Gokudo-kun Manyuuki

April 26, 2020

It isn’t every day that you have the main character of a series who is a selfish and greedy type. Gokudo-kun Manyuuki has the titular character being one of the biggest dicks in the land and having such main character as an anti-hero was something you don’t see every day back in the late 90’s. Yup, an old retro anime way back in 1999 right before the turn of the new millennium. I guess human nature never changed. That is why karma has always been our b*tch in hopes that we will remind ourselves of our position and circumstances. But what are the chances of us learning at all? That’s why our Gokudo gets to hop from one misadventure to another without so much turning over a new leaf.

Episode 1
Gokudo Yuccot Kikansky is having is meal. Some old witch bugs him to warn him his life is in danger. He doesn’t give a damn and swipes her money bag before running back home. He thinks he strikes it rich but to his dismay, her money bag is only a stone. Worse, it transforms into a genie, Djinn. 3 wishes to be granted? Okay. Give me babes, honour and money! Unfortunately Djinn lectures him to think about what true happiness means. Oh sh*t… This is going to take a while… For some reason, Djinn transforms himself into a sexy hot babe just so as to be by his side. I guess there are rules to follow if he is going to follow him 24/7 until Gokudo makes all his wishes. This hot version is going to be easy on the eyes. The inn owner then barges in because his daughter, Asraga Onnitsu has been kidnapped and wants him to help save her. Gokudo will not do so unless he pays him upfront. After doing so, sneaky Gokudo intends to go treat himself with the money. Djinn berates him for having no honour. They are attacked by knights. Although Gokudo defeats them, Djinn believes they are monsters since the way they disintegrate. Then the knight leader pops up. Apparently he wants Djinn. Gokudo is happy to give her. Unfortunately the baddie will kill him too. Gokudo flees so Djinn turns into a dragon and burns the baddie. All that is left is his magic sword. Gokudo is now its owner and it seems when he wishes for it, the sword can return to him. Unfortunately this despicable guy decides to sell it for a high price. Yup. Money matters. After doing so, he asks if there is a place for adventurers to hang out. He is told that the daughter of the king, Rubette La Lette has just been kidnapped so there is a big reward for her rescue, hence the gathering of many heroes and adventure seekers here. At this bar, Djinn is already drunk and entertaining the men. Because Gokudo mocks her, Djinn turns him into a woman! Now they have to dance for the men? Too bad some shadowy baddie puts them all the sleep. Gokudo and Djinn find themselves in a cell. Also with them are Asraga, Rubette and Mora. There is some seal so Djinn can’t turn Gokudo back. Asraga is shocked to realize this is Gokudo. He is into cross-dressing?! Uhm, do they accept trannies for sacrifice? Sacrifice? Yeah, that’s why they’re all kidnapped because girls are going to be sacrificed tomorrow in some ceremony.

Episode 2
They are shocked to learn this dungeon is within the king’s castle. The kidnappings are ordered by the king and sacrificing virgins is a ritual to replenish his power. Because Djinn remains useless (her powers can only be unlocked by her master), Gokudo gets this idea to summon that magic sword. With that, he busts out of prison. Rubette has sword skills, Mora’s hunter ability has them avoid traps and Asraga herbs can heal wounds. Wow. What a party. Now if Gokudo stops being a coward… They stumble into a guy who got caught into a castle trap, Seigi. He is supposed to come rescue the girls. Because he too has a magic sword, they think he is the legendary prince. Legend has it that when the king sold his soul to the devil, a prince will rise and save the people with his magic sword. So if Seigi has a magic sword, what does this makes of Gokudo’s magic sword then? They’re both from the same king’s sword. When the king’s knights pop up to destroy them, Mora reveals the truth that the king killed his own son. But Mora used her magic to revive him but some error has them split into Seigi and Gokudo. Huh? Hence both their swords are genuine magic swords. Mora then reverts to her true form, which is that old witch (Granny) and also Djinn’s master. 16 years ago she came to the castle to warn the king about the prince’s future and his but was thrown out and her warning ignored. Gokudo and Seigi power up their magic swords so the knights know they don’t stand a chance to defeat them and escape. Granny unseals Djinn’s power so he could turn back Gokudo into a man. But this counts as his first wish… Yeah, rules, rules, rules… The plan now is to defeat the king if they want to escape from this castle. Gokudo opts out until Granny tells him all the treasures in this castle can be his. You bet he is in. Granny also dupes Rubette by giving her a bow that shoots infinite arrows. She believes she is more reliable to defeat the king than Gokudo. You bet you can count on her to do that.

Episode 3
Evil clones come out from the mirror to abduct the girls. Before the king’s room, the knights pop up again to rid of them so as not to interrupt the ritual. Gokudo wonders why they’re doing all this since only the king benefits. Well, you get all the power and treasures in the universe! Gokudo is interested to they invite him to join their side. You’d think Gokudo accepts only because he is faking it. Turns out he actually defects! When he fights Seigi, both of them get hurt. Granny reveals since they are of the same soul, naturally hurting the other means hurting yourself. Yup, a dastardly plan to eliminate each other. Gokudo has had it and flees. The knights transform into dragons and fire away. Djinn protects Gokudo. OMG. Gokudo concerned and mad at this?! He unleashes some holy light when his sword clashes with Seigi’s, effectively destroying the dragons. Everybody soon becomes disappointed learning that Gokudo is only concerned for Djinn because he still hasn’t finished granting his wish. Once he is done, he can just die!!! Unbelievable… Inside the room, the king puts all of them to sleep. However this spell only works with those with a good heart. With Seigi still awake, this says a lot… So is Seigi going to fight the king alone? WTF he unleashes the biggest fart and wakes everybody up???!!! Because Granny is familiar with the king, it is revealed he is the Demon Lord taking over the king’s body. Also, Granny is married to the Demon Lord. Holy sh*t. So this is just one big marital spat? Gokudo isn’t interested and instead frolics himself with all the gold in the treasure room. With the Demon Lord so formidable, Seigi has no choice but to ask everyone to restrain Gokudo so he can clash their swords and shoot those holy lights. Eventually the Demon Lord is defeated and sealed back to the demon world. Gokudo frolics in gold while some cheesy romance happens between Seigi and Asraga. In the aftermath, Gokudo and Seigi both become double kings. This means a packed schedule for Gokudo as he has to attend meetings and parties. All dressed up nicely and on his best behaviour too. Djinn considers this his second wish granted so Gokudo decides his final wish to revert to his ordinary adventurer life. You sure? No regrets? Okay. Poof. Back to ol’ Gokudo again. Djinn’s role is over but lets him keep the stone for future use. Just in case. Gokudo leaves but it seems Rubette also wants to follow him. Bored of the royal life, she found her thrill in adventuring and wants him as her guide!

Episode 4
Arriving at the outskirts of the kingdom of Parmette, Gokudo accidentally slips off the cliff and dies! The end! Haha! Just kidding! He is now a ghost and there is this hot chick who claims she has been in love with him and watching him. She claims she can bring him back to life and gives him her magic mirror. When Gokudo wakes up, he is in the room of a poor magic student, Issa. He saved him but you bet Gokudo is ungrateful. Because Issa is clumsy and spills soup over him, he is forced to take him out to eat. Noticing the revelry outside, Issa explains that the kingdom’s princesses are of marrying age. Hence a race will be held as candidates will traverse through the desert filled with monsters, return with a relic from a tomb. Of course the candidates who can participate are only chosen by the princesses. At a restaurant, the owner views Issa as a loser and doesn’t want to serve him. Gokudo won’t take this and announces himself as the heir of the Eschallatto Empire. Nobody believes him and laughs. He summons Djinn as proof. However this is only a shell of his as the real Djinn is away at the demon world. When Issa tries to stop Gokudo from picking fights, the magic mirror falls out. It is that hot chick and she is the third Princess Coco. She starts flirting with Gokudo and announces he is her candidate for the race. The winner of the race is bestowed power by the goddess. Rubette doesn’t want Gokudo to participate but since he heard that buzzword, you bet he is going to participate. Coco mocks Rubette for being jealous so Rubette leaves by herself. The race begins as Issa wants to be Gokudo’s guide, claiming he can help navigate the desert. Gokudo doesn’t need him and even blackmails him to pay 100 gold if he really wants to follow him. Issa relents since he also needs to hand in his thesis (he is doing research on the monsters). Along the way, a Chinese dumpling guy attacks Gokudo. Apparently Gokudo owes him money and never paid for the dumplings he ate at his store. This dumpling guy is also the servant of Ya Sager, the candidate for the second Princess Keruna. Since Gokudo won’t pay up, he burps his garlic breath! But Gokudo goes one step better! He farts in his face!!! WTF?! Of course Ya Sager wants to eliminate his competitor and since he is the royal mage for the Parmette royalty, he blasts Gokudo with his magic!

Episode 5
Dumpling guy turns into… A cow?! Ya Sager realizes something messed with his magic. But now they have to deal with… A sand parrot? WTF this hybrid monster? Gokudo gets partially petrified. Ya Sager doesn’t have enough magic to save him and Issa doesn’t know any spell to undo it. So Issa and Ya Sager combine what they have to blast away the sand parrot. When Gokudo comes to, he is healed thanks to Ya Sager. Heck, he even made a tent for him although he himself has departed. As Gokudo feasts on Coco’s food, he asks about the other competitor. First princess Elma’s candidate is a knight on a unicorn? Looks like he is here. Hey, a talking unicorn! The knight can’t speak because of some spell making him a mute and hence horsey here speaking on his behalf. Both fight and Gokudo looks like he has the upper hand when the unicorn intervenes to break the fight. He advises that the hybrid monsters only move during the day and if he wants to know more about the truth, ask the Star of Dawn. Gokudo continues his journey, stumbling into many weird hybrid monsters. Then Ya Sager meets up with him. He suggests they team up to find the source that is messing up their magic and causing the natural monsters of the desert to become hybrid. Of course Gokudo is not interested. Now they arrive at the tomb but they must pass the Sphinx’s riddle. Because Gokudo is being arrogant, the Sphinx gives a hard one. Bring back a moon drop. Failure to do so means she will eat you! Ya Sager thinks of summoning the Demon Lord for help, a reunion Gokudo doesn’t want. But thanks to the messed up magic, he summoned a demon monk kid instead, Ikkyu. Gokudo then kidnaps Ikkyu and wants him to retrieve the moon drop for him. Sure, but Gokudo must give his soul. Gokudo won’t do that. Instead, he can have Issa’s soul! Devilish! Ikkyu likes that part of him. It’s a deal. Ya Sager berates Gokudo for his unethical behaviour and unfit to be a ruler. When he talks about the Daybreak Star given by the goddess as blessing and that mark on the forehead indicates possession of a great power, Gokudo then connects the dots. He calls out Coco and forces her to tell the truth about the messed up magic and all. Of course she tries to play dumb but he knows that the Daybreak Star and Star of Dawn are in reference to her.

Episode 6
After much bugging, Coco reveals that Parmette is going through a crisis. The magic protecting it is disappearing. The source is this desert and one day all the monsters just disappeared. Isn’t this good? Nope. The monsters are a tourist attraction for Parmette. Furthermore, the goddess is sealed, indicating some power is trying to take over this kingdom. The king tries to solve this secretly and so as not to worry the people, hence this race was continued to be held. Prophecy said that a traveller will help save this kingdom. That’s Gokudo, right? Of course he isn’t interested. Ya Sager drops out of the race so he could go help. After much bugging, Gokudo still refuses so Issa tries to shoot him with his fireball. Gokudo deflects but it hits the Sphinx. Bad mood. She’s going to kill them when Ikkyu returns. The moon drop is sealed in this special vial. If opened it turns into normal water. The Sphinx thinks he is bluffing and wants him to go get proof but Ikkyu is smarter because the Sphinx can only ask 1 riddle. With that, the Sphinx just let them into the tomb. Just then, the knight and unicorn just arrive. Inside the tomb, Gokudo is captured. It’s that dumpling dude cooking dumplings for mummies?! WTF?! There’s some explanation how he got in here but I don’t really get it. The truth rears its ugly head when Coco and Issa are shown to be in cohorts. Plus, they are lovers. The real prophecy said that the traveller has to sacrifice his life to save the kingdom. That’s Gokudo, right? At this point, Gokudo allows Ikkyu to take Issa’s soul as part of the bargain. Issa is dead and Coco gets mad. She tries to kill him but is promptly knocked out by the knight who turns out to be Rubette in disguise. I guess the unicorn was smart enough to answer the Sphinx’s question. Then they head to the room with another puzzle. Trying to decipher the puzzle, it ends up both of them arguing and Rubette kicking Gokudo. Apparently that is supposed to be the solution. Huh? A secret door opens. Giant bats attack Gokudo. Rubette and the unicorn go ahead and leave the selfish bastard in a lurch.

Episode 7
Gokudo rides a bat into the next room? Whatever. However there is a dragon guarding it. Luckily it is Djinn in disguise. Something about this is his part time job since the kingdom lacked manpower to guard the relic? Rubette changes her story, claiming she was finding a way out instead of ditching him. Speaking about why Gokudo’s sword didn’t respond to him, it is believed it is sealed inside the treasure room. Djinn leads them in while they leave the unicorn to guard the relic. Uhm, lots of guards waiting for them. Even more so, Coco still wants revenge over Issa’s death. Djinn intervenes and wants to hear to whole story as he plays mediator since both sides are accusing each other of deceiving the other. Learning that Ikkyu was involved, Djinn summons him. He orders Ikkyu to give back Issa’s soul since it is against the law to take a soul without that person’s permission. You mean there’s such a rule in the demon world? Anyway, Issa is back to life. Coco doesn’t like how everyone belittles her Issa so Djinn poses the question if Issa would be happy as king. Issa agrees that he won’t be happy as one. As long as he can continue his monster research, that’s all he needs. With this affair solved, Gokudo is now free to reclaim his sword. Can’t resist trying to steal some treasures, eh? Better check him before he leaves… Regarding the race, if Keruna and Coco are disqualified, this leaves Elma. But because Rubette is a woman, she definitely isn’t the candidate. This means the unicorn is the one? Ikkyu then hints that the unicorn has a true identity. He is actually Prince Niari and the only son of the Demon Lord and Granny. To sum it up shortly, he is a liar and a player. Just like Gokudo. Oh boy. It’s already bad we have one and now another? When they return to the relic room, Niari is gone and so is the relic.

Episode 8
Gokudo doesn’t want any part of this as usual. But Djinn claims he has stolen some treasure and will overlook this if he helps. Otherwise he’ll be thrown into prison for the rest of his life. When Niari returns to the palace, he admits he was the one who sealed the goddess and will take over this kingdom. When Gokudo and co arrive, they see the palace destroyed and many injured. Niari has also kidnapped the princesses. Gokudo and Ikkyu are fooling around with some strange item. This causes a fairy to pop out. This is the goddess? Because her powers are sealed, she is also amnesiac. But she claims Gokudo is the hero who will save Parmette. She follows the strong power source that leads them to a tower where Niari is holing up. They can’t get in so Ikkyu bluffs his way for Niari to open the barrier by claiming he brought Rubette for him. This prince is interested in human chicks so he thinks Rubette wants to join his harem as he opens his barrier. The princesses are being mind controlled to love him. When Rubette rejects this jerk and fires her arrow, Niari is going to teach them a lesson as he summons his mecha! Holy cow! Is this cheating?! Gokudo and co’s attack don’t do anything much. At this point, the goddess regains some of her powers. She claims she knows a way to completely break the seal. She wants Gokudo to kiss him. Oh yeah. He wants more but the goddess claims it is enough. You sure? Because the goddess turns into her true form: GRANNY!!! OMFG! Gokudo just died! So this is the ‘sacrifice’?! With Granny regaining her powers, she destroys the mecha. In the aftermath, Niari is stripped of his magic and must face the consequences in the human world. Granny offers to rebuild Parmette and also nominates Ya Sager as the next king for his selflessness. Then everybody sings praises of Gokudo’s ‘sacrifice’ and will tell future generations of his heroics. Of course Gokudo won’t have that and revives! As reward for saving Parmette, I guess now they’ve got Ya Sager’s flying horse, Pegasus. Also, Niari is tagging along since Gokudo is made to be his guardian. More misadventures coming up…

Episode 9
Gokudo opens a box… And becomes old! Does this story feel familiar? This box of course belongs to Otohime and to get his youth back, they have to travel to Inaho and seek and audience with the Dragon God. I guess gods and demons use a different system of magic so Djinn can’t change Gokudo back. Oh, gods and demons don’t get along too so they must hide all their powers as well as Djinn turning himself and Pegasus into human form to avoid suspicions. At the port, because nobody is willing to lend them a boat, Gokudo’s grand idea is to wait till night fall and steal one. They do so but apparently no boats are out at the dock. In his frustration, he throws a stone which hits a turtle, Nini. Learning that she is a maid of the royal court of the underwater palace, Gokudo tries to get on her good side to introduce him to the Dragon God. But she gets annoyed since she can’t lay her eggs. Gokudo tries to fight her but his age won’t let him. Nini then summons this giant fire breathing turtle to get back at them. Gokudo plays dirty by taking Nini hostage. But then an army of, uhm, Ninja Turtles arrive to take them into custody. In the underwater palace, they meet the Dragon God. He reverts Gokudo’s age back to normal but this will only last for a week. In return, they must find his stolen magic sphere which is the source of his powers. Failure to do so means Gokudo will return being an old man. Regarding the person who stole his magic sphere, his sister is investigating and has some leads. They are to meet her at Fire Land where she is worshipped as the sun goddess. Because Niari insists he wants to see Otohime, Dragon God summons her. This babe… Is an ugly giant!!! I think that’s the fastest way to grow old too!

Episode 10
Otohime takes a liking for Niari and wants to marry him! He tries to give excuse that he needs to go on a mission but Dragon God allows him to stay. Oh God. Otohime won’t let him sleep tonight… And Gokudo laughing his ass off… The rest head out for the mission and meet up with a priest, Nihi who guides them to see Nano. But upon arrival, it looks like the sun goddess is in a bad mood. You can tell when the place is all dark and she has holed herself up in some cave. Of course Gokudo cannot wait until she is in good mood and tries to force his way in. Well, if only he can move the boulder closing the cave mouth. He lets Pegasus do it while the rest feast on the offerings for Nano. Djinn gets drunk and Rubette can’t stop singing. Yeah, horrible singer. Gokudo then lets out the smelliest fart. That is when the boulder opens. You bet Nano is going to complain about that stinker. Eh? Nano is a little chibi bratty girl?! She also has an attitude so you bet she is going to lock horns with Gokudo and throw tantrums. Nano can tell Djinn is also a deity but from a foreign land. They are called Hotoke and are now worshipped in Inaho. Then she narrates some tragic story how their Higashi and Hanishi tribes escaped to the south of Inaho. Gokudo understands it all as they embarrassingly lost some battle. Gokudo then summons his sword just to prove his superiority. Rubette’s ability to talk to animals has her finding out that the magic sphere is somewhere in Inaho. With that, Nano announces she wants to join in this mission. Otherwise she’ll throw a tantrum.

Episode 11
Trekking through the forests, they fight off spiders with demon faces? After a tough fight, Gokudo spanks Nano for still being a brat. She starts crying and the weather turns bad. Fortunately or not, it only affects him. When they get to the seaside town, they see the villagers gathering. Who this mermaid? Eh? Niari?! Turns out Otohime turned him into one to suit her taste and he subsequently escaped. The villagers turn on them thinking they will bring bad luck because previously there was a fox with a ball that came by. Believing it could be the magic sphere, they head to the shrine at the foot of the mountains. Because Djinn continues to act strange and Nano and Nihi know they are from the demon world, Niari gives the green light to tell Rubette and Gokudo the truth. A princess was torn between some demon and a god of Hotoke. But she went with the demon and because the Hotoke felt rejected, he held grudges. You might think it is a romantic story. Turns out that princess is Granny! Oh sh*t! Hence Djinn accuses Nano and Nihi of trying to use them to get back. Then Fox God appears. As you would expect, because she’s such a hot babe, Gokudo and Niari compete for her. Unfortunately she is just a projection as she hints her real body is being held captive by the Hotoke at Inaho’s capital. On the way there, they learn Prince Tsukiha is down with a strange illness. Rumours have it that he is being possessed by a fox spirit. Niari gets this idea to disguise as a doctor with magic to treat him. They are then confronted by a pair of deities, Aa and Un. Uhm, they do their specialty of telling jokes. Nobody finds it funny except Pegasus. Once that is done, they start fighting and their goal is to capture Nano for trying to use these demon people to get the magic sphere.

Episode 12
Aa and Un hypnotizes them till they pass out. When they come to, they realize Nano has been kidnapped. Because Gokudo and Niari aren’t interested in rescuing her, Djinn and Pegasus take this mission while the rest head to the capital. Using Gokudo as a sick patient, Niari disguises as a doctor to heal his wounds. This attracts everyone who wants their sickness or injuries healed. This also catches the attention of a court official. Sneaky Gokudo has him pay upfront an introduction fee if he wants this magic doctor. In the palace, they talk to Prince Hanayo and it seems the emperor will have them rest first. Hanayo then talks to Gokudo because the emperor is interested in Rubette. Gokudo doesn’t care about her and will let them do as he please, shocking them. So Gokudo tells Rubette she is wanted. Look at that emperor’s rape face… Of course Rubette beats the crap out of him. With the gang arguing, the guards arrive. They are about to arrest them for this atrocity but the fox spirit whisks them away to Tsukiha’s room. It seems Tsukiha and the fox spirit are happily coexisting and in love with each other. It seems the fox spirit stole the magic sphere from Hotoke but because they were persistent, she was forced to hide with Tsukiha. Now that they have become one, if Tsukiha dies, the magic sphere will also die. Hence they have bonded so close now that they love each other. Tsukiha knows the magic sphere is the source of the problem as the gods are also fighting over it for unlimited power. So the gods are not all that powerful? He can’t confide in Hanayo as he has sided with the gods and is trying to take the emperor’s place. Tsukiha gives the magic sphere to Gokudo. Then Hanayo comes in and wants it handed over. He has taken Nihi hostage. Hanayo is appalled that Gokudo and Rubette don’t care about each other and have no trust. When he lectures them about bonds and justice, they laugh off at his naivety. Nihi then reverts to his true form. He is actually the Dragon God in disguise. Oh, Hanayo also transforms into his true form. He is the Hotoke, Indra. Gokudo makes a run for it and won’t give the magic sphere, leading to a wild chase. Gokudo manages to give everyone the slip. Now what to do with this magic sphere…

Episode 13
It’s a battle royale among everybody to find Gokudo and get the magic sphere. Meanwhile Djinn finds Nano locked in a tower. He lets her escape but they have to get away from Aa and Un. Those bozos in their bid to chase after Djinn and Nano, stumble into Gokudo. Fearing they would get scolded by Indra, they even pay Gokudo gold so as to let him tell Nano’s whereabouts. That stupid, huh? Of course Indra is here. Gokudo runs away with all the gold he can carry until Indra corners and captures him. That won’t be long until Dragon God comes back into the scene for another fight, allowing Gokudo to escape once more. This time he bumps into Rubette. Also at this time, he is starting to grow old. WTF he doesn’t care about growing old as long as he has the magic sphere? The Dragon King and Indra fire all they’ve got at Gokudo. He takes a direct hit! OMG! Gokudo dead?! Djinn crying over his dead body and confesses he loves this dude despite being a snivelling bastard! Even Rubette is mad and is about to get her revenge when Gokudo revives! Thanks to the magic sphere protecting him. Nano tries to snatch it from him but the tug of war results in the magic sphere being broke into 2. It was that fragile? Now to gods and Hotoke are panicking. It’s the end of the world. Their world. You see, the magic sphere contains powers that allows them to stay on Earth. Now that it is broken, they can no longer be around. A vortex sucks them all back up to heaven. Now Gokudo wants his youth back? Too late. Yup, an old geezer now. But wait. He turns back young! Because the gods and Hotoke are gone, this means their curse is also lifted. Phew. With no more gods ruling the world, Gokudo is pleased that humans can do anything they want. Heh. It’s no different for Gokudo, right? So he swims in the sea butt naked. And Rubette sings her heart out… Oh God… God has abandoned us!

Episode 14
Gokudo robbing people, Niari chasing after girls and Rubette picking fights with men? The gods have truly abandoned us! Because they are acting like demons, that folklore kid, Momotaro comes by to defeat them. They underestimate him since he is small and chibi. Something happened as everybody gets blasted across the sea. When Gokudo comes to, he is in the hospitality of Ikkyu and his master, Tei who is some ghost reformer? It soon dawns to Gokudo that he is in Rubette’s body! He takes advantage of his female status to get food. When Gokudo introduces himself using his real name, Ikkyu is frightened that it is the same name as a certain ‘monster’. Plus, there is another monster called Goku running around rampaging the city with fire. Hmm… Could be somebody in Gokudo’s body…Tei and Ikkyu are on their way to fight this villain and it seems Ikkyu has already reformed. But Gokudo’s evil plan is to kidnap Ikkyu, turn him back to evil so that he could get his own body back. Meanwhile Rubette is sad because she is in Djinn’s body. Oh, this magic book. Let’s see what transformation magic can be done. Djinn on the other hand is in Niari’s body. He is picked up by a pair of beautiful sisters, Rayuka and Shikinka. They treat him with great sake and food. But of course there is an ulterior motive as they spiked his drink. The real Niari? He is in a monkey’s body and is being a playboy with other female monkeys! Tei and Gokudo arrive at the village. But the mayor tells them that Goku has been treating people nicely instead. He just wants the monster scared away since it is harmless. That night, Gokudo tries to steal Tei’s urn (where Ikkyu is kept) but is caught red-handed. Suddenly a monster (elephant? Penguin?) knocks Tei out and kidnaps Gokudo.

Episode 15
Gokudo doesn’t understand what the monster is telling him so he thought of releasing Ikkyu but opened the wrong urn. Who this Panda hermit?! Asking his help to find his real body, the moment he hears about Goku, Panda becomes scared and doesn’t want to do this anymore. At this point, Tei and the villagers come to attack but the monster fights back and escape. They are then picked up by the sisters. Of course Gokudo eats all he wants so the monster isn’t happy he is getting somebody’s body fat. A weird chase as the monster tries to take away all the food. The sisters then put them to sleep. When they wake up, they find Djinn with them. It is then revealed the monster is actually Rubette! She tried to transform into a dragon but this was what happened. Gokudo makes fun of her body and doesn’t even give a damn about it. Oh Rubette, you gonna beat up your own body like that? Then they realize they have been shrunk into doll size and are made to be the sisters’ play dolls. What’s this about their pet Momo who devours souls? Gokudo needs Ikkyu’s help but he got Panda again. Forcing him to use some repellent magic, Panda instead uses his magic mirror to absorb but instead it turns the house into a giant carnivorous plant. So this is Momo? Now awakened, Momo is hungry and wants to eat. You guys better run! In the sisters’ flying cloud car, they reveal Momo was once a small cute pet but grew too big. So they put it to sleep by turning it into their house and feed it souls of travellers once a week. They are going to Horai Mountain where a sage lives who might help revert their size back to normal and also switch back their bodies. But first they have to escape from hungry Momo. This plant can fly? Anyway after dodging all its acid attacks, Gokudo starts blaming Panda. That is when Panda realizes he was holding the mirror in the wrong direction. This time, the mirror absorbs Momo. The sisters don’t want Momo anymore and throws the mirror away. Okay, now onwards to Horai! But the cloud car has taken damage and it is free falling.

Episode 16
Luckily they fall into some natural hotspring. This turns Rubette back into Djinn’s body. Because she still isn’t happy and after much bugging, Djinn uses his magic to turn her into a hot Chinese chick. Yeah, this looks better, right? The sisters want Panda to guide them to Horai since Rayuka’s fiancé never returned. However Horai isn’t just any place where anybody can go as it is located in another dimension. Only qualified sages can do so. The sisters get this idea to get Jiki to come over here to bring them over. However when they enter the cave, Jiki is not around but Ikkyu! He’s been waiting for them and is back to his devilish ways because of the hotspring effect. As they talk about their swapped bodies (all of them have to be together if they want to revert back), here comes a monkey in Gokudo’s body. Panda points out this is not Goku as that one is real fearsome. Then they realize that Niari could be Goku as he could be stuck in a monkey’s body. This is getting complicated. Ikkyu then remembers Niari has been here before because he was asking to Horai. So it’s in this pot? Time to go down. They arrive in this creepy Horai place. Some call it hell… Guess who is running a business here? It’s that dumpling guy! Of course the monkey causes havoc by eating for free. Dumpling guy tries to get him but stumbles into Djinn (remember he is in Niari’s body). Remembering he is a wanted man, he calls the guards to arrest him. Gokudo gets sneaky. He uses his feminine charms to convince the guards to pay him the reward, leaving the dumpling dude all sad. Gokudo then wants Panda to use his crystal ball to find Niari but Panda gets sneaky and wants him to pay up for more info. Gokudo is sneakier because he distracts Panda and fills the reward bag with stone instead. Looking through the crystal ball, they see this evil monkey. It could be Niari is playing as Goku. He is at Yama Palace who is the caretaker of Horai. The prince is no other than Tei who is also Rayuka’s fiancé. So she never thought he was a prince of the underworld? As no humans can get near the palace, Ikkyu comes up with an idea. He holds a concert and introduces the Chingensai Sisters as idols. Rayuka, Shikinka, Rubette and Gokudo… Yes you, Gokudo.

Episode 17
The crowd loves the Chingensai Sisters. It’s mind boggling since Rubette is tone deaf… After their part is done, Panda is up next doing some magic trick. The crowd doesn’t like him and boos him. Chingensai Sisters return to the stage and with Panda being mean to Gokudo, he screams for help so all the unruly fans hop on stage for a free for all. Yeah, the girls getting molested too so Rubette starts beating them up. As they run, they stumble into a talking tree. Joka is a powerful high ranking wizard and offers to hide them but with Gokudo being rude, she changes her mind. But Rayuka and Shikinka plead for mercy, she lets them in. Gokudo drinks some water inside and the sisters warn him too late that it would turn somebody into a sage. Well, if you qualify to be one. And if you don’t? Oh, something is happening to his body… Gokudo passes out and when he wakes up, only the monkey is with him. He goes outside and realizes he can communicate with animals. But how come he can’t understand what the monkey says? This means this is no ordinary monkey and must be Goku. Suddenly they are attacked by Garuda, a servant of Sanzo the monk. They are saved by Jiki who stuck some delusional bamboo in it. Off it flies to Mars? Reuniting with the rest, Jiki then explains about Goku. A monkey ate some immortality peach and caused all kinds of mischiefs after attaining god-like powers. All the sages imprisoned him in a huge rock but recently a meteorite smashed into it and might have awakened Goku. It is assumed the meteorite could be Niari and hence the swap. Because Sanzo is gathering monsters and planning something, what would happen if Goku follows Sanzo? Jiki uses a banana as bait to fish out Goku. But it is Panda who took the bait. Knowing that Niari will not be deceived by a mere banana, what would be the most appropriate bait? Yup, Gokudo! He is in Rubette’s body, right? Rubette must have mixed feelings right now.

Episode 18
Gokudo enters a land with talking monkeys! Threatening them, they take them to their boss who is of course Niari in Goku’s body. But Niari seems to be hiding from somebody. Goku’s wife! This gorilla is going apes that Niari is cheating on her! Even more so with ‘Rubette’ here. Yeah, she’s getting violent. Gokudo signals to Jiki to fish him out. Niari being Niari continues to be flirty as he tries to hit on Rayuka and Shikinka. Rubette senses something amiss when she tries to guess who is in whose body. Then they all realize this monkey in Gokudo’s body isn’t Goku. The real person behind this is Sanzo. Even so, this is not Gokudo’s real body and is just a puppet. The real body is being controlled somewhere else. When they try to attack Sanzo, Gokudo feels pain. As long as the puppet’s curse is activated, if you hurt the body, the original soul of that body will also feel the pain. So nobody can hurt anybody, huh? What does Gokudo do? Protect Sanzo, of course! Sanzo then wants to turn them into his servants and sends them to hell. It seems only Gokudo is feeling all the pain as he is in the body of a human. The rest aren’t human or their bodies aren’t so they don’t feel the hot or cold. Finally they arrive at the desert. Without magic here, Jiki and the sisters revert to their true forms: A turtle and snakes respectively. Then they see Djinn and Pegasus. They don’t respond. In fact, they have become retards! It seems the longer you spend time here, the more you’ll risk becoming retards. Then a hot chick comes up to Djinn (remember, he is in Niari’s body). It seems she is glad she has finally found him.

Episode 19
Jiki recognizes her as Nanya, a servant of the Queen West. She lends them her white tiger fur coat said to help deflect the curse of the desert. Yeah, everybody scrambling to get under it. Nanya leads the gang out of the desert but remains distant with them. She is only helping them because they are Djinn’s friends. Because Djinn is still a retard, Nanya continues to feel sad for his case. Cue for flashback. As Djinn was taken away by the guards, they stumble into Nanya. Learning she is the Queen West’s servant, they attack her. Djinn helps to fight back and escape. Then they encounter King Yama and his monsters. They too attack them but since their numbers are overwhelming, he stayed back to buy her time to escape and get help from his friends, namely Gokudo. Safe to say at this point Nanya has fallen for Djinn. Now that she has found him, her plan is to take her to Konron Mountain and hopes Queen West can cure his state with her supernatural power. Next morning, Nanya and Djinn are gone, leaving the rest deserted. However as Jiki points out, they are already at Konron. Its mist can leave travellers lost if not careful. Also at this point, Gokudo has got used to Rubette’s body so he doesn’t mind staying as her for a while. Because he can make money as an idol! Conveniently here comes Tei. WTF this guy wants to continue his kiss with Gokudo?! Of course Rayuka and Shikinka won’t allow this. Haven’t forgotten he is engaged to the former, huh? You bet they’re going to make him explain himself for this cheating. Then they force him to lead them to the palace since he is Yama’s son. It get worse for him as the rest discover idol merchandises of Rubette (Gokudo). Creepy, huh? How do you like having your first biggest fan? Gokudo throws out all those stuffs. Because Queen West has been captured and being guarded heavily inside the palace, Yama is indiscriminately shooting anybody down who gets near. More woes because Panda is pregnant and going into labour?! Yeah, some weird egg he ate in the desert. I don’t think Tei’s driving skills is evading the beams like a pro. They’re all bad shooters. Thankfully some white light teleports them elsewhere and Panda finally gives birth to… A monster?!

Episode 20
Well, it’s actually a baby Gokudo! He can talk and is an arrogant brat! But when he sees Niari, he wants his body back. This proves this baby is Goku! Meanwhile Queen West chides Nanya for doing this. Even so, Nanya pleads to her to save Djinn and she’ll do anything she asks. Queen West uses her power to bring the gang here. However Gokudo and Goku remains sceptical of her. Because Nanya has fled with Djinn, this means they cannot begin the ritual to return to their original bodies. Remember, all of them must be present. It is believed Nanya is under Sanzo’s power and Sanzo’s plan is to take over the Hotoke. So part of his plan was to summon them here to get rid of the Hotoke after hearing of what they did in Inaho even if it isn’t entirely their doing. Queen West tried to stop him and hence her interfering power was what caused them to swap souls. Gokudo is upset that this is her fault and blames her that she is doing this all for herself. Is he speaking from his selfish experience? Gokudo wants her to go get Djinn but she can’t leave this place, citing house arrest, He tries to attack her but she easily fends him off. The rest try the same but to no avail. Then Tei pleads to them to help save his father. It seems Yama too is under Sanzo’s spell. He noticed Yama was acting weird after meeting Sanzo so he stole an egg he was keeping for Sanzo in hopes he would come back. Of course inside that egg was Goku and perhaps Sanzo failed when he tried to get his soul into Gokudo’s body. Goku remembers Sanzo making a strange doll (that monkey) but complained he couldn’t separate the soul from the body. It is theorized that because separation is impossible if the soul is from a different body, Sanzo ended up reluctantly controlling the monkey and trapped Goku inside an egg after making the doll. It could be the same case for Yama. That night, Queen West sees Niari and gives him a key to some Miroku device that will save the universe. From what I understand, it turns misfortunes into happiness by repairing any imbalance. You bet Niari and Goku want to take this mission by themselves and not tell the rest. After they leave, Queen West tells the rest that Niari and Goku have left. Gokudo is impatient to go after them but it seems the rest has a better way to sneak into Yama Palace. Oh yeah. It’s the return of Chingensai Sisters.

Episode 21
If Gokudo said he is more than happy to be an idol, why is he not looking forward to this concert? I guess there’s no money in this, huh? And so we see recycled scenes of Chingensai Sisters on stage. Then there’s the handshake event but they are approached by Sanzo’s men, Hakkai and Gojou to pick them up and go see the monk himself. Sanzo claims that West Queen has tricked and brainwashed them into thinking he is the bad guy. It is her who has the ulterior motive. He shows Djinn and Nanya being confined in Queen West’s prison. Niari and Goku are having a feast with babes in the next room. The guys quickly defect and join this party while the women are furious and remain sceptical. Sanzo will show his goodwill by returning them to their rightful bodies. He starts with Gokudo but some slip up has him shoot his beam at Tei who then turns into an egg. Now that they know Sanzo is lying, they fight him but everybody gets turned into an egg. Only Gokudo, Ikkyu and Goku are left so they escape. They even have time to argue that they deserve to get that device. Arriving in a room with lots of eggs, they throw them at their enemies. It hatch lots of monsters who were forcibly turned into eggs. Then they bump into a giant egg that turns out to be Yama. Yama learns what is going on and tells them the location of the device. Sanzo desperately tries to warn them it is not what they think but you think Gokudo is going to listen at this point? Yama stalls them as they get to the device below. After inserting a key, a giant Buddha appears. It then begins to suck in everything. It seems this is the final weapon of the Hotoke. Because the Hotoke want fairness, hence everything will be return to nothingness. So nothingness = happiness? Not the kind of happiness that Gokudo wants. What to do? Everybody gets sucked in!

Episode 22
Inside this giant, Gokudo and co see an awakened Miroku. Gokudo and Goku argue to let Miroku grant their happiness. When Miroku asks their definition of happiness, here comes Sanzo to denounce whatever Miroku is going to do. He claims Miroku is not supposed to wake up for another 5.6 billion years. By that time, humans might not exist anymore. Even so, the Hotoke will not have a reason to wake him up. Sanzo believes he is created out of Hotoke’s pure arrogance. When Sanzo met Queen West, they talked about salvation but the latter didn’t believe the Hotoke will save humans now despite they are suffering. This is why their promised salvation is so far in the future. In the end, the gods and Hotoke never had plans to save humans. They are just doing so that they could control humans at their convenience in the future. That is when Sanzo had a thought. He should become mankind’s saviour! Why does that me him sound like a villain? Gokudo becomes impatient with this and wants Miroku to quickly grant happiness. So Gokudo’s definition of happiness is free food? Miroku finds him interesting and wants to look from his point of view. Gokudo looks like he has returned to his body but it is a just a light illusion from Miroku. With them still arguing about happiness, Miroku now doubts if he can do that since he is unwanted by everyone. Gokudo then tells him off to stop being a Hotoke and do as he wishes. You don’t say. Because Miroku now wants to fuse with Gokudo’s soul and see the world through his eyes! Now Sanzo wants that too? Too bad Miroku chooses Gokudo. A sore Sanzo won’t lose out so he uses the device to go beyond God. Uhm, can you go beyond God? I’m so confused. So now he is controlling the statue and trying to destroy everything? As usual, Gokudo runs away but since Miroku is inhabiting him, he forces him to turn around and fight. Gokudo remembers he drank Joka’s holy water. This has Joka popping up because it’s like he summoned her? Her true form is a giant serpent and was cursed to become a tree. Because Gokudo called for her, the curse is broken. Huh? How does this simple thing even work?! Joka fights Sanzo but he is spewing souls to fight on his behalf. Kill them and they die. Luckily, there is Ikkyu to suck them all up. Sanzo turns his attention to destroy humans. With Gokudo wanting to kick Sanzo’s ass, Miroku understands how he feels. Believing those who try to rule others in the name of God is despicable, Miroku turns into some missile flame and launches himself into Sanzo. He is going to send Sanzo to see God as he wishes. And just like that, they go to heaven. Phew. I’m glad the complication to destroy the world is over. Gokudo returns to Rubette’s body and Nanya is seen charging at them.

Episode 23
It seems Nanya is jealous of Gokudo? Rather, she wants Rubette’s body so she can be with Djinn forever. Because Nanya’s body will return into a white tiger someday, possessing Rubette’s body means she can forever remain human. This is so we can have some weird comical fight and dodge scene. Right before Nanya kills Gokudo, Djinn got his sanity back and stops her from doing the unthinkable. Nanya repents her ways and we have this weird cheesy love thingy going on between them. Interrupted when Goku gets kidnapped by Sanzo. Isn’t this dude supposed to be dead? Yeah, he wants to drag Gokudo down to hell with him. And so he turns into a monster to attack them. Nobody can attack him because each attack he absorbs, he becomes stronger. Then when all of them are clinging on to Djinn who is clinging onto the ledge, Nanya is possessed by Sanzo as she tries to kick them down to their doom. Only, Nanya’s conscious is stronger so she jumps off herself. All for nought because the ledge gives way. Free fall! But thankfully Miroku’s light saves them all. He finally tosses Sanzo into the black hole, supposedly the door to the underworld. But he warns if this hole isn’t sealed, it might collide with their world and bring disaster. Only Joka can do it. So Gokudo reluctantly calls Joka to do the same. She seals up the hole and it’s goodbye to everybody. Everyone wakes up back at Queen West’s place. She mentions all this was just a test to see if Nanya would inherit Konron but apparently she failed as she gave into her desires. Gokudo wants Ikkyu to call Granny to switch back all their bodies since everybody is here. When Ikkyu calls her, Queen West’s phone rings. Oh no. Queen West turns out to be Granny in disguise! She has trolled us for the last time! A simple magic returns everyone to their original bodies. Man, it’s going to take some time to see Rubette in her own body again… Nanya still loves Djinn because of his soul. Granny suggests they go on a journey together as Nanya has still lots to learn. And Gokudo… He is a little baby! Oh boy. Going to take a few more years for him to grow up. Even as a baby he is so selfish and bratty. Some things never change. In the aftermath, Shikinka went solo as an idol. Jiki and Panda become her side entertainers? Tei marries Rayuka and they both entered some construction business. The rest journey to Yamu to find the Spring of Life for Gokudo.

Episode 24
A tribe is worshipping the Fire God, Ryu Gee as they let the fire burn before the Spring of Fire. Because Gokudo and co are flying over, they think it is their rival tribe that worships the moon goddess, Negana Luna. It’s amazing how their puny arrows can make them lose their balance. Gokudo and Rubette fall off but a giant black bird saves them. Riding it is a little girl, Lee Ho who brings them back to her moon tribe village. She believes Gokudo is the Holy Infant who will help save Negana Luna. You see, the Spring of Fire was previously the Spring of Life until Ryu Gee took over. So basically in order to turn the spring back, they need to find a maiden as a host for Negana Luna and they have to conduct the ritual using this necklace. The original host, Kikue got possessed by Ryu Gee and Lee Ho herself is too young to be qualified. Of course sneaky Gokudo offers Rubette who has been out cold ever since. Each time she wakes up, he knocks her back to slumber. That night as they sneak to the Spring of Fire, a guard attacks them. Gokudo has a hard time fighting him off until he cracks his mask. His gaze upon the moon causes him to black out. Using the necklace, Gokudo must summon 4 magical items from what he sees in the necklace that will aid in the spring’s resurrection. Firstly, something that flies. Pegasus with Niari on it? Next, a snake. Shikinka? Sorry to cut your idol performance short. Third, something from the wilderness. A tiger. Like, Nanya. Finally, something that breathes fire. Thinking Djinn in dragon form would be it but it turns out to be Gokudo’s sword. With everything in place, Negana Luna now possesses Rubette as she returns the Spring of Life to what it was. Happy Gokudo dips in and returns to his adult size. Before he wants to monopolize this spring and make a fortune out of it, Ryu Gee pops out to attack them. Lee Ho is distraught because she is supposed to be her mom. But Negana Luna easily owns her and Ryu Gee who is possessing her leaves her body and takes a form of his own. Is he a dragon or crocodile with wings? Gokudo charges at him but gets eaten!

Episode 25
Ryu Gee disappears while Negana Luna falls into an unconscious state. Kikue explains Ryu Gee and Negana Luna were both gods of the night and day respectively. Their authority was equally divided until Ryu Gee tried to eradicate Negana Luna. But now both gods are trying to take over their human hosts and Kikue is in a dilemma as her tribe has always been worshipping and passing down Negana Luna’s teachings. Gokudo finds himself in the dream world whereby Ryu Gee tries to convince him to be possessed by the Fire God forever. Of course Gokudo won’t allow that. Stranger, Ryu Gee tries to force himself inside Gokudo but just can’t. Thus Gokudo sees visions of all the past characters he crossed before. Time to get their payback. With Gokudo remembering his entire life is one big misfortune, Ryu Gee tries to convince him to give up and let him take over. But you know Gokudo. He won’t budge an inch. He isn’t going to ask for help even when he has fallen. Meanwhile, Rubette is also in the dream world and Negana Luna is also trying to possess her. However she fights her way and wakes up. Everyone is shocked to learn that Rubette actually possessed Negana Luna instead. As proof, she has got a mark on her butt! Meanwhile Gokudo isn’t afraid of any god. Remember, he eradicated the entire Hotoke! Realizing this is his own dream world, Gokudo has the advantage and fights back. Ryu Gee realizes his strength and wants to join forces. In the sense that he allows Gokudo to use his powers as he sleeps inside his body. But he warns him that he intends to take over him fully when he is stronger. With that, Gokudo returns to reality and reunite with the rest. He too has a mark on his butt as proof he has possessed a god. Gokudo and co part ways with Kikue and Lee Ho who now believe in the power of humanity and will pass down the true teachings of what they saw today to future generations. On their way back, the gang is suddenly teleported back to Eschallatto. Ikkyu didn’t summon them but Granny. Looks like there is trouble brewing.

Episode 26
Granny views Gokudo and Rubette getting the power of the gods to be troublesome. She reveals ever since they defeated the Demon Lord, the gods started to do as they wish. Hence Granny has plotted and used them to go around defeating the gods. Yup. Everything was a setup by her. She wants them to give up those godly powers or else. Of course they won’t. With Gokudo and Rubette going all out at her, Granny transforms into her actual form. So she is smoking hot goddess?! WTF is she an angel too?! Suddenly Indra drops down from heaven in an alien ship?! Can he return from heaven? Bewitched by Granny and recognizing her as the Madonna of the universe, he is willing to get rid of those pest in exchange for her hand in marriage. She agrees. So what about the Demon Lord she is married to?! The spark’s over a long time ago. I guess human divorce laws don’t apply to such beings. When the rest tries to oppose Granny, she turns them into stone. Gokudo and Rubette are left to deal with Indra but his powers are too great despite their anger gives them the godly powers to fight on part with Indra. When the going gets tough, Gokudo gets going! So typical. But Indra won’t let him. He even transforms into a mecha form! The humans are no match for this. Time for Niari to step in. He doesn’t like how things are turning out so with that frustration, this breaks Granny’s seal as his original powers return to him. With that, he summons his own mecha! Now we can have a real giant power mecha fight! Try not to destroy Eschallatto… Oh, too late… Eventually, the combined powers of Gokudo, Rubette and Niari defeat Indra and send him back to heaven. Damn, a god defeated by humans who are using the powers of the gods. Granny then congratulates the young ones. Trolled us again, huh? She tricked everyone by pretending to be on Indra’s side and it is a good thing they managed to defeat this creep. As for their godly powers, Granny allows them to keep it. She hints she is quite fond of them so Gokudo doesn’t want some MILF romance and kicks her away. Kick her as far and hard as you can. She shall return. Oh, you mean I’ll be back? In the aftermath, Gokudo and Rubette are wanted fugitives of Eschallatto since Seigi saw them during the fight and thinks they are responsible for the destruction. Oh well, another excuse to go on another adventure. Gokudo thought Rubette won’t follow him anymore and felt worried. But she trolled him just to see his reaction. Niari is also following them since where Rubette goes, he goes. Shocking last scene: Rubette gives Gokudo a quick peck on his cheek! Why is this loser the winner?!

Big Anti-hero Sux: Despicable Me
They really go all out in this final episode, huh? I suppose after breaking the fourth wall, they really wanted to go out with a big bang instead of a sputter. I’m sure we’ll remember it for quite some time. Oh Gokudo, considering your selfishness and greed that never change, we’ll always remember you for the wrong reasons. As long as you haven’t found your golden goose or fortune making mechanism, keep on adventuring. Tune in next time as Gokudo tries to find more fame and fortune coming to a city near you!

Even if this is a retro series, the plot and stories itself feel silly. Of course, it is so because it is meant to be funny. Each arc sees the misadventures and misdemeanours of Gokudo and his team and that the whole adventure could be one big zero sum game. In the sense that because of Gokudo is being greedy and selfish, whatever his intentions to capitalize and make a fortune out of it often turns out badly and hence the misadventures and all the nonsense he had to go through. Had he not been this self-centred and egoistical, he might not have gotten into so much trouble. You could say it is like a double edged sword as this is where all the fun and silliness come into. Is this what you call his ‘pleasure trip’ AKA ‘manyuuki’? Pleasure of seeing him getting into trouble. Weird.

So like I’ve said, despite all the silliness in the arc that sometimes don’t make sense, I have this feeling that the author just made things up as they go along. Take for instance the Chingensai arc. Because it is the longest arc in the series spanning for 10 episodes, I find that the more the plot thickens and the twists revealed, the sillier and crappy it sounded. Come to think about it, the whole thing just doesn’t make sense. From the body swapping just to confuse us (perhaps to give us some eye candy variety to see Rubette as a hot Chinese babe – because certainly we’d be feeling weird if she was to be shown as Djinn’s body for the rest of the arc) to unnecessary characters like Jiki and Panda, it’s just bizarre to say the least. Then there are some that is illogical like Gokudo summoning his magic sword. I just think that during the body swapping, the sword was being stupid rather than comical when it couldn’t detect Gokudo’s spirit instead and only became a servant of the master who looks like Gokudo. Just dumb.

I also noticed that each of the story arc is, uhm, how should I put it? Is international the right word? I don’t know, diversity sounds like a dirty word in this point in time. If you have observed, each of the story arc takes place in a different kind of cultural setting. The first in Eschallatto, which is your typical western medieval fantasy. Then the next arc has the gang visit Parmette which is of Arabian and Middle Eastern setting. Can’t forget that Japan has their own culture too and hence the next story of Inaho gives us some Japanese folklore. Then it is off the Chingensai for some ancient Chinese setting before hitting Yamu as the African finale. Or is it Pacific? I’m not sure. Primitive tribes like that all look the same to me but I’m guessing it is Africa since Yamu looks like deep inside the land instead of an island. So did we miss out any other international cultural fairytale setting here? Maybe some Inca or Mayan adventure next time, huh?

On to the characters, Gokudo as the titular and main character, we have come to expect him to be so. I don’t think Gokudo isn’t necessarily a bad guy and is nowhere being Hitler material. You see, everyone is not perfect and has their bad points. Gokudo just has more than your average human and he is not shy to flaunt them. Because of that, Gokudo is the truest character who stays to himself. It is that freedom that allows him to do as he wishes but also the double edged sword that causes him problems. Like a reminder that there is only so much he can do and he should not overstep his boundaries. He may be despicable and has undesirable traits that do not befit a hero but then again, who are we to judge what is good or bad? As said, it is that attitude that often gets Gokudo into further trouble but seeing that he has survived this long and how almost nothing could kill him, I’d say he is a pretty lucky adventurer. I mean, this guy has come face to face with death himself, banishing the Hotoke altogether and he still comes back alive stronger. And with the same nasty attitude. Hence it is with much dilemma for us to want Gokudo to remain as he is. Because this is the Gokudo we know and the Gokudo that we love and loath. Seeing a change in character whereby he really turns over a new leaf and becomes good for the sake of everybody else, I don’t think we can stomach that. We’d rather have our old slimy Gokudo anytime!

Like I’ve also said, Gokudo isn’t really such a bad guy and he shows it through his actions. He might say or put things that sound he is only looking out for himself but if you look deeper into his words, you might find that meaning that he still somewhat cares for his comrades. He doesn’t necessarily needs to care about the rest of his friends if he was 100% so self-centred. But he still fights back for them although giving excuses that his intentions for doing so only meant for his own future and benefit. As seen in the final episode. He doesn’t necessarily have to go all out like that. Sure, he is pissed but finally admitting he had a good time with his pals? So enjoyed those bad times too? Like as though he is one big tsundere who can’t admit that he does care for his friends. Or maybe he is just a big jerk after all. That is why sometimes I make a pun out of his full name, Gokudo You-got-to-be Kidding-me-can’t-you-see?! Hahaha!!!

As for the other characters, I can’t say that their relationship and interactions among each other is dynamic. Amusing to a certain point but nothing more than that. It feels like they’re there to soften the big jerk face that Gokudo is. Like Rubette being the strong independent female character that we all need. Yup, even way back in the 90’s we already have feminism. Nothing new. Niari is like tagging along only because he has got his eyes set on Rubette but rest assured that Rubette will never return his love no matter how many cheesy ‘romantic’ lines he spews. She’s just not interested into you. Take a hint. Oh well, you know what they say about persistence. Yeah, we need some perverted playboy in the group. Because we finally know whose heart Rubette belongs to.

They really threw us off that Rubette had feelings for Gokudo right in the final scene with that kiss. Seeing all that they’ve gone through, it is plausible since it’s the only reason why she continued to follow him on his adventures and tolerate his selfishness. So she’s just being mean to him at times to hide her feelings, huh? I mean, she knows his behaviour and yet… Why do girls like her like jerks like him?! Seeing that she was once a princess and he is a free commoner, maybe that’s where the connection is. Weak indications of Rubette may harbouring a thing for Gokudo made us just overthinking and this is just part of the comedy. Like the time when Gokudo almost died, she got so emotional and wanted revenge. I mean, a kickass babe like her wanting to avenge a jerk like him? So you really have to ask yourself is she really in love with this jerk?! Nah. I wouldn’t put my hopes on it like how I would on Gokudo being a considerate gentleman. Because Gokudo somewhat attracts trouble, she can still have fun staying by his side as the idiot too can be her punching bag. And the time Gokudo turned into a baby and she was happy babysitting him? Nah. Just a cute baby boy, that’s all. Who would have really thought she had a thing for him. Love works in the strangest of ways and to the strangest of all people. It’s not like this series is supposed to be of the romance category, right? Is it?!

So naturally I brought up this Gokudo x Rubette romance thingy, it is because I happen to notice that in each of the story arcs, there is a pair of minor characters for that arc who are deeply in love with each other. Do you still remember in Eschallatto that Seigi and Asraga eventually ended up together? Then in Parmette we have Issa and Coco. Back in Inaho, we’ve got Tsukiha and the fox spirit albeit a short one, Chingensai we have Tei and Rayuka finally having a happy ending together. Yamu is too short to have anything. Lack of characters, lack of a story. It was just a simple plot to change Gokudo’s size back to normal. And our very own Djinn x Nanya. Enough said. Meanwhile Niari continues to be single and still trying to flirt around. I bet Otohime is open if he ever changes his mind!

Granny feels like the joker card among the group. Although I don’t really consider as part of the group, she has been the biggest troll for Gokudo ever since the start of the series. I don’t know, she has fooled me everything too because the biggest ‘plot twist’ turns out to be her in disguise. From Mora to the goddess of Parmette and finally as Queen West, we should have known better that she was the one who is behind it all. Nobody saw it coming, huh? She’s like the puppet master pulling the strings and manipulating everybody right till the very end. At this rate of using Gokudo and co to get rid of the gods, she might become the Almighty One herself. Then there is the good hearted Djinn who really looks out for everyone especially Gokudo since that idiot is his master. Could have been a better character if he had more fleshing out but we can’t have him outdo Gokudo, can we? We have Nanya finally joining the gang but that is too late to showcase anything. Ikkyu feels like a fringe member of the pack, only summoned when the plot requires him to move it forward. There is also another character but she is just mostly relegated to just changing scenes. That bunny girl I thought was going to be part of Gokudo’s group seeing I had this impression of so as she does appear in the opening and ending credits. I don’t think she is Gokudo’s guardian spirit either… The rest of the minor characters only appear for that story arc but once it is over, they are mostly forgotten because we need to move on.

On a trivial note, I believe there was some sort of mistranslation for some of the terms in the series. The most obvious one being the magic kingdom. I could be wrong but I believe the demon kingdom would have been a much more accurate translation where Granny, Niari and Ikkyu come from. I mean is it not obvious? That is the realm where the Demon Lord rules, right? You see, the kanji word for magic and demon are the same. At least for the ‘ma’ portion. So I think back then there were no Google Translate to get things around (not to say that tool is pretty accurate these days but pretty hilarious still to laugh at as some translations are still inaccurately funny) and hence they mistranslated the demon world as the magic kingdom. Also, when you have gods and the Hotoke in this world, isn’t it only right to have demons as their counterpart as well? I think magic kingdom sounds kids friendly for a cartoon (yes people, anime is considered cartoon back in those days by the ‘uneducated’!) but I don’t think that’s the case… But with Granny being an angel or a goddess, now I’m really confused. Fallen angel, perhaps?

Art and animation, well there’s nothing else for me to add on here seeing that it reeks of 90’s retro style anime. You’ve seen one anime from that era, you’ve probably seen them all. So don’t be surprise if you start to see shades of other anime characters from that era in this anime such as Slayers and Bakuretsu Hunters. The voice acting is pretty decent and okay too and hearing Akira Ishida as Gokudo and Shinichiro Miki as Prince, it dawned to me that these guys have been in the industry for more than 20 years! That’s a long time! And they are still active today especially Akira Ishida. Even Megumi Ogata had a cameo as Miroku. Then there is also Houko Kuwashima as Coco and Ryotaro Okiayu as Sanzo. I think the former has already semi-retired but it just made me think that those old veterans really came a long way. Yeah, there are so many other casts in the list, many whom I have never heard of already retired and some already passed on (RIP).

More retro feel as the opening theme, Prism by Baiser has all the ingredients of being a retro theme fitted for this series. Simple rock music with simple lyrics. Ah, life was so much easier then. Same thing for the first ending theme, Wake Up by Chisato. This is what retro anime rock feels. The second ending theme is Silent Moon by Ellemo and if I haven’t stress this enough already, the song really feels dated and retro from that era. Not bad songs actually and honestly I would prefer to listen to this more than more contemporary anime music.

Overall, this retro anime is fun the watch if you can put aside all the silly randomness and that the main character acts more of an anti-hero (though some would go so far as to paint him as a villain, but I digress). The art style and storyline may not fly in today’s standards but having an anti-hero as the main protagonist is now a dime a dozen in today’s form of entertainment (though the anime industry have churned out dozens of anti-hero characters and series throughout). I’m sure everybody is familiar with Deadpool, right? Oh, he isn’t an anime character, sorry. I guess I’ll go with Accelerator then. This is what happens if Gokudo is made in today’s era and given a fearsome power. Heh. Sounds more like a joke, right? No wonder when the series got licensed in USA, it was renamed as Jester the Adventurer. Ugh… I don’t think Gokudo would appreciate this dick move…

Radiant S2

April 18, 2020

We know it’s a long journey and not expecting things to end so soon. But it’s all about the journey, right? And that is why despite knowing that Radiant S2 won’t be anywhere close to its conclusion and still considered at the starting point, I hope that this would build further upon the world that we have already seen the first season. Hey, it is not bad that a manfra got the green light for a second season. This means it isn’t all that bad, right?

Episode 1
Seth is hitching a ride on Alma’s home as he makes his way to Caislean Merlin. He is shocked that Don and Jiji are her assistants now. Not sure what happened to the other duo of Bravery Quartet but I guess it’s Bravery Duo now? After Bravery Quartet were imprisoned and escaped from Artemis, they hid on some deserted island. They were attacked by Nemesis but thankfully Alma was there to save them. Normally she would hand them over to the authorities but believed it is wrong to ruin one’s live with just a few petty nuisances. If they behave themselves, might as well let them be free. Seth talks to Alma about Piodon but of course Alma who herself doesn’t remember much of her own past, can’t confirm anything. Furthermore, she has this bad feeling ever since Rumble Town. Meanwhile Dragunov is trekking through the snowy mountains as he laments how he could’ve stopped Konrad had he taken action way earlier when the signs of his madness were showing instead of waiting too late. Thanks to that hesitancy, that was why Rumble Town lost a district and many lives too. Dragunov thought he is lost but apparently he is ushered in by Thaumaturges’ Liselotte into the holy land of the Inquisition. Inside this cave is a giant statue, believed to be the most faithful sculpture of the Father of Inquisition. Torque is waiting for him and welcomes him to be part of Thaumaturges. Torque tells him of the old legend how people were ruled by powerful sorcerers. A poor farmer rose up to rebel against them and only armed with a simple pitchfork. How did he win against the sorcerers? A miracle, huh? Hence in this scared cave also lies the original trident that belongs to Father. Torque sends Dragunov on a mission to find Seth.

Episode 2
Another tearful goodbye for Seth as he drops off at Cyfandir? Maybe Don is just being dramatic… Seth hits a snag when he stumbles into a group of merchants. As narrated, they are a ruthless bunch of greedy merchants and they will not hesitate take do stuffs that will rake them a handsome profit. They are on this continent because of a valuable resource that is sure to guarantee them returns since the image of Inquisition have dipped. So yeah, we’ve got a real bunch of weirdoes here. A really fat guy, a scaredy and pessimistic guy, his wife who is just bored of him and having that I-wish-I-had-better-adventures-in-my-life looks on her face, a really scheming one and perhaps his equally scheming cold wife. And there’s the really weird old geezer, Cristolom too. They think Seth is some spy or rare specimen so naturally they are out to get him. Seth tries to outrun them but Cristolom hunts him down thanks to his elixir of boosting his leg power. The merchants only back down because of the appearance of… Ghosts?! Just illusions created by Grimm. He helps tend to Seth’s wounds and is puzzled he didn’t use Fantasia that could have easily gotten himself out of the predicament. I guess that Rumble Town incident, he is trying to refrain from using it. Grimm notes he is fortunate not to bear the burden of many hundreds of deaths. Next morning, both part ways as Seth makes his way inside Caislean Merlin. As said, this is a place where humans and sorcerers coexist peacefully. The town is abuzz (especially young women) with the most promising pair of knight sorcerer apprentices, Mordred and Sagramore. Seth is walking around when he spots Melie and Doc.

Episode 3
Melie spots him too but apparently she is still mad so she ignores him and walks away. So there’s some flashback probably telling us why Melie is here because she felt she wasn’t good enough to be of help to Seth. Seth heads to the library find out more about Radiant but the clerk looks like she has a long day. Perhaps she can tell spunky kids like him and so her half-hearted sarcastic answers. There is a section of the library with precious historical records that can be accessed by authorized personnel. Seth tries to apply as a knight sorcerer apprentice but immediately gets rejected and thrown out. As he brainstorms outside the huge statue of Merlin, this weird beardy guy, Myr pops up and can help him sneak in. Unfortunately he badmouths Merlin and leads Seth to some stable. Things get rushed when the horn is heard. Myr gives Seth a saddle in which he is made to give it to knight sorcerer apprentice, Ocoho and her flying Dracoon (geddit? Dragon + racoon), Lulu. Once they and the other knight sorcerers take to the skies, Ocoho realizes she has been duped since Seth knows nothing. Apparently Myr is also quite infamous since he loves to play pranks. Anyway, the horn is an alert signalling the appearance of a Nemesis and hence why the knight sorcerers were scrambling to sortie. This time they will be fighting this huge Spectre Nemesis. Not your ordinary Nemesis because ordinary Fantasia don’t work. Fortunately, Mordred and Sagramore’s attack still work on them so the knight sorcerers prepare their attack in several stages. This includes using Gysoni, some synchronizing technique with the consciousness of Lord Brangoire to create Fantasia that surpasses their individual abilities. With Seth being blur and ‘noisy’ asking about stuffs, Ocoho can’t concentrate. This causes Seth to be knocked off by the Spectre Nemesis.

Episode 4
Seth makes a soft landing. Noticing the farmers taking cover nearby, he hears how the Nemesis just popped up. No egg whatsoever. Also, something about the curse of some Dullahan. Seth tries to attack the Nemesis himself but Ocoho restrains him from something so reckless. Time for Seth to virtue signal that they just can’t simply destroy the Nemesis. Because if they ruin the farmlands, the farmers will also starve. Hence Ocoho suggests using Cromen, a spell to protect a large area. Doing so also makes the Nemesis start to disappear but finished off by Mordred and Sagramore. In the aftermath, Brangoire scolds Ocoho for not following orders and that she is doing just to get attention. They are then visited by the queen, Boudica. She sounds like she cares for her people but it’s odd she has this fetish of wanting her subjects to bow before her on both your knees. She hears out the farmers’ worries about the Dullahan that popped up around the same time as the Nemesis. She is unsure of it all and hopes all of them would stay true to Merlin’s teachings and find the answer. Then she talks to Ocoho. Although what she did was reckless, her actions were worthy of Merlin’s will. She takes her leave after praising the knight sorcerers for a fine job. After they return to their castle, Seth spots Grimm. Impersonating as a scarecrow? It seems Grimm needs something from inside the castle and hopes Seth could get it. He isn’t stealing but just borrowing it. Some memory stone that belonged to a female sorcerer named Magosia. Since Seth isn’t sure about doing this, Grimm thinks he isn’t fit for espionage type missions. Perhaps Melie and Doc are more suited but he doesn’t see them travelling with him despite also on Caislean Merlin. Yeah well, I guess it’s complicated, Seth thinks they are mad at him for leaving Artemis without saying anything. Yeah, a note wasn’t good enough. You bet Grimm can’t give him any solution (plus, he is an outsider in this case) and that Seth has to solve this himself somehow.

Episode 5
Seth goes to see Doc and Melie to apologize for leaving Artemis without telling them. Oh dear. You know when a woman says she’s not mad, she’s mad. And in the calm tone of hers, yup, pretty scary. Melie doesn’t blame him for anything and that she is here to become stronger by being a knight sorcerer. But the more he tries to explain himself, I feel the more he is digging his grave deeper. So Seth was worried they’d get hurt because of his uncontrollable powers. Maybe that’s the last straw that broke the camel’s back because this long Seth-Melie drama is about to get weirder once Melie starts crying! Holy sh*t. Melie does have a point about if one is cursed, are you not allowed to have friends or seek help? She too has her fair share of troubles. Remember her split personality? And just when she thought she found someone who understood her curse… Oh well. Goodnight. I suppose later Seth is regretting all this, Doc comes to explain a little more to him how Seth’s ‘leaving’ reminds Melie of those who eventually left her. Try not to blame her for it. He returns to the stable to see Ocoho just finishing her awesome practice. She introduces him to her assistant, Lulu. However she is always sleeping. Seth wonders if sleeping is her curse and continues to ask about Ocoho’s own curse, something she finds irritating and don’t want to talk about. Learning that Seth is here to learn about Radiant, Ocoho thinks of cutting a deal to work together. She wants to learn how he used his amazing Fantasia as her dream is to become a real knight sorcerer. In exchange, she can get into the library (though, not the archives) to help look for some info. Seth probably still reeling from Melie’s lecture… But okay. She throws in a freebie by letting him sleep here. Now he doesn’t have to sleep in the streets, right?

Episode 6
Seth makes contact with Alma. Hi, how it’s going? When he tries to tell her about the weird dreams he is having lately, gotta go. Somebody’s coming. He sees Mordred and Ocoho together. From his angle of course it looked like he kissed her! Not sure why Seth have to blow his own cover to apologize about peeping but Ocoho looks like she’s under hypnosis. Seth thought the archives is lacking security. So when he tries to sneak in, his name doesn’t appear on the scroll. What does he do? Tear it up! Now he’s a fugitive as the place is on alert to hunt the intruder. But Seth seems to know his way around. Yup, those weird dreams. He hides in some secret passageway that leads him to the strangest places. Here lies a mini version of that Spectre Nemesis. There is also a shady dude here but when Seth is busted, Diabal panics and thinks he is Piodon. Damn, he thinks of killing himself but then decides to invoke something. Seth is trapped in some barrier along with that Spectre Nemesis. He soon realizes both are now huge projections over the field outside town. The Nemesis attacks Seth. Oh, its tip is poisonous. The sortie alert is sounded. Because there are not enough knight sorcerers and Sagramore is missing, Ocoho volunteers to become Mordred’s partner. Seth is barely holding it as the poison is taking its effect numbing his senses. He realizes the Nemesis only attacks when it detects movement. But can he hold out much longer? Dragunov and Liselotte are also here as they make haste. The knight sorcerers arrive and this is the first time Melie is joining in. Ocoho and Melie are shocked to see this giant Spectre Nemesis in the shape of Seth.

Episode 7
Melie and Ocoho plead to Brangoire to not attack this Seth-like Spectre. He doesn’t listen and reprimands them. Seth lets the creature attack him again so that he could trap its tentacles in some armour he summoned. He uses his last ounce of strength to jump out before fainting. The projection then ends and this leaves the knight sorcerers confused. Apparently a few of them were injured. Was there an attack to begin with? Dragunov and Liselotte examine this only to smoke out Grimm from his hiding. They chase and fight till they corner him. No choice, Grimm uses his last measure to escape back to his faraway base. He sustained some injury from Dragunov’s arrow. His retarded assistant, Leogon wants to help out but Grimm gets mad and firmly warns not to touch him. He then has him retrieve every last ounce of his precious blood he dripped on the floor before it coagulates. Grimm prepares to start his long journey again. He hopes Seth will be safe since he can’t protect him. Oh, Seth is dead? Figuratively. In some limbo state, this is a very brief summary of what happened in season 1. Oh dear, not that Hameline regret again. Please, no… Then he sees some strange eyeball and touches it. Immediately he gets devoured as he screams for help. See, that’s what you get for simply touching things you don’t know. Meanwhile several characters could now detect Seth’s voice. Seth returns to life. But he is now in his monster form. He is so powerful that the spectres protecting Diabal are surprised he is this powerful. Seth eventually blasts out of the cave. Myr happen to be there and just a single touch reverts Seth back to his calm state. He can’t treat these injuries so he needs to let a certain person tend to him.

Episode 8
Melie uses her magic to trace Seth. It leads them into Caillte Forest. Ocoho is pretty unsure to enter because it has magic that will make you lost. With Seth on the line, you think she’d go the long way around? Just go right through! And now they’re lost in this magical forest kingdom. Oh, thankfully Myr is here. Care to join him to meet his wife, Jill? Because he’s going to let her heal Seth. So they meet Jill who is a giant wood person or something. Myr and Jill meditate to go into Seth’s consciousness. Or more accurately, Sidh. A spiritual realm that all consciousness are linked. They see Seth sitting depressed with his dark power. They learn his problem. Because of Myr’s magic, the dark power is contained. Though Jill can heal him, once he wakes up, Myr’s magic will wear off and he might lose control again. So he intends to stay like this forever? Not if Melie can have something to say. Thanks to Ocoho’s power, she is able to get into Sidh too. Time for the duo to talk it out. Again. Seth once more says he is scared and thought she would understand that he fears everything he touched will be destroyed. He tried to tackle this himself but the more he fights it, the stronger it becomes. Now it’s Melie’s turn to relate how Seth saved her and made her feel her own curse wasn’t a curse. He trusted her. She now believes in him and that’s why he can do something about it. Seth trolls by saying he still can’t do it. By himself. Yup, he is grateful to have a friend like her and hopes she can help him overcoming this problem. You can tell they’re back on track when they give out a sincere laughter. When both return to reality, Seth says he wants to stay here for a while and train under Myr.

Episode 9
Melie wants to report about somebody projecting the Spectre Nemesis but Ocoho doesn’t think it’s a good idea. If this scheme is not known in public, there is a chance that somebody important might be involved in this. There could a traitor among the knight sorcerers. Some are summoned before Boudica. It seems she views the recent failure as a threat as the people will lose faith in them. Brangoire tries to put the blame on Ocoho and Melie but Mordred stands up for them and believes what they did was right as it saved their lives. So this means it is Brangoire who erred? Because of that, she strips him of his captaincy and replaces him with Lord de Gulis. This creepy joker is their next leader? I can see doom… Afterwards, Boudica talks in private to Ocoho and is not pleased she also entered Caillte. However she likes her bold behaviour and will support her. She advises her not to stand out until her ordination because the higher ups are mostly men and there are things men can do that give them a free pass. Oh dear. Feminist talk here? Jill has finished healing Seth. So he slept for 3 years! OMFG!!! Before you panic, Myr explains time flows differently here. So if he leaves Caillte, it’ll be like the same time he entered the forest. Seth is glad he can train all he wants. But I guess he has to catch Myr first. Hard, eh? Myr tells him he views everything as the enemy. Open up your senses and feel the world. Make the world your friend. Of course Seth doesn’t get it and it’ll take some time before he finally manages to do so. Once achieved, he wants Myr to teach him to control his Fantasia. Oh you silly, you were already doing that all along! It’s all about sensing and control. But for Seth’s case, he has to go an extra step and defeat that dark power inside. Using his Fantasia at full force to bring it out, Seth eventually blacks out and Myr instinctively beats him down till he cannot move. When Seth regains consciousness, he explains it is not like the power is trying to control him but something watching him. Myr feels odd and has him do all that again. This time Myr observes from Sidh. He detects somebody trying to control the orb around him. Fending off attacks, Myr also realizes once Seth loses his will and protection of his orb, he will probably be offered up. By who? Well, that’s enough for now. Myr is puzzled if Piodon actually wants to protect Seth this way by entrusting this power. Meanwhile Diabal and co can’t find Seth. He thinks Piodon is behind this. He can’t reveal his true powers in fear Piodon will find him. That is why he stays hidden in the castle and protects it. He thinks Piodon is using Seth because if he fails, he will be destroyed. Just like how it was done to him.

Episode 10
Myr gives Seth an armband that strengthens his bond with this world. All that is left is to take control of that dark power and it all depends on his state of his heart. Meanwhile, the alert is sounded. This time a real Nemesis has appeared. WTF Gulis is flirting with Melie at this important time? Gulis easily defeats the Nemesis in one strike. Despite being a weirdo, he is the strongest knight sorcerer. Ocoho explains why Gulis and Brangoire are so different like night and day. While Gulis values individual abilities, Brangoire values teamwork and order. As the knight sorcerers clean up the mess, a giant Nemesis is spotted. Hence Gulis challenges Brangoire to see whose team can take it down first. Ocoho had a bad feeling about this and she realized the earlier Nemesis is made out of several smaller Echo Nemesis. They’re back crawling up and attacking the villagers. While Melie puts up a barrier to protect the people, Ocoho goes on the offensive to take them out. However there are too many of them to handle herself. She thought of calling the rest for help but they’re too far away fighting the giant Nemesis. She could use Gysoni but remembers what Boudica said about standing out too much before her ordination. Then she realizes she can’t put people’s life at risk just for her own ordination. Thus she uses Gysoni on the other knight sorcerers to aid her in destroying the Echo Nemesis. Once done, the Gysoni wears off and the knight sorcerers are unaware of what they were doing. The merchants are watching as they note everything is according to plan. Especially Ocoho’s surprising strength. She will be an important basis for their plan as her strength will bring them great profit.

Episode 11
Ocoho and Melie are recuperating fine. Ocoho fears that she might be terminated because she broke so many rules. But rest assured, thanks to Mordred and Sagramore vouching for her, Ocoho is still in the game. Meanwhile Diabal continues to look for Seth. He also knows the merchants have entered the land. Now we return to see Seth in more training. Still failed to control his dark power. He asks Myr about his true form. He reveals he is a pixie, one of the many races under the umbrella known as little people. He claims he is the last of his kind. He is 853 human years old and that is already considered young. Heck, he is even younger than this country. Myr claims Merlin was never a sorcerer and never wanted this country to turn out the way it is. Long ago when the forest was still wide, Fantasia was aplenty. But humans began expanding their domain and this reduces the amount of Fantasia. With no options left, the little people instead of dying out slowly, dissolve and became one with the planet. Myr then shows Seth a few pixie babies. But it will be a few more years before they hatch. That is why Myr can’t leave this place and is training Seth. So now it is back to more training. Take a deep breath. Remember all those memories. Fantasia in old language means imagination. And with positive thoughts… Voila! Seth finally controls the dark power! Hooray! As proof, Seth has created a small little tree root, further evidence that he can now use his Fantasia to create rather than destroy. He is now one with nature. Now Seth is ready to renew his mission to find Radiant and leave this place to rejoin his friends.

Episode 12
Ocoho has noticed Brangoire watching her like a stalker ever since. Not sure if Melie was stressed but her other personality takes over. And this personality is also the one that Ocoho likes? Melie has also noticed Brangoire observing Ocoho but keeps her distance so as not to let him notice. And then outside the city, Brangoire makes his move and tries to kill Ocoho only to be foiled by Melie. Brangoire claims Ocoho is a traitor and was about to unleash a Nemesis. And then Ocoho attack them. Seth back in time to help. He knows something is wrong because Ocoho is not herself. Yeah, her eyes looking different. She tries to escape but Seth catches her and she somewhat reverts to normal. She doesn’t have any memories of what happened and is shocked when told what happened. Ocoho then reveals there is a mark on the back of her right neck. It is a curse and anyone who presses it, she will fall into a state of hypnosis and obey all orders. While this only proves that there is someone else behind all this, Brangoire suggests Ocoho return to her normal life so as not to let the perpetrator suspect anything until he catches the culprit. However he will oppose her ordination. Seth suspects Mordred since he noticed certain times he got too close to her. Seth also thinks Diabal would know more about this but Ocoho suggests waiting for tomorrow’s ordination where the castle’s security is lesser to sneak in. Meanwhile Dragunov and Liselotte see the merchants.

Episode 13
Doussant informs they have this device called Harmonizium that nullifies Fantasia. Using this, they can wage war against the knight sorcerers. So it’s a full scale invasion? Winning this war will help the Inquisition regain their image and the merchants will get the resources they want. Dragunov throws caution and wants to know what resources he is talking about. Their plan is to turn everyone on Caislean Merlin as their slaves. Ocoho sees Mordred. He lets her enter his room but she anticipates he is going for her mark and quickly pins him down. She is disappointed in him and wants him to tell the truth. He claims a group called Faithful of the Hermit wanted to use her as an assassin and hence he was just trying to protect her. If she had fallen into their hands, they would use her to eliminate knight sorcerers who betrayed Merlin as well as farmers who trade with foreigners. Ocoho wants to tell all this to Boudica but Mordred warns her not to because Hermit swears fealty to her. And so Ocoho is so confused and lost. She doesn’t know what to believe in anymore. Leave it to Seth to tell her to just do what she thinks and feels is right. During the ordination, everyone is gathered at the hall. Seth and Doc use this chance to sneak into the archives. As knight sorcerers pick the apprentices as part of the ritual, it seems only Ocoho is the only one not picked. Boudica finds this troubling and hopes they would reconsider. But it is then Ocoho gets up and says she doesn’t need such title. Then she accuses Boudica of the one responsible behind the Spectre Nemesis incidents and goes on to spill other details like Hermit, etc. When guards try to arrest her, she uses her superior Gysoni to hypnotize them. Gulis claims Ocoho is doing this because she is sore of not getting selected. When Gulis tries to attack her, Brangoire defends Ocoho. From his actions, he believes that he is in cohorts with Boudica. And from the reaction from some of the knight sorcerers, some of them are too. Boudica is disappointed in him but Brangoire maintains his stand to protect the people. Commotion interrupted when a messenger says the Inquisition have begun their invasion.

Episode 14
Melie wants to join the fight but Dragunov takes her away. Both sides have lined up in preparation for the battle. The Inquisition first reads all the human rights violations Boudica did. So Boudica’s reply is to tell them to go home or she’ll pile up their bodies. I guess that’s that. Negotiations failed. Time to fight. Doc finds a convenient book of truth that tells him the page of the things he wants to know. Yup, there is that page on Radiant. Oh darn, the page is torn out. Meanwhile Seth smokes out Diabal and wants to know more about Piodon. Diabal attacks at first but after realizing Seth doesn’t really know everything, he tells him this secret. Diabal could be Seth’s big brother! Heck, they have actually a lot more brothers and the other known one is Triton. Diabal was taken from the orphanage and marked for death because of his horns and Fantasia. But Piodon saved him and that was enough to earn his trust. However he soon realized that he was just using him because he would wake up in unfamiliar places and fight unfamiliar enemies. Diabal believes that they are the first people who are born as sorcerers. As there are people who survived contact with Nemesis and gain powers, it cannot be hereditary. But what if there were sorcerers with the ability to have infected children? So being born as sorcerers is the most likely of answers and they are basically the second generation. The horns they have are inherited from their parents and why is the Inquisition so insistent in chasing down a horned sorcerer but never specifically mentioning the name? People like them may give birth to more powerful children and this would be troublesome for the Inquisition. When he told this theory to Piodon, he said nothing but left him to be tortured by the Inquisition. We return to the raging battlefield. The knight sorcerers seem to be having the edge but they also find it weird that this fight is too easy. When it’s time to charge in, suddenly as they enter the proximity of the Inquisition, they lose all power. Ocoho then realizes they have a device that nullifies Fantasia.

Episode 15
Ocoho tries to warn about Harmonizium but they don’t believe her and continue with their futile attempts. To her dismay, she also sees Mordred, Sagramore and Gulis heading into the battlefield to be slaughtered. Meanwhile, Seth is sad to learn Piodon turned Diabal in to the Inquisition. But does he intend to hole up in here forever. Diabal snaps about not knowing the suffering he went through. Seth agrees to that but even so, he will not spend his life running away and make others suffer. Seth offers to search for his memories inside Sidh. However Diabal is still too traumatic to face whatever fears he has. Seth calls for Myr but it is Ocoho who responds. She needs his help and tells him about the ongoing war. Seth wants Diabal to fight with him and even swears to protect him. However he is still a coward so he gives him a stone to be set in the enemy’s camp. This stone will summon a Spectre Nemesis. He just needs some time to fix the projector. Once Seth reaches the surface, he sees the devastating ongoing war. Then Boobrie drops near him. He realizes Melie is in trouble. Dragunov brings Melie to Liselotte. Their plan is to use her as bait to draw out Seth. Works instantly because here comes Seth. The guys fight it out as Dragunov questions his recklessness. Especially his battle with Konrad at Rumble Town. No doubt that Seth also put those people’s lives in danger but at that time, Seth believed he was the only one who had the power to stop him. Even if it risks all the people’s lives, he can’t not do nothing. Meanwhile Melie provokes Liselotte about the arrogance of the Inquisition that they think everything is right. This allows her to swap out her cuffs with her. Though Liselotte can break free with her miracle, Melie already got a head start to look for Seth. Mordred, Sagramore and Gulis hop on board the merchant’s ship to negotiate. Gulis thinks they are doing this at Boudica’s command when suddenly Mordred switches sides. It was a lie he made up. And get this. Mordred is Doussant’s son!!! With Harmonizium increasing its range, Myr is starting to weaken as the forest is also shrinking. He worries what will become of Jill.

Episode 16
The knight sorcerers continue to make their charge with Boudica summoning several golems to aid. However they are stopped dead in their tracks by Verone, the youngest Thaumaturge who can turn people into stone. Brangoire is lucky he only got away a leg petrified. Ocoho flies too close to the ship and is captured. Oh well. Saves time to explain it twice and also the plot convenience she can hear the truth and everything with her own ears. Mordred praises Ocoho for a good job. She was investigating them for quite a while although she mistakenly thought Boudica was the leader of the Hermit that they are part of. Of course Boudica has nothing to do with Hermit at all. It is believed that the people of this land will side with the merchants. The knight sorcerers may have fought off the Spectre Nemesis but did nothing to help the citizens. The merchants offered money and food to them who were desperate at that time. Hence they have earned their trust but not enough to have the Inquisition take action. That is where the horned sorcerers came in. Diabal being an international criminal was the key that led the Inquisition to intervene. Doussant thanks the Hermit for helping them do a wonderful job. They will save the citizens who have been oppressed by this war. Ocoho thought Mordred is brainwashed but he denies and in fact has lived for this day. Boudica weakens but cannot stand to see anymore of her men sacrificed. So she charges straight into enemy territory and takes whatever punishing. When she can no longer go further, she gets mocked by Santori for being reckless. But she is able to muster her final strength to throw a large boulder to break Harmonizium. Santori beats her up in his rage but thankfully Harmonizium isn’t completely destroyed. Just need some time to get it back up. Doussant wants to welcome them to their ranks but Sagramore and Gulis refuse. With negotiations broken, Cristolom fights Gulis while the best friends take on each other. Honestly, it’s more amusing to see the weird old geezers fight as they free fall and passionately accuse each other. Quite funny. Friendship fight ends with Sagramore besting Mordred. Because he can’t kill his best friend, he gives him a second chance. Too bad his naivety caused him his life as Mordred kills him.

Episode 17
Liselotte finds Melie and the 2 start fighting. Until Melie changes her personality that the pace starts to pick up. Now finding yourself pushed against the wall, Liselotte? Ocoho remains devastated. Everything Mordred did was a lie. Though he maintains it was to protect her, ultimately it is to keep her by his side or his efforts would go to waste. He reveals his curse as having no feelings. I mean, really, no feelings at all. That’s why he can do all this despicable acts with no regrets. After killing Dracoon, he would’ve killed her too since she has outlived her usefulness. But since daddy don’t want the fine wood to further be stained, he presses her mark and orders her to jump off the ship. But wait. In the Sidh, Dracoon gets her back and frees her from control. Then she uses her Gysoni to control Mordred back. Seth’s fight with Dragunov ends with the latter claiming he wants to end this war. So Seth agrees to go with him as Dragunov signals to the Inquisition that Seth has been captured. Immediately Santori signals the next formation. A huge ship, Uranos, a flagship of the Inquisition starts blasting away at the castle. Seth is shocked and accuses of being tricked. Dragunov realizes he too has been betrayed. Because Torque promised him he just wanted to keep the world under an ironclad order and would shed as few blood as possible. Seth rushes off to fight the enemy. No use thinking. Just blast his way through. Dragunov aids him and he is not alone. His old squad is here. They still remain loyal to him and will help him out in any way. From now on, Dragunov and his squad will act on their own. Seth has reached Santori and is about to give what he deserves. Suddenly something faster than the speed of light interrupts their fight. Sonic? Woah. Who this armoured superhero? Ironman? Actually it is Doc in an armoured suit!!! WTF?!

Episode 18
It seems Doc had all the memory stones but because he was in danger of being discovered by the guards, he hid in this armour. Not just an ordinary armour but the legendary Pen Draig. If it seems the armour has so many clashing personalities, it is because of all the memory stones in Doc’s hands. They are the past heroes of Caislean Merlin. Pen Draig and Seth team up for a while to fight Santori. However upon learning about Boudica’s capture, the armoured knight leaves to go rescue her. Seth is now alone with Santori with the beardy saying how they have met the umpteenth time and fought. Seth is confused and thinks he is referring to his other brothers. Pen Draig rescues Boudica and Brangoire. However with Verone in the picture, they cannot get close to him because everything that enters his ring will turn into stone. Doc has been sorely ignored because instead of fighting, the coward wants to run away. So he threatens to swallow all the memory stones if they do not listen to him! That did the trick. Doc suggests they just unleash a huge amount of Fantasia. Meanwhile Doussant is dreaded to see Mordred taking on his men. Calling his son useless and a traitor, he orders his men to kill him. Ocoho is not pleased because he badmouthed is own son and even regards the fine wood more important than his own flesh and blood. Santori is enjoying his fight with Seth. It’s about time Diabal shows up in a giant hologram mode. But there is nothing he can do as he putters out shortly. At this point, Seth is down so Santori feels disappointed. He brags about his ideals as well as badmouth the infected but as we can expect, this kind of insult gives Seth the much needed power to get back up and smash it all away. We’re just humans, right? But can a normal human super punch somebody into the stars? Bye-bye Santori. Hope you enjoyed your fight. Now enjoy your flight to the stars!

Episode 19
Doussant escapes via mini ship that all the other merchants are already on. Mordred is reeling from Ocoho’s Gysoni. He wants her to disable it because he is starting to feel feelings and he hates it. I don’t think Ocoho is going to let him off the hook so easily. Thanks to Doc’s bright idea, he has Pen Draig slam everything they’ve got at Verone. Naturally it turns into stone but all that slab crumbles on him. Fortunately or not, Verone still escaped. Many feel the Fantasia is weakening and something is happening to Caillte. UIlmina has placed Harmonizium right there and doesn’t care what happens to the forest. Then she uses her miracle to turn all dead corpses into her puppet zombies. Seth feels something is wrong with the forest and telepathically tells everyone to meet him there. Upon arrival, they are shocked to see Myr in despair, slumping over the wooden corpse of Jill. I guess this means those babies are dead too. Myr thanks Jill for her kindness. Had it not been for her, he would have slaughtered all humans. But now she is no longer around, nobody is going to stop him. Myr then transforms to his beast form and goes berserk. This also affects Seth as his dark power engulfs him. You know sh*t is going to hit the fan when both these guys are on a rampage. Boudica upon realizing Myr’s real name is Myrrdin, that is the name that belonged to Merlin. Diabal is also in despair, thinking he couldn’t help much. But thanks to him unleashing that Spectre, Piodon is able to find him. Seth running riot through the Inquisition ships. Ullmina is ‘fascinated’ by his tormented soul and captures him. She hugs him and absorbs all his impurity. They will share this agony forever.

Episode 20
The Inquisition continues their attack but look who’s back? Grimm! Man, that was fast. Ocoho isn’t strong enough to destroy Harmonizium. What about Boudica? She is depressed she couldn’t protect anything and not worthy to be queen. At times like these, somebody needs to slap her to her senses, queen or not. Thank you Ocoho. Standing up with her renewed resolve, Boudica stops Harmonizium by giving it a bear hug? Uhm, wouldn’t it be easier to push it down and then beat down that thing rather than crushing it like that? Oh well, it worked anyway. Now that Fantasia has returned, Melie needs to find Seth. Dragunov agrees to take her to Ullmina. Along the way, they stumble into Grimm who also lends a hand. They easily snatch Seth from the hands of this masochist. Guess she’ll have to wait next time to indulge herself in all that pain. She gives orders for the Inquisition to withdraw. End of war, right? Well, not quite. Time to feel the wrath of Myr! Hulk smash?! The knight sorcerers thought Myr is on their side as he attacks the Inquisition. Then it becomes their nightmare when Myr turns his attention to them. Dragunov’s squad distracts Myr so as to buy time for others to escape. Ocoho and Melie enter Sidh to bring Seth back to his normal. After all that screaming, the clincher is when Melie doesn’t want him to leave her alone again. Seth’s back. Time to talk things out. Jill doesn’t want this. But Jill is dead! Myr smash! We hear more of Myr’s thoughts and regrets. But before he could smash the castle walls, the tree roots protect them. Jill? Nope. Just Seth. Jill is dead. But she didn’t die because of humans or Harmonizium. She died protecting their babies. Somebody needs to protect these little ones. Tears well up in Myr’s eyes as he embraces his innocent offspring.

Episode 21
Myr thanks Seth for stopping him for he could have killed his own children. Myr reveals more about himself. He is half human thanks to his father being a trickster. He would transform himself into one and flirt with human women. Damn, he got one of them pregnant and that was how Myr was born! Because he was different, he was left behind and this led to humans encroaching onto him and he got hostile with them. If not for Jill, he would have attacked humans. Thanks to her, he wanted to have children and even started visiting humans on the land. He also chased away bad ones. Thus the rumours spread and the miscommunication passed down the line that he is the great Merlin who protected the land. As the Fantasia protecting the children will run out and Myr doesn’t have the ability to sustain it, Seth suggests using a human with great Fantasia to help nurture them since Myr is half human, his offspring is too. Albeit it is just 1/4. But who is big enough to fit them? Now you know why Boudica is big, right? In the aftermath, we see Dragunov and his squad planning their return to Bome, the HQ of the Inquisition. He wants to ascertain Torque’s real intentions. Liselotte is imprisoned as well as other knight sorcerers associated with Hermit like Gulis. 3 days later, Boudica gives her speech to the people to assure their future. So part of the step to get closer to people is for everyone to tell their curse? We know Ocoho’s mark. But do we regret Brangoire telling his he has 6 boobs???!!! OMFG!!! I can’t unhear that???!!! When Brangoire wants to take Ocoho as his knight sorcerer, Boudica rejects it. Despite all the greater good she has done, Boudica feels she is not fit to be one. Instead, she is better fitted to be queen! Ocoho levelled up more than she bargained for! All hail, Princess Ocoho, heir to this land! Before Seth and co leave, Boudica gives Seth a memory stone he wants, a necklace for Melie and a medal for Doc (sorry, no money to repay his debts. Need to rebuild the land). Also, Brangoire hands Doc a stone which is actually Pen Draig! He needs it to protect Ocoho. Eh? Boudica views her narrowmindedness prevented her from seeing a conspiracy brewing. Hence she wants Ocoho to broaden her views by travelling with Seth so that she doesn’t make the same mistake when she becomes queen. So yeah, Ocoho is Seth’s new travelling companion. Is that why Dracoon is still alive? Grimm joins them on their way out as Seth hands him the memory stone. Though, he is disappointed the archives didn’t contain anything related to Radiant. That’s why they have to continue the adventure, right?

Magical Warfare: The Measure Of A Hero Is Always His Nemesis
It sure isn’t the end or nowhere near it and the way this season ended, it raises more questions than answers. Heck, even the final episode’s mid-intermission trolled us by asking what happened to Diabal and Piodon. Really. I want to really know what happened to them! I don’t think it’s the issue of not having enough time to hint their whereabouts but I think they want to make the final episode as some sort of goodbye to Caislean Merlin so that the next season will start afresh on another adventure. I mean, it’s not like Seth is leaving forever and never coming back to the land since he got his ‘brothers’ to look forward to once they are born. Oh wait. Is there going to be a third season at all?!

As we have already seen, this entire season takes place on Caislean Merlin and it feels a lot grimmer compared to the first season. At some points it seemed draggy but that it only necessary to build up the plot and story on this land. I read that this season adapted and stayed true to the original manfra source and hence the grimmer feel. I suppose that is a good thing because this season lacks all the stupid silly fillers that was in the first season. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with that squid and his damn coffee again. Or that cheesy broomstick race! Yikes. Phew. Thank heavens. So we don’t waste any time and get straight down to the plot and although it leaves more to be desired as well as questions than answers, but it is better than having time wasting mind numbing fillers that don’t do anything to advance the actual plot.

Seth as the main character takes a big chunk of the spotlight here. I believe it is part of the process to turn him into a true hero and also I think they want us to forget how they turned him into some whiny kid who can’t get over the death of a certain someone he failed to save at Rumble Town. Yeah, I still find that very annoying to this day. But thank goodness they manage to shove that all to the back of our minds and make it a distant memory since Seth has achieved some sort of zen-like status and being one with nature. I think we viewers would prefer to see Seth in this kind of state whereby he overcomes his darkness and grows. So yeah, it was a good thing that he came and set foot on Caislean Merlin.

Therefore it is with mixed feelings that with the first half of the season feels like Seth’s training and the second half having the Inquisition’s invasion over the land, the plot of Seth wanting to find Radiant feels almost non-existent here. Do we still remember that plot? Yeah, final episode to remind us of this series’ actual plot. Sure, he was here to find out more about Radiant and that was his initial intention. But the string of events had him take a detour and ended up doing something else. Which is of course good because we can see now that Seth isn’t just some kid who relies on just brute force and can call forth the force of nature to his aid. The lack of Nemesis fights also made us ‘forget’ that Nemesis still threaten the world and thus the possible existence of Radiant. I don’t think that Spectre Nemesis counts as a real Nemesis but whatever.

The other character they try to build up is Ocoho whom is newly introduced this season. She’s a great ally to Seth and also an aspiring and amazing knight sorcerer but sometimes I feel that having Ocoho and the other side plots on Caislean Merlin is like a distraction to add to the dragging out of this arc. I’m not saying that they’re unnecessary but I can imagine that everything would be over in less than half of the season should it all not happen. So I guess that in addition to having Seth and the usual gang, they try to create another likeable heroine on par with Seth. The kind who is ‘cast away’ just because she doesn’t really ‘follow the rules’. Not because of the colour of her skin, mind you. I don’t know why but the first time I saw Ocoho, I kept wondering if they took inspiration of her character design from Katara of the Avatar series. Well… Close enough. But now she has joined Seth on his travels so I suppose building up her character wasn’t a waste.

The recurring characters feel less this season. Especially Melie whom I feel is mostly side-lined. They added that Seth-Melie spat just to add some drama and tension between them but my guts told me it wasn’t threatening and in no time they’ll be back. Hey, it’s not like they’re married, right?! I thought I could find out more about her other split personality but unfortunately it remains unanswered. She only pops up so as to remind us that Melie has this other dominatrix sadistic queen to her side. And Doc I see he is even worse. He is still the whiny coward he is even as a kid and I am still trying to get used to his new looks as one instead of his fatty adult version. Doc’s role is even more minor this season and even more so I feel he is reduced to some mini comical role. Therefore for him to stay ‘relevant’ in our eyes during the final stretch of this season, that is why he accidentally got into Pen Draig and gets dragged around. Ah, if it is not Seth who hauls him everywhere, it would be something else. That is Doc’s destiny. Oh well, I guess he doesn’t need to continue raking up Seth’s debts. I’m sure he’ll make a ton if Seth becomes a hero and rids the world of Radiant. But that will be somewhere in the distant future… And too bad we left Artemis last season so no cheesy one-sided romance with Miss Melba. Do you still remember her?! Yeah, her coffee still sucks, I bet… Not as much as it sucks that Doc is now the rightful owner in using Pen Draig! Regretting the time he swallowed some of the memory stones? Now his stomach can’t stop talking… Oh Doc…

They teased us a bit with Grimm’s background and now I’m just interested who this guy really is. Too bad they cut him out in the middle and distracted us with other happenings before he makes his comeback in the penultimate episode. Dragunov also didn’t do much but being newly recruited as part of the Thaumaturges, this sets in stone the kind of character and role that he needs to play out. We know Dragunov isn’t entirely a bad person and it feels like he is fighting on the wrong side. Hence this timely ‘betrayal’ from the Inquisition themselves is the right moment for him to re-question and ask himself again what he wants to really do. Not what the Inquisition wants. Not what Torque wants. What does he himself want to achieve.

The new characters are rather okay but the more interesting ones are the merchants whom I feel will be the greatest villains Seth and others will eventually have to face. We’ve got a taste of their ruthlessness and slyness and they could be more dangerous than any Nemesis seeing that they made the Inquisition and the knight sorcerers fight each other while they reap whatever profits they made. I hope to see more of them in the future. Then there is Mordred and Sagramore whom I feel they would be traitors because of their looks and the way they act. It was a bit predictable but I guess we need a plot that has a childhood friend betray the other. Unlike Mordred, I feel Sagramore’s character is totally wasted. He didn’t really do anything in particular and yet he is killed off in this fashion. Like as though his entire character role was just written for this moment to die. Sometimes I also suspected Boudica for being the mastermind behind this (because she acts haughty sometimes) but I guess I was wrong. She’s just a big queen who really wants to protect the people of her land. Brangoire is commendable but not so memorable so they make him a running joke as someone who is firstly incompetent in making a list. And secondly… Ah, forget about it. Not as much as I want to forget about his 6 nipples, though… Please don’t remind me! I thought Gulis being so flamboyant, he came out from some mental asylum or something. Why do I keep thinking his hairstyle was an inspiration from Rick of Rick And Morty?!

Myr the cheeky prankster and Seth’s master is lovable as well as his wife Jill who definitely loves making dark humour about humans. Not so funny now that Jill is dead, huh? Myr being Seth’s teacher somewhat reminds me of Luke Skywalker being coached by Yoda! Heh. May the (nature) force be with you! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me, though, that Myr is actually the great Merlin himself. With hints earlier on, the way he talks about Merlin like as though he knows that guy personally, yeah, I figured that Myrrdin sounds close Merlin and the people might have misheard and twisted his name to until what it is today. Yeah, useless people can’t even remember his name right.

The action bits this season feel okay and comparable to last season. Previously we had Seth rumbled with Konrad in Rumble Town, this season we see Seth colliding fists with Santori. There’s your epic Fantasia battle this season. The need to show the fruits of his training and remind us that he can still use Skull Burst. Yeah, it’s the only way Seth is going to use his Fantasia due to the lack of Nemesis this season. But no dancing with Torque this season. Don’t want his Fantasia sealed forever like the last time. Though, I do find the short fight scene between Seth and Dragunov to be hilarious. Hilarious in the sense that the quality of the fight is bad enough that it just looks comical and cringe worthy! Just watch that scene to get what I mean. It was like they don’t really want to animate this scene at all but had to so as for plot convenience. Even they had to ‘force’ Melie to fight with Liselotte so as not to let that killer croissant skills get rusty.

As old seiyuus are retained this season, new ones join the line-up such as Mai Fuchigami as Ocoho (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Bin Shimada as Myr (Gengai in Gintama), Yukana as Boudica (Cecilia in Infinite Stratos), Haruki Ishiya as Mordred (Shuuichi in Hibike! Euphonium), Kentarou Kumagai as Sagramore (Theo in Grancrest Senki), Hiroshi Shirokuma as Brangoire (Warrod in Fairy Tail), Tomoyo Kurosawa as Verone (Kumiko in Hibike! Euphonium), Kensho Ono as Diabal (Slaine in Aldnoah.Zero) and Hiroyuki Kinoshita as Doussant (Baji in Naruto Shippuden). While Kikuko Inoue is recognizable as Jill and Shigeru Chiba still alive (touch wood!) doing his trademark crazy voice as Cristolom, I thought it was Yuuichi Nakamura behind Gulis’ voice but I was sadly mistaken. Yutaka Aoyama (Yamada in To Be Hero) was behind this flamboyant knight sorcerer instead.

This season’s opener, Naraku by Halo At Yojohan feels more palatable compared to last season. Just your normal anime rock unlike last season’s Utopia with such heavy punk rock that left my brains shaking from all the drubbing of music waves. Heh. Just exaggerating but you get what I mean. As for this season’s ending theme, Chitto Mo Shiranakatta by Emi Nakamura sounds normal although it starts off with some weird tune. I don’t know, it’s like silence and minimal instruments at play at first before everything comes together.

Overall, this season is interesting enough to warrant another season but so far they haven’t announced any at this point. This season has decent story, characters and action so if you didn’t like the first season at all, this season might help change that feeling a bit. Of course if you love Radiant, you’ll probably also love this season albeit it is darker and void of any comical fillers. My sentiments are still the same as last time that it can’t become the next big anime nor will it become a long running series such as the ongoing One Piece, Boruto and Black Clover. This series might still have all the cliché ingredients of a shonen anime but if you’re tired of all the mainstream and popular anime everywhere, maybe this one will provide something a little different. After all, it is still a long way and it might not be Seth’s time to shine just yet. Give him a few more adventures (or seasons?) and he will be a shining example of what it takes to be a true hero.

Black Clover

April 12, 2020

What’s this? Trying to rip off Fairy Tail and be the next big new epic mage magic power fantasy? But I feel that Black Clover also rips off a handful of other big anime series such as One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. Oh yeah, with 51 episodes under its belt, the way it is trying to play out its characters and stories feels like it is certainly trying to be the next big new thing. Will it be magical or eventually sputter and fizzle out?

Clover Kingdom – The kingdom where this series takes place. Apparently the other surrounding kingdoms are named after the suits of cards…

Wizard King – Did they rip this term off from One Piece? As in, Pirate King? Well, this is the ultimate title that all wizards in the Clover Kingdom would dream to become. Yeah, there’s a legend how a Wizard King came about to save the kingdom from a demon’s reign of terror and bring peace to the world.

Asta – Did they rip him off from Natsu Dragneel? And Naruto? Just make him shorter and have no magic. Yes, that’s right. For a series that is supposed to have magic as its main core, the main character has no magic whatsoever. But luckily he has his raw brute strength. Annoyingly passionate to always achieve his goal especially to become Wizard King. Best trait is of course never to give up despite everyone seemingly having low to no faith in him doing great things.

Yuno – Did they rip him off from Gray Fullbuster? Just make him cool, calmer and his magic is wind based. At first looks, obviously the better half to Asta and despite coming from the same orphanage, they share a very close bond as brothers but become ‘rivals’ to be the next Wizard King.

Hage Village – A poor small forsaken village situated in the fringes of the Clover Kingdom that our main duo hails from. The church doubles as an orphanage run by father Orsi Ofai and sister Lily Aquaria whom Asta annoyingly bugs to seek her hand in marriage. Oh, not to mention a few other weird looking orphans there too.

Magic Knights Recruitment Arc

Grimoire Tower – All 15 year olds around Clover Kingdom gather here to get their grimoire so they’ll be able to use their magic. Not surprisingly, Yuno gets the legendary four leaf clover grimoire that was used by the first Wizard King. Asta? Not surprisingly he gets nothing.

Luck of the devil – But not so surprising too, Asta will get his own special grimoire. After some ruffian tries to steal Yuno’s prized grimoire, Asta goes to save him but is beaten to a pulp. I guess one of the good thing of having such strong determination is that it allows this ex machina for Asta to receive a five leaf clover grimoire!!! That’s right. Not four, but five! Also he is able to pull out a gigantic sword that is able to nullify and deflect all sorts of magic. Uhm, did they rip this off from Bleach’s Ichigo Kurosaki’s earlier Zanpakutou?

Magic Knights Entrance Exam – For those who want to join the highest order of magic and serve the kingdom, you’ll have to take and pass this seemingly weird exam that will have you display your magic powers.

Magic Knights – Did they rip this off from Bleach’s Gotei 13? Anyway there are 9 units each headed by a captain as they are the kingdom’s military unit to serve and protect the kingdom.
Golden Dawn –So called the best Magic Knight unit ever. Captain: William Vangeance – Why does he wear a funny fluffy headgear?
Silver Eagle – Looks like a unit for nobles. Captain: Nozel Silva – Ah damn it. Why must such nobles be arrogant and superior of his lineage and look down on commoners?
Blue Rose – Feminist squad. Females mostly dominate. Captain: Charlotte Roselei – I try not to judge a book by its cover but it’s hard at this point because she certainly has that arrogant and haughty look too.
Crimson Lion – GAARRR!!! Manly team! Captain: Fuegoleon Vermillion – Why do I feel that if you want to fight, you join this team?
Green Mantis – Really? A Magic Knight unit named after a bug? Captain: Jack The Ripper – With a name like that and he looks like a rip off from Naruto’s Orochimaru, why do I have a feeling this is a unit of betrayal?
Coral Peacock – What kind of colour is a coral? Captain: Dorothy Unsworth – She only sleeps all the time. Yes, this means she sleep walks…
Purple Orca – Why do I have a feeling this is going to be another suspicious unit like Green Mantis? Captain: Gueldre Poizot: Did Mr Incredible and Futurama’s Bender join forces to become this weirdo?
Azure Deer – I hope this isn’t a hunting unit. Captail: Rill Boismoriet – Is he a kid?
Black Bull – Ah yes, your typical troublemaker unit filled with bunch of misfits. Captain: Yami Sukehiro – Typical tough manly smoker dude. You don’t want to mess with him. Uhm, did they rip him off from Gildarts and Laxus?

Underestimated – Sekke Bronzazza (ba-hah!) made the mistake of underestimating Asta since he has no powers. He thought he would be easy meat during the magic battle but Asta defeated him in a single blow that nobody could see it coming.

I choose you – Magic Knight captains will raise their hand to choose you to their squad when your name is called. If more than one captains do so, the candidate is allowed to choose whose side to join. Yuno has all 9 captains wanting him since he is so badass in has magic. Yuno chooses Golden Dawn as he believes this unit will be the best one to make him Wizard King. As for Asta, nobody chooses him! Aww, so sad. Well, this is of course a magic exam. No magic, no use. However because he starts ranting how he will become a Wizard Knight, Yami finds him interesting and takes him under his wing. Phew. Looks like he won’t have to take an early walk back to Hage.

Welcome to mayhem – As you would have expected, the members of Black Bull are consists of weirdoes, each with flaws and, uhm, weird personalities.
Magna Swing: Delinquent dude. Manly passion could match up with Asta. Supposedly to be Fairy Tail’s Gray but with fire magic.
Finral Roulacase: Playboy dude. Has teleport magic.
Gordon Agrippa: Mime dude. Is he murmuring to himself all the time? Can you speak louder? I can’t hear you. I think this guy just wants to have friends and hang out with them?
Vanessa Enoteca: Every group needs to have a sexy hot babe. Does she walk around the base only in her underwear? Carry on, sexy baby! Oh, did they rip her off from Cana? Because she likes to get drunk too.
Luck Voltia: Don’t be fooled by his petite stature. This kids loves to fight! Uses lightning magic.
Charmy Pappitson: Glutton. Always stuffing her face with food. Every girl’s dream to eat everything all the time without gaining any weight.
Gauche Adlai: Siscon lolicon. Loves his little sister Marie so much. Don’t you dare make a move on her or he’ll kill you! Man, he must have lots of tissues to wipe his incessant nose bleeds…
Grey: Big woman who doesn’t speak much. Smoke always coming out of her mouth… On a side note, why does she remind me of Shokugeki No Souma’s Isami Aldini?
Noelle Silva: Did they rip her off from Juvia? Proud + water magic. Nozel’s younger sister. She is the black sheep of her noble family as she cannot control her magic, hence her brother hates her. Being a noble in this misfit group is sure hard but you know they’ll accept her and she’ll come to accept them. Though, she still has to put some arrogant noble air because of her pride.

First big break – Magna takes Asta and Noelle on their first mission to Saussy Village to rid of some wild boars. However they stumble into some bad guys led by the ice magic wielder, Heath trying to kill the villagers. Not surprising despite out young heroes being beaten and close to death, the will to never give up and protect commoners is strong. With cooperation and that friendship thingy, their powers grow (even Noelle now could amazingly control at least this portion of her power) to surprise defeat the baddies who of course underestimate them. In the end, before they could interrogate their intentions, they kill themselves. It looks like whatever cult they are from (isn’t that logo from Golden Dawn?) need some magic stones to revive their master. And they’re so kind to let our heroes keep it for now.

A star for effort – What’s this? Kindergarten grading? With Saussy Village’s heroics, the Wizard King acknowledges their efforts and awards Black Bull a golden star. Currently Golden Dawn leads with 70 of them. How many does Black Bull have? Minus thirty!!!!!!!!!!! Oh sh*t!!!!!

Julius Novachrono – The 28th Wizard King. Likes walking around on his own. Hence his assistant, Marx Francois is always shouting at him to haul his ass back to office before work piles up.

Escort mission – The arrogant Klaus Lunettes who is the mentor for Yuno and new recruit, Mimosa Vermillion, are to escort the son of Salim Hapshass (the guy who lost to Yuno in the Magic Knight Entrance Exam) back home. As expected, they are being attacked by bandits who soon disappear shortly. Like as though they were targeting Yuno all along.

Rescue mission – Escort mission has them visiting Hage for a while. During their stay, Lily gets kidnapped by those bandits. Yuno defies orders from Klaus to go recue her but eventually snobbish senpai and Mimosa come to his aid to defeat those baddies and save Lily. Not surprisingly, Salim is behind this as he is acting out of revenge to get back at Yuno for his own failure. And yeah, a golden star for such a heroic deed. Wow, if they award stars for such little but impressive missions, will rescuing a kitten up a tree earn me a star too?

Nero – That anti-bird that recently stays with Asta and somewhat the mascot for Black Bull and the series, that’s its new name. I guess it’s better than Toritarou, Silvantus Schnauzer, Wine, Magna, Fire or Marie.

Dungeon Exploration Arc

Dungeons – Weird tombs that mysteriously pop up that could contain relics and info of ancient magic as well as rare magic items. Lots of magic traps of course.

Reunion – With Black Bull and Golden Dawn sending some of their mages to explore a dungeon, the inevitable reunion of Asta and Yuno. Also, Noelle reunites with Mimosa who is her cousin. The latter is a bit blunt and dense, hence could sound a bit rude. Asta and Klaus lock horns because of their clashing personalities.

Out of luck – Luck in his bid to fight stronger opponents run into Lotus Whomalt of the Diamond Kingdom. He gets hypnotized by Lotus’ smoke magic. Although Asta returns to save him, Luck still believes in fighting on his own. Something about attributing his victories to his late mother. But of course, the power of friendship overcomes all that so they cooperate to take down Lotus in his thick smoke magic because Lotus cannot sense Asta who has no magic at all and gets knocked out by his ‘sudden attack’.

Hard as diamond – Mars, one of the Shining Generals of the Diamond Kingdom ambushes Mimosa, injuring her gravely. Klaus is running out of magic dealing with him and once more the power of friendship has Yuno backing up his senpai. But if that’s not enough to deal with his diamond clones and diamond encrusted weapons, here comes Yuno smashing through all that bias belief and smashing through that thick diamond armour of his like a hot knife through butter. Okay, maybe like a hammer and a peanut.

Small & compact – While examining the treasure room, Mars revives and breaks out from his binds and has some healing magic too. He defeats everybody and uses faster magic to counter Asta’s sword. So how does Asta fight back? I know his friends in danger are partly the reason but I suppose he was blasted through some magic item. Hence his sword now is small and compact, allowing him to swing fast. Oh, it could also temporarily borrow magic from others. In this case, Noelle’s water power to cut through Mars’ defence a second time.

Got you too – Apparently Asta also receives some lethal damage.

Kokkoku – Apparently right before angry Mars could kill unconscious Asta, Yuno somehow draws upon the mysterious power he got from the scroll in the treasure room. He is able to stop time and a strange girl helps destroy what he needs, defeating Mars for good before returning to normal time.

Saving your killer – Even when the dungeon is collapsing, Asta wants to save Mars because they’re here to secure the dungeon not kill anybody. Hey, the dungeon is going to kill him not you guys! Too bad with the rapid collapsing, the Clover Kingdom mages have to escape. Own lives first priority. But you can thank Lotus for saving Mars as well as securing a load of treasure for his kingdom before everything goes down.

Acknowledgement – Wow. Even Klaus apologizes and admits how wrong he was to mistreat and look down on Asta and Yuno. Things do change.

First love – Guess what? Mimosa is in love with Asta? Not surprising. Expected it. Oh, be careful Noelle. You’ve got yourself a competitor. Yes you do!!!

Royal Capital Arc

An audience with the king – Our dungeon heroes (minus Luck) get to see Julius himself for their heroics. Yuno shows the new magic he obtained and Julius believes the wind god named Sylph chose him. As for Asta, he could feel his magic drained into his sword and hence the reason why a person with no magic like him is best wielding it.

Merit – Apparently this is what you only need to become the Wizard King. I guess everything else like respect falls in line once you’ve got merit.

Decoration ceremony – Magic Knights who obtained a certain number of stars before a certain time will be promoted to a new rank and given a medal. So our top dogs are from Crimson Lion (Leopold Vermillion), Blue Rose (Sol Marron), Silver Eagles (Solid Silva and Nebra Silva) and Golden Dawn (Hamon Caseus, Shiren Tium and Alecdora Sandler).

Party of shame – The newly decorated Magic Knights are given a little party and joined by Asta and co. Of course this leads to loathing stares from those arrogant holier-than-thou Magic Knights as well as some badmouthing. But they cross the line when the Silva family belittle Noelle, pour water over her head and remind her existence that killed her mom. Yup, Asta to the fore again to shut up those conceited dumb f*cks. Hope he could do more than just angry screaming.

Royal rumble – Asta looks like he is doing fine showing those arrogant nobles by slashing through their magic. Until Nozel steps in. His aura definitely putting pressure and fear in everybody. I don’t really know what the definition of shame is because the Silva family thinks doing this and that to a peasant is just bringing shame to the family name. Just when there is going to be a royalty showdown between Nozel and Fuegoleon, something is rocking the capital. Yeah, everybody’s so arrogant they didn’t even notice the royal capital is under attack.

Resident Evil – Wait a minute. The royal capital is being attacked by… ZOMBIES???!!! At least there is a mage summoning them, Rades Spirito.

Brownie points – Time for our Magic Knights to show what they’re capable of as they blast their high level magic at the zombies. Also, additional brownie points for Asta as he comes to a little girl’s aid, protects her despite being relentlessly attacked and yes, Rades being the ultimate jerk by trying to target the little girl and distract Asta. But don’t forget teamwork from our Magic Knights to aid Asta too.

Augustus Kira Clover XIII – The king of Clover Kingdom. Typical lazy and selfish dude. No wonder nobody likes him. He should’ve been a joker…

Rivals aplenty – In addition for having Yuno as Asta’s rival, it looks like Leopold and Fuegoleon have also declared themselves to be Asta’s rival to be Wizard King.

Eternal youth – After the Magic Knights stop the zombie threat, they are whisked away far from the capital. This allows Catherine the witch to steal the townspeople’s youth for her own.

Bell – Yuno being the only Magic Knight not whisked away by Catherine’s magic, he fights her but absorbs too many of her curses. Just when he starts losing his senses, he is finally able to understand and use the Sylph magic that was always present around him. Herald this little Sylph girl, Bell to blast Catherine out the skies.

Don’t steal my food! – Desperate Catherine has reverted to her old hag form and tries to steal youth from Charmy who think she is trying to steal her food! Sheep punch! Some people need to learn how to grow old gracefully.

Eat, save, love – Charmy’s food is still in danger of being wasted but thanks to Yuno saving it, does Charmy now find something else to love other than eating?

Lion king target – So this elaborated invasion was to kidnap and kill Fuegoleon? Whisked into another dimension by Valtos, in no time he is defeated and left for dead. Gee, one of the strongest and righteous Magic Knight dying?

No getting away – Asta keeps using his anti-magic to prevent Rades and Valtos from escaping. Even giving Rades a taste of what it’s like to feel pain.

Reinforcements – The baddies got reinforcements from evil mages. Think they outnumbered our heroes? Well, our Magic Knights also return for the much needed reinforcement.

Eye of the Midnight Sun – I guess when you’re hell bent on destroying Clover Kingdom, they have to announce their evil group’s name so that in the future we’ll have more fights and clashes. That’s what they did and oh, they also kidnap Asta while they escape.

Show off – Time to show off why Julius is the most powerful Wizard King ever lived. With his extraordinary magic, he defeats and restrains all the baddies at their home base and at the same time rescue Asta. I guess it’s also payback for what they did to the royal capital. Not before the big bad boss rescues his underlings in such a bright flashy manner.

Jewel concern – As Fuegoleon’s pendant is missing, it is safe to say it is the reason the enemies of the kingdom targeted him. Julius saw a slab in the base filled with jewels and some still missing its piece. Let’s take a wild guess of what happens when all of them are filled up.

Promoted – Haven’t you heard? For Asta’s heroics, he has been promoted to 3rd Class Junior Magic Knight. Yeah, he now ranks higher than you guys now, Luck and Magna. Show some respect! Also, Charmy has been promoted to 1st Class Junior Magic Knight credited for capturing Catherine. So she’s like the second most powerful Black Bulls after Yami? Not forgetting who Yuno is now a 1st Class Junior Magic Knight.

Eye Of The Midnight Sun Arc

Mixer mix-up – Asta is invited to Finral’s mixer with Luck. Of course with these misfits, they won’t stand a chance with our fair ladies. Noelle tails and spies on them since she is ‘worried’ for a certain guy. It seems Asta is getting along well with Rebecca Scarlet just because they have many siblings. Asta saves Rebecca from a drunkard and when she is about to like him and asks if he likes anyone, earnest Asta of course replies but is cut off by Rebecca who ‘understands’. This means Noelle has the wrong impression Asta likes her as she misinterpret his incomplete sentence he likes someone from the same… Same what? Same guild? So she thinks it’s her? Not Vanessa or Charmy?

Marriage talks – Gauche has used up all his pay to buy toys for Marie. And what does he see? Marie having fun with Asta???!!! WTF?! Apparently he came to visit Rebecca and her siblings who happen to play a lot with Marie who stays at the church. Bet you didn’t see this coming too. Because Marie wants to marry Asta!!! Gauche spends so much time trying to kill Asta that his ‘date’ time with Marie is over. Also, Rebecca’s siblings are trying to set her up with Asta and Noelle is not too pleased they want big sis to marry Asta.

Prevention is better than cure – What is the best way to ensure Asta will never marry Marie? Kill him! You got to try better than that, Gauche…

Lost kids – Apparently somebody is doing a Pied Piper and whisking away young kids from the village.

Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai – Neige kidnaps the kids because he lacks friends. But his brother, Baro has him do this job so as to drain their magic power and sell it for money.

A brother’s wrath – Nothing is more fearsome than a brother who sees his little sister messed up. Ya’ll gonna pay dearly!

Do you want to build a snowman? – Neige sends snowmen clones to deal with Gauche but his mirror reflection magic zaps them all.

Asta, my hero! – The first person Marie runs to is Asta. Sorry Gauche. Your ranking just dropped.

Sticky reunion – Baro signalled for help from his employer. Sally of Eye of the Midnight Sun is thrilled to be reunited with Asta. She sticks to him, licks him and even bites his neck! WTF?!

Mudman – Sally turns Baro into a giant mud monster. Damn Gauche takes Marie and run.

I hate you – Feared words of a siscon. Gauche better turn back and help Asta if he wants to continue looking cool in Marie’s books. After he puts her in 100% safety first.

The eye’s reflection – Gauche uses his hidden magic mirror eye to reflect and duplicate Asta so that his clones continue to cut down the monster so fast it doesn’t have time to regenerate.

Licht – The leader of the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Once again makes his well-timed entrance to salve Sally and kill everyone else with his, uhm, antenna lights? Don’t forget his holier-than-thou attitude in which he considers everyone else born as sinners. Because of that he is going to destroy Clover Kingdom and form their own country. I suppose going through the ballot box isn’t his style.

Faster than speed of light – Apparently his light magic and his teleport speed is so fast that you practically can’t see him shoot his magic and can pop out anywhere he likes.

Light deflector – Good time for Yami to join in and show why he is the captain of Black Bull. Thanks to his ‘Japanese’ background, he is able to deflect Licht’s light showers easily.

Ki training – Asta receives on the spot training on how to use his ki to detect and predict enemy attacks. Because he is main character, he gets it on the first try and manages to wound Valtos.

Borrowed magic – Well, everyone and all the kids decide to lend their magic to Gauche so that he can go save Asta. If Marie says so…

The reflection – Gauche becomes the unwitting hero because he pops back in time to save Yami and Asta from Licht’s ultimate badass light magic that would have obliterated them. Yup. Just used a mirror to deflect the light! It’s that simple! If only he wasn’t that arrogant and used this method and saved us all the drama and trouble.

Third Eye – Licht’s reinforcements. Supposedly the strongest trio in Eye of the Midnight Sun. You mean even stronger than Licht? Folks, meet lazy copycat slicer Raia (Black Jack?!), wild beast dude Vetto and hateful Fana with fire breathing dragon pet, Salamander.

A little help from my friends – Yami trying to show off he can take Third Eye all on his own? Moments before getting owned by them all, here comes the very timely reinforcements of our Magic Knights: Nozel, Charlotte and Jack.

The complex and complicated depths of the heart – I would never have guessed it that the very proud feminist Charlotte HAS A FREAKING CRUSH ON YAMI!!!!! WTFFFF???!!!!!!! Oh well. He is the only manly manliest man of all the men. The rest look more like weaklings or gays…

Not your sword – Apparently Licht is not happy that Asta wields his swords known as Demon Slayer Sword and Demon Dweller Sword because it supposedly belonged to his master. So this guy isn’t the ultimate boss? Man, it’s like just when you thought you defeated the final boss, another final final boss shows up.

Unleash the power – You know that no brainer moment when you reduce the big bad boss’ life down so much and then he gets even stronger?! Yeah. That is what happens to Licht when Yami-Asta combo effectively took him out. His tremendous amount of mana threatens to probably destroy this anime so Third Eye has to stop their fight and use all they’ve got to seal him and then escape. Good excuse to put an end to this long fight…

First kiss – Rebecca kisses Asta on the cheek as gratitude for saving her siblings. Why is Noelle screaming the loudest? Has she ever screamed this loud before?

Unlocking the mind – Julius in addition to summon all the Magic Knight captains for a meeting, Asta also needs to come along as he is taken to a secret dungeon where a couple of Eye of the Midnight Sun members have been held captive. They have a magic spell blocking their mind that makes it hard to get any info. So this is where Asta comes in to use his anti-magic and break that spell so that Marx could extract their memories. It looks like they have found the traitor among them. A Magic Knight captain level traitor…

Sell-out – The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The traitor. Drum roll please… Can we have a name? Gueldre!

Whale catching – As expected, Gueldre denies everything and despite all the shady rumours heard about him, Gueldre digs his own grave by choosing to escape instead of letting his mind read by Marx for confirmation. Oh, did I tell you his invisibility magic means all magic will pass through him? Talk about invisible invincible. Of course this is where Asta comes to play as his anti-magic pins him down. So all the shady rumours of him are true ranging from abusing his men, smuggling dangerous potions to others and the heinous act of kidnapping barrier mages hence the reason why Eye of the Midnight Sun was able to infiltrate easily.

This is not my final form! – Remember the magic stones Eye of the Midnight Sun needed? Apparently gathering them all has them believe they will evolve into their true form and gain enormous power.

Seabed Temple Arc

Seaside story – As there are 3 magic stones left and they know one of its location, time to head down to the underwater temple and which group is suited better for this hazardous job than Black Bull? This means… Beach episode!

To be seen or not to be seen – Noelle bought the most expensive swimsuit and she wants Asta to comment on it but is too shy to go out. By the time she summons her courage, Asta is being distracted by the shenanigans of other Black Bull members. Yeah, Noelle sounds like a desperate girl trying to bug him for attention only to be ignored…

Big responsibility – Fun time is over. With the path to the underwater temple a dangerous one, the only time when its mana protecting it weakens is during a full moon. That is 1 week from now and Yami wants Noelle to use her water magic to create a path there. Pessimistic Noelle doesn’t think she can do it since she still cannot control her water magic. Yeah. You have 1 weak to master it or risk drowning everyone.

Idol wannabe – Asta and Noelle befriend a girl, Kahono singing at the beach. Her dream is to be an idol and make lots of money!

Healing lullaby – Apparently Kahono’s singing magic can also heal all wounds. Just be careful of the charges.

Pleasant memories, none – Kahono advises Noelle to think of the most relaxing memories if she wants to control her power. Unfortunately being the black sheep of her family, none. Until she realizes she has ton of them after joining Black Bull. Yeah, weird memories. They are more family to her than her original one. With that, Noelle is able to control and create a new magic.

Abyss – Wow. There is an underwater civilization and all the people are so friendly to welcome them (despite not having visitors for the past decade) and guide them to the temple priest.

Battle royale – Nothing comes free. Want the magic stone? Yeah, have a battle royale fight with the weird priest’s fish face guardians. But thankfully all the guys of Black Bull (except for Finral because he’s so gay) win theirs instantly thanks to their opponents underestimating them.

Grilled fish – Best seafood ever for Charmy until she gets put to sleep but a fish priest’s spell.

Nice to meet you again – That fish priest… It’s Kahono! Shouldn’t be surprised here. She faces off with Noelle and despite Noelle looking like she can’t control and hit with her water magic, Kahono knows she is already doing it. She is just subconsciously not wanting to do so and hurt others.

The shape of water – Asta is having a hard time fighting Kiato. His dancing moves make it hard for Asta to read. So how do you catch water? You become water! Yeah, Asta and his lame ‘dance’ moves…

Gate crashers – Just when Black Bull is leading the battle royale, guess who had to crash this party? It’s Vetto and his goons. Guess the battle royale took too long.

Electrical fire – Luck and Magna are the first to fight Vetto. We even get to see a short flashback of their weird friendship. Usually Luck doing pranks on Magna and using reckless tactics to put the latter in harm’s way. Oh boy. Those were the days. But even after all that stubbornness, the spark and flame of their combo just couldn’t match Vetto’s raw might.

Blockchain – One of the guys from Eye of the Midnight Sun uses chains as his magic. You could say Gauche is in a bind but with the help of Grey’s transformation trickery, they duped the dude and defeat him.

Pulling a wool over your eyes – Gauche and Grey then get trapped in another guy from Eye of the Midnight Sun who uses vine magic and their magic being drained. What trickery will they use this time? Falsely accusing him of stealing Charmy’s food and this petite girl uses her cotton and sheep magic to beat the sheep out of him.

Will the real Grey please stand up – Finally we get to see Grey’s true form: A young and lovely girl?! She’s embarrassed with her true looks and hence that dark towering ugliness we always see her?

Bark worse than your bite – You know Asta is always screaming with zest and when he can’t get out of Vetto’s grasp, what does he do? He bites his arm! Like that would do any sort of damage.

Song and dance – Can Kahono and Kiato’s singing and dancing combo defeat Vetto? Well, he ended their idol and dancer dream by ripping out Kiato’s feet and damaging Kahono’s throat!

Unarmed and armed – I guess it’s time to show Noelle isn’t some tsundere b*tch. Because now she manages to power up with her new magic and give Vetto a run for his money. Wow! She ripped off an arm of his! Too bad with his regenerative power, he got his arm back. Bummer.

Second chance – Well, Asta’s back in the game to face Vetto a second time.

Stringing along – Vanessa too. With her string magic.

Portality – And Finral too. With his portal magic. Chicken senpai decide not to run away?

The flying marionette – With Vanessa’s strings attached to Asta and his sword, combined with Finral’s portal magic, Asta is able to ‘move’’ like the wind and avoid Vetto’s damaging blows while giving himself a chance to strike the beast dude at close range.

Caged bird – I guess it’s high time we get some flashback on Vanessa’s past and how she joined the Black Bull. Initially a young witch imprisoned in a cage for being weak, you can guess she’s going to go crazy creating imaginary friends to talk to. Always giving excuses this was her fate. Then one day all she needs was just a little courage to break out. She has never looked back since and never regretted her choice.

The superficial wuss – I guess we also need to give Finral the same treatment. Just because he didn’t want to use his spatial magic to kill, he is deemed useless by his family. His younger brother, Langris showed potential and eventually became the head of the family and the vice of Golden Dawn. Yami had Finral joined Black Bull so as to ‘chauffeur’ him anywhere and Finral thought that would be okay since he had no fighting abilities. But Yami told him he has his own way to fight.

Many hands make light work – Maybe it is getting a bit boring seeing Asta-Vanessa-Finral combo. So we’re going to add more of it by adding Gauche, Charmy and Grey! Gauche’s mirror reflections plus Charmy’s sheep monster pounding the ground to make smokescreen and Grey making Asta clones now give Vetto a run for his money.

It finally got through – Yeah, Asta finally stick his sword through Vetto.

Gotcha – Too bad Vetto just trolled everybody. He purposely let Asta stab him so he could steal his sword and break his arm.

Zetsubou shita! – We get it! Vetto spamming despair has got to be the most annoying catchphrase of this series.

The true beast awakens – If four leaf clover is for luck, then five leaf clover is the luck of the devil! Because Asta’s aura awakens into some super demonic form to defeat Vetto for good! Good riddance.

The true beast awakens again – Oh damn it. Do we need more trolling from Vetto because now he awakens with even more ferocious power that threatens to blow up this entire place!

The other true beast awakens too – Don’t hold your breath because Yami finally gets out of his trapped predicament and does his fair share of the work to stop all this despair once and for all with his dimension cutting darkness magic.

Respecting the dead – I know good guys don’t usually be a dick but they still respect Vetto’s corpse? Lighting up a candle and putting flowers. But the mind boggling part is that why they left his body right where he died?! I guess it beats throwing it into the ocean for the fish to eat. But still, if they properly want to give their last respects, at least give him a proper burial instead of just putting a sheet over his corpse?

Never ending praises – I guess it is good morale boosting and irony for Black Bulls, the worst Magic Knights group to be praised by the people 24/7 until they leave. Yeah, they even sing them a song while seeing them off.

Border invasion – No rest for Clover Kingdom. Taking advantage of the attack from Eye of the Midnight Sun, the Diamond Kingdom has sent 3 of its Shining Generals (Brocks, Lagus and Yagos) to attack the border town of Kiten. Even if the local guards are routed, don’t worry, here comes Golden Dawn to the rescue. I guess from time to time we need to see Yuno strutting his stuff too. But with the overwhelming Diamond forces, looks like another Magic Knight unit needs to give them assistance. You up to the task, Black Bull?

Popular Yuno – Yuno is so strong that Brocks and Lagus start fighting over the right to fight him. And Bell doesn’t want to lose out either because she tells them off Yuno is belongs to her. Anybody else wants Yuno to be theirs? Oh right, Charmy…

Beauty vs strength – Obviously you have to be stronger to defeat your opponent in a fight. That is why Yuno defeats Lagus. Did he just see the beauty of his own defeat?

World tree – Vangeance’s magic is sucking up mana and creating a huge gigantic world tree. Brocks found out the hard way and got turned into one.

Scarface – Yami suspects Vangeance for a long time and requests him to remove his mask… The moment we’ve been waiting for… Vangeance’s face… Uhm… Very scarred… Looks a bit like Licht but the scars really catches your attention. His story: Born out of wedlock to a noble, it is only the noble’s death without an heir that enabled him to take over. Even so, he was hated for his scarred face. Only Julius saw past that and gave him that lame mask for him to wear.

Bell Blues – Bell getting more agitated after misinterpreting Yuno and Asta’s relationship. Eat together, sleep together, bathed together… I hope no weird awakening. However the real battle for her is with Charmy. Are we ready to rumble over Yuno?

Sibling mockery – Langris continues to belittle Finral. But Finral won’t stand for it when he belittles his Black Bull pals.

Zero fatality – When Langris thinks of sacrificing a few citizens caught by Yagos to stem further casualties, leave it to Asta, Finral and Charmy to show him how it is done without losing a life.

Witches’ Forest Arc

Forever unarmed – Guess what the royal doctor, Owen tells Asta while healing his arms? Because of some curse and all the shattered bones, he cannot use his arms again. WTF. Can he not nullify the curse?! You think Asta is going to sit there and accept his fate? Why, he is going to punch fate and make his own fate! Oh wait. He got no arms. Maybe kick it? And everybody else is so touched that they all went off to find some cure. And Asta is so touched that it took him this long to realize he might not be blessed with magic but blessed with amazing friends. Cheesy but sniff, sniff…

Fanzell Kruger – Before Asta took the exam to become a Magic Knight, during one of his training stints, he stumbled into this elderly guy, Fanzell. He agreed to teach him to ways of the sword so long he uses it to achieve his dream. Of course Fanzell harbours a secret and it is revealed when one of his students, Mariella returns to inform him that his fiancée, Dominate Code is dead. The truth is, they are from Diamond Kingdom and ran away because they couldn’t stand the army’s torturous ways. Turns out Mariella is also a spy sent to hunt down defectors. But she is to take him back alive as his services are needed for an experiment on Mars that is near completion. With Asta’s help, they defeat the weak Diamond army but Mariella vows to hunt him down. Fanzell then leaves on a solo journey to find Dominate whom he believes is still alive.

The curious case of the naked pervert – Fanzell had the misfortune of stumbling into Noelle after he got robbed. He sounds like a pervert wanting to have fun with her. It’s no surprise the Black Bull members beat him up and round him up for a suspicious pervert. Thanks to Asta knowing him, he gets to breathe longer.

Wand wonder – Fanzell was ‘interested’ in Noelle because of the wand she possessed. It supposedly belonged to Dominate and Noelle bought it from a black market.

Taking the bull by its horns – Before you know it, the Diamond Kingdom assassination squad led by Galleo attack Black Bull’s base to lure Fanzell out. We all know how this is going to end…

Never make a lady wait – Good thing Fanzell is reunited with Dominate at the black market. Too bad she gives him multiple combo punches for taking too long.

Turncoat again – Oh, Mariella trying to help Fanzell and Dominate because she has grown tired of the Diamond Kingdom’s ways? This is part of her plan to get her revenge against the organization. Once this is over, she hopes to become a Magic Knight of Clover Kingdom.

The Witches’ Forest – Noelle and Finral are now seeking Fanzell and Dominate as their last hope to find a cure for Asta’s arms. Dominate points out her former home, the queen’s magic might help. Speaking of her home, looks like Vanessa has the same idea and returned there.

The queen of heartless – The witch queen being the most powerful witch around, it’s no wonder the rest don’t want to make her mad. Yeah, she hates imperfection and beats up Vanessa who demands she teach some ancient cure magic. She’s not amused when Vanessa offers to be her slave forever in exchange for the cure of Asta’s arms. After all, Vanessa was once imprisoned by her and she escaped. So if the queen is so powerful that other kingdoms don’t even want to mess with her, why didn’t she go after Vanessa when she escaped? It’s like nobody got the balls to stop her, right?

Spoiler – Asta will not allow Vanessa to trade her freedom in exchange to cure his arms. Of course Vanessa is not entirely planning to do that. After the queen does so, her plan is to use her anti-magic to get herself out. Looks like the perfect plan had she not scream it out in front of everybody. Should’ve left a spoiler alert.

The more the merrier – Looks like there are a couple of other parties trying to crash into the forest. Namely the Eye of the Midnight Sun led by Fana. They are here to get a magic stone believed to be in possession by the queen. The other is the Diamond Kingdom led by Mars and Ladros. They are here to take advantage of the chaos and kidnap the queen.

Armed again – Yeah, the queen just heals Asta’s arms like that. In exchange for that, Asta and co head out to protect the forest from the enemies.

SJWs – Witches saved by our heroes don’t thank them simply because they are men. Ungrateful? Selfish Jackass Witches…

Diplomacy first – Wow. You mean Asta wants to talk to Fana and understand why they hate them so much? At least he isn’t the kind of guy who just charges in. But I don’t think Fana believes there is anything to understand between them. A vague flashback how her tribe was eliminated and they think humans were the ones who betrayed them.

Water beats fire – With Fana growing a third eye and Salamander turning into a huge fire breathing dragon, looks like Noelle’s up to the job to extinguish those huge flames. But first, the need to hype up that is not weak. You are not weak. You are strong. You are not weak. You are strong. And there you go.

Dragon slayer – And now it’s up to Asta to finish it all with his secret move. A move that thrusts his sword through the enemy. Wow. You mean that’s the end of it? The battle’s over? They’re not going to drag it out like 10 episodes like how they did with Vetto’s?

Former teacher vs former students – Fanzell vs Mars and Ladros.

Another defection – Just when cold hearted Ladros is going to kill Fanzell and Dominate, Mars protects them. He is willing to betray and defect the Diamond Kingdom for his former sensei. Man, Diamond Kingdom must be one sh*tty place to have so many defections.

Burnt to a crisp – In order to defeat Ladros, Fanzell and Mars seek Asta’s help to hit Salamander’s fireball at Ladros’ way.

Past revisited – If you’ve forgotten Mars’ past, here it is again to remind you because Mars and Fana are childhood friends involved in the Diamond Kingdom’s cruel super soldier experiment. Fana forced Mars to kill her so he could live and carry on.

Remember me? – Apparently Fana doesn’t remember Mars despite his constant screaming of their past. Must be that third eye that is blocking her memories. Yeah, it’s going to self-destruct too.

Welcome back – After Asta uses his anti-magic to cut through the fire, all Mars needs to do is hug Fana, scream apologies and forgiveness. With that, all that pent up hatred disappears. Like as though there were never traces of it to begin with. Hi Mars. Nice to see you again. At least cutie pie here doesn’t need to die like her gorilla comrade.

Stick it to him – Ladros maintains his distance firing his lasers at Asta. Even if Asta deflects it back, he can recycle his magic and reuse it again. But he never see it coming that Asta would throw his sword into him. Now his magic is rapidly draining. What are you going to do now?

Not as dumb as he looks – Despite pitiful pleas from Ladros to pull out this heavy sword, Asta has learnt from his battles that is all just a ruse to let his guard down and attack him. With Ladros powerless, all that is left is to whack him unconscious.

Man on fire – In Ladros’ desperation, he uses his remaining magic to escape, enough time for him to take Fana hostage and threaten her to kill unconscious Mars if she doesn’t give him her power. And just like that, he absorbs Salamander and becomes a very powerful fire element villain.

Demonic revival – Due to the queen’s blood flowing through Asta, it removed his limits and accelerated the power flow and his body is now a vessel for the raging anti-magic. So we see a very explosive and abstract (low quality?) battle between Asta and Ladros with the latter getting scared for someone who thinks he is invincible. With that, Asta cuts him down with his Black Meteorite and even won’t kill him. Because he will make him apologize to all the people he has hurt. That’s Asta being Asta for you.

Blood queen – With Asta repaying his debts to the queen, of course she’s not going to just let him go. Her goal was to obtain his anti-magic and because she cannot wield it, she will turn him into her puppet after observing his battle as she controls his blood. Her first order is for him to kill his comrades.

Cat caught your fate? – In Vanessa’s desperate bid to prevent Asta from killing Noelle, somehow she finally masters the magic to control her fate. This little red cat, Rogue? All it needs to do is to touch the subject and its fate will change in favour of its master. For instance, when Asta actually killed Noelle, it’s like time reversed right before that point to take an alternative route where he missed.

Not my family – The queen wants to take Vanessa’s newfound power but with the feline’s touch, looks like it is not her fate to be. The queen is shocked that her perfect magic is imperfect as Vanessa tells her off that she has never been her family, but the Black Bulls whom she has a closer family bond with.

Heal all – I guess the queen lost so she heals everybody. Thanks.

The elves’ secrets – The queen hands over the magic stone to them. It’s not like she need it (why was she having it in the first place?) since its attributes only work on elves. It is believed they lived in the forsaken realm peacefully for centuries until humans outnumbered and decimated them all. The third eye is some sort of forbidden magic that requires a lot of mana and sacrifice. It is believed the demon was activated by the elf’s leader and that the Eye of the Midnight Sun could be descendant of elves. Oh, Asta’s swords, they were believed to be used by the elf’s leader.

Back to the Diamond Kingdom – Mars decides to return to the Diamond Kingdom to conclude his mission and pass off this special blood to his king as some longevity essential. He vows to change Diamond Kingdom into a safe place to allow Fana to come back one day. Ladros goes with Mars to support him. It’s the fastest and best way to aim for the top?

Change is not necessarily good – With Asta’s return, other Black Bull members have changed! Luck and Magna have levelled up into some demi-god level after spending time in the dungeon, Gauche and Gordon have turned into nerds after spending time in the library, Charmy and Grey have parasite mushrooms growing all over them after spending time in the mushroom kingdom. But all of them revert to normal after learning Asta’s arms are healed.

Star Festival Arc

Star Festival gift – With the Diamond Kingdom celebrating their annual festival, Asta also invited Kahono and Kiato to join in. So that he could use the queen’s blood to heal their voice and leg completely.

Dating woes – Kahono tries to make Noelle do something about her feelings with Asta. This means Kahono acting like as though she is interested in Asta and doing things with him. Too bad Noelle can only watch in horror. And Kiato trying to flirt with Noelle with his dance moves, I don’t think she’s watching… Eventually when Asta notes how much she likes Noelle because she used her royalty status to help a poor peasant girl find her mom and admonished the arrogant aristocrats, the usual Noelle beat down treatment. Somebody too dense, somebody not too honest with her feelings.

Caught with your pants down – The stall rivalry between Yami and Jack to outsell each other turned deadly as now they are raring to go at each other. Thanks to Julius putting a stop to this by cutting their pants. And with that they lost the motivation to kill each other. But it might soon resurface as they now argue who has more wins. Why is the number keep increasing?

Rose with a million thorns – Woah! Who that beautiful babe?! Don’t be too surprised when she starts whipping you with her thorny vines magic. Yup, Charlotte!

Beauty and the beast – The last thing Charlotte wants is Yami to see her and then it happened…

Catfight – For some odd reasons (actually to see who is more worthy of Yami’s company), Vanessa challenges Charlotte. The latter didn’t want to get involved had not Sol forcefully getting her to participate, believing her captain will never lose. So we have a cosplay contest that ends in a draw and then a drinking contest that also ends in a draw. Sure, Charlotte can’t hold her liquor but Vanessa also passed out on the first cup?!

Cursed fate – A glimpse of Charlotte’s past whereby her curse activated when she turned 18. She tried to become strong and break out of it and the reason she hates men is that they’re all just talk and weak. Until Yami came, that is. When her curse went berserk, Yami easily cut through it. And because he did say he likes strong chicks, apparently the way for the curse to be broken was to have her heart stolen by a man. Yeah, it’s that simple yet so complicated.

Rising Dawn – Julius announces the squad winner that accumulated the most stars during the year: Golden Dawn. The biggest contributor is of course Yuno.

Rising Bull – Shockingly, the one who takes second place is Black Bull! Yeah, even their own members are so shocked since they expected to get last place just like every other year. And it is no surprise that the biggest contributor is Asta, only second to Yuno in total.

Wooden spoonist – If you’re curious as to know who occupies last spot after Black Bull’s big jump, it’s Azure Deer. Damn, Rill looks so shocked…

New captains – Crimson Lion and Purple Orca have new captains. Meet Mereoleona and Kaiser Granvorka respectively.

Lame king – Augustus makes his rare royal appearance. Because he looks like an idiot, nobody is revering him. Yeah, he gets petty about how much he should be showered with praises and all. Everyone even thinks the Wizard King should just become their king!

Taking all the glory – In order to make the people love him, he announces that the hideout of the Eye of the Midnight Sun has been discovered. Hence he will be holding an exam among all Magic Knights in which the best will be selected to be part of the Royal Knights who will then destroy the terrorist group once and for all. Of course this plan was all from Julius.

Off with their heads! – Because Asta speaks the truth that the ones who are awesome are the Wizard King and Magic Knight captains as well as the king hasn’t used his power to do any good for his people, Augustus wants Asta killed right now! Had not Julius reasons with him, Augustus’ reputation might have been taken another hit to even below rock bottom.

Bragging rights – Yami must be having a swell time by himself as he brags he beat the other captains to second place. I’m sure they want to sock it to him but no violence in this bar establishment. Ah, such a calming drink. And why is this scrawny bar a place where such captains go for a drink?!

Roar of the lioness – Mereoleona chides her Crimson Lions for dropping in the rankings. Although the men still acknowledge Fuegoleon’s achievements, she needs them to prove that to her. This means hotspring training. Because of that, she also ‘forces’ Asta, Yuno, Noelle, Yami, Charlotte and Sol to come on this trip.

Really, really hot hotspring – It’s not your typical Japanese onsen. Because it’s a mountain spewing lava! But if they can cross it, what awaits them is a splendid revitalizing hotspring.

Mana Skin – Apparently if you can produce constant amount of mana to cover your skin, it works as some sort of protection layer and you can safely make your way across the hazardous terrain.

Can’t take the heat… – So with no Mana, can Asta do this? He defeated big baddies and overcome so many impossible magical moments but is going to lose out to this heat? So when Mereoleona mocks him as just being lucky and to go home, you bet that is going to make Asta do the opposite. Luck isn’t what is going to land him the Wizard King position.

The key to using ki – Yup, using the power of ki is what Asta did to overcome all this crap. Now he turns into some wild black comet blazing over the volcano.

Peekaboo – And while we have our much awaited hotspring respite, shockingly Yami rallies to guys to go peek at the women! Because that is what being a true man is?! More nonsense excuses like they shouldn’t be afraid of death and that they’ve come here to be whipped back to shape. Now go get some peeping done! I bet Yami just wants to see the clowns climb the wall. Sol just made the wall higher to protect the beauty of Charlotte’s nakedness. It comes to an abrupt anti-climactic end with Asta refusing to do so because his heart belongs to Lily!

Royal Knights Entrance Exam Arc

Captur- Destroy The Flag? – In this team battle, teams must destroy the opponent’s crystal to win while protecting their own. If within the time limit the crystal is not destroyed, the one who dealt the most crystal damage will win.

The oddest teams – Are you excited to know how is in which team? For Asta’s team, we have Mimosa (good for you girl, looks like you need your much needed screen time) and Xerx Lugner. Xerx who? This shady guy who came in late and assumed the identity of Purple Orca’s vice captain showing disrespect to everyone and is doing this all for fun… Other notable characters taking part in this exam (apparently not everybody else is interested in being a Royal Knight) like Noelle is in the same team with Yuno (Bell and Noelle already at each other’s throat?), Luck with Klaus, Magna with Sol, Finral with Leopold.

Sleeping on the job – Asta’s team is the first match. However Xerx is not interested in cooperating and winning. He takes a nap and lets Asta and Mimosa sort it out.

Comeback – Asta and Mimosa are already having a hard time facing the enemy. It gets worse with Asta stepping into a paralysis magic trap and the other team attacking from all sides. Will Asta lose? If you know the trend, of course not. A magic portal absorbs the opponent’s magic and reflect them back. Xerx then destroys the enemy’s crystal to register their first win.

Shady magic – Asta isn’t too happy Xerx mocks other Magic Knights but Xerx won’t reveal his strange ash magic that reflects. The trap Asta stepped on belonged to him and because of that, it activated that reflection trap that sealed their victory. The stronger the spell, the more effective it is.

You’re so vain – Next up is Magna and Sol’s team. Also in their team is Kirsch Vermillion, Mimosa’s vain older brother who is the vice captain of Coral Peacock. So beautiful… Mimosa just wishes he’d disappear…

Beautiful win – I know Kirsch is such a creepy vain guy but he does dispense some useful info to Sol and Magna on how to beat their opponents efficiently. And beautifully. With that, an easy win for their team against opponents we don’t care. Wow. Everything so beautiful. So pretty. So gorgeous. So ugh…

Battlefield experience – Finral uses his spatial magic and experience from his past battles with Black Bull to help his team make an easy win over opponents we don’t care.

Instant wipe out – Sekke is in Langris’ team and the only thing ‘useful’ he did is to show off his transport? Anyway Langris seals an easy win over opponents we will never care by instantly shaving the space away.

Explosive piece of art – Just when you think the next matchup has nobody of significance, well this mysterious contender turns out to be Rill! Well, there’s no rules saying a Magic Knight captain can’t participate. While he might look like some naïve ditz, we delve into his past to see him being depressed and throwing tantrum when he obtained his art magic. It wasn’t the kind of art he wanted to draw and his tantrums almost destroyed his mansion. Until he almost killed his butler, Walter who advised him to join the Magic Knights and use the sky as his big canvas. Since then, Rill hasn’t looked back and became the youngest Magic Knight captain in history. It goes without saying he owns his opponents with his art magic, recreating magic attributes from scratch.

Tough luck – With Luck powering up so much from all the missions, you bet he is going to have fun all the way as he pulverizes his opponent in a single blow and at the same time destroying the opponent’s crystal.

Mushroom magic – En Ringard of the Green Praying Mantis looks weak and feeble. Is he going to be alright in Yuno and Noelle’s team? But he really has some weird freaky mushroom spore magic…

Jealous guy – Yuno is forced to face fellow teammate Alecdora from the opposing team. Alecdora has a grudge against Yuno because he has been hogging Vangeance’s attention recently?! You mean he also knows how many times he called his name today?! Creepy. No wonder Yuno defeats this guy with his superior magic.

Sibling rivalry – Solid abandons whatever strategy just to target Noelle. Unfortunately this cocky guy is still stuck in the past. Because he looks awfully surprised when he sees Noelle’s immense water magic. Think she’ll miss? That’s why he’s stuck in the past. Noelle does an instant KO on him (that’s for all the torment!) and also destroys the crystal all in one go!

On a clean slate – Time for the second round to begin. Kirsch uses his sakura magic to conceal everything. Why, just leave it up to Asta and use his anti-magic to wipe it all clean! And because of that he erased all of Xerx’s sneaky traps too.

Drop dead gorgeous – Kirsch decides to handle this himself after learning Magna is a peasant. Because of his abhorrence for peasants, he tries to target Asta but falls into a simple pit trap created by Xerx. Time for this royalty to take his beauty sleep…

Batting practice – With Magma improving his skills, Asta tries to protect the crystal by swatting back his fireballs. If not for Xerx reflecting his magic back at him, their crystal might have been destroyed.

Drop dead gorgeous, again – Kirsch returns to fight but again gets busted in the face by Asta.

Free hit – Just before Sol can destroy their crystal, I don’t know how Mimosa’s plants are so strong to stop Sol’s golem, let it reveal their crystal, enough for Asta to destroy it and win it for his team.

True beauty – Kirsch might have not been beautiful in this unsightly lost. But because he put in his last spurt effort to be a team player, he saw true beauty in this.

Brotherly hate – Well, it’s inevitable. Finral facing off with Langris in the second round. Lots of flashback to see why Langris hates and envies his brother despite being so much better than him. So much hate that he becomes some sort of dark Super Saiyan. Finral’s attempt to stop him fails. Their crystal got destroyed and there are holes in Finral, making him like Swiss cheese. Oops, not a good time for jokes.

Don’t bull-y our comrade! – Langris is so filled with hate that he is going to continue to kill his brother despite the match is over. Immediately the Black Bull members jump in protect Finral and are prepared to kill Langris if he decides to go overboard. Wow. A minute ago they weren’t caring about him and now he is so injured and on the verge of death, they get upset? Like I thought Gauche was so into his Marie but came out to also protect Finral? I guess it’s different when this womaniser isn’t being a coward.

Brought forward match – Since Langris and Asta are really wanting to have a go at each other right now, Julius gives the approval to bring forward their semi-final match.

Unconscious traitor – Another reason why Julius was keen on this Royal Knights Entrance Exam is because he believed someone in the Magic Knights is unconsciously aiding and leaking info to Eye of the Midnight Sun. Hence this exam is to sniff out that traitor. Could Langris be that culprit?

Zora Ideale – We interrupt the match to bring you a flashback from Xerx. Zora is his real name and he looked up to his father who is part of Purple Orca. However he died and he found out that his own comrades betrayed him just because of his peasant status that led to his death. Upset, he trained hard and then go on a spree to beat up cocky Magic Knights who abuse their power. That is why he has beef with them as he feel these Magic Knights aren’t the kind whom his father dreamt of.

I’m so special – With Langris b*tching of how special he is and the chosen one compared to everyone else being so useless, time for Asta to give his special lecture how they Magic Knights compete with each other to grow stronger so they can protect everybody. And in one strike, Asta takes him out.

Double KO – Both their crystals get destroyed at the same time so it’s a draw. I guess they can’t continue with another rematch since Asta and Langris are out cold.

Deflection – It is Klaus’ team versus Rill’s team. Luck has this idea to unleash the most powerful lightning strike at them. But Rill uses his painting to deflect it back to them. Rill’s team wins.

Was this even a match? – Yeah, Yuno goes into his match and destroy the opponent’s crystal all by himself. Against a group with nobodies? No wonder it is in record time. Yuno so strong, they so weak that they just stood there and did nothing.

The semi-final final – So with Asta and Langris’ semi-finals a draw, hence Rill’s team and Yuno’s match is now the finals?! So technically if everybody’s first round matches ended in a draw, will everybody be winners?

Super Saiyan level – Now this is the match that should have been the entire Royal Magic Knights Entrance Exam. Save the best for last, huh? Yuno’s wind power and Rill’s painting taking to a whole new level that could even shatter the universe!!!

Own goal – Because Rill has been emitting such powerful magic aura, he destroyed his own crystal. Damn. Hence Yuno’s team wins it.

Still hope – As we know, winning this exam doesn’t guarantee you are part of the Royal Magic Knights as Julius will go through everyone’s performance and make his final evaluation. So there’s still hope for you losers out there…

My, what big eyes you’ve got – Damn. Asta in shock that he looks like a retard spacing out!

Grey dawn – Back when Azure Deer was called Grey Deer, that was Yami’s first squad and while helping a remote village to fend off bandits from stealing their harvest, Yami also first met a fellow squad member who is no other than Vangeance. They were a team taking down the bandits and it also led to their first rivalry to see who would become a Magic Knight captain first.

The enemy within – A few years later, Yami and Vangeance were promoted as Grey Deer’s vice captains right after Julius became the 28th Wizard King. Sensing a traitor among the Magic Knights who are supplying bandits with stuffs and info, the duo are tasked to smoke this out. As expected, the duo come together to weed out a couple of disgraced Magic Knights and save the day.

New dawn – To recognize their exceptional efforts, Julius appoints Yami and Vangeance to become captains of their own Magic Knights squad. Yami created Black Bull because he wants to take in all those outsiders and hooligans and give them a place they can call home. And it’s black because that’s what you get when you mix all the colours together. As for Vangeance, his Golden Dawn is pretty much straightforward. A new light that will bring change to this world.

Herald the Royal Magic Knights – Those who make the cut: Asta, Noelle, Luck, Yuno, Mimosa, Klaus, En, Ril, Kirsch, Hamon, Nils Ragus (Silver Eagle), Ruben Chagar (Crimson Lion), Ben Benfunk (Crimson Lion), Puli Angel (Blue Rose), Fragil Tormenta (Azure Deer) and Zora. Mereoleona is appointed as the Royal Magic Knights’ captain.

New member – Haven’t you heard? Zora joined the Black Bull!

Additional members – Also fighting alongside the Royal Magic Knights but those who didn’t take the exam are Nozel, Shiren and Cob Portaport.

Reincarnation Arc

To deceive your enemies, deceive your friends first – You’re wondering why the Royal Magic Knights are having a grand party and storming the enemy’s base is only in 3 days. Turns out Mereoleona’s plan is to sniff out a spy. Yeah, the Royal Magic Knights can’t even sniff this low level spy out? I’m worried for these guys… With the spy busted, Mereoleona moves up the attack plan to tomorrow.

Storm troopers – Because Eye of the Midnight Sun’s base is like an ants nest with many entrances and exits, the Royal Magic Knights split into small teams to storm in from different points and make their way to the core of the base.

Socially awkward – Meanwhile back at Black Bull’s hideout, Gauche is left with Gordon and Grey. As we know Gordon is still too soft with his voice but wants to make friends but Grey is still too shy to be seen but wants to improve her self-confidence. And Gauche only cares about making his Marie doll…

Walking dead – The base is under attack by zombies!!! Apparently Sally, Valtos and Rades are here to destroy Black Bull’s base.

Rise of the socially awkward – Because we all know how Black Bulls is the place where the misfits find as home, we see Gordon and Grey rising up to the occasion to defend the base. Gordon using his poison magic and Grey using her properties changing magic.

Henry Legolant – Ever wondered why the space inside Black Bull’s hideout keep changing? It’s because of this slow talking ‘ghost’. Apparently when Yami was looking for a hideout after forming his Black Bull, he stumbled upon this rundown place. Henry was bedridden and is only surviving on mana he absorbs from others. He was willing to give this base to Yami after he kicks the bucket but Yami refuses to let this place be haunted. And when members of Black Bull slowly trickle in, Henry watch them all and knows about them. So he’s still like a ghost, huh? And now with our 3 Gs in a pinch, Henry comes out from his hiding to help his comrades.

Clash of the titans – Henry transforms the base into a giant blocky bull to fight against Sally’s giant sticky newt.

Jewel thief – Once Valtos managed to get a jewel inside the hideout, he calls off the mission. Black Bulls were winning anyway and much to Rades’ disappointment, they’ll have to fight again another day so as not to risk this mission’s success.

Only I can do it – With 2 more jewels left, it seems Licht claims only he himself can get them. Uhm, so why wait until now and not earlier? Did you not know where they were or something?

The lioness strikes back – No matter how many powerful magic Raiha has copied, Mereoleona easily crushes them all with extreme speed and power. Is she even human?!

Gomu Gomu No Gatling – Out of tricks, Raiha? Well, here comes Mereoleona unleashing her unlimited punches till he disintegrates!

Unmasked – If you have your doubts since the last time Vangeance revealed himself to Yami, well, those who kept doubting (like yours truly) is going to say, “I told you so!”. Because as Vangeance confronts Julius, he reveals himself to be Licht! More accurately, they aren’t the same person but rather 2 souls in 1 body. The scarred face of this body belongs to Vangeance whom Licht considers as his only friend aside Julius who also gave him a chance. It is Licht’s goal to seek revenge on humans in Clover Kingdom for killing his elven brethren.

Boss fight – Light magic versus time magic… Who is faster?

Don’t judge a book by its cover – Ever wondered about Julius’ grimoire? It has no cover!!!

Heavenly light – A weakening Licht knows he cannot defeat Julius so he did the most despicable thing that every despicable villain should do: Rain down his light magic on everybody in the entire Clover Kingdom.

Time reversal – To counter Licht’s magic, Julius uses up all his magic to do the biggest time reversal and nullify the light swords. Because of that, Licht uses this opportunity to stab Julius! I suppose there isn’t any magic left to do time reversal on himself?

In the nick of time – Before Yami can sends his dimensional slash to Licht, he escapes via Valtos’ portal.

Self-destruct – You know, Third Eye’s favourite pastime is to blow themselves up when the going gets tough? Lucky for Asta, he saw this coming and nullifies Raiha with his sword.

We’re the same – You know, Asta is at one of his rare moments where his words make sense. Refuting Mereoleona’s words that both sides can’t understand each other, in fact they actually do. In more fact, they’re the same and are only fighting because each side got their loved ones hurt. So can we just sit down and talk things out? Asta admits he is dumb so he’s not cut out for this stuff…

Passing of the great Wizard King – JULIUS!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your service – Licht now puts all the magic stones in place and this will truly awaken their kind’s power. However he labels Valtos, Rades and Sally as selfish despite all their contribution to help Eye of the Midnight Sun. Their basic human greed never changed. Such foolish and ugly creatures. Their final contribution will be to serve as foundation for the resurrection.

Life of Patry – Patry is a young elf who looks up to Licht, a great elf who received a four leaf grimoire. Though Patry is wary of humans and fears they might attack them one day, Licht remains optimistic that they can get along. One day, Licht saves a human princess, Tetia. He has a brother prince whom he also gets along with. Soon, Licht and Tetia got married and it would have been the start of the greatest human-elf relationship in history. Unfortunately somebody attacked the elves. They think it is humans and Tetia’s brother because his magic attribute is light magic. All but Patry died. When Patry awakens, he finds himself in the body of Licht? No. This is the body of a human that looks like Licht. He remembers Licht casted some forbidden regeneration spell before he died. Although Patry can tell his other brethren’s souls, they are not so lucky to be reincarnated like him. Hence Patry decides to take on Licht’s name as he learns magic to resurrect the members of Third Eye. As they are the only ones whom he can resurrect for now, in order to resurrect the rest of their elven brethren, all the magic stones is needed as well as the sacrifice of humans.

Return of the elves – With the completion of the ritual, not only the shocking revelation that Yuno is of the elf tribe but a whole lot of other familiar characters too such as Luck, Gauche, Marie, Klaus, Hamon, Rill, Marx, Owen, Charlotte and a few of the other Royal Magic Knights!

Revenge of the elves – This sets up some interesting match ups that include Yami vs Charlotte, Noelle-Kirsch vs Luck, Asta-Zora- Mereoleona vs Raia-Rill.

The lion sleeps tonight no more – Randall Luftair is the vice captain of Crimson Lion and he is one of the resurrected elves. Everyone gets beaten up by him including Leopold. Luckily they hold up long enough as Fuegoleon wakes up! Finally! Partially thanks to Salamander choosing him for his much awaited wake up call. Now he’s got a fiery arm to boot with. Fuegoleon shows he still got it despite being in slumber as he overwhelms and defeats Randall.

Golden Elf Dawn – Why is it the bunch of resurrected elves are now inhibiting the bodies of the members of Golden Dawn? No surprise too that leading them is Langris.

You just can’t put a lioness down – No matter what kind of magic the elves throw at Mereoleona, she just keeps coming back! She just can’t die! Is she even human?! Even when she uses all her magic up, she still won’t go down. At least she’s passed out while standing!

Right back at you – Asta and Zora return with a ‘brilliant’ plan. Zora reflecting the elves’ magic twice and then Asta quadruple that power by deflecting it with his anti-magic sword! Enough time to take Mereoleona to escape. Unfortunately Raia won’t let Asta go so easily so he kidnaps him to bring him to Licht.

From rivals to enemies – Why does poor Mimosa looked like she’s going to get raped? Yuno, Klaus and Hamon have reverted to elves and it is made worse that the real Licht has resurrected here. Thankfully Asta is dropped in and his worst nightmare begins when he sees Yuno… I guess this is how they face off for real, huh?

Still Yuno, though – Just trolling us! Yuno’s will is so strong that the elf couldn’t take over and our Yuno continues to remain as Yuno. Time for Asta-Yuno combo to kick ass!

Star Wars – With the real Licht revived, he is stronger, faster and everything else you couldn’t possibly imagine. And then they take the fight into outer space?! Best light show ever? Eventually Licht’s condense magic blasts our heroic duo. Overkill because the entire land below got decimated!

On to the capital – The elves’ floating fortress seriously has a hole in it from Licht’s awesome firepower. Can they steer this whole thing to the capital? Yeah, what is plugging up a few holes?

Hage Village revisited – Well, first stop in the elves’ tour in killing all humans is Hage which is closest. Can our forsaken villagers hold out in time before their homeboys return? You bet.

Goodbye, father Orsi – Say it isn’t so?! Father is dead?! NOOO!!! This sadness and anger has Asta managing to pull a new sword from his grimoire. The same sword that was used by Licht recently.

I have the power – Yuno’s new sword not only absorbs the poison from all the villagers but can also purge the possessing elf from the human body! Definitely the key to saving Clover Kingdom…

Luck-ning speed – I guess we need to have an ‘official’ Magna vs Luck battle. Can Magna hit Luck with his newly trained skills? Seeing Luck is way faster than ever and can sense mana. Magna is only saved thanks to Rogue distorting his death fate. So you think Magna and Vanessa can yell out how strong their bond with Luck is to bring him back? Well, not if Asta enters the fray. Triple the bonds now!

Luck on our side – And like what all strong bonds do, with the help of Asta’s sword, the elf inside Luck is purged. First time seeing Luck with a crying face. Glad to be back.

Eat up – Returning to base, it is all in shambles. With no magic left for them to head to the capital, Charmy has her sheep cook for everyone to replenish their magic and strength. Now they can charge towards the capital on a full stomach and full magic power!

Unholy alliance – Somehow Rades, Valtos and Sally have their own reincarnation too. Yeah, Rades’ power barely resurrect them and they are hell bent on revenge on those elves. Hence Rades tries to make a deal to work with Asta and Black Bulls but instead Asta beats him up for not atoning. Their goal is after all not revenge and to protect and you buggers who attacked the capital in the first place now want revenge? Instead, Asta has them join them to save the kingdom. I think they give in after they are served great food. Oh well, can’t fight, avenge and rescue on an empty stomach.

Night of slicing – Yami teams up with Jack to take out those elves at the royal castle.

Royal massacre – Those Golden Dawn elves storm into the royal castle and slaughter all the useless nobles. I guess this means Solid and Nebra are going to die too, right?

Get your bearings right – Not if Nozel and Noelle could have a say to that. They are up against Letoile Becquerel whose compass magic allows her to change the direction and flow of magic.

Changing tides – Noelle floods the entire place so Letoile has to undo her magic to avoid drowning. Allowing Nozel to finish her off.

Like mother, like daughter – Apparently Nozel being cold-hearted towards Noelle stems from the logic that she looked a lot like mom. Fearing of seeing mom die again, that’s why he put her in ‘safe’ places and avoided her getting into dangerous missions. Oh wait, Nozel apologizing to Noelle?!

Water armour – Ironically Nozel said not to let their guard down. He lets his guard down and gets owned by Letoile. Now it’s up to Noelle levelling up and writing a new magic to don some water armour. Fast and powerful. Just like her mom. I think we can see how this match will end.

Down with the king – Augustus thinks his brilliant light show can make Langris submit. Didn’t work. F*ck. Langris should’ve just killed him instantly but too bad reinforcements arrive.

Finral-Yami-Jack vs Langris – How can our heroes fight against Langris’ spatial magic that devours anything it touches? I don’t know, they somehow manage to cut through it. But Finral steals the show because after Langris goes berserk, all big brother needs is to give him one big punch. Damn, he doesn’t need Asta’s sword to purify him? Did the brotherly bond pull the real Langris out and banish the elf?

The return of Third Eye – Using Sally’s research, Raia has created new bodies for Vetto and Fana.

Soul exchange – The elves’ final phase of the plan is to put the final magic stone in which some Shadow Palace will appear to complete the reincarnation. When that happens, the souls of the human host will be purged and sent to hell.

The sleeping peacock awakens – Dorothy wakes up! Well, at least her elf version. She sends some of the heroes to the dream world.

Get out of my dream… – Because everything that Dorothy visualizes are those that she encountered in real life, this means real life physics, mechanics and magic work the same way. Hence, Sally just needs to wish for exits! That easy? Only for Dorothy to reseal all exits. Yeah, easy come, easy go.

Will the real Dorothy please stand up – With everyone’s help, they make a fake mirage of Dorothy. Because she perceives it to be real, hence this fake doll becomes the real Dorothy. So this is the real Dorothy? Chirpy and energetic? It’s a huge clash of dreams with both Dorothys slugging out with their imaginary dreams. So big their dreams that they explode back into reality.

Mirror, mirror everywhere – Asta’s side is having troubles facing off with Gauche and Marie. Gauche’s unlimited mirrors can deflect or zap from anywhere and Marie’s eyes can immobilize you. Not until Henry wants to sacrifice himself that Asta makes the bold move to use his dark power to quickly neutralize and purify the siblings.

Roaring to go – With Fuegoleon and Mereoleona entering the fray, the gang prepares to head into the Shadow Palace before the gate closes. Only Asta, Noelle, Mimosa and Nozel join them while the rest stay put to fend off the elves.

Asta-Mimosa vs Rill – Rill’s painted monsters keep them at bay. Can’t get close. Then Charmy drops in tries to offer food. Rill spills it. Won’t eat that human garbage. Charmy mad. But she gets blasted.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing – Charmy then resurrects as a hot babe?! Her sheep is actually a wolf?! WTF is this that Charmy is a hybrid of a human and dwarf?! This means she possesses hybrid powers as she can use all the powers her wolf absorbs and fight back. That’s one for the protein you wasted!

Noelle vs Fana – Water vs fire. Water beats fire. But because Fana used some forbidden magic, she cannot die. Can’t blame her. Tired of dying. Really, Noelle calling out for Asta’s help? She got Jack instead. Disappointed?

Yuno vs Raia-Patry-Ronne – Yuno trying to do a boss fight already? But he got his stone stolen by Ronne whom he can’t sense his presence. Just when Raia thought their plan is complete, he finds something strange about Ronne. And what do you know? Ronne kills off Raia!

Playing with the devil – The real mastermind behind everything that has happened so far: A demon! He was the one who tricked the humans into attacking the elves and then by using Patry to reincarnate the elves to destroy the humans. He was also the one who reincarnate the elves instead of Licht’s forbidden magic. All for this moment when he can return and revive again. After all, he tried to reincarnate 500 years ago but was resisted till the very end.

What you say comes true – You know your enemy is one damn powerful mother*cker when his magic is to turn what he says true. Are we worried for the first time as Asta and Yuno’s combo can’t even come close in taking him down? Let alone that tiny scratch they eventually put on him got easily healed!

Dark elf – With all the betrayal and being used, that Kotodama demon (temporary name) turns Patry’s four leaf clover into a five leaf clover out of despair. Turning into a dark elf, he uses Patry to keep Asta and Yuno at bay while he escapes.

Mercury rising – Had enough of Asta-Yuno combo? Well, here comes Nozel to join in the party. His mercury powers are suitable to stop Patry’s light.

Angry buds – Asta tries to purify Patry and gets absorbed into his conscious. He sees all his memories including the killing of Julius. When he stumbles into a confused Patry, both of them get mad at each other but I suppose Asta who is the maddest, starts lecturing about not giving up. With that, Patry returns to normal and will help Asta in taking down that Kotodama bastard.

Playing with the devil part 2 – Kotodama is a door away to escaping this place but standing in his way is Licht. Also joining in this fray is Rose and Yami.

All hell breaks loose – Kotodama unleashing a nightmarish magic. Leech-like creatures devouring one’s magic and life force! Can’t touch this! Except for Asta’s anti-magic. Oh…

A little bird told me – OMG! You mean Nero can talk?! Nero wakes up Finral so as to transport them to where the magic stones are. Pluck them out and put them on the statue of the first Wizard King. And he revives!!!

The prince’s story – Lumiere Silvamillion Clover is the first Wizard King and Nero’s true identity is a hot babe, Secre Swallowtail, Lumiere’s servant. So she waited 500 years just to revive him. Of all times, now?! Couldn’t she have done it earlier before sh*t hit the fan this deep? So we go back and see how all this came to be. 500 years ago, Secre was made Lumiere’s servant because of her lowly magic to seal. Lumiere loves making magic tools and the adults didn’t like his progressive thinking but he ignored them. Lumiere and his sister Tetia often interacted with the elves in hopes they could live together peacefully. And one day, Kotodama came to cause havoc and tricked the humans in killing the elves, he bound Lumiere to prevent him from taking action but Secre was able to free him. When they arrived, it was already a massacre. Kotodama tried to possess Licht’s body but was still unable. Licht has used some forbidden magic on himself and was gaining more negative emotions. In the end, Licht turned into that legendary Demon Lord. Lumiere is forced to absorb all his magic and defeat him before there were more casualties. Secre managed to seal Kotodama but with the passage of time, it will certainly weaken and be broken. As Lumiere has taken a near fatal damage, Lumiere used forbidden magic to seal him and preserve his life. In exchange, she turned into a bird.

Reunited and it feels so good – With Secre unsealing and fully awakening Licht’s soul, the old friends of the past are finally reunited.

Luck of the devil – Lumiere and Licht astound everyone as they fight on par with Kotodama. Even with Licht gathering the powers of the other elves to unleash some super light power to obliterate Kotodama, damn that demon can still regenerate. No magic can kill him. At least, magic not from this world.

Sword upgrade – All it takes is just the usual rivalry between Asta and Yuno so they get pumped up and their swords evolve to a whole new powerful level. Though with the speed and anti-magic, they pierced through Kotodama, still not enough to kill him because he shifted his real heart.

Surpass your limit – Kotodama may have gotten serious in going all out to kill them since he did receive some damage, Asta lands the killing blow that kills Kotodama once and for all after some upgraded dimensional slash from Yami, Secre’s sealing healing and Yuno’s blitzing wind. Finally!

Out of the pan and into the fire – The gang might have left the Shadow Palace but Clover Kingdom is still under intense battle.

One solution for all – So Patry makes his exit first by getting Asta to free his soul and return this body to Vangeance. Vangeance would then use his world tree to connect Licht’s magic to all the humans possessed by elves. Finally Asta stabs his sword into the tree and frees all the elves’ souls. So easy and hassle free. Only the reincarnated Third Eye are left behind since they aren’t inhabiting any real human body.

Not so fast – Rades won’t let Patry leave in peace so he uses some magic to bind his soul into Licht’s body after Licht’s soul leaves. Now you can atone for all you want.

Unborn son – So the elf soul that inhabited Yuno but never got to control him was supposed to be Licht’s son???!!!

From stone to dust – I guess everything is over. Lumiere’s magic is over so he says his goodbye to Secre before his body crumbles into pieces.

Little Julius – OMG! Julius lives! But in a child form?! Yeah, some ancient magic device created by Lumiere and Secre he stumbled upon that stored magic. How convenient.

The scapegoat – Julius narrates a big problem facing Clover Kingdom. Because of the recent attacks exhausting everyone, other kingdoms might invade. As some of the Magic Knights were possessed, it is hard to prove that it was the demon’s magic that caused the elves to possess and do this. Hence somebody must take the fall before the Magic Parliament. Someone who is well known to possess the power of the devil. Like… Asta?! So Asta must die?!

Damnatio Kira – Damn nut what? Oh, this so called justice guy is from the Kira house and hence a powerful figure in the Magic Parliament.

Kangaroo court – Asta and Secre are tricked to give their truthful accounts in the Magic Parliament but it is obvious that Damnatio wants to accuse Asta for being linked to the demon. If he doesn’t do so, every other Magic Knight will be judged. Starting with Marie! Safe to say, Asta won’t be accepting their ‘justice’ any time.

Honesty isn’t the best policy – Asta tries to tell the truth but obviously the nobles have made up their minds and won’t believe him. Death to the devil!

Birds of the same feather – Yeah, you can expect Black Bulls to barge into the hall and come rescue their own comrade.

Birds of the same feather too – Also, Secre ‘officially’ joins Black Bull since Yami says she is one of them. So I’ll also call her Nero since that’s what the rest calls her. It’s a new life for her after all.

New mission – To solve this impasse, Julius has given Black Bulls a new mission to investigate and find prove of the demons. Doing so will help clear Asta’s name. To further make this credible, Julius and the Magic Knights including Nozel and Fuegoleon will take responsibility of this.

Total recall – All the events from Lumiere and Licht’s meeting up to their wedding and the day they got tricked by that demon and got massacred… Yup, all those clips nicely but together again with some new clips as reminisced and narrated by Nero all for our convenience. From the time she spent as a bird watching over Hage to keep watch over Licht’s grimoire and over a certain magicless kid with potential to the time they finally defeat Kotodama. The future is saved. But more is to come. And this time Nero won’t be alone. She’s got a new family to call home.

The hunt – With Black Bull’s base in tatters, they have to go hunt for their missing demon beast pets. They split up and got hunted by them instead. Turns out they were just licked to death. I mean, they’re still alive. Even demon beasts need attention sometimes.

Taming of the feminism – Those who wanted to see how Charlotte will respond to her hidden feelings for Yami, well, this is it. She isn’t prepared for his physical visit so she goes berserk all over town.

End of the feminism – With her feelings in disarray, Charlotte summons her squad. She will take responsibility by resigning as she confesses that she is in fact in love with Yami! Oh my. Never thought this day would actually come. However all of them are happy and would gladly support them to be together. That’s because a lot of them have boyfriends too in secret. Probably Sol is the only one not too happy…

Curses… – After being egged by her squad members to go confess to him, can Charlotte do so over a romantic candle lit dinner? And if you know Yami well, he just wants to talk about the curse she had since he needs to find clues about demons. Oh well. Sorry to get your hopes (and ours) up. Charlotte points out that a member of his had curses longer than she did. Gordon?

I’m Not Giving Up On This Anime Yet!
For the first time ever since I started watching anime ages ago (nah, just over a decade ago), I am taking a break from this series for a while. It is not that I am getting bored with the series and dropping it but because with the recent developments and turn of events (but of course, how could such a respectable race like elves be the biggest crook and villains of the series, am I right?), I feel that bigger things are going to happen and what has just happened so far was only the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps it makes no difference to me whether I am binge watching or faithfully watching it weekly because as a long running anime, at this point I am starting to forget stuffs. Heh. How typical of me. So perhaps I’ll resume my watching once this series finishes. Heh. Whenever that is. So for now, after 126 episodes, I’m temporary withdrawing to take a break. Also, I think they’re going to spam a few filler episodes before the next big arc. Yeah, Charlotte’s confession was a blast. A temporary ‘farewell gift’ for me.

I don’t think this will turn into the next One Piece or the next Naruto (or Boruto), maybe it will run into a few hundred episodes like Bleach or Fairy Tail. I don’t know. It’s pretty hard to tell at this rate since this series is quite popular and considered to have a huge following in Japan. When it first aired back in 2017, I thought it was going to last for only 1 cour. The way things were slowly pacing out, it sure heck wasn’t going to look like 12 or 13 episodes were going to finish the job. And maybe 2 cours would do it. Heck no either. When it reached 25 or 26 episodes, I read they decided to extend it to 51 episodes. Yup, an anime that’s going to last for a year. Fine. So when we arrived at that, guess what? Another extension! Another year to be precise! So I guess back then it put to rest for those who were going to speculate how many episodes this series is going to run.

And then finally when we reach the 102th episode mark, we thought this would be it. This would finally be the end of the series. After 2 years, maybe the series will just end because it’s not going to be the next One Piece or Naruto (or Boruto), right? Wrong! They pulled the wool over our eyes again! Yup. As of this point it has gone beyond that and continue to continue. And as of now, there is no official speculation of how many more episodes and seasons this series can go on. Heh. It feels like a bad game of trying to predict the end of the world, huh? Well, good for fans for the series who want to see more. Bad news for those who want to seek a closure but can’t. I suppose you can’t really just end such an epic anime, huh? And with that, that’s why I said, I’m taking a break for a while.

Since we’re in for the long run, the story of course is dragged out. I won’t say it is going to be somewhere near a masterpiece but it’s got all the ingredients that is needed for a typical and cliché shonen anime. You know, the underdog protagonist who works hard to achieve his goals. His so called rivals. The girls who are in love with him. Somewhat. Villains who aren’t just villains but have their own back story to tell why they turn rotten but ultimately a thief with a cause is still a thief and hence they’re still villains. And lots of everything else in between. So yeah, the ultimate good versus evil story that isn’t so clear cut or black and white but still cliché as expected. Sometimes it gets a bit draggy because you know, they can really drag out an entire arc for a season. I suppose that is why they have that brief last episode recap at the start of each episode just so in case we’re that absent minded, to add to the running time of the episode. Otherwise each episode could be shorter a few minutes. Yeah, I’ve invested quite a while watching this anime so what’s a few minutes, right? Sure, when you realize all those recap minutes add up…

A long running and mundane segment of this series is the start of each episode whereby it narrates the history of the first legendary Wizard King who became a legend by singlehandedly slaying the Demon Lord when humanity was on the brink of destruction. Yes, it was good when the series started. But now crossing over 100 episodes and they still play this crap?! Like dude, are we done with this and should we move on with the storyline? Sheesh. It feels like it is part of the opening credits but not quite entirely because it is followed by what happens in the previous episode then some few scenes of the episode before playing the opening theme. I’m sure you can memorize this entire part if you faithfully watch it every episode. But me, I usually skip it so thankfully it didn’t get stuck in my brain. Not that I could remember anything for the long term in the first place :’(. And towards the end of the Reincarnation Arc, now we know why this is such an important scene… Oh yeah. Who would’ve guessed…

Before the next episode preview, there is this short mini segment called Petit Clover. As you can tell, it is a short segment lasting about a minute that is supposedly some small time comedy with the characters in chibi form. It’s like they’re trying to have their own Bleach’s Shinigami Cup Golden or something like that. Of course this part is for some mini laughs but sometimes I don’t really find it funny and it is more cringe than anything. At least not at the level where I would be LOL. Maybe just a small smirk, that’s all. I mean, it’s trying to be funny for the sake of being funny but it ultimately isn’t. And what’s with Yuno having his smug poker face trying to be the straight man and retort it isn’t possible?

The characters. Oh my, the characters. You’ve guessed it. There are tons of them and you think that with so many episodes, all those who are concerned will be justifiably fleshed out. Well, I say yes and no. Some main characters especially from Black Bull will be given more prominence and focus since they’re the star and underdog team. So you get some decent character flashbacks in certain arcs like Luck during the Dungeon Exploration Arc and Vanessa during the Witches’ Forest Arc. I suppose they’re pretty okay. Some probably having just a brief spell for now like Gordon whom I believe maybe his past will get fleshed out better in the future. You thought this guy whose wish is just to be friends with everyone will never ever get to talk properly. But during the Reincarnation Arc, I guess we don’t need to strain our ears and rely on onscreen subtitles to figure out what he is whispering. All thanks to the power of friendship! And you thought Nero was just a mascot character whom nobody will care. Surprise! Hot chick alert! Eventually everybody in Black Bull will have their turn and story to tell. It just takes a little more time…

Outside the Black Bull, some characters will completely stay the same like Sekke whose role has always been seen as a comic relief from the start and some whom you’ll keep wondering. But given enough time, that ‘mystery’ will be uncovered. Like if Coral Peacock’s Dorothy will truly ever wake up. In her real human form, that is. If you still remember about her and despite her short cameo isn’t much, at least we get a glimpse on her character even though it was in the dream world. Then we have formidable ones like Nozel, Fuegoleon, Mereoleona and Julius to remember by for reasonably good reasons. Not so good reasons like that stupid king of Clover Kingdom. I didn’t think Julius would really get killed off and though it was shocking at first when he did, thanks to Fairy Tail (yeah, that series trolled us a lot on characters who die…), I was expecting they pull that kind of revival surprise. But I’m not surprised. Killing off a very good and likeable character? You wanna earn the wrath of the fans and viewers?! So yeah, so many characters and it’s hard for a simple like me to remember them all and care.

I thought having that much character was already bad enough. Until the Royal Knights Entrance Exam Arc. Boy, I was wondering why the heck they need to add tons of never-heard-before mages into the fray. Do we really need more new characters?! Even more so, some of them getting selected to become the Royal Knights. I mean, I was like going, who the f*ck these guys?! Are we going to have more drawn out character flashbacks and past being told in the future? But ah, wait. I suppose that’s why they suddenly introduced so many characters. I suppose it is to provide for some fights during the Reincarnation Arc. That’s the only other way where you can see our Magic Knights take on each other officially. And sometimes, perhaps to make us feel confused in who to vouch for because with these elves reborn into their human bodies, it might make us feel sympathy to see former comrades fight each other.

Asta and Yuno are the main characters are pretty okay and cliché too. Asta being the typical passionate guy who is more brawns over brains while Yuno being the level headed and stoic one. They’re like night and day. While it is good that they have some sort of rivalry that keeps them going since their orphanage day, sometimes their promptly rivalry reminder might be annoying. Yeah, yeah. I know they both want to become the Wizard King and hence their renewed declaration to always not lose to the other. We get it already. They sound serious but at the same time not. Get it? And of course for now, Yuno seems to be the one who is outshining Asta because he has the honour student material. Anyway, can they both become Wizard Kings and for the first time in history there will be 2 Wizard Kings ruling over Clover Kingdom? Everybody would be happier, right? Rather than having Asta camp or Yuno camp eventually claiming their camp is the better one in the end if one of them do end up being the Wizard King. With both camps happy, I’m sure everyone will work together for the greater good. Yeah, sounds like I am talking like as though I’m from Asta’s camp. I could go on talking about their rivalries from all aspects including supremacy and romance but that will just be stating the obvious. Because rivalries AKA competitions are supposed to help you level up, right?

The action bits are okay. It’s part of the shonen genre because you need some cool and epic fights but magic edition. I have mixed feelings about this since I’m expecting that not all the action sequences are going to be really exciting. It would have an impact on my opinion had every fight been as epic as Yuno-Rill’s one or Asta-Yuno vs Licht, but most come off as passable or meh. I mean even though trying to put up those big epic flashy special magic effects, it still doesn’t matter if the fight sequences itself isn’t exciting in the first place. After all, despite having lots of characters, they have to also make sure that those who matter have at least 1 special magic skill. After all, Black Bulls are the main team so they need to have more than 1 tricks up their sleeve. Can’t be fighting enemies after enemies using the same set of moves, right? Got to show us that they’ve evolved! They’ve matured! They’ve mastered something after tons of practice! Got to show us something!

This also means that certain fights do drag out to several episodes especially the more important ‘boss fights’. I mean, you can’t have a very powerful character go down in just after 1 episode, right? Hence the action is sometimes like a double edged sword since we are treated to some cool fight scenes and it takes time to build up as to why our characters are able to unleash some new or cool devastating moves. At the same time, the fight seems to last almost like forever and this might get boring a little while. But since I have ‘experience’ from watching One Piece, Bleach, Fairy Tail, etc, the long drawn out fights are bearable. However after a while, it still gets a bit repetitive after you know how the system works. I mean, isn’t it funny to see the characters having a floating grimoire with its pages furiously fluttering before them while they fight? It’s like in case they need to reference a spell or something. Because I see them recite the spell like as though they remember it from the heart. Hence sometimes rendering that grimoire useless and making this magic fight with an open book looking a bit silly.

For an anime series that is very long running, obviously there are episodes and scenes in which the animation quality dropped tremendously. Like certain action scenes where the details really downgraded so much itself like as though the monitor can’t process all the high level resolutions and automatically become low-res quality. Yeah, it feels like that. But overall, feels pretty okay. Because the character designs as I have said earlier in my blog, they do remind me like a few other characters such as Asta being Naruto and Gordon being inspired from Marilyn Manson and En from John Lennon! Or Mars looking like he came from Hunter x Hunter. Yeah, it’s weird when you have so many characters that you try any kind of design and style just to differentiate them but end up looking like characters we’ve seen from somewhere else. I wonder if Marx and Gray are related because you know, same hairstyle and colour. And when Nero turned to Secre, I thought this was Mariella! Or Luck is an insane version of Lumiere! You see, once more having so many characters, it’s hard to keep track of your character designs and some will overlap looking like each other. This anime is made by Studio Pierrot who is no stranger to animate long running series such as Naruto (and Boruto too), Bleach, Urusei Yatsura and Yu Yuu Hakusho.

Having a big cast of characters, there are a few seiyuus whom I recognized. They’re all fine and dandy so nothing for me to complain. Yami = Junichi Juwabe, Vanessa = Nana Mizuki, Finral = Jun Fukuyama, Gauche = Satoshi Hino, Licht = Takahiro Sakurai, Vangeance = Daisuke Ono, Yuu Kobayashi = Charlotte, Natsuki Hanae = Rill, Henry = Mitsuki Saiga, Ayane Sakura = Secre/Nero and Showtaro Morikubo = Kotodama.

And there’s of course the whole lot of other casts because the characters are so extensive that I would be writing an encyclopaedia if I were to name them all. Yeah, I’m so lazy so don’t hope for it. Asta = Gaukto Kajiwara, Yuno = Nobunaga Shimazaki, Noelle = Kana Yuuki, Julius = Toshiyuki Morikawa, Luck = Ayumu Murase, Magna = Genki Muro, Charmy = Kiyono Yasuno, Zora = Hikaru Midorikawa, Gordon = Kenichirou Matsuda, Grey = Masayuki Akasaka, Nozel = Kousuke Toriumi, Fuegoleon = Katsuyuki Konishi, Mereoleona = Junko Minagawa, Klaus = Takuma Terashima, Mimosa = Asuka Nishi, Sylph = Aya Uchida, Leopold = Kenn, Langris = Kaito Ishikawa, Kirsch = Daisuke Namikawa, Sol = Haruna Kakiage, Mars = Yuichiro Umehara, Fana = Mao Ichimichi, Kahono = Megumi Han, Fanzell = Satoshi Mikami, Dominante = Misako Tomioka, Mariella = Sayaka Senbongi, Witch queen = Ryoko Gi, Lily = Miyu Kubota, Hiroshi Tsuchida = Damnatio and Shu Hikari = Lumiere. Damn this list is so long so anybody ‘important’ I’m missing out is intentional! Or maybe I just forgot. Yeah, they’re adding new characters as the new arcs come by so you can guess the list is going to blow up. And I guess they didn’t get Mamiko Noto because she was too busy playing Mavis in the final season of Fairy Tail, huh?

On par with other long running anime series, lots of opening and ending themes throughout the seasons. Mostly many of them are rock based music like Haruka Mirai by Kankaku Piero (first opening), Paint It Black by Bish (second opening), Amazing Dreams by Swanky Dank (second opening), Black Rover by Vickeblanka (third opening), Guess Who Is Back by Kumi Koda (fourth opening), Gamushara by Miyuna (fifth opening), Rakugaki Page Kankaku Piero (sixth opening), Right Now by Empire (ninth opening – though, heavy on the synthesizer effects), Black Catcher by Vickeblanka (tenth opening – got some Broadway and jazzy feel to it).

The rest I feel are not so heavy rock music: Aoi Honoo by Itowokashi (first ending), Back To The Dreamlight by Empire (third ending – why does this sound like ending for Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari), Four by Faky (fourth ending – more like slow rock), Tenjou Tenge by Miyuna (fifth ending – a bit of hip hop), My Song My Days by Solidemo with Sakura-men (sixth ending – boy band music?), Hana Ga Saku Michi by The Charm Park (seventh ending – K-pop boy band music?), Against All Gods by M-Flo (eight ending – hip hop, rap and heavy synthesizer effects), Jinsei Wa Senjou Da by Kalen Anzai (ninth ending – slow ballad) and New Page by Intersection (tenth ending – what a sleepy piece). If I had to pick among them my ‘favourites’, it will only be Justadice by Seiko Oomori (seventh opening – but screaming vocals?) and Sky & Blue by Girlfriend (eighth opening – lesser rock? Compared to the rest, sounds ‘soft’ in terms of impact).

Overall, this series isn’t so bad and I can see why it is popular and continuing to maintain its popularity for time to come. Trying to compare it with other currently long running series heavyweights like One Piece and Boruto is the same as comparing apples to oranges. It is in its own category. Nothing is perfect and everything has its ups and downs. It all boils down to preference. For example, I like how it is trying to flesh out the main characters and the story but at the same time it is taking an awfully long time (yeah, I’m an impatient guy). If time is of essence, you’re not going to find this anime enjoyable as investing in the characters and the story, well, that takes time. And one day the story and magic of this series will eventually end. But not just yet of now. Until then, I’m still not giving up on this anime yet!

