I believe the Senran Kagura franchise is very much popular in Japan and has a steady following till today. But I didn’t really count on having a sequel after 5 years after its TV debut back in 2013. Even if a single OVA 2 years later in 2015, I thought that was just a one off thing. And now, here it is. Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen probably would appeal to hardcore fans as well as try to introduce newer ones to the series. I mean, after all these years and finally a sequel? Heh. Not the first series that waited for so many years to have another sequel. Because To Aru Majutsu No Index in that same season started its third season when its second season was way back in 2011! But anyway, maybe the creators need to widen their fan base for this ecchi series. That’s why suddenly out of the blue you have this sequel. The more the merrier, right? Oh, right. The more fans, the more money to milk… ;p.

Episode 1
Asuka and Yumi are out shopping together on Christmas. I guess our shinobi girls also need some time out and act like normal girls. Including buying lots of stuffs. On the other side, Homura’s side is working part time to get that turkey dinner and so as not to skip on their training too, WTF these quick foot tapping technique in public? After Asuka and Yumi are done and ready to head home, they realize a hairband accessory Asuka bought is missing. Time to split up and look for it. An excuse to show off their shinobi skills without the crowd even noticing. Meanwhile the other Hanzou girls are also returning from their shopping but are confronted by ninja girls from Gessen Girls Academy, Gekkou and Senkou. First they ask their thoughts on power and justice. I guess they didn’t like their answer so the only solution? Eliminate them! Yumi has found the lost present and calls Asuka. But looks like the meet up will be delayed as Asuka detects some youma in the alley and destroys them. Gekkou and Senkou mock how she was struggling to defeat the youma and decide that kind of justice is not needed. Yeah. Eliminate! Asuka loses to them as they are stronger and faster. However, upon learning to duo has got rid of her friends (that small piece of cloth was enough for Asuka to identify with?), Asuka gets mad and fights back. Unfortunately she gets beaten up even more. Wow. She really took a pounding there. I’m not sure if this is really the justice they’re talking about because I thought they wanted to eliminate her but just left her defeated there and not even making sure she’s dead or dispose her body.

Episode 2
Yumi can’t concentrate on her training as she remembers Asuka never met up with her. Suddenly an arrow is fired at her. No biggie to stop it but attached to it is an invitation to a spa resort. Obviously a trap but since her Death Cram girls are eager to go, I guess that’s your answer. Meanwhile the Hebi girls are on a mission to kidnap some evil politician, only to be interrupted by Miyabi’s side who is hired by the ugly baddie to protect him. Man, they fight until they’re naked? Until an arrow stops them. It seems Miyabi’s side was also to force this politician to confess his sins so it’s a win-win? Eventually all the shinobi girls arrive at the spa. Swimsuit fanservice galore as they have the entire resort to themselves. Haruka suggests a water gun game. With her special chemicals, the liquid will turn your swimsuit naked. You are out if you become totally naked and the last girl standing wins. Get ready to feast your eyes! I guess this would be all too familiar for those who played the game version of Peach Beach Splash. Eventually it is a draw since all of them got naked. Yeah, we viewers are the real winners! Then Gekkou and Senkou show up. So all this elaborated setup was just to see if they’re willing to participate in the strongest shinobi tournament, Shinobi Masters? So why would they go along with this plan? Because otherwise, these Hanzou girls will die! Now you know why the Hanzou girls never showed up, right? Details to be further furnished, so stay tuned. In the meantime, please hone your skills. You mean of the fanservice kind? Just kidding. As the rest noticed that Asuka wasn’t the only one captured, later it seems Yumi knows where to find Asuka. Glad she is okay, but Asuka doesn’t want her to enter Shinobi Masters. A sunken Asuka realized there is no justice for shinobi.

Episode 3
Asuka attacks Yumi and wounds her before escaping. Yumi is disappointed as Asuka was the one who taught her the meaning of justice. Meanwhile Suzune gives the green light to Miyabi to participate in Shinobi Masters as she is interested to know what Gekkou and Senkou are up to. Yumi talks to Homura about Asuka. They believe she has her reasons for doing so. Hence they are going to participate in Shinobi Masters to not only help the Hanzou side but to fight the best ninjas. Noticing Yumi’s wound, Homura suggests a visit to the hotspring to recuperate. And today’s fanservice of free tits flowing. Don’t mind Murakumo’s tits fondling logic for manga realism. Poor Mirai got insulted with her non-existent boobs. Meanwhile Fubuki has stumbled into the shrine of the Mikagura sisters, Renka, Hanabi and Kafuru. This means Kagura is around. Before they could fight, the loli shows up. Fubuki wants Kagura to participate in Shinobi Masters as the winner will get to fight to ultimate youma. Homura could sense Asuka around. Again Asuka tells her not to participate in Shinobi Masters. Homura somewhat understands her situation and that she wants to save her friends. But the only way they get through to each other is via fighting. And while Homura spouts about strength and friends, ironically it is Asuka who plays dirty tricks to eventually defeat her.

Episode 4
Fubuki proves herself that she could control a youma. Kagura transforms herself into her adult form to fight but everything is so fast that we can’t see. Yeah, we only see ripped clothes! When Kagura asks about Fubuki’s identity, she will only get her answer if she participates in Shinobi Masters. Homura is being treated by her comrades as they contemplate to pull out of Shinobi Masters. Yozakura finds a photo in a yearbook that proves Gekkou and Senkou are a student of Gessen, Yumi’s former middle school. So if you’re wondering why the need to show Yumi’s flashback with her grandpa, Kurokage and all the kindness he taught her, well, Fubuki also has a picture of him. Death Cram girls infiltrate Gessen but since Yumi is super famous, dress up in their school uniform and everyone leaves them alone?! They go about trying to find those sisters. Shiki, Minori and Murakumo talk to other students who praise the sisters as talented in everything as well as friendly. Something feels off, right? Yumi and Yozakura have found the sisters and tail them to the rooftop. Of course they know this stalking and before you know it, they fight. Their other friends come to aid them but Yumi won’t allow the fight to continue for fear this might hurt other students. This has the sisters mention her justice is pathetic. So their view that the weak has no justice is better? They believe they are the ones who will carry on Kurokage’s teachings. The date and venue of Shinobi Masters is confirmed. We see Yumi and Miyabi’s team attending as the sisters host this show that will be streamed live all over the shinobi network. Fubuki makes her opening speech that she organized this tournament and summoned strong shinobi from various schools to compete. Let the games begin!

Episode 5
With Kagura’s side joining Shinobi Masters, that makes the total number of teams participating… Wholly sh*t! Only 3 teams?! Man, I thought there was supposed to be 100 teams. Either the rest of the shinobi schools are not good enough or they just didn’t bother accepting this invitation. Also, Fubuki smokes out Asuka hiding but too bad she didn’t have an invitation so she can’t participate and can only watch. Homura’s side couldn’t participate since Haruka declined as they thought Homura won’t recover. As the rogue shinobi they are, they’re going to sneak in of course. Shinobi Masters is a round robin match. The first match pits Yumi’s side against Kagura’s side in this naked dodgeball. The bomb explodes upon slightest contact (except the special gloves) and gets you naked when it hits you. Ah… Whose team gets their captain naked first, loses. To cut things short, Yumi’s team wins. For the next match, it is Kagura’s side versus Miyabi’s side in this naked cavalry match. The team whose captain falls to the ground loses. But in the end, Kagura deliberately falls and loses the match. Meanwhile Suzune has detected youma appearing in Kikai Dome and all other ninjas have perished. Yup, only students left. No time for this Shinobi Masters. Luckily she stumbles into Homura’s side. They sneak around and find the other Hanzou girls but also realize there is a youma there too. The final match has Yumi’s team facing off with Miyabi’s team in this naked capture the flag game. You fall in the water, you’re naked and out. In short, Yumi’s side wins. But it’s not over yet as Yumi’s team will have to face Fubuki and the sisters. NOW! Yeah, so you complain you have no strength left to fight right now? Doesn’t this prove you aren’t the best shinobi team out there? And now Asuka wants to join in? And Fubuki allows it? When Yumi wants to fight alongside her, Asuka refuses. Time out. Time to talk things out. Yumi gives Asuka that present they shopped the other day. Yeah, more talk about justice, protecting smiles and all. But Asuka still doesn’t look convinced. She just allows her to fight alongside her. Wait. So it’s only Yumi and Asuka against Fubuki’s side? The rest really want to sit this out, huh?

Episode 6
We go back to another flashback of Asuka fighting Yumi. Oh dear. Not another dispute of their version of justice. So logic isn’t part of justice? Because it can’t change one’s hearts? So back to the tournament, Gekkou and Senkou take on Asuka and Yumi. Oh man. Not another ranting about their different version of justice and whatever the f*ck Kurokage’s teachings. So much so we have to return to that earlier Asuka vs Yumi flashback to see that moments before they are seemingly going to kill each other (because Yumi seemed desperate to do it all for grandpa), Kurokage intervened. And now back to the tournament. Oh damn, must we now hear some flashback from the sisters how they have to keep a perfect outlook but their hearts remained unfulfilled. Then one fated day, they stumble upon Kurokage’s diary and teachings and the rest is history. Wow. So touching that Yumi cried. Meanwhile we take a detour of Suzune and Homura’s side stumbling into Miyabi’s team so that they could join forces and face off with the youma. Yeah, this one is so humanoid and it talks! You mean to sound that surprised? Okay, but back to the tournament’s flashback. After Kurokage stopped the girls, he realizes there are things in life that are more important than one’s beliefs. He admits their defeat but it is Asuka who says her side has lost because the world of goodness is now in his arms. Yumi, that is. Hence Kurokage’s last lesson to Yumi is that the definition of justice changes on who you are and what you do. For her, she will be the justice that shines quietly in the night. She will be the justice of the moon. I hope there won’t be any mooning jokes related to this. Anyway, to show how much better our heroines’ justice are, they defeat Gekkou and Senkou and you know it is so when their clothes are blown away and they’re stark naked. With Asuka injuries making her unable to carry on, it’s up to Yumi to face Fubuki. But this leaves Asuka in despair as she worked hard to prevent them from facing off. All in vain?

Episode 7
But first a flashback between Kurokage and Hanzou. During their younger times, they’re like frenemies. Kurokage was also dating Yume at that time. One day, many of their comrades got injured in a trap so Kurokage was furious to avenge them. Despite warnings that his rage and hatred isn’t justice, Kurokage didn’t listen and went on to kill evil ninjas. He is summoned by his superiors and punished. They tell him that many shinobi are not good or evil but grey and neither. And what’s this about good and evil must sometimes work together? WTF logic?! I thought they’re enemies?! When the elders threaten to punish Hanzou and Yume, that is when Kurokage labels them as evil. Hanzou tries to talk to him but Kurokage is hell bent on proving his own justice and destroy all evil ninjas. And so he left walking this path with many good and evil ninjas targeting his life. Not sure how he even impregnate Yume but was it before? Because before you know it, many years later, his son and his wife died in a ninja mission. Yeah, Kurokage never even met them once and the first time was at their funeral. Regretting taking this path? He then spots Yumi his granddaughter. Man, it must be such a long time that his son even had a child. Anyway, Yumi somewhat knows about Kurokage since her parents and grandma often tell tales about him. See, after all these years, they still placed some faith in him. He decides to take in Yumi. After all, they have no other relatives. Back to the fight, it is not surprise Fubuki possesses Kurokage’s black fan. Yumi transforms into her true form. So you think this ice queen has a trump card? Zombie girl too has a trump card as she transforms into her dark queen form and easily defeats Yumi. At that point Yumi now remembers Fubuki. Kurokage subsequently took in another girl and they were like sisters. YOU MEAN YOU REALLY FORGOT THIS MOST IMPORTANT PART IN YOUR LIFE UNTIL NOW????!!!! Anyway with Yumi’s lost, Fubuki declares war on all shinobi. Good or evil, she will have her revenge. And she is going to do it with this intelligent humanoid youma, Rasetsu.

Episode 8
Miyabi has a grudge to kill youma because they killed her family. Fubuki puts some doubts in her mind asking her if she ever thought the youma had families too. She even has proof that the shinobi are the ones who attacked first. Thanks to Asuka interrupting, looks like they have to show that proof another time. Because Asuka is too weak to fight and hence Fubuki and Rasetsu leaving. Gekkou and Senkou want to come along but Fubuki abandons them. That look on her face says it all. Get out of my faces, b*tches! Meanwhile Asuka frees her buddies and you know they’re back together in no time with Katsuragi’s serial boob fondling. I don’t want to think that this is the method how the girls bond and get back. Suzune tells the girls about the door to another world opening. Shinobi leaders have sent their team there but after losing contact with them, it is feared they are dead. With Gekkou and Senkou leaving, Yumi tries to talk to them but there’s nothing to talk about. And since they have nothing to live for nor do they want to return to their original mundane life, they’re going to kill themselves. Thank goodness they contemplated long enough for Yumi to come stop them. Just say a few justice lines. Throw in something about Kurokage. Then a big hug and there you have it. Changed their mind. Now they wanna live. Easy. For now, Gekkou and Senkou are living in the care of the Hanzou girls. They feel awkward since they attacked them but the Hanzou girls are only mad at themselves for being weak and defeated. And what a better way than to say welcome to the club with Katsuragi’s usual boobs molestation. Overdrive mode! Meanwhile Asuka has been missing that day. Actually she went to see Kagura and requests that she wants to handle the youma alone. She allows it but wonders if Kagura can do it as she has yet to seal one. Not confident? Oh, let’s try now! Kagura summons a youma as Asuka quickly uses her super secret shinobi art to seal it, Fuma Korin. Woah. So easy! On her first go! So what’s there to worry about? Kagura warns that if she keeps using it, she’ll die. Oh… And looks like it has taken some toll on her body but Asuka remains defiant. She is willing to die if she has to. Trying to play the tragic heroine but won’t let others do the same? Elsewhere, Fubuki opens portals from another world right smack in the middle of Japan’s busiest city. Halloween’s here early. Or maybe hell on Earth.

Episode 9
Weird youma monsters attack the people. But thank goodness for our shinobi girls here to save the day and bust some youma ass. To fight better, Kagura unleashes some barrier. Just one condition: The girls are stripped down to their undies! Except for Ikaruga. She’s stark naked! You mean she isn’t wearing any undies?! Some fight better in skimpy clothes, some don’t and some just being perverts. Meanwhile Gekkou and Senkou confront Fubuki. They still believe in her but don’t approve of her method. What else? Fight! Oh well, we know how this will end up. For this huge youma boss, they use some BDSM string to tie it down because apparently that’s the toughest string in the world. Whatever. After doing so, the next part is to kill it but Asuka won’t allow it and instead leave it to her. Oh, I almost forgot she has that sealing ability. I thought she was going to take their credits or something. The Fuma Korin sealing is successful but it is clear that it sucks a lot of energy from her. In the aftermath as the city returns to normal, Homura’s groupie continue their part time Christmas gig. No business until Miyabi’s side cuts off more clothes and horny men start streaming in. You mean they’re already so sexy and nobody noticed until more cleavage and pantsu are shown?! PERVERTS! Miyabi and Homura talk about Asuka’s intention to seal instead of kill the youma. But if Asuka sides with the youma, Miyabi will not hesitate to kill her. Meanwhile Yumi sees Asuka in hopes she can open up and tell her what really happened. Back to that flashback of Asuka being defeated by Fubuki. She won’t be killed so as to tell others the tragic history of shinobi, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, so horrible that Asuka cried and still decides she can’t tell Yumi after all. Since this is dragging its feet, I guess Fubuki is here to tell Yumi herself! After asking her about beliefs, justice and evil, Yumi still feels it is her duty to hunt and destroy evil youma. Enough talking. Fubuki will show you that youma can feel love. They feel a strange aura from Fubuki as she reveals she is a child born from a human and youma! Is that even possible?! At least that explains he weird appearance. Meanwhile Kagura senses a more dangerous portal to the other world opening soon. Where is it? Hotspring town. Ah…

Episode 10
So we’re all here at the hotspring. Eh? Fubuki is also here?! Awkward. She has nothing to say to them and she too doesn’t exactly know where the portal will open. Convenient? I guess this screws the mood of our shinobi girls. They can’t fight Fubuki in this manner or they’ll regret it. An excuse to have fun at the inn! More awkwardness because Fubuki and Yumi bath together at the hotspring. Fubuki still keeps a hairpin from Kurokage. I suppose it’s that time again for reminiscence of their past as ‘sisters’ before another guilt trip that her mom who was a youma was sealed with Fuma Korin and using this technique means you can never return to this world. In the end, it is either the shinobi or youma who will die in this final fight. Later, Kagura meets up with Fubuki to begin their fight. Meanwhile Asuka reveals to the rest about Fubuki being half human and half youma. While Miyabi doesn’t care and will kill youma (her mom was killed by one), the rest are conflicted because it is a shinobi’s job is to kill youma and if they disobey because they sympathize with Fubuki… But don’t worry Asuka, your comrades heard you story and you can assure they will back you up no matter what. That night when Yumi wants to talk to Asuka but she is no longer in her room. She goes out to find her but stumbles into Fubuki-Kagura fight. Yeah, it has dragged out this long. Just because Kagura got distracted with Yumi’s appearance, she lost! WTF?! Is this an excuse by Kagura to pass the baton to Yumi to defeat Fubuki? And Fubuki makes the villain’s 101 mistake by not killing them because she’ll let the youma do it. Yeah, if her hate is so deep for the shinobi, don’t you think she would have want to do it herself? Anyway, conveniently now it seems Fubuki knows where the portal is and is waiting for it to open. Here it comes…

Episode 11
Youma, youma everywhere. Killing them all will take forever. Unless you gather them up in one place and seal them. This is the idea Katsuragi had. She gathers a few shinobi girls and use them as bait because apparently youma are perverts too. With that, Asuka is able to use Fuma Korin on the entire bunch but this is wearing her out. Yeah, see that mark on her chest. It’s getting bigger. I wonder if Katsuragi will draw any pleasure from groping them. Asuka will continue using it because of this lame excuse that she wants to see it through the end. Whatever. It’s your call. And now we get a Yumi-Fubuki rematch. Of course it’s flashback time. We see Fubuki’s mom being targeted by the ninjas. After killing them all, the inevitable fight with her husband. No wonder a child like Fubuki was so confused and dismayed. Eventually father had to seal mother because it is the only way to save Fubuki (do they seriously believe the shinobi is going to let her live?) and that it is better than killing her. However the price to pay was he will use up his life force. Poor Fubuki was so traumatized in seeing this scene. I don’t think parents’ assurance of I-love-you is going to help. Before the other shinobi could get Fubuki, Rasetsu saves her. Too bad she is injured and cannot fully protect her. Luckily rogue ninja Kurokage was passing by and he agreed to care for her until Rasetsu’s injuries are healed. Fubuki is still mad and vows to kill all shinobi. Coincidentally, Kurokage too had that thinking once. Of course as we know the rest is history. When Rasetsu finally came back to claim Fubuki, Kurokage gave her the hairpin. I’m sure she doesn’t understand the meaning of hatred and forgiveness come in pairs. Now, Fubuki claims her goal is to eliminate all shinobi. Even if that means destroying everything and nothing left, that sense of accomplishment and revenge is all that matters. If that is the case, why did she not finish off Yumi when she had numerous chance? Why did she not get rid of Kurokage’s hairpin? Yeah, it mad Fubuki even madder. Time to fight some more.

Episode 12
Everybody is ganging up on Rasetsu. Hardly a fair fight but whatever. For some sympathy points, Asuka asks why Rasetsu is siding with Fubuki. Her mom once saved her life. Asuka is cool with that but as long as she targets the shinobi, I’m afraid she will still have to seal you. And hence begins the shinobi girls’ attack on Rasetsu. In order to show off their set of skills, we see them do a chain of combos on Rasetsu. Man, she must have taken a lot of damage before Asuka begins her Fuma Korin. But guess what? Rasetsu is so determined for power that she turns into a beast and breaks out of Fuma Korin! Okay, now what? But don’t worry. Homura can help lend her power to seal her. She has seen Asuka done it enough times to memorize. Wow. I’ve seen my dad do all the repairs over the house for years and I still can’t even hold a hammer correctly! So what is the deal that Asuka allows her to do Fuma Korin with her? They won’t die! Yeah… Meanwhile back to Fubuki and Yumi’s fight, it ends with Fubuki defeating her! Don’t count your chickens yet. And here is Gekkou and Senkou. They want to save Fubuki. How is holding her hands saving her? Feel the warmth? F*CK THIS JOKE! Now wonder Fubuki is mad! Are they serious?! Just to show their perseverance, they won’t let go. So did they die? Your guess is as good as mine. Yumi’s comrades arrive. But they won’t be fighting her because, wait for it, Yumi lives! Time for round 2. Elsewhere suddenly Miyabi turns into this part angel and part devil form to unleash her Fuma Korin power. And now she remembers mom’s teachings that if you fight for revenge, you can’t unleash your true power. And with the power of the trio, Rasetsu is finally sealed. But she has no regrets since she fought for Fubuki. And also to end things, Yumi defeats Fubuki for good. This time, she doesn’t kill her. Just left her lying in the snow. Probably it’s a good time to reflect on stuffs. Lastly, Kagura uses her awesome powers to seal the portal. Should have done this from the start! More good news (AKA conveniences) flow in with Suzune calling in saying everyone is safe at Kikai Dome and the matters here are settled. In the aftermath, we see our ninja girls celebrating Christmas their own way. Asuka and Yumi are out together. Somehow her mark has healed. You mean just like that? They stumble Fubuki in the streets. She returns the hairpin to Yumi. She doesn’t need it anymore. She is going to find her place in this world. Somewhere. Gekkou and Senkou follow her so that she won’t be alone. More cheesy philosophy of justice from Asuka and Yumi because, justice always prevails, right?

The Jus-tits Of Shino-bitches…
So Asuka was asking if Fubuki would organize another Shinobi Masters tournament because she didn’t get to fight her? Hey girl, you had your chance but you fluffed them. Besides, didn’t you and the rest of the other girls get to fight Rasetsu? Unlike you mini army, Fubuki had only 1 subordinate by her side so I guess while the boss fought each other, the rest of you had to be content in sharing your opponent. Thank goodness Fubuki didn’t give Asuka a reply. She just smiled. Because that is probably what she was thinking of this b*tch. Bye. Hope not to see you again.

Well, to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the plot. As I am not a big fan of the series, I don’t really know how to ‘appreciate’ the finer details (if any) of this series. Though, as far as my failing memory can remember, this sequel is a lot darker than the first season since it now involves the supernatural and the tragic story of a child that was conceived and caught between both sides. In that sense, that is ultimate the storyline of this season but that only comes halfway and I thought the first half felt like some sort of trolling.

You see, when they decided to have this Shinobi Masters tournament, it ended so fast and furious that I thought it was all some sort of time wasting sham. It was just an excuse for a lot of fanservice (something this series is famously known for) and didn’t contribute to anything important. Because why the f*ck would Fubuki organize such an important tournament but only a handful of shinobi schools attend? Like, what?! And this is supposed to be the best of the best tournament as claimed by Fubuki. Of course it was all a scam. And it felt like Fubuki also trolled us. I believe she isn’t all that evil and just wanted to give a chance for the shinobi girls to prove her wrong. Yeah, their weak ass pussies wasted those chance and now look at the mess that we’ve got into in the second half. I also thought the Tokyo youma-hen was also a scam thinking the Shinobi Masters tournament would last the rest of the series. Looks like they leave it late for the second half.

I was wondering why the series is officially called Shinovi Masters. Shouldn’t it be Shinobi Masters as said in the episode or whatever? At first I thought it was a Japanese thingy because you know, there are no alphabet ‘V’ in their language and anything with that automatically translate to ‘B’. So are they trying to sound unique? Or is this some sort of play of words. You know, Shinobi Victory. Shortened as Shinovi. Yeah. Whatever.

To my surprise, Asuka and her Hanzou comrades weren’t the ones hogging the limelight. Because the first season they were the main characters, I was also expecting them to helm the similar role. Too bad it was mainly Yumi and ultimately Fubuki. A showdown between the stepsisters. Like I said, I’m not a fan of the series so I am not sure if the games slowly shifted the main character to Yumi or if Yumi was the real main character in the first place. Therefore with Asuka’s baffling behaviour in the first half, it makes her look like a total b*tch because it looked like she was told some sort of hideous secret and she doesn’t want to tell her friends (and us) just so that she could shoulder the burden all by herself. Ooooh. How noble. Yeah, don’t kill the youma! They have feelings too! Why does this feel so SJW?

Evidently Asuka’s actions just prove she doesn’t even trust her own comrades. Oh heck, her Hanzou comrades were further reduced to damsel in distresses in the first half. We are left to guess what the f*ck her problem is (the way she plays and exaggerates it out feels so overblown so that we could have our dramatic effect) and when it is revealed this youma and sealing thingy, I was like, “Big deal! WTF?!”. So all that trouble and secrecy just for this? Now you’re really trying to play the tragic heroine, huh? Yeah, just hope it doesn’t kill you because I know it won’t. Plot convenience and Asuka, do you not know you are one of the most beloved characters in the franchise? Yeah, top 10 most popular. Like hell the producers are going to let you die! But the ultimate f*ckery is when Asuka’s mark suddenly goes away. She still feels pain but I feel it is more of because her flesh wound has yet to heal but the danger of the mark that puts her life at risk is gone. So no more youma, no more sealing, less use of Fuma Korin and thus healed for the better? Man, I wished my nagging injury would also heal like that. Did she go for some sort of special acupuncture because I wanna try too. Otherwise with Asuka’s boobs back to normal, I suppose Katsuragi can be happy to grope them all she wants.

Thus Yumi seems like a cooler and more mature character and hence a much better one compared to Asuka. She might not be perfect but at least she tries and never gives up. We couldn’t understand why Asuka was wallowing in depression either. Perhaps we understand Yumi because her past with Fubuki is fleshed out and given more prominence. So we understand her cause more. We sympathize with her more. Hence relegating Asuka and her Hanzou comrades to just annoying minor characters who don’t matter. The one thing that boggles me about Rasetsu is that, after she picked up Fubuki from Kurokage, where the heck have they been? The first time we see Rasetsu, it’s like she is in some stasis condition. So ever since then up till now don’t tell me she was using some sort of power to open the youma portal. Yeah, that sure took a pretty long time since Fubuki is all grown up to be one busty evil babe.

Just like the other shinobi girls like Homura’s groupie and Miyabi’s groupie. Yeah, too much for us to even care. So if you are great fans for these girls, too bad they don’t get a lot of screen time. Even if they do, it just feels like they had to and portray their character in the most cliché way that we identify them (for example, Mirai always conscious and being teased with her flatness, Katsuragi always loving to grope and Ryouna an obvious nympho). Yeah, that’s the problem when you have like 20 girls (25 if you count Kagura’s group) in the fore and so little screen time to do any justice. I’m sure nobody is going to expand this to a year’s worth of Senran Kagura episodes because I’ll be so bored and I can only see that such girls who will be focused, their episode would mostly be a filler.

I thought that Yumi, Fubuki, Gekkou and Senkou seemed to be f*cked by their Kurokage oujisama’s ideology. The way the girls preach about his teachings sound like he is the best teacher in the world. Honour must be upheld. Justice must be upheld. There are always 2 sides of a coin. Live the way you see fit. Not that he says all those but you get the gist of this. So it’s like when these girls clash because of their different interpretations of Kurokage, I thought that old geezer really did one on these girls too. I mean, he was a rogue ninja so there is no specific method he sticks to. But still, every time the girls mention about Kurokage’s teachings, I’m like, “Oh no. Here they go again mentioning this old geezer’s name”. Say that again, that sword and shield thingy…

But I just don’t understand the logic behind the shinobi world. I don’t know. Their code seems to sound a lot like BS to me. Like the good and bad shinobi. They’re always fighting each other but there are those also in the grey area. And then when a bigger threat comes, they must put aside this rivalry and fight for the better. Like, WTF???!!! So why are they fighting each other in the first place?! I understand different schools have different methodology but shouldn’t they be working together if their goal is to actually annihilate the youma? So what the f*ck is with this good and bad shinobi faction thingy?! I just don’t get it.

And I’m sure they want to give Fubuki some sort of revenge story for this season. But how the heck did a child born out of a human and youma happen in the first place?! Yeah, they want to show us that love knows no bounds. One heated night of passion. But wait. Think about our future. Our child’s future. Will she be accepted by both sides? Nah. Just f*ck it. Let’s leave that for later. And that is how the tragic story of Fubuki was born. Born to watch both her parents kill each other and now she wants revenge on all of you. They want us to feel sympathy for Fubuki’s case as they claim youma also feel love, blah, blah, blah. You mean humans don’t feel love? Sure, a lot of them are pieces of sh*t. I can say the same for youma in that case. So that’s why when shinobi are grouped into good or evil, eventually it doesn’t matter. Because even though it is wrong for Fubuki to classify all shinobi as evil and must be eliminated, it still makes the good and evil shinobi kinda redundant. I guess they want to have some sort of grey area to make us confuse and unsure who to support. Fubuki or the shinobi girls. Of course the latter! They are a hell lot sexier than this bad goth makeup girl.

Still, it is mind boggling that it makes you wonder if deep down inside Fubuki’s heart she still loves her sister because with so many chances and times that Fubuki owns Yumi, only in the final episode that Yumi is able to defeat her. Like after how many times?! And because of that, the day is saved?! What kind of plot convenience logic is that?! All the villain needs to do is to be defeated once by the hero and it doesn’t matter how many times the heroes lost before (just an excuse to become stronger) all you need is that one chance of victory. Usually it comes in the final or penultimate episode. Wow. I’m so good I should start writing scripts for the next season.

As you would have guessed, the fanservice plays the biggest part and is a trademark signature of the series. It isn’t Senran Kagura when the girls are not showing their tits or getting naked one way or another. It makes me wonder if they have so many same uniforms and clothes because each time they get into any sort of battle, guarantee their clothes will be ripped. Absolutely. It’s like as though they are obligated to be ripped so their boobs can be exposed just for the sake of it. Shouldn’t they have tried getting better materials for their clothes? Man, their clothes are going to be the most expensive and recurring expenditure on their list. But I guess it is better that their clothes get ripped than seeing unsightly damages and wounds on the perfect silky smooth skin on our shinobi ladies. Yup, somehow their skin manage to stay safe always despite the amount of powerful blasts they take. Maybe their clothes (no matter how skimpy) absorb all the force and that’s why they always rip at the slightest. Yeah. Whatever. But thanks for the fanservice, girls. Keep on fighting!

This means that the action bits are closely and always tied to the fanservice. Every time the shinobi girls need to give us some action, this also means fanservice action. Yeah. That’s the only way their clothes could come off fast. Unless it is hotspring or bathing, the action sequences are directly correlated with this cheap sleaziness. I believe every shinobi girl has their own unique technique/ But too bad they aren’t memorable because too many characters and not enough screen time. And for those who are supposedly ‘their turn’ to shine, make some sort of ridiculous move that I can’t remember. Maybe except for Yumi because her techniques are ice based so she keeps using ice attacks. I think. But overall the moves are mostly flashy, over the top and outrageous, that’s for sure. Didn’t spend years training that skill for nothing, eh?

Animation and art feel only mediocre. I don’t really remember the original one but this season feels like it is just passable and that they want to focus on the fanservice, thinking that this is what fans are for. Especially during the action scenes. They think it’s too fast for us to catch and that our eyes are only focusing and anticipating where the cloths cover the boobs will rip. Well, too bad I saw some of those low quality movements. Heck, I think some of the idle scenes feel inconsistent. Maybe it is because TNK now taking over from Artland but that shouldn’t be the case since TNK animated all the seasons of High School DxD series and other ecchi series like Sin: Nanatsu No Taizai, Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor and Kenzen Robo Daimidaler. This isn’t definitely one of their best.

This season’s opening theme, Scarlet Master by Sayaka Sasaki sounds more like a techno dance song with all the techno effects and exuberance. Because of that, I feel the singing falls flat and sounds really flat. Like as though it is sung just for the sake of singing. Too many words trying to match the beat of the music makes it really one messy song to hear. Maybe it fits the pacing of the series (because fast paced fanservice action) but I don’t find it really appealing. The ending theme is Junsei Erotic and sounds more like a happy rock song. It should be since it is more fanservice time with its animation having the girls having fun in the hotspring. I didn’t know being shinobi girls allows them to have a lot of fun time together. Perhaps. It’s not like they can have a normal life and mingle with normal girls outside their school, right? Then there is one BGM that is a solo harmonica. Often played for those cheesy flashback moments. Don’t know. Makes it feel like some wild west flick. So out of place.

Overall, I am not sure if hardcore fans would even appreciate this. I have a feeling that if you really want to appreciate the fanservice (of course, it’s the only reason why you would stay for this title, right?), go play all the instalments of the game. They should have named this season as Tokyo Pantsu-hen(tai) or something. My biggest speculation remains is that they want to introduce this series to the new generation of weeaboos because 5 years is a long enough time for things to change in life. But I guess the allure of fanservice from boob shots to pantsu shots have never changed since the day anime was born. The eternal grey area and line that should be fought over is the war of good porn and bad porn! Oh, who am I kidding? Porn is always bad and must be eliminated, right?!

Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou

October 26, 2018

Wow. OMG. Really? It has been more than 10 years since Basilisk aired and the way things ended, there was no way there was going to be a sequel anyhow, right? Well, how wrong were we. Sort of. Therefore it was a surprise that Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou came out as its sequel back in early 2018 and the events are set 10 years after the events of the first season. That series does bring back some nostalgic memories and it was quite captivating. Hence I went into watching this second season with higher hopes and anticipation. But somewhat despite its new setting, story and characters, something tells me that some things are better left ‘dead’ where it was supposed to be…

Episode 1
Tadanaga Tokugawa, the Dainagon of Suruga receives news of his mother’s ailing health. Quickly he and his entourage make haste to her castle despite the stormy weather. Meanwhile we see a few ninja kids playing their version of ninja tag while showing off their abilities. We have Rui (seduction pheromones), Shichigen Higurashi (bug master), Shikibu Kora (iron man), Hachisu (gunslinger), Utsutsu (illusion master) and Saizou Ishi (eye popping, literally). The game is won by Utsutsu. Feeling bored of her constant win, she decides to test Kazuma Kusanagi practising his whip wires nearby. He must be in a bad mood so he strangles her with his weapon to teach her a lesson. He is stopped by Kouga’s leader, Hachirou. He is part of Kouga’s Five Treasures that also include Kazuma, Shichito Geiin, Kaso Himonji and Tenjin Yusa. All know that despite Hachirou is the brother of Hibiki (leader of Iga), they must bang with each other to keep the bloodline flowing. Whether they like it or not. This is to give birth a superior ninja otherwise both their clans will be finished. They receive message that the shogun’s wife is unwell. Namenba sees Gorone Negoro who is trying ways to improve tools for their ninja kids. Their job is to watch over them. Tadanaga’s journey hits an obstacle. With the storm still raging, a violently flowing river blocks their path. Tadanaga is adamant to cross but his men are pessimistic of their chances to survive this. Tadanaga plans to go himself when all his men are killed by a mysterious ninja. Tadanaga tries to cut him but feels his sword keeps evading contact with his body. Thankfully the Five Treasures (actually four of them, minus Hachirou) are here to save the day.

Episode 2
Time for Five Treasures to show us their unique and weird ninja skills as they cut down the assailants. Tadanaga remains suspicious of them now although they will help him build a boat and cross the river. While Kazuma and Tenjin build the boat, the rest accompany Tadanaga as they talk about the rumour relating to Gennosuke’s Doujutsu Eyes but none know very well of it. Hachirou sees Gorone to talk about something. Namenba notices something strange and asks Gorone about it. It seems Hachirou wants to leave the village. Namenba is dismayed he allowed it but he believes if he bumps into Hibiki, it is up to them to handle this. True enough, Hibiki confronts Hachirou on his way out and is mad she didn’t say anything to her. She thinks he fears her powers but she is not scared of his. Flashback shows Hibiki winning once over Hachirou. However she realizes he did it on purpose and it hurt her. So much so her Mystic Eyes activated and gone berserk. Uhm, it just caused a little sakura whirlwind? Is this what Hachirou is afraid of? Gorone continues discussing with Namenba about the ill-fated lovers from both side who are destined to be separated anyhow. Danjo and Ogen were once in love with each other before they were forced to fight to the death. It was the same with Gennosuke and Oboro. Now, it could be the same for Hachirou and Hibiki. The odd part is that if Gennosuke and Oboro’s blood are flowing through them, how could they be born if their parents are dead? Mind boggling! Tadanori continues talking about he cannot accept how Iga won the last battle since he believed Gennosuke was the one who defeated the seemingly immortal Tenzen. It is widely believed that Gennosuke and Oboro faced off in the final match and Iga won due to Oboro lived slightly longer after both sides exhausted their power. But in Kouga’s village, it is told slightly different. Oboro couldn’t kill Gennosuke and killed herself. Gennosuke in despair wrote in the scroll that Oboro won before killing himself (which was what actually happened). Kyouhachirou, the second son of Hattori Hanzo, visited the Kouga village and from what it looked like, a basket containing 2 babies. It is rumoured Kyouhachirou might have saved them to ensure the continued bloodline after being moved watching them sacrifice each other for love despite being destined to be torn apart. Otherwise it would be too cruel and sad for Hachirou and Hibiki. Tenjin returns with his head decapitated!

Episode 3
Flashback shows when Hibiki was new to the village, the other kids wanted to test her but her Mystic Eyes nullified their antagonism. They tried to do the same for Hachirou and Saizou could have fallen victim to his Doujutsu Eyes had not Gorone pin him down hard. Geiin and Kaso discover Kazuma being cut apart by his own weapon. Before them is a mysterious ninja. Kaso tries to burn him down but his ninja ability seems to be reversing time, causing Kaso to be burnt to death by his own ability. He introduces himself as Tsuibamu Kujaku of Joujinshuu. It seems their plan is to assassinate both the Five Treasures and Iga’s Five Flowers. Geiin tries to spread his poison to her but it backfires. He reverses time and now the old fart will die a slow death with his own multiple poisons. Hachirou senses the Five Treasures are dead (more like One Treasure now, haha… Oops…) as he takes Hibiki back to Gorone. He trusts Hachirou’s instincts and believes a powerful force could have easily taken down the Five Treasures. Now that he cannot have Hachirou leave, he has the other ninja kids stake out as well as warn the Five Flowers. Tadanaga is approached by a weird monk, Joujin claiming that his executioner will be his brother, Iemitsu who is also the current shogun. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to him because he too has noticed Iemitsu’s hidden feelings.

Episode 4
Hoetsu Tsuta of the Five Flowers is killed by Itaru Yasha. He could have got the job done had his horny side not get the better of him. Because of that, he looks through her mirror that reflects his entire pathetic life. So pathetic that he jumps off the cliff. When the other Five Flowers come looking for him, they stumble upon this old dude, Neirichiou. He might look like a pushover but look at his giant monster behind! By the time Rui and Shichigen arrive, they see their corpses. Geiin managed to send a message via bird to Hachirou the name of their assailants. Joujin reminds Tadanaga that when Iemitsu was afflicted with the pox, he said those words. Still not believing, Magoroku Rinne uses his ability to go back in time to make him remember. It was a time where Iemitsu was lying in his bed all alone. No attendants were around. Tadanaga went in to look and seeing his suffering, he wanted to call a doctor. Although Tadanaga genuinely wanted him to recover, it did not looked so in Iemitsu’s eyes. Compared to fat boy’s ailing health and his brother’s healthiness, Iemitsu became jealous and thought his death would mean his brother would ascend the throne. If that was not true, why is now Tadanaga attacked by the Kurokuwa of Iga? They work directly for the shogun. Joujin proposes Tadanaga start a rebellion and become a god. It is the only way to survive this. With his men returning and showing the decapitated heads of the Five Flowers, this is to prove their power to him. They are also doing this because they want to save his mother. Utsutsu and Saizou are stunned to see a giant monster before them.

Episode 5
Hachirou insists of going to fight the enemy but is told he has to be protected not because of his status but his technique. But he reasons that only his blood that is needed. If this world was at peace, there would be no need of ninjas. That is why sometimes people need something to cling on even if it’s just an illusion. Gorone accepts if this is his way of doing things, so be it. He shows him a secret shortcut. At the end of the path, Hachirou cuts off Hibiki so he could face the enemies himself. Saizou and Utsutsu stumble into Neirichiou. Utsutsu’s illusion doesn’t work on him because despite his eyes saw her illusion, his brain did not. Huh? He displays his technique of turning into reality his illusion that incapacitates the duo. Utsutsu manages to chant some lines to turn real her illusion on Neirichiou but the old dude escapes. Returning to his monster, he fights off the other ninja kids. When they are out of tricks and injured, here comes Hachirou. His Doujutsu Eyes causes him and the monster to go berserk. Joujin tells him to retreat. Hachirou faces off with Joujin. He is surprised his Doujutsu Eyes do not work. Joujin claims his spiritual training enables him to kill while his heart is calm. Sensing Gorone and Namenba on the way, he leaves it to Itaru to handles this. Now that Hibiki is here, she shows them her mirror. However she is stumped they see something else. With Namenba interrupting, the duo’s eyes go wild. Not really sure about this sakura light beam destruction called Ouka. Joujin takes an interest in them and will look forward in many years’ time. Tadanaga has arrived at his mother’s castle safely. She would pass away 6 months later.

Episode 6
Fast forward 4 years later, the former shogun, Hidetada Tokugawa strips Tadanaga of his prestige after he went hunting for monkeys as they are believed to be messengers of God. Soon Hidetada dies and is buried in secret while Tadanaga is exiled to a faraway land. A few years later, we see the ninja kids grown up and demonstrating their improved abilities. The girls also run a dango shop. They are torn whether if Joujinshuu would return since Namenba spent years making this place the way it is not because of money but to prepare for them. After Hachirou went missing, the boys cried. But they kept honing their skills believing he would return. That would mean Joujinshuu would return to but even so, there is no guarantee Hachirou would come back. Hachirou is of course still alive and grown up. We see him fighting a priest, Hadaebou. He uses strange techniques but it is all just to test him. He then says he has an urgent request. Tadanaga requests to speak to him because he senses something strange is coming. Rather, a strange castle named Murakumo and looks like it is already here.

Episode 7
Namenba has worked her way and infiltrated the castle as a courtesan. Flashback during a talk with Gorone, there was this intention to make Tadanaga’s heart turn evil. It would be an excuse for the shogun to crush him. If Joujin and the shogun had a connection, it would narrow the possibilities down. Hence the best way for Namenba is to go ask the shogun himself. During the night, she infiltrates through the roof but is met by a few Kurokawa resistance. She didn’t kill them but somebody else did. She drops some liquid into the sleeping shogun’s mouth. When she asks the questions, he doesn’t know about the delaying of Tadanaga or who Joujin is. Namenba escapes when security is alerted. She meets Hadaebou who informs he is an ally before slipping back into her courtesan bed. Hachirou sees Tadanaga. He shows him a picture of Murakumo. He gave money to Joujin to make an imperial carriage for his mom but this is what he made. A castle he has no knowledge of that he paid, what will the people think of him? He reveals his secret that Joujin encouraged him to rebel against Iemitsu. Although his mother’s health improved but it only lasted for 6 months. 2 years ago when he went to inspect his territory, the forest started to move (part of the prophecy that Joujin said that will lead to failure) and all the monkeys started attacking. He killed some of them despite his men’s wish not to. Viewing Joujin as a demon, he wants Hachirou to destroy the castle. Not for him but for the country as well. Hachirou declines and reminds him his ancestors were killed to determine the heir and will not be taken advantage again. With the Five Treasures and Five Flowers died for nothing, they refuse to be sacrificed for the likes of them again. Tadanaga is furious that he has poured out his feelings and yet refused. He orders his men to kill him. Their visors might protect them from his Doujutsu Eyes but Saizou’s floating eyes reflect them so they start killing each other. Hachirou leaves the cowering former Dainagon but the latter still want to kill him for fear his feelings might be known to the shogunate.

Episode 8
Flashback shows Tenkai suggested the use of ninjas to settle the succession feud instead of wasting samurais in duels. Hachirou makes his escape but skilled archers are going to take him out. They can judge his position just by noise and hence avoid looking in his eye. Too bad Shichigen summons the crickets to mess with their hearing and Hachirou kills them all. Next are sharp riflemen. Too bad bullets can’t penetrate Shikibu’s armour. Even the best marksman killed himself. He used bubbles to determine the wind but the bubbles also reflect the Doujutsu Eyes. Damn. The guys confront Hachirou for ignoring them. He only tells them he will be the only one to avenge their fallen comrades. In town, Hachirou meets Gobo who blames him for this entire mess. When he mentions he is Tenkai’s ninja monk and was ordered to get close to Tadanaga, Hachirou will not listen to him any further. But he reminds him about the common enemy they have now: Joujinshuu. He should forget the past and help them. In doing so, he will reveal some of Joujin’s secrets. Hachirou is not interested as he believes he is lying and intending to use them again. Gobo starts talking about a wandering monk who prayed for rain in some province 100 years ago. He is Joujin and besides his other fighters, he has many soldiers called Rain. Utsutsu and Rui sneak close to Murakumo. They notice strange but creepy farmers. When their numbers get larger, they flee but are spotted. They are Rain. Thanks to their voice mimicking, the girls get confused and are separated and lost. I’m not sure if Rui’s butterflies make her fight better because those zombie dudes definitely aren’t attracted to her pheromones. Tadanaga is shocked to see Joujin before him. Hello again. Remember me?

Episode 9
Tadanaga blames his deceit but Joujin explains about the forest never moving. It was just monkeys. As for Tadanaga to become ruler of Japan, he wanted him to become god. Tadanaga doesn’t believe a man can become god. Oh but there is one who almost did: Nobunaga. Utsutsu can now summon the undead to kill her enemies. But when the numbers get too many, Namenba returns in time to save our troubled heroines. Namenba gives Gorone illustrations of Murakumo that Utsutsu sketch to investigate. Flashback shows Namenba met with Tenkai who needed her help to bring down Joujinshuu as Joujin is trying to end the Tokugawa era and return them to civil wars. With the guys returning, they tell about Hachirou’s whereabouts but nothing much can be done for now. Namenba wants them to focus on the current task at hand and to investigate Murakumo before Hachirou returns. Saizou’s eyes are useful to peek but does he need to enter Murakumo’s territory? Do his eyes have some sort of limited range? Anyway inside the room he spies a strange man. He is surprised to see him as Nobunaga. He thought he died at the fire at Honnouji. Oddly, Nobunaga crumbles into sand. Now the ninjas have to escape as the Rain army pursues them. We see Rui going on a killing spree because who wouldn’t be mesmerized by a total hot naked ninja chick.

Episode 10
The huge Kishuu army arrives to take out Murakumo with their cannons. The ninjas think Joujinshuu won’t stand a chance. You think so? Hadaebou drops by to request the help of the Kouga and Iga ninjas but upon learning he works under Tenkai, they turn him away as they don’t want to be used again. He would give time for them to think and hope they would give a favourable answer then. Tadanaga is inside Murakumo and he is worried of the army. Joujin assures him Murakumo’s cannons are much better. Yeah, they’re bigger! And they fire first! In an instant the entire Kishuu army is wiped out! Overkill. Now Tadanaga is buoyed with this and believes he can take over Japan. We see Namenba’s flashback as she was serving Senhime 17 years ago. Her real role is to save her when her family and castle fall. She did her role well during that war which claimed Senhime’s husband’s life. After putting her to safety, Namenba returns to the battlefield to kill any dying soldiers who are still barely alive. Gorone explains their plan to take down Murakumo. Shichigen and Rui will draw Rain away while Utsutsu, Saizou and Shikibu sneak in to take out Murakumo’s cannons. Namenba will supervise it and see if there is a need to retreat should this mission fail. From Utsutsu’s sketch of its structure, he believes its gunpowder is stored directly behind the cannon. Taking one out should lead to a domino of explosions and collapsing the castle. But what if they encounter the Joujinshuu? The last time they fought them (as kids), they almost died. This is where Hadaebou will come in to take care of them. Later Hadaebou relays message to his spy about the ninjas agreeing to take down Murakumo. He also notes if Tadanaga cannot be saved, he shall be killed. Joujin sees a man in his prison and wants him to fulfil his role in exchange for his freedom.

Episode 11
Shikibu’s armour cracks. Looks like Gorone needs to fix it and has Hibiki and Hachisu help out. We are told that there is another reason for his armour. In addition to protect him from attacks, it is to stop him from exploding. His muscles are ever expanding and too strong for his skin to handle. Eventually without restraint it will explode and kill him. Therefore his armour aptly named as saibougu means rhino armour. When they sense intruders, Hachisu goes to deal with them. Low level ones are easy to kill until she meets this mummy monster. His skin is so touch that bullets bounce off. He reveals his target is not Hibiki but her. Shikibu charges in to save her but his brute strength is also tough to kill him. Since Hachisu is slightly injured, Shikibu takes her to run and hide. Inside a cave, Shikibu believes all this is happening because it is punishment for wanting to stay with them. Flashback shows that he was born with this condition. People stayed away from him but the monks took care of him as they believe in Buddha’s teaching of not taking a life. They imbued this principal into Shikibu but sadly he cannot make friends and must wander alone like a rhino. He must not desire anything. Hachisu finds it incredulous for him to let words rule his life. Their job is to protect their leader and if somebody wants to kill their leader, they must kill them first. Shikibu’s muscle starts expanding again and it is giving him a great deal of pain. He won’t let Hachisu treat him but after some pestering, he relents. She uses her bandages to tie his muscles down. Meanwhile Gorone has finished the armour and wants Hibiki to deliver. She stumbles into the mummy dude. Good thing Hachirou is here. His Doujutsu Eyes make him try to kill himself. But Hachirou’s sword can pierce through him like butter? After that, Hachirou disappears. Wow. It’s like he didn’t want Hibiki to see him at all. Mummy guy still lives since the thickness of his muscle has the sword missed his heart. He stumbles into Shikibu and Hachisu who just broke out from their hiding. With renewed hope, Shikibu easily kills him by breaking his neck. Even if he gets punished, it is fine. They’ll suffer together. Wait. What? Is this masochism?

Episode 12
Shichigen and Rui manage to distract some of the Rain. But what they didn’t count on are some of them having rifles. Shichigen got shot in his thigh but they manage to escape after he summons the bugs to jam up the rifles. Who shoots, explodes! I guess it’s time for his flashback. His mother loved a poem about a cricket. He took care of him by herself since young. Shichigen could display some level of controlling insects like his father. One day, a bandit assaulted his mom. Shichigen tries to fight him but he is a very sorry state as a samurai wannabe. His mom could at least decently put up a sword fight with this low level thug. When Shichigen tries to fight back with a rock, in this unfortunate accident and slip up while trying to avoid cutting him, the adults accidentally cut each other, effectively killing themselves. That’s why now Shichigen talks like sacrificing himself to let Rui get away. He thinks he has always he slowed his mom down despite she has some ninja techniques. He vows never to let anyone pay the price of his failure again. Nice timing for Hachirou to pop up again. Too early for Shichigen to die now. He wants the help of his ability. In this darkness and range, his Doujutsu Eyes are ineffective. So Shichigen lights up the bugs to provide light to accompany Hachirou. With this, his Doujutsu Eyes literally turns the quiet night into the biggest explosion fest ever!

Episode 13
After Shichigen gives the clear signal, apparently he didn’t check on the other side or if not Rain has divided themselves into groups as they face off with Utsutsu and Saizou. Saizou suggests using her illusions on him and he can reflect them in his eyes to let others see. But he will be affected too. No. Not him. Only his eyes. Huh? Isn’t that the same? The plan works but Saizou still feels its effects. Utsutsu has medication to heal him. I guess it is more romantic to do indirect kiss than to splash the entire bottle in his mouth. Because Saizou says he has seen too much and hence don’t see things he doesn’t need to see, it’s the opposite for Utsutsu. She can’t see what she wants to see. Flashback shows her father locked her up in the storeroom in the mountains with a mandala of hell. Not sure as training or punishment. Because she wants to see nice dreams, father told her about hell and how dreams and emotions can kill. Such technique can only be learnt in youth. Thus she is forced to master it before next spring otherwise all will be for naught and she will die. When she thinks she has done so and shows him, he is disappointed with this useless technique. Because he cannot kill his own daughter, he burns himself. This is not self-pity. She must live with the fact she killed her father than herself. This is the hell that will forever remain in her head. That emotion will become her technique. So the next time bandits try to rob the place, she uses her illusion to kill them. Saizou fires his cannon. Obviously missed at first try. The ninjas are pretty confident they can get this right in a few shots, eh? But Rui has a plan. She ties the cannonball to her special bullet. Once he fires, she will aim at the cannon hole and the bullet will drag it inside. They succeed. Only… Suddenly it is spit back out! Almost turning them into ninja kebab. This is thanks to Kujaku’s doing of reversing time. Hachirou catches Hadaebou trying to sneak into Murakumo. He asks for his reasons. He is here to find out why Joujin has kidnapped Tadanaga. It is odd since Tadanaga has no power or influence so why would Joujin want or fear him? As he is the grandson of deceased Shogun Ieyasu, he might be Joujin’s perfect puppet. He is to prevent that at all cost. But here comes Joujin and he knows Tenkai has set him up for this job to save or in worst case scenario, kill Tadanaga.

Episode 14
While Hachirou fights Joujin, Hadaebou uses this chance to slither into Murakumo. He tries to reason with Tadanaga to get out or die now but realizes this is just a puppet. The real Tadanaga and other Joujinshuu heard this plan and this infuriates Tadanaga. Clones are sent to fight him but Hadaebou escapes. Saizou does the same cannon-bullet trick but Kujaku again reverses time. Saizou tries to attack Kujaku’s dial but fails. Hachirou loses to Joujin but is spared. He wants him to join his side instead because he wants his and Hibiki’s bloodline. Hachirou is infuriated he intends to use them this far. Hibiki and Shikibu come running to his rescue with the latter uprooting a tree to fend off Joujin. Joujin wants Kujaku to fire the cannon at them. If they die, they weren’t worth it. Hachirou and Hibiki’s eyes meet, causing Ouka. Though it destroys the surroundings, it also protects them. Joujin offers his last chance for them to join him. They disagree and would rather use Ouka on him again and sacrifice their lives. Magoroku whisks Joujin away before he is caught up in it. But Ouka fails and both of them become unconscious. This means they can’t control it properly yet and Joujin will give them time to master it before acquiring them. His plan to let Hadaebou live and return to report to Tenkai is to cause some panic and uproar. Saizou again tries the same trick. Now they’re down to the last cannon. Same time reversing thingy. This time Utsutsu signals to Namenba as she soars in to drop another bomb inside. It seems there is a cooling period for Kujaku to use this ability again. Now Murakumo crumbles.

Episode 15
Although Murakumo is destroyed, what remains of it suddenly disappeared. Shichigen realizes he entered an illusion but when he hears his mom’s voice, he runs to her. He is shocked to have gone back in time to witness those tragic events. Fearing what he sees, he runs away. Though he escapes from the illusion, this is a test and experiment done by the Joujinshuu members as they combine their powers. They note he is now their slave. Hachirou hears rumours of ghosts in the town ahead that the people believe is Nobunaga’s soul. He believes it is Joujin’s plan to revive Nobunaga. Hibiki wakes up and surprised to see Hachirou. He says Joujin is here and there is not enough time to escape. Hence he is going to confess his feelings. Will she always be his? Of course. Forever. Unfortunately this Hachirou is just an illusion so Hibiki now becomes under his spell. She makes her way to Joujin but as Utsutsu and Rui try to stop her, her Mystic Eyes do more than nullify their skill and paralyzes them. Hachirou sees Kujaku. He challenges him and only uses a tree branch, confident he is only overestimating his power. When both use their powers, Hachirou’s Doujutsu Eyes did not work. From what Kujaku explains, what was emitted in his eyes couldn’t overflow time and thus couldn’t reach him. He even dares challenge him again if he thinks he cannot use his time reversal for the moment. They fight again but this time Hachirou uses the shards’ reflection. In this distraction, he snatches the branch from him and deals some serious damage to his face. A new castle pops up.

Episode 16
Murakumo v2 is up and on the move to Edo. Namenba and Hachisu see Hibiki going into it with the Joujinshuu. They want to follow but stopped by Hadaebou who warns them Murakumo is heavily guarded by Rain. Namenba will go back and prepare weapons but will still not trust him. Why is he so persistent with her? He hints he likes her. WTF. Cheesy. Rui and Utsutsu are well enough to help out. Gorone makes some bombs for them. As Murakumo moves at a turtle pace, the ladies place landmines before its path. Hachisu fires to give more oomph to the explosive effect. However it is not enough to stop or even scratch it. Hadaebou again pops up to help. He suggests they help each other. The ladies want Hibiki back and he wants Tadanaga. Namenba thinks he is just using them and makes him promise to find Hibiki if he gets in first. Then he also adds if they find Hibiki first, Namenba will be his woman. Eyes rolling moment. Hadaebou slithers his way into Murakumo but more Rain pop up. Meanwhile Hachirou is being confronted with Itaru. She offers him to take him to Murakumo but he ignores her. Only when she says they have Hibiki did he get alarmed. But he fell into her mirror trap and cannot look away. She is going to make him desire her. Meanwhile Hibiki sees a vision of… Oboro?!

Episode 17
Is she a ghost? Not really sure since Oboro says her regret is falling in love with Gennosuke and that’s when her life fell apart. She’ll never forgive him. Rui and Utsutsu have to wash off blood from their body after killing too much Rain. Rui confesses she loves Utsutsu! WTF?! It seems she is afraid of dying without saying anything. Back to Hachirou, I think he is playing chicken with Itaru because he dares to use it on himself. She stops after Magoroku offers they can take him to Murakumo any time. So he won the game of chicken? But later Shichigen asks Hachirou had he taken up that offer, both leaders would have been Joujin’s prisoners. Was what he said a bluff or real? Shikibu and Saizou find Gorone is gone from his house. But looks like he activated something big. Uhm, a robot?! Flashback shows Namenba wandering after the incident on Senhime’s life. She stumbled into a small nunnery that young Rui was staying at. Both the ladies bond in no time and Rui is not scared to talk about death. One night, bandits killed the nun. The duo are forced to kill to stay alive. Namenba offers Rui to follow her in which she accepts. Hadaebou has snuck into Murakumo and slain all the fake Tadanaga clones. Finally he confronts the real one. Tadanaga believes he is here to kill him because his fate was already decided by the fight between those ninja clans. Hadaebou disagrees and says Iemitsu awaits his return. He has always felt guilty to have been given his position in such a way. He goes on to remind him their childhood days where it was filled with brotherly love.

Episode 18
Neirichiou’s monster pop up. So why must Namenba and Hachisu abandon their ascend and run around being chased. Thanks to Hachirou here, he uses his Doujutsu Eyes. Too bad Neirichiou and the monster closes them. Being one with the realm enables them to ‘see’ without using their eyes. Meanwhile Joujin tells Tadanaga not to fall for Hadaebou’s lies. He is considering listening to Hadaebou since those memories are true so Joujin will have him die. Joujin reveals that it is not him whom they want to make a master out of this castle but Nobunaga. They need Tadanaga’s body who is of royal blood as a vessel. As Hadaebou tries to stave off Magoroku, Joujin mind controls Tadanaga to stab him. Then he wants him to commit seppuku and die like a man. Tadanaga is burning with hatred and the lies he has been fed but too late, he has been decapitated. Hadaebou makes his escape. Shichigen summons the bugs and birds to swarm all over the monster. It worked for a while but the monster now rains lightning. Cue for Gorone to come riding in with his, uhm, Batmobile? Spidermobile? He drops bombs and cannons for the rest to use while firing some missiles at the enemy. Is this his way of going out in style? Is there a message he is supposed to relay to Hachirou only via his death? Something about new sakura only bloom when the old ones die off. After Gorone’s death, some splinter cuts off Neirichiou’s arm, making him retreat. Hachirou announces his true feelings as he finally admits he will be entering Murakumo to save Hibiki even though it is a trap. Uhm, wasn’t that what he wanted? The rest also want him to say the most important thing as a leader. Uhm, to have them die for him? Whatever. So before Murakumo, Hachirou calls out to Joujin to let him in. Invitations from his underling didn’t do the trick so he did it this way?

Episode 19
Kujaku leads Hachirou to Joujin. He claims that Ouka has never been his aim but true world peace and salvation. In order for that, a bit of hell must be shown. Basically, he wants to destroy the world. Yeah, I know. It’s insane. Meanwhile the other ninjas are trying to find their way in. Saizou is using his eyes to look around but is unfortunate to have glanced into Itaru’s mirror. He sees his past. His dad trained him to read numbers of a Japanese poker game. So that when he plays with a bunch of guys, he uses his eyes to cheat and peek at the opponents’ hands. Sure, he is on a winning streak and nobody can prove he is cheating. I suppose nobody looks up at the ceiling for a floating eyeball. Plus, poor Saizou outside in the cold. In the last hand, Saizou messed up and read wrongly, causing dad to lose everything. He was beaten up and with the passing of a Kouga ninja, dad sold him off. Saizou is under the mirror’s spell so in a trance he walks into the oncoming path of Murakumo. Man, one flat Saizou coming up! But how can one guy stop dead the tracks of Murakumo?! But even so, this doesn’t stop Joujin’s plan. Murakumo isn’t a palanquin to carry them to Edo but more like a vessel to revive Nobunaga. Murakumo is like a womb. To facilitate that, he needs Hachirou and Hibiki with powers and exchange love fluids. You heard that right. Love fluids. If they don’t, they have to kill each other because blood works as well as love fluids. Hachirou will choose neither but he has no choice as Hibiki is here to kill him. But she claims she is Oboro. She regrets falling in love with Gennosuke that led to the downfall of her clan. She will kill him as repentance.

Episode 20
Oh Utsutsu, Saizou may have been splattered but at least you’ll have an eyeball to remember him by. Oops… Hachirou is reduced to defending. He contemplates using his Doujutsu Eyes on Hibiki to break Joujin’s spell but it risks killing her. So he puts back his sword and closes his eye. An invitation to let her stab him? She does so but not surprisingly he dodges. At this close range, he opens his eyes. It manages to break her out without killing her. However Hibiki is still Oboro and she thinks Hachirou is Gennosuke and wants to love him. Magoroku then hypnotizes them. Shichigen confronts Itaru to avenge Saizou. Thinking no women could resist his pheromones, unfortunately he became captivated by her mirror. He sees Itaru as his mom’s image. Remember, he was already under that spell since that cave incident. I guess Hachisu is the only one left with a backstory and they have to oddly slot it here. We see her brother suggesting she take up a weapon to master since she is not good with her hands. She chose a gun and under his guidance, she kept practising. One day ninjas attacked them. He was taken hostage and brother told her to shoot him so as not to betray the choice she made. She did so and killed both of them. Hachisu and Shikibu thought they are to stumble into Itaru but is shocked to see Shichigen charging at them. Because Hachisu hesitated, Shichigen sliced both her hands! With Shikibu looking into her mirror, she orders him to take off his armour and explode. Not sure how Hachisu could shoot without her hands or pull the trigger but she did before she dies. The ricochet wounded and blinded Itaru. Shikibu grabs onto Itaru and explodes along with her. If killing won’t work, I guess now it’s time to make love. Because Joujin is hoping to watch them f*ck like beasts!

Episode 21
Utsutsu uses her scarf as a distraction so that Rui can use her pheromones to stun Neirichiou and stab him from the back. After making sure his dead body, they move along. But wait, he pops up before them. His wounds healed because his monster absorbs all the damage. He makes them fight Shichigen. Meanwhile Namenba has collected Gorone’s bombs and is about to return to Murakumo when she is confronted by Hadaebou who is willing to guide her in. His mission might be over but he still wants to see how this ends. Hachirou realizes the power he and Hibiki inherited is to defeat evil people like Joujin. Because of this blood’s burden, the reason Hachirou tried to run away as he couldn’t shoulder it. But he is willing to use Ouka to defeat them. Joujin points out Ouka is a power of Hachirou and Hibiki. Hibiki is now Oboro. In that case, Hachirou will become Gennosuke. So can the love making start? Their eyes start to activate. As Shichigen fights off the ladies, Rui notices the Buddha statue behind him that he thinks is his late mother. She pretends to be his mother in hopes of snapping him out. Neirichiou calls this crap and orders him to kill his slut mom. However Shichigen stabs himself. The statue takes the damage and in turn Neirichiou takes its damage. And then Utsutsu decapitates the old bastard. Rui asks Shichigen if he hated his mom. He never did. Mom also never betrayed him. Just that he was too young and he couldn’t forgive himself for not forgiving her. Uh, what? Oh, he’s dead. Rui crying like a river shouldn’t it activate her pheromones like crazy? But here is this Neirichiou bastard stalling hem again. But hey, shouldn’t his monster be headless? Anyway the monster ambushes the girls but it starts to disappear and Neirichiou realizes it cannot receive more of his damages. So I guess it’s goodbye to this old fart too. Bye. Free fall to his death. We interrupt Ouka as Hadaebou barges in to slash Magoroku.

Episode 22
Yuri fanservice between Rui and Utsutsu before they die? While Kujaku fights Hadaebou (too bad the latter loses), Joujin tries to kill Hachirou. Hibiki freed from Joujin’s spell remembers everything since her kidnapping. With Rui and Utsutsu’s powers distracting Joujin before kicking the bucket, Hibiki is able to use her Mystic Eyes on him. Mad Joujin tries to get back at Hibiki. Kujaku wants to help Joujin but he refuses. Kujaku felt offended and kills him! He claims he is doing this for his real master. During the flames at Honnouji, Nobunaga knew he had lost and asked the opinion of his aide, Ranmaru about that demonic voice that spoke to him. He also wants him to help commit seppuku. He orders Ranmaru to live so his ambitions will not die even though he is unsure when he might return. After Ranmaru escapes the flames, he is met by Joujin whom he believed was that demonic voice that spoke to Nobunaga. He will follow Joujin to make Nobunaga’s dreams come true or pay the price. He calls himself Kujaku because Nobunaga often admires his beauty like a peacock. Kujaku is pleased that Joujin’s blood is enough to revive Nobunaga. Joujin is happy to meet him but not Nobunaga. He squishes the old fart. While Kujaku is happy to see his master, here comes Namenba to relay the message to Hachirou and Hibiki to escape as she has placed bombs everywhere. They escape the crumbling Murakumo but Kujaku uses his time reversing technique. Magoroku then cuts the wires to the bombs. Nobunaga then kills Kujaku! He thinks this scarred dude is an imposter as he is nothing like the beautiful Ranmaru.

Episode 23
Nobunaga thinks Hachirou works for Mitsuhide and tries to kill him. When Hachirou uses his Doujutsu Eyes on him, Nobunaga kills himself. However being dead himself, uhm, he still lives? Oh, the irony. Namenba covers Nobunaga with her veil and places her bombs. But before she could escape, he stabs her. I guess they needed a way to finish her off. Although Nobunaