom. Since he will, she’s happy all over again. Iroha didn’t turn up for a brainstorming session so Hikigaya thinks she is held up by her club activity and goes to get her. But talking to Hayato in his football club, seems she has already left. Hayato knows about Iroha’s problem but didn’t help since she didn’t ask. Besides, isn’t Hikigaya the one whom she relies on? The brainstorming good also got a bunch of elementary kids to help out with the Christmas decorations. Among them is Rumi. Hikigaya confronts Tamanawa about short listing what they need to do because they have not much time but he doesn’t want to narrow their views. I don’t know what they discuss this next. Hikigaya and Iroha walking back, bump into Kaori. From the way they say things, Iroha gets the hint that something happened between them but is left hanging about the details. Hikigaya continues to work hard and streamlined the activities that are possible and impossible. Most of them the latter in terms of budget wise. Tamanawa’s answer? Let’s discuss it too. Reminder: Only a week left and if they don’t get started even with the shortage of manpower right now, it’ll never be done. Wanna discuss that too? Hikigaya sees Rumi making Christmas decorations alone. He helps her out. On his way back, he bumps into Yukino. Seems she knows he is helping out Iroha but since it is on his free time, it is not that he lied about it. After coming clean about their own methods, Yukino suggests he take some time off from the club. Because if he is trying to look out for them, he is wasting his time. He can stop forcing himself. Because if this is all it takes to break them apart, they were never close in the first place. Therefore he doesn’t have to force himself to turn up anymore.

Episode 8
Hiratsuka picks up Hikigaya to send him home but she detours just to hear him out. He mentions about the problem at hand. Tamanawa and Iroha are scared of being the cause of failure and thus this collective brainstorming. The initial problem was nobody wanted to pick a leader to shoulder the most responsibility. Hiratsuka praises him for knowing what people think but not knowing how people feel. Then there’s a bunch of other advice she mentions like hurting others, emotions and some other sh*t that I just couldn’t get because I was too bored watching… She thinks he doesn’t need to worry about Yukino or Yui because somewhere down the line, they’ll change. It might or might not be him. Hikigaya notes if he was 10 years younger and met Hiratsuka 10 years earlier, he would have fallen in love with her. Hikigaya returns to the club, shocking the girls. He is requesting for their help but Yukino thinks he got into this mess himself and should clean up after himself. He is about to agree to that so Yui gives them her piece of mind that it isn’t his fault in the first place. There’s some sort of argument about not understanding each other if one doesn’t say it and it is bringing both girls to tears. Even more shocking, Hikigaya is actually crying while he blurts out what has been his wish the entire time. I believe it is genuine mutual understanding. If you don’t get what he said the entire time, don’t blame you. Because Yukino also doesn’t understand! But the situation is worsened as she runs out crying. It’s now or never so Yui pesters Hikigaya to go chase her. So at the rooftop, Yui also assures she doesn’t know what the heck Hikigaya said. Or what the heck is going on. But she knows currently she hates the way things are now. Time for the girls to get emotional. Girl cry. Girl hug. And so Yukino agrees to accept Hikigaya’s request.

Episode 9
Thanks to that, Hikigaya feels so embarrassed that he could just die right now! And Komachi doesn’t believe this identity crisis crap of his. Yui and Yukino sit in the brainstorming. Let’s say it was even enough to give Yukino a headache! So when they relay their findings to Hiratsuka, she gives them 4 tickets to some amusement park. She got it at some after wedding party. They’re supposed to use it to do some research. Yukino doesn’t want to go since it is crowded but Yui begs her. With Hikigaya mentioning he needs to get gifts from Komachi there, looks like they’ll be going. Since Yukino has a season pass, they have an extra ticket. Who is Iroha going to invite? It’s no surprise. Hayato. Somehow his friends too tag along. We have scenes of them having fun and some talk about stuffs that don’t really interest me. I wasn’t paying attention. Sorry. There is this ride that Tobe wants to pair up with Hayato but Iroha and Yumiko tell him to butt off. Ebina suggests Hikigaya help mend Tobe’s broken heart and make it Hikigaya x Tobe! Don’t worry. Hayato eventually chooses Tobe. I can’t believe guys prefer being gays… At night, there is some parade but Yukino wanted to ride some ride that she has been afraid of so Hikigaya accompanies her. More talk that was so boring that I failed to even listen to a word they say. I can’t be bothered to replay those lines again. They might have missed the parade but Yui at least got photos of it. Now it is for the fireworks display. It could have been a memorable one if not for this little matter. Thanks to the fireworks drowning out the sounds of everything else, it looks like Iroha and Hayato said things to each other. It ends with Iroha running away in tears.

Episode 10
Hayato confirms he did reject Iroha. Something about there is more than meets the eye about Iroha’s feelings. I suppose Hikigaya has to ‘take responsibility’ by accompanying Iroha home. From what I understand, she still hasn’t given up on Hayato and ‘blames’ Hikigaya for making her change so she has got to stick with it. Hikigaya calls his side to do something about the endless meeting. He knows it will fail because everybody gets their say but nobody is making any decisions. So when Iroha mentions about putting up a play, as usual Tamanawa goes into his usual crap mode. That is when Hikigaya tells him off about inflated egos and sweeping the problem under the rug. If that doesn’t convince him, now it is Yukino’s turn to tell him off about his meaningless prattle and his fun of playing upper management. If this goes on, they’ll never create anything. I’m not sure in between the scenes but the Christmas event finally takes off and proceeds without any hitch. After Hikigaya and co make their prayers at the shrine for New Year’s Day, Komachi wants to leave big brother alone with Yukino. Since he doesn’t get it, she insults him (his first name is also considered an insult word?) and this makes Yukino laugh. This is also because Yui and Komachi are planning to do something about Yukino’s upcoming birthday. While Hikigaya and Yui are choosing a present, they bump into Haruno and Hayato. The latter duo are together since their parents are good friends. Haruno then calls Yukino to come over. She is about to hang up but Haruno passes the line to Hikigaya. I guess she has to come then. Shortly after when she arrives, Yukino’s mom is also here. She wants them to come along for Yukino’s birthday party. Yukino doesn’t look to happy but is forced to. Hikigaya glaring at Hayato indicates that it might be partly his fault.

Episode 11
When the friends are trying to decide which stream to pick, suddenly somebody mentions about the rumours that Hayato is dating Yukino. Shock! Not as shock and annoyed as Yumiko. Iroha should have known better than to ask Yukino herself because she knows they aren’t dating or anything. Iroha notices more and more girls are trying to ask Hayato out ever since the rumour as Hayato was not associated with anyone before. Like he belonged to everybody. And now here comes Yumiko. Yeah, I think she’s got a real problem. She’s trying to hold in her b*tch anger while Yukino is trying to control her sarcasm. So keep calm and just talk what is going on. Yumiko feels Hayato is acting strange and distant. Hikigaya could guess she even knows this won’t last forever and wants to be besides him. Because Hayato has not made it clear which stream he chose (the cause of all this anxiety?), Hikigaya asks him directly and of course no clear answer. Yukino probably put aside her pride to even ask Haruno but she tells her to think about it herself. So when Haruno forces Hikigaya to walk her home and asks about his attempt with Hayato, she thinks Hayato is hoping for a certain someone to find him. During the school’s cross country run, Hikigaya confronts Hayato again. This time he irks him be saying Yumiko was a convenient way of keeping away other girls. He tells him to pick sciences as it will be the only way to be freed from everyone’s expectations. Many girls don’t choose this stream too. Then there’s some talk about groups naturally breaking up and thus he doesn’t have to betray everyone’s expectations and nobody will get hurt. Hayato’s answer: He hates him. He feels inferior to him. He can’t stand losing to him. That’s why he won’t do as he says. Hayato eventually wins the race and during his victory speech, thanks Yumiko and Iroha, dispelling those rumours. Hikigaya got hurt during the race. Yukino treats him in the infirmary. Some talk. A catalyst for their faces being close enough to… Oh, is Yui eavesdropping at the door? Nah… Then a party to celebrate. Hayato notes Yukino has changed. Hayato mentions his unwillingness to pick. Because if you are given a set options to choose from, can you call it your decision? That is why he refused to pick and choose. That’s the best way he believes to go about things. Hikigaya forgot to say this to him too: He hates him. On a side note: Hayato went with liberal arts.

Episode 12
Valentine’s Day is coming. But everybody knows Hayato won’t be accepting chocolates from girls. This puts a damper on those who’d really want to give it. Yui starts flustering when Hikigaya asks her if she is free someday. I guess she needs some time to think about it. I’m pretty sure it’s not what it is she is thinking. Iroha is seeking their help to make chocolates. They know her purpose so they tell her about Hayato’s policy. So she’ll settle for Hikigaya? Yui and Yukino feel creepy when they realize Hikigaya knows about Iroha’s birthday. Now here comes Yumiko. Request to make handmade chocolates too? Oh, here comes Saki too with the same request although it is her little sister who wants to try. Before any hostility could blow up between Yumiko and Saki, Hikigaya suggests instead of doing this for Valentine, they could hold an event where they make chocolates and have the rest test taste and eat it. It’s a great idea since all of them can make together without making any obvious ulterior motives and they can act natural too. Yukino and Yui can help teach all of them. Iroha has got Tamanawa and his side to join in. Unfortunately, Iroha has also called Haruno to come. When Kaori asks if she had given Hikigaya any chocolates before, all the concerned girls are all ears. Nope. None. In that case, she’ll give him some this year. Those annoyed looks. This has Haruno mentioned Hayato got some from Yukino before. He mentions it was a long time ago. Haruno then teases Yukino about making chocolates to give to somebody. This causes her to be clumsy with the utensils and awkward with Hikigaya. Yui saves the day by showing off her cool balancing of utensils. The event goes on quite well. Till Hikigaya tastes Yukino and Yui’s chocolate. Haruno then stirs up trouble that she is disappointed that this is their way of spending time together. She finds them boring and lame and prefers the old Yukino. Night ruined. It is going to get worse when Yukino’s mom arrives. She heard from Haruno about her future plans. She feels responsible and might have erred in her decisions letting Yukino do as she pleases. She fears she might go down the wrong path at this rate. Yukino will explain it all to her but wants her to leave just for tonight. Then there is Hikigaya’s narration of us dictating others by our own stereotypes and finding something genuine.

Episode 13
Yukino made some cookies for Yui but when the latter notices none for Hikigaya, Yukino gives some like as though she’s doing her a favour. Things get awkward between Yukino and Hikigaya. It is made worse when Haruno is here to accompany Yukino home as instructed by mom. Then there’s some b*tch talk about Yukino being herself so Yui assures her they are giving this a serious thought. Haruno agrees to let her be for now. They gather at Yui’s place. They think Yukino should sleep over here for tonight so when Yukino calls Haruno for this, she knows this means Hikigaya is around and wants to speak to him. She really just knows how to ruin it. Late that night when Yukino can’t sleep, Yui suggests going on a date. Next day after Hikigaya sees off Komachi for her entrance exam, Yui contacts him to go on a date. It’s not what you think. And certainly it is not going to be a double date with those ladies. Let’s just call it a casual outing to the aquarium. There’s some talk about things in between, but I didn’t really get it. Finally the biggest question of what they’re going to do from now, Yui looks like she is going to admit something. She hands Hikigaya her cookies as thanks for fulfilling her request then. Calling herself a coward who plays dirty, she has already decided. If they figure out how each of them feels, they won’t be able to say the same. Thus she wants her final request to fix their problems. Yui says she knows how to fix Yukino’s problem. And that itself is the solution to their problem. But if she wins this bet, she is going to take it all. Hikigaya notes Yui might have the right answer all along and accepting it would be easier for all of them. Before Yukino can answer to that, Hikigaya interjects. He is saying how this is wrong for her. Yukino is going to put her future in the hands of another, which is totally unacceptable. He wants Yukino to solve her problems herself. Since he doesn’t want vague answers or superficial relationships and be left with nothing, he wants them to think and struggle to find the right answer no matter how many times they go wrong. Yui had a feeling he would say this. Yukino reminds they still have his request. She also has one. Care to listen to it?

Yahari… Ore Wa… Wakaranai!!!
Seriously. I admit. Again. I had a hard time trying to enjoy this anime! Wait. That is just an understatement. In fact, I don’t think I enjoyed this season. I couldn’t understand what the freaking hell is going on. All I know is that, everybody has some kind of problem. Problems that they had to face and overcome. Problems that I don’t even understand what is it all about. Then there is some sort of disagreement between Hikigaya and Yukino’s method. Each has their own way of doing things but the end result of it is somewhat similar. So I’m not sure what happened if they just accepted their different ways or not because if they are still sticking around each other, it means they must have worked out something, right? Even more puzzling is that I know that there is some sort of hostility between Yukino and Haruno. There is some sort of tension within her family. But not hostile enough for the ladies to get physical. I just don’t get it. Maybe it is because I have mainly forgotten much of the first season and thanks to my sentiments this season, I didn’t really go back and read it again to pick up if I missed something important. I didn’t really care anymore. All I knew was I wanted to just finish this anime and get over with it. Move on. Thank goodness I’m here. Yeah…

Making it even worse is that cliff-hanger ending. Can you even call that an ending? It just leaves you hanging. Maybe smarter audiences will be able to guess what the problem is and what Yukino’s request is about. But for a dumb guy like me whereby watching and trying to understand what is happening is already damn hard enough, ending the season at such a state makes it even worse. I need to be told what is happening to at least have a chance of understanding or I will forever be stuck in unanswered riddle land. Heck, the final episode was just a big drama between the trio. Aside Haruno and Yui’s mom, the entire final episode was just them making the appearance (all other characters ‘killed off’?) and about them contemplating about their current status (I think) and where would they take it all from here. What would they do? I don’t know. From the looks of it, I think they are going to try it out till it works. Besides, if you want things done, you better do something about it instead of wishing for a miracle to happen and the problem to fix itself.

Sad to say, I have to assume while I am watching this season, that I am actually a newbie watching this series since I do not remember a lot of what happened in the first season and couldn’t connect the stuffs (if there was any). Therefore I am not sure if Haruno is the villain of the series. Despite her eternal sweet smile and gentle tone, she manages to pick the right words to irk Yukino. Not too sure if she is trying to make Yukino realize something with this method of hers, I’m not sure. Is she playing the bad guy for her sister’s sake? Not too sure. Whatever it is, it sure made Haruno look like a total b*tch in my books. A selfish b*tch who seems to take pleasure in watching others suffer. Whoops. Was that too harsh? Well, she seems to love calling and teasing Hikigaya for her own amusement (perhaps she views him as something different) and perhaps it is because she is a woman (like any in the real world) don’t really get to the point and dumb guys like me have to think a lot trying to figure what she is getting at but never got quite close to the answer. In the end, I don’t really know what she wants. The old Yukino? Can you please be clearer? No? Well, just my luck. The fact that she always had that gentle sweet sounding voice but her words sting always make me feel that a full blown out high pitch screaming is going to explode any time. It is ironic that the sisters do not ‘fight’ or even ‘spat’ as Hikigaya puts it, but I think this kind ‘argument’ (can I term it so?) is still as scary if not worse than if they get physical or raise their voices.

With this season, somehow I feel that Hikigaya’s psychological analyses were not as amusing and interesting as he once spouted last season. I don’t even remember if this season he had said more of those this season. But I do know this time that I don’t really quite understand many of them. Even if there were some funny ones and those that I ‘understand’, I would have probably forgotten by the time I reach the anime’s end. Oh wait. Not even that far. Even before the next episode starts. That bad? Yeah. To me. Sadly, as his comments and sarcasm were one of the funny points of the series, it has become a bane this season trying to understand what he just said. Sorry, I just couldn’t understand.

I also can’t see the relationship between Hikigaya, Yukino and Yui as the Service Club members going anywhere. Like I said, there is some sort of disagreement between their way of doing things. Sometimes I even forget the reason why the trio was in the Service Club in the first place. Hiratsuka reminded us for a while by giving her own unofficial records but it all feels like back to square one or never moved at all. Yui also reminded us in one of her final narrative but I think with time running out, there is nothing more that can be done for this season. And I think the problem theme of this season is about staying the way as it is. Surely the gang are having fun at how things are right now. Status quo. We’d love things to stay the way it is forever. But reality dictates nothing lasts forever. And so perhaps this thought of trying to preserve the current moment as long as possible becomes the big issue of the entire series. Yui wants the Service Club members as it is. Hayato and his circle want their friendship to stay as it is.

Iroha seems to be taking the spotlight this season as a new character. Noticed how she spends an awfully lot of time at the clubroom? Not too sure if she really has that much of a problem that needs some help or she is just there for a certain guy. Yeah… My guts tell me she secretly likes Hikigaya although continuing her crush on Hayato seems to be just a big façade. After all, she feels like a tsundere to Hikigaya in this case. Because at times she will warn him about trying to hit on her and mock about his weird non-existent fetish. Speaking of her retorts to Hikigaya, I find them more amusing and understandable than Hikigaya’s serious narration.

Some of the minor supporting characters from the first season didn’t really make an impact this season. For example, that girly looking Saika. The only reason why he makes his limited appearance from time to time is to remind us of that running joke that whenever Hikigaya is with him, he has to control and remind himself that Saika is a guy and not to fall in love with this pretty boy. That’s about it. Saki feels even worse. Making even less screen time, she is mostly forgettable and the show would go on even if she didn’t appear at all. Same case with that chuunibyou fatty, Zaimokuza. Maybe the producers don’t want us to forget them but since they have no important role to play here, thus their limited appearance. The same idea that had me thinking why Rumi was brought back into Hikigaya’s life again. It could have been a random girl but I suppose we need a reason why Hikigaya decides to spend a little more time and help a loli.

Not too sure if there will be a third season and what made me say that is the possible fruition of the love comedy that the series carries in its title and something that I was looking forward to instead of this psychological drama. I am speculating that there are a handful bunch of girls that secretly has a crush on Hikigaya. Some subtle hints of Yukino and Yui although nothing confirmed. Therefore the final episode from my perspective feels like a big troll of this. There were a number of scenes that would make you go, “Will she say it or will she not?”. With their ambiguous body language and facial expressions, it is all the more reason why it was a big troll since nothing conclusive was actually said. I am not psychology or love-cum-romance expert, but I can say that the trio hold some sort of degree of feelings for the other.

Yui and Yukino might be the main runners if ever this romance race comes true but don’t forget the other potentials like Hiratsuka too because Hikigaya may be into older woman if you remember his comment about marrying her if he was born 10 years earlier. Remember Ebina’s cheeky statement about things working out if it is him she is dating? Can I take that joke seriously? I deduce Saki too seeing that reaction she had during the chocolate making and testing stint. Iroha playing the tsundere and Kaori as the ex-flame sending mixed teasing signals of possibly coming back to his life may just add some spice to it. I might add Rumi for lolicon and Komachi as siscon to expand the harem but I’ll leave that to my fantasies. If I ever have time to think about it ;p. And then maybe even Hayato for some gay tropes ;p.

This season’s opening and ending themes aren’t that appealing to me either. Usually when a series fails to keep me interested in its story, plot, characters and everything else, the themes would be the saving grace of the series. Sadly, this isn’t the case and thus my overall views of this sequel plunging even deeper. Nagi Yanagi, who sang the opening theme for the previous season, again takes up that same role for this season’s opener, Harumodoki. The song is not really that bad but it just feels like another generic anime pop. Just like last season, Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama do a duet for the ending theme. This season’s Everyday World doesn’t live up to last season’s Hello Alone. It wasn’t as attractive enough. Just like last season too, there are ballad solo versions of Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama singing this song. Not too my liking either as both versions are slow ballads as opposed to the main’s pop style.

Overall, a disappointing and frustrating season simply because I just couldn’t understand. For those who do, I believe you will find a lot of character development amidst the dramatic moments and other stuffs that gives this romcom genre a different breath of fresh air (not too sure if I am deceived about it because I just don’t feel so). This season sits well for those who really understand the deep and slightly complicated stuffs instead of those relying on slapstick comedy and shameful fanservice to retain its audience. After all these years, it only goes to show that those kind of elements for romcom would be my typical cup of tea. And I’m sure with lots of similar otakus like me around the globe, they’ll keep making lots of those for years to come. Yes, such love comedies are once again on course in making the world on collision course with tragedy. The kind of tragedy so sad that you’ll find yourself laughing so hard at. Just sad…

P/S: Can I make a request? I hope the next season would be easier to understand. If it ever happens…

Okusama Ga Seitokaichou

February 20, 2016

Long ago, there was a wife in the form of a magical girl. Then there was also a wife in the form of a high school girl. There was one too as a mermaid, remember? Now, there is another form of young wife in the form of a student council president. However Okusama Ga Seitokaichou is a bit deceptive in its title because the couple in this said series isn’t actually married to each other. Yet. Let’s say their current status is standing at fiancé and fiancée as per arranged by their parents and they are living together as some sort of practice/training when the time comes. Don’t want to have cold feet and pull out when the big day arrives, eh? Oh, did I mention they have to keep this relationship of theirs secret from others and all the while trying to restrain their sexual urges to keep their romantic sparks alive? Wait. What? I suppose that’s the thing being young and getting engaged during high school. High sexual drive. Well, almost.

Episode 1
During the student council elections, candidate Ui Wakana makes her pledge to liberalise love. Free condoms! Is it no wonder she won? Besides, she’s quite good looking and with great assets and curves. I think almost all the guys voted for her… Hayato Izumi as the vice president is not thrilled she used this tactic to mislead people. However she assures she will not betray those who voted for her and will do all she can with the best of her abilities. Before they head home, Ui wonders when Izumi will be home. It will be much later since he has cram school. When that time comes, Izumi is super shocked to see Ui moving in like a newlywed. Seems her mom messaged her to become his wife. So she has no qualms and quickly accepted it? Turns out their parents are good friends but because they moved while they were young, it is natural they don’t recognize each other. Shortly, Izumi gets a call from his dad also giving his blessing on this ‘marriage’. And they were out drinking when they decided that. Izumi allows her to stay but wants her to leave first thing in the morning. Next morning to his dismay, she sleeps close to him. His rage accidentally has him drop his hidden porn magazine. Wait a minute. For a girl who gave out free condoms and now she’s looking at him with that disgusted looks? Maybe it’s because of his MILF porn preference. He takes this chance to say that with this reaction, she is unprepared to be married. Then she kisses his left ring finger due to some legend as proof of the bond of the heart. He pushes his luck by wanting to kiss her left breast. She allows him. He actually did it! The groping feels good. The sucking fees good. Only to be interrupted by a call from his dad checking out his first night. Why does this always happen? Day one of his married life with this self proclaimed bride begins…

Episode 2
Izumi is not pleased despite giving his bed to her, she still comes to sleep with him in his futon. Last night when she went to the toilet, she got tired on her way back. Her revealing nature of her pyjamas makes it tempting for him to stare at her boobs. Ui is popular at school as many love her support on her liberalisation of love stance. Of course the rivalling public morals committee aren’t looking too impressed. When Izumi returns home, he gets another surprise when Ui is in a naked apron (she got lots of such handy tips from mom). Seeing his reaction that he is curious if there is anything underneath, she teases him and slowly lifts it up. Sorry to disappoint you but she’s wearing a swimsuit underneath. As thanks for cooking breakfast this morning, she wants to cook him dinner. But seeing the dangerous way she is holding the knife (I don’t think she even knows how to cook), Izumi takes over. She wants to help but becomes clumsy and spilled hot water over herself. In an attempt to cool her body and not leave scars, Izumi unwittingly undresses her. Oops. She apologizes for causing him trouble but her stomach growls. Time to feed your wife.

Episode 3
The public morals committee president, Rin Misumi ticks off couples holding hands in public. Till her petite assistant, Makoto Sawatari makes fun of Misumi’s humongous boobs. Karen Fujisaki, the student council treasurer reports this to Ui and this might be a challenge for them for their love liberalisation. Student council secretary, Ayane Niikura doesn’t know how they’ll accomplish their mission since she herself has never dated a boy. Ui seems to be a pro in giving advice despite admitting she too has never dated one. Then Misumi steps in to mock them that they know nothing of love so how can they carry out their liberalisation. Izumi tells her she is just overreacting and holds her hand as demonstration. She flusters and leaves. It is no surprise that Ui is sulking back at home. So after she lets Izumi know what is bugging her, she suggests holding hands as experiment to see if it will lead to immoral behaviour as Misumi believes. Izumi is nervous so his hand sweats. Ui licks it and then starts licking his finger. Izumi looks suspicious (embarrassed if I should say) so she jumps on him. Perfect excuse for her boobs to be exposed all over his face. Not sure whether he sucked her boobs too. Ui concludes that it does lead to immoral behaviour although there were too many irregular factors involved. So does this mean Ui accepts the public morals committee’s stance? No. Although she understands their intention, it is fine as long as she doesn’t take it too far. When couples make physical contact, their bond strengthens and they accept each other’s imperfections. Izumi is amazed by her words till her hunger ruins the mood.

Episode 4
Misumi continues to break up couples holding hands. Then a confrontation with Ui right at the school gates and a couple is caught in between. But since class is starting, Izumi grabs Ui and makes a run for it. After school, Misumi confronts Ui and Izumi and won’t let them have their way. Then it starts raining. As they run to take shelter, Misumi spots a couple and tries to hide behind Izumi. Unfortunately they tumbled into a love hotel and before you know it, they’re in a room. Man… Poor Ui is running around looking for him in the rain. If Izumi should be clearer about something, it should be about this. Because he asks Misumi to take off her clothes! It is to dry her clothes but too late, he already got a beat down. There is a swimsuit she can temporary wear while he dries them. Misumi apologizes for her earlier action. That couple, the girl was her best friend and she knew that guy. They weren’t dating but rumours surfaced that she used her boobs to seduce him. That’s when she realized having such big boobs was nothing but trouble. That’s why she wanted to prove her moral character. Misumi doesn’t recognize the vibrator. Izumi wants her to hand it over but this reaction makes her believe it is something lewd. But why put it in her cleavage? Now it starts vibrating. Feeling good? Then it slides down to her crotch… Feeling even better? Luckily she gets control of herself to throw it away. When they finally leave, Ui happen to walk into the scene. Her happiness of finding them when she realizes they just walked out of a love hotel…

Episode 5
Ui is saddened by their relationship and wants a divorce! Are they married in the first place? Luckily it’s just a dream. But maybe not… Because Ui left a note she’ll be at her parent’s place. He remembers Ui tried to be calm but obviously her body reaction said otherwise. Hey, wasn’t she the one preaching about freedom of love? Ui is spacing out in the student council that Niikura starts placing bunny ears on her and Karen tries to kiss her! When they get down to business to discuss an email sent from a student who is troubled that her boyfriend is having an affair, they rope in Misumi to hear her point of view since she is eavesdropping. The email suspiciously reads very similarly like that trip to the love hotel. Karen believes guys are horny monsters and the incident must have the guy groping the girl’s boobs. Why is Izumi vehemently rejecting this? He opposes even more when Karen believes more horny stuffs were done. But Ui is looking gloomy. Shortly, a follow up email reveals they have made up after he apologised after they kissed. After the meeting is over, Ui refuses to go back with Izumi. He should be happy but I guess he already made dinner for 2. She won’t budge until he kisses her. So that’s what she wants? In that case, he kisses her forehead. But it’s not enough for her so she kisses him. Wow. A steamy one! You can tell they’ve made up when the kissing gets steamier. The use of tongue and his hands start fondling her butt. Could have been so damn good if not for a kid popping up.

Episode 6
Since she looks a lot like Ui, she must be her little sister, right? Wrong! Misato is her mother! F*CKING SH************TTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best part? She acts like a little girl and Ui is acting more like a mother towards her. Role reversal? She is here to move everything from Ui’s home here. When Izumi takes a bath, Misato joins him as part of her plan to get to know better her son in law. Then the typical slippery floor slipping accident. Her crotch fell on his face. Ui had to come in. During and after dinner, Ui can’t help notice that Izumi and Misato are chatting with each other fine. Starting to feel left out? So that night she comes in to massage his shoulders and although he feels pretty fine, his guts tell him he needs to play along or else who knows how far her mood will swing. Although Ui apologizes for her mom’s behaviour as she has always been like that, she still doesn’t like Izumi warming up and getting cosy with her. She tickles him as punishment but he tickles her back. Cue for fanservice. One thing led to another and I suppose Izumi is tempted by her sexy body so they start kissing and caressing oh so good only to be ruined when Misato drops in. That damn loli mother was eavesdropping… I guess they won’t continue.

Episode 7
Izumi is pissed of somebody incessantly ringing his doorbell. Oh, turns out to be Misumi and her sister, Kei. Looks like they’ll be neighbours. Surprised? Oh, Kei is also the school’s nurse. Surprised? Izumi and Ui’s quality time is always interrupted when Misumi constantly rings the doorbell to borrow stuffs. Then for the last time, he is taken at how good she looks and smells before realizing his cooking is getting burnt. By the time he puts it out, Misumi invited herself in. He makes her wait in the living room but there is where the first trouble sprouts. She finds a panty on the couch! Suspicious… Izumi claims it is from his aunty (hint: loli mother). Suspicious… Izumi can die of a heart attack any moment because jealous Ui seems to be stalking in secrecy. So when Izumi corners Ui in the toilet, the cramped space makes Ui do a naughty move by grinding her hips on his crotch. Her plan backfires when he does it on her. She can’t scream or else she’ll be found out. But their naughty time is put to a halt when Misumi is screaming for Izumi to get his ass over. She found a lip balm only used by high school girls. Aunt’s, I suppose? Misumi does not believe and since she cannot overlook this, she will report this at school tomorrow. That is when Izumi gets desperate to say those stuffs belong to him! He holds her hand pleading not to tell anyone about this. Well, if he insists…

Episode 8
To avoid any suspicions, Izumi and Ui leave their home at different times. He thinks that incident has quiet down since he heard less from Misumi. But one morning, Misumi is acting like a tsundere and at the same time quite worried about him since Izumi does not have enough sleep (from studying). He almost falls so Kei picks him up and makes him sleep at the infirmary. Kei thinks his cross-dressing is causing him sleepless nights. OMG! Could this mean Misumi rat him out?! Too heavy a burden for her to shoulder? Kei then gets on top of him and is going to help transform him into a woman! Noticing Misumi’s reaction, Kei gets the idea and starts moving her hips. Misumi pushes her off so Kei lets her handle it while she fetches a wig. Izumi falls asleep while Misumi applies the makeup. Man, he looks pretty as a woman! Kei wants to put the final touches. What final touches? She takes off her panties! So if Misumi protests, does this mean she’ll do it herself? Yup. Looks like it. She’s being nervous about it (WTF does she mean about doing this for his sake?) but Kei has already taken off her bra. Kei forces Misumi to join in. Her butt is facing directly at his face. So when Izumi wakes up, he sees this pair of peach buns. Time to panic. Both of them. You can guess what happens next. So powerful her beat up that he forgot all the maths formula. Back to studying again? I wonder if it ruined the makeup.

Episode 9
Misumi calls Izumi so that she could give him… Her panties! He thought it would be hard for a guy to buy such stuffs so she is willing to help him out. Why does she look so happy doing this? Karen and Sawatari spy them but when they realize the other, the big battle begins. Karen lost. She returns to report to Ui the suspicious observing she had and exaggerates about Izumi having a secret tryst with Misumi to fondle her mass boobs. Ui remains defensive of Izumi although she is clearly upset. Karen has noticed she is close to Izumi recently and laments they haven’t hang out often. Niikura pushes Karen towards Ui so that she could have her much needed president recharge. Ui later tells Izumi that he told Karen and Niikura about their engagement although she stopped short of mentioning she is at his place. When Izumi accidentally drops his bag and she picks up those panties, she brings him into the alley and starts lecturing about the importance of communication. So how are panties relevant to that? She wants him to take off hers! I guess he has got no choice so he does so. A cat startles them as she accidentally hides his face in her crotch. His horniness activates as he starts fondling her butt. She encourages to try touching directly. He could have if not for the cat again. Lesson: Please keep your kinky acts off public places! Back home, Izumi is in a dilemma. What the f*ck is he going to do with Misumi and Ui’s panties?

Episode 10
Izumi sees Sawatari carrying a heavy bag and helps her when she falls. She notes she has never lifted anything heavier than Misumi’s boobs! After Izumi puts her in the infirmary, he thinks she looks cute as a baby while sucking her thumb and holding his hand! When Ui texts eggplant for dinner, Sawatari misinterpret that to be some sort of illicit sexual subtext! Sawatari tails him home. He is so annoyed that when he yelled at her, she flew away! Oh, she also wet herself. This means he has to let her clean up herself at his place. Then she had to wear Misumi’s panties. Fearing Ui will be found out, he plays that cross-dressing card it belongs to him. Surprisingly she could hold in her surprise. Although Sawatari picks up her own hair on the floor, she thinks a girl is living with him. This makes Izumi reveal that Ui is living with him but denies being a couple. To buy her silence, she wants him to consider Misumi as a candidate. If he accepts, she’ll give him a treasure trove of Misumi pictures in her underwear! Not enough? She’ll throw herself as bonus! She makes him lie down so she can put her crotch on his face and continues begging to consider Misumi as a candidate. Then Ui returns and sees this. Luckily she believes Sawatari’s lie that she is practising riding a horse. Sawatari then asks Ui about what she likes about Izumi. Just about everything, right? Noting she is deeply in love with him, Sawatari vows not to lose too. Later Izumi receives from Sawatari a butt pic of Misumi. Share of spoils?

Episode 11
Today is Ui’s birthday and now that she is 16 years old, this means she is of legal age to marry. Sawatari sees Izumi not only to return the borrowed panties but also to give him a transparent camisole. She heard about his cross-dressing… Misumi you rat! But Ui seems to have a more pressing question for him. She wonders if he has licked or rubbed her panties! Only sniff a little? WTF? Ui thinks the camisole was a birthday gift from him so she tries it out for size and seduces him. But he might be breaking her heart telling her to change. You aren’t turned on? What are you? Gay? Later Ui realizes that this camisole is quite risqué now that she has taken a good look at it. Then she remembers her mom’s (unnecessary) advice that when a boy gives a girl clothes, it is so he can take them off. When he wakes up, his face is in her boobs. Then they start kissing each other aggressively. She touches his dick to see if he had any reaction. Thank goodness. Then she lets him touch hers also as prove that she has some sort of reaction. The groping gets too steamy and hot that Ui burns out. Heh. Even with no interruption, this is as far as they go? Later Ui learns Izumi wanted to actually buy her another present apart from this but had no time. However she is more than happy that she got to spend the entire day with him.

Episode 12
While the duo are out, looks like Misato calls Ui that she will be visiting again. Oh, she is already at their doorstep. Izumi rushes home first but bumps into Kei who wants him to spill all the beans (Misato rat them out), though he manages to get away. It seems Ui’s dad is also here, Ryouji. Holy sh*t! He looks like a kid! F*CKING SH************TTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The parents look young enough to be your kids!!! However Ryouji does not like Izumi and abuses him. He regrets agreeing to let his daughter get engaged with him. However as a man he will stick true to his words. He will test Izumi to see if he is worthy of being his daughter’s husband. But this makes Izumi think that if he screws up, would this engagement be annulled? Sounds tempting… But the memories spent together… This causes Izumi to look worried so Ryouji kicks Izumi to remind him about worrying his daughter. Later Ui apologizes to Izumi about her father’s behaviour because he is treated like a kid (obviously) so he treats everyone at work and at home strictly. She also says that she has long wanted to be his wife. She will wait as long as it takes for him to return her feelings. For the first time, Izumi calls her by her first name. Izumi and Ui are forced to sleep together since the parents are already taking up Ui’s room. As Izumi ponders Ui’s words and partially remembers their childhood, sleepwalking Ui pulls him close to her. She hugs him like a bolster and his face is smothered in her boobs. She feels her crotch cold and puts his hand there to touch and warm it up. Eventually she just sleepwalks to turn off the air-conditioner. What just happened?

OVA
Ui and Izumi are putting up posters for their next event. It is a campaign for boys and girls to hold hands. Definitely trying to pick a fight with the morals committee, eh? Noticing the poster is a bit crooked, Ui is going to fix it but she slips from her ladder. Izumi is quick to save her but at the expense of his right hand. Don’t worry. It is just a sprain and it will heal in a few days. Of course this means Ui is having a guilt trip. So for the rest of this episode, it is about Ui trying to atone herself by helping Izumi to bath. Yes. Fanservice bath episode. This means our sexy Ui gets into her t-shirt and panties that would make us straight guys hard to keep our boner down. Naturally after all that washing, she gets all wet. So she soaks in the bath with him and of course he is blindfolded. Nothing is more dangerous with a guy blindfolded because his imagination can run wild. Then it is back to washing his back again but he still has his blindfold on. As expected, she trips causing her humongous soft boobs to press against his back. It’s already hard to keep his boner down and then this… This must be the clincher fanservice. Feeling the need to wash his right hand, she needs something soft that won’t hurt it. Aha! Yeah… She uses her boobs and cleavage to wash it. Gosh, a scene that looks like it came out from a hentai series. Izumi on the other hand cannot identify what kind of soft material she is using. But it feels good, right? Just when he is about to figure it out, his blindfold comes off. Shock stare first. Then comes the embarrassment. Then comes the struggle. Ui slips and again Izumi sacrifices his right hand to save her fall. She is very worried of his right hand but since it is okay, she hugs him in her relief. The most romantic moment with their faces so close until it is ruined with Izumi’s sneeze. Back into the bath. Same for Ui too but she denies so and dumps water all over him. Thankfully, he didn’t suffer any more injuries.

So Young, So Horny
The only reason we’re watching this is the fanservice, right? So whether we care about the plot, crappy ending (if you can call it that) or whatever development is unnecessary so long we get our free tits and lingerie/panty shot fanservice. Am I right? So be wise to choose and watch the uncensored version to get your 10 seconds worth of ecchi delight. Yes, there are 2 versions of this short series and although I have not watched the uncensored version before, I can guess which parts are going to be left out and experience has left me it will be darn disappointing. So do yourself a favour. You’re going to watch this show, you know what it is going to be about, just watch the uncensored version and don’t feel bad about your guilty pleasures. It is easier that way.

And I suppose ecchi is the theme here and the reason why you have this sort of absurd reason in the first place for a pair of high school couple living together. Then when the moment is right, they’ll do a bit of ecchi stuffs that just borders hentai just to satiate our ecchi lust even though you can predict won’t last. So who is to blame for starting this ecchi? Ui encourages Izumi and you can’t blame him for sometimes turning into a demon and taking it too far because isn’t that what Ui wants? Whatever it is, we don’t care because as long as we get the ecchi stuffs, everything will be alright. Am I right? No? Then please think again why you are watching this show for.

Thanks to the fanservice that we look forward to every day, we don’t really care about the characters because all we know that Ui is there to give us the much needed tits shots and sexy panty shots because she just loves sleeping in them. It is already mind boggling itself that Ui, the very person who fights for love liberalisation rights is a noob in love after all. I mean, does she even know the details of what that is? I mean, just look at the way she tries to be sexy to Izumi but the way she reacts when it goes a little too far proves that she is just an amateur. How can the very girl who throws free condoms in front of the assembly be this shy alone with her future husband? I suggest watching for even more delicious and tantalising moves she could make on Izumi in the future. Haha! Maybe then he will be more willing to accept you. But as my guts tell me, he might be giving excuses to let her stay for the time being. In no time they will bond, grow closer and don’t want to leave each other’s side. I mean, which other girl would so willingly let you touch her like that! So show more skin to him, the only way to prevent this guy from turning gay. Haha!

There seems to be this running joke whenever Ui starts to fluster, little chicks seem to pop out from her head. WTF. The more flustered she is, the more chicks will sprout out. It feels like she is some sort of chick manufacturing facility. Don’t worry where they will all go since they are just figment of her imagination. Similarly, Izumi has little purple devils popping out but that is only when his horny side activates. Albeit those little devils are just a handful and not like Ui’s chicks that seem to gush out like water.

Misumi might be giving Ui a run for her money if she ever gets serious in chasing after Izumi. After all, personally I feel the series was too short to even start a love triangle (or polygon) between them. I think I would have liked it further because with Misumi also being a bit like Ui (in terms of sexual attraction and shyness), it will be interesting and funny to see the ecchi catastrophe that poor Izumi will have to bear. Misumi might turn out to be a big hypocrite because despite being on the public morals committee, she seems to be harbouring a little lewdness, if I should say. Now with her hidden feelings for Izumi, won’t that make it worse? Now if this gets out, won’t everybody start seeing her as a slut again? As long as nobody finds out… Like how nobody finds out about Ui and Izumi living together. But with Misumi being a poor secret keeper, the world will one day know about his cross-dressing… That will be the day…

Heck, every other girl seems to have a potential to be Izumi’s harem. Like Sawatari who although supports Misumi, seems to be offering herself as bonus (see, this girl even knows and wants a harem cat fight!). Then there is Kei too who is just teasing so she could push Misumi into taking action. Karen’s love might seem to be for Ui and taking a yuri stance but what if she’s just being tsundere with Izumi? Niikura has not experience in men but what are the chances of this cat girl cosplayer taking a liking for her fellow student council member? Too bad all these characters have potential but sadly the very short screen time and duration of the series make them a total miss.

As for Ui’s parents, I guess I have seen it all in anime. I thought I have seen anime mothers who look like kids with daughters. But this one takes the cake. Because even her husband looks like a kid, you have a pair of parents looking like kindergarten siblings. Usually I have only seen mothers looking like lolis but this is the first time I am seeing the guy and father too. It’s really mind boggling when their daughter grows up and she looks more motherly than her own mom. I hope Misato’s stature and status doesn’t make her both a legal loli MILF! That would be ultimate paradise for perverts who love this kind of trope. So what’s next for young looking mothers? I won’t be surprised if some girl introduces a toddler only to be told this is her mother! Then it would be more like a horror story!

If Ui sounds familiar, then it is because Ayana Taketatsu has voiced somewhat similar characters such as Ako from Kissxsis, Momoko from Momo Kyun Sword and Mio from MM! The rest of the casts are Kazuyuki Okitsu as Izumi (Andre in Prison School), Minami Tsuda as Misumi (Yui in YuruYuri), Juri Nagatsuma as Sawatari (Satone in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Yoshie Sugiyama as Karen (so far no other roles at this point as this is her debut role), Aoi Fujimoto as Niikura (Ushiwaka of Inugami-san To Nekoyama-san is so far her only other role), Ryoko Shiraishi as Kei (titular character in Hayate No Gotoku), Tomoko Kaneda as Misato (Chiyo in Azumanga Daioh) and Yu Kobayashi as Ryouji (Ayame in Gintama).

The short opening theme is Koisuru Hiyoko by Rekka Katakiri. Not too bad this rock pop piece. Could have been longer but maybe that will breach the series’ running time to over 10 minutes. Yeah right. The first ending theme is another rock outfit, Ren x Ai = Equation by Ayana Taketatsu. I wonder where she is running to after passing through all the checkpoints. The second ending theme is also rock based, Realize by Minami Tsuda. The animation has the girls jamming as a rock group. Is this even possible considering the rivalry between the student council and public morals committee? Hell yeah, as we have seen in this anime, anything is possible. From young married high school kids to loli-like mothers and the misconception that young wives are horny and wants to be f*cked. Whoops!

This series feels like it is targeted for lonely otaku guys because we very well know that that possibility of this ever happening is close to zero. Even if it does happen, chances are it will never happen to us. That is why we revert and fall back to porn! So this series is like when you want to watch something realistically steamy and sexy because porn is just freaking unrealistic (remember the most common porn ‘plot’ of ordering pizza?) and then fantasize the what-ifs that you could have done to your imaginary 2D waifu before reality hitting you hard in the face. Yeah, watch this show then. It doesn’t take up much of your time, you don’t need to care about the plot or characters and there is certainly worth of some fapping material. With non-anime shows having already made numerous “My Wife Is A…” themes like actress, super woman, gangster, yakuza, zombie, vampire, etc, and going even so far as using the word retarded, so when are they going to make one about my wife is a porn star? Oh wait. Did they already have that?

Little Busters! EX

November 6, 2015

What happens when you have minor but likeable supporting characters? You give them a short spin-off of their own! And so this is the case that some of the girls in Little Busters that fall under this category who do not get enough love of the screen time are going to get some of that they deserve in Little Busters! EX. Yeah, what a way to acknowledge that they aren’t just unimportant characters that nobody cares by giving their own story, background or even adventure with the main character of the series. Heck, they should have been part of the main gang but I suppose too many cooks spoil the broth and that is why you have to resort to this. Okay, I just made that up but those are mainly my sentiments why this special series is created in the first place. Sort of. Enough of me talking. Time for these girls to shine.

Episode 1
Saya Tokido is seen shooting shadow monsters in the school’s hallways. When Riki learns Masato borrowed his notebook and left it in his desk in class, he decides to retrieve it. But he is quickly pinned down by Saya who tells him to run to the nearest exit. After he does so, he remembers about the notebook and returns to get it. He only finds Saya’s student ID. Next day he goes to return it in her class. He has a strange nostalgia of meeting her before despite this is the first time seeing her. Later he receives a mail to meet at the rooftop. Right away she tells him he will die a pitiful death. Excuse me? Because he has been wandering around the halls at night, he will be captured and interrogated by Darkness Executives. Saya becomes embarrassed when she gets to know he only realized that was her back then. After flustering, she tells him he will die now and initiates the start of the game. She pushes him off the ledge and tries to make him fall. Masato is passing by and thought he is rock climbing! Riki puts his trusts in him and falls off. He wakes up in bed in his room while thinking the events that has just happened. Thinking this is a game by Kyousuke, Riki confronts him to stop this. However he becomes serious and warns him never to speak of Darkness Executives again because they know his weakness and is for Rin’s safety. Riki thinks he shouldn’t let others get involved in this when the shadows start attacking him. As he runs to the clubroom, he gets caught in a trap. He is about to be strangled by the noose if not for Kengo cutting him down. Riki thinks Saya is out to kill him and making it look like suicide. So he thought he is going to take action but what can he do with a baseball bat when the enemy starts dropping electric poles and water balloons!

Riki manages to get to safety in his room but Saya is waiting there. She has decided not to kill him as she considers him lucky for avoiding all her traps. She wants him to team up as her partner. Otherwise he’ll be food for the Darkness Executives. At first she sounds confident when he didn’t need her help. But shortly she returns and threatens him to team up because she is an unlucky girl. Join her or die! Hey, she says she is unlucky, right? Does that mean he won’t die by her shot? But they have to run when the shadows appear. Wanting to know more about her, Saya explains she is a spy and is enrolled in this school to find a hidden revolutionary treasure. Those Darkness Executives are believed to be students or alumni of this school tasked with dealing with the problems behind the scenes. Since they are able to project their shadows, their real body is elsewhere. Saya has found the room where it would lead to the hidden treasure. She wants Riki to stay cover her while she tries to find a way in. Examining the different pressure plates on the floor, Riki deduces the way to solve this is to stack a pyramid on it using the furniture. The Darkness Executives show up as Riki gets his first taste in kill. Don’t worry. They’re not humans to begin with. Saya has found a big hole behind the wall. Time to go down this hole.

Episode 2
Inside the labyrinth, there are a few doors to choose from. Saya wants him to choose the one that will lead them the next floor. The rest are just death traps. Hey, he is the lucky kid, right? Unfortunately, every door they open they encounter traps till they finally slide down a hole. Riki might consider all that as bad luck but to Saya, they’re alive aren’t they? The mission is put on hold for now when Saya’s stomach growls. Can’t go on without an empty stomach? So Riki is willing to ditch hanging out with Masato just to go join Saya? As they go get food, she hints she has never played the crane machine before and before you know it, she’s already addicted to it and won several prizes. Having fun for a spy? Must be embarrassing to realize all that, eh? Next night, they continue their mission as Riki observes her clumsiness and flustering. Yeah, so cute that it just makes you want to protect her, no? So is it really fun to be dragged around by her? They come to a point where they need to find the right tile to trigger a path down. Darkness Executives are already here as Saya keeps them at bay while Riki finds the opening. Not only he manages to do that, he even saves Saya from the face of death. Wow. A few shots and Riki is a pro shooter already. In the next level, they stumble upon a hotspring. Too tempting to clean yourself? Well, Saya goes in first and if Riki turns around, she’ll kill him. They both start imagine like this is an open hotspring when suddenly a cold drip of water drops on Saya. She screams. Riki turns back thinking she’s under attack by Darkness Executives. Nothing shadowy but the glowing sight of holy fanservice! Louder scream? Don’t worry Saya. Riki claims he didn’t see anything. Anything… As they take a break, Saya mentions how she will be whisked away to another mission once this one ends. That is how it has always been. The duo then faintly remember about each other. They have indeed met before. When she starts crying, Riki remembers that he once loved her since long ago.

Episode 3
As they move on, Riki has lots of questions regarding the treasure and who Saya really is. In the next room they are faced with a stone guardian. I don’t think the pea shooter is doing it any good. Or that sword Riki found on the ground and repetitively hitting it. It’s like bug bite to that big thing. Saya sees a keyhole and has Riki toss that ‘sword’ to her. Once she inserts it, the giant crumbles. As she has sprained her leg, he carries her. Idiotic flustering mode… Start! After all that, she reveals she also likes him and tries to kiss him! But it shocks her when he evades her so now she wants to kill him. Or herself? Riki calms her down by telling her to close her eyes. A real kiss… But subsequently the idiotic flustering continues with Saya even making up gibberish words and illogical stuffs to ‘cancel out’ her embarrassment. WTF. They make their way to the final room where the strongest boss of this world, Shun Tokikaze who is also the leader of Darkness Executives awaits. They discuss what will the final treasure be and Saya believes it is a time machine. She wants to go back in time to redo everything again and meet him once more. She suggests if this mission ends successfully, please go on a date with her. I guess that is the motivation to finish this job. Now here comes Shun (sounding very familiar…) and since this is her fight, Saya will only face him alone. Riki has a bad feeling he will never see her again after this but she manages to convince him that they won’t reach the treasure if they don’t follow the rules. Steel bars separate them as Riki can only watch helplessly Saya’s gunfight with Shun. She gets shot and dies in her own pool of blood. Saya narrates she lost the game and died again. It has been the 99th time she’s been playing this. She chooses to play again. Everything restarts. It goes back to the scene where Riki is in the school hallway and Saya pins him down to tell him to escape. As he runs, she claims Riki will always be her one and only partner.

Episode 4
Saya narrates her tragic past. She never knew her mother and her father is a doctor who treated the poor and sick in war torn countries. Because she followed him around, the only relief is a manga named School Revolution a Japanese volunteer had brought. Once her father’s term ended, they return to Japan and she never knew how peaceful it was. She used to play a lot with Riki but one day a heavy rain caused a landslide in which Saya was killed and buried underneath it. Now Saya has been repeating this game so many times that she is worried if Riki still loves her. Don’t worry. Each time he has never failed to say those magical words. But each time she repeats, it means she will die. WTF is she doing?! In her latest confrontation with Shun, he mentions as a game master of this world, she is an anomaly that will disappear sooner or later. That is why she needs one more time to replay this game. The next time they reach Shun, she uses Riki to disguise as herself but this doesn’t food Shun. But this is part of Saya’s plan to use Riki as her shield because she has done her little research and knows very well Shun will not shoot Riki. Shun will prove her wrong but Riki fires his gun. He heard 3 gunshots fired simultaneously. Saya only has a flesh wound and Shun is down for the count. As reward for beating him, he tells them to take the elevator to the most bottom floor where the treasure awaits. Don’t worry. There are no more traps or tricks.

At the 60th floor, there seems to be a lab room. After locking Riki out and she looking around, suddenly her hand starts to bleed. Riki is in distress as Saya wants him to calm down and listen. The treasure is a biological weapon. This is also where they part. The route where they meet always leads her to a bad end. Saya remembers her previous bout with Shun. She has realized the truth of this world. She is just a character that appeared in School Revolution. Without realizing it, her soul wandered into this world and started acting like her. Saya is sad that she has been trying so hard and to die without knowing what it’s like to fall in love is just unfair. Saya knew Shun was kind enough to let her go on till she is satisfied because he could have gotten rid of her any time he wants. As the treasure in the manga has not been revealed yet, it could mean the treasure can be anything she wished for. She wants it to be a biological weapon so she can complete her mission before disappearing from this world. Saya thanks Riki for being with her and then shoots herself in the head. Riki wakes up crying in his bed. Kyousuke is next to him. Riki tells him about the important partner he had but lost her. He replies he heard about the Darkness Executives being overconfident and thus Saya escaped. The time machine that was being guarded is also gone and there were signs that it was being used to get away. Riki is relieved and he hopes they’ll meet again one day. Saya wakes up in a hospital tent. She is a little girl who goes by the name of Aya. She talks to her dad about this dream she had. An adventure in the underground labyrinth and the partner she had whom she loved. Father knows that boy will come to play with her again. We see her going off to play with young Riki.

Episode 5
When Rin and Riki notice a stray black cat in their class, they follow it out and it seems it takes a liking for Sasami. She is embarrassed to be seen this way especially when Komari almost busted their secret. Rin gets blamed for this? Later as Komari explains, this stray cat that they found was weak and they took turns taking care of it. That night as Riki goes to get juice at the vending machine, the cat comes up to him and even follows him back to his room. Because Masato picks it up and ‘confirms’ this is female, he gets scratched in the face. When Kud and Mio enter, they see this ambiguous yaoi scene of Riki and Masato! He’s just checking his face for injuries, by the way. Mio feels something is strange with the cat but brushes it off thinking it is just her imagination. In the dead of the night, Riki gets a rude awakening from Sasami. His scream wakes up Masato in which Sasami turns back into a cat again. That muscle head checks her out as a female again and gets scratched once more. This turns Sasami back but as soon as she tries to leave the room, she turns back into a cat. Oddly this time, Riki can understand what she says. They discuss the source of the problem. It could be that she turns into a cat whenever she tries to leave the room? Or maybe like when Masato regains conscious, she poofs back into a cat. You mad, girl? Big guy is scared of you now. Thanks to that, Masato is ‘kicked out’ and has to stay somewhere else temporarily. Yeah. Riki chose the cat over muscles.

Sasami is back in human form once Masato leaves. She wants to call her roommate to tell she won’t be coming back but turns back into a cat. Komari cannot understand what the cat is saying and this is confirmed that only Riki can understand her. Riki answers on Sasami’s behalf and this makes Komari think they’re having a secret tryst. Sasami is mad but all Komari can hear are angry meows. Next morning, Riki tries to get help and he thinks Rin is the best person who knows all about cats. Sasami couldn’t be more insulted when Rin gives her cat food! Get out! Riki better get his ass moving and get her proper food! But how can you enjoy your meal in peace when you know you’ll turn into a cat? It’s pitiful to have her think that she’s turning into a shut-in. But she gets the optimism to go around and find other people who could understand her. None. Not even her friends. Sad. Finally there is Komari. Riki tells what happened and she confirms it with a quantity question that only Sasami knows. From time to time, Komari would bring fresh clothes into Riki’s room for Sasami to change. Well, he almost walked into one. This pops up the question of why Sasami’s clothes are also transformed along with her. No, he isn’t a pervert who wants to undress her, mind you. As they find this phenomenon strange, Riki deduces that they may have wandered into a strange world. Riki gets a call from Rin that Komari is missing.

Episode 6
Riki won’t tell Sasami so as not to worry her. Based on his experience from the strange world (during the Refrain season), he tells her this world will only disappear if its wish is granted. It sounds ridiculous but what grounds does Sasami have to reject him? She places his faith in him to help her and he has got the cheek to say how much it sounds like a marriage proposal! Next day in class, Riki notices Rin and Komari still missing. Something is odd. Kengo knows something is wrong but Riki won’t tell him since he fears he might disappear if he does. Sasami is cooking in Riki’s room and she is proud of it. And then just feeling embarrassed that she’s feeling so. So which is it? Riki asks Sasami about her past as he couldn’t picture her as someone who truly hates cats. She explains long ago she once found a stray black cat and took it in as her own. One day the family was to move but she couldn’t find the cat anywhere. She never saw it again and believes it has died. She thinks it has come to hate her for abandoning it. Riki thinks that perhaps it is Sasami’s strong wish that is unknowingly creating this world. Perhaps if she goes to talk to Kengo (the person she likes), something could happen. At first she is against this but if you won’t know if you don’t try. She is not as pathetic as she claims to be. Unfortunately the next day, she couldn’t. As she is a cat, she immediately runs away at the mere sight of him. But the strange thing is that Kengo can understand her. Just as he believes this cat is Sasami, Kengo suddenly turns into smoke and disappears! It crushes all the theories that Riki has believed in. Sasami is sad that Riki didn’t tell her about Komari’s disappearance earlier on. But there is a bigger problem looming. They notice outside the school gates, everything is white. This world might be vanishing and the creator’s power isn’t going to last. They can try to exit through the cat but there is fear that Sasami might stay in this cat form if she does.

That night as Riki thinks hard, she sees that black cat before him. Then he understands. The cat is the creator of this world. This isn’t just a dream but fragments of Sasami’s memories. Riki sees Sasami taking in the cat and naming it Kuro. They were very close. Until that fateful day. Fast forward a few days ago where Komari and Sasami found the stray black cat and the latter upon seeing it said it had nothing to do with her and that she hates cats after all. Riki then tells Sasami about this. Kuro didn’t die but survived as a stray. They even met in school recently although she didn’t recognize it. So does it want revenge? He thinks it wants to meet her. However when they head to the supposed place, there is a barrier preventing Sasami from getting closer. She feels sad as they both head to the exit to get out of this world. However Sasami only pushes Riki through it and says that this is her responsibility and thus she must bear alone. Of course Riki won’t allow this selfishness and thus breaks through whatever is holding him back and into his room where Sasami is sitting around waiting for her fate to come. With words of motivation, she agrees to go see Kuro again. She thinks back of their times together and the words that she always loved to hear: “I’m here”. Realizing Kuro has always remembered them, the barrier disappears and Sasami is able to touch Kuro. They spend their last moments together before Sasami reminds Kuro that it’s time to say goodbye. Riki wakes up in bed in tears. Sasami is also back in the real world and despite still sad over Kuro’s departure, she knows she is supposed to smile after crying.

Episode 7
Little Busters are having their own kick the can competition. Before it begins, it already ends because Haruka scores an own goal, giving Riki’s team the win. Suddenly a couple of public morals girls chase after Haruka because she ditched her duty in collecting trash cans. How convenient. Here’s one. Kanata reprimands her girls because they were breaking their own rules by running in the hall and then reminds Haruka to go pick up cans after school. Kyousuke tells Riki that some of the clubrooms are being redistributed and theirs is on the list. Of course he has planned to use politics to leverage out of this and has sent his Little Busters to go help out other clubs and earn some points. This means Riki has to go help Kanata with her paperwork. They talk about things and when he mentions the lonely task she is doing, she believes other people are of no concern to her as long as she can protect what is important to her. Kanata continues to put up her strict front in front of everyone. Then she meets some girl about some initial agreement. It seems Kanata has not told Haruka yet because she believes she does not need to know. Riki continues to help out Kanata around the school and although she finds his casual character annoying, she is still going to let him help her out after school for errands. They stop by a burger joint. He notices she doesn’t like pickles but is okay with the ketchup. In fact she likes any kind of red fruits like apples. Speaking of which, she reveals her name means apple of the field. On the way back, Riki is concerned that she always calls him on his full name and that gives a bad impression. She admits she does. She tries pronouncing his surname but it just feels odd. Next day, Riki sees Kanata teaching Haruka how to bake. Kanata has practised saying Riki’s name so she is better this time. It made her embarrassed when she revealed this. Later, the fire alarm rings. Looks like somebody’s cooking fire got too big and activated the sprinklers. Kanata immediately jumps in to put out the fire with her blazer. Because her shirt is now wet, everyone can see hideous marks on her body. Kanata goes into trauma mode. I guess it must have been so traumatic that she needed to run outside to vomit. Riki wanted to console her but she is trembling in fear and won’t allow him to touch or get near her.

Episode 8
Kanata wants to be left alone. Next day, Kud is very worried about her and even more disheartening is how rumours have spread throughout school that Kanata’s marks are from abuse. Her concentration in class or anything dips. When Kanata meets that girl, we learn that Kanata was supposed to be in some marriage meeting but got beaten up because she screwed up. Haruka heard this and is furious. How she doesn’t know about this? Kanata won’t say anything but the girl tells Haruka that she will be getting married by the end of summer and become the heiress to both households. Although this means she will never be able to leave, she is doing this for Haruka’s sake. While Kanata is practising her sword in the rain, flashback reveals Kanata won against Haruka in some comparison competition. But Kanata was devastated to see Haruka being mistreated like hell despite this was not part of the promise. She did not like this one bit. But her father (or uncle) tells her she can save her sister by throwing away her future. He promises not to even hurt her. Kanata after some deliberation agrees to the conditions. After Kanata is taken to the infirmary, Riki and Haruka talk to her but she remains defiant that she does not need anyone’s help. She feels she doesn’t need to be protected because nobody came to her rescue. What good would it do now? Riki has some nice words. Haruka has some too. Plus a little sisterly hug. She tells her she doesn’t need to get married and if their relatives come looking for trouble, they’ll drive them away. I hope it is easier done than talking. Shortly after Kanata gets her confidence back, that girl comes to kidnap her and usher her into the family’s limo. Riki and Haruka are too late to catch her. Because that girl’s job is just to bring Kanata to them, she doesn’t mind telling them about tomorrow’s programme for Kanata’s marriage meeting. Riki and Haruka seek Kyousuke’s help to save her. Don’t worry. Little Busters are more than happy to gate crash the party. They plan out the diversion to snatch Kanata from the room, including Kyousuke and Rin acting as their decoys. The plan goes well till at a safe distance, Kanata wonders if this is the right thing for them to do because the household is not going to let this slide. Haruka doesn’t care and doesn’t want her to go back there. That isn’t her home. Coming with her is the better ending. After little sister said all that, you still have doubts? F*ck all your worries and just go with her! That’s right. Kanata finally decides to go with her. Soon everybody converges at the river bank. Mission success.

End Of Mission?
Well, these short stories are extra fun and addition to the 2 seasons of the Little Busters TV series. Even if you haven’t watched them and jump straight in to this one, you won’t lose much but still it is better to go watch the TV series to understand better about why strange occurrences happen in this world. Overall, it brings a satisfying end to the Little Busters series. Unless they are going to make some more out of it in the future, which I don’t see it happening of course. But you’ll never know…

As already said and known beforehand, these little specials give more prominence to the minor female characters in the TV series. Their unique personalities make them likeable like Saya who is a bundle of emotions with a penchant for jumping to conclusions whenever she flusters. Funny girl. That is why they call assume as ASS-U-ME. Get it? Checking back my previous blog on the series, I remember that there was no such character called Saya appearing in both seasons. Not that I noticed. So I thought they created a new character. Doing a little research (read: lazy browsing over the internet), I discovered that Saya did appear but in very short blink-or-you’ll-miss cameo appearances. That is why I figured they dedicated half of the episodes to her to make her proper and official debut. So proper and official that the other girls in Little Busters do not even have a decent appearance! Actually they do but it is for just one short stinking scene and they do not even have a single dialogue. Yeah. They’re trying to pull some heart strings by showcasing her heart wrenching moments spent with Riki. I guess everything is okay as long as it ends well despite her ending is pretty much left to viewers’ discretion.

Therefore I thought Saya replaced A-chan as the heroine for this season although the latter did make her appearance in Kanata’s arc despite her role just feels like secondary. Better than not appearing at all, eh? It goes without saying that since this season is all about the secondary heroines, our main heroines from Little Busters are not given much prominence. A handful of scenes of them just to remind us they are still the same girls that we know. Like who wouldn’t go “Awww…” each time we see and hear extremely moe Kud go “Wafu!” and Haruka’s cheekiness in causing trouble. And there is of course the resident idiot Masato. This muscle head should also get a spinoff of his own seeing he is a pretty funny guy. But hey, unless you are a yaoi fan, there isn’t any point in putting a guy’s route in such visual novel genre.

Although I want to say this special is about Riki and the secondary heroines, it is mainly only confined to Saya’s arc. Basically for Sasami’s arc, despite Riki is still prominently featured, it is actually more of Sasami and Kuro. Finally for Kanata’s arc, Riki feels a bit secondary since the heavy focus is between the sisters. Though, I feel Kanata’s arc is a bit rush including the climax of the gate crashing and everything. What do you expect with only a couple of episodes? Kanata has got so much heavy drama and weight on her shoulders that it could sink her to the bottom of the ocean.

Another good reason to watch the second season of the series is to also understand better the timeline of the stories of these heroines. As those who have watched, at the end of Refrain, the truth of everything is pretty much revealed about this strange mysterious world. So if you haven’t watched it, you’re wondering in which timeline the stories take place. Heck, I don’t think you’ll be asking that question if you haven’t seen them. But for those who do, you can at least make a guess when it took place. Like for Saya, her arc occurs before the start of the Refrain saga, Sasami after that and Kanata in between.

If you like this series especially with Key-style drama and emotions during and at the end of each story, you’ll be glad to know that these specials have not lost their touch in bringing them all out with their storytelling. Although it gets a bit repetitious a while seeing it follows a somewhat same pattern of Riki helping out a girl in focus with her problems that includes her haunting past as well as getting clues in discovering the truth of this world. But nevertheless with the varied and unique personalities of each girl, you’ll find them refreshing and interesting. To conclude what this entire series is about, everybody has got their own little problems to deal with. Sometimes you can’t deal them by yourself and need the help of your friends. After all like they say, a true friend is one who helps you up after a fall. But a best friend is one that laughs at you when you slip and tumble. And then help you up.

Girl Friend (Kari)

May 9, 2015

Hey. I heard there is this mobile game whereby players can date a 2D girlfriend. Much like a dating simulation but just that Girl Friend (Kari) features over 100 different girls you can date!!!!!! WOAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!! Is that just incredibly insane or what?! It is like saying there are enough waifus for everybody out there! Yeah. Waifus galore. Of course I have never played or even heard of the game till it was recently adapted into an anime series. Oh sh*t. If this is the future of otaku loner guys dating girls, what will be the future of Japan? What will be the future of mankind? Oh, who cares? With over a hundred girls to choose from, each with different personalities and traits, I’ll say that for those interested in this kind of genre or ‘dating’ (if you can call it so), you’re going to spend an awful time here checking out each girl. From going on dates, soliciting romance, increasing intimacy and the likes. Something like raising your Tamagotchi but alleviated to your 2D girlfriend status, no? For me, I’m just checking things out and see if maybe I could land a girlfriend or two. Or three. Or four… Hey… Is this anime about how to get a girlfriend? Well…

Episode 1
Kokomi Shiina is practising her rhythmic gymnastics since the tournament is coming up. Erena Mochizuki starts taking pictures of her and disrupts her practice because she finds her cute and adorable. Till Chloe Lemaire comes to point out it is a bad thing disrupting someone’s practice because it is like something sacred. Chloe then asks Kokomi some Japanese saying about girls Mimi and Mary stuck in the door and wall. Kokomi corrects her that it is actually walls have ears (mimi) and doors have eyes (me ari). After she leaves, Kokomi notices she dropped a photo. She tries to find her but bumps into her classmates instead. They know about Chloe as she is famous around here. I guess when you’re the only French exchange student living in the dorm, you really stand out in that sense. Along Kokomi’s journey to find her, she bumps into student council president, Kanata Amatsu who knows all about her since she is the school’s ace in rhythmic gymnast, the strict secretary, Mutsumi Shigino who wants Kanata to just get back to work instead of fooling around, Saya who is from the newspaper club interviewing her right on the spot, Erena once more who thinks Kokomi is having a fever because she is blushing too hard, Fumio Murakami the librarian committee who thinks she saw Chloe at the flower arrangement club, Haruko Yumesaki and Isuzu Shiranui of that said club but they point out Chloe was here awhile ago and may be somewhere else (here, then and everywhere) since she doesn’t stay put in a place very long. At the end of the day, Kokomi has been to all those places and still couldn’t find her. Her stomach growls once she realizes she hasn’t eaten lunch. While she is doing so, Chloe got attracted by it. Ironic, isn’t it? After having a taste of Kokomi’s lunch, Kokomi returns the photo to her. Chloe is so touched Kokomi had gone around looking for her to return it as soon as possible that she pecks her on the cheek. She would be very sad had she lost this precious photo of her mother and sister. They make a promise (Chloe dear, it is yubikiri and not hara-kiri) that if Kokomi has decided on a favour, she’ll gladly return it.

Episode 2
Since the tournament is coming up, Kokomi’s mom is cooking lots of food for her. Oh brother. Like any other weight conscious girl, she weighs herself and the results… Not desired! Everything she does seem to remind her about her weight. And she’s wearing a jersey not because she wants to prevent catching a cold. Akane Sakurai requests Kokomi to be the guest of her lunch hour interview since model Nao Miyoshi turned her down (she wanted to sleep) and referred her. There are lots of people watching her in the interview and as usual, Kokomi can’t help feel the questions are somewhat related to her weight or eating habits. So she is at the library trying to find books on ‘nutritional science’. That’s a nice way of saying dieting, right? Then here comes Chloe with her usual misinterpretation of the Japanese culture. When she learns Kokomi wants to diet, she can’t understand why since Japanese fried chicken are so good, etc. With Fumio explaining to Chloe about Japanese girls’ reason to diet, Kokomi’s friends hear about this. When they speak to her and she finally admits, it seems her entire groupie decides to help her diet. Everyone joins her in working out. After a hard day’s workout, Akane has misheard about their workout as helping Kokomi to train for her tournament. To reward them of this hard work, here are fresh melon breads! Holy cow! The carbohydrates… Can you resist the crispy golden glow of the tasty buns! Kokomi tries to psycho herself that she mustn’t eat it but eventually everybody gives in. So good that it makes you cry, huh? Something tells me those tears aren’t happiness… With the diet in failure, Nao talks to Kokomi and gives proper advice about her weight gain. Because when she’s working out, she builds more muscles and they are heavier than fats. Also, do not starve or skip meals but eat a well balanced diet. With that, Kokomi wants Nao to help with her dieting. Thanks to that, she easily passed the preliminaries. Word gets around that Nao is the diet guru so now all of Kokomi’s friends would like her to become their diet sensei. There goes her sleep time…

Episode 3
People notice Erena and Fumio’s personalities are like complete opposites. As Erena plans to enter a photo contest, she needs a model and thinks Fumio is the perfect girl. So she goes up to this expressionless girl and before she could get her permission, she starts snapping away, following wherever she goes. It’s like she has become her paparazzi? That night, Fumio resolves to refuse Erena. So at the library where Erena is being annoying with her camera, she got too close till Fumio accidentally hits it. No serious damage, though. Then she tells her straight she can’t be her model. She thought she might have said it too harsh to her and continues to worry. Similarly, Erena feels she has been rejected by her (her friends almost got the wrong idea). Maybe she’ll have to give up. However because Fumio was the one who inspired her to take pictures, she can’t just switch to another girl like that. As Erena and Fumio walk back, Fumio apologizes for hitting her camera when Erena says she plans on not participating in the contest. This weighs heavily on Fumio’s mind. She gets a surprise mail from Erena to go on a date. Erena earnestly apologizes for forcing her to be her model but she is here today with a favour to ask her permission to take a picture of her. But didn’t she not want to participate in the contest? Don’t get the wrong idea. There is no point submitting a photo she is not happy with. Fumio also explains it is not that she doesn’t want her picture taken or refuse to be her model, it is just that she isn’t good in smiling. But Erena shows a picture of her smiling beautifully (then one when she ordered the cake she loves) and she herself didn’t realize she looked like this when she smiles. Erena points out there are many things wonderful about herself she doesn’t know and she wants to take pictures of her being herself and not faking anything. Erena makes it in time for the contest and a natural and beautiful smile of Fumio earns her the top spot. Fumio now smiles more often and is grateful Erena made her as her model.

Episode 4
Akane and Isuzu find a box of kittens in the bush. They bring them to school to get people to adopt. Thankfully they have a girl each to take home with them: Nao, Hina Niigaki, Emi Sagara, Yukie Yatsuka and Kazuha Kumada. However their teacher reminds them about the responsibility of bringing home a life and if they have asked their parents first. When they do, bad news. Only Yukie got permission. For the rest, because of their poor grades, they have been given a condition to improve them before adopting. Realizing they can’t give up on the kittens so easily, they decide to study. Yukie is going to coach them after school but they are busy with their own activities and couldn’t make it. With time running out, pulling an all-nighter at somebody’s house is the only viable solution. But whose house is enough to accommodate everyone? Isuzu allows them to study at her home. After formally introducing each other, they learn Hina’s parents are away for flower arrangement practice so she is making dinner. Can’t let her do it herself, eh? Yeah. Everyone helps out. By the time they’re done eating and it’s already 9pm, they think of running to the store to get snacks since they’re going to pull an all-nighter. They just ate… Yukie allocates 5 minutes for them to shop all the necessities but they took 30 minutes! I don’t know about Kinoko Himejima because she is forcing Akane to buy a certain snack (all of it!) because it contains her first name. By the time they leave, it starts raining and they take shelter at a public bath. Ah… Nice warm bath… Don’t you feel there is a conspiracy to prevent them from studying and thus the kittens? When they reach home and are about the study, the electric goes out! Kinoko joins them and tells ghost stories. Some very afraid while others just laughing. When the light comes back on and Isuzu joins to help, Kinoko leaves. Hey, the fun part’s over, right? And of course they get serious in studying this time. In the end, their grades improve although they didn’t even make it to the average. However they are allowed to keep the kittens and it seems they already have names as Isuzu gave it to them when she found them.

Episode 5
Student council vice president, Risa Shinomiya hears a commotion. Seems the cafeteria is closed. The staffs who were on holiday are stuck in Easter Island due to bad weather. Although it is going to be suggested that students are to bring their own lunch, Kanata suggests for the student council body to run the cafeteria. Risa disagrees but with vice principal, Shizuko Todou agreeing as the food stocks will go to waste, looks like they’ll be in early for preparations and training from Todou herself who has a nutritionist licence. If the onion folly of everyone crying while cutting isn’t bad enough, we have clumsy Kanata who is cutting up everything and even thinks of trying to cut with her eyes closed! After that tough preparation, the best respite is Kanata’s tea, which is her only best skill. Only. The student council opens the cafeteria and we see some folly like Chloe mixing natto with everything and Miss Monochrome making her cameo by ordering batteries! Do they have that?! Yes they do. But no other folly is as great as Kanata messing things up and making more work for Risa. I don’t know how she piles up the curry dish into a huge serving and she even recommends a dish that is not on the menu for a student to order! Double tiring with Kanata around, eh? Word goes around that the student council is manning the cafeteria. Therefore this is a chance for others not to miss and taste their cooking. The next day there is a long line waiting outside. Risa is close to exploding as she knows she cannot handle all this. Gather all the volunteers to help! And so a bunch of girls volunteer to cook, wait and even do the heavy stuffs to lighten the load. Just when it seems things are going well, there is bad news that the school store messed up on the yakisoba bread. No bread means those students will be coming to the cafeteria to get their lunch. Kanata has another bright idea. Why not we make the yakisoba bread? Oh no… Risa vehemently refuses but with Kanata begging with those puppy dog eyes, can she resist the temptation? Of course not. She gives in. Let’s do it. And so more work for Risa as she tells Kanata to stay out. Don’t do anything! Suddenly Risa realizes she messes up an order. That is when she snaps. She breaks down and screams for somebody to help her! Kanata at your service… She calms down after drinking her good tea. Kanata is impressed Risa can run a cafeteria. Although Kanata was the one who suggested it, she merely said it as Risa is the one who did it all. Besides, everyone is happy. Now charged up, Risa gets back to work. In the end, it is a tiring but fulfilling day. They receive word the cafeteria staffs are coming back but since their plane is going round the world, they won’t be back in a day or two. This means they have to run the cafeteria… Risa is in dire need to check her stress levels after this…

Episode 6
Momoko Asahina and Yuzuko Hazuki are rushing to buy sweet potatoes. But by the time they queue and it’s their turn, just sold out! Nagiko Kurokawa looks for Momoko to remind her to submit the light music club’s log book. Momoko feels bad for forgetting it. Then she overhears Nagiko talking to Kokomi and Haruka Kazemichi and misinterprets that some juniors are rude and unreliable. She falls into depression so Yuzuko tries to cheer her up. Meanwhile Akari Amari from the occult club shows Nozomi Miyauchi an enigmatic phrase of ‘forging lost connections’ in one of her club’s old yearbook. Then when she hears Yuzuko telling Momoko about showing appreciation and respect, she believes this is what that phrase means. It is believed by following what it does, they can reconcile and fix their relationship with the seniors. They are joined by Ichigo Hinata and Nae Yuuki. Everyone but Yuzuko is all for this crazy attempt. I guess this means she has to be dragged into it. First they head to the library to find any old graduation albums about the cafeteria (because part of the phrase says it will lead them there). Although there is a book on it but there is a page missing and Fumio thinks if they can find the previous page, they’ll decode it. They can find old books in the old storeroom. After that slight folly of Akari scaring Nozomi, they find the book and the key to forge lost connections is ‘clad in red clothes, standing in the golden field’. They deduce it could be seniors (their uniforms are red) standing in a yellow flower garden like tulip or sunflowers. But when they head to the garden, it is barren. It isn’t season for those flowers yet. As they go back empty handed, Momoko sees the sweet potato poster. It immediately occurred to her what the riddle is. Sweet potatoes have red-like colour skin and their leaves are yellow. Momoko brings Nagiko to join the rest of the girls in a sweet potato feast (at least she doesn’t have to wait in line at the store now). Momoko and Nagiko make amends but as the latter corrects, Nagiko shortly refuted Haruka’s words about the juniors’ attitude. She believes that they need not be too formal with each other or else there will be walls built between them and thus why everyone in the club is close to each other.

Episode 7
Mahiro Natsume is writing a novel and this particular story she has been trying to finish since elementary school. Don’t laugh. Despite the oddball group of an alien, cyborg, ammonite, castle, Shiba dog, sea monkey and bok choy saving the world in this space opera action adventure. You mean it’s not a comedy?! Anyway Mahiro is having a writer’s block so she lets Fumio take a look at it. Impressed with her good work, Fumio borrows her work and shows it to Chloe. She too is impressed and takes them to show it to her other friends (always the same emotions of impressed, laughing and crying in that order). Now they too are interested in how the series will end. Noting Mahiro’s problem, they think it is because she doesn’t set a deadline unlike in manga, the reason she can never finish. They try to set one for her but it seems even till next year she might not be able to finish. And they really want to read it badly. It is suggested that she make weekly releases as it would be easier to do it in small bits. Yeah. This is manageable. And so all of them stare at her as she types. Impressed when she is making progress but sigh when she hits the delete and backspace key. Pressure. Isn’t this a reason why she can’t finish? One day she isn’t in the library typing her usual. They think she has runaway. Seems she is talking to her friend, Tsugumi Harumiya when they find her. Mahiro continues to be in a deadlock as she doesn’t have any good ideas. That is when the rest get ideas to seek help from others. Although Mahiro has lots of reference (is she really going to go through all that stack?), the number of admirers of her novel also increased. More pressure? Since she doesn’t want to disappoint them, she goes into full gear writing the stories. So much so, she has been writing and doesn’t realize it is time to go back. Had so much fun? The ideas can’t stop flowing, eh? Finally she finishes it and it brings a myriad of emotions to those girls. But Mahiro is also crying. She feels sad that the story has ended. She realizes the reason why she couldn’t finish it was because she didn’t want to leave the story and wanted to continue playing in their world. Sad end? But she is happy and thankful to everyone that she manages to bring a closure to his chapter. However the next day she hands them another set of story to read. It seems there is a continuation! Hooray! Mahiro decides she wants to hang out in their world a little longer. Oh yeah. Now I understand why the Naruto manga can never end…

Episode 8
Akane interviews Kokomi and wishes her the best since her rhythmic gymnast for the Nationals is in a fortnight. As she practises, her instructor suggests doing a difficult combo. But Kokomi is not confident as her success rate is only 80%. Her instructor encourages her to think about it since it is natural everyone is afraid of making mistakes. Later Kokomi is thinking about this and bumps into her senpai Nonoka Sasahara. She knows about her tournament and plans to go cheer for her. Kokomi thinks of playing it safe and not do those risky moves. What convinces her even more so is that this strange dream of hers whereby her friends are the judge. Kokomi messes up her routine and they give the thumbs down. She spaces out a lot and even during in practice, Erena feels her emotions are stiff. Then she sees a poster of help wanted at a cafe where Nonoka works. Kokomi thinks of trying out to help get her mind off this dilemma. Other friends recruited are Michiru Tomura and Marika Saeki. Ironically the most uncoordinated and clumsy one is Nonoka as she cannot make a decent cream soda and just messes up. But why does she keep trying to do stuffs she can’t do? Because it is cool and you’ll never know till you try. That ring a bell to you, Kokomi? One time Kokomi messes up and she is very sorry about it although it isn’t very serious. Nonoka calms her down with the coffee she makes. It’s good because she practises a lot. And with lots of words of motivation, let’s hope Kokomi can use them. Kokomi perseveres and even watches recordings of her own practice. Mom is worried and reminds her that they want her to have fun instead of scoring high. One day Kokomi goes to the cafe early and catches Nonoka in the act of making cream soda. All failures except one. She explains she decided to make cream soda because of her. Just like how she commended her coffee, she knew she will get nowhere if she gives up before she starts. She is impressed that Kokomi gets he difficult move 80% right unlike her who is starting from scratch. She only has 20% to go, right? They drink to a toast for Kokomi to get out of her slump but Kokomi drinks the wrong cream soda. On the day of the tournament, her friends and family turn out in full force to support Kokomi who is looking ever confident.

Episode 9
Clubs are taking turns at the lottery to determine the time slot to use the auditorium for the cultural festival. The light music club’s turn is near the end and their choice is either the first performance in the morning or the last one in the evening. Haruka is made to pick the lottery and as luck would have it, they are the last performance. They delegate their duties for the performance and it seems Haruka is to come up with the lyrics as she is the vocalist. She has a hard time and even harder that she is called by the student council to hand in their programme by the end of this week or they cannot let the band go onstage. With more pressure to write the lyrics and can’t think of one, she tells her bandmates that she would like a song that everyone can get into and enjoy singing. Well, with Haruka liking a lot of things, how can she fit all that into the song that Nagiko will be writing? So to chill out and relax, they go help other clubs in their whatever preparations and probably to get some ideas too. At the end of the day, Haruka feels that it would be nice if it wouldn’t start yet. What she meant was, everyone is so motivated and having fun, it will be a shame if it all ends. They suggest she should sing about this. After Haruka hands in their programme and the festival gets underway, they are hit with a snag as their outfits aren’t complete yet. Reality check has it they only have 2 hours before their performance. But Kurumi isn’t giving up yet and seeks the help of Koruri Tokidani who is from the sewing club. Can she finish it in time? Bring it on! And right on the dot the costume is finished as the girls head out to play a performance that brings the house down.

Episode 10
Akane has been selected by the student council to host the school’s beauty pageant. With her assistant, Tomo Oshii, they go around interviewing the candidates. After the voting is over, Risa comes in with news that Akane has to stand down as host because she has been selected as one of the finalists. She suggests Tomo to host but she isn’t confident of hosting such a big event. If that is the case, Akane thinks of declining her win then. Tomo feels bad for thinking about herself and will give this a shot. She her first practice broadcast, she screws up and bloopers so much on her first go that it sounded like a terrorist attack. Really! As Akane helps practice with her at the rooftop, Kinoko and the rest of the girls who are not in any particular club (Miss Monochrome is part of this ‘group’ too?) come to help and give their support. Tomo is still having troubles and the contest is tomorrow. Though, she isn’t going to throw in the towel yet. Next day, all the finalists (why do I get a feeling it is all those usual girls?) gather in the dressing room before the start as they mix around. Erena becomes a paparazzi monster since there are too many cute girls here. But she is a finalist too, right? Suddenly there is a problem. Tomo is nowhere to be found. Has she got cold feet? Akane believes she isn’t that kind of girl and might have an idea where she is. She is still practising on the rooftop and seems much better. As the event starts, Tomo nearly makes a blooper. But she sees all the stuffs from the no club girls on the rostrum and this gives her the confidence. Besides, even if she screws up a little, those no club girls help out by putting up signs to the crowd when to applaud or laugh. You can say Tomo is natural in hosting even if there are little mistakes. Thanks to that, the event is a great success and a memorable one. Akane wants to crowd to give Tomo another round of applause for doing a great job. Oh, it looks like Fumio won the overall crown.

Episode 11
Exams are over and winter is coming (yes it is). However Chloe is sad. She won’t tell and it is bugging her friends a lot. They hope Akane’s interview would help her reveal what’s eating her but she still won’t. Kokomi then has finally decided with the favour Chloe promised her: Please tell what is on her mind. Still won’t? After being bluffed about ogres eating her tongue, she reveals that her family wants her back in France. This means she won’t be coming back here anymore. Shock! Horror! So everyone has an emergency meeting to discuss how they can convince her parents to let her stay. First they make a video of all the great facilities the school has. The quintet who adopted the kittens seek Fumio’s help how to write a letter in French. Armed with these ‘arsenal’, Chloe is happy and is confident she can persuade her parents. But… Still gloomy… Oh no. This could mean one thing. It failed. She’s still going back. Kokomi talks to her parents about it and they tell her as parents, they too are worried if their child is living overseas alone. They believe their family has some circumstances and Chloe is the one who doesn’t want to leave the most. Instead of forcing her to stay, maybe they should see her off with a smile. And thus everybody decides to throw a party for her. I mean, with the internet age, it is not hard for them to keep in touch, right? On the night before her departure, Chloe checks out the settings of the party at Nonoka’s cafe. Suddenly papa calls her and that he is coming now! Oh dear. Does he really want to take Chloe back that bad? So when papa really shows up, it is ironic that father and daughter are in hugging and loving mode. Hey. I thought she’s going to be sad because seeing him means going back? Papa thanks them for being good friends but I guess they’re desperate enough to ask straight about taking Chloe back so suddenly. But Papa is adamant Chloe has to come home because Japan is not safe. From what he says as heard from Chloe, Japan ‘hits you’, ‘sells weapons on New Year’s day’ and ‘eating food that chokes you’. Quickly our girls realize it is Chloe’s misinterpretation of the Japanese culture during New Year. (Hit you = hit the bell, weapons = decorations actually, choking food = mochi). Once everyone explains, papa is enlightened that there is no danger. Because Chloe hasn’t fully grasped the Japanese culture yet, looks like she has to stay and study more. That’s right. She’s not leaving. Hooray! And so tomorrow’s party will be turned into a big celebration. To top the night, it starts snowing.

Episode 12
Kokomi, Akane and Fumio take a look at the developed photos of Erena of Chloe’s party. Because the Christmas mood is gone and everyone is now looking forward to New Year unlike in Europe, our friends take the liberty to show our foreigner exchange students like Chloe and Yulia Valkova more about their local New Year’s culture. Kokomi invites them to her home. So this is a great learning opportunity for them to learn about the things they do, play and eat on New Year’s Day. Get your notepads ready and jot them all down especially you Chloe. Can’t afford to have you misunderstand the culture and give everyone a sudden farewell heart attack. Also, we see glimpses of other characters, some familiar faces and some that you may have not seen before, chatting and doing whatever stuffs they do. The best one of them all is Miss Monochrome. She malfunctions when she tries out the mochi! How can a robot choke? I mean, she doesn’t even breathe, right? But after restarting, she’s alright. Also, Nonoka’s friends are at the cafe. They realize the owner is out for a meeting so guess who is making the meals? Oh sh*t… Thankfully he comes back in time. Phew. Kokomi and co go over to Isuzu’s house to try on kimonos. That night they patron the stalls at the shrine and take their fortunes as they wait for the countdown to the New Year. Kokomi’s wish is to spend her next New Year with Chloe.

Error 404 – Girlfriend Not Found!
Hey wait a minute. So which part does it tells us on how to get a girlfriend? I didn’t get any tips on how to land one! Say what? That was just a big misunderstanding on my part???!!! EEEEEEHHHH???!!!!! And true enough I was fooled once more by jumping into conclusions after reading that simple and single synopsis line. I am not sure if this anime is intended to promote the game since this adapted anime overall feels like it falls under the cute girls doing cute things trope. Even more so, the episodes feel like standalones and with no real plot or direction, there is hardly anything exciting at the pace they are going. Therefore some of you who aren’t into this moe kind of stuffs might find this a bore and a turn off despite the various girls present. It’s not the quantity anymore. So many girls but yet I couldn’t make up my mind on landing which one (if there was such an option). Most probably because none was uniquely a maid. Ah, now I see why this show isn’t good as I hoped it would be.

After all it was my fault for jumping to conclusions after reading that very vague one liner of the synopsis that this was how to get a girlfriend or date one. This series is just your typical cute girls doing cute things with no real plot whatsoever. If you’re tired of watching this kind of genre seasons in and seasons out, this series is no different and could be a big bore. Therefore when they seemingly put the ‘dreadful’ incident that Chloe might be going away for good just to shake things up, well, personally I didn’t feel alarmed like the girls because deep down in my guts (and experience) tells me that fate will somehow readjust itself and turn it into a good ending.

And to note that some sites listed this series under the romance genre… Where the heck is the romance???!!! Unless the definition of romance is seeing the cute girls doing cute things and whatever activities they deem to have. I suppose there is that sort of romance in that. Because the yuri part also feels very minimal. Besides, this isn’t an all-girls’ school as there are mix of other boys although sadly a big majority of them are reduced to just minor backgrounds characters with no speech. Heck, I don’t think you would even notice them or something. And you thought with so many girls, will there be fanservice? Nope. Nada. Never. None. Such a cute and clean show that perhaps a 5 year old could even watch. Really.

With over 100 girls featured in the game, I figure it will be very tough for the anime to give each one a proper screen time and thus flesh them out. Unfortunately, it is indeed very hard and sometimes it feels like those characters which are not popular get only a fraction of the appearance. Heck, I don’t think all 100 girls are featured in this anime. I have not made any head count but again my guts tell me so. That is because the opening of the first episode already sees Kokomi bumping into a few characters. And there I was like going, “Hey, are they serious in introducing that much characters at the start of the debut episode?”. How the heck am I going to remember them all? Even more so in the final episode, it is like they’re trying to squeeze in all the characters they can that I don’t remember if some of them already made their cameo or if this is their first time. More on this later. So those who are ‘lucky’ enough will get featured for an episode whether it is via group (like the studying-for-kitten-adopting episode because it saves time and gives more appearances to more girls) or via individually like Mahiro (but technically this also can be considered as a group as other girls help her out although Mahiro seemingly takes centre stage).

Therefore I surmised that Kokomi must be the most popular girl in the series (although I can be totally wrong) since from my observations, she made the ‘most’ appearance. Funnily enough, Kokomi’s physical appearance is the most generic looking of them all. I mean, with over 100 girls and the need to have something unique of them, Kokomi just feels the plainest of them all. Shoulder length brown hair with no other hair accessories to distinguish her. I also guessed that a handful of characters like Erena, Chloe, Akane and Fumio are popular enough to warrant more cameo appearances compared to others like… Uhm… What were their names again?

And thus characterization feels weak because as I have said, with so many girls but so little episodes, there isn’t any justice done to flesh them out and it would be even less justice if your favourite girl isn’t featured prominently here. You can basically guess the personalities of the characters after a few seconds of seeing them interact. Some are quirky enough to be memorable like Erena who loves cute girls so much and with a camera always in hand ready to snap (and she always can’t resist the temptation), it is like she is a future paparazzi in the making? Then there is Chloe who messes up her Japanese lines and thus misinterpreting the culture and needs to be corrected. Although it is odd just to hear her mix in a few simple French words like oui, non, merci and occasionally tres bien. What about Kinoko who is always bugging others to eat the snack that bears her first name. At first I thought Miss Monochrome was only going to make a cameo appearance as a special guest but it seems from her several cameos, she is part of the 100 girls database.

Touching on the subject of drawing and art, they seem pretty decent and typical with the girls looking cute. That is all that matters, right? With so many girls, as always they try to give some variations to the design like different hairstyle, hair colour and hair accessories. Some even in different club uniforms just to add to this and their personality. However there are some cases where I have a hard time differentiating them such as Chloe and Erena. At times and at certain angles they look very close and I can’t tell the difference. Very close resemblance too between Nagiko and Isuzu. There are some too close that I thought they were twins like in the case of Nozomi and Yuzuko. Yeah. Both have short blue hair… Can’t tell them apart… The most amusing character design goes to Hina because half her hair is dyed in purple and the other half in pink! I know she’s a hair stylist wannabe but it gives this impression that she has bipolar disorder or split character (in which she doesn’t). Aside the student girls, some of the teachers have this young and cute look so much so you might mistake them to be their fellow students (Kyouko Tachibana in particular). But some like Todou got this mature look (but not old enough to be labelled an aunty – even so, don’t say it or you’ll be damned) so at least in this context she is distinguishable.

As the plot and storyline isn’t interesting (oh come on, after seeing cute girls doing cute things hundreds of times, it is starting to get a little weary), the more interesting part is spotting seiyuus voicing the character. So whenever a familiar voice is heard, I would go, “Aha! It’s her! That voice actress!”. I do this all the time even for Kokomi’s case. Okay, maybe towards the I end I do not scream as much with delight when like in the first few episodes that Satomi Satou is the voice of Kokomi. Yes. With so many girls even those with just one line dialogues, there is bound to be some seiyuus that I am familiar with. And there are delightfully quite a handful of them. Those I have ‘spotted’ include Rina Satou as Akane, Haruka Tomatsu as Nonoka, Saori Hayami as Haruka, Youko Hikasa as Risa, Kikuko Inoue as Kanata, Minori Chihara as Mahiro, Nao Touyama as Emi, Aoi Yuuki as Isuzu, Ayana Taketatsu as Ayana, Kana Asumi as Michiru and Yukari Tamura as Koruri. Of course, not forgetting Yui Horie as the one behind Miss Monochrome.

Subsequently I found that there are other popular seiyuus too but due to the limited or one or two time appearance of the characters, there wasn’t enough time for me to remember. In other words, the funny part is that instead of remembering that character’s name, I am more inclined to remember the seiyuu who voiced her. Like that what’s-her-name character who is no doubt the voice of Aki Toyosaki. Or Eri Kitamura. Or Rie Kugimiya. Or Ryouko Shintani. Or Ryouko Shiraishi. Hey, even Chiaki Omigawa is here (the one who voiced Maka in Soul Eater). The rest include (though some I didn’t really spot but supposedly ‘popular enough’ seiyuus – at least in my books) Kaori Nazuka, Yui Ogura, Ami Koshimizu, Mai Nakahara, Ayahi Takagaki, Kanae Itou, Hisako Kanemoto, Emiri Katou, Saki Fujita, Kaori Mizuhashi, Mikako Takahashi, Rina Hidaka, Ryou Hirohashi, Houko Kuwashima, Minako Kotobuki, Saori Gotou, Maaya Uchida, Ai Kayano and Aya Endou. I know this list is incomplete but did I miss anybody out that I’m not supposed to? And when they reached the final episode, with so many girls making their cameo, some I don’t even remember if I have remembered seeing them before, I just gave up. I got tired of thinking and pointing out. I just wanted it to end.

There are a couple of misses too. At first I thought the voice behind Erena was Yuko Gotou. But something tells me it wasn’t really her although it sounded very close. As it turns out, Hitomi Harada (Yaya in Unbreakable Machine Doll) could also have that muffled dreamy voice like her. Similarly, I thought Rie Tanaka was behind Chloe’s voice. As usual, something was a little off. It wasn’t her but sounded like her. So I thought. Turns out to be Sakura Tange (titular character in Cardcaptor Sakura). Personally, Chloe’s voice felt like a Japanese trying to sound like a foreigner instead of the other way round and thus the very funny kind of sound when she speaks. Like as though a Japanese pretending to be a foreigner but fails. At least her papa who is voiced by Kenji Hamada (Jouji in Paradise Kiss, Takumi in Honey And Clover) sounds more convincing as a French father. And of course his Japanese when he speaks sounds flawless…

Wow. I didn’t know I dedicated 3 damn paragraphs (not including this one) just for the seiyuu department alone. This shows the sheer amount of seiyuus involved in this (and I am sure they too voice the same characters in the mobile game). But after that is said and done, there is one big disappointment in this section: THERE IS NO MAMIKO NOTO!!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder at the end of the series, it feels like a big bummer and something ‘great’ was missing. Has she really fallen off the radar? I hope not… I HOPE NOT!!! Anyway just to name a few (that I know of in my books of course), a handful of veteran seiyuus too aren’t here such as Kana Hanazawa, Nana Mizuki, Yu Kobayashi, Ayako Kawasumi, Ai Shimizu, Yuka Iguchi, Miyuki Sawashiro, Marina Inoue, Rie Tanaka and yes Megumi Hayashibara. Yes, I still consider her because if Kikuko Inoue can be here, then why not her? Oh, right. Kikuko Inoue will always be 17 years old :). And if you’ve noticed, this anime is predominantly female so I don’t bother with the likes of the male seiyuu counterparts like Jun Fukuyama, Norio Wakamoto, Yuuki Kaji, Yuuichi Nakamura, Takehito Koyasu, Tomokazu Seki, Tomokazu Sugita, Mamoru Miyano, Junichi Suwabe, Shinichiro Miki, Akira Ishida, Hiroshi Kamiya and Hiro Shimono, all by which do not appear here. OMG. I just realized that this blog of mine contains the most mentioned names of anime seiyuus… OMG indeed…

I have this weird feeling hearing both the opening and ending themes. Tanoshiki Tokimeki is the opener sung by Neuron Creamsoft, which is the in-anime’s light music club and its members. But hearing Saori Hayami as the lead vocalist in this rock song feels just odd. I mean, nothing wrong but something feels like a mismatch with her voice. Plus, hearing this song doesn’t bring back memories of the rock songs in K-ON! (I have a feeling Nagiko is modelled after Mio because both similarly have long black hair, write the songs and play the bass) but funnily Asobotto Senki Goku’s second ending theme, Kasumi Yuku Sora Se Ni Shite. It must be the hard rock electric guitar which has this similar vibe. The tune of Hareru Kanaa as the ending theme isn’t bad. Just that hearing Satomi Satou singing this pop ballad sounds funny. I mean, it is like she is trying to sound overly cute (is she even singing at certain parts?) but it just doesn’t quite match and thus in a way making the song feel funny. Not forgetting the special ending theme for that cultural festival episode, Shinka-kei Girl. Another rock outfit helmed by Neuron Creamsoft and Saori Hayami leading on the vocals. Uhm… Sounds funnily odd too?

Overall, if you just really love the genre of cute girls doing cute things with nothing much ado, then this anime fits you. Otherwise if you’re like me, hoping to land a (2D) girlfriend but only leaving disappointed because all you can do is watch and see them but never getting your hands on them, then it would be bad for your loner otaku status. Okay, just kidding. Not. If you want to get a piece of the action with the girls, then just play the game. I feel the anime is just for desserts or snacking. Hope I didn’t put it the wrong way. Even thinking of having a harem of 100 over girls would be too much. It’s like ruling a mini kingdom of pretty girls. Can’t handle it all. Harem overkill. Catfight overkill. Attention-divided-till-you-have-to-clone-yourself overkill. Die of moe overdose over a hundred times? Moe overkill. Then it wouldn’t be Girlfriend Beta, but Girlfriend Omega… And then all alone…

D-Frag! OVA

January 9, 2015

It is good to play games but playing them indoors all the time isn’t really good and there is a need to have outdoor games to exercise the body so that the body and mind continue to stay sharp. Oh heck. Who the heck am I kidding? Certainly the gang in Game Development Club (Provisional) wouldn’t care much about it. And so D-Frag! OVA is mainly about Kenji getting dragged (as usual) by his crazy club girls to participate in some outdoor race over some ‘normal’ prize. That’s crazy, right?

Uwaataa!!
Sakura challenges Kenji to a fighting game and if she loses, she’ll tell the secret of other girls. He thinks it’s a great idea to learn their weaknesses and use it against them one day. Guess what? Sakura is so weak that Kenji wins perfect! Secret #1: Chitose has a great body. When Noe comes in to remind big brother about doing errands for mom, she is dragged in to play a match with Sakura. I guess Sakura is that weak… Secret #2: Roka’s body is also great. Absolute lie! When Kenji is back home, Sakura surprisingly pops up and requests for his help. There is this spring race competition that offers some special limited spring water Sakura would love to get her hands on. Hey, water is her element, right? But why need Kenji’s help? She’s smart and strong enough to win it on her own, right? Because the rest of the competitors are weak old men. Well, there is this beautiful and busty lady whom she considers her biggest rival. Does she seem familiar? She was a host for that superhero show at the shopping mall rooftop that got on fire. The one where Sean saved Kenji while this lady immediately bailed! Yeah. That’s her. Noe is not happy that Sakura is getting too friendly with her brother. She starts getting upset. Sakura fuels the fire by proclaiming she’ll win the race and become Kenji’s sister! Noe doesn’t want to do this and go home but Kenji says that since they are here, might as well take part. Oh, guess who are also here? Chitose and Roka! Somebody needs water for her earth and the other for her barley tea.

As the race starts, Noe accidentally loses a sandal. Now they are at the back of the pack. Old men beating them in this race? Along the way, they see several ‘defeated’ old men because Chitose and busty lady are engaged in some fearsome rock-scissors-paper duel and I supposed their aura knocked them out. Kenji, Sakura and Noe try to tiptoe pass them but they finish their duel and continue racing. To stop busty lady, Chitose and Roka throw their souvenir hats at them. Two against one, sure to win, right? Till busty lady mentions her hat is no ordinary hat and one that she won last year. The duo lost… I don’t know. Don’t ask. Noe continues to be annoyed at the crazy girls because Kenji is acting weird with them and all. Sakura believes she should join their club and make it more fun but Noe refuses. There is a big ‘traffic jam’ ahead. Because the old men are trying to cross a flimsy wooden suspension bridge! Roka tries to use her secret love jump technique (couples can really ‘fly’ when they are in love, right?) but falls like a rock! Luckily Kenji got her hand but she accuses him of trying to kill her! Noe has had enough and wants to quit. They don’t have to follow through with their antics. But Kenji wants to carry on with this race seeing his stubborn side not to lose. Noe can go home if she wants to. If that’s the case, Noe isn’t going to lose too. She crawls underneath the legs of those old guys to cross over to the other side. The rest? Make one big leap of faith! Kenji falls short and is about to fall into the abyss but Sakura pulls him back but in turn will fall. If not for a rope, she could have fallen to her doom. Kenji scolds her for that reckless move but she wasn’t worried. There is river below and water is her element, remember? But where did the rope come from? It’s Sean! Seems he has something of importance to do.

Sakura has sprained her ankle and Noe shows her concern that she can’t have a fair race if she is injured. Roka threatens for her to go on first or else she will get mad. Little sister takes the bait but it doesn’t work on Kenji since he won’t leave her behind. He carries her with the help of the other girls. But where did busty lady go? She fled the scene and abandoned the race after seeing Sean. The way Chitose talks as though they know who that lady is. They once saw her at a PTA meeting. I suppose it’s a small world after all because that busty lady turns out to be Takao’s mom. Those huge racks… See the resemblance? Eventually the ‘cavalry’ carrying Sakura catches up with Noe. Little sister won’t give in and starts running like hell. Roka and Chitose use their ultimate pushing strength for more speed and it makes it as though Kenji is a slow poke. The sibling won’t give in to each other as they start taunting each other. Since when did the race descended into a sibling showdown? As they make a final push for the finish line, Chitose and Roka usurp them and cross it first. Sakura isn’t sad because she had fun. Let’s try again next year. No way! Keep Kenji out of it next time!

To their surprise, Sean is also there and has tied up the race’s organizer. Seems the spring water is fake and is just ordinary tap water. Sakura goes into extreme shock and collapses. I guess it was that bad for her. In the aftermath, Noe tries to reconcile with Sakura but the latter still can find ways to annoy her. In fact I think everything she says and even her existence annoys the hell out of her. Sakura comments the siblings are close and are both airheads. Noe on the other hand comments the fake water doesn’t taste too bad either. As promised, Sakura must buy her ice cream for not winning the race. She agrees to it but also suggests drinking water to flush out all that sweet sensation. Noe disagrees and would prefer drinking milk after eating ice cream. Sakura would beg to differ… Noe won’t change her mind… Kenji sees them arguing and is somewhat happy that they get along fine. Really? Do they?

Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Despite only a single episode, this OVA is still amusing as ever and brings back memorable memories of the chaotic hilarity that the TV series brought. Kenji is still the loudmouth rebuffing character thanks to the quirkiness of the girls and he looks like he is doing a fine job carrying on this traditional role of his. Another interesting point of this OVA is that the featuring of Noe. I won’t say that it is a very prominent focus but at least it’s better than her single episode appearance back in the TV series. She is still very irritated that her big brother has joined a club filled with weird girls and despite her constant anger (which looks like a permanent feature on her face), at least she is more tolerable. Because if she really hated those girls, she wouldn’t have continued joining the race and wouldn’t have tried to make up with Sakura in the end. So could you say it is like trying to bridge their bond? All because over some water thingy. And I think Sakura has a liking for Noe too because of the way she teases her and that everlasting smile on her face. It’s like she could never get mad. Oh wait. Do you want to see Sakura mad? Well, seeing Kenji mad is already hilarious enough. Care to do it again, girls?

Girls Und Panzer OVA

September 19, 2014

Oh yes!!! It is finally here! I remember I was really disappointed when they cut out one of the important matches in the TV series. I was really looking forward to it. And then it’s like they answered my prayers (or rather they might have planned this all along) because Girls Und Panzer OVA is the much awaited second round match of the Senshadou championship between Ooarai and the Italian Anzio! Hooray! Now I can be extremely satisfied! I’m not going to bore you (and myself) with whatever introductions because I’m so eager to hop in and watch the tank battle. Let’s go!

This Is The Real Anzio Battle!
Anzio’s Senshadou captain, Anchovy addresses her mates and is confident about defeating Ooarai. Hooray! Counting their chickens? Well, they barely scraped through the first round. As she is going to unveil her new tank, seems the clock strikes noon and all the girls don’t want to miss out some special lunch. Food is more important than tanks, right? Oh yeah. Italians… Back at Ooarai, they are discussing their strategy on Anzio when Yukari returns with yet another infiltration at Anzio. Seems they are having a food festival. Yup. Italians do love their food. Everybody is so merry that Yukari could even record Anchovy rallying the girls on her new tank. Miho goes to visit rekijo team’s house to get more details on the Italian tanks. One of them has a friend in Anzio and she would love to face off with her fair and square. Ooarai practice by having heroine team and volleyball team acting as Anzio. Loli team chasing volleyball team feels like a joke… Rekijo team tries to practice firing at heroine team at long range but they couldn’t hit them. A single shot from heroine team eliminated them. Need more practice? At the end of the day, they feel hungry. What are they having? Italian of course! Nekota tries to talk to Miho to join her club but seems she fails again. A new tank has been discovered and being uncovered by automotive team. Because some time is needed to make repairs, they won’t be joining in their next match. In exchange for fixing it up good, automotive team wants to ride this one.

The match day is here. Anchovy meets Miho before the match as greeting. I won’t say Anchovy is cocky but she is brimming with confidence. Also, Caesar meets her other friend, Carpaccio on the other side and is glad to see each other again. The match begins. As usual, Ooarai has only 5 tanks compared to Anzio’s 10. Loli team and volleyball team go ahead and scout and spot the enemy tanks. They are ordered not to engage them. However something doesn’t add up. How come there are 11 tanks not including the flag tank? Miho orders them to fire a test shot and those tanks are just cardboards! A decoy! Miho realizes Anzio’s goal is to surround and ambush them from the back. Their tactic now is to use their flag tank to lure the enemy out. Loli team thought they have spotted more fake tanks and fire. Oops. Real ones. Now run! Volleyball team are on the run too as several of Anzio’s tanks are hot on their tail. Anchovy is waiting nicely when she realizes her comrades had screwed up the number of fake tanks since Ooarai has figured out their plan. She makes a move but comes into Ooarai. Rekijo team and Carpaccio’s team engage in close combat. You think it is odd for them to miss at this range but manoeuvring a tank like that isn’t easy. The flag tanks chase each other.

Volleyball team despite firing and overturning many Anzio tanks, it is like they are on some God mode because they keep coming back. Those Anzio tanks may lack firepower and despite being overturned, they are light enough for them to flip it back up and continue as long as the white flag doesn’t pop up. Plus, they have great mobility. Miho advises them to take out its weakness in the engine radiator. Volleyball team aims and fire. They hit not 1 but 4 of them! Wohoo! Also, loli team stops their tank so they could aim better. They manage to get 1. Not bad! Suddenly Anzio’s tanks are halved! Anchovy presses the panic button and wants all tanks to protect her flag tank. By the time reinforcement has arrived, they got taken out (it’s like they came just to get shot) and eventually Anchovy’s tank. Ooarai wins! The close quarter combat between rekijo team and Carpaccio’s team ends in a draw. They took each other out. In the aftermath, Anchovy congratulates Miho for a great game and now they will be rooting for them to win the championship. Now it is time to party! Anzio rolls out a feast for everyone to enjoy. See, what did I tell you about Italians loving their food? It’s so extravagant! If only they put more passion into their Senshadou as much as their cooking. In the final scene, we see Anzio coming really early in the wee hours of the morning to book their spot for the finals between Ooarai and Kuromorimine. No way they can be late, eh? Yeah. Whoever said starting early could kill? So they party all night… Morning comes, everybody is sound asleep. Safe to say, they miss the entire match! They only wake up when it’s over. You call that oversleeping! It’s already evening for God’s sakes! Now you know why they’re missing?

Mama Mia! Tank You For Everything!
Despite this OVA lasting around 38 minutes, it felt like it was only its usual 24 minutes worth of screen time. That was how engrossed I was, though the beginning may be a bit slow since it wasn’t the action part. The tank battles did not disappoint as usual and it is still thrilling to watch our girls go into battle. This battle gives a little more prominence to the volleyball team and loli team since we see them owning a few Anzio tanks. Because in the TV series they usually are the ones who get owned and lack the firepower compared to the tanks of other schools. So it’s nice that heroine team and student council team didn’t really hog much of the limelight. Rekijo team is also rather okay and I suppose the friendship of one of their comrades was just to give us a little development although it won’t be that deep. Though, Momo’s poor aim is still the best running joke ever.

Although it is sad that with this OVA, it brings a closure to the series, I am not sure if there is going to be another season or spin-offs or OVAs for these girls. I may not be into tanks for real or online games, but if there is I will definitely be there to root for my favourite tank girls. This series has been so far very awesome and even the bad points turn into good ones (were there any?). So girls, once again, t(h)anks for the joyride and for everything that you have provided me for this series. It was unforgettable. It was superb. It was fantastic. It was awesome. It was… Well, everything! In that sense, they really did aim and strike my heart. Three cheers and let’s tank up to that!