Senpai, our fight for the fourth season hasn’t begun yet. So before the next season begins, let’s take a look at Strike The Blood: Kieta Seisou-hen OVA first. I’m sure this will be the appetizer before more sci-fi crap sh*t hits the fan in the fourth season. Remember, this is not your fight alone. This is our fight!

Who Moved My Lance?
Kojou and Yukina wake up in a classroom together. Oh gosh. Did they finally do it? And Yukina in an old fashioned bloomers. Of course they have no memories what happened last night. But Yukina thinks something precious to her is missing. Oh Kojou, it’s not her virginity! It’s Sekkarou! What were you thinking?! As they leave the classroom, they see a bloodied bat on the floor and what’s inside Kojou’s pocket? A bra?! Definitely too big to be Yukina’s! Could be Sayaka’s. Oh sh*t! Worse, he sniffs it to make out its scent but Yukina misinterprets this scene… They move on the rooftop as Kojou thought he saw someone moving there. Lots of sheets being hung out to dry. Also there is Asagi’s swimsuit. That is when they remember they were here yesterday for supplementary swimming lessons. But before they could start, it rained. Astarte then came to inform them that swimming lessons are cancelled since a storm is brewing. Hence they got permission to take shelter in the school. When they see Asagi, it seems she is flushed with embarrassment. But she is relieved that Kojou doesn’t remember what happened last night. She hopes it will stay that way. Meanwhile, Motoki, Kiriha, Yuiri and Shio are investigating Vatler’s abandoned cruiser. Looks like some monster broke out of its cage and there is a magical artefact shield in another container. Investigating further, they are then assaulted by an army of mermen and a huge Kraken. Wanna bet this squid was the one who escaped its cage?

Meanwhile, heading into the home economics room, they find Nagisa dead! Don’t worry. She’s not. That’s just ketchup. They further remember what happened last night. She also stopped by the school since the trains had stopped running due to the storm. Asagi then pointed out the big problem: What’s for dinner? After getting permission from the gardening club to use the produce in their garden (it will be wasted from the storm anyway) and make nabe, Kojou and Yukina drew the raw end of the stick as they had to go pick the produce. Yukina slipped and her clothes so Astarte gave her Natsuki’s bloomers to wear. After hearing screams from the next room, rushing over we see Sayaka trying to kill herself and La Folia assisting her?! Seems Sayaka lost some important magical ingredient. To put it shortly, some mushrooms that make you go high and hallucinate. Heh. You bet they remember that they ate some of that last night’s nabe. After dinner, Nagisa created a rice omelette with ketchup and tries to serve Kojou. Of course you bet the other girls were also flirty. Yukina complaining he looks at other girls and should have just done it with her if he wanted to. Sayaka stripping naked and crying foul Kojou doesn’t like her big boobs. La Folia trying to convince him to sign their marriage papers. Wow. It was literally hell. Somehow he got out of that and was taking a breather outside. Asagi came to talk to him but the wind was naughty and blew harder. Her skirt went up and she wasn’t wearing any pantsu. Kojou saw it of course. And you’ve guessed it, Asagi thought human brains are like the same as computers. Beat it hard enough and they’ll forget! And now we know where the bloody bat came from. Sayaka still sad and wants to kill herself. Don’t worry. Astarte says Natsuki has some of those ingredients and will share. Phew. No need for the harem to lose a girl.

Kojou gets a call from Motoki. Mermen and Kraken are too much to handle. Can come help? Sure. After they settle looking for Sekkarou. When Astarte returns Yukina’s dried clothes, she also claims the pole is no longer required and will return it to her. Eh? It seems that Yukina gave her permission to use Sekkarou as a laundry pole to dry her clothes! Yeah, blame those mushrooms! So embarrassing… With the final mystery solved, Kojou has Natsuki do them a favour and teleport to Motoki’s whereabouts. And hence your action sequence in seeing them take down the monsters. But before Kojou could do the finishing move, Yuiri realizes that this shrunken Kraken is just protecting the shield. Since it is just a young offspring, she hopes Kojou can let this one go. Kojou the merciful does so. So they just let the squid swim away into the sea? Hopefully this doesn’t come biting back in the future. While they’re happy for Kraken, they wonder about the mermen. Of course we see some shady baddie, Lei. He is being told the mermen were defeated and failed to retrieve the shield. A shame because it would really have been useful for their future plans.

Strike The Flashback
As cheesy as this OVA seems, I have to admit that in some ways that it was also fun. Oh well. Some fanservice and the usual Kojou harem problems are the things that I understood (I suppose they somewhat included Kiriha here because she was sorely missing in the third season). And hence this OVA is nothing much and feels more like a filler as our gang tries to piece back their missing memories of a night’s mishap. Blame those mushrooms! I bet it is one of those nights that they would want to totally forget. Especially Asagi. Even more forgettable-cum-laughable the officially cheesy named English title of “Who Moved My Lance?”. I thought “The Disappearance of Sekkarou” or “The Missing Sekkarou” would sound better and more accurate than this pseudo-detective-mystery-like title. Oh well. Must be those darn mushrooms making whoever thought that this title sounded like a good one. Yeah, I really want to forget about this title. I hope so when the next season comes around when we are then spammed with more action scenes, fanservice scenes, complicating supernatural sci-fi plots and more cheesy harem narratives. Oh yeah. Just another usual day in Itogami for Kojou and the gang. So senpai, are we ready to take this fight together for the fourth season?!

Okay guys. It’s time to resume the war. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War Of The Underworld continues where it all left all. That weird cliff-hanger of Kirito being hit by the surge and that very weird Asuna coming down to save him as an angel. Sheesh. I suppose that Kirito has defeated the God of this (VMMORPG) world, he now has to face the demon. Sure, ‘God’ was the demon but now it is the real demon’s turn to wreak havoc since Administrator is gone. I guess restarting the game from an earlier save point is out of the question. Oh wait. Did Kirito even save his game somewhere?

Episode 0
Sometimes dubbed as Sword Art Online: Alicization episode 24.5, if you have a lousy memory, don’t worry, we have this recap episode just to refresh all the important moments in this long running arc.

Episode 1
Big shock! We see Alice living back in her hometown with Selka. The shock? Kirito is now a wheelchair ridden vegetable!!! OMFG!!! Somehow he is so attached to his sword and Eugeo’s that it’s like his bolster? Alice takes him out for a walk. Flashback shows after Kirito was struck with the certain power outage, he became a vegetable. Alice just regained consciousness and with Bercouli arriving, she told him what happened. In turn, he told the other Integrity Knights about the imminent threat from Dark Territory. Hence they started training and recruiting but with Alice hearing some of them badmouthing Kirito (after all, he killed the Pontifex which led to this problem), Alice took him back to Rulid Village. So everybody just let her go like that? Arriving at the village, her father of course is shocked to see her returned. Because she was still a criminal, they can’t let her live here and hence a nearby cabin in the outskirts of this already remote village. Could have been sex-with-Asuna-but-Alice-this-time-v2 only if Kirito is not a vegetable! Alice makes some money by helping villagers cutting down tough trees. Like this cocky greedy Nigel Barbossa who is shaming his men for not being able to take down this oak tree. Damn those sexist men think Alice can’t cut it down too. We’ll see who has the last laugh when Alice slices it down with a strike after getting ‘permission’ to borrow Kirito’s sword. Barbossa wants to hire her for other jobs but she is sufficient just doing this. To make things worse, other men knock off Kirito so as to take a look at his sword. Luckily Alice tells them off. Don’t mess with her. They leave but you can tell they aren’t too happy about it. Alice starts to think if this is the kind of world they are fighting for. Back home, they are visited by Eldrie. This guy has finally found them and hopes Alice would come back to help the Integrity Knights. So she took off by herself, eh? And were so busy preparing that they didn’t even notice she was gone for a while? Eldrie mentions they have taken steps to stop the invasion (like bombing the cave entrances) but they still want her back. Thinking Kirito is the reason her heart is astray, he wants to eliminate him but Alice digresses. Kirito fought with his own justice. Otherwise how could all the Integrity Knights lose to him one by one? With that, Eldrie leaves. That night, Kirito starts to act strange. Fire over the horizon. Dark Territory attacking?

Episode 2
Alice drops in on the villagers who are thinking of protecting the village instead of running. All because Barbossa wants to protect his property. Hence Alice reveals casts away her shoddy robe to reveal her Integrity Knight armour, shocking everybody. Using her authority, she dismisses Zink’s orders and to have everyone evacuated. Alice then singlehandedly fights off the goblins and orcs with her powerful move, sending many of them fleeing. As the village is being rebuilt, Alice takes Kirito and flies back to the capital to fulfil her duty and hopes to return here when all this is over. Now we return to the siege on Ocean Turtle. Kikuoka and co have escaped and are minimally controlling things in this sub-control room. Other staffs have also taken refuge in other rooms. They realize the terrorists won’t aggressively use bombs to blow up the place because of the proximity of the Lightcube clusters. Even though the baddies got control of the main room and STL room, at least the silver lining is that their intention isn’t to destroy it. Judging from their gear, they aren’t with any official army and it is safe to know they know about this Project Alicization. Hence their goal is to seize ALICE. The good news is that they can’t interfere or eject Alice’s Fluctlight but Kikuoka’s side also can’t do the same. Noticing the destroyer is not doing anything, it is believed that the terrorists have ties with the top brass in SDF. They can’t attack not at least until Alice’s Lightcube is secured. Hence everything now relies on Kirito as he is the only one who can retrieve Alice’s Fluctlight. However, some mumbo jumbo sci-fi talk reveals that he might not be in the best position to do it. After that attack, his neural network was severely damaged. Placing him here was to treat him but diving into Underworld somehow didn’t block his memories. He has been living in this simulation for 2 years and hence he managed to contact the outside world via reaching Axiom Church. Something about him attacking himself and his own Fluctlight, this causes his self-destruction and ego deactivated when the outage hit him. Thus there is this black hole in his brain scan image that shows he has lost the ability to make some self-image decisions. His Fluctlight is unscathed but is only reduced to reflexive actions triggered by deeply ingrained memories. In short, a vegetable. Oh Asuna, your worried face so worried.

Episode 3
Remember those mysterious guys whom Kirito and his harem fought way back in the first episode of that GGO spinoff? Yup. They are the terrorists. Led by Gabriel Miller, he was approached by a couple of MIBs from NSA who hired him to steal Rath’s technology. Apparently, the damn Americans can’t have the Japanese gain such technology and destroy the military balance in the pacific. So how? Steal their technology first! Hence the raid on Ocean Turtle. Because they made some backdoor deal with the SDF, the Japanese military will not act for 24 hours. Also, say America is not involved! Damn Americans… Now in the main control him, his men, Critter and Vassago Casals are pointing fingers at each other for being locked out. Miller puts his foot down to order them to start thinking of a way to hack in. From what I understand, they have this idea to dive in to smoke out Alice. But all the high ranking accounts have been locked out and they can only dive in as a normal citizen. However they noticed the Dark Territory has the positions of Dark Knight and some Emperor available. Hence Vassago and Miller are going to dive in as these roles respectively. But Critter can’t put his mind around this warning about some final load test that keeps popping up. After Higa finishes explains about Kirito’s self-image thingy and perhaps all that he needs to turn him back on his feet is somebody to forgive him, you bet it is Asuna’s turn to dive in. After all, she has some great sword skills and need somebody to escort and protect Alice to the altar and eject her Lightcube. They have no time because that final load test is when Dark Territory invades the human empire. Thanks to Kirito destroying Axiom Church, who knows what will happen. And what convenience, Yui updates Kirito’s harem and friends about Asuna diving in. Be on standby… You don’t know when help is going to be needed. We now return to Underworld whereby in the Obsidia Palace inside Dark Territory, Dark Knight Lipia Zancale reports to her commander, Vixur Ul Shasta that the Pontifex is dead. Shocking as it sounds, he believes it is time to make peace. He believes Bercouli now in charge, they have a chance. The problem would be the Council Ten. Worse come to worse, he may have to eliminate some of them, especially the chancellor of the Dark Mages as she harbours desires to become emperor. All this bad news, Vixur suddenly proposes to Lipia to be his wife?! But more bad news. Some seal to the throne room is broken. Because Miller and Vassago have revived as Emperor Dark God Vecta and Dark Knight respectively.

Episode 4
When Miller was a kid, he was told insects can live without a head for a while because they have no brain and thus their entire body acts as their brain. This has him thought where would their soul be. In that case, for a human who cannot live without a head, where is their soul? It must be in the brain. And so he was interested in the soul of Alicia, his childhood friend. When he dived in, he saw a vision of her. Now that he has revived as the Emperor, all the tribes and guilds rush to assemble and serve before him. Vixur asks his intentions so Vecta did not hesitate he wants death and destruction. He only wants the Priestess of Light and therefore gives permission to everyone else to kill all other humans. Everybody rejoices that it’s war time. Vecta retires to his room as he makes contact with Critter. It has already been a day here but in the real world just merely minutes. He warns that he must not die or he’ll lose access to this super account and the next login will just be a grunt. When he goes to bed, Lipia offers her body to him. However Vecta could see it coming she was going to assassinate him. Swiftly he pins her down and demands her goal. She claims she is doing this for herself and that this war must stop or else history will be set back by a few hundred years. Vecta kills her. Then it’s like her soul exits from her head. Something Vecta had seen before. The time he killed Alicia, the same thing happened. He absorbed her soul and saw her memories. He loved it. Now he also sees Lipia’s memories. He loves it. Imagine the soul of Alice. He wants that sweet soul. Next day as all tribes and guilds gather before the launch of their attack, Vecta makes it known about that assassination attempt. He dares anyone to do so but must be ready to face the consequences. Then he shows the decapitated head of Lipia. This sends Vixur into rage. A Dark Mage poisons him. Before he dies, Vixur turns Super Saiyan but his tornado mode cannot put a dent on Vecta. He realizes too late that because this man knows nothing about life or love, he cannot be killed with a murderous intent or sword. Vecta orders the assault will go on as planned as all the tribes and guilds praise their awesome supreme commander. Meanwhile Alice has reached the eastern gate. It is breaking down. She sees an invading horde from beyond the horizon. Out of time, huh?

Episode 5
Alice returns to Eldrie. He’s happy to see her. But not so for vegetable Kirito. She thinks he will be a liability impeding her ability to fight against Dark Territory. She reasons otherwise. Then Bercouli comes by. Is he going to kill Kirito? Then some lightning flash attack that is being deflected. Bercouli’s attack was towards Kirito. Kirito deflected it proves he stopped it with his own willpower. He is alive but his mind is somewhere else. Bercouli believes he’ll be back someday. In the tent, Alice thinks of kissing Kirito to wake him up? Oh, somebody outside the tent. Tiese and Ronie. They heard about Kirito being here. Alice shows them Kirito’s current state and believes they will accept this reality. Of course they are overcome with emotions. Tiese even hearing Eugeo’s voice comforting her he will always be with her. Alice asks if they love Kirito. Some excuse why they can’t because of the sin they’ve committed. Alice disagrees and somewhat shows her original Alice form that would had been had she not become an Integrity Knight. All in all, thanks to Kirito, right? Conveniently, the duo will look after Kirito and take the burden off Alice’s hands. Next day, skip whatever Alice talk with Bercouli on Kirito. Also skip her talk with Fanatio who is grateful to Kirito for fighting with her as a true swordsman. Also skip whatever catfight they almost got into… In the strategy meeting, the battle will start once the eastern gate is destroyed. Something about this long narrow dark ravine means lack of resources for both sides and hence unable to launch powerful art techniques. They also have to spare some for healing. Alice theorizes there could be vast resources built up in the ravine over the years and there should be someone who can harvest it in that short amount of time. Fanatio points out only Alice can do it as she has surpassed the skills of an Integrity Knight. After the meeting, Alice says her goodbye to Kirito. It’s like she’s signalling some death flag of her own. She hopes her death might wake him up and bring a miracle to save the land once more. After all, he was the one who defeated Administrator. And then she goes to say her goodbye to Eldrie too. I guess we need to make this guy forget about Kirito and feel his gratitude for his mentor. Whatever. And now both sides of the divide wait for the moment when the eastern gate collapses.

Episode 6
Okay it’s here. The bloody massacre and mayhem of the war. Deusolbert who is manning the front line of the right flank fires away with his flaming arrows. Damn, he took out a bunch of goblins! But there’s more. Manning the front line of the left flank is Fanatio who is dealing with the giants. The Integrity Knights isn’t all doing well. Eldrie’s unit got smoke bombed, allowing goblins to run through since the Integrity Knights cannot simply swing their swords or risk striking their own. And there’s an Integrity Knight, Renly who has already cowardly abandoned his post and hiding in the storage room. When Fanatio unleashes a powerful attack, the hit missed the giant boss. He got so scared that it caused some programming bug whatever. This turns him into some berserker and as he is about to kill Fanatio (somehow her STL got jammed whatever, rendering her unable to move), an Integrity Knight, Dakira protects her. Using all her power until she is bleeding in every orifice to push the giant boss back. With her death, Fanatio powers up like mad and unleashes a powerful attack that slices the giant boss in half. Deusolbert has finally run out of arrows. The flatland goblin boss and his henchmen try to sneakily pin him down and clobber him. A soldier protects him and as the goblin boss is about to kill him, Deusolbert powers up and uses his own sword as a flaming arrow to strike through and burn not only the goblin boss but the rest of his waves behind! Alice is hovering in the skies. Did she just accumulated the souls of the dead into one big ball cluster?

Episode 7
Flashback shows Administrator viewed Renly as broken and deemed a failure. Renly thinks he would only be in the way. Tiese and Ronie then come in to hide Kirito. I guess that’s enough hiding for Renly. And then a goblin comes in. Yeah, everybody’s f*cked. Renly sees Kirito’s shaking hands. He thinks he wants to protect everybody despite being unable to move. More flashback as he was sparring with a friend in some tournament. But Renly broke his sword and slashed through him, killing him. Now he moves as he throws his spinning blades to decapitate the goblin. With his renewed confidence, he goes out and slice all of the goblins. Then he faces off with the mountain goblin boss who tries to get psychological with him, taunting him as a coward for being stationed this far back. Renly admits he is a failure. But not his weapons. And with that, the green boss got split in half. I guess Renly’s ready to go back to his unit now. The dark mages use some flying beasts for aerial assault but were swiftly taken down by Bercouli’s defence. Then they try some wide range incineration projectile thingy. However when they start chanting, nothing comes of it. They are stumped because with so many casualties in the battlefield, the souls of the dead would have been enough. I guess they’re too late since Alice already gathered them all in her ball. Then she uses it to unleash a devastating hellfire blast. Wow. It takes lives to take lives. Literally. So more dead souls, bigger ball, deadlier firepower next time?

Episode 8
Now what? Eldrie in depression because his unit failed to protect the frontlines and the enemy got as far back to the supplies section and luckily Renly took care of it? And that’s shameful? Oh dear. Alice needs to waste time assuring otherwise. They are then confronted by the ogre boss. He was caught in Alice’s hellfire but somehow survived. Observing that power came from her, he knows she is the Priestess of Light and wants to take her to Vecta. Then the war will end and the ogres can return to the grassland. So shouldn’t he take her with him since she sounds willing to go? Instead he attacks her and gets killed. Dark mage boss reports to Vecta about the unexpected art used by the Integrity Knights. He learns that lives and blood were used for this and since 3000 lives are all that she needs, he gives her permission to sacrifice the orcs. Orc boss doesn’t agree to this when dark mage boss tells him to gather his men for the sacrificial ritual. But his men are willing to die for Vecta and so that’s that. Alice tells Bercouli what she has learnt. She intends to head to the Dark Territory herself since the Altar is located there. Bercouli agrees on a condition 1/3 of the men accompany her and he will be part of that group. Alice prepares to head into the Dark Territory, the same time the dark mages begin their ritual. Orc boss can only watch in pain and hatred as his men die before his eyes. Now that a huge dark ball is summoned, it is directed towards Alice. Nothing can stop it, right? Oh well, time for Eldrie to be a hero, using himself as distraction to let the dark ball eat him. Even when he is dead, somebody gave him a push so that he could use his final push to absorb it all. Yup, his life going into negative! I wonder why he still isn’t dead at this point. Oh, it’s to have that final reconciliation and goodbye with Alice. After he dies, Alice gets mad and charges into the enemy lines. She’s like a villain burning them all down. Dark mage boss fears to be killed so she kills her own comrades just to stay alive. Alice then announces herself and this catches Vecta’s attention.

Episode 9
Vecta orders the next group to advance and take Alice in unscathed. This means the pugilist guild is now rushing into combat. Strangely, Integrity Knight Scheta wants to handle this one. Meanwhile Vecta allows Vassago to go sneak up on the enemy’s supply. Sneaky Vassago kills the unsuspecting guards as they patrol around the dark woods. A bulk of this episode focuses on Scheta fighting off the pugilist boss. Because of her poker face and lack of emotions, nobody can read what is on her mind. There is more than meets the eye to her. She has this very thin and flexible sword that can slash through anything bestowed by Administrator. She detected Scheta’s deep passion to slash anything and hence made her this sword. Gee, if she could slice up anything with ease like how she did to many of the pugilist members, shouldn’t she be fighting in the frontlines from the start? So the pugilist boss is the only one who is hard enough whom she can’t easily slash. Sword versus fist. See who is harder. You can say that both enjoyed fighting each other but had to abandon this fight since the main forces have caught up. Vassago thinks Ronie is her next victim but she’s smart enough to use not her sight to sense him. She calls out for reinforcements. So does Vassago. With the supply side compromised, Bercouli calls off whatever ambushed he had intended and request Alice and Renly to support the supply side. He will deal with the incoming enemy forces himself. Well, something will work out. Just before Vassago could kill Ronie, then this goddess Stacia pops up and opens a chasm to swallow up the enemies. Wait a minute. Doesn’t Stacia look like Asuna?!

Episode 10
Before Asuna dived in, she was told that this Stacia’s powers include altering the land. Because it puts a heavy load on her Fluctlight, she has to stop once she feels pain. Ronie and Tiese praise the aid of the goddess but Asuna denies and that she is just human who wants to see Kirito. What convenience. She is shocked to see him in his vegetable state and when she hugs him, damn, some movements and reaction from Kirito. Judging from this little reaction, I think he moved more than he did than the entirety of this season! When Asuna leaves the tent, Alice attacks her, thinking she is the enemy spy. Woah, ladies fighting over Kirito?! Did this turn into waifu wars?! They are stopped by Bercouli who believes Asuna isn’t the enemy because her ground opening move saved him from death at the hands of the enemy. Bercouli then has everyone gather to let Asuna explain. It’s a bit hard to explain what the outside world is. Nope, it’s not the divine realm either. She adds her mission is to extract Alice from this place. Once that happens, the war will stop. Alice is after all targeted by the Underworld who wants nothing more than to destroy this world. They deduce that Alice is wanted because she broke the seal on her right eye. When Alice remembers Administrator quoting the code 871 on it, Asuna realizes there is a mole among the Rath staffs. Asuna believes because Alice was able to go against the rules and broke the seal, the enemies could find her valuable in the other world. But Bercouli doesn’t understand. If this is the case, doesn’t this put Alice on the same level as humans in the other world? Asuna can’t say that for now and wants to take Alice to see the other world for herself. It is not utopia and it is far worse than here but there are still many who want to protect it. Like Kirito. There’s your buzzword. But for now, they will focus on defeating the enemies at hand. Asuna will join in and hopes to leave Vecta in her hands. Later that night, the waifu wars continue. Oh God… Asuna and Alice trying to outdo each other who spent more time with Kirito. Oh my God, Ronie! You want to join in this waifu wars too?! Liena too?! F*ck. The more the merrier. Thank goodness they decide to be more civil and talk and trade info about Kirito.

Episode 11
Administrator once talked to Bercouli how she felt death every day even in her dreams. Because she doesn’t have control over everything yet. Now Bercouli understands what she meant. Kirito time interrupted when Bercouli sounds the alarm. It seems the enemies are trying to cross the chasm with a flimsy rope? Apparently Vecta told them to do it and he doesn’t care if there are casualties. Of course this makes some mad but they can’t disobey their emperor. Of course it gets worse when the Integrity Knights come by to take them all out. Critter has synced the Underworld time with reality. Then he sends a tantalizing invitation to players in America to join this battle. Real blood. Real slaughtering. Oh yeah! Sign me up! Damn bloodthirsty violent Americans! Yui detects this and makes an emergency call to Shino and Sugu to take a taxi now and head to this address. Taxis are available at this time in Japan? That’s Japanese service for you! Kikuoka then gets a call from Rath’s Roppongi branch. A couple of ladies came knocking on their door asking to contact Kikuoka. They warn about the time synchronization and it seems they are going to dive in too. Meanwhile Yui is telling the rest of Kirito’s friends of what is happening. I don’t know about this Alice thingy who has existed since the first SAO and hence linking everybody together. Sounds complicated. Whatever the reason, they’re all going to save Kirito, right? However the problem is the time difference in reality. Right now it is the wee hours of morning in Japan and in America it is noon time so you bet there are going to be a lot more active players right now in America. Also, instead of starting from scratch, Yui suggests they can convert their current character data with all the cool stats to Underworld. Of course there’ll be problems… Lisbeth speaks to all the ALO players and pleads for their help. But when she relays the issues that they cannot log out, will feel real pain, will die and no guarantee they can convert back their character data, she is met with brickbats and scorn. They have no love lost for those SAO survivors. Lisbeth doesn’t give up and continues talking about their reality, truth and connections. Hope those tears did the trick. Back in Underworld, those damn bloodthirsty American players have arrived!

Episode 12
Those Americans attack the Dark Territory side. I guess as long as they can kill, anybody is fair game. Asuna alters the landscape to prevent further havoc. When pugilist boss sees Vecta flying over, he gets mad. Knowing he did not tell them about the other enemies, he does what Alice did last season as he gorges out his right eye. In his rage, he jumps over the chasm and saves Asuna from being slaughtered by the Americans. He then offers a deal. If she can create a sturdy bridge to let his men cross over, he will fight with them against the Americans. Meanwhile, Alice wanting to get to higher ground to incinerate more enemies, this proves fatal as she gets snatched by Vecta. So when everyone else receives this news, pugilist boss finds out from Asuna that it is the end of this world if Vecta gets Alice to the Altar. Pugilist boss wants the Integrity Knights to go after them. Because Dark Territory clans cannot go against the emperor, they might be given orders to fight against them. With Vecta already achieving his goal, it means the Dark Territory clan can do whatever they want. Hence their only choice is to stay back to fight the Americans and buy them time. He also has Asuna give Vecta a message once she catches up to him: That they are not his damned puppets! Vassago has awakened back in reality. He learns what happened and looks like Miller is now taking his solo action, proving that he has gotten the Priestess of Light. However it is detected the Integrity Knights are coming after him and it is going to be troublesome if they do so. Hence Critter is waiting for a second wave of Americans to log in and crush them. Vassago then remembers he lost to Asuna. This means Kirito is here. He wants to go back but with no more Dark Knight super account left, Vassago seems to have a special account for another express pass. Asuna and the Integrity Knight are now surrounded by the next wave of Americans. Renly going to sacrifice himself to make a path? Don’t be. Because here comes another angel to wipe out a bunch of those players. Is that you Shino?! Yes it is.

Kirito, So Thou Art Offline: Waifu Wars
Sighs… They really know how to extend the drama. Instead of making this a continuous double cour, they took a season break before airing the big finale. Hey, it’s all just a game, right? Sure, not for these people putting their lives on the line. I guess we too have to wait with baited breath for the liberation of Underworld. But I am guessing how things will turn out and it shouldn’t surprise me. Unless… And yeah, I find it that this season’s final ending scene to be similarly weird as last season. Because last time we had angelic Asuna extending his hand to save Kirito. Now we have Shino doing the same for Asuna. Is this going to be a trend as slowly Kirito’s other friends and harem join in the battle?

One of the weirdest expects in this season is Kirito being a vegetable. Yes, it was really bizarre to see the best swordsman in all virtual games to turn into some vegetable retard. So much so you could say that the recap episode at the beginning was the most that we will ever get to see him in action or acting normally. But this isn’t the first time that this series has done without Kirito as its main star. Remember that GGO spinoff title? The one where some little pink munchkin was running about and blazing away her opponents? Yup. That. However that was a spinoff but this is the real SAO main series. So to see Kirito being wheelchair ridden like as though he has turned into some grandpa waiting for the day he will kick the bucket, sometimes it also feels unsettling. Sometimes it feels like they are disrespecting the main character but I suppose this is all part of the plot and that at this point it is all too early to jump to conclusions. The great Kirito who defeated Administrator is now reduced to this? Hmm… Not very nice indeed… And he doesn’t even make any sort of appearance in this season’s final episode. Like as though he went missing. Not very nice indeed…

Hence some of the characters from last season won’t come back, namely Eugeo and Cardinal. Of course Administrator and Chudelkin too but they do appear in flashbacks. An excuse for never seen before scenes of them. So for Eugeo, I guess no BL yaoi for you fujoshi out there! He is happy living with the original loli Alice. In some alternate timeline. Hopefully. No wonder Kirito is so vegetable this season… Cardinal got her best hug last season. Yeah, she really needed it. All up to you now, Kirito. Oh wait. Make that next season.

With Kirito out of the main picture, this give rise to Alice as she temporarily takes Kirito’s place as the main character. Alice to the fore. It is most probably her indebt to him that makes her look out for him as much as he can. After all, we’ve seen what Kirito had done for her last season. I’m sure the feelings of the heart had something to do with it too (remember those few trolling scenes of her trying to take advantage of his vegetable state and kiss him?) but with Alice being more of a poker face and the imminent threat of Dark Territory getting in the way, I suppose no time for some disabled romance. Hah. Even AIs got feelings, you know. Yeah, virtual technology is this advanced. At least in this series. We got a little taste of the waifu wars although it started a bit late after Asuna dived in. Better late than never. Now we just need the rest of his harem to jump in and complete Kirito’s harem. The more the merrier. The stronger this team will be. Then we can get along fighting for his attention once the war is over. Real 3D girls and 2D girls fighting for his attention. Damn Kirito, you lucky bastard!!!! You better break out of that vegetable state soon or else there will be another kind of war that will be even more devastating!!!! HAHAHA!!!!! Oops…

Alice doesn’t take 100% of the spotlight as there are some episodes that are dedicated in focusing on a few new Integrity Knights like Renly and Scheta. While they have an interesting background, but it still feels short and like some sort of diversion. I mean, there are 30 over Integrity Knights and it would be a shame that we can count all of the known ones with just our fingers. I’m sure a good number is missing but adding a couple of them makes it look like they have a few more good Integrity Knights on their side. Still, I find it hard to relate them since their flashback is rather short as it just points out their flaws and then during the fight, they realize what is important and overcome it. There. Now the Integrity Knights can look like they have more reliable men on their side instead of just showing the usual ones that we already know and introduced from last season. Oh right. RIP Eldrie. In a way it is a good thing so we won’t have this dude get in the way of b*tching Alice x Kirito romance. Heh. If that ever is a possibility but with Eldrie out of the way, definitely no Alice x Eldrie possibility.

Strangely, I find myself to be more fascinated with the dark factions of Dark Territory. I noticed I was more glued and interested in watching them whenever they appear rather than the Integrity Knights or the recent waifu wars. Perhaps it is because there was not much data and info given about the Dark Territory in last season. So it seems that there are a bunch of lives on the other side outside of the human empire too. It’s a shame that they are being casted as the bad guys because some of them really seemed to have potential and interesting back story. But with Vecta being the cruel ultimate emperor, whatever he says is divine. Hence some dark tribes like the orcs and pugilists could have had better characterization if at least their side were fleshed out more. In some ways, I think I would side and sympathize with them rather than the Integrity Knights! Really.

Action wise, this season doesn’t disappoint as the war between both sides get brutal and bloody. But just as to show how powerful a single Integrity Knight is, that is why the Dark Territory side has the numbers and hence the cliché moment of taking a whole bunch of them out with their single powerful move. Don’t mind if we rake up the body count. Yeah, it feels like all those initially like the goblins and the giants exist in great numbers just to die in the battlefield. Some lesser human soldiers also die but we don’t see much of it. After all, a few Integrity Knights can take out a huge horde. Sometimes the impact of the powerful move is so great that the sound effect also affected my speaker and I have to tone it down so as not to turn my entire room into some sonic boom shockwave or something. And when those bloodthirsty Americans joined the fray, I guess they’re only there to add to the body count. Wow. So many online American players at the same given point in time? I’m sure those players who jumped right in only to be instantly killed by the powerful Integrity Knights are going to have some rage quit issues.

I still never understood all the technical terms and jargons. While the war of the Underworld is the main focus, there are still some scenes back at Ocean Turtle. Safe to say that I am still in the blur of all those jargons and that is the main reason impeding me from appreciating and enjoying this season to its fullest. I guess only the blood and gore speak to me, something a simpleton like me can understand. So whatever linking and synching all those virtual technological stuffs, nah, not really interested even if it is part of the plot. Like when they show certain characters going berserk and then their STL Lightcube being affected or something, like WTF is going on? Is this some excuse to tell us why they power up and could do more than their usual? Yeah, everything is just pixels and codes, right?

It is interesting to see and note that there is a possibility that humans may create AIs that are on par with real human beings, complete with their own independent set of thinking and emotions. As always, there is always debate and up in the air for discussion its pros and cons. When AI becomes too life-like and intelligent for us, probably that is when the nightmare begins. Or in today’s era, perhaps we’ll make more memes and jokes about AIs having rights and feelings! Hahaha! Oops… It is also interesting to see how many people will actually sacrifice what they have achieved just for others or the greater good. It’s a good opportunity to see their real character. So would I exchange my stats and put my life on the line for Kirito? Uhm… Erm… Uh… Let’s move on to the next topic, shall we?

This season’s art and animation is on par with last season. Superb stuff to say the least. You bet they can’t skimp on the quality as this series is such an important and popular name. But there are some CGI moments that are weak. Especially those that are of the battlefield and in the background. You won’t notice the first time round when the focus is on the main battle in front. But if you look closely to all the grunts and foot soldiers fighting each other, you can see the CGI animation is somewhat lame. This season’s opener is sung by Haruka Tomatsu. Resolution is your typical rock outfit that fits the pace of this season. But it is the ending theme, Unlasting by Lisa that attracts me. It is a slow ballad and despite its sad and gloomy outlook, it is also somewhat sounds beautiful and dramatically powerful.

Overall, this season isn’t all that bad but my only pet peeve is that they had to split this second half into 2 cours. I suppose we are heading into the final stretch of the longest arc in the series and they want to make the finale as epic as it is acclaimed to be in its original works. There is some great action this season but depending on your preference, that could be bad or good. And that factor is Kirito. Non Kirito fans will not matter since we can see how other characters are also capable in defending themselves instead of relying on the main character. But Kirito lovers might be crying foul for what they have turned him into this season. Oh well, this is to be expected if you’ve read the light novel. Hopefully when the final of the final comes around, the anime will do justice to its epic awesomeness. A lot of AIs died for our entertainment, you know.

Fairy Tail: Final Series

February 22, 2020

Nothing says hype and even more hype when you have the word final in your title. Yup, imagine the hype, excitement, hysteria and everything when Fairy Tail: Final Series came out in late 2018. Oh my. Is this going to be the final season of this long running series? Well, it couldn’t be the next One Piece or Naruto (or Boruto as it technically continues in) so I suppose it has to end somewhere. Oh yeah. Nothing like working on everybody’s nostalgia and those who have been following the series that first aired back in 2009. Yup. 10 years. That is a very long time in anime terms. And like every story that has a beginning, there has to be an end. Oh my. Are we getting nervous and teary eyed to finally see this (debatably) epic series come to a close after 328 episodes?

Avatar Arc
* It has been a year since Fairy Tail disbanded and Makarov gone missing. Lucy is on a mission to reunite her fellow guild members but so far she only got Natsu and Happy.
* Haven’t you heard? Wendy is now one half of the idol group, The Sky Sisters with Cheria! Oh, haven’t you heard too? Wendy is now a member of Lamia Scale!
* Think you’ve seen it all? Wait till you see Carla who is now capable to transform into her human form! Hot cat girl chick! Meow!!!
* After the disbandment of the Magic Council and the formation of the new Ten Wizard Saints a year ago, Orochi Fin, Lamia’s Scale’s bitter rivals launches an attack since Jura is no longer with the guild.
* Guess who’s back too? Bluenote of the previously Grimoire Heart has been hired by Orochi Fin to take down Lamia Scale. Of course the match up with Natsu is fast and short. So as just to show us how much Natsu has grown because his powerful single fire breath blows him away!!! Enough for Orochi Fin to immediately surrender.
* I guess it’s time for Wendy to say goodbye to Lamia Scale and rejoin her buddies in rebuilding Fairy Tail. Yup, lots of emotional loli BFF goodbye tears. Sob! Sob!
* Natsu and co stumble Juvia living alone in this rainy town. I don’t think she’s as happy to see them as much as she sees Gray. The story goes that she was living a blissful life with Gray here a year ago. One day he had black marks all over his body and he started acting strange. He would leave this place often and 6 months ago he left and never came back. Juvia searched around but to no avail and decided to wait till he comes back.
* Avatar Black Magic Cult: Apparently a group of weirdoes who worship Zeref. And yeah, Gray is a member!
* Natsu heads to Sabretooth to find out more details. He forcefully takes a job they’re doing (to hunt down Avatar) although he’ll let them have the reward. Now, how does Natsu think he knows Gray is in this group? Remember when future Rogue spilled the beans about Frosch will be killed a year later (which is now) and that the killer is Gray? Yeah. That. Even if the future is changed, he isn’t taking any chances.
* Avatar realizes that the Magic Council is on to them and believes there is a spy among them. They accuse Gray since he has no reason to revere Zeref and his closed ones were killed by Zeref related incidents. Gray makes his clear his end goal is to find and eliminate END. He will use Avatar as a stepping stone to achieve his means.
* Haven’t you heard? Levi, Gajeel and Lily are now part of the Magic Council’s Custody Enforcement Unit (MCCEU).
* Natsu and Lucy bust in. What a way to show how strong Natsu is by taking out 3 of Avatar’s members! Then with Gray showing up, is it time for final boss fight? Gray claims he is no longer part of Fairy Tail on his own volition. So the memories and bond don’t mean anything? You sad? You mad? Well, enough time for others to round them up and throw them in prison.
* Purification Plan: Sounds simple but it’s a nasty plan to purify souls to resurrect Zeref. Lots of souls. All of Avatar heads out to conduct this plan except Goumon who stayed back to interrogate them to find out who sent them.
* Goumon is going to cut Lucy in half when he is suddenly frozen! Gray? Change of heart? Apparently he was pretending all along till Natsu showed up to ruin all their hard work. Gray isn’t working alone, though. Remember Erza?
* Half a year ago, Erza was sought by Jellal to help uncover Avatar’s plan to resurrect Zeref. The investigation hit a dead end so she stumbled upon Gray and asked for his help. He agreed to this undercover mission and didn’t tell Juvia because the less outsiders know, the better. Because Avatar is big and has branches all over, the only way to wipe them out is during this Purification Plan when all branches gather.
* So you’re telling me Purification Plan is to purge the 30,000 lives of a city but it is not done by some grand magic or something? But rather everyone physically killing the people?! Damn, I think this is a cult who just loves to murder people! It goes without saying those small fries are easily taken out by our Fairy Tail wizards. Even more so the generals of Avatar. Damn, this is going to be easy.
* Natsu even has a go at Arlock, Avatar’s big boss. Uh huh. Just another showpiece to show how strong Natsu has grown. After even beating up the guy, looks like the real Purification Plan is here. Arlock summons a giant battle god to kill their own comrades! Apparently the lives of the devotees are more important ones to resurrect Zeref. Yeah, leave it to Natsu to lecture about friendship and the likes and the one single devastating blow to send the giant battle god crumbling down!!! Damn, he makes it all look so easy! With Avatar in shambles and losing motivation after seeing Fairy Tail’s might, I guess it’s good timing the MCCEU is here to arrest them all.
* When Zeref was young, he studied magic on life and death that was deemed too dangerous by the adults so they banned him from ever studying magic. But Zeref defied and continued so all because he had a younger brother who died and wanted to resurrect him. For many years this went on until the academic council decided to take action to expel him. With the hard hitting fact his brother will never return to life, that was when some curse possessed him. Everyone around him died. With this contradicting curse, the more he cares about life, the more it dies. Hence he goes about living not caring about anything. As he cannot age and is an immortal, he had time to study magic and everything else until he decided he wanted to die. Hence he created demons from the Book of Zeref to kill him but they couldn’t. Hence his final creation might be the one to do the job.
* That final creation is END: Etherious Natsu Dragneel. Natsu is actually that deceased brother of Zeref whom he preserved in this well state for this day.
* Fairy Tail is back in business! Because the whole gang received Lucy’s letter and reunite once more at where their HQ once stood.
* Erza becomes the 7th guild master.

Alvarez Empire Arc
+ Saving Makarov
* 10 years ago, Mest was requested by Makarov to invade the Council to find any info pertaining to the western continent, Alakitasia. He claimed it was to protect his family. After the battle with Tartaros, it seemed Makarov has got all the info he needed on Alvarez Empire, the empire that united all 730 magic guilds in Alakistasia. Long ago, they tried to invade and steal Lumen Histoire but only backed down because the Council flexed their muscles. Now that the Council is gone, they might invade again. Hence Makarov headed there to negotiate and told Mest to create a new Magic Council for this continent’s first line of defence. The reason to disband Fairy Tail was that he feared if something happened to him, his children might be next. It has been a year since so it could be Makarov might still be in negotiation, locked up or worst, dead. Hence Erza wants to do an infiltration and rescue mission with a small team of members who only knows about this.
* Gajeel forms his own team with the other Fairy Tail members to go look for Laxus.
* What’s this? Raijinshuu has joined Blue Pegasus?!
* God Serena is supposed to be the strongest wizard on the continent but he abandoned it to join Alvarez and become one of the 12 shields of Emperor Spriggan known as Spriggan 12. Oh wait. God Serena isn’t some celestial being but human? Some name. And he’s a man, not a woman?!
* Mest and co set sail for Caracol Island to meet a spy so as to get info to infiltrate Alvarez. However the island is sealed off by Alvarez guards as they are also searching for the spy.
* Natsu and co get involved in a brawl with one of the Alvarez’s military guys, Marin Hollow who controls the laws of space and Brandish who is one of Spriggan 12. Because Brandish doesn’t like troublesome stuff, she takes out Marin since he bested Mest. She knows what is going on and warns Fairy Tail to return. She assures them Makarov is still alive but will not guarantee that if they continue with this foolishness.
* Mest and co go meet up with the spy who is no other than Angel as she brings them to Alakistasia.
* It seems Makarov has been a guest at Alvarez and has been negotiating via Spriggan’s minister, Yajeel. Because Spriggan has been wandering over for a year, that is why Makarov has been waiting. Speaking of the devil, he has returned! Wait a minute. Isn’t Spriggan… Zeref???!!!
* Makarov finally talks to Zeref and it seems he wasn’t responsible for the invasion 10 years ago. Though, now he has decided he wants Lumen Histoire AKA Fairy Heart. He intends to bring war for and see who is fit to survive this extermination. The black wizard, the king of dragons and humans. Zeref wants to kill Makarov so that Fairy Tail will get angry to destroy him but luckily Mest teleports Makarov back to the safety of his children.
* As Fairy Tail tries to escape, Ajeel who one of Spriggan 12 is hot on their heels. Our young ones as usual show us why they can fight on par with him. But just enough for the cliché moment before they get swallowed by his sandstorm, here comes Laxus and Team B Fairy Tail members to save the day and bring home everyone alive.
* Now that Fairy Tail is back in business, Makarov once more becomes the guild master? This trend has got to stop… Knowing that Alvarez will come straight for them, Fairy Tail is more than prepared to take them on. But first, Makarov wants to tell everyone about Fairy Heart. How convenient Mavis resurrects just to tell everyone from her mouth the most secretive thing in Fairy Tail that the world must never know about that is so important that Zeref wants.

+ Invasion of Alvarez
* So it’s Fairy Tail Zero part 2? Going back 100 years when Mavis was Fairy Tail’s tactician during the trade war, after the treaty is signed, Mavis stumbled into Zeref again. They catch up on stuffs and when Zeref learnt Mavis is unable to grow or age, he realized she has the same curse as him. The reason others around her do not die is because she doesn’t know the value of life. Once she does, then everything around her will start to die. However Mavis refused to accept this and ran home.
* Right after Yuri’s wife, Rita gave birth to Makarov (whom Mavis named from a kind hearted character of a story she once read), Rita instantly died. Mavis is traumatized and with Zeref’s words ringing in her head, she ran away and never returned to the guild.
* After wandering for another year, once more Zeref chanced upon her. True to the curse, she cannot die. So Zeref tells her about his plans of creating a new empire on the other continent to start a war even though he hates fighting. Zeref’s contradicting contradictions has him in pain. Mavis assures she will not reject him. Then a weird kiss that started a weird romance between them. But don’t hold your breath because it soon died out. The ultimate contradiction of all as this takes Mavis’ life.
* Zeref then dumps Mavis’ body back at Fairy Tail’s guild. Since Purehito was the only one there, he sensed a faint magic power from her and sealed her in some healing lacrima in the basement. Eventually as he tried to resurrect her, he too connected the dots that she was responsible for Rita’s death as well as having that curse. He decided not to tell this to everyone and instead erected a grave for Mavis back at Tenroujima. He then became Fairy Tail’s second guild master. He continued to find a way to resurrect Mavis but during this period, Yuri died without ever knowing the truth.
* Mavis’ sealing throughout the years has combined elements and created a form of magic known as Fairy Heart. In short, it is unlimited magic. Zeref might want it to destroy Acnologia. So why can’t Fairy Tail just use it against Alvarez and Acnologia themselves? You see, its power is so great that even after using it, it will continue to rain down more magic and continue destroying everything. It’s like using poison to fight poison. That’s why Mavis is adamant that Fairy Heart must never be released to the world.
* Even if they defeat Alvarez, how do you defeat an immortal like Zeref? Don’t worry. Natsu has the answer in his right hand. It is a secret for now so stay tuned when the time comes!
* I know Fairy Tail has devised a few strategies to deal with Alvarez should they come from any sides. But they didn’t expect them to start the invasion from the skies?! Did Mavis overlook this? But nothing like Freed’s barrier and the Dragon Slayer trio to go buy some time. Hope they prepare just in time because somehow Alvarez has breached in and coming from all directions at full force!
* Erza vs Ajeel – Because Dragon Slayers can’t fight on a flying ship. Damn motion sickness… Ajeel’s sandstorm might be wreaking havoc all over the place but with Erza shining brightly so that Bisca can fire her Jupiter cannon and take out Ajeel, the skies are all clear again.
* Lucy vs Brandish – Not sure how getting in the bathtub together makes this a fight. But hey, great fanservice! A+!!! But when pollen suddenly fill the air, Brandish becomes allergic and is easily knocked out by Cana. WTF…
* Raijinshuu-Ichiya vs Wall Eehto – Spriggan 12’s Wall’s magic is to identify weaknesses and then create machines to deal with them. Furthermore, Wall himself is an evolved machine and is immune to lightning attacks. Instead, he charges up. But isn’t it easy to defeat them by just switching your opponents? Freed who has been busy concentrating in putting up a barrier around the town, once he heard news of Natsu’s side defeating the invading force, he is now free to use his magic and go all out. With Ichiya, they punch and destroy Wall. One Punch Men! MEN!!!
* Apparently Wall’s real body is in the next coming wave. He decides to fire a cannon directly at Fairy Tail’s HQ but Ichiya uses his ship to block the shot. This isn’t just Fairy Tail’s fight. No, senpai. This is our fight!
* Next wave is coming. Fending off from the north are Sabretooth and Blue Pegasus. Defending from the south are Lamia Scale and Mermaid Heel. To the east, they have to get past 4 of the Ten Wizard Saints that include Jura, Warrod, Draculos Hyberion and Wolfheim. It is believed to the east is Zeref and since this portion is moving slowly, until all other directions are safely dealt with, they can then focus all their strength in this final direction.
* But wait. Final boss fight already?! Because Natsu flies directly to fight Zeref! Showing off the might of his power, he takes out 973 foot soldiers! Wow! Definitely quality > quantity. Only 999,027 left… But all that don’t matter since Natsu faces off with Zeref directly. Unleashing his secret weapon, is it this super flaming right arm? OMG. Zeref takes a beating! Are you sure this is not the last episode of Fairy Tail?! Apparently this power comes from the last power that Igneel gave him. It is his tenacity. He has been training to use it for this moment and can only use it once. Zeref finally thought he could be killed…

* Zeref still lives but one more time and he could really die. Hence, he takes the liberty to tell Natsu the truth. The truth of Natsu being his brother and END. You see, their parents were killed by dragons 400 years ago. Naturally Natsu also died so Zeref tried to bring him back alive. Proof Natsu is related to END, Zeref shoots the book and Natsu reels in pain. Igneel was Zeref’s friend and one of the few dragons who didn’t hate humans. These dragons decided to teach 5 orphans to use Dragon Slayer magic and to be sent to the future to defeat Acnologia. Because back then, I guess there wasn’t so much nano whatever magic in the air. Celestial wizards, Anna and Layla via Eclipse, the former opened the gate while the latter opened the exit. So the day and year when the dragons disappeared was actually when they woke up in this era. Hence Natsu and the other Dragon Slayers actually came from 400 years in the past.
* The last kicker is if Natsu kills Zeref, he will also die because they are connected. Not that Natsu believes his story and his hell bent on defeating Zeref anyway. But then Happy doesn’t like the fact Natsu will die and brings him back. Stupid cat! You mean you let the whole world destroy than just let Natsu give up his life to protect the world?! Whatever. His Igneel magic is fast fading. You lost that chance. Now nothing can stop Zeref.
* You’d think Marin snuck into Fairy Tail’s prison to rescue Brandish. But he is here to kill her! So had enough of being her toy? Thanks to Lucy and Cana’s quick intervention, this girl didn’t have to die.
* I guess as thanks for that, Brandish reveals her connection to Layla. Her mom, Grammie was one of Layla’s servants. When Layla retired, she gave some of her celestial to some of her servants. Grammie received Aquarius’ key. But if Lucy got Aquarius’ key from Layla, there could only be one way how that happened: Layla killed Grammie to get it back!
* Time for Aquarius to reveal the whole truth. Anna who is an ancestor of the Heartfilia family, made a deal with Zeref to open Eclipse to send warriors to the future to defeat Acnologia. The one waiting at the other end of the gate was Layla. But to open the gate, she needed all 12 Zodiac celestial keys. Because Grammie was uncontactable and moved to Alakitasia, Layla compensated it with her own life. This caused her to develop some illness. When Grammie heard about it, she rushed to her side and returned the key, thinking she is not fit to hold it. When Grammie left, she was killed by Zoldeo (one of Layla’s servants who received Capricorn’s key). He blamed her for what happened to Layla. Grammie accepted her sin but in exchange for her life, she hopes he would spare Brandish.
* Now we get another problem because Happy brings Natsu’s body back! Is he dead?! Poluchka diagnosed some magic tumour inside him after using lots of magic. No medical technology can save him. Ah, but Brandish can. Just locate the tumour and she can shrink its size. It was that easy to save Natsu!!!
* 4 of the Ten Wizard Saints vs God – No contest, God beats them flat!!!
* God vs Acnologia – No contest, Acnologia kills him before he could finish his sentence!!!
* Laxus vs Wall – Time to get payback for hurting his Raijinshuu. It could have been easy for Laxus to deal with this robot alchemist had not the poisonous particles he inhaled during his fight against Tempester. But don’t worry. Laxus tricks Wall to use his ability on him because apparently it cancels out the poison. And then using red lightning which isn’t exactly lightning to dismantle Wall.
* Wendy-Cheria-Carla vs Dimaria Yesta – How do you even fight a Spriggan 12 member who has the power to stop time? Ah, don’t worry. Ultear is here to help them move in that space. But Dimaria turns into the god of time and how do you kill a god? Better hurry because Carla protected Wendy from her beam. Is she dead? Ah, don’t worry. Ultear once again just in time ejected her from this space. And then gives them some special technique that will allow to defeat this god but in exchange they’ll never be able to use magic again. So convenient yet so complicated.
* Cheria vs Dimaria – Apparently Ultear can only give her god technique to one of them. In the end, Cheria gets it and beats the sh*t out of Dimaria. Oh Wendy, please don’t cry like it’s the end of the world. Cheria can live fine without magic like a normal girl. After all, love > magic, no?
* Jason Statham, oops I mean, Jacob Lessio, one of Spriggan 12 just waltzed into Fairy Tail’s HQ. Apparently he is an assassin (not Transporter?) and why do they always brag they have never failed a mission? His magic is making things disappear so everyone in the guild disappears into some void. Because Mavis is a ghost, she is the only one left. Jacob can also somehow abuses ghosts to make them talk.
* Lucy-Natsu vs Jacob –Thanks to Horologium shielding them during Jacob’s disappearing magic, thank goodness Natsu has woke up and with Lucy they kick Jacob’s ass before Mavis dies again. Can she? Stupid assassin makes Lucy’s dress invisible but he himself can’t look at a naked lady. You tell me that isn’t a chance for the pair to own him? When Jacob decides to kill his hostages, he learns Brandish and Marin are among them. The moment he brings them back out, Lucy uses Gemini to copy Marin’s power and nullify the space area, effectively bringing everyone back. All that’s left is for Natsu to give one hot fiery punch to defeat this guy for good. First loss, I take?
* Mavis shows Cana her real body underground. Mavis has thought of a way to defeat Zeref and the first step is to remove lacrima from her real body. This means Cana must use Fairy Glitter to eradicate this ghost that would destroy the lacrima. Technically Fairy Glitter will only effect the projection and not hurt anybody else. Cana is worried it will still hurt the real body but you have to trust the first master on that. How deep is your faith? After all the spamming of Fairy Glitter, finally the lacrima is destroyed and Mavis’ real body freed.
* Spriggan 12’s Neinhart has the ability to see through the hearts and memories of others. Hence bringing back dead foes complete with their own minds and emotions for our wizards to fight. Well, if your will is much stronger, you can even scare them into vanishing or just beat the crap out of them!
* Jellal vs Neinhart – Once all that is out of the way, taking care of Neinhart is just easy. Jellal opening his sky magic and raining down whatever chariot on the enemy’s fleet.
* With the south liberated, it is opposite for the north. Sabretooth and Blue Pegasus have been pathetically routed by the Alvarez army led by Spriggan 12’s Irene Belserion, Bloodman and Larcade. To add insult, they got even crucified. Don’t worry, Gajeel’s team is here to help. Even Oracion Seis too.
* Brandish offers to negotiate with Spriggan 12’s strongest man, August the Wizard King and Spriggan 12 leader to avoid this conflict. Not going to be easy since he is very loyal to Zeref. Just when she seems to use some logical stance and August readily to give negotiations a chance, Mest mind controls Brandish to stab August! Old fart didn’t die. He just turned Dark Super Saiyan and melts everything?!
* Gajeel-Levi vs Bloodman – Must poisoned Levi die so Gajeel can defeat this grim reaper? Oh yes. The power of love has Gajeel absorb Bloodman’s poisonous particles, combine and mix in his body so he can fight on the same level as him. Is this magic or sci-fi crap? Enough to beat down Bloodman till he departs to the other world! But wait. For more added drama, Bloodman is going to drag him to hell too. And so the cue for a tearful and emotional goodbye between Gajeel and Levi. Uh huh. Gajeel admitting he has changed thanks to the power of love. Now he cares about others and the future, blah, blah, blah. Bye Gajeel. GAJEEL GONE?! NOOOOOO???!!! I wonder how long Levi will cry.
* Irene vs Acnologia – Irene doesn’t want Acnologia to intervene so that this war could end quickly. Hence she initiates some ultimate magic that restructures the entire world?

+ Universe One AKA World Reconstruction
* So uhm, Fairy Tail Zero part, uhm, 3? Irene’s magic causes everyone to be scattered. Mavis is shocked to find Zeref in the guildhall and none of her Fairy Tail members around. Apparently this is what happened. Irene’s goal to hasten the war has scattered specific people throughout the continent. This means putting Zeref and Mavis together while putting Acnologia far away as possible. Because Fiore has become sizeably smaller, she wants Alvarez to clash with everyone on Ishgar as soon as possible.
* Thanks to this magic, I guess Gajeel is still alive and not dragged to hell. Just in time, huh? However he is next to Zera. So the magic also caused this illusion to become real too, huh? With everyone in the state of confusion, Zera uses her telepathy to communicate to her Fairy Tail members the direction of their guild and to head there now because Mavis is in danger. Because nobody knows her and some are distrustful, thank goodness Gajeel’s voice is all the assurance needed to let everyone know Zera is on their side. Convenient.
* What’s this? Angel and Yukino are sisters?!
* Mirajane vs Heine Lunasea and Juliet Sun – Irene’s b*tches beat down Mirajane. Until she uses her ultimate Satan Soul to return the favour. They revert to their true forms: Swords.
* Irene wants revenge over her subordinates but before she could kill Mirajane, August kills him for her. He wants Spriggan 12 to convene at Zeref. But don’t cry again if there’s another dead Fairy Tail member because nobody died ever since, uhm, Mavis? From what it is hinted, Brandish minimized Mirajane’s wounds till it’s gone. This isn’t magic. This is crap BS!!! So you telling me if you have a serious fatal injury, all you need is to just reduce that damage till it’s gone???!!! WTF???!!!
* Spriggan 12’s chief admin, Invel puts some freezing chain on Mavis to inhibit her movement and thinking. Zeref wants Mavis to remove Fairy Heart from Mavis. Mavis thought this is impossible? Well… Irene is believed to have that capability but it’ll take time.
* All Spriggan 12 (including the resurrected dead thanks to Neinhart) is reunited with Zeref and the entire Alvarez army are stationed outside Fairy Tail’s guild.
* Hence Fairy Tail, wave by wave return to take down all those mindless Alvarez soldiers. Showing us again that quality > quantity. Until the first real obstacle, God shows up and slow down their progress. Who can take on his multiple magic? What do you know? Gildarts is back!!! Where the f*ck have you been all this while?!
* Gildarts vs God – Because God is just a dead clone, he isn’t as powerful as his original self. Hence Gildarts easily pummels him. Another quick loss for God, huh?
* Mirajane vs Jacob – How can this assassin fight properly when Mirajane’s cleavage are so revealing?
* Rogue vs Bloodman – Not really shown but since the enemy is already dead to begin with, I guess it’s Rogue’s win with something happening later.
* Minerva vs Wall – Ditto. Like above.
* Elfman-Lisanna vs Ajeel – Ditto. Like above too but this time with family bond thingy putting the stops.
* Natsu vs Neinhart – Just when you think Neinhart has powered up after Irene released some seal of his, then Natsu just defeats him in one punch…
* Gray vs Invel – Battle of the frozen guys. However Invel’s winter ability to change everything into ice is way superior than Gray’s ice creation. Gray circumvents that by using some Dragon Slayer magic but risking his own sanity and falling into the dark side.
* Gray vs Juvia – In a slight distraction, Invel manages to chain Gray and Juvia’s mind. He has them fight each other to death. He calculates will win and hence crossing over to the dark side. This will awaken his dark power and will be the one to destroy END. Guess what? Both take their own lives simultaneously! Didn’t see that one coming, Invel?
* Remember, Fairy Tail doesn’t have dead members in the current era. So Gray lives because did some water blood transfusion on him.
* Gray vs Invel – Round 2 grudge match. No matter how power Invel is, nothing beats the power of love! Yup, Super Saiyan Gray demonic version beats him down. Won’t bring back Juvia, but that sure felt good, no? No? Okay. Invel tells him the truth about END and why he is the only one who can defeat Zeref’s greatest demon…
* Remember again, Fairy Tail doesn’t have dead members in the current era. So Juvia lives because Wendy and Carla found her in time to heal her.
* Because Invel was defeated, this allows Mavis to trick Irene with one of her illusions and allow herself to escape. She is rescued by Mest who told her about that mysterious female voice that gathered them all. Mavis realizes it is Zera. The moment she remembers her, some twisted logic means Zera ceases to exist in this world. I guess it is cue for them to have one last talk before she disappears.
* Lucy vs Brandish – After Brandish enlarges Natsu’s tumour again, both bikini babes duke it out. However Dimaria stops the fight and knows Brandish is only pretending to fight because she is being observed. Otherwise, Brandish’s powers could have easily killed them all. Dimaria kills Brandish and kidnaps Lucy and Natsu. Blaming them for corrupting her Brandish, she isn’t going to make death easy for them.
* Before Dimaria could do her worse, the next thing Lucy knows, the place is in a mess, Natsu is missing and a very traumatized Dimaria. I think we know who the monster she is referring too. Of course, cue for Poluchka to explain (also, healed Brandish because apparently such characters cannot be killed) that due to Brandish enlarging the tumour, it may have awakened something worse. Wait. Don’t say. Let me guess. END, right?!

* Gray vs Natsu AKA END – Literally a battle of fire and ice. Both going out ferociously because they think their loved one is dead. Gray thinks Juvia is dead. Natsu thinks Lucy is dead. WAAARGHH!!!! PUICH! PUNCH! PUNCH!!!!!
* With Irene turning the Alvarez soldiers into raging berserker zombies that feel no pain, our heroes once more find themselves cornered. Makarov can’t stand the fact his children are going to suffer and uses Fairy Law. Too bad, this spell drains his life force. The more enemies… Well, you can do the math and see where this is going. Hence lots of flashback and tears. They didn’t troll us this time. RIP Makarov… MASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* You know real sh*t is going on when Natsu and Gray’s fight is stopped by a crying Erza. You better realize what’s happening when Erza starts lecturing about love and family. The guys finally lose all their strength when they realize their women are still alive.
* Crime Sorciere (Jellal and former Oracion Seis) vs August – Nobody could even touch August…
* Larcade casts his pleasure magic and affects many (but not all) of the people in the battlefield, affecting some of his own allies. What’s this? Larcade is Zeref’s son???! So this means Natsu is his uncle and his mom is… OMFG, MAVIS???!!! This family tree is starting to look weird.
* Sting vs Larcade – Any light or white magic has no effect on Sting. However Larcade casts some hunger spell on him. With no strength to fight, he sees Lectar as food and they try to eat each other? Sting manages to snap out from it and knock out the others from eating themselves. But still he is weak from hunger. Herald Rogue, letting Sting eat his shadow powers, Sting is now a fusion of light and shadow, ready to beat down Natsu’s nephew. Larcade’s turn to go to sleep then.
* Erza vs Irene – The battle of the scarlet hair. Wendy backs Erza by enhancing her powers to fight on par with Irene. If you have a hunch why Irene is similar to Erza, wonder no more because here it is. Can you guess it? Irene is Erza’s mom! Wow. How many more family bonds like this are they going to need to surprise us? Oh well, I guess blood isn’t thicker than water here as both sides refuse to acknowledge why they are blood related. And so we get Irene’s flashback. The former queen of dragons…
* 400 years ago, dragons and human coexisted on Ishgar. Irene had Belserion on her side and he was loyal to her. However the war on dragons soon came to be because on Alakitasia, dragons ate humans. Dragons on both the divide fought each other but the western dragons were superior in numbers. Hence Irene created a magic called Dragon Slayer that imbues humans with dragon powers to fight against dragons. Unfortunately due to the instability of the magic, many humans have gone berserk. Irene herself is slowly turning into a dragon and at that time she was pregnant with Erza. The war ended when Acnologia appeared and destroyed both sides. After Belserion died, her husband whom she was married to under a political marriage feared she would turn into Acnologia. She was imprisoned and tortured for years. He did not believe she could be pregnant for 3 years! Yeah, she casted a spell to put her pregnancy on hold but it’s still hogwash to guys like him. Before he could kill her, she turned into a dragon and killed him. She fled and tried to find ways to turn herself back but to no avail. That was when she met Zeref who easily turned her back. However it was only in form. Her body started feeling pain and misery. That was when she thought she could become human again but exchanging with the baby inside. However the process failed and because Erza was no longer useful, she tossed her away at some remote village.
* You think Erza could easily kill Irene. But Irene did some enchantment and now she possesses Wendy’s body. Now that she is in a human’s body, she is not going to give up on it and will stop at nothing to kill Erza. But luckily too, Wendy also did some enchantment and now she is in Irene’s body. Obviously Irene’s body has better magic so she uses them all to push Irene out of hers. Even if Irene tries to scar Wendy’s body, she still wants it as it holds lots of memories. I think forgoing those huge boobs is just a minor loss. Heh.
* Now that they’re both back in their original bodies, Irene gets desperate. So mad that she turns into her dragon form. One smack is enough to shatter all bones in Erza’s body. Then she could even use some high level magic sh*t to pull in a meteor and smash into the world!!! Not if Erza could muster all her strength to charge towards the meteor. Looks suicidal but shouldn’t Irene be happy Erza to be sacrificing herself?
* Holy sh*t! Erza could even slice the meteor and then drop down and slice the dragon???!!! Irene was probably shocked by everything she saw and got owned.
* You thought it would be easy for Irene to kill Erza now. Unfortunately Erza’s smile triggered her. Yup. Those old memories. And hence, Irene kills herself!!!! WTF???!!! I guess in the end, she is still her mom.
* Whatever tumour inside Natsu has him fallen into a deep state of unconsciousness whereby he talks to Zeref and he fills out some other details in their past that Natsu doesn’t know of. Like the scarf Natsu is wearing isn’t from Igneel but Anna.
* Inside Natsu is both the dragon seed and demon seed. As they are both merging now, this means his death is inevitable. However he can prevent that if he chooses one. Either a demon or a dragon. Of course we all know what Natsu is going to choose. He is human. And with that, both seeds disintegrate! Wow! WTF?! That easy???!!! And with that also, Natsu wakes up from his slumber.
* With Irene’s death, her spell dissipates and Fiore returns to its normal size and position.

+ VS Zeref
* Gildarts-Cana vs August – Well, with other Spriggan 12 members defeated, dead or given up, somebody has got to keep the final Spriggan 12 member company.
* Gray vs Zeref – Gray being the first one to reach Fairy Tail guild, Zeref explains his goals and all. Including killing Gray so that Natsu will be overcome with anger and fight all out with him. Gray’s trump card to defeat and not kill Zeref has him use some lost magic that involves sacrificing his own life, memories and existence. So how is this different than Zeref killing him? Ah, I see if you do it yourself, it’s okay. Time to freeze Zeref forever.
* Too much sadness, nobody to grieve over him if they don’t remember him anymore, huh? Oh well, if visions of Ul can’t stop him, maybe Natsu can. Uh huh. Let those flames burn everything away. Then one of the most touching and weirdest friendship reconciliations between Natsu and Gray. Friends can’t die on each other, right?!
* Natsu vs Zeref round 2. Natsu despite still strong, clearly he is not as strong when he first clashed with Zeref. Igneel’s power is gone.
* Better hasten the fight because time’s up. Yup, Acnologia has returned. First thing he did is to desecrate Irene’s body! Take that for giving humans Dragon Slayer magic!
* Larcade thought he could help Zeref by putting Natsu to sleep and make it easy for father to kill him. But Zeref didn’t appreciate this and kills Larcade for interrupting his fun! Zeref reveals he is not his son and was just the closest demon in the book as an experiment to create Natsu. Now he is just a failure. Flashback shows Purehito knew Mavis was pregnant. Not sure how he delivered the baby when Mavis was crystalized. In a dilemma to kill or let him live. He chose the latter but then abandoned him somewhere else. Gee, thanks?
* August threatens to kill Cana just to see Gildarts’ reaction. Being the caring father he is, of course he won’t let that happen as he gets really serious in fighting August. This prompts August to note that Zeref never loved his son. Gildarts becomes reckless enough and willing to bring him down just to protect Cana. But he just trolled us because he figured out August’s magic properties. He can copy and repel any form of magic but cannot replicate those magic that needs some sort of tool. Hence a single fatherly punch to send this old geezer into defeat. And those flashbacks you see of a young boy being picked up by Zeref, you thought it was Larcade, huh? Turns out to be August! So why doesn’t Zeref love his son? Because he never knew he had one, silly!
* August intends to sacrifice himself and take everyone with him. This devastating ancient magic could have actually worked had he not spot his ‘mother’. Yup. That’s you, Mavis. It’s like he just gave up and let himself be the only one to dissipate from this spell. Phew. Everybody else saved. I didn’t think a mother’s love saved the day, but whatever.

* Mavis rendezvous with Gray, Lucy and Happy. She shows them the END book which she stole from Zeref while she was in his captivity. She has a plan to eliminate Zeref once and for all. But first nobody is to approach the guildhall until Natsu takes down Zeref.
* Acnologia could have killed Erza and Wendy had not Jellal intervened. And then Wendy thought of playing the heroine and could have been killed had not Blue Pegasus rammed into that arcane dragon. The plan now is to lure Acnologia as far away from this place and to a certain spot where Ichiya is certain Acnologia can be defeated. Says who? Anna?!
* Yup, that’s Anna in the flesh. She explains to the rest all that we already know. Anna also came to the future to take care of the Dragon Slayer kids but due to some distortion, all were sent scattering. She took a few years to find them but realized they were living happily. As she continued her search, she found something strange. That strange thing that could seal Acnologia forever is this rift in time. Because of this time travelling thing, it gave rise to this distortion. Inside it, nothing could exist. Not even Acnologia. All that they need to do is lure Acnologia and let him just touch this orange sized rift. So why nobody ever found this rift? Anna hid it. Yeah, that simple, people.
* Zeref’s true ultimate goal revealed: He wants to reset time and go back in time before he became an immortal. To do this, 2 powers are required: Mavis and that rift in time.
* Just when Blue Pegasus has baited Acnologia to go through the time rift, he passes through it! Nothing happened! Oh sh*t?! Plan failed? Actually, at the same time, Zeref found that time rift and closed it so he could steal it. Any second plans, Anna? Sounds crazy but she’s going to try open it again.
* Zeref and Natsu’s fight is interrupted by Mavis. She claims she has a way to save Zeref. However he is uninterested and prefers his Neo Eclipse method. He extracts all her Fairy Heart and becomes God! Now he can cross time, go back to save humanity and prevent Acnologia to become as powerful as he is today.
* Natsu thought he had obliterated Zeref (and part of the guildhall. Sorry). Turns out Zeref can reverse time and revert things back to way they were. You’re screwed. And just like that Zeref kills Natsu. The end of END?
* Meanwhile Lucy opens and reads END. Condense words start flying out of the pages. She thinks it is linked to Natsu and will rewrite some of them.
* Because Zeref is using the time rift to open another portal, looks like the time rift is also appearing back in its original spot. So, 2 time rifts now? Jellal thinks of sacrificing himself to push Acnologia into it. I guess he couldn’t. Now that Acnologia is crushing him and Blue Pegasus’ ship has taken so much damage that it could explode, everyone abandons ship. Well, not everyone. Ichiya and Anna are going to ram it into Acnologia and push him into the void. Will they make it? Oh yeah. Now they’re gone.
* Natsu revives thanks to Lucy rewriting some of the missing words. Don’t look down on her, she memorized the whole thing. However it comes with a cost as Lucy is now possessed. Whatever demonic curse that is eating her, her insides are burning. But nothing like a bit of Gray’s powers to cool her down so she could help rewrite some of the words and give Natsu and even more awesome power. That fiery power is so fiery that Zeref’s God’s power is no match! You mean nothing beats the raging flame of emotion? Well, Natsu is carrying the feelings of his entire guild, so yeah. So powerful his single punch that Zeref now cannot move.
* Time for some really awkward emotional moments between Zeref and Mavis. Mavis making a lot of contradictions about loving him and hating him. So which is which? Make up your mind! You love him or hate him? So the key to Zeref dying is just to be loved? Well, that’s contradicting. And what’s dad about death = love? Yeah, Mavis probably is confused by everything. So am I. Are you? No wonder marriage = death! HAHAHA!!! Anyway, both decide to die together and with the power of Fairy Heart, damn, death never felt so warm and good?

+ VS Acnologia
* The biggest troll they’ve done so far: MAKAROV LIVES!!! OMFG!!! So Mavis and Zeref gave up their life force and this somehow brings this old geezer back to life???!!! Can’t they let this guy rest in peace already?!
* Lucy has rewritten enough of END and she doesn’t need to do any more since the book starts disappearing. The ultimate test if Natsu is still around. Oh yeah. Here he is. Wow. So super happy ending.
* And just when we think we could let our guard down thinking they’re going to wind up everything, suddenly somehow Natsu is nowhere to be seen.
* More surprise in store for us. Because the sky cracks! Acnologia bursts through and returns! He then absorbs Wendy and all the other Dragon Slayers as he wreaks havoc across Magnolia. End of the world is here.
* Natsu is also in this time rift and looks like he’ll be getting his wish to fight Acnologia. The other Dragon Slayers are encased in a crystal.
* I guess we need some good news too because Anna and Ichiya return from the time rift! We’ve seen this one coming! Anna explains that she miscalculated and because Acnologia devoured time and space, he possessed the ultimate power. But that comes with a price as he can no longer control it. Hence he is split into 2 forms. His physical form (the dragon) is in this world while his spirit form (the human) remains in the time rift. He is using the power of the Dragon Slayers to keep the balance. Since Anna and Ichiya weren’t part of the balance, hence they were ejected. I see, so they didn’t get to die then. Just ejected.
* The power of determination is what Natsu has (and always has done) to break free from Acnologia’s crystallization and regain his magic again. The same for the other Dragon Slayers. They heard the voice of the people supporting them and that was apparently enough to bust them out. Oh boy. Acnologia vs Dragon Slayers. This could get messy.
* 400 years ago in a country where dragons and humans coexisted, before Acnologia became a dragon, he was a human doctor treating the guardian dragon known as Acnologia. He heard of some troublesome Dragon Slayer magic that could rip apart this coexistence and went to further investigate. When he returned, Acnologia turned against humans. After the destruction, he became filled with hatred towards dragons for all the destruction. Hence he went to seek the Dragon Slayer magic to kill them all. He hunted them down one by one and the more he kills, the more insatiable for destruction and dragon blood he became. For all the obliteration he did, he forgot his own name and took on Acnologia’s name.
* Because Acnologia is immune to all sorts of magic, the Dragon Slayers have a hard time even touching him. It’s like everybody vs Thanos. But you know, their strong will and determination to protect their friends is going to be fuel that they need to get over this.
* Lucy has this idea to seal Acnologia. They are going to let it ride a giant ship and then seal it within Fairy Sphere, that barrier Fairy Tail members put up when Acnologia first attacked them on Tenroujima.
* They divide themselves into teams to get this done. Lucy’s side need to find the book in their library on how to cast Fairy Sphere. You mean the last time they did it on Tenroujima was a fluke? I thought you just need to hold hands around and wish very hard? Anyway, she finds the book among thousands of unlabelled ones. Yeah. Gotta get the plot moving. Gray’s team managed to secure a huge ship left behind by Alvarez. So they’re going to knock Acnologia down to ‘ride’ the ship? You think it won’t be destroyed that way? Why not somebody just fly the ship up to it? And Minerva’s team has led Acnologia towards the ship but upon arrival, Acnologia destroys all the ships! Holy cow! Now what? Don’t worry. Gray and Lyon will create a giant ice ship!
* Everything is in place to seal Acnologia in Fairy Sphere. Can they do it? Uhm, not powerful enough. Acnologia can still break out. But don’t worry. Meldy has linked everybody on the continent to lend their power to seal Acnologia. Woah. Hence every damn character that has appeared in this series to lend their help and power! DO YOU STILL REMEMBER THEM???!!! From those Edolas cats to those Jiggle Butt idiots and the rest of the bunch whom I honestly can’t f*cking remember!
* With the Dragon Slayers’ fight going nowhere, I guess now they’re going to channel all their energy towards Natsu. Yup, the only guy who can somewhat defeat Acnologia. Man, he has got some rainbow flames now!
* That single punch is enough to disintegrate Acnologia! Wow! And final lecture from Natsu that he doesn’t need anything else except his friends. I hope nobody takes that literally. I guess that’s his version of “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”. I really hope nobody takes that literally.
* Even the dragon Acnologia vanishes. Oh hell, we know it wasn’t Fairy Sphere. It makes everybody’s efforts futile and as though they didn’t trust Natsu in the first place. But heck, at least it made them look like they did something.
* And our Dragon Slayers return falling from the cracked sky. Of course, Natsu on Lucy. Is this a sign? Hey, who fixed the cracked sky then? And where did everybody get enough confetti to scatter everywhere? Clean up is going to be one big mess.

+ Epilogue
* It has been a year since and Lucy wins the prize for best new author. I guess writing a book is easy when you based the protagonist as yourself and your life’s adventure as the setting. A party is held to celebrate her achievement but you can tell those rowdy guys are her Fairy Tail members. Yup, some things will never change.
* Lucy also narrates briefly what others are doing but I’m going to list those that sound ‘interesting’: What’s this? Levy is rumoured to be pregnant???!!! Cheria slowly getting her magic back???!!! I guess never getting to use magic again was just a lie, huh? Ichiya won most handsome man???!!! MEN???!!!! Do Blue Pegasus people have bad taste???!!! Hisui ascends the throne after her father the king retires. Her first step is to amend relations with Alvarez and also give Crime Sorciere amnesty.
* Are you waiting for the biggest troll ever? Mavis and Zeref spotted in the flesh at the party!!! OMFG!!! WHAT THE F*CK???!!! THEY STILL ALIVE???!!! Turns out to be some random strangers who look and sound so much like them. They are young budding writers, Mio and Alios. I guess that’s that. Nothing else here for us. Move along.
* And even though peace reigns over the land, Natsu still drags Lucy into his job quests. Probably it is a subtle way of saying that they will always be together forever. I mean, he did tell her again literally they’ll always be together but we all know it means more than that, right?

End Of A Fairytale Run
That’s it, guys. Until they adapt the next arc in the manga! Hard to say if that will happen because otherwise why have the final in its title? Are they trying to troll and clickbait us for the viewership?! Hey, they didn’t really put ‘Owari’ AKA The End in the final scene and instead they said ‘Mata ne’ AKA See You Again. So I suppose that throws everything up in the air, huh? But for now and as far as everything is concerned, this would be the final and last of the series. So goodbye, RIP Fairy Tail. For now. After all, all those who stick around and grown up watching this series, well, we might have grown up and out of it already. So time to end it. Please don’t reboot this damn series… Please. Don’t.

After watching this series for a decade, it is with mixed feelings that I have for this entire series. A great series? Yeah, sure. But not so great that I became anything near as an obsessed fan that I must know every single lore in this series. The thing that still irks me until the end is their brand of nakama or friendship drama that this series always played out. You know, the bonds among the Fairy Tail guild members that make them closer than any actual family unit related by blood. Sometimes you get really sick of it that it’s that same ol’ goody-goody my nakama style of drama that is always so prevalent. I’ll do anything for my comrades. Including sacrificing myself. But wait. You can’t do that. Because everybody else will be sad if you’re gone. So we gonna stop you from sacrificing yourself. And we’ll find another roundabout way to do it without sacrificing anybody! Wow. So great. So irritating. But I can’t give them all the hate because this is their brand and style. This is what makes Fairy Tail stand out from other guilds in the continent. If they had a different approach in treating their comrades, I don’t think we’ll like it either. So for better or worse, this kind of nakama style friendship drama thingy is what makes Fairy Tail, so Fairy Tail. It’s just them being them. Nothing more, nothing less.

Having said all that, I guess it is also annoying that this means that none of the current Fairy Tail members actually die. They have trolled us for so long that this character might eventually die and some of us (like yours truly) keep falling for it because well, it could be the plot twist that is supposed to shock us. And of course, the real shocker in the plot twist is that they didn’t die. Heh. The biggest troll goes to Makarov because just when you thought that old grandpa has finally found peace, by some miracle account this guy is resurrected back to live. He is going to be Fairy Tail’s umpteenth master for the umpteenth time forever. Running joke or not, that’s his fate. Heh. If Makarov can’t die in peace and even return back to live again, I think that was the last straw. I thought that nobody is going to die in Fairy Tail ever. Until…

OMG!! WHY THE F*CK THEY NEED TO KILL OFF MAMIKO NOTO’S CHARACTER AGAIN???!!! OH MAH F*CKING GOD!!!!!!!! Technically Mavis isn’t dead. Trapped in that lacrima for ages, you can’t say she is a dead character. It was nice seeing the first master of Fairy Tail meeting her future descendants of the guild. But in order to finish off Zeref, put an end to their weird romance, to show that both sides of the divide are somewhat draw in this big battle, hence both of them have to die for this part of the war to end. Hence Mavis remains as the only Fairy Tail member in modern times TO ACTUALLY DIE!!! Yeah, probably it’s time for her character to go seeing there’s a different set of people in this new era. But whatever. Then that last episode troll that she might be alive. Oh f*ck. Mamiko Noto Mavis really died, huh? I didn’t think it was somebody’s magic to make them reborn again. Of all the Fairy Tail characters, they had to pick Mavis. Mavis, voiced by Mamiko Noto. Yet another killed off character added to the list. Boy, I’m so sore. No wonder I didn’t really enjoy this series when it reaches the home stretch. Plot convenience saved Gajeel from permanent death. The same too when Gray and Juvia were about to kill each other. Heck, even Ichiya and Ana came back from the void! And Makarov, like I’ve said in the previous paragraph. F*ck. Mavis, poor Mavis. More like, Mamiko Noto, poor Mamiko Noto. I thought they would bring her character back to live again in the last episode somehow, but now I realized there could be a conspiracy theory all along that will lead to this when they made her play this Mavis character…

So yeah, the rest of the other characters, probably they are a hit and miss in this final season. The main ones get their fair share of the limelight and those favourite supporting ones get theirs too but to a lesser extent. And the not so important ones are thrown behind as background supporters. If I want to do a list of these characters, I might not finish it so I’m going to keep things short and just nit-pick. For instance, I thought Romeo is going to be at least playing a supporting role since this kid has grown up a bit. But nah. He is not the next generation of Fairy Tail we think he is to be. That goes for the other guilds such as Sabretooth, Blue Pegasus, Lamia Scale, Mermaid Heel and Quatro Cerberus. Because this final season is mostly Fairy Tail vs Alvarez, it is understandable the rest of the other guilds are casted aside as the battle builds up to its finale. So the most is that they just help aid Fairy Tail in some ways. After all, this is Fairy Tail’s fight. As the main guild in focus, they have to show us that they are capable of taking out the enemy by themselves with the minimal of aids from the other guilds. I suppose that’s the problem when you have too many characters. Trying to make everybody matter will eventually fail. So just pick the main ones and a few supporting ones and forget about the rest. Because they don’t really matter. Like, Angel and Yukino are sisters? Uh huh. So what?

Probably the final season want to nail it in the family thingy because they brought in a few family ties from both the Fairy Tail and Alvarez side. Probably you’ll be sick by the time it reaches its end. Erza’s got a mum? Surprise, mother*ckers! It’s Irene! Who would’ve thought, right? August being the love child between Zeref and Mavis? Something weird happened in between but whatever. And Cana finally calling Gildarts as her dad instead of his name? Always daddy’s girl forever. Zeref and Natsu are brothers? Did you see that coming? So I suppose that is why the difference between Fairy Tail and the enemies is that they have love among them. Because of love, they live. Otherwise, you dead. Simple.

So speaking of the action sequences and the fight scenes, it is probably all within expectations to see the epic fights and match-ups. It comes to no surprise if you’re a veteran viewer and long-time fan of the series. So the other thing which irks me is how Fairy Tail makes it look so easy fighting the Alvarez side especially Spriggan 12. Unless they’re trying to be cautious and not get over confident, Spriggan 12 is actually more or less the same kind of powerful foes that Fairy Tail has faced and overcome in the past. They are nothing really special. So painting Spriggan 12 as the ultimate, the most devastating, fearsome and powerful foe that they have ever faced, well, that’s a bit of a stretch. Sure, the usual drama of losing to them initially (but not the kind of loss that would be a devastating blow to their overall morale, etc), but that is only they are unfamiliar with the enemy’s power. Once they get to know how it works, then it’s just easy to defeat them. Just find the loophole (sometimes known as plot convenience) and take the chance to defeat them. For example, you think Dimaria had the best and unbeatable power with her time manipulation. And then what the f*ck is this Ultear convenience to give some godly magic to take down god. TOOK DOWN A GOD THAT CONTROLS TIME! Can you believe this? And to think that Bloodman who looks the creepiest didn’t have his fight last longer than the rest. What a shame.

So yeah, the Fairy Tail members do grow in their skills and all over the years and all the training they’ve developed since they reunited again. Especially Natsu who has gained a few of them and of course I suspect it is to have the final showdown with Acnologia among with the rest of the Dragon Slayers. Hence the redundant Avatar arc just to show off to us how much our Fairy Tail guys have grown. Don’t mess with them! Think thrice! But the final fight with Acnologia feels rushed. Maybe it is because the entire year it has been a long battle with Zeref’s side so the final fight with Acnologia feels short. Yeah, we’re running out of episodes. Better end it. I suppose that’s the only way. But still, it feels a bit a downer for the greatest dragon, the Dragon King to get defeated (and get lectured) like that. Power of friendship in your face!

You know that Dragon Slayer weakness is vehicles or transports? I thought it was just some sort of running gag but it wasn’t really funny anymore when this was actually the catalyst that they used to defeat Acnologia the dragon version! It was just weird to think that anything they considered as a mode of transport, they get seasick. I believe it is all in their mind. If they’re in a house that transforms into a mobile transport, they will then get motion sickness. See the nonsense logic here? It’s all in your mind!!! So why don’t they carve the continent into a giant boat (not necessarily a grand looking ship) and then Acnologia will forever be immobilized! Or put the world on a giant skateboard. Like as though the planet is skating in its orbit. All Dragon Slayers seasick for sure! Gee, I’m so smart. Pat myself on the back. Not even Mavis thought about that. Oops, she didn’t live that far…

This season also trolled us with some of the romance and the pairings of some of the characters. Especially Natsu x Lucy, you’d think they would finally be officially an item especially that trolling scene of her needing to get naked to warm up Natsu when he was in coma fighting his inner consciousness. That’s the closest we will ever get to see them together like that! After all, isn’t Lucy the fanservice girl with her huge tits? Oops… I don’t know how many jumped ship to Brandish. Sexy huge tits girl parading around in leopard motif bikini? A+++, definitely!!! And of course, Gray x Juvia is already given seeing that the stalker girl’s persistence paid off.

Then there is also Gajeel x Levi. Finally this touch macho guy admits he loves her. Only when he faced death. Wow. And you thought love makes you do all kinds of silly things but death too. Good thing about Gajeel this time is that he doesn’t resort to that running doo-wop joke. Phew. But now they make him have this running joke because his favourite line now is to arrest everybody for the silliest of violations. WTF. Oh yeah, he got Levi pregnant somehow. Way to go, buddy. How do you arrest yourself for knocking up a cute girl? I suppose Erza x Jellal? Isn’t this why Ichiya gave his blessing? Well, we’ll wait and see. They’re still ‘passing’ each other. Unfortunately, Elfman x Evergreen didn’t play out, making us even forget that they had a thing for each other. Happy x Carla? Cat girl evolved into a hot human chick! You’re way out of her league, cat boy!!! Laxus x Lisanna rumour? Laxus x Mirajane rumour? I think there’s a higher chance with Laxus x Freed happening! Romeo x Wendy? Nah. Loli too old for him. Romeo x Asuka? Nah. Loli too young for him. After seeing his playboy father, you think he wants to live up to his Shakespearean name?

The Alvarez story might be a bit too long even if it is the ultimate final arc. At least for the TV series. But at least it puts to rest and solve some of the mysteries regarding the missing dragons and yeah, the relationship between Zeref and Natsu. At least it is better than being his father! Heh. And plot twist! Natsu and the other Dragon Slayers came from the past! I guess that’s why you have that Eclipse thingy, huh? And the Natsu vs Gray showdown? Felt like a big troll too. Goes to show that the future isn’t really fixed and all you need to do is change it with your own hands. And the power of nakama! I think I said too much on this topic. Time to close it and move on.

New opening and ending themes for this final season of course. Power Of The Dream by lol (yes, that is their group’s name) as the first opening theme sounds more like a dance song. Second opener, Down By Law by The Rampage From Exile Tribe has this hip hop and rap element in it. Not too shabby. Third opening theme, No-Limit by Shunka Shuutou is a hard rock piece. Didn’t really like this one although it suits the action battle pace of the series. Singer trying to sound like an American punk rock speaking her opening lines. Another rock piece for the fourth opening theme, More Than Like by Bish. Also didn’t like this one as it sounds weak. The first ending theme is Endless Harmony by Beverly. Feels like a song sung by a diva. I wonder if this is what Mariah Carey sounds like if she was Japanese. Pierce by Empire is the second ending theme. Not really impressed with this generic piece. Boku to Kimi No Lullaby as the third ending theme by Miyuna is the only slow ballad this season and it’s not that bad. Exceed by Miyuu as the fourth ending theme has some acoustic rock in it. Sounds rather okay. Nothing exceptionally special.

Overall, it has been one long ride. Especially the Alvarez story arc that is the second longest arc in the series (after the Grand Magic Games arc). So like I have said, I have mixed feelings overall knowing the series has ended. It has its good and bad points but still unfortunately, not anywhere near the top of my all-time favourites. And also, not anywhere near the worst or mediocre animes that I have seen. So I guess this series is still good, huh? After everything that we’ve been through, perhaps you can say that me and like other viewers of this series, we’re like family guild members of Fairy Tail, right? Hey, we ‘supported’ you guys by buying all the goods and merchandise! So with all the magic died down, where do we find our next fairytale of magic and legendary deeds? Well, they say Black Clover is the closest next thing but that’s another fairytale… Thank you all for giving us a great (albeit not a masterpiece) series for the last 10 years. At least we know that itself isn’t a fairytale.

Strike The Blood III

December 27, 2019

Oh dear. Looks like with Strike The Blood III, I guess this means I have to watch the third season altogether now, huh? My third season of the series, huh? No, senpai. This is our third season! I didn’t think this would get another season but I was wrong. I did. And again, following its previous season’s format, it is released via OVA format and this means taking almost the entire year just to come out all 10 episodes for this season. Oh God. I don’t know why I must watch this series. It’s not that I am a huge fan of it. It’s not like I remember every detail of what happened in the previous season. It’s not that the harem and tits are… Oh wait. Maybe it’s that. All the headache and incomprehensibility just for some cheap fanservice that don’t even matter? Ah well, looks like my fight has just begun. Again. No, senpai. This is our fight! Again.

Tartaros Roses Arc

Episode 1
Kojou and his harem problems. More like his girls got problems. Like Nagisa reprimanding him not to wake up naked in front of her when she herself is in her lingerie. Then when he has no reaction, she gets jealous. What you want, girl?! And then a conversation with Yukina. Don’t know what she got so upset about. Did he say the wrong thing? And then Asagi… Never mind. Noticing that today’s class has many people late, it seems as Motoki reports, there has been a series of ships being grounded the moment they enter Itogami waters or passengers being food poisoned. What are the chances they aren’t coincidences? More women woes. Yukina already irritated seeing Kojou with Asagi. Nagisa takes a step higher as she shed tears the moment she sees them! Something not right… Now down to business. Kojou is captured by Natsuki to explain today’s problem. There has been already 21 cases of ship accidents today. The only thing in common is that all of them are heading towards Itogami. Because of this, no new people or goods can reach the island and so Itogami is effectively isolated. Natsuki suspected Kojou because only someone with vampire powers can do this. She thought capturing him would end this trickery but alas it didn’t. Yeah, we know this guy, why would he even do that?! After asking Yukina’s opinion on magical terrorism, this reminds Natsuki of a similar case whereby a Demon District in Europe was destroyed. The official reports said it was due to flooding but it was a deliberate terrorist act by Tartaros Lapus, a terrorist organization who commits magical terrorism in exchange for money. And the person behind it who can perfectly use feng shui like this is Takehito Senga. Yup, they need to find him to break this whatever diagram thingy. Then a call comes in saying that a director from Artificial Island Management Corporation has been sniped. Natsuki now well knows that this is definitely terrorism as they’re trying to throw their chain of command into chaos.

Meanwhile Nagisa is so confused about her feelings on Kojou that she runs away to a park and hangs out by herself. She meets and befriends December who claims she is here to witness the beginning of the end of the Demon District. Nagisa is then made unconscious and this summons out Avrora’s soul inside her. December assures her not to worry for this is their war and to return to her slumber. Then an explosion occurs at the administration’s HQ. Motoki is worried since it was his father, Akishige who is the president who got caught up in that explosion and his big brother, Kazuma who is a head of the operations won’t let him help. After Asagi learns from Kojou what is going on, she uses her hacking skills to get some info. But immediately she has to destroy her laptop as she was hacked back. Yup, some military grade virus not only infected her laptop but the Island Guard’s network too. Looks like Senga and December are in cohorts. The former is doing this because he has something he cannot forgive and thus putting an end to it all by using Tartaros Rose. Once Nagisa wakes up, December sends her back to Kojou. But the moment Kojou looks at December, those familiar and painful flashbacks flood his head. He realizes she is Avrora.

Episode 2
Kojou pretends nothing happened so December leaves. This has him thinking about December’s word that food is peace. This could mean Tartaros Lapus’ next target could be Itogami’s food stockpile. As they patrol around the warehousing site, suddenly huge golems attack. Apparently Natsuki was confronting Senga and they had a past. Just when she had the authorities surround to arrest him, here comes the golems. Kojou summons his familiar but is stopped by December who proclaims she is the leader of Tartaros Lapus. It seems she has the ability to control Kojou’s mind and seal whatever familiars she summoned. Luckily Natsuki comes to his aid. Then she realizes Senga and December are only distractions as Rogi the pyrokinetic is burning down the warehouses. As she is about to restrain them, December orders Carly to snipe Natsuki. Man, she really took a direct hit. December wants Kojou to join them but after he’s seen, no thanks. While Natsuki is okay but in comatose state, because of the hit from the magic bullet, Nina diagnoses she will take time to regain her consciousness. So Kojou and Yukina have a short while to lament their shortcomings. Can’t mope around forever. Better do Natsuki’s request to get more info on Tartaros Lapus. Just in luck, Rogi is here to bring them to see Senga who wants to talk to them. They are forced too since Carly has them in sights. Don’t want unnecessary casualties…

Senga explains that their aim is to destroy the Demon Districts. All the members in Tartaros Lapus have some history of being illegally used by the military and then abandoned. With Kojou still refusing to help, Senga reveals the true purpose of Itogami is an altar to resurrect Cain. Kojou laughs at this pathetic action of theirs. Even if they did try to ask for help and was shut down, was it because they really lacked proof? That’s not true because they themselves don’t believe in anyone else! So the irony of instead of destroying the Demon District to stop Cain’s resurrection, they should be saving the people who will be sacrificed for it! Well, he’s got a point. Senga realizes that their paths are different and since Tartaros Lapus will not back down from their methods, I guess this is it. After all, they have already set in motion to kill the Priestess of Cain which of course is no other than Asagi. Speaking of her, she visits Motoki who is puzzled with all the events happening. No word that Akishige has been found yet. Because if they wanted to throw the island into chaos, they would have killed Kazuma who is the real person in charge. Besides, it would take more than explosions to kill that old fart. Motoki’s sharp hearing saves Asagi from Carly’s snipe. Run! Kojou uses his familiar powers to rush over but is stopped by December. Then it becomes a battle of summoning and sealing familiars. Kojou looks like he is winning but Avrora’s soul plays cheat by asking if he is going to kill her again. Of course that guy can’t take any more pain to the head so he passes out. Senga comes to collect December and then has Ran to activate the Roses.

Episode 3
Kojou remembers the day he met Avrora and also that fateful day he become the Fourth Progenitor and killed her. A day known as the Scorched Banquet. Motoki and Asagi see demons hovering over the skies and those wearing demon bracelets are all incapacitated. Asagi realizes the hacking wasn’t for Island Guard but this. Now that they have been cut off, the only way is for Asagi to break into Keystone Gate and connect them back to Island Guard so the vaccine will continue to flow. Kojou wakes up after an hour. Mogwai telling him what has happened and it seems a large magic circle AKA Rose is hovering over Itogami. It is gathering magical energy from those bracelets. He hopes Kojou can take care of this as Asagi gets herself into Keystone Gate. With so many demons, can Kojou and Yukina handle it? Not if Sayaka, Shio, Yuiri and Grenda drop in to help. Nice timing for Yukina to take Kojou to a secluded room. She wants him to suck her blood because increasing his vampire powers could be the only way to maintain dominance over his familiars and defeat December. So why does she have to get naked if he is biting only her neck? Need to arouse the blood to the other head below?! HAHA! Oops, sorry… Anyway after blindfolding him, he digs in. Yeah, now I know. Can’t let the blood stain her nice uniform. No wonder her lingerie is also red. Apparently Kojou stops because at this rate her body cannot take it. Coincidentally Yuiri is here to bring Grenda to rest and Yukina gives permission to Kojou to do her in because it’s one-off. Isn’t every emergency one-off? With Kojou powered up, yeah those demons don’t stand a chance. But wait. The Four Heavenly Beasts that represent the directions in feng shui pop up. Is this what Tartaros Lapus is after? Sayaka then detects the one who activated the Rose. The location is Itogami’s abandoned district and Kojou realizes this would be the ideal place if Avrora is going to pop up one last time.

In order for Asagi to break into Keystone Gate, Motoki eats some pills to power up into some wind wraith and take out Carly. Meanwhile Natsuki returns as she restrains Rogi to find Senga’s whereabouts. Asagi manages to do all the hacking and it looks like it is going to affect Ran. She doesn’t mind dying this way but December unplugs her before she gets roasted. December narrates Ran’s tragic story only because maybe Kojou can understand why they’re doing this. Sure, he understands they have a reason to be angry. But instead of taking lives, he is going to save them. That’s why he will stop Tartaros Lapus. It’s his fight! No senpai. It’s our fight! When December summons Dabih-Crystallus, one of the Fourth Progenitor’s familiars, Kojou realizes that she is the Tenth Kaleid Blood and just a seal for the Fourth Progenitor’s powers like Avrora. December explains she was a captive for the Third Progenitor then, Chaos Bride. She was only released because she wanted to go to Itogami. Now that December has unleashed the seal, at the expense of her vanishing, at least the Four Heavenly Beasts will remain even if the Rose is gone. Not if Kojou and his girls can defeat them. Wow, they make it look so easy. December admits her defeat and hopes Kojou can send her comrades to a better facility. She gives him the power of the tenth familiar before vanishing. A before kiss before she goes. I guess Yukina allows it. Since it’s a sad occasion. Meanwhile Senga tries to continue with his mission but is shocked with the appearance of Akishige. Yeah, that old fart is still alive. It seems Akishige is pleased that Tartaros Lapus has done everything as planned including the Priestess of Cain entering the Coffin. Senga realizes too late that Tartaros Lapus was just pawns from the start and is killed off. Asagi is shocked to find herself that the spot she is in is Cain’s Coffin and Mogwai sounds like he did have an ulterior motive to lead her here.

The Time Of My Life Arc

Episode 4
With the restoration in progress, Kojou and co do some charity work to distribute food. All over the news is Asagi who has become a star after her hacking heroics. Heck, she is now an idol singing for peace! Woah! But Kojou feels something is wrong… Asagi looks a bit different. Then he finds out from her friend that this idol is just CGI and was done because the restoration wasn’t making any progress so they thought of cheering up the people this way. With Kojou looking so blur and oblivious, she can’t fathom why Asagi likes this dude. Yeah, he hasn’t even got a clue… Kojou and Yukina then goes to visit Motoki at the hospital but it seems he has been transferred to another hospital. Of course it is Kazuma who had a hand in this as he feels a normal hospital cannot protect him. Also, Kazuma wants him to succeed as the family head now that Akishige is assassinated since he has the proper lineage and abilities. Of course Motoki is free to decline and he will stopped being targeted. However doing so means losing their chance to save Asagi. Of course Natsuki will help them out. Sayaka is happy to become roommates with Yukina. Since nobody is home, she looks around and what’s this test kit?! It’s positive?! Freak out! Since Kojou lives next door, she knocks but only Nagisa is in. Asking about Yukina’s state, Nagisa describes what it seems to be pregnancy sickness symptoms! OMG! Can it be true?! Time to look for that bastard! Now Kojou and Yukina try to visit Asagi’s residence but it is heavily guarded by armed soldiers and you need a special permit. Come back again next time. On their way back, they are attacked by a mage who turns out to be Shike, Yukina’s master and also Nyanko’s true form. She was just testing her and looks like Yukina only powered up when Kojou was injured. Even so, she lost stamina after it’s over. Shike wants to confiscate her spear but Yukina won’t allow it and runs away with Kojou.

Yukina can’t go home now since she has disobeyed Shike, there might be pursuers waiting at home. So that’s what she meant when she said she doesn’t want to go home. It’s not like she wants to flirt with you, Kojou! Can’t stay under this bridge forever so Kojou takes her to a ramen store. Surprisingly they see Lydianne and Ibliss there. Lydianne tells them that she was infiltrating Keystone Gate but stumbled into Island Guard’s SSG, an official strike force comprised of demons who work directly under the administration’s board of directors. Lydianne tried to escape but SSG cornered her all the way. Just when she thought she was done for, Ibliss happened to be passing by and saved her. Since she is under his protection now, that’s how they ended up together. As for why she snuck into such a dangerous place, it is to rescue Asagi. You see, she is being confined in the deepest level of Keystone Gate. In the centre of this impregnable floor lies Cain’s Coffin where Asagi is imprisoned. Somebody needs to decipher that fake idol video because there is a hidden message from Asagi pleading for Kojou to save her!

Episode 5
Kojou and Yukina head down to Floor Zero to save Asagi. Gee, no security? Even with these weak sentries, Kojou is enough to dispatch them. But Yukina mad because he used his magic recklessly? Hey, he saved your ass! Inside this floor, they are shocked to see Meiga. He is also here for Asagi but unfortunately she isn’t anywhere to be seen. Since the guys hate each other’s guts, they start fighting. Meiga shows his true form as a manmade jiangshi AKA Chinese vampire. So he’s an immortal too, huh? And when he stabs Kojou, this shocks Yukina that she turns into an angel?! Hey, she should know that Kojou is immortal, right? So he gets back up and fires back at Meiga with his familiar. Suddenly the scene is cut to Kojou in a lab. Kanon is by his side as she explains they were found by Shike. Yukina is unconscious in the next room. But WTF Sayaka tries to kill him for ruining Yukina’s future?! Kanon’s dad and Shike enter to explain about Yukina having the power of a false angel known as Angel Faux (just like Kanon before). They also explain Meiga was once hired by Lion King to create divine weapons but died during one of its trial runs. However he was brought back to life and Shike suspected his grandfather, Senra turning him into a jiangshi. Due to his talents, Lion King hired him back but with lots of conditions. Hence Touka Fujisaka who was a Sword Shaman and first wielder of Sekkarou was tasked to observe him. Of course she is no longer is this world. She never returned after a mission. Immediately after that, Meiga turned bad before Natsuki threw him into prison. Although officially it is said that Touka died after fighting a group of mages on her own, the real reason is that she did not die. She evolved. She turned into Angel Faux.

Meiga finds himself alive and it is thanks to Vatler who saved him by interrupting Kojou’s familiar. Vatler knows about Meiga’s true objective to recreate the Cleansing that will wipe out everything from the face of the Earth. I guess Vatler has lived so long that he got bored of living? Kojou further thinks back on what Kanon’s dad and Shike explained about Angel Faux. Yukina will have no trouble if she continues to live a normal life but if she continues to use Sekkarou, this will rapidly progress her angel transformation and in no time she will be erased from this world and shift into some higher dimension. Then that pregnancy kit was actually some spiritual kit. Sayaka was devastated because this means Yukina knew about her condition beforehand. And she didn’t say anything to Kojou because perhaps a happy and ordinary life to her means being with Kojou? Oh, don’t start overthinking things now… Hence with Yukina out of action, tsundere Yukina will only help him save Asagi to save Yukina. Lydianne calls Kojou and has found Asagi’s whereabouts. The Coffin is docked in a submarine 400m below sea level under Itogami. Asagi seems to be enjoying her virtual life and has decent control over it. She is approached by Popess to make a deal. That is, she wants an eternal curse brand upon those who wield the power of the Sinful God. No can do. Asagi thinks she doesn’t benefit from this and would make everyone unhappy. I don’t think Popess is going to accept that since she wants to make everybody unhappy anyway. Kojou gets Natsuki to help him teleport to the Coffin. No can do. Got some magic barrier. But she notes it will resurface soon as the ritual for the Cleansing is almost complete. Then Meiga pops up. He is not pleased that Yukina is not with them. He is going to force her out then. Wow. All their combined powers can’t even scratch this jiangshi.

Episode 6
Natsuki warns Meiga’s power is the real deal because he can rewrite the laws of the world. So, basically like God? I don’t know how they can win this but they keep running until the Coffin shows up. And then Yukina pops up! And she turns into an angel to fend off Natsuki’s attacks. Meiga has help from Popess but ultimately it is Paper Noise who intervened and let Kojou and co escape. Wow. This is getting messy. In order to know why Meiga is trying to resurrect Cain, Natsuki calls a specialist who is no other than Kojou’s father, Gajou. Cleansing is about humans massacring demons on a large scale. But back then, demons were known as Gods. Cain was one of them and was somewhat banished. He met humanity and in his bid for revenge against the Gods, provided humanity with knowledge and tools like magic and magical artefacts. Even so, can humans defeat Gods like that? That is why Cain sought to rewrite how everything works. So by just turning Gods into demons, that loophole was enough to massacre them? Okay whatever. Of course the effect that Cain was also killed by a sect of divinity called Devas, those created and bestowed immense powers just for killing Gods. The strongest vampire, in other words, the Fourth Progenitor. We take slight distraction to see Sayaka in her drunk start. Meiga’s poison had alcohol so… Anyway Natsuki wants Kojou and the rest to leave Itogami so that they have a chance to fight back. Natsuki and Lydianne will decentralize the super computer. More Sayaka tomfoolery as she wants Kojou to suck her blood. Sexy time? Fortunately she passes out. Hence an excuse for Yukina to do it on her behalf. Because she sounds like this is the last time she will give his blood, Kojou refuses. Everyone will be sad if you’re gone! I guess that’s the reason why Yukina insists. Oh well. If she says so. Sorry to interrupt your feeding (why does it sound like sex… “Go deeper…”) but Shike is here to give Kojou a ring that will somewhat suppress Yukina’s Angel Faux. Why does this scene look like he is proposing to her, putting the ring on her finger?

Natsuki confronts Akishige trying to condemn the Coffin to the bottom of the ocean. However she won’t need to do anything as Meiga is here. Meiga doesn’t care if Cleansing destroys the world. That’s his intention anyway. Meiga thinks Kojou showing up isn’t a threat but Kojou knows that Meiga and Popess are not in real control of the Cleansing. Otherwise they won’t be down here at the control room because it is Asagi who has been protecting the Coffin’s contents, Cain’s wisdom all this time. Meiga is confident he can deal with her after he takes care of them. He doesn’t think much of Kojou summoning multiple familiars and it still won’t be any match for him. That would be the case if he and Yukina were his opponents. Popess turns into Mogwai and Lydianne has just rescued Asagi from the Coffin. The fight with Kojou was just to buy time for Asagi to do her preparations. With that, Meiga is defeated. Yukina collapses but it is not because of Angel Faux. She’s hungry?! Oh well, better than turning into an angel. Shike is glad it worked out because the ring links Kojou’s spiritual passes to her. So now she is his servant. Technically not yet his bride but his fiancée. Now I see… Meanwhile Paper Noise and Kazuma arrest Akishige. Old geezer thinks he can get away. True, if only he is the head. Too bad a new resolution has been passed to make Motoki the new head (since Akishige is thought to be dead, right?). With Asagi so famous, she has to wear disguise while walking in public. Nagisa then rushes to Yukina and hopes for the best, even taking things a bit far by talking about the name of her future baby! So will Nagisa be an aunt now? They didn’t explain it properly so I suppose that’s why Asagi also gets the wrong idea Kojou knocked Yukina up. Kojou’s battle has not ended yet… We see Meiga is still alive but Vatler kills him off and takes his Cleansing power. All as planned…

The War Of Original Vampires Arc

Episode 7
A council of shady hooded people… Oh well, what else? Destroy the Demon District! Meanwhile Kojou gets into some weird Valentine chocolates argument with Yukina, Motoki and Nagisa. I don’t even… Then they see Asagi getting into the car of Tobias Jagan who is one of Vatler’s men. Shio and Yuiri can’t determine the evolutionary system of Grenda. They also wonder if Grenda who was created to guard a lake treasure, could she be the treasure herself and that she is the guardian of Cain’s relic? They are attacked by Veres Aladar who serves the First Progenitor. It seems Grenda has been identified as a threat by the Holy Ground Treaty council and he is tasked to take her back to be sealed or recycled. Yuiri and Shio know they can’t defeat him but buy enough time just for reluctant Grenda to escape to Itogami to seek Kojou’s help. Aladar could have gone after her had not Kira intervened. Mimori sees this young girl, Kaleid Blood no. 6, Hektos who isn’t pleased she is going to resurrect her generation. Mimori’s goal is to clone a Kaleid Blood so she can transfer Avrora’s soul into that clone. In a way saving both her children. Hektos understands but tells her that her wish won’t come true. Hektos wants this body destroyed and does so. Kojou confronting Asagi getting into the car of Jagan. Geez, why he sounds like a jealous boyfriend? She ignores him and even her friend had to point this out. Heck, not satisfied, Kojou talks to Natsuki about this. Well, it’s Asagi’s freedom to do whatever she wants. So stop sounding like a jealous boyfriend and be one just because a woman got stolen! Kojou then spots Grenda on the roof. Can’t miss that big dragon. Before sad girl can explain, Aladar attacks. Kojou fights him and is of course no match. With Yukina and Natsuki showing up, Aladar knows better not to make enemies with Natsuki here. Hence he challenges Kojou to a duel at sunset today at a northern artificial island. If Kojou loses, Grenda will be taken away. If Kojou wins, Aladar will return Shio and Yuiri as well as swear on his First Progenitor name that they won’t chase Grenda anymore. Natsuki and Yukina can be the witnesses.

Kojou and Natsuki go talk to Shike about this. Shike paints this as a grim outlook that Kojou can’t win. She is unsure why they want the dragon but it doesn’t matter because Kojou will lose and Grenda will be taken away. 2 problems solved! And when Shike suggests Yukina give him something special as a final service, why does Sayaka have to get worked up and attack him? WTF?! And Yukina’s logic is that if Kojou wins, she doesn’t have to give that special service, right? Yeah, how she’d know he’d win? Shike criticizes Kojou that despite being the Fourth Progenitor which is supposed to be the strongest in the world due to the strength of his familiars, he doesn’t even dominate them. Theoretically, if he controls them, he can beat Aladar. Since this vampire thingy is something Shike is unfamiliar of, the only other person whom Kojou can think of is Vatler. But that guy isn’t going to give it to him easily, right? Yukina then suggests talking to Ibliss. He too doesn’t think he can win and even so, doesn’t have a reason to help Grenda. Is because he wants to save her enough of a reason? Because Kojou continues to be oblivious, Ibliss calls him arrogant. He has privileges of a king since even the enemy’s life is at his discretion. A discretion that only the very strong could have. It could be the reason why he is chosen as the Fourth Progenitor. Ibliss hints that there is another person he should consult. If he can figure out who, he has a chance of defeating Aladar. Or else, he’s done for. Meanwhile Asagi sees Lydianne and they do some exchange. Lydianne wonders why Asagi needs all these tanks. It’s to start a war.

Episode 8
Nagisa thought she saw December but is actually Hektos. She is here to bring Nagisa and Kanon to see Kojou and learn about the truth. Aladar is not pleased that Vatler has turned this duel into a grand show. Aladar insists the match will be over soon but La Folia disagrees and believes in Kojou. She adds to the bet that if Kojou wins, he must acknowledge him as the Fourth Progenitor as well as invite him to join Whisper Garden. Since Aladar is wary to accept, La Folia also throws in her virginity to him should Aladar wins. Kojou and Yukina arrive at the place to see it turned into a carnival. Yeah, high class and posh people waiting for the party to get started. And Sayaka instantly accusing Kojou of wasting his chances not speaking to anybody else and hence putting La Folia’s virginity on the line. Apparently it’s not because vampires are horny, if La Folia gives his blood memory to him, he will have knowledge of her kingdom’s secrets. So yeah, looks like the responsibility is on Kojou again to win. Before the fight begins, Kojou sounds like he is going to lose so it’s Yukina’s turn to tell him not to say it like that. Of course he promises to return. But in return she better prepare a lot of service for him! Holy sh*t! For real?! Let’s not jump to conclusions yet… The fight begins with Kojou pulling off a sneaky move to throw the first punch in Aladar’s face. But after that, Aladar goes all out and Kojou is on the defensive. Yukina is worried over her boyfriend’s beat down so Natsuki tells her to calm down and think why this is happening. This duel is most likely a setup by Vatler to make them fight so that Kojou’s Fourth Progenitor powers will awaken. Nagisa witnesses this fight and is shocked to learn the true nature of her brother. She is in shock as Vatler discloses more spoilers to her. She starts blaming herself that all this happened because of her. So shocked that she unleashes a power that temporarily freezes Aladar. Just in time because Kojou is about to get a real beat down.

Avrora possesses Nagisa to go talk to Kojou. With Hektos popping up and claiming to be Kojou’s familiar, Aladar is going to destroy all of them together. That is when Nagisa uses her power with Kojou’s to summon a familiar and fire through Aladar’s body. This isn’t enough to kill him but this opens Kojou’s eyes. He know understands what Natsuki said to him that he isn’t alone. The person Ibliss meant that he needed to talk to are those inside him. His familiars. As they are the ones who have been fighting for him. Hence Kojou warns Aladar to back down now or risk him summoning all his familiars at full power at once. This is when Vatler calls off the match and it is Kojou’s win. With unconscious Nagisa in a dangerous state, Natsuki teleports her to her dimension to recuperate. As for why Aladar was chasing Grenda, Vatler reveals that as the Holy Ground Treaty maintains peace between humans and demons, the council has deemed Itogami as a weapon of mass destruction and will thus be destroyed. As seen by what Meiga was trying to do, using this island as an altar, one can repeat the Cleansing. Therefore fleets from multinationals will soon surround Itogami. How is Grenda related to all this? She is the guardian for Cain’s relic. With this, Natsuki realizes Vatler’s goal is to do another Cleansing. As they try to figure out who else would be enchanting the Cleansing’s spell, they are attacked by Asagi’s tanks. She kidnaps Grenda and leaves the rest in shock that she is cooperating with Vatler. Then Asagi pops up on the news, announcing that the Holy Ground Treaty has sent a message to the Japanese government on their intent to destroy Itogami as a mass weapon of destruction. The attack is scheduled by 6am. Because it is impossible to evacuate everyone from the island and even more so there are not many cities in the world who can accept demons, she is urging all citizens to fight back.

Episode 9
Asagi further adds that the Japanese government has abandoned Itogami. But don’t worry, Vatler will be helping them. Also, she has Grenda activate fortresses that emerge and surround Itogami. These fortresses contain ancient weapons. With that, Grenda’s role is over because as the guardian of Cain’s relic, only she knows the dimension and coordinates of it. Thanks to this, Natsuki’s seal is also destroyed. While she assures there won’t be another Halloween Festa of magic criminals running lose, the more pressing issues is Nagisa. As Natsuki stopped her time, bringing her back to reality means restarting it. So the gang head to her side and Kanon tries hard to heal her. Apparently Hektos thinks she has done enough and knocks her out. Now it’s time to get started on their last banquet. So Hektos has them frolic in the sea? Is she naughtily flirting with Kojou just to stimulate him? So Hektos’ solution to save Nagisa is to extract the 12th familiar from her body. Wow. It’s that easy. But Nagisa disagrees because Avrora will disappear forever. Sure, but don’t do that and both will disappear. Hektos believes Avrora won’t disappear because she is their hope. It is that reason that Hektos believes herself to be the one to disappear. After giving her blood and familiar to Yukina, she starts sucking Kojou’s blood and lets the girls look. This is also to awaken Avrora and draw out the 12th familiar. Then Yukina summons her familiar to cut and extract that familiar from Nagisa.

All is fine and dandy now as the weapons manage to prevent the fleet from decimating Itogami. But as La Folia points out, that is the least of their problems now. Thanks to Vatler entering into alliances with countries not affiliated with Holy Ground Treaty, the world is now divided and on the verge of world war. A large one. This means Vatler intends to fight against the other 3 Progenitors. Stopping this madness depends on Kojou as she takes him to Whisper Garden, the place of the supreme council of the Holy Ground Treaty. The council is made out of 12 members, 3 of which are permanent members. Even if a decision has been made to go to war on Itogami, it can still be reversed by a veto. That right is held by the 3 permanent members who are the Progenitors. Of course that will be hard too seeing that they too might be itching for war. Kojou is teleported to Whisper Garden and tries to get them to cancel their attack on Itogami. No can do. Destroy Itogami = no more Cleansing = world peace. With Kojou realizing there is no negotiations in the first place, he uses his position as the Fourth Progenitor to veto on this war. Yeah, why everyone shocked by this? Like they didn’t see this coming? I mean, do they not know who Kojou is? However, Giada Kukulcan who is the Third Progenitor cannot agree to it because Kojou lacks something to claim himself as the Fourth Progenitor. Like a territory. Conveniently, Kojou claims his territory is Itogami since the Japanese government has abandoned it. Even so, he doesn’t seem like he has control over the island. But they give him a chance that if he can eliminate the threat of Cleansing without casualties, they will accept his veto. And he has only 24 hours to do so. With Kojou claiming Itogami as his territory, Asagi doesn’t welcome this news as she thinks he is trying to undo her efforts. Vatler on the other hand is pleased because he can fight Kojou. Asagi reminds him the deal is off if that happens. Vatler doesn’t mind. Asagi thinks of persuading Kojou to join them and Vatler also thinks this is a good idea. Kojou and him fighting against the 3 Progenitors. La Folia’s troops are now Kojou’s army and Aladar offers to help Kojou because he wants to punish the traitorous Vatler.

Episode 10
Aladar’s plane is under tremendous fire. Oh well, since they’ve reached the destination, prepare to crash land! It won’t be much of a story if anybody died, right? Aladar fights Vatler’s subordinates so as to let Kojou and Yukina go ahead. Meanwhile La Folia’s plane too is under heavy fire. At this moment she asks if Sayaka wants to marry Kojou. You see, Kojou will become the Lord of the Night Empire and he has the right to gather a harem as his blood companions. If Sayaka is not interested, she will not waste time with her anymore. Better think fast, girl. Sayaka claims it is to be with Yukina but to the rest of us, that’s a yes. Kojou and Yukina face off with Lydianne but she is easily dispatched with Natsuki and Astarte intervening. Yukina goes deal with Asagi so Kojou can face off with Vatler. Speaking of which, that vampire dude just sucked the blood of the delegates of the non-member countries of Holy Ground Treaty. That’s what they get for being scared and trying to escape. As Natsuki teleports them to safety, the epic battle between Kojou and Vatler we’ve been waiting for. Yup, Vatler has the power of Cleansing. Kojou is going to lose… Until Yuiri and Shio show up to stall him as Grenda takes him away. Meanwhile Yukina and Asagi’s fight… Looks like it is turning into some argument accusing the other. Yup, Kojou is the centre point. Accusing the other of being too close to him, having Kojou give them stuffs. What’s wrong with these girls? Bickering stop when Grenda delivers Kojou to them. Yukina goes off to fight Vatler since Shio is stalling him. Asagi slaps him to wake him up. Then she starts crying. Is this love? Whatever. After kissing him, she undresses so that he could suck her blood. I think it’s pointless to argue at this point so what the heck. Just sink it in. Can one actually suck gently?

If you’re wondering why Shio, Yukina, La Folia and Sayaka can fight on par with Vatler’s Cleansing, here is Motoki calling to explain that he temporarily has Yume to block Itogami’s dragon vein lines via Leviathan. So they have only 30 minutes to end this. Hence Kojou and Yukina go off to face Vatler. So he doesn’t need the rest of his girls? Whatever. Vatler is waiting for them at this spot where the Fourth Progenitor killed Cain. Kojou corrects him that is only because of the curse of the Devas. Afraid that the Devas could become Cain’s ally, he rebelled against them but was eventually defeated and split his powers into 12 beings and sealed. But all this doesn’t matter to Vatler as his real goal is to fight Kojou at full power. Vatler unleashes his power but Kojou scolds him for being a child. Just because he can’t overcome his boredom, he resorted to this childish manner. It won’t last. Uhm, you just made him madder. Point proven. So if Vatler wants to destroy the world, Kojou will protect it. Because it’s his fight! No, senpai. It’s our fight! Because Kojou’s familiars aren’t enough to fight Vatler, Yukina offers herself to give Hektos’ familiar to him. Yup, blood sucking time. Didn’t even hesitate. Now Kojou has all the power. Vatler even transforms himself and tries to be one with Kojou! They will become the new Fourth Progenitor together! WTF IS THIS GAY SH*T???!!!!! Unfortunately he loses to Kojou and Yukina’s combo. Too bad Kojou spares him because he doesn’t hate him that much. Really? After all that he has done? Because of that, his subordinates come to take him as the escape to another dimension. After all, Cain was also exiled. So is Vatler going to do Cleansing in another dimension? Right after this, the good news comes in with the Holy Ground Treaty rescinding their attack order on Itogami as they have recognized the island as Kojou’s territory. Time to go home. Even in the aftermath if Kojou is the lord of his dominion, he is still a high school student. So shut up and finish your homework! Oh, can you hear the alert that some magical being has escaped from the ward where Avrora is being treated? Time to go take care of it. Hey, it’s his territory, right?

Strike The What?!
Holy what?! You mean there is going to be a fourth season for this series?! A FOURTH SEASON?! Fourth season for the Fourth Progenitor. Heh. Sorry, bad pun. Still I can’t believe it. So my fight will continue?! No, senpai. Our fight will continue! I see this is what happens when you don’t finish Vatler and save us the trouble of getting another season! Sure, there would be other baddies who would want to use Itogami for their own nefarious goals but seeing Vatler had been the main antagonist and hiding in the shadows for a long time, by not getting rid of him means risking he will come back again in the future and bring a whole load of sci-fi sh*t that would threaten Itogami and the people living on it. So you regretting this decision not to finish him off when you had the chance, Kojou?

And as usual… I don’t really understand the finer details of what is going on. Yeah, yeah. I’ve always sounded like a broken recorder when it comes to sci-fi anime series especially those that have lots of those sci-fi jargons, terminologies and other crap words to make it sound oh so grand. Making it even worse is that I don’t really remember much of what happened in past seasons and compounding that misery of mine is that I was too lazy to go back and read my blog. I only refer to my old postings just to find names of the characters. Yup, I couldn’t remember some of their names. Yup, I dug my own grave from the start. And then me go on to blame how confusing this series is… And yet I still continue to watch… What irony! What hypocrisy! Strike the Irony! Strike the Hypocrisy!

And hence I do remember the series for the wrong reasons. Something that I believe is what the series is ‘consistently’. For instance, when Kojou’s harem isn’t fighting against the enemy, their hobby seems to be instantly accusing and blaming Kojou for being a pervert. It’s like their favourite pastime. Like as though they want some of his attention. Senpai, notice me, please! And now with Kojou having his own domain to rule over as the Fourth Progenitor, it becomes official of an excuse why he needs a harem. Not that the series needs a reason anyway to begin with but now this is incorporated into the plot so I guess it makes more sense for him to amass his girls. And I believe that his harem (emergency/spare blood bank would be a terrible name for them) would be further divided into tiers because when you have so many girls with you, it is hard to give them the same equal time. I’m guessing the top tier would be Yukina because since she is his observer and he has sucked her blood a lot more time than others. Next tier would be Asagi and Sayaka. And then Nagisa, Kanon and Yuiri. I could be wrong but I feel this is the pecking order from what I’ve seen. Oh yes senpai, this is your harem!

The other formulaic thing involves the fight and action sequences. Just like in many previous fights, when Kojou fights an enemy, the battle is always somewhat interrupted by a third party, be it ally or foe. This allows our main characters to retreat or escape, giving them some breathing space to plan or whatever. This is how they prolong the drama and the arc. You’d thought they would finish the entire fight the first time they meet but nope, sorry you’re not powerful enough yet or there are some more mysteries for you to uncover as the arc has not finished yet. So we’re going to shoehorn in somebody to break up the fight. Yup, that’s how it always feels. Oh boy. Everybody sure has their own problems to deal with. And for some reason they had to pick Itogami because, long revenge story or some vampire dude just got bored of living so long. Sheesh. Still can’t believe this guy wants to be one with Kojou to be the Fourth Progenitor. Safe to say Vatler won’t be in Kojou’s harem any time forever. Sorry dudes, women only. Also another thing I noticed this season, is it me or does Kojou seem to summon his horse familiar more often than others?

Having said all that, this makes me feel that some of the solutions for plots are written for convenience. Like as though they pull it out of the air for the answer. Take for example when Yukina was in danger of becoming Angel Faux. And guess what? Just one prototype ring created by Shike was enough to elevate the fear of Yukina ever disappearing from the face of the Earth. So easy, huh? You mean no one thought about it? That Yukina would turn into Angel Faux? Didn’t a precedent happen? And just like that, Yukina is safe with other technical loopholes because dumb people like yours truly don’t really understand it all. Also, this ring part is just to make it symbolic that Yukina is the main girl for Kojou. How convenient. I suppose that nothing in this world is neither perfect nor fool proof. You just need to find that weakness or loophole (which this series does quite often) and exploit it. I mean, Vatler’s Cleansing was supposed to be the ultimate destroyer, right? Nothing can stop it ever, right? Nope. Behold! Yume’s Leviathan did the trick. And to think nobody else actually thought of this beforehand. Also, it’s the only way Yume can get her 1 second cameo appearance. Remember that Kiriha girl? I certainly don’t. She didn’t appear this season at all so I guess she really left since the end of last season, huh? Oh well, don’t want to complicate the harem further…

Overall, this series is not for simpletons. Fans with sci-fi minds and interests are only ‘allowed’ to enjoy this. After all, everything that has happened so far, I believe it is just scratching the surface for Kojou since it is just the beginning of a new dawn for him as the real Fourth Progenitor. There are other quirky and shady characters or organizations to deal with so you bet they will ramp up all the drama and the likes in the next season. He won’t have to fight it alone, though. He’s got his harem. Truly, it is their fight. But for me, it’s just me and only me fighting in hopes that I would somehow by then understand and appreciate the fourth season. Fourth season, Fourth Progenitor, heh, it could finally be Kojou’s season. No senpai, this is our fourth season!

Isekai Cheat Magician

December 8, 2019

Oh no. Here we go again. From the title, one can easily tell that Isekai Cheat Magician is yet again going to be another isekai genre. Even more so the protagonist is going to be an overpowered one. Have we still not learnt from the past overpowered main character isekai series?! But wait! This one is a bit different. How different? Hey, at least the main overpowered character didn’t have to die in the first episode! Yup, no reincarnation into another fantasy world. Heck, he was summoned there! So now you can’t blame the series for killing off its protagonist in the first episode! And to make it even better and double the fun, our main guy didn’t just get summoned to the other world. In fact, his companion too is summoned! That’s right. Two main characters summoned to another world. Do you not see how ‘different’ that is to other isekai animes? But everything else turns out to be cliché and more or less the same… Here we go again…

Episode 1
A summoning ritual went awry. An attacker tries to kill the summoner but the bodyguard managed to kill the killer. But the summoning is still activated. Hence our unlucky boy, Taichi Nishimura is shocked to find magic circles all over him. He tries to push his friend, Rin Azuma out of the way but she won’t leave him and so they both get warped to another world. As they try to make out their surroundings, a demon horse attacks them. Taichi felt the need to be manly and die like one so without any proper skills he tries to become the horse’s bait. How uncool. Luckily, adventurers, Barada, Raquelta and Mejilla save his ass by killing the horse. They let the duo tag along and talk about the increase in monster attacks lately. They agree to take them to the next town of Azpire but in return, Taichi must get back on good terms with Rin. Yup, that girl is mad he tried to die a hero and let her be all alone in this world. What kind of a jerk would let that happen???!!! So with Taichi apologizing and promising he won’t do that again, can’t stay mad at him forever, right? The adventurers guide the duo to the adventurer’s guild. I mean, you’re stuck in this world, might as well become one, right? As they try to register, it dawned to them they can understand what everybody says despite not understanding the language and even read what this language they don’t know! While conducting the aptitude test, despite nothing seemingly happened, the clerk got alarmed and calls for the guild’s master, Gerard and a high level adventurer, Myura. Because he can’t register them now, he has Myura take them to the home of Lemiya. They are going to be her apprentices. Meanwhile shady people report about the summoning that was activated despite going awry. No matter. They have cast a wide net to look for the lost ones and will receive a report in a few days.

Episode 2
Lemiya explains and to put it shortly, Taichi and Rin are overpowered. Wow. It’s more than 9000!!! Hence they are becoming her disciples to help control their magic. So there is a brief lesson on the difference between magicians and sorcerers as well as the 4 elements that exist in magic. So normal people can only use 1 magic but there are some who can utilize more. Like Rin who is able to use all 4 and Taichi he isn’t a mage but a sorcerer but his power makes him being dubbed the Unique Magician? Confusing. Lemiya trains Taichi while Rin gets Myura as her teacher. While Rin naturally brings out her abilities without much effort (making Myura a bit redundant), Taichi has a harder time. He thought he heard some voice speaking to him but it could be his imagination. If they managed to control their powers, they have the ability to take over nations. Sounds tempting, right? But Lemiya knows the capital has troubles and hopes it won’t reach here. Even so, she hopes to train her apprentices so they can stand on their own. We see the duo train more and they get better each time. They also take out some monsters including, uhm, horned rabbits? And the sweetest revenge is that they can kill that demon horse now. Now that they have graduated, Lemiya lets them in on one thing. They are both considered as lost ones as there are phenomena that sorcerers summon others from another world to here. If they want to know why they were summoned, it’s best to find that summoner. But it will be easy because such sorcery requires very high level of power and only a few can do this. Even a rarity among rare sorcerers. So for now Taichi and Rin’s goal is to return to Azpire to become adventurers and earn their keep. That night, Taichi hears that voice again who tells him they will soon meet.

Episode 3
Taichi and Rin are now Rank E adventurers and doing the basic of quests. But soon they receive and official summon by Gerard requesting them to get info from a bar. There is currently goods shortage and it is believed this bar is smuggling them. This looks like a job for Rank D adventurers but since this has already failed twice, if they fail again, they might have to see Rank C adventurers and cough up more reward money. Yeah, so asking them is like trying to penny pinch. The duo ask around and rumours have it that monsters have been attacking transports. When they enter the bar to find out more, of course those rowdy men underestimate these rookies and got their asses handed to them when they try to attack. Eventually they spill the beans that someone hired them but they don’t know who. As they leave, they are attacked by assassin babes. They manage to defeat them but the assassins left one of them behind? Conveniently Taichi and Rin take her back to Gerard where she is imprisoned. So they let her keep her getup and mask? You mean they’re not interrogating her yet? With the shortage of goods, this causes the town to suffer from inflation. Yeah, it’s real bad. Myura seeks the duo’s help and hopes they would join her to further investigate. Hence they travel to a farm where the fruits are ready to harvest but robbers have been hitting it. They are being shown the orchards and that’s when they feel something non-human approaching. Orc and ogres! We see how strong the duo are taking the monsters down and even to a point Taichi punching the orc in the forehead that its eyes explode!!! WTF???!!! That night, the trio discuss that orcs and ogres do not live in this area and hence there could be somebody setting this up. So the next step is to lay a trap for the perpetrator.

Episode 4
Next morning, they find a campfire. Since it is warm, this means bandits must still be in the area. The thieves are caught red-handed and because their mage bodyguard isn’t here to protect them, they are easily rounded up. One of the farmers, Cassim thanks Taichi but when they shake hands, Taichi can tell he is not a farmer. His hands are soft unlike other farmers whose rough hands show how hard it is to cultivate the fruit. Also, Cassim seems to recognize ogres and orcs, something farmers cannot identify as they live in very far north regions. So that was enough for Cassim to reveal his true nature? Yes, he is the one who hired the bandits and handed in the request to the guild. All this is to lure them out and test their powers. That mage bodyguard, Grammy is Cassim’s partner. She fights the girls while Cassim takes on Taichi. Grammy could have easily taken them out while she was hiding her presence but she wants to have fun fighting head on. Yup, muscle brained masochist. Cassim has his frost beast fight Taichi. Taichi has a hard time fighting it since physical attacks cannot connect but all its attacks can hurt you. That’s cheating! Taichi is defeated so cue for Cassim to be a villain gentleman and reveal his goal. He wants to control Taichi’s power and to make sure he is obedient, he plans to take the girls as hostage. So any disobedience means he’ll let men rape them? Why, that’s so evil. Rin and Myura look like they’ve been defeated but that was because they were testing out their skills. So when they get serious and take down Grammy, not so fun for the masochist, huh? Oh wait. She still finds it fun after losing like that. The girls can’t do anything further with Cassim showing Taichi being owned by the beast. With Taichi so worried how uncool he is being unable to protect the girls, a voice asks him if he wants power (typically). Okay. She’ll lend it to him. And so Aerial the wind spirit powers him up to a crazy killer that destroys the ice beast with his wind powers. And Taichi will not forgive that bastard Cassim for wanting to defile his harem, right? Hold it right there! I’m going to beat up your ass! Cassim so scared that he runs for his life but crazy Taichi unleashes the most devastating wind attack. Hey, I think it’s considered letting off the hook since Cassim still has his life but only lost an arm. And of course, Taichi passes out after that tremendous use of force.

Episode 5
Taichi finds himself in Lemiya’s house. Looks like he has been asleep for a week. The girls brought him here and went back to Azpire to research something. She explains about Crimson Pact, a forbidden magic that draws out one’s power dozens of times. That’s why he had a hard time fighting that beast. When Taichi mentions Aerial, Lemiya is surprised and finally realizes what Taichi is. He is a summoner. Apparently this is different than magicians and sorcerers. The difference is that summoners can hear or see spirits. Plus, it is the spirit who uses their magic on behalf of the summoner so you bet it is undiminished and in its original powerful force. Meanwhile Cassim reports back to his boss, Lodra and he is impressed. To move on to their next phase, he puts a spell on Grammy to be more obedient. Taichi sees a hot chick being hit on by a few men. He goes to help out but she is more than capable of defending herself from those creeps. She isn’t an ordinary girl and she knows Taichi. Apparently Anastasia or Ana for short is that assassin whom Taichi defeated. She has joined the guild since she knows she will be targeted. Yeah, all those dumb assassins who are after her are easily defeated. I guess it’s dead meat for them, huh? Taichi finds a note in his room. Gasp! Goblins underneath the city waiting to be unleashed?! Rin and Myura are ambushed by Grammy and her assassins. Grammy is under strict orders to kidnap Myura and has her subordinates deal with Rin. Shortly, because Grammy doesn’t like how this is done, she returns to tell Rin that Myura is being held captive in that tower. Her boss is planning to do Crimson Pact on her. And yeah, Rin just waltzes into the tower and freeze all those dumb guys. They didn’t really expect this, huh? After freeing Myura, Lodra shows up. Seems he planned all this. However he is here not to fight them but to tell them about the goblin army attacking Azpire. He wants to see how well they will defend this city of 3000 strong goblins. At the same time, Taichi and Ana investigate underground but Ana accidentally trips on a magic circle and unleashes a golem.

Episode 6
Oh well, Taichi easily destroys the golem. What awaits them next is a pair of twin trouble, Milo and Melo. They are going to set upon them goblins with Crimson Pact who will then kill everyone in Azpire. Yeah, Taichi makes it look easy slaying the Crimson Pact goblins but their numbers are too many. Somehow the twins blunder and lose control of the item controlling the goblins. Fear getting goblin raped?! Don’t worry, Taichi to the rescue! If that’s not enough, he’s got to rescue Ana too. WTF does a former assassin need rescuing?! Time to get the heck out of here! Meanwhile Rin and Myura inform Gerard of the siege on Azpire. He orders the gathering of all adventures. This is boosted with Lemiya joining in. Because the enemy will be arriving in thousands, Rin has this super magic plan to dwindle their numbers. To put it short, this mixture of fire, earth and water element is going to work something like a volcano. And so we see Rin working her magic to make this crater, fill it with water and then drop fire and burn and explode the hell out of those monsters. And then the rest of the adventurers can go slay what’s left. But it’s not over, now the Crimson Pact ones come out. Nothing that Lemiya, Rin and Myura can’t handle, right? Lodra is watching all this and is satisfied everything is living up to his expectations. Similarly, Taichi returns to Azpire. After explaining his discovery to Gerard, he is going to go out now to assist Rin. Why the f*ck does Ana sound like she wants to confess something but she’ can’t?! Do we have time for this?! Does she need some sort of assurance from Taichi?! Crimson Pact monsters gone. Now all that’s left are 3 ogre commanders. Rin fails to deal the finishing blow. You mean that is enough to demoralize her? What about all the other monsters you killed? I don’t even think there were human fatalities! So as she is about to be killed, the cliché moment of wishing Taichi will come to save the day and the regret of not saying that word to him. Well, she has a chance now because here he is!

Episode 7
See Taichi take down the ogre commanders with ease while his girls get to back him up and handle the small fries. Meanwhile we once again hear Ana’s monologue of being grateful to Taichi for treating her as a woman and not a tool. We get it, we get it… Cue for some shady hooded guy to hypnotize her and make her way out to the battlefield. With Taichi’s heroics, could the commotion of the battle awakened a twin headed dragon from his slumber underground? You bet Taichi is the only one qualified and strong enough to fight it so the rest better back off and not get in their way. We see the difference in strength as the dragon owns Taichi. Even so, he is not using his full strength and holding back. Taichi is shocked that Ana is next to him. The spell wears off and Ana is unaware how she ended up here. Puny woman tried to interrupt epic fight? Dragon not pleased. Dragon fires breath of death. Ana pushes Taichi out of the way. Gets hit. WTF. That powerful shot hit her and she didn’t disintegrate? Despite taking massive lethal damage, doesn’t she look pretty okay? Just some stomach wound only. And this cheesy death flag moment where she asks him to be her friend before she dies. Thank goodness. I can live without the potential of a cheesy harem. Now Taichi mad. Forcefully summon Aerial out. Why didn’t she lend her powers earlier? Yeah, wind spirit feeling scared while explaining to him about the law that needs to be followed. Yeah, that one time was an exception. Now I know why a trial run always feels like a scam to bait you into buying their product. So they have to form a pact, huh? Taichi realizes the need to grow stronger to protect and so he makes a pact. Now that he has become a real summoner, he asks the dragon why such a superior being is doing this. Well, he will answer if you defeat him. And so Taichi turns Super Saiyan to sweep the dragon off his feet! So easy now. The dragon is pleased as he reveals it was requested by someone to fight him. The dragon also warns that someone will also continue guiding him. This is necessary for this world, that is why the dragon agreed to lend his power as it is in line with his beliefs. Lodra reports to his superior. The experiment was a success. With Taichi forming a pact with the wind spirit, time to move on to the next phase. A bigger target. A country.

Episode 8
Azpire is getting back on his feet. Taichi visits Ana’s grave. Yeah, time to move on. Soon, Alsena Norman, the daughter of a marquis visits Lemiya as she is under orders of King Gilmar to bring them to Wennifix, the royal capital. As explained, there is a war between factions of Gilmar and his younger brother, Duke Dortesheim. While Gilmar wants to open borders and use his best mages as diplomats, Dortesheim disagrees and believes this will only weaken the country’s dominance. It is now at tipping point where war is about to break out. In Wennifix, because Taichi and co are outsiders, they are given that cold stare. Heck, somebody even tried to assassinate them?! Having an audience with Gilmar, Lemiya knows him close enough to be frank and casual. She agrees to help him stave this rebellion off but also has her conditions. Lastly, she wants to confirm if he is the one behind Taichi and Rin’s summoning. He knew the rebellion is getting out of hand and hence summoned more powerful people to help fight. Gilmar confirms this. I don’t think sorry is going to cut it for Taichi. He plucked them out of their normal high school lives just to settling this sibling conflict? Yeah, boy. Sorry. Later, Princess Charlotte (Gilmar’s daughter) talks to them. She reveals that she is the one who did the summoning. She regrets dropping them in the wilderness but only because somebody intervened with the ritual. She hopes they can help because Gilmar really wants to save his people. When a princess is crying like that, can’t hate her, right? But here’s the real kicker. Summoning magic can only be done once in a lifetime! So you mean Taichi and Rin can’t go back?! But this does not stop her from trying to find a way even if it costs her soul. Uhm. Okay. I guess everybody has their problems too. Taichi is then called to fight the supreme commander of the army, Sumella. I guess the best way to gauge one’s abilities is for a test match. Both are on par with each other with the sword. Taichi can’t summon Aerial for fear it will kill her. So once the sword breaks, it’s close quarter combat! Taichi has the edge and defeats her. And immediately Sumella wants him to be his wife?! Without shame, she is asking for 3 kids and she planning to f*ck him right in public?! I don’t know if this is how they do things around here… But lucky for Taichi, he rejects! Later Taichi talks to Aerial. He is worried with the upcoming battle because previously he was only fighting monsters. Now he has to fight ordinary human soldiers. And he doesn’t want Rin to get hurt or hurt others. Hey, this isn’t Earth but oh well… And we see Charlotte doing her prayers as Lodra wishes her well. You know how the most unexpected of things are right under your noses…

Episode 9
Nilgan and Marchese argue if they should attack Wennifix directly or assess the enemy first. Since Nilgan assures Dortesheim he has a plan, he leaves it to him to attack. Of course, Gilmar will also be preparing his army to defend and attack. Yes, Taichi and co will be in this war too. Taichi is nervous so Lemiya lectures him about being naïve. Does he really believe he can win without casualties? I know Sumella tries to take things possibility because cheering him up that their wedding will be after the war does not cut it! WHAT WEDDING?! Night before the battle, the usual Taichi and Rin talking things out. Marchese didn’t want Nilgan to steal the spotlight so he sent an assassin to kill Rin. Too bad the rest saw this coming and set a trap. Although busted, he continues to target Rin. Taichi becomes mad and beats him up! Rage mode on! Taichi says he doesn’t fear hurting others or dying but can’t protect the ones he loves. I guess Ana’s experience was more than enough, huh? The failed assassin then kills himself. Next day, before the battle begins, Taichi uses his power to create a huge chasm. Either the enemy will have to retreat or go around it that will make them like a sitting duck. However they are not fazed. Suddenly they use magic to throw all sorts of projectiles! Our heroes soon realize they are using magic rings. Yeah, even amateurs can use great magic. So why nobody has used it? Because it uses up your life force! Show’s over when you’re dead. And the enemy doesn’t even know it’s draining it. What a way to die for your country. Although Gilmar’s army is okay with this, let the enemy kill themselves, our heroes don’t? So it’s okay to die in a fight in the battlefield but not okay to let the enemy die since you know how they’ll die… WTF???!!! So how to go about this? Lemiya has an idea. Rin charges up to create a storm above the enemies. And then lightning strikes them out cold! YOU MEAN ELECTROCUTION WON’T KILL THEM???!!! With everyone out cold, Nilgan is approached by Inimicus (Dortesheim’s right hand man). Seems he planned this whole thing out and now that Nilgan’s role is over, he kills him! After collecting the unconscious bodies of the enemy, the people now can party. Oh dear… About that wedding…

Episode 10
To reward Taichi and co for their efforts, Gilmar gives them weapons from the royal collection. So basically a weapon upgrade. Guess what Taichi chooses? I guess he still remembers his Japanese roots and chooses this katana supposedly forged from an eastern land. Yeah, a Japan-like country in this world too. Immediately Sumella wants to fight him thinking he wants to test out his new weapon. But she jumps on him to get started. Is this some sort of ritual for their future wedding? In town, Taichi is famous because the people recognize him and the kids want to shake his hand. However Cassim returns and wants to fight him. He can’t refuse because he’ll poison all the wells in the capital! Is security that lax? So in some alley, Cassim wants this fight to be fair and hence uses a statue to limit Taichi’s power. Oh sure, that looks fair. If that’s the case, wouldn’t this fight be a draw? Cassim believes he has put in effort for all this and doesn’t think Taichi as the gifted one did any. So the fight begins and I think there is some slight disadvantage. You know, Cassim has only an arm? Eventually Taichi uses his quick thinking to defeat Cassim. He hates to admit it but Cassim admits it is Taichi’s victory. However nobody sees this coming as some evil spirit pops up from the statue to attack Taichi. Luckily Grammy is here to fight it. Even destroying the statue, the spirit becomes bigger and more aggressive. Luckily Taichi has regained his powers and destroys it. In the aftermath, Grammy tells Taichi how Cassim is now regretting everything because now he is forced to acknowledge that Taichi also put in effort, something he himself knows how hard it could be. But it’s not over for Taichi because civil war is looming and armies of both sides are preparing for the big clash. Taichi and Rin renew their vow to protect each other.

Episode 11
The big civil war is here. How are our heroes doing? Well, Rin fights against another Amazon warrior, Myura is up against an arrogant handsome knight and Lemiya versus a shady magician. Taichi drops right in to Dortesheim’s camp to negotiate a peace deal with him. He finds the brothers having the same goals using their own people to kill each other as foolish. He hopes Dortesheim and his side will surrender and Gilmar will grant leniency. So care to avoid further bloodshed? Meanwhile we see Lemiya creating a new move to destroy her opponent. Heck, a fiery fireball to kill him! Same for Myura, because cocky knight mocks his dead comrades, she shows no mercy and cuts his throat. Back to Taichi, Dortesheim rejects the peace offer. But he wants to know why he is Gilmar’s pawn. Why doesn’t he become king himself if he claims to be very powerful? Oh, becoming king? Taichi doesn’t want the responsibility of being a king. Then why not be a dictator? Don’t want people to hate him! With that, Dortesheim laughs and believes the outcome could have been very different had Taichi served under him. And so because of pride, Dortesheim can’t back down. This is when Inimicus initiates his plan. He has used his magic to turn dead soldiers into zombies! He admits that he serves a greater being and that he doesn’t care for the world, country, let alone the brothers’ petty quarrel. He is only doing this because she commanded him. Wow. What a way to show his obsessed devotion to his supreme one as he uses up his life and flesh to complete the spell.

Episode 12
Lemiya narrates that something similar happened in a great war 200 years ago. Soldiers went berserk and killed soldiers and civilians alike. The cause was unknown but it is believed to be mind control. So mind control isn’t considered magic but black magic? The only way is to crush the source? Okay. Whatever. Rin manages to convince the Amazon warrior to work for her and her reward is to survive this hell. That’s enough for her to make the switch! Dortesheim realizes in his bid to save his country, he destroyed it. He laments he will be remembered as a villain. You sure are. Too late now. But Taichi will not end it like this. Looks like when he is about to do some self-sacrificing move, Aerial stops him. WTF she can stop time now?! Aerial admits she has lied to him and hid her true form for fear of his tremendous power. So she reverts to her true form and her true name is Sylphid, queen of the spirits and one of the Four Grand Spirits. Aren’t they all? Gee, she just got bigger, huh? Rin coming by to see how Taichi is doing, he hugs her the moment he sees her injuries. Is he going to blame himself for taking too long to protect her? Yeah, all the zombies were kind enough to let them do this cheesy stuff. So now he’s ready to protect the things he loves, huh? Okay. Another pact to be made. This time with Sylphid. Wow. So great the pact that it undoes the spell and turns all zombies back to normal? I don’t know, did he bring back the dead too?! Apparently Inimicus is still alive as he now transforms into a monster. Good. Taichi can beat this guy up. Taichi wants to know about this master of his but the only thing Inimicus says that everything has been going according to her plan. From the day he was born to even why he was summoned here to even why this civil war is happening. In short, Taichi will become the greatest weapon for her?! That’s why he is the chosen one! But Taichi doesn’t care about the world and all that. He just cares for those around him. Beat down time. Inimicus thinks his weakness is unable to kill but Taichi begs to differ. He is different now. He is willing to go that far just to protect those he loves. And with that he finishes off Inimicus. He probably died happy thinking he has served his purpose to his master. In the aftermath of the war, life return to normal. Taichi wakes up after a few days of sleep. Magic depletion of course. Taichi and co are handsomely rewarded and promoted. More deaths because Dortesheim is executed for treason but he regrets nothing. Taichi and co return to Azpire. He still has lots of questions but I guess he needs to take things one step at a time. We’ll cross the bridge when they get there. So for now, screw whoever that puppet master is, just do what it takes to survive this world.

“Magic Is The Cheat Codes For The World”
So is Taichi still human? Because him saying goodbye to his humanity I take it he has become something close to God. Heck, aren’t all overpowered main characters like God? Yup. They’re not like human anymore. And I hope that saying goodbye to his humanity also doesn’t mean he has casted away his good side and doesn’t give a sh*t anymore. It certainly most likely not this but the chances aren’t zero. You may never know what the future holds for them. You might think that everyone is doing everything on their own free will but nobody knows any better if they are being controlled like a puppet from a certain almighty. Yeah, what kind of cheat code did she employ to have everyone’s fate dancing in the palm of her hands like that?

Although the story and overall isn’t that bad, it is still nowhere anything good. In fact it is just average and mediocre. That is coming from me who is just feeling lenient right now. Because that handphone one was definitely a disaster (heck, perhaps the worst isekai ever). Because that sage’s grandson was too cheesy and overbearing. Others feel like some pseudo harem. So I guess taken all that into consideration, this series isn’t as bad as compared to those other series. But still, like I said, nowhere near anything good and just average. Yeah, sometimes it’s dumb and lazy too. I know a dozen episodes feel like it isn’t enough to develop anything but I guess that isekai genres of this type only get this much duration to flesh things out. So from Taichi’s training to control his, uhm, overpowered-ness to getting involved in civil conflicts because some supreme being got bored and probably just wants to test out his abilities. Yup, that is basically what this entire series is about. And yeah, I’m still having trouble differentiating between the terms, magician and sorcerer. What’s with that summoner definition again?

So yeah, the characters are pretty generic and cliché too. You don’t have to tell me again that Taichi falls under that category as the overpowered main character but thankfully they didn’t make him as obnoxious as that handphone one as well as that slime monster. This somewhat lessens the ‘hate’ because although Taichi is super powerful (literally he can pull anything out from thin air), he still doesn’t know a lot of things and it feels like he is just getting by in this world. Sometimes I feel that Taichi having Aerial as his spirit (now upgraded to Sylphid), it is like those who don’t really like that smug Yuno from Black Clover, well, at least Taichi looks friendlier instead of being aloof. Also, this Aerial isn’t as annoying as Yuno’s Sylph although Aerial feels useless at times seeing she is the wind spirit but she acts like some weakling Tinkerbell to Taichi. And even when she returned to her true form, it feels like she didn’t do anything. Yeah, I think it was Taichi’s power that purified the zombies…

It feels Rin, Myura and Lemiya are like trying to make Taichi’s party a pseudo harem but I wasn’t putting my hope much on the romance section so I wasn’t really that disappointed when it didn’t really happen. Yeah, Rin as his childhood friend, all the tropes and ingredients are there for some cliché romance but with all the battles they have to fight and figuring out how to survive in this world, romance can take a backseat for this season. To soften the blow of Taichi and Rin suddenly arriving in this world, hence Myura and Lemiya become their teachers and mentors. Something inside me feels they are wasted because Myura being a very high level adventurer and Lemiya being a very high ranking magician (or was it sorcerer?), they become overshadowed thanks to Taichi and Rin being so overpowered. Sure, they are still good at what they do only because everybody else are weaklings and come nowhere close to their level.

I thought this series was heading downhill and down the road of cheesy cliché when they make Ana fall for Taichi. It was so damn obvious and cheesy to watch this girl, whatever she says or does. To a point that I was praying, please don’t make this happen. Please don’t let this be a clichéd isekai harem. Thank goodness I got my wish. But I didn’t see it coming that they killed her off!!! OMG! How dare they killed a cute anime girl?! Hey, at least I don’t have to deal with that cheesiness. I suppose like Dortesheim said, some sacrifices are necessary. Hence this is one of the darker moments in the series whereby they had a character killed just so as to spur our main character to make his stance on something. Oh Taichi, now you know why trying to get yourself killed won’t look cool at all because you can’t save anybody when you’re dead! I thought this harem cheesiness was over until Sumella come along… Please God, please no… Please don’t let history repeat itself! Oh well, she didn’t die in the battlefield…

I suppose one thing that makes this series stands out from other cliched isekai series with overpowered main characters is that they aren’t shy with the deaths of certain characters. Also, they try to break the formula of our main hero being so overly good that he can’t take a life but this series tries to do it differently and show us that Taichi is not as ‘weak’ and cliché as those main characters. Yup, he can and will take a life if he has to. After all, he already has that power to do it so if you really have a death wish, the easiest way for him to grant you that is to threaten those close to him. That’s like his trigger word and he’ll be no more Mr Nice Guy. Even with this said theme of the hero taking a slightly darker route, this feels mild as there are much darker themed series out there like Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari. So killing a few baddies isn’t going to make you badass. But that also means he is no longer squeaky clean.

Would the series be slightly better that the antagonists be a lot better? Because of the enigma surrounding that supreme being who is somewhat trying to guide the world, it does sound interesting. Why and what is she trying to achieve with all this? However with the story being focused more on Taichi’s party, this true villainess-cum-puppeteer feels like a cock teaser. So for the final arc, we are to content with the civil war between the king and his younger brother. I understand why Dortesheim won’t accept Taichi’s peace proposal. Imagine the face value he will lose if he listens to a kid! Yeah, even men have their pride. Sometimes it’s stupid but yeah, they call it pride. Even baddies like Cassim and Grammy had their redemption match so they’re not that all bad, right? I mean, they’re just pawns for another pawn for the supreme being, right? And what happened to those loli twins? Haven’t heard from the bratty duo ever since they got rescued. Phew. Don’t want them to be another ingredient to turn this into a pseudo harem isekai genre!

Speaking of that mysterious supreme being lady who has been pulling all the strings and watching Taichi’s every move, it was certainly an enigma at first. But when it is said that she wanted to nurture Taichi into the ultimate sword and shield, it got me thinking, for what purpose? Are there other threats to this world? Aliens? Monsters? I mean, are there other worlds and other gods like her? Some god challenged her to some war game so she has to make preparations to defend and counterattack? Oh wait. Don’t tell me. Other kids from Earth too are summoned to other worlds and being nurtured as overpowered main characters. The clash of overpowered main characters of the isekai genre! The ultimate isekai crossover?! If that ever happens, Taichi and Rin will soon be shocked to find that their opponent could be a classmate from their school on Earth!!!!!! Oh man. I’m laughing so hard now because I can write crappy isekai stories like this too!!! So whatever that mysterious lady is (did I hear Inimicus addressed her as Shade?), I think it’s best for Taichi not to think too far and just concentrate with what is at hand. After all, Taichi did say he doesn’t care about the bigger things.

Action scenes are mediocre at best. There might be some blood spilled during the battles but they aren’t anything that would make you cower in fear or go into trauma. Yeah, blame the mediocre animation somewhat. Taichi and Rin despite possessing tremendous powers, they don’t really go all out unless being pushed to a corner. So I suppose that in a way it is somewhat ‘palatable’ because when overpowered characters could come up with just about anything to solve a crisis, they make it look too easy. We can blame that Taichi and Rin might not know the extent of their powers and abilities yet and hence can’t fully draw them out properly, but from this point of view they don’t look as overpowered as we would like to think they are. Yes, they still are only because everybody else are weaklings. Ah, I’m repeating myself…

Art and animation also feel mediocre and like I’ve said, the battle scenes look one kind rather than exciting. Just look at the time when the adventurers were fighting the waves of monsters outside Azpire. It looked… Lame! It’s not really convincing either that they’re striking with their sword or casting their magic spells. Even the character designs look pretty generic. Taichi your generic high school boy. Rin… Heck is she the grown up version of Little Busters’ Rin?! Suspicious… Myura… Now where have I seen blonde elves before? Oh right! The ones in Isekai Maou To Shoukan Shoujo No Dorei Majutsu, DanMachi, DanMachi, Isekai Shokudou, Gate and Zero No Tsukaima. Lemiya is so for fanservice because when you’re such a powerful mage, you can walk around in revealing outfits. So confident no magic won’t lay a scratch on your smooth skin, huh? Other characters feel like they’re designed after some stereotype like Gilmar looks like the good king while Dortesheim looks like the baddie and Inimicus looks like a pervert because his pervy moustache gives him that rape face look! Honest! I’m sure I’ve seen the rest of the character designs somewhere too but I’m too lazy to think right now… And the monsters are like rejected D&D designs or something… This anime is done by Encourage Films who did Etotama, Hitorijime My Hero and Love Kome: We Love Rice.

Voice acting feels pretty average too and the only ones I recognized are Sayaka Ohara as Lemiya, Hiro Shimono as Cassim and Youko Hikasa as Grammy. I thought Sumella sounded familiar. Only later I discovered it is Marina Inoue behind her. Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard from her. The rest of the other casts are Kouhei Amasaki as Taichi (Haruo in High Score Girl), Rie Takahashi as Rin (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Minami Tanaka as Myura (Mary in Kakegurui), Yurika Kubo as Aerial/Sylphid (Hanayo in Love Live), Hiroshi Yanaka as Gilmar (Ishida in Kaiji), Jiro Saito as Dortesheim, Daisuke Hirakawa as Lodra (Makoto in School Days), Satoshi Hino as Inimicus (Gauche in Black Clover), Rie Suegara as Charlotte (Emily in Harukana Receive) and Ayumi Mano as Ana (Natsumi in Date A Live III).

If the rock paced opener, Panta Rhei sounds familiar, that’s because it is sung by MYTH&ROID who are famous for their songs in Overlord and Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. Their trademark style is still there but I can’t help feel that some parts of the vocals used too much effects like as though they are on Auto-tune. Sure, MYTH&ROID songs do have effects but I don’t believe it is that much. For the ending theme, it is Chiisana Omoi by Rie Takahashi, a slow moderate anime ballad.

Overall, this is yet another copy and paste isekai and it really looks like no signs of slowing down. Generic, cliché, uninspiring as well as boring and predictable story and characters help contribute to this series’ downfall. Had this series took better time to tell its stories and weave its characters and perhaps had it come out in a time where isekai series were not so abundant as the stars in the sky, this could have been slightly better. Just slightly. I doubt that this will get another season like many of its counterparts that never see the light of a sequel. Good. Because I believe that no matter what kind of cheat codes are given as input, it still can’t fix how bad an anime is. If it’s bad, it’s bad. If it’s good, it’s good. That’s not cheating whatsoever. It’s just common sense.

Machikado Mazoku

November 23, 2019

The time hath cometh… For another magical girl anime series? Not quite. Machikado Mazoku isn’t technically focusing on a magical girl as a protagonist. A normal high school girl one day realizes that her dark demonic powers have awakened. Hwahahahahaha!!! And so she unleashes havoc and reign of terror upon the townspeople! Oops. Sorry. Not quite. Actually she needs to defeat a magical girl in order to lift a curse on her family but since she is quite weak physically (and at times, mentally), she needs to undergo some training. The irony is that the magical girl who saved her from death the first time she ventured out as a demon, becomes her trainer. Damn, this is going to be awkward… And what’s this about them soon cooperating with each other to protect the peace of the city? Damn, this is already awkward, magical girls and demon girls working together…

Episode 1
A demon tries to awaken Yuuko Yoshida to her destiny. Sorry. Too sleepy. When Yuuko wakes up, she is shocked to find she has demon horns and tail! Not a dream! Mom! Mom! What’s going on?! Well, Seiko explains they aren’t actually normally people but from the Dark Clan. So basically demons? However their mortal enemies of the Light Clan (angels?) put a curse on them by stripping their powers and wealth. No wonder they live in poverty. Because Yuuko has shown signs of her power awakening, her goal is to defeat a magical girl to break the curse. Then offer her blood to their demon god statue of their ancestors. Uhm, you mean this door stopper is that statue? And off Yuuko AKA Shamiko (that’s short for Shadow Mistress) goes for the hunt. However bad luck follows her as she clumsily stumbles her way. Until she is about to be hit by a truck, suddenly a magical girl stops it with just a hand. Oh Shamiko, don’t think she is a cosplay maniac with such Superman powers. Because Shamiko looks so hungry, Momo Chiyoda even gives her some food. Taking pity on a demon girl? Shamiko feels insulted but she is forced to retreat for today. In school, Shamiko’s friends, Anri Sada and Shion Ogura aren’t shocked she has demon horns and tail. Because this town is filled with weirdoes! Heck, Anri even tries to make her horn useful by hanging her bag! They even point out a magical girl in the next class. Uhm, isn’t that Momo?! Shamiko uses an excuse recess is almost up and needs to head back. But because Anri is baying for blood, she thinks there is enough time for them to fight and calls out to Momo! Traitor! Oh, Momo is taller than you by a head! Shamiko gets offended of being called small. However her so called threatening call to end her life is more cute than intimidating since she flub he lines. Yeah, they even tease her for it! Shamiko begins by throwing lots of weak punches. Then she tires out… And she might have thrown her hip. Either Momo is that strong or Shamiko is really a wimp… Heck, Momo even teaches her how to throw a proper punch. Slightly better than before but still a wimpy punch. Heh. Even Momo thinks she is better off using a projectile. Poor Shamiko got offended and retreats in tears. Oh, she’ll train hard to become a great demon to defeat her one day! Just you wait! Shamiko’s little sister, Ryouko sees her training. Her sides are killing her… I think training is going to take a while… And can she be a demon lord by then? Nah!

Episode 2
Even though Momo says she is the weakest among the magical girls, Shamiko is still scared of her presence. Yeah, shows how weak this demon girl is. Despite tales of Momo saving the world, that was only because she had assistance. Shamiko vows to train hard to beat her. 500g dumbbell enough? Until she sees Momo with a bigger dumbbell. So demotivating… Because Shamiko didn’t give an exact date on the weekend for their rematch, Momo actually waited there and got tanned. Feeling bad? Yeah well, exchange contacts in the meantime. Noticing Shamiko isn’t fit, Momo suggests training her. Hence they go jogging. Shamiko is huffing and puffing… Can she be fit in time? And then she realizes they have run for 4km! Can borrow 500 yen to take the train back? So tired Shamiko that she fell asleep on the train and when she woke up, it’s already at the last station. Basically lost. With Seiko realizing Shamiko is having a hard time defeating the magical girl, she decides to increase her allowance. From 120 yen to 500 yen. That’s a lot for a poor girl! Uhm, isn’t that the amount she owes Momo? Yeah, Momo even offers instalment repayment plan. Does Shamiko have a choice? But in this state, she cannot defeat her because it would look bad for a debtor to beat up a person she owes. Also, she must quickly repay it in case Momo dies or forever be haunted by debt and bankruptcy! Taking the instalment plan of 50 yen, now Shamiko goes to buy a weapon (those friends tag along too for some reason). Obviously everything costs a lot more. Shamiko thought they are trying to trick her to buy food. But after all the resisting and that health is of importance, Shamiko spends some on some salty udon. With 120 yen left, need a drink? Sure this is not a scam to make her spend?! Shamiko tries resisting but after whatever Anri said, something that makes Shamiko think she has always been watching over her, Shamiko decides to live life to the fullest and buy a cola. Ah, that hit the spot. But now she’s broke. But poor Shamiko thinks everyone was just scamming her because then they see a free water dispenser… Oh Shamiko, if you only knew how to utilize free resources…

Episode 3
It’s that demon trying to talk to Shamiko in he dreams again. Too sleepy to even care! Anyway, after forcing her to pay attention, she is actually Dark Clan’s founder and ancestor, Lilith. First things first. She berates Shamiko for being weak and talentless. Is she the one to say as she herself has never defeated the Light Clan? Then some weird moment where Lilith got hooked by the cola she introduced. Because Seiko is calling for Shamiko to wake up, Lilith has to leave and tells her lots of stuffs. Can Shamiko remember all that? Shamiko tries to pen it down when she wakes up. But with Seiko busy reciting the grocery list, you bet Shamiko forgot them all! But first Shamiko must learn how to do the laundry since she messed up washing her own uniform. Since she is wearing gym clothes to school, Momo is kind enough to lend hers. A bit oversized, though… Shamiko might not be close in coming to defeat the magical girl but at least she realizes she will be at a disadvantage during close quarters. Hence Ryouko has researched she should try projectiles that suit he. So uhm, this low quality rubber band gun is her projectile? Damn, even Momo feels the need to help train Shamiko use it! So at a factory she once own (say what?!), here she teaches Momo how to use her lame projectile. Ironically, Shamiko is full of pessimism and doesn’t want to do it and Momo sounds like a dictator forcing her to do it. Momo even lends her wand and gives encouragement for her to project some sort of magic. Heh. A magical girl putting ideas of world destruction into a demon girl’s mind. I guess after all that futile time wasting and Momo calling her an idiot, probably that lit some fire in Shamiko as she can now project… Just a tiny bubble? Small and slow but if it hits back at you, it can cause a little pain like those injections. Yeah, Momo returns the wand and run like hell! But you know, Momo is so out of shape and slow that the bubble catches up and hits her. Ouch. Momo saying she wants to train her for a while, did she mispronounce that as enjoying seeing her being in torment?

Episode 4
Shamiko introduces Momo to that statue of hers. Her friends help by giving some offerings. Momo notices a switch underneath and flips it. Nothing happens… Except Shamiko suddenly becomes lifeless! It seems Shamiko is now inside the statue and sees Lilith lazing around. Quick! Put away those stuffs! As mentioned, looks like when all the conditions are right, Lilith will be able to swap bodies with her. This means she can avenge the Light Clan on her behalf so sit back and watch. Now that Lilith has possessed Shamiko’s body, she might sound intimidating but you know, she’s as idiotic as Shamiko. She’s making a fool out of herself than being threatening. Yeah, those friends are having fun. Lilith realizes the unfit body means she too is at her limits. Even more so her own magic deflects back! Just when she thought Momo is going to kill her, she gives up! When Shamiko wakes up, she is in a hot spa with her friends. Yeah, this was Lilith’s last wish. To add more insult, not only her body is aching all over, Lilith didn’t have money to pay for this and puts it on Shamiko’s tab! The debt has just grown! Because of this, her friends suggest a job where she can earn and pay it all at one go. But Seiko warns her about saving too much because the curse of the Light Clan means any extra money more than 400 yen will somehow slip away. Maybe Seiko’s just a klutz… But don’t worry. It isn’t a shady job and it’s just to sell wieners. Tastes good, huh? Shamiko believes this is what she’ll do after defeating Momo. And then speak of the devil… Magical girl, rather. Eek! Momo! Shamiko tells her reason for working here when she accidentally spills the pot of wieners. Oh no! All her hard work gone? Luckily Momo transforms into a magical girl to save them. But why? Momo says she doesn’t want to transform often because she has bad memories as a magical girl. However seeing Shamiko work so hard, she doesn’t want it all to go to waste. Shamiko feels bad and even more so when Momo buys up all the wieners. Thank you for your patronage. At the end of the day, the owner who promised Shamiko to take back extra wieners, well, here is plain yoghurt as substitute since all wieners were unexpectedly sold out. Shamiko then realizes it could be Momo’s devilish plan all along when she bought them all up. Curse you!

Episode 5
Shamiko has made enough from the job to pay Momo back. Now let’s do battle! Momo seems reluctant and after hearing how she don’t have money to buy what Ryouko wants, Momo rejects this offer. She even tempts Shamiko with free food if she accepts this plan! Shamiko realizes the lunch she always makes by herself. Momo reveals she has no family. Damn… So sad… As it turns out, Momo accompanies Shamiko to go shopping with Ryouko. Shamiko warns her not to reveal her identity since Ryouko is always told she is always engaged in a fierce magical girl battle. It seems the stuffs Ryouko want to get, a medkit and book on strategies, is she really thoughtful of big sis? Momo realizes the mini camera she has been staring at so Shamiko buys that for her. Shamiko is glad to have not paid her debts to Momo because seeing Ryouko’s happy face was worth it. And with Ryouko and Momo talking about the technical stuffs of computers and cameras, Shamiko feels so left behind. What the heck are they talking about?! Momo then lends her laptop as she gives it to Shamiko so that Ryouko can use it. But is warned to handle it with care. Don’t drop it or get it wet. You know how much that thing costs, right? Gulp. And so shaky Shamiko has to battle her way through Anri and Shion who are dangerously holding tennis balls and a bucket of water respectively. Is fate really testing her? If she passed that, on her way home now she has to deal with that scary dog (albeit in reality it is just a tiny mutt). Her fear has somewhat made Lilith to summon some sort of crisis management outfit for her? Here’s your sexy transformation scene. It just made Shamiko even more embarrassed and as the dog owner takes it for a walk, yeah, they do a double take on this weirdo Shamiko. It’s not over yet because when Shamiko reaches home, she trips on the statue and drops it! Worse, Ryouko comes running and accidentally steps on it! And Seiko also comes spilling water all over it! The Yoshida household in panic! But as they test, the laptop still works. Then a note from Momo stating she knew Shamiko will be clumsy and has put some finishing touches like waterproofing and shock absorbent. Shamiko views this as a defeat since Momo was able to predict her moves. Curse you! Ryouko is able to do (and exaggerate) a great cover story about her sister. Shamiko loves it and won’t let Momo read the printout. But the data is still saved on her laptop… Curse you!!!

Episode 6
It seems there is enough magic power for Lilith to bug Shamiko to enter into Momo’s consciousness and control her. Why does Shamiko feel so bad about it? Yeah, can’t think about any bad thoughts on Momo. After smashing this magic mirror, it seems Shamiko falls into Momo’s consciousness. She sees a young Momo and she has serious low self-esteem. So much so Shamiko has to ask her assistance to clean up the muck. But once that is done, time is up and Shamiko wakes up. On the way to school, Shamiko stumbles into a sick Momo. She claims she had a bad dream but somewhat felt happy at the end of it. Oddly, Shamiko decides to bring Momo home and nurse her. Isn’t this the perfect chance to defeat Momo? Seeing her in such a pitiful state, maybe another time. To Shamiko, Momo’s normal house looks big! Shamiko meets Metako, Momo’s cat navigator. Treat him nice and he’ll tell you some oracle but lately it’s been 97% cat ever since Momo lost her motivation. Shamiko tries to find some medicine but stumbles into this hideous thing in the fridge. It’s Momo’s failed hamburger cooking. Sure it’s not some demon poisoning thingy? Apparently she was trying to cook this because of a promise with Shamiko. Trying to cheer up the mood, Shamiko hopes to invite Momo to her home and cook this. After Momo falls asleep, Shamiko returns home to get some supplies. But apparently Momo followed her. Now she knows where she lives. She points out a seal by the Light Clan outside her door (it’s not a door deco, Shamiko) that prevents others from coming into her place. Even though it is worn out, only an invitation allows those invited to find the place. Because Shamiko earlier swiped some small blood off Momo, it is believed she might have unlocked something. Well, it’s the statue who can now directly talk to them in the real world! Momo feels disgusted. She got sick and her power drained just for this sh*t? In view of this, Momo wants Shamiko to help her protect this city while she recovers. Shamiko can’t say no after Shamiko makes her feel guilty for all the things she has done and lent. Sneaky… But for a week, Shamiko really takes care of Momo at her home. Wow. For the first time Momo lost?

Episode 7
Lilith sure made a very inaccurate recap of Shamiko’s exploits. All lies! Even if it is just a dream, Shamiko rejects it! When a police officer returns 1000 yen to mom, it is a sign that the curse is lifted! Wow! So much money! Hence Seiko buys lots of food to celebrate. Lilith thinks it’s time to flex her authority but Seiko lets her get drunk with some drink and let her soak in hot water. Shift in power balance… Then they realize the fridge is damaged from the recent blackout. How will they keep all this food Seiko bought? Seiko will have to cook all of them and they must finish it! Luckily, thoughtful Shamiko brings some to Momo since she is still recovering from her illness. Though, Shamiko isn’t a good liar that this is all so she can recover and then she’ll steal more of her blood later. Once Momo has recovered, instantly she puts Shamiko under her training regimen. You mean she has to build muscles by dragging this huge wheel? I know she has to take over her magical girl role but isn’t this too much for this weakling? Hence Anri suggests so and instead should start off with training that increases Shamiko’s courage like bungee jumping. Sometimes you wonder if she is friend or foe. Shamiko tries to convince Momo to regain her own strength and magic. When Shamiko asks about her weakness, Momo says it’s some mochi balls. Hence Shamiko rushes all the way to go get them. Even queuing for hours just to get a couple of them. Turns out to be a ploy to make Shamiko do some exercise. But there is some truth that Momo fears those balls. Her sister (not blood related, though) used to like this so Momo stopped eating this as it brought back unwanted memories. Seeing Shamiko trying her best, Momo thinks she might also want to try overcoming her fear and maybe help get some of her magic back. Then Shamiko gets tricked to get some green tea… By this time, Momo thinks it is time for Shamiko to build some muscles. So move that big tyre if you want to go home! It’s not budging… One day, Anri has a job for Shamiko. I guess it’s because she is small enough to fit into this mascot outfit. The kids are hounding her to hand out candies. Luckily a girl saves her from tripping and tells the kids to be orderly. To Shamiko’s dismay, this girl is a magical girl! Oh no!

Episode 8
Mikan Hinatsuki definitely isn’t a passing cosplayer and she’s on patrol and not on vacation! The more panicky Shamiko gets, the more suspicious Mikan becomes. Then in the alley, Mikan forces Shamiko to take off her gear. Shamiko panics and transforms. It seems Mikan was purely concerned if Shamiko was having heatstroke in that outfit. With Momo here, she explains Mikan is the friend whom she called to help in her place. Shamiko gets offended when Mikan thinks she is younger than them. As Shamiko cleans up in school, here comes Mikan. It seems she is going to transfer here too. Shamiko is happy to think that Mikan is a normal girl since she is more level-headed than Momo. However it seems Mikan is very worried about a curse she is having trouble keeping at bay. And then all the cleaned up trash explodes! It seems whenever Mikan gets anxious (especially when being praised), this will cause her curse to go berserk and bring bad luck to others. This is why Momo is late since she got caught up in all her bad luck. Shamiko tries reverse psychology like being the bad demon girl who will take her blood but Mikan thinks she is pitying her and her curse activates. In the end, Shamiko is forced to look for her statue that is now somewhere in the pile of garbage thanks to Mikan’s curse. On another day, Shamiko is forced to train by Momo. This time, she is going to transform into that outfit. Mikan would love to tell about her younger days with Momo but Momo doesn’t appreciate it and threatens her with cooking! So that’s why Mikan has forgot most of them. Shamiko somehow cannot transform. Momo thinks it is because she doesn’t feel like she is in danger so Momo is seriously going to beat her up. However she tires out due to the strain. Mikan explains when Shamiko took her blood, it could have been a matter of life and death for a magical girl depending on the situation. And although magical girls don’t die, their souls end up scattering in the air! Gee, that sounds as bad. Shamiko tries to cheer Momo up that she’ll work harder. But with Momo getting ready to get violent on Shamiko, I don’t suppose we can put off this training tomorrow? Shamiko is so scared that she finally transforms. There. Don’t forget that feeling ever. Poor Shamiko runs away in tears!

Episode 9
Shamiko complains about the need to fix this sexy transformation dress but Lilith says the more skin it shows, the more power she receives! So technically shouldn’t she be fighting naked then? Because Shamiko wants Momo to acknowledge her as an equal, Anri suggests beating her using brains. Conveniently the test is coming up so Shamiko challenges Momo to see who can score higher. Be warned, Momo has very good grades. She got a subject that scored 100%! Shamiko burns the midnight oil but what strategy Lilith proposed for her to ace? Well, it sounds a lot like cheating! Hey, that’s what the Dark Clan supposed to do, right? However Shamiko will not accept it and will fight Momo fair and square. In the end, although Shamiko did very well, Momo still scored higher. But wait. Why is Lilith in the top 10 placing?! Somehow she convinced the teacher to let her take the test. This means Momo lost to her. She claims Lilith cheated somehow as Shamiko’s notes were left in the bag but seriously Lilith never actually thought of this method (Lilith is good in history since she lived through those times). But ultimately, Shamiko feels she still lost… Seiko is happy when her new fridge arrives. But it is too big to fit through the door so she spends the whole day crying… Mikan calls Shamiko to go watch a movie. This is not just for fun but to help overcome their weakness. Yeah, this summer zombie movie! Don’t worry. Mikan is prepared to pay for her food and everything. Including her hospital fees! Oh sh*t. While it might look like Mikan is psyching herself up to be brave, the moment it starts, let’s hope nothing really bad happens… In the end, Mikan passes out and Shamiko ended up being fascinated with the movie since she sided with the zombies who went all out to overwhelm the overpowered heroes. When they decide to go see another movie, Momo is there too. From what I understand, Momo feels jealous she’s been left out since the duo look like they’re having fun. With Momo leaving hastily, Mikan feels bad about it. Oh no… Curse activating… Hey, at least they got some popcorn from the exploded popcorn machine. The next time the trio have nabe together, Momo says she’s not mad but clearly we don’t feel that way… Shamiko excuses herself and leaves poor Mikan alone with Momo…

Episode 10
Because Momo detects Shamiko lacks muscle mass, she makes some special ‘glowing’ drink for her to drink. And when she lets her watch some macho men exercising video, I guess that’s where she draws the line. Shamiko runs away! Did I mention that Shion is from the black magic club? She didn’t mince her words when she wants Shamiko to become her experiment subject! Don’t worry. Momo will go with her. Somehow Momo becomes her manager and rejects all of Shion’s suggestions to experiment on her. When Shion spots Lilith, she wants to experiment on her. Lilith surprisingly agrees in hopes to find a way out of their curse. She might be regretting it after Shion drills holes into her… Shion suggests creating a new vessel for her to easily move around. If only that clay isn’t made out of horse dung! The scrawny limbs make the statue crawl like a creepy bug! Pathetic. Eventually the leftover clay is made into a decent doll. Lilith loves it as she can move freely. However her evil thoughts are telepathically transmitted and hence Momo uses her magic to control Lilith like a rag doll. Dance dolly, dance! Ryouko realizes the borrowed laptop isn’t working. No worries. Shamiko can take and go ask Momo to see what’s wrong. Are you sure of ignoring that premonition of her beating your ass with more training? Anyway they go and see her and as Shamiko puts it, she doesn’t mind putting up with this ‘friendship’ seeing it helps Ryouko. But seeing her so innocent and honest, do they have the heart to continue lying? Hence Shamiko explains the truth about Momo being a magical girl. But wait. Ryouko already knows! However… She thinks that Momo is Shamiko’s subordinate! Please tell me stories of how you subdued this magical girl into your army! I guess the lies are piling up. It gets complicated when Mikan comes in. Huh? What subordinate? Until Momo tortures her and forces her to play along with this. In the end, there is nothing wrong with the laptop. It just overheated because their room has no air-cond. Momo even allows them to come here to use it if they find it more conducive. Just make sure Shamiko cooks some great food for her. Back home, with Momo lending stuffs to back up the laptop, looks like Shamiko’s debts are also piling. Realizing the need to live up to Ryouko’s expectations, Shamiko realizes she doesn’t know much on Momo. She even asks her future advisor on how to seek an enemy’s weakness. Wow this little girl is sure good and technical. Shamiko feeling bad? And then Ryouko spots a picture Momo left inside. A picture of Shamiko in her transformation outfit. Shamiko declares war on magical girls!

Episode 11
Brainstorming on how to get Momo to open her heart, Lilith of course has this devilish idea to ambush her dreams. Something that Shamiko is reluctant to do but here we go. Inside the outer subconscious realm, Shamiko encounters a human version of Metako. Or at least the Light Clan’s angel guardian. As Metako is unable to determine Shamiko’s nature, demon girl innocently blabs out the truth of wanting to attack Momo. Naturally she is going to be purged! Calling Lilith for help, she arrives in that strange bug form. So cat loves chasing bugs? Whatever. Entering the door to Momo’s dream, it seems Momo knows what is going on. Lucid dreaming. Uh oh. This is going to be hard. And Shamiko can’t leave… The door is locked! After getting scolded, Momo is stumped about Shamiko persistently trying to fight her. Wasn’t it to undo the curse? Shamiko believes her dad is away working hard to pay off the debts and this has Momo believing there is more to the story. That seal outside her door is actually to keep magical girls away. Long ago, Light Clans used to hunt Dark Clans and earn points. Of course such hunts today are very rare. It is very likely Seiko is the key to all this and that she is harbouring some secret. As Mikan is trying to wake up Momo, Momo tells Shamiko she is coming to her house after this. With that, Shamiko panics and thinks she is going to ‘grill’ her mom and prepares for battle. Yup, Momo is going to ‘grill’ her. The interrogation wise, not the cooking one. Shamiko still won’t let her in and this standoff has Seiko unable to tolerate this further and has both of them come in as she reveals the truth.

This city has a barrier that protects the Dark Clan and it was setup by the previous magical girl. Momo is shocked when Shamiko knows it is Sakura (because Metako mentioned it). Sakura is Momo’s mentor and sister-in-law. But she went missing 10 years ago. When Shamiko was born, she had a very frail body and was always in hospital. It could be she inherited a lot of the Dark Clan’s blood and suffered its effects. Otherwise take a look at Ryouko. She’s so normal. Thanks to Sakura and Seiko’s husband’s efforts, they managed to keep the balance albeit not perfect. That’s why they got the 400 yen curse. At the same time Seiko was also pregnant with Ryouko and placed in the same hospital. It is rumoured Sakura lost her magic and since she was unable to protect the city, Seiko’s husband offered to cooperate with her. But after Shamiko became healthy enough to be discharged, her husband went missing. Actually he is sealed in this very mikan box! A note was left outside their doorstep saying so. At the same time Sakura went missing. After hearing all this, Momo feels very bad. Her sister took away a family’s husband and father. Perhaps they are really mortal enemies after all. Depressed Momo leaves for home.

Episode 12
Seiko admits she never told Shamiko about this because she fears this would put a further strain to her frail body then. She now realizes it wasn’t right to lie to her and should have put her faith more in her. She shows him a picture of dad during their younger days. Boyish looks. So much shorter! Oh my. There is this fear that Shamiko did take after him… When Seiko says she stopped aging after becoming a vassal of dad, Shamiko goes out to find Momo. But she stumbles into Mikan and tells her the truth. Since this is the first time she is hearing, Mikan panics and of course brings a lot of bad luck. Although they brainstorm where to find Momo, Mikan can’t come with her because in her anxiety state, she might make things worse. You’re on your own. Eventually Shamiko manages to find Momo hanging out at a park where she often goes with Sakura. She is here to make a deal with Momo. Give up being a magical girl and be her vassal! Because of the seal placed by a magical girl, the logic behind is that if she stops being one, she can start searching for Sakura without those barriers. Yeah, Shamiko throwing in some freebies like 3 meals and a nap… Momo looks happy since this is Shamiko’s idea and seems resolved to fall to the dark side as long as Shamiko never leaves her alone. However! Something feels amiss. She’ll become weaker if she becomes her vassal, right? Lilith reluctantly admits so Momo flings her away! Now Momo has a new deal. Even if Momo doesn’t become a demon, Shamiko can still look for Sakura in her place, right? All she needs to do is to protect her and make her stronger. She’ll throw in a few protein shakes to go with that! How about this deal! So it’s like status quo, huh? Since it ends in a deadlock, they break for lunch. If only Shamiko can break the popsicle in half to share… Oh dear, need training? Back home, it seems Ryouko never believed mom’s lies about dad being away on some intergalactic business thanks to the crime novels she read. But she is glad to know that dad is imprisoned nearby. As for dad’s real name, it is Joseph! You mean they have Mesopotamia roots? So Tarou Yamada was just an alias, huh? Shamiko writes a challenge letter to Momo. However the teacher believes it is against the law and helps her write some love letter and the contents resembles like a penpal letter. Although she lets Momo read it, it eventually does sound like a challenge letter but her contents are so over the place that Momo doesn’t understand what she wants. So Shamiko wants to ditch practice and hang out to have fun? And boy, to Shamiko’s surprise she turns up in real nice clothes.

How To Train Your Shamiko
Don’t give up, Shamiko! Continue to try your best, Shamiko! Ah yes. It seems status quo seems to be the best ending that Shamiko and Momo as well as the rest of the other characters here could have. Forget about whatever war the Light Clan and Dark Clan are having. Forget about the rivalry between magical girls and demons. Forget about winning and losing. All they need to do is to bolster their friendship right now. Because that is what it looks like it is heading, right? So it’s not just Shamiko who mustn’t give up and try her best. Don’t give up, Momo! Continue to try your best, Momo!

From what we have seen all the while, I believe that Shamiko and Momo just want to be friends rather than becoming real mortal enemies. It feels a lot like that very much from the beginning. You can just tell from their half-hearted threats that they’re not interested in killing or even hurting each other. It’s just some sort of excuse to, uhm, interact. Of course Shamiko being more naïve and emotional, she reacts to almost everything and it might seemed that she is being bullied. I believe her trademark catchphrase of “Don’t think this means you’ve won this time!” is just her way of saying “Goodbye. See you next time” with some emotions.

After all, what kind of mortal enemies would go so far as to help each other so that they could regain their strength and fight each other at full power? Isn’t that what rivals do? I mean, if Shamiko really hated Momo, she wouldn’t have cooked for her and would just let her be and not care about her eating habits. And we do see how Shamiko takes the trouble to come to Momo’s house just to cook a wholesome meal for her. Although it looks like it backfires but that is in the short term, in the long run I believe this has a greater positive effect. I hope.

On the other hand, I also believe that Momo has taken a liking for Shamiko. Just that she is such a poker face girl so you can’t obviously tell she is enjoying her company. Further proof she considers Shamiko her friend: The time when Shamiko hang out with Mikan, that depressed Momo face was just classic. And as said that Shamiko is being such a naïve demon girl, because she is also cute with her reactions, it makes Momo want to tease her even more. That’s why all the strength training I believe isn’t really helping in making Shamiko strong. It wasn’t meant to make her strong in the first place at all! It is just part of some prank routine to be with her ‘friend’. If Momo was serious in her job to hunt down the Dark Clan members, she wouldn’t have been so kind to Shamiko or even lend her laptop to Ryouko who really looks forward to become Shamiko’s tactical advisor. It’s like Momo is digging her own grave, no? Which kind of money lender would have the most flexible repayment scheme ever?! Momo, I want to borrow money from you! Therefore in spite of the different backgrounds they come from and the things they have done, they’re like best friends.

Even Shamiko’s friends, Anri and Shion may come off looking like sadists and troublemakers who love to see Shamiko in trouble. I’m sure they mean no harm with their pranks and silly ideas but like I’ve said about Shamiko being naïve and gullible, the incentive is there to tease her and see her cute reactions. Yeah, best friends, right? Or maybe they could just simply well be sadistic troublemakers who love to see Shamiko in trouble. Yeah, best friends indeed.

Poor Ryouko as the series’ most innocent character, we fear this loli might end up experiencing the biggest disappointment in her life when she learns about the truth. With Shamiko and Momo continuing their charade, it makes it even harder for them to destroy her hopes. See those innocent sparkling eyes filled with hope? Hear her honest innocent voice filled with confidence and hope? See every action she does with earnest sincerity from the heart? Yup. How could anyone bear the fact to tell this girl the truth! Hence the question if they are protecting her or just delaying the inevitable. But I figure that Ryouko being Ryouko, even if the whole truth comes out, it’s not like she’ll turn into a bag of hatred. I mean, there is a very remote possibility but being the smart girl she is, I have faith she wouldn’t. I hope.

Despite the rivalry between the Light Clan and Dark Clan sounding like some epic legendary conflict, I believe that it is all blown up and out of proportion. To put it bluntly, I think they’re all just idiots. In a funny sense, that is. Not sure if time has mellowed them but take a look at Lilith. Instead of being a scary and almighty ancestor, you could say that she is just as idiotic as Shamiko. Must be in the blood and genes, huh? But then again, it could be that with the change in eras, the mind-set started to change alongside the culture. Because back then I believe even the deities didn’t have the luxury of enjoying human technologies like the internet or Smartphone so they can’t troll and do cyber bullying. Of course this is just me assuming and applying a blanket assumption over the entire world and it could be just those in this city are incompetent. But as narrated in the final scene of the final episode, this town is the only town in the world that is being protected and where magical girls and demons coexist peacefully.

So elsewhere, it might still be archaic witch hunt. So whatever actually happened to Sakura is still a big mystery but I guess that is not the point of this series. At least not this season. She might be outside this town, protecting the barrier from Light Clan and Dark Clan alike trying to infiltrate into this peaceful city. But at any rate we’ve discovered Shamiko’s dad’s whereabouts. Yeah, they’ll treat the mikan box kinder next time. Lilith being used as a stopper, paperweight and the likes, yeah maybe this is why she has turned incompetent. And then with Shamiko, Momo and Mikan looking quite complacent and incompetent, I’d say this war isn’t as brutal as it seemed it would be. At least in this city. I mean, heard of any brutal magical girl and demon deaths around?

The lines between a magical girl and demon has been blurred because sometimes you think Shamiko is more like a magical girl while Momo and Mikan are suitable to be demons. For instance, Shamiko’s kind-hearted nature as well as her own magical transformation scene. Seeing all the weird cosplays these days, this kind of revealing outfit is nothing! Haha! On the other hand, Momo sometimes has very dark and shady thoughts that Shamiko often rebukes to be just pure evil. And Mikan’s curse of attracting trouble to others? Doesn’t this fit a demon’s attribute? With the Light Clan using to hunt the Dark Clan for points being brought to light, it just throws into question who the real baddies are. Maybe it’s all that yin yang thingy and both sides exist because of each other. That’s why it isn’t just about the demon girl next door. It is also the magical girl next door.

Artwork and animation feel pretty okay. Nothing to shout about or complain. Everything is bright and colourful. The characters are cutely designed so you can tell from the start that this isn’t some dark themed magical girl series. Oddly, Momo’s magical girl outfit has this uncanny resemblance to Madoka of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica fame. Almost. Just because they’re both overwhelmingly pink and they spot twintails. And I can’t help notice but Shamiko’s devil horns look like mini croissants… I think my stomach is growling… This anime is animated by J.C. Staff who is famous for One Punch Man, Shokugeki No Souma, DanMachi, Little Busters, Shakugan No Shana and Toradora.

Voice acting, I only recognized Sayaka Ohara as Seiko. Not the typical villainess role that I often pigeonholed her to always perfectly play. But sometimes the nicest ladies too like Alicia of Aria The Animation. Initially I mistook Eri Kitamura to be behind to voice of Lilith. I guess I was wrong. Lilith is voiced by Minami Takahashi (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma). The other casts are Konomi Kohara as Shamiko (Chika in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Akari Kitou as Momo (Kaho in Blend S), Hitomi Ohwada as Ryouko (Eagle in Girly Air Force), Tomoyo Takayanagi as Mikan (Oguri Cap in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby), Sayaka Senbongi as Anri (Mumei in Koutetsujou No Kabaneri) and Ayaka Suwa as Shion (Non in Akkun To Kanojo).

The opening theme is Machikado Tangent by Shami Momo (if you haven’t guessed it, it is the duo behind Shamiko and Momo). Pretty generic lively anime pop if you ask me. Nothing that special. As for the ending theme, Yoimachi Cantare by Coro Machikado (the quartet behind Shamiko, Momo, Lilith and Mikan) sounds pretty frantic. It’s like they want to match the somewhat crazy pace of the series but it comes off as weird. Even the animation is pretty weird. You have the characters in chibi format, some demonic monkeys and goat, it’s like one big LSD trip or a very weird cartoonish dream.

Overall, this is a silly but fun anime to watch and it brings back some similarity with Gabriel Dropout because it’s about a fallen race just trying to their best or the minimum to get back up. Despite they fail but you can’t help continue to cheer them on because, well, at least they’re trying. That being said in the loosest form. The cute and humorous interaction between Shamiko and Momo is amusing to watch and breaks the traditional barrier that mortal enemies don’t mean being mortal enemies forever. Whatever beef the ancestors had a long time ago, doesn’t mean future generations should just blindly follow that fate. In this time and age where the rivalry of magical girls and demons are no longer trending (at least the setting of this anime), isn’t being friends a much better alternative? Even if you’re being jerks to each other? That’s what friendship is about, right? Yeah to be honest, I still have my doubts… While other anime series has magical girls and demons still at each other’s throat, at least this one has proven that friendship has succeeded in making both bitter rivals get along with each other. Don’t think this means friendship has won just yet!

The time hath cometh…

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 t