Tejina-senpai

October 19, 2019

Hocus pocus! Abracadabra! Ladies and gentlemen. Get ready for the greatest magician to ever walk the face of the planet in recent history! Let her awe and mesmerize you with her magical tricks. So real that you wouldn’t even believe it after seeing it with your own eyes. People, I present to you Tejina-senpai! Oh… Oh… She blunders and screws up every of her trick! Uhm… So that wasn’t in the script? You mean those bloopers are real and uncalled for? Oh… Oh… But wait! Uhm. Yeah. They look so funny so you might actually not be watching a magic show but a comedy show instead! Aha. Yeah. That must be it! Oh my. She’s flashing her undies unintentionally too? Wait a minute. Is this a strip show too?! Uhm. Erm. Ah… Oh well… Everybody give a big round of applause to Tejina-senpai, the brilliant magician-cum-comedian-cum-flasher all rolled into one! Best show ever definitely.

Episode 1A
In Tanenashi High School, all students are required to join a club. A boy is looking for an easy club when he stumbles into the magic club. He sees Tejina trying to do magic tricks but because she suffers from stage fright (despite just performing alone), she keeps vomiting. She tries to impress him with tricks but he can already see her slip up as she makes excuses for her lameness. Then the ultimate trick of cutting his money in half! Will his money be alright? Snip. Oh sh*t… Oh look, his money somehow transferred into her wallet… I wonder why she’s crying… He is about to leave but she manages to get his attention the next magic trick is bondage. So how will she free herself from this? She can’t. She screws up even further and this sexy BDSM position has him applauding. Best magic trick ever!

Episode 1B
Tejina is doing her magic trick in the school compound. The crowd isn’t impressed. Because he is passing by, she drags him into her show. Yeah, he is now conveniently her Assistant. While she gets ready, Assistant does a few tricks to appease the crowd. They’re a bit impressed and Tejina is more jealous than anything. So Tejina has done her preparations. How will she get out of the box? 10 minutes passed. It is clear to say she has given up. Show’s over. Assistant opens the box to see her in a compromising position.

Episode 1C
It’s already bad enough Tejina hijacks the PA and is calling for Assistant to come to the clubroom right now! Embarrassing. So she wants him to eat her melon bread? Suspicious, he has her eat first. Looks okay. The moment he bites, he feels something hard. There’s a key in it. Surprise! Hence he locks her in the box. Because he is choking, she thinks of using milk. But WTF she wants to do a trick? This is matter of life and death! Hand it over! A struggle ensues causing the milk to spill all over her body. Her clothes are soaked. Best fanservice has him swallow whatever was stuck in his throat. All clear now.

Episode 1D
Tejina brings a pigeon to the clubroom. After explaining why white doves are used, she proceeds to let it out. Don’t worry. She has bonded with it so well that it listens to her. Only, it bites her hand! Then it flies about until Tejina uses bird seeds to calm it down. But instead, it dives straight into her cleavage (I guess the main dish is better) and flies around, tickling her body. Then it pops out from beneath like as though she has given birth. So this is her giving birth magic? Then the pigeon flies out the open window. Come back, Bahamut! Yeah, lost posters of a pigeon. Please help find…

Episode 2A
What a sorry sight to see Tejina eating alone. But must he join her? Yeah, now she is trying to bend spoons. Pretty easy if you know physics. While he excels, she is struggling. Of course the spoon is flung out of her hands. As he goes to get a new one, she realizes some spicy sauce spilled onto his meal. To cover it up, she casts a hypnotizing spell that he will find it spicy. See? It worked, right? Yeah, if it is hypnotism, she shouldn’t find it spicy. Now she is forced to eat the rest of his food.

Episode 2B
Tejina tries to impress with her coin trick but it always slips out and land in some unreachable place. So as she tries to reach for it, she unknowingly shows her ass to him. Because of that, he tries to subtly warn her. Hence they are both talking on different pages. She thinks he means magic trick while he thinks it is about sex. So is she really going to give it to him? Another messed up coin trick as the coin got flicked on his forehead. Ouch.

Episode 2C
Meet Behemoth. Tejina’s critter hand puppet. Sad state of friends, huh? Not sure what this magic trick of Behemoth running through her body is supposed to do but as usual, it’s not impressive. One magic trick has her accidentally dropping Behemoth on the floor and she accidentally stepping over it. It’s ‘dead’. Such a sad day… And she just left it in the classroom instead of taking it back with her.

Episode 2D
It’s such a hot summer. And even hotter when Tejina is already in bondage position. Yup, she screwed up trying to show some magic trick to kids. Luckily they don’t look like they’re corrupted and instead disappointed with this failure. And when Assistant takes over, the kids look to him with more hope! Jealous Tejina takes over again, this time with some clothes changing trick. Since she is taking too long, the kids has Assistant help them with their video game. Oh, Tejina you done? How does she fail this time? She realizes she forgot to bring extra clothes and is completely nude underneath this mantle. Nothing for you kids to see here… And the legend of some cape clad flasher was born…

Episode 2E
Assistant realizes today is the last day to submit his application on which club he is to join. Oh my. Tejina locking the place up! Then tying him up! She even takes the liberty to fill in this magic club on his application form. So this setup is part of her magic trick? Yeah, whatever this lame rubber rabbit trick is. At the end of the day, she hopes they can make a real club with real members and an advisor. You mean, this isn’t even an official club to begin with???!!! Assistant is shocked he has been tricked. This is fraud! Nope, says Tejina. This is magic! WTF?!

Episode 3A
Why is Tejina scared to see the teacher? Because she is her older sister! Quirkiness runs in the family as Onee-chan loves teasing Tejina, much to her dismay. She wants her to show her usual magic tricks and despite so, Onee-chan does her usual teasing. With that, she excitedly wants to be the advisor of her magic club. Tejina disagrees but another teacher reprimands Onee-chan for being noisy and not acting like a teacher.

Episode 3B
Assistant tries some normal tricks with Behemoth but Tejina becomes a harsh armchair critic. Now it’s Tejina’s turn so Assistant notices her zipper is undone. How can he subtly tell her? He says he can see everything but of course she thinks he is referring to her magic tricks and denies he hasn’t yet. As he can’t take his eyes off her flower prints panties, in the end he mentions flowers as the deck suit. Only later in the toilet that Tejina realizes what he meant…

Episode 3C
To help Tejina overcome her stage fright, Assistant reads a few tips from the internet. Drink lots of water. She drank the whole bottle! Now her tummy is aching… How about taking deep breaths? She sounds like giving birth! How about repeating calm phrases to yourself? She fell asleep… Finally, can tickling work? Assistant is conscious about her slim waist and huge boobs. But when she chastises him for being unable to do simple tickling, he tickles her until she cannot even stand! This guy is good with his hands…?

Episode 3D
Tejina is in a kimono as she is going to perform some basic Japanese tricks. The first is making paper butterflies flutter. Of course she fails and Assistant does it better. Next is turning paper into udon. But then she carelessly lights the lighter and the sprinkler activates. Ah, here’s your water magic?

Episode 3E
The duo are in the park. What kind of magic trick is she going to do that doesn’t need her to bring her tools? Yeah, she’s going to use the park’s pigeons! Obviously they attack her. The next trick is to climb up the tree and steal pigeon eggs? Obviously they attack her. Worse, she can’t get down. Assistant leaves her handing. Don’t want anything to do with this egg thief. Bye. To add salt to injury, the pigeons poo all over her. Tejina starts crying but no love lost for this idiot!

Episode 4A
To celebrate a month since Assistant’s joining the club, Tejina does some magic tricks for him. Rope cutting messed up. Even the card message trick is messed up. Then when she forcefully tries to put some ring on him to swear his fealty to the magic club, Onee-chan pops up. Sorry to bring the bad news but the magic club is disapproved due to lack of members. Feel free to join other clubs.

Episode 4B
I guess Assistant will be scouting for new clubs. But for every club he went, Tejina is always there trying to do some failed magic tricks! Is this some sort of conspiracy? Don’t tell me it’s magic! He tries to run from her but unfortunately she runs faster than him! Because of that, the track club wants to recruit her. She does join and even runs in record time. However it’s her ploy to recruit them to join her magic club so Assistant takes her away. Let the girls run…

Episode 4C
To fill the void of Assistant leaving, Tejina has brought not 1 but 2 pigeons! She shows how she can take care of them like misting (also accidentally spraying water all over her boobs) as well as letting them out of their cage to let them fly freely (good luck getting them back in). Because one is male and the other female, Assistant wonders if their cooing will be noisy at night. Tejina is confident since pigeons are diurnal, they won’t. Unfortunately the cooing at night never stopped…

Episode 4D
So sad… It’s Assistant’s last day. And what a way to end this with this sword in the box trick. Of course he isn’t getting in the box. With Tejina playing the role of the assistant, Assistant thrusts the swords into the box. The swords miss her but not with a lot of poking and ambiguous lewd words. My butt hurts! Pull it out! Pull it out!!! Once the show is over, it seems the swords have ripped her clothes. Is this fanservice magical or what?

Episode 4E
OMG. Tejina flawlessly doing all her magic tricks?! No, it’s not a dream! It’s real! The catch? She’s doing them alone. Ah… As she ties herself up for this trick and reminiscing about Assistant, suddenly he pops up. Oh dear. Clumsiness back in order. Assistant joined the chemistry club next door but only in name. Since their room is connected, Assistant can come visit her until she retires. Yay! Don’t have to be lonely now, huh? Chemistry club president, Madara allows this as long as they don’t do shameless things. Tejina is touched and what a way to welcome him back with this unfortunate fanservice because she somehow screws up as her rope trick becomes BDSM.

Episode 5A
Because Assistant heard there will be a few observers coming to see the magic club, he doesn’t want her to do any tricks but to stay hidden! Of course Tejina will not allow that and as he deliberates how his cool image in class will be ruined by being associated with this, Tejina is already practising her head falling off trick. As he tries to stop her, those observers come in and see this horror scene! Run for your life! Bet they’ll never come back.

Episode 5B
Onee-chan and Tejina has come up with an improvised clothes changing magic trick. The clothes she changes into get skimpier but Onee-chan convinces her it is just the fabric that has skin tone. But this is just for the first clothes. Subsequent clothes, we get more Tejina fanservice until she is close to being naked! Assistant can’t be thankful enough for this magic trick!

Episode 5C
When Assistant is with Madara, the silence between them is awkward. Hence Madara decides to show her own magic tricks but using the power of science. I’m sure many of us know the difference in pressure and temperature in a bottle causes the bottle to bend out of shape without any physical contact. Assistant is impressed as he tries his hands at some air current scientific experiment. However he starts off too early and it blows up Madara’s skirt. This only reinforces her idea that the magic club is a perverted club.

Episode 5D
Tejina is hiding in a box and plans to surprise Assistant when he comes in. However when he does, he sits on the box. Noticing how quiet and nice it is without her, he starts to complain all about her bad habits and failure as a magician. Ouch. However he starts confessing the only positive thing about her: While it might seem like a confession to Tejina, it is actually a praise for Behemoth. With Tejina in a dilemma whether or not to pretend she heard this, eventually she pops up and gives a long winded rant on her thoughts. Too bad nobody is here. Wasted breath…

Episode 5E
Assistant is invited to Tejina’s house. He thinks her room would be very girly but nope. What a pig sty. Of course Tejina’s goal of inviting him here is to ascertain that confession of his and to give a proper reply. However each time she tries to say that magic word, she falters and ends up doing some lame magic trick instead. Yeah, confession is a trick that is the hardest to do! She even slips up by showing him all her panties collection instead of her handkerchiefs. That is when she comes clean and admits about that confession. However this annoys him as he tells what really happened. Red faced, poor Tejina is now crying over this embarrassing blunder.

Episode 6A
Assistant is troubled that misunderstanding that Tejina thinks he likes her. Though the only thing she admires about her is her boobs. But an equally busty gal comes in, Saki. She plans to hijack the magic club. Of course Tejina won’t allow it but Saki shows a bit of her street performance to leave her in awe. Saki is a transfer student and she has been looking for a club to join. She heard about the magic club closing down and that’s why she’s here. However she wants to make her little brother, Ma-kun the president of this club. From the way she describes this guy, definitely she’s got brother complex. Don’t get your hopes high on this guy. Because we’ve already known, Ma-kun is a really fat dude…

Episode 6B
While having more members means the club is able to carry on, Tejina feels conflicted because this isn’t the kind of magic club she wanted it to be. Then she just decides to upgrade it by splitting the difference and be the street magic club. Ma-kun tries to do some balloon trick but it popped. Yeah, Saki is so awed and excited over this. Like as though she’s having orgasm at everything he does. Saki then tries this balloon outfit trick. She realizes her skirt slipped out but so as not to let this performance fail, she carries on and lets everyone sees her in her undies. Even Ma-kun apologizes on her behalf.

Episode 6C
Tejina won’t have the street performers beat them and has Assistant do some magic tricks with her. Maybe she just wants to show off… Of course we see her fail at every attempt. Some giving us fanservice, some putting Assistant in a troubling spot. With the women arguing what this club is supposed to be, here comes Onee-chan to solve this dispute. She measures their boobs and Tejina wins because hers is heavier. Though, Saki argues she has the better shape…

Episode 6D
Tejina fails at hypnotism. As expected. She tries to do it in the correct order and even tries to look arrogant doing so but also fails. She is so confident that she lets Assistant do hypnotism on her. You can tell he succeeds when he ‘transfers’ her essence to the bottle. So wherever he tickles the bottle, Tejina feels the ticklish effects on her body. Realizing that she is fully hypnotized, Assistant decides to get back at her for all those tormenting times. Heh… Evil scheming face popping up… Remember to lock the door… He creates a scenario that she is going to take a bath in the hotspring. Hence Tejina starts undressing. But soon, Assistant soon feels guilty about taking advantage of her. By the time he tries to stop her, she is already half undressed. He tries to reason she is a cat and she turns into one and scratches his face. This girl is so easily influenced… He gets this idea to cure her stage fright. You are no longer scared on stage… Although he is successful, however she still flops. Still failing at her magic tricks. Should have cured her failure too…

Episode 7A
Saki burnt her cookies so she thinks of seeking Tejina’s help to remake them. So as they wait, she asks why she is so obsessed with the magic club. Anyway, Saki sounds bored hearing her struggling story to keep the club afloat. Saki wants to test some of her cookies but apparently Tejina has laced with something them for Assistant. So the girls give their respective guys to eat their cookies. As Assistant fears, Tejina is surprised when nothing happens after he eats it. It is Ma-kun who gets it. Yeah, now he is pulling flags out from his mouth.

Episode 7B
Tejina is happy to receive funds for the club. Until she sees its meagre amount… Hence they decide to do some fundraising by doing street performance at the park. Tejina tries to copy some guy doing a human statue. It is hard at first but she likes it when a few kids praises how she doesn’t move. Until she realizes they are actually peeking at her panties! Why you little! Meanwhile Saki and Ma-kun do their balloon art and get quite the crowd. Some give money, some give food. Assistant is impressed with them until he sees Saki throwing away rewards that are useless. Checking back on Tejina, they see an old shady guy trying to give her 50 grand! DON’T ACCEPT THAT MONEY!!!

Episode 7C
Tejina wants to show her underwater magic whereby she will escape her chains underwater. Of course Assistant is very worried for her despite her assurance that she has practised many times with success in her bathtub. Stubborn, she goes ahead but he stops her. While she pouts, Saki fakes a drowning so she can be pulled out and Ma-kun do CPR on her. But he just puts some plastic sheet over her face and let her be. Since Tejina is still sulking, Assistant lets her do it but restricts to just her hands being tied. After a few seconds she is not surfacing. Fearing she might be really drowning, he jumps in to save her. She is upset she would have been done in a few more seconds and Assistant realizes he got his hand over her boobs. Who made the most blunder here?

Episode 7D
Assistant thinks of helping her overcome her stage fright since there are moments where she can pull off her performance with ease. As he records her, she starts getting nervous. Hence he starts from the beginning. Here, perform to this cicada shell… As he ‘upgrades’ her ‘audience’, she finally baulks while performing in front of him despite he is blindfolded. No use crying about this. So Assistant lets he practice before a life sized cardboard cut-out of, uhm, himself? Unknown to Tejina, he is hiding behind it. She performs her magic without screwing up. Assistant is so happy for her that he bursts out from his hiding. Realizing she was being watched, she starts getting anxiety attacks. It is déjà vu all over again because her stress level has peaked until she vomits all over him.

Episode 8A
Assistant thought Tejina is going to show him some sexy Chinese magic. Turns out it is some mask changing technique. Each have their theory on how his trick is done. Especially a guy hidden behind the performer to swap mask. They also experiment with this and one time Tejina was hiding behind Saki but because Saki’s hair is long and thick, this makes it unbreathable for her. Simply she tries to grab and rip her mask but accidentally she rips open her shirt! Oops…

Episode 8B
Tejina tries to impress Assistant with her mentalist magic trick. You know, deciphering what one is thinking based on their facial expressions. After a few lucky guesses, she is full of herself so it is Assistant to return the favour and he easily reads her like a book. Because her actions are so obvious. Please stop! This is embarrassing! And then her stomach growls. No prizes to guess she’s hungry…

Episode 8C
Some farmer gave Tejina lots of mikan. So she’s going to try and do some magic trick with them. Not really some magic trick but more of like some picture pun. Later when she tries to peel them, she gets juice squirted in her eyes.

Episode 8D
Tejina shows off the club’s website. It is so hideous and low quality that sometimes it looks scary! But Saki to the rescue. She gives it a digital makeover but how come it now looks like a shady website?! Assistant blows his top for it to be redone because he fears some pervy old man might mistake this and will hire Tejina to make shady videos! After redoing it and Tejina adding its final touches, it looks even worse and shadier! Assistant just redoes it all again himself. If you want something done, do it yourself.

Episode 8E
Tejina is tasked to perform before kindergarten children. Having stage fright? While she accidentally broke her wand, the kids think it is real and are impressed. This boosts Tejina’s baseless confidence as she proceeds to do more of her simple tricks like some reverse picture (WTF is that drawing anyway?) and the simple disappearing magic of quickly hiding them while the kids are distracted. The impressed kids think she is hiding them in her body and proceed to molest all over her body. Is this considered her greatest success?

Episode 9A
Tejina’s magic trick this time involves everyone writing their wishes in an envelope and she can magically tell whom it belongs too. Of course she rigged it with a mark on the envelope’s corner. The problem: She forgot which corner belongs to whom! Guesswork time. All wrong! Assistant takes over and has everyone writes something they won’t admit. He can easily guess who is who and when it is Tejina’s one, how come it’s blank? She thinks she is a smartass claiming she has nothing to write but this has everyone fed up and leave the room.

Episode 9B
Tejina and Saki are taking a remedial exam. While waiting for the teacher, Tejina thinks of showing Saki some magic trick with this number game and trapping her with it. Unfortunately Tejina loses and begs for another chance. Saki knows how to circumvent this trick just by looking at Tejina’s reaction. Just when Tejina thinks she has won, she does an air punch but holy cow, she punched the teacher!!! I guess she’s not coming into the club today.

Episode 9C
Tejina trolls everyone by bringing an ice cream box. It sounds like it has something but it’s empty instead. Everyone so annoyed with the heat already that they force her to buy them real ice cream. She tries to make her ice cream spoon disappear but she drops it instead. Now must she eat ice cream with her hand? With Saki complaining about doing summer-like things like going to the beach, Assistant watches Tejina’s obvious eager body reaction despite her words sound like she’s doing them all a favour. Yup, to the beach then.

Episode 9D
But first everyone goes to buy a swimsuit. Yeah, I guess there is only a reason why the guys accompany the girls to do so. With Tejina asking Assistant for his opinion, this guy is in a dilemma. He really wants to see her in some naughty swimsuit but fears he sound hard up for it. Hence Ma-kun teaches him some psychological tricks albeit they sound like fraud. With Assistant still whining about it, Ma-kun just takes the sexy swimsuit and gives it to Tejina. Actually it is Saki who wears it and while it may be good news for Assistant, I guess Ma-kun didn’t appreciate seeing his sister like that. Because Saki now thinks little bro wants her in this. And somehow Tejina messed up and wore her swimsuit backwards… Later Tejina thinks the changing room is like a magic set. She thinks of tricking Assistant by shifting her shoes to the next cubicle. When she calls him, he will be shocked to find her cubicle is empty and thinks she has disappeared. Unfortunately the store clerk returns the shoes to Tejina’s cubicle seeing she noticed nobody is in that cubicle. So when Tejina calls for Assistant, he opens the curtains only to see a sexy Tejina in her undies. Tejina, you looking shock for a person setting up this magic trick. Personally if you ask me, I think this magic trick works! Thanks, senpai!

Episode 10A
Beach episode! Since the girls are full of energy, they swim out to sea while the lacklustre guys stay on the beach and play their handheld. The current is too strong and washes away their top. Tejina has magic sand that will serve as temporary bra when mixed with water. However it dissolves the moment it is out of water. Don’t fear. Saki has some balloons. So they wear them as a body suit until they get to land. But as they approach the boys, they step on something sharp. Pop! Free fanservice today?

Episode 10B
Assistant sees Madara observing a crab. She gets embarrassed after she notices him. Apparently her grandma lives nearby. Then she has him lie down on his stomach. No, nothing naughty is going to happen. This is to watch the sunset. When the sun has sunk over the horizon, then she has him stand up. There is still sunset. Yeah, the magic of science that explains why the Earth is round that would piss off many flat Earth believers. When he points out to her swimsuit that would probably feel cold once night falls, she gets embarrassed and runs away.

Episode 10C
Assistant invites Madara to split the watermelon with the rest. Ma-kun goes first but Saki leads him to a different ‘watermelon’. Yeah, sleep in her boobs! Ma-kun then buries her in the sand and lets another takeover. It’s Madara’s turn so she explains some secret trick to smash it. Unfortunately she has poor sense of direction so she fails. Finally it is Tejina’s turn. Too bad this girl is so panicky that she accidentally smacks everyone with the stick. You can imagine how frightened Saki is when it’s her turn… Oh sh*t… In the end, it’s total annihilation. Except the watermelon still intact.

Episode 10D
Time to play the fireworks and Assistant won’t let Tejina do any tricks, knowing better that Tejina and fire don’t go together. She burnt down the club once, you know. Then she tries to do some money switching burning trick. She uses the flames as distraction and the darkness to conceal her trick. Too bad she screws up and burns the real money instead… She tries to do the same trick with the flash paper. But the fire got bigger instead and she accidentally throws it to their pile of fireworks. Wow. Now the fireworks are all lit! After managing to put it all out, I guess it’s time to console this poor loser girl. Everything isn’t lost as Madara has some leftover sparklers from grandma. The magic moment of Tejina commenting how times like these make them closer, sputter out because her sparkler burns out and drops on her feet. Ouch!

Episode 11A
Tejina is trying some disappearing balls trick that won’t work. I guess Assistant has to hear her out. Typically, her sweaty palms is part of the problem. She then thinks it is because her hands are small. Shouldn’t she get smaller balls then? She puts her hand on Assistant’s to compare. He compliments them and thinks they don’t need to be the same size. However he realizes her palm is sweaty and retracts everything. Quick wash those stickiness off!

Episode 11B
Assistant walks into the clubroom to see Saki ‘dead’. Apparently she sniffed on Ma-kun’s garbage and he caught her red-handed. Now he won’t talk to her. Yeah, a death sentence. To alleviate some of the gloom, Saki has a hand puppet of Ma-kun and explains how ventriloquism works. She has Assistant do ventriloquism on her Ma-kun hand puppet but gets annoyed when he says the wrong thing. But to thank him, she trolls him by preparing to give him a kiss. It’s just a hand puppet of Tejina! He can have it. After she leaves, Assistant peaks underneath the hand puppet’s skirt. White…

Episode 11C
Assistant is shocked when Ma-kun asks if Tejina has a boyfriend. You mean he is interested?! Actually, he saw her with another man another day. Although Assistant brushes it off, they all go tail her. At the family restaurant, they see her practising her failed magic trick and eat cakes by herself before rushing to the toilet in the convenience store. Nothing happens for half a day until this man, Mimura shows up. Assistant looking pretty worried. Real tailing begins. Ma-kun tries to analyse this dude. So he is some sort of porn director? They head to the mall and because they talk in ambiguous language like as though they are preparing for a porn shoot, Assistant is trying real hard to keep himself from going berserk. Especially when they hit the lingerie store! In the end, Assistant can’t take any more of this and tries to rescue her. It is revealed Mimura is Onee-chan’s husband and Tejina was helping him to shop for a birthday gift. Wow. What a big relief. Right, Assistant? Yeah, Mimura is actually a pretty nice guy. When Tejina hears what happened, she laughs it off. Assistant feels this is somehow scary.

Episode 12A
Assistant hears ambiguous sex porn coming from the clubroom. Of course as you would expect, it is just Saki teaching how to make balloon art. Since it is quite hard, Tejina is having fears twisting it. She somewhat gives up and her balloon turns out to look like a dick?! Eventually when she manages to do so, it pops and all that is left of her doggie balloon is now a cod roe. So sad…

Episode 12B
Tejina thinks of showing Assistant this shackle escaping trick. But after hiding behind the curtains and having not come out, Assistant takes a peep and behold! She’s not there? Is this a disappearing trick too? Actually she is hiding inside the closet and this is part of her plan to surprise him. However the locker is stuck and he already left. So you mean she is stuck in there for the entire day because come night fall as the guard comes in to inspect, the locker somehow opens and gives him a fright of his life! Woah! Who this sleeping babe?!

Episode 12C
Madara shows Assistant the power of science of freezing cola. Tejina feels a bit jealous he is having fun talking with her. This makes her wonder if he has been attending secret science meetings or something. Assistant tries to save Madara from something drop on her. As he falls on top of her, this gives Tejina the wrong idea. So now Tejina wants to impress by showing her magic? You could have guessed her cloth pulling trick fails. Now she’s all wet. Madara has them dry up using the fan. So cooling. Power of science rules. She is proud that they are praising science but soon Saki and Ma-kun shows up and Madara feels they have overstayed their welcome. Can you guys leave now?

Episode 12D
As Assistant is sleeping, Tejina thinks of doing some quiet magic trick. Can she? Because she almost flops doing her pigeon trick. Are the pigeons being horny today as they try to put her in ecchi situations? Luckily Assistant is still asleep so Tejina continues stacking cards on him. It is revealed he is pretending to be asleep and now he is in a lurch.

Episode 12E
Tejina’s to fight her stage fright, she wears a revealing bunny suit to be more embarrassed! But yeah, thanks. Because of her cleavage showing, Assistant can’t take his eyes of her boobs and didn’t see her magic tricks well. I guess you can say this is the basic of how magic tricks work, eh? Because of that, Tejina looks successful. See that great cup trick? Yup. Those are great cups alright! Truly amazing! Bravo!

Fanservice Senpai: The Magic Of Fanservice!
There you have it people. That’s all folks. That’s all the magic fanservice tricks we have for you today. Be sure to come back again next season for more amazing boobs magic tricks. Uhm… What’s that you say? You mean this series is cancelled and won’t be getting another season???!!! At least not in the foreseeable future?! Like WTF?! You mean those boobs didn’t do the trick?! Damn. It felt a bit weird that there is no ‘wrapping up’ episode and the last episode just felt like any other normal episode so I thought there’s going to be more. Yeah, I was wrong. I don’t know where I get that idea but I can understand and feel it is more or less the same how Tejina gets her baseless confidence from.

Basically with no real storyline to begin with and even each short episode is furthermore divided into short skits, this series’ comedic moments mostly deals with around the flaws of the characters. So you either love it or hate it that there is all to this series. Surely you’re not going to expect some sort of complicated story and back story, aren’t you? Just like a magician’s desire to entertain us, that is what this series is precisely set to do. No convoluted and twisted plots whatsoever. What you see is what you get. When show is over, you leave with a satisfied feeling of being entertained. So for me, they did that part well and with some skits only lasting a few minutes long, it does enough to deliver the punch line and the joke. Usually with Tejina flopping.

Tejina is probably one of those people who could have been good in doing something they love had not been that one little thing that prevents them from achieving such greatness. It might look funny that she suffers from stage fright seeing that she wants to be a magician, but remember, public speaking is the top phobia in the world. It’s like saying you want to be a doctor but scared of seeing blood. Nothing new or surprising but rather ironic. But the most important aspect is how Tejina doesn’t give up and I guess you have to give her credit for that. Again, there is only so much credit you can give her until she starts becoming annoying. An ‘A’ for effort and trying but don’t go overboard. Given an inch, take a mile…

Because Tejina is also a bit naïve, this also plays a part in why she gives us a lot of fanservice. Yes, people. It is like as though all her backfired magic tricks are supposed to lead to some fanservice. Or maybe they’re not planned and it serves as a backup. What I mean is that if you’re not impressed with Tejina flopping on the simplest magic tricks, at least we have some sort of consolation of her getting entangled in a fanservice situation. She’s probably hard up and would do anything to wow some audience that if Assistant wasn’t there to look out for her, she would have ended up in some shady porn shoot! I wonder if there is a secret DVD title, Porn-senpai… This one would definitely be magical!!! After all, she wants people to watch her, right? Sex sells, right? Voila!

We’d love to see the love prospects between Tejina and Assistant but if they do become a couple it will still be weird and more or less the same thing. There are lots of hints to see why the duo like each other like why Tejina keeps performing and flopping before Assistant is not because she thinks he is interested in her tricks but rather he is the only one around who would pay attention to them no matter how much they stinks. Assistant might give this lame excuse to accompany her lonely club till she graduates but we can see through the reasons why he sticks around. No, not waiting for the moment where he gets to touch her boobs or see her pantsu. Those are bonus points in which I believe he enjoys a lot too but I’m assuming nobody in class gives him much attention like Tejina does. She might be annoying bugging him to show him her tricks but at least she is HIS annoyance! So there you have it. A magician and her assistant with no audience to entertain have at least themselves to entertain. Hence Assistant’s role here is to play more of the straight man to Tejina’s foul ups. Definitely living up to his (nick)namesake. They could be a manzai comedy duo if they get bored of this magician thingy.

The rest of the other characters, I guess they are okay. It gives a little variety because we’ll be bored in seeing just Tejina and Assistant all the time. Hence the odd sibling pair of Saki and Ma-kun with the former with brother complex and the latter trying to look smart by being a mentalist but more often fails too. Technically the duo have better skills in their street balloon art than Tejina. But it’s the only trick I see them do although they excel at it. So is a one trick pony better than jack of all trades who flops hard? Last but not least is Madara who feels like a fringe character. She makes very limited appearance (only to be outdone by Onee-chan) and I thought she would at least be a regular like Saki and Ma-kun. But I guess magic and science don’t mix so can’t have science girl stealing away Assistant’s heart with science because dumb magic bloopers are better, no? And WTF is her fashion sense of wearing black tights under a lab coat? Is this her fanservice to us?

At and animation are okay. Nothing to really shout about and sometimes with all the bright visuals and hues as well as the character designs, it might look a bit cartoonish. Like Assistant with his droopy eyes somehow keep reminding me of that Droopy the dog cartoon character. And Ma-kun being so plum and chubby that he looks like he came out from a cartoon rather than anime. And does Tejina have fangs? For some reason, Tejina reminds me of Dagashi Kashi’s Hotaru. Just a lot dumber. Tejina and Saki’s boobs are so big that it looks like as though they stuck compressed balloons there. This series is produced by Lidenfilms who did Koi To Uso, Yamada And The Seven Witches, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet and Hanebado.

For the voice acting, I only recognized Eri Kitamura as Saki. Her character might not be a totally b*tch character but I guess my stereotypic views of Eri Kitamura playing b*tch girls and ganguro type gals suit her voice perfectly. Kaede Hondo is the voice of Tejina (Sakura in Zombie Land Saga). While she does sound good as her character but I thought it would be ultimately perfect if Kana Hanazawa had been the one who helmed this role. At some points I think my head started envisioning and hearing Kana Hanazawa behind this character. Yeah, it would have been so epic for her to be in this role. The other casts are Aoi Ichikawa as Assistant (Eita in Just Because), Daisuke Namikawa as Ma-kun (Rock in Black Lagoon), Rie Takahashi as Madara (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu) and Himika Akaneya as Onee-chan (Yatsumura in Mahou Shoujo Site). The opening theme, Fantastic Illusion by Iris sounds weird. At least it starts off weird. Like Tejina. Before it becomes a generic idol pop piece. I somewhat prefer the ending theme, Dame Wa Dame by Minori Suzuki. It has this sultry and fanatic pace to it. Somewhat reflecting Tejina’s life, huh?

Overall, not the greatest magician in the world no mind blowing magic tricks were shown or explained, not the greatest comedy of the season because the jokes may look cheap and certainly not the greatest ecchi of the year because they feel forced and cliché for the jokes to be told. Not great fapping material but still good if you have nothing else. Just like Tejina’s magic, this series might miss the mark in a lot of areas but if you are not picky and a simpleton (like yours truly), you are sure to be entertained. And then a better show comes next season and you’ll forget all about this one. It would be magic and a miracle if this series gets another season. It’s the only way to keep the ‘magic’ alive, right? But I have seen all the tricks in her hand and up her sleeves as well as the way she thinks, I won’t be surprised any more. Time to drop in yet another magical fanservice. Yeah, it’s one trick that many of us won’t ever get tired of.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Majimoji Rurumo: Kanketsu-hen

September 20, 2019

Better late than never. That’s what I thought that many old animes that were last aired 5 years ago getting its sequel. It is the same case and it came as a surprise to me that Majimoji Rurumo: Kanketsu-hen got a pair of special OVA episodes back in July 2019 since its TV series last aired in 2014. It wasn’t the kind of series I was hoping for to get a sequel and of course now that it has come out, I don’t remember anything much except about a witch in training maintaining a contract with a perverted guy. In exchange for magic tickets to grant his wishes, the moment he uses them up, he dies. So perhaps as seen in its title, this is the last leg for this series and to bring back the nostalgic hype for hardcore fans who want to see some sort of closure.

Episode 1
It’s that time again when Kouta runs into trouble with Inoue and her public morals gestapo goons. He wishes for Rurumo to save him in which she does his magic. However this means he uses up all his remaining tickets and die! Phew, thank goodness it was just a dream. He then sees Rurumo sleeping so cutely and wants to sleep together?! Thank goodness mom is around and tells him to go do some errands. Along the way, Rurumo is curious to go out for tea. Kouta obliges but this isn’t the kind of tea he had in mind. While he is thinking of being on a date, Rurumo dumps all the sugar cubes into her tea and still finds it bitter! Later Kouta talks to Chiro about seeing Rurumo smiled a little bit. He suggests she should live here forever since he won’t be able to use up his tickets. However Chiro tells the grave truth. Trainee witches only have 500 days limit. Whether they pass or fail, they go back after the time is up. If she fails, it only means she will lose her right to be a permanent witch. And that deadline is in 2 weeks. Wow. Thanks for letting us know such a crucial detail as this point. Then 2 weeks passed without anything happening. Kouta thinks of going on a spending spree to celebrate her send off. He stumbles into a loli who needs his help getting her balloon. After done, he is startled to meet Rurumo in the streets. This is where they first met. She thanks him for all that he has done and just wanted him to remember there was a witch named Rurumo. She can’t make it sound any sadder, can she? Kouta then hugs her and feels stupid for not realizing it sooner. Hence he decides to use all his remaining tickets to have girls look at him. Might as well go out with a bang. Unfortunately he sees that loli crossing the road and a truck is going to slam into her. Oh well. Time to use the tickets to save her. With that, the loli is saved and Kouta drops dead. His corpse confirms Rurumo passed her training.

Oh my. Kouta is really dead! Not a dream! Everyone crying at his funeral! Apparently Rurumo doesn’t know Kouta will pay with his life after using up his tickets! Seriously, girl???!!! Chiro blames herself for not telling her because she wanted Rurumo to really become a witch. But how now? Everybody so sad. As Rurumo is now a full-fledged witch, her first mission is to erase the memories of all humans who know her. But I think she isn’t powerful enough since she goes to each of them one by one instead of casting a wide spell over the city. The last is Tanako who now confirms Rurumo is a witch and learns the truth that Kouta did. Her final wish is that if Rurumo sees Kouta, please tell him how cool he was. Rurumo and Chiro return to the Underworld. We hear a narration of witches divided into 13 ranks with the Witch Queen being the most powerful and occupying the top. Maybe that’s why Rurumo’s power isn’t so powerful yet. She just became a real witch. When Harulily talks to her, it seems she knows that Kouta is still alive. Sort of. Humans whose lives have been taken when a witch’s contract is fulfilled are stored in a soul crystal in Underworld. Many witches don’t know where it is located. While the soul crystal has no means to listen or speak, the human’s mind still remains intact. And so happens Harulily knows where the soul crystals are. She wants Rurumo to go see him before he disappears for good. Rurumo thinks about this and ponders further on Harulily’s words that she is in love with Kouta. Otherwise why could she not stop thinking about him? Does she need to hesitate on her next move? Let’s go see Kouta!

Episode 2
More narrations about how nobody has conveniently seen the Witch Queen and the soul crystals reside in the underground of the admin bureau. Of course they are guarded by top ranked elite witches so can a newbie witch like Rurumo bust in? Conveniently Rurumo and Chiro overheard wardens, Sillia Saland Alphoa and Mimilmia talking about a recent soul crystal being a pervy one because it tried to molest their boobs and butts. Definitely Kouta. Amazingly they manage to steal his box and I know Rurumo is being nostalgic with Kouta but can she save it for another and like, get out of here? I know she feels like she can take on anything but seriously, ranked 1 witches? Of course Sillia and Mimilmia are going all out to stop Rurumo. Thankfully Harulily drops in to help. As she has prepared some top end magic, she manages to stop their time so as to buy them time to escape. Oh, Rurumo conveniently putting memory erasing magic on them. Back in her home (you mean there were no other wardens or security to stop them?), because Kouta’s soul crystal is unresponsive, luckily we have Mimi who has created a doll as his vessel! Long story short, Mimi is in love with Kouta! Putting the soul crystal into the doll, Kouta can only speak and listen, albeit very weak. Rurumo thanks him that she has now become a witch but when Kouta wants to tell her something, he has run out of steam. That is when Rurumo gives up and decides to return him to the chamber. After going through all that trouble? The memory erasing spell won’t last long and the duo will soon catch up. After all, she has been in prison before and now that she has settled the matters of her heart, it’s not bad being imprisoned again?! Girl, you just sounded that you got imprisoned in your own heart.

Soon, Rurumo and Harulily are arrested and are to face a trial for treason. In short, the judges hand down their judgment that Rurumo is to be imprisoned for 300 years and stripped of her witchhood forever while Harulily will be demoted to rank 13. Whatever they have to say or reason, it’s not the court’s problem. So a convenient revelation for us to understand why Rurumo is handed down such harsh punishment. You see, when humans are contracted with witches, when they die, their soul then becomes the source of magic witches use. Now you know why witches descend to Earth, eh? That is why in the chamber, the soul crystals are connected to tubes and all and are managed by the wardens. However this power is not limited and to maintain the balance, the Witch Queen imposed strict rules and certain methods. Rurumo has disrupted that order by awakening the human spirit inside the soul crystal. Because of that, it is deemed useless and will be destroyed. Oh Rurumo. No use crying how she made things worse while trying to save him. So accept that punishment and bear the guilt? Before the judges could hand down the verdict suddenly that loli comes in. Guess what? She’s the Witch Queen! Surprise, b*tches! She heard what happened and rushed all the way back here. She immediately annuls this session and voids all of their punishment. Wow. That was easy. That’s the Witch Queen for you.

The Witch Queen then takes them to her palace. Although she narrates that no one can stop death, but if it is caused by a witch’s contract, ah yeah, I see where this loophole is going. Hence the Witch Queen can use her special magic to revive Kouta and return his soul crystal. But didn’t Kouta get cremated? Lucky boy. Because the Witch Queen snuck into his funeral and swap his real body to her palace! Damn Kouta’s kindness goes a long way. With her special powers, Kouta is revived. The real deal. This time it is Rurumo who comes running to hug him. And finally Kouta is able to say he loves her from the bottom of his heart. I suppose he can’t stay in Underworld so he is tossed back to his home. Damn, his family and friends so happy to see him come back alive?! So what about him being dead? Oh, he lied about waking up before being cremated and escaped. Since he is standing before them, I guess they don’t want to question any further. Seriously. Let those pervy days return! Soon, Rurumo becomes a new transfer student in class. All the guys are crazy over this new cute chick but soon get jealous since Kouta knows her. Yeah. Former sister. Not going to cut it! But screw all that since Kouta gives Rurumo a kiss. Uhm, can he upgrade former sister to girlfriend? Why didn’t he just go with long lost childhood friend since everyone’s memories on Rurumo were erased? Ah well, whatever. And Rurumo is back on Earth as she was promoted and assigned to work on Earth as advisors for Earth-based witches. Can this fun last forever? Maybe not. But at least Kouta doesn’t have to use up his tickets for this now. Live life to the fullest!

Write Your Own Ticket Or It’s Tickets For You!
I’m not sure if these OVA episodes are meant to be the end and closure for the series entirely. At least for the TV format. Because they were released in conjunction for a manga volume released on the same date. Also, I read that the OVAs were original stories to begin with. Since I don’t read the manga, I am not sure how it would deviate. Not that it matters to me since I still won’t be reading them and hence the OVAs are considered the end of the series to me. Unless they decide to adapt the continuation, which would be an entirely different story but that would be for another time.

These special episodes focuses a lot on Rurumo and Kouta being relegated to a side character as we see Rurumo trying to come to terms with her feelings for Kouta. I guess only when death occurs and hits you real hard that you start realizing what is most important to you. It is really a sweet ending for Kouta and Rurumo to be together again although typically that is what I expected it would be. Pretty cliché that both the characters who never realized they were in love with each other or have a hard time saying those magical words until they are pushed to the limits, only when they overcome those obstacles, a fairytale happy ending of them being together again. And they live happily ever after. The end. I wouldn’t have it any other way for them, though. It would be really sadistic of me to aspect Rurumo to say her goodbye and peace and be locked away forever in prison. Not the kind of bad ending to leave as the final impressions of viewers.

There were a few mind boggling moments too. Most probably to drive the narrative and plot of the story. For example, it was said that nobody knows who the Witch Queen looks like. And with that loli revelation (isn’t that why they foreshadow of this unknown character in the first part?), now a lot of people know how the Witch Queen looks like? She doesn’t seem like a nasty person and a very reasonable one so why doesn’t she make her appearance known to at least the denizens of Underworld? She doesn’t have to be known to humans that’s for sure but I wonder why her appearance is kept a mystery. Is it those who only deserve to know her will get to see her face? Strange order if you ask me then. Then the other mind boggling part is how she switched Kouta’s body. I am assuming that a few days passed so why did she not immediately seek Rurumo? Why does she not know she is a witch? She saw her using her magic to save her, right? So what was she doing putting Kouta’s body for a few days in her palace? So that we could all have this dramatic scene of Rurumo going through all the trouble and emotions of rescuing Kouta and feeling her actions were for naught.

And when Kouta revived, where the heck was he if he said he escaped from his coffin? This assuming a few days have passed. Where was he hanging out? So okay, I believe there were no security guards at a funeral so nobody saw a corpse walking out. Even so, this has got to be the biggest prank Kouta would have played on his fellow family and friends and they don’t even reprimand him for this? Maybe we just didn’t see but yeah, making everybody worried sick and crying over your dead body isn’t funny the more you think about it. The funeral was real, you know. I guess everybody realizes how precious Kouta was and couldn’t care less about this and overlooked it anyway. I mean, he is alive. What more do you want? Don’t get me started on the soul crystal thingy. Sure, I saw it coming from a mile that they are used as power source to feed witches’ magic but come on, awakening them once will make them lose that magic worth? Are you sure the producer quickly try to think something up so as to give us that scene where Rurumo was filled with guilt and remorse? That her genuine actions brought more harm than good to the boy she loves? Seems like that to me. But don’t fear. Thanks to all the clichés and ingredients for a good happy ending, that’s why everybody is such a lucky person.

Overall, this series has wrapped up nicely and for viewers like me, a nice and cute closure to everything that was. Lots of typical and cliché moments to pull your heart strings as well but I guess there is no other way for this series to end so that we could all feel good when it comes to a close. If there is one thing that this series has taught me, it isn’t the magic tickets and the wish that you wish upon that really matters most. It is the actions of what you do that affects others that counts. So that is why the next time when you see an old woman needing help to carry her groceries while crossing the street or that little girl whose cat is stuck high up on a tree and can’t come down or the homeless guy who is asking for a spare change or bread to spare, don’t turn them down. Who knows? They might be some higher deity in disguise or even just that ordinary person who will return that favour to you in the future when you needed it most. Just like how Kouta’s seemingly insignificant action to help a loli and be selfless scored big points for his reunion with Rurumo. You could say he won the golden ticket then. And that the best magic comes from that not of witches, but that of the heart.

Grimms Notes The Animation

September 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenja No Mago

August 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Radiant

July 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…

RDG: Red Data Girl

July 21, 2019

Every day, we stray further and further away from God and His path of light. With today’s era of modern society, it seems people have become less and less religious. Blame technology? Blame the changing of societal norms? Blame us being typically humans. Well, I’m not here to lecture and preach to everybody on how everyone should go back being religious because yours truly is also as guilty as hell in not doing any hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/yearly prayers. So it’s not like I felt guilty or empty or something that I decided to go watch this somewhat spiritually associated RDG: Red Data Girl. Heck, I thought it was something to do with the internet or IT. You know, some sort of hacker girl thingy. How wrong I was. Instead… Girl with spiritual powers. A vessel for a powerful goddess. People targeting her. Boy-cum-childhood friend tasked to protect her. Will love come in between? And I’m not talking about the love for God kind.

Episode 1
Izumiko Suzuhara wants a change. So she just slightly cuts her bangs and the whole sleepy village notices and is in shock. Yeah. Those nasty boys at school even mock her that the ‘shrine has got a new roof’. During computer lessons, Izumiko decides to try and use one. Previously anything electronic she touches go haywire. Will this time be different? Suddenly she manages to do a video conference with her dad, Daisei? Wow. The internet must be damn good at that time for them to speak so smoothly in real time. It seems Izumiko is against going to Houjou Academy in Tokyo and she doesn’t want him to decide her life if he can’t even attend her PTA today (I guess he got swamped with work in good ol’ America). Then he notices her bangs. Things get weirder and trippy. Izumiko panics to cut off the power. Suddenly the entire school faces a blackout. Hope you saved your work. Izumiko starts crying, blaming herself for this outage. Even more shocking that Yukimasa Sagara, an acquaintance of Daisei flies in with his helicopter to pick Izumiko up. You mean dad made this emergency call???!!! Yukimasa explains that her hair may have spiritual powers and she doesn’t have to worry if everything around her has changed. It hasn’t. Only her. Because she cut her bangs, right? Damn, Izumiko is taken to a hospital for a full scan and check-up. This must be really a big deal.

When she returns, she meets Yukimasa’s son, Miyuki. But he is not too pleased to meet this plain Jane bespectacled braided ‘goddess’. You can say he hates her. He isn’t also happy that he is the backup plan for all this. Yeah, they haven’t seen each other for 10 years. Yukimasa assures he won’t marry them off. Their status will not allow it. The most he would become is he manservant and that he will be by her side until he dies. Originally the plan was for her to meet up with them at Tokyo but since she didn’t want that, they will follow with her plan to go to a local high school. Izumiko’s fate is to be raised protected from the world. Whether or not she knows about it doesn’t matter, this is their matter to handle. Miyuki will not accept all this and leaves. But after Yukimasa brings him back, he is all messed up and bruised from a fall. The damning thing is how Miyuki is a changed guy! He has regretted the err of his ways and will transfer here. Later that night, Izumiko talks to Miyuki and knows he didn’t want to do this. Certainly. Miyuki only agreed since Yukimasa threatened to kill him. That guy is crazy. Telling others won’t do any good as he is the one calling the shots. Miyuki adds how much he hates people like Izumiko since she is unable to think for herself. She tries to deny and some flashback of how Miyuki ‘bullied’ her to make her strong but she remained a weakling cry-baby. Izumiko doesn’t think she is special too and that is the only thing that Miyuki agrees with her. Next day, Miyuki introduces himself as a new transfer student in Izumiko’s class.

Episode 2
The school will be having a field trip to Tokyo and Izumiko is uneasy about it. Because, crowds. The only guy in school whom Izumiko feels comfortable with, Satoru Wamiya shares the same sentiments with her that he doesn’t like Miyuki. He hopes they can go to the local high school together. Izumiko receives a handphone gift from her mom, Yukariko. Hope the reception here is good. Miyuki doesn’t like Izumiko bugging him but with Yukariko’s letter, he thinks this is the only person whom Yukimasa will listen to. It seems mom wants to meet up with her at Tokyo. But she lacks confidence and wants him to do it on her behalf. He snaps back what if Yukariko doesn’t want to speak to him? In that case, she’ll go. But he has to come along. Can he say no? Izumiko has a bad feeling during the flight and upon touchdown at the airport. She looks pale and sick. It is believed the dark shadows are bad people and there could be some targeting her. They can’t chicken out now as they have to meet Yukariko at the designated place. But as they wait, she didn’t show up. A message comes in saying she can’t make it as she has been spotted. Possibly the people who are after her. She suggests that they come to her house since there is a barrier. As they make haste, weird things seem to happen like as though it is trying to stop them. Like the turnstile suddenly stop functioning and the trains too. Oh dear. Japan’s trains are going to be late! Even the taxi brings them to the wrong street. Yeah, it’s raining heavier. With the electricity around them being cut off, Miyuki too can’t help feel paranoid. Izumiko now really feels scared as something ominous is approaching her. She doesn’t want him to chant an exorcism but to hold her hand. But as the ominous shadow approaches… Yukimasa???!!! Miyuki doesn’t believe he is the real deal but Yukimasa points out Izumiko recognized him and her fear of him proves he is the real deal! WTF???!!! No wonder Miyuki is mad. Izumiko insists she felt something bad. That’s not Yukimasa and probably those bad people who are targeting her. He adds they won’t find Yukariko at home but she provided her place for them to rest safely.

In her house as Izumiko rests, Yukimasa explains about Yukariko always away and working hard to draw attention away from Izumiko. Miyuki still accuses Yukimasa of doing something fishy to Izumiko and perhaps he is the reason why Yukariko stayed away thanks to his presence. Yukimasa doesn’t blame her as it is their nature. There are many people who want to use such powers for their own benefit. Even mountain monks like them. Through ancient times, mountain monks have received powers via training but they have always been women. Miyuki felt nothing from Izumiko as her powers aren’t awaken yet. Miyuki doesn’t think he is up to the job. If he wants to protect Izumiko, by all means do it himself. Suddenly Izumiko appears before them in a kimono. However it is not her. It is Himegami possessing her. Immediately Yukimasa bows before her. It seems Izumiko’s body is to be her vessel but it feels too uncomfortable to inhabit her now. She just came down to check things out after feeling some change. Himegami warns that Izumiko will be her last vessel as she could no longer move forward. Himegami withdraws and Izumiko returns to normal, unaware of what just happened. Yukimasa assures her that her memories will return in time. Miyuki realizes Izumiko is part of a lineage of living vessels. Yukimasa agrees that this burden is too big for Miyuki to handle. He gives him the option to get out and even transfer out from school. Miyuki not happy? Isn’t this what he wanted?

Episode 3
Izumiko explains during her time being possessed. It felt strange like as though she is watching herself. Miyuki now realizes why Yukimasa did all this with great importance and that his real goal is Himegami and not Izumiko. Izumiko’s friends must be considerate. Realizing that Wamiya didn’t come on the field trip, they bought souvenirs for him but have Izumiko give it to him. She does so but Wamiya notices she has changed. He regrets she went to a filthy place like Tokyo. He reminds her she can’t leave here and noting that she now doesn’t hate Miyuki as much as before, he will eliminate him. Hence a few guys go pick a fight with him. It seems they are under Wamiya’s control and they’re really about to get dangerous when they pull out a knife. Luckily, Shingo Nonomura, Izumiko’s driver safely knocks them out and has Miyuki come with them. Miyuki tells Izumiko that there is no such classmate as Wamiya. An ominous presence starts chasing them as Izumiko realizes that it could be partly her fault that Wamiya is doing this. The shadow catches up and crashes the car. Thankfully all survive but Nonomura is stuck. Wamiya shows his face and for the first time Miyuki sees him. Just a normal middle school student. He admits so. As long as Izumiko wishes. As Wamiya has existed in the mountains for a long time without a form, she could only see him after cutting her bangs. He is born out of her wishes. A friend who would understand her. And since she created him, he will not allow her to easily abandon him. Nonomura wants Miyuki to use his staff in the trunk but he is unconfident since he lacks experience. Wamiya wants Izumiko to go to the local high school and she doesn’t have a choice. Otherwise he will kill her. Miyuki wants Izumiko to do just that. Better than dying. However she won’t do that. This isn’t like him. So she confronts Wamiya that if he is from he wishes, obey her. Stop being selfish or she’ll hate him and leave the mountains for good. With that, Wamiya disappears.

In hospital, Nonomura explains Wamiya could be a familiar of a goddess. He had enough powers to go berserk once she realized his form but luckily she managed to control him before it was too late. He assures Wamiya isn’t destroyed but is waiting for a chance to meet again. Izumiko decides to go to Houjou. Miyuki promises to hone his powers there since that place gathers people like them. He will transfer there and tell her what it’s like. Wamiya pops up again but this time he seeks to be dissolved. Since Izumiko first summoned him via mountain top dance that she thought it was some exercise, that same ritual will dissolve him. Izumiko dons her miko outfit as she realizes the reason why she summoned him in the first place. She wanted someone to understand the real her. She was afraid of others looking at her and embarrassed at them seeing her as she is since she can’t accept herself. She starts off her dance and this captivates Miyuki. For once she doesn’t think she is that useless. Wamiya is satisfied and disappears into the wind. 6 months down the road, Izumiko arrives at Houjou and is greeted by Miyuki. He advises her to keep her powers a secret since she is one of the few who got accepted without taking any entrance exam. Izumiko meets her roommate, Mayura Souda who instantly takes a liking for this cute girl.

Episode 4
Mayura introduces Izumiko to her twin brother, Manatsu. His passion is horses but thanks to him, Mayura manages to get into Houjou without sitting for an exam. Mayura further explains that they aren’t exactly twins but triplets. There was a third one but died when they were young. Izumiko gets anxious around the top student and student council candidate, Ichijou Takayanagi. It’s because he looks very similar to Wamiya. However he gives off this creepy feeling and sounds like an arrogant jerk. Izumiko is in a separate class from Mayura. She is in the same class with Manatsu, though. Izumiko has that anxious feeling again as she could see those ominous shadows. Today she is on contacts and only know she remembers why her mom gave her glasses? To protect her from seeing things? Anyway, Izumiko is afraid as she points out to Manatsu about that shadow sitting at the back of the class. Since he can’t see, he points that person out as Ricardo, the Brazilian transfer student. A couple of girls give Izumiko a website that is made by Takayanagi. They give her a password to access it and the site supposedly has some fortune telling readings. Izumiko has the misfortune to make eye contact with Ricardo. He approaches her and wants to meet at the AV room. She agrees just to make him go away. It got so bad that Izumiko ran all the way to Miyuki’s class for help. He hears her out and wants her to see through that promise. You know, Japanese people are good in keeping the promise they make, right?

Izumiko enters the AV room. Why the hell was Ricardo sitting there in the dark? The first thing he asks her if she is human. Suddenly Takayanagi performs a few quick exorcisms on Izumiko. He is glad she is human. Miyuki sees this and calls it bullying. Then he fires his spiritual arrow at Ricardo and instantly turns him into dust. With this, Takayanagi knows their identities. A mountain aesthetic and a spirit vessel. He claims he is not even in his league. After he leaves, Mayura pops out from hiding and she has watched the whole thing. She deduces that Takayanagi is a spirit user and Ricardo must be his spirit agent. She claims she has the same mountain monk training as Miyuki but can’t control spirits the way Takayanagi does. She believes there is some sort of importance for Takayanagi to be the school’s top student. Izumiko remembers the website so they go check it out. The moment she keys in the password, a curse explodes in their face! Though, Mayura bore most of the brunt. But thankfully she still lives and just got away with her left eye needing some bandage. Izumiko blames herself for this so Mayura lightens up the mood by teasing her that it could be Takayanagi’s way of saying that Miyuki and Izumiko are a couple because in the past, mountain monks and miko priestesses often marry. Manatsu comes in and scolds Mayura for being reckless. This makes her cry as she was scared. Izumiko thinks for herself that she never did this as she never pushed herself before. With Miyuki also here, it seems the guys want to settle this tonight. The twins do say some prayers before they go meet Masumi.

Episode 5
Masumi is their dead triplet actually. Though, he materializes as a cross-dresser? With him around, this means Takayanagi has to show up. Indeed. He doesn’t think that was a curse and was just some sort of influence that repels malice at him back at her. Takayanagi uses some binding spell on Manatsu but he easily breaks out. He has Ricardo fight him but Manatsu easily frees the souls that bind into Ricardo. Takayanagi becomes scared that the spirits will haunt him but Manatsu doesn’t care. Takayanagi realizes he isn’t human. Turns out to be Masumi in disguise. With Takayanagi scared sh*t, Masumi gives him a few soft slaps as warnings. In the aftermath, Takayanagi took down the website and gave up on the elections to be the student council president. To cover for Ricardo’s disappearance, it is officially stated he went back to Brazil. Izumiko feels glad to have come here and meet many people who are more special than her. Things seem to be going good between Izumiko and Miyuki when Yukimasa has to pop up. It seems he is now a part time teacher at Houjou. Damn, Miyuki in a bad mood again. But all the other girls swooning over this new hot teacher. In order to avoid being associated with him, Miyuki avoids Izumiko too. She feels sad about it although she realizes that this is to be expected. She has always been alone in the first place and didn’t really lose anything. Later Izumiko talks to Yukimasa about his transfer here. It seems he is doing an experiment to see which students gathered here are to be saved for humanity’s future. You see, there is a decline in humans who have spiritual powers and once this endangered species becomes extinct, Earth will no longer tolerate humanity. This experiment is to avoid that.

Miyuki wants to join the student council executive body and Izumiko won’t have any problems with that. Just that he asked Mayura for help and they seemed so friendly with each other. Sad girl feels so sad that she runs away somewhere alone to hang out. As she sings to calm herself down, she attracts the attention of the current student council president, Jean Honoka Kisaragi. She is practising traditional Japanese arts and brings her to see Hodaka Murakami who is supposedly the school’s first student council president. Meanwhile the former student council president, Mikoto Kanzaki asks Miyuki about Izumiko. Because it seems the shadow student council president has taken an interest in her. Because in reality the true student council president has not changed. Hodaka wants Izumiko to show her dancing but she feels shy. He puts makeup on her and says it is some sort of spell to show her true nature. Even so, she is still reluctant. Luckily Miyuki barges in to stop this farce. Izumiko is confused because he was keeping his distance and now he is concerned for her? Yes, but this doesn’t mean she could hang out with just anybody and should’ve just went straight to Yukimasa had she needed help. Yeah, they sound like lovers quarrelling. When Izumiko realizes she wanted to tell Miyuki something, that is when Himegami takes over. She claims to have seen Hodaka before hundreds of years ago. She warns him he cannot be the judge but Izumiko is the one to choose. She then has Miyuki take her hand. She has a task for him: Prevent her from being created and Izumiko must not become a goddess. Otherwise humans will perish at her hands. By the time Izumiko wakes up, Miyuki and Hodaka just finished making a pact in keeping this a secret. Hodaka welcomes her here if she ever needs advice but please come alone. Miyuki tries to play down his worth and not to expect much from him. Sure. She might not know what the future lies for her but is glad he came for her.

Episode 6
The friends are on the way back to Mayura’s house for the holidays. Izumiko learns from Mayura about Masumi’s death anniversary around the corner. Apparently he slept and never woke up. After the funeral, when the family moved from Togakushi to Nagano, his name became taboo. Since their mom is a normal person, she can’t see Masumi. While having BBQ at night, Izumiko got drunk because there is liquor in the fruit punch. Wait a minute. There are kids here and they put liquor in the fruit punch bowl? Wow. Izumiko so happy. Like on drugs. Until she passes out. When she wakes up, everyone is asleep. She thinks this is a dream when she answers Masumi’s call. Izumiko floating down like a ghost?! Man, this might be a dream. He asks if they can date and Izumiko (still feeling the effects of being drunk) wonders he knows what that means. He believes she’ll find out when she gets to Togakushi. It seems that Izumiko is also part of the student council body as an executive. Mayura organizes a trip for the body at Togakushi to discuss things. However Rena Akinokawa accuses Mayura of having ulterior motives. Because near Togakushi, the history club is also having their camp and it is no secret the club is a big fan club of Mayura. She thinks Mayura is trying to get them to join the body. Mayura doesn’t intend this so Kisaragi puts it nicely that they don’t want any power struggles within the body since the student council is supposed to be neutral judges.

Later Izumiko asks Mayura about her reasons for fighting Takayanagi. She explains she dislikes sorcerers and ninjas because her ancestors were temple priests and Togakushi was a ninja village. She knew about her fan club but chose not to do anything. What is important the student council maintaining their neutrality. Since she knew Izumiko met Hodaka, Takayanagi might have also met him. At first she thought Houjou will have 2 factions battling for supremacy at the cultural festival but there will now be a third force, a vacuum zone. There might be people who are testing Takayanagi’s abilities. It seems the winner of this whatever battle gets to be a candidate for World Heritage. It has lots of benefits for the winner and those around. Because Izumiko isn’t in the loop of this, Mayura talks to Miyuki if he intends to surpass Takayanagi in terms of his spiritual powers. Because those who can foil his tricks can only surpass him in grades. He claims he doesn’t want the top spot and joined the body just to be neutral. This is why he invited them to join too. As for the partner programme that seemingly only them who are using, Mayura believes it was created to favour Takayanagi and his spirit agent. That’s why she wants to know if Miyuki will participate in the battle or not. As she would like Izumiko as her ally, she must settle her case with him first before she goes after Takayanagi. She is going to test his powers now as she summons several tengu spirits.

Episode 7
Miyuki must guess which one of them is Masumi and break out from this special layer. The tengu start attacking and since Izumiko can’t bear to see this anymore, she tells him Masumi is the one standing next to him and not Manatsu. Yeah, Miyuki seemed like a wuss fending off the attacks. Then they realize Izumiko is missing. Luckily Masumi finds her and it seems she is scared not because she could see him but couldn’t see herself. She feels bad for not expecting much from Miyuki and yet talk lowly of him before Mayura. She thinks Miyuki would have been completely normal if not for her. Izumiko returns to the group. She learns the tengu are just the history club guys playing along with Mayura’s plans. Though she put them up to this, they are unaware of Masumi. On the way back, Manatsu gets a devastating call that Tabi, an old horse whom he is fond of is dying. He needs to return but Mayura doesn’t share the same sentiments. She can’t let him go back alone as she cannot leave this camp she organized. Manatsu insists he will return alone (Tabi > this tabi (trip) Haha! Oops…) and will have Masumi take his place. Yeah, Masumi looks like a little kid experiencing his first field trip. So fun! Back at the inn and after dinner, Kisaragi and Akinokawa put up a song and dance. It seems Kisaragi sensed an unusual spirit possessing one of them and this dance is to protect them and expel the spirit. A short blackout occurs before the lights come back on. However everyone notices ‘Manatsu’ and Miyuki missing. Oh, they’re just hiding. Gotcha! Did that scare you? Later Izumiko talks to Miyuki and confirms that Masumi was indeed expelled from the room. He went with him so as he would not be alone. However he finds it weird as Masumi is supposed to be stronger here.

With Mayura getting worried about Manatsu and Tabi’s time is drawing closer, Masumi suggests she go there and tell what she disagrees with and get it over with. However Mayura takes this as Masumi siding with Manatsu as he doesn’t care about her feelings. He points out if they come to think of him differently, he won’t be able to stay as he is. Because their wills are as one, Masumi is who he is. Izumiko and Miyuki offer to go bring Manatsu back. Upon reaching the stable, they learn that Tabi has died this morning. They see Manatsu cleaning Tabi’s stable. It seems he didn’t die a natural death and Manatsu put him to sleep via lethal injection. As Tabi couldn’t get up anymore, its own weight will crush its own organs and cause a lot of pain. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t want to call Mayura and worry her. During this time, Manatsu has thought a lot. Especially how humans have the power to end things instead of waiting for nature to take its course. This brings to the issue of Mayura doesn’t understand that she cannot forever live with him and Masumi. Hence he feels the time has come to end it while he has the power to decide. Surprisingly, Mayura pops up. She isn’t happy about his plan to end things. She knows he is sad and when so, it is natural she will go to him. But he disagrees he isn’t sad that Tabi is gone. He is sad that with Tabi not around, he has to face himself. They can’t keep regarding each other as the most important person in their lives. And then Manatsu runs away riding on Tabi’s spirit?! WTF???!!! Later Mayura gets a message from Manatsu that he will become like Masumi. That way he will forever stay with her. Mayura is distraught as she calls dad about Masumi taking Manatsu away.

Episode 8
Mayura’s father talks to Miyuki and Izumiko. However they have no idea of what Masumi did so father mentions that he too can’t see Masumi and because the twins can only summon Masumi, their mom hates it when they call his name as it goes against a mother’s intuition. Later Mayura talks to Izumiko about Manatsu having the same heart defect that caused Masumi’s abrupt death. That’s why mom refuses to remember Masumi. She knew Manatsu is closer to Masumi than her but never thought he would leave her to be with him. She wanted to become the top student so Manatsu can live longer. Izumiko then talks to Miyuki if he could summon Himegami. As she can’t talk to her in that state, only he can do it. There are risks and they’re afraid but if they don’t do anything, Manatsu will disappear for real. So I guess it isn’t as simple as undoing her braids. Nothing happens. Maybe bad reception? So summoning a goddess is like a handphone? As Izumiko moves, suddenly she enters into a different dimension. She sees Masumi who thinks it is better for Mayura to cry now than later. Because the longer they stay together, the more she will grieve when they are gone. He thinks Mayura would choose Manatsu over Masumi and if that’s the case, it’s better to be one. Izumiko has Masumi lead him to where Manatsu is. He is currently trapped behind a celestial rock. She tries to talk to him but unless he wills it, nothing will reach him. Hence Izumiko decides to dance to expel him, getting the idea from Kisaragi’s dance. As she does so and tells how much everyone will be so happy if she comes back, suddenly Manatsu tells her not to do it. Wait. So this Masumi is actually Manatsu? He warns her if she opens the rock, Masumi will come through and will be different. It was his plant to break the celestial rock and escape. Miyuki and Mayura find them. Mayura hugs her brother seeing she is too tired to punch him.

However they have to run seeing the rock is breaking. Couldn’t have Manatsu realized a bit sooner that he and Masumi are different and shouldn’t become one? Too late. This giant fish god is breaking out. Miyuki defends clumsy Izumiko as he sprouts black angelic wings?! However he knows he can’t fight this thing and Himegami agrees. She is not possessing Izumiko and her own entity. She says a few chants to have this fish god go back to slumber. Izumiko asks if Himegami can remain separate from her so they can talk. However Himegami claims she knows nothing and should ask her mother. When they return to reality, Yukariko is before them. It was her that Himegami possessed her. Izumiko understands why they can’t meet often as Himegami is always with her. Yukariko believes they will face a real trial in the future and although Izumiko believes herself as still weak, that is why Yukariko remains strong to protect her. However this cannot last forever. Manatsu returns to his family and the case is solved. Back in their hometown, Miyuki wants Izumiko to summon Wamiya. She couldn’t. It is believed her getting distorted by Masumi made it impossible. During the camp, a talking raven came into his room. It is believed to be Wamiya and hence Kisaragi’s dance expelling him then and also those black wings he sprouted. Miyuki believes if they are going to follow her, they need to join forces. Then he asks why Wamiya look like Takayanagi. Is it because she likes boys who look like that?! WTF???!!! What was he trying to say???!!! That sure escalated quickly!!!

Episode 9
The student council decides the theme for the cultural festival will be a Sengoku one. And something about the need to have a few models dressing up as that. I can guess who… Later Izumiko is being approached by Takayanagi. He wants her and Miyuki to join his side instead of Mayura. During the festival, the school’s barrier will be down and there will be lots of ‘outsiders’ visiting. He gives her time to think but Izumiko passes out when she hears strange voices calling for her. She is safe in the infirmary thanks to Yukimasa being such a qualified nurse too. He mentions about the upcoming experiment so she wonders if he is referring to her or Himegami. She doesn’t think so since they’re both different. Yukimasa replies that she may be the one to be unveiled as Himegami and probably the last goddess. This has Izumiko think that Miyuki probably wanted to accept her as a normal girl but seeing he is dedicated to serving Himegami, that will never happen. Later Miyuki talks to Izumiko about being part of the backstage crew. Although it is some normal dress, it seems she still has to undo her braids. She is confident from Togakushi that Himegami won’t appear just because they are undone. Hence Miyuki teachers her a simple spell for self-protection. Izumiko sees Hodaka in disguise. He is here to see the preparations and believes the scales might be tip to Mayura’s favour seeing how she treats Izumiko. With one of the models having urgent business, this means Izumiko is now roped in to be her replacement. Mayura warns her that Takayanagi’s supporters might be doing this although there is no concrete proof. As she gets dressed, she has to undo her braids and this has her thinking if this is a ploy to make it easier to draw out Himegami. The models take the stage as everyone is fascinated with the Sengoku costume and snaps away. Izumiko feeling a bit queasy but I guess that angry look on Miyuki’s face that he didn’t expect this to happen tells it all.

Later as Miyuki nags to Izumiko about doing something risky, he didn’t realize that Himegami has possessed her! Even with her braids still intact! Himegami is very satisfied she can move in this body freely. When Miyuki warns her not to appear whenever she wants, she warns him back if he doesn’t treat her kindly, there will be divine punishment. That shut him up. Miyuki accompanies her for the rest of the day. He asks about the state of Izumiko but Himegami doesn’t care. She also tells him to drop talking about another woman as she doesn’t like it. Don’t ruin her vibe. How does she like it if she talks about Yukimasa? Well, she has a point. At the mountain shrines, Himegami talks about how there is nothing here but a vengeful spirit that is herself. She had regrets. After all, she singlehandedly exterminated humanity. When she lost her body, she travelled back in time and wanted help. Someone who could understand her. Not for destruction but for the future. When she returned from an experiment over a thousand years ago, she was declared a World Heritage but the future didn’t change. This is the third time she is going through this experiment and each time her body gets frail and she is gradually forgetting who she is. She might not be able to make it to the fourth time. Her power was so great that in the second experiment, she was killed and stored as a specimen. Her powers put her in conflict with humans as her allegiance is to the planet. She is searching for people who can stop her. That is what Yukimasa and Yukariko are working towards. Miyuki wants time to think so Himegami points out he is like Wamiya. Because of that Togakushi incident, Wamiya resides inside him. Himegami summons him out just to prove. Miyuki wants her to leave Izumiko’s body. Can he force her out? After a few chants, he hugs her and pouring his heart into his feelings for her to come back. Is this impromptu?

Episode 10
Izumiko cries in Mayura’s arms. She is lost on what to do after discovering about Himegami being some destructive force and even Miyuki was scared. She fears she may stop being herself. As the festival gets underway, the model who ditched the job on Izumiko, she approaches her again with her friends. Their reason for that was because whoever does so will be cursed. Since nothing happened to Izumiko, they hope she can be their model for the parade again. They would have taken her away had not Miyuki tell them off. Just hold the parade without a model. Then he lectures Izumiko about being pushed around by younger people. She hits back that he too was doing the same to Himegami. Though he claims he was desperate to bring her back. He explains Himegami doesn’t descent to cause disasters and appears because she wants to avoid them. She just needs someone to talk to. Izumiko wonders if he prefers to spend more time with Himegami than her. Because Izumiko also doesn’t like him talking about other women, that one line has Miyuki thinking both of them are the same?! There’s an incident where several people collapsed after the visit to the haunted house. Isn’t that a success? They are resting in the infirmary, though. Oh never mind. Miyuki and Izumiko investigate just in case. As Izumiko wanders around, we can see ghosts following her. Until they really pop up before her and want to take her away. She manages to run to Miyuki. He asks about not using the self-protection charm. Because she pities them?

Then they visit the infirmary. Wow. A long line of women. Is it that bad? Yup. They’re here to get ‘examined’ by Yukimasa. Damn that guy… Yukimasa talks to Izumiko as she explains the ghosts she saw. Yukimasa seems to want to blame Miyuki for being useless but Izumiko tries not to. So he advises her not to have careless sympathy. He puts a better spell on her. Miyuki blows his top at him that he gets away with everything in the name of Himegami. Yukimasa brushes him off for not making use of the chances. They are shocked to hear Izumiko will be put on several layers after the festival and Miyuki can only talk to her directly while in school. That wasn’t the original plan but Himegami can change her mind. Although Miyuki is not entirely mad at this, he knows Yukimasa has an ulterior motive. Yukimasa might not know Izumiko well but he certainly knows his son. Kisaragi knows that fellow student council member, Yoshiki Hayakawa is making bets for the popularity contest. He wants to have fun and make money while he can. Hayakawa then talks to Mayura and Izumiko. Since Takayanagi will be on the offensive team for tomorrow’s big battle, it is only logic that Mayura will be on the defending team. Mayura feels he has an ulterior motive so Hayakawa says he has the ability to predict the future. Mayura then sees the point of all this. She realizes he is an ally to her as he is from Togakushi. All Hayakawa can do now is set the table. He warns Takayanagi has set something up in school so be careful. Izumiko sees Masumi and it seems he can still hang around without his siblings summoning him. They talk about love but Masumi has a different version of it. Like when he sees a lonely ghost, he eats it to be as one with it. That’s love, right? Well… He leaves her hanging as he mentions he felt some magic in school. But nothing that couldn’t be taken care of.

Episode 11
The friends look around to see if Takayanagi had planted anything suspicious. So far nothing. But when the thought that he might use something not human, Izumiko feels there are strange beings hiding so the guys check it out and find a vial. They believe this is Takayanagi’s doing since he is from the chemistry club. On the last day of the festival, Miyuki gives Izumiko her handphone that he has been keeping all this while. Hope she doesn’t break it. They realize Takayanagi has upped them with a floating balloon from the chemistry club. As they head to their respective posts for the battle, Izumiko has the misfortune to run into Takayanagi and his ‘friends’. Yeah, he summoned a few new spirit agents. He tries to accuse Masumi as the crueller one as he was the one who ‘killed’ Ricardo and that Mayura’s views of the world are narrow. He also tells her about the increase in foreigners at Houjou because of the belief in this era that the west and east need to bridge together and build a common ideology. Izumiko feels scared at first but then finds him not as scary as he thought it would be. Meanwhile Miyuki is rushing towards Izumiko. He realizes there is a spell casted because he cannot reach her. He summons Wamiya to take care of this but he claims that this spell is made by Izumiko. She told him not to come, right? Izumiko finds herself watching one of the battles going on. Once it’s over, this foreigner girl brings her to see Takayanagi as she explains how much she loves Japanese culture and hence why she likes Takayanagi. Izumiko is horrified to see lots of ghosts among the crowd although she is assured they will bring no harm.

Mayura finds Miyuki thinking hard. He believes Takayanagi has set something up and if Izumiko switches side, it will be bad for them. Mayura reminds him about their most important people. She proposes he pretends to be her fiancé. Acquaintances of her family are here to see them and they expect her to be married. In reality she can’t. It’s the same for Miyuki and Izumiko. They can’t be a couple. Because Izumiko said they can’t be together as she would be troubling him, that is why he can’t tell his true feelings to her. Hence they both need an official front. For now, they attend to pressing matters. As the defence side is losing, Mayura has Masumi cover for her and thanks to him, he blows away whatever spell that was suppressing their luck. Izumiko is in the company of Takayanagi and co. They talk about layers and phases. Especially Takayanagi who proclaims he is doing this because they need to seal away dangerous things and set up this world as a place humans can control. As he has known her a bit, he hopes he could study her. What if she refuses? He believes she is now their ally. Izumiko felt confused a calm for a while but when Takayanagi mentions Miyuki’s name, that is when Izumiko remembers him. How could she have forgotten him? She does the chant to break the spell. Must be a great spell since a storm is kicking up. With Izumiko being assertive that she won’t be controlled, Takayanagi tries to calm her down (though, he still wants to persuade her to join his side). She accuses him of using non-humans for his own purposes and won’t stand for this. With the spirit agents blown away, Izumiko realizes she has blown her cover and remembers the warning to keep a low profile. She worries she will now be targeted. It’s that fear of others looking at her again. A small earthquake shakes the place.

Episode 12
Mayura could also felt that Masumi disappeared. All electronic devices go dead after the earthquake. Miyuki is surprised to see Nonomura here. He warns him that Himegami as foreshadowed, Izumiko will awaken today. He passes him a staff. Miyuki and Manatsu head to where Izumiko supposedly is. They find the porch looking strange. Saying a few prayers, they enter another layer to see Takayanagi’s lackeys. And Takayanagi himself turned into a dog! Cute? Yeah, divine punishment from Izumiko for using ghosts! However Izumiko has ventured into another layer and as Wamiya says, she might not want to come back. Manatsu also realizes Masumi is over in the other layer. He has changed the most among the triplets. Because now there is someone whom he loves more than his siblings: Izumiko. Meanwhile we see Izumiko alone, contemplating of never returning to the human world again. Masumi talks to her and he is fine that Mayura has Manatsu. With Izumiko claiming she is no longer human, Masumi disagrees otherwise and humans like her are almost extinct. In short, he confesses he likes her. Miyuki will go get Izumiko but wants Manatsu to stay with Mayura in fear that she will fall apart if Manatsu disappears. But Takayanagi must come with Miyuki so as to apologize and bring her back. In the next layer, they must fight through hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer. But as Wamiya points out, there are many more to come. The problem is not the ghosts and the number of layers but if he has the strong will to get through each layer. Otherwise he can be doing this forever and still not each her. But if he gives up, he can easily return to reality. Manatsu returns to Mayura to tell what has happened. She gets worried since she hasn’t settled things with Takayanagi. Manatsu tells her to stop competing. At this rate they’ll drag and hurt others like Izumiko. Miyuki remembers his reply to Mayura. He doesn’t mind being her fiancé but thinks they shouldn’t do it as it would hurt others close to them no matter how successful the plan is.

Masumi hopes Izumiko can give him a chance to make her happy but she is somewhat hesitant and confused. As Miyuki fights the hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer, I guess it’s time to think out of the box. He calls Izumiko via handphone. Yeah, there’s reception here! Izumiko picks up and he tells her to call for him. She does so and what pops out from her handphone is Wamiya. The familiar says Masumi has lost and don’t be too greedy. Now scram. Then he turns into Miyuki. She admits she was afraid because she found out she is Himegami and didn’t want people to see her. Hence she was hiding. But after Miyuki and Wamiya came for her, she felt better. Miyuki wants her to tell him if she needs anything. Being a goddess is too much of a burden to bear and he’ll help her become one who won’t destroy humanity. However she fears doing so would mean the end so Miyuki hugs her. Takayanagi makes a sincere apology and admits that balloon stunt had some hallucinatory spells. Izumiko is unsure if he can turn him back but Wamiya points out the powers she has that she is unaware of. In reality, everyone is shocked to see ghosts streaming by. Masumi returns to Mayura and vows to protect her. Well, he got rejected so I guess that’s that. Izumiko starts her dance to purify the spells. In the aftermath, we see Hodaka reporting that Izumiko has become the top student and hence a candidate for World Heritage. Izumiko can’t give Miyuki an answer yet but will forever remember how he came for her when she was about to lose herself. She is shocked when he touches her but he just passed out from exhaustion.

Red Data Retention: Spiritual Data Overload!
So I guess mankind gets to live a little longer? Was Himegami’s prediction off? Not surprising as she said she was losing herself so it wouldn’t be surprising if Izumiko didn’t awaken as her at the end of the festival. So is this called a successful failure? Not really sure about the future but as far as the end of the anime is concerned, Izumiko returns to herself with Miyuki by her side. Therefore looking on the bright side of things, all is well, ends well. For now.

As I’m not really into the spiritual theme of things, hence I find it a bit hard to follow some of the storyline and subplots which this series seems to try and cram in a few. The bigger picture looks like if humanity deserves another second chance to exist and hence the smaller subplots include seeing Izumiko taking on a journey if she would be awakened as Himegami’s vessel. It’s rather okay about these subplots of subjugating Wamiya as her familiar, that problem with Masumi and that rivalry with Takayanagi but like I said, these feels like distraction to the bigger plot of Himegami’s awakening. Thus at the end, I was a bit confused to it all. Sure, the festival ended without anything disastrous or untoward but from a long shot, everything is still far by over. Especially when there are other greedy people who harbour such intentions to own that kind of power Izumiko has for their own. I thought that would be a storyline somewhere here but it ended in this Houjou festival thingy. But I suppose that is the story for next time. Next season. Not likely. It’s been years since…

I find it interesting that special people with spiritual powers are now considered endangered species in this anime. So they’re treating such humans as animals now? Hence at the start of each episode you’ll be notified about the Red Data Book/List which is the IUCN’s list of endangered species in the world. Hence the oddly named title of this series as I was wondering at the start. Therefore if Jesus Christ was going to come down a second time to save mankind, in this anime at least it will be in the form of this World Heritage thingy. With people getting more and more hooked to their electronic technological devices, we’re losing that spiritual touch with nature and God. So next time you’re fapping to that porn video you’re watching, bear in mind that there might be many angry spirits watching over your unholy activity… ;p.

It’s hard to say that Izumiko is a useless girl since she is caught in something that is far bigger than what she can understand. She is sheltered and protected from a very young age and when thrust into a different light, she takes some time to stand up on her own two feet. So you can’t really fault her for being gullible and being pushed around because if you are in her shoes, what would you have done? And then she finds out that she is a vessel or could be the big goddess herself, for any normal mortal beings, that is scary enough. Thankfully she has Miyuki to help her bring her back to the right path if she goes astray and the same can be said about him. It feels like this guy is born moody and grumpy and that it sounds like an excuse he is living in the shadows of his great father. He looks like an amateur and unconfident with his abilities because when you’re entrusted with a task that has the big goddess involved, do you not panic and fear you might fail?

Having said that, all Izumiko and Miyuki want is just to be normal high school kids but their fate and circumstances don’t allow them to do so. Hence that wall-cum-barrier-cum-excuse-cum-convenience that makes it a big roundabout way for them not to fall in love with each other. We know and hope they really end up as an item but because the notion of Izumiko is a goddess and Miyuki is her manservant, not so straightforward. Hence she is always insecure and afraid while he is always mad and moody. If the spiritual fate thingy didn’t get in between them, this would have been some sort of generic romance drama. But as we see them rely on each other in the final arc, we can safely say that they are a bit closer to each other than they were at the start. A lot more of these situations should really improve their relationship. Hopefully. It would have been interesting to see if the duo would put their love for each other first than saving mankind. Or perhaps they can do both. But for now, we have to put up with their hot and cold relationship which could be annoying to watch sometimes.

Himegami although feels superior and divine, sometimes I wonder if she is just like any other ordinary woman. After all, just like many other women, she doesn’t like her man to talk about other woman. First sign and hint from your girlfriend that you better pay all the attention to her! I would have been nice to see all the experiments and whatever trials and tribulation she went through to bring about this final journey she is on but I suppose there is not enough time and duration to tell it all in a single cour. After all, they need to keep the mystery of Himegami as her charm. Knowing her a little too well might change our perspective of her and that’s not good seeing she is of a goddess status.

Other characters feel like a distraction like Manatsu and Mayura who don’t really have anything to do with Izumiko and Miyuki’s case and as I have pointed out a few paragraphs earlier, having Masumi around seems like a detour and distraction so as to ‘reassure’ that Izumiko and Miyuki belong to each other. Otherwise, this competition with Takayanagi is still something I don’t get because I don’t really see how this experiment makes one the candidate for World Heritage. Speaking of Takayanagi, that guy really feels like a loser. He looks arrogant and might be suave but eventually in the end he is just a wuss. Heck, he lost not once but twice! You thought he had given up after losing to Masumi and got his spirit agent crushed. But then he returned as sneakier than before and what does he get? Turned into a dog! Hope he learnt his lesson but I doubt it. Then Wamiya is like a familiar for both Izumiko and Miyuki but the way he expresses himself, he sounds not too enthusiastic to serve his masters. It’s like, well, he is doing it because he has to and if so, I mean, what else can he do about it? It’s your call.

Not sure what Yukimasa is doing behind the scenes all the time but I figure it is something important. So important that he had to leave his son with the important task of being with Izumiko AKA Himegami. Didn’t he call Miyuki as his backup plan? So I’m wondering if this multi-talented guy who could do no wrong is just doing all this to piss off Miyuki or in a twisted way, give him some sort of motivation to be like him. I don’t think the latter works seeing how Miyuki doesn’t like him. I mean, you tell when he calls his father by his first name! I’m very sure they are blood related and they are actually biologically father and son but you never know. Anime love to spring surprises about families not really being blood related as plot twist or convenience. Some characters like Hodaka feels like a red herring. I thought he would play some sort of important role but after his debut that makes him feel like as though he is an important character, he falls back into the shadows as background character. Maybe he pulls the strings behind the scenes like Yukimasa but we’ll never know.

The other reason why I watched this series is because it is done by P.A. Works. You know, the anime studio that has brought us a lot of good looking characters and visuals. Like Hanasaku Iroha, Glasslip, Tari Tari, True Tears, Sakura Quest and the recent Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara. Oh yeah. Cute kawaii bishoujo galore. You can bet Izumiko is looking damn cute in her braids because I don’t know why many people view girls with braids as plain Janes. This means you can also see the trademark bishoujo and bishonen character designs very similar to their other anime series aforementioned. Like you know, how Miyuki have this main character look but just put him in constant moody mode. Other than the characters, the background and sceneries are also a sight to behold. It is nice to know that P.A. Works have been constant in their anime quality throughout the years as this series came out back in 2013. So continue to keep up the good work and bring me more kawaii bishoujo to gawk at. And to add to my personal top 10 bishoujo yearend list!

Voice acting is fine as I recognized a few seiyuus such as Saori Hayami as Izumiko, Jun Fukuyama as Yukimasa, Akira Ishida as Hodaka, Romi Paku as Yukariko and Mamoru Miyano as Hayakawa. Not surprising but still surprising is Rie Kugimiya as Wamiya because she isn’t nowhere near her tsundere trademark style and is one of those few boyish roles like Al of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hasuta in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and Shunpei from Oh! Edo Rocket. Only, add more monotony to her voice. I guess she can’t forever be Shana, Taiga, Louise, Nagi… It’s been a long time since I have head Rie Tanaka so I didn’t recognize her when she took over as Himegami. The other casts are Kouki Uchiyama as Miyuki (Shigaraki in Boku No Hero Academia), Madoka Yonezawa as Mayura (Ui in K-ON!), Kaito Ishikawa as Manatsu (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Ryohei Kimura as Masumi (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Hiofumi Nakajima as Takayanagi (Akatsuki in Aria The Animation), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Kisaragi (Yuzuru in Date A Live) and Kenji Nomura as Nonomura (Shishigou in Fate/Stay Apocrypha).

The opening theme, Small Worldrop by Annabel feels rather okay as her soft voice feels familiar to Nagi Yanagi. Hence making this song sound a bit like those the latter sings. The ending theme, Yokan has some traditional feel to it. But Masumi Ito singing it feels a bit ‘creepy’ and like as though I have heard her singing somewhere before. Oh right. Just like how she sang in a similar fashions in anime ending themes like Zettai Shonen, Scrapped Princess and Umi Monogatari. The song isn’t that bad but I sometimes get the chills hearing her ‘ghostly’ voice. And sometimes too I think that she is an alternate version of Nano Ripe…

Overall, this isn’t a bad series but it isn’t a good one either. It had some potential with its theme but lost its way. Other than the pretty visuals, the characters and plots may leave you scratching your head and wondering if there is more to it. Certainly there is because from what we’ve seen, they’ve presented with so much but yet we don’t have enough data storage memory to absorb it all! Yeah, it’s hard to think of it this way that Izumiko is just a 64GB USB pendrive but Himegami is a 2TB data to download!!! Not enough storage space that’s for sure! Well, there’s a flash drive to accommodate that today but I wonder having so would make it unstable. With people with special spiritual powers on the decline and on the verge of extinction, corrupted pervy otaku misfits are on the rise. A dime a dozen, spreading like a plague. No wonder there are so many sh*tty shows these days. Is there a religious anime that could bring us salvation? Looking for religious themed animes online… Aha, Bible Black. Or Crimson Climax. Or Sins Of The Flesh. Oh wait, no… Oh sh*t!!!

N/B: Is it ironic that we somehow have a lot of hard drive space when we download porn?

Marchen Madchen (cont)

July 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh dear. Not another magical girl anime again. But wait. This is not going to be all sparkly cute and magical girl girly. No siree. It is one of those dark magical girl series like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. So if our magical girls aren’t fighting cute monsters, what are they fighting against? Well, in Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka, magical girls no doubt have served and saved the world and rid it from monsters. But they are now fighting on another front against a more familiar monster: Men. That’s right. Magical girls being used to fight terrorism and wars! This goes to show that even with magic, you can never eliminate the great evil residing inside us humans.

Episode 1
When monsters called Disas appeared to destroy humanity in 2016, a year later, humanity formed an alliance with the Spirit Realm to fight them. This allowed girls to combine with spirits and become magical girls. In a bloody fight that took many lives of the military and magical girls, the last 5 led by Asuka Ootorii finally destroyed its king. 3 years later, Asuka is now leading a peaceful high school life but suffers from PTSD. Nozomi Makino and Sayako Hata are disgusted when a man accidentally throws his cigarette butt on them. When he refuses to apologize and gets rough, Asuka pins him down. Soon the trio become close friends and Asuka amazingly finding some sort of peace being with them. But one day, Yoshiaki Iizuka from the JGSDF pops up and wants Asuka to come back and join a small special division he is leading, M Squad that specializes in magic combat. However Asuka has put her magical girl fighting days behind her. She believes if she comes back, more around her will get killed. She remembers the time Disas kidnapped her parents and returned them. In parts. Asuka lies to her friends that Iizuka is her dad (technically he is more of her ‘adopted’ father figure) so Nozomi is relieved she isn’t whoring herself. Asuka continues to live her happy school life. Until one day a security escort escorting a dangerous terrorist, Kim Kanth, his underlings break free. To cover their escape, they create chaos by shooting at civilians! Sayako could have been one of them had not Asuka been in the vicinity. She quickly transforms and kills all of them except for Kim (just amputating his feet). Asuka narrates how the battle for magical girls never ended. There was no real peace for them. After defeating Disas, their battlefield changed to fighting international terrorism, civil wars and other conflicts.

Episode 2
Asuka returns home only to see Iizuka sitting in her room. He still isn’t giving up on her joining his team. Although Asuka’s magic distorts her perception and keeps her identity safe, he wished she didn’t make that slaughtering mess in the streets. Yeah, the cleaning up is tough. No sh*t. At school, Asuka wonders if Sayako is immune to her magic because she is acting like as though she remembers her during the chaos. As Sayako is still pretty shaken up (she was also questioned by the police), Nozomi changes the topic and mentions her dad works in the police department. Unknown to her, Akinori Makino is actually in a very secretive and special unit that doesn’t even officially exist. As his department has captured Kim, he is torturing him to extract any info they can get. Kim is officially declared to the public as dead. Some of his terrorist members think of getting revenge but a rogue magical girl, Abigail has a better idea. It is sad that Sayoko looks like she is going to be suffering from PTSD as police sirens give her the jitters. Asuka may sound harsh calling her weak but it is better than trying to pretend to be strong. Asuka gets a call from Iizuka. She thought he is bugging her again but he mentions a terrorist attack nearby using Disas magic weapon. Looks like his unit is still undergoing training and won’t be ready in time. Speaking of which, only Kurumi Mugen is available. She is Asuka’s old magical partner and currently working in the research division. She fights the Disas but fails. Thank heavens Asuka is here in time to save the day. With the help of Sacchu their familiar, Asuka analyses the weakness before cutting it down. The duo rekindle old times and Kurumi thought it was unfair for Asuka who begged her to join her to fight Disas, now only to run away, leaving her alone. Kurumi couldn’t contact Asuka since Iizuka kept all her info confidential. She hopes Asuka could keep her promise of protecting her since she isn’t strong like her. Looks like now that Kurumi knows Asuka’s whereabouts, she becomes a transfer student in her class.

Episode 3
Magical girl, Mia Cyrus barges into a drug cartel base in Mexico and kills them all. There is a tortured guy in a room who only spouts numbers and something about Babel Brigade. Some magic barrier then crushes him into a cube. It looks like Kurumi is jealous that Asuka has other friends. She doesn’t like it that Nozomi and Sayako are now their usual company. She tries to keep a civilized manner, though. Kurumi remembers she was terribly bullied and she was young. She didn’t like how weak she was and changed. That is a reason why she could still fight optimistically after that awful final battle with Disas. As for Asuka, even though she doesn’t fight anymore, she still works out in fear of becoming weak. When Iizuka brings Asuka to a maid café that serves as his unit’s secret base, he also introduces to his trainees, Shima and Kaede. Asuka reminds him for the umpteenth time that she will not join but he mentions even though the war is over, there is increase in illegal magic trade. They cannot be consider remnants of the war because somebody big is backing them that allows them to modify things. Also, illegal magical girls are increasing of lately. As the world needs a new order, Asuka is vital for that to happen. Makino finally gets some info from Kim. Something about Babel Brigade targeting magical girls to remake the world. Hence some new terrible war is about to begin. Nozomi invites her friends to swim. They are shocked that Sayako dives from the highest platform despite being scared. But somebody save her before she drowns after fainting from her success. With Sayako trying to move forward, it gives some food for thought for Asuka. Though, Kurumi finds it wrong that Asuka is not fighting as she has now things she loves. It should be the opposite. After the friends part, Nozomi on her way home is kidnapped by Abigail.

Episode 4
Asuka still has nightmares when Chevalier Francine (ex-magical girl leader) died in battle and handed the leadership to her. Makino has received word that his daughter has been kidnapped. However no ransom is made and only a note saying this is for revenge. He has his subordinates interrogate Kim about the whereabouts while he goes to see his superior, Miura for a rescue operation. However top brass refuses to send reinforcements because of possible Disas magic that will only cause casualties. They can’t ask for military help unless there is a magical battle. So the plan is to sacrifice and let Nozomi die and they can use this as an excuse to calm down hard on the terrorists. Of course there is one other option where the magical girl acts on her own… Asuka learns Nozomi’s fate from Iizuka. There is no need for second thoughts. She is going to rescue her and Kurumi is coming along. The most Iizuka can do is request the police to cordon off the area. Meanwhile Abigail is recording Nozomi being viciously tortured by her Russian subordinates, Povar and Storozh. Her aim is to use Nozomi as bait to lure in the magical girls. Because as her queen commanded, they are vital to develop a Girl of Mass Destruction! Asuka and Kurumi sneak in and disable the low level terrorists. They are shock to see Nozomi’s state once they enter the room. Abigail warns them to throw their weapons down or they’ll hurt her but Asuka will not negotiate with terrorists. In that case, Abigail cuts off Nozomi’s arm! Asuka pretends to drop her weapon, enough for Kurumi to pin Abigail down before they take Nozomi to safety. Asuka will buy Kurumi time to escape with Nozomi. However Abigail leaves the Russian twins to face Asuka while she goes after Kurumi.

Episode 5
The M Squad moves in after the area is evacuated. Makino reveals the interrogation from Kim that the terrorists have magical mercenaries as well as an illegally created magical girl backing them. After Nozomi is rescued by medics, Kurumi faces Abigail. She gets pinned down and cornered by her Disas. Asuka uses up a lot of magical power to kill off the Russian twins. Meanwhile Gobu the enemy fairy reports to the queen on the situation but is intercepted by Sacchu. Kurumi is about to lose when M Squad moves in. Their specially created bullets take down the Disas and although no match for Abigail’s barrier, their intention is to hold her here until Asuka arrives. And when she does, she’s going to get a taste of her own medicine of what cutting limbs feel like. But before that could happen, the queen protects Abigail with her magic barrier before retreating. Asuka has a feeling she has seen her somewhere before. Later Asuka and Kurumi visit Nozomi in coma. Makino is sad that she could be suffering PTSD for the rest of her life. The moment she wakes up, she starts screaming in fear. She hates magical girls so much until she passes out. Asuka feels sad but Kurumi says there is hope. She can remove her memories for the past week with no side effects but she must do the operation now before it sticks into nervous system permanently. Is there any reason to hesitate? With some medical sci-fi mumbo jumbo, Kurumi successfully removes those memories. As Asuka laments she cannot protect anybody, Kurumi disagrees because if not for her, a lot would have died. Kurumi looks up to Asuka and wants to be like her. With the recent events, Asuka decides to join M Squad. When Iizuka reports to his higher up to move Nozomi and give her a new identity as the enemies know her, instead they have another idea to make Nozomi stay put. She will be bait for a trap. After all, 2 magical girls go to her school, right? Nozomi is as chirpy as before but has no memories of the week before, including their pool visit. A small price to pay, right?

Episode 6
Mia and her team talk about Asuka and Kurumi returning to active duty. Maybe she’ll get a chance to see them. Because the next mission conveniently brings them to Japan. Asuka and friends are studying together when Nozomi suggests visiting the Tanabata festival tonight. Kurumi sounds like a desperate girl trying to make special memories with her. I mean, really desperate. Especially when she gets that jealous feeling seeing Asuka getting friendly with Sayoko. The more the merrier as M Squad too is here to celebrate with them. Don’t worry. No shock Disas attack. Asuka meets a foreigner there who claims she is looking for a child she was separated a long time ago. But Asuka’s friends meet up and the foreigner just vanished? Leonid Greenburg was that guy who died as a cube in Mexico. This mathematician has a brother Jerome living in Japan and he is a retired well off IT owner. However a few months ago he has also gone silent and they’re here to check it out since not even the Japanese authorities knows what is happening. As they barge into his penthouse, they see his body crushed like his brother in a cube. Mia finds it strange because it’s like as though they want them to find the body. There’s also strange writings on the mirror, “He who laughs last, laughs best”. The place is then filled with drug mist. They are attacked by the foreigner who is a magical mercenary, Sandino. She gets her powers from the drug. She claims she is doing this out of revenge for the US bombing raid on Disas that killed her family in Columbia. Revenge via terrorism? But why target magical girls? Her daughter died and humans were the ones who killed her in that war. Well placed bombs caught Sandino off guard. Mia will not fall for her deathbed redemption and kills her since she is too wounded for interrogation. They’re all just terrorists after all. Like the ones who killed her parents. As Mia’s teammates theorizes Babel Brigade hiring Sandino, Mia dismisses it because the motto is only known to the magical girls. Meanwhile Asuka prays and hopes she can continue a happy life by protecting and supporting the dreams of others.

Episode 7
Flashback 3 years ago shows Asuka in despair just before the final battle. After Francine passed the baton to her, more magical girls died and she started to feel she can’t do this. Until Tamara Volkov tells her to continue fighting and at least hold out for an hour more. Then they’ll think of something else. M Squad holds a welcoming party for Asuka. They don’t have budget so all the food are military rations! Expired! But still tastes good… Asuka is formally introduced to other M Squad members, Yoshino and Ise. Meanwhile Tamara receives a mission by her boss for an undercover mission in Japan. She must not fail for the sake of her older sister. Iizuka briefs his squad about Topology Bridge. Portals that link to other worlds. However only 2 of them are stable and they’re in Copenhagen and the other in Okinawa (Japan, of course). There are other Random Bridges popping up randomly elsewhere but they are unstable. One was reported to have appeared in Hokkaido and intelligence revealed an illegal trade is about to take place by a Russian mafia. After all, 10 police at the scene were already murdered by a magical girl mercenary on their side. As they arrive, the mafia already finished their deal with some Disas trading a few Japanese hostages for lots of magical items. What a bargain. M Squad begin their operation by taking out the mafia. I suppose with everyone dead, Nazani only acts to fight back and escape. When Shima is injured, Asuka freezes and her trauma of a comrade is going to die flashes through her mind. Kurumi holds out from her onslaught long enough for Asuka to regain herself back before cutting Nazani’s arm and making her squirm and cry like a baby. M Squad leaves after the mission. How convenient that a Random Bridge never appears in the same place again. You mean not even a metre away from it? The mafia leader is the only one who managed to escape thanks to swallowing a Disas pill that allows quick teleportation but at the risk of liquefying his organs. But he is cornered by Tamara and in his desperation, stabs himself a Disas weapon to turn into a monster. However Tamara burns him with her flame thrower. She asks about the items in the bag but he could only mention about some new world order and Babel Brigade before the item explodes, killing him.

Episode 8
Chisato’s father tries to turn her into a whore and make money but the establishment doesn’t want to risk dealing with minors. Plus, she is an amputee. Hence the drunk father takes it all out on his ‘useless’ daughter and possibly going to kill her until Giess barges in and kills this bastard. Giess asks if she wants to be a magical girl. While Asuka and friends are having a nice field trip at Okinawa, Kurumi is torturing Nazani. Is this mild BDSM? Nazani pleads she knows nothing about Babel Brigade but Kurumi isn’t going to make it easy for her by enhancing her senses. Kurumi remembers how her classmates played a cruel prank on her and even made it look like she is dead. Even the teacher pretended not to see. She was so enraged she wanted to kill them until Asuka told her not to waste her time with these fools and join her to be a magical girl. Iizuka briefs his M Squad that a secret conference between the worlds will soon take place at this Topology Bridge at Okinawa. A major figure from the Spirit Realm will attend and they will do all it takes to protect this conference. American and Japanese forces will cooperate to provide security. With Iizuka representing the Japanese side, Captain Larry Ironside and Mia are from the American side. Tamara is here as a UN observer. They have lots to do since they receive word that a terrorist group that uses magic items will be up to something. Hence, hate to break your nice field trip, Asuka and Kurumi. It’s mission time. Giess relates his sad story as a child soldier in Somalia. Left for dead, his rescuers gave him this new robotic body as a new lease of life. Now he presents Chisato with a new mechanical leg. Literally she kicks ass with it as she fights a Disas as test. Chisato feels comfortable enough to explain her past. She had a nice mother but was killed in a car accident. However the culprits were drunk minors and the most they get is juvenile detention. They’ll be out in a couple of years. Giess then shows her those delinquents she kidnapped from the facility. If she is to be a magical girl, she must kill them slowly via her own hands without transforming. Giess further narrates his past that as a farmer, his village was attacked by guerrillas. He pleaded for his life but they only let him live if he killed his parents and raped his sister. He did that and joined them. When he was left for dead in an operation, his rescuer gave him a new breath of life and the first think he did was to slaughter the guerrillas. Without hesitation, Chisato takes her time to kill them. It must have been worth it since she killed them until she is exhausted. As Chisato has passed the test, their plan to attack the conference will proceed as planned.

Episode 9
Asuka is in tears when she reunites with Mia and Tamara. It’s been a while. The next day while final preparations are being made for the conference, Iizuka takes the magical girls somewhere first. It seems this is a personal request from General Tabira who is representing the Spirit Realm for this conference. The magical girls aren’t fond of her because they know she is obsessed with them. Like how she almost ‘killed’ Asuka with her boobs smothering hug. She gives them a present, a newly developed item that will enhance their magical powers. They wouldn’t have been so suspicious had she not trolled them at first with skimpy swimsuits! Giess and Chisato begin their magical artillery attack on the base. With the damage and casualties rising, report comes in that they are only targeting the Japanese army. They’re not even touching any of the US bases. Because technically this means the Americans can’t mobilize their marines. Damn stupid loopholes… Of course with the Japanese Minister of Defence authorizing the use of magical girls, it looks like they have their hands full as Disas are reported attacking civilians in a nearby town too. They know too well this is a distraction and Asuka is worried about her friends there. She offers to go there but Iizuka rejects her as she specializes in close quarter combat and will be their last defence at this base. Instead, Mia offers to go there. Tabira wants to fight too but is also rejected and ordered to return to her world. If anything happens to her, it is a loss for both worlds. However they realize the Topology Bridge has been forcefully sealed off from some dimensional explosion (magic bomb?). It will take 48 hours to be restored. They realize their target isn’t the conference but Tabira. You mean they didn’t think about this possibility?

Episode 10
Large civilian casualties in town. Damn goblin type Disas raping women???!!! Does this look familiar???!!! Amazingly Nozomi and Sayoko manage to stay alive and escape. Even when Nozomi injures her feet, Sayoko won’t abandon her. Although on the military base’s side, they look like they are able to handle the first wave of Disas. However it is the enemy’s plan to give them false hope and send them straight to despair. Because the next wave of Disas is larger and they can all use magical guns!!! Sh*t hits the fan!!! Hence Mia is caught off-guard and wounded in the crossfire. It could have been a lot worse for her had not Nozomi and Sayoko scream and warn her from the back. As they trek on, the girls wonder how Mia can continue to do this despite in pain. Mia explains she isn’t chosen because she was the strongest. It is because she was chosen that she became strong. Everyone is born for a role. Some are lucky and others not so lucky to find it. Asuka is starting to get traumatized by the piling deaths. It could be a repeat of the disaster again. Before she can think that the existence of magical girls make no difference, Kurumi hugs her. Please don’t disrespect the dead. She can forever as long as she is by her side. They get ready as Giess and Chisato burst in. Giess uses some sorcerer type Disas to keep Asuka at bay since old data showed she is weak against this type. Kurumi is kept busy with Chisato. Giess then heads deep into the shelter and kills all of Tabira’s guards that stand in her way to confront her. He wants her to hand over her newly developed item. I don’t know what took Sacchu so long as it finally blasts those sorcerers with some magical fire grenade, allowing Asuka to be freed from those magical wires. When they rush to Tabira’s side, Asuka is seething with anger seeing Tabira down.

Episode 11
Giess’ penguin familiar takes the item and flees, leaving Giess to fight Asuka. Kurumi gets owned by Chisato. However she hears the taboo word of punching bag and this brings back traumatic memories of her bullied past. This makes her go into rage mode until she manages to overcome Chisato and knock her out with her needles. Asuka cannot penetrate through Giess’ heavy armour and in order to free herself from the rubble, she cuts off her left arm! She has Sacchu analyse some special magic tank inside Giess so that she can destroy it. Giess is happy to meet Asuka. He was happy when he watched on TV how magical girls fight and won against Disas. However all that come crashing down because the true monsters are humans. That is why he thought it is better that the world is destroyed. Asuka may agree to some of it but there are still beautiful things in this world she wants to protect. Although she manages to rip off his magical tank, her weapon is embedded inside him and is armless. Literally only 1 arm. Luckily Iizuka drops her a new weapon that allows her to cut Giess like a butter through hot knife and ripping out his true spinal form. He reveals their goal wasn’t Tabira but the item. Meanwhile, Mia and the girls are saved with Tamara backing them up. I guess her site is secured to go rescue them. As Kurumi repairs Asuka’s arms, Giess apologizes to Chisato that her mom’s death was their doing. Because Killgee sensed her powerful magical ability, they wanted to test her under severe stress. At least she got to be a magical girl. When it’s over, forget about them and a new world will open for her. Giess dies and Chisato goes crazy from sadness. She is restrained and taken away. Asuka immediately gives Mia and Tamara a big hug after seeing they are alright. Tabira is now in a form of a cute animal to reserve her power. The magical girls part ways and hope to see each other again. I guess the battlefield is the most likely of places.

Episode 12
Looks like our magical girls too have to complete their paper work. Mentally draining in addition to physically draining. Mia reports to her comrade and in return is told that Greenburg dude, he was forced to calculate something by Babel Brigade. Because magic is like physics in the other world, it might be to calculate summoning of magic for terror attacks. Tamara returns home and sees her sister. But it could all be an illusion since her actual form is a Disas? Now we see a hot chick killing the Chinese mafia in Shanghai. She turns out to be Lau Peipei, the last of the legendary 5 magical girls. She is now working as a freelance mercenary. Since when did she transformed from a plain Chinese girl into a hot sexy ganguro gal?! Iizuka sees Miura and suggests their units team up unofficially. Chisato is being tortured by Kurumi. Is this her style to strip them to their undies and do inject some serum that enhances their pain? She even introduces Nazani has her pet dog! Kurumi talks about the 30 official magical girls designated as weapons by the UN but with so many rogue magical girls, there could be over 300 of them. Nazani tries to assure that turning a new leaf in life and doing good is best but Chisato feels life is no different. And with all the fake hope, she wants to die. Only, Kurumi won’t allow that. Magical girls don’t die easily. Despite giving her some hope that she will find something to live for, Chisato is given a choker. Although she is set free, if she runs away far enough, it will paralyze her and alert the authorities. So much about freedom. When Nozomi receives an invitation to the maid café, it sees Nazani and Chisato are new maids working there. Didn’t Asuka warn them about the food here being horrible? But it’s dirt cheap! Elsewhere, they get our attention with this short suggestive sex clip of Abigail and her queen. Then it’s back to business. It seems they have everything ready for the next war. All they need is a vessel. The queen points out a war needs enemies. And they need the magical girls to get a little stronger. Asuka is once again having this forlorn thinking about their current peaceful life that won’t last as well as reminiscing her dead comrades. Leave it to Kurumi to assure her (again) she’ll always be by her side. Oh look, Iizuka calling. Time to move. Flashback shows the magical girls gather before their big Disas boss fight and they talk on what they want to do after it all ends. Some wanting to join the army and for Kurumi, she wants to fall in love. Asuka? She wasn’t sure as she only knows how to fight. Francine told her to try different things because people can change. Big wefie for posterity!

Call Of Duty: Magical Warfare
This needs another season. With the rise of Babel Brigade, it looks like this season feels like just introducing them and since they have already begun to move forward their plans, it is not yet over by a long shot. Especially the queen whom is hinted to be someone Asuka knows. God, let it not be her twin sister! Or perhaps one of those dead magical girls. With so much potential (and terrorism) waiting to explode from Babel Brigade, the next world war is about to get heated up. After all, Asuka herself did narrate that it is a never ending battle for magical girls. International crime, terrorism, civil war… All manmade conflicts with the poor magical girls being viewed, treated and used as weapons. No wonder you can’t blame some for wanting to rid mankind, the source of all the problems.

This season’s storyline is just suffice. Mainly about Asuka re-evaluating the path in life she should walk. After all, what was the name of this series again? It is sad that young girls were made to fight against horrifying creatures and some losing their life so it is understandable that Asuka was and still is suffering from PTSD. It is reasonable she wants to lead a quiet life away from all that terrorism nonsense. Until fate decides to call her back and play a cruel joke on her friends. That was the clincher for her to readjust her goal in life. Because if she isn’t going to fight, who else is going to fight in her place? Who is going to fight for her? Is she going to let other young girls become magical girls and develop PTSD along the way? So by accepting her fate to continue fighting for the ones she loves, it’s like making peace with herself and being able to move forward.

The other characters provide great support for Asuka. Like Kurumi who is Asuka’s greatest aide in battle but outside the battlefield, she’s like one of those very overly possessive friends. The kind of girl who thinks nobody can own Asuka except her since she could monopolize her if ever the opportunity of some yuri hentai materializes. Is Asuka some sort of commodity? I know friends can be bought (figuratively speaking) but I don’t think it works here in her case. I’m sure she would have taken care of Nozomi and Sayako had she not considered that it will make Asuka sad if they’re gone. So basically Asuka’s wellbeing is her primary goal in life. Nozomi and Sayoko must be the most fortunate and unfortunate friends ever. They have been into many situations where their life could have just ended. From Kim’s random terrorist attack to the Disas attack on their field trip, damn these girls are really unluckily lucky to have survived this long. Just make sure Asuka is your friend.

I thought the legendary 5 magical girls would get back together again and fight terrorism as a unit since they teased it a lot in the opening and ending credits animation. I suppose the mini reunion wasn’t that bad. Still, they really leave it late for the final magical girl to pop up. I was even thinking if she was going to show up at all and perhaps started making up about a conspiracy theory that she was secretly dead all the while. Yeah, Peipei having a total makeover might fuel this conspiracy theory. I’m not sure if it’s the Spirit Realm’s taste that they could only give young girls magical powers, hence their aptly named magical girls. Because you don’t see young boys or men doing all that magic thingy, no? Yeah, so awkward to see men in revealing outfits in battle. Big nope! Better leave it to magical girls. Visually appeasing and assuring (after decades of magical girl genres too). Men only get drafted into the military and die like ants! For some reason, the magical girls here are so UN diversified. It’s like they’ve got a magical girl from a major nationality. Japan has 2 of course because you know, Japan. America, Russia and China make up the balance of the superpowers and France was killed off. Was there a British or German magical girl? Spanish or Italian perhaps?

The series tries to tackle some dark issues like PTSD but it isn’t really that deep. We can see that all of the magical girls suffer from some sort of distress or a past issue that is bugging them. It is both a strength and weakness and made them where they are today. Asuka wants peace. Kurumi as a bullied victim fears being alone or abandoned. Mia has grudge issues to avenge her parents while Tamara is hinted to have some concerns regarding her sister. Mia and Tamara seem to be holding it well but we aren’t sure if they are suppressing their emotions and in time will blow up. Let’s hope they don’t turn into rogue magical girls no matter what. The world already has enough social problems and it doesn’t help if they cross over and become part of the problem.

Sacchu is so weird. Supposedly the series’ mascot but its presence feels so lacking. I suppose with other strange furry fairies (albeit playing lesser roles), it’s hard for this one to stand out. Furthermore, I think Sacchu is like the comic relief at times especially when they go into action mode. Because you can see how this critter makes a crazy I-wanna-go-kill-me-some-Disas face and sounds the part. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be serious but it comes off more as funny and cute if you ask me. And wait, Sacchu is actually a mouse?! I thought it was some black cat???!!! Or a funny bunny.

The action sequences are entertaining to watch. They might not be the best with jaw dropping choreography, but with the fast and furious action pace, at least it provides some adrenaline rush. Because Asuka and the magical girls aren’t just formidable, rogue magical girls and other sorcerers are just as deadly so it is a battle of not only skill but wits, reflexes and sometimes even luck for a fight to turn in your favour. Some fight scenes are pretty gory and gruesome. Lots of blood, casualties and even some losing their limbs. Not for the faint hearted. Many characters have some sort of amputation or experienced one. Iizuka, Nozomi, Giess, Nazani, Chisato, Kim and even Asuka herself. But don’t worry. With Kurumi’s magical medical advances, we can use that sci-fi crap to attach it back like as though it never came off. Limited time period offer only so hurry! ;p.

While the art and animation are pretty standard and nothing that mind blowing, I just want to personally note the strangest visual aspect of this series: The characters’ eyes. Do you not agree with me that they look a bit strange? How should I put it? They’re slightly bigger than your already big sparkly anime eyes. If you have seen Koi To Uso, you would understand what I mean. Not to say those bigger than usual eyes makes them creepy but it sure makes them look a bit strange, especially Asuka. The designs of the magical girl outfits, I don’t know, it made some of them looking like cosplay sluts. Like Chisato who is just practically looking like as though she is just wearing ribbons all over. Then there was one of those dead magical girls looking like an Amazon woman due to her very revealing-like Amazon outfit. And was one of them looking like a gypsy woman too? And Mia’s outfit, is she like going to the beach or something? You’d think magical girls fighting against magical creatures would wear very protective suit like how the M Squad does from head to toe but I am guessing that the magic comes from the outfit. Otherwise why the logic of wearing such exposing costumes into battle? Oh yeah. Must be Tabira’s twisted taste in magical girls.

The Disas’ designs are primarily nightmare fuel. They might look like cute oversized stuffed dolls but I assure you when you are up close with them and moments before your horrifying death, they’re the kind that would give you sleepless nights. Even more so when we consider stuffed dolls to be cute, adorable and all, contributing to our dilemma that these creatures are out there to wreak havoc and take our lives. Yeah, no wonder we’re so confused. Too late to realize once they bare their fangs right in our faces. There are some Disas that have cute animal faces but a body of a macho man! This somewhat reminds me of those antagonistic squirrel henchmen in Mahou Shoujo Ore. Only, these ones are much deadlier and you can’t bludgeon them to a bloody death with a magical wand. This anime is done by Lidenfilms who did Koi To Uso, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet, Hanebado and Killing Bites.

Voice acting is decent. But beware some screaming moments that could be slightly ear piercing, if not heart breaking (like Nozomi’s traumatic moment). The only seiyuus I recognized are Sayaka Ohara as Tabira, Ayana Taketatsu as Chisato and Shizuka Itou as Sandino. Due to limited dialogue and screen time, I wasn’t aware Youko Hikasa was behind Peipei’s voice. Had Sacchu been voiced by Ikue Ohtani, it would have fuelled my speculation that this character was indeed taken after a certain electric yellow mouse. At points I thought it was so but too bad it is Kokoro Kikuchi (Akito/Agito in Air Gear) behind that black fairy mouse. The other casts include Aya Suzaki as Asuka (Mako in Kill La Kill), Akira Sekine as Kurumi (Princess in Princess Principal), Eriko Matsui as Mia (Amou in Busou Shoujo Machiavellism), Mao Ichimichi as Tamara (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Kenji Nomura as Iizuka (Shishigou in Fate/Apocrypha), Rie Takahashi as Makino (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Chinami Hashimoto as Sayoko (Chiyo in Prison School), Ayahi Takagaki as Abigail (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear), Yuka Terasaki as Giess (Basil in Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn) and Shizuka Ishigami as Nazani (Renge in Kyoukai No Rinne).

The opening theme is Kodo by Nonoc. It is hard rock music infused with some techno music. I guess it fits the fast and furious action pace of the series. Basically there are many BGMs across the series that is very techno-laden. Very much suitable for the action scenes. So techno that I think it can also serve as dubstep. Turn on those volumes and let it blast aloud! If you’re high on drugs maybe you’ll go into some trance. Heh. Just joking. But just saying. The ending theme is Rebel Flag by Garnidelia, just normal hard rock music.

Overall, not really one of the best animes this season but I still particularly enjoyed it because of the action sequences and the intriguing dark nature and theme of the magical girls. Though, it could have been better if it the storyline was improved. It is a refreshing and unusual notion to use magical girls as the main trump card by the military to combat terrorism. It is one of those magical girls themed series that doesn’t clearly make our heroes victorious in the end. Heck, even Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica had a good happy ending. Uhm, sort of. Even Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku had a good happy ending. Okay, sort of. And even Mahou Shoujo Site had some sort of hope in its ‘good happy ending’. Well, kinda. But for our special operative magical girls here, it is still a long road ahead and even triumph is not guaranteed. With so much blood on their hands, it is either they live with the trauma from all the bloodshed or the ‘highest honour’ they could get is to die in the battlefield. Just sad…

Endro

June 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How long ago was it since I’ve watched a high school teen romance drama with some magic? Oh heck, I couldn’t remember. Hence so I thought Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara may be that timely reminder that I should have a look at this. After all, this series somewhat reminded me of Glasslip and it is no surprise since both these series were done by the same studio. Maybe that’s why I started getting this nostalgia about the genre. And perhaps some bad memories. Heh. Like I still remember the disaster that was in Glasslip. So by substituting visions of the future with colours, I hope this series could avoid the mistakes of that one.

Episode 1
Hitomi Tsukishiro doesn’t look forward to fireworks. The truth is, she cannot see colour. Yeah, her life is one dull and sad monochrome. Suddenly grandma Kohaku decides to whisk her back in time when she was in high school. Yeah, collecting 60 years of full moons’ light just for tonight. Too bad Hitomi has no say and now she is in some weird bus and lemon driver. Thanks to her Popocky sticks to make the payment or else she would never have alighted. Back in the past, she finds herself in a room. Yuito Aoi is coming back so she hides underneath his bed until he gets out. Damn future is so futuristic, she doesn’t even know how to open the window pane lock! Once she luckily does, Kurumi Kawai and Asagi Kazano spot and record a woman sneaking out of Yuito’s place! Share this to spread the scandal! Later when they meet up with Shou Yamabuki to show him this, they spot Hitomi again. Lost? They help her find an address she is looking for. Hitomi notes they are from her same school but the uniform has changed. Of course they don’t know what she’s talking about. Along the way, all of them explain they are from the same photography and painting club that Yuito is in. They try to satiate their curiosity of her sneaking out of Yuito’s room but Hitomi looks very troubled so they drop the subject. At the magic shop at the hilltop run by her family, Hitomi is looking for Kohaku but she is currently overseas studying. She explains her circumstances and they are kind enough to let her stay here until she returns. So feel free to make this little attic like home. Hitomi realizes she has dropped her azurite earring. Too dark to search for something grandma gave her. But they are confident if she is a mage, it will return to her. Next morning, they guide her to close her eyes and concentrate. Oh, she dropped it in Yuito’s room. Meanwhile Yuito’s mom is teasing her son of having a secret girlfriend. Rumours sure spread fast in this small town. She is somewhat thrilled because she is worried her gay son is only ever interested in painting. But he isn’t thrilled. That person might be a robber. Something catches Hitomi’s eyes when she sees Yuito painting in the park. She could see his painting in colours! It even comes to life! She is so enthralled dancing among the colours that she realized too late she was making a fool out of herself before Yuito.

Episode 2
Hitomi explains herself before Yuito is going to report her for trespassing his room. You won’t do that to a cute scared girl, would you?! He hands back her azurite. Case closed. Back home, Hitomi’s family tells her the news Kohaku is cutting her stay overseas and coming home. They also ask her about her magic but it seems Hitomi hates it and rarely practises it. Well, she must master a powerful spell if she wants to return home. Since she is stuck here for now, might as well enrol in this school. The vice principal hopes she isn’t as flashy in her magic as Kohaku as he makes her sign some collateral agreement! Kohaku’s magic often caused mischief and her mom often had to come to apologize. It’s a reason why she is overseas to study. Hitomi is lonely in class since many don’t have a favourable view of a mage. Discrimination? Blame Kohaku for all that. But our usual gang from the photography and painting quickly become her friends. Chigusa Fukazawa keeps insisting Yuito admit Hitomi is his girlfriend. But Yuito only has a request of her and that is to show magic to dispel the rumours. Here she goes. Everyone watching with baited breath… A small spluttering stardust. Bummer. It only reinforces her hate for magic. Her friends try to take her mind of that by showing their club. But she looks ‘interested’ in Yuito and he is the only one not around. Try the rooftop. She apologizes for that disappointing show because she wanted him to believe her. He apologizes for forcing her to do something against her will. He lets her see his drawing and he hopes she could show her magic again. He finds it impressive. More impressive than his drawing. Yeah, do you not know to her his drawing is magic! Hitomi feels better because she never thought somebody would say that to her. And so we see her practice. She’s conjuring up a lot more stardust than before.

Episode 3
Hitomi is shown how to do simple magic as a start. A Popocky stick is a good wand. You can eat it too! It is that year the school is recruiting newbies for their club. Of course Hitomi is interested in Yuito’s art. I suppose thanks to the labels on the paint, she can ‘tell’ what colours she is using and paint a decent picture. The other friends hope she would be interested to join their club as they drag her to join in on their recruitment spree. They are to hold a workshop for potential newbies to take pictures but with the vice calling Shou to take pictures of the drama club due to the rescheduling, looks like somebody needs to replace him as the model. Nobody wants Chigusa despite he is hinting! Yeah. Hitomi! Please! Onegai! Her job is to walk on water via using a blue stardust. Oops. Bottle has no label. Did she pick right because soon she becomes like Jesus Christ. But nobody expected snow as part of this show and as soon that happens, Hitomi sinks like a hammer. Hitomi dries herself as Yuito accompanies her (since club activities are still ongoing). Seeking an explanation of her ‘lost face’ during the walk, she reveals she cannot see colour and doesn’t want him to tell this to others for fear of the unknown. It’s easier to keep this as a secret. You think? Hitomi runs away as Yuito feels bad as he can’t imagine a world without colours. With Hitomi avoiding the rest, they thought she’s through with them. But she is gathering her thoughts on how to talk to them and eventually musters the courage to do so. Yeah, this pool cleaning event helped a lot. Because she decides to join their club. Success! Now they can’t say their recruitment drive ended in zero recruits.

Episode 4
Kohaku returns! Hitomi knows it’s her due to her trademark hug. It’s her alright. Boy, it’s going to be weird calling a girl your age as grandma. With Kohaku’s return, some are wary but others want to see her magic again. Kohaku being Kohaku transports the class to some medieval building but then a locomotive train passes by. Yeah, everything is covered in black soot now. Kohaku must have broken the record of the fastest written apology. Unlike Hitomi, Kohaku is quite friendly and easily mingles with the club members. Hitomi is still pessimistic about her own magic but Kohaku believes she has potential. Because that locomotive was actually her doing. Just that her magic somehow lost its way. Kohaku is curious to know about her future but takes back what she said. Don’t want spoilers, eh? The club members get permission to enter school at night to take some photographs of the night sky and the city lights. The usual nice moments going on between Yuito and Hitomi until the rest fear the school’s urban legend ghost is spotted. They even got it on camera? Don’t be surprised because it’s just Kohaku’s magic prank. Hitomi thinks it’s mean but all Kohaku wants is to see everyone’s smile. See? Nobody got offended. Hitomi still thinks she hates magic but Kohaku is confident she will like it. She is her grandchild anyway. The rest overheard this and are confused. Kohaku allows Hitomi to explain it because she is sure they will not change. And so Hitomi reveals she is from the future. Shocked at first but they continue to remain friends. No big deal, right? The pair end tonight’s event with a little magic performance. And a photo to commemorate it all. As they are editing the photos, Kohaku decides to join this club. Although she’ll be the only sole magic club member. So is this officially the magic, photography and painting club? If I’m the only anime otaku in school and want to join this club, can it now be called the anime, magic, photography and painting club?

Episode 5
With the club approved, Kohaku now does love fortune telling! Man, a long line of girls. Even Asagi has one read and is told the truth that she has to step up her game or a rival will snatch him away. Hitomi is manning the magic shop alone. Oh dear. How can she get by when a customer asks for some coloured stardust for a certain effect? Don’t worry. Hitomi remembers their number labelling. Phew. With Yuito coming in asking for some stardust to help with his drawing, Hitomi is unsure but will find out more. Who better to ask than Kohaku. She agrees to help out. We also see Shou teaching Hitomi about photography. Of course spicing it up with some magic. The club members converge at the magic shop for their own little party. Kohaku gives Hitomi a little push to be with Yuito alone when their drinks ran out. More of Hitomi’s praising of his drawings that gave her a lot of hope. That’s why they are important to her. Back at the party, with Shou praising Hitomi’s handy work, it is no surprise that Asagi gets upset. Too bad the guys don’t even understand what’s wrong. Kohaku talks to her about predictions merely being guides. It is ultimately herself who takes charge of her destiny. Don’t let one failure bog you down as Kohaku gives Hitomi’s perseverance in not giving up to make stardust. Yeah, lots of materials wasted but she finally got it. Too bad Kohaku’s mom found out about it and now Kohaku gets a serious lashing for using up hard to gather materials. She thinks Kohaku told Hitomi to use them so she could be done with teaching since she would succeed quickly. Kohaku and Hitomi are made to gather those stuffs. Asagi isn’t giving up on Shou. Talk a bit about their childhood times together and they’re back to normal. Yuito follows Hitomi’s instructions in using the stardust. Golden fish swimming!

Episode 6
Yuito explains to Hitomi about that golden fish experience. Funny thing is, that golden fish was the painting that won him first prize during an elementary school competition. Hitomi seeks Shou’s help to show him that painting in the yearbook and oddly she could see that painting in colour. Later as Hitomi spots Yuito drawing, once more the golden fish pops out but this time it engulfs her into another world. A crappy drawing world? Hey, at least she could see colour. The more she walks, the messier the colours be and there are dead fish everywhere. She sees a shadowy figure trying to catch a fish but the fish ends up dead. When Hitomi wakes up, she is lying on the bench and Yuito by her side. She explains that weird dream and believes she went into his drawing. She also thinks that weird shadow who failed to catch the fish might be the cause of his artist’s block. When she suggests asking Kohaku for help, Yuito snaps at her that he doesn’t need any help. Thanks to that, Hitomi gets depressed and her facial expression is so obvious. The others would like to help but they have to respect her decision that she doesn’t want to open up to them yet. Kohaku thinks the tension between them is good. At least he isn’t ignoring her and this might bring them closer. Yuito sees a senior, Sanami Asagawa for some advice (she is currently holding an art exhibition). He asks why she draws. No reason in particular. She thought she would arrive at something if she kept drawing but in the end, it’s the simple fact she just loves to draw. When he leaves, coincidentally Hitomi just pass by. It’s like seeing the worst thing in her life because she turn tail and runs away! Not sure why Kohaku did some magic gust of wind. I don’t think it’s to stop her but get Yuito’s attention. He goes after her and when he catches up, he says he has already started his drawing and wants her to see it. We see Hitomi entering the drawing again. When she returns, it looks like she can now see colours for real.

Episode 7
Ah well. It was good while it lasted. Because Hitomi somehow can’t see colours again. But the bulk of this episode seems to be hinting something with Chigusa x Kurumi. With Kurumi failing her mock exams, she hopes there’s a magic to make her smarter. Nope. Only clear her mind. With Chigusa teasing the magic might even clear everything she learnt, this makes Kurumi annoyed. The club has a meeting and Shou intends to hand over his presidency to Asagi when he graduates. Asagi is nervous but makes Hitomi her vice. The club have their annual camp. Chigusa learns Kurumi has an older sister who runs a famous patisserie. He thinks of asking her to be his model but Kurumi doesn’t think so as she is always busy. Is this a roundabout way so Chigusa could ask Kurumi to be the model instead? Of course she rejects. Chigusa then asks the other girls, they too reject so it is back to him bugging Kurumi. This annoys her as she tells him off, making the atmosphere around them a bit awkward. Later Hitomi talks to Kurumi. The latter admires her sister a lot but views herself as empty. In a way she feels envious and unlike her sister who has ambition, she doesn’t. This photography thingy is just a hobby. We take a little detour as Yuito shows Hitomi his latest drawing. As usual, she can see its colours and Yuito thanks her for her magic. That night, the friends are supposed to take pictures of some passing ship with beautiful lights. Not sure if they got the schedule wrong as it arrives too early. Chigusa’s idea is to drop all their stuffs and run. In the meantime, Chigusa advising Kurumi to not make a decision now in life? Take your time? Since when you care about her future? Too bad they still missed the boat. With Kurumi blaming him for messing him, Chigusa snaps a ‘lovely’ pic of her being mad. They start their petty argument and funny enough, Hitomi is the one who started laughing. So she laughs when she is tired? Aren’t we having fun? So as not to waste this trip, they can still take the beautiful night scenery. This has Hitomi sum up her courage to tell them the truth.

Episode 8
Kohaku theorizes that Hitomi may have unconsciously casted magic on herself and made herself unable to see colours. As she is occasionally able to see colours, it could mean that magic might be fading. Hence she suggests conducting several experiments to determine the trigger. Why do I think she just wants to know if there is anything intimate happened between her and Yuito? Yeah, because the experiments seem to be making her getting close to Yuito. Doesn’t it make your heart beat faster? Doesn’t the excitement make you see colour? Yeah, what’s the colour of love? At the library, she shows several drawings from other books similar to Yuito’s but it’s still black and white. Kohaku gets a little naughty by trying to cram them together under the table! No excitement for Hitomi. Just pending anger. The club has their usual outing snapping photos of the town. But Shou has some heavy thoughts because he overheard how Kohaku was trying out magic to send Hitomi back to the future. Why so concerned? Oh right, Hitomi just joined the club. Don’t want to have that unwanted record of losing a member because she was sent back to the future. When a camera is spoiled, unless the repairman can miraculously save it or else all their hard earned photos are gone. But a miracle did happen. Because Kohaku uses her magic to fix it! Back to normal! OMG! Kohaku can put all repair services out of business! However she is disheartened that a rose she used magic to bloom withered within a day. I’m not sure how this relates to sending Hitomi back but her grandma reasons if her future self didn’t leave a note on how to do it, it must mean Kohaku figured it out herself. So have faith in your future self! With Hitomi now a full fledge member of the club, she feels so happy that she wants to say here. I guess this puts Kohaku in a bind.

Episode 9
Shou talks to Yuito that he is going to spend time with Hitomi alone tomorrow. He’ll be having exams and graduating soon. He doesn’t want to leave any regrets. So this ‘date’ is actually Shou teaching Hitomi the finer points of photography. And of course it’s that time when you talk about how much things have changed and how much special time they spent in the club, cue for Shou to confess he likes her. The shock is too much for Hitomi to take as she runs away. Is the day ruined? Don’t run in the dark. See, now you tripped and it hurts. Your feet? Or your heart? Sorry, my bad. With that, Hitomi is so obviously depressed that you can basically tell what happened. Even more so when she blatantly runs away from Shou upon seeing him. Kohaku knows what happened and tries to talk to her. It’s nice of Hitomi to spell out about the confusing feelings of the heart. You respect the person but don’t want to date him nor hurt him. How? Maybe talk this privately because other girls are getting interested in listening to her love story. And some boys are having their heart broken… Even Asagi gets the hint when Shou is being oh so philosophical that no 2 pictures are the same. Like WTF?! One outing with Hitomi and he’s spouting such lines? So Asagi talks to Hitomi and hints there is someone she likes for a long time. Even if Hitomi feels she doesn’t deserve love or to be loved, she can’t just ignore it. This was enough of a push for Hitomi to confront Shou again and to reject him. She has put a lot of thought into what he said and although her feelings confused her a lot at first, now she is clear. There is someone else she is interested in. Shou thanks her and is relieved he can now move on. But not before he screams out in the open like a mad man. Boy, you think the brass band practising was bad? This tops it! But it felt good to get that load off his shoulders, right? As Hitomi finds Asagi to explain to her, suddenly Asagi reveals she loves Shou. You mean Hitomi looked this shocked? Oh yeah. She didn’t know. One problem to another. Because now Asagi runs away before Hitomi gets a chance to explain.

Episode 10
It’s really awkward between Hitomi and Asagi. The latter avoiding her at all cost. But you know it’s not going to last long so eventually they sit down and talk it out. See, it worked. Back to being friends again. Magic word is just to blame Shou for everything. Yeah… Kohaku suggests an activity of bringing people inside pictures so what better way than to test it on themselves first. First, Yuito needs to draw a huge picture. Taking in requests on what needs to be in the drawing… Kohaku and Hitomi then practice their magic by trying out paper airplanes into a small painting. Tough at first but Hitomi soon gets the hang of it. Then it’s magic time as the club members is whooshed inside the painting. Wow. Everything so magical. With each of them exploring their own ways, Yuito stumbles onto a big door. Upon opening, he sees a young Hitomi drawing with a monochrome crayon. What a sad drawing of people being separated. Yuito draws a few things as suggestion to bridge them together but she refuses. It’s like she really wants to tell him to mind his business. Before he could draw with her, it’s back to reality. While everyone is happy, Yuito spots Hitomi crying. I don’t think those are tears of joy from the experience. After Yuito tells her he met her young self, she reveals that her mom had no magic. But since Hitomi had some, she always believed it was the reason why mom ran away and never took her with her. That is why she hates magic. Hitomi is sad and frustrated all she wanted was to make mom happy. But she took the burden all upon herself and then disappeared. She thought of going after her but was too afraid to do so. Hitomi cries to let out all the pent up frustration as Yuito believes it is not her nor magic to be blamed. With Hitomi feeling a lot better, she now realizes she was sent back here for a reason. Well duh, we figured that out right from the start, no?

Episode 11
While preparing for the cultural festival, the gang thought Hitomi suddenly disappeared. They look a bit here and there and soon realize that she was in the clubroom all the while. However Kohaku knows something is up. She sees a magic bookstore friend, Ichiyanagi about a book she needs urgently. She needs to learn time magic fast because Hitomi who isn’t from this timeline, the forces of nature might be trying to correct history. Yeah, nature is sure taking its time. Anyway, when that happens, there is a risk of Hitomi being stuck between time and space forever. That’s why Kohaku needs to send her back fast. For once we see Kohaku being so worried that you wonder if it’s really her. She tells this to Hitomi and just great, now we get another worrywart. One rainy day as Yuito and Hitomi are talking and walking home together, suddenly Hitomi just vanished! He rushes to tell his friends about it and that’s when Kohaku tells them the scary truth. Oh dear. Where to look for her? She could be on the other side of the world. The thought she could return to where she disappeared, true enough, she’s there albeit unconscious. Back home, Hitomi didn’t even realize she went missing. Kohaku tells her friends that she is alright and talking to grandma about it, looks like it is time to send her back as the magic is waning. However Hitomi herself isn’t ready. While the friends don’t like this one bit, they decide to help out because they care for her. Kohaku needs to gather stardust on the night of the new moon then send her back. That will be in 2 days right after the festival. With the preparations going on, Asagi cannot believe they’re acting like everything is fine. They can’t have fun at the festival like this. Eventually she come to realize that it’s better than Hitomi getting stuck so the friends gather at the beach to collect stardust that has fortunately been washed ashore after the typhoon and bathed by the few nights of full moon. Hitomi uses her magic to send paper airplane to Yuito’s house. It’s a good thing they know where they leave because they can communicate via Morse code from their room lights. When another paper airplane flies astray, Hitomi goes after it. Somehow Yuito had a feeling it wouldn’t make it too and chased after it. And this brought them together in which Hitomi instantly dives into Yuito’s arms to give the most heart breaking hug.

Episode 12
Hitomi really doesn’t want to go home and blames herself for being a mage. However Yuito is glad she is one. So instead of sulking for the remainder of her time, she decides to make it the best festival ever. You could say that their magic theatre is a hit with everyone having the greatest experience and a few girls becoming a fan of Yuito’s art? That’s nice. Even Asagawa visits and is glad he is making some positive impact. That night, Ichiyanagi sees Kohaku and looks like he made it in time to finish this device. The second day of the festival continues with our friends even more motivated to give their best. The friends try to be considerate and give Yuito and Hitomi some time together. So the haunted house is the best place? Maybe. Yuito wants to go around the festival more with her but Hitomi is reluctant. She’s had her fun. Time to head back. That night as the festival comes to a close, Kohaku surprises everyone by putting on a massive fireworks display. With everybody being happy and thanking each other, Hitomi feels this warm fuzzy feeling in her heart. Kohaku points out it is called happiness and what do you know? Suddenly Hitomi can see colours! Albeit it is just the fireworks and everything else still monochrome. Of course once the show is over, it’s back to that colourless world. But Hitomi can’t help but thank everyone. The friends get ready to for the time magic ritual. In Hitomi’s heart, there is a reason why she wants to stay. If there was any regrets, it would be this one… Hitomi, we all know…

Episode 13
Yuito narrates he loved drawing alone until Hitomi mentioned his drawing was special. At first he thought she was gloomy and lonely girl. He realizes that she showed him a lot of colours. Now we begin the final goodbye for Hitomi. Everyone has their last say. Each time, they fuel the device. Theoretically this would be easy if she had 100 friends. The guys are okay. The girls just get awfully teary. I wouldn’t consider Kohaku’s goodbye to be really one. They’ll be seeing each other again 60 years from now, right? Finally it’s Yuito. Be happy. I won’t forget you. Uhm, that’s it? That’s hardly satisfying. Hitomi has a few last words too. The usual thank you this, thank you that. Suddenly she is interrupted when the device starts acting up. WTF is this storm interference? Yuito dives in to grab her. In this weird world, Yuito realizes he is no different than Hitomi since he was forcing his emotions into a corner of his heart. How can he tell her not to close her heart when he does just that? Then he spots Hitomi straight ahead. You can’t miss her with the golden fish leading the way. This time they really say what they want to say. About the change they bring to each other’s life. And now we get to hear what we want them to say. After a hug and the magic words of I love you, it’s like the monochrome curse is lifted from Hitomi and she can now see colours permanently. With them returning back in time, Kohaku concludes the ritual and Hitomi returns home. But Kohaku notes that it wasn’t her time magic that sent her back. Her magic isn’t that powerful yet and it was Hitomi’s subconscious spell that wore off, marking the end of her journey to the past. Then this BS: Kohaku gets a mail from her future self that she arrived safely! WTF???!!! You can send a message back in time?! I wonder if Kohaku can reply to the future… Hitomi is back in the future. Right next to grandma like as though she never left. Grandma asks about her experience. Happy, sad, fun. She experienced all those emotions. This gives her motivation to go find mom. Kohaku then shows her a time capsule kept by the club members. Several photo albums. There is also a book that Hitomi often read many times with mom as it was the only one she could see its colours. Guess what? That picture book was written by Yuito! Hitomi now leads a normal life. She has friends, expresses herself a lot and joined the very same club in her school. Now that she can see colour, she is so glad her future is going to be filled with them.

Miss Monochrome & The World Of Love Blues
I am sure that Hitomi’s future is bright and all colourful now. Returning to the future would be the right ending because remaining in the past would be like losing your granddaughter to the past like forever and Kohaku would have grown up together with her. Weird. Although Hitomi is living a happy life, one big question just bugs me: Where are her club friends in the future? If they became such good friends and vowed never to forget, why haven’t they been in Hitomi’s life in the future? Sure, they may be grandpas and grandmas but don’t you think they would have at least tried looking for her? Or Kohaku at least updating her about their whereabouts upon Hitomi’s return? Don’t tell me all of them are dead! Because there was that snippet in the ending montage that showed Hitomi praying at the graves. Well, Kohaku is still around so it can’t be hers. Her mom? A tombstone for a person who is missing or officially declared dead? Besides, wouldn’t it be weird for Hitomi if these people were to show up and claim they met her in the past, they would be scaring the sh*t out of Hitomi before her time trip. Because if Hitomi did get acquainted with them, she should have known them when she travelled back in time. The more I think about this, the weirder it gets… Yeah, grandma waited 60 years to send Hitomi back for rehabilitation while knowing the exact events that have transpired. Kohaku has got to be one patient grandma…

Unfortunately, this is just a normal high school teen romance drama if you take away the magic. Yeah, ironically. I was putting my hopes that the magic would give the series some sort of life and hence, magic to be interesting but sad to say I fail to see all that coming together. Even without this magic setting, it could have been an even more boring and draggy high school teen romance drama. Just a bunch of high school kids of the same club trying to sort out their feelings. It could still work out that way but like I have said, it lacks any magic to make it anything interesting.

It is also sad to say that the magic here doesn’t play a very prominent role and serves more like a plot convenience or timely reminder that magic does exist in this world. Perhaps they don’t want to draw the focus away from the characters and their interaction but the way I see this magic thingy as a setting in this world, it looks like it is no big deal. Uh huh. It’s not like magic is everywhere and permeating the daily lives of everybody in every way. Hence when our main characters do their little magic, people around get curious, a bit of wow, when it’s over, it’s over. They go back to do their own ordinary stuffs. It could be the case of the worst role of magic in the history of anime. I mean, if magic was such a big deal, wouldn’t the government and the world be trying to exploit it? Here, people go about their daily lives and it’s like they don’t really mind whether there is magic or not, mages or not. Whatever. Maybe nobody bothers in this small town. But like I’ve said, if they are going to make a big deal out of this magic setting, it would have shifted the focus away on what they wanted to essentially tell in this story. That would have been even worse. So I guess we’ll have to deal with and be satisfied with the boring and draggy story then.

And the characters, do they like even matter here? It sounds intriguing at first that Hitomi cannot see colours and our hopes rest on the series trying to find out a cause and if she can be cured. I understand that as a teen going through that phase and being different from everyone else (hence she can’t enjoy the same experience like any other normal kid just because she cannot see colours), but this gloominess and pessimism in her, I somewhat find this annoying. Sure, there are times when she lights up or gets a little happy. But that feels fleeting and it was all because of in the moment thingy. It’s hard for her to shake that belief of blaming herself for having this ‘curse’ and hence mother left her. So it’s like she’s going to go through the rest of her life like this? Yeah, thank goodness she met Yuito and his club members, right?

I do have to point out the efficiency of magic here once more. As I have said in my previous paragraphs that magic might not be the most important and vital aspect of everyone’s daily lives, it just makes me wonder if the future of magic is also stagnant. You see, we see and hear how much Hitomi has improved on her magic, blah, blah, blah. Heck, she can even send people into Yuito’s drawings and have them experience the most wonderful fantasy dreamland ever! Or even fix a camera to save all its contents! But there is no magic that would cure her own colour blind problem? Sure, magic isn’t an easy thing to master but is there no mage in the future who could help her out with this problem? It’s one of this weird loopholes that the writers seem to leave out. The same reason why Harry Potter living in a world with so much magic, nobody can cure his eyesight since he still wears glasses. Weird. No wonder grandma sent her back in time, TO THE PAST, in hopes she would find her answer. Yeah, the answer to magic advancement lies in the past. Doesn’t that mean that magic in the future have regressed in this sense? Boy, now I’m confused.

The drama is prolonged thanks to the other side distractions of the budding romance of the other characters. Like, do they even matter to the whole story? I see. Because if they don’t showcase these characters, they would look like some cardboard cut-out and NPC, lacking life and traits that would supposedly bring a character to life. Not that I see the draggy romance would. So as expected we have Asagi x Shou and Chigusa x Kurumi, not forgetting the ultimate couple of the series should be on Yuito x Hitomi. Kohaku doesn’t get anybody because we’re sure she’s going to meet her soulmate that would lead to the birth of Hitomi in the future. Don’t want to complicate her story, do we? Yeah, it would have been really interesting and shocking if Kohaku wedded Yuito! Holy sh*t! Yeah, don’t tell me Hitomi don’t know who her grandpa is. Does she?! Hint: It could be Ichiyanagi… That one short scene of grandpa and grandma Kohaku together could be it. Shou having crush on Hitomi but ultimately getting rejected for some much needed and obligatory but unnecessary love triangle drama. And were we hoping something coming out from Yuito and Asagawa too? Perhaps just to reinforce those feelings inside Hitomi. With Yuito and Hitomi ultimately not together in time, this leaves possible room that maybe Yuito ended up with Asagawa… Just saying… So that I love you moment was just fleeting, huh?

We have to give a reason why Hitomi started falling for Yuito and it is oddly his drawings that brings colour into her life. Something about his drawings that allows her to see colours when everything else fails. I suppose they want to keep our interest to find out why this is so but this is never really explored nor explained at all. It feels like a let-down after sitting through the season, we thought we could at least find some decent answers but looks like we’re going to have to believe that magic would be the reason. I guess if we can’t explain it with science, magic is your next best guess. Thus begins the long drama of Hitomi initially interested in Yuito’s art but as they draw closer together, they somewhat change each other and because plot predictability demands it, they started to fall for each other. After all, when you have 2 people who led somewhat colourless life, hence this fateful meeting is a convenient plot device to bring colour to that mundane life of theirs. I think I can understand why Hitomi is always so gloomy and smiling less. How can you be happy when your world looks awfully gloomy? And Yuito never had anyone praised his art and that’s why he became interested in Hitomi who became interested in his drawing? I’m sure people did praise him when he won that first place with his golden fish… Unless they were just empty compliments until Hitomi’s praises that had more sincerity.

I’m repeating myself by saying the other characters feel bland. Ironically, not very colourful. Because it would have been a total bore just to focus on Hitomi and Yuito. So let’s see, Shou the responsible club president, Asagi a little bit insecure and weak, Chigusa the comic relief character and clown and Kurumi, uhm, we need a glasses girl to complete the trope. Then there is the very lively Kohaku who somewhat keeps the group together even though she is the latest member to join this hodgepodge club. Not many series have this strange family relation whereby someone older is actually physically younger than you. Like that Usagi Drop or even Futurama comes to mind. It’s weird at first to hear Hitomi call Kohaku as her grandma but you’ll get used to it because Kohaku doesn’t turn it into a running joke like correcting her she shouldn’t be called a grandma at this age. In fact, Kohaku embraces the fact she is her grandma and with that, anything that feels weird about this association quickly dies down. Even eventually future grandma Kohaku is fine with her granddaughter calling her by her first name. Yeah, it’s so ‘nostalgic’… And Hitomi must be the only club member who joined the same club in 2 different eras spanning 60 years apart. Or she could be the longest serving member since she didn’t officially quit the job. Just went MIA… Don’t the club members leave a photo of her for future members?

As this series is one by P.A. Works, one would expect their trademark of really gorgeous art and animation. Well, personally I have mixed feelings about this. On the ‘bad’ side, I do find the character designs looking a bit weird. Because at certain angles, they don’t have noses! While many Japanese anime don’t really like to animate the nose and usually leave them out or at least to a minimum, not to say the characters here are completely devoid of their nose but at those certain angles, I thought they look like distant relatives to Voldemort! Yes, really! It just looks weird. Therefore this is one of the few series of this genre under their belt that I don’t find they have cute girls. You say Asagi is cute? Meh. Passable. Yeah, blame my very high standards that I expect a kawaii bishoujo as seen in True Tears, Hanasaku Iroha, Tari Tari, Sakura Quest, HaruChika and even Glasslip.

But I still give them points for the very nice and beautiful background and sceneries. So when the story is a bit slow and the characters aren’t cute enough to look at, looking at the sceneries and the nice lightning and hues would be a better eye candy. After all, since this series was going to tackle the theme of colours, at least they get this area satisfactory right. I also want to point out one of the strangest 3D visuals ever. The fireworks in the future! So futuristic that you have fireworks rotating in 3D fashion! Like as though some programmer uploaded his hologram of the fireworks in the night sky. It didn’t really amaze me because after watching traditional fireworks for so long (in anime of course), this one does look weird seeing fireworks being displayed so. And of course, the future of such fantastic visuals are holograms! Holograms everywhere!

Voice acting feels pretty normal. It’s mainly drama after all so nothing really spectacular. Didn’t recognize anyone except for Sayaka Ohara as Kohaku’s mom. The rest of the casts are Kaori Ishihara as Hitomi (Konoe in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru), Shoya Chiba as Yuito (Sing in Banana Fish), Kaede Hondo as Kohaku (Sakura in Zombie Land Saga), Seiji Maeda as Shou (debut role), Kana Ichinose as Asagi (Ichigo in Darling In The Franxx), Nao Touyama as Kurumi (Lacia in Beatless) and Ayumu Murase as Chigusa (Luck in Black Clover). The opening and ending themes aren’t catchy nor to my liking either and honestly, they sound bland. They are 17 Sai by Haruka To Miyuki and Mimei No Kimi To Hakumei No Mahou by Nagi Yanagi respectively.

Overall, quite a boring and draggy series that wouldn’t work on ‘veteran’ anime viewers like yours truly. Uninteresting story and characters as well as the uninspiring magic that I felt was supposed to play an important role here, fizzle out into something generic and less than spectacular. The irony that it made the series so much less colourful. Now I understand why Hitomi is being a gloomy b*tch for being colour blind for so long. Colours really do brighten up our day and sadly this series wasn’t it. Or maybe we’ve taken colours for granted that we fail to see the beauty and simplicity that is the magic of this love story. Nah. I don’t think so. I wonder what the colour of disappointments is…

Ple Ple Pleiades

April 19, 2019

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

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

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

Season 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Season 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theatrical Version

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

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

Clementine Toubou-hen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conception

February 24, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thought Nanatsu No Taizai: Imashime No Fukkatsu OVA would actually be some sort of foreshadowing that there would be another sequel. Too bad I must have mistaken it with that Seisen No Shirushi OVAs because just like in the first season, the OVA was just a compilation of small random stories that don’t have any bearings on the overall storyline of the series.

What the pork?!
Hawk is in some flying manta beast version stealing food in town?! Hauser goes to stop him so displeased Hawk even transforms into a grey demon version to cause havoc. With Hauser hell bent on stopping this piggy at all cost, the fight lasts all day. In the end, Hawk returns to Boar Hat all skinny! OMG! Have you really seen a skinny pig?! So skinny that Meliodas bullies Hawk by blowing him around. Wow. Hawk is weightless to? I guess using up whatever magic cube from Merlin that transforms him uses up a lot of calories. Next day Hawk seeks another magic item from Merlin. I don’t think this one that turns Hawk into a human body but with a pig head will do. Then she gives him this giant fork. Despite all its grand names, I just see it as a normal fork… Hawk gets his revenge by sticking it in Hauser’s ass! But he feels warm… Sure it is not some kind of awakening? Hawk cannot imagine Elizabeth being violent. But here she is. Abusing poor little piggy. What gives?! Turns out to be some nightmare spell Gowther is putting on Hawk.

Sore loser princess
Guila practises with Veronica in a sword fight. Although the latter clearly loses, she plays cheat by striking back when Guila lets her guard down. Then it descends into a childish fight. Later Veronica takes Guila to bath with her. I guess we need some fanservice scenes from the duo who lack a lot of screen time in the second season. At first it sounds noble when Veronica talks about Guila drinking the red demon blood to protect her brother because she would have done the same to protect Elizabeth. Then Veronica stomps her superiority by pointing how her boobs is bigger than hers and it gives her a lot of encouragement. Don’t complain when Guila hits you.

The sin of greed
King is unsure the meaning of a race as Helbram and other fellow fairies race to see who is the fastest. Although Helbram is fastest, when King puts his mind into it, he is unbeatable. Even so, King is still unable to understand the implications of being first or being number one despite Helbram’s explanations. So he has King list down all of his priorities and things he likes and then rank them. King can’t because all of them are number one to him. It is only right because as the king, protecting all that are important and precious to him is number one.

Working holiday
During a time when the Sins are part of the kingdom’s Holy Knights, Meliodas announces that his merry band would take a vacation to the beach. While everyone rejoices, we see Meliodas having this devious look on his face. All going as planned… So while having fun at the beach, Kraken pops up. Sorry, no tentacle rape scene as Meliodas has his Sins destroy it so they can make delicious squid meat for dinner. The next day, they head to the mountains to destroy poisonous beetles. Once the holiday is over, we see Meliodas’ true intention. He is being rewarded by Zaratras for taking out Kraken and poisonous beetles and being praised for working even when he is on leave. But this scheme is sniffed out by Merlin who forces Meliodas to treat everyone to drinks. Originally Meliodas intended to buy Elizabeth a gift with the money but realizes he doesn’t know what she wants. Merlin notes he has given Elizabeth a lot but has not given something to her yet. Meliodas thinks she is drunk.

Thou Shalt Covet Another Season!
What else more can I say? The short random skits were fun and enjoyable to watch even though it had no real bearings in any way whatsoever. My favourite one being Hawk’s story because the annoying pig was so funny that I forgave him for being an annoying pet in the series. Yeah… So now I can only pray and hope that this series gets a third season so we can continue to see the epic battle between the Sins and the Ten Commandments. That’s right. The ironic confusion that the ones named based on the cardinal sins are the good guys and the ones named after God’s worship instructions are the bad guys. Yeah, they’re really trolling us and making us question if we are worshipping a false God. The power of trolling us is over 9000!!!!!!

Overlord III

January 5, 2019

It sure really felt like an eternity. Although it only took a cour break. Alas, like so many other anticipated and interesting animes that I have seen, Overlord III came and go just like that. There must be some sort of devious scheme trying to split a double cour series like that. Because recently I noticed that a few of the other interesting anime sequels that I have watched are also using this trick. From the third season of Shokugeki No Souma and to the third season of Shingeki No Kyojin. Does absence really make the heart grow fonder even if it is only a single cour? Maybe it is that gap that makes us want to worship Ains even more and see how far he can achieve his exploits.

Episode 1
Ains summons all the floor guardians as he rewards them for their work well done. Like allowing Sebas to go on a date with Tuare. Cixous as a maid in charge of taking care of Ains today. Ains has prepared some leisure activities for his male and female guardians. On the females’ side, they summon some demonic horse, Bicorn. They agree to let it be Albedo’s pet. As she rides it, it kicks her off. Her weight isn’t the issue and further discovery shows pure maidens are not allowed to ride on its back. Does this give Albedo an excuse to f*ck Ains?! Ains is practising trying to pose coolly when Mare comes to see him. He is even admiring the way Ains sits?! Ains praises him so much that it makes Mare cry?! This awakens Albedo’s horniness as she tries to rape Ains. Not even some spider assassins could defeat a succubus who is in heat. Later as Ains and the male guardians take a bath, the unruly side comes from the females’ side as Albedo is turning into a pervert and trying to peep. And with some golem activated on their side and attacking, I guess Ains has to order the guys to enter the women’s side to fight it.

Episode 2
Ains actually has no clue on what is happening so he uses Demiurge to explain and update the rest what is happening. I suppose Ains himself is so shocked that he never knew his guardians take all his actions as part of world domination! Demiurge also further suggests that as part of their world conquest, they must turn Nazarick into an independent country instead of being part of another country. We know go back to Carne as we see the humans coexisting peacefully with the goblins. Although all the goblins have a crush on Enri and shamelessly declare their love for her, they all know Nphirea is the guy for her. But he is too obsessed in making potions so Jugem offers to teach him how to be manly. The goblins also teach the villagers how to fight and be archers. A goblin returns with report that something strange is happening in the forest. Enri is worried as she plans to go to the forest to collect rare herbs that only appears at this time of the year. Jugem picks his goblins to guard Enri and Nphirea as they go harvest the herbs. They stumble into an injured goblin kid, Agu running away from a barghest. They manage to kill the wolf beast and then tend to Agu’s injuries. He explains he was attacked by minions of the Giant of the East who has allied with the Demon Snake of the West.

Episode 3
As Agu is brought back to the village, looks like Lupusregina decides to pay a visit. Agu further explains after the Great Beast of the South went missing (that’s Hamusuke), the forest went out of balance and a terrifying guy appeared. He controls the undead and is known as the King of Ruin. That is why the Giant of the East and Demon Snake of the West are cooperating to fight him and they want to use goblins as foot soldiers. Some refused and ran. The ones chasing him may come to Carne. Lupusregina offers to tell Ains about this but they would rather fight themselves. Nphirea gives her a potion to be handed to Ains. That night, a few ogres defected so the goblins use Enri and prop her up as the strongest in the village to instil some fear in them. She agrees to take them in but in exchange they will work for them. Nphirea is supposed to accompany Enri to E-Rantel to seek help from the adventurers’ guild but he has to stay back and heal Agu so it’s all up to Enri. Too bad she got stopped at the gates as the mage suspects her of possessing a high magic item (the horn given by Ains). She is to be arrested when luckily Momon drops in. He sees the situation and whispers something and the mage drops her case and allow the guards to let her in. Enri finds it hard to request for help because of the lack of money. Yup, this case requires very highly skilled adventurers and the cost is just unbelievable. Later as she waits and laments her fate, suddenly the receptionist is very interested to know all the details about the help she requested. When they return, more woes for Enri. She wants time to think alone so Lupusregina hears her out. When she was away, everyone decided to make her the head village. Lupusregina doesn’t have an answer. Hey, she was only listening. But she advises that whoever is helming the post, they will make mistakes so it is foolish to worry about it. Enri gets her morale boosted when Nphirea talks to her how she fits the job because she cares about the villagers and the goblins. Enri is ready to accept her new job. When Lupusregina returns to Yuri, she explains how she is delighted with the new leader of Carne. She cannot wait to see their devastated face of despair once she violently crushes them like insects. How she can’t wait for the village to perish!

Episode 4
Ains summons Lupusregina and chastises her for not reporting about the ally between the Giant and Snake, thinking she is keeping it to herself (although it is to teach her about communication). Tremble with fear! But upon learning she thinks the village is just a toy and experiment to him, he somewhat forgives her. He explains Nphirea is creating potions for him that doesn’t spoil or dependent on ingredients from Yggdrasil. He lets him be at Carne so as to chain him down with this gratitude. The other important people in Carne are Enri and Lizzy (as they further chain him down to his dedication). Everyone else is disposable. She must protect the trio with her life and now that she knows of his plan, failure is not allowed. Ains and Aura go visit the Giant, Guu (who is actually more of a troll) and the Snake, Ryraryus Spenia Ai Inadarun (who is actually more of a naga). Guu looks down on Ains as weak because he thinks those with long names are so. Ains wants to negotiate and have them serve him. Guu of course refuses and further mocks him. Ains then suggests a duel between them. Guu strikes as many times but none of his attacks seem to connect. Ains is just effortless. Like swiping a brush to inflict heavy damage on Guu. Thanks to the troll’s ability to heal, he cannot die but the pain is real. Ains ends it by putting them all to sleep. Ryraryus immediately pledges his loyalty to him and his first order is to bring all his subordinates. Ains receives a report from Lupusregina and gives her permission to engage in battle as well as to protect the most valued trio.

Episode 5
Ogres and barghests attack Carne. Thanks to the training and some military tactic, they manage to kill a lot of the creatures. Then here comes the big boss, Guu. Meanwhile Nphirea and Enri are confirming the villagers have evacuated when a troll creeps in. To avoid their side being sandwiched at the battlefront and this troll from the back (you mean 1 stinking troll is enough to derail their plan?), they take turns buying time by confusing the troll and giving it the run around. The troll eventually picks up their human scent (they were camouflaging themselves with ogre scent) and Nphirea wants Enri to go request for backup while he holds off the troll. I guess it’s time for him to confess he wants to look cool before the eyes of the girl he loves. Nphirea takes a lethal blow from the troll while trying to buy time. Just when he is about to be finished, here comes Lupusregina to save him. It’s about time. Where the hell were you? Weren’t you supposed to protect him with your life? Enri is so relieved that she doesn’t hesitate to hug Nphirea. Lupusregina tells Nphirea that Ains has invited him to Nazarick as reward for creating the potion. With Carne winning the battle, now they can breathe easy with Nphirea and Enri get to ascertain their love for each other. Next morning, Jugem tells Nphirea the strange thing when they fought Guu. He did not heal and it was as though he was already dead. Like fighting a corpse. At Nazarick, Nemu is so thrilled at how superb this place is, she praises Ains and makes him happy, so much so he decides to give her a house tour. Ah, the age of innocence. And there is this extravagant menu that Ains will have them dine. Yeah, the menu sounds like chanting magic spells. With everything so great, Nphirea feels small that as a man he is no match for Ains. But don’t worry. Enri assures him that he is the one she loves. Is marriage on the cards next?

Episode 6
Jircniv Rune Farlord El Nix, the current ruler of Baharuth talks about the recent incident whereby Momon defeated Demiurge pretending to be a demon. And since that kingdom is using all its resources to look for that missing demon, he views there is no need to wage their annual war against them this year. He orders his imperial court wizard, Fluder Paradyne to continue his investigations on Momon and Ains. As Zanac speaks to his father of the information regarding that demon, his older brother, Barbro (as in, barbaric brother? Certainly suits his nature) barges in to demand attacking Baharuth since those blokes have led their guard down by not attacking them this time of the year so now it’s the time to strike. Foresight is a group of workers consisting of Roberdyck Goltron, Imina, Arche Eeb Rile Furt and is led by Hekkeran Termite. They talk about a request of Count Femel who wants them to explore a certain ancient tomb. They have been paid highly upfront and there will be more rewards depending on what they find so you bet they want to take this job no matter how dangerous it is. As he has hired other worker teams, the competition is tough. Foresight is also taking this job to help Arche who is struggling with her family debts. She goes home only to see her dumb father used up their meagre savings to buy something useless as he thinks this is what nobles should do. Yeah, they WERE nobles. Arche has had it and will take her sisters and leave this place. Foresight arrives and true enough, they see other hired worker teams. The servant gathers them and tells them what they need to know. He assures them that Femel has even hired adamantite class adventurers to guard their belongings. They are Momon and Narberal. First, Momon asks why they are doing this. It’s the money. More than enough to even risk their lives for. Momon apologizes asking a worthless question.

Episode 7
The worker teams raid the tomb. The first tomb looks easy with lots of treasures and an unknown crest. They prepare to raid the next tomb and unknown to them this is the tomb of Nazarick. One group decides to let the rest head in first as guinea pig and will return to raid tomorrow. As the rest enter, they laugh at the low level skeleton guards defending the place and easily destroy them. Meanwhile Ains will return to Nazarick and will have Pandora take his place. He is going to slaughter all who have intrude into Nazarick. A welcoming party for them is already prepared. Like the group who left early, they stumble into Pleiades. However they will not kill them directly and use the undead with magic weapons to massacre them all. The other worker teams inside are all running for their lives. One team has the bad luck of being eaten alive by the roaches of Kyouhukou and the other one has got it much worst, being sexually probed by this gay ugly monster, Neuronist!!! And there is one who fought Hamusuke and lost. Don’t look down on this hamster. Finally Foresight. They are transported to an arena where they will face off with Ains!

Episode 8
Hekkeran tries to talk his way out and even claims he had permission to raid Nazarick. But Ains will not believe his lies as he shows us his rage! No use talking. Time to fight. It might seem that Foresight is fighting on par with Ains but that is only because Ains is stooping low to their level. I guess he is done with their teamwork since this is going nowhere. The moment he takes off his ring, Arche starts vomiting from the immense power she sensed from him. Death is imminent. Hekkeran saves Imina from death but as a result he got some paralysis spell on him. The rest force Arche to flee since she has her sisters. Ains is impressed with their honour but will still show no mercy for them thieves. He orders Shalltear to show her despair before killing her painlessly. Imina and Roberdyck fall into the paralysis spell. Ains orders Hekkeran and Imina to some nesting room while he will use Roberdyck as experiment since he is a magic caster. He wants to see if there are other gods and to find new ways to make himself stronger. He believes he isn’t the only chosen one in this world. When Arche realizes she cannot escape this tomb, Shalltear kills her. A sad fate as Arche’s young sisters continue to wait hopefully for their sister’s return. Word reaches Jircniv that all the capable workers have died. He now has an idea of Ains’ strength and needs to make proper preparations. Suddenly a dragon lands in the courtyard. Aura and Mare alight from it and announce that since this kingdom have sent workers to raid Nazarick, Ains is displeased. If no one comes to apologize, they’ll massacre everyone in the kingdom. For starters, they kill everyone here.

Episode 9
Jircniv decides to head to Nazarick and make peace. Heading there with his entourage, Jircniv discusses about his future but seems reluctant about finding an official queen. Renner and the queen of the Dragon Kingdom might be the greatest prospects but he knows of their twisted behaviour. Upon arrival, they are greeted with great hospitality by Yuri and Lupusregina. As display of power, they change the weather from gloomy to clear! Legendary Death Knights are even used as mere servants as the Baharuth side is treated to some great juice while Ains readies himself. Fluder is so awed and fearful by it all that he suggests Jircniv to escape. Not that he can at this point. Meeting Ains face to face, Demiurge doesn’t deem them suitable to talk on the same level with Ains and puts a subservient spell on them. But Ains will not have his guests mistreated so the spell is retracted. Jircniv presents a corpse’s head as apology in which Ains easily turns it into a Death Knight. Considering Demiurge’s rudeness, Ains considers them on equal footing and they don’t have to apologize anymore. Ains hints that trouble will be coming for them so Jircniv suggests an alliance and even suggesting ruling this land as their king. Jircniv is further stunned that Ains does not demand subservience from them and just merely looks forward to working with them. Both sides exchange an aide for better contact. Jircniv leaves his secretary, Loune Vermillion while Ains gives Demiurge.

After they leave, Shalltear wonders why Ains is making an alliance with them. Ains reason it is easy to rule over others with fear and power but that will only lead to more enemies. Demiurge further elaborates on Ains’ true plan (something which Ains himself doesn’t know) in which is what Jircniv will have come to realize. It seems Jircniv has realized Fluder has betrayed them. As a magic caster, he would have stayed back and wanted to learn everything but he did nothing. This means he knew of Ains’ power from the start. After all, he was the one who discovered the tomb and suggested sending workers there. Jircniv proposes of killing him in some ways but his aides warn there are considerable consequences from the public and other nations. Jircniv comes to a conclusion they need to form an alliance with other nations while pretending to join forces with Nazarick. But they cannot be the one to suggest to other nations for an alliance otherwise if this gets out, they will be crushed first. They also need to find someone capable of defeating Ains and he is under impression that one of his subordinates will betray him. As suggested by Demiurge, all the floor guardians suggest a title for Ains to be used. Ains decides to go with Cocytus of Sorcerer King as he will be ruling over many via magic. Flashback shows Fluder was told that Momon wanted to see him. Fluder instantly became awed by his immense magic aura. He begged to become his student and will offer everything that he has.

Episode 10
A message is sent from Baharuth to Re-Estize to promptly return the land of E-Rantel to its rightful owner (Ains) or risk war. Many of the nobles laugh at this idea and even more so at Gazef who suggests doing so to avoid war at all costs. But the king disagrees with him. As a ruler, he cannot hand over his land without a fight. Hence it is decided they will go to war. Barbro wants to be in the frontlines and his father allows it. Back home, Raeven is having a headache over that meeting. He noticed the nobles were merely quarrelling over power and land, not realizing the kingdom is in real danger. Plus, he knows Marquis Blumrush is the one secretly providing info to Baharuth for money. This is why he wants Zanac to inherit the throne quickly to crush all power struggle. Now we see Raeven in his most unlikely fatherly act as he really dotes on his young son, Lee. A few days later in another strategy meeting, Raeven reveals the declaration of their battle place: the foggy Katze Plains. His scout has seen the enemy units all bearing different coats of arms and it is most likely Ains will be down there to fight. Marquis Boullope suggests gathering info from Carne and would like Barbro to do it. Barbro opposes it but his father allows it. The secret fact is that since he is the next in line to the throne, they don’t want to see him killed in battle. Boullope suggests himself to head all the different units into war but the king appoints Raeven instead. Later Gazef meets up with Brain and Climb. I guess these men need some sort of bonding before the battlefield. Gazef suggests Climb change his armour colour because he stands out but he has to decline as this was the colour Renner suggested he wear and if he is victorious, Renner’s reputation would increase. Gazef knows Brain can fight against the Imperial Knights of Baharuth but warns if he fights Ains first, he is finished. Meanwhile Ains meets General Carvain of Baharuth’s Imperial Army as well as Nimble Arc Dale Anoch who will be his guide. Ains summons his army that will fight alongside theirs. Is victory assured with these Death Knights?

Episode 11
Barbro thinks of recruiting the Carne villagers as his army. If Ains kills them as betrayal, it would only look bad on him. A thousand apologies for Jugem as he has to interrupt Nphirea and Enri’s flirting time because Barbro’s army is at the gates. Lupusregina reports to Ains that Enri is trying to buy time by not letting them in to hide the ogres and goblins. Barbro becomes impatient and orders his men to burn down the watch tower as declaration of war. As the villagers will not betray Ains, they decide to fight back but only the men. Jugem strategizes to concentrate fighting here so that the army will bring all their units to attack here while they let the women and children flee to the forest at the back. He requests Enri and Nphirea to guide them. Enri wanted to stay but everything is already decided. First, the ogres pummel the soldiers at the gates. This has Barbro summon all his units back to the front. But as the women and children escape, there are some units remaining. Desperate, Enri blows the horn. Suddenly appearing out of nowhere is a strong goblin army! Woah! It’s like they have everything! From foot soldiers to beast riders to magic casters to assassins and even a marching band! Even Ains is surprised at the capability of this horn. Barbro will not allow his men to retreat and continue to fight. Too bad they continue to lose so he is forced to give the retreat order. It is by only Enri’s grace that they are left off with their life because there won’t be much room for negotiation if they’re dead. However just when Barbro’s men are licking their wounds, Lupusregina pops up. She is here to massacre all of them since they are not important to Ains’ plans.

Episode 12
Part of Jircniv’s plan for this allied attack with Ains’ army is to show how fearsome they are to others. It is also their chance to see how others will fight Ains and find out his weakness. The Re-Estize army laughs at the paltry numbers of Baharuth. Victory is assured, right? Well, not if they take into account Ains who now enters the battlefield. Some like Raeven could sense his immense power and realize the need for them to run. Ains begins by instantly collapsing the 70,000 strong troops of Re-Estize! They just drop dead like that! If Nimble thinks that was just fearsome, he hasn’t even begun yet. The next phase has Ains cover the dead with some dark goo. This materializes a few mouth monsters that Ains calls, uhm, goats? These goats then start to trample the fleeing Re-Estize army. Damn, those poor souls don’t stand a chance! Can you even outrun such behemoths?! And the final touch to this spell is for Ains to have everyone applaud! What? APPLAUD! Applaud his supremacy! Yeah. You better praise and hail Ains if you know what is good for you! Part of the battle plan was for Baharuth’s army to enter the fray and attack after Ains initiates his magic. But they’re all too scared and run away. Ains doesn’t blame them and will do the cleaning up himself. Meanwhile the king of Re-Estize is told to run away. Yeah, why the long chatter with Climb and Brain if time is of essence? Is it so that they could struck a deal that Climb will marry Renner when they return? Ah, the excuse needed so that Climb won’t die. You think Gazef can even scratch those goats? Yeah, it’s amazing he didn’t get killed after being flung like that. With Climb and Brain joining him, they come face to face with Ains. They realize he is not human and the undead. Ains wants Gazef to be his subordinate. First he makes the goats pause their rampage. If Gazef refuses, the massacre will continue. Gazef refuses his offer. As he is the king’s sword, he cannot turn his back on the one who saved his life. Even if it means many other lives will be lost. Ains finds it ironic as he was the one who put his life on the line to save Carne and now he has no qualms to let many die. Gazef has but one request of Ains: Fight him in a duel.

Episode 13
Even if death is imminent, Gazef still wants to fight him. Brain wants to fight with him but Gazef refuses his warrior pride to be tainted. He wants both of them to witness this. Duel. First, Ains requests to look at Gazef’s sword. He finds it very weak in power but it can still physically harm and kill him. He wishes to have it should Gazef dies but he declines seeing this is the kingdom’s treasure. As soon as Climb gives the signal to start, Ains stops time and then chants a death spell on Gazef. Gazef instantly dies when time resumes and the duo have no clue what just happened. Ains leaves a message to hand over E-Rantel to him in a few days and he will stop his rampaging goats. He will also show mercy to those obedient to him. Jircniv is in shock when he learns Ains decimated the entire army of Re-Estize. Better come up with another plan. With Re-Estize’s king undergoing depression (it’s amazing he didn’t die from the depression), the panicky nobles and royals have unanimously voted to give E-Rantel to Ains. Small price to pay, right? Meanwhile, Brain is sad that Gazef died by himself. He wanted to fight alongside him and die with him but was denied that. Climb deduces Gazef chose death and wanted them to watch was so that they could witness Ains’ power and return with this info to plan their defence. It was for their future. Brain changes his mind on his promise to Gazef and will become stronger to surpass him. Ains’ undead troops march into E-Rantel as the people watch in fear behind closed doors. A ‘brave’ kid starts throwing rocks, howling at Ains to give back his father. Albedo would have killed him had not Momon dropping in. We think this is Ains in disguise but look! The real Ains pops up! Oh no! We can’t say it’s fake, can we?! As requested by Ains, Albedo proposes Momon to join them and watch the humans. Ains claims he doesn’t want to rule by fear and oppression but if Momon is like his head police, isn’t that the same? If Momon refuses, he will be killed right now. Momon accepts but warns them if they hurt the innocent people, he will come for their heads. Of course this is all part of the bigger act to keep the humans’ fear at bay. This will also have them unite under him and collect info for him. All the guardians bow before Ains as he declares today as the founding of the Sorcerer Kingdom Ains Ooal Gown!

Over?! Lord, No!!!
What do you mean the story continues?! Aren’t you contradicting yourself?! Because if the story is supposed to carry on, then why does it end here???!!!! It makes no sense!!! Give me more of my Overlord!!! ARGH!!!! Ahem. Just like last season, the final episode leaves us hanging and wanting more but the only difference is that the next season is announced yet so it isn’t certain yet if this series would really continue. It would be tad sad if this series just ends like that forever since one of the biggest characters, Gazef is dead. I suspect he might be revived in the future but notwithstanding all the other supporting characters, Gazef is one of the important characters and to have him die like that just feels sad. And that Momon-Ains appearance at the same time just to confuse and troll us? My guts tells me it was Pandora acting as Ains. Otherwise why would Albedo need to speak on Ains’ behalf since the Overlord himself is capable and would be much more comfortable dealing with the human himself.

While this season is still as interesting as its predecessors, once again it is that conflicted feeling that nothing has really been resolved yet that is stopping me from putting this season on a high pedestal. Yes, it is still great but with so much more developments going on and even more potential ones, it seems that by the time if we get our future sequels and have some sort of conclusion and closure, I fear that the high expectations and waiting would have diminished the excitement. I am sure that a series so great such as this one will manage to blow away those kind of blues that simpletons like yours truly often worry with no basis. But it’s that sceptical feeling inside me that fears the possibility that it could happen. After all, I have watched so many animes and some with such great potential only to fizzle out not only in the sequel (if they ever get one) but at the end of that very same season. It is great that this series has built up a lot of developments and potentials from the 3 seasons the anime has adapted but there is this danger that with so many on one’s plate, there is a potential to also fail big. Too big to fail? We better believe Ains is too big to even let failure happen!

One of the biggest highlights of this season that has many viewers divided is when Ains mercilessly slaughtered the workers. I guess this part was too hot for some to handle. I too was shocked but not to the point that I disliked it. After all, I always knew that Ains was the villain. The big bad guy. Just because we show him doing un-bad-guy-like things like saving this village or saving this certain group of people, we start thinking he is the good guy and throw out support behind him. Even if Ains isn’t aware of this entire plan for world domination and is just playing along with Demiurge’s plan, it still doesn’t hide the fact that he and his subordinates have this evil aura, don’t you think? You can tell me about not judging a book by its cover but remember, this is supposed to be a DMMORPG game and hence it is pretty cliché to have Ains and his floor guardians designed to look like baddies. Which of course they are. This isn’t the first series to have its main character as the villain and for majority of viewers to support him. From the highly acclaimed Death Note to the comical Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda, I suppose people didn’t see this coming when Ains decided to finally do what true villains are supposed to do. After all, from time to time, Ains do remind us that despite being stuck in this world, he feels less and less affinity for humans and only cares for those who can further his goals. And for those who still continue to support Ains (like yours truly), is this what you really call Stockholm Syndrome?!

It is only a pity that I initially wondered why they gave that Foresight worker group some sort of personality if they are all going to be killed off in the first place. Okay, all of them being dead is inaccurate since Arche is the only one dead and the rest enslaved for experimental purposes. But still, why the need to give these soon-to-be-finished-off characters some background of their own? It might not be in very much detail but at least they aren’t some nameless extras. I suppose by giving these characters some sort of personality, it only serves to enhance Ains’ reputation and goal. You see, if we weren’t introduced to Foresight and instead some random nameless group of workers, the impact wouldn’t be there and we wouldn’t really care or give much thought to the workers he slaughtered. Case in point like the other workers who were slaughtered by the other creatures in Nazarick. We don’t really care about them, right? Now that you know Foresight, their names and even their goals, this serves to makes us feel conflicted of who is truly the bad guy here. That is why some flipped during this workers massacre episode. I mean, Ains couldn’t be really doing this in cold blooded fashion, right? It really paints Ains in a bad light but then again, remember that Ains’ character is supposed to be the villain all along.

My other beef with this season is similar to last season. Too many characters and with the limited number of episodes, many are forgotten. I still remember at the start of the second season where they introduced a flurry of new characters. Many of them never appeared again. Even more so, just a forgettable short cameo or not at all in this season. That is why it is so frustrating for this series to have so many seasons and while it is great trying to build up the plot, scenario, setting and characters, the only way all this will work out if this adaption gets seen through all the way to the end. Don’t leave us hanging for the next few years and decades or even never as we fans ponder in the back of our heads if we are going to see the end of this series. Heh. For those who have been watching One Piece since its inception, you know what I mean. I believe this series won’t turn into such long running drag like that pirate anime but as far as this third season is concerned, the unsatisfactory of being introduced to so many characters and then for many to be forgotten is just heinous.

For example, those lizardmen who were prominent in the first half of the second season are now reduced to just freaking minor roles. If they do not appear, that is also fine because they don’t make an impact to this season’s story anyway. Hence this season we are going back to the first season to Carne Village as they are now the prominent focus of this season. I am just wondering about Nphirea’s case because I clearly remember that due to the events at the end of the first season, this guy has been rendered blind. Clearly Ains could have saved him but he did not so as not to let his identity slip. Did I miss something or did somebody forgot about this? Sure, we can say Ains probably changed his mind behind the scenes and healed this dude but it feels a bit disjointed because it is as though Nphirea’s case was restarted more for plot convenience. I thought Jircniv would be this season’s antagonist but I guess it is better than suffering the fate of Eight Fingers last season. Yeah, that was a disappointment. But still, rather than being foolish and go up against Ains head on, for now Jircniv will have to bow his head and lay low until he gets that remote chance.

And those are just the characters outside Nazarick. What about those who serve underneath Ains? Well, I am glad that Pleiades maids still get some share of the screen time albeit a short one. Though, Lupusregina got the bulk for this season (Narberal for the first, Solution and Entoma for the second). Sebas and Tuare got their limelight last season so they are fully rested and side-lined here. I guess one of the most disappointing for the Nazarick floor guardians would be Victim. We were finally introduced to this little blob last season and I thought it will be a mainstay for this season like the rest of the other floor guardians but it is sorely missing like as though it never existed in the first place. I suppose this means there is no show for Gargantua either. Sorry, no room for the smallest and largest floor guardians to even hold an audience with Ains. And to think that there are even more weird creatures that is worthy to be their own floor guardians in Nazarick. Man, this place is getting creepier and scarier by the moment. I bet many would rethink again of raiding Nazarick if they knew what they are facing up with. With Demiurge behind this plan and Ains just playing along, it increases my suspicions that Demiurge could be the real bad guy and manipulating Ains after all. I won’t be shocked if this twist comes true! Did Jircniv foreshadow this?!

The action scenes are still entertaining and mostly we see Ains this time unleashing his magic and show everyone the true meaning of fear. It is both good and bad thing to have a protagonist this overpowered. While we are in awe of this invincibility spectacle, it also raises the question if there is anyone else out there who could beat him. Most likely there are but at this point nobody knows yet. After all, Ains has just begun to move. The danger of seeing Ains and his floor guardians being overpowered is nice partly because we support them and thankfully they are likeable enough in our books. But if this carries on, it will look like so effortless and too easy. Where is the fun in that? I know puny humans cannot stand up to those non-humans. That is why the final arc of having Ains unleashing his goats and trample thousands of hapless soldiers feel like we can only get our kicks if we see death in large numbers. Because seeing Ains use his super level tiered magic against one or two human warriors won’t be enough anymore. Yeah, we’ve come to expect even much greater things for Ains.

I want to comment on this season’s art and animation, more accurately the CGI used. Although the past few seasons have also employed this and even though obviously obvious but not as obvious as this season that I need to point it out (as they used more CGI this season). Because you see, somehow I feel that when they employ this style especially on the platoon or armies, they look lifeless. They feel more like marionettes and automata if you ask me. I’m not saying that the CGI is bad but it isn’t good either. Because like in those soldiers’ cases, it feels like since there are too many of them to draw in a single scene and they only appear for a while (although repeated and recycled in many other scenes because, who the hell cares if you can tell one foot soldier from another), it looks easier and faster just to copy and paste them. And what better way than to do it via CGI. The undead soldiers are already undead and that befits them. But still, having them with CGI sometimes makes them look weirdly animated. And for the past 2 seasons, I have been mentioning the He-man factor. I didn’t find any but since Arche reminds me of Clementine (just less crazy) and her hairstyle almost resembles Prince Adam, I guess there is my He-man reference for this season. And also, why is it that I can’t help think Boullope as Man-At-Arms despite both looking so different?

OxT and MYTH&ROID once again do the opening and ending theme this season but now they switch places. MYTH&ROID now sings the opener, Voracity and it maintains that devilishly naughty rock music that suits the series as well as Ains himself very well. Maybe this should be Ains’ personal theme song. OxT now does the ending theme, Silent Solitude. More of a slow rock but still edgy in its own right. Though, Clattanoia still tops my list as the best song in this series.

Overall, the Overlord series is still going strong and one of the very few anime series that continues to maintain its interesting allure despite the flaw of slow build-up of too many developments and too many characters introduced and underutilized. I hope this series really gets another season and many more seeing that one more wouldn’t be enough. It would be ironic and rare to see a villain finally achieving the happy ending (bad ending to the rest) of obtaining what he wants. Because you know, bad guys never achieve their goals because of plot conveniences of heroes taking them down and the cliché of good triumphs over evil. Can we finally have an evil protagonist whom we can bow down to and proclaim as our true Overlord? For the Sorcerer King, it’s not impossible. All he needs is just another season.

Oh my. Oh my. Oh my… Looks like this season we have another one of those game nerd guy who gets mysteriously warped into the game world whereby he becomes the all-powerful saviour of the land and the likes. Isekai Maou To Shoukan Shoujo No Dorei Majutsu might sound generally like another one of those plots from Overlord, Log Horizon, Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku and to some extent, Sword Art Online, but add in with some fanservice flavour. Our protagonist somehow gets summoned to become a slave in this supposed game world but instead that magic is reflected on the sexy girls who summoned him and now they become his slaves. Thankfully not sex slaves. But I guess the power of resistance must be strong seeing super busty elf lady and flattest of the flat panther girl as his slaves would have turned everyone into a Demon Lord of the heart.

Episode 1
Takuma Sakamoto is the most powerful player in the popular MMORPG, Cross Reverie. As his Demon Lord avatar, Diablo, his strength is gained due to being jealous of couples playing the game? Yeah, an otaku shut-in. But wait. Suddenly he gets transported into the world and becomes Diablo! He is first shocked to find himself before a couple of beautiful babes, elf girl Shera L Greenwood and panther girl Rem Galleu. It seems they were doing some Enslavement Ritual but it failed. The magic deflects on them and now they become his slave. Diablo thinks it is this powerful ring he got that made it so. They need his help and since he can’t just leave them behind, he lets them follow him and in the border city of Faltra, they end up renting the same room at an inn. Don’t let your mind run too wild. They are visited by Celestine “Celes” Baudelaire. Diablo remembers her as the head of the Mage’s Association. Originally she is here to talk to Rem but seeing the circumstances, she hears out Diablo’s story. Celes wants to help Rem but the latter refuses and claims she can protect herself. Celes then leaves to do research on how to release the girls from the spell. Diablo can tell Rem is hiding a secret (partly he played too many games with this route) and since Rem refuses to talk fearing he would leave her, he takes her to their room for ‘interrogation’. Before you know it, it looks like a rape scene and Diablo panics because doesn’t know it would turn out this way. So he thinks the safest is toying with her cat ears? Is she climaxing? So loud that the downstairs people could hear… Shera busies herself with food… Finally Rem reveals that the Demon Lord Krebskulm resides within her soul. Krebskulm is the game’s ultimate boss. Diablo deduces that Krebskulm will be release upon Rem’s death and there are no other ways to extract it. Otherwise it would’ve been done. He understands why Celes was trying to help her. Diablo agrees to help her, bringing Rem to tears. That night as Diablo thinks alone, Celes’ mage buddies are drunk nearby. Galluk who has a bone to pick with him tries to start a fight by summoning a level 30 fire breathing salamander to roast him. But it’s nothing to Diablo. He is level 150!!! He easily destroys the beast. Now you better show this Demon Lord some respect.

Episode 2
Morning fanservice. Diablo has got his hands on boobs! One busty, the other flat. Boobs are still boobs! Now for just punishment… As Shera’s dream is to be an adventurer, they head to the Adventurer’s Guild to register. After filling up, they measure themselves via mirror. When it is Diablo’s turn, the mirror malfunctions! This attracts Sylvie the guildmaster. At first she cannot accept them as she doesn’t know Diablo’s strength. Can Diablo accept orders from someone weaker than her? He is okay as long as he is paid. And so Sylvie welcomes them and tries to find a suitable quest. Hmm… This shady quest to find some snake in some forest will do. When they arrive, they realize it is a trap. Shera senses people hiding in the trees so Diablo uses his fire magic to smoke them out. They turn out to be elves. It seems Shera is from the elven royalty and they are here to take her back. However Shera doesn’t want to. She believes her brother, Keera who is the rule only sees her worthy to produce an heir. That is why she ran away and tried to live on her own. They don’t think so and believe Diablo is a slave trader. Diablo is not impressed and will show it to them. The elves attack with their weak arrows. Nothing happened. Even when they fire their most powerful arrow hat is supposed to penetrate anything, nothing happens. Diablo freezes the entire forest to smoke out the perpetrator who hired the elves for this mission: Galluk. He belittles demihumans and still think this isn’t his fault. But when threatened how they will tell Celes and that he used the Mage’s Association name for this request, he baulks and runs away. Shera has the elves send a message to her brother that she will not return. She is going to travel with Diablo and Rem. Back in the room, Diablo is alone with Shera. He realizes why the level of people here are so low. Unlike in the game, death is real and you can’t restart or save. Hence the risk factor to not level up. Shera fears he would choose Rem because he explains about how he levelled up like mad to defeat the final boss since she believes Rem is closely connected to Krebskulm. Shera is happy he stood up for her today and wants to reward him with boobs? Yeah, she knows he can’t keep his eyes off them. He gives in to the temptation but Rem just walks in. She is mad thinking this is an insult to hers. Oh no. Battle of the boob size again.

Episode 3
Sylvie has a new quest for the trio. Don’t worry, it’s not shady, it’s easy with high rewards and it’s by Celes (to make up for that Galluk incident). However Rem wants to sit out as she still feels she doesn’t want to owe Celes. Diablo and Shera take up the quest but will split accordingly. Diablo is soon faced with Emile Bichel Berger who is supposed the Adventurer’s Guild’s strongest warrior. Strongest at level 50. He is under misconception that Diablo enslaved those 2 women. Diablo could have easily overwhelmed him but the ladies stop and explain everything. So now he is friends with Diablo? Diablo and Shera start their quest to deliver wine to the soldiers at the bridge. At first they think he is a Fallen but thanks to the rumours of him being a horned demon, he is somewhat saved. It seems the soldiers are helping people to evacuate as there will be a large scale invasion by Fallen, something Diablo thinks has never happened before even in a game as the Fallen are treated as boss monsters. Since rumours are rife that they want to revive Krebskulm, Diablo wonders if they already know Rem’s secret. Even so, they can’t get into the city which is being protected by Celes’ barrier. With the soldiers obviously scared but choose to stand their ground to defend the people, you bet Diablo is going to help them. But he is going to do it alone as everyone else will get in the way. So here they come. Meanwhile Celes sees Rem and apologizes for that incident. She tells her Galluk has already been relieved of his position. She warns her to be careful of Diablo as he may be a Fallen but Rem refuses to believe that because if he was so, he had many chances to kill her but did not. But looks like Galluk isn’t done yet. He barges in wanting Celes to explain that his firing was a mistake. Selfish dude even asks her to worry about him and he still thinks he is doing the right thing! Desperate, he kills himself and turns into a Fallen, Gregore. Hope he stays dead forever. Back to Diablo, his magic easily pushes back to Fallen but with this many, at this rate his magic powers will diminish. But the Fallen’s commander, Edelgard gets down to face off with Diablo in a decisive battle.

Episode 4
Gregore explains how he used Galluk and hid inside his body. Amazingly Celes can’t detect Fallen who camouflage this way and hence the reason he was able to sneak into the barrier. As Rem and Celes run, they are cornered but women loving Emile and other adventurers come to their aid. Unfortunately they are beaten to a pulp. A message of this invasion reaches to Diablo’s side. You want to shout it out louder so even the Fallen can hear? Because of that, Edelgard is confident if she beats Diablo, victory is assured for them. Diablo worries about Rem and needs to finish this fast. So he warns everyone to step back as he is going to use his grand magic. White Nova blasts all that is in front of him into smithereens! Even parting the river! Although Edelgard survives, she is deeply wounded. Diablo and Shera then teleport back to Faltra. Just in time because Emile is on the verge of death. Time for Diablo to take over and show this lizard guy who is boss. Gregore remains cocky and confident until Diablo deflects all his magic and imitates and uses it back on him. Gregore is now begging for his life but Diablo is so mad that he won’t spare him. He seals Gregore in eternal darkness forever. Rem and Shera are so happy. Them flanking him makes Diablo feel awkward. He gives an excuse they are his property so he protects them. But they love this idea instead. Soon a funeral is held for adventurers who died. Diablo is resting up as he used too many magic points. Shera comes in dressed very skimpily in hopes he could recover faster. Yeah, she learnt this disastrous fanservice fashion sense from Sylvie. Of course a tug of war over Diablo soon begins but is interrupted when Sylvie is here. The lord of Faltra has received demands to hand over Shera to the elven kingdom in 10 days. Otherwise, it’ll be war. Diablo of course won’t hand her over and hence the request from the lord is to stop a war from breaking out with the elven kingdom.

Episode 5
If there is one thing Diablo hates, it is negotiating. Given that he isn’t good at communicating, I suppose being a Demon Lord is kill, kill, kill, right? Keera has also placed a hefty bounty of Shera, hence there will be greedy adventurers who will try and kidnap her. Sylvie takes them to meet the lord, Chester Ray Galford. He was once a hero who fought singlehandedly and defeated the Fallen. He is a bit hard to talk to so please mind what you say. If only Diablo could sound less intimidating… On to business, Galford explains that the elven army has a paltry 100 men. However they specializes in hiding and ambushing in forests so he is not willing to send his army to die needlessly. He seeks Shera’s explanation of leaving a life of luxury to be an adventurer. She seeks her own freedom, something which she will never attain if she remained in the elven royalty. Galford also introduces an imperial knight from the royal castle to help them out, Alicia Cristela. She is quite a friendly person and quickly makes friends with the ladies but as usual, Diablo keeps his distance. Later, Diablo goes to buy a weapon. This is so that his overpowered-ness will not kill others. But this scythe he got looks so badass. Soon after, Shera is kidnapped by greedy adventurers. If not for passing Emile, who knows how long the chase would be. Emile will not kill them but punish them by lecturing till they believe the goodness in women! Fate worse than death? Alicia feels useless she couldn’t do much to stop so Diablo thinks she is the kind who lives by being useful to others. He tells her to forgive herself for being useless and if she wants to follow them, just do as she please and not insist on results. It somewhat backfires as she will now focus on forgiving herself when she is not useful. They are about to head to the elven forest when Alicia’s empty stomach roars like a beast. Ah, can’t go fight on an empty stomach.

Episode 6
Celes heard rumours on how to release their enslavement. So the gang head down to a slave market to meet the owner, Medios. She can see great magic flowing from inside Diablo and Rem. It seems Shera can also do the same but never said anything because nobody asked. Glad she’s an idiot? Rem decides to sit this out since she doesn’t feel so well. So Medios guides Diablo on how to remove the slave collar from Shera. Hmm… Sounds very much like a sex ritual. If you happen to close your eyes and just listen to what they say… Lots of sexual ambiguity here. But in the end, the process failed. It tired how Diablo. Despite he is able to see Shera’s magic flow, it felt endless. He explains it like an endless ball of yarn tangled. You need to untangle each threat but you’re in a room filled with smoke and can’t see. Before they retire for the night, they hear a beautiful flute. It is Keera at their doorstep. Diablo steps in to confront him but surprisingly Keera says all that has happened has been a misunderstanding. He really doesn’t want to start a war and has been prioritizing his kingdom that he didn’t put Shera’s feelings first. Shera feels odd that Keera is acting like this but Rem tells him off it is still up to her to decide. They don’t know whether he is using another way to get Shera back as they can’t trust him yet. Keera assures he will respect whatever decisions Shera makes. That night, Shera talks to Rem about her dreams of opening up a café and including them to work there. Because they are her first friends since she left the kingdom. Even better, they are more family than friends. Rem unfortunately can’t see herself in her plans yet as she has her own problems to deal with. Until then, she hopes her doors are still open. Shera is so happy that she starts doing lesbian stuffs on her. I wonder how long can Diablo pretend to be asleep. Lastly we see that Keera truly can’t be trusted because he has a plan that will finally make Shera his.

Episode 7
After Alicia and Rem head off to report about Keera, Diablo makes some of his potions. If only he isn’t distracted by Shera’s jugs. Soon they hear Keera’s flute but Diablo brushes it off. Then Shera acts strange. She wants to go home. And with that, Keera picks her up. Isn’t it too convenient? Diablo can’t do anything because of the prior agreement that both sides must respect her decision. So what is Diablo going to do? Sleep! Cry in his sleep? Later Rem talks to him about Shera being a bad liar. Shera told her that dumb dream of hers last night. She knows something is wrong and is under some spell. Diablo fears that feeling of rejection (something he experienced in real life) and doesn’t want to feel that again until Rem still wants to go save her because she is her friend. This pumps him up to offer Rem to use his powers to rescue her. Meanwhile in Keera’s camp, he has her spill what Diablo has ordered her to do. Besides shaking hands with Rem, nothing else. Elf guy can’t contain his horniness now. Cue evil pervy face as he unleashed pervy slimes that eat fabrics. Desperate Shera screams out Diablo’s name. What do you know? He is here. I guess he was so busy thinking about f*cking his sister that he didn’t hear the explosion outside. Yup, Diablo put the forest on fire and took out all his guards! He doesn’t care if he starts an international war as he is here to ascertain Shera’s feelings. Keera makes Shera say she wants to return home but it is obviously mind control. Hence Diablo uses the collar to order her to tell her true feelings without being bound by any magic. Not surprises here. Shera wants to stay with her friends and be free. Mad Keera is so disappointed that his fun is gone that he is going to destroy the world with this Hydra he summoned. It’s supposed to be the elf’s trump weapon, you know. Diablo isn’t sh*tting in his pants, you know.

Episode 8
Is it me or is Hydra looking more comical than scary? Diablo tests it out first and finds it could regenerate. Time to hit the panic button? Well, if Shera had told him earlier that there is some core inside it he must destroy. So Diablo just blasts the entire thing. Done. He wants to kill Keera as punishment but Shera pleads not to. She hates him but he is still family. Shera retreats only to be suddenly decapitated! It’s Galford and his troops. He orders to eliminate all elves and take in the princess. Diablo realizes this is part of his plan to make him fight the elves so he could seize their land. Galford puts him in a barrier that Diablo has never seen before. It’s going to be tough to get out but thank goodness for that training with Medios to find its core as he breaks out in no time. Diablo further deduces Galford’s plan to invade the area after Diablo wore himself out fighting. Both men fight and Diablo could barely put distance between them since he is lightning fast with his footwork and thrust. Luckily some magic mines Diablo enabled put a stop to that. Diablo thinks he has got Galford but it is a trap to make he think he had an opening so that he could use a big spell that has some cooling down time. This enables Galford to go for his jugular. Thankfully again, Diablo’s quick thinking to unleash a high level devastating spell saves his skin. Diablo tries some reverse psychology that he considers him too weak to fight and have lost interest. Galford suggests killing him or he’ll regret it. Because he can report to the king and make him be at a disadvantage. Alicia will report back of his intentions. If Galford still insists on dying, he can do it himself. With that, Galford calls off his mission. With Rem seeking potions to heal the wounded elves, Diablo tends to Shera. She still hates her brother but never thought they would part like this. Time to let those tears flow freely. In the aftermath, Alicia returns to make her report while Diablo is unmotivated and trying to recover his lost magic points. Making it worse that he didn’t get any reward since this was Galford’s scheme. But here comes Sylvie with some alcohol. Thinking he can’t get drunk (because it never happened in a game), Diablo drinks it and starts seeing Sylvie as a dakimakura. He rips her clothes and cuddles her tightly in his sleep. Oh Sylvie, you brought this upon yourself (including the skimpy dressing) so why you so mad? Were you hoping to take advantage somehow but it backfired?

Episode 9
Saddler the paladin slaughters an entire village just because they worship the Demon Lord. Back at the imperial castle, he stumbles into Alicia. He talks about his love for all things mortal because they are created by God. That’s why he will not hesitate to kill those who worship the Demon Lord. It seems he will also be going to Faltra to investigate because Lumachina the head priest revealed a prophecy of the revival of a Demon Lord. Meanwhile Diablo teaches Shera to enslave some turkey bird so she can have the same aerial view as it that serves useful to locate enemies in places she cannot see. We take a break with bathing fanservice. Oh, in this world, you bath naked, right? Diablo trying to stave off his temptations. Suddenly Rem is confronted by Edelgard. She assures she is only here to talk but after hearing the rumours, she confirms Rem is the one with Krebskulm. With that, Shera hears the whole story and gets emotional and wants to help her. It seems Edelgard knows of a resurrection ritual to revive Krebskulm that pose no risk to Rem’s life. Rem will also be worshipped as the mother. Diablo thinks this is a good chance and the question if he can beat Krebskulm afterwards. Edelgard tells them to meet at Starfall Tower in 3 days. Alicia returns to warn Diablo and co but looks like they bump into Saddler. Diablo doesn’t want to provoke him but being ‘normal’ means introducing himself as the Demon Lord. Everyone thinks of it as a joke but Saddler soon turns serious even if it was one. With Rem scolding him for being rude, Saddler uses God’s power to suffocate her. But Diablo can sense it is some magic and mocks him. Saddler is about to turn him into stone but Diablo’s jewel deflects back at him. Saddler is now a stone. Of course it is not permanent and he will return to normal depending how strong he is. After his paladins take him away, Alicia wonders why he let him go. Yeah, she has this glare at him that says you-should-have-f*cking-killed-this-bastard. Then they tell Alicia about Rem’s problem and what they’re about to do. Wow. The ladies start to have one big emotional hug and promise to help each other. Diablo can’t help feel something is wrong.

Episode 10
The ritual begins but it seems Diablo can’t go deeper. Edelgard points out to make a hole in her stomach. Will that kill her? There’s another hole. YOU MEAN THAT HOLE???!!! Time to use our imagination. So is Diablo’s finger game strong? You bet. Don’t look now because Krebskulm is now revived! Only… A little bratty girl? Really? This is the Demon Lord? Worse, she forgot how to fight! She doesn’t even remember her role and even agrees not to kill anybody because they say so. WTF. And because she is hungry and Shera feeds her biscuits, she thinks eating biscuits is her destiny! All hail biscuits! As they return home, they are attached by Eulerex, one of the top elites serving Krebskulm. Because Krebskulm doesn’t want to kill her new friends as sacrifice (or else no more biscuits), Eulerex views her reincarnation as incomplete. He tries to kill Edelgard and blames her for an incomplete resurrection. Also, Edelgard is okay with this since if this is what Krebskulm wants, so be it. Diablo fights Eulerex but the former knows all the tricks. Eulerex tries to target and kill Krebskulm but Rem protects her. In the end, Eulerex flees knowing he cannot defeat Diablo. Diablo is tired back in his room. So how does Shera heal him? Get naked and rub all over! She invites Krebskulm to join in. I wonder if he’ll get healed or drained by the end of this unholy act. Yeah, something so great coming into them, eh? Well, thankfully Diablo’s magic is restored. Wow, that was some really hot playing stuff. Meanwhile if you have noticed Alicia who has been displeased ever since Krebskulm took her loli form, looks like she has her own agenda. Flashback shows adults always tell her what is wrong and right (AKA virtue signalling). Hence she needs Krebskulm to fulfil her duty and kill everyone so that a beautiful world can be created. She’s not the only one with an ulterior motive. Saddler has recovered and he is holding a pretty big grudge…

Episode 11
There’s a biscuit song Shera sings? Sounds like Doremi… I don’t think that is the reason why Alicia sneakily took Krebskulm and Rem to the dark alley. Is it to hint her goal to resurrect the real Demon Lord? Because she really wants to restore her memories and awaken her. Alicia also hints she has always been the same. Only this time she doesn’t need to pretend to be their friends. She was also the one behind provoking Galluk and letting him take Gregore in. When Saddler arrives, Alicia changes her story that Rem is a demon worshipper. Rem attacks but is no match for Saddler. Rem and Krebskulm are being transported away. Both talk about the pain and sadness they caused others. They are brought to the outskirts of some church in which Saddler will make her confess and bring her salvation. Basically, it’s a torture chamber. Saddler gets all high and mighty and believes himself as God because he is blessed this and blessed that. Meanwhile Diablo has been searching all that and hasn’t got a hint where Rem has gone. Doesn’t he have some sort of scanning spell? He stumbles into Adventurer’s Guild. However he is at a lost on how to ask for help because Demon Lords don’t ask for help, right? Emile and Sylvie so confused. Luckily a young boy reports seeing Rem being taken away. I guess Diablo doesn’t need to ask for help now and heads right over. At the same time, Edelgard is leading a large Fallen army towards Faltra. Saddler tortures Rem but it seems Krebskulm cannot do anything to help her or even kill because of some initial promised made. It is when Saddler realizes Krebskulm is a demon, he turns his sword at her. Wow. Rem so fast in breaking through her chains and protecting Krebskulm from the slash. Saddler then pierces more swords into Rem. The hatred triggers Krebskulm to turn into her true powerful form. You scared, Saddler? Now where is your God? Since he is still thinking he is God, Krebskulm just kills him off. Good riddance. But with a bigger problem at hand, Diablo wants Shera to use all his potions to save Rem while he faces off with Krebskulm and save her.

Episode 12
Alicia meets up with Edelgard outside. Both of them are in cohorts for this day. Shera used up all the potions to resurrect Rem as she explains Alicia’s betrayal. Emile is here to bring them away because don’t want to get in between Diablo’s fight with Krebskulm. He has a hard time so is this the first time he met his match? Finally he is able to set up the most powerful magic on her. Krebskulm still lives. Now it’s the voice of Shera and Rem that somewhat got through her. Assured that Rem is alive, Krebskulm returns to her loli form. Eulerex is displeased with Edelgard’s failure and wants to punish her. Edelgard fights him to allow Alicia to escape into the city. In the aftermath, Sylvie might trust Diablo but not Krebskulm. So to avoid this impasse, Diablo suggests Edelgard become his slave. A Demon Lord becoming a slave of a Demon Lord? Even if her freedom is lost, at least she can eat biscuits freely without others out for her head. Diablo starts the enslavement ritual. I didn’t know they had to kiss. Now the real battle begins because all his slaves want to sleep with him. Suddenly Alicia barges in to take Shera hostage. But she isn’t here for revenge. She needs Krebskulm to heal Edelgard who has been seriously injured. You mean the Fallen didn’t kill her?! With Diablo’s permission, Krebskulm instantly heals Edelgard. Although grateful, she is given an ultimatum to obey her otherwise she does not consider her as her follower. Now we turn why Alicia was so hell bent on destroying humanity. To cut her flashback story short, those around her are like wolf in sheep’s clothing. Having seen too many evil, she became alone. Diablo could sympathize with her because in real life he too became a shut-in. With her goal gone, the only thing left for Alicia is to kill herself. You bet Diablo won’t allow her to do that. Plus, here comes his lecture of don’t be so conscious of what others think about her. Just be herself. Do and say whatever she pleases and she will eventually find her own place of belonging. Dying as atonement is the easy way out. If she tries this stunt again, he’ll show her something even scarier. Uhm, what can be scarier than death? Everyone believes Alicia is kind because she helped Edelgard. With all that being said, now everyone wants to revitalize Diablo and strips down! Naked sex party on the way! Too bad Diablo is such a noob that he fainted. In the aftermath, I guess Alicia decided to go her own path instead of being Diablo’s slave. Shera and Rem b*tch to Diablo about the kiss he gave to Krebskulm. They want one too. He leaves them hanging.

Maou Yuusha: Demonic Hero
Among all the other ‘terrible’ anime shows this season, this one seems a lot bearable. Still way better than a certain anime that has a modern kid thrown back to the past with his Smartphone. Still way better than a group of young kids playing as a legendary party in a famous online game. And definitely still way better than a certain group of heroes who can use their blood as weapons trying to destroy Tokyo to save mankind (WTF?!). Even if this series has the main character as an overpowered protagonist, it still isn’t as annoying as one think it would be. You see, not all overpowered characters are bad. Say, One Punch Man and even Overlord. I’m not saying this series is on par with those but it is hell better than other crappy anime with overpowered main characters. One reason is the lack of use of Smartphone. That’s right. At this point, trying to incorporate Smartphones as a useful tool is a recipe for disaster.

Diablo might have started out as a very powerful character but this is thanks to all the hard work and levelling up he has done while he was playing as human. There were no shortcuts to suddenly make him so powerful. He is already powerful to begin with. Plus, with the magic and fantasy setting of this world, it makes sense that Diablo as the Demon Lord is able to pull off magical feats naturally. I guess it is a hell lot better than relying on your Smartphone or some debugging mode. Hence Diablo being one of the more powerful characters in this world seems justified. Even if he fails, you can’t blame the Smartphone. Oh yeah. Smartphones’ reputation are so detrimental these days.

Within the context of this anime, the plot doesn’t seem overly interesting. Basically our Demon Lord trying to help his slaves overcome their problems. The first concerning an elf’s family and heir issues followed by the supposedly purging of the real Demon Lord lying dormant within panther girl. And even though the latter didn’t somewhat come to be, I guess you can call it a successful mission as long as the real Demon Lord doesn’t want to destroy the world and instead spend the rest of her time enjoying biscuits. Yeah, somebody is going to find that title being stripped if she is not going to live up to her name.

It seems one of the core running jokes of the series is the way Diablo thinks and feels of wanting to interact with others but the outcome turns out very differently. Hearing his inner voice feels like a reminder that despite his Demon Lord appearance, he is still that human player deep down in his heart. The crux of the jokes lies in when Diablo panics into thinking of handling the current situation. He can’t do it because of his social awkwardness or has some sort of appearance to keep up whatever. So when he tries his best to do so, he comes off sounding like an arrogant and haughty Demon Lord. Then he will be in despair (internally) upon realizing he sounded so superior and conceited. But it usually works out eventually. So far so good keeping his appearance and reputation intact. Because all the excuses he has given so far to give off that impression he is the superior Demon Lord, it might be a little contradicting because for example he implied he isn’t supposed to care but then twists the words in his favour to rescue his slaves as they are his property or something. You’ll find that a lot with Diablo. So is he really a bad guy or just a really nice good guy?

Diablo isn’t exactly perfect and all powerful either. He is only so because almost everyone in this world is just so low in their stats. Because of his experience in playing a game so similar to this, he is able to make quick decisions and pull off high level magic moves without breaking into so much of a sweat. Hence with the enemies so stunned at his power that they probably have never seen before in their life (busting Galluk’s salamander, deflecting Gregore’s magic, cutting down Keera’s Hydra), the reason why Diablo looks so overpowered. He met his match with Galford but I suppose Diablo has also lady luck smiling on his side.

Shera and Rem as Diablo’s adventuring pals serve to advance the plot and give him a role and reason in this world. Because they have unfinished issues to deal with, hence Diablo gets his chance to show off his high level magic skills and awe everybody, bring fear to his foes and the girls admiring him even more so. Otherwise for these two, I don’t want to go so far as the paint them as damsel in distress because ultimately Diablo is the one who comes to their rescue. But encountering Diablo and technically becoming his slave, their life has at least turned for the better because they now have the freedom to choose and live as they want without fear. And also to provide some shameless fanservice in the guise of recovering his mana. Kansha suru yo! Now he has got a Demon Lord loli, that will be triple the service! It’s good to be Diablo. Don’t think he would want to return to his original world anytime soon even if he finds a way.

For some reason, I have always suspected that Alicia wasn’t as she seemed even when she was first introduced. There was something off about her that makes her look untrustworthy despite all the friendliness she displays. It was one of those moments where my guts were right as she harbours some sort of ulterior motive to destroy the world. Is she the true villain of this series? No matter how tragic your past and circumstances was, you just can’t blame it generally on the rest of the world and destroy everything that goes with it. For instance, a tiger killed your family. You’re not going to hunt down and kill all tigers until extinction, right? Alicia being evil at least isn’t as annoying as Saddler because man, this paladin really thinks he is God and indeed playing one (rather, playing the devil if you ask me) just because of his magic being superior to others. Good riddance he is dead and probably in shock right now because he is burning in the pits of hell for eternity. At least Alicia got her chance at redemption because it would be tad sad to see a friend who has been hanging out with them for a while perish under such circumstances. Yeah, the world may be a sh*tty place but you don’t have to be one. Is that what Diablo is also trying to say? Well, with Alicia still breathing, she has lots of chance to make amends and right the wrongs. Something you can’t do if you’re dead.

There are some fanservice moments here and you can tell right from the start because of how busty Shera is. Are those boobs made out of bouncy silicone gel? If she was in our world, she would have been scouted to do elf porn. Oh well, there are lots of sexy posters of Shera going around the internet… Having busty Shera and flat Rem feels like a balancing act for Diablo in terms of those who love them big and those who love them underdeveloped. I know this world being fantasy and all but I also have to wonder why some people dress like as though they want to have some wardrobe malfunction happening. Just take a look at Sylvie. Is this supposed to be her uniform? For goodness sakes, she is the guildmaster. Is this the way she attracts new members? Making it weirder is the way she dresses, she tries to show her underboobs but being s flat, this fanservice seems awkward. Seriously. I think Krebskulm also needs some sort of fashion lesson but being the Demon Lord herself, I think nobody tells her how to dress. She can walk around topless with whatever those leftover things barely covering her non-existent tits. And of course some very sexual innuendo scenes like that one where Diablo tries to reach deep into Rem’s stomach through that ‘hole’. WTF but good, right?

Art and animation are pretty decent. It might not be up there along with the best masterpiece but at least it is watchable without having you to notice of any low and inferior quality. There are some magic effects but the want I want to note is when Diablo focuses on the magic flow inside a person. Personally, I thought it reminded me of an old Windows’ screensaver. Seriously. Just want to note that when Alicia officially revealed her true colours, why does her evil face make me think she is going to turn into some sort of lizard monster? I don’t know, it seems many baddies have this one kind look on their face. Like Keera has this crazy rape face when he is about to do incest and Saddler his f*cking face is just annoying to look at. You know a series is made for the fanservice when the visuals have higher and better quality than the rest. So get a load of your bouncy boobs that defy the laws of physics, ass shots, crotch shots and whatever sexy angles this series has to offer. Can’t complain, right? This series is done by Ajia-Do who did Nintama Rantarou, Zettai Shounen and Shuumatsu No Izetta.

Voice acting feels okay with me only recognizing Akira Ishida as Keera and Sayaka Ohara as Medios. Other casts include Masaaki Mizunaka as Diablo (Ryuuen in Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi No Kyoushitsu E), Yuu Serizawa as Shera (Iroha in 3D Kanojo Real Girl), Azumi Waki as Rem (Maika in Blend S), Yumi Hara as Alicia (Albedo in Overlord), Rumi Okubo as Sylvie (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Atsumi Tanezaki as Krebskulm (Emily in Harukana Receive), Emiri Katou as Edelgard (Aura in Overlord), Akio Ohtsuka as Galford (Blackbeard in One Piece) and Sayaka Senbongi as Celestine (Chitose in Girlish Number).

The opening theme is Decide by Summoners 2+ (basically the quintet behind the voices of Shera, Rem, Alicia, Sylvie and Edelgard). It is a very techno-heavy music and I have this feeling that if you run out of songs to write or rushing to ‘create’ one, just spam heavily on the techno effects and have the singers sing it as it flows. That’s why it sounds generic and chaotic at the same time. For the ending theme, Saiaku Na Hi Demo Anata Ga Suki by Yuu Serizawa (I thought it was a duet with Azumi Waki) sounds better although this song being more of a rock piece and the singer trying to sing it in a cute girly way.

Overall, you watch this series if you feel like wanting some fanservice to spice up your life. Yeah, there are other ‘superior’ ecchi fanservice series out there like High School DxD but I suppose if you want an ecchi version of Overlord, this is your answer. It sounds like this anime didn’t live up to its namesake of how not to summon a Demon Lord. But it did just that and failed. Twice. Because you aren’t the Demon Lord if you aren’t going to destroy the world. You aren’t the Demon Lord if you prefer to spend your time trying to figure out how to free your slaves instead of world domination. You aren’t the Demon Lord if you figure your life’s mission is to eat all the delicious biscuits instead of devouring mortals. Oh yeah. The world would certainly be a much better place if we all could just have our biscuits and tea. Maybe we should have how to order the best biscuits for teatime instead.

At first I thought Saredo Tsumibito Wa Ryuu To Odoru was going to be just another dragon slaying fantasy. Two guys with swords perhaps as dragon slayers on a quest to defeat dragons, each with their own motivation to do so. And then I started to read the synopsis and everything I thought this series was about was blown away. Technically there is some dragon slaying but that is not the mainstay of this series. Lots of dark politics, underhanded tactics, backdoor politics, some sci-fi terms and magic… Oh boy. Looks like I have this feeling I’m in for one of those ‘complicated’ anime series that I will have a tough time understanding.

Episode 1
Uhm… There’s a brief explanation about what Jushiki is but I don’t understand. To put it in simple terms, magic. Once only the dragons were able to use it but now humans are able to wield it in weapons as well. Hence those fighting against dragons using this are called Offensive Jushiki-shi. We are introduced to a pair of oddest Offensive Jushiki-shi ever. Gayus Levina Sorel who is constantly worrying about his financial state and his partner, Gigina Jerde Dolk Melios Ashley Boeuf, a Draken who loves fighting, furniture collecting and very poor financial management. Now I can see the reason for Gayus’ stress… Here they are in some battlefield awaiting their chance as they bicker the usual. A black dragon shows up. Supposedly an 800 year old one called Altar. After a tough fight, the duo prevail. However their efforts are not appreciated as Gayus’ boss doesn’t give him the expected reward, piling on excuses that they need to learn life lessons, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile in some parliament house whatever, politicians are arguing about territories, rights and conflicts. Not that I’m interested in. Even the high ranking cardinal priest, Mordin Orjes Gyunei couldn’t be bothered listening to the tirade. So when he receives news from one of his generals, Yorkan, he decides to head to the city of Eridana where Jushiki and conspiracies of countless nations run wild. Gayus hears from his journalist friend, Arzel that there is a serial killer murdering Offensive Jushiki-shi. The culprit must be strong since all died with a single blow. More woes for Gayus as Gigina has bought more furniture and put it on his tab. Yeah, he even added some accessory to his mighty sword. Since tomorrow is the annual Eridana Festival, he pays a visit to his girlfriend, Jivunya Lorezzo. It must be a tough day for him so cut this guy some slack and make out! While they’re at that, the serial killer kills yet another Offensive Jushiki-shi. She laments another wrong target. Uh huh. Her target is Gayus and Gigina. Apparently all humans look the same to her so she can’t tell humans apart and hence her indiscriminate killings. I suppose she is the kind that shoots first and asks questions later.

Episode 2
To prove this series isn’t heading towards the bromance route, we get a sneak peak at Gayus making out with Jivunya. Until the damn phone rings! F*cking cliché. Oh, it’s his bromance partner. At the office, both their faces are on posters made by some PR people that they slain the black dragon. Also, they have a guest: Herodel, Gayus’ old school friend. He has a job request for them: To be bodyguards for Mordin. But why hire outside Offensive Jushiki-shi like them when he has his own elite team? It would ruin his fun. He has them be his tour guide for the festival. Sorry, Jivunya, Gayus has to forgo your date to be with someone of higher importance. Mordin is able to walk about like this because he has many doubles posing as him. Thanks to those doubles, his life has been saved many times from attempted assassinations. On the way back, they see a group of protestors against the Tienlun Accord. It is an agreement for peace between the dragon and human nations. However it also allows any dragonkind to be eliminated should they encroach into human territory. But this accord is what is preventing an all-out war between both races. But Gayus reasons the people who opposed this must have had their loved ones killed by dragons and hence the accord is an unforgivable compromise. Mordin notes that even so, it is irrational to move society based on an individual perspective. Later as Gayus and Herodel drink, the former asks if he has gotten over his fiancée, Shifaka. He thought joining the military for revenge was the right move but he is different now. Revenge won’t save anyone and working for Mordin has opened his eyes. He strives for his same belief for coexistence. He then asks Gayus if he has gotten over his late sister, Aleciel. He regrets asking this. Later Gigina arrives to pick up drunk Gayus. They are then confronted by the serial killer, Nidvolk. Jackpot. She attacks them as she accuses them of killing her husband, Eningiluud. They don’t know what she’s talking about and it pisses her off. Gayus can tells she uses gravity as her Jushiki and they manage to escape her wrath by the skin of their teeth.

Episode 3
Gayus returns to Jivunya. She is relieved he is safe but needs him to take a shower because he stinks (he was walking through the sewers after escaping Nidvolk). I guess no sex yet. Later Gayus calls Vinnel, an informant to find out more details about Nidvolk. Gayus and Gigina continue to be Mordin’s bodyguard. The cardinal is impressed seeing them argue their bad habits aloud. Yeah, such great entertainment that is more fun than the sightseeing of the festival. As Mordin prays, he asks Gayus if he doesn’t believe in God. In the state of the world now? No. He mentions about Shifaka who died in a silly dispute between the Dragon Empire and Seven City Alliance. If God exists, why allow people to die via wars, disease or accidents? Why does Aleciel have to die? Mordin answers him either God doesn’t exist or is cruel. The dead do not come back to life and miracles don’t exist. But how can people live without deception? They close an eye and pretend to keep living. He must be careful in looking too hard for reasons because Offensive Jushiki-shi are trying to understand the world. To face a question without an answer is the only way humans can fight reality. As for why Gayus works with Gigina despite being like oil and water, aside from his bad habits, he is a great partner. Mordin says they complement each other and appearances aside, they get along very well. Mordin sees Azu Bita, the representative of the Lapetodes Seven City Alliance who is also the right hand man of the Seven City Alliance House’s Supreme Chairman, Kai Kuyou. When they realizes all the other bodyguards are missing, they know trouble is here. The duo fight off the wave of assassins but there are more coming. They go warn the high eminences to leave since they can’t have them dead or else war between both races will start and the same tragedy will happen again. Mordin finds him selfless but Gayus doesn’t want medals or respect. Just the truth. If they get out of this alive, he’ll tell as much as they want. The duo fight off the assassins until the final boss makes a self-sacrificing move. Gayus dreams of his dead sister. The trauma wakes him up in hospital. Jivunya is so relieved he is still alive.

Episode 4
The doctor is stumped that Gayus was dead on arrival and now that he is conscious, he has shown no signs of damage. A miracle? Does this give him a free pass to hit on the cute nurse? He is soon visited by Mordin but Gayus can tell this is the real one and the previous one was just an impersonator, Genon Cull Darius. Gayus explains some complicated observation of his on why he is able to tell the difference. He asks why he planned his own assassination. He is cautious to have 7 doubles but yet leaked info to his enemies on a very well-guarded meeting. Mordin reveals Herodel is the traitor and is already a member of a hardliner when he joined the military. The car outside then sets off, killing Herodel. Mordin also admits the assassination was also part of his plan from start to finish. He recognizes this is unforgivable to sacrifice many but this is a war to prevent a war and save many more lives. He plans to withdraw the Alliance’s occupational forces to retreat to the Daef Front that would seemingly benefit the Dragon Empire. He is doing so to make smoke out Herodel, making him believe the plan was progressing according to plan, using outsiders seem more believable as Gayus isn’t the type foolish or heroic enough to go against authority and also there is a price the Dragon Empire will have to pay the Alliance. As Mordin leaves, he is attacked by Gigina who sensed he is a dangerous person but a barrier protects him. Gigina warns him to take his game elsewhere or die. Gayus returns to Jivunya’s side. She says a lot of lovely embarrassing things since she is worried and then wants him to drink until he passes out to forget all that she said. So no sex? In the aftermath, the accord failed with some senators’ reputation taking a hit. Vinnel returns with some answers about the gravity fragment. The duo go help the nurse who discovered some malpractice. Gayus knows it is a trap and this is Genon in disguise. They are met with fraternal twins who serve Mordin, Beldritt and Jesper Livy Raki. Beldritt summons a dragon to help fight and soon Genon joins in in a dragon form. Mordin is watching all this while Nidvolk waits for a chance.

Episode 5
The duo are almost dead when Nidvolk jumps into the fray. She kills Genon by ripping out his heart. Despite giving the Raki brothers a chance to escape, they attack her to complete the mission but were brutally injured. Now she faces Gayus and Gigina. Gayus knows she is the wife of the black dragon they slew. She is the one who healed Gayus from death before so she could kill him again and many more times. Yeah, she kills and revives him as part of her revenge. When the duo thought they bested her, she stabs them. In this WTF moment, they can still joke?! Something about how the taxman will kill her?! Something about Gigina has a cheap convenient plot that reveals his super Draken lineage?! Something about his secret move only happens when his friend dies?! Yeah, Gayus intends on killing himself but Nidvolk won’t allow that. Not sure what happened because Gayus uses Herodel’s Jushiki to fire face on at Nidvolk’s Jushiki. Gayus took this gamble and knew Nidvolk will not separate herself from her Jushiki as it belonged to her husband. As she lies dying, Gayus asks why she didn’t attack Jivunya if she was so bent on revenge. Well, the ones who killed her husband are them. No others were responsible. Too bad for all the innocent Jushiki-shi she killed. Gayus has his ripped arm put back to normal like as though it was never ripped by super organ specialist, Czahn. Best joke: She is kind in all ways except her billing! Oh sh*t! This is sure going to cost. Later Gayus meets Mordin and knows they have been dancing in his palm. Everything went according to his plan. His goal is equilibrium between the Dragon Empire, the Alliance and the dragonkind Vaisen. First, he faked his own assassination to stem out hardliners who opposed the plan of ceding the Holy Land of Alsok. He then promised to mediate the failed accord to create favourable conditions for Alsok’s ceding. Its failure is also his plan. He traded the needs of the powers in order: Dragon Empire gets Alsok, the Alliance the accord and Vaisen by having its 2 defectors hunted down. This means Gayus and Gigina were good bait for Nidvolk. He knew about the dragon’s proud sense of revenge and hence the outcome was as per expected. Gayus could have revealed more but that’s enough revelation for us to hear. He gives them his prized ring as reward. Gayus doesn’t approve his methods but Mordin is bent on protecting the weak and modest even if it means destroying the dragons and laugh at the face of any Jushiki curse. He will prove the weakness of man is enough to carry on living. He offers them to join his generals but is immediately turned down. They might not have understood what they have accomplished but being alive sounds good enough.

Episode 6
Viscount Remedius Levvi Rahzel plays a weird game of chess in a prison with a girl, Naricia. Meanwhile Jivunya is giving Gayus a kinky policewoman foreplay! Yeow! Sexy level over 9000!!! Until the damn phone rings… Oh sure, Gayus isn’t in bad mood as he and Gigina makes his way to the agency to answer their boss’ call. But due to an emergency nearby, they are ordered to help the police solve some ongoing hostage situation. They head in and find the culprit is this monster, Magatsushiki. It’s creepy to see live humans cramped inside… Anyway they manage to avoid death from its decoys and kill it. They get a bit careless since some of its part still lives. Gayus almost got killed had not Largonkin save his skin. Back home, Gayus accidentally destroys a very cheap chair. Gigina is going to kill him! Yeah, his life is worth lower than that! For the moment, Gigina almost believed Gayus’ lie that he is his twin brother! Luckily Jivunya comes between them. Gigina stops and notes he is always behind a woman. First it was Cuello, now her. Gayus assures that was her past love. Jivunya is now the only one for him. Jivunya doesn’t seem so assured… Gayus has a client. Calpunia Levvinakes Rahzel from the Rahzel Foundation (one of the few corporate giants in the Dragon Empire) seeks his help to find his nephew, Remedius who was supposed to be a continental champion of chells (chess?) and a young creator who was abducted by the anti-government organization, Aurora Hammer, 2 years ago. They have been negotiating underground ever since and agreed to a ransom pay out that runs into billions. That exchange takes place here in 2 days. Since none of their Jushiki-shi have experienced violence unlike them, she wants them to help out and will reward them handsomely. Later Gayus and Largonkin are in a briefing with the police about the recent increase in Magatsushiki attacks. They want private Jushiki agencies to help. But before Gayus could turn this down since he already has a big client contract, Largonkin strong arms him into cooperating.

Episode 7
Remedius is about to be executed by those Aurora Hammer dudes but when he fixes their weapons, they all love him! WTF?! Gayus and Gigina accompany Calpunia for the exchange. They deal with Zhuo Lu who is the new leader of Aurora Hammer. After showing their goods, the exchange begins but it looks like the baddies trick them with a trap. This Remedius is fake and they ran off with the money. Calpunia’s guards all died but luckily the duo protect her. This mission failed and though the duo are partly responsible, it is ultimately their job to protect her and they kept their part well. Calpunia regrets being cruel to Remedius so she has another mission for them: Bring him back at all costs. Speaking of that dude, he is having a party with other guards! Wow. He is like the VIP. Naricia tells the legend of the land ruled by a dictator so a woman sacrificed herself to a sand dragon named Zhuo Lu to kill him. Remedius witnesses atrocities in town and doesn’t hesitate to kill the evil authority tormenting the innocent. We take a detour with Gayus playing a prank to lock Gigina in a cabinet. He blackmails money if he wants to get out or he can break out himself. Don’t look down because Gigina actually breaks out! Though only his limbs. Cupboard man?! Anyway they are called to attend some Magatsushiki lecture by Yahkto. Apparently they aren’t just those creepy beings but a kind that tries to create their own bodies. A creepy guy can suddenly come in to give Largonkin a present. As expected, he turns into some grim reaper Magatsushiki and steals all the other Jushiki-shi’s power. Of course the rest all cooperate to take him down. Their performance is praised by the Magatsushiki duo, Viscount Amupura and Baron Janahn Ghalan. After seeing some ring on Gayus’ finger, they decide to change the rules of the game a bit. A forced condition of victory and bet on their heads. They have 3 days for the final act or everything gets destroyed.

Episode 8
Remedius has joined Aurora Hammer after seeing the injustice the dictatorship used against its people. Gayus and Gigina attend a funeral for their dead Jushiki-shi comrades. Later Gayus gets info from Vinnel about a former employee from Rahzel, Parumuwei currently in contact with Aurora Hammer. The duo are led by Egurrd (Calpunia’s aid) to see Lieutenant Colonel Gohhel who is the director of Dragon’s Jaw, a special force under Queen Xenobia of Ilm. He wants them to stay away from anything to do with Rahzel and Aurora Hammer. Gayus deduces something is wrong and concludes this is only because Remedius has joined Aurora Hammer. Gohhel admits and reveals more about when the party leader Zemunn started reconciling with the dictator, Dochetta, they joined forces with Zhuo Lu to rid of Zemunn and now Aurora Hammer is even more extreme. The raid during the hostage exchange was a distraction and a show put on by Remedius to secure funds. They tried to take advantage of that by eliminating Aurora Hammer but failed. Hence Gohhel orders them to stay out even if Calpunia pleads to them. Zhuo Lu buys a very expensive weapon from Parumuwei and the latter is in shock upon realizing what he is going to use it for. Remedius and Naricia are captured by Dochetta and will be executed. Jivunya is forcing Gayus and Gigina to reconcile! Man, it’s like a mother trying to make her sons be on good terms. As Gayus goes to get his repaired gear, he is asked about the ring from Mordin. As he has investigated it, it comes from a live dragon of 10,000 years! Besides there is something pulsating inside the ring that the detectors cannot detect. Basically, this ring is alive and he wants Gayus to give it back. It seems like a weird outing with Gayus, Gigina, Largonkin and their women. Gayus and Largonkin talk about the old days in which the latter wants him to forget about Cuello but Gayus just can’t. This upsets Gayus as he further adds about Diorg is dead and Stratos without a soul. Only he and GIgina are left in the agency. Timely reminder that Gayus is a lucky bastard who gets to make out with Jivunya. But then she starts to ask him about what he talked with Largonkin earlier in the day. When a woman sounds like that, sh*t is going to hit the fan. Then she accuses him of still loving Cuello and this perfume of hers reminds him of her, that’s why he could identify it (oh sh*t!). He even mentions Cuello’s name in his sleep (double sh*t!). Why is he not looking at her? Is there something he cannot tell her but only Gigina? Who the f*ck is this Cuello? It’s over. Get out. Go home. Oh Gayus. You’re really screwed. So screwed even in the head that he thinks himself of just being badass. Yeah…

Episode 9
While our gang are talking about Magatsushiki from another dimension using a medium from this world to appear here, Amupura and Janahn Ghalan pop up to correct and hint them. This evening party is a giant Jushiki curse and if they want to stop it, they have to stop the person who summoned them. Gayus get info from Vinnel on Aurora Hammer’s hideout thanks to Parumuwei. Too bad he is already a corpse. It seems Dragon Jaw is also here. In a room they see Remedius’ corpse. A hologram of Zhuo Lu explains he summoned them here to pass Remedius’ last words. Zhuo Lu reveals Aurora Hammer was in fact created by the Dragon Empire and this is a serious foreign interference in domestic affairs. Hence the hostage exchange was just a ploy to cover up their scandal. Remedius’ final words include the creation of the ultimate warhead Jushiki known as Ava Dorn. It requires the Jushiki power of several people to activate. Its target is Rahzel Island where the company is situated. If anyone leaves that island, the warheads will detonate immediately. It is scheduled to blow up at noon anyway. Remedius then curses the company as we see flashbacks of the very cruel betrayal of Naricia and her people to a point they had to kill each other for survival. He curses the company to hell. Normally why would Gayus care? Oh. Jivunya works there! It’s understandable why he is losing his cool. Who else would give him great sex? Oops. But we can see how desperate he is as he hacks his way to contact her and apologize. Yeah, any sane girlfriend would know something is wrong. More explanation by Yahkto about the plague that will befall if the Magatsushiki world opens. In short, everyone will die within a few seconds. 100% fatality. So as Gayus racks his brains to think of a way. Anyway, he somehow gets it. He explains to the rest that Remedius summoned the Magatsushiki duo and the evening party is Ava Dorn. As Remedius can’t control the great will of the Magatsushiki, that was why the duo left them clues because they really want to fight them as entertainment. The random appearance of past Magatsushiki incidents actually resembles the board pieces of chells. The final checkmate move will be on Rahzel Island that was famously used by Remedius to win and became champion. The checkmating piece is where the warheads are located: The Osedek Clock Tower.

Episode 10
The assault on all kinds of weird Magatsushiki monsters in the tower begins. Our main Jushiki-shi confront Janahn Ghalan and after a hard fought battle, he is defeated because Gayus used Largonkin’s cigar which has insecticide that Janahn Ghalan’s spider body was not used to. Whatever. Flashback as we see Naricia killing herself so Remedius could eat her and stay alive. So when the rescue team found him, he sounded a bit crazy. He ate all off Naricia (except her eyes) and claimed he is reborn. Hence, inheriting her will to save her town and the metaphor he will eat all his enemies. Back to our Jushiki-shi heroes, they are having a hard time with Amupura since he can teleport and regenerate fast. Janahn Ghalan is in his weak spider form and as part of the rules, he allows Amupura to consume him. This merging means the conditions for the warheads triggering have been met. He fires one as the rest try to stop it while Amupura tries to intervene. They manage to stop it but at the cost of Largonkin. Gayus and Gigina are left as another warhead is fired but Amupura claims that since he has fulfilled Remedius’ contract, the warhead will allow him to open a portal and summon his kind. Fortunately Gayus knows how teleportation works so he uses his Jushiki to burn up everything. Amupura can’t escape and perishes. But another warhead launches. With no power left, can they stop it? Fortunately a Jushiki-shi of Largonkin placed at some strategic place shot it down. Phew. Thank convenience. After the duo crash on the island, another plot convenience calls for Gayus and Jivunya reconciling with each other. Welcome home. I guess at least the future of making out is safeguarded too.

Episode 11
Oh no. Jivunya again trying to make Gayus and Gigina make up. I don’t think it’s going anywhere. They are joined by Largonkin’s subordinates, Jabeira and Iegie. Jabeira is Jivunya’s senior. Czahn also joins drinking with them and she is Jabeira’s cousin. Gayus suggests a drinking game in which the loser gets penalized. Yup, Gayus becomes the first victim and Czahn wants to publicly display his organs! Thank goodness Jivunya won’t allow it. Everyone thinks she wants to protect his dick! As the drinking game goes on, the penalty gets more and more devastating. Especially if you’re getting revenge on being humiliated before. Gayus and Gigina have to leave since Dragon Jaw calls them. They go talk to Xenobia (although just a hologram) as Gayus asks a few questions from the recent incident bugging him. However she doesn’t need to answer since he suddenly figures it out. Something about the Dragon Empire planning to conspire with Dochetta. The Seven City Alliance is also supporting Dochetta and in return, they will get mining rights to very rare resources. They can’t join forces with Aurora Hammer as they have declared the resources belonging to the people of Urmun. That’s why it is crucial for Remedius to die as a hostage so as to protect the nation’s economy and people. Xenobia will do anything for her own people but wouldn’t care less about others. Before they can get mad, she says this decision was made by Mordin during the time they guarded him as he had a secret meeting then. Xenobia then joins Mordin (they are cousins) watching the parade of Dochetta. Suddenly a couple of girls go up to him to give him flowers. BOOM! Where the heck was security?! Oh, Dochetta survives thanks to some Jushiki. However Ava Dorn activates and kills everyone in the stadium. Mordin and Xenobia are protected of course. Gayus and Gigina stumble into Zhuo Lu in the streets as they see that assassination incident live on TV. Zhuo Lu reveals that Rahzel Island incident was just a distraction so as to bring the warheads to Urmun where the true game board is. He believes a new nation will be born with Dochetta’s assassination. Gayus knows Zhuo Lu is the real Remedius and the one that was supposed to him was Zemunn. Gayus disagrees with his idea of freedom by killing lots of innocent people but Zhuo Lu begs to differ because if he has a better suggestion, then be his guest. Gayus knows his method will only create more Dochetta-like people. Zhuo Lu considers them as useless since they can do nothing but criticize. Gayus then smells a familiar scent. We see Zhuo Lu and Naricia talking and hoping for the best even if it will never come true.

Episode 12
Flashback when Gayus was just brought into Diorg’s agency. As you can expect, Gayus wasn’t cooperative and tried to be a hero fighting by himself but is often put in his place by Cuello. This sleazy guy even played the sympathy card just to get in her pants! She’s not buying it. The duo were on a mission to arrest a guy who skipped his bail after being charged for killing a couple of Jushiki-shi. The mission failed as he got away and Gayus nearly died after rushing in. But with Cuello nursing him and the more he talks to her, Gayus finds himself falling for her. She’s not bad after all. Too bad not everyone’s perfect. Yeah, she has her own flaws. She’s a demon behind the wheel! Speed is everything?! They finish up the mission but brought Gigina this time. After a few fights here and there and Gayus covering Cuello’s back, they succeed. And so a group photo of them is all Gayus has left to reminisce about his old team. As usual, the usual bickering with Gigina over taking forever to clean the place if he keeps daydreaming. Yeah, why not clean the furniture in the place if he loves them so much? It is briefly narrated that Urmun entered a nasty civil war after Dochetta’s death. The Dragon Empire sent in troops under the guise of peacekeeping and as long Urmun is in chaos, the Dragon Empire’s economy stays stable. Also, the people of Urmun failed to answer to Aurora Hammer’s call for resistance. There were some but it soon sputtered out. Eventually Zhuo Lu AKA Remedius died for real. Decapitated outside the city, believed to have been assassinated. Aurora Hammer also fell apart after his death. Gayus feels his golden age has passed and those days can never return. But now he has a girlfriend and a partner who backs him up, that’s all he needs.

Dances With Conspiracy And Bromance
Hmm… So they ‘ended’ it with a short flashback and somewhat a ‘fast forward’ of the events of Urmun? Because of that I sometimes wonder if a single cour for this series was just too short to do it justice. But having it 2 cours won’t do any good for me either because you’ll soon find out why in the next paragraph. Hence that final episode flashback was timely and interesting to know about Gayus and Gigina’s early days together. However it wasn’t enough to warrant anything significant. Like as though it is a teaser if the series should warrant another season because I believe this is good enough to deserve another solid arc by itself. Also, trying to wrap up Urmun’s incident felt like rushing it because we’re already at the end of the season. Because I thought Remedius at this rate might become a formidable opponent but shockingly died like a pitiful dog. But whatever.

Just as I feared, I didn’t understand the lot that is going on. Not even the gist of it. Because of all the conspiracy and politics that are going on, it makes it really hard for a simpleton like me to grasp what is actually going on. Even if I had to replay scenes and conversations again, I don’t think I would be able to comprehend what is taking place. That is why when Gayus starts explaining what he deduced from whatever revelation, it sounds more like a plot convenience to reveal to viewers the happenings. Like as though he read from the script just to tell us straight in our faces the answers that we all should know. Not that I would understand either. Gayus may be sharp and a smart guy in the series and with his brilliant deductions of what is going on, too bad it is wasted on people like me because, for the umpteenth time, I don’t really understand what lies beneath all that eventually. So yeah, first half’s arc having some dragon chick trying to kill them. Okay. Cool. Whatever. Second half’s arc having some dangerous game that involves millions of lives only for it all to be a distraction? Whatever. I’m really lost.

Making me even more lost are the names of the characters and places. Actually because this isn’t your standard Japan or Tokyo and hence no typical Takashi or average Sakura sounding names, the characters’ names do sound weird and so sci-fi-like that sometimes I feel that there is this difficulty of trying to formally spell their names in Roman alphabets. Yeah, how do you actually write down those tongue twisting names? Thank heavens for Google or otherwise I would have to strain my ears just to listen over and over again what the heck this character name is. Hence there are different versions of spelling the names depending on which source you look at. Oh, here is another mind boggling thing. Despite all the fantastic sounding names, I noticed the currency they used is yen! WTF?! Not sure if it is just coincidence or oversight on the producer’s part but having yen as the currency makes it feel so out of place. Yeah, the names and setting are already so out of place and then you suddenly have this very common current day thingy here. I guess it goes to show that no matter where you are, money still mostly motivates men.

Thanks to the incomprehensible plot (I suppose Gayus and Gigina are taking jobs so as to put food on their table, or in the latter’s case, to buy more furniture), I find it hard to relate it to the characters. But thankfully, I can admit that what I enjoyed most in watching this series is the very strange and dynamic interaction between Gayus and Gigina. Although I don’t entirely understand them, seeing how they are always at odds with each other but trading insults in very cool and calm disposition is very much enjoyable. It’s like they’re always hot and cold with each other. They’ve been so long around each other that they might be trading such insults as a pastime. They have to do it every time. Before missions. During missions. After missions. It’s like their drug as they try to verbally up one another. It’s like one of those buddy cop teams but in a dark sci-fi world. Heck, the interaction between the duo sometimes feel like a bait and trap for some yaoi bromance! Uh huh. It is even hinted in Gayus’ name. Gay us. Get it? Gay-Us! Gay-R-Us! Haha! Gigina’s name? Is that a Draken term for a manly vagina?! And so there are points where they are tempting to cross that yaoi line but so far so good. As long as Gayus gets it hot with Jivunya, the straight world is a-okay.

Therefore I suspect that a few scenes of Gayus getting really hot and steamy with Jivunya sometimes feels like a troll to make us think that this guy is straight. Enough to make you think that this bespectacled dude isn’t into macho men because he has got a hot sexy girlfriend to begin with. Heck, even Gigina looked like he has a harem of hot chicks of his own! But then again, oddly Jivunya always wants to try and have them be friends. Sometimes it’s like trying to activate our yaoi bromance radar because maybe she would like the see those guys make out for once! Yikes! Here I thought she was a straight woman with eyes only for Gayus but you never know what lurks deep into a woman’s heart. The irony that I somewhat feel and understand Jivunya’s jealousy over Gayus’ possible ex-girlfriend more than the plot of the overall series. Yeah. I was thinking they should expand this but that would dilute the worth of the series. This side relationship is supposed to just be a little side distraction from the big thing.

After all, I don’t think Gayus and Gigina exactly hate each other that much although they do hate each other sometimes. If they are, they wouldn’t have worked together as a team so beautifully as seen all the time. They are like the perfect team combo each time they pull off almost impossible stuffs in each mission, covering each other’s backs. That’s why I enjoy watching them being together and it would be just unthinkable if they really go their separate ways. On the individual level, I believe each of them have their own past to deal with but this series doesn’t dwell on them deeply. We know Gayus has some sort of issues with his dead ex-comrades as well as his late sister but it wasn’t something that is fleshed out deeply and by the next arc, you’ll forget Gayus still hasn’t gotten over Aleciel’s death. Almost forgotten her name there.

Still don’t understand why Gayus puts up for his stupid selfish boss in the agency he works for. Sure, he has issues with his previous agency that resulted in the deaths of his comrades but he is okay having his pay deducted for the slightest and negligible stuffs? It’s amazing he can still keep his cool. As for Gigina, not sure if he loves to spout crap especially about his Draken warrior sayings. Sounds warrior worthy but sometimes sounds more like convenience. Even his whatever Draken culture he warns you about offending with. Yeah, not much is really known about the Draken kind. Of course Gigina will also be fondly remember for his love of furniture. If this guy isn’t a Jushiki, he would have opened a furniture factory or shop. So people, take care of your furniture well. Otherwise Gigina will kill you who are worth less than those precious fittings!

Mordin is a very hard character to understand. As a very high ranking and prominent politician as well as the man of God, he is very sneaky and manipulative. Because of his very calm demeanour, it lets your guard down to think that he is an okay chap. Alas he is wise enough and thinks many steps ahead to certainly make sure you dance right into the palm of his hand. Just when you think you have got the better of him, it is not as he has already taken precautions. This makes him a very dangerous character as it makes you doubt whether he is telling the truth, lying, half truths or half lies. You don’t really know what he is thinking. Given he has that little charisma too, if I was in person speaking to him, I would find it hard to rebut what he would say to me. Even if I know that I shouldn’t trust this person. Plus, he is so careful that he has clones talking on behalf and make you think you are talking to the real thing. Trust in God, sure. But trust your own guts more. Deception is perhaps the best word to describe this guy. No wonder he looks like he has a good poker face!

There are a few more other interesting characters like Czahn who is just weird as she loves organs. No, not the music instrument type. She could have been Frankenstein if she had her own spinoff series. Mordin also has a dozen of very skilled Jushiki-shi under his wing. Too bad we don’t see all of them and those who appeared feel wasted. But they all expend their lives just to protect this important man so maybe they can’t be getting more screen time and back story. Some are just forgettable like that journalist girl whom you’ll wonder if she is even relevant at all as well as that guy who keeps bugging Gayus to take his stupid fortune reading.

As magic AKA Jushiki plays an important factor in this series, I can’t help feel that because of the conspiracies and politicking going on, I don’t really feel their impact. They are mostly used in action scenes but with all the different types of Jushiki, sometimes I feel that they just pull it out of the air and conjure whatever weird Jushiki is being used. That is why with Gayus being an expert on this matter starts saying weird Jushiki spell names as well as explaining its traits, I don’t really understand and would quickly jump to this bias conclusion that maybe they just made it up on the spot. Because it sounds grand enough to sound like a Jushiki so it’s a pass. Hence the Jushiki spell names are the sci-fi curse for me as I don’t really understand them. Some insignia pops up and then the effect. Usually big explosions. So yeah, that’s your action bits. Otherwise be happy with Gigina just slashing around with his giant sword.

Art and animation are rather okay but with the very dark setting of this world, sometimes I feel that it is hard to see things although the darkness feels very much like complementing the theme and setting of this world. My dumb conspiracy theory of why Jivunya is a half elf is perhaps somebody has some deep dark fantasies of making out with an elf woman… Or maybe it’s just me. Also, Cuello’s uniform is another eyebrow raiser. You know, it’s like basically she goes into missions wearing her pantsu. It makes you want to ask if she forgot to put her pants on. Yeah, is she wearing pantsu or hot pants? No wonder Gayus was gunning for her ass. I almost did fall for that juicy temptation too. This series is animated by Seven Arcs Pictures who did Trinity Seven, Dog Days, Mushibugyou and Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou.

Some of the recognizable seiyuus lending their talents include Youko Hikasa as Jivunya, Norio Wakamoto as Amupura, Tomokazu Sugita as Remedius, Akira Ishida as Zhuo Lu, Haruka Tomatsu as Cuello, Hiro Shimono as Iegie and Yuko Kaida as Nidvolk. Other casts include Nobunaga Shimazaki as Gayus (Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteru), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Gigina (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Rintarou Nishi as Largonkin (Denzel in Nanatsu No Taizai: Imashime No Fukkatsu), Takaya Hashi as Mordin (Inuarashi in One Piece), Sachiko Kojima as Xenobia (Sayako in Bamboo Blade), Sakiko Tamagawa as Czahn (Natsumi in You’re Under Arrest), (Rica Matsumoto as Jabeira (Aoi in You’re Under Arrest), Amina Sato as Naricia (Yuuka in AKB0048), Sora Tokui as Beldritt (Hideri in Blend S) and Takanori Hoshino as Jesper (Kugaha in Noragami Aragoto).

For the opening theme, it sounds hell helluva familiar. Yup, that typical trademark of that techno beat is certainly no other than Fripside. Divine Criminal sounds so similar to the other anime themes they sung such as in Clockwork Planet, Black Bullet and even To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, that I am starting to think that they just make a little adjustments to the tune and voila! New Fripside song. But I’m not going to say that this song sucks because I somewhat like the techno tune of this song even if it is just average and pretty similar to their other music. As for the ending theme, Decadence by Maon Kurosaki sounds not bad as a rock outfit. If the theme of this series wasn’t that dark, it would have fit it perfectly like a glove.

Overall, this series is not just for anyone especially casual viewers. The very dark theme, conspiracy and politics prove that you need some sort of an intelligent mind to understand or at least grasp all the sneaky happenings going on. Yeah, you need to be a smart person to decently enjoy this one. The dynamic interaction between the 2 main characters is perhaps the most entertaining parts of the series, even better than the frenzy action lighted up with lots of Jushiki special effects. Even if this series tries to be manly, badass and sexy (that includes yaoi baiting) at the same time, the confusing and perplexing plot and storyline drain a lot away from that. Sometimes I wish for simpler stuffs no matter how silly it gets. Gigina to turn into Furniture Man and beat up all those who mistreat their furniture while Gayus and Jivunya in a maid outfit have a hot make out session, Czahn opening her own museum of her dissecting anatomy art and finally the warheads just randomly bomb and vaporize everyone and everything. Sighs. Okay, let’s stick with the darker and confusing tones of this series, shall we? Let’s be like Gayus and appreciate what we all have in our hands now, okay? It’s not that bad when you think about it.

It’s finally here. The much anticipated fight between the ‘bad guys’ who turned good guys against a bunch of very bad and nasty group of demons under the name of God’s principles and moral behaviours. Yeah, the irony. Just like its name implies, Nanatsu No Taizai: Imashime No Fukkatsu will have our Sins taking on the most formidable threat to the land with the revival of an elite squad serving directly under the Demon King. If you think everybody is a hell lot powerful the last time, wait till you see how much more powerful they can get here. It’s like there’s not limit to how superbly powerful one can become. Ah well, when you’re fighting with demons of demonic proportions and strength, I guess that is only to be expected.

Episode 1
The Sins are trying out their outfits for tomorrow’s award ceremony. King Baltra insists on giving them medals for their heroics. That night, Ban tells Meliodas that he is leaving Sins. King stops him but after learning he is heading to the Fairy King’s Forest, he follows him. Hence the Sins minus the duo plus Hawk are before Baltra as they prepare to be awarded. However Meliodas rejects. Because he heard some disagreement in the crowd and tells them to come out and state their disapproval. They are the trio of Pleiades of the Azure Sky under the assistant great Holy Knight of Denzel: Deathpierce, Dogedo and Waillo. As they have been stationed far away during those tumultuous events, they are not willing to accept their strength until they see for themselves. Dogedo is up for the challenge as Hawk assess his power. He was previously given some magical item by Merlin that could see one’s stats. I guess nobody is over 9000 yet. Meliodas fights him and easily dodges his attacks without sweat. Even when Dogedo badmouths Dreyfus and Hendrickson, Meliodas doesn’t defend them but notes even if Dogedo has strength, he lacks heart. Eventually he is knocked out and Deathpierce acknowledges their power and withdraws. We are distracted with Hawk assessing the powers of the Sins as he panics he isn’t so powerful after all. Buy hey, nobody is over 9000. Later the Sins bump into Gilthunder, Hauser and Griamor. They talk about the inconsistency of Dreyfus defecting, killing an ally and then protected an ally at the cost of his life. They renew their vow to find the truth. Meliodas ponders about Baltra’s prophecy in which he saw 10 evil shadows that will bring disaster to the land. And with the rumble in the ground, he suddenly knows who those guys are. As we all know, Dreyfus and Hendrickson are alive. Or at least the Demon Clan is inhabiting their body. And yeah, those shadows are those Demon Clan weirdoes and one of them looking like a clone of Meliodas.

Episode 2
Lacking energy since the seal dried it out, the demons need to replenish their strength before making their move. Ban and King call Jericho out from her hiding. Yeah, she has been following them for 20 miles! They reach the Fairy King’s Forest and it is revived. All the fairies still hate King for being a traitor and consider their new king is Ban because he planted the seeds to revive the forest. More heartbreak for King as he sees Elaine’s body lying peacefully. Gilthunder and his groupie leave on a journey to find the truth. Soon Elizabeth also finds out Meliodas is preparing to leave but he won’t let her follow. She talks to Diane who knows she likes Meliodas. However she is fine not confessing her feelings. Diane disagrees as she narrates about her lost and found memories. She has come to realize she loves King and is sad he left her alone again and went somewhere without telling her. She laments not getting to tell him her feelings. King continues to be mistreated by the fairies. Strangely, he gets advice from his dead friend, Helbram. As long as he puts on his helmet, he could actually see visions of him. So is he really dead or not? Physically yes but this? Ban’s goal is to revive Elaine so he tells King to return to Diane since she is still alive. King blushes when Ban tells him he overheard Diane’s monologue this morning that she will die of loneliness without him. Back to Elizabeth and Diane, the former still prefers to maintain status quo as she believes Meliodas already has a lover. They then see Zeal and are shocked he cannot remember his family or himself. Merlin gives Gowther to take some magic stabilizing pills but he throws it away and Hawk eats them. Gowther quits the Sins and decides to be with Guila. Diane and Elizabeth are further shocked to learn Gowther has messed with their memories. As he has decided to study on feelings (love, particularly), he has removed Zeal from her memories and implanted himself as a Holy Knight. The girls protest but Gowther argues that her original memories are painful and not happy ones. They counter that with the irreplaceable family bonds line. With the disagreement going nowhere, Gowther and Diane fight. Gowther realizes a powerful blackout spell that knocks out all in the kingdom with low magic power. Meanwhile Meliodas talks to Merlin and wants her to give back what she has taken from him 10 years ago. This is serious because the demons who were revived are the Ten Commandments, the elite unit directly serving under the Demon King.

Episode 3
Although Diane defeats Gowther, the entire kingdom is destroyed. Meliodas and Merlin arrive to see Gowther cowering in fear. He wants to be locked up so as not to hurt others again. But before that, he restores the memories of Guila and Zeal. Did he quip about he can’t apologize sincerely from the heart because he has no heart? But Guila doesn’t hate him and thanks him for trying to save her by showing her the true memories. In the end, looks like Guila rejected Gowther. Ouch? Oh well, he doesn’t have a heart. Threader comes by to check things out. He is fascinated by Merlin’s power and wishes to serve her. Merlin turns Gowther into his true form: A mini doll. She has Threader keep him for the rest of the journey. Back at Boar Hat, Meliodas invites Threader to join them but still declines Elizabeth. He didn’t bat an eyelid to say she would be a hindrance. This hurts her so Threader talks to her and although she realizes this is Meliodas’ way of caring for her, he suggests she show her feelings through actions. Merlin detects an anomaly outside Camelot. Change of plans. Time to move now. A giant golem named Albion is terrorizing the place. Meliodas recognizes it as a weapon created by the demon clan during the Ancient War. Its weakness is the core in its chest. As Meliodas and Arthur race up to the core, Albion fights back and Meliodas’ sword breaks. This is when Merlin decides to return his Sacred Treasure which she bought back after Meliodas pawned it. Behold, Lostvayne! It’s so sharp and fast that he singlehandedly (okay, with the help of his clones too) over-destroys Albion and its core. Meanwhile at the Fairy King’s Forest, the forests are growing and King thought it was impossible to grow at this rate despite the fountain of youth is gone. Then he is told that Ban has been coming here every few years to give his life to the forest. This is part of his plan to revive Elaine and will not be leaving until he achieves it. Though the fairies consider his dedication and effort to be king, he doesn’t consider himself fitting the criteria of being chosen by the Sacred Tree. But some fairies like Gerharde consider King to be fit to be their king but Ban as the forests’ nutrient. The forest rocks again. This time a slender version of Albion is attacking.

Episode 4
As usual, Albion wreaks havoc. As usual, the fairies are too scared and weak to fight it. As usual, the only one who does so is King. He takes a pounding and all the fairies could do is cry and feel regret they treated him like a traitor? Meanwhile Gerharde fights Ban despite the latter has no interest in becoming their king. Gerharde plays dirty by aiming at Elaine so Ban ‘dies’ while protecting the corpse. We interrupt this fight now because Gerharde feels the tremor of King’s fight with Albion. The Sacred Tree is cut in half and at this point all the fairies decide to get back their balls and fight Albion so that King could escape. As long the fairy king is around, the forest will revive one day. Helbram vision again. He tells King the fairies haven’t gotten lazy and never thought would be attacked. At least watching King fight has gotten their pride back. Of course King won’t allow this. He wants to protect everything. He unleashes the true form of his Sacred Treasure and throws it into Albion, destroying it. Shouldn’t he done this earlier? Unless it needs some tears and drama to power up. Meliodas explains to Arthur that with the revival of Ten Commandments, the reason the seal on Albion was broken. Cue for Elizabeth to feel she is truly useless this time. That’s why Meliodas doesn’t need her. Sorry to interrupt your chat but here comes Galand of Ten Commandments. Everyone trembles just seeing how powerful this old demon dude is. Heck, Hawk is even confused if the magical item is broken because Galand’s power is 26,000! Well, that is way OVER 9,000!!!

Episode 5
The Sacred Tree is restored. Just like that? Is it Ban? Has to be. Who else has got that tremendous power? He gives a bit of his blood to heal King and then warns Gerharde of ever doing anything like that again or he’ll kill her. As he has no intentions of rejoining the Sins, Ban takes his leave. Galand might be powerful but his magic power is zero thanks to the seal’s effect. A full display of his power as he flattens the surrounding area. Meliodas fights him but is clearly not enough. Not even Diane in giant form. Merlin decides to make a deal with him but this is a ploy to buy time. Because of that, she is turned into stone. As Galand represents the truth, any lie told would petrify that person. Meliodas has no choice but to go into his true demon form to fight him. Meanwhile Zeldris (leader of the Ten Commandments) realizes the land has lost much of its magical power since 3000 years ago. That’s why their healing is taking an awful long time. A few human miners bug them thinking they are in their territory so Derieri sucks their souls. Mmmm… Seems to work as magic replenishment. I guess time to make a big harvest from the nearest human settlement. Back to Meliodas’ fight, despite making some gains, Galand gets serious and overpowers them. He looks like has killed Meliodas, Diane and Threader (stone Merlin also broke) but a strong barrier protects Arthur, Elizabeth and Hawk. He thinks it is enough for today and retreats. Meanwhile Gilthunder’s group stumble upon lifeless humans. They’re not dead but more like empty husks. The nearby village is under attack by a red demon collecting human souls. They defeat it and send the souls back. However it’s not over and there is a grey demon to face now. They get a shock of their lives when Hendrickson returns to fight with them.

Episode 6
Griamor wants to kill him now but Hendrickson mentions Dreyfus is still alive. Trying to confuse him? They cooperate to take down the grey demon and the young ones are shocked that Hendrickson could use Purge as this could only be done by Zaratras. Hendrickson explains he is of the same Druid lineage that worships the Goddess Clan. Flashback 10 years ago when Hendrickson and Dreyfus were ordered to investigate Danafor. They find a large crater and beneath it is a demon, Fraudrin who wants to borrow their bodies. While Dreyfus resisted his mind control, Hendrickson couldn’t. As Dreyfus couldn’t use Purge and killing Hendrickson would only kill the vessel, Dreyfus is forced to give in but vows if his friend dies, he will find a way to kill him. Fraudrin possesses them both to report back to the capital that nothing happened. They conspired to kill Zaratras and blamed it on the Sins. He did so because he had a bone to pick with Meliodas. 16 years ago they fought and he killed Meliodas’ lover, Liz. Now he is laying low in Dreyfus body, hoping to regain his power and exact revenge on him. Meliodas and co are fine although Merlin is still petrified. Thanks to Gowther altering Galand’s memories to think he killed them. Gowther has also a bracelet that guarantees he will not run amok anymore. However he didn’t put it on his own free will. When he was freed at the end of Galand’s fight, he wanted to free but Merlin caught him off-guard and put the bracelet. Yes, Merlin still lives although her conscious is inside this floating ball and her Sacred Treasure, Morning Star Aldan. They discuss their strategy to take down the Ten Commandments but even if all the Sins combine their power, they only almost peak at 22,000. Assuming the other Ten Commandments have the same power as Galand, that’s 260,000!!! And if their magic power is restored, it will go well over 300,000!!! Yeah, Dragonball guys don’t stand a chance. Their strategy of closing that gap includes Elizabeth and Arthur awakening their magic powers and also finding the last Sin member: Lion’s Sin of Pride, Escanor. King returns and learning a demon just attacked this place, he rushes to see Diane. She can’t remember him. Can we blame the big knock on the head she took then?

Episode 7
Diane is further losing her memories. The culprit is Gowther. Because Diane scolded him about one can never erased important memories, he used her to test this. King gets mad and punches him. Then the rest set sail to find Diane. They have an idea where she might go: Megadoza, the village of the Giant Clan. Diane remembers about Matrona, the chief warrior of her tribe. Under her tutelage, Diane and Dolores didn’t like the idea of teaming up with humans and fighting other rival humans and rival giants. Matrona explains that humans and giants coexist with the former giving money and combat while the latter provides power. Therefore as giants, it is their pride and way of life to die on the battlefield. Dolores really doesn’t want to kill so she is advised to bear children to be raised as warriors. When Diane hears the council hoping to turn her into a formidable warrior, she wants to run away with Dolores. However she changed her mind after thinking there is no way others would accept giants. One day Diane was harassed by human guards. Meliodas rescues her and they become friends. She realizes that there are other kind humans like him and return to break the good news to Dolores. However Matrona says she has died, killed by bandits just to guard a mining town. This makes Diane furious but there is nothing she could do as she imagines what Meliodas would have said and dreams of a life with him. Matrona and Diane meet up with soldiers from Liones led by Holy Knight Gannon. They are supposed to kill savages but the giants get tricked as Matrona was almost killed. Gannon believes killing a giant for credit is better than killing a thousand savages. The giant duo fight until Matrona protects Diane from a poison arrow. In her dying breath, Matrona talks about her parents who entrusted Diane into her care. She hopes she could stop being soft-hearted and become strong. She is in fact strong only if wanted to. In the aftermath, Diane is accused of killing Matrona and covering it up with the massacre of the soldiers and sentenced to be beheaded. However Meliodas offers to take custody of her.

Episode 8
Diane stumbles near the Ten Commandments’ resting place. Galand is puzzled she is alive but Diane doesn’t remember who he is. As she doesn’t turn into stone, she is speaking the truth. Diane starts to tremble in fear and before Monspeet could eat her soul, somebody beats them up. Wait a minute. Isn’t that Matrona? Can a giant stand up to the Ten Commandments? She knocks Diane out and escapes Galand’s wrath. Meanwhile Monspeet senses Meliodas’ group approaching and sends his phoenix to test, burning everything in its path. Meliodas knows if he counters it, he will give away his position and status so how? Hawk Mama devours it! That simple?! I guess that’s it and no second time since Monspeet exhausted his power. Merlin suggests a detour. Knowing that Diane is alive and remain hidden, heading towards her would only expose her to danger. Believing now it is a time to return Meliodas’ true power back she sealed 10 years ago (those demon powers we see him wield are just a fraction) to fight the Ten Commandments, they head to Istar, the sacred land of the Druids. Stonehenge? They walk through a magical opening that brings them to the sacred land. They meet the chief Druids, Jenna and Zaneri. This huge dude? Just Theo, the priest who protects them. Would you believe it he is just 15 years old?! Elizabeth wonders if there is any romantic liaisons between Meliodas and Zaneri since Zaneri puts his hands on her boobs. I guess Meliodas isn’t into flat chests and hands off. I hope Elizabeth isn’t thinking Meliodas has the monopoly rights of fondling her boobs anytime, anywhere. Zaneri leads Meliodas and Elizabeth into a dark cave as the rest wait outside. In order to return Meliodas’ power, a painful trial is needed to overcome. Don’t get too confident about it, Meliodas. Because she returns him to a time when he was a Holy Knight at Danafor. And yeah, Liz is still alive. Ah, time to walk down memory lane.

Episode 9
Zaneri gives Elizabeth a chalice with soil. Inside is a sick seed that will not bloom no matter how. It is her trial to use her Druid powers to bloom it. Meanwhile Meliodas is living the fine times with Liz. Until her death he goes berserk. The whole thing repeats again. This is his trial to relive that tragedy 1000 times. It is supposed to rid him of his anger and if it doesn’t, it will consume him. Meanwhile Jenna takes the rest to train. They are shocked to see Hendrickson training there. Also there is Gilthunder’s groupie. Meliodas seems to get angrier with every repeat so Zaneri snaps him out. Elizabeth doesn’t blame him for what he has gone through so Meliodas wants Zaneri to send him back and promises to return safely. Meliodas knows he must cast away his emotions and accept Liz’s death. However that is impossible as he repeats the cycle of madness again. But he notes the more this happens, the more his love for her grows and so does his anger. The turning point is that he doesn’t want to see this scene again. He wakes up, shocking Zaneri that he didn’t cast away his emotions as he still has it all in his heart. Now as promised she must return his powers. Meanwhile Ban and Jericho enter Ravens, a town of thugs. He is searching for the rumoured person who supposedly brings back the dead. After renting a room for the night, they hear a commotion out in the street. Ban beats up the thugs to save the victim. However he can tell this werefox is also a pickpocket and has him return the things he stole from them. This aging beastman collapses so they put him to bed as he tells stories of his persecuted race. That’s why they have to resort to stealing to live. This has Ban remember his own childhood in this place. He tried to steal food but ends up in prison. He befriends a cellmate, Zhivago who makes a deal to break out with him.

Episode 10
Zhivago takes Ban to his hideout and feeds him. He also talks about his son. Ban returns home only to be beaten up by his parents for failing to steal food. One day Ban gets kidnapped and is to be sold to some noble. Coincidentally Zhivago saves him since he was stealing cargo. Ban wants him to teach him how to steal. Under his tutelage, Ban learns a lot. But one day when they are supposed to rob a mansion, Zhivago is late so Ban has this idea of going in by himself. He got owned. Zhivago overslept and fears the worse. He is about to save Ban but he hears the men going to hunt for werefox. Fearing he left his son back there, Zhivago transforms to his real werefox form and abandons Ban to save his son. But all in vain as his son died despite Zhivago killed the hunters. Now Zhivago wonders if he hadn’t made such mistake, he might not have lost a lot. Ban refutes he did any mistake. Had he known he abandoned his son to save him, he will not forgive him. Despite all that has happened, he has never hated him. Zhivago realizes this is Ban all grown up. Foster father reunites in tears with his foster son. Apparently the training Jenna has for them is sending them into a cave where they will fight some tough monsters. We see Gilthunder and Hauser thinking out of the box to improve their fighting abilities. After all, fighting with what they already know will not get them far. Although they lost, they have made some vast improvements. Having trouble is Gowther and Arthur pair. King changes his mind and decides to go training. He won’t pair with Hendrickson and will not forgive him for Helbram’s murder. Meliodas suggests pairing up with him since he needs to do some training for his body before taking back his power. King doesn’t agree with Meliodas’ opinion of giving Hendrickson another chance. Yes, he is guilty and cannot be forgiven for what he has done but he was under Fraudrin’s manipulation. King is further suspicious. He turns on Meliodas and wonders if he is on their side. Because he knows the names of the Ten Commandments and is from the Demon Clan.

Episode 11
Zhivago wonders why Ban has not aged. He tells him about drinking from the fountain that Zhivago once told him as a rumour. Now he cannot age nor die but since the guardian of it is dead, his goal is now to revive her. Ban who has never opened his heart to any humans hints that Jericho might be the first since she is fun to prank around. Is this his way of easing up her jealousy over Elaine? Zhivago can see Ban is still troubled. It is about his betrayal to Meliodas. He took advantage of his kindness and even tried to kill him. Despite all that, Meliodas smiled and forgave him. Zhivago advises him that his regret is useless unless he tells it to that person. Apologize from the bottom of his heart and seek forgiveness. That’s his last advice as his father. Then he kicks the bucket. That was fast. Probably we need to move the plot now. Meanwhile King is trying to find out Meliodas’ goal but he stays silent. Meliodas questions back if King is the real Fairy King because unlike his predecessors, he has no fairy wings. King is angered but this whole charade is stopped by Jenna. If they’re not going to properly do this training, might as well stop. Meliodas can’t tell him everything now as he might not believe him. In that case, King will keep a close watch on him. Meliodas has Jenna return his power. The big amber breaks and returns the entire power of darkness into him. This officially has the Ten Commandments know this is Meliodas. Meliodas wants Merlin to teleport him to their base just to say hi. Galand is not pleased he is still alive and is about to take him on when Meliodas beats him to a pulp! Why is it so satisfying to see Meliodas beat his ass up? He greets Zeldris who is also his brother. They have nothing to talk about. Zeldris will avenge his betrayal and Meliodas is here just to warn them. Before they can finish him, Merlin teleports him back. Zaneri explains to the rest Meliodas didn’t abandon his emotions. He still has them but has full control over them.

Episode 12
With Meliodas’ provocation, Zeldris has no choice but to expedite their conquest of Britannia. So they split up and visit various towns across the country. Meliodas returns and explains what he did. Some aren’t too happy but this is all part of Meliodas’ plan to separate them since they have a better chance of fighting them separately instead of together. The rest return from their training. Some changed. Hawk is, uhm, bacon with horns? Apparently he got eaten by a dragon but ate his way out and obtained this form. Arthur has a weird cat stuck on his head and Griamor has turned into a baby! So did Elizabeth pass? She failed! After they leave, Jenna confronts Zaneri about Elizabeth’s trial. She didn’t put a seed in the chalice and it is obvious that Elizabeth has Druid powers flowing through her. Does she still love Meliodas? Watching her heartbreak reaction when Meliodas praised Elizabeth tells a lot. Zaneri understands Meliodas never feel the same for her and has only one room in his heart. She was trying to keep Elizabeth away from him as she fears he might lose her. Elizabeth is the reincarnation of Liz. Now that Meliodas’ power is at 32,500 and can basically take the Ten Commandments himself, do they still need to find Escanor? Yes. He is more powerful than Meliodas. Melascula opens the door from the other world and returns souls with regrets to their corpses, turning them into zombies. This means Elaine revives. However she beats up everyone and Gerharde the most for talking to Ban and then hurting him. Ban is hers. She is going to find Ban and summons Oslo. King finds it odd Oslo is being summoned so Helbram hints of the ominous thing happening all over. Using the excuse he doesn’t trust Meliodas, King leaves the group to attend to this. After Ban buries Zhivago, a zombie pops up to attack Jericho. Ban easily kills him. Guess who the next attack is from? Elaine! Not sure if this is her way of greeting him because now the duo share the longest kiss ever!

Episode 13
While Jericho is jealous, Elaine tries to kill her. She attacks Ban too when he tries to stop her. Ban is like so cool about getting beaten up by her and is not mad despite knowing she is under control, it makes me wonder if he is a masochist. Elaine hates it that she wanted to travel with Ban but Jericho stole her dream and did it so easily. It becomes an argument between the ladies of who loves Ban more but in the end Jericho has a point that if she was in her shoes, she will never ever hurt Ban. Ban’s soothing words calm her down but they are visited by Melascula and Galand. Melascula explains her forbidden magic of reviving souls using regrets and anger and once someone overcome that, they’ll be dead again. Exactly what is almost happening to Elaine. Galand thought he killed Ban but he revives. Galand makes the mistake of allowing him a free punch just to show his magic but gets beaten up to a pulp. Déjà vu again for him. Galand is weakened and Melascula theorizes Ban can steal power from those within a certain radius. Melascula engulfs Ban in her darkness but passes him. As humans have desires and easily lose faith with the slightest thing, they will lose their sights. But Ban’s soul is pure and beautiful. He never got mad when Elaine went berserk. However when he dies, he will become nothing. This shocks Ban and Melascula is able to purge his soul. Galand steals and eats it! Melascula isn’t pleased he stole her prey. Sad and mad Jericho wants to avenge him but shockingly Ban revives and takes the ladies to run after he cuts one of the many hearts of those demons to deal some damage. It is revealed Zhivago’s soul traded place with him during that commotion. Ban and Elaine try to be selfless to each other to let the other escape. Jericho is pissed with their attitude and takes them both anyway. Meanwhile Dreyfus encounters Deldry of Pleiades. Because she kissed him, her charms has his body do her bidding. Like saving her from attacks from fellow Pleiades’ Arden. Then it becomes a strange fight between Dreyfus and Waillo over Deldry’s hand in marriage. Dreyfus is knocked out and taken away.

Episode 14
It’s already hard for Jericho to carry both of them and now she has to avoid bouncing boulders! Yeah, Galand is playing golf. Fore! Eventually she takes a critical hit while trying to defend the duo. Then another that sends her down into a ravine. Following this cave leads them to a bar run by a meek barkeeper. I’ll spoil you now, this guy is Escanor. He recognizes Ban but with no time to explain, Jericho requests he hides them and he keeps them in his storeroom. But Galand slices open the cave. Too keep them busy, Escanor serves them alcohol. They totally love his ale and start drinking while spewing out some info about their mission to Escanor. Of course they know Escanor is hiding them and feeling good, Galand wants to play a game. Each will take turns hitting each other until one is dead. No fleeing, no chickening out. If Escanor doesn’t play, Galand will kill them all. Does he have a choice? But the small pat on Escanor’s back literally knocks out this timid guy. So they wait until morning as Galand notices a huge battle axe. He finds it hard to carry it but Escanor easily shows it how it’s done. Escanor is now bulging with muscles! OMG! He is turning into baby face Hulk! In one swing, he cuts down Galand. Escanor officially introduces himself. Now it’s Galand’s turn to hit him so he powers up to 40,000 and strikes! But nothing happens! Because Escanor’s power is 50,000 and gradually rising! It is Escanor’s turn and with his immense power, Galand gets scared and runs away! Because of that, he himself turns into stone as he broke his own rule. Escanor gives Melascula a chance to escape but she chooses to kill him. She engulfs him in her darkness and eats his soul. But soon after, her innards start burning and she has no choice but to spit him out. Since Escanor has things to talk with Ban, he waits till night fall where he turns back into his meek form. He learns about Merlin and that the Sins are no longer wanted (the reason he is hiding) and are heroes. Also, he needs Ban’s help to deliver ale but he isn’t interested. King arrives and is shocked to see Elaine alive. Meanwhile Diane is treated with Matrona’s traditional dance. Since Diane prefers this to fighting, Matrona agrees from now on she is to be a dancer.

Episode 15
Dreyfus is met with Denzel who is Baltra’s brother sent far away from the capital to study more about the Demon Clan. He has no qualms injuring Dreyfus since Fraudrin is inhabiting his body. He wants to prove that a human can slay a demon. Meanwhile Diane sucks at dancing as we learn Matrona lived because a Holy Knight Zalpa whom Diane spared at that time saved her by cutting off her poisoned leg. Matrona is now his ‘wife’ and helps take care of his kids. There are flyers dropped all over the area announcing a fighting tournament at Vaizel. The winner gets any wish granted. It is obviously a trap as it is sent by demons under the Ten Commandments, namely Gloxinia and Drole. Meliodas thinks of heading there for fun since they lost Escanor’s signal. Because demons wounded Zalpa’s kids, Matrona is going to take part despite the prize is crap. But that’s all she can hope for. Diane also joins her. Denzel dominates over Dreyfus and Deathpierce joins in. Dogedo returns and reliefs the other Pleiades members guarding watch so they can go to Vaizel. The magic barrier keeping Dreyfus in now breaks. Did Dogedo betray them? Actually it is the shape shifting Ten Commandment, Grayroad. Denzel lets them go instead of killing them because if they do so to Dreyfus, they will suffer the pacifism curse from Grayroad. On his way out, Dreyfus stabs Deldry as revenge. Then he informs he isn’t a real member of the Ten Commandments and is only a substitute. The real one left ages ago to parts unknown. During the battle at the capital, he managed to confirm he is still alive. Now he doesn’t have memories of his former self. That member was… Gowther!

Episode 16
Matrona and Diane find themselves before a giant maze. It is supposed to be some ‘screening process’ for the tournament participants. They can’t destroy walls (it regenerates) or go from the top (barriers). Along the way, they got separated. Diane encounters Hawk and wants to eat it! As Elizabeth is also here, she explains about their relationship but Diane still doesn’t remember and continues to distrust them. But when faced with danger, they help each other out. It gets weirder when they face off with clones of Meliodas. Thanks to Gilthunder and Hauser coming to their aid. The next threat is some giant land fish monster. With their combo, they are able to take it out. Meanwhile Meliodas and Arthur stumble into Ban. The usual violent greeting the duo have. Apparently Ban isn’t here to participate but to deliver ale to Vaizel with Escanor. Ban still feels guilty about betraying Meliodas but the latter has put that behind him. With Ban back, they can work together for the greater good. We see how powerful they have become as they unleash all their power to break the thick wall to reunite with Elizabeth’s group who is just on the other side. Conveniently they have also blown a straight path to the goal. Looks like everyone else who are participating have already arrived.

Episode 17
Get this. Drole is supposed to be the Giant Clan’s god while Gloxinia is supposed to be the Fairy Clan’s first king supposedly to have died during the war against the Demon Clan. The first round matches is a tag team one. They are randomly paired and I guess the mightiest pair is Meliodas and Ban. Because altogether there are 15 teams, Gloxinia and Drole use their doppelganger to enter. We focus on Elizabeth-Elaine pair. They are faced with a pair of assassin brothers. No doubt Elaine’s fairy powers can easily do the job, the girls prefer to talk to each about their respective crushes! Are they like disrespecting their opponents? When it gets serious enough, the ladies win but kind Elizabeth heals them. However Gloxinia disposes the losers. Now we go to Meliodas-Ban pair. Both of them are arguing their girl is the best and don’t even give a f*cks about the demon bird pair attacking! So intense their quarrelling that they accidentally killed them! And they don’t even know it! Now we go to Diane-King pair who is staving off the doppelgangers’ attack. Diane doesn’t believe King is the current fairy king. King displays some of his fairy powers as prove. They may put up some fight against the doppelgangers but is this time for King to make a statement he wants to confess to her? With the doppelgangers intensifying their attack, King turns his Sacred Treasure into its next form.

Episode 18
King uses up all his magic to finally destroy Gloxinia’s doppelganger. With Diane very motivated, she spawns rock golems in the image of her friends to fight Drole’s doppelganger. It is ironic that the weak looking King golem is the most powerful and delivers the finishing blow to the enemy. Denzel has a meeting with his Pleiades and other Holy Knights. Deathpierce reports that 9 out of 10 towns in Britannia has been eliminated and taken over by the Ten Commandments. One of them being Camelot. As Liones could be next in no time, Denzel orders Guila to head there and tell the king that they are on a mission to eliminate one of the Ten Commandments who is no other than Gowther. Speaking of that guy, Gowther-Jericho is up against Escanor-Hawk. Escanor doesn’t want to fight and pleads to Gloxinia to resign. Rejected. Jericho argues with Gowther about killing others to obtain emotion. She could say from experience as she once regretted tossing away her humanity just to obtain power. In the end, it is yourself who will be hurt the most. Gowther does not understand about feelings or friendship and rids of Jericho and Hawk. He will take down Escanor and get what he wants. He puts a spell on him to see his own nightmare. Actually his past. Born into a noble family, Escanor’s brother was jealous he got more attention from their parents. He tried to beat him up but Escanor in his defence attacked him. His strength broke his brother. Since then everyone thinks he is a cursed monster and was to be killed. A woman named Rosa let him escape. He was scouted to join the Sins by Merlin who witnessed his extraordinary strength. Because Merlin looked like Rosa, he joined and fell in love with her. Escanor is mocked by ‘Merlin’ she will never return his love for being weak. However Escanor manages to escape this nightmare curse and transforms into his strong self. Escanor has accepted the fact he will never walked alongside Merlin and this gave him hope instead of despair. He extracted the sun’s power inside his own mind. Gowther remains defiant and is going to fight him as Escanor summons his axe and powering it up with the sun’s power. It looked he might kill everyone in the area just to exact punishment for toying with his heart. In the end, Gowther wins with his arrow through Escanor’s body. Since Gowther has not realized it yet, Jericho points out Escanor’s target was Gloxinia and Drole. Those duo are knocked out by his power.

Episode 19
Meliodas uses this chance when their guard is down to attack the duo. This is all part of his plan. He never told his friends and came together under the guise of wanting to happily participate in a tournament. All he needs is a chance and Escanor gave that distraction. Meliodas is super awesome as he beat them up. Like as though he is on cheat code mode!!! OMG! No matter how many times Gloxinia uses his life drops to heal them back, Meliodas is fast enough to deal lots of damage. Rinse and repeat. A never ending cycle. Even when Drole takes his friends captive, Meliodas doesn’t slow down. A wizard participant uses his magic to teleport the friends back to Liones as they watch the fight from his crystal ball. Meliodas is about to score a huge victory but the other Ten Commandments drop in (minus Galand. Melascula is black as f*ck) as they sensed Meliodas’ great blood thirst. And so it begins the epic battle but it might look a bit one sided with Meliodas becoming a punching bag. This is due to Meliodas using up lots of his power and magic with his earlier fight, though he could still stand his ground and fight back. When can we learn that talking will not wake up the other possessed party? Oh wait. It always works. That is what Meliodas is trying towards Dreyfus. Although it moved him a bit, Fraudrin repossesses him and deals the finishing blow. But this is all part of his plan as all the power he has accumulated is slowly being unleashed. The Ten Commandments fear they will be defeated again by this traitor whom they consider as the source of why the Demon Clan got defeated. Before that happens, Estarossa easily stops him. Uhm, just like turning off the switch for the computer?

Episode 20
Estarossa mocks Meliodas if he is going to betray the Sins like how he betrayed them. He is sad that he once fought on their side but his betrayal caused not only the deaths of 2 Ten Commandments (hence Gloxinia and Drole as replacements), the Goddess Clan teamed up with others to bring down the Demon Clan for a humiliating defeat. Melascula wants to devour his soul as atonement. Ban has the wizard teleport him there. Ban uses his time stopping move to break Melascula’s neck and destroy all her hearts! He tries to do the same to Estarossa but he isn’t budging. Like trying to open a jar of pickle???!!! Estarossa coolly summons his 7 swords to slowly stab all of Meliodas’ 7 hearts to kill him. Yup, Meliodas is dead. Estarossa explodes annoying Ban. It looked funny like as though he can’t open the pickle jar and hence exploded! Now Elizabeth has the wizard teleport to Meliodas’ side. Time to cry her heart out. With Meliodas gone, the Ten Commandments are free to conquer Britannia. The Holy Knights are having a tough time warding off demons. Arthur teams up with Nanashi (literally a nameless samurai) to take down demons. Nanashi notes as long as that creepy cat is on Arthur, he cannot die. Ban is also having a tough time helping the Holy Knights keeping the demons at bay. Merlin holed herself in the lab while Gowther is imprisoned until it is confirmed he isn’t a threat like the Ten Commandments. King takes Diana as well as Matrona’s family back to the Fairy King’s forest where it is safer (after Elizabeth healed the kids). Ban has accepted the fact that Elaine is gone since he killed Melascula, it is only reasonable the effect of her spell is gone. But there is more trouble brewing. Normal people are hunting down Holy Knights to offer them to their demon rulers. Think of it as protection money or life extension. Golgius thought being in the woods is safe but he is attacked by a demon. He thought he is a goner but wakes up in Boar Hat where Elizabeth is happily serving away.

Episode 21
Golgius is wary when Elizabeth and Hawk still recognize him. As he once clashed with them, he thinks he doesn’t deserve their hospitality and leaves. Meliodas’ body lie motionless in Boar Hat. Time to drum up some tears with Elizabeth crying by his side and continue to believe in his return. Soon, they are visited by… Zaratras?! Apparently Melascula’s power brought him back to life temporarily. So does this mean Melascula is still alive? So why did Elaine disappear? Anyway, Zaratras still holds a grudge against Hendrickson who served him poisoned pie. So that’s how he actually died? Speaking of Meliodas, Elizabeth takes Zaratras to see his body. Zaratras puts some ointment over his body so that they could all peek into his memories. Convenient time. We see Zaratras first stumbled into Meliodas in the aftermath of Danafor’s destruction. He was carrying an infant who is Elizabeth. When Zaratras offered to help, Meliodas scorned him and warned not to touch his girl. As Baltra then wished to adopt Elizabeth, Meliodas agrees but with a condition he joins the Holy Knights. After showing his overwhelming might to Zaratras, he is then recommended to join. He watched over Elizabeth and spent lots of time with her. Of course she can’t remember as she was too young. Heck, she even gave him her first kiddie kiss. On his cheek. With Baltra’s vision on the Ten Commandments’ threat, Meliodas and Merlin set on a quest to find the Sins. Hence the Sins were formed due counter the Ten Commandments. There is also something about Meliodas waiting for 3000 years for the curse to be lifted. He tried all ways but the curse won’t allow it. Lastly, Meliodas saying goodbye to young Elizabeth because he is going away on a quest. He promises to come back. Returning to reality, this spurs Elizabeth to believe he will return. Meanwhile Meliodas is in some hell. He is told the only way to escape from this curse is to kill the one he bestowed the Commandments upon or die. Though, thanks to this curse, Meliodas is able to come back to life again and again. Meliodas is blamed for becoming weak due to a certain woman and hence when Meliodas dies and comes here, he will consume all his emotions for him to revive. He wants Meliodas to satisfy his hunger again. Ban and the Holy Knights cannot lift a finger against Estarossa. Because he represents love, all those with hate will lose their will to even fight. However only Escanor can only stand up to him. He does not hate those who are weaker than him and only pities them.

Episode 22
Escanor and Estarossa trade powerful attacks. But mostly it seems like Escanor owning Estarossa with his powerful sun power. So powerful his sunburn that it dries up the lake! Finally a super fireball that sends Estarossa flying miles away in defeat! Could have been dead if not for Zeldris coming to help absorb some of that fiery attack. Before all that, many of the Holy Knights and citizens fell into Zeldris’ power. Those who turn their back on him will be treated as disobedience. Hence under a loyalty spell to the Demon King. They try to invade the castle and kill the good guys. With Monspeet and Derieri arriving, Denzel decides to handles this. He sacrifices his own life so that the goddess Nerobasta could manifest inside his body. She refuses to cooperate to take down the demons. Derieri gets upset and tries to take her down. When Nerobasta’s attack fails, she pleads for a dialogue, only to be cut down. So much about that. Monspeet and Derieri sense a great power approaching. It is Hawk Mama making its way to Liones. It is hinted that Elizabeth has partial powers of the Goddess Clan. A few demons attack them but nothing like Zaratras to help obliterate them. Hawk eats a demon piece and turns into a weird demon piggy? Derieri once again is mad about Elizabeth’s power. She tries to attack but luckily Zaratras blocks it. Before Derieri could finish her off, look who is back to beat the crap out of her? Meliodas! Welcome back. Elizabeth so happy. I guess her believe in him has finally paid off.

Episode 23
Meliodas assures he is as good as new. He has all his hearts back. Yup, the Meliodas we all know since he starts molesting Elizabeth. But Elizabeth wants him to touch her more! Damn, did I hear that right?! Even Meliodas is suspicious… This is interrupted with Derieri trying to get even with Meliodas. Unfortunately with him being revived, Meliodas double exterminates Derieri and Monspeet. Meanwhile Grayroad has got some of the castle inhabitants in his incubation. If they are carelessly broken out, they will turn into those red and grey demons. However if you kill them, you will grow old and lose your life. As Grayroad represents pacifism, taking away another life means repaying it with yours. Just like how Dogedo found out the hard way. In a dilemma to fight or run, that wizard guy turns out to be Vivian in disguise. She teleports Gilthunder away. Will the rest be in despair? Don’t worry. Merlin is back! She is able to kill Grayroad’s underlings and not bear the effects of the penalty as she explains how she froze her own time (due to some research thingy). As for how she escaped Galand’s spell, it is because she is the daughter of Belialuin. Merlin says her true name that humans cannot pronounce and this makes Grayroad and Dreyfus afraid. They try to run but Merlin traps Grayroad in her jar. Dreyfus thought he has escaped but is now faced with Hendrickson. His Purge doesn’t work but don’t worry, Zaratras joins in the battle. He uses his own life to purge Fraudrin out of Dreyfus. With Fraudrin in his true demon form, Griamor stumbles into the scene. Nothing like the power of a father watching his son in danger to get up and defeat the monster. Dreyfus and Hendrickson emotionally reunite as friends. Even Zaratras has a few last words for them (and for Gilthunder) before resting in peace. But it’s not over yet since Fraudrin still lives. Using all his magic, he is now a giant demon. Don’t have to worry again. Merlin and gang are here. But the real fight begins when Meliodas is here. It might seem that they are fighting on par but this Meliodas is just a clone. The real one has double the power. And possibly even more now that he is turning maximum his power switch.

Episode 24
Flashback 3000 years ago when Fraudrin learnt Meliodas killed 2 of the Ten Commandments and fled from their upcoming fight with the Goddess Clan. But Gowther told him he didn’t run away. He devoted himself to fight for the ones he loves. Meliodas easily beats the crap out of Fraudrin. He wants to have fun so he won’t kill him so easily. Fraudrin draws an idea from Zaratras’ actions. He is going to blow himself up. Even if he cannot kill Meliodas, he will take out Liones. Meliodas is so ‘bored’ that he wants him to blow himself up already. Fraudrin threatens to take long Dreyfus and Griamor. However he is hesitating. During his years of possessing Dreyfus, he raised Griamor up like his own son to dispel any suspicions. Suddenly Griamor grabs onto Fraudrin and pleads not to kill his dad. After seeing his tearful eyes, Fraudrin now understands what Gowther meant. He promises not to kill them. Then he goes to let Meliodas kill him in which he doesn’t hesitate to destroy him in a single punch! OMG! Better than Thanos’ single snap! One Punch Demon?! In the aftermath as Escanor rejoins Merlin, he is told about Meliodas’ curse. The Demon King cursed him to not die. But each time he revives, he loses some of his emotion. In the aftermath, a funeral is held for some of the Holy Knights who died that include Denzel, Dogedo and Gustav (Jericho’s brother). Deldry is upset Denzel is dead but Hendrickson and Dreyfus are still alive. She hates them but Baltra wants all of them to remain united to restore the kingdom. Meliodas parties alone at what is left of Boar Hat. He is joined by Elizabeth who hears him out his troubles. He felt good killing Fraudrin and fears of returning to what he was a long time ago. His dilemma is if he might not be able to save her if he does that. Elizabeth hugs him and says she will always be with him.

Overnight, Liones is suddenly rebuilt?! Thanks to Merlin’s magic. Dreyfus learns from Merlin about Griamor’s curse. Due to that training stint, he encountered some ancient ghost that cursed him to turn into something he feared most. Griamor feared his young self as he was the weakest then. There is a simple way to cure him: A kiss from his true love. Well, Veronica thought she could take care of a cute little Griamor boy when she kisses his forehead and suddenly he pops back into his muscular self! Damn his clothes ripped too. Damn this looks like a rape scene… Veronica probably had the biggest shock of her life… However despite the Sins’ victory this round, it is not over yet. Some of the Ten Commandments still live. Half of them. Zeldris, Estarossa, Melascula (so Elaine didn’t disappear after all and her body is in comatose back in Boar Hat), Gloxinia and Drole. All the Holy Knights and citizens that have been affected by the Commandment fled to Camelot which is now their stronghold. The threat is far from over. On their side they have lost some allies too but there is still hope. Like Jericho who still can’t get over Gustav’s death and blames herself for chasing after a one-sided love, suddenly realizes she has now his ice abilities. She vows to surpass him as a stronger Holy Knight. Gowther is released under the orders of Baltra although his allegations as an ex-Ten Commandment has not been lifted. Gowther hints that he still remembers his old self as a Ten Commandment. Meliodas vows to gather all the Sins for the next fight. Well, King and Diane are living a happy life at the Fairy King Forest.

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against This Series!
Oh wait. It’s over???!!! Damn, I was enjoying myself with this sequel that I lost track of time. Heck, I didn’t even know I was watching the last episode! And hence that statement of mind proves that this season is as interesting and epic as the first. I hope they go on to make a third because with all the developments we have seen in this season, everything is far from over. Though, there is a movie sequel after that but reading its synopsis, it doesn’t look like it has anything to do with any continuation of the TV series.

Although I did mention that this season was good, but something prevents me from stating that the sequel is much more epic than the first. Sure, it is on par with the first season but it does not go more than that. It is probably some of the detours that the plot and characters make this season like that training stint. Even though it is an integral part of the story to see how our main characters especially Meliodas power up, sometimes I have this feeling this is sort of like a little filler. Also, the Sins are not mainly united this season especially Ban and King who went their own ways to solve some of their personal issues. I was hoping to see all of them fight together as a team and perhaps some matchups between the Sins and Ten Commandments but I guess that’s for next time so that the business can be settled for good.

I have a hunch that a big reason and motivation to watch this season is the appearance of the remaining Sin: Escanor. Yeah, we waited halfway through the season for him to finally show up in the flesh. He sure doesn’t disappoint and lives up to his pride. It was really fun and exciting to watch him in his strong sun powered form as he kicks ass with no remorse. Even if he is a wuss in his normal bartender form, his transformed mode is awesome enough that you would not mind him as a weakling with a one-sided love for Merlin. Because we all know that when it boils down to what matters most, his strong form is going to trump everything else. Even Meliodas admits that Escanor is stronger than him. Yeah, this guy destroyed 1 of the Ten Commandments and gravely injured 2 by his own! If you’re interested in the other ‘scorecard’: Meliodas has annihilated 3 Ten Commandments and Merlin only 1 under their belt. Oh sh*t. Did they just break a Commandment of thou shalt not kill?

As for the other members of Sin, I have mixed opinions for them. I can blame the 2 dozen episodes worth of the second season is not enough. For example as mentioned, Ban and King temporarily left the Sins to deal with their own personal issues. While it is good to see Ban finally reconciling with his foster father and King regaining the trust of his fellow fairies, it still doesn’t feel that all of them are close knit as a team as they should. Or at least as what I expect them to be. But remember, they were a ragtag team brought together by Meliodas. Each coming from a different background and even clan to begin with. So the Sins itself as a group is already amazing. Somehow I am a bit disappointed with Diane and Gowther this season. Ever since Diane lost her memories and Gowther being bound by Merlin’s spell after his short taste of freedom, we don’t get to see much of them in action. That fake tournament in Vaizel was the most that we’ll ever get to see them display their skills.

Meliodas and Merlin sure have a juicy past to tell and looks like this season isn’t enough to even satiate our curiosity. Although it is explained about Meliodas and his curse, I still really don’t understand fully on what it is about. Maybe it is just that. He is cursed to not die and the price of resurrection is losing some of his emotions. I wonder if the Ten Commandments know about this curse as it was put on by the Demon King himself. If they do, they should know it is futile to kill him, their intentions in the first place, right? Or maybe it’s part of their plan to kill him enough to turn him back into that wicked Meliodas over 3000 years before. Then again, it doesn’t guarantee that Meliodas would be on their side. As for Merlin, hints about her origins as some fearsome demon could explain a lot about her magic and stuff. But I wonder why she didn’t free herself from Galand’s spell after she immediately turned into stone. Oh right, Galand’s dead so it freed her. But the way Grayroad said it as though she shouldn’t have but she did.

The most annoying character award goes to Hawk. If this cocky pig was annoying last season, you’re going to be even more annoyed as Hawk thinks he is hell of a super powerful. I know he is supposed to be a comic relief and mascot character but the way Hawk so arrogantly claims he is the most powerful and can easily defeat his opponents without breaking a sweat is more irritating than funny. At least last season he ‘died’ as a ‘martyr’. Besides, after being given the magic item, Hawk’s main goal is to just access people’s power and make some snarky remarks. I guess we’re all waiting for Hawk to finally reach over 9000… Also weird about Hawk this season is that he is able to transform into whatever weird creatures he eats and only reverts when he poops it out. So theoretically if he eats Meliodas, will he become as powerful as him? Maybe then his power will be… OVER 9000!!!!

So I figure Hawk’s other comical moments come in the end of the episode. It is a segment whereby Hawk is some sort of school professor and in the earlier episodes we see him or a random character as a guest trying to explain certain stuffs in the series. Of course at the same time, making some jokes as distraction. Later in the second half, this segment becomes some sort of a short high school themed skit using the characters. Well Hawk-chan, I personally believe you weren’t the best teacher. Still, everybody ‘graduated’. Yeah, those little piglets of yours…

Elizabeth feels like she didn’t do too much again this season. Except the revelation that she is Liz’s reincarnation and perhaps somewhat related to the Goddess Clan. Other than that, she is somewhat Meliodas’ groping toy and fanservice for us. Not sure if porn logic has seeped into her mind because now she wants to be molested by Meliodas even more! Is this true love?! I suppose that’s her logic of assuring that Meliodas is still alive and that he is still himself. After all, she gave him her first kiss a long time ago and it did go a long way.

One of the downside of having an epic series like this is having too many other side characters. Introducing more of them feels like adding to the ‘burden’. New characters like the team of Pleiades as well as the Druid babes of Istar add more layer to the story but ultimately as far as this season is concerned, they aren’t anything that significant. Even more so the other recurring supporting characters like the Holy Knights of Liones. Hauser and Gilthunder may do their usual bit of combat and protecting but still nothing significant that would put them on par with the Sins. After all, you don’t want to have such supporting characters eclipsing our titular group, right? Worse, I thought Griamor turning into a kid felt like a convenient plot for Fraudrin’s downfall and Arthur faring worse than Elizabeth because he tagged along with the gang and ultimately got a cat stuck on his head that is never explained why whatsoever. And now Camelot is besieged. Things are not looking good for his side. Threader was like, “What is this guy for anyway again” and it feels like he likes to babysit little Griamor and kids more than anything. Guila was like, “Where the heck was she?!”. Maybe she’s not into playing that active Holy Knight and has been relegated to protecting the royal family. Golgius was like, why the heck do they need to remind us of this guy whom we’ve forgotten and didn’t care much in the last season? He was forgotten as fast as he cameo-ed in this season.

I know this season is called Revival of the Ten Commandments, but I really didn’t count in the dead characters being ‘revived’ either. Sometimes I feel that is also a plot convenience. Like Elaine being brought back is to rekindle Ban’s romance with her and in a way motivate him to do more and eventually rejoining the Sins. As though the duo are like making up for lost time that should have been with their carefree lovey-dovey PDA (public display of affection). Cheesy… Oh God, even Zaratras too got a shot back at life. Only doing so to bring back Dreyfus and Hendrickson to who they once were. I guess that’s your answer to why these Holy Knights turned evil and betrayed the kingdom in the first place. Not forgetting King’s best friend, Helbram who now exists only in his vision whenever he needs some talking to. Yeah, looks like everybody who is supposed to be dead is somewhat alive. This means I am hoping for Denzel to come back alive too. Somehow. That poor guy. Sacrificed himself only for a stupid cowardly goddess to reject his help and then also met her demise. The same I want to say for Gustav whom I have totally forgotten until he died! Oh Jericho, will this spur her to finally give up chasing Ban and now chasing power?

Speaking of Gilthunder, what the heck happened to him and Vivian?! Was this an oversight by the producers because we sure didn’t see them anywhere in the final episode. They were not even mentioned by any of their characters! Not even Hauser. Like as though they have been completely forgotten! From time and time again, that Vivian b*tch sure knows the meaning of persistency because when she really popped up, it took me by surprise as I never thought of seeing her again, let alone appearing in this season. But wherever Vivian has taken Gilthunder, I hope he’ll be alright. No. He’ll definitely be alright. His love for Margaret is strong enough that I believe he can’t be swayed by this little inconvenience.

The Ten Commandments as the antagonists this season are worthy villains for this season. But unfortunately not a lot of background story is given behind them. In that sense, it made them some sort of powerful but shallow bad guys to be defeated. For example, it would have been nice to see what Derieri had against the Goddess Clan because she was furious upon seeing one. Don’t be too surprised to find that she was a member of the Goddess Clan and fallen out of favour of them! With Drole and Gloxinia as proof that even other clans can join and be part of an evil elite team, this is not impossible. After all, the Sins themselves are ‘diverse’. It is also unfortunate that we won’t get to see much of the history between Meliodas, Zeldris and Estarossa to understand better how things turn out the way it is now.

One thing that boggled me is the number of clans there are in this world. It is mentioned that there are 5 of them: Goddess Clan, Demon Clan, the fairies, the giants and humans. Have we forgotten one more? The werebeasts? Like Zhivago? Are they not a clan of their own? Because certainly they don’t fit into any one of the main clans even if it is possible they are more closely to be associated with the humans. Doing my lazy research over the internet, I found out that the Druids are considered a separate clan themselves. Good luck telling them apart from humans. So it makes me wonder if people with Druid lineage like Hendrickson is human or a Druid? Oh, there’s the Vampire Clan that I stumbled upon to but haven’t make their appearance in the anime. I have a hunch they’ll be the next big story after the fall of the Ten Commandments and Demon Clan. But no Dragon Clan? Dwarves? Elves? Never mind…

The actions parts are still one of the best moments in the series and this season doesn’t disappoint although I thought it didn’t leave up to some of my (misguided) expectations. Firstly, it is so satisfying to see Meliodas zoom back and forth as he beats up his enemies with no sweat. I can never get enough of seeing him beat the crap out of them and in my heart I was like supporting him to do more. However my dumb dilemma kicked in because by having Meliodas done so, it looked like he has become a super overpowered character on drugs and eternal cheat code. Just one step short of becoming like One Punch Man. In that sense, it takes away some of the fun because you know, fighting the Ten Commandments is not an easy feat. You’re fighting against the best elite warriors of the Demon Clan and your worst nightmare. But if this is to showcase how awesome Meliodas is after he regained his locked powers, so be it.

As mentioned, it is also satisfying to see Escanor in action and if he is stronger than Meliodas, this means he packs even more power and punch than him. But unlike Meliodas who seems to fight his enemies with brute force, Escanor looks like he is doing it without much effort. Sure it is the power of the sun but it feels like he is toying around with a ragdoll. Now, I don’t expect fights to last several episodes (looking at you Dragonball series) but some fights with the Ten Commandments felt unsatisfying. Like how Meliodas defeated Derieri and Monspeet. I thought they were just temporarily defeated but they were actually killed. Derieri looked like she has some grudge and unsettled business but too bad she got eliminated. I also thought Grayroad would be a scary and formidable opponent and although his ability is scary, it didn’t take long before Merlin got the better of him. I was expecting a final fight between Meliodas and Zeldris and Estarossa but it looks like Escanor got the honours at least with Estarossa. Don’t worry, there’s always next season. Hopefully.

With the old seiyuus retained this season, a bunch of new ones join the line-up with recognizable ones include Tomokazu Sugita as Escanor, Daisuke Ono as Drole, Kenjiro Tsuda as Monspeet, Junichi Suwabe as Zhivago and Rina Satou as Matrona. I couldn’t recognize Koji Yusa as Grayroad probably because of some weird sound effect that makes his overall voice sounded creepy just to fit the character. One reason why I was confused when Zeldris and Meliodas were talking with each other as they sound so alike, it’s because Yuuki Kaji also doubles as Zeldris. At first I was like, “Hey, I thought it is Zeldris speaking, not you Meliodas”, only to realize later that it is in fact him. The same case can be said for Baltra and Denzel. So I guess if you’re brothers, you are supposed to be played by the same seiyuu? But the one that took me by surprise is Nerobasta because that’s Mamiko Noto’s voice behind that angsty goddess!!! OMFG???!!! THAT WAS REALLY HER! Rehearing that again… Yup, it’s her. And there I thought it was Marina Inoue doing a double as this character as she sounded like her. And damn… DID MAMIKO NOTO’S CHARACTER GET KILLED OFF AGAIN?????!!!!! I thought I was over with this since it hasn’t happened for a while but DON’T TRIGGER THIS TRAUMA OF MINE AGAIN????!!!!

The other new casts are Hiroki Touchi as Estarossa (Panther Lily in Fairy Tail), Yuusuke Kobayashi as Gloxinia (Itsuki in Imouto Sae Ireba Ii), Mao as Melascula (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Hiroshi Iawasaki as Galand (Bacchus in Shingeki No Bahamut), Ayahi Takagi as Derieri (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear), Youhei Azakami as Deathpierce (Kirihide in Piace: Watashi No Italian), Emiri Katou as Deldry (Akatsuki in Log Horizon), Sumire Morohoshi as Gerharde (Koyori in Hand Shakers), Himika Akaneya as Jenna (Yatsumura in Mahou Shoujo Site), Haruka Chigusa as Zaneri (Sylvia in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Arden (Tsukumo in Nanbaka), Hiromichi Tezuka as Dogedo (Shougen in Black Bullet) and Ryuunosuke Watanuki as Waillo.

My favourite theme is the first opening theme, Howling by Flow x Granrodeo. This rock piece is definitely fitting for this series but what got me liking this song is how some parts sound more like a cheering anthem for your local sports team! Never mind the opening tune that somewhat sounds like a bit rip-off from I Love Rock N Roll (perhaps this song took some inspiration from the Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ version). Still epic nevertheless. Are you satisfied? Yes I am… The second opening theme, Ame Ga Furu Kara Niji Ga Deru by Sky Peace is still a rock outfit but personally it doesn’t sound as epic as the first one as it sounds like it infused a bit of hip hop element in it. It is slow ballads for the ending themes. Beautiful by Anly as the first one and Chikai by Sora Amamiya as the second one, which personally sounds better than the former.

Overall, this season still rocks and is as much as enjoyable as the first one, making it very much a worthy sequel. It is only bogged down with some imperfections but that is only because the story is still ongoing. The developments are in progress and in good pacing, the characters are cool and likeable in their own right (even if annoying ones like Hawk are just simply annoying). It might not be breaking any new ground and please hardcore viewers who had too much high expectations of this season, but it’s still good, right? It might sound pretty cliché and typical with shonen-like fights but I don’t think words especially of humans are needed when you’re facing off with demons. I mean, you have to admit that this series is not all that bad, right? No? Thou shalt not take the name of this series in vain! The power of not trolling is over 9000!!!!!

Wait a minute! WAIT A MINUTE!!! I thought love is over???!!!! I thought the series had ended for good. Then what the heck is with this third season?! I really didn’t see this one coming. Because Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Happy Kiss is a sequel spinoff and the third season of the original, set in the near future of the original series with a new set of characters to boot. Oh boy. More magical boy gayness. Back to more love making. See that promotional poster of the boys being topless and drinking milk like a boss after a nice hot bath? Bring it on! I’m ready for it all!

Episode 1
Folks, meet our new members of the Earth Defence Club: Kyoutarou Shuzenji, Ryouma Kirishima, Nanao Wakura, Taishi Manza and Ichirou Dougo. They discuss about the original Earth Defence Club on whether they really exist or not. Meanwhile, we are also introduced to a new bunch of student council members: Ata Ibusuki, Taiju Unazuki and Maasa Shirohane. While the Earth Defence Club quintet are soaking in the public bath, suddenly Kyoutarou pulls out this weird princely dude hiding in the water. He then shows them a few magic stuffs to impress them before turning into his true yellow otter form. He is Karls from Honyala Land and wants them to be his knights to make the world happy. The rest know it is a raw deal and try to walk away from it but Karls keep begging them. Then he detects someone being sad. Yeah, this kid is sad of growing up and wants to be young. Apparently the student council trio heard his cries and make their move on him. With the quintet still refusing to work, Karls forcefully transports them to outside school where they see students running away from some monster-trumpet bird. Yup, that’s the sad guy whom they must make happy. Time for our transformation scene. The quintet kiss his ring and voila! Magical boy form! They are now known as Karls Knights Happy Kiss! They fight off the monster and even hear his unhappy pleas. But he becomes stumped with Kyoutarou’s blunt take on happiness. The rest argue for a while to make Kyoutarou as their leader since he wears red. Hence they combine their powers to make the ultimate wand that would Happy and Turn this monster back into a happy kid. Happy End. It is discovered he fears growing up as his voice would change into a low manly bass. Kyoutarou tells him not to fear because everyone will grow old as well. Too bad he runs away crying. Is that supposed to be happy? Happy isn’t something you search for but something you feel! Whatever. Karls is impressed with their first job and hopes they would continue until their Happybraces disappear (contract fulfilled) or either one of the prince brothers becomes king. Speaking of which, Furanui the fox shows up and proclaims himself as the true heir to the throne. He has the student council trio in their knight form by his side known as Edelstein and will defeat them all.

Episode 2
Our heroes recognize the trio from the student council. Seeing how dumb are heroes are, this only steels Furanui’s vow to conquer the world. And those guys don’t even care. Flashback time. It all began when King Kamo realizes he is too old to rule and set out his sons to prove they are worthy of the throne. He had Minister Wao the lemur assist them. Furanui is thrown near Binan as he witnessed how loathing and dumb everyone was, hence the need to guide these fools. He then sees Kyoutarou sleeping. Approaching him makes him want to sleep too. Ata approached him and admonished him for being lazy, all of which Kyoutarou doesn’t deny. Not even sarcasm. This makes Ata mad and frustrated. Furanui believes he is a sensible guy so after displaying his magic and ordering him to be his knight, Ata agrees to do so but wants to be compensated with magic. He brings Furanui back to the rest and they agree to join his cause. Because it would look weird for the student council to serve a mini creature, Furanui takes on a princely human form and gives them rings that will allow them to transform into knights. Too bad this story is so boring and nothing to do with our heroes that they are doing their own things! A judo guy is sad his mom makes cute bento food instead of real solid meat. Because of that, Furanui and Edelstein turn him into a bento monster that turns others into bento. Time for Happy Kiss to go into action. Taiju reveals that judo guy’s mom posts the bento she made for him online every day, causing him to enrage and turn into a monster. He always thought she did it out of the goodness of her heart but with this self-satisfaction motive, everybody is going to be turned into bento! In the end, Kyoutarou tells him to just make his own bento. Cue for Happy and Turn to turn this dissatisfied monster back to a happy guy. Furanui is not panicking with this loss since he was only testing their powers. Next time, I guess. Karls let loose some golden powders as the series’ convenient tool to erase memories of everyone. They then hit the hot baths and Kyoutarou getting his much needed sleep. In the bath?

Episode 3
The quintet talk about everyday things with proper names that nobody can’t seem to remember and hence often called ‘those things’. Speaking of which, a guy feels sad nobody remembers his name no matter how obvious it is. As he works at the ice cream shop, the student council trio sense his unhappiness and teleports him away. The store manager is not amused and wants a replacement so Taiju offers to help out. With the quintet also here, Nanao helps him out. It becomes an odd scene where enemies are eating ice cream together. They talk about the legendary ice cream server pair of Taiju and Nanao whereby they were chosen to do so during the school’s cultural festival. It was a sell-out. Speaking of which, other students also start buying ice cream that they run out of ingredients to sell. Then here pops up this strange monster quizzing them about everyday items that nobody knows their name and always refer to them as their function. I guess I’m guilty of not knowing what they are too. When they realize the monster resembles the thing that holds the bread bag together, do they even know what it is really called? It’s called a bag closure. Oh really? I thought it was a bag clip. Okay, now he is really mad so it’s time for Happy Kiss to make things happy again. Since he is so obsessed and mad about people who forget names, Kyoutarou asks if names are so important to him. Isn’t it better for people to think of him as great rather than to remember his name? Now that he is happy again, Kyoutarou vows to remember his name but couldn’t right after he said his name! WTF?! Oh… What was his name again? Thankfully he doesn’t mind. Furanui and his knights aren’t pleased of yet another successful Happy Kiss purification. At the bath, Karls try to make a silly pun of being happy with his happi coat. Nobody’s buying it…

Episode 4
Taishi and Ichirou are arguing about whether or not there is buried treasure. Then comes in this transfer student, Kingo Yonekura to settle it that there are none. You might think he often gets teased for his name to be mispronounced as buried treasure (maizokin~go) but it is rather his father is a treasure hunter and often moved from city to city. Mom left him because he was always away digging treasure and missing Kingo’s important firsts. What broke her and made her leave the family was his first words about digging up buried treasure. With his father and production team here to film the possibility of a buried treasure, Kingo is feeling the pressure. So when he tells off the rest for watching such shows, you bet Furanui and Edelstein are going to take advantage of his resentment. The quintet decide to go check out the show. Because Kyoutarou for once feel like digging, the rest also start digging. Free labour? Ichirou seems pretty desperate because he hid an embarrassing time capsule. Oops, Kyoutarou found it. Inside is a message that reads Ichirou’s admiration for Nanao because of his beautiful gaze. Please look at me always! I can see why he wants to destroy that. There is also Nanao’s time capsule. Letters of everyone’s bad habits. Was he going to use this to blackmail? Kingo has turned into a treasure chest monster and blames everything. Time for Happy Kiss to make things happy. Kyoutarou knows he doesn’t hate his father. Kingo confesses he doesn’t. What ticked him off was seeing him work so hard and yet he got nothing in the end. It might look like the case resolves itself but Furanui won’t allow it and turns Kingo berserk, shooting gold! Of course Happy Kiss quickly turn it to a Happy End. Although Kingo’s dad didn’t hit goal, he hit a hotspring source. Father and son reconcile as the former will give up digging for treasure and live life with his feet firmly planted here. It is a new dream he has given him. Later Nanao noticed Kyoutarou took something from his own time capsule. It is a photo of him and Ata being happy childhood friends in their younger days. As suggested, he sends this picture to him and Ata is not amused. Very mad.

Episode 5
There is a long line at Binan. Everyone is waiting in line for Maasa’s delicious cookies. However Maasa seems extra nice and gives more of his special sweets to a particularly frail looking guy, Honeo Sujikawa. This has everyone else resenting him. Sujikawa tells us he cannot put on weight and has a weak stomach. Hence anything he eats, he will throw up and end up getting sick, losing even more weight. We see Maasa revealing his evil plan. The reason he serves those cookies is to fatten everyone up. Of course his pals heard about this and it gets a bit awkward. It seems Ichirou and Maasa also know each other but the latter is disgusted with the former and pretends not to know him. They are actually cousins but Maasa went to study abroad and returned home looking like a different person with a different name, Magozaemon Shirahone. Yeah, he was a very fat boy. Even Humpty Dumpty wasn’t this round. When Maasa finds out about Sujikawa’s case, he is not amused and threatens he might as well turn into a monster. His pals believe so and Edelstein work their magic on him. There is a skinny chicken in ramen bowl squawking outside the ramen store the quintet are enjoying their meal. They want to ignore the ruckus but Karls has them make happy the situation. Of course the monster is so weak to do any damage and whatever source he splashes at them tastes good. Kyoutarou then tells him about some people who stress over gaining weight and some over losing weight. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re healthy and can enjoy a nice nap. After a Happy End, Sujikawa reveals he is actually healthy and strong. He can pick up a boulder with no sweat! Maasa is frustrated at this failure so his pals hope to try his cookies. The important thing is, Maasa will always be Maasa. Ichirou shows his friends Maasa’s old photo. They are surprised at how fat he is. Maasa is able to say goodbye to his old self and not mind his fat ol’ days.

Episode 6
Karls love the rainy days. But Ata admonishes Kyoutarou for not bringing his own umbrella and relying on others. So while the quintet talk about vinyl umbrellas in the bath, a creepy guy eavesdropping outside is dismayed outside he can’t make friends due to his lack of assertiveness. Since he is thinking aloud, this creeps out the friends who think he is some sort of peeper. He gets a chance when Kyoutarou comes out but since he fails to be assertive, he is forgotten. He tries to be assertive by talking about umbrellas with them but this only look creepy in their eyes. This causes him to see himself as the same fate of those vinyl umbrellas. Nobody cares eventually even when stolen or forgotten. Ah, another victim for Edelstein to work their magic on. Now an umbrella monster is wreaking havoc shooting water and umbrellas. Kyoutarou is so tired that he slept standing up?! Heck, the monster even waited for Ryouma to bring Kyoutarou back. Kyoutarou sleep talks about the usefulness of vinyl umbrellas. So as the monster lament about not being assertive enough, chance for Happy Kiss to flush bliss on him. He now takes up Kyoutarou’s advice to join the debate club. In the aftermath, Ichirou is not happy his umbrella is doodled. At least he can identify that it is his since it makes the ubiquitous product unique. But looks like they won’t be needing umbrellas anymore because rainy season is over and prove of that is a beautiful rainbow.

Episode 7
Binan will be holding a swimming event which also doubles as a popularity contest. Of course Kyoutarou isn’t interested in either and only wants to sleep while Furanui and the student council are going to use this event to show their power. If you like hot boys in hot bods, feast your eyes on them. We see various (and weird) water sport activities but the one that personally takes the cake is the kibasen event in which sleepy Kyoutarou wins just by dodging. I heard of drunken fist but WTF is this sleepy head technique???!!! Of course there is this one guy who hates swimming because he can’t swim and is often teased about it. Edelstein, your cue. So this kickboard monster shows up to wreak havoc. As usual Happy Kiss kicks in. After dodging his kickboard projectiles, time for Kyoutarou to give his advice about everyone having their own strengths and weaknesses. He might end up getting the short stick of swimming but there are plenty of other things he can do besides swimming. After he is purified, the crowd chants his name and loves that whatever hero show he just did before them. To put icing on the cake, he also won the popularity contest. While the quintet happily soak in their bath as usual, the only one not happy as usual is Ata who is frustrated his plan to humiliate Kyoutarou with this loincloth he got as penalty didn’t manage to materialize.

Episode 8
Summer vacation is ending soon and our quintet has spent most of their days in the public bath? Karls has the wrong idea of what a true Japanese summer is (being a delinquent?) so the rest correct him. Now they brainstorm on what to do for summer vacation but despite all the ideas, they are all scrapped after thinking of its hassle. Later they spot a guy camping outside. It seems this senior doesn’t want to miss his morning exercise. For the past few years he has never missed a single day during summer vacation except for the last day. Like as though there is a curse to prevent him from perfect attendance. Therefore he is going to camp here and not miss it or his summer will not end! Of course the student council who just returned from their overseas vacation sense this unpleasantness and turn him into a superhero exercising monster. Yeah, today is the last day and the exercise is called off because it is raining. Hence the monster is forcing people to exercise in the rain. Normally Happy Kiss would need to deal with this but it seems they’re going along with Karls to fulfil their summer vacation bucket list from the beach and camping in the mountains. Damn, it’s such a cold experience. Because the monster is persistent in following them and trying to mess up their activity, I guess they need to transform and take care of him first. It feels like the shortest ‘fight’ ever because right after they transform, they just tell him such exercises aren’t necessarily be done in high school or summer. It can be done any other time. Then it’s Happy and Turn. Happy End. It’s the dawn of a new morning as they happily do morning exercise with him. When asked about Kyoutarou’s deal with Karls (the reason why he was eager to tag along with this), it seems Karls promised he would grant him any wish. That wish is to repeat the last day again so he could literally do nothing. But now everyone is having this philosophical dilemma if today is repeated, is it August 32nd or 1st of September? Now the brains get some exercise…

Episode 9
The quintet need to find something to do for the school cultural festival. Searching their clubroom, they find a few party dice. They test it out and of course those who have to perform embarrassing acts as ‘instructed’ by the dice will not like it. Like Ichirou becoming an invisible chair for Nanao. And you know how sadistic Nanao can be, right? Then there is the closest and gayest moment ever with Taishi having to say romantic lines to Ichirou. Meanwhile there is a guy who also hates the festival but lets his life being ruled by the roll of his dice. Yup, time for Edelstein to turn him into a die monster. During the festival, no one visits their booth. Perhaps it’s the unfriendly poster that has everyone staying away. In order to lure people, they have to demonstrate to show them it is fun. This means based on the dice roll, Ryouma has to be carried by Kyoutarou while feeding him. Everyone is awed that they go through with this crazy stuff. As the crowd wants an encore, Ata commands the monster to attack. But as we all know, he has been part of the spectators watching. Yeah, nobody thought he was the real monster due to many people dressing weirdly. The monster felt unity from anyone while playing this game and doesn’t want to fight. Kyoutarou knows he wants to have fun and join in but this only infuriates Ata. Hence Karls has his knights transform to end this farce and make him happy. Back to his normal state, he joins them playing this game as angry Ata refuses to believe there are no such things as happy ending. Man, this guy needs to take some anger management classes or something.

Episode 10
Kyoutarou almost drowns in the bath after sleeping. So comfy that he dozed off? Then they talk about the dangers of the first one getting in because of body temperature and heart rate spiking thingy. When they head to school, they realized they have aged. It is the work of a turtle monster releasing smoke. Ata relishes seeing the quintet acting like old men but it looks like Kyoutarou has the last laugh since he is okay with it as he has always been acting like that! So we have the rest of the scenes watching the quintet doing old men stuffs and showing us senile old men syndrome. Eventually the monster got pissed that they didn’t even recognize him. It is revealed he is mad that since he has an old face, everyone kept calling him an old man so he wants revenge by turning everyone older than him. Yeah, this is going to be a drag so might as well cleanse this dude now. What is cringier than magical boys? Why, magical old guys!!! F*cking hilarious! More old men shenanigans that it’s really funnily annoying. Yeah, you can’t turn them older than they are. With Kyoutarou’s advice on how things don’t look right until you reach a certain age, the monster is in shock and this gives them enough time to do their slo-mo healing. With everyone turned back, the victim is happy to look old since this means he is ‘ahead’ of others. All looks like going for a good ending until Kyoutarou invites Ata to join them in the bath. That is when he has had it. He is mad Kyoutarou is always inconsiderate and doing things without thinking of others. Oh my. Ata is seriously mad this time. No joke. Furanui recognizes his anger and turns him into a monster! The ultimate final boss? Masked demon! This is some serious sh*t going on now.

Episode 11
Wow. Ata is really mad. He goes all out attacking Kyoutarou. Furanui and Karls argue about fear and happiness that should be the main quality a ruler has. Taiju and Maasa drop in to fight the other Happy Kiss dudes. Kyoutarou is even tired and doesn’t want to fight?! Is he serious?! At a time like this? When Happy Kiss try to Happy and Turn Ata back, he easily negates it. Flashback shows Kyoutarou is always good at everything he does despite putting in very little effort. Ata tries to copy but always takes a long time. When he finally does, Kyoutarou would have gone on to achieve much greater things. Even with the build-up in anger over the years, the stem of it all came from this one incident. After playing in the mud, they were invited to take a bath (aren’t those the original Earth Defence Club quintet?!). As Ata has never done this before, he didn’t know what to do. But Kyoutarou went straight in with Ryouma, leaving him all alone outside. So this was it? Kyoutarou then receives all of Ata’s attack just to understand his feelings. Oh boy. That even pisses Ata even more. Kyoutarou then says he tried to look for him afterwards but to no avail. By that time, Ata had already begun to truly hate him. Instead of being in the bath with him, Ata spent the whole time crying alone at the park. All he wanted was for him to invite him to the bath with him. And at the worst possible time, he said so just recently. Ata’s hatred intensifies but Kyoutarou withstands it all and hugs him. Then he invites him to the bath again. With that, all the hatred just died down. Before a handshake could solve everything, an emergency message from Kamo. He warns of an impending danger on the kingdom before being kidnapped. Karls is so sad he starts crying. The rest find it weird since he is always happy. Kyoutarou talks to him how he has brought happiness to so many and has always vowed to stay happy no matter what. I guess this means they’re all going to save Honyala Land and make it happy again. But Ata is still standing there in that handshake position… Left behind again? Damn, I hope he doesn’t take offense to this.

Episode 12
Edelstein joins Happy Kiss in Honyala Land after both sides agree to a ceasefire. They are being attacked by tin soldiers and wonder about the missing citizens. They stumble into a small group of citizens who say that Wao has staged a coup de tat. As for everyone else, they’ll know the answer soon because this strange lemur toy machine is the one turning the citizens into tin soldiers. After briefly fighting it, the princes call out to Wao inside it. Wao claims he has overthrown Kamo and took the throne as his own, blaming Kamo’s incompetence and being happy as reasons. Wao tries to coax Furanui to join his side. It is not wrong to say that Kamo favours Karls as they are always happy together. It is Ata this time who has some words from the heart. Even if Furanui has no place between them, does he really hate them? Even so, have they ever mistreated him? He might think he is alone but he isn’t. Yeah, Ata saying all those from experience… Anyway, they want to save the day and be happy in the bath. Furanui agrees and decides to join the guys. Wao is not amused he decided to become an airhead like them. Furanui accuses Wao for staging this succession competition to stage this coup. As our heroes lie temporarily defeated, time for Kamo to say a few words to pull the heartstrings like he never hated Wao but never knew he was this upset. They talked about the times they were happy together so the rest add their happy moments. Being happy is not an action to be sought out but to be felt! It’s impossible to ‘defeat’ happiness! With all the happy aura around them, it’s time for the biggest happy musical ever! Everybody sing and dance happily as our heroes transform into their super happy form. Uhm, isn’t all their coloured parts just turn white? Their super Happy and Turn cleanses Wao and returns the citizens back to their normal form. Super Happy Ending. Everyone lets Wao sleep because he is tired from his job despite all the recent tyranny he had done. If he is not happy, they’re not happy! In the aftermath, Furanui admits his loss to Karls although the latter doesn’t think it is about winning or losing. Kyoutarou suggests both of them becoming king and Kamo agrees. Wait. How the heck is this going to work? Oh well, as long everyone is happy. Ata finally joins Kyoutarou in the bath and they finish their handshake.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
And everybody lived happily ever after. So happy that we don’t need another sequel, right?! Oh well, I guess the power of friendship guised underneath the power of happiness is always one of the most cliché things to happen for such happy turn of events and ending. Speaking of which, I’m just wondering if Wao doesn’t get punished because of his treason, would this mean encouraging the rest to do the same because you know, they know they’ll be forgiven for the sake of ultimate happiness in the end. After all, I can imagine Kamo and Karls are the kind who would easily forgive because they are so happy go lucky. But then again, who would be so unhappy in Honyala Land just to stage another coup? Everybody let’s join up to have another happy bath! Hooray!

Although a lot feels like the same and recycled stuffs from last season, I have to admit it doesn’t feel boring. I mean, essentially the plot sees a group of all-male high school boys being transformed into some super powered heroes by a furry being who will save a hapless victim of their own feelings from some sort of misery (this time with a clean flood of bath water – which Japanese doesn’t like a good bath?). Then you have the misguided student council members as the antagonist, the main characters from both sides being childhood friends and having some sort of unresolved issue, hence the antagonism. Both sides eventually come to terms because of a larger threat looming and in no time just like that, our once feuding enemies are friends again. And the whole world is happy as well as loving. Basically, copy and paste but with some modifications to the outlook so that it doesn’t feel like it is 100% copy and paste.

Surprisingly, the funniest moment in this season (and I can also consider this as the funniest for the entire series) is when the Earth Defence Club quintet turned into old men. I can’t help laugh through almost the entire moment they became senile grandpas because it was just too damn funny! Even the transformation scene was slow and its music played was as slow! Wow. You really become slow when you’re old. Yeah, even the turtle and snail are faster. Haha! Truly, I enjoyed that episode when I really did not expect to.

One of that biggest difference is the theme of happy instead of love. Maybe perhaps this is why this season looks a bit less gay. Certainly no wombat molesting kid this time. So take out all the funny gay love making puns in the first series and replace them with happy puns. Instead of love overcoming hate, we have happiness overcoming dissatisfaction or sadness. And there you have it. A new set of theme for this season. So are you happy? Yes. Are you HAPPY? YES!!! Are you REALLY happy?! YEEEEEESSSSS!!!!!!! And the final episode feels a bit like having this love theme but I guess when you are happy, you also love.

The characters this season also feel like a shuffle and rearrangement from the original ones. In place of a spunky energetic overly positive petite Yumoto, we now have a polar opposite in the tall Kyoutarou. Listless, tired and always wanting to sleep. Somehow I find Kyoutarou to be less annoying than Yumoto since he prefers not to do anything unless he is forced too. Also, no wombat rape means no such annoying gay scenes but also no funny gay beastiality scenes. But Kyoutarou being a sleepyhead isn’t an entirely new personality. This mirrors En in the original series. Then there is Taishi and Ichirou that feels like a mirror to the original’s Io and Ryuu. Ryouma being the normal guy and childhood friend with Kyoutarou also feels like a mirror to Atsushi being the normal guy and childhood friend to En. Like Kyoutarou and Yumoto’s case, the same can be said for Maasa as he is like a mirror to Akoya in terms of beauty but with some polar differences like in stature. Last season we had Arima being a loyal ‘servant’ to Kusatsu. It’s somewhat the same this time for Taiju towards Ata. Last season’s sadist was Arima, now it’s Nanao. So you see, it’s all nothing really new and just jumbling things up and giving them a slightly different look. I just want to comment on Kyoutarou, for a guy who awfully sleeps a lot, he says the most mind blowing and eye opening things. It makes me wonder if that is really him or just him sleep talking. But you got to give him credit about those life lessons.

Karls as the furry mascot this time feels livelier than Wombat because of his penchant to be happy. Because of that, it makes him feel a bit more of a my-pace retard than anything gay. Yes, still a bit gay if you read too much but essentially more of the former. Not that it is such a bad thing. Furanui on the other hand feels angrier and infuriated compared to Zundar or even Dadacha. Maybe it’s his menacing fox look that made him look the part. Compared to their predecessors, both princes of Honyala Land have the ability to transform into a smoking hot hunk although they mostly remain in their furry form and the human form is mostly used during transformation scenes of their contracted knights. It is no surprising that Wao became the ‘final antagonist’ and he was setup in a way to be introduced and conveniently forgotten by the viewers until the end. Mainly because a certain seiyuu voicing him has all the trademarks of what is needed to sound like a villain… Yeah that deep low voice…

Sometimes I can’t help feel that Ata’s anger is misplaced. It gets annoying after a while to realize that whatever he does to get back at Kyoutarou, it backfires and it only makes him mad. Like as though he is offended by everything! You want to scream to this guy to take some anger management class. The entire series keeps us guessing what the heck did Kyoutarou do wrong to earn his wrath. I suppose he wasn’t that mad since Kyoutarou didn’t really realize it until the end. Is this what it means by ignorance is bliss? Yeah, he might think that is how Ata works. Even with that old bath invitation thing as the bud of it might seem laughable and pathetic, but remember as a kid, it could be a big trauma. But still, many times when I think back that is the source of the antagonism and madness in Ata, I can’t help go, “So that was it? Like WTF, dude”.

Just like in its previous seasons, the ‘trademark’ of this series is to have the guys spend their time soaking in the hot bath that is certainly Kurotama. In some episodes they can spend a lengthy time of amount there talking about things that might or might not matter. Hence your series ‘fanservice’. Considering that this is Kurotama, I wonder who is running this establishment since in the original it was Yumoto’s big brother, Goura. I’m assuming he is still around but not important enough to show his face because not relevant to the current plot.

Studio Comet who did the previous Binan instalments also does this season. But I just want to point out that the outfit for Happy Kiss somewhat feels a big baggy and loose. Like as though it is a bit oversized for them. This in turn makes them look a bit like some sort of butterfly fairy? I don’t know, they just look weird to me. Also, Edelstein’s outfit is as baggy as their Happy Kiss counterpart. A bit weirder is their ‘huge loincloth’. While the male characters have this bishonen looks, I want to point out that Ata looks so girly I thought he was a girl who transgendered into a man. This is evident as his young child self looks more like a girl than a boy. I know there are some boys in this series that look very close with traits of a girl (like Maasa) but you can still tell he is a guy. But for Ata it wasn’t so straightforward. Because of his angry looks and his male voice, it overrides his girlish-like appearance. Otherwise you might be mistaken of his gender. I wonder if he would be mad if we assumed his gender.

With a new setting (despite generally the same) of course definitely calls for an entire set of new casts. If you noticed like last time, they are all males. A rare feat because in a big majority of anime series, female casts are really essential. Hence this is one of the very few series (the only one in my books that I can think of) that uses only guys in the voice acting department. Ultimate gay bros! Anyway, the Happy Kiss quintet are mostly newbies making their debut roles, Naoyuki Shimotsuru as Kyoutarou, Ryouga Komata as Ryouma, Takahide Ishii as Nanao, Rikuya Yasuda as Taishi and Shouta Hayama as Ichirou. Then you have the veterans voicing like Hikaru Midorikawa as Ata (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Kousuke Toriumi as Taiju (Gennosuke in Basilisk), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Maasa (Kirito in Sword Art Online), Takuya Eguchi as Karls (Hikigaya in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru) and Sho Hayami as Wao (Azami in Shokugeki No Souma and Asano in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu are just among the many villains this guy perfectly portrayed).

If you have watched last season, you would have noticed that there is one seiyuu who was retained but voiced a different character. This season is no different and I am starting to believe that the so called furry antagonists are of the same being! Hiroki Yasumoto this time voices Furanui and his dead low evil voice makes him suitable for such roles. A hedgehog, a squirrel, then a bear in Kuma Miko and now a fox. This guy is going to have a lot of animal spirits by his side!

Just like last season, the opening theme is sung by Happy Kiss while the ending theme is sung by Edelstein. Zettai Saikou Happy Kiss as the opener sounds like its predecessors, lively and upbeat while Warera Kedakaki Edelstein has a more dramatic feel to it and doesn’t sound as melancholic or dark as its predecessors. I want to point out that I somewhat like the insert song of Happy Kiss, the one whereby they prepare to Happy and Turn. I have got to admit, it is quite catchy to listen.

Overall, it is yet to be seen if this gets another season. Otherwise, it is really happily ever after for these people. But I didn’t really expect to enjoy this season even more than its predecessors! Am I now considered gay despite no animal raping molesting scenes or gay love terms?! In that sense, perhaps this season has ‘cleansed’ me and made me happy! Even if love doesn’t make the world go round, at least you can do is be happy with yourself. If you can’t make others happy, be happy with yourself and let that ‘infection’ spread around. After all like someone once said, being happy never goes out of style!

Mahou Shoujo Site

August 12, 2018

What’s this?! Another dark battle royale magical girl series? So, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica + Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku + a little punch of Jigoku Shoujo = Mahou Shoujo Site! Fukou da ne… Well, if the plot of magical girls fighting each other doesn’t sound too original, please bear in mind that this series was written during the height of the popularity of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. I guess now it has only been given its anime treatment. Better late than never? Bored of all the sparkling goodness and clichés in typical magical girl series? I guess we can’t get enough of magical girls killing each other. Hontou ni fukou da ne…

Episode 1
Aya Asagiri tries to kill herself at the railroad crossing. She couldn’t. Every day she thinks of dying. But I don’t think everyone else cares either. At school, she is bullied by a group of girls led by Sarina Shizukume. Heck, even the teacher and other classmates don’t care and turn a blind eye. Toilet break isn’t exactly fun for Asagiri too. Yup, more torture. Her only reprieve is a stray kitten by the bridge. Heck, kitty gets better treatment from Asagiri. Wanna bet the bullies find out about this? It is no different back home. The focus is on her brother, Kaname. Her parents praise him for his grades and intellect. But behind his gentle demeanour, Kaname abuses Asagiri! He ties her up and punches her guts! This is to let off steam for living up to their parents’ expectations. He blames her for that and at least be useful as a stress reliever. That night, a strange Magical Girl Site pops up. It offers magic to her but she shuts it down seeing how creepy everything is. Next morning on her way to school, more misery is added when she sees a certain kitten killed at the tracks. Asagiri is surprised to see a weird gun in her locker. Then more abuse by Shizukume and her groupies. Yeah, they’re so bored of it that Erika Kajima calls her senpai, Shouta Arai to rape her. Asagiri runs away but is caught. Moments before being raped, Erika reveals she killed the kitten. This makes Asagiri mad as she whips out the gun and fires. They disappear. But later it is discovered their bodies have been found near the tracks. Asagiri is fearful that she might have killed them and will be arrested. She tries to find the site again but error 404. With Asagiri ignoring Kaname, looks like his stress is pent up and can’t concentrate on his studies?! Shizukume confronts Asagiri and demands what she did. Asagiri maintains her innocence but she doesn’t believe it. She is going to scar her face when suddenly time stops. Fellow classmate, Tsuyuno Yatsumura comes to her rescue. She claims she is a magical girl and so is Asagiri after receiving a ‘magical stick’. Yatsumura positions Shizukume to slice her own neck. She will tell Asagiri all about Magical Girl Site as she needs her.

Episode 2
Yatsumura further explains her magical stick stops time and Asagiri is able to move because she added her name to a list of exceptions. Asagiri’s power is instant teleportation and she witnessed that ‘murder’ thingy. Yatsumura believes it is their destiny as magical girls to weed out bad people so she shouldn’t feel bad about it. Of course Yatsumura didn’t make Shizukume kill herself but enough to put her in critical condition. Back at her room, Yatsumura explains more about the mysteries. The site owner is unknown but it seems if you accept the magical stick, you are bound to the site rules. Also a note of caution not to use the power so much because it drains your life. There’s an indicator on the arm. Once it runs out, you die. Yatsumura is also here to warn her that there are other magical girls out there. She once worked with a fellow magical girl, Rina Shioi who would gather information on other magical girls. Suddenly someone is killing magical girls and taking their magical stick. They started investigating her and dub her Magical Hunter. Suddenly Shioi disappeared. Her body was never found but before she disappeared, she sent her a picture of what Hunter looked like. Creepy mad as hell. Yatsumura hopes they can cooperate and catch Hunter. As proof, she will protect her tonight. This means no S&M torture from Kaname. Safe. One day after school, Asagiri is stopped by a busty girl. Before she knows it, she is trapped in a magical barrier. Too late for Yatsumura to activate her time stopping magic. This girl is of course Hunter but she looks different. She used another magical stick to alter her appearance. Hunter wants to kill her and all Asagiri could think of not using her stick to get back at her is because she doesn’t want to kill her? With assurance from Yatsumura she won’t, Asagiri fires. It is believed wherever the victim is teleported is based on Asagiri’s will. They catch Hunter and interrogate her. Yatsumura knows she is Shioi as she is reacted to the Hunter moniker when nobody else uses it. Shioi reveals she went around killing others to get her stick as well. The more the better to survive when Tempest arrives. Before she faked her disappearance, she met the site’s admin. She was told the arrival of Tempest on a certain date would bring an end to this world and create a new one. Before she could reveal the important juicy parts, she starts coughing blood. Is this the doing of some magical girl too?

Episode 3
Keisuke Naoto is an obsessed fan of Nijimi Anazawa who is part of a famous idol doggy group. Shioi is in comatose state and the doctor is unsure if she will wake up. Yatsumura believes using too many powers at once caused her to fall into this state. This has them think about why they were chose to be magical girls and Asagiri to ask about Yatsumura’s past. She won’t say but snippets show she found her parents dead. Asagiri has this idea that one of the magical stick may be able to fix Shioi’s condition. As they go through the list. They see a familiar face. Isn’t that Nijimi? Asagiri has this idea to attend her handshake event. When it is their turn, Yatsumura will stop time and then Asagiri will teleport them to a different area. Not sure why they even need to meet her. Couldn’t they just freeze time and teleport? Nijimi is very excited to see other magical girls. After explaining their purpose, before they could ask her magical stick’s ability, she is whisked away by her managers to be brought back to her fans. She gives them an appointed time and place to meet. In her apartment, they see her zombie fans as slaves. She reveals her power to mind control others. Her magical stick? Magical pantsu???!!! Yatsumura knows her power is dangerous and useful, hence the need to get her on their side. When asks if she knows other magical girls, Nijimi becomes upset. Mikado was a magical and best friend until she got killed by Shioi. That’s why if she sees that b*tch, she’ll kill her!!! Scary. Nijimi also reveals she hides the indicators with concealers and she bleeds ‘somewhere else’. The duo leave but not after Nijimi uses her power to exchange contacts. Shizukume is vengeful to make Asagiri pay. Conveniently she is a few doors away from Shioi’s room and she sees Asagiri coming out from there. Possible heard a few important lines in their conversation for future plot purposes. She enters the room and is shocked to see the site admin who is sad that Shioi is disqualified. Aha. A replacement… Kaname must have had it for straight nights without abusing his sister. So he secretly checks her computer and finds frequent visits to the Magical Girl Site. Still error 404, though.

Episode 4
Nana, the site admin invites Shizukume to become a magical girl for revenge. She reveals it was the duo who caused the death of her friend as well as the hideous scar on her neck. She wants Shizukume to succeed Shioi as Hunter and collect magical sticks. She gives her a yoyo as her magical stick. With that, Shizukume can access the site and see the countdown to Tempest. Oh, her yoyo slices things like hot knife through butter. Asagiri reveals her bullied past to Yatsumura. As a transfer student, she is often weak and shy. Shizukume did help her out in several moments but Asagiri continued to remain so. Hence the whole bullying started just because she didn’t say a simple thank you? Sick. Yatsumura tells her to stop blaming herself and be strong. She is not as weak or worthless as she thinks. When Yatsumura returns home, she coughs blood and collapses. Meanwhile Kaname’s grades are slipping to a point dad becomes mad and beats him up! In the streets while other girls swoon over him, in his mind they are nothing but scums. At the convenience store, he buys a drink but Naoto the cashier suddenly goes into shock. News of Nijimi’s sudden retirement. This makes Kaname mad as this is the epitome of the worst kind of scum, validating their lives through others. Asagiri feels good today. The bullying stopped ever since she came into her life. Jumping the gun too fast. Because Shizukume is back! Oh no. Yatsumura is absent and what’s this? Nijimi is a new transfer student in her class?! Oh sh*t. She’s waving at Asagiri. Later as they talk, Nijimi says she retired from showbiz to concentrate on finding Mikado’s killer. That is more important than disappointing her fans. Yup, she still wants to kill her badly. Oh sh*t. Shizukume conveniently eavesdrops this and later confronts Nijimi to mock about her revenge plan. Then she shows a picture of Shioi. You looking for this girl? Asagiri visits Yatsumura’s place. No answer. Door unlock. She is shocked to see Yatsumura collapsed. She is still conscious and attributes this to overusing her power. She forbids her from calling the ambulance in fear of anybody finding out this strange guy chained in her room. He is the reason she became a magical girl. Flashback shows this guy snuck into her home and killed her family but left her alive so he would return to see a prettier grown up Yatsumura. She has been living in fear of him since and one day she discovered the Magical Girl Site and obtained the power. Revenge was all she had to live for.

Episode 5
Asagiri cries for her and promises she won’t be alone. Heart breaking moment with Shizukume coming in to mock them. She also tells them about letting Nijimi know about Shioi. Shizukume begins to cut them up but luckily they’re not stupid to stay where they are. Too bad Yatsumura’s killer got split in half. There goes her revenge. Yatsumura still has a trump card. Nijimi calls Shizukume to complain she can’t kill Shioi because there is a magical barrier protecting her. Yatsumura used several magical sticks to activate multiple powers at once. But this causes to Yatsumura to pass out from exhaustion. Shizukume tries to kill Asagiri but it looks like she wrecked the entire room instead. Asagiri takes over using the magical stick to erect a protection barrier. With her bent on protecting Yatsumura as her only friend, Shizukume calls her a hypocrite for killing Erika and Shouta. This time Asagiri won’t be cowed by her words. She blames Shizukume for all the bullying and never knew the hell she has been through. The feeling of wanting to die every day but couldn’t because was too scared. The place starts crumbling and before the ceiling could crush Shizukume, Asagiri fires her gun to teleport her back to school. Shizukume may be conflicted about her enemy saving her but she still won’t back down because of this and has something important to do to survive Tempest. Casualties are high as rescue teams work all night to pull out survivors. They are shocked to see a barrier protecting Asagiri and Yatsumura. Not sure how they got them out of it as they are wheeled into ICU. Asagiri’s parents are there. They are assured she is in stable condition but looks like Yatsumura is going into cardiac arrest. Nijimi is left frustrated why she couldn’t kill Shioi. If Shizukume kept her word but as though somebody else knows about her wanting to kill her and is trying to protect her. Then she connects the dots. It’s those ‘friends’. Anger level just went up another notch. Kaname is ‘worried’ about Asagiri. I mean, if she dies who else is going to be his punching bag, right? Nijimi is at the door and wonders if Asagiri is in. Damn those killer eyes… Meanwhile eye-patch girl walks into Shioi’s room and prepares to kill her.

Episode 6
Naoto follows Nijimi to Asagiri’s place and is devastated to see her coming into contact with Kaname. But what’s this? Nijimi suddenly falling in love with him?! Is this real or deception? Although on the outside we see them nice and good to each other, deep down in their heart they show us their true colour. Well, both have a bone to pick with Asagiri. Kaname decides to use her in his plan because with this ‘blessing’, he now has a reason to see Nijimi again. Kosame Amagai slits her own wrist and lets Shioi drink her blood. Shioi instantly wakes up. Being a bit pushy for answers, Kosame starts cowering in fear but after taking her medications, she calms down. Kosame reveals she is also a magical girl and her power is healing to those who drink her blood. Since she loves to inflict self-harm, cutting herself is no problem. Yatsumura and Asagiri wake up fine. Friendship time is interrupted when Shioi shows herself and introduces Kosame. Thanks to emo girl, this is the reason why their injuries are totally healed. Kosame continues explaining the juicy stuffs. There are many other Magical Girl Sites each with its own admin. But every site leads to the same revelation of Tempest. She further shows them more info on it. Tempest indeed is going to destroy the world. However there is a way one can survive. Offer the negative energy of humans to the King. They can be collected and stored via magical sticks and during the day of Tempest when one offers it, the one with the most negative energy will survive. But this means magical girls being given their own stick will start killing each other to fill up the meter. Also, if they used the magical stick too much, they’ll die. This means, the sites never intended for them to live. Kosame needs their help to join them. Their plan is to catch a site admin and make them spill more about Tempest. But first, Asagiri and Yatsumura need to find their magical sticks lost in the rubble. Since Shioi blames them for losing all her hard work, she lets them search for themselves. I think it’s going to take a while. We take a break with Yatsumura thanking Asagiri for defending her. Now her reason to live isn’t for revenge anymore. Asagiri surprises her parents by returning home and also plead for Yatsumura to stay with them for the time being since she lost her home. Kaname is suspicious about the ‘magic’ of them being healed and does his own research on the sites. Nana and the other site admins convene and are not amused nosy girls are poking too deep into the site’s secrets. What’s the solution? Kill them off! Damn, lots of dead magical girls…

Episode 7
Kosame reminds them that despite she is able to heal their wounds, it doesn’t mean their life is prolonged. They will still die during their teens from the use of magical sticks. We see Asagiri and Yatsumura sleeping together and talking about the future they want but sorry, not hot lesbian sex. We are introduced to some of Kosame’s magical girl groupies. The yakuza, the rich girl and the bully victim because he is a cross-dresser. Nijimi confronts Asagiri and Yatsumura. But first they tell her the truth and circumstances. She agrees to help find the site admin only if they let her kill Shioi with her own hands. To make matters worse, Shioi becomes a transfer student in their class. Instantly Nijimi is going to jump and kill her but luckily Yatsumura holds her down and has Asagiri take off her magical pantsu! The guys must be revelling in joy in this confusion. Yatsumura takes the magical pantsu and hides it. After they get yelled by the teacher, they converge at the park to meet Kosame’s groupies. They introduce themselves as well as their magical sticks’ ability: Sayuki Ringa (katana hardens anything she wants to cut), Mikari Izumigamine (broomstick allows her to fly fast and far), Asahi Takiguchi (necklace boosts physical abilities like speed) and Kiyoharu Suirenji (ring enables telepathy). Not surprising, some have bad blood with each other. They discuss the strategy to kidnap a site admin. Shizukume meets up with Nana who wants the magical sticks she gathered. But she won’t give them back and will use them to kill those girls. Nana fires a warning shot not to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong or she’ll die too. Asagiri is so kind to bring Shioi to stay with her. I guess Yatsumura won’t have any lesbian monopoly on her tonight. Definitely for Kaname too. During the bath, Asagiri gets a call from Kosame. Sounds like bad news so much so Asagiri starts crying. She has a favour to ask of her.

Episode 8
Naoto blames Kaname for stealing his Nijimi and vows to kill him. But what’s this? Our magical girls get to enjoy time at the beach? Does this series badly wants fanservice? I guess with the end of the world coming and the final battle with Tempest looming, why not enjoy ourselves first, right? So we see the girls having fun, more of Asagiri and Yatsumura thanking each other and this outing was planned by Asagiri because that call from Kosame told her that Yatsumura has not much longer to live after using too much of her magical stick. Later they realize somebody has broken into their locker and only stole Nijimi’s magical stick. Kiyoharu reads everyone’s minds but finds none of them as the culprit. But we’ll soon know as Naoto confronts Kaname and is going to kill him. Flashback shows Kaname using his suave skills to persuade Nijimi to disclose some magical girl stuffs. Kaname orders him on his knees and without skipping a beat, Naoto grovels before him. Wait a minute. If he has no vagina, where does he bleed from?! Does his balls bleed/! Kaname revels in his power as he shows off wearing Nijimi’s pantsu just to piss him off. My, what big dick he has! Plus, no bleeding? Kaname then orders him to walk into the ocean and stab himself in the heart. What do you know? Asagiri is watching this and very terrified. As she returns with her friends, she sees Kaname staring at her. On no. That sick look and smile… On the way home, Asagiri is terrified if her friends find out because they will kill him. After all he has done to you and you still care about that bastard? Wow. Such a nice girl. She is in a dilemma on what to do buy Kiyoharu has read her mind and knows what is going on and would like to resolve this as peacefully as possible. Detective Kiichirou Misumi and his police pick up Naoto’s body. As they investigate, he finds everything about his suicide off. He then sees a picture of Nijimi written all over with death threats addressing to Kaname. Nijimi is glad to meet Kaname but there is something he needs to tell her as he whispers into her ear…

Episode 9
Sayuki takes some of the girls to stay at her place. It’s her yakuza mansion. Definitely safe with all those thugs around… Meanwhile Kaname is at Nijimi’s place and the latter is fawning all over him until he uses the magical stick against her. She is begging for her life but Kaname views her as useless. As he orders her to hang herself, Asahi under Kiyoharu’s mind control barges in and beats him up. But with Nijimi still obedient to him, he turns the tables on her and tells her to kill Kiyoharu. Mikari rushes to Sayuki’s place to tell the bad news. Kosame cuts herself to heal Kiyoharu but there’s not enough blood. She would love to cut herself but Asagiri takes responsibility for this and uses her blood to save Kiyoharu. She reveals the truth about what she saw. But they’re not out of the woods yet as Kaname strolls in. Hello ladies. All of them are under his command as he takes it all out on his sister. Sick guy licks his sister’s hand with the cutter to heal himself. As he orders Nijimi to collect the magical sticks, Kiyoharu manages to telepathically talk to Nijimi and snap her out of Kaname’s control. She tells her to pretend and find a way to catch him off-guard. However realizing she has been duped by him, she cannot contain her again and charges at him only to be slashed. When you die, you always reflect on your life. In the case of Nijimi, she loves performing in front of others because she loves to see everyone happy. Reality hits hard when her debt ridden dad kills himself and the debt collector threatens the family. Hence Nijimi turned to the Magical Girl Site in hopes of reversing this disaster. Looks like she won’t get her chance. In her final attempt, she breaks a bottle and stabs into Kaname’s throat. Panicky Kaname tries to get the cutter but some invisible figure prevents him. Then the place is shrouded with smokescreen. When Asagiri wakes up, she sees all the other girls around Nijimi. She’s dead. Healing won’t work anymore.

Episode 10
Nijimi is such a big shot that a public memorial service is held for her. Misumi is talking to asking Asagiri’s parents who are worried about Kaname’s disappearance. Meanwhile Asagiri is as usual wallowing in depression and regret. Only thoughts of Nijimi until she realizes she needs to become stronger. About time. As she tries to find her lost magical stick and vows to protect everyone with her life, Shizukume confronts her. During Nijimi’s funeral, Asagiri surprises everyone by turning up. Later she turns her gun towards them and fire. Shortly, the building they are in collapses. It seems Nana is in cohorts with Misumi to kill them. He is the guy who stopped Kaname as he was tasked to retrieve his magical stick. He assures her Kaname is dead but it looks like he is kept alive, tied up somewhere. Now his job is to retrieve those dead magical girls’ stick. Luckily they are still alive as Asagiri teleported them somewhere. She tells them the site administrators are trying to kill them and knows about it because of Shizukume. The rest are shocked to see Shizukume joining their side. However Asagiri wants them to hand over their magical sticks. She wants them to drop out of this fight and return to their normal lives. It is her fault this mess started and she will atone it herself. But even if they give their magical sticks, that doesn’t delete the fact that they are still magical girls and will still be targeted. When Asagiri sounds too desperately desperate, Yatsumura slaps her and has her remember her initial promise about not doing this alone. With a little pep talk that they all share the burden and the pain, Shizukume gives them back their missing magical sticks. As for why she is siding with them. At first she was engaged by Nana to kill them all had they survived the explosion. Those site administrators don’t see them as people and discard them when they are useless. She is done being their pawn. They gear up to prepare taking down the Magical Girl Site.

Episode 11
The girls lay in wait to ambush a site administrator. They have the details because Yuka Sumikura who runs a blog site, uploaded details of how she is going to get a magical stick (too bad she’ll be waiting forever). But soon as her post gets uploaded, it is deleted. Possibly what she written down is true. At the school building, they wait until Ni shows up in which Shioi pounds her with her hammer. Uhm, she only lost a leg? Shioi rants how based on all the data they’ve collected, they could tell site admins have certain protocols to follow and areas assigned. That’s how they lay this bait. Yeah, it won’t do you any good spilling out those details as Ni attacks. To show how powerful she is, she kills a dumb guard passing by. Instead of being afraid and calling for backup, he called out to the monster and paid with his life. Ni turns her attention to Asagiri but she teleports her to the rooftop where Shizukume is waiting as she cuts her to pieces before Shioi finishes her off. This decoy is part of their plan. They are shocked when the corpse turns into a human one. Could it be that site admins are humans? I don’t know, but doesn’t the corpse look a little like a robot? Meanwhile, the other magical girls are being hindered by another side admin, Hachi. She is able to clone herself and keep them at bay. How long can Sayuki keep fending off her sword attacks? Back to the rest, they are confronted by Nana who claims she has been watching them. She made Ni a decoy to lure them out. Now she is going to kill them. At first Yatsumura seems dumb enough to let her destroy her magical stick. But when the timing is right, she initiates a barrier to protect her friends while attempting to cut her with Shizukume’s yoyo. Uhm, in exchange for taking in all those shots, she only cut off an arm? Yeah. Failed. Hence cue for Yatsumura’s last words. Thank you this, thank you that. She knows she hasn’t got long to live either. Goodbye. Dead. Cue for Asagiri to go berserk and scream over the death of her best friend. In another plot twist, in the base of the site administrators, Ichi welcomes the latest member to their circle: Yatsumura!

Episode 12
Nana tells Yatsumura about all the misfortune and hate building up in this world. Because of that, Yatsumura’s accumulated negative energy is deemed sufficient to be fed to the King who will then release Tempest onto the world. The King is the world’s most unfortunate girl and the plan is to wipe Earth of malice by evolving humans into something malice-free. Those who cannot adapt will die. Asagiri teleports her other friends away. She intends to be with Yatsumura but suddenly she comes back alive! Nana explains she is now an administrator but since she is not full-fledged, she needs more negative energy to become one. And that person to feed her that is Asagiri! So it becomes a strange hide and seek game. You think friendship talk is going to save the day? Can Yatsumura even hear her? Oh well, cliché time. Asagiri then shoots her own heart while Yatsumura strangles her. Did she go back in time to a young Yatsumura? Not sure, there’s the magical girl mark on her wrist. With assurance to always be with her, it dispels whatever fear she has as Yatsumura regains her consciousness. She is sad to see Asagiri’s lifeless body before her. But then, plot twist! She still lives as they both shoot at Nana. Nana claims unfairness as they used their magical sticks to free other magical girls. She asks if they are unfortunate souls. They reply they became magical girls out of misfortune but their misfortune is for nobody to decide. Therefore they are not unfortunate. Yatsumura resumes time and lets Nana get hit by a train? That killed her? Fatality! In the aftermath, more good news because Sayuki-Mikari combo somehow manage to cut down Hachi while Shizukume lives thanks to Kosame and Shioi donating blood to her. Meanwhile the administrators are talking about this mess but Ichi says they can be replaced. Meanwhile in Misumi’s lair, there are lots of magical sticks hanging up his wall. But here is the worst part. At least for Kaname. Because his butt is going to get raped by him!!! OMFG!!!!!!!!! And meanwhile too, Asagiri and Yatsumura live a happy lesbian life? Not if Ichi narrates how he hopes misfortune will befall on them because they have taken on the malice inside people’s hearts, boasting the misfortunes of the past have given rise to happiness in the present. This is an unforgivable sin as it dents the King’s plan.

Warning: Visiting This Site May Harm Your Life
Oh, you poor unfortunate soul. Fukou da ne, fukou da ne… I am not sure if this is the end at all. Asagiri and Yatsumura successfully killing the site admin who has been a thorn on their side doesn’t mean Tempest will go away. Sure, it looked like a bright sunny day after their victory with the other magical girls coming out alive and a bit scathed, that’s all. They sound like everything is over. But this only delays slightly the coming of Tempest so by a long shot, everything is far from over. Hence with this ‘happy ending’ this season has closed, it just doesn’t feel right. To a point that I think the main goal was just to defeat Nana and our main duo can happily frolic with each other. Wow. So fortunate finally, you girls. Oh right. Who are we to determine the misfortune of others, eh?

Although it started out pretty slowly and interesting, I can’t help feel that halfway through it was like dragging things out. Perhaps I was having the mentality of magical girls killing each other and when I wasn’t seeing at least a magical girl dying per episode, that was probably what got my goat. Yeah, I’m such a sadist… Can’t be help. I expected to see more than just spilled blood in this kind of series! Sure, there are dead magical girls in almost every episode. But those are just minor characters with no name whom we will never care. Those kind of magical girls are the ones racking up the body count. Then trying to find more allies to fight against the inevitable Tempest, hence the detour of trying to capture or even kill a site administrator feels lacklustre. It feels more dragged out than something that would maintain and pique your interest. I wonder if this series would have done better had an extra cour being given. Because a dozen episodes feels too short considering the pacing and direction of this series.

Even the big antagonist’s plot of trying to bring a disaster to the world in hopes of saving humanity by destroying a big chunk of it doesn’t sound original. Hmm… Where have I heard this kind of plot before? Oh, right. From Code Geass to even Sousei No Onmyouji. Heck, even Thanos from the Marvel universe has this same intention. Higher powers claim they have the moral right to obliterate weaklings and create a world without all the negative emotions for the ultimate world. A world lacking that negative emotion. It should be perfect but our heroes and heroines place more important on status quo than anything. That’s why the world continues to suck and soak up all the hatred.

The series also tries to deal with some dark themes. A lot of them. From incessant bullying to even to domestic abuse and even depression (woah, that man rape at the end wasn’t entirely expected), however they aren’t addressed in a serious manner. Did the magical power of the magical girls somehow interfered and made it less relevant? Because you see, even as Asagiri became some sort of a punching bag for Shizukume’s groupies to bully, this is supposed to score some sympathy points but the way she takes every beating like as though she extends her life force from every hit makes it feel unrealistic. If that wasn’t enough, we have her older brother who often lets off steam with his nightly visits. Yeah, he is just short of raping his sister. Maybe in time he would. Hence with Asagiri being casted as powerless (before she was a magical girl), it makes it look like one S&M fest with her bullies enjoying tormenting her while Asagiri ‘enjoying’ every moment of blows she has taken in. And the bullying stops because she became a magical girl. Felt more like plot convenience to me.

The characters are boring and uninspiring. You don’t feel like you want to root for them and only had to because they’re the good characters and out of sympathy. Like I have said with Asagiri as a veteran bully victim, she doesn’t feel like the main character and only felt so because more screen time is given to her. She has hardly changed and is mostly the same guilt ridden girl from the start. Only this time she has Yatsumura to care about. Therefore her noble attitude trying to protect and save her because the power of friendship reeks cringe. Maybe it is natural for Asagiri since Yatsumura is the first person who ever treated her closely to a human being. So it’s understandable Asagiri puts her on a pedestal and trying to show her worth as a friend instead of being some useless victim.

Copying Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s fashion, the biggest twist is revealed to be the site administrators were once humans. That’s like how the witches in that anime were once magical girls, no? I have always kept it in the back of my mind that Yatsumura might not be the good person that she seems to be before Asagiri. Because I was thinking that at one point she might betray her. All this playing friendship and being nice with her is just part of her bigger plan. After all, all magical girls have their own goals so it is not surprising Yatsumura has hers. Now, my theory is that the criminal that Yatsumura has been slowly torturing as revenge is dead, even though it is not Asagiri’s fault but she had an indirect hand in ending that reason to live. Words are easy and would you believe if a human could get over a long outstanding grudge just after a mere realization of friendship? Especially in this dark series? I’m not putting my faith in it yet. So even if Yatsumura is true blue in her friendship towards Asagiri, perhaps the ultimate betrayal to Asagiri will come in the form of her being the next site administrator. Well, she did became temporarily one but that BS friendship crap ruined it all. Instead, Asagiri did apologize and say something about ‘betraying’ her but I didn’t get it. So is it true that they have no malice in their hearts now? Damn, I didn’t think it was this easy.

The problem with the other magical girls is that they don’t feel too relevant. The new ones they teamed up with halfway through still feel like a ragtag bunch only put together because of a common cause. They do play minor roles like Kiyoharu’s telepathy thingy but any more than that, it usually boils down to Asagiri and Yatsumura. The rest I can’t even remember their names properly. Like that one who runs fast, the one who rides the broomstick and the emo girl who is tempting who cut herself. Seeing that they don’t have any backgrounds or given such prominence as Asagiri or Yatsumura, I was thinking they could be sacrificial goats. However, even if the plot did not turn into a big battle royale and became a big cooperating team to take down the menace, well, it certainly didn’t go the way I expected as seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Oh heck, why not just kill off everybody and be done with it.

You thought Shizukume would be a thorn in the main group’s side. Unfortunately she decides to put aside their differences and join them against the site administrators. I don’t know about you, it feels disappointing. I thought it would add another layer of hostility for the group seeing they have another threat to deal with. Even if she wasn’t around to join in the final battle, it didn’t matter. Perhaps to show some solidarity among the magical girls to fight for the greater good? Thank goodness it tuned out alright, didn’t it?

Kaname is more interesting than these girls because of his sick and twisted mind. This guy is a narcissist who thinks he is better than everyone. There is a saying that goes if meeting one or two people, they might be an asshole. But if everyone you meet is an asshole, you are probably the asshole. Could not be so true in Kaname’s case. But he isn’t different than everyone and is as low as a scum like those he thinks they are. Otherwise, why would he need to abuse his sister just to keep his sanity and grades? This already shows he has a flaw and ever since Asagiri turned into a magical girl, the stress keeps building up that it finally explodes. This guy could be a serial killer had he not have school obligations. Kaname is such an interesting guy that the next episode preview is about him talking in his thoughts. It usually starts out very nice and polite until the punchline in the end that reveals his darker side. But too bad he became Misumi’s sex toy so not sure what will turn out of him. Just desserts? Yeah, this was what you have been doing to Asagiri all the time. Just short of penetrating her but now you got a hot guy sticking it deep into your ass. Yeah, his hole so big, bigger than the plot hole of this series! HAHAHA!!! I don’t even know why Misumi’s character exists except for this final disturbing part that doesn’t bring us anywhere. Maybe it is to subtly tell us now Asagiri can sleep soundly now that her brother is tormenting?

One of the biggest mind boggling issues comes in the part where Kaname was trying to kill the magical girls or at least get revenge on them. At least his sister. You remember the part where he had them all under his control. And he is just a command away from silencing them. Even if Nijimi had stuck a broken bottle in his throat, a little more struggle is more than enough to finish them off. But no. Instead, Nana sent that detective to stop him. Then she wanted them dead and thought of killing them herself. So instead of letting this mad brother do the job for her, she let them lived and then wanted them dead soon after? Does this make sense? Are there rules she has to follow through? Heck, she even failed to kill all of them. Yeah, I suppose it is to provide some tension, drama and drag out the plot.

I have a feeling they want to keep some sort of mystery about the site administrators, hence we don’t know nothing about them aside that they wear weird creepy masks and are named after numbers. Also, they might be human. Yatsumura being incepted doesn’t mean all of them could be considered as once humans. Even if the site administrators are scary and powerful, it isn’t like they are so powerful or omniscient like God. Because if they were, our main magical girls wouldn’t have given them such a hard time. Like when they baited and lured out Ni who suspected nothing. I don’t believe she was playing along. And Nana who should have killed them off during Nijimi’s funeral, does she not know that they are not dead? Always check the bodies… Even some of them do not get along among themselves and just like the ragtag bunch of magical girls, they’re just there for a common goal and share the same common powers.

The fight scenes as well as the magical sticks feel pretty meh. It’s a good thing that they are not confined to its user and anybody can own and use them. Otherwise it will be a pain and boring to see the same girls using the same magic sticks, something that most of them often do. So once in a while, we see them use a different stick other than theirs but fights don’t often last that long. Maybe except that Shizukume vs Asagiri-Yatsumura at the apartment one.