Hori-san To Miyamura-kun

September 12, 2014

Sometimes the way a series’ synopsis is written could be the reason why it attracts people to watch it. Never mind the contents. The words alone in the summary could be the deciding factor for people (especially yours truly) to go watch an anime. Provided if I don’t judge it by its poster first. And so this is the case for the double OVAs for Hori-san To Miyamura-kun. It went something like this:

“People say that the youthful days are always bittersweet, but maybe it’s just bitter? Kyouko Hori is a flashy high school girl, who, despite her ostentatious appearance, excels in academics and has a family-loving character. Izumi Miyamura is a bland high school boy, who, despite not wanting to stand out in class, secretly wears piercings outside of school and has a large body tattoo. One day, Miyamura finds Hori’s little brother injured and helps him back to Hori’s house, where the relationship between Hori and Miyamura begins with Hori’s discovery of Miyamura’s secret”.

It might sound very normal and ordinary but for me at that time, it was enough to make me decide that I should give this a try. Besides, I didn’t realize there were actually 2 OVAs for this and I only recently got to know about this series when the second OVA was released back in March 2014. The first OVA was released somewhere in September 2012 and that is like one and a half years between the OVAs! I don’t know if they’re going to wait another 3 years to decide for another OVA but let me watch this couple of OVAs first.

Episode 1
It starts off with some comical short clip of Hori wanting to cut Miyamura’s hair. I don’t know how much she cut off… On to the story proper, it is the start of the new term. Hori, Tooru Ishikawa and Yuki Yoshikawa find themselves in the same class. Also with them is Miyamura whom Hori’s friends think is an otaku. Hori and Miyamura seats are close to each other. This has Miyamura remember their little secret. When Miyamura saved her little brother Souta after he fell down due to being startled by a dog, he brought him back to his home. Hori is shocked and surprised and cannot believe this guy is Miyamura. I mean with all that ear piercings, no glasses and different hairstyle, he doesn’t look like that geek. He too thought Hori was unrecognizable since she dons a different hairstyle and is without any makeup. She feels embarrassed when he praises her how she keeps her house clean by herself. Even more so when he comments she looks cuter without her makeup. He thought this would be the last time he would come to her house but because Souta always asked for him, that is when he started going to Hori’s house on his days off. On another day, he saves Souta from being bullied from another kid. But I guess he forgot to buy Hori’s coffee from Starbucks so he lets her have his (indirect kiss?). It wasn’t to her liking and scolds him. However her body action later reveals that perhaps it wasn’t the drink she finds it frustrating… There is a physical examination at school so Miyamura is at a loss on what to do and seeks Hori’s help. Why? Because he has this big tattoo over his body! This is going to be troublesome. Shortly, Ishikawa confronts Miyamura that he has been pretty friendly with Hori lately. Are they going out? Of course not. He thinks they won’t be a good match. Miyamura asks if Ishikawa likes Hori. Naturally. Miyamura is naturally an insensitive person so he couldn’t see Ishikawa embarrassed and continues asking. Ishikawa notices Miyamura wearing his jersey despite it is summer. Does he have a scar? Miyamura tells him his secret and shows the tattoo. Ishikawa pats his head and finds him interesting. Upon closer look, he realizes he has piercing holes on his ear.

Ishikawa requests to walk home with Hori because Miyamura is acting all fidgety and nervous, she suspects something is wrong. More so, he couldn’t look at her in the eye when they talk. Actually Ishikawa told him he wants to confess to Hori. He just wanted to check if he is okay with that. Miyamura feels grateful since she is nice to him. He then ponders if they actually became a couple, what will happen to him? Will he be in the way? Will he be alone again? If so, it is okay since he is used to it just like before. When Hori comes back, she talks to Miyamura that Ishikawa had told her. She is not happy that he thought they don’t match and that she was just being nice to him. He admits it but because he doesn’t want to blow her cover. She isn’t impressed with that and doesn’t want him to do it again. As for whether he can still come over, of course he can. Because Souta would be lonely and it would be hard for her to carry the groceries alone. As for Ishikawa’s confession, she turned him down. Miyamura couldn’t understand why she turned down such a nice guy so Hori says if he likes him that much, they can date each other. Wait a minute… Miyamura doesn’t discount it?! Ever since, Ishikawa feels heartbroken and somewhat avoids Hori. Though, he hasn’t had any problems talking to Miyamura. When the teacher tells the class to form a group of 4, Miyamura becomes part of Hori’s group as he wonders if this is how it feels to have friends. He remembers people always leave him out and in the end he was always alone. Miyamura and Ishikawa talk. Hori treats him the same as always. Does it mean she thinks nothing of him and just a friend? He feels irritated that he is close to Hori. But because he is too nice and gullible, he can’t leave him alone. They try calling each other by their first names. It sounds weird but I think it’s passable. Hori reprimands the guys for not doing their report. Miyamura thinks he’ll be okay with friends like them.

Episode 2
Ishikawa’s weird dream of Miyamura as his little kitten? Miyamura didn’t do well in his test unlike Hori who almost got perfect. Hori declines Yoshikawa’s invitation to hang out after school. Miyamura could guess she wants to rush for some time limited sales. He helps her out and they bought a lot. Hori is tasked by the student council to do a welcoming party for the freshmen since she is an honours student. This makes Souta ask the meaning of it. Miyamura explains all the cool qualities of being an honours student. But that doesn’t include shooting beams from their eyes! One evening, Hori SMS to Miyamura about some sale of cheap eggs that will only be available till 4pm. That means he only has 15 minutes! He makes a quick dash and jumps over the fence. He almost bumps into Yoshikawa but she couldn’t recognize him as he wasn’t wearing his glasses. She never knew such a cool guy exists in her school. Back home, Miyamura tells Hori that Yoshikawa saw him in that coincidence but she doesn’t mind about it although she would prefer nobody else sees him in that appearance. Miyamura also mentions the side of Hori that he would love to see and not let others see so she scolds him. Because Miyamura is such a frequent visitor, Souta thinks he should just live here. But Hori says he can’t be here all the time. Especially when he chooses his path after graduating from high school. Souta throws a tantrum that he doesn’t like it. It won’t be fun if he isn’t here. Is Hori okay with this? Of course she prefers him around too. Souta gives off a big smile. In class, Yoshikawa sees the resemblance between Miyamura and that hot guy but couldn’t guess they are the same person. So the friends try to cover up like he looks like some character in some tokusatsu show. When Hori is called by the student council for work, the friends talk about the student council president, Kakeru Sengoku who is quite popular with the girls. However he has a cute girlfriend, Remi Ayasaki whom they believe doesn’t do the work and pushes it to Hori. While Miyamura is at the vending machine trying to decide, he sees Sengoku and Remi coming by lovey-dovey. He overhears their conversation (it’s like they act he doesn’t even exist). She wants him to cover up a big mistake she did and he agrees to do it.

Hori feels stressed since she needs to think how to receive a female guest Souta will bring home. With Miyamura’s idea, they use the leftover eggs to make some bread cake. While washing the dishes, Hori requests Miyamura to bring her scrunchie in her room. He sees a crumpled future survey form with lots of cancel marks on it. It was when he realized she was always stressed out and never noticed about it. He feels sad about it and goes back to pat her head (?!). He even leaves a message that he thinks she must have cried. Did she? Not even she herself knows. In class, he gives her an extra copy of the form to fill out. Hori is called again by the student council. They thought she has finished all the work. They hear them accusing her of faults in the materials so it can’t be published. Hori denies it since it is under Remi’s job but they continue to blame her for blaming others instead of doing a proper job. Also, the people around are starting to badmouth about Hori. She just stood there in silence… After a while, Miyamura comes back and he has Ishikawa hold his glasses. Then he head butts Sengoku!!! What was that for?! He was mad. And then he shows the proof of Remi’s miscalculations. They disperse the crowd and everything is settled for now. Seems Miyamura went to find the proof and perhaps they are just like the lazy bums they are, they didn’t even properly burn away the evidence and left it in the garbage. On a rainy day, Hori forgot her umbrella but Miyamura lends his jacket and they make a dash in the rain. She spams him with questions like why is he being so kind to her. Why does he always appear when she needs him? Why?! He says something inaudible and he whispers “Baka!” in his ear. In the aftermath, the head butt incident didn’t spread and Ichikawa thinks Sengoku might have taken advantage of her weakness. Flashback reveals Sengoku lost a bet and became her lackey. He promised to change when he enters high school and wants to have high grades and become the student council president. He is appalled to find she is enrolling in the same high school with him. He wants her to leave her alone then. Otherwise the next time she makes fun of him, he will spill her secret. Not the one where she hates stew but where she arm wrestled 5 guys and won. Hori couldn’t believe she once bullied him. Likewise Sengoku too can’t believe he once bullied her. I suppose he has some sort of trauma seeing Miyamura even if he is just greeting him normally.

Averagely Normal…
I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear? Oh, let me start with the bad news first. First of all, there is nothing really exciting going on in this series. You have got the main protagonists who are looking normal but have their own secrets. You don’t see them trying hard to hide it because all they have to do is just act normal with everyone else and you won’t even suspect a thing. There is nothing special in the romance either and it might bore you to death as we don’t see any progress. My guess is that just like this anime’s title suggest, the main pairings will be between Hori and Miyamura. I have a gut feeling that they like each other but just keeping their distance and status as friends. I mean, how long can you use the house visit all for Souta excuse? Therefore the plot is nothing special and nothing that extraordinary because it is just about these bunch of people and their interaction among themselves. Although I didn’t read the manga, the way the episodes show feels like they are putting snippets of certain chapters into the episodes. It’s like cramming everything or just showing the so called important bits.

Even more so, the animation is nothing special and is ordinary. In fact, I would say that the art and drawing are the biggest downside (at least to me) because the characters here do look simple and general. It is like they didn’t put enough quality into them but then again, this might be the series’ uniqueness. But still, I find it a major turnoff. If you want to have handsome guys and cute girls, it is best to have them looking like the standard bishonen and bishoujo instead of going for something simple and plain. Though, I feel the second OVA’s quality was a much better improvement than the first one although the art of the character designs still remain generally the same.

So average this show is that it might even turn into a bore fest because with the lack of everything, it also lacks everything else. It has no great music, with no grand plots means it has no filler scenes. And as said the lack of any extravagant animation or complicated plots that involve the confusing love relationships, love polygons makes everything else feels so normal and in a way uninteresting. Despite all that, what is the good news? All that too. Yup. The bad things are the good things as well because it shows that it is just a simple show and that you don’t need all the fancy and extravagant stuffs to pull in your audience. Therefore despite there is the danger of it being uninteresting, if you toss away all your high expectations, you should find this series to be decently good and satisfying. Because, there is nothing wrong being normal or average, right? Whoever said being that was bad?

Maken-Ki Two

August 2, 2014

Looks like it is finally here. The much awaited second season, Maken-Ki Two has arrived. That means more boobs fanservice for those who remember watching the first season. Yeah. I can barely remember the plot of it all despite the first season aired more than a couple of years ago. The biggest thing that stands out and that we remember most are the boobs fanservice and panty shoots that make up for everything else that it lacks. So viewers who are back watching this second season are thus only here for that unholy reason. New viewers might even be wondering what the heck this is. Because it is filled so much with mind numbing fanservice that it doesn’t matter if there is any plot to advance or not. Because we are all happy enough to get our boob shots and panty shoots every 10 seconds. If you still need a synopsis what this show is about other than fanservice, it’s about a school that houses people with special Element powers. But you’d probably don’t find that as interesting as the fanservice, right?

Episode 1
First scene: Girls for fanservice + Takeru getting beaten up for it. This has become a daily affair so aren’t they bored of it? Even almost late for school but made it in time. Nothing like using their Maken to cheat a little, eh? But they’ve got their first case. Somebody is stealing bras from girls and pinning them up and their face on the notice board. There have already been 6 cases so Furan calls forth an emergency meeting. The culprit must be a male with a twisted perverse nature. All the victims had their statement taken and it seems they don’t remember what happened except for seeing some black blob thingy. Each attack happens in the toilet or changing room. Furan assigns her fellow Maken-Ki girls to guard and keep watch on those areas. Of course the guys will be on patrol as usual since for obvious reasons they can’t be on this mission directly. Then another victim. A teacher this time. Takeru thinks he knows the pattern. From the first victim to the latest, the victim’s bra size increases by one. But how come they all look so humongous? The guys have been observing the boobs of the victims from several angles and their complicated (perverted) software in their brains analyzed they were just padding up. So with 7 victims and cup size A to G, who the hell has boobs size of H-cup? Haruko and Chaha… OMG… Be even amazed that there are bigger ones too. Minori is I-cup and the biggest of them all, Aki is K-cup! Definitely king of cups. Although Inaho doesn’t want her friends to become bait to catch the pervert, Haruko volunteers to be it as she is confident her friends will protect her. So everybody is hiding at all the possible entrances and exits while Haruko and Chacha are changing.

Takeru and Kengo are watching from afar again. Kengo feels somebody dropped his porn magazine and goes to take it. Then he goes off on pretence he has received a call from the others. Haruko and Chacha see a black blob entering through the air vent. It turns into a cute monkey. The monkey turns into a flasher but this effect hypnotizes them. The culprit is disguising himself as Kengo as he passes the ‘security’ to go give the girls lunch. He makes them take off their bra. Takeru hears Kengo inflicting some self pleasure and realizes the culprit has made his move. So when he barges in (how did no one notice or at least come in with him?), he gets tied up and learns about this pervert’s twisted nature to follow his perverted instincts. He is made to watch it all but Takeru gets the strength get up and to defend Haruko despite being tied up and lecture him about laws and the true perverted path he is walking down. He is going to teach him a lesson with his fist. Something odd about his Drive Duo punch. If he can destroy the entire roof and the beam probably halfway to the moon, how come the pervert’s face isn’t destroyed seeing he landed a clean punch? Oh, who cares? The case is solved. Haruko wakes up in Takeru’s arms and she is happy and glad to have believed that he would come save her. The moment is ruined when Takeru’s starts nose bleeding since he has a full view of Haruko’s bare boobs. Who is the true pervert now? Time for him to be taught a painful lesson.

Episode 2
Former Tenbi student, Mahiru Shimoyanagi is the culprit behind the theft in the academy. Maken-Ki members are on her tail to catch her. However with her wind Element, Azuki and Inaho are blown away (including their clothes). Next are Haruko and Takeru. Noticing she wields Murakumo, after blowing their clothes again, she steals her memories. The next time she wakes up, she doesn’t recognize Takeru or anybody else. Aki analyzes her and although there are no other injuries, besides her stolen memories, her Maken and Element are also taken. She’s like a normal amnesiac girl now. First thing she says is she wants to be Takeru’s wife because he saw her partially naked then. Inaho objects since she is his wife so Haruko settles to be his lover. This is acceptable? While the others are running around trying to catch Mahiru, Himegami is tasked to watch Takeru, Haruko and Inaho (playing house?) so that nothing funny happens between them. Takeru has Haruko see their photo albums but she remembers nothing. Think about it. Her memories are stolen. So how can she remember? That night she can’t sleep so she talks to Takeru that she was thinking about him in the sense that when he showed her all the photos, it means he was her only childhood friend when she had her memories. When she saw them, she somehow knew she had feelings for him since. She views this amnesia as a blessing in disguise because she gets to fall in love with the same person all over again.

Next morning as Himegami fears, Haruko is sleeping with Takeru! What’s with those love bites on his neck?! It seems Haruko has decided. She will not be satisfied to being just his lover. She will become his proper wife. And with the convenience of memory loss, despite being a second year, she joins Takeru’s class with excuse that she forgot everything and needs to relearn everything from the top. But why sitting on Takeru’s lap? Oddly, Inaho isn’t the one crying blood or emitting a deadly aura. It’s those jealous loser guys. Hah! Haruko pecks Takeru on his cheek!!! No reaction from her still? At this rate, Takeru knows he will die. So the others better hurry up and get her memories back! Azuki spots an explosion from afar. Mahiru is misusing Murakumo to rob a bank. Although Mahiru is defeated, she won’t give Haruko’s memories back. That is when Yuuka takes over. She gives Mahiru the best S&M bondage treatment ever. She may even come to like it… Mean time, Haruko calls Takeru to the gym. She takes off her clothes and gets on top of him. She wants to be filled up. So cliché. By the time Mahiru climaxes, it causes Haruko’s memories to return. She realizes the indecency she is doing and punishes Takeru. I’m sure he is more than happy to welcome her back. Her retribution included. That’s the Haruko he knows. Haruko apologizes to her friends for making them worry. Although she says she does not remember anything during her amnesia, it is one big lie because she is now reeling in embarrassment about her confession to Takeru that night.

Episode 3
Inaho brings her pet cat, Monji to school so that they can play with him. However they are swamped with work and backlogs of it. It’s going to take a while. Make that a very long while. When the guys comment how Monji has it easy, Monji releases his Element and turns all the girls into real life cat girls! Meow! Otaku’s paradise? As explained, Monji probably got this ability naturally after being with them so long. Every morning Takeru gets his taste of the girls’ Element punishment, right? Now that the girls are cats, no work is being done and other students are swooning at how cute they are. Uh huh. They’re acting like cats. CUTE!!! Inaho tries resisting but eventually succumbs to her feline nature. When Inaho and Haruko start seducing Takeru, he realizes that it is mating season for cats. Yeah. An excuse to turn those girls into horny cats and satisfy our perverted fantasies. So basically… Our cat girls want to go f*ck somebody. Uh huh. They’re terrorizing the guys. Some like Gen are having it ‘good’ since it’s a 3 way fight between Aki, Furan and Yuuka. Takeru splashes water on those seducing girls and it did bring them to their senses. They need to find Monji but as Inaho explains, she hasn’t seen him since yesterday and could be missing. Takeru and Inaho run around the school to look for him and Inaho gets a feeling he might be on that Amanohara mountain, the place where they first met. They find him there but how are they going to get him to change everyone back to normal? It’s like Inaho and Monji have this telepathic bond between them because without saying anything, after they reunite, Monji’s Element power returns everyone back to normal. Some caught in quite embarrassing situations. Thankfully, nobody got done in. Inaho explains that Monji probably turned everyone into a cat thinking they would play with him if he had done so. Next day, with everyone back to normal, they have tons of work to finish. But some can’t stop talking like a cat still. The lingering effect? Kengo has captured on video Himegami as a cat. Upon seeing it, she throws it away. Shouldn’t she delete it first? Takeru guesses that the guys didn’t transform into a cat most probably is because Monji himself is a guy. Notice his paws on Inaho’s boobs? Yeah. Cats are perverts.

Episode 4
Flashback shows Kimi was always a loner. She became friends with Chacha because they like the same manga. Haruko and Azuki catch Kimi and Chacha in some compromising yuri position. What’s this? Himegami is in and making it a threesome?! It’s not that they have turned into lesbian lovers but they are preparing for Tenbi Manga Festival (TenMan), a doujin convention where there is cosplay and manga. What they were doing was masquerading, acting out skits while dressed in cosplay. Seriously, what were they trying to act out? Kimi wants to use the guys as naked models but I guess there is objection from certain parties. Because the duo have been working so hard to participate in this, everyone decides to help out. Then there is this sketch that Kimi is doing with Haruko and Himegami, Haruko’s bikini is slowly becoming undone because of her voluptuous figure. She can’t move an inch since Kimi is working. In the nick of time she finishes and Haruko manages to grab and protect her modesty before the guys can see anything. Yeah. Too fast to see Himegami’s fist and kicks coming too. Oddly, Kimi’s sketch turns out horrible… Only nice letterings and sound effects… Everybody works hard till the last day. TenMan opens with a blast and is packed with people. Would you believe it? Kimi’s manga was sold out. There are deeper things I suppose that we won’t understand. As the masquerade competition is about to begin, suddenly the cosplayers feel their clothes tightening to a point that it’s strangling. Monsters come out alive from the manga and cause a rampage. I guess this is time for our Maken-Ki people to show off some Maken moves and go into action (other than fanservice). They free the cosplayers from their choking dress and evacuate everyone. Kimi and Chacha won’t forgive those responsible for ruining everything but the culprits are easy to find. A bunch of guys watching it all calmly instead of panicking. They’re doing this to see the faces of those cosplayers in pain and couldn’t care less about others as long as they are satisfied. Of course with such cocky attitude, it goes without saying they get whacked by the justice Maken powers of the duo. Once they’re out, the monster rampage ends. Kimi is sad that all their hard work went to waste but Chacha puts it that this isn’t the last event. And so they plan to enter another one and this time it’s a foursome masquerade between Kimi, Chacha, Himegami and Haruko. Man, they’ve got to find a better masquerade topic to practice or at least do it somewhere else instead of right at the entrance of the clubroom when the guys can just waltz in and see a free show.

Episode 5
When Aki was young, she wanted to become a great wife. If she had boobs this big when she was small… Fast forward present day and her mom is calling her about her boyfriend. To stop her nagging, she figured out the convenient victim answer: Takeru. That guy came in to seek treatment and little did he know that the selfie pose they made will get them into trouble. Or rather, him. He gets knocked out by some MIBs and the next thing he knows, he is handcuffed to Aki’s hand on a bed in a resort island bungalow owned by Tenbi. Aki’s mom even left a note saying she doesn’t mind them having this illicit teacher-student affair as long as she can get a grandchild. Hint, hint. And that handcuff has some Element on it so it won’t come off till 2 days later. In the mean time, Takeru has to put up doing things together with her like going to the toilet, cooking and bathing while trying to keep his ‘son’ from ‘acting up’. I wonder if he is using his Element to keep his ‘son’ from doing that. If so… Respect! Of course, staying indoors would be boring so they take a stroll in the beach and the sudden rain has them take shelter underneath a tree. The lightning scares her so Takeru plays the role of the comforting man. Aki wonders if she’ll be a good wife and Takeru was kind enough to tell her she’s got all the good qualities that a woman would have and that every guy at school including himself admires her. Seriously. She really wants him to kiss her just for this time when a lightning blast blows them away (causing Takeru’s lips to touch her cheek). It’s not nature’s wrath. Rather, Himegami and Haruko just arriving! When they learn Takeru has been suspiciously missing at school, alongside Aki they investigate and find it strange that somebody is occupying the bungalow at this time. True enough, it was them. Takeru tries to explain himself (that he didn’t do anything) but I think loves seeing what is going to happen to this guy. Because she didn’t bat an eyelid telling them the things they did together. Bathing and sleeping. When Takeru tries to show the Element handcuff they are tied together, it’s gone. What handcuff? Good news: Takeru is free to run like the wind! Bad news: He can never outrun the lightning strikes of Murakumo! Who says lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice or thrice or quadruple times? And so back in school, our girls are sulking while Takeru is having a hard time pleasing them. Aki is grateful to Takeru that she is able to experience being a lover for the first time and keeps that selfie as a memento.

Episode 6
Furan thinks it is time to choose new members for the student council. Among the first years in their group, the guys are definitely out. Wise choice. As for Inaho, she’s too airhead for the post. That leaves Minaya as the only possible candidate. When she is told about this, she is ecstatic that she can be closer to Haruko and starts fantasizing all the delusions with her. Looks good, no? As the next step to be part of the student council, she has to undergo a study camp. Erm… How come it looks more like a torture temple? Yuuka is to train Minaya in the ways of the ninja from bungee jumping to riding a ‘rodeo machine’ among other ‘torture devices’. You should see the one with the paintbrush stroking her lower anatomy… Don’t even ask why this was necessary. But each time Minaya gets through as long as she fantasizes about Haruko. It’s like having pleasure and pain together. But the focus part is difficult because she needs to think about nothing but blankness. Haruko seems to always ‘invade’ her mind… Though she does well, Furan has an assignment for her and that is to secretly observe Haruko and submit a report. And so she becomes like a stalker hiding in various places observing Haruko. She gets upset whenever Takeru comes into the picture. She even has this hand puppet of Haruko and acts out her fantasies with her. As the more she observes, one day she sees Haruko acting out with a Takeru hand puppet just like her. It makes her feel sad that the real Haruko won’t ever do or say things she fantasized. Even if Takeru is a useless pervert, she understands and accepts him completely. It made Minaya think about Haruko’s feelings. And so she decides to withdraw her candidacy because she realized that her feelings for Haruko are one-sided. A person like her who cannot think of the feelings of others has no right to serve in the student council. But Furan says that because she came to realize that fact, it means she is qualified to be a future student council member. This motivates Minaya to work hard and do her best. Sure she said that? Because, this means more study camp training. Uh huh. Tomika isn’t as soft as Yuuka. Is training going to be S&M theme this time? This is what you’ll have to endure just to reach the person you love. Is it worth it?

Episode 7
Himegami spots a rare teddy bear at the shop and buys it. She calls it Rudolf and while changing, she notices Rudolf trying to take a peek whenever she changes her stand. Is there something creepy going on? Himegami gets the shock of her life when Rudolf talks! Worse, he is a big pervert! Although he is very disappointed that his new master in 70 years is a flat chest. Attempts to lock and chain him fail because it’s like he is some sort of magician and can get out of any binds. Even when she orders Nozuchi to eliminate him, instead she fell for his charms! It was pretty wild stuff that his crotch area got torn off! It gets worse when Haruko and Inaho come back because this teddy is in full swing and loving those big melons. The unsuspecting girls hug Rudolf but his caressing makes them fall into ecstasy! Is he this good?! Himegami gives him one last warning but we know he will never sit still. He dirties himself so that the girls can wash him. That was the last straw. Himegami returns Rudolf to the store and doesn’t even want a refund. But the shopkeeper refuses! Yup, she knows Rudolf’s habits. Uh huh. She must have fallen into his wiles too. Himegami is forced to take him back since Rudolf is molesting her boobs like a water bed and is in danger of succumbing to him. Himegami is one disappointed girl. Shouldn’t teddies do nothing and look cute? But Rudolf notes that being loved and doing nothing is tiring. 70 years ago when war ravaged his country, he could do nothing but watch his young master die. Himegami is about to tear up on his story but it was a distraction to flip her skirt.

Then he goes on a caressing spree and you know where he is because he leaves a trail of satisfied women on the ground! Himegami finds him in the midst of molesting Aki (the best boobs ever!) but Yuuka calls her to search for a culprit running wild with his Element. Himegami finds the dude who seems to be breaking the fourth wall about wanting to replace her and become the next star of this series. Himegami used up all her Element for Rudolf throughout the day and can’t fight back. Before she gets hammered, here comes Rudolf to the rescue. Spewing back his guest star status that he is, he is going to teach that small fry a lesson as he summons the power of his brethren from around the world. He then rubs the culprit’s crotch to send him into ecstasy. I guess this confirms this teddy is good with his hands. When Himegami wants to thank him, Rudolf is on the verge of losing all his Element power. In his final moments in emotional Himegami’s hands, he is glad he is able to do something for his master instead of being loved. Say, doesn’t Himegami look very much like his previous master? And then he goes silent forever. Himegami laments that if he was really a guy, she would fall in love with him. Seriously? Where does that put Takeru then? In the aftermath, Rudolf sits in Himegami’s room like a normal teddy. But it’s just that perverted bear using all his might not to move so he can watch them change and get naked all he wants. Uh huh. Better to stay silent for a while.

Episode 8
Minori hears several girls badmouthing her about her boobs and all. Infuriated, she resigns as principal and will let those students get a taste of their own medicine. She is going to appoint a student to be a principal. But who? Kengo so happen to turn up to hand in his essay apology. Next thing we know, Kengo becomes the principal and his Gestapo guys are ruling with an iron fist under the impression that principal’s orders are absolute! Don’t believe he is the big boss? Well, there is Minori’s public announcement of retiring and leaving everything to him. Of course this is part of her plan to make the school fall into ruin and will force those ungrateful students to appreciate her. So first thing, he initiates some limbo thingy that all girls must do to pass through the front gate. Damn those boobs got in the way. Azuki. Chacha. Haruko. None passed. They need a flat chest… Himegami! She breaks the limbo stick instead. Throughout the day, we see Kengo and his men asserting his authority in classes. Lessons are substituted with something erotic or horny. Like how Haruko is reading from an erotic novel for modern Japanese; Calculating breast size for maths class (Eureka!) and since Himegami has none, how is she going to calculate hers? She doesn’t. She punches Kengo; Using your own body as a sushi plate in home economics; Skipping ropes as warming up in gym followed by Greek wrestling; The cafeteria is replaced with foods like mushroom, sausages, popsicles and banana.

A field trip that involves visiting a tumbler factory that resembles penis; Body art for art classes; Takeru joining the ranks of the Gestapo claiming peer pressure (yeah, right. More like he didn’t want to be left out of the fun); Naming erotic places for geography; The last straw has got to be a strip rock-scissors-paper tournament that all girls must participate after school. The girls are furious as they start a rebellion to bring down the principal! With many of the guys taken out, Kengo is in his last fort and still complaining about this insurgency that has to take place before his ultimate paradise. Even if he is captured, he can still run his mouth so Himegami challenges him for the principal post via strip rock-scissors-paper that he wants so much. She is confident she can beat him as she has never lost. True to her words, Himegami is on a winning streak and possible flawless victory. Kengo is down to his last pair of underwear when he has this twisted thinking. Could it be possible that Himegami is so passionate about this because she wants to see him naked? So he gladly loses the final round and sends all the girls screaming. Nobody wants to see his ‘elephant’. Fast forward to around 100 years in the future whereby old Kengo is on his death bed surrounded by his family. He sees Himegami as an angel coming down to get him but she turns into a devil stomping her foot on his face. He then passes on with the most satisfying smile on his face. That’s it?! This is how this damn random episode ends????!!!!! WTF???!!!

Episode 9
Azuki is fresh beating up some delinquents. Since it began to rain, she borrows the delinquent’s cap and jacket and makes a run. She bumps into Furan. Trying to hide her face, Azuki holds out an umbrella for her since Furan looked a little in pain. But thanks to that misunderstanding, Furan has fallen in love with this ‘guy’! And her friends can tell since she is swooning like mad. Of course they are disappointed when Azuki explains who that ‘guy’ was. She is going to clear it up by telling the truth but Yuuka thinks they should go on a date. Imagine if Furan finds out her first love was a girl, imagine the trauma she will have to face. She already has this disdain for men and it would be even worse. Do you really want her to live a lonely life? Everybody agrees to this plan except for Azuki who has no say in this. Masquerading as Kazuki (I wonder how they restrain her boobs so well since hers are much bigger than Furan), they meet up on their date. Furan looks girly in her frilly dress. Azuki is made to go through the plan that involves getting close to each other on a crowded bus and playing Twister that has them ending up in very ambiguous positions. Then they get to be a model dressed up as a bride and a groom. Azuki accidentally trips on Kazuki’s gown and their lips met. Their first kiss… Next thing we know, the duo are both naked in bed and Furan wants to do last night’s passion again. WTF?! For real?! Did it really happen?! Next thing we know, they’re in a maternity hospital and Furan has given birth to a healthy girl. Only thing is, she looks so much like Yuuka! Damn this was just a nightmare!!! From the sex part at least.

Furan is so happy that Yuuka can tell. She feels like all this is like a dream and Yuuka expresses her wish for her to find happiness. Furan gets a message from Kazuki to meet and talk something important. This is Azuki’s plan to tell her the truth because she can’t take anymore of this. However Furan is a step ahead. She wants to elope! She came prepared for it and will follow ‘him’ to the ends of the earth. But Azuki says if she is willing to abandon her friends. Suddenly those delinquents show up for payback. Azuki cannot fight back since they take Furan as hostage. Azuki’s real identity is busted when the delinquents rip her shirt apart. Furan becomes furious seeing one of her students getting beaten up so with her powerful Maken Habaya, she breaks free and teaches those losers a big lesson. Azuki is ready for any punishment but Furan plays it cool. She thanks Kazuki for showing her a beautiful dream despite it was a short-lived one. It’s time to break up and they part ways. But the next day in school, Azuki gets punished for fighting with delinquents from other schools. What about Furan herself? Oh, she wasn’t with her yesterday, right? Uh huh. Her pride will not allow her to admit she was on a fake date with her. So much about the beautiful dream. Although Furan is back to normal, the rest wonder if that experience has lessened her scorn for men. Time to put it to the test. Chacha throws Takeru as the guinea pig into Furan’s breasts. She screams. Haruko comes running for divine punishment! Oh well. At least Furan is her usual self. The biggest loser: Azuki. Because… She wants her first kiss back!

Episode 10
A blast to the past when Minori is still a student of Tenbi and the student council president. Along with Aki and Tomika, they force Gen to join them since he is the one who creates the Maken equipment. Although he reluctantly joins, he won’t make Maken for them, which pretty much defeats the purpose. While cleaning the pool, they see this handsome guy, Akaya getting involved in a showdown with another guy over some hot girl of the school, Nohana Saku. Before Minori could quell this, Akaya shoots the guy with his Maken gun. Minori misunderstood and was upset but as Gen analyzed the bullet, it has Element with hypnotizing effects and the guy is just asleep. Minori wants him to join their group but he refuses. Later Aki shows that the camera in the principal’s room shows the safe is being opened. An invisible person? Normally the camera could have picked up what kind of Maken ability the person is using and since there is none, they conclude it can only mean some long distance concealing is being used. Plus, the safe contains documents pertaining to the Tenbi’s foundation. As this school is a secret government project, if the public knows about it, there will be a scandal and the school might be shut down. Of course those in the safe are fakes but this made Minori feel the need for Akaya to join the team even more. So she tries again and despite knowing his background as an overseas agent sent to maintain order, Akaya once again declines because although they have the same goal, it doesn’t mean they need to work together.

Late that night, a human thief enters the principal’s office to steal. But Tomika and Aki are waiting for him. They know he is being controlled by someone else as no ordinary humans can enter the barrier protecting Tenbi. Gen happened to stumble upon Akaya ‘taking a night scroll’. But they’re both targeting the same culprit who turns out to be Nohana. Actually she too is being controlled. But they can’t fight her as the culprit warns she is her hostage and doing anything funny means she will make Nohana kill herself. Suddenly bright fireworks light up the place and the girls are wearing sexy cosplay outfits. This is part of their plan to have Akaya join the group and also nail the culprit. Thanks to Aki’s theory, the culprit is hiding in the shadows of Nohana. The bright lights limit her movement and thus doing her crime at night she is able to hide in the shadows. They might be celebrating too early because the culprit unleashes her shadow swamp that has everyone sinking inside her shadow quicksand. She doesn’t reveal anything much except that many people want to nip their powers in the bud. Gen manages to take his Maken ring out of his pocket and throw it to Minori’s free hand. Her fire Element is so powerful that it breaks her free. She says that because of her Element powers, she cannot go to normal school. Tenbi is her special home and if she had to choose between her life and her school, she’d pick Tenbi any time. Minori’s super Dragon Ace fireball knocks the culprit out. Then she invites Akaya to join the student council in which this time he accepts. And so this is the story that Minori is telling our Maken-Ki people. Uh huh. It’s the 37th time and it doesn’t get old. The alert is sound that a pervert is on the loose so our gang go into action to stop that pervert from the first episode. I guess some never learn. And so powerful their Maken they unleash that it could have turned the tower into a local Leaning Tower of Pisa! So Minori, you worry of leaving the future to these kids?

“Boobs Are Number One!”
After taking a brief look at my previous blog on the first season of this series, I was suddenly at a lost. Yeah. There were some other ongoing that contributed to the plot and since there are none in this season, this one is highly and purely a filler second season. It is like as though each episode can serve as a standalone and what’s more, each of the main characters of Maken-Ki have their episode of focus like Furan’s date, Minaya’s training, Kimi and Chacha’s TenMan, Himegami’s annoyance with the teddy bear and Inaho’s episode (although it is mainly Monji in the limelight) having everyone turned into cats. Heck, even Kengo had his own nonsensical turn of becoming a principal. What the heck was that all about? That episode clearly signalled to me that this entire season was just crappy fillers. Although the final episode does give viewers a view on Minori and co’s time during their heydays, it still cannot save this overall season which is a bunch of fanservice filler crap. That’s why I thought that there are only 10 episodes this season instead of the usual dozen. Not many fillers to put in, eh?

Which is to say that some of the characters that we have seen back in the first season did not make a damn appearance in this sequel. Remember that group called Venus? Uh huh. I remember there was an idol girl whose name sounded like a country from the Middle East. And there is pair of twin lolis too. Oh, an arrogant Chinese chick and… Uhm, the other girl. Yeah, can’t remember that strict serious babe. So where the heck are they? Maybe they’ve gone back overseas and never returned. You might also remember about Otohime and Kamigari who seem to be possible antagonists but you don’t get to see them here at all. Maybe they made a cameo but I surely didn’t notice. Certainly stuffs that got me wondering since the first season like “Takeru is the son of Sensei” thingy is non-existent here. Thinking more about it only gives me headache so I better drop it. So really. This anime had stuffs and plots or developments like that? Can’t believe it.

Because they wanted to give each of the Maken-Ki members a spot of the limelight, in a good way it is good that none of them are singled out but it makes it feel so filler-like. I’ve already said that, didn’t I? So there isn’t much of a development in terms of the story and the characters and whether it is a good or bad thing, there isn’t much focus on Takeru or the catfights in his harem. He now feels like a side character equivalent to Kengo. I don’t know what the deal with him is because at the end of every next episode preview, he is always saying “Now we’ve done it”. Done what? Being too clichéd and overwhelming this season with mindless fanservice? Yeah. Maybe. Speaking of phrases, I think “Japan is number one!” is the phrase of this season because that is what the guys will say before they get hammered by the girls, fly high into the sky or in some deluded fantasies that the girl is having some sort of orgasm. Really. If those happen, then you go say that. Yup. Japan is number one for bringing us exposure to all sorts of fanservice. We love you Japan! Since many of the filler episodes end just abruptly, you’ll wonder what kind of impact it has on the overall story. None. It’s like everything reset itself like it never happened. Take a good example, Kengo’s stint as principal. You think that will really happen? Not if the story becomes a Kengo route. What about that teddy bear in Himegami’s position? Speaking of him, I feel he is the best and coolest character this season but it’s a shame that he doesn’t appear anymore. Stuck in her room?

If you are an ecchi enthusiast, you might say that the fanservice doesn’t disappoint. This is what this series is all about, isn’t it? Yeah, it ‘shines’ in this department. Some girls like Haruko and Chacha already have boobs so huge that you think it can only exist in anime (which it does) and that it is an outright fantasy and delusion for guys who love big busts. Even bigger than them are Aki and Minori whose boobs are so big that they look like they come straight out from some hentai flick and teasing us viewers with their big bouncy ‘water balloons’. I am not sure if there are any other aired versions of this series but the one I watched has a mix of censorship. Some scenes will have that black hole censorship while others like as though it slipped through the censor’s hands. Makes you wonder if they are being half-hearted in wanting to censor or not. Of course as goes without saying, buy the DVDs and you can get all those delicious scenes unhindered.

I don’t feel much about the action here. It feels like it is pretty much reduced since this season felt like fillers. It is like the action part is to take a break from the fanservice. It is like the girls pull off their Maken moves just to make us remember once in a while that they are power users. Even so, there is hardly anything exciting or any variety in their moves since of course we are pretty much focused on the fanservice. Even if they do without the action parts or the girls summoning their Maken equipment, I figure we can get by a lot without losing much.

And so in the end, I’ve said it too often that this season is a waste of potential for the series by filling it up with filler craps and making it up with excessive fanservice to please a certain target audience (read: single otaku perverts). It could have been slightly better if they advance the plot even just a bit but I guess they chose to take the easy way out and make some fast bucks. I know that may sound critical but sorry, that is how I feel. Uh huh. Don’t believe that I am here for the story development instead of fanservice, do you? Thus I am a bit sceptical if there is a third season in the making and the series is already infamous (or famous if you’re a fan for the series) for its fanservice and this season just enhanced that effect. Just to be fair, although I am not drawn in by the fanservice, thanks for it anyway. Because no matter how much fanservice this anime has, we are still perverts for watching it. Japan is number one!

GJ-Bu@

August 1, 2014

I thought they were going to do another season when they announced GJ-Bu was given the green light for another production. And then it turns out, GJ-Bu@ is just a special (it wasn’t even termed as OVA or OAD) that lasts 46 minutes or 2 episodes lump into one, whichever way you want to look at it. After all, what is more to tell when the seniors of the club who happen to be the main characters for the show have graduated? They can always go back in time for some flashbacks but I think it would be too cliché.

New York! New York!
* As usual, the GJ Club members are doing nothing. But wait! Something feels different. Why are there New York skyscrapers suddenly outside their window?! Why the hell are they in the Big Apple?! As explained by Mao, since the club never had any graduating trip, this one is it! Call it their lost time. So Mao and the other graduates of the club just came back just for this? But how the heck did they end up in New York? Did somebody teleport the clubroom here? They say Mori did it. That’s all the explanation you’ll ever get.
* Okay, so why New York? Because like their club, GJ. New York can also be shortened to 2 abbreviations, NY. But Kyolo mentions shouldn’t they pick Los Angeles as in LA? Besides, it would fit their theme of lost time, as in Lost Angeles. Geddit? The girls ignore him…
* Tamaki explains the reason why she wears bells as her hair accessories because she views automatic doors as her enemy. They never open for her. Wearing bells never did too and she thought is she was heavier and stepped on the doormat, the door would. But it never. So she always had to wait for somebody to walk in while she follows the person closely. Same case if she wants to exit.
* Mao gets excited with everything American and tries to Americanized everyone and get them into the American groove. Talking all about American food makes them hungry and it is decided they’ll go for hamburgers. This sets Shion into some hamburger drooling mode. She can’t wait to taste those meat and buns. Mori rides her Harley bike around New York to get those burgers.
* The gang dresses up in so called American outfits. Cowboys, Red Indians… The younger sisters of Kasumi, Jill and Seira too make a stopover.
* When Mori returns, she does the obligatory maid twirl for Kyolo. Ah… Happiness… It comes with a price that has the other girls beat him up.
* Everyone digs into their hamburger. Shion is so excited that she forgot to take the wrapper off as she eats them!
* As for desserts, Mao suggests to do a Halloween event. Is that really a New York culture? It’s not even October… Their plan is to nab all the candies in the city and to do that, they force Kyolo wear some sexy cat outfit. So uninspiring that you can see the dead annoying look in their eyes…
* The girls are happy they got a large haul of candies (I want to eat them!) although Kyolo is the sad one because they didn’t do any sightseeing despite all that.
* Mao notes they can retire in peace and this means Kyolo is now the president of the club.

Grumpy, Grumpy, Gloomy…
* Kyolo stumbles upon Mao at the tea shop. But she ignores him and doesn’t utter a word. What gives? Megumi, Shion and Kirara are closely spying on them.
* Seems Mao and the seniors have graduated. Kyolo wonders if she is still keeping in touch with them. No answer. She calls Shion and is furious she is late. Shion’s handphone rings but the girls go hide in the tree.
* Kyolo still seeks answers to why Mao is avoiding him when Tamaki comes by. She wonders why they still hang out with each other even after graduation. She wants to know and doesn’t want to be left out. This makes Mao mad and blows her top. She tells her this is the last time she’ll ever see her and leaves. Right under Kyolo’s nose, the other girls kidnap Tamaki. Time for change in plans.
* Kyolo gets call from Megumi to meet at the park. There, he sees Mao sulking alone. Trying to be nice didn’t work. She leaves. What’s with the sour face? That is when the other girls show up and say they won’t let her go home tonight.
* GJ Club members are going to have a sleepover at their clubroom. Of course this is illegal as prior permission is needed for this. But Megumi reasons this is Sunday so school rules do not apply. Really? Mao is still sulking in a corner, mentioning graduates cannot come back. The girls talk about nostalgia and the places they usually sit at when they were in the club.
* Kyolo thinks they should tone down a bit or the guard will catch them. This leads them to discuss what might happen if they are caught. They’ll get scolding, be expelled and of course the club will cease to exist. Shion stands up and says doing things by the rules isn’t fun. They’re having fun because they’re breaking the rules (kids, don’t try this anyhow). This is at least what Mao would say. But Mao is still gloomy. Why the heck is she doing this when they are not part of the club anymore?
* Kirara hears the guard passing and they all keep quiet till he passes. Mao starts to cry. She was scared that if they all got caught, the club would have to disband. Kyolo promises the club will never disappear/ because GJ Club lives in their hearts. They are GJ Club. So don’t worry about it. Guess what? Mao bites him!!! Back to normal?
* Mao wants Kyolo to take responsibility for tonight. If they are caught, he must shoulder the blame and die with honour by committing seppuku. Does he need to go that far? She is going to bite him again but the other girls hold her back. They are glad Mao is back to normal since she was depressed lately. This was part of Megumi’s plan that if she met Kyolo, she would think about the GJ Club and be somewhat revitalized. Instead, she was stubborn and won’t talk to him.
* Kyolo says they are free to come here whenever they want. They’ll welcome them with open arms. But Mao reminds that graduates cannot come back. That won’t change. Because from now on, it is they who will be creating a new GJ Club. Even if they are graduates from GJ Club, their bonds are eternal. In that case, Kyolo also encourages them to contact him when not in the clubroom. Keep in touch.
* Mao suggests having fun outside so they get dressed in their school uniform. They run riot throughout the night (where the heck is the guard?) drawing “I-wuz-here” graffiti on the blackboard, running in the hallway, drinking from the vending machine, playing baseball and finally diving into the swimming pool. Who cares, right? Let’s have fun for tonight!

Good-Bye Club?
Well, it was pretty okay especially for those who have watched the TV series, this is just like icing on the cake and a grand farewell to the seniors who would no longer be around. But then again, they can always come by to hang out any time, right? Rules are meant to be broken! There isn’t much to expect from this special since it mostly remains the trademark formula of the series with its type of comedy and interaction between the characters. Even the art style and the calming pace of the story is also as consistent so there is nothing shocking that will jolt you out of your seat. In the end, nothing much really changes because you can still expect them to be what they are as they were back in the TV series. Just that some of them have moved on to another higher institute of learning. Therefore this special may be a bore to some but a pleasure to others especially if you are a big fan of the series. One thing ‘sweet’ about this special is the food. Yum… I would love to get my hands on those American foods and candy bars… Dang, if I was only in that club. So it is all about the bond and special memories that they spend together. Just like in life we have to move on to make new memories and sometimes we think back and cherish on the old sweet ones that we made. Good times may not last forever but as long as you keep it close in your heart, it will never disappear. Always there. Like it was just yesterday.

D-Frag!

July 27, 2014

Clubs are usually associated with high schools in many high school themed animes. Some clubs you have members who do look stereotypically like the clubs they join in and others don’t. When it falls into the latter category, it could only mean that everyone is probably an oddball or a weirdo and doing things that aren’t really true in the name of that club. Uh huh. Names can sometimes be misleading. Take the case of D-Frag! Heh. I thought it was an anime going to be about computing. You know, defrag? Speaking of which, when was the last time I defrag my PC? Oh hell, who cares? Although this anime isn’t really about computing, it’s about a game development club whose members aren’t really developing video games. Who knows what they’re actually doing. Yeah. Oddballs. Weirdoes. And when a delinquent is made to join the club, you can tell it gets weirder. It’s like he is the much needed tonic to keep their already bizarre club even livelier than before. Yeah, driving him crazy. So people, be careful of what clubs to choose and join. Or you can simply hand in your resignation if you don’t want in anymore. But would it be so easy?

Episode 1
We are introduced to the Kazama Family that includes shorty cartoonish Yokoshima (I thought he came out from that Old Master Q comic), the tall and tanned Nagayama (I thought he looked like School Rumble’s Harima) and the leader whom nobody remembers, Kenji Kazama. Their goal is to become delinquents and conquer the world. Whatever. Meanwhile the Game Development Club is in risk of being disbanded due to not having many activities and not meeting the minimum member requirements. Think fast. Kenji sees a fire coming out from that club room and rushes in to put it out. Suddenly his buddies are knocked out cold. Yokoshima got zapped by lightning (taser from Minami Oosawa) and Nagayama out by water (Sakura Mizukami chugs the bottle of water down his throat). Roka Shibasaki is going to use her fire elemental on Kenji. If you thought it was burning him down, well, more like some cutie moe words. Moe is like burning which is like fire, right? Didn’t work. She crashed and burn instead. Kenji almost got punched by Chitose Karasuyama. How does her punch qualify to be earth element? She just made a sand castle… When Kenji sees an escape chance, he dashes through. Roka manages to catch up but surprisingly thanks him for putting out the fire since they were playing fireworks in hopes it will attract potential club members. After introducing herself as the club’s president, she proceeds to recruit him and reveals her fire element was a decoy and darkness is her true element. Suddenly everything goes black. Sack over his head. So the girls are threatening him to join the club or else. When you’re in that scary sh*t situation, you’d join for your life, right? He signs the form to join without fuss. His actual plan is to steal it from whoever takes it to the club advisor and shred it. Turns out that Minami is the club’s advisor! Holy cow! Couldn’t have guessed. He snatches the form and runs away.

Again Roka catches up to him and since her ‘fire’ didn’t work on him, it’s back to darkness. She unleashes drapes around the area but since Kenji knows her trick, he darts out. Only thing is he dashed through the wrong side and falls out from the window. Roka catches him and won’t let go. She doesn’t care if she falls down with him and this is the real her not putting up her cutesy act. But her stamina is going to give way and she’s already complaining how the pressure will affect her womb… Luckily her friends help to pull him up. After such drama, Kenji joins the club anyway. He must have got caught up in their pace. He later explains it to his pals but it seems they don’t remember what happened. Then comes in another of their friend, Ataru Kawahara (probably a perverted masochist). He heard Kenji joined the club and warns the danger of Chitose who is also this school’s student council president. She is so dangerous that not only teachers but other delinquent groups (yeah, there are quite a handful here) are keeping away from her. Since they’re talking so loud, Chitose heard them from the floor above and wants to join in. She seems to be mocking Ataru as he lost the presidential election to her before (he is the vice president now). Chitose is going to rid them using her saliva and Ataru wants to catch it?! Seeing this won’t work, she tries to drop a locker on them! Ataru won’t run because it would mean of returning to those days of servitude. He also wants to save Kenji. So they form a human totem pole to push the locker back as Kenji delivers the final kick. In the end, Chitose who was doubtful of them, now acknowledges them and now understands why Roka is fixated on them. But they are in trouble because they just landed inside the girls’ changing room. Just be thankful all they got was just a suspension.

Episode 2
Kenji and Ataru are being lectured by the teacher for trespassing the girls’ changing room. Till Kenji hears Roka calling him a pervert, he wakes up from this dream. At the park, Kenji is surrounded by some cult people in strange mask and robe. Actually they are the real Game Development Club as put by club president Takao. So the club he joined is fake? Takao blames him that the fake club was to be disbanded but thanks to him joining in, he somewhat ‘saved’ it. He doesn’t want to have any part in this but they won’t let him escape. Since he can’t lay a finger on girls, this means Takao and fellow Tsutsumi Inada are out. Hmm… How about Sakuragaoka? As Inada tells us, he is just a pretty guy who looks like a girl and thanks to that, he is saved as he is wearing a girl’s uniform he hated so much underneath. Nose bleeding fanservice for Inada! What about this last huge person, Yamada? As Inada says, despite his large demeanour, he is actually a gentle and nice person. Yamada tries to be convincing wearing makeup but he looks so hideous as Kenji punches him out. Another nose bleeding fanservice for Inada? Takao threatens to call the police just to best him as the conversation takes a turn that Kenji is a leg fetish instead of boobs fetish (a nickname Chitose gave him and now its permanently stuck). The police really come as they got a tip off that a civilian was being assaulted by some cult member. Yamada looks like the part so everybody abandoned him to save their skin. Uh huh. Yamada got taken into custody.

When Kenji returns to school, the first thing he sees in the club room is some random role playing by them. He really didn’t want to get involved but they force him to. As they’re about to discuss what to do for the cultural festival, Takao barges in and confronts Chitose about having them to be disbanded. Of course she can’t stand up to the might of this dangerous woman so she curses them to break up as she runs away. While Roka goes after her, Kenji asks Chitose why there are 2 Game Development Clubs. Seems Takao holds a grudge for almost driving the club into oblivion. Roka was a strange person. Wearing a sack in class? You get a picture. Because of that, she was treated coldly and slowly many left the club and eventually Roka herself left. Although mainly it is Chitose’s fault for burying those people in earth. Chitose being Roka’s friend suggested to form a club with her. Kenji is made to go after them (because the rest will only make things worse) and he sees them, erm, pushing each other but in a stalemate? Kenji thinks Roka wants to apologize but Takao is not amused. It’s too late for that. She wasn’t even in the wrong but quit. Why couldn’t she stay in the club with her? Roka can’t disband her club as she formed it with Chitose. Takao thinks back all their good moments spent together and then throws down a challenge. A duel between their clubs during the festival. The loser club will be absorbed. Isn’t the outcome the same? Roka seeks Kenji’s advice on what to do next but he tells her she already knows the answer. She accepts the challenge. So as they go back to get their brains racking, looks like they’ve got a long way to go… They’re going to lose at this rate…

Episode 3
As explained by Chitose, the real Game Development Club that was on the brink of disbanding made a comeback and even won awards. Because there is no way to beat them fair and square, sabotage is their only answer! Yeah. They know nuts about making games and the most is just know how to play games. Kenji is forced to spy on them (since he lost the game bet anyway) to see what they’re doing. Takao spots him but lets him in to see what they’re doing. He apologizes to Yamada for punching him the other day and barely recognizes Sakuragaoka who runs away just to change. Inada and Yamada talk about Takao’s boobs pressing against Kenji’s head for a soft cushion but his spikey hair may be getting in the way. Cheeky Roka pushes Takao forward and her boobs got pressed in his face. Roka gets kicked out, Kenji gets slapped. Takao tells Kenji to join their club since they are doomed to fail. However after thinking back all those events, he thinks settling via duel would be interesting. When he heads back to his own club room, he sees the rest playing some space porno board game. So Kenji didn’t go and crush the other side? Well, Chitose can use her ‘authority’… Better don’t! Kenji then gets an idea. By the time Sakuragaoka returns dressed as a girl, Kenji has already left. But it gave Inada a great fanservice. Enjoy it while you can.

During the festival, both clubs renew their rivalry. Takao fears the deadly aura from Chitose who would have loved to kill them instead. The penalty for the real Game Development Club remains the same. Win and the fake ones get absorbed. But for those fakes, if they win, Takao boobs will be descended into some vulgar finger play in which Chitose and Inada only understand. They’re looking so forward to it. Kenji visits the real Game Development Club to see how they’re doing. Quite well. Yamada and Sakuragaoka dressed as maids? Kenji then brings Takao to see how his own club is doing. A long queue outside this huge ‘castle’?! And they’re not playing computer games inside but physical games such as basketball and bowling. You could say Chitose used her authority and used all the guys as labour to build this huge thing overnight. Takao calls this is foul play but Chitose argues that the bet was to see which club get more visitors. In terms of originality, technically their ideas are taken from somewhere, right? Made theirs from scratch? So do they. What now Takao? She starts crying… Suddenly Chitose hugs her and starts apologizing (no crocodile tears) and hopes she won’t take this away from Roka as she feels at home here despite how everyone is an oddball. Speaking of Roka, she is acting as a director for people who come in to role play in her games. Takao asks if she is having fun. Since she does, Takao admits defeat. Roka says although she is the club’s president, she can’t join hers but would like to be her friend. But she ruined it when she cockily says she doesn’t mind her joining her club. Smack! At the end of the day, Takao chose not to destroy the fake club because it looks like Roka is doing her best in her own way. And then here comes the penalty… Whatever Chitose is going to do with Takao’s boobs…

Episode 4
The fake Game Development Club now calls itself as the real club, pissing off Takao a lot. And so she participates in their ‘brainstorming’ to suggest a new name for the club. It all sounds too cute and cool for Takao, therefore rejected. Kenji comes up with The Second Game Development Club but because it sounds too plain, they reject it. But Minami finally speaks up that their club does have an official name: Game Development Club (Provisional). WTF. One day, the Kazama Family meets the delinquent group, Evil Orchestra 14. No, they don’t use musical instruments to attack but rather they hog the music game arcades. Arcade freaks… They are going to teach the Kazama Family how fearsome they are. Ataru rushes back to Kenji’s club girls to tell him he has been kidnapped. Actually they don’t care or give silly excuses. Till Takao head butts Roka in the gut to tell her to go save him because she is his club president. No buts about it. And so with this excuse she needs to go to toilet, the rest follow her. Meanwhile Kenji is beaten and tied up (Yokoshima buried and Nagayama hanging). They must have gotten better with their fingers after playing so many music games. Yeah, all to reign supreme over the school one day. When they spot that space porno board game in Kenji’s bag (the girls have got to stop treating his bag as garbage bin), the gang members get so eager to play that they’re quarrelling who should go first!!! However everybody is singling out their leader, Odahara. Even though he gets this idea to split into groups to fight for the right to play, he himself gets left out (though the gang has 14 members, 5 are currently MIA). Then both groups continue to have a showdown by betting their idols, some loli housewife named Funabori and Takao. I guess that girl has some sort of reputation among the delinquents.

Odahara gets desperate enough to form a group with Kazama Family to fight back but Kenji doesn’t want to get involve and tells him off to solve it since he is the leader. Guess what? He takes the board game and breaks it! Yeah. It breaks his heart to see them fighting like this. And suddenly everyone gets emotional and mushy. For some reason, Kenji tries to attack Odahara but before the rest could fight back, the girls have arrived. Odahara thinks Kenji planned all this. It doesn’t help when the girls also accuse him of having a hand in it. Lies of course. The delinquents freak out because they never knew the powerful Chitose is Kenji’s woman. Dare say that again? They think Takao is Kenji’s woman because she’s the only one who is refuting like a tsundere. Odahara doesn’t want to fight but his underlings think this is chance to defeat Chitose and reign supreme. Odahara remembers a fellow member who got injured in battle about cooperating together and rule the school. So you wanna fight? Let’s go! Evil Orchestra 14 versus Girls Who Lost Their Way From The Toilet! Needless to say, those small fries got owned. Everyone thinks of taking out the weakest chick, Roka. But when she sees Kenji all roughed up, she becomes the evil dark master! Kenji had to stop her before she does any harm on Odahara who is sweating in his pants after realizing who this petite girl is. She is the one who brought the battle between the current and former student council president to a halt and is thus the secret ruler of the school, she is The Ultimate Darkness! Say what? Kenji just feels everything is so wrong… Roka is wide open so Odahara goes in for a sneak attack. Kenji swiftly blocks that wood smashing move and punches him out. Don’t you dare raise a hand against his club president! And with the day is saved, what is their next course of action? Play an updated version of that space porno board game! Kenji feels like he has wasted his anger…

Episode 5
The gang demonstrate how to play the space porno game to Kenji. He’s not interested. Here comes Chitose’s foot for him to think about. Takao is also here to keep an eye on them. Or is it she doesn’t have any friends? And no, she doesn’t want to play the game. Roka is disheartened and wants Kenji to force her to play. He thinks that since the game is for 4 players, if she takes his place, he’ll be scot free. In his desperate attempt to make her join, he will do anything for her. So once that is settled, he learns the game has evolved to 5 players. Goddamn it! The duo need to select their characters, some goody Buddha or perverted alien. Of course they scramble to take the Buddha so Roka wants to join in too and will wager her Joe character. It will be decided via rock-scissors- paper. Roka is like being a sore loser because she puts in weird hand signals which are supposed to be house rules. One that freeze the game for 2 minutes just to intimidate them with her swan pecking finger? The duo also do the same thing and Takao seems to be asking Kenji about his likes and dislikes (hint, hint). In the end, Roka does the hand signal that signals the game is postponed till the next time. Roka wants a new character created then but the duo are smart enough to use this hand signal each time so they never actually get to play the game.

Kazama Family’s reputation has gone up as rumours spread they have defeated Evil Orchestra 14. Also, they think they are the dogs for the student council. Speaking of which, here comes Chitose and Roka to come have lunch with him in his class! They strike a fearful presence among the students! Kenji doesn’t want to eat with them and wants to go somewhere but they spot his bento and think his sister made it for him. Checking it out, it seems normal (no heart shapes or anything). Yeah, they even take their time eating it. Noting he isn’t acting like a delinquent like skipping class, it seems the next class which is helmed my Mr Sean Conecone is somewhat his saviour. Many years ago when the Kazama Family are attending a superhero show on the rooftop, the building caught fire and they got trapped. Till Sean came and saved them. However Kenji didn’t want to be indebted with an old fart he didn’t know so Sean told him that if he helps out other people in such situation, they can call it even. Ever since, he has been inspired by him. What is Kenji going to eat now that everyone has finished his lunch? Roka can’t give hers as she ate her own earlier on. Chitose feeds him but the food fell on the floor. Not going to eat that? Till she mentions this Funabori girl whom amazingly is in his class (he didn’t even know it) cleans it every day so clean so you can bet it’s hell of a clean. Everybody starts worshipping her as thanks. After Kenji eats it, Chitose points how the floor is dirty since everyone stepped on it ever since. Lunch time is over and Kenji hasn’t had anything to it. Thanks guys for the company. Funabori wants to share her little lunch with him. Sean enters and sees this. He knows what is going on and gives an excuse he needs to go back to get the papers he forgot so it’s self study for 5 minutes. Everybody admires how cool he is. Later, Takao who has eavesdropped on everything, hands Kenji a bread. She picked the last one from the school store and he can repay her later. Tsundere? Sean spots them and tells them to appreciate their youth while minding his business. They find him cool.

Episode 6
Roka hides behind Kenji as she is running away from an enemy! This girl has somebody superior?! He is Hachi Shiou and is a bit of a school celebrity since his father is from some big company. He was taking time off to work in it so now he’s back. So? Oh, he is the other member of the Game Development Club (Provisional). Shiou narrates the first time he met Roka during the first year of high school. Let’s say he got enveloped by her darkness bag and that’s when he takes a liking for her. Oh God. Not another freak. But when Roka points out Kenji also had this treatment, it makes Shiou break out into some love triangle song. Kenji throws them away and probably too hard that Roka banged the wall. It’s darkness time. Shiou wants to share the darkness… Not just mad, freaky too. Back at the clubroom, Roka wins another tug of war against Shiou. Only thing is, they’re shoving the cabinet. Oh yeah. Roka’s winning streak continues. 82-0. Kenji continues to retort everyone of their misunderstanding about them. Isn’t he tired? When Funabori returns the bag all washed and clean, Shiou throws a challenge to Kenji. Not over Roka, but her bag. Disappointed, Roka? Kenji doesn’t care about it but he can never turn down a good challenge. Roka is upset that they’re fighting over her things that doesn’t involve her and wants in. And so Chitose proposes to invite others to join in this open entry battle. The more the merrier, right? Suddenly Takao who was eavesdropping also wants in.

Chitose and Inada become the commentators of this battle as Inada introduces all 48 competitors. Seems like a bunch of freaks with freakish nicknames if you ask me. Takao is reeling from some emotional pain after she found out they’re fighting over a bag and Kenji wasn’t the slightest interested in it. Chitose and Inada make a detour to condemn Takao’s boobs especially how those over-sized racks causes her not to zip up her jersey. Show off! Takao then forces to zip it up and everybody rejoice. Huh? When Inada introduces the prize, she is even surprised like the other contestants on what the hell this is. Till Chitose adds it was washed and cleaned by Funabori, everybody will die to get it! Yeah, even new contestants want to join in. For the first round, everyone have to push each other out of the ring. Those who manage to stay in after the time is up advances. So we see all the freaks clashing with each other while Roka is intimidating everybody with her Velociraptor hand signal. A freak is going to ‘bully’ Takao but Kenji comes to her rescue but he too almost gets kicked out by her. She doesn’t want him to win. I have a feeling why. Suddenly her jersey’s zip breaks and it becomes a projectile to hit at Kenji’s face. Time is up and Takao couldn’t believe she is still in this game…

Episode 7
When Kenji wakes up, Funabori already treated him. He is currently in the middle of the semi-final finger wrestling match with Shiou! How did he progress so far unconscious? Everyone agreed to seed him since he was out and promised to battle all they’ve got when they reach him. But unfortunately none of those freaks reached the semi-finals. This means the other semi-final is between Roka and Takao. Everyone’s attention is on them. At first it started out as a simple musical chair but they keep provoking each other and now it turns into some sort of showdown. When Funabori asks which of the girls Kenji would love to face in the final, he doesn’t mind since the one who wins means the strongest. He will beat her and become champion. The girls must have really sharp ears to hear this and Roka isn’t too pleased hearing that. She emits deadly aura and is about to release all she’s got at Takao. Then she charges! Suddenly! She grabs the chair and wins it. Disappointed fellow viewers? It wasn’t some kind of deadly move you were expecting, no? Thanks to that distraction, Kenji also wins his match and pins Shiou’s finger under his. The final match will be king’s game. Seriously, you can play that with 2 people? Whoever gets the king wins. Kenji and Roka seem like they’re ready to kill each other. It’s making Yamada the stick holder between them cowering in fear. Worst position to be in. Before the game begins, they start intimidating each other about the luck they have and that they are luckier than the other. Roka asks what he will do with her bag if he wins. He’ll treasure it as much as he can. That answer is enough for Roka to get serious. However Kenji like his badass attitude won’t let this game go down to chance or luck. He snaps off both sticks to send them flying in the air. Now they’re even. He then dashes backwards to escape Roka’s darkness and uses Yamada as a springboard to grab the broken pieces in the air. Everyone is shocked at first but it soon turns into cheers as Kenji is declared the winner. Roka admits defeat and hopes he’ll take care of her bag or he’ll hear from her. It makes him sound like he lost. She hopes to compete on something other than luck next time. She tosses him back her broken stick and it fits the king. She could have won so Kenji personally calls it a draw. Shiou is so thrilled over the events that he starts giving him a handshake and won’t let go. He relishes their eternal rivalry forever fighting over Roka and her bag. Just creepy…

Episode 8
Takao and Kenji are called to the teacher’s room. Seems it wasn’t the battle ruckus that they were summoned. It was the zipper boing incident! Takao even feels sorry that she has grown fat! That’s not the point. Although this brings the issue about the safety of zippers, the thing is, ever since that, many students have tried to emulate it and some got seriously hurt. Uh huh. So hurt that one didn’t turn up for school at all. Doesn’t it mean her zipper is working well? Then they ask Chitose back since she is always wearing a jersey. Story time. She got it from a student whom she can’t even remember her name. Since she was always wearing torn clothes, the student gave her jersey to her since she doesn’t need it after graduation. Takao is so touched that she wants her to take her jersey after graduation. Nobody asks the other teachers but they butt in about it. Kenji ends it that nobody is at fault. The jersey is safe and there is no need to change it as Chitose has proven how durable it is (it’s not torn and dirty). Outside, Takao apologizes to Kenji for causing lots of trouble. To make it up to him, she wants to treat him out this Sunday. So got spare time? Oh, I see where this is getting at. But come Sunday, you’d expect Takao to be treating him to food or the movies, right? So why the heck are they waiting in line for some retro game release???!!! Uh huh. She forgot all about it till this morning and since she summoned her courage to ask him out, she doesn’t want to waste it. WTF.

Kenji wants to leave but Takao uses that promise made during the space porno game to have him do what she wants and that is to accompany her till the game goes on sale. In the mean time, she tells him the history of the game which ranges from boringly stupid to incredible stupid. I don’t know. That’s how I see it. They see a familiar tent at the front on the queue. Their fears come true when it turns out to be Roka! She’s heading this way. Takao is so afraid to see her that they hijacked the clothes of the guy in front who is cosplaying as the game character. So Roka sees Kenji in the robe with Takao hiding behind it. Hot and stuffy. For Roka to get back in line, she wants him to do some character stance. The other guys join in which makes it a real pain for Kenji. Takao had to hug him as so to hide her legs. Something is pushing against his back… Before Roka leaves, she asks about the bag. He’s taking care of it by carrying it around with him. Roka is a happy little girl. Once she’s gone, Takao doesn’t seem happy. Must be Roka’s bag thingy again. So much so she runs away claiming she is sick. How can she run so fast if she is sick? Kenji is left behind and everyone just stares at him. At a distance, Takao feels guilty for abandoning him and regrets not buying the game. Suddenly Kenji returns and gives her the game. After she ran away, the store opened and all the guys in line voluntarily make way for him so he could go after his girl. Takao is very grateful and would like to treat him for real this time. However she has spent all her money on the game that she can’t pay for the meal… Seriously…

Episode 9
Shiou joins the Kazama Family for lunch. He asks about Roka’s bag he is keeping and assures he won’t do anything so low to steal it. He will at least stuff his head inside his bag because he likes tight places. Ataru won’t lose out and will protect his bag! Just great. Two perverts to deal with. Kenji is having a hard time fending the duo off so he requests Funabori to take it away. Why choose her? Such an easy target. With all the panicking, Kenji wants her to move and hide while he holds them off. She unloads the things in his bag and hides her head in it. There. Who looks like the bigger pervert? In the end, Ataru and Shiou give up and declare her the winner. You mad, sis? Meanwhile there is a strange girl outside the Game Development Club (Provisional). They bring her in and when they touch her spikey hair, it brings that familiar sense. Even the way she retorts… Too familiar… She gets pissed off that they are treating her hair like some sort of weapon. Of course you would have guessed she is Noe, Kenji’s little sister who is checking the club out since she finds it strange that her brother joined one. With all the big fish here, is this a place where big shots gather? She gets pulled into their weird pace when they think her element is ice (because she likes ice cream). Sakura thinks they’re sisters. Noe is surprised that Takao is the normal one. Maybe she doesn’t really belong here. When Takao gets a call from Inada, Roka sees her handphone strap. It is a limited edition of the game character that you can only get during that sale. Takao fears she has given herself away that she was there in line on that day but Roka mention that it was Kenji who was waiting. Noe vehemently objects that her brother would do this while Takao feels the need to save Kenji’s reputation and that they won’t get the wrong idea. So she tells them she was ordering him to stand in line to buy that game because of that promise. She just made it worse for Noe. Big bother doesn’t take orders from anybody so for a woman to be pushy with him, it must mean she has to be freaking awesome, right? Yeah, big awesome boobs, that is what she was told about.

She’s freaking out over those huge racks that she accidentally touches them. Takao’s turn to freak out and pushes away. She hits the cabinet. A couple of books fall on her head. Noe turns into a little girl, crying for her big brother and running away, blaming the boobs that sent her flying. Fear the boobs… Later when she meets up with Kenji, when she tells him she visited his club, he didn’t say a single word on their way back and bought her the most expensive ice cream. He knows, he knows… She must have suffered, right? Noe is to deliver Kenji’s forgotten lunch but runs into bad luck because it’s that big tits woman again. Before Takao can say sorry, Noe starts getting down on her knees to apologize! It’s like she fears her! She wants to show she is not scary and hopes they can eat together. Of course, her ulterior motive is to get closer to Kenji f she is close with her. Noe declines and says she has to deliver his lunch. Change of plan. Takao offers to deliver it instead (sounding like a robot. So obvious). Noe fears she will hijack it, change its contents and force feed Kenji! She starts crying and Roka thinks Takao is being a bully. Learning what happened, she offers to take it to Kenji. And so the tussle between them to deliver the lunch begins. None is giving way. Takao pulls too much that the lunch gets pressed into her boobs. Then it launches away like a springboard! Wow! It went 27 metres far!!! Awesome boobs! Oh… Everything is spilled. Feeling guilty, Takao hopes she can deliver the bread she bought. But Roka doesn’t think it will be enough and will use hers. When Kenji finally gets his lunch, he is surprised to see the 3 girls together. But his stomach can’t wait for his brain to think whatever their antics are. Opening up his lunch, he sees words of “I love you big sister” written in the rice. Everyone misinterprets he has a big sister doing that for him. As for the trio, they awkwardly eat their lunch in the clubroom.

Episode 10
Kenji should have figured it by now that if you’re playing poker with those girls, don’t even expect it to be ordinary poker. Uh huh. Everybody has got a flush of some weird character. Since he is the loser, he is made to go buy drinks. Suddenly Kenji is given a judo throw by Tama Sakai. Ataru comes running in to the girls to report Kenji has been kidnapped. Again? What a pain. This confirms it. His nickname shall be Princess Pinch. Kenji is in the hands of the ex-student council members consisting of Tama, Shisen, Azuma Matsubara and Naganuma. He is bait to lure the Game Development Club (Provisional) members. Kenji doesn’t remember about meeting Shisen. It was during that battle for Roka’s bag. Remember that big odd robot in the tournament? Yeah. She was hiding inside it. Don’t even ask. The girls are heard coming so Shisen is going to face them first. In that robot. Those girls pretend to be cleaning the floors so as not to raise suspicion that they are here. Why are they in the seniors’ area in the first place? They talk about Chitose’s bad relationship with them. They just hate each other. They are faced with the robot and Shisen is inside it. Everybody recognizes her as Pukey and she got this nickname when she vomited in front of the stage. Besides, it was Tama who first coined that nickname. The girls start attacking by hitting their broomstick on the robot. It must be ringing like mad inside. The science club president, Tennouzu is fighting with the guys over the controller. He gets mad when his precious robot is taking a beating so he sets the controller for the robot to spin. Poor Shisen… The only to get pass it is to tiptoe at the corner. But can Takao do it? Her boobs are sticking out like mad. When she drops her handphone, she gives the robot a super push to stop it dead in its tracks. Nobody messes with her handphone. That’s the end of the fight. That’s the end of Shisen. She’s vomiting all over inside. It’s going to stink.

So when everybody arrives in the classroom, it has been a long time since Chitose and Tama seen each other. Actually they saw each other at the cafeteria yesterday. The thought of Chitose in front of her at the queue makes her blood boil. And so that’s how this showdown began. Chitose throws dirt at her but Tama evades. This is a combo trick to trap Tama in Roka’s darkness. However Roka spreads her twintails and it effectively prevented her head from being covered by the bag! Shisen is back as she explains how it is thanks to her she developed this move. Back when they were young, Tama used to let her hair down and since she always plays kabuki with it, Shisen always vomited (I guess she’s been prone to puking since then). To seal it, Tama tied it up. But also did double kabuki! Anyway Tama cannot let the club do what they want anymore. Especially how Chitose’s tyranny during the festival used the student council as manual labour. She can’t have people forgetting about them because of her tyranny so she wants the club shut down to be taught a lesson. She tries to persuade Takao to agree with her since she did have a history of wanting to shut them down too. Although Takao is scared about her scary face, she manages to keep calm and reply that she needs a rival club for hers. Good for competition. Kenji doesn’t want her to get those unrelated involved and if there is something she doesn’t like about the club, they’ll face them head on. It is agreed to have a battle. Four on four. Since the Game Development Club (Provisional) has got more people, they have to choose. Initially Shiou wanted to participate but they lock him in a locker and that’s how Kenji made the cut. So as for what game to play, this one is going to be a headache. It’s either to weird or too plain. And can somebody please untie Kenji already?

Episode 11
As Takao suggests, both sides will write a question in their handphone. The opponent will try to snatch it from them and answer it correctly to eliminate them. The last team standing wins. But the thing that motivates them is stealing their handphone… That’s all they need to know. If the Game Development Club (Provisional) loses, they’ll be disbanded. Otherwise, Tama will give them 10,000 Yen. Although the game officially starts in 10 minutes and everybody can hide anywhere in school, Chitose has an early pre-game face off with Tama. Because Roka has been weakened by Tama’s grasp, she wants Kenji to take her to the infirmary where she’ll recover. Oh, he has to carry her princess style for her strength to replenish faster. Sure she’s not making this up? Takao sure wishes that was her. Kenji is obstructed by Evil Orchestra 14 at the hallway. They are siding with Tama because thanks to her, they get to hog the arcades again. However the Kazama Family and their freaky allies get into a brawl with them to let Kenji and co pass. Along the way, Roka explains the other ex-student council members. If you ask me, they sound like goofballs… When the game officially starts, they run into Matsubara. Sakura engages her. They’re both swift with their hands. Meanwhile, things are heating up between Chitose and Tama. Chitose using Ataru as a human shield. She’s not breaking any rules since Ataru is an ‘object’. Yeah. He even likes it. With Naganuma in the picture, however this anime nerd is ‘paralyzed’ and cannot attack back since Roka and Sakura sound like very familiar seiyuus. Roka has healed a lot and she wants him to use his secret attack to head to Chitose (from Takao’s call, it sounded like she’s in real trouble). Kenji puts her down and then jumps out the window to use Yamada’s body as springboard to jump high to the next level. This is his secret move? It attracted the basketball club players as they bug him to join their club. Naganuma is hit by Roka’s darkness. She steals his handphone and can easily answer his anime question since he was too dumb to leave the hint on his wallpaper. He’s out. Kenji calls Takao and puts her handphone on loudspeaker. He has heard that Chitose has never defeated Tama. Speaking of which, she is beaten up quite badly. He apologizes for getting them involve and wants her to hang in there till he arrives. Chitose gets back up and tells him to hurry and become her second human shield or she’ll clean everything up before he arrives. She ties her hair into a ponytail. How is this supposed to beat Tama’s twintail?

Episode 12
Chitose senses a chilling battle taking place and makes a bet with the other teachers whose side will win. But all that is irrelevant as we go back in time to see how Chitose and Tama met. At the park where meek 4 year old Chitose was building a sand castle, Tama came to destroy it. Chitose’s sick sister who is desperate for Chitose to make friends because from the way she sounds it’s like she has not much time left in this world and her little sister is of the loner type, she wanted Tama to be her friend. Unfortunately Tama was cocky and didn’t need her. That’s when Roka came into the picture. Roka taught Chitose how to make a sand castle but jealous Tama destroyed it. Roka punished her with her darkness (pail over her head) and told Chitose about the need to dirty her hands to accomplish something. So that’s how Chitose turned badass. So that’s how they continued their rivalry throughout the years. Yeah. It was sure a nice composition written by Roka with the help of Sakura and Matsubara. I wonder how many of it is pure fiction. Don’t tell me all… And then they got into an argument of which hairstyle is the best. Of course Kenji sides with Chitose since he is not going to let her crush the club and mentions the twintails on Tama makes her look ugly. He’s going to pay for that. Ataru seems to be begging to be used as a shield. Needless to say, he enjoys getting all the sumo slaps and kabuki hair swings from her. Kenji also gets pushed around but Takao so happen to prop up his back. Giving excuse that she just happened to be passing by on her way to the toilet, blah, blah, blah. Plus, it would be troublesome if he loses so if the club gets shut down she won’t let them join hers. That was supposed to sound convincing? Oh heck, it motivated everyone to finish this fight so she can go to the toilet. Speaking of toilet, Matsubara and Sakura just finished using them. Their match ended in a tie and now they’re good friends.

Chitose slams a mud ball into Tama’s face to enable Kenji to get up close with her. He quips she looks better with her hair down and lets them loose. This is his favourite hairstyle? Of course this is a setup so Roka can put the bag of darkness over her head. Chitose takes her handphone and answers the relatively easy question. It’s like as though she never had any intention to fight them all. The Game Development Club (Provisional) is declared the winner and Tama admits her defeat. So let’s play again another time, okay? Makes it look like they’re good friends, eh? Have we forgotten somebody? Shisen is feeling okay now and barges back into the scene. Yeah. One more pipsqueak to finish off. Then her vomit syndrome comes back. Hurry up and end this game! Eventually Tama becomes a habitual visitor to the Game Development Club (Provisional). Because this place got lots of candy? Oh, she sucks in the board game too. Roka suggests Tama join their club in which of course the latter decline with insults. Then here comes the other habitual visitor. This time Takao has her hair down! What’s the occasion? Doing it on a whim doesn’t sound convincing. Minami then comes in to tell them about the staff meeting regarding their recent tag game. They’re all suspended till further notice! Lastly, Minami won the bet and gets the other teacher’s prize. Including Sean’s cursed diamond skull. Noticing the missing eye and that the banana she is eating fits it, she puts it in and suddenly… What the hell is this blinding light?! APOCALYPSE UNLOCKED???!!!

You Have To Be Insane To Have Fun
Well, this was absolutely hilarious! I have to admit that everything was so nonsensical, random and anything goes that even though there is hardly a plot, character development or the story not going anywhere (heck, is there one to begin with?), everything is forgivable since they made me laugh like mad. As long as there is the nonsense no matter how silly or illogical it is, as long as it is funny, this anime passes with flying colours. I suppose these days if you really want to stand out in the comedy genre, you really have to go to extreme lengths and make it look real funny. But not going too far that it looks more stupid and silly than funny. Therefore this anime seems to have hit the right combination and mix of comedy and silliness that if it wasn’t being confined to just a high school theme, I dare say it could have rivalled Gintama.

Oddly the Game Development Club (Provisional) doesn’t make any computer games but nothing in their title ever said a game should be of the video type, right? What we see them create (or improvise madly if you want to term it that way) are games that do not require any programming or inputting of Java commands. They ‘create’ traditional games that can be held or experienced by our own 2 hands. So in that sense, that is why I think 2 types of game clubs exist in this school. They could have easily take the crown of being the most innovating board game creators for many years running if only their rules do not sound so perverted or one-sided. Uh huh. Fair play is literally thrown out and non-existent. Everything goes and is possible as long as you win. Who doesn’t want to win? When there is a winner, there is always a loser. Maybe that’s why they brought Kenji into the club. Somebody has to lose and make the winner feel superior. But of course I doubt that would be the real reason. The important part is not making the game but the time spent together and that’s where the bonds between the members are created. Driving you crazy comes with it. That’s why no matter how much the girls piss Kenji off, he still stays and defends the club.

The best part in being a nonsensical comedy genre is the characters. Every one of them here including those minor extra characters that you wouldn’t really care about are so memorable and some likeable because of their quirkiness. Uh huh. It’s like everyone has this hidden potential to be a clown or joker. Uh huh. Everybody in this anime is just plain crazy. Take for Kenji for instance. He might be your normal delinquent wannabe guy. But at times when it matters, he gets serious and protects those that are important to him. Sounds like a fail delinquent wannabe, right? Sounds like a typical lead male protagonist guy, right? So what is the best part about him? His retorts! It’s like his role in this anime is just to retort all the silly antics everyone around him does. And he says it with so much passion and freaking annoyance that he sounds funny just doing that. Because of that, the comedic effect doubles up and laughing becomes inevitable. Even if you don’t laugh at the silly antics of the rest, his instant retorts will. At least, it had that effect on me. The retorts could be the best dialogues in the series as some are really funny and witty. But mostly funny. This guy is so good that he could be the king of retorts and maybe challenge Gintama’s Shinpachi for the title. If ever one exists. He can’t help it since everybody loves pulling pranks and making dumb statements just to make him retort. Yeah. He is such a fun guy to make fun of too. Being called nicknames and even being kidnapped twice. Which male protagonist gets this kind of treatment? Not unless you’re in this crazy show. Yeah, they drive him crazy.

Then you have Roka who borders between cute and dark (which resembles more like yandere mode). But either way she looks cute. Despite her darkness and ‘fire’ element, I think she has one more element: Chibi mode! Because I see her go into this mode quite often so I think it could be another ability of hers. By now we should already know that Takao hangs out in Roka’s club more often than her own simply because of a guy she has a crush on but can never admit to. Her humongous boobs are supposed to be for fanservice but the way it is made out of a joke in certain scenes, we tend to forget the fanservice part. Then again, maybe not. Because it feels like her boobs are made of jelly… Chitose is badass and Minami uses the clubroom as her personal bedroom. She shouldn’t be a teacher and should get a job as a pillow tester. Then again, she doesn’t need a pillow to just fall asleep anywhere. Sakura I feel gets the least focus among the Game Development Club (Provisional) members so if there is something I need to describe her other than her quirkiness, it would be her cheerfulness. For the real Game Development Club members, seems Sakuragaoka can never get the chance to tell Kenji he is a guy, Inada nose bleeding at the fantasies right before her eyes and Yamada the gentle giant. Shiou and Ataru can be good masochist buddies-cum-rivals but the former seems to prefer tight and dark places. As long as they can feel the pain, they’re alright with everything. In this world, there must always be someone who loves to receive than to give.

Tama has this crazy look in her eyes and sound that it feels if you let your guard down, she can quickly snap your neck before your know it. I take it that Chitose and Tama’s long standing rivalry is just that they want to become friends? Not like they would admit it anyway. Other minor characters are equally memorable too like Noe who only made a single episode appearance. I guess it is enough to give this little sister a lot of trauma after meeting those weird girls. She might even break and turn into a crazy person worthy to be sent to an asylum if she stays with this pack. Other than Roka, Funabori is another character exuding lots of moe charm (or for those who prefer flat chests). Who wouldn’t want to have a good woman with good housewife properties? Sean exudes an aura of coolness since of course he is a mix of Sean Connery and Indiana Jones. What? You don’t find Sean Connery cool? Or you’re not old to know who this first James Bond is. I wonder if this school is some sort of alternate reality for Hollywood actors because besides the Sean Connery look-a-like, there is another teacher that looks very much like Grease’s John Travolta. Even his name is suspiciously close: Boruta Torada. Okay, close enough.

There is a hint of romance in it but don’t get your hopes up too much. You can’t put in a decent romance theme when you have oddballs and slapstick comedy sticking out like a sore thumb. Roka and Takao are mainly seen as the front runners who have a crush on Kenji as we can see their reaction just to get his attention or to impress him. But you know, Roka is just being an oddball and Takao a typical tsundere, a dense guy like Kenji would never get it. And it makes us viewers frustrate that you just want to yell at them to just say it already. But then again, who cares about the development in the romance area when the comedy makes up for the rest of it. It’s either you laugh like mad or swoon your heart out at the swirling romance. You can’t have both. I am not sure but I am having a hunch that Funabori has a crush on Kenji. And probably Tama too. Otherwise, what other reason would she be hanging out in that club especially when there’s a rival she ‘hates’? Am I seeing a trend here? Other people not originally from the club hanging out just to be close to Kenji? So if Funabori gets serious, she too might be making her housewife rounds to the club. Yeah. But I don’t think this anime would currently develop into a harem although technically having the minimum 2 girls liking a guy constitutes a harem. But as with times, the more the merrier to be qualified as a harem. The other girls in the club also do take a liking for Kenji but my guess is that it is just as far as for someone to tease about instead of someone who is seriously gunning for romance.

At the end of most of the episodes, there is an additional short nonsensical footage like how the theme of this manga came about (seriously, it was supposed to be some wrestling themed?) and a short-lived tale of the school’s nocturnal baldies. But the one mainly hogging this section is the Legend of the Masochistic Hero Ataru. Perhaps it’s the only segment he gets to be a ‘star’. See how this masochistic guy goes about in his masochistic ways. On second thought, you might not want to unless you want to laugh at his failing ways. Also amusing is the end card illustrations illustrated by different people for each episode. Some funny, some cute.

Art and animation wise, it isn’t the best there is but it is standard and conventional that casual viewers won’t have any big complaints about it. Things are filled with lots of colours (for example, Shisen’s puke ‘represented’ using colourful flowers) and my guess is to symbolize the vibrant and colourful characters and their insane personality. But I guess we couldn’t care less about that seeing we have the main characters looking like your typical bishonen or bishoujo while the other minor ‘not important small fries’ characters looking very much like freaks to match their freaky behaviour and equally freaky nickname. Brain’s Base is the studio production for this anime. They also made ‘colourful’ animes such as Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru, Mawaru Penguindrum, Akikan, Blood Lad, Kurenai and Kuragehime.

Katsuyuki Konishi as Kenji certainly fits his role as the retorting delinquent well. Maybe it’s because he voiced a leading delinquent as Oga in Beelzebub before. And perhaps other cool badass characters too like Laxus from Fairy Tail and Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Kana Hanazawa is identifiable as Roka since she sounded a bit like Inu x Boku SS’ deadpan Karuta but with more lines unless she is in her ‘fire’ element mode then she sounds like her typical cutie trademark. Other recognizable seiyuus include Shizuka Itou as Takao (sounds like a more emo version of Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Jun Fukuyama as Ataru (just like another pervert he voiced, Toori in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon), Mikako Takahashi as Sakura (Rushuna in Grenadier), Kana Ueda as Tama (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Aki Toyosaki as Funabori (Ai in Kamisama No Inai Nichiyoubi) and Akira Ishida as Naganuma (Gaara in Naruto). Not so recognizable for me is Chiwa Saito as Chitose since she was putting on a lower voice than usual. Heck, not that I could recognize the voice of Rebecca from Pani Poni Dash from time to time. Other casts include Ami Koshimizu as Minami (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Kouki Miyata as Shiou (Fujisaki in Danganronpa), Eri Sendai as Shisen (Touka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Yuko Sanpei as Matsubara (Chizuru in Kimi Ni Todoke), Megumi Toyoguchi as Inada (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Ryoko Shiraishi as Sakuragaoka (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Emiri Katou as Noe (Akatsuki in Log Horizon) and Jouji Nakata as Sean (Kirei in Fate/Stay Night).

In line with the crazy and mad theme of this entire anime, the opening and ending themes are aptly crazy and infectious. You want to find it annoying but can’t help find it amusing at the same time so much so you can’t hate the song. Get what I’m saying? The crazy rock opening song of Stalemate by IOSYS jk Girls, sets the tone and pace of what to expect of this series. If words like high tension and hallelujah in the lyrics should give you an idea on just about everything there is. Despite the ending credits animation having the characters in chibi form, don’t be fooled by their cute looks because the ending song is equally crazy with video game-like synthesizers spamming all over and the seiyuus of Kana Hanazawa, Shizuka Itou, and Aki Toyosaki singing Minna No Namae Wo Irete Kudasai with equally hilarious lyrics to go with.

The only downside to this anime is that while I was having fun watching this anime… It ended! Uh huh. Too short? Maybe they should make another season of this and put more crazy characters and insane activities that will get them suspended. But in a way it is a good thing this series was short because if it stretches to who knows how many episodes, the weariness will set in and unless they can pull it off like Gintama, the fun and insane factor will be gone. It becomes plain, boring and the norm. I guess it is true that only in a mad person’s world, being insane is just like being normal. The reason why the characters in this anime don’t see each other as mad. And they are mostly high school students. Imagine the percussion if they are working adults. I highly recommend this anime to be watched just for laughs. But be warned, you may lose your common sense if you laugh too much because I feel I am a bit influenced by their antics when the series ended. Laziness is my element as I am too lazy to get out of my chair to do anything else but watch animes. And I have created a pass card that stops time just to let me watch all the animes I want while everybody else loses a turn. So far so good… [Insert scathing retort(s) here… If you have a retort pass card. Otherwise go directly to jail, do not pass go and do not collect $200. And watch this anime while you’re doing time :)].

Little Busters! Refrain

July 19, 2014

Time is running out. Better hurry. That seems to be the underlying theme to me when I started watching the sequel, Little Busters! Refrain, which covers the final arc of the visual novel. As announced at the end of the first season, thus the second season was greatly expected and things won’t be as rosy as it has always been. The truth and the big picture will be revealed. Will it be a shocking conclusion and finale to everything that we have seen? Or to what Riki our weak Little Busters member who has learnt to overcome all obstacles and hardship through the support of his friends, has seen and experienced. Or maybe everyone should just continue having fun playing baseball like they always have, huh? Oh wait. This isn’t even a baseball anime to begin with.

Episode 1
Kyousuke shows Riki their group photo after their first official baseball match. The guys then head over to the cafeteria because Komari is organizing a pancake party for their match success. They had lots of good pancakes and fun. Especially the girls mixing in all the ingredients and feeding it to Masato. Ah, the resident idiot. It was so fun that Riki wonders how much time they will have left to spend like this. Hoping to stay this way forever? Remember the dwarves’ story from Komari? Hell, I didn’t… As the gang cleans up, a group of girls spot Kurugaya with Little Busters. Seems they are not happy because they have this very deep grudge against her. They blame her that because of her, the class looked down on them. The days go by and Riki feels that he is forgetting something important. Every day continues to pour like cats and dogs. Kengo notes they can’t practice at this rate. Suddenly the guys are called. The girls are consoling Kud. Seems someone has done a mean prank of her and put thumbtacks in her bag and shoes. Even her books are torn. Riki sees a suspicious girl hanging outside and chases after her. It leads him to a room where the perpetrators are. Two of them are revelling in this cruelty but one of them, Mutsumi Suginami feels guilty for being part of it. The duo are confident Riki can’t prove that they are the ones behind it when suddenly a tape recording of their heinous plan is played. It was about them discussing to hurt Kurugaya’s friends as a lesson so they will not hang out with her anymore. Kurugaya is in possession of that proof. And she has that killer eyes look. Telling them off (including Mutsumi because she did nothing to stop them which makes her equally guilty), she threatens to broadcast their scheme. The duo think they can get tough with her and talk back. Kurugaya shows her true power and seriousness in killing them when she kicks and destroys the door!!! Now you scared? Just get out of here. Better run for their lives. The rest of Little Busters arrive but so has a teacher. They will handle this and wants Riki and Kurugaya to leave. Masato and Kengo put up a stupid act of fighting… Riki takes Kurugaya’s hand and run away. She says she thought she had no emotions like a robot but turned out she felt angry then. Riki disagrees. She got angry because she cared about them. Kurugaya brings him to the broadcasting room and club which she is a member. Riki feels something familiar. Like as though he has been here before. Even this conversation sounds familiar. Haven’t they talked about this before? And then it happens. His narcolepsy cuts him off from reality.

Episode 2
Riki wakes up in the same room and looks like Kurugaya has taken care well of him. She talks that she is surrounded by friends unlike before and Riki adds he hopes these days won’t end because it has been loads of fun since she joined. Riki then feels they had this conversation before so Kurugaya distracts him by flirting with him. A boy and girl alone together in a room… Why does she tease him this much? Because she likes him! Holy cow! Never expect to hear that, didn’t you? Because of that, Riki couldn’t concentrate on his card game with his friends. Sharp Kyousuke can guess he is in love! Even more shocking they really think he loves Kurugaya. But because he cannot answer, Masato thinks Riki likes Kyousuke! Not to lose out, he too confesses he loves Riki! Rin is not amused and leaves. But the guys jump to a conclusion and will help him confess to her. Though they can’t understand what he sees in that girl, it’s when all their other fetish in women comes revealed. Kyousuke into lolicon? Kengo into miko priestess? Masato into maids? The plan now is to have Riki confess to Kurugaya during a fireworks display. I figure this must be the romantic setting they wanted. Also, this is to thank the other girls for the pancake party although they’ll be watching somewhere else. Surprisingly, the rain stops that night and so while the guys setup the fireworks, Riki’s job is to gather all the girls into a room. Let’s hope they don’t think he’s planning to attack them all in the dark corner… As they walk through the dark corridor, Riki has no intention of doing the confession when Mio has the girls run helter-skelter when she mentions a fake ghost rumour. Riki had to go find them but ends up finding Kurugaya alone in a classroom. The fireworks begin and everyone watches in awe. Riki accidentally drops his handphone when he gets a message from Kyousuke asking if he had already confessed. Kurugaya saw the message. They both starred at each other for so long and Riki felt he was spellbound that he couldn’t say a word. He never knew she was this pretty? However the next day, Riki felt something strange. The way the guys are acting as though it was yesterday, 20th June. He is arguing that date was yesterday but the sense of déjà vu overwhelms him. There are similar patterns of what happened yesterday happening today. The rain. The weather forecast and the radio claiming today is 20th June. He goes to the broadcast room and sees Kurugaya there.

Episode 3
He talks to her like they’ve had this conversation before. But she admits that she watched the fireworks and it was beautiful and unforgettable. Then she hugs him and hopes to stay this way for a while. Riki back in his room feels something is wrong. Kurugaya never acted like that. Something is wrong with the world. Before he knows it, morning comes and again it is 20th June. His friends certainly don’t remember. Could Riki be the only one reliving Groundhog Day? However it isn’t exactly Groundhog Day because although the date remains the same, everything else is changing little by little. Like how it is snowing now! Riki alerts the rest but they think it’s pretty normal! Wait a minute. Snow in June? Each time Riki falls asleep and wakes up, it’s like he is forgetting something. Groundhog Day continues and Riki has lost count how many times today has repeated. Then he remembers. Where the heck is Kyousuke? That guy should know everything. But he doesn’t pick up his handphone. He is nowhere to be found. The search leads Riki to the broadcasting room again. Kurugaya is there. He questions her about this never-ending day. How long has it been? He feels like the memories are slowly fading away. She wants him to forget about her and the time they spent together. It’s her fault that he’s trapped in this never-ending loop. When Riki wished back then that these days will never end, the one who truly wished for it was her. Thus, Riki is actually in her dream. Kurugaya begins her flashback. Long ago, she was touted as a genius because excelled academically and in sports. However in exchange for that, she lacked any emotions. As she refused to take part in international competitions, she refused and this made the adults think she’s looking down on her. She never smiled. She felt empty. She was alone. Till she caught glimpse of Little Busters and took interest in them. She talked to Riki about what is so fun being in that odd group and his reply was that it is a place where you can feel like you belong. So when Kurugaya joined, the more time she spends with them, she experienced more emotions she never had before. She is happy to have experienced them but now it’s time to go. Her fate is set in stone and this dream is her last wish. When he wakes up, he won’t remember anything of it. She wants him to promise to protect Rin no matter what. Riki cannot accept all this because she’s making it sound as though they’ll never meet again. Kurugaya and hugs him and says she really wanted to experience love. Then she vanishes. Riki wakes up to a brand new day. It’s going to be a good and fine weather too.

Episode 4
Although Kurugaya is not wiped out from everyone’s memory, they think of her just another classmate who plays truant. Riki sees Mutsumi being suspicious at a corner, when he gets her out, she confesses she likes him but knows he already likes someone else. Riki ponders about her words and especially if there was a girl he likes. He starts thinking of Rin and flusters. Could she be the one? He didn’t realize Kyousuke is nearby. He tells Riki that Rin was also confessed by some guy. However she doesn’t know what love is and is confused so he turned him down for her. Later as Riki thinks about his times with Rin, this girl comes by to have him help her out. On the way back, they slip down the slip and Riki falls on top of her. As they compose themselves, they mention about being confessed to. Rin then suggests they date each other because it will solve their problems. Riki asks if she likes him and she didn’t hesitate to say yes. And so he agrees. He couldn’t sleep that night just thinking about it when he gets a message from Rin just for fun. They begin exchanging messages and Riki feels the need to tell Kyousuke about it. But he feels like as though he is asking a father for her daughter’s hand in marriage! So when he meets the guy, he is nervous and couldn’t say. But Kyousuke could guess he is dating his sister. He was waiting for this day to happen as they were so close that they probably didn’t realize it. Then they tell the rest of Little Busters and they’re happy for them. Except for Masato who is reeling for shock over stupid things. Will he still be able to hang out with Riki? Of course he can. Kyousuke teases them if they have already kissed. This sends embarrassed Rin bolting out of the door. The rest encourage Riki to go after her. Riki talks to her but I guess she is still embarrassed and her tone of talk is like as though she wants to pick a fight. Then a cat jumps down into the picture with a message attached to its tail. It has a final task for them. They must nominate themselves during homeroom.

Episode 5
Rin wonders what they should do know that they are a couple. Probably Riki took too long that she fell asleep. Yeah. Like about 5 seconds. In class, the teacher announces members of the prefectural assembly will be conducting an inspection of their school. He wants volunteers, a boy and a girl. After a lot of hesitating, Rin and Riki volunteer. But will Rin be fine? Does she know how to speak politely? Can she even smile nicely? So the big day arrives as Riki coolly shows the members around. Rin should just keep her mouth shut because the words she chooses brings ambiguous meaning. Like they are living together. Living in separate dorms is what she means. In the end, the member asks Rin why she is always happy despite being an odd person. It’s because everyone is here for her. He hopes he could continue to smile like that. Soon, Rin is called to the teacher’s office. Due to her bad grammar, what she understands is that they tell her to go to another school. Kyousuke explains that she has been offered to enter a student exchange programme. There’s a serious reason for this. A bus containing students from the other school crashed. Only 2 survived. The entire school was traumatized and it became school of gloom. This programme is to help them out of the doldrums and Rin was chosen because of her cheerfulness. The school is pretty far away and it will last for a semester. This means Rin will be separated. Riki objects to this. He also questions how Kyousuke knows everything. He also accuses her like as though he sounds like he wants her to go. Kyousuke wants him to calm down since he is just stating the facts. He doesn’t want him to get so worked up because it’s up to Rin to make her decision. What about Rin? Does she want to go? Nope. She did turn down the offer but the teachers told her to rethink. And so she is doing some rethinking.

Since talking to the others doesn’t really yield a straight cut answer, Riki has decided. He concludes Rin is still a kid and doesn’t understand the real meaning of love as he is always by her side, this new experience is what she may just need to mature and grow. So when he goes tell Rin to do it, she is not happy. She thinks he hates her. On the contrary, he loves her that he is willing to have her go far away. Huh? Rin no understand. Because Rin continues to get mad, so does Riki. He accuses her of running away and they end up having their first lover’s quarrel. The days come closer for Rin to leave. Riki thinks back how the letter’s sender anticipated all this. And then it hit him. The letters started to appear after they play baseball and after each task, Rin grows more confident. He deduces the sender’s goal is to make Rin stronger and that she has been manipulated all this time. He sees the cat and follows it, leading him face to face with Kyousuke. Riki should have known. Everything was his doing. But how did he predict it all? How does reality warp around his words? Kyousuke wants to hear his deduction. Riki reasons Kyousuke wanted Rin to be independent. When he graduates, he won’t be able to look out for her so when he heard about the exchange programme, he decided to take advantage of it. It is the perfect way to make her independent. Each task makes her stronger and he even used the pretext of forming a baseball team for her to make new female friends. Kyousuke says he misinterpreted the question: The secrets of the world. Has he uncovered it? Riki thinks it’s just a bait to get Rin’s attention. Kyousuke laughs it off. However they have to run as the guard spots them. Kyousuke takes Riki’s hand and flee but when Riki trips, he lets go and continues running, vanishing into the darkness.

Episode 6
Riki continues to think how everything was Kyousuke’s doing. It’s all a setup. On the day they see Rin off, it seems a little… ‘Quiet’. Riki deduces Masato knows about this from the things he said. What about Kengo? He talks to him and although Riki understands Kyousuke wants to make his sister independent, he cannot forgive his method. Especially forming Little Busters just to disband it. It’s like he intended to send Rin off and disband Little Busters right from the start. Kengo agrees with him because Little Busters is the symbol of their friendship. He assures he will keep Little Busters alive even if everybody is gone. Riki gets mail from Rin that everybody is so depressing. Nobody talks to it. She can’t take it anymore. Riki can do nothing but give her text messages as support to try her best. When Rin cannot contact Komari and the latter’s mail keeps bouncing, Riki concludes Kyousuke must have had a hand in this to keep Rin away from the girls. Rin must have caught their depression syndrome that she wants to come back. Riki can’t take it anymore and wants to bring her back but Kyousuke stops him. Riki chides him of this approach and will lose everything they’ve worked so hard for at this rate. Kyousuke will try to make Rin come back during weekends so until then he wants Riki to keep his emotions in check. Come weekend, Rin really returns but she is so tired that it’s disheartening. He seeks Kengo’s advice and there is only one option: Fight Kyousuke. He won’t be alone, though. Because Kengo is going to fight with him.

The duo confront Kyousuke that they will challenge him to whatever. If they win, Rin stays. Otherwise, she’ll go back. Kyousuke suggests playing baseball and the first to hit 3 home runs, wins. Who is Kyousuke’s partner? Masato. But it seems this muscle brain isn’t happy doing this. Masato shows he hasn’t been building muscles for nothing. He quickly hits a home run. And that was just a practice shot. Riki throws but he slips and screws up. Since it is raining heavily, Kyousuke wants to cut it short and the first to hit a home run wins. Masato pulls off another home run. Riki can’t afford to lose so Kengo tells him to trust him. As Kengo gets ready to hit Riki’s pitch, suddenly he is filled with memories of Koshiki. He misses the hit. Kengo is upset and accuses Kyousuke for playing dirty. In his rage, he rushes to punch that guy but the rest hold him back while he screams in agony. Kyousuke leaves, declaring he has won. Riki feels Little Busters is no longer a place for him. That night, Riki suggests to Rin that they run away together. I don’t know how far they’ve run or where they’re staying, Riki knows from the bottom of his heart that he is too weak to protect her. And then a couple of police find them. Riki quickly hugs Rin as he remembers for a long time he had forgotten that to live is to lose.

Episode 7
In the dead of the night, somebody yells Kyousuke is back. Masato goes off to fight Kengo at the cafeteria. Riki tries to stop them and since he can’t, he tries to add some rules like throwing some random weapons in but the duo ignore him and continue fighting. Riki rushes to find Kyousuke but is nowhere to be found. Next day, Masato and Kengo injured each other. Kengo’s arm is injured and this jeopardizes his kendo selection trial. Although Kengo brushes it off as nothing major, he hopes Riki can come up with something fun for all of them to do. Riki goes to pick up Rin but notices she has changed. She has become scared of people, doesn’t go to school and her mind has reduced to that of a little kid. Riki looks for Kyousuke who is sitting in a dark corner of his room. Seems he is very down. Riki wonders if something has happened to Rin but is told he won’t find the answer in this world. Riki thinks back about their fun times as Little Busters and wonders how to bring those days back. Although he is worried for Kyousuke, Kengo advices he should put more focus to Rin. He says she loves him, the reason why she is not afraid of talking to him (Riki is the only one she talks to now). Riki gets motivated to do something fun with Rin. But playing badminton or wearing funny masks didn’t cut it until he gets this baseball idea. Rin likes it and is even a good pitcher. Riki wonders if she has played baseball with Kyousuke but she somehow feels it was with Riki. He goes to describe Rin’s smile and excitement in playing baseball to Kyousuke but he maintains his gloominess. When Riki gets Masato and Kengo to play baseball with them, Kengo is not amused and leaves. Riki wants to know why and is told he is doing the same thing as he did. This makes Riki think that everyone but him and Rin knows something and is trying to hide it. Even Masato hints something of that sort. When Riki mentions about Rin’s fear of people, Kyousuke’s reclusiveness, his drifting apart from them and the answer to be found in another world, Masato notes he should be fine since he has gotten this far. Yup. He’s leaving too. Riki and Rin are the only ones left. Riki feels the need to uncover the secrets of this world. He vows to become a leader like Kyousuke and gather their friends to form Little Busters.

Episode 8
Riki thinks if he follows Kyousuke’s footsteps, he can find out about that world. He asks Rin who was the first friend she made when Kyousuke formed Little Busters. It was Masato. Because he had a bounty on his head and everybody was scared of him. Kyousuke defeated him and they signed some friendship contract. Riki tries to recruit Masato into Little Busters but he isn’t interested. Why? Because he is the strongest and he will prove it. So stay out of his way if he doesn’t want to get hurt. Soon, a few students get hurt simply by talking to him. That must be one awful punch they’ve got. Riki plans to stop his rampage and Rin remembers how they setup traps to ring Masato in. Riki is glad liveliness is returning to Rin’s eyes. They make a bait for Masato to punch something. The strong dude wonders if all of them were disappear if he smashes all these. When he punches the bait, he flies back and is stuck to the statue thanks to the super glue. Riki explains this is to stop his rampage. But this doesn’t look like a rampage in Masato’s eyes. So with his elephant strength, he breaks free although the statue is still stuck to him. Riki has a plan. First he drags Masato around just to make him lose stamina as he is carrying a huge load. Then he leads him to a place where Rin is waiting to throw the net onto him. Although Masato breaks free from the statue, soon it becomes a fist fight. Riki throws a few ineffective punches. Masato punches back but Riki gets up. With a little help from Rin, Riki elbows the final blow into his gut. Masato commends Riki of this surprise. He never knew he was this capable but still is far off from Kyousuke. Because if he intended to remake Little Busters, it isn’t going to be easy and will have a long tough road ahead.

When Masato was a kid, others used to laugh at him because he was stupid. So to stop that, he trained hard to become the strongest. Nobody was stronger than him. Those who laughed got beaten up. Soon, nobody laughed at him but it still made him an outcast since everybody feared to get near him. After declining Riki’s invitation to join Little Busters, Masato started to see clones of himself everywhere. Actually they were other students, just that they looked like him in his eyes. So he punched ‘himself’ when in actual fact they were trying to take to him. He also saw Riki and Rin looking like himself. And thought if he smashed the bait, all his clones would disappear. But one was different (Riki) because he stood back up to fight. A worthy opponent just like back then. Kyousuke challenged him and set traps around till the final fist fight. After each side deliver several blows, Kyousuke wondered why he won’t fall. Masato fears that if he did, all that he has worked hard for will go to waste. He became stronger than anyone but is still alone. So he can’t afford to fall or he’ll go back to being an idiot. Kyousuke didn’t care for all that because he had fun fighting him. He hopes he won’t change and will play with him any time. They become friends from that day and Kyousuke promised there will be more fun times ahead. Masato finally falls as he realizes this was what he was looking for, a place to belong. And now, Riki almost says the same thing as Kyousuke did. He doesn’t care how strong Masato is and no matter who he is, he will always be his friend. Masato vows to stick by him no matter what and until the final moment.

Episode 9
Kengo is next on the list but he’s going to be a tough one. Riki asks how did Kyousuke managed to him to join. Masato explains when Kengo won a kendo tournament and became a local hero, Kyousuke challenged his father and defeated him. Riki asks Kengo about this but he can see through his ploy to get him recruited and asserts he won’t fall for it. Riki goes to talk to Kyousuke who is still in that pitiful state. But Kyousuke says something. Kengo is lying about one thing. Riki observes Kengo and notices his right hand is not injured as he uses it like normal when he thinks his friends aren’t watching. He confronts him that his right hand was never injured to begin with. Thinking he knows something about this world, Kengo warns darkness only awaits and wants him to go enjoy himself. Riki disagrees since everybody is apart and there is no way he can do that. He wants to make everyone smile again. As he isn’t going to give up, Riki wants to challenge him and Rin suggests baseball. If Riki wins, he must join Little Busters. Kengo goes back to tell Kyousuke to poor kid Riki has become. He accuses Kyousuke of using a mechanism of this world that Riki doesn’t know to trick him back then to make him lose focus. Because he tossed away his morals just to see his plan through, he plunged them into darkness and is now acting like a coward wallowing in regret. Kengo views Riki and Rin as weak and it’s their job to protect them. However Kyousuke believes people will mature even if this is a closed world.

On match day, Kengo thinks to himself that after this match, he will do all he can to protect them so he’ll be his enemy for this moment. The winner of this one on one match is the one who hits a homerun. Kengo is cocksure that his victory is guaranteed. Despite several misses and foul balls on Riki’s side, he gets back up no matter how injured or tired. This causes Kengo’s feelings to waver. Why won’t he just let him protect them? Riki’s will to bring everyone back to Little Buster finally lands him a homerun. But there’s still Kengo’s turn. If he scores a homerun, it will be a tie. Because Rin is also serious about this, she wants to be the pitcher instead and Riki be the catcher. Everyone agrees and Kengo will show it to them. Rin’s pitch improves as Riki gives her lots of encouraging words. Kengo realizes he cannot hit a homerun when he normally would. Is their drive putting him under pressure? Rin thinks about the nice blue sky and her friends supporting her so she throws the best pitch that strikes Kengo out. He remembers how winning was always everything in his life. So when Kyousuke defeated his dad, it was to free him from the strict mentality and pressure that he must win. Now no one will care whether he wins or loses because Kyousuke knew all Kengo wanted was to have fun like everyone else. They became friends that day. Kengo breaks down as he admits what he really wanted was to have fun with his friends without worrying about winning or losing. So let’s play a little longer shall we? Safe to say, he’s onboard the Little Busters.

Episode 10
Little Busters are going to see Kyousuke. Riki is going to do the same for Kyousuke like how he did for him. The rest of this episode is from Kyousuke’s explanation of important events throughout the series back to the first season. Kyousuke fears that Riki and Rin will be engulfed in darkness and despair that they might never recover from so he created another world set long before that cruel incident. Because Riki was weak and relied on him whenever something went wrong and Rin couldn’t hold a conversation, Kyousuke created the baseball team of Little Busters and added the few other girls who carried regret about their lives to the team. Masato was fully aware of his plan but played dumb. However Kengo was against it and the reason he was reluctant to join the baseball team. In this world, Kyousuke had absolute control of the cat as it is his other self and used it to send tasks to the duo. Because Riki was prone to anxiety and grief, he kept running away from it so he turned back time and restarted the trial from the beginning because running away won’t solve anything. By doing so, he began to overcome his weaknesses. That was the case of Riki and the other girls like in Kud’s case, that magical thingy that happened at the end of her arc. Riki became stronger and Rin more cheerful. He wished such happy times would last forever but his power to maintain this world was gradually weakening. So when all the other girls left, Komari wanted to stay behind to watch Rin till the end.

Kyousuke wanted to test Rin and thus the final task that will separate her from them. He knows it was a tough plan and he himself didn’t like it but he knows he can’t always protect her. However she was at her limit and Kengo had his own idea of protecting them. He refused to accept they don’t have much time in this world, the reason Kyousuke ‘cheated’ and made Kengo go berserk at him. But when Riki and Rin ran away, Kyousuke began to wonder if his plan had failed. Was Kengo right that they are still weak? He alone foolishly believed that Riki would mature and Rin was traumatized. Even though no one is left, he will violate his morals and principals to do this again and again. Kyousuke seems to be following the smell of the gasoline while slowly crawling in pain in the dark while leaving a trail of blood. He is sick of making them in despair. He wanted to give up but that is when Riki took his own initiative to form his own Little Busters. When Riki came to see him at the time trying to recruit Kengo, Kyousuke wanted to help him out but couldn’t. So he only gave the little hint that Kengo was lying. Finally Kyousuke has reached a funny structure and will stop the leaking. He will prolong these final moments as long as possible to give Riki an opportunity. If he can do that, he would have served his purpose and will have no regrets. Seeing Riki extending his hand to him, Kyousuke is amazed how much he has grown even though he has messed up and the many times he has restarted this world. He never imagined this would have happened. He knows when he takes his hand, everything will be over and leaves him to handle the rest. After he disappears, this is where everything will begin.

Episode 11
Kyousuke rejoins them and Little Busters is back to what is used to. The first order? Play baseball! But they don’t have much time left. It’s like Kyousuke giving his ‘report card’ to his fellow Little Busters and is glad to be with them. When Masato tries to catch the ball, he crashes through the scoreboard. Riki wonders if he is alright but Masato says this is goodbye and enjoyed the times together. Suddenly he disappears! Riki seeks an explanation from Kyousuke what is happening so he says he will be returning to the real world soon. A world where Riki and Rin are the only survivors. Remember that bus crash? It wasn’t the other school. It was them. The bus carrying them fell off a cliff during a school trip. Riki and Rin are the only ones who narrowly escaped death thanks to Masato and Kengo. But they couldn’t leave them to just die there because they’ll be overcome with grief once they wake up. Therefore Kyousuke created this world so that they could become strong. When he was wallowing in the darkness or afterlife or something, he prayed so hard and perhaps God heard his wish and let him create this world whereby they repeated everything since the first semester many times. They watched over Riki and Rin to become strong enough to overcome the cruelty of reality. Now that they have both become strong enough, they must move forward. No more turning back. Riki suddenly regains all his memories and he agrees the need to do so otherwise the strength that Kyousuke and the rest gave them will be in vain. Playing another round of baseball, this time the ball hits Kengo. He breaks down crying that he doesn’t want the fun to end and tried hard to make up for those lost times. He is happy to have met such great people. Kengo shakes Riki’s hand as a sign of friendship. Then he disappears. In the final game, Riki hits a homerun. I guess this is a goodbye walk for Kyousuke. Riki is so emotional that it’s affecting Kyousuke too. Yeah, he’s bawling out tears like we never seen him before. He loves them so much that he doesn’t want to part but life is so unfair. Why does he have to go. Since the world is fading, Kyousuke wants Riki to take Rin and run out through the front gate and not look back. Riki makes haste as he takes Rin’s hand, saying his last goodbye. Kyousuke walks around the school one last time to remember the fond memories. Ah… Good memories indeed…

Episode 12
Riki and Rin wake up in the real world to find themselves amidst the fallen trees of the forest below the cliff where the bus has crashed. He remembers everyone happily in the bus when it skidded out of control and crashed through the barrier. Kengo and Masato protected them from the impact. Smelling the gas tank has leaked, everything would have been futile if they are to die now so he brings her away to a safe place. But Riki doesn’t want a world without the rest so he goes back alone to the crash site to find them. However his narcolepsy starts acting up again after he sees the bloodied corpses inside the bus. Rin feeling scared by herself, crawls back to the crash site and is paralyzed in fear. She remembers her traumatic past but starts opening up when Kyousuke brings her out and the other guys joined Little Busters. She hears Komari’s voice as she narrates some sketchbook story to her. It made Rin remember her and the rest. How could have she forgotten all about them? Perhaps she didn’t want to see those scary stuffs and closed them off. But now she is going to find the things she lost and returns to that dream world. She meets Mio reading her tanka poems, avoids Haruka’s punch, getting teased by Kurugaya and licked by Kud’s dogs. She feels guilty for not being able to thank them as they have given her a lot. Then she remembers Komari’s one wish hasn’t been granted and runs up to the rooftop where she is waiting. Komari apologizes she couldn’t tell her the truth and should have gone a long time ago but stayed back out of her selfishness just to see her one last time. Rin doesn’t want this and rather be with everyone else. Komari makes this one wish of hers and that is to have Rin continue smiling. Then she disappears. Wondering how to make this wish come true, Rin believes if everyone smiles, she’ll be able to smile. So it’s not over yet. She’s going to save them and look forward. It’s going to be tough but she believes she can do it and have everyone smile together again.

Episode 13
Riki needs to overcome his weakness so he goes back in time through his memories to the day it all began. The car crash that killed his parents. Because he feared the sadness and wanted to run away, he fell into a slumber. I suppose this explains his narcolepsy issue. With the memories of Little Busters flowing through him, he gets the strength to overcome them and reunites with Rin. They’re going to do what they can now. Back in the harsh reality, they are standing before the crashed bus. First, they see Komari. Thankfully she has a pulse and is only unconscious. Safe to say that everyone is the same. They need to move everyone out before the bus catches fire. Riki sees someone outside leaning against the bus and realizes is Kyousuke. He is using his body to stop the gas leak. It must be excruciating but they need to move everyone out before taking him. The duo must have lots of reserved strength because they not only carried everyone out but stretchered them far enough where the sun reaches the grass. Wow. That’s lots of strength. Finally it’s time to get Kyousuke. He is still alive but hell, save your talking about surpassing your expectations and it’s all thanks to you for later. Get out now! The bus is already catching fire. Riki and Rin carry him with their last ounce of strength. And then… BOOOM! Three months later, we see Riki and Rin back in school. The rest of their girl friends are also there. They go greet Masato and Kengo who are just released from hospital. Slowly, all the students recover and come back to school. Miraculously there were no casualties but the last person left to return is Kyousuke. He is in coma and because in ICU, no visitors are allowed. In the mean time, Riki takes responsibility of leading Little Busters. As they wait and talk about him, the only person who gives them excitement in what to do, suddenly he comes back via the window. Surprise? He is back to normal like as though that accident never happened. The first crazy mission? Do something awesome and that is to go on a field trip again but this time it will only be them. Little Busters prepare for their beach trip in Kyousuke’s van. A new story for Little Busters will begin.

When Dream Ends, You Wake Up…
What else can I say? A feel good happy ending for our Little Busters to be together in reality. Although the thing that bugged me was Kyousuke’s super recovery at the end which seemed a little ‘fake’ and ‘rushed’. He seemed pretty badly injured and there was this possibility that it might not be a totally 100% happy ending. A bittersweet ending with him passing on. But having such a bad end and even one of the Little Busters dead would mean rendering 2 seasons of 39 episodes to be a big waste. Having Riki going through that endless trial of the first semester was just to prepare him for this and if it ended in a bad way, it would have really sucked. That’s why I think Kyousuke was miraculously revived so that we can all wake up and continuing living the happy life. Being admitted to ICU is no joke and I don’t think in my wildest dream this guy would even pull it off as a prank. Maybe except for the fact that the producers may just want to make us a little anxious before everything ends.

Seeing this is the home stretch, many of the characters we see in the first season are left out and this season the original quintet of Little Busters take the limelight and become the main focus. Even guys like Masato and Kengo are given some depth. Except for the first few episodes which had Kurugaya in the spotlight because she was the only girl outside the original Little Busters who didn’t have her stint with Riki. So characters like Kud, Haruka, Mio and to a little extent, Komari have been greatly sidelined in this season so much so that if you think too much about it, you might miss them and yell for them to come back because the new Little Busters are about the 10 of them, right? If such characters are already not given much prominence, the rest of those minor characters like Sasami, Kanata and A-chan are not even featured. I don’t even remember seeing them around and even if they did make their cameo, it was too insignificant for me to notice. I suppose that is why another special series called Little Busters! EX was aired after this season concluded. To give these little heroines their own screen time.

The plot of this sequel is still captivating enough and the melodrama was gloomier this time round since, well, Riki is a step closer in uncovering the mystery of this world. Speaking of which, when it was revealed that this world wasn’t a real one but a fake world created by Kyousuke, it somewhat didn’t surprise me because I was predicting something of this sort would happen. And I didn’t even do any reading up of the plot or play the game. I had a hunch that something like this would happen. How else would you explain the mysterious happenings that occurred all the while? Mysterious happenings that make things feel so dream-like if you think about it. It’s like magic. It’s like a dream. Nevertheless the magic of each episode still manages to evoke the same kind of emotion in my heart, the kind that I experienced while watching the first season. Not many animes can make a second season that is better or at least lives up to the reputation and expectations of the first so Little Busters! Refrain is one of those few who manage to do that well.

The overall gloominess of this season takes away much of the humour and comedy that I saw in the first season. I guess you don’t need any more fillers and drag on the series for another season just to keep your audiences watching. You’d be lucky if you have people who are still watching and not drop it halfway. With Kyousuke falling into a despair state, there isn’t any fun things to do like that free for all battle that has our battling Little Busters grab whatever ‘weapon’ the audience throws at them. As absurd and silly it may be, it was fun seeing the hilarity of it all. What about Masato’s penchant for always falling ‘victim’ of being called odd nicknames? Boy, I really miss those.

Of course in the area of character development, Riki and Rin grow stronger than before and are able to stand back on their own 2 feet. So that endless repetition of the first semester was really worth it. They came out unscathed, have a stronger heart (which probably led them to have stronger body since it’s all in the mind) and saved everybody. Kyousuke had his own problems and isn’t always the perfect leader that Riki knew but just like the rest, he wants to best and to protect the duo with all his heart. Masato isn’t a dumb guy and he’s probably the smartest since he just acts like a dumb brawn (somebody has got to play the fool that others need to make fun of) and Kengo too can break down or have his childish nature instead of the cool and composed one we are familiar with. So everybody improves, develops and moves forward because of each other’s support.

I don’t know how many times Riki and Rin have been forced to repeat a season of Groundhog Day but if we are going to be told in numbers, it would bring back memories of that sickening Endless Eight arc in the second season of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Say, if this was possible and it took many tries for Riki and Rin to get it right, I wonder how long time has passed in the real world? It could take forever since they’re in a world that runs on a separate time. So it is really odd if you think about it that this could be the perfect ‘trainer’. If you want to ace or get better in something, don’t worry, just restart everything from the top till you do it better! Neat, huh? If only dreams work that way. Theoretically if Riki and Rin never get stronger, does this mean they get to stay in the artificial world forever? That would be better, would it?

The opening theme for this season is Boys Be Smile by Suzuyu. Sounds like another one of those pieces with that Key feel to it. In fact, all the songs for this season as I found out were taken from the albums for the visual novel. Ayaka Kitazawa sings the main ending theme, Kimi No Nakushi Mono which is a lively anime pop piece with some cute synchronizer effects. Another ending theme that only lasts for a single episode, Hanabi by Lia is also a lively anime pop rock piece. The rest of the other ending songs are sung by Rita who did the opening and ending themes for the first season. Song For Friends is probably the best song because this lovely slow ballad piece with heavy focus on the piano just touches your heart after watching the episode. Haruka Kanata is also another slow sad song but I still prefer the beautiful Song For Friends. Of course the final episode’s theme is a variation of the first season’s opening theme, Little Busters! -Little Jumper Version- to bring back that overall nostalgic feeling of this series and a fitting finale to it all. For the rest of the background music, I think all of them are being reused from the first season. The familiarity of those instrumental pieces still invokes great emotions during certain scenes.

Overall, this sequel is a good finisher to the first and I highly recommend people to watch both seasons for the interesting and fascinating tale and how it is all well executed. I feel this series should end here and shouldn’t have any more sequels or it will ruin or diminish the perfection it has reached. Spin-offs are another story but Little Busters 3? I don’t know how you can top this one unless it’s a goddamn miracle. So it goes to show that you don’t need to resort to fanservice and ecchi elements to attract a certain group of people. You don’t need to do cheap shots just to gain viewership or bring in the dollars and sales figures. If you have a beautiful story and good implement, it will leave a lasting impression in the hearts of people for a long time to come. That’s the best result you could ask for. I think Little Busters did just that. I mean, if your emotions are moved and touched while watching this series, then it must be a direction in the right step. Now if only every other animes are like this without the risk of disappointment, it would be a perfect otaku world. Unfortunately that remains just a dream.

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku

April 5, 2014

What is your favourite subject at school? Maths? English? Science? Art? Geography? History? I’m sure everyone has their own favourite subject. Mine? Well, my most favourite subject was going home time. Haha! True! Not a joke! Can never wait for the last bells to ring and it is total freedom for that day! Oh wait. What about after school club activities? I’m sure many of us joined at least one, right? I know, I had my fair share of club activities but that was only because I had to join because it was compulsory or else you won’t be graded. Sheesh. As far as I remember, the clubs I have joined throughout my school days were taekwondo club, chess club and computer club. Even so, I was an inactive member. I wished I was a ghost member. Heck, I wished there was a going home club! Not so much of a club if you think about it because if it is so, all you need to do is just wait for everyone to gather and then disperse as soon as that happens. Goodbye. Going home now. Sighs…

So I thought Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku (Chronicles of the Going Home Club) would somewhat bring nostalgic memories or at least make me fantasies what I should have done if there was such a club back then in my school and I was part of it. Unfortunately, names can be deceiving. Despite the club naming so, the members of it do everything else besides going home. That’s very misleading. So why the heck name it Going Home Club anyway? Why not Have Fun While We Can Club? This series is yet another one of those ubiquitous animes capitalizing on the cute girls doing nothing factor with no real plot whatsoever. I have watched a lot of these shows lately so much so I have lost count. Not all are bad and I’m only watching such genres because of the comedy factor. Let’s see if these girls have what it takes to make me laugh. Or bore me to death that I will just ‘go home’. With that, you must have guessed what this show is about. A group of cute girls having fun in their own ways.

Episode 1
Natsuki Andou just entered high school and like many freshies, the clubs go all out in recruiting them. And some weird ones like a person dressed in a seal outfit… Natsuki talks to her friend Ai Furuhashi about the clubs they will be joining. Natsuki isn’t interested and quips she wants to join the going home club instead. Karin Touno takes her seriously because she too wants to join it. To Natsuki’s horror, there is really such a club with their own clubroom! They are instantly accepted and introduced to the members that include Botan Oohagi (heir to some sword technique), Claire Kokonoe (daughter of a large conglomerate) and Sakura Doumyouji (the club’s president and basically a normal person). Natsuki really doesn’t want to join and just wants to go home but they are impressed with her going home spirit and call her the super rookie. And so Natsuki ends up joining it and is forced to come to the club every day. Karin reveals that when Natsuki bumped into the seal mascot on recruiting day, it was the Going Home Club then and it made her want to join. For that reason? Natsuki just wants to go home… That’s the spirit! Wondering what the club does, they ask Sakura and her reply is that they have fun. If you want that elaborated, it’s because youth only comes once to us and it will pass before your eyes. Thus they must enjoy themselves as much as possible to the max. There. Satisfied? Then they go feed pigeons at the park. Is this fun or what? Natsuki looks so bored…

Botan demonstrates how she cuts open a bottle top with her hand (why not just open it normally?). Then she gives a manga-like explanation how she uses the force, etc. She then proceeds to tell them about her Bear Tour last summer. It’s one of her many heroic exploits. She kept detailed records of it by sending emails back to her friends for every bear she defeated. Starting with the brown bear in Hokkaido, it led her to the Grizzly in Alaska (she had fun in USA before doing so) before the ultimate Polar Bear in the North Pole. She conquered them too easily but a month later she found out something unbeatable. It was her phone bill because she used it too much overseas. She realizes it’s not bears she’s supposed to fight but the rate system! Just change your lifestyle habit! The other girls went on to add the other types of beasts Botan slew like sharks, elephants and demon kings. Yeah… When everyone goes to patron the new crepe shop, Botan sees a guy in bear outfit handing out balloons. Oh no… Sakura catches Natsuki in the act when she tries to imitate Botan’s hand chopping movement in the toilet. Back in the clubroom, Karin is devastated she couldn’t buy any eraser because none had a pink case. Claire suggests going to a stationery shop and buy the entire store! This leads to a discussion on her extravagant money spending sense. So extravagant her movements too that the series breaks the fourth wall and turns this short moment into sketch frames used in its animation. Claire comes to this normal school because she wants to experience the normal life. Karin will teach her what normal people do. For starters, licking the cover of the ice cream where it is stuck is supposed to be the most delicious part. Isn’t that what kids think? Can Claire understand? Because ice cream to her comes in a fancy glass cup. And when everyone goes to buy ice cream, Claire buys a stick…

Episode 2
Karin just learned about that cuckoo poem so the girls discuss how it can determine a person’s behaviour like how it was used on the war generals. Then they made up some examples and discuss what each will do if a cuckoo that is supposed to sing isn’t. Expect some crazy answers like try smiling or get a canary as replacement. Because Karin doesn’t know what a cuckoo looks like, the rest describe to her what a bird generally is. It has a beak, right? Wings too, no? I guess nobody knows what it looks like. Then Sakura just had to nail this lame pun that a cuckoo is a bird that has gone cuckoo. Later Karin brings her homemade cookies and this shocks everyone that she has feminine appeal. They can’t believe this is the Karin they know. Oh? How much do they know her? She is also good in sewing and shows them her handmade tissue cover. So overwhelmed by her feminine appeal that even Sakura’s visor detects her feminine appeal stats increasing over the thousands. Is this machine malfunctioning? Maybe her brain is malfunctioning. Rising so much that it explodes and for more exaggerating effect, Botan is blown into the wall while Claire loses her power! Karin doesn’t know what is going on but gives off a lovely smile. That would have finished them. When Karin brings up the social mixer topic, this prompts Claire to wonder what it is. Sakura explains it but seems she has mistaken it to be a choral mixer club that she was once part of. Learning what it really is, Sakura starts to cringe in embarrassment. This girl is that pure? Sakura then has them practice what it’s like to be in a mixer just in case. Treating it like a disaster? Botan and Claire will play the boys, Natsuki and Karin the girls while Sakura is the waitress-cum-referee. A referee in mixers? After they introduce themselves, they couldn’t find any interesting topics to prolong the conversation. It is Sakura that is driving the mixer with her random and crazy scores (I guess it’s based on her mood), pushing her octopus wasabi menu and coming up with random events. At the end of the session, Sakura declares Karin the winner as she has obtained an astronomical amount of points. So many digits that I don’t even know what this number is called. Natsuki is the only one stuck with -30. But Botan pulls off the winning move because she would rather date the waitress. Infinite points…

Episode 3
Botan helps open a bottle for Sakura like as though she’s opening champagne. At least she didn’t chop it off. This leads them to request her to teach them self defence technique. With Sakura acting as the perpetrator, Botan demonstrates how to handle one. She can’t proceed further because if so, you will explode! Definitely you can’t use that. Natsuki realizes the bottle cap stuck in the ceiling. Remember how Botan opened it earlier on? It’s still there and lots of cracks in the ceiling. When Sakura asks about Botan’s mental training, she mentions one of it is when people read her diary from middle school. She will be unfazed. But really? Botan has a diary? Sakura reads it and the next thing she knows, she is lying in her own pool of blood! Is it that devastating? Natsuki reads aloud to the rest but also succumbs to her own pool of blood. Something about Botan being a shattered glass that nobody can get near to. Botan continues from the diary and it seems she was so till she met the light in high school in the name of Sakura. Claire is spoiling Karin too much, so the others think. She’s peeling orange for her refill her mechanical pencil. Those are dangerous, right? She is even willing to take responsibility of taking care of her for the rest of her life. I think she really wants that to happen. Botan suggests Karin to discipline herself and that is by walking up a flight of stairs! Everyone except Natsuki is in the exaggerated flow that these stairs are too tough for her. Wasn’t she hoping on one leg with no problem up the stairs this morning? In the end, Karin’s I-can’t-do-it face is too cute for Botan to resist so she carries her up in her arms.

Botan wakes up early on Sunday to do her stance training. After lunch, she plays video games till night before looking at her social website. Her friends posted pictures (some weird) and she likes them. One of her old friend’s, Arare Kakio also posted online but when she sees her middle school class reunion, Botan is glad she didn’t attend it and thanks her mental training. In the clubroom, Karin learns Botan was always alone in middle school. Sakura is her first friend when she entered high school. Karin never knew Botan was that scary and it’s because thanks to her being friends with Sakura, she has a different outlook now than before. Less scary. Botan adds that due to her loneliness, she manages to ‘clone’ herself whenever she is unable to find a partner for gym. Yeah. It made her body stronger. If anybody hits her, she won’t get hurt. Sakura doesn’t believe and tries it out. After punching, kicking and even whacking her with a chair, Botan is all smiling! Don’t tell me she is a masochist! But Sakura has an idea using Karin’s feminine appeal to hurt her. Karin walks up to Botan and yells, “I hate you!”. Botan flies away and her face shatters like glass. That really hurt, didn’t it? Of course Karin later post in her social media an apology and that she really loves her.

Episode 4
Karin and Natsuki go to see the softball match between Sakura and Botan’s class against Claire’s class. Botan and Sakura try to give each other hand signals but Botan’s fingers just contorted in a freaky way. Then they try picturing Claire as an athlete. Even imagining her as a horse rider is tough. They need to win this game or else Claire will brag over them for a week. Unfortunately Claire knows what they’re thinking. Because they have been friends for a long time, she too shares that telepathic conversation so she heard everything. There goes their plan. Sakura has her members discuss what they would do in case of a fire. She seems serious in pointing out some of the places in school that fire could start easily. Like a bunch of delinquents smoking. How is that hazardous? Because when they blog about it, the comments section catches fire! Botan doesn’t know what PRD during fire emergency stands for so Karin cutely explains it is no pushing, no running and no dying. Actually, the last bit should be no discussing. Sakura notices how similar they are to handphones and wonders why didn’t they just shorten it to no handphones. Because it isn’t. But they all think they’re going to be fine and no fire will start since this is already the third episode. Later the girls notice Botan plotting her running trail for her training. She even does training while swimming. She’s meditating in the shower… She then explains there is a rival family out to crush hers. Not to mention other numerical groups that will come along the way, in which Botan is confident in crushing them all (she thinks 2 episodes for 2 villains would suffice). But as Natsuki points out, since it is tournament mode, wouldn’t that mean the enemies will wipe each other out via elimination round and Botan doesn’t have to fight them all herself. So what does this have to do with this anime? If they lose their popularity as a gag anime, they will have to turn it into a battle anime!

But if Botan is the only one who could fight, that would render the rest unimportant and just normal civilians, no? Don’t worry, with their support, she can get 1up. 1 life = 4 friends. She plays too much game. Claire also mentions her own family politics and rivalry with different families trying to outdo each other for the top spot. Sakura disagrees with the battle theme retool. Because if they get unpopular, fanservice is the way to go! Yeah. Those scenes with Botan in swimsuit are already a sign… Because by the third episode, it is the yardstick that people use to gauge if they want to continue watching a late night anime. They also show the retooling editing the softball scenes, putting Sakura in swimsuit and Botan’s entire body mosaic out. Sakura wants Karin who has been silent ever since to end this with a punch line. Well, she did a pun about this anime and softball. What do they have in common? They keep getting thrown away! There is also something she wanted to correct them for a long time. This is actually the fourth episode and not the third. The rest panics and wonders if there is enough time to do tournament battle or stripping! Don’t be so hasty! Claire flexes her muscle by calling her guys to do a new ending. Lastly, Botan teases Natsuki when she eats doughnuts. Because her name almost sounds like that snack. Yum!

Episode 5
Sakura sings in German a song composed by Schubert. The idea? Because the composer has been dead for more than 50 years, they can use this song without paying any royalties! This leads to a discussion of the Demon King in the song that sounds weak. It isn’t the almighty Demon King they perceive. So weak that any move could easily kill the bugger. Like as though he only has that in name. So they re-imagine the Demon King to be more powerful and badass that he even kills the future hero. But the latter got resurrected like in RPG games… They want to continue reinventing the Demon King but after hearing the word ‘tokatonton’, Sakura loses motivation to carry on. Later they discuss the Kokoro novels by Souseki Natsume. It is what Sakura’s class is doing for modern literature and it is really popular to the extent they are quoting quotes from it. They also discuss other good literature textbooks but Karin somehow mixes up a story of a fox going to buy apples at a store. That one was actually a maths question than any literature. Also discussed is a literature about some guy turning into a tiger and scaring off people with his poetry. Don’t ask. Later the girls move on to folktales that they hardly remember such as Kintaro. They don’t remember what he did with his axe and they come up with all sorts of violent cliché theories and mish-mash like Aesop fables and the girl-running-to-school-with-bread-in-mouth cliché. As for Momotarou, it turned into some Star Wars parody. Tarou Urashima? Money solved everything? There are many other old folktales they don’t remember much but they all arrive at a conclusion: All of them are violent! Sure it isn’t their violent minds that are corrupting those folktales? Next day, nobody seems to have done research to ascertain those stories because they were sure the other would. Does it really matter? Well, everyone fails Natsuki for it. Lastly Claire and Karin discuss about Sakura’s hair which seems like made up of parts. Of course Sakura denies and takes the whole thing off. It’s a whole part and a helmet!

Episode 6
Everyone plays Kick The Can but Botan is too strong. Yeah. Sakura forced Natsuki to drink canned coffee so they could play. I wonder how many she already had… It all began when Sakura wanted to play video games. Because games only allow up to 4 players, she is about to kick out Natsuki but the other girls are already in their own world. Feeling left out, that’s when Sakura ditched this idea and wants to play a game that doesn’t use electricity (why is Botan looking so shocked?). And so this is how they end up playing Kick The Can but they have already lost so many cans (Natsuki must be bloated now) so Sakura gives Botan a handicap by handcuffing her hands and feet. Somehow she still manages to break free and win! Even chaining, blindfolding, locking in a box and exploding it, she can still escape and kick the can!!! How does she do it! Finally they tie her to a rocket bound for space. Want to bet she can somehow return? Back in the clubroom, suddenly Sakura collapses! Appearing on TV is a masked villain (Sakura?) called Guilty Judgment. She accuses them for committing a sin that is ignoring their club president while playing video games. She’s still holding on to that grudge? Anyway she threatens them the door is locked from the inside (doesn’t this mean it can be open from the inside too?) and they are strapped with invisible bombs that beautiful people cannot see (is this the reason why Sakura was ‘killed’ so she could not detect the bombs? I guess she wasn’t that pretty – plan backfired). Only Karin gullibly believes it. Guilty Judgment wants them to play musical chairs and the one not seated will explode. First round ends with Karin remaining standing. Is she going to die? Claire offers her lap so that counts, right? Obviously the video is not in sync because all of them are still alive. Removing another chair, the standing ones will sit on the laps of the seated ones. Finally down to the last chair, I don’t know how all of them managed to squeeze sitting on it. And Guilty Judgment obviously is oblivious to what is happening because she is ranting how the ‘survivor’ killed everyone and is condemned to a life of loneliness. Whatever. Everyone then goes out to some pancake restaurant. The ‘corpse’ is left behind. Nobody cares. So sad… Sakura picks herself up but she sees her friends waiting outside for her. That’s what friends are for, right?

Botan’s rival family clan, the Four Heavenly Kings meet in their weekly meeting to discuss. Four teenagers at a diner? They consist of The Leader, Seriryuu the Merciless; The Guardian, Byakko the Ruthless; The Lone Female, Suzaku the Relentless; and The Anime Lover, Genbu the Hopeless. Of course Genbu is not pleased with his title so the rest try suggesting other titles but all have the same meaning as hopeless. Then they discuss about Botan their eternal enemy and know she has juniors joining her club. They are mad that the juniors have matching straps but it seems they too have them so Genbu wonders if they are really in love with Botan instead. Even if they say she is their enemy, it doesn’t sound convincing. Botan and the rest walk into the diner and they greet each other. Friendly, aren’t they? When Botan’s friends ask about them, Botan replies they are her enemies. Saying that with a confident smile? Another week, the Four Heavenly Kings meet to discuss again. As usual, Genbu isn’t happy now his nickname has some light censor. The rest are confident that it will be removed in the DVDs. Talking about Botan, it seems they’ve got lots of matching items with her. Sure they aren’t in love with her? Genbu blows his top that they are not taking the enemy seriously when suddenly all his Botan matching items drop out from his shirt. Hah… In the clubroom, Natsuki suddenly collapses. Yeah. Now it’s her turn to play Guilty Judgment on the video. I suppose she’s right to have that grudge of being forced to drink coffee 7 times in a row! Black coffee! It doesn’t help when Sakura pours another can into her throat! Claire thinks she needs something sweet and suggests an éclair. This causes the ‘corpse’ to get back up and retort.

Episode 7
Sakura enters the clubroom only to see Natsuki. Botan and Claire accompanied Karin to hand in a forgotten assignment. To pass the time, Sakura suggests playing shiritori with a twist. Each will have a taboo card containing a word that cannot be said or else you will lose. So in addition to the usual shiritori rule and one minute limit per person, you have to avoid saying that taboo card while drawing your opponent to say your taboo word. If Natsuki wins, Sakura will give her something good. Otherwise she will have to eat spaghetti through her nose! As the game starts, Sakura goes on the offensive as Natsuki realizes she is trying to make her say ‘ru’ words. There are not many words starting with that letter. Natsuki counters that tactic by using a word that starts and ends with both ‘ru’. However her gut feeling tells her that the word ‘ruuru’ (rule) is Sakura’s taboo word and true enough it is. Natsuki tries other ‘ru’ words but Sakura can quickly counter it back to ‘ru’. With the clock ticking down and running out of those words, pressure is building on Natsuki. Just when Natsuki thinks she thought up a ‘ru…ru’ word, Sakura counters with another ‘ru…ru’ word. She expected this and has a handful of those just in case. But Natsuki hasn’t given up yet. She turns the play to her favour and making Sakura say ‘u’ words. Sakura has to be careful because many ‘u’ words were used up in the earlier play. Could it be that Natsuki’s taboo word begins with ‘u’? When Sakura mentions ‘umibouzu’ this happens to be Natsuki’s taboo word. Sakura’s loss! So what is it that she has to hand over? Her hair pins… Natsuki is forced to tie up her hairstyle in weird fashion. I guess she is the real loser here. Everybody plans to hold a surprise party for Natsuki tomorrow. Thing is, they discuss it with Natsuki around! How is that for a surprise? They suggest all the extravagant stuffs they want to throw at her (how come it sounds like shiritori?) and even have the cheek to ask her if she will be surprised by it. Of course not! Next thing as Natsuki makes her way to the clubroom in an unsurprising way, she sees a large cake inside the room! Surprised? If it’s bigger than the door, how did it get in? It was made in the room. Then she hears fireworks but since it’s daytime, she can’t see a thing. Surprised? After noticing the other extravagant stuffs, they have a final surprise for her: An airplane writing ‘Happy Birthday Natsuki’ in the sky. I think she is more embarrassed than surprised. Finally, Karin still feels hungry even after eating that giant birthday cake. Sakura and Botan think her stomach is possessed by some kind of spirit. But as Karin points out, there is always room for desserts. Before they know it, the red bean rice ball in Botan’s hand ends up in Karin’s mouth. Scary…

Episode 8
The girls learn Natsuki has a younger brother, Lloyd. They get excited and hound her with lots of questions (including silly ones: Is he a boy or girl). Natsuki tells them off that being single children, they do not know the reality of having a younger brother. In that case, they suggest to come visit her home and experience the reality! Oh no! Later, Sakura saw some guy selling poems in the street and feels the need for her club to write some. Using thank you as a theme, it seems everyone came up with negative ideas of society. Changing it to heart-warming, let’s say it sounds more like warming up other parts than the heart. After writing so many and that they can’ sell it, what do they do? Play Frisbee… On another day, the girls really did come to visit Natsuki’s home. It’s going to be a pain… Yeah. See the mini bags they’ve brought along. First and foremost, they want to meet Lloyd so Natsuki calls him down to let the girls see. They all start laughing so of course he starts retorting. Natsuki beats him up for not showing respect to his seniors. But Natsuki doesn’t do the same for Sakura, right? Then they visit her room. Sakura becomes a pest when she starts smelling her bed. Natsuki gives her a Boston Crab submission move. I guess having a brother means she can pull off such moves. Natsuki is further embarrassed when they get to know she sleeps with a teddy bear. She wants them to go home but they’ve already brought their sleeping kits. After she takes a bath, she sees her friends making themselves like home in her room. This is going to be a long night. The entire night they discuss about Natsuki’s ahoge. Because it has a life on its own. See it move? They make comparisons how the ahoge is the main body part compared to Natsuki, which pisses her off. Every example, she has some retort. So many retorts that she’s running out of breath! She tells them to stop teasing about it since she’s quite sensitive. Suggesting to cut it, Natsuki says it is impossible. She tried once but another sprang up in its place. Her heart warms when Sakura mentions she likes her ahoge because it makes her who she is. Because without it, they couldn’t think of her as Natsuki anymore. Insult? Claire suggests editing the picture to erase Natsuki’s ahoge. The outcome? Unforeseen programme error! Not only that. The room starts to darken and although Natsuki doesn’t have her ahoge anymore, everyone else does!!! HORROR!!! This is the true horror of her ahoge! In the clubroom, Karin toys around with Natsuki’s ahoge and accidentally pulls it out! The rest think the ahoge is Natsuki and she died! Botan even performs CPR on ‘Natsuki’!

Episode 9
Sakura wants the club to go for a summer camp but Natsuki disagrees. In the first place, the nature of this club doesn’t even warrant one. Sakura throws a tantrum but Natsuki tells her if she really wants to go, say it sincerely from the heart. And so the summer camp is on but now the big dilemma is where to go. This brings the topic of choices that many face in life. This includes many ridiculous examples and even that choice of marrying a childhood friend or a rich girl. The conversation turns into one with lots of censoring including ordinary words. Moving on to the next topic of choices, there are decisions that need to be made from consisting of more than 1 choice especially what food they would love to eat for an entire year. Hardly fares any different from the previous topic. Everyone has what they want to eat and Natsuki’s is omelette rice. Everyone thinks it’s cute and this embarrasses her. Now back to the question of where they want to go for summer camp. Although everyone has their idea, Sakura wants to go to Kagawa to annihilate udon. Eh? Feels it is like some culinary tour because we see the girls going to one udon shop to another. Sakura throws tantrum when her udon is too hot. So Botan accidentally pours cold water on it. Now it’s inedible. Back at the inn after a pillow fight, everyone gazes at the starry sky and comes up with their own creative imagination of the constellations. They blame it on ancient people on why the constellations have so much adult content because it’s their only source of entertainment. Or maybe their minds are just dirty. With the power of creative imagination, the girls turn into simple constellations themselves (stick people?). Or perhaps the producers got lazy in drawing them…

Back home, Natsuki gets a call from Sakura. She is invited to the pool. Seems Claire have booked the entire pool for her family so feel free to use it like your own. After having fun in the water, they rest while discussing about the competitive swimming called freestyle. If you go by its definition, there isn’t anything free and there are lots of rules to it. What is it that is accepted as freestyle swimming? Can Botan who is running on water be considered as one? Yes people. She’s really running on water! Their discussion continues with the topic of freedom. It might just be in name but there are many things in life that restricts you. Sakura did something scary that she watched the morning news and counted how many times the newscaster fumbled! She learnt nothing in this world is free and adults and companies always put restrictions on them. Freedom doesn’t exist in this world. Because this is getting gloomy, they end the episode. Finally, Natsuki’s ahoge joke continues. Botan and Karin hear her voice but couldn’t see Natsuki despite standing right next to them! When they do, they don’t even recognize her! A joke or insult? Or both? When the whatever snack that was replacing Natsuki’s ahoge came off and Botan throws her real ahoge back on her head, Natsuki ‘revives’ and they welcome back their friend. So ahoge is really what defines her?

Episode 10
When Natsuki enters the clubroom, she sees her friends in weird face paint or hair-raising hairstyles. Thank goodness it was just a dream. This leads them to discuss about change of image to signal the end of the summer vacation. Sakura tries to act like a tsundere but Claire and Botan are not impressed. Also discussed how colours affect one’s personality and the stereotypes associated with it. As for changing one’s appearance to suit one’s personality, Sakura starts wearing shoulder pads. Clair and Botan again aren’t amused and punish her. Writing tiny sutra lines on her fingernails?! One day, Botan and her friends visit the Four Heavenly Kings at their dojo. Byakko is not going to hold back on her in his training. Perhaps he is taking too long in his shadow technique explanation that he got owned by Botan. Natsuki notices Suzaku trying to ‘compete’ with her that she knows Botan longer than she is. Even mentioning a place where they went shopping together and Botan got a t-shirt for her. Later Natsuki asks Botan about this because she thought she said Sakura was the first friend she made. Indeed. She considered Suzaku as her enemy and as she wanted to go shopping with her then, she picked the weirdest piece of clothing and pushed her to buy it. Back at the clubroom, the girls are telling ghost stories. For every ghost story they tell, a candle is put out. Now they are at their last. What is going to happen when it goes out? Something scary… They will become easier to animate in the dark!

As the club relay event draws near, Sakura suggests their club can participate since they have 5 members. Initially she wanted to be the anchor but after thinking how Botan may break her hand when passing the baton, she decides to let her be the anchor. They need to practice but the football club is using the field. Sakura goes to negotiate. She got a challenge in return. Worse, it is in the football club’s favour and on their terms. They’ll let them use half the field if the win. But if they lose, Karin will become their manager! Horror! See how Claire and Botan turn into the ferocious hulk! Nobody and nobody will touch their beloved Karin. Certainly not insects or weak people! Sakura is going to die if Karin really becomes their manager. I’m sure she can’t rely on her gut instinct of friendship power, can’t she? Back at the clubroom, they discuss the basic rules of football. Seems enough for them to get by. When the match is about to start, the boys seem confident Karin is already in the bag. But not on Claire and Botan’s watch. They’re willing to even kill if any of those guys lay their hands on her!!! When it begins, Botan kicks and suddenly it’s like she put all her strength into it. So fast and powerful the ball that it whizzes past the boys. The wind cuts their skin, their clothes get blown away and the goalpost destroyed! Instantly the boys surrender. They can use the field. Yeah. They wet themselves. With Karin safely remaining at their side, Natsuki is wise not to ask Claire what is going on because she is seen contacting her men to pull out the snipers! On race day, Botan as the anchor zooms pass everyone to take home the win. But Natsuki senses something amiss. If Karin was at the stands cheering on them, who was the fifth participant? Don’t tell me… Lastly, Natsuki thought she could help ease what is bothering Claire. Till she learns that it is Karin’s cuteness that she couldn’t get enough of. Regret asking?

Episode 11
We start off with Sakura’s flashback. She spent her life in middle school boring. So when she entered high school, she thought of making it interesting by joining a club. Likewise, Botan has trouble mixing around and is resolved to turn things around in her high school debut. However in class, she is unable to introduce and say the things she wanted. Only Sakura is interested in her due to her unusual name and aura. As the days pass, Botan finds herself an outcast because the other girls don’t really enjoy talking to her. Sakura on the other hand is doing well. She wants to talk to Botan but their seats are far way and the opportunity just doesn’t arise. One day when Botan leaves school alone, Sakura finally catches up and asks if they could be friends. Because their names are taken after flowers, they are like two of a kind. That’s when their friendship began. Sakura suggests starting a club together. A club that they could do anything they want that is fun and interesting. The rest is history. Sakura is going to play bowling in the hallway and her friends could have worried about bigger problems like expulsion instead of whether there is no gutter or not. Before she could swing the ball, she suddenly stops dead in her tracks. It is the presence of the student council president, Reina Takamado. Botan suddenly goes into defensive mode and warns about this president whose nickname is Kousoku. Seems when you step into her zone, you will be unable to break the school rules. Therefore, at the speed of light (kousoku), she binds you (kousoku) with all the rules (kousoku)! Yeah. Botan has an alias too: Midnight Murder. Even Sakura: Grenade Rager. Who the heck gave them these nicknames?! I don’t understand by some twisted thinking, Reina agrees to let Sakura bowl. She is sure they’ll meet again but Sakura says it isn’t possible. Because this is the last episode! Gasp! Horror!

So this has the girls in a brainstorming session on what to do for the final episode. Let’s say they are all desperate in doing what they want. Like Botan wanting to fight the bear… A stage performance is out because Karin’s tambourine, Natsuki’s triangle and Botan making the bear scream isn’t exactly what we have in mind as a band. A dream sequence won’t do too since we are shown a sad story of Natsuki in coma for 3 years! And what about Claire’s sci-fi wish of starting a new Garden of Eden, Eve and Eve with Karin? Not quite possible. In the end, Karin’s wish is more plausible. She wants to chat and eat snacks with them. Because that’s what they always do. So the girls are having a toast at the restaurant. They’re having a good time till Karin points out all that is left to do is the next episode preview. Meaning… This isn’t the last episode! Yeah. Sakura screwed up again. I know people make mistakes. But only idiots make them twice and fail to learn from them. Everybody was convinced it was the last since Sakura was so damn convincing. And so everybody is in a frantic on what to do for the final episode. Lots of ideas thrown in but Sakura wants to ride it with lots of short gags.

Episode 12
Sakura is asleep in class. She just woke up when the teacher tells her to read to passage. She composes a haiku instead. Karin dreams of being chased by the demon king. She is saved by the heroic tapir. Also turns out she is sleeping in class. Kids, don’t ever do this in class. The rest of this episode is divided into very short skits. Karin complaining about the bugs she hates; Sakura pondering about the toilet flush setting of small and big; Claire handing Natsuki big money to buy pencil lead. It’s like as though she’s buying the entire store and didn’t know pencil lead is very cheap; Natsuki is called to the roof by Furuhashi just to witness her comedy act with Karin. The duo are called Aikarin! The act is lame and Natsuki is not amused and fires back her criticisms. The try to do another giving birth act but it’s more surreal than funny; The football club and baseball club are at odds again so the vice president of the student council, Kouhei Iizuka is sent to quell things. His ability is Perfect Equal and like its name suggests, is able to split things equally. Like lunch. Which is pretty much useless; The girls talk about sounds animal make but bring up animals whose sound they don’t know. Screw what does the fox sounds like. What sound does a tapir make?; The girls are lost on their way to the sundry shop so they buy a map. But it’s a map of the universe!; Claire finally has a taste of the ice cream stuck on the cover. Ah, the taste of commoners; Botan mentions she was shot in the heart when she was young by an assassin. She survived because she had something underneath her clothes to deflect the bullet. It’s her ribcage! You can’t deflect bullets with that!; Botan is about to face off with the strongest bear but it turns out to be Karin in disguise. Botan loses when Karin does her cute poses; The gang wants to hear Sakura sign Die Moldau in German as this song was commonly sung in middle school despite the lyrics in Japanese. However she forgot (or rather she never sang it) and sings that demon king song; Natsuki has her drawing song but they only drew her ahoge. That is what defines her, right?; Sakura does a drawing song on herself but she rants so much on the necessity that the footage is fast forward, including the part on how to draw her; Is there a hidden pit where people who retort practice all day and night? No way! Now that’s a retort; Sakura mentions about a cat giving birth to kittens at school. They want to go see it but she notes they have 60 seconds before the show ends! The girls panic on what to do and Natsuki can’t come up with her punch line. Of all times, why now? Suddenly Furuhashi calls her just to tell her she joined the volleyball club. Who cares?! Time wasted. End of show. Lastly, they lament they should have done more skits at a faster rate but seriously, Natsuki’s retort can’t keep up with such a speed. I can imagine her breaking down… Karin sees the first evening star but it turns out to be an airplane…

Home Is Where The Heart Is
I guess this show is pretty decent and the jokes were spontaneous enough to make me laugh from time to time. In short, this anime isn’t that bad and didn’t fall into the boring trap like some shows of this similar genre. I suppose it is because of the main fact that Natsuki’s main role and destiny in this show as the person to retort everything. And the way she retorts them, she says them with a passion. Yeah. You can say like as though she is born for that role. So much so that nobody else does it better than her and even if they did, it won’t be as much impact if Natsuki was the one doing it. So can you see why Natsuki never left the club? It’s not like they do not allow her, it is because it is much more fun hanging out with these girls and retorting their silly antics from time to time. If not, every time. Therefore, Natsuki enjoys retorting. It gives somewhat a purpose in life (and role in this anime). Her retorting makes everyone look like idiots (including herself) but in a funny way. Or maybe they are acting like that so Natsuki could have a chance to retort. It’s more fun that way, right?

Also another funny factor is how they often break the fourth wall especially bringing up the ending theme early (although it is played up a handful of times, it doesn’t feel bored. Maybe it is the way Natsuki retorts them) and the last episode slip up. Some of the skits are also pretty well executed like the shiritori instalment. It was pretty funny, exciting and interesting in a lot of ways. It wouldn’t be right for a comedy anime too to not take advantage of making parody out of a few anime and cultural references. I won’t say that every skit is filled with lots of such trivia but there are some and enough to make you spot them (if you know them, that is). From Pokemon and Evangelion to Japanese navy warships and even a combination of the world’s most famous footballer, a certain Portuguese and Argentine football superstars.

The other girls have their own quirky personality which breathes some life into the characters although sometimes it feels their character types may be a little cliché. For example Karin is always the moe and gullible-cum-naive girl of the group exuding lots of feminine appeal that nobody but gays can resist. Then there is ultra-rich girl Claire who never experienced anything commoners do till she came to this club. And all her monetary dealings are in astronomical figures! I even think she even bathes in money. Botan the muscle brain and super strong female of the group although she plays too much video games and her mind starts thinking like one. Sakura the president may be just a normal girl considering the rest around her are ‘super’ types. Super cute, super rich and super strong. Oh, maybe I can classify Sakura as super energetic because that’s what she is. And her love for those wasabi octopus balls too. Not forgetting about Natsuki and her super retorts but I have already covered her in the previous paragraph. Other minor characters like Reina and Furuhashi are so minimal that to think their appearance is only for that little joke in their appearance. For instance, Reina’s introduction was probably as a joke for a new character in the last episode (which actually turned out to be the second last episode) and Furuhashi’s long absence in between the series only to make her appearance in the final episode feels like she is the big retort to Natsuki to end it all. The Four Heavenly Kings? Uhm… Do you feel pitiful that Genbu is usually made the butt of jokes? Just like Natsuki, he is the retort specialist of the group but they don’t really pay attention to him.

Another thing I want to mention about Natsuki is her ahoge. It is what defines her. Really. You can’t have Natsuki without an ahoge (like you can’t have Gintama’s Shinpachi without his spectacles) and there are a few jokes and references to it too. Just like some anime characters whose ahoge has a life on its own (think of Tsumiki of Acchi Kocchi, Araragi of Bakemonogatari, Himeko from Pani Poni Dash and Nyaruko from Haiyore! Nyaruko-san), Natsuki’s ahoge too moves around like as though it is some form of alien life form on her head. I notice it can stretch quite long and could be a head’s length at times. In fact, notice how it is the one that is focused on when she is making the retorts? Instead of showing her retorting face, we get to see her ahoge who is like doing the retorting. Now do you think that Natsuki’s ahoge is the most important part of her body? Protect it at all cost!

Compared to other shows like Yuyushiki or Kiniro Mosaic, the girls here look much better for your average high school students. If Yuyushiki girls are plain and cute, Kiniro Mosaic’s girls borderline cute and pretty, then the ones here are more towards the bishoujo type. Of course the final segment at the end of every episode (the first for the last one) called Going Home Club Mini Theatre has the girls in chibi form but the animation is computer generated. So can you blame Claire and Botan for fawning over Karin? She has the kind of looks that every guy would want to have her as their waifu. If only they can get pass her ‘guardians’. Claire is so obsessed of Karin that you can evidently see it when her eyes go ‘dead’. It’s a danger sign that she may do something extreme just to protect Karin’s cuteness. And what’s with all those signboards that say “Kawaii (cute)” each time they want to express how cute Karin’s antics are? There are times Natsuki is cute too when she is not retorting. Times when she gets embarrassed when her embarrassing likes are revealed. Adding to the cute factor is the little white seal whom I believe is the pet mascot of the club and the series. You can see it bumming around anywhere and everywhere from the clubroom to the mid-intermissions. Can’t get enough of cute girls? Now you have a cute seal to steal your heart. Say… What sound does a seal make?

If I had to point out the ‘best’ one, it would be Ibuki Kido as Natsuki because of the way she passionately does her retorts. Just imagine her like Akiko of OniAi turning her brother complex into retorting passion. Seems the rest of the seiyuu casts are newcomers and this show marks their debut in anime voice acting. No complaints from me that they sound too amateurish whatsoever. They are Mitsuki Yuuna as Karin, Miharu Kobayashi as Sakura, Sae Aiuchi as Botan, Ayaka Senbongi as Claire and Rui Tanabe as Furuhashi. The seal is voiced by Mao Ichimichi (Ikeda in Gin No Saji). The only seiyuu with a ‘longer’ voice acting record is Sachika Misawa who voiced Reina. She was the voice behind Black Snow Princess in Accel World and Kagami in Fantasista Doll.

The opening theme, 2 Gakki Debut Daisakusen by Otome Shintou is quite energetic and lively to match the robust feel of the series despite sounding a lot like some typical J-pop song. Uhm… Maybe it’s because Otome Shintou is indeed a J-Pop idol unit. I suppose one way to keep the series fresh is to put up new ending themes. After 3 or 4 episodes (except for the penultimate episode in which the new ending song only lasts for that particular episode), there will be a new one for us viewers to enjoy. If you ask me, there isn’t anything spectacular. Just sounding generic like they do. They are all sung by the seiyuus of the Going Home Club or a combination of them (yes, including the seiyuu who voiced the seal). The ending themes are (in order of appearance), Wakuwaku Days, Hanabi, Kimi Ni Tsuite Ieru Koto and Best Friend.

It still bugs me that this club is called Going Home Club when what everybody does is goof around all day like as though they have nothing else better to do. Is this their idea of fun? Well, to each her own. Even so, how in the first place did this club get their name approved? The person who approved it probably didn’t care and thought much about it, didn’t he? Besides, I don’t see any supervisor for this club. I only see the fire supervisor’s name on the club’s plate outside otherwise I don’t see the supervisor in person. Yeah. Maybe the supervisor already went home and the kids are left to their own device. And it is pretty ironic too that for a club that is supposed to go home, they have their own clubroom and stay in it most of the time talking and have fun. Maybe home isn’t referring to something physical. It’s a place where you return to relax and feel comfortable. And as long as your heart feels that, you can call that place wherever you are home. Perhaps that is what ‘going home’ means. To unwind and enjoy life after hours of study. If those girls did do some serious studying in the first place. Heh.

So for me, school days are already behind me. Nothing that memorable, unfortunately. So far behind those days that I’m starting to feel old. Now that I am in the working force, I suppose I can still apply the going home concept. Yeah. Get off work right on the dot. My favourite time of the day. Too bad I’m not working in a government agency or as a civil servant. Too bad it is not easy saying no to your superiors when they require me to stay back for overtime. Bummer. At least I don’t have such girls to play silly antics and fool around and that I don’t have to play the tsukkomi part. Hmm… Maybe that is why life around is so mundane and boring… How I wish I was home…

Little Busters OVA

March 14, 2014

You know Little Busters was supposed to be a group of high school students forming a baseball club and thus the expectations of seeing them in baseball-like training or activities, right? But you know, that wasn’t the case in the TV series. Little Busters OVA is something like that too. It has nothing to do with baseball whatsoever. Just another one of those entertaining fillers that has nothing to do with the original plot or storyline of the series. And it is a way for me to get myself started before I watch the second season despite it is long over.

I Will Protect The World Of Saito!
Masato is not happy that his nickname is now Space Idiot. This has Kyousuke suggests to start up the battle ranking system whereby you can only challenge the person who ranks above you. The winner takes the higher rank. Currently the ranking is as follows from top to bottom: Kengo, Rin, Masato, Kyousuke, Komari, Kurugaya, Haruka, Kud, Mio and finally Riki. Why is Riki last? Because it is more exciting that way. Masato challenges Rin and surprisingly the former won! I guess Rin was trying to make some paper airplane which took an awful long time. However Masato is devastated that the rules of changing nicknames remain the same. This means only losers can be given nicknames. I guess Masato is still a Space Idiot. But it won’t take long before Rin gets her revenge. Mio observes Kurugaya as always enjoying herself. She is envious and asks what she can do to be more like her. She suggests imitating Komari. And so begins Mio’s quest to observe and act like Komari, which creeps out that timid girl. Of course this is part of Kurugaya’s pranks to watch and enjoy the cuteness of it all. She didn’t even bat an eyelid when she admits this to Riki. Since it’s not working, she suggests Mio to tell off Masato he is dog vomit. WTF. But she does it anyway. And it seems Rin is also imitating what Mio says, causing Komari to be freaked out. So Riki’s battle with Mio begins. Mio has the backing of her science club led by Mad Suzuki. Nobody cares about his ranting. Just get it started. Anyway, Riki won. Kud then asks Kurugaya for advice to be cool like her. As usual, Kud believes her suggestion of starting her sentences with “God damn” and ending it with “Touch me and I’ll beat the crap out of you”. Doesn’t she get tired saying all that all the time? It’s scaring off Komari again… She uses the same sentence talking to Kurugaya but with her fierce face, she backs off. Then it’s Kud’s battle with Riki. Roller brush versus super liquid glue? Oh. Riki won. Haruka and Kud seek advice from Kurugaya about getting bigger breasts. How are you going to do that if you’re born with such body? But she did advice that it is important to put in effort. Looks like the flat ones will have a mountain to climb. Mio measures Haruka’s boobs. Haruka’s electric toothbrush against Riki’s industrial tape… Who wins? Riki of course. Don’t ask. Kurugaya knows she is next and anticipates Riki. However she gets attacked by somebody else while waiting for him.

Riki is surprised to see Kurugaya’s rank dropped. She has been attacked by a mysterious newcomer called Mask The Saito who claims he will protect the world of Saito. Mask The Saito is fast moving up the ranking and defeats Komari before Riki could act. He gets a warning call from Kyousuke to stay sharp but he already gets done in followed by Masato. Riki and Kengo protect Rin knowing she will be the next target. But when Rin goes after her cat, the guys split up to find her. Next thing Riki knows, Rin and Kengo are defeated at the same time! It’s Rin’s turn to seek Kurugaya’s advice. Yeah. She doesn’t even know what to ask but Kurugaya could tell it’s something about human relationship. Try this one. When Komari says “Yup”, end your sentences with “Oop”. And when that really happens, Komari runs away in tears. Again. Why does this always happen to her? Rin blames Kurugaya for tricking her so she says what she needs is the resolve to make her own judgment. She should try harder with her own efforts next time. Oh, Mio is still saying Masato is a dog vomit… That evening… Mask The Saito confronts Riki for a challenge. Well, we all can tell it’s Kyousuke behind that mask, can’t we? His aim? To decide on the Saito among Saitos in this world. Whatever. He tries to provoke Riki into the match like this mask is the symbol of strength. I guess he has no choice. Mask The Saito’s boxing gloves against Riki’s tweezers. The crowd is building up and excitedly anticipating this match. Riki loses his weapon and is an inch away from losing when Komari happen to walk into a scene, reading an emotional story to Rin. The effect causes Mask The Saito to lose himself and gets emotional. He declares Riki the winner. With the crowd cheering, Mask The Saito takes off his mask. Why am I not surprised he is Kyousuke? He gives Riki to put on the mask. Can’t see a thing. Everyone starts throwing Riki in the air and chanting his name (Saito). Lastly, Komari is now talking to Kurugaya. She relates her problem of everyone saying and doing strange things to her. Her reply? It was all her imagination. Yup. She buys that.

Nothing Is Given So Freely As (Hoax) Advice…
Still funny and enjoyable in its own way. Because I am not really familiar with the world of Little Busters, I do not really understand the significance of Mask The Saito. I am not sure what Kyousuke is trying to pull by becoming such character, especially about that protecting this Saito world. What or who is this Saito anyway? The only reason why I think Kyousuke start up this battle ranking system and let Riki fight his way up is because to let him take over the leadership once Kyousuke graduates. Come to think of it, is everything pre-planned by Kyousuke? I know he faked his own defeat but the timing of the defeats of the others (I believe they won’t go down that easily unless…) and the way it ended. That sad story felt like an excuse just to hand over the victory to Riki. The other amusing story that was running concurrently with this OVA is Kurugaya’s advices to the other girls. It’s amusing to see the girls taking her advice seriously and with hilarious results. I’m sure Kurugaya enjoys watching it as much as we do. Even if we don’t laugh out loud, at least it makes us smile and chuckle at the gullibility of the advice seekers. Hey, at least this shows they really trust her as a friend and are willing to do it for self improvement. Ultimately, I think Kurugaya is trying to teach them to think for themselves instead of following blindly. Something I feel Mio has yet to learn as she is still doing that dog vomit thingy… Oh, I believe we have not seen this much fanservice in the series before. Especially when the girls seek Kurugaya’s advice, it is either they are changing clothes or soaking in the bath. Nothing explicit but the TV series does not have such fanservice to begin with. So if you ask my opinion if you want to watch this OVA, you need to run 10 laps around the field, drink 10 bottles of milk in one sitting, do sit ups at 3am while listening to classical music, borrow a striped panties and say to 20 people “I am an idiot!” with full of passion. Really? What do you mean it is just as simple as sitting down and turning on your device to watch it? See? You’re already getting smarter.

Girls Und Panzer

March 9, 2014

Are girls hot and sexy when they are paired with an automobile? For instance, girls and bikes. They look hot, don’t they? Yeah. It’s not the bike that we’re really looking at, aren’t we? What about girls and fast sports cars? Also hot and sizzling too, no? But what about girls and tanks? Girls and tanks, you say? Sorry if my several opening sentences end in questions but don’t you find anything turned on when a girl rides a tank? No? Well, perhaps Girls Und Panzer would change your mind. Imagine cute high school girls packing such power riding such armoured vehicles. What’s not to love? But seriously. High school girls riding tanks? Odd. Yeah. In anime they can make something out of nothing. War has ended so why the need for girls to drive tanks and shoot at each other? That’s because it’s not a war. It’s for sports! As I found out, Panzer Fahren (tank battle) is a relatively new sport founded somewhere in 2009 and only played by a handful of European nations. You drive real tanks around playing mock battles depending on the form of game play. But how many nations have got tanks to ‘waste’? They cost a lot right even if it’s only for sports. I suppose if you want to drive interest in this new sport, the best way is to turn it into anime (like how they try to do it with karuta. I think). And better still, you use cute high school girls to do it. Shouldn’t they have better girly things to do at their age? Like go shopping, gossip about boyfriends? I suppose that’s what separate tank nerds and tank nots. Now do you find girls and tanks hot and sexy?

Episode 1
We are given an exciting first person view of the girls in a Panzer Fahren match as our heroines engage the enemy. Now we go back in time. Miho Nishizumi wakes up and makes her way her to Ooarai Girls High School. She looks like the loner type till classmates Hana Isuzu and Saori Takebe invite her to join them. They become good friends but suddenly the student council trio, Anzu Kadotani (president), Momo Kawashima (PR manager) and Yuzu Koyama (vice president) approach Miho. Seems they are trying to pressure her into taking the Senshadou (Panzer Fahren) curriculum elective. Although this school doesn’t have such elective before, they plan on reviving it and want her to join. Miho sinks into absolute shock because she attended this school as it doesn’t have Senshadou. Yeah. Her shock face is like as though she killed somebody. So her friends try to give her some support as they learn Miho’s history. She comes from a family with a long reputable history in Senshadou. Miho doesn’t have nice memories of it. Suddenly the student council announces all students to gather in the hall. Despite being a reminder to choose their electives, it is a blatant propaganda and introduction to Senshadou. So, studying Senshadou makes you more womanly? Attracts more guys? WTF. They even mention the tremendous rewards of food coupons and tripling credits of all subjects to the one with the highest grades in Senshadou. Very tempting, right? Eventually Miho just can’t do it and selects flower arrangement. Her friends initially picked Senshadou but cancel it just to follow Miho. Think everything will be fine? That’s because Miho is called to the student council’s room to explain herself of her non-selection of Senshadou. So she doesn’t have the freedom to choose? They even threaten her of expulsion! Her friends stand up and fight for her. Miho sees how hard they are trying to support her so she grits her teeth and decides to take up Senshadou. There. Happy? And so all those who picked this elective gather at the field. Including the student council members, there are 21 students for Senshadou. I don’t know. The rest look like oddballs. What the heck is the volleyball team doing here? Notice half a dozen of lolis? And there’s this rekijo (female historian buffs) group… Never in your wildest dream would you think such groups would show interest in tanks. But then again, it could have been much worse… They are shown a rundown tank in the garage. Rusting away… But the girls are in awe…

Episode 2
As they are split into 5 teams, the rest are ordered to find 4 missing tanks scattered throughout this gigantic city ship. Miho and friends begin their search. Where to begin? Along the way, they meet tank enthusiast (she knows everything about them, trust me), Yukari Akiyama who is eager to join them. Soon all the teams find the tanks (sitting in odd places? Cave? Dump site? Underwater?) and they keep what they find. Now they got to clean and restore it. Poor Yuzu is doing all the hard work while Anzu and Momo just bum their ass off… At the end of the day, Miho and co head to a tank specialized shop. They see on the news, Miho’s sister, Maho who has been selected to represent the nation for Panzer Fahren. Miho looks gloomy… Then everyone gathers at Miho’s apartment for dinner. Next day as Miho goes to school, she sees a girl, Mako Reizei having trouble trying to make her way to school. Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy… Somehow they make it but the public morals committee member, Midoriko Sono AKA Sodoko is not amused. This is the 245th straight time Mako is late! Is this a world record? The Senshadou girls eagerly await their new instructor, Ami Chouno from the special training association. I’m sure everyone is awed at her grand debut with her tank diving down from the plane. Too bad the principal’s car got smashed… Ami recognizes Miho since her sister is famous but Miho isn’t really thrilled. Ami has the teams do a full mock battle and sets out their starting points. The teams also assign its members to positions. I wonder why the inequality of number of members in a team. Though there is no restriction, loli team has got 6 people, the most number while student council team has the least with 3. The rest have 4 each. As there are 5 positions, Saori becomes the commander, Hana the driver, Yukari the gunner and Miho taking on both the loader and radio operator roles. Once all teams are in position, the mock battle rule is simple. Immobilize all other teams and the last one standing wins. Heroine team (my term for Miho’s group) is suddenly attacked by volleyball team (missed by an inch). Rekijo team sees this opportunity to cooperate with volleyball team to take out heroine team. As they run, they see Mako sleeping right in their path!

Episode 3
Mako suddenly gets up and jumps onto their tank! Saori knows her because they are childhood friends. They are now at a bridge. As they try to cross it, their rivals fire on them and almost cause the tank to lose balance. The impact knocks out Hana. Everyone is surprised that Mako can easily drive the tank after just reading the manual. With Miho’s strategy, Yukari fires a shot and it directly hits rekijo team to take them out of the game. Volleyball team panics and then goes out after heroine team fires a direct shot at them. Coming from the other side of the bridge is student council team. Momo turns into a bloodthirsty trigger happy crazy b*tch! Fire! Fire! Fire! Too bad heroine team was faster and puts them out of commission. Worse, how the heck could Momo miss?! Loli team gets scared and wants to retreat but their tank got stuck in the mud and their engine blew! I guess heroine team wins! Before Ami returns, she congratulates the teams for a fine job and to contact her if there is anything. While heroine team soaks in a well deserved hot bath, they think of repositioning themselves. As reluctant Miho may be, she is made the commander because of her awesome strategy. Hana wants to be the gunner since she loves the ‘warm feeling’ when firing a cannon! Saori will be the radio operator since she is good in texting. That’s almost the same, right? Hana will be the loader and this means Mako the driver, no? However Mako is not interested in joining till she is reminded of her lack in credits. Is this blackmail? The girls go shopping to spice up their tanks. Comfy cushions, slippers, interior decorations… Hey, if they’re going to spend most of their time in the tank, might as well make it as comfortable as possible. They also wanted to go with a new paint of coat but ditched the idea. However the other teams did theirs. Urm… Pink tank? Gold tank? Well, screw camouflage. At least they can tell each other apart. The Senshadou girls continue to practice operating their tanks and how to read instruments.

As announced, there will be a friendly battle this weekend with Saint Gloriana Girls’ Academy. They were runners up in the national tournament before. Because meeting time is at 6am, Mako wants to quit! She can’t wake up that early! Blackmail… Credit points… Grandma and Winston Churchill… I didn’t get that one but it made Mako reluctantly revise her decision. All the team leaders are in the briefing as Momo strategizes the enemy’s tanks. Miho’s guts tell her it will backfire and this pisses off Momo as she tells her off to take command then. Maybe she will, as Anzu suggests. And so she did. Win, and she will be rewarded well. Lose, she’ll do some embarrassing anglerfish dance in some public festival. I don’t know how preposterous that dance is but her teammates aren’t thrilled and acting like it’s the end of the world. So they just need to win to avoid that, right? Come Sunday, Saori tries to wake up Mako but it’s impossible. All the alarm clocks couldn’t do the job so what makes Saori think she can haul her ass out from her futon? Till Miho drives her tank through the streets and fires a blank shot! Is this legal? Everyone thought some earthquake just happened. The ships dock on land so they can have the friendly. It’s like a festival with stalls setup and other attractions. Like attending a Formula One race, huh? Ooarai meet their St Gloriana counterparts, led by Darjeeling. The official flags off the match to begin.

Episode 4
Remember that scene at the beginning of the first episode? It’s here now. Continuing from there, heroine team becomes the decoy to lure St Gloriana into an ambush pit where the others are waiting. Stupid Momo is so hard up on firing that she almost shot heroine team when they arrive. St Gloriana knows this is a trap but remains cool and plays along. Despite Ooarai firing away, I don’t how they could even miss so St Gloriana surrounds them and starts firing! Loli team panics and abandons ship! Student council team’s tank track becomes loose so they are immobilized (but not out). Miho takes the other teams to escape through the city. This is where they’ll put their knowledge of the roads into good use. Rekijo team hides in the tight alley and when a St Gloriana tank passes, they fire on them, instantly taking them out. Another St Gloriana tank falls into a trap because volleyball team is actually hiding behind them. Fire away! However… I think their pea shooter wasn’t powerful enough so they got fired back. Ouch. I guess they’re out. Rekijo team loves their flags, right? So it’s sticking out like a sore thumb from their tanks that it makes them so visible. And that’s why they got taken out by the enemy right across the fence. Heroine team is left and there is a daunting task of taking out 4 enemy tanks. St Gloriana chases them and smashes into a few shops. But the owners are glad because they can use compensation money to renovate! Crash into my shop too! Heroine team is cornered at a dead end when suddenly student council team barges into the scene. Momo fires at point blank range and… MISSES!!! HOW THE HELL COULD SHE MISS AT SUCH CLOSE RANGE!!! Thanks to her blunder, student council team got hit point blank. Out. But this gives heroine team time to escape. While doing so, they manage to fire and take out one. Using the corners to their advantage, heroine team swiftly attacks an enemy tank at the turn and the quickly reverses to take out another. Now they have to face the final boss but Darjeeling’s tank’s armour is thicker. Miho’s tactic is to play chicken (or so it seems to me). When both tanks are side by side, they fire at the same time. However heroine team’s thinner armour means they lost. At the end of the day, Darjeeling praises Miho and notes she is different from Maho. Since they lost, it’s the anglerfish dance, right? Since it is a collective lost, everybody has to do it! Oh God…

As heroine team walks through town, Saori thought a handsome guy spotted her. To her embarrassment, Shinzaburou is Hana’s family’s servant and he is happy to see his milady fine. Hana’s mom is here too. However after Yukari’s slip of her tongue reveals they are in Senshadou, mommy smells Hana’s hand and to her horror realizes she is really taking up such course instead of following the family tradition of flower arrangement. So in shock that she collapses! Back at their mansion, the friends eavesdrop Hana’s conversation with her mom. Hana felt something was missing when she did flower arrangement and wants to work with stronger flowers. Mother couldn’t believe her gentle nature is gone and views tanks as crude and ugly. Hana is determined to follow this path so mother tells her never to show her face here again. Goodbye. Hana isn’t sad as she hopes to present her with an appropriate flower one day. The rest of the girls are cool but Shinzaburou… He turned into a real cry-baby. When they get back on ship, loli team sincerely apologizes to them for abandoning their tank. They promise to their best next time and Anzu will leave the strategies to Miho. St Gloriana sends them a tea set, a sign that they are worthy opponents. And so it’s time for the Nationals. 16 high school teams will fight it out and Miho picks up Saunders University High School. Well, let’s say they are one of the favourites to win the title. Tough opponent right from the start, eh?

Episode 5
Heroine team is eating out at a panzer themed café. Walking in is Maho and her second in command, Erika Itsumi. Miho becomes gloomy when Maho comments she is still doing Senshadou. Erika didn’t waste time to insult and badmouth Ooarai but Mako has equal sarcasm to match it and shut her up. I guess the only way is to take it out on the battlefield. If Ooarai get to advance, that is. Later, Miho laments if she had information of Saunders’ line-up, she could at least come up with some strategy. And so Yukari didn’t show up in school the next day so her friends visit her family barber shop. Her father is extremely annoying in accepting them to a point it’s creepy. Grateful for the first friends to visit Yukari, I take? Yukari sneaks in back via window. Seems she has snuck into Saunders’ ship to collect valuable information with her hidden camera. She disguised and infiltrated their school while they were having a tactical meeting. Because there were too many students, I guess nobody could recognize her so much so she could ask questions and got some answers. Till one of them didn’t recognize her as a student. Once her cover was blown, she escapes. Yukari hopes Miho could use the details to come up with some tactics. Battle day arrives. Ooarai meet their Saunders counterparts. Their leader, Kei recognizes Yukari as the imposter but welcomes her. They invite Ooarai to their mobile stall trucks that offer lots of facilities and food stuffs. Rich people… I’m not sure about the Panzer Fahren rules but Saunders is employing some old rules that allow them up to the maximum of 10 tanks! Though, they are all the same Sherman type with limited ammo. Each team will assign a flag tank. Taking out that flag panzer means victory for the team. It’s just like capture the flag math. Miho puts forth her strategy. However it hits a snag when loli team are surrounded by the enemy in the forest. Heroine team and student council team rendezvous with them to escape but Saunders tanks are hot on their trail. Ooarai is completely surrounded but Miho suggests a bold move to just continue pressing forward. The gamble pays off as they barely scrape through. As they rest, Miho senses something amiss. It’s like the enemy knew their moves. Then she realizes it. The enemy may have intercepted their radio communications by planting a device in the weather balloon. Though the rules say nothing on this, I guess this shows that money is power. Saunders continues to eavesdrop Ooarai’s conversation. It leads them to believe where their flag tank is. A strategy is made to take it out. A couple of Sherman tanks arrive at the supposed place but rekijo team fires and takes out one of them! The other manages to escape. Saunders and the audience are left surprised that Ooarai took out a Saunders tank. How did they do it? Well, the girls communicated via own handphone and the one via radio was just baiting. Smart.

Episode 5.5
Wait a minute?! A recap episode? After 5 episodes? Anyway, for those with bad memory, mainly narrated by Miho and Yukari, it tells how Miho tried to get away from Senshadou by enrolling into Ooarai but was lured back into it. She also introduces her friends and the other Senshadou mates. I suppose it is interesting to see some of their bio-data but seriously, are we interested to see what kind of flower or tank they like? And why didn’t they include the all-important 3 sizes?! Oops… Of course as we progress through the different matches heroine team played so far, we are given trivial information of the tanks that have appeared and their main features. So I’ve wasted almost half an hour of my time on this recap with recycled scenes. At least put some new scenes lah! Now can we get back to action?

Episode 6
Arisa, the one responsible for eavesdropping on Ooarai isn’t going to lose so she continues searching the waves to eavesdrop further. Then she hits it. She hears their next plan to gather on the hill and informs Kei and the rest to head there. But nobody’s there? Sure she got her info right? Suddenly volleyball team pops up before Arisa’s tank. Oh no! Although Arisa’s team is the flag tank, volleyball team’s firepower is not good enough to take it out so they run. They throw smokescreen to blind their vision as they try to rendezvous back to the rest. When the smoke clears up, Arisa realizes they have walked into their trap because the other Ooarai tanks are firing at them! I know Momo will always miss but the rest? Man, Arisa is lucky. Run! We see Arisa’s true colours. She turns into a panicky slave driver, forcing her teammates to do this and that just to get their ass out of this trap. She’s even ranting about her boyfriend problems! Not enough space to yell inside? Go outside and scream all you want! Ooarai is hot on Arisa’s tail as she seeks backup. Kei learns about her eavesdropping and is not too pleased she isn’t playing fair. To even the odds, Kei wants another 3 tanks to follow them so it will be 5 on 5. When the cavalry arrives, you can see the relief on Arisa’s face. So it’s like one big chase or game of tag. Kei’s Saunders chasing Ooarai chasing Arisa. Unfortunately, volleyball team got taken out followed by loli team. Ooarai’s morale is all-time low especially Momo. In addition to being a bad shot, she’s such a negative person. Well, maybe it’s because student council team is the flag tank sandwiched between heroine team and rekijo team as they try to outrun their pursuers and also nail the enemy’s flag.

As they approach a hilltop, Miho devises a strategy to shoot from the top. They have a better chance but it is risky. Kei’s team foresees this and she leaves it to Naomi to take out heroine team. Thanks to Miho’s instinct, she has Mako slam on the brakes in time before being hit by Naomi’s shell. Because their reloading takes time, this crucial time will determine they nail it or lose it. Hana focuses her aim and fires a single shot. Arisa’s team takes a direct hit seconds before Naomi takes out heroine team. Ooarai wins! The Ooarai girls are jumping with joy especially with their upset victory over the favourites. Kei congratulates Miho for putting up a good game as it was fun. She also apologizes for the eavesdropping on her comrade’s part. She believes in practising fair play because if you’re not a good person, your tank will cry. I guess everybody is happy in the end. Except for Arisa. She’s going to get an earful. Mako suddenly gets a call that her grandma is hospitalized after falling down. But they have to get back to the ship. Desperate Mako is going to swim when Maho offers to take her there in her helicopter. Why the long face everybody? If not happy then don’t do so lah. But I guess it is no time to argue about whatever petty things. Saori accompanies Mako onto the helicopter. Personal problems aside, the rest have got the next matches Senshadou to worry about. Favourites Pravda High School and Kuromorimine Girls’ College (Maho’s team) secure crushing victories over their opponents. Ooarai’s next opponent will be Anzio High School.

Episode 7
When Miho and co visit the hospital, they hear grandma screaming her lungs off reprimanding Mako! Well, it’s a good sign that she’s doing well but I think at this rate her blood pressure will shoot through the roof. Maybe she doesn’t like it here too. When they leave, grandma politely tells Miho that Mako lacks courtesy and to take care of her. Back on board the ship, Miho thinks deep that everyone has their own problems. Miho explains Mako and her grandma used to fight a lot and she regrets never having the chance to properly apologize. This has Miho remember her own family problem. Mommy wants her to be in Senshadou because of their family name. In school, due to their first round victory, the student council must have put up banners about their advancement. Maybe they’ll get noticed this way. Miho and her friends eat together with their tank. Miho has always thought winning was the only important thing. But now she realizes that with her friends, Senshadou has a pretty fun and exciting side to it. Because of her mentality that winning was everything, it was the reason Miho ran away from Panzer. She remembers a match she lost. It was raining heavily and her team trekking precariously on the cliffs. When a teammate was shot, the tank slid down the cliffs and into the river. Miho abandoned her tank just to go save them. They lost because Miho’s tank was the flag and got shot soon after. The Senshadou girls continue to practice and improve their skills (I think some really need more improvement – like Momo’s aim). But the important thing is that they all have the motivation and spirit.

Seems Miho is the person to go to when they have problems and need her advice. Including love problems! Boyfriends running away because of tanks? Who would want a girl who has the ability to point the cannon in their face? Thankfully Miho’s friends help lighten her load and offer to give the other teams advice. Hana helps the student council with the paper work, Mako teaches the volleyball team how to drive better (just read the manual!), Yukari tells all she knows about tanks to rekijo team while Saori becomes the love advice master to loli team (despite she herself have never dated any guy). Hana goes through the documents and based on them, there are extra tanks lying around. They split into team to search for them but it seems they are scattered in a few parts. Saori and loli team didn’t come back in time and they receive message that they are lost. Anzu hands Miho the map of the ship to Miho so she can lead a search party. Mako is afraid of ghosts more than waking up early… Eventually lady luck has them find the lost girls. But they notice another tank of where they are holing up. As everybody soaks in the hot bath, Momo announces their new tanks and gadgets won’t be ready in time for the next match. She has Miho do the closing lines by rallying up everybody’s spirits. Looks like they’re up to it. And so we see Ooarai defeating the Italian-like Anzio team. WTF??!!! WHAT THE HELL!!! I feel cheated and robbed! I waited an entire episode for some Senshadou match and they just show me 2 seconds clip of the end result! WTF?! I want my Ooarai-Anzio match!!!

Episode 8
With the new tank fixed up, it seems we have a new group of girls joining Senshadou to make a sixth team. It is Sodoko and her public morals girls. Are they triplets or something? And Mako is made to be her driving teacher… Momo seems to be quite fixated in winning the semi-finals against Pravda who was last year’s champion when the other girls think they could slack or give up. Later Anzu has Miho come to their place as there is something they want to tell her. However they went around the bush, changing the subject and showed the great times the student council trio had together. In the end they couldn’t tell her because they don’t want to burden her and to let her look forward to the match instead of shrinking in fear. The match with Pravda is about to begin and takes place on the icy cold land. Ooarai is approached by Pravda’s little bratty commander, Katyusha. She is arrogant and even sits on top of her vice commander’s shoulder, Nonna just so that she could feel taller and higher than them. I guess at such height, is it no wonder why everybody looks down on her? Ooarai don’t like her one. Katyusha spots Miho and recognizes her. She thanks her for last year because without her help, they would never have become champions. Before the match starts, Miho wants to take a more defensive approach to fight Pravda but her team is so motivated to go all out on the offensive. Miho agrees to quickly take out the enemy since prolonged battle in snow would only work in their favour as the Russian-like Pravda works best in snowy terrain. You think Ooarai now has an extra tank at their disposal? Why, Pravda has 15 tanks! Is there a limit to how many tanks you can field? Number wise, isn’t this unfair? Oh, here comes the Pravda team. They’re so ‘cool’ that they’ve got their own theme song! But it’s mainly on Katyusha.

Ooarai pushes forward and realizes the enemy has spotted them when they fire. They fire back and easily take out a couple of them. Miho is cautious since this is too easy. When one of the tanks retreats, everyone chases after it. They are in so high spirits thinking favour is on their side that they disregard Miho’s order to hold their ground. Eventually they are drawn into a small village as the Ooarai tanks try to shoot the flag tank which is playing hide and seek among the buildings. While they are so engrossed in taking down their target, they did not realize the other Pravda tanks are slowly popping out from their hiding and surrounding them. Miho realizes they have fallen into their trap and quickly orders her team to retreat and take refuge in a nearby big building. I’m not sure if the cold winter or is it Pravda’s bad shot (perhaps intentionally too) that none of Ooarai tanks gets shot. After safely retreating into the building, Pravda sends a couple of reps to give Ooarai a message from Katyusha. She wants them to surrender by kneeling before her and will wait for 3 hours the most. Some want to fight to the end while others think they have done well to reach here and had fun. But Momo becomes agitated they can’t lose now. Miho tries to calm her down that Senshadou is just a game and not war. There is more to winning and for Miho she has made great friends and loved this school and the club. Well, can you say that once the school shuts down after they lose? Eh… Say what? That’s right. If they don’t win this tournament, Ooarai will close down.

Episode 9
When the student council went to see some minister, they were told the school will be shut down due to declining enrolment and no notable activities. He noted Senshadou was once popular in this school so Anzu thought of reviving it and that they won’t close down a school if they become champions. That’s why Anzu thought they wanted to keep hoping instead of crying in their last year. The girls feel sad over the fate of their school but Miho’s encouragement has them lift their spirits so they are going to use the 3 hours to fix whatever is broken. They’re going to fight till the end. She also sends some scouts to verify the location of the enemy tanks so she can devise a strategy. But morale is running low again when they are running out of food and warmth. They can see their Russian counterparts having a nice borsch meal and doing a Cossack dance around the fire! Morale drops to all time low thinking about their school’s closure. Miho starts doing the anglerfish dance to motivate them. Isn’t this embarrassing dance just counterproductive? In order not to let her bear the shame, everyone starts doing it too! They are spotted by a Pravda scout who is here to tell them time is up. So what’s it going to be? No surrender. I guess Katyusha waited for nothing. Ooarai tanks burst out of the building in a straight line. They surprise Katyusha by heading towards her direction, a heavily guarded area. I guess you can thank the worsening weather for the bad vision and bad shots. Anzu takes over Momo for the gunner position and decides to do some solo move. Due to the thick armour of the Pravda tanks, the only chance they have is to fire at point blank. So this means Yuzu has to drive up real close to them. After several cool manoeuvres and shots fired, student council team only managed to take out 2 Pravda tanks before being blown away.

The crowd is rooting for Ooarai the underdog as they continue to make their getaway with Pravda hot on their heels. Katyusha is so infatuated in chasing down their flag tank (volleyball team’s tank) that she doesn’t care or account a couple of Ooarai’s tanks just went ‘missing’ over the hill. Miho sends Yukari out so she can scout out enemy positions and their flag tank from a high tower. Heroine team and rekijo team are going after Pravda’s flag tank and will take them out while visibility is low so they leave it to the others to protect volleyball team. Unfortunately loli team and public morals team got taken out so volleyball team is left to fend themselves all alone in this scary ride. It’s amazing they manage to not get hit. Thank the bad weather. Pravda’s flag tank has been spotted so they start mobilizing. Their big cannon tank comes between them. Luckily their first shot misses and since it takes time to reload, they fire back and take it out. Yukari guides her teammates to corner Pravda’s flag tank. One of their tanks was hiding underneath the snow and takes it out but at the same time, volleyball team has been taken out too. So who was hit first?

Episode 10
Because the white flag on Pravda’s tank went up first, Ooarai wins! But of course. To show Katyusha isn’t a sore loser, she heads over to Miho and congratulates and shakes her hand. With Ooarai in the finals, their opponents will be Kuromorimine. Who else? The finals will allow up to 20 tanks! Does Ooarai have that many tanks? So the girls go on a ‘recruiting’ spree asking favours from the people to see if there are any abandoned tanks that they can salvage. Well they found one but despite its awesome firepower, it is horribly fragile. Gets stuck in mud easily, overheats easily and it’s on fire! Oh well, just make do with what they have. Because Miho asks the automotive club (who repairs and maintains their tanks) if they want to drive tanks, they accept the offer. Miho’s classmate, Nekota expresses her interest to join the club. But where to find another tank? Oh, there’s one sitting in the car park. Convenient? Nekota and her bunch of girls are online tank game nerds so they have some ‘experience’. Miho and friends take the day off and visit Hana who is taking part in a local flower exhibition. You can easily guess which flowers are hers. Yeah. See the tank shaped vases? They meet her mother there and it seems she has accepted her daughter embracing Senshadou because it made her a different person. On the day before the finals, Anzu gives her speech to her girls for moral support. She also has Miho give hers. She reveals she was once from Kuromorimine before transferring here but now considers Ooarai her home. That night, everyone do their stuffs and I thought it was pretty funny and superstitious to see them eating some kind of meal with katsudou in it. Saori shows her friends she has obtained second class licence as an amateur radio operator. Well, Mako had to pour cold water on it that she’s still an amateur. Saori’s next goal is to obtain a fiancée after the finals! Is she joking? She thinks Miho should get a boyfriend too. Well, aside that, Miho says she loves them all. Weird, right? Coming out from the mouth of a girl. Well, at least they aren’t yuri. Except maybe for Yukari.

On the day of the finals, Miho is visited by all the other teams she has defeated and also St Gloriana (who got defeated by Kuromorimine). Except maybe for Anzio because we never get to see them up close and personal. Still sore over that no-show… Anyway they are here to cheer on them. Before the match starts, the leader and vice of both teams meet to greet. Erika is still a b*tch and will put Miho and her team in place. We’ll see about that. But one of the Kuromorimine girls comes up to Miho to thank her. She was the one in the tank that fell into the river that Miho went to rescue (it caused them their title to Pravda). She feels guilty of letting her down and wanted to talk to her but she had left the school. But she is glad she has not abandoned Senshadou. Miho motivates her girls one more time and knows Kuromorimine would want to wipe them out fast with their number and firepower. So as the match begins, Ooarai girls can still chat like normal till they almost got hit by cannon fire! Seems Kuromorimine tanks have taken a shortcut through the forest and are firing all they’ve got. Plus, the forest hides their presence and Ooarai girls are in the open and sitting ducks. Erika is going to put Ooarai’s flag tank out of commission and gets ready to give the order to fire. Meanwhile online tank nerds team are having problem driving their tank. They didn’t know reality was harder than how the game operates. Duh… Because of that, they set the tank in reverse and took a shot from Erika’s fire and went out of the game. Their first appearance and this… But thankfully in a way they protected the flag tank, right?

Episode 10.5
WTF???!!! Another recap episode???!!! Why are they doing this me and also in the middle of an important match?! Just like the previous recap, we have Miho and Yukari narrating-cum-commenting on the-story-so-far. This time we have lots more trivia notes on the tanks despite the scenes re recycled. Also, new Ooarai teammates as well as the opponents they faced (the main characters only of course) are introduced (with the usual ‘uninteresting’ stats). Explained briefly as well are the match format (total annihilation which is equivalent to deathmatch in FPS and capture the flag) and the number of tanks limit introduced for the capture the flag format in the Nationals to allow smaller schools to participate. Also, some Butler System that allows Senshadou to be played safely and take into account how tanks go out based on the impact of the hit taken. Superb complicated stuffs. Otherwise… I think I just wasted another half hour. Back to the Ooarai-Kuromorimine match, please!

Episode 11
Ooarai uses smoke screen to shield their escape but Maho knows it’s a trap to waste their ammunition and orders her team not to fire. Ooarai escapes up the hill but Maho knows it will slow them down as they have a heavy tank. But to her surprise, the other tanks are dragging it up so Ooarai is making some headway to the top and continues to spill smoke screen all over the hilltop. Student council team stays behind and does some ambush, taking out 2 of Kuromorimine’s tanks. Then they run. Ooarai has taken a defensive position at the hilltop. When Maho gives the order to encircle them, Ooarai fires. No hits, seriously. Student council team is them given the green light to cause havoc. They drive up alongside Kuromorimine’s defence line! The opponents are taken by surprise as they try to get this little pest. Ooarai fires back but only manages to hit one. Then they all rush down with their last tank spewing smoke screen. Though Kuromorimine gives chase, their tanks are heavier and some of them have unreliable tracks and become immobilized. It will take time for them to get moving. Ooarai tanks are crossing the river but loli team’s engine dies. Miho is in a dilemma to push forward or to save them. Because if she chooses the latter, the enemy will come and they’ll be doomed. However her friends tell her to go save them and will look after the tank. Without hesitation, Miho ties a rope to herself and jumps to the loli team’s tank. I thought it looked unreal when she jumped. Did she enter some cheat code to ‘fly’? Everyone is amazed with Miho’s bravery as she chose friendship over advancing her tanks. That’s why they followed her. That’s why they want to win this to prove that her way is not wrong. Loli team’s tank is tied and pulled out of the river. Luckily their engine starts working again. Just in time to escape the incoming Kuromorimine tanks.

Ooarai tanks cross the tiny stone bridge and the automotive team use their skills to break it. This causes Kuromorimine to take a longer tour that will buy Ooarai some time. They are going to bring urban warfare to the game. Upon arriving in town, they spot a sole enemy tank and go after it thinking it would be a piece of cake. However it leads them into a trap because Kuromorimine has got one big mother tank! Maus is the heaviest tank in the world! Man, such a big mouse… How on Earth are you going to beat that! A single missed shot is enough to send you jumping! That’s what the student council team experienced. Public morals team fights back with their pea shooter, thinking this big mother is a big bully. They got a direct hit and turned turtle!!! OMG! Their tank is close to being destroyed! Even rekijo team too! I guess avenging your comrades isn’t such a good idea. Retreat while you still can! Oh, Kuromorimine are coming…

Episode 12
Now they’re employing a hit and run tactic but their shots are not enough to penetrate its thick armour. The mini enemy tank thinks they are safe hiding behind Maus but a stray shot hits them. Out they go. That’s what they get for being cocky. They need to end this or else urban warfare will get messier. Saori’s pessimism that they have a mountain to climb gives Miho an idea. She has student council team play chicken with it. Actually, they ram into Maus and jack it up! Now it is immobilized. Then, volleyball team rides up on it to block its turret from turning. With that, heroine team fires at the rear slit, which is the most vulnerable spot to put it out of commission! David(s) defeated Goliath! Unfortunately as a result, student council team’s tank goes bust since its metal cave in due to taking on such heavy weight. When the remaining Kuromorimine tanks arrive, the urban warfare begins. Ooarai tanks lead them in through the tight alleyways and small roads just to separate them into groups. Loli team is tasked to take out the heavier artillery tanks. This time they show they aren’t just cowards. Although their tank lacks firepower, it is swift. This means in the narrow lanes, they are able to circle behind their enemy (they can’t turn since their turret is too long) and fire at the place where shells are discarded for maximum impact. They also take on another heavy firepower tank but this time their plan backfired when they end up in open space. They retreat back in the small alley but the enemy is dead on their heels. To prevent them from firing, they stick as close to the enemy because their turret is long. They make a big risky gamble as they reach the end of the lane, they try to turn quick but get shot and went out of the game. However there is a big drain at the end so the enemy tank falls into it and has its turret broken. Also out. With their heavy guns out of the game, Maho orders her comrades to focus on the flag tank (which is heroine team). That won’t be easy since automobile team is fooling around and leading them astray till they can go no further. Volleyball team blocks the entrance to a town plaza to prevent other enemy tanks from interfering with the showdown between the flag tanks.

It’s a pretty exciting action as we see both tanks chase and fire at each other inside the enclosed town plaza. Lots of near misses and close shaves. However heroine team needs to win quickly because volleyball team has been fired to death out of the game and the Kuromorimine tanks are trying to force their way through. Hope this buys them enough time. Heroine team is the only Ooarai tank left. Miho decides to use that failed strategy they used against St Gloriana. This means Mako needs to make a circle at full speed, Yukari needs to reload faster and Hana must have accurate precision when she fires while moving. Can they do it? Of course they will! The all-or-nothing move begins. Both tanks fire at each other. Mako drifts the tank to circle it close up to the enemy. This drifting is taking its toll on the tank’s body. When both tanks are close enough, they fire simultaneously. Who emerges victorious from that smoke? OOARAI!!! Can you believe it?! Ooarai is the champion! Their teammates happily rush to congratulate them. Momo is the most emotional one. Anzu thanks and hugs Miho. Now their school will not shut down because… We are the champions, my friends… As gesture of goodwill, Sodoko erases all records of Mako being late or absent. She is so happy that she sounds creepy giving out this much emotion. Need a hug, Sodoko? To show good sportsmanship and that Maho is not a snobbish b*tch, she congratulates her sister, smiles and shakes her hands. She notes her fighting style suits her very much and very unlike the Nishizumi way. Ooarai are crowned the champions and everybody, friend and foe cheer to their victory. Even Miho’s mom too. Our Ooarai girls return to a hero’s welcome. Don’t you just love it when the underdogs win? Oh, Momo is still crying…

OVAs

These are actually specials that last 10-15 minutes when you buy the DVDs.

OVA 1
Because Anzu suggests for a Senshadou match on a tropical island, this prompts the girls to go buy swimsuits because Miho doesn’t have one. So we see the girls trying out all sorts of swimsuit fashion. From bikinis to contemporary ones, sexy and frilly ones, old fashioned and the bizarre too. Yeah, that includes scuba diving and NAVY seals. And what would be swimsuit for them without the tank designs too? Girls, are you even serious? Well, Yukari, Hana and Saori are looking like they’re having absolute fun. Even the other teams trying out their own theme. Bizarre? Scary? But they’re sure having fun. Are those even qualified as swimsuits? At the end of the day, Miho remembers she forgot to buy one. Don’t worry. Yukari has bought one just in case. Yeah. She knows her exact size measurements! Oh sh*t… And so the much awaited beach fanservice is here for all of us who wait. Wohoo! Sexy tank girls in cute swimsuits. Nothing offensive, mind you. And when the girls are about to jump into the sea, it starts raining heavily. Bummer…

OVA 2
Our girls are now going camping. Yeah. They have the place all exclusive for themselves and need not worry about perverts. We see the enthusiastic loli team getting to enthusiastic that they jump into the river without warming up and got cram. Student council team saves them. When it’s time to put up the tent, Mako feels everything is so troublesome and just sleeps on it! Yukari explains how to set up WWII tents but I guess the rest are more amazed at the modern and easy-to-setup tent. Heartbreaking, isn’t it? Of course it would be a waste not to experience setting up a tent the old way so the girls learn to put them up. After having fun in the river, it’s time for BBQ. Yukari has brought her military rations collected from all over the world. I don’t know why but loli team start spamming the word spam. Yukari also teaches about MRE (Meals Rejected by Enemy) and the different pricing of rations as collector’s item. Everyone prepares the BBQ but Yukari prepares to do it the old fashion way by cooking with fire. Loli team got too eager in grilling the BBQ that they put everything onto the grill and cause a big fire. Student council team steps in to rescue again. But with lots of food wasted, Anzu shows off her great cooking skills to cook our girls a pretty delicious meal. She may not look like it but she’s good. Everyone watches the beautiful starry sky and notes they have one more training session left before the match. Till they realize that is why Anzu brought them here to this training grounds so they can drive their tanks all they want.

OVA 3
The thought of why schools are built on large ships crosses the girls’ mind. Yeah. They couldn’t believe that they were once built on land. Though elementary schools are still on land. That’s because you can’t expect them to operate a ship, right? Holy cow! You mean this ship is operated by young school girls? No wonder I see girls in navy uniform in the ship’s deck and so. Anyway from what I understand, one of the reasons schools on ships is to cultivate that independent sense. Also, somebody once said education is necessary to be conducted on water. With this method proven, many follow suit and scores of ships rolled out after that. This also improves the economy and the industry and benefited the nation. As they have no idea of the school’s history, the best way is to tour around. We learn why steps on ships are single traffic because making them double traffic would be chaotic in times of trouble. When the girls reach the top deck (apart from Mako having fear of heights), they have an overhead view of the city. It’s like a mini city on its own. Theirs can house 10,000 people, including staffs, crews and students. They also tour the ship’s deck and talk about students who take naval studies. Their courses might be free but they have to work hard in operating the ship. Energy sources from the sun, air and sea are also discussed. The ship is also fitted with its own fish breeding ponds and water treatment. How did they build this ship so big? Well, they are built in massive blocks so it’s impossible to cross over. That’s why people live on the top. After walking around the big place, the girls feel tired and go soak in a well deserved outdoor bath. They note that every school is different and has its own feel. Although Ooarai feels worn and messy, it feels comfortable and well maintained.

OVA 4
This one only lasts 3 over minutes! Why? Because it’s the full dance version of the anglerfish dance! We see the girls dressed in tight pink anglerfish suit as they dance to the strange tune with equally strange dance moves. Moving their hands, shaking their butts, jiggling here and there. Oh, those movements… No wonder it’s embarrassing! Even the ang-ang-ang lyrics are equally amusing, funny and weird. Yeah, part of it includes on how to eat it! I wouldn’t be caught dead trying to imitate this! Let’s say I would prefer to do Gangnam Style compared to this… Sheesh…

OVA 5
This one happened during the match with Pravda where Ooarai girls were trapped in the building and Miho sent some scouts out, particularly Yukari and one of the rekijo team girls, Erwin. When Erwin’s feet feels cold, they take a break and Yukari puts some pepper to make it warm. We learn about the types of boots used in cold wars and how it kept the soldiers’ feet warm. They also talk about some story of an exercise between JDSF and American army. The latter panicked because the cold wave struck. The JDSF was holding out because they had heating pads and were trained in cold conditions. Heck, they were seen playing snowball fight! True or not, we don’t know. Continuing their mission, they spot the enemy location but decide to take the complete loop back. It is when the blizzard grows heavier so Yukari armed with her trusty little spade digs a temporary cave to hide in. When it simmers down, they trek till they see the enemy’s flag tank. They dress up in Pravda’s coat (why were the coats hanging outside some building?!) and talk to a member of the flag tank while impersonating as her seniors. In their talk, she reveals about Katyusha’s child-like habits and more importantly the position of the other tanks as well as its attributes and firepower. Now that they’ve got their hands on the juicy bits, they bid farewell and hurry back, eager to report their findings.

OVA 6
The Ooarai girls are celebrating their victory. After reading out a few congratulatory notes from other schools, we skip them because it’s really boring, right? We know St Gloriana, Pravda and Saunders but who the heck is Chihatan Academy? Now on to the main event. Student council team wants everyone to perform a hidden talent and the winner will get a grand prize worth 100,000 Yen. Are you up for it? First up is public morals team. After singing a weird song, they do cheap tricks like cloning and teleportation. Hey. They all look the same, right? Nobody is amused. Next is the automobile team and they do a magic trick of transforming a tank into another. Don’t worry. They’re just card boards. Online tank nerds team were quickly put out of their act when they started humming some strange song nobody understands. Loli team performs cheerleading worthy acts while volleyball team mimics others. Hana is particularly interested in this game as she eagerly guesses correctly all that they imitate before they could even start! But she couldn’t guess when they are imitating her! And she got so disappointed when it ended… Rekijo team puts on a Little Women play but were disqualified since they were putting in too many of their history facts inside the dialogue. Next is heroine team collaborating with student council team. The former put on some kung fu pose in this Power Rangers spoof to defeat the evil monsters. Anzu acts out of script and defeats them. Finally it is the student council team’s turn as they put on a Swan Lake ballet dance. Momo spins into perfection… And so the results are in. Third place goes to loli team. Heroine gets second place and first place… Student council team! Hey! That isn’t fair! They won the grand prize of 100,000 Yen worth of top quality dried potatoes. Hmm… Come to think of it, maybe the third place prize of shopping district lottery and second place prize of cafeteria coupons aren’t so bad after all.

Tanks For The Ride!
What can I say? I am truly thrilled and amazed at this series. In short, I love it! It’s awesome! It is mainly thanks to the good execution of tank action and strategy that really got my attention and I was really glued to the screen for the duration. At least during the tank battles. Each time it ended, I just couldn’t help wish it was longer. Having cute girls piloting the tanks is just like icing on the cake. Well, that is what anime is all about. Would you prefer to see burly and sweaty men spewing vulgarities while trying to shoot each other in those big machines? Think not. So high school girls for the win! Even if you are not a tank enthusiast, the tank battles are quite entertaining so I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Unless your taste differs very much from this.

The action is simply fantastic and I love the strategies both sides come up with. It is the main ‘selling point’ of the series. But of course we are put in the shoes of Miho as we see her natural talent leading her team to victory. There is never a dull moment when I watch the tanks go into action. I was really glued to the screen and when the episode or battle ends, it feels that I have lost track of time. I wanted it to last longer but as they say, good things must come to an end. I always looked forward to the battles and the excitement is such that I was drawn into this world. Unfortunately it didn’t really get my interest up in tanks after the battle ends. There are a number of trivia here if you’re a tank or battle enthusiast. Just look at this link at Anime News Network. Amazing, no?

I have a feeling that the opponents Ooarai fights in this series, it’s like the producers wanted to pit Japan against other famous tank nations. So we’ve seen them go up against the British, Americans, Italians, Russians/Soviet Union and finally the Germans themselves. No Poles, French or Czech types? Well, not enough to put them all into this anime. I don’t know what Japanese tanks are but I suppose with cute girls of Ooarai and with them having different personalities, maybe they represent what Japanese tanks are! Hah! More like cosplay, no? Besides, Ooarai is the only team whose members wear sailor school uniform into battle. Notice how the rest of their opponents’ uniform resembles so much like the military? And they still lost… Cute high school girls for the win!

At first I thought it was pretty unfair that Ooarai had to battle with opponents who have double the amount of tanks in their field. Although there is a rule that limits how many tanks you can field into each round, it looked only unfair to Ooarai because the issue is from their side as they do not have enough tanks in the first place. That is why the capture the flag method is the game play for the nationals. You can field in 100 tanks but each side only has a flag tank. Just like in chess, if you take out the king, your entire team goes out. Therefore in this context, the game to both sides is fair. But still, I feel that because of the lack in numbers, it made a little disadvantage to Ooarai since if they had extra tanks, they could have employed it for other positions and missions. Imagine having 2 players mark 1 member of the opposing team. That’s not fair, right? But it shows that quantity is not the key to victory. As proven, Miho’s strategy and strong heart is the one that led her small team to victory despite her opponents having more and better equipped tanks. Oddly, the only team that Ooarai lost to is St Gloriana and that is because it wasn’t really an important match. Just a friendly. Besides, it’s the only non capture the flag match in the series. See? They win matches when it counts the most, right?

Character wise, we only see character development in a handful of the main characters. Because there are too many members even if it’s a small school and club for Ooarai, it wouldn’t be enough for just a dozen of episodes to cover everyone. So I guess from the way I see it, everybody develops together and progresses as a group and team. They quickly put their trust and respect in Miho after she leads them to victory. If you don’t trust your commander, who are you going to trust? That’s why it is an important point that all the girls of Ooarai’s Senshadou club have 100% unwavering faith in Miho. She has grown up to take charge of her own life and not run away. She thought not having to face Senshadou again would be the end of her problem but it is not really Senshadou that was keeping her low self confidence. She could have gone through the rest of her school life in Ooarai uneventful but would she feel happy and fulfilled? Didn’t look like it to me when she cut herself away. At first she may seem reluctant after being dragged back but with the support of her friends, she learns to accept and overcome her shortcomings and in no time bloom into a natural leader with her own style.

Miho’s other friends are also likeable as they have their own personalities. Like Yukari she is the most resourceful among the group and her knowledge not only in tanks but anything that is related to wards would prove beneficial and advantageous to her mates in battle. She’s quite a handy person if you’re in a little pinch. But her obsession and wide knowledge as a tank otaku may make her sound creepy in the sense that it doesn’t make her feminine. What the heck. She doesn’t care about that but her tanks, right? Speaking of feminine, Hana and Saori sure have some feminine qualities but it is odd to see them doing something un-feminine in Senshadou, right? Saori’s always talking about wanting to have a boyfriend but gradually I notice she doesn’t bring this up as much as Ooarai progresses. Maybe she’ll snag one now that they are champions? Hana is beautiful with her long flowing black silky hair and of course it is funny that she loves to fire. More exciting than flower arranging? I’m sure her beauty could prove to be a fatal distraction should she be on the front lines of the battlefield. Finally there is Mako whom I feel is the tsukkomi of the group. Despite her sleepy demeanour and only thinking about sleep or extra credits, she sure has a knack for commenting in-your-face punch lines with that monotonous voice.

The other notable characters of Ooarai are the student council team. Anzu is cool and is always very carefree. Whether the situation is getting bad or good, she is just casual and never panics. It’s like everything is part of her plan or she has some sort of way to overcome it. I guess it is better than panicking like Momo, huh? I still can’t get over the fact that she’s a bad shooter. It could have been the running joke of the series but thankfully Anzu switches with her so that she could make most of her shots count. Plus, Momo feels like the most emotional one among the girls. She easily gets excited or impatient (and even pessimistic) during tank battles and has short temper and fuse, easily breaks down and becomes emotional. Man, that’s a lot of fluctuating emotions for a girl. Ooarai could have been an unstable place if she helms the president position. Thank God for Anzu. As for Yuzu, I thought her role as being the student council’s lackey is going to be a running joke since Anzu usually dumps most of the jobs on her. But when you’re in a team with Miho as the big commander, I guess everyone had their role to play.

Then there’s the loli team who were once scared little girls. They’ve owned up for their earlier mistakes and learn what it means to be a team. Rekijo team isn’t bad either but I thought they were going to be annoying by spamming us with their history lines or act like their favourite historical personalities or something. Fortunately that didn’t happen but it also means that they don’t make much of an impact (as in, if they’re supposed to be like their personalities, they should be dominating, right?). It is odd to see the volleyball team doing Senshadou but even if the reason for them joining is to revive their club, I wonder how the heck this condition was made. Were they threatened by the student council like how they did to Miho? But seeing that they end up having as much fun as the rest of the girls, I wonder if they want to revive their club again. Is their number one passion now Senshadou or volleyball?

Newer teams I feel are just there to make up for the numbers although I don’t feel it’s a bad thing since Miho had her strategies for their roles. But in terms of character development, there is nothing much to be said. Public morals team are obsessed in keeping the order so by some twisted logic they join Senshadou just to bring that order. Sodoko and Mako’s relationship is amusing because it’s like a love-hate relationship with the latter always calling her Sodoko nickname much to her dismay despite several warnings. It’s like they did it on purpose. In a way, it’s like they get along well with each other, no? Automobile team has potential talent in Senshadou because who knows the tanks better inside and out (aside Yukari, that is) than those who maintain it? Lastly, online tank nerds team’s cameo appearance felt comical because they were taken out so early. But as we see it, it’s a blessing in disguise. Now do you realize why online games and handling stuffs in reality are totally different? You thought firing a gun from a first person shooter game was piece of cake, eh?

Just like in shonen animes, the enemies that they defeat or at least put up a formidable and close fight become their friend. After the first match with St Gloriana, I don’t know if Darjeeling has picked up a penchant of quoting idioms from all around the world because that is what she always does while sipping her tea watching Ooarai in action. Has she become an Ooarai fan because she seems to frequent their matches. Then there is that boisterous loud Kei that stereotypes what Americans look like in the eyes of foreigners. Arisa is perhaps the worst kind of character in the series, surpassing bratty Katyusha and even Erika because they are gracious in defeat and were professional. In times of trouble, a person’s true colour is seen. When you’ve got a chief like her in distressful times, team morale obviously goes all time low. So she serves as an important reminder that the higher ups play a vital role down the line that ensures the crew’s self-esteem and the team’s ultimate success.

I’m not sure about the fanservice but definitely I’m not here for this. There are a few scenes of the girls soaking in the bath with the obligatory white lights censoring out the necessary parts. Will this come undone in the BDs? Well, I’m not interested to find out since I’m more into the tank action. Besides, I don’t think many of them are that physically endowed, right? I don’t want the fanservice to ruin such a great show. On a trivial note, if this series did have a decent amount of fanservice, I would have nicknamed it as Girls UNDerwear PANtsu tease-ZER…!!! Haha!!! Really! I can’t believe I thought up of this one…

The series also does a good job in keeping viewers informed with some of the tank details, tank operations or certain information about the wars. Although I am blur when it comes to the explanation since I’m a total noob when it comes to this area, nevertheless I feel it is quite informative especially with Yukari as the tank and war nerd, she is quite knowledgeable about them. To a point that if she was in the army back in those old days, she might have led her country to victory! Oh wait, she isn’t a good strategist like Miho so it still is no use if she doesn’t have a good commander to make use of her good skills. With such information of the different tanks and different attributes they have, a good thing is that they don’t overwhelm us with such data and manages to let us enjoy the show without turning this into some tank documentary. I know the tank model numbers are a headache for me and I can’t even remember a single one of them. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying this show. Till this day, I can’t name the tanks our Ooarai girls have or even tell apart which team rides which tank despite obvious physical differences. I’m such a bad memorizer…

There are a lot of casts for a single season anime thanks to the several teams which at least have 3 people per team. As usual I couldn’t recognize Yuka Iguchi as Mako because she was putting on that sleepy-cum-dead and monotonous tone unlike her bratty and annoying Index from To Aru Majutsu No Index or Maria from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai. But I believe this isn’t the first time she has voiced such a role. I remember she did the same as Mero in Sankarea. Hisako Kanemoto (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) was the voice behind Katyusha. Although there is nothing wrong with her voicing this loli, I thought Rie Kugimiya would sound best to do this bratty loli. The rest of the main casts include Mai Fuchigami as Miho (Maekawa in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko), Ai Kayano as Saori (Ai in OreShura), Ikumi Nakagami as Yukari (Keiko in Futari Wa Milky Holmes), Mami Ozaki as Hana (this is her debut and her only other anime role is Fuuri Watanuki in SoniAni), Misato Fukuen as Anzu (Natsume in Hidamari Sketch), Kana Ueda as Momo (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Mikako Takahashi as Yuzu (Rushuna in Grenadier), Shiori Izawa as Sodoko (Mayumi in Gin No Saji), Rie Tanaka as Maho (Suigin Tou in Rozen maiden), Eri Kitamura as Darjeeling (Dee in Kamisama Inai No Nichiyoubi), Ayako Kawasumi as Kei (Nodame in Nodame Cantabile) and Hitomi Nabatame as Erika (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana).

Because I like this anime, somehow the generic opening and ending anime themes sound quite likeable. DreamRiser by ChouCho is your typical upbeat and lively anime pop opening song while Enter Enter Mission by quintet voices of heroine team is a cute girl group anime pop. What is even cuter are the girls in chibi form riding their tank and bopping about. But the music that scores and personally my favourite are the background music. Most of them are those military and marching songs and I love the main theme, Panzer Vor which has this playful and fun feel to it. I can’t get help hum this tune each time I think of this series. So addictive that I can’t get it out of my head! Though there are a variety of other tunes from battle themes to casual and slow ones, the best ones are still the military and marching themes although I feel that some of them are just variations of Panzer Vor. So much soundtrack that they have to split it into 2 discs! The first disc is the main soundtrack while the second one contains other songs which include vocals (including Katyusha’s theme and the anglerfish song) and familiar military pieces written by other foreign composers such as Battle Hymn of the Republic, The British Grenadiers and US Field Artillery March.

I’m not going to bore you about the friendship and teamwork theme that sees Ooarai working their way to victory by beating heavy favourites. And also about that trust and believe thingy. We all know how important those are. Despite my triple (or even quadruple) thumbs up for this series, however I won’t say that I have turned into a tank enthusiast after watching this. Sure, cute girls and tanks are a weird but deadly-cum-amusing combination. Still not enough to turn me into a tank otaku in that sense. But I will definitely come back to watch Ooarai in action if there is going to be another sequel. Since they’ve conquered Japan, maybe now they can do so for the world? After all, they’ve got some experience taking on some ‘localized foreigners’, right? If tanks are kept for only sporting purposes and could foster greater ties and relationships among us, I don’t even mind and would even support it. Then maybe I should give Tanks Online a try…

This is one of the few animes with OVA that I have pretty much forgotten. Because nobody subbed it way back then, coupled in with many other animes to watch, slowly Ebiten – Koritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmon-Bu OVA became something distant. Even to a point not even remembering that there was an OVA of this series till a group subbed it and caught my attention. And that was only because I was randomly surfing around and happened to stumble upon it. Lucky me? The series has parodied almost every genre available. What is there left to parody for the OVA? How about a tour of the series in the making? Yeah. Go behind the scenes to see how this show was made. But it isn’t going to be just a simple educational tour. It’s like our Ebiten characters have discovered a conspiracy of their existence and try to track it down to make head and tail of it. Are they ready to handle the truth?

Giga Zone 23 Part II Secret Please
Itsuki rushes into the clubroom only to see Kanamori as usual being subjected to fanservice abuse. She doesn’t like it. But we do. Anyway the emergency Itsuki wants to tell them is that Neko has turned into a bike. Todayama’s twisted reasoning is that Neko has challenged them and that this club may hold some secrets. Everybody all aboard! Vroom! Damn slow… Neko leads them to a room where by there is a TV showing the Ebiten anime. They can’t believe such lousy anime with such lousy name are using their characters and names. There is even an official webpage of it. Todayama has Itsuki completes a puzzle which turns out to be Kanamori fanservice. Suddenly it turns into sci-fi space action with space tentacle rape. WTF. It seems the gang are in the video editing room and the staffs are explaining their ‘homage’ of fanservice scenes to fans. Kanamori suddenly understands and accepts her erotic scenes. It is a necessity, right? Todayama then notices other names besides theirs in the ending credits. She thinks it’s some sort of hit list conspiracy but in actual and simple fact, it’s just their voice actors. Off they go to the recording studio and each meets their own voice actresses. Hmm… I don’t remember Kana Asumi looking like that. Somehow their voice actresses are acting as weird as their Ebiten characters. Are they like that in real life or just into acting like their characters? Itsuki is most surprised that his voice actor is female. Obviously… The place is surrounded by special forces. Todayama pulls off a random event for them to escape. They then find themselves in the drawing room. They see drawing sources of the series and Todayama is about to rip it but Iseda stops them. She reveals herself as this anime’s director. Can’t believe it? She shows them a few clips from the series and points out that they have been living in an anime and not the real world. Everything that has happened went according to the script. She also mentions half of it was from the original work. Now that they’ve gotten this far, Todayama won’t back down and return quietly to their world. They’re going to find this original work. The special forces surround them again. Iseda orders to hand over Neko. Todayama tells the rest to leave it to her. As she rides Neko to Iseda, she throws confetti and shoots the fire extinguisher to escape into Neko, who has turned into a mecha. Iseda threatens to show fanservice scenes of Kanamori and Itsuki. Iseda opens the hatch only to see Hiromatsu in it.

Todayama and Izumiko are the only ones who have escaped and now they have arrived at the publishing headquarters. They see Ooba who admits she was the one who sent Neko to them. She proceeds to explain some complicated crappy plot that is not what Ebiten is all about. Humanity in danger? She was born to prevent the same mistake? What? I thought this show was all about parodies? She then transports them to the world of the original work. It’s the office of the Ebiten manga. Before Todayama could touch the manga, she is punched by Oomori, the manga’s editor. Would you believe she is a hard worker? She won’t allow Todayama to go any further and pushes her back with some bright suppressive light force. But Todayama fights on and after abusing her breasts and landing the killer blow of why her lover ditched her for looking down on others, she gives in. She hands over the storyboard to her. As Todayama opens… The world starts shattering amidst Ooba’s full length anime pop song with some disco visuals. Oomori tells them to live as they see fit as long as the serialization continues. Noting it will be a new generation from now on, this anime was a world where anything goes and the times she believed in have come to an end. Oomori enters mecha Neko and disappears. The duo are left to watch clips from the TV series. At the end of it all, they find themselves in the dark room and Izumiko wonders if they are going to be erased. With only a red flashlight to guide them, they follow a singing voice to a hole in the roof. Climbing out, they see their other friends in manga panel and drawing form. They hurry to go join them and become part of the Ebiten manga.

Specials

Specials from the DVDs that lasts less than 5 minutes. What else? Fanservice. Enough said.

Special 1
The girls are soaking at the hotspring. As usual, Todayama continues to harass Kanamori and squeezing her boobs while the other girls comment about massaging tits, flat chests and boob size. Size does matter eventually. Itsuki is totally embarrassed as he is soaking next door and could hear everything. When Oomori wants to have late night snacks, she sees Todayama sleeping. Seeing her cute sleeping face, she takes this chance to get naughty. Remembering the hypnosis thingy she learnt from her darling, she tests it out by making Todayama a klutz. Seems to work. Next, she makes her a doting sister over Itsuki. Having fun and on a roll, finally she would love to see her yuri side. Unfortunately Oomori becomes her victim and she won’t be able to sleep tonight. There goes her modesty… She reaped what she sew.

Special 2
I thought I was watching a rerun when the first 1.5 minutes were the same as the previous episode. Eventually it branches off to see Kanamori talking to Hiromatsu. Kanamori’s imagination runs wild just after exiting the bath. She imagines the shameful unrobing of the sash by the magistrate, twirling and twirling. Then, she fantasizes about a couple having a tryst in the forest with their forbidden love. By this time, her nose bleed could have made a mini swamp. Lastly, she dreams of a rape play and now she could almost drown in her own blood. Each of her fantasies seem to have herself as the victim. Enjoying it a lot, isn’t she?

Special 3
Well, I really think the first 1.5 minutes are the same since it’s repeating and serves as a ‘common area’. Anyway Hiromatsu is troubled and Todayama could guess it has something to do with Neko. She offers to help her get intimate with Neko and make that cat fall in love with her. How? Yoga. But it doesn’t seem like yoga that she’s teaching. More like provocative sexy poses. Hiromatsu is too embarrassed to go on when Neko comes in. The cat starts licking underneath her yukata till it got its fill and leaves. Todayama thinks Neko has gotten tired of it and yoga wasn’t it. But that experience left Hiromatsu out of breath… Wasn’t it stimulating?

Special 4
Izumiko is worried about her small breasts. Oomori can guess what it is and starts ranting about beauty and such. Because beauty salon treatment costs a lot, she has learnt her own way and will impart it to her. This can’t be good. First she rubs/massages/fondles/molests her breasts. Because according to her lover, men only care about boobs, right? But it hurts… Then she starts doing the same to her hips and butts before moving on to that sensitive area. Are you sure this will make her beautiful? More like getting violated yuri style. She got Izumiko’s attention when she mentions about showing her beautiful parts to Itsuki. Then she wants her to practice baring her heart and soul to her loved one. Izumiko strips naked as she embarrassingly tries to say how she’ll show him everything. Itsuki accidentally saw everything and in his embarrassment ran away. Oh no. What damage has she done… What has been seen cannot be unseen…

Special 5
Iseda laments that Ooba didn’t come into the bath with her. She thinks of visiting her room and starts fantasizing the (perverted) things they could do together to further their relationship. However she enters the wrong room and it turns out to be Oomori’s. Since she is drunk, she won’t let Iseda leave and makes her stay and listen to her fantasies. Not only that, Iseda is also dragged into being part of it. A love triangle and fight over Oomori? So her lover isn’t actually a handsome director working at a leading foreign company earning 15 million Yen a year and owns a garden apartment. He’s just a NEET living out his fantasies. Basically, a useless person. But that’s not the end yet as Iseda is now forced to listen more of her delusional fantasies. About the time her lover was transporting oil in the Arab… NOOOOOOOOOO!!! Looks like tonight’s visit to Ooba’s room won’t be coming true. Maybe she could just fantasize about it…

Life As A Manga And Anime…
Although I have mainly forgotten a lot about the Ebiten TV series, The OVA still provides some entertainment since it is something random. Heck, so random that I’ve been wondering if this OVA went anywhere or not. I’m sure they’re trying to break the fourth wall when they visit various production stages of the series but at the end of it all you may just ask, what was the point of it all anyway? The truth? What truth? Not that I can see as far as this anime is concerned. So with that kind of open interpretation ending, are they saying that we should go back to its original roots, that is the Ebiten manga? Any hints if there is going to be a second season because Todayama almost shred the script that Iseda warns may contain a sequel. Maybe. Very big maybe. This show is about its parodies, right? Or homage as the editors would love to call it. Other than that, the characters still feel similar. Todayama as wacky as ever. Kanamori has become the fanservice girl of the series whether she likes it or not but even though she seems to dislike the idea of herself being used it doesn’t stop her from fantasizing perverted thoughts. And drooling about it. Hiromatsu still stoic and her love for Neko is still as big as ever while Oomori continues to have boyfriend problems that she often takes out via ranting while getting drunk. Ooba is still a complete mystery while Iseda continues to fawn over her in this one-sided crush. Itsuki doesn’t make much of an appearance and feels like a secondary character. To a point I think Izumiko had more prominence than him. So if you’re ever wondering if your life feels similar to those stories you’ve read or heard, just remember that life itself imitates art far more than art imitates life. We’re all living out each of our own stories.

Maken-Ki! OVA 2

December 27, 2013

Those delicious boobs are back. Can’t think of which anime I’m talking? Yeah. I don’t blame you. There are tons of fanservice filled animes out there. I have totally forgotten what Maken-Ki! is about and when they came out with a second OVA, the only reason why they did this was to serve as an appetizer because the series was given the green light for a second season. I don’t remember the storyline or even the power the characters possess except that it is filled with lots of fanservice. That’s the only memorable thing from that show. I guess the producers can’t leave it as it is and saw more fanservice potential and with an increase in horny fans around the world, there is this need to satisfy such lust by producing another OVA before the sequel comes out. Don’t expect much from this single and second OVA that lasts almost half an hour except boobs, boobs and more boobs. I suppose this is where quantity beats quality.

Boobs Paradise…
Our Maken-Ki members are in the midst of their summer camp on some island that I don’t even bother to remember its name. They had lots of fun and most of them are fanservice shots. But why bother about that when you can have more of what is to come. One night when all the girls are passed out (why are they sleeping in their undies? Something must have happened, no?), Haruko wakes up to find a mysterious girl sleeping on her crotch. Who the hell is she and why is she deliciously rubbing her face on it that makes it Haruko’s cue to get turned on? Well, we go back 2 hours earlier. The girls are having fun in the upper floor. As if we have forgotten their names, I guess the producers took the liberty to reintroduce all of them including the important 3 sizes. Kimi wants to make interesting with the topic of the girls telling what kind of boys they like. Those who like boys want to admit Takeru as their number one and those who don’t just curse them. Then she uses her magic tablet to strip the girls into their undies because there are only girls here, right? Isn’t it more fun that way? Yes. To us. Meanwhile the only guys in the club, Takeru and Kengo are downstairs wanting to listen stories of their teachers, Minori and Aki’s days in school as Maken-Ki. WTF?! Beautiful babes up there and they want to hear boring stories from them?! At least try to unleash their horny instincts and go peep on the girls, damn it! Even if they get caught and beaten up, it’s all worth it, right? Isn’t that what summer camps are for? Whoops… So we’ve got Minori slapping Takeru’s face with her boobs and that lucky boy himself gets the honour of fondling Aki’s melons because that drunk teacher allows him too. He jumps at the chance of scaling her twin peaks. Oh yes! It feels good to run his hands and face through those softness. His mountaineering is cut short when Syria spots him doing the despicable act. She is so pissed that she is going to kill him with her element power. I guess Takeru wasn’t fast enough since he is just fresh from having fun and gets zapped.

The next thing Takeru knows, he wakes up and stumbles into the toilet. He is shocked that some unknown girl in the toilet. It took him a while to realize that it is the mirror he is interacting with and that he has turned into a girl! First things first… What does a guy do when he finds himself turned into a girl? Check out your own humongous boobs of course! Now he knows how godly those boobs are, eh? Feeling good? Sure he is. Now he moves over to the lower anatomy… For this part, let’s use our imagination that Takeru is having a great time fidgeting around. I guess he really knows how to turn on a girl. Haha! Then hearing Haruko and the girls bathing next door, this sneaky bastard doesn’t hesitate to strip naked and barge in to join them, claiming himself as Takeko and Minori’s cousin. It didn’t take long for the rest to get acquainted with Takeko and they get physical with their usual skinship around ‘her’. Paradise. Thank God for the boobs. So good. So ultimate. Takeko could have died and gone to heaven when his nose bleeds turned to water into blood bath. That’s how much blood he lost when ‘she’ passed out. Meanwhile Syria is looking for Takeru and is sorry for using too much power on him. She didn’t think of that before she blasted him away, didn’t she? Well girl, you won’t find him outside in the woods because we all know where that guy is right now. Paradise. Takeko joins the rest of the girl in some midnight romp that includes having a breast tournament whereby they beat the crap out of each other using their breasts. Or something close to that. So where to flat chests like Himegami and Kimi stand? Do they have a chance? So the partying went on until the girls fall asleep. And that’s when Haruko wakes up in the dead of the night to wonder who this chick is sucking on her crotch. Then she remembers it is Takeko.

Takeko continues to fondle Haruko’s boob like nobody’s business that ‘she’ just falls short of turning this scene into some hentai rape. Because I think Haruko was enjoying this herself and is about to lose herself when angry Syria barges in. She lets everyone know that this Takeko is actually Takeru. Wait a minute. How did she know that pervert is here? I am guessing she has searched the entire island and realized there could be one place left. Takeko is still in a daze and the girls are horrified especially Haruko who realized that Takeru has seen her everything. She is right to draw her sword and blast him away in the sky. Screw the cabin that is now destroyed. Her modesty is at stake. On a side note, Aki is still playing with herself… I don’t know how they get Takeko back but as they make ‘her’ repent, it is briefly explained that Syria’s element somehow changed his gender. It’s good they made this short because we don’t really care about all that, don’t we? And even if you don’t understand, it doesn’t matter because we don’t really care about that too, don’t we? The problem now is how to change him back. Syria points out a kiss from a girl will just do that. How the heck does she know this? Anyway you can see Takeko’s eyes lighting up because ‘she’ gets to kiss one of them. This guy isn’t repenting. Look how eager ‘she’ is to get a kiss. Inaho will gladly do it because she is Takeru’s fiancee. But this is bugging Haruko. A lot. Before their lips can meet, she breaks them up. Takeko is shoved and Himegami kisses him. Yay! He is turned back. But Himegami slaps him away and he lands onto the lips of another girl. Changed back to a girl. This goes on back and forth and I think Takeru has kissed all the girls while he is being turned into a human tennis ball. By the time he receives his last beating up by Haruko, he is Takeko once more. The girls are fed up and leave, not heeding ‘her’ pleas for one more kiss to change ‘her’ back. It is then Takeko realizes ‘she’ will have to live the rest of ‘her’ life as a girl and date guys and possibly more with the other gender. That’s just horrible, isn’t it? Takeko starts crying. Yes, true tears of despair. ‘She’ deserves it, right? But Haruko returns and gives Takeko a peck on the cheek. Yeah, she felt pitiful seeing him in that state. He is happy and grateful. Hope he learnt his lesson. Meanwhile Kengo suddenly finds himself turned into a girl. Nice big boobs. But the thought of him carrying on as a girl for the rest of his life freaks him out. Somebody change him back!!!

Had Your Fun?
There is no doubt about it. Even the silly plot and the nonsense of how Takeru could easily change into a girl and then back and forth between both genders is absurd. I mean, a kiss actually solves it? So does it mean Takeru cannot get kiss again ever because if he does, he’ll be turned into a girl? Yeah, kiss his perverted life goodbye then. At the end of all his mischief, it has to be Haruko the one who will be his saviour. I’m sure most of the girls feel the same way towards him. He just got too far in his antics. Just for us. Thanks for the ride, Takeru/Takeko. And thus it feels everything was just like a shameless attempt to capitalize on what this series is famous for: Fanservice. But you don’t really care about all that as long as you can see the tits of the girls and their facial expressions which almost borders of going into orgasm. In the end, will you remember anything from this OVA? I’m certain that many will just remember the boobs and tits instead of some of the other characters’ name. Heck, I really had forgotten some of theirs. Now are we ready for the second season? You don’t need to remember names, characters, the storyline or those special power moves as long as you can remember the fanservice, you’re ready to go! We’ll make-n sure that we shall not makenai to those boobs!

I only have myself to blame if I set high expectations of something and then it turns out not what I expected it to be. Just from the glimpse of the words in the title that include ‘Love Comedy’, I thought this would be some sort of nonsensical love comedy slapstick. After all, when love comedies go wrong, it could only mean that, right? Besides, the other clincher that had me thinking that this would be that slapstick comedy is the ridiculously long title. Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru – My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. The main title itself sounds long and suspiciously funny. And they had to add the second title with that SNAFU abbreviation. Google it if you want to know what I mean. If the title doesn’t sound funny, I don’t know what is. Or maybe it could be just me. Yeah. It’s just me, I guess. Heck, even the episode titles are long enough that I thought the producers were lazy to come up with one and just took a sentence and made it the title.

Even if the show didn’t turn out to be a slapstick comedy (I got to stop using this word too often in this blog or else I feel somebody might get irritated and annoyed a lot), I thought I should connect and find this enjoyable in a way because the main protagonist is a loner. Otakus are loners, right? Well, this guy isn’t an otaku but he already is a loner. At least if you look at it from society’s point of view. Thus the main motivation to watch this anime is not the love comedy that you thought it had (heck, I don’t think there is much to begin with), but rather the analytical and critical comments that our main guy depicts from his point of view. It is interesting to note how he sees them and analyzes them based on his own experience. So what happens if he meets another loner character but with a different personality and set of ideals? More interesting and critical comments from different aspects of course. The psychological lessons (if I should call them) should prove an interesting watch and refreshing view on how society works from the point of view of a loner. At least this makes up for the lack of slapstick comedy that I was hoping for.

Episode 1
Hachiman Hikigaya narrates about the ‘evilness’ of youth and how the norms of society mould around it. This guy. Very negative and pessimistic perception. It was supposed to be an essay about looking back at his time in high school and he deservingly gets reprimanded by his language teacher, Shizuka Hiratsuka. Hikigaya even has some wise cracks but teacher is no push over to show who is boss. As punishment for writing such crap, he is taken to the Service Club to meet Yukino Yukinoshita. Hiratsuka wants Yukino to fix Hikigaya’s attitude of being rebellious and a loner. When they are left alone, there is an awkward distance between them. Yukino continues to read her book in a corner while Hikigaya starts analyzing about their prospects of being friends. In order to avoid that from happening, the fastest way is to make her hate him. Too bad he got no balls to do that since she is giving that intimidating stare back at him. While maintaining their distance, he asks her about this club. It is some sort of community service whereby the members reach out to help those in need. Yukino is the only member and now Hikigaya is the newbie. Both of them have different ideologies on friends and there’s sarcasm in every sentence they say. Since this is going nowhere, Hiratsuka decides to hold a contest to see who can serve better. The winner gets to order the loser around. Initially Yukino declines but caves into Hiratsuka’s ‘cheap provocation’. Hikigaya has no say whatsoever. Hikigaya discovers despite Yukino being popular, she reveals she was once a bully victim. Because it is her popularity that becomes the source of jealousy for others to bully her.

Yui Yuigahama walks into the room since Hiratsuka recommended her to come here if she has any request. She wants their help to assist her in baking cookies for a boy she likes. Let’s say when the girls made it, it turns out to look more like charcoal. The problem would be easily fixed if Yui stops cooking but I don’t think that would solve the problem. Yui’s confidence is low so Yukino tells her to stop comparing herself with others because it’s embarrassing to blame her own weakness on others. Despite her harsh words, Yui takes a liking because she was being honest. Hikigaya has an idea and will show them how real handmade cookies are made. When he is done, he lets the girls taste them and they find it ordinary. Yukino finds it awful so Hikigaya wants to throw it away. Not wanting to waste them, Yui thought it wasn’t that bad after all. Hikigaya reveals these cookies are actually made by her. He starts telling his own experience how he thought a girl liked him but got embarrassed when it wasn’t him. The point? Guys are simple creatures. They get the wrong idea just from getting talked to and be happy to just get handmade cookies. He will be moved if he sees her trying her best so it doesn’t need to taste good. The girls don’t believe him and start throwing things at him. Yui gets motivated to do it on her own. Next week, Hikigaya and Yukino ponder if Yui’s effort went well. Yui enters the clubroom to hand them her cookies as gratitude. She would also like to help out with the club.

Episode 2
Once again, yet another sarcastic outlook on society acting in packs by Hikigaya and comparing it like the animal kingdom. He wants to be a bear. Because bears are loners. Say what? And yet again, another reprimanding from Hiratsuka about his misguided essay on how animals live in the wild. She asks his opinion on Yukino. He hates her. Noting their twisted personalities, she is worried they might not fit into society, that’s why she wants to keep them in one place together. A group of students gather around popular Yumiko Miura. Yui has problem talking to her that she wants to eat with Yukino instead with her groupie. Hikigaya didn’t want to get involve with this internal strife but he can’t help it after seeing Yui on the verge of tears while the b*tch dominates the conversation with her arrogance. Then he changes his mind after seeing her deadly aura that tells him to shut up or else. Yumiko continues to chide Yui for not being able to say things straight till Yukino enters the picture, wondering why Yui is late for their lunch meeting. Yukino’s sarcasm ticks off Yumiko for forcing her own beliefs on others. Everyone senses the tense atmosphere so it’s a sign to get out. Yui and Yumiko are left in the classroom so they somewhat reconcile. Although Yui thanks Hikigaya for standing up for her earlier, she isn’t happy he was eavesdropping outside with Yukino. I thought they were waiting for her to finish up things?

In the clubroom, Yoshiteru Zaimokuza. He is waiting for Hikigaya and has a serious case of chuunibyou. I don’t blame Hikigaya if he claims he doesn’t know this guy. Since Yukino points out the Service Club does not grant wishes, he downgrades for them to assist him. Take over Japan? This guy is creeping Yui out with his sick delusions. Anyway as pointed out by Hikigaya, he is acting out his chuunibyou because he shares the same name of some shogun so it’s not entirely a fantasy. Because Hikigaya’s name is based on some god of war, that’s why Zaimokuza calls him his comrade. His request isn’t actually to cure his chuunibyou but to get their opinion on a fantasy novel he is writing. He wants to enter it in a contest. Since he has no friends, he can’t get any opinions. The trio take back his script and read. So boring that well, I don’t know if they are lacking sleep or just fell asleep. Except Yui. Because she didn’t read it. I think in a way it spared her the ordeal. Yukino tells him straight all the bad points. I think everything is. You don’t want to have her as your book review critic. After going through that torture, I can see why Yukino has lots to say. And guess what? The story isn’t actually finished either. When it’s Hikigaya’s turn to comment, he just asks which story he copied his work from. That’s just mean, no? Although Zaimokuza is depressed, he is happy to have received feedback and got the balls to even ask them to read his work again. If he gets a new idea. Yeah. Writer’s block. Next day, Zaimokuza gets ahead of himself thinking if his work would win an award, turn into anime, get a voice actress he wants and marry her! Sure. If he ever writes his story first.

Episode 3
Hikigaya gets his wish when he is the odd one out during tennis so gets to play alone. That’s like playing squash, right? Yui joins Hikigaya to chat when he is enjoying lunch by himself. Can’t let a guy eat in peace? Their classmate, Saika Totsuka joins in. If you’re wondering, he is a guy. Trap potential. Enough said. I hope Hikigaya’s gay instincts won’t awaken because there is this lovely flowery effect each time he sees him talk. Saika hopes Hikigaya would join the tennis club since the seniors are about to retire and their club isn’t that strong. Talking to Yukino about this, she is sceptical about him joining because speaking from experience, the tennis club members won’t let him be part of them. They might come together as a team in finding a new mutual enemy in him. When she studied abroad, they tried to eliminate her. Because of that they were so fixated on that instead of improving themselves to surpass her. Yui brings Saika to the club as the latter requests for them to help with the club practice. Yui is disheartened when Yukino points out she isn’t a formal member because she never wrote in a formal letter. Yui is accepted when she quickly writes one. Yui and Saika undergo training under Yukino’s eyes while Hikigaya is just erm, watching ants. Is this more interesting? Yumiko and her groupie see them practise and she is interested to play. Since Yumiko is close to confrontational, Hayato Hayama tries to solve it amicably with Hikigaya but the latter gets sarcastic about Hayato having good looks and popular with the ladies and thus used to getting what he wants and now he wants to take this tennis court. Thus a competition is decided. They will play doubles and the winners will get to use this place during lunch and help Saika with his practice.

Yumiko-Hayato goes up against Yui-Hikigaya. Yumiko proves she is no pushover because she once made it to the prefectural tournament during middle school. Yui sprains her ankle so Hikigaya just wants her to stand around while he does something. Do what? Go on his knees and beg for forgiveness. WTF. However Yui brings Yukino to replace her. The usual mockery between the girls before they square off. Gradually, Yukino dominates the game however as the game drags on, she finds herself running out of stamina. She leaves it to Hikigaya to settle the score. For real? She may have spewed gaffes and insults but has never lied. From what Hikigaya explains, due to his time spent alone, he always played tennis by himself. So he has learnt to analyze and use to wind for this magic shot of his to even the score. Hikigaya serves a high ball, a technique he always uses when he plays by himself (so it makes it look like he is playing himself as his own opponent). Yumiko tries to get it but is in danger of running into the fence. Hayato saves her and this has the spectators cheer on them like lovebirds. Hikigaya’s win is totally ignored. Saika thanks Hikigaya but he says he should be thanking them and not him. Hikigaya notes the God of romantic comedies must be screwing around with him for this homo pairing (Yui is all over Yukino too). I suppose God heard his complaint so makes it the way Hikigaya wants them by having him walk into the clubroom while the girls are in the midst of changing and they throw the racquet at his face. Ah, classic. That’s how it’s done.

Episode 4
We are introduced to Hikigaya’s little sister, Komachi, lively but a little ditzy. As he cycles her to school, he remembers on the first day of high school, he got involved in a car accident after trying to save a dog and spent his first few days hospitalized. That’s when his loner syndrome kicked in. Yet again, Hiratsuka reprimands Hikigaya for another crap essay about wanting to be a full time house husband. Rewrite it again. Or else. She reminds him of the workplace survey and to be in groups of three. In the clubroom, Yui gets permission to have Hikigaya’s number. They’re friends, right? But Yui can’t believe he has texted girls before. From what he says, the girls can tell the girl he texted ignored his mail and to stop averting his eyes from reality. Hayato enters the clubroom seeking for a request. He shows them chain mails about bad rumours of his friends. He doesn’t want to find out the culprit but just make this stop. But Yukino insists that the perpetrator must be caught because the only way to stop this is to eliminate that person. She speaks from experience. So she really eliminated the source? Hikigaya thinks the workplace visit must have got something to do with this since that is when the rumours started circulating. Seeing that Hayato is a popular guy, the culprit may be one of them trying to kick the other out so they could be with him. Yukino has Hayato list down the personalities of his friends but it seems she twists and rephrases their good points into negative ones! Wow. That’s some deep analysis and she’s pretty good in that. Or she’s just sceptical about people having good points. Since there isn’t much conclusion from the descriptions (how could they?), Yukino suggests Yui and Hikigaya to observe them since they are in the same class.

Yui goes first by asking Yukino and Hina Ebina via girl’s talk. However they misinterpret she is interested in them and pester her to spill which one she likes. This somewhat turns on Ebina’s yaoi switch because she gets excited about the thought all of them being gay and gunning for Hayato’s ass. Dangerous girl… Now it’s Hikigaya’s turn as he uses his observation skills for the job. He notices how Hayato is mixing so freely with them and they are as lively as they are. He is interrupted when Saika comes by to ask if he could be part of the group for the workplace visit. Hikigaya asserts he has no guy friends (I thought he sees Saika close to a girl?). When Hayato goes to talk to Hikigaya, the latter realizes a vital clue. He makes his revelation to his pals about Hayato’s friends being his friend. But among themselves they are just mere acquaintances or friend of a friend. In short, whenever Hayato is around, they become lively but when he is away, none of them speaks to each other. He even proposes a way that will have them become friends and won’t fight anymore. That move is to make all 3 of them in the same group for the workplace visit. In no time the trio are chatting with each other normally. Hikigaya just dragged out Hayato, the source of the ‘problem’. Since Hayato is not in any group, he hopes Hikigaya could join him. Saika too. Because he has been bugging him for it from the start. Hikigaya ponders if this is friendship but when everyone sees the workplace Hayato wants to visit, they too want to visit that place and Hikigaya as usual is ignored.

Episode 5
Hikigaya tries to give excuses for his tardiness to Hiratsuka. Being late = justice? She doesn’t buy that crap. Speaking of problem kids, here’s another one waltzing in late: Saki Kawasaki. Hikigaya bumps into Yukino, Yui and Saika studying at the fast food outlet when Komachi brings her classmate Taishi to them. He is Saki’s younger brother. He has a request of them and is worried about Saki who has changed this year. Before you can blame it is Hikigaya’s fault from how she changed into a nice model student into a seemingly delinquent that returns home in the wee hours of the morning, because this trouble only began coincidentally when they are put in the same class this year. So Yukino suggests using some animal assisted therapy to draw out her inner kindness by using Hikigaya’s cat and make her adopt it. However Taishi calls to tell them she is allergic to them (but Yukino seems to be having a fun time with it). They watch Hiratsuka trying to get Saki to talk about her problems and think about her future. However Saki shoots back she’ll never understand due to her being single and all that. That must have hurt her heart very badly. Yui uses Hayato to help Saki but he got rejected. Hikigaya can’t help laugh his ass off. Popular guy gets rejected? Nobody’s perfect. Komachi calls her brother to tell him Taishi heard Saki got a call from a weird café named Angel or something. There are only 2 cafes in town that opens up till the wee hours of morning. The first is some maid café. Because Hikigaya doesn’t know much about this, he calls Zaimokuza for help. He should know better. But who else can he turn to? The girls are dressed in maid outfits. Sorry for those who would love to see the trap in maid outfit, be sorely disappointed. Although you get to see it shortly through Zaimokuza’s delusion. I don’t even want to think about it. Since Saki’s name is not on the shift schedule, they conclude it is the other café located on the top floor of a posh hotel.

Only Hikigaya, Yukino and Yui enter because they have the dress to look like the part. They see Saki working as a bartender. Yukino and Saki talk in codes in which Hikigaya was kind enough to translate to Yui (and us) that what they are implying is because minors are prohibited to work this late, Saki may have lied about her age. Saki hits a nerve of Yukino when she mentions she wouldn’t understand a thing since she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. If her family’s business is not her concern then hers should be too. When they leave, Hikigaya tells Saki to meet them at the fast food outlet tomorrow to talk. Saki is surprised to see Taishi there too. Hikigaya makes a guess why she is working. In short, she needs the money to go to college and doesn’t want to burden her parents who are both working. Komachi adds that both their parents work too and since she hated coming back to an empty house, she tried to run away once. However it was her brother who came after her. Since then, Hikigaya always started coming home earlier (and partly as Yukino pointed out, he has no friends!) and this made Komachi feel better. So the Kawasaki siblings somewhat reconcile realizing they don’t want to burden each other. As they leave, Hikigaya learns from Komachi that Yui is the girl who frequented the hospital to give him snacks when he broke his leg. Yup. It was her dog he saved. After the workplace visit, Hikigaya confronts Yui to tell her that saving her dog was just coincidence. He would still be a loner even if there was no accident. That’s why he wants her to stop being nice to him. There is no reason for her to feel guilty and responsible for what happened. Quit being nice to him out of guilt. Apparently he made her cry… We hear Hikigaya’s narration why he hates nice girls. Something about having expectations of it only to end up in some misunderstanding and a lie. That’s why at some point he stopped hoping and as an experienced loner, he won’t fall the same trap twice. When it comes to losing, he is the strongest.

Episode 6
A week has passed and since Yui is acting like normal, Hikigaya thinks the problem has blown over. Not quite because Yui hasn’t been showing up at the club either. Hiratsuka suggests Hikigaya and Yukino to have a battle royale. With just 2 people? She thinks if they want to recruit others, it’s fine. What about Yui? Although she hasn’t quit the club yet, her absence is a sign that she is as good as gone. Hiratsuka throws them another task to find another member by Monday seeing based on her observation that they are more active when they have more members. Yukino talks to Hikigaya about getting Yui back and a certain date that is Yui’s birthday. She wants to celebrate it and give thanks and asks Hikigaya to go out with her. To buy Yui a gift of course. Komachi tags along too but she went off herself since she has tons of stuffs to buy. Is she really shopping for the present? Because Yukino’s sense is different from ordinary high school girls, she allows Hikigaya to get close to her for today. In other words, act like her boyfriend. Hikigaya knows Yukino won’t lie and thus no misunderstanding should arise. Just act. That’s it. Halfway through their browsing, they bump into Yukino’s older sister, Haruno. Of course she is interesting in prodding them about their relationship. Especially Hikigaya. Since they’re not, she hopes if they do start dating, they should come drink with her. A dog is seen running towards them. Yukino starts feeling scared and hovers closely to Hikigaya. The dog seems to like that guy and jumps on him. The owner turns out to be Yui and she misinterprets Hikigaya and Yukino’s closeness despite trying to put up a brave front that it is nothing to her. Yukino wants her to come to the clubroom on Monday to clear things up. There, because Yukino and Yui are being ambiguous with their words, both are talking about different things (one about birthday celebration and the other about dating celebration). Hikigaya spots this and clears this up. Yukino gives her present as her birthday and token of appreciation. Hikigaya also gives his but in addition to her birthday, this is to call it even. This is for saving her dog and her guilty feeling. He didn’t do it to get any favours. Of course Yui says she didn’t do this out of pity or guilt. She doesn’t know how to explain so Yukino does the honours. Hikigaya had no intention of helping Yui and Yui had no recollection of pitying him. Everything was wrong from the start. Hikigaya’s decision to end it here is correct so they can start anew since neither of them was at fault so there’s no cause of argument in the first place. Yui opens Hikigaya’s present but finds the collar a little too tight. That’s because it’s for her dog…

Episode 7
Hikigaya ignores spams of calls and texts from Hiratsuka. So when he takes a peek, it’s about some activities for the Service Club. Each succeeding text gets shorter and scarier. Is it a wonder why she is still single? As Hikigaya sarcastically puts it, she loves him too much. He agrees to accompany Komachi to Chiba but it turns out to be a ploy from Hiratsuka using her to get him to meet up with the rest of the club members. They arrive at a summer camp, they will be doing a communal service as camp counsellors for the kids. Since Hayato’s group is also here, Hikigaya thought he’s not here to make friends with them (as part of Hiratsuka’s plan to make the Service Club members more sociable). Hiratsuka puts it they don’t need to be friends. Just learn to live and deal with them smoothly without fighting or ignoring them. While they are helping out with the kids, they notice a loner girl among the pack, Rumi Tsurumi (mini Yukino?). Although Hayato easily talks to her (as Hikigaya puts it, so smooth that it’s creepy) and brings her to mix with the other girls, pretty soon they ignore her and she’s back fidgeting with her own gadget alone. While making food, once more they notice Rumi doing things alone. Hikigaya and Yukino go talk to her. Yukino as usual with her icy harsh words (Rumi could equally match her if they go on). Yui is better in trying to persuade her to make friends but Rumi insists she doesn’t need such memories and can get her own new friends when she enters middle friends. Yukino tells her the girls who ignore her would end up in the same middle school and with other people from other schools as well, she’ll receive the same treatment. Rumi explains this isn’t the first time they shunned people but usually they’ll soon be on talking terms. She doesn’t know what she did wrong to get shunned for so long.

The counsellors along with Hiratsuka discuss about Rumi’s case and want to do something about it. Hikigaya recognizes that being alone isn’t bad. The problem is she is forced to be alone due to others’ ill will. Hayato wants to do what he can but was quickly shot down by Yukino. He looks pretty saddened with that reply. Yukino thought they would help if she just asks but Yui points out it isn’t as easy. She won’t even ask even if she wants to because Rumi might feel unfair she got help since no one else did. Everyone continues to discuss till Ebina comes up with this idea that no girls would hate homos! See where this is going. They shut her up but the argument heats up between Yukino and Yumiko. The latter chiding the former about her f*cked up attitude. The rest thought Rumi is just disillusioned and hard to blend in but Yumiko thinks she is more like looking down on them and got shunned because of her arrogance. Yukino throws this back at Yumiko. Before a full fledge cat fight can happen, Hayato tells her to stop. That night Hikigaya can’t sleep because he is aroused hearing Saika murmuring his name in his sleep! Creepy! He goes out and sees Yukino staring at the sky. It’s that sarcasm again wishing for him to just sleep forever. She is out here because she got into an argument with Yumiko and she was reduced to tears. While Yui is consoling her, thus she is out here. Yukino reveals she and Hayato went to the same elementary school. Their parents knew each other. His father is the lawyer of her family. Anything involving the family’s reputation falls under her sister’s job. She feels herself as a replacement. Nevertheless she is glad to have come here.

Episode 8
Hikigaya is so happy he could die because Saika requests for his handphone number. Now his handphone is more than just an alarm clock or time killing feature. As the kids have the day free before the kimodameshi tonight, the counsellors set up wood for the bonfire and then play some water at the nearby river. This is your chance to catch the girls in their swimsuit. Hikigaya sits out since he didn’t bring his and sitting next to him is Rumi. She wonders if Hikigaya has friends in elementary school so he starts calculating some theory of his about the probability of them being still friends down the road. Grim. Rumi’s mom kept asking her if she gets along with her friends and wanted her to take some pictures. But she feels she can’t do it as she is shunned. It’s miserable but she can’t do anything about it because did it to others before. Since it’s useless to try again, she thought it’s okay to stop trying since she thinks she can’t get along with them anymore. Hikigaya concludes she has already given up and about people judging others based on their own stereotypes. The problem is the world cannot change so it’s you who will have to change. How to do that? Be the god of your new world. For kimodameshi, the counsellors find their ghostly costumes more like for cosplay. Is a wizard a monster? What the hell? They get down discussing to solve Rumi’s problem. For Hikigaya it is easy. Since the problem is human relationship, destroy that and the problem ends. Because if everyone is a loner, there will be no wars or suffering.

Kimodameshi begins and Yui is so cute than scary that the kids are laughing at her! Rumi is in the last group and as usual, she feels isolated. They meet Hayato and Yumiko in their normal clothes. Weren’t they supposed to be monsters? They tease them when suddenly the counsellors act like gangsters. Because they don’t like being made fun of, they’re going to teach them a lesson about respect. This causes the girls to start feeling afraid. I guess acting like gangsters is far scarier than ghosts, huh? Although they apologize, Hayato says he will only let 2 pass and the other 3 to be left behind for their punishment. They will decide who will stay. Everyone first singles out Rumi and she doesn’t resist. When it comes down to the quartet, Hayato and Yumiko start getting scarier and they are forced to choose among themselves and start blaming each other. This is part of Hikigaya’s plan to split them apart because of some society norm that lays the blame on others and subordination. In the end, 3 of them gang up to single out Yuka but they have to decide the final one. They are threatened not to tell because they know their faces. All that’s left now is to pop out and say “Gotcha! You’ve been had”. However Rumi uses her flash camera to blind them and takes the girls to run away. Hikigaya concludes even though she is not their friend, she still wanted to save them, which makes her pretty much a real friend. So it’s an odd atmosphere for the quartet during the bonfire. Hiratsuka is impressed with Hikigaya’s technique but it could’ve been risky had it not gone well. Only the lowest of the lowest can come up with such low method. Is that a compliment or insult? Yukino notes no one will thank him (in which Rumi didn’t even say a word) but it’s not like he is doing it to get something in return. He thinks as long as some good can come out of it, they can still forgive you. Even Hayato has something to say. He experienced a similar situation himself back in school but he stood there and only watched. He wonders if it will be different if Hikigaya went to the same elementary school with him. Probably not. Just another loner. The camp ends and before everyone parts at the school gates, Haruno is here to pick up Yukino. She teases Hikigaya and Yukino being an item and is relieved Yui is just his classmate. She was worried she’d be in Yukino’s way. I think she’s just joking. Haruno knows Hiratsuka because she was once her student. When Haruno tells Yukino their mom wants to see her, she leaves with a sad face. Yui points out to Hikigaya if the limo looks familiar. He feigns ignorance. Because he well knows that was the car that almost ran over Yui’s dog he saved and got him hospitalized. They never saw Yukino for the rest of summer.

Episode 9
As thanks for taking care of Yui’s dog, she invites Hikigaya and Komachi to watch the fireworks. But it is Komachi’s ploy to hook Hikigaya up with her by feigning she can’t go, have stuffs to, blah, blah, blah. She wants him to go with Yui to get some stuff for her. Hikigaya isn’t dumb and he knows where this is going but can he say no when little sister is giving him that evil glare? Hikigaya waits for Yui (stumbling her way in with her yukata) at the train station. There are a few situations that might have given rise to a certain flag but Hikigaya will not be cowed into such destiny or fate. He thinks he is not an ordinary guy, otherwise he would have fallen for her. At the festival, Yui stumbles upon her classmates. They think they’re on a date though Yui maintains it’s not like that. Hikigaya sarcastically notes if it was Hayato, everything would have been totally different. With the crowd building up and the fireworks starting, they bump into Haruno and she takes her to the VIP seats. She is here to represent her father whose job is to deal with the government lot. Haruno whispers to him that it’s not good to have an affair though he asserts it’s not. All the more reason why she can’t let this slide now. Talking about Yukino, Haruno mentions she wants to attend a public university for sciences nearby. She has never changed. Always matching. Always hand me downs. Yui wonders if she dislikes her sister. On the contrary she loves her. What about Yui? She does too but it’s hard to tell sometimes but she’s nice. Haruno hopes they can continue to stay that way because in the end they all get jealous and avoid her. When it’s time to leave, Haruno offers a ride home in her limo. Hikigaya is hesitant to enter so Haruno assures there aren’t any of those accident marks. She realizes she might have said the wrong thing and says it wasn’t Yukino’s fault either as she was just sitting at the back. Hikigaya doesn’t sound convincing when he believes Yukino didn’t cause the accident and won’t dwell on the past. Hikigaya walks Yui home. They talk about some things are better left not known. Yui believes he will still step in to help regardless of whether he knows who he is helping or not, accident or not. Like how he saved her. Yui wanted to say something but was interrupted by a call from her mom. School term is back. Hikigaya and Yukino meet for the first time in ‘ages’. They didn’t say anything much before parting. Hikigaya narrates he loves himself and never hated himself. But right now he is on the verge of that because the Yukino he has known was always beautiful, honest, unable to lie and independent. He always admired her, chose to expect things from her, chose to know her and then got disappointed. He still can’t accept the fact Yukino lies and that’s why he is starting to hate himself.

Episode 10
Hiratsuka forces Hikigaya to become the male class rep for the cultural festival. As for the female rep, Minami Sagami seems ‘reluctant’ but volunteers when nobody else does. At the festival committee meeting chaired by the student council president, Meguri Shiromeguri, she wonders if anyone would like to volunteer to be the chairwoman. She thought Yukino would be ideal since her sister was once on it. However she wants to be only a committee member. Sagami volunteers once more seeing this is a perfect opportunity for her to grow. Yukino plans to suspend all activities for the Service Club until after the festival when Sagami and her friends enter to request for assistance for the festival. She agrees as long as it’s within those boundaries. Yui didn’t like this setting but Yukino says she is doing this alone and is more effective this way as she has an idea on the job scope. During the meeting, Yukino becomes the vice to Sagami and she is handling things more thoroughly than the chairwoman herself. Makes you wonder who the one really in charge is. Hikigaya’s class is doing a play. Thanks to Ebina and her yaoi theme between Hayato and Hikigaya (“Must gay!”). Since Hikigaya is on the committee, she settles for Hayato and Saika. When Hikigaya goes to the committee, he sees Haruno wanting to participate. Yukino doesn’t sound happy but she’s not the one who is approving. With Sagami waltzing in late, she learns of what is happening and agrees to let Haruno in. Maintaining relationships with people in the region? Sagami then makes a suggestion that will have the committee enjoy the festival and get a little breather. Yukino doesn’t approve since they are short of time and manpower. Sagami thought to keep personal matters out and think about what everybody wants. Hayato then comes in to hand in his group’s participation. He can tell Yukino is taking care of everything and knows things will turn into a disaster soon and should rely on others before things get out of hand. Hayato offers to help out and though Hikigaya thinks this work delegation is okay, it makes him wonder if doing everything by yourself is wrong. Why should someone who has been alone for so long be criticized? Relying on others is important but from what he sees is that everyone was relying on others in the first place. Sagami arrives late again and this time Yukino reminds her about her responsibility to stamp the approval. Because such duties can be easily done via proxy, Sagami gives her this responsibility of approving it on her behalf. Because Yukino takes home most of her work, she ends up with a cold the next day and is absent from school.

Episode 11
Hikigaya calls Yui about Yukino being sick. So they go to visit her home to talk. Yukino asserts she is okay and can work from home but Yui isn’t happy the way things turned out. Yui hopes she could rely on them instead of others. Yukino says she would one day but now it’s a difficult time for her. When Yukino is back for the festival committee, they discuss the slogan for the festival. There are some weird ones and when Sagami comes up with hers, Hikigaya indirectly teases hers. So he comes up with his own using the word ‘person’. Based on the kanji writing, it he talks about slacking off and the use of sacrifice in which he points out that everyone has been shoving work to him and using him as a scapegoat. Haruno laughs like mad. Yukino also tries to hide her laughter and once she composes herself, she rejects his notion and ends the meeting. Later Yukino talks to Hikigaya about his weird method trying to make everyone see they are not working their hardest by making excuses. Next day, the committee starts working harder. Haruno talks to Hikigaya how he made everyone his enemy by playing the villain. In a way, it made them united against him so if he works harder, it might just motivate them all to work even harder to surpass him. Yukino then dumps more work on him. On the day the festival starts, the opening ceremony seems to go well till it is Sagami’s turn to give the opening speech. She falters badly due to her stage fright and is obviously nervous. The festival gets underway and Ebina’s yaoi play is a freaking hit among the girls! She could have soaked the floor with her blood… Yui has lunch with Hikigaya and he wonders what the girls talked that night when they visited Yukino after he left early. Nothing much. Yui decides to wait for her and thinks she is trying her best to approach them and talk. But she won’t wait for someone who won’t try even if you wait so she won’t and will do it herself. Hikigaya wants to pay for his portion of lunch and since he insists on paying her back, he realized too late that Yui had asked him out. Meanwhile Sagami has locked herself alone in the toilet cubicle. She seems depressed of her inability to do anything.

Episode 12
The festival is now in its last day. Haruno as the conductor puts up a flashy and amazing jazzy orchestra performance. However Hikigaya and Yukino learn that Sagami is missing and without her, they can’t close the ceremony because only she has the results and figures for some awards needed for it. Once Hayato learns of this, he is willing to put on another performance to buy them time to look for her. Even so, Hikigaya is not confident if he can find her in that time. Yukino then asks Haruno for a favour. There is no penalty in rejecting it but merit. Do so and she will be indebted to her. With that, Haruno accepts her favour and the girls will put up a band performance. Haruno on drums, Meguri on keyboards, Hiratsuka on bass and Yukino on guitars. Now all they need is a vocalist and Yukino hopes Yui can do it. She is more than glad to do so. Hikigaya needs to narrow down the places to search for Sagami and calls Zaimokuza for suggestions. He finally finds her in one of the suggested place, the rooftop. She seems pretty frustrated and putting up a tantrum of not wanting to do her job. That’s when Hayato and Sagami’s friends enter the scene. They asked around and heard from somebody who saw Hikigaya went up here. Hayato’s friendliness and kindness to request Sagami to come back seem to be working. It’s like she’s totally changed. Is it because of him? But Hikigaya decides to do things his own way and plays the villain again. He tells Sagami off that she is doing it for the attention and just wanted somebody to tell her she is not doing a horrible job. She wanted to be like Yukino, acknowledged and relied upon and that’s why she jumped in to take the chairwoman title so that she wanted to watch someone else work and boss them around to feel superior. That’s what she meant about her personal growth. He pours further salt to her injuries when he says he doesn’t give a damn about her but is the first one to find her. This means nobody was looking for her in the first place and it shows her worth. Hayato roughs Hikigaya up to tell him to shut up. Sagami is consoled by her friends and brought back. Hayato wonders why Hikigaya can’t do things differently.

The makeshift K-ON! band has just finished their performance. Sagami closes the ceremony but she fumbles due to her nervousness. At the end of the festival, Hikigaya’s ‘heroism’ has spread throughout school and he becomes the school’s most hated man. Hiratsuka notes his amazing ideas but just can’t find the words to praise him for it. All she can say is that saving someone is not an excuse to hurt himself. Even if he denies this, she points out that there are people whose heart breaks each time they see him hurting himself. Hikigaya returns to the clubroom and finds Yukino alone. They aren’t joining the after festival party. After Hikigaya’s new reputation, you think he is welcomed? I’m not sure if Hikigaya is putting up a brave front saying he likes this kind of fame too. Yukino says they think similarly but he disagrees. They’re completely different. Maybe that’s why he feels their conversation is always refreshing. Before he gets a chance to finish asking if they could be friends, she rejects him. She told him before it is impossible for them to be friends and is not lying. He notes she can lie all the time like what he does. Yukino knows she wasn’t lying because she didn’t know him well. Now she does. Yui comes in to invite them to the after festival party but each give their excuses that they had to complete their work. Yui is more than happy to wait for them to finish.

Episode 13
Service Club seems to have a request made on their website. Somebody is seeking for advice and ideas how to make the sports festival a blast. That somebody turns out to be Meguri as she enters the clubroom. Because nobody replied her, she figured out of visiting the club directly. After seeing how successful the cultural festival was, she thought of doing the same for the sports festival. Since she has hard time remembering names, she is excited when she manages to remember Hikigaya’s (after not-so-nice comments from Yukino and accidental ones from Yui). She is quite close to him that it makes Yui jealous. So Meguri brings the trio to the committee to give some ideas. Each time someone comes up with some event, somebody shoots it down. Trying to play safe? I mean, the reason why they can’t hold a bread eating competition is because they might stoke the wrath of those who love rice. WTF?! So the ideas get more and more silly that they didn’t make any progress. Thus Hikigaya suggests that they get their ideas from somebody outside the committee. What was he thinking when he roped in Zaimokuza and Ebina? Passionate as they are, it seems their ideas went through. How come I feel worried? On sports day, Meguri is excited and thanks them because it is going to be so much fun. She is on the same red team with Yui, Yukino, Hikigaya, Zaimokuza and Saika. Every other supporting character you know is on the other white team. Zaimokuza’s idea is a slightly twisted cavalry version. The female generals are dressed as modified Saber of Fate/Stay Night. Why? Because he likes it! I wonder if they can move in that armour. Anyway red team wins it with Yukino being skilled in taking those headbands.

As for Ebina’s idea, it is some bringing down the pole thingy. I’m not sure about the mechanics but in order to prevent the other team from bringing down your home pole, you must stop the other players from advancing. This means boys piling on top of each other, right? See where this is going? Hikigaya hatches a plan by making Saika the team leader. See the guys getting charmed by his feminine looks? Man, this is ‘dangerous’. And then, he has Zaimokuza rally those without motivation with his whatever-the-hell-he-is-passionately-ranting speech. As the game starts with both sides trying to prevent the other from reaching enemy home base, Ebina gets all lively in commenting her favourite stuff. As part of the plan, Zaimokuza starts getting dramatic and this distracts the white team. They’re thinking what the hell this mad guy is doing. This allows Hikigaya to easily waltz over to the enemy’s base because after years of being an experienced loner, he has somewhat developed this kind of ‘stealth’. However, Hayato has been watching him and stands in his way. He orders some of his underlings to hold Hikigaya back and knows about his decoy plan. But Hayato is left surprised when Hikigaya gives the signal to Zaimokuza. He rushes towards to pole and pushes it down to win it for his team. Hikigaya was just a decoy for a decoy. Geddit? Saika is so happy that he hugs Hikigaya. I think that is the climax for Ebina. However at the end of the day, the red team got disqualified because Hikigaya used a bandage to camouflage his red headband as a white one. He thought nobody would see but in fact, everybody saw it clearly! So much about his stealth. So as our Service Club members look forward to next year, Hikigaya had to pour cold water suggesting they might not be even on the same team. Yukino thinks it is better that way since it will be interesting if they become enemies. Hikigaya ends with his typical narration that the day after the festival is just like any other ordinary day. There are things you can’t do over in life and whether you like it or not, life goes on.

OVA
Hikigaya narrates his negativity on marriage. It’s like death, right? Till Komachi makes tomatoes for him, he starts complaining and she comments he’ll never get married this way. But having a little sister is as good as being married? At the Service Club, Hiratsuka announces they will be helping out in some ways for a bridal magazine. The local government, bridal shops and hotels are banding together to make marriage look more appealing to youngsters but seriously, why does the Service Club have to get involved? No straight answers from Hiratsuka. Because she’s an inexperienced single? Marriage virgin, if I should say. I guess the rest have to give in seeing she’s going to break down further if they continue questioning her. Hikigaya suggests writing fake articles but even so that will take time and effort. Since Hikigaya or Yukino cannot come up with ‘normal’ ideas, they have Yui the normal one give her suggestions. Well, not good. How can everyone? Nobody got married at this age. It is decided that they will conduct a questionnaire and limit it to their class since the deadline is very close. Just by reading the ‘honest’ comments, you can tell who they are. Guess who is concerned about the Hayato x Hikigaya pairing in marriage? Uh huh. Yukino suggests next to get a teen who went through similar experience. That person also is also an expert in performing a thankless job of taking care of a useless deadweight. Hikigaya would really love to meet and get to know this girl. Turns out to be Komachi. Disappointed?

From Komachi’s point of view, she suggests to increase wife points. Huh? What’s that? To sum it up, she’s going to have the girls undergo some bridal crash course. First, cooking. Yui’s hamburger turns out to be some deadly blob. Zaimokuza hits instant death upon putting it in his mouth. Hikigaya doesn’t have to do it because he is so bent in protecting Saika’s smile, he swallows everything! Not because he doesn’t want to hurt Yui. Yukino and Hiratsuka’s cooking are simply delicious. Next is a quiz but Hikigaya is taking part too since he plans to be a house husband. For each question Komachi throws, everyone answers based on their personality (‘best’ answers go to Hikigaya), which is totally off mark to what Komachi has in her answer. Either realistic or naive. Lastly, the girls have to dress up in a bridal gown. The surprise package, Hiratsuka looks stunning in one! It’s like she’s a different person! Komachi is about to announce the results that everyone failed miserably and she herself as the winner. But because Hiratsuka is giving her deathly stares, she chickens out proclaims Hiratsuka as the winner. It ends with everyone having a group photo. Ah, this is what a harem should look like. The main guy marrying his sister, his friends and his teacher. Just so sad Hikigaya is disappointed since he didn’t get to see Saika in a wedding dress…  Back home, Hikigaya starts working on the article as fast as his can since the deadline is looming and has been given a warning by Yukino. He comments no amount of preparation could prepare one from the unforeseen grief in marriage. But everyone has a right to be happy. To prepare for such, one must work for the best possible outcome. Wow. He sounds like a marriage expert. In conclusion, all ladies must stake their claims on all promising future house husbands out there waiting for them. I guess he is trying to advertise himself.

When Life Gives You Lemons…
Seriously. I admit. I had a hard time trying to enjoy this anime. I know I said the psychological comments are the interesting aspects of this series but there is only so much this factor can play in contributing to my enjoyment of this series. Maybe it is because of that expectation of wondering where-the-heck-is-my-love-comedy-slapstick riding at the back of my head and hoping somewhere in the series there will be this super twist in the pace. I’m even amazed of how I even come up with that kind of hope. By the end of the first episode, something tells me that this is going to be what the series is about. The kind of characters, pacing, plot, development… Everything else. And true enough right till the very end this is pretty much how this show is about. A couple of loners in a club using their own perceptive and suggestions to help out what is requested.

Hikigaya’s psychological analysis are amusing and interesting, sometimes amounting to hilarious the way he puts them. Because most of his comments have this negative outlook and sounding to them, sometimes they sound more like sarcasm. It reminds me of that Kyousuke character from Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai (coincidence this anime had a long title too?). Come to think about it, don’t they look suspiciously similar too?! The hairstyle and that big frown on their face that says “I wish I wasn’t here”. Even the way they talk and the way they rebuke are somewhat quite similar. Yeah, they have sisters too although their personalities are poles apart.

Though sometimes it was hard for me to understand Hikigaya’s analysis, each one of them is nevertheless interesting to hear and note. It makes you go “Aha!” or at least ponder the point he brings up about how society works. It certainly grabs your attention (at least for me) and somewhat refreshing to hear them as they are from a different point of view, especially if you could consider Hikigaya’s approach to it as pragmatic. I think it is. If you think about it, it is not the fact if he is wrong or right but how close and true it is. Sometimes thinking further over it can be just scary at how society works. This guy should take up a psychology major and become a psychologist. Well, it might be hard if he still carries on his negative outlook. Also to note in Hikigaya and Yukino’s comments are the choice of words they use. Sometimes it makes what they say have an impact or it just makes you wonder. Like how Yukino didn’t eventually consider Hikigaya as her friend, but as an acquaintance. Is there a big difference? Well maybe to linguist but to a normal guy like me, they’re about the same, right? Unless I didn’t know something about friends not being ranked as close as acquaintance. Maybe just like “-san” and “-sama”.

It is also amusing to hear the way Yukino analyses and comments especially most of them are somewhat indirect jabbing towards Hikigaya. It’s like she has a knack and talent for running him down since she is quite ‘skilled’ in doing so ever since the day they first met. It’s like as though it is her destiny. If this was really a funny series, the duo would definitely make a good manzai comedy combination. If not, I feel they can actually go on with this pattern for a long time: Hikigaya makes a statement. Yukino gives her thoughts and sometimes doubles it as some sort of ridicule aimed at him. Hikigaya retorts. See the pattern? From the looks of it, with the very different ideologies and experience they have, I’m sure this process can go on forever repeating itself. If that happens, I don’t know it will be interesting or boring and thus harder to comprehend anymore.

Speaking of the characters themselves, there isn’t much to focus on but sometimes it leaves you wondering if there is more to it. Certainly Hikigaya and Yukino didn’t change much during the duration of this show. Still the same loners but brought together under circumstances. It’s hard for me to say that despite they’ve got each other’s company, it feels like they are still alone. There is an invisible wall between them even though they are just sitting right across each other in the clubroom. You can say that their interaction is like company to each other but to me, they’re there just because they had nothing else better to do. So in the end, did they really improve on their character or did they just realize even more how a pain society could be? Of course there is Yui to liven things up but the duo are still like how they were and it pretty much doesn’t change things. It feels like her existence was probably to break the tension because you know how bad it can get if 2 loners carry on such exchange throughout the series. Hikigaya thinks nobody cares about him or looks at him but as we see that many of the characters like Yui, Saika, Hayato, Haruno and his sister Komachi do make a decent amount of interaction with him. That’s quite the attention for a nobody, no? Despite Yukino’s holier-than-thou attitude and twisted sense of responsibility, though it caused lots of misunderstandings and made enemies, there are some like the cast of characters who are able to tolerate it. It shows that they accept her for who she is. Can you imagine Yukino or Hikigaya without that attitude of theirs? Strange, no?

I know some of the characters have their past but the way it was illustrated here makes it as though there isn’t any impact on anything. At least for this season. Like when Yukino’s limo almost ran over Yui’s dog and caused Hikigaya to save it and ultimately his hospitalization and loner awakening character, maybe it is such fate that brought the trio together. So Yui being nice to him and all was just out of guilt. And when he didn’t want her to be indebted in such a way, was it really the end of it after her birthday? It was like they got over this little incident in the past and in subsequent episodes, it doesn’t feel like there is such a ‘scar’ anymore. It is mentioned that Hayato and Yukino’s family shared some sort of connection. So? Any implications as far as the plot or development are concerned? Maybe that is why this popular guy always seen trying to help them out. I don’t know if I could say if opposite attracts. He too has his own past guilt and maybe he wants to atone it in some way. His ideal and approach differ very much from Hikigaya to the point that one might compare them with Hayato the angel and Hikigaya the devil based on their actions and words. So you want sugary words or the harsh facts? But I truly believe Hayato is a nice and kind person. He is sincere in helping out but maybe he just lacks the resolve to do them compared to Hikigaya because this guy has after all been there, done that and is not afraid to lose. He’s got no reputation, right?

Say, after that Sagami’s case, he became the most hated guy in school, right? How ironic for the hero to play the villain just to distract everyone’s attention from her failure. Then in the final episode, it doesn’t feel like that. I’m just speculation but well, at least it’s good that the students here do not keep a grudge. And what happened to Sagami after that festival chairwoman duty flop? Maybe she went back to her unnoticeable life. Do we really want to know? Same feels for Saki. I thought she’d appear more often after her case was solved in the same episode. But she was reduced to a mere side character, appearing on and off so as not to forget she still exists. Yumiko too. Come to think of it, ironically Hikigaya as a loner that no one notices or cares about, he is the protagonist of this show. Then there is Zaimokuza who is still passionate in his chuunibyou. Ebina’s true colours totally flaunting all the way whenever she gets the chance with her must-gay personality. I guess any kind of guy would do because during the sports festival’s pole event, I figure many of the guys aren’t as handsome or a quarter as good looking as Hayato and yet she gets stimulated seeing males being pressed against each other. So would old men do for her too? I don’t want to even think about it.

Hiratsuka could have been as quirky if not quirkier than our protagonists if you get to know her more. Maybe odd people flock together. Now that we know her taboo topics include her age and single status, make sure they don’t leave your mouth or else you’ll get what’s coming or see her go into depression mode. Not the best model teacher around but she does show her caring side especially the advices she gives to Hikigaya after the actions he take to solve a request. I don’t know if Haruno really finds Hikigaya’s suggestions amusing or not because she laughs her ass off at first but something in the way she comments them to him afterwards makes it feel like as though she is not really amused with his sh*t and there is sarcasm in her tone. Sometimes too, the things she says make her sound like she has an ulterior motive but so far so good. Maybe it’s just me. Is she really serious in making Hikigaya and Yukino a pair or is just one of her whims?

At times I feel Saika’s presence in the anime is just for that little running gag for Hikigaya to comment on his almost awakening trap fetish. I think every guy in school would too. That kid looks and acts so girly that it is no doubt is sending the wrong signals to Hikigaya. And he knows it too (I suppose he is taking it the wrong way too as a joke). The way he starts fantasizing all those sparkly sparkles and lovely frame roses around him, if that aren’t signs of him moving towards the trap direction, I don’t know what to make of then. That’s why I think if there are no other side distractions, Hikigaya could easily (and gladly) fall for this trap. Just listen to the comments he makes after their conversation or interaction. Then in this case I think this would become the love comedy that went wrong. On second thought, I don’t think I want to see this trap or yaoi thingy. Funny as it may be, it’s not my cup of tea.

Something trivial that has been bugging me. Hikigaya, Yukino and Yui pose for the mid-intermission and the thing that ‘annoyed’ me was how the trio put on their big frown. Well, at least it is quite obvious. I would understand that Hikigaya and Yukino’s frown would stem from their behaviour but Yui too? Yui not smiling? What is she mad at? Well, at least it proves that the ladies look prettier if they smile. That goes for Yukino too. I can’t say the same for Hikigaya too because he would just look creepy as seen in some of the scenes throughout the series. Really. It’s like he is really forcing the smile and doesn’t look natural. Really, believe me. Another trivial thing I notice is that many of the characters have their first name repeated in their surname. Yui Yuigahama, Yukino Yukinoshita, Saki Kawasaki, Meguri Shiromeguri, Rumi Tsurumi. If not something that closely rhymes like Hina Ebina or Shizuka Hiratsuka or alliterations such as Hachiman Hikigaya and Hayato Hayama. Is this some sort of inside joke? Are they trying to hint something? Also, I noticed that after some sort of event or request complete, a new sticker is seen pasted on the clubroom’s door sign. I wonder where they’ll stick once it runs out of space.

The casting seems pretty decent and depicts the characters as they are. Takuya Eguchi did well in making Hikigaya sound like lethargic and uninterested when he starts commenting. Like as though it’s not that he wants to analyse but is forced to. It’s a little different from the livelier roles he played such as Kon in Ixion Saga DT and Yoshiharu from Oda Nobuna No Yabou. That deadpan voice of Saori Hayami perfectly fits the personality of Yukino. There is that distinct uniqueness in her voice (sometimes I think of her as Mamiko Noto’s clone) that makes some of her characters sound, uhm, deadpan. Like Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono, Azuki in Bakuman, Leviathan in Zettai Bouei Leviathan. Nao Touyama as Yui, I thought she sounded so much like Chiho from Hataraku Maou-sama. There is this similarity in their liveliness. Other casts include Takashi Kondo as Hayato (Train in Black Cat), Ryoka Yuzuki as Hiratsuka (Tokiko in Busou Renkin), Mikako Komatsu as Saika (Marika in Mouretsu Pirates), Mai Nakahara as Haruno (Mai in Mai-HiME), Marina Inoue as Yumiko (Kana in Minami-ke), Minako Kotobuki as Sagami (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Aoi Yuuki as Komachi (Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica), Ami Koshimizu as Saki (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Nozomi Sasaki as Ebina (Nanami in Bokura Ga Ita), Azumi Asakura as Meguri (Asia in High School DxD), Nobuyuki Hayama as Zaimokuza (Ikkaku in Bleach) and Sumire Morohoshi as Rumi (Seira in GJ-Bu). The opening theme is Yukitoki by Nagi Yanagi and I find it not as appealing as the ending theme, Hello Alone, a duet by Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama. There is slow ballad version of Hello Alone featuring only Nao Touyama but I prefer the faster rock pop version. I wonder if the ending credits animation is some sort of yuri fanservice of Yukino and Yui.

As you have probably guessed, the series tries to touch and address several social problems such as peer pressure, victimizing and group bullying. Though it doesn’t go deep into the main problem, it gives us an idea of how bad it could affect people. Both the victim and the perpetrator. If it is not stemmed early, the future generation’s society will have to deal with difficult and hard to reverse social ills and problems. Or you can turn into someone like Hikigaya or Yukino. At least they didn’t become delinquents or psychopaths. Just ‘hardened’. While Hikigaya’s methods of reverse psychology are not encouraged since it doesn’t guarantee it would work (thankfully it went well in this anime), at least he tried to do something rather than closing an eye and letting it slide. Or maybe does it because he had to since he was tasked to do so. Either way, it is much better than just not doing anything. That’s the funny thing about humans and society. It’s either eat or be eaten. Power corrupts and more so when you have the numbers on your side.

Sadly with so much turmoil in the world, you wonder if there is going to be hope for society and the future generations to come. Would the world be a better place if we had more Hikigaya or Yukino around? Well, without society, I think they’ve even lost a meaning to exist. They do so and act the way they are because of what society is now, right? If everybody was a loner, there won’t be society to begin with. Lethargic. That’s what I feel now despite should have been enlightened by a lesson or two from a fellow loner. I suppose just like society, it’s hard for a person to change drastically unless something awfully drastic happens. If you don’t change, do you expect society to change? Maybe the world should have more of Yui and Hayato instead. Happy, cheerful, kind, helpful and good looking. Yeah. Dream on. Definitely don’t want the world to have more of Saika or Ebina. It would be a very screwed up world then. Not just love comedy went wrong. A love comedy disaster in the making and heading for collision course with tragedy!

Yuyushiki

October 26, 2013

Whenever there is an anime that lacks any plot in the storyline, the best bet in making it interesting has got to be the characters, right? Well, I thought this was what Yuyushiki is going to be since the synopsis even went something about how the protagonist girls of this series try to make their daily lives interesting even in the most mundane of events. That says a lot and yet nothing much about what this anime is about, right? And so, with one of my shortest (if not the shortest) anime series blog introduction, here we go if this moe slice of life comedy will sink or swim.

Episode 1
Yui Ichii feels embarrassed when she dresses into her high school uniform. Yuzuko Nonohara waits for Yui and plans how to tease her but a cat distracts her and is forced to maintain eye contact for fear it might run away. What happens if you sneeze… Yukari Hinata feels sleepy but she stumbles and bangs the wall. I guess it woke her up. The trio meet on their first day in high school and are glad to find themselves in the same class. After the entrance ceremony, they see a club recruitment poster by the Data Processing Club in which currently has zero members. At the bookstore, Yuzuko and Yukari interrupt Yui so she lost count of her sales tax calculation. When they leave, Yuzuko seems to have triggered the sensor. Did she steal something? She’s panicking. The bookstore employee asks if she has any tangled cords and it seems the cords wrapping her iPod is indeed causing the sensor to beep. While they stop to have dango, Yuzuko suddenly wants Yui to kiss her. If not, fondle her boobs! What could be worse than that? Licking the foodstuff off her face. Didn’t they realize many are watching them? Who knows how many are yuri lovers. Yuzuko and Hinata jab Yui’s ribs and since they won’t stop, Yui threatens to break Yuzuko’s little finger! But they didn’t learn their lesson since the duo continue to play with Yui’s hair, making her feel embarrassed. Back in class, the next lesson is English and they know who their teacher is: Yoriko Matsumoto. She is a person whom they call Okaasan (Mom). As an English teacher, she asks her class if they have any favourite English words. Sure they have but they sound so American.

The trio later see Okaasan outside a clubroom in which is the Data Processing Club. Noting they are interested to take a peek, she hands them the key. The room is small but cosy. They make use of the computers in the room. Yuzuko mentions her S&M test results makes her an ‘S’. So? She wants to hit Yui!!! Can she?! Why is she breathing so hard?! She thinks Yui is an ‘M’ and true enough, her test result pops out so. Now Yukari wants to hit her too! Unfortunately the twin terror got hit instead. The test is all bull… Who is the sadistic one? The girls search for topics on the sun. Learning that 99.8% of the solar system’s matters are from the sun and the balance from Jupiter, Yuzuko and Yukari imagine their body as the sun, the mole would be the sunspot and the little finger as Jupiter. What about Earth? A strand of hair? Yuzuko accidentally plucks it out and loses it. The duo panic that it is the end of the world! How did this even get side-tracked? On the topic of the sun’s distance to Earth, Yuzuko is worried if their house is that far from school. How will they commute? Why not just change school? Finding out a period in the 17th century when it got cold due to sunspots dying out, Yuzuko thinks Maunder Minimum phenomenon sounds like a freezing finishing death move. At the end when it is time to leave (because Yukari’s tummy is growling), Yuzuko writes on the board of today’s club activities’ summary. “The sun is amazing. Incredible too. Maunder Minimum. “Death to the enemy”. Whatever. Yuzuko trips on a loose brick and loses her balance. This causes Yui to snicker at her and so embarrassed she is that she couldn’t talk properly.

Episode 2
The trio make a joke and laugh so hard. They even got hooked on the phrase “Just kidding just slipped out” that they even started singing to it. Infectious, isn’t it? In the clubroom, Yuzuko brings up the topic about boobs. She distracts Yui so she could grope hers. This of course seals her death fate as Yui is going to punch her. Too late to regret but still she tries to tell her that the puncher too will feel pain if she punches. So how? Yui uses Yuzuko’s own fist to punch her own face! Double the pain! Still on the topic of boobs, Yuzuko and Yukari feel like wanting to grope Okaasan’s boobs. Yui warns them if they want to do it on Okaasan is fine but not to Chiho Aikawa. Because she seems to have a hard time when they’re around (we know why). Every time Yui talks to her, she quickly takes her leave when the duo gets into the picture. Yeah. I think she’s afraid they’ll do something to her. Seriously. Those two in shock? Okaasan comes to check on them so the cheeky duo surround her to try and grope her boobs but couldn’t because they feel embarrass. Okaasan gives them hope that their boobs will grow because hers did when she was at their age. But what she didn’t say is that her boobs weren’t as small as theirs then. The trio look up the internet about dogs and find some with weirdly long names. This leads them to find the Russian dog named Zvyzdochka that was sent to space. Quick, say that name 3 times fast! Yukari blunders… But she sounds so cute. On their way out, they see Aikawa coming from the opposite direction. Yuzuko and Yukari hide and want Yui to talk to her. But it’s like Aikawa knew what is coming and excuses herself. Yuzuko and Yukari chase after her and think of fondling her boobs. Weren’t they warned?

Yukari shows them a sketch of a cute creature but the rest think it looks hideous. When Yuzuko makes some adjustments to it and Yui laughing her head off, Yukari became jealous and continues drawing that creature on the board and not heeding to their discovery of something amazing on the internet. But she can’t sulk forever and gets dragged back when they proclaim how much they love her. Okaasan comes in to check on them and because there are only 2 computers, the trio have a hard time using it together. Okaasan has another computer back home but it sounds like she doesn’t intend to give it back. As for regular supervision, Okaasan trusts them that they won’t do anything suspicious and thus no need for such. But when Yukari and Yuzuko put up that cheeky snicker, maybe she needs to rethink again. Summer is her and the heat must have gone to the girls’ head. Yeah. Yuzuko is clinging on to Yui like a pervert. She thought Yukari could help her out but she too becomes a pervert snapping a picture and turning into one. If they don’t get off, they’ll feel her death blow. Better calm down if you want to live longer. Yuzuko decides to go get some ice cream from the convenience store. But the heat must be so intense that she got distracted by a cat and followed it. Eventually she comes back with the ice cream but puts it in a refrigerator in the infirmary and labelled it clearly as highly toxic! After the refreshing ice cream, Yui discovers Japan have their own ice cream organization. The duo want to join but feels they have to eat ice cream for 365 days. That’s sickening, right? They also find out strange names given to ice cream in certain countries on certain condition. Yuzuko and Yukari try to say Mellorine and Dondurma in cute and dramatic ways. At the end of the day when the girls leave to get ice cream, Yuzuko writes the summary on the board as usual. Okaasan sees it and adds he own doodles onto it.

Episode 3
Yuzuko and Yukari are so hyped that summer vacation is here. But the summer heat zapped all their energy away. Not so energetic now, eh? While the friends are at the pool, suddenly Yukari wonders what water is. WTF is that question?! It even spreads to Yuzuko. Yuzuko did a prank by pushing Yukari into the water and because it was just mean, she slapped herself! Yuzuko and Yukari make their way to Yui’s house. They treat her room like theirs. Yuzuko thinks the world is packed with some sort of energy now but Yukari believes air conditioning cancels out summer power. Yuzuko wants to know if feigned psychic power or air conditioned room is more important. Yui has another suggestion: Go home! On another day, Yuzuko suddenly texts Yui that they will be coming to sleep over. Better hurry up and clean your room. First thing the duo did was to lock Yui out of her room and rummage through her closet. Of course they were just teasing her but when they hear the banging on the door stop, they wonder if they had made her mad. They peep open the door and suddenly Yuzuko finds her neck locked within Yui’s arms. She knows death is coming… Somehow only Yuzuko bore the punishment. The duo are disheartened that Yui doesn’t sleep in her pyjamas and she already has taken a bath prior to their arrival. I suppose they can’t unleash their whatever pranks they had in mind. They try to convince her she stinks but she is not falling for their mind games. Yui hits back by telling a ghost story instead. When it’s time to sleep, the duo want to sleep on her bed. I don’t know how Yui managed to make them sleep on the futon on the floor. Yui can guess the duo are up to no good because they’re not sleepy at all. She can tell they are creeping up into her bed and whacks them out before anything untoward could happen.

Yukari talks to Yui about Yuzuko how she would shout whatever things pop up in her head. Speaking of her, here she comes. Wearing snorkel? And then she starts throwing tantrum and goes into a fit. She’s dying? Say some last words to her? Well, Yui had only silence for her. Yukari felt guilty for spilling the beans to Yui so she starts acting weird like Yuzuko. Yuzuko wanted to give Yui the snorkel to wear. I don’t think she will after she just licked it like a pervert! Yuzuko goes out to the book store for a while. Aikawa spies on her and notes the book of her favourite author is reading but feels terrible for stalking. When Yukari is away for a family holiday in the tropical islands, she sends pictures back. Her friends couldn’t wonder how come there is a bug in each photo. On purpose? When she comes back, Yukari has worked up a tan. Not that she forgot putting sun lotion, she couldn’t be bothered! Asking her about the bugs, suddenly she becomes afraid that they are poisonous and will die. The duo have a hard time convincing her she won’t but went overboard that she is the strongest. Yukari may have gotten the wrong idea that she is the strongest… In town. Yuzuko chops Yui’s neck so she is being told off not to do something that dangerous. Since Yuzuko doesn’t look like she’s reflecting on it, Yui won’t talk to her. I think she is more irritating trying to convey what she wants to say through her noisy actions. Yuzuko snaps a shot of the 3 of them and sends it to Aikawa. At least it’s not an embarrassing picture of Yui. Wait. She had such pictures? Delete them now!

Episode 4
During the entrance ceremony, Aikawa sat next to Yui. She felt she’s a nice girl and wanted to get to know her and her friends more. Aikawa receives a picture of Yui’s top falling off!!! How will she reply to that?! It seems Yukari is poor in recognizing faces. She can’t even recognize Yuzuko wearing glasses! So why is she wearing them? She doesn’t wear them often because she doesn’t want to look smart. Yeah. Yui notes she is smart. Just that her ideas are dumb. Yuzuko feels she is brimming with motivation and lets out some motivation beam. Unfortunately this causes her to lose motivation so her friends try to say words that bring them back. All food? Yui finds out that Yuzuko and Aikawa have grown closer together and are now considered book store friends. Okaasan seems worried that many of the students are calling her that now. Yuzuko says it’s because her traits of caring like a mother that stands out. Along with Yukari, they try to convince her to accept it and there is nothing she can do about it. Not only that, Yuzuko asks if she could be her mom since she doesn’t have one. Serious? Okaasan is lost for words and Yui knows this is their ploy just to tease and confuse her with that adolescent and aging thingy. She whacks her friends and makes them apologize for the confusion. By the way, all their parents are alive and well. When Okaasan leaves, more of her students greet her with this name and she seems to have gotten the hang of it. The Data Processing Club girls decide to research on whales. There is so much they don’t know and each time Yui reads an interesting fact, the duo just become dumbfound thinking whether it is really an Earth creature. It is, I assure you.

While walking back, Yuzuko stretches so a pigeon lands on her fist. She tries hard not to move and scare it away but I’m not sure what position is she trying to make. Eventually it flew away. Because Yui has been reading an interesting book right up till morning, she is sleepy in class. I guess this leaves an opportunity for her friends to tease her how much a fool she has become if she’s sleepy. They continue to joke around while Yui is just holding out period after period. I don’t think she is going to try to think what they are saying. Just one more period of class left before lunch and Yui is on the verge of losing her ‘sanity’. So much so when Yuzuko requests to touch her boobs, Yui allows it as long as it is in a room! Then she laughs like a mad woman! When Aikawa comes by to see what is happening, Yui pushes her friends into her and laughs like a prankster! Is this the Yui we know?! Eventually they bring her to the infirmary where she falls fast asleep. Of course, Yuzuko and Yukari won’t let this chance slip and take multiple pictures of her sleeping face and encourage Aikawa too. I think she really wanted to do that in the first place. And so, Aikawa becomes a happy girl since she is able to take a picture of sleeping Yui by herself. Yui wakes up when school has ended. She feels lonely now that everyone has left. But she is relieved when her friends come in to pick her up. Even though they are idiots, they are good friends, right? Till she realizes she fell into one of their tricks again when they claim they took off her panties while she was sleeping. Don’t worry, she’s still wearing it. At least she’s fully awake now.

Episode 5
Yuzuko wants them to move on turn-based. This means only one can move and the rest can’t. Yui wants to go first and reaches a pair of scissors in her bag! Her friends are suspicious she has ulterior motive but Yui says if they try to do something funny, she’ll hit them in her next move! Smart move. Game over. The girls break for lunch and Yuzuko loves her sandwich. Yukari remembers Yui once loved her but Yui explains that was just admiration. When they first met in elementary school, Yui had this impression Yukari is a princess since she comes from a rich family. One day, Yukari wanted to share her foreign candies but tripped and spilled them. Yui shared hers and since that day, Yukari became her friend and took a liking for her. However Yui didn’t like Yukari coming to her house because her words and actions seemed embarrassing. Yuzuko feels left out and wants a past story like them so Yukari whispers something into her ear and made Yuzuko wanting to see Yui cry like a child! When it is time to return to class, Yukari and Yuzuko fool around and waste time. Yukari slightly twists her ankle so Yui holds her hand and brings her to the infirmary. Seeing this, Yuzuko curses her luck that she should have twisted hers. One night, Yuzuko calls Yui just to play shiritori. Instant hung up. She calls again but is met with a sarcastic fate and answer. So she texts Yukari to comfort and play with her. Since she is in the bathroom, there is no reply.

In class, Yukari says how she found her nose bleeding for 2 hours after bath but because she was so scared to ask for help that they would tell her something scary, she went to bed and prayed it would stop and that she would live tomorrow. Well, congratulations. Yukari will try her best not to die. I wonder how this sounds to the passing people. Yuzuko wonders what they will do if she suddenly dies. Yui cannot believe Yuzuko will die so easily because she is tough. However Yuzuko asserts she can die if hit very hard and is confident in saying that. Then Yuzuko asks what Yui does on lonely nights. Yukari assures she can call her any time if she needs company. Some of the classmates may have a wrong idea about their relationship. Yui smacks her and this reminds Yukari about last night’s shiritori. So when she continues it, the rest had no idea and Yui thinks she smacked her too hard. Yukari thinks it will be cool if she had amnesia. No, not because something bad happened to her or her idiocy has progressed. She watched this amazing suspense movie whereby the twist was great. She hoped she had amnesia so she can watch it again. The rest think she’ll forget it soon. Heck, she can’t even give a good summary of what the show is about. Yuzuko wants to try something to induce amnesia but cheeky Yui is glad she volunteered herself. Now to find a stick… Yukari requests Yui to pet her head to induce some happiness thingy. But it turns her and Yuzuko into some pervert wanting more from Yui. See their drooling faces? As they talk about death and how living dies will end up dying one day, Yuzuko excuses herself to the toilet like as though it is some sort of death. But Yui won’t let her go because she doesn’t want her to die! She just dug her own grave… Eventually she manages to answer nature’s call and she remembers continuing Yukari’s shiritori game. Still playing that? Going home, the girls realize they have been talking nothing but death so they make a promise that they won’t die before the other. That’s like living forever, right?

Episode 6
Yuzuko wonders if it’s morning. Because it’s too damn cold to get up. On the way to school, Yuzuko puts her cold hands on Yui’s cheeks. Chilly surprise! Now prepare elbow lock death! In class, Yui is able to avoid Yukari’s similar trick. Outside the classroom, Yuzuko talk about potatoes and makes a joke about it. Surprisingly Yui cannot contain her laughter! I think she’s about to lose it. Aikawa thinks Yui is undergoing some sort of fit! In the clubroom, the girls research on the origins of the names of the days in a week. When they leave and bump into Okaasan, Yuzuko suddenly wants her to give her fire. Had a little shock there, did she? Actually what she wanted was a portable stove so they can cook nabe. But can they do so in the clubroom? No way. Yuzuko lies there is a red spider on her shoulder. Okaasan stiffens up, wanting the girls to get rid of it. Yuzuko will do so if she allows the nabe but as a good teacher she can’t do that. I guess Yui has stayed silent long enough and whacks Yuzuko. She apologizes for her prank but still won’t give up on the nabe. Okaasan will invite them to her house to have one. The girls are being treated to a sumptuous nabe meal at Okaasan’s home. They try to describe how delicious it is by comparing it to other dishes but don’t make sense. They ask Okaasan about her different dressing at school and at home so they want to see her closet. No way. Yuzuko bugs Yui to convince her to let them see but I don’t think she is budging. Unless they can do 5 pages of homework for winter, in which the lazy bums obviously can’t.

Back in school, Yuzuko talks about wearing shining pyjamas. It leads to shining underwear and shining future. Yui rebuffs them all like a pro. Kei Okano has overheard them and somewhat praises Yui of how fast she was. She asks them what they are doing for Christmas and it seems they will be sleeping over at Yui’s place. I guess that’s good because Okano has this death stare in her eyes that says “Don’t you dare take away my Aikawa for Christmas you crazy b*tches!”. Since their plans didn’t clash, Okano is cool with it. When it snows for the first time, Yui remembers when she was young she used to get this ideas that snowflakes contained memories of dead animals. Then Yuzuko points out a snowflake that contains the soul of a kisser just absorbed into her. She starts trying to kiss Yui like a pervert!!! To fend her off, Yukari says the soul of an unknown creature entered her. Yuzuko becomes polite. What kind of creature is that? Later Yuzuko reveals that soul was God and to pray to her hard for more snow. Yui wants money. Then it stopped snowing. The duo persist Yuzuko the God to continue snowing. So are they fine giving up money? Yui wants both! In no time it starts snowing again so they really think Yui is God. But she apologizes she isn’t. We know. I don’t know if this is real or not because God is descending onto Earth disguised as a snowflake. Whoever He touches will receive a miracle. He misses Yukari by an inch. Good thing? It’s getting so cold that the girls want to think of summer to warm themselves up. But too cold that they couldn’t think of anything.

Episode 7
As Yui waits to pick up Yuzuko, the latter creeps up and stabs her in the forehead with a toy arrow! Deserves to be hit! Yui takes revenge by poking her butt! I don’t know if she likes it since she thinks she is getting very flirty. Yuzuko falls asleep in Yui’s house. Apparently Yukari is away with her family on New Year’s Day. Yui feels bad that Yuzuko is apologizing to her in her dreams. Does she often get mad in her dreams? She resolves to get less mad this year. I doubt that will come true. Yui lets Yuzuko smell natto to wake up. She thought she smelled some lowland gorilla. When Yukari returns, Yui picks her up this time. I think she is close to having Yui withdrawal symptoms and wants to smell her badly since she was away for 3 days. Yukari also falls asleep at Yui’s place. So when Yui wakes her up via natto, Yukari thinks she smelled a mountain gorilla. Idiots’ mind in sync? At least it’s a different species. On another day when all 3 of them are together, Yuzuko asks if anyone gained weight during New Year’s Day. She always says things that riles up Yui, no? When Yui teases Yukari a bit, she got embarrassed and lightly hit her. Yuzuko also joins in the hitting. It might feel ticklish but it’s getting annoying so Yui threatens to poke their eyes! She’s getting ready to do it with that finger pose! The duo escape outside to write a note to not kill them. Later the trio take a walk outside to get some warm buns to eat. They discuss what to do next for the rest of their winter break. Yuzuko wants to drive a car but has no licence. Just keep dreaming…

In class, Yuzuko and Yukari’s chaotic conversation has Yui in stitches. They talk about feeling sad when people die (something that Yuzuko feels happy), chocolates, chocolate fondue and having Yui sticking her hand in it so they can eat her finger! Yuzuko feigns going to the toilet so she can chop Yui’s head from the back! She just signed her death warrant. She didn’t learn her lesson and chop her head again to prove she has a skull! Now die! Yuzuko gets an idea to mould Yui’s head into a chocolate so she can open her head and eat the truffles in it. Eh? What? Chiho hears them talking about chocolates so her friends tell her to go give it to them. Yuzuko asks her which part of her body she wants to be made as chocolate so when she replies an eye (because it’s round) they think she is some fan of a character from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In the clubroom, the girls research about eyes that lead to find out about eyes of cats, dragonfly eyes and proteins needed to send visuals to your brain. As they go home, Yuzuko slaps a chunk of snow onto Yui’s calf. Cold as hell! She expects to get hit but to her surprise she didn’t. She thinks her pun diverted her wrath. Which reminds Yui of it as Yuzuko gets a hard knock on her head. Ouch…

Episode 8
The girls are in their second year now and all remain in the same class. When Aikawa talks to them, suddenly Okano grabs her from behind. It feels as though she is jealous of her talking to them and doesn’t want her to hang out with them any further. Since when was Aikawa her property? Yuzuko wants to kick off the great year by doing something doable. By making Okaasan cry? I don’t know how that is excitable. Then they reminisce about last year like the cultural festival where they ate a cafe filled with spicy food. During PE, Yuzuko chops and pushes Yukari’s head. I guess she was tired so her timing was rather slow. She is more tired after PE so Yuzuko chops her head again to turn her back to life. Later Aikawa talks to them to apologize for some PE incident. Yuzuko wonders why she doesn’t play ball sports often since she has “2 big balls”! Okano sees Aikawa talking to them with scorn. She is snapped out by Fumi Hasegawa. She is like the Yuzuko of their group and has her own pranks. Hasegawa knows Okano likes Aikawa so the latter smack-cum-pet her head as punishment. Yuzuko wonders why Okaasan became their pathetic club’s advisor. Yui admits it was once a great club but they somehow ruined it. Today’s club research is about water. Among the topics ‘debated’ include ketchup versus mayonnaise (WTF), water’s scientific name doesn’t make it sound so watery and the possibility there is water on one of Jupiter’s moons (the possibility of aliens exists).

Yukari wants to do a drop kick so Yuzuko will gladly show her how it’s done. Yui tells them not to abuse their knees so they conclude how she likes to retort everything. Hasegawa joins in their silly chatter and she mixes in fine. What she is trying to hint to them is that they can have Aikawa but lay off Okano because she is her plaything. During recess, Okano goes out to buy lunch at the convenience store. She realizes she doesn’t have enough money and will not make her purchase but Yui is there to lend her some. Okano is embarrassed but accepts her good gesture. The Data Processing Club research on alcohol and wonder if there is one that could make Okaasan cry. This leads them to wonder if she will drop by since she has lots of free time. Yui doubts it but speaking of the devil, here she comes in. Yuzuko declares her love for her and asks her the kind of character she would like to go with if she plays video games. It seems before she could finish her sentence, they complete it for her so Okaasan resigns to her fate as some Naked Boobs character. Asking her if she had cried lately, it was a touching movie of a family. They think she has her own personal past problems but she dismisses it. When the girls leave for home, Yuzuko wants to visit Okaasan’s home again. To make her cry. Give it up… Yui excuses herself to the toilet and bumps into Okano. She is still embarrassed about today’s incident but nevertheless grateful and will pay her back. No problem. Okano surprises Yui that if she has ever touched Aikawa’s boobs. If she hasn’t, try touching it once because it is amazing. But just once. What… The… Hell…? Is this her way of gratitude?

Episode 9
Hasegawa is having one of her idiotic conversations with Okano when they pass by Yukari. Okano is looking for Aikawa but is not in. Hasegawa wants to get a squeeze from Okano and will pretend to be Yui. Of course she’s not going to. When Yukari returns, she thinks Hasegawa is such a good girl. Yui doubts she chose her words right. When Okano teases the Data Processing Club members for not getting any new recruits, Yuzuko got this urge to pounce on her! Thank goodness Yui’s reflex to stop her is faster. Okaasan sees the girls looking at recruitment posters of other clubs. Wondering if they are recruiting, Yuzuko says they like it the way it is now because they get to do it at home. After getting whacked by Yui, she changes her answer it’s fun because they do it as a club. The girls are touched when Okaasan believes they should enjoy themselves more often. When the trio eat lunch together, they remain silent and Okano thinks they’re fighting. Of course Yui can’t stay silent any longer as she makes a punch line about Yuzuko being a bread person. Yuzuko and Yukari start laughing very hard. I guess they’re not fighting after all. Yui promises she won’t say anything because Yuzuko warns her she’ll burst into laughter. But when Okano comes by and asks about that bread person, there you go. Yuzuko invites Aikawa to join them (and pet her head). Hasegawa also joins them and dispenses her own bread pun jokes. Why is it making Yuzuko feel bad? Yuzuko continues to have mindless trash conversation with her friends. It dawned to her everyone else have their own conversations and wonder if theirs sound silly to them. Perhaps. No. Make that a definite yes.

The girls are going to the clubroom and thought of inviting Aikawa but she has her committee meeting to attend. But when she manages to come, Yuzuko and Yukari give her a big welcome. Feeling cosy? I guess it’s an excuse for them to go out and buy snacks. Aikawa feels awkward being alone with Yui. Though embarrassed, she finally asks for permission to take a picture of her. Yuzuko and Yukari always send her and they aren’t good pictures so she thought of taking one herself. At Yui’s home, Yukari thinks about eating curry rice while Yuzuko’s hyperness has her do air boxing. So hyper that she spills the bottle. Then lying on the floor and sticking it in her mouth like a baby, they take a picture and send it to Aikawa! Nothing else better to do, huh? Yuzuko feels she likes this position and is unmotivated to move. Till Yukari lies about a cockroach and she’s back to her hyper self. In class, Yuzuko says she saw a 500 Yen coin on the road but didn’t pick it up thinking it would save her 500 Yen worth of luck. Now she regrets not picking it up. Okano notices Yukari’s beautiful long hair and thinks it’s because she comes from a good family. Talking to Hasegawa about this, the joker says she wants Yukari to be her child. On the same topic, they ask Aikawa and she would like hers to be like Yuzuko. Easy to talk, fun and smart. Does she show all that qualities or are we talking about the wrong person? The Data Processing Club girls research on ogres and also vampires. When they leave, Yuzuko accidentally bumps into Okaasan’s boobs. She thinks this is worth more than 500 Yen. The trio also bump into Aikawa and co. What a rare coincidence. Since they’re going to hang out at Hasegawa’s place, they are invited to come. Asking what they will be doing, Hasegawa replies a dinner party but Okano knows it’s just a lie.

Episode 10
Yui is bloody irritated that her friends are making popping sounds with their mouth. Stop it! Yuzuko brings a wrestler’s mask to the clubroom. Yukari puts it on the top of the board and draws below. Wrestler in a tub? They even have Okaasan comment and add some suggestions. Yuzuko talks to her friends about naming a character for a game. When she used Polyaness and Google it, there were no search results. To her surprise, her friends think it is a scary story. Yuzuko borrows a guitar and fools around with it, pretending she is a pro player. Then she borrows a model doll from the art club and accidentally rips off its arm. Oops… She hasn’t returned for a while from the art club so her friends think she really got reprimanded. However Yuzuko returns with another doll! When she told them about it and apologized, the art club girl laughed so hard and gave her another one since they have lots of this. Guess what? This time Yuzuko has both its arm torn! Is she that stupid?! Yuzuko assures Yui that this is the first doll and swapped with the second one. Got her fooled. But why break off the other arm? Uhn… When Yukari quips she doesn’t understand her sometimes, Yuzuko gets disheartened and wants to play rock-scissors-paper. Apparently they weren’t in sync at all. Okaasan comes in and thinks it is wrong timing (after seeing the broken doll). She is forced to play it with Yuzuko and won against her. So disheartened that Yuzuko seeks solace in her true friends, which are the dolls. Wasn’t she the one who broke their arms? Super depress… Okaasan hints to comfort her but Yuzuko is now hiding behind the curtain staring out the window. And then Yui signals the gag is over so Yuzuko comes out and returns to her normal self. Had Okaasan fooled there for a moment. But Yuzuko still feels alienated when the rest are talking to Okaasan. When Yukari says she loves Yuzuko, she starts flustering and loves the sound of it.

Yuzuko wakes up from a weird dream. The God of Blessing blessed her with 100 long sleeve t-shirts. Eh? Yuzuko shows her friends the yonkoma she drew last night. Weird. Although Yukari is laughing her head off, Yui is stricter and it ends with Yuzuko giving candy. The next day when she shows another one, the same pattern occurs but before Yui can get strict, Yuzuko right away gives out candy. Then Yuzuko draws on the board her yonkoma. Zooming in? What’s with the scary last panel? Yuzuko is sure Yui is going to draw one tonight. Despite dismissing it, Yui actually tries her hand at it but is unable to come up with a good punch line. Yukari feels drowsy in the morning at school. Blaming it on some monster that sucked her motivation but came anyway due to her strong desire to see her friends. What crap. But she gets lively when Yuzuko mentions about Yui’s yonkoma. They want to see it. Not a chance. Yuzuko loses in another rock-scissors-paper game. She wants to cry but sneezes. The idiotic duo talk about drooling, crying, hair growing, shark swimming and potato sprouting. Don’t even ask how this happened. Yuzuko tells them how her mom wasn’t home last night so she and her sister ended up eating bread for dinner. So? That’s the punch line? Yui might not be impressed but Yukari joins in the bread pun and they laugh like mad. Yukari wants to shoot electric with her hands so she could charge things quickly. Yuzuko notes she could also shock people. Why would she do that? For fun. They ask Yui what would be the handiest thing to shoot from her hands. She can think of no answer but money. Yukari suggests feelings so Yuzuko says I love you to Yui with her hand. But didn’t that come out from her mouth?

Episode 11
When Aikawa walks up the stairs, she trips and spills her packet drink. Then as she washes herself, she accidentally wets her tie. This has Yui wonder if it’s her big breasts that prevents her from seeing her feet and couldn’t see her tie below it. As they chat, Aikawa realizes that Yui has some sort of ‘talent’ for making others want to mess with her. Maybe that’s why Yuzuko and Yukari… It’s raining and as usual, Yuzuko and Yukari talk random nonsense. Making weird impersonating sounds, talking about competitive napping for PE, high octane and low octane, etc. Okano heard it and finds it funny. The duo tease Yui’s habit of saying the same sentence using the same words in a streak. During basketball, Aikawa sprains her finger so the idiotic duo like a grandma tells Yui to go to her. During break when they see Okano and Hasegawa feeding Aikawa, Yuzuko also wants to put something in Aikawa’s mouth. Then she shifts her attention to Yui’s right hand… Does she want to eat it? In the clubroom, they talk and research on random things. Baumkuchen, cabbage, part time jobs, the age of this world, picoseconds (not a second to waste!), hamburger and some proverbs. Later Yuzuko rushes in with big news. She saw Okaasan reprimanding a first year student. Never seen that side of hers before. So they speculate what she might have done. Murder? I don’t think she went that far. Yuzuko wants to pretend there is a ghost in the clubroom since it is almost summer. However Yui reminds her she is afraid of ghost stories. Because she continues to randomly spew nonsense, Yui hits her head.

Okaasan just came in so Yuzuko seeks comfort from mommy dearest. Yui isn’t fazed and continues to chop her head! When Yuzuko says there is a ghost in the clubroom, Okaasan slowly backs out. Of course she was just joking about being scared. Really? They confirm with her that she did blow her top at a student. Although it was something bad, she didn’t say what it was. After that, more mindless chatter about ordering pizza during the rain, expiring bread and curry. Yuzuko thinks Yukari has a natural talent as a beautician because of her looks so this prompts her to wonder if it’s okay to decide what they want to be in the future so easily. She explains she has a brother named Eita whose job is to make the house rich and prosperous while she strengthens familial bonds. If the siblings work together, the family will be in peace so after they graduate, they’ll have to help out their family. Therefore she never thought much about her future. Because if there’s something you have to do, then you have to do it. But she also respects people who decide the future for themselves. When they leave, they see Aikawa lamenting about the rain. Yuzuko and Yukari give her a double back attack hug. What kind of new harassment is this? They thought of making some word the word of the month as a trend but Yui disagrees. Since Aikawa hasn’t decided on her future, the idiots give advice on what kind of job she could do. Tutoring? Just make sure to not tutor boys because they’ll hit on her, so they think.

Episode 12
Yuzuko and Yukari try to convince Yui to go to the beach for summer instead of the boring pool. When Okano joins in the conversation, they hear how she really wants to take Aikawa to the beach and also fantasizes the kind of swimsuit she is wearing. Feel like taking her everywhere? In the clubroom, the beach trip thingy debate continues to the point Yuzuko had to fake her angriness. Okaasan thought she walked in on a bad timing. It seems she too favours going to the beach. Yuzuko and Yukari bum around at Yui’s house (no choice – Yui has no say about it). Yui gains their attention when she says she’s got watermelon. However she can’t give it to them. Just joking. Wow. Yui, joking? Then she also says she has ice cream. See the incredulous look on the idiots’ face. Is that the face of happiness? Yeah. That’s what they want. Yukari tries to scoop out the ice cream but it’s so hard. Didn’t budge at all. When Yui heads to the toilet, cheeky Yuzuko locks the door so she will forever live in there. Till Yui threatens about the ice cream. A good girl now, is she? After ice cream, Yukari feels sleepy and sleeps on Yui’s bed. At that moment, Yui and Yuzuko go out to the convenience store when they got mail from Okano. It’s a picture of Aikawa having fun at the pool. Yukari wakes up when they return. She feels bad for wetting her pillow. The rest thought she cried but actually she drooled. The idiots assert they will never cry at Yui’s house. They hoped to be praised by their cuteness but Yui isn’t impressed and would prefer them to go home. Then they annoy her with more random talk like forcing her to give an answer to their sentence. Yuzuko feels so bored that she doesn’t feel like doing anything. Till Yukari gives her an idea about wearing their swimsuits now. Yuzuko’s face lights up like a pervert wanting Yui to put it on now and guarantees she won’t do anything funny. She doesn’t look convincing with that heavy breathing and all. Yui thinks she can’t fit into that swimsuit anymore so the rest thought she had some growth spurt because they were somewhat the same during the physical examination. This causes Yui to curse them! Wow. That’s lots of curses! So much curst that Yuzuko sinks into depression and needs Yui’s love assurance to cheer her up. Yeah, we love you too.

The trio finally step outside to have a drink. Yui still thinks it is embarrassing to go to the beach but eventually gives in. On their way, Yuzuko sees Yui’s defenceless back. It’s very inviting. She’s going to mess with it but it’s like she has eyes on her back and Yuzuko got whacked on the head. The girls are amazed when they arrive at the beach. Can’t wait to have fun. The sands are too hot so they rush into the sea. But since the water feels weird, they run off and wash themselves in the toilet. This repeats itself till they are worn out. Yeah. They just got used to the sea. The usual fun in the sea with Yukari finding a seaweed, Yuzuko trying to stand on Yui’s back only to slip off and fall on her own, playing rock-scissors-paper at sea, Yuzuko running riot with the way she says beach items in a funny way causing her friends to laugh like mad. At the end of the day, they leave very satisfied. Elsewhere we see Hasegawa walking her dog, Okano taking a bath and scorning her little brother outside who was about to come in, Aikawa finds she has run out of and scream and her mother knows she wants it and to go get it herself, Yuzuko sending beach pictures to her friends, Yui feeling stupid about her initial disagreement of going to the beach because she admits she had lots of fun, and Okaasan talking to a friend how she looks forward to the start of school better now than she was as a student. Yui meets her friends to go to school. Because it still feels very hot, they want to go to the beach again. Yui murmurs perhaps next year so her friends tease her that her inner desires to let loose must have unleashed. She dismisses such nonsense and makes haste to class.

Yawn, Yawn, Sleepy…
There is no doubt… Ever since the first episode, I felt it was hard to retain my attention. It is amazing that I managed to sit through a dozen episodes without falling asleep. But I do yawn. A lot. Make that many times. Sure, there are funny moments like Yuzuko and Yukari’s trademark idiotic silliness in every episode but the cuteness and funniness in that itself I feel is not enough to save the show overall. As each episode passes, I find myself dreading and wishing real hard it would end and counting each second down to it feels like an eternity. Forgive me, fans of the series but this is how I really feel. In short, I have to admit it that I find this anime boring. Dreary. Lacklustre. Unexciting. Humdrum. Dull. A big yawn. I know the girls are moe too to a certain point but if I want to look at cute pretty moe girls, I would have stopped watching and started staring at my numerous collection or even start fantasizing or imagining them. Haha… Since the boredom was greatly affecting my mind, I didn’t even manage to do that or dream something ecchi. Oops!

It was so boring that I stumbled something on the internet regarding the series that seems much more interesting. Really! I find this conspiracy theory thread about this series to be more interesting than the series itself even if it is just crap and basically a whole lot of rumours and nothing neither true nor confirmed. It states that Yuzuko and Yukari are nothing but imaginary friends of Yui!!! Her friends do not exist in reality and is just a figment of imagination! There were many clever observations made that supports this. For examples, the slight pale edges of the screen in some screens make it as though it is some dream sequence. You won’t notice it, but when I rewatched those scenes and I find it does exist! So could it mean that those moments Yui talked to her idiots are only in her mind? Also pointed out on this website, hoe Yuzuko and Yukari don’t often interact with others except Yui, and the fact that they are always on a certain side of Yui. Although this argument is not solid because there are some moments when the duo did interact with others and they do switch sides, nevertheless this is generally what is shown for most of the time.

The ultimate conspiracy points out that Yui lost her sisters so she is escaping reality and traumatic pain via this imaginary friends thingy. And why the clubroom has only 2 computers instead of 3 is because there weren’t really 3 of them. It’s just Yui and Okaasan who uses them as the latter plays along with the former’s imaginary friend game so as to lessen the impact. Yeah. Feels like a load of bull but if you want to think about it, it can turn out to be true! Since the original author did not indicate any of such is likely to occur, I can imagine the shock if this actually turned out true. I would have mixed feelings then. Assuming this conspiracy becomes true, then my perception about this series being boring would drastically change. I would probably classify it as a mind blowing ending despite the slow pace. Also, you never expected such twist from this kind of genre, right? Boring becomes shocking. What a twist. On the other hand, it would also be a big disappointment if it turns out true because I’m sure many fans will not like such development seeing the kind of genre this anime is. I too wouldn’t like such dark revelation because my mind has been set that this anime is slice of life comedy and then all of sudden, traumatic and shocking events. Can this be acceptable? Would everyone accept this? Thus this conspiracy theory is indeed interesting but overall I would prefer this series to stay safe and boring. A happy ending or at least in this case not so much of an ending but life goes on is much appreciated.

Despite the very odd relationship between the main trio, I can’t say that they were ‘interesting’ enough for me to retain positive reviews about this show. It has always been the same since start till finish. Yuzuko is always the main idiotic troublemaker with a penchant of coming up with something random and pranks that will tick off Yui. Yukari is also another ‘set of problems’ only second to Yuzuko as she always follows her idiotic flow. Lastly, Yui is perhaps the sanest member of the group but you can’t help wonder how long she will keep her sanity with these idiots around her. Probably in a way she likes their company even though she often plays the straight man (woman, to be more precise) to whatever nonsense they come up with. Episode after episode you see a somewhat familiar pattern. Yuzuko and Yukari and their nonsense while Yui will have a knack to retort them. And she does it so often that it makes you wonder if she likes it despite her annoyed looks. But like Aikawa once pointed out, she does have this feel of wanting others to mess with her. Too much fun, eh? So it would be very odd if you ever see Yui doing the jokes and even so, with a serious expression. Odd, right? It’s not that they don’t learn but rather they love seeing Yui’s reaction. Thus this is their dynamic relationship and what makes them stick together after all these years. Sometimes I have this feeling that Yuzuko and Yukari love Yui so much and at times to a perverted extent, I think they have this potential of snapping and become yandere! I hope they don’t. Thankfully this series’ nature won’t allow them to.

There isn’t anything special about the other characters too. Okaasan is your typical kind and loving teacher that every student wants to have as their teacher and mom. The other group of trio seems to have the potential of equally being the main protagonist but their roles make them the most as side distraction. But I do notice that their appearances are gradually increased with each passing episode. Shy girl Aikawa gradually manages to mix well with Yui’s group although I feel she still needs to get used to the group’s idiocy. Don’t worry. As long as Yui is around, she’ll be relatively ‘safe’. Okano is very possessive of Aikawa, though I am not sure if the latter is well aware of the former’s affection for her. Hasegawa could have been another joker and cause double havoc with her own quirkiness but I think having Yuzuko and Yukari as the main idiots are already a handful to deal with.

Although many of the jokes are of the crazy conversations between the 3 friends, there are some that I don’t find funny or just do not get it. Maybe this is my very limited exposure to the Japanese culture as there are some puns and play on words. I’m so used (and loving) those animes with exaggerated slapstick comedy that when I watch something like this it has that mundane feeling. Well, that’s just me. Also, sometimes I think the jokes and pranks played are illogical and no-holds-barred that it is just intended to make you laugh. No, don’t think. Just laugh. They don’t necessarily have to make sense because they’re meant to be funny! Geddit? And so here I am, trying to figure out what is the meaning behind some of those jokes but I just stopped trying and laugh with them instead. Or was it I’m laughing at them? Either way, I’m sure the girls would be happy because as long as they can make the other smile or laugh, it is satisfaction guaranteed. Maybe except for Yui… Even some of the topics that they discuss especially like the one Yuzuko touched on death, it doesn’t necessarily need to be morbid. She still makes a joke out of it as though as if it was nothing but such topics sometimes make you think deeper their meaning and perhaps that the girls aren’t just fools joking or bumming around all the time with their seemingly endless ‘free time’. There’s a subtle hint that they are smarter than they look. It’s hard to imagine but don’t judge a book by its cover. Even so, I think Yuzuko and Yukari are still idiotic jokers ;p.

When I first glimpsed the art of this anime, I thought they were illustrated or created by the same author since I seemed to have this perception that the art style closely resembles Hidamari Sketch. However there is no connection whatsoever between both series and the only similarity that I can find (besides the art and general storyline) is that they are published in a manga magazine that specializes yonkoma series. Taking an even closer look, I thought the series’ art also looked like Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh and Yurumates. It’s that cute and moe drawing style of the characters, I suppose. Simple and nothing very detailed or complicated. Besides, I thought Yui and Yukari looked like Miyako and Yoshinoya of Hidamari Sketch respectively while Yui a bit like Yurume from Yurumates. This series was produced by Kinema Citrus, a relatively new anime studio house whose debut was its notable anime Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and the more recent one, Code: Breaker.

I would love to say that this anime is for everybody but sadly I can’t bring myself to enjoy this anime comfortably throughout its duration. I know it tries to be a little different but so sorry, I guess it wasn’t appealing enough in my ever fluctuating standards. Ironically like other slice of life comedies that follow this similar pattern such as Hidamari Sketch, Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh and YuruYuri, there is something that prevents me from appreciating this simple and easy-going anime. I don’t know how I could not find Yuzuko’s whimsical pranks and idiocy to be not as interesting as Hidamari’s Sketch Miyako, Lucky Star’s Konata, Azumanga Daioh’s Tomo or YuruYuri’s Kyoko. But if I ever had prankster friends like these, I think I’ll just go crazy and grow up to be a psycho. Or even yandere. Life would become anything more than just mundane then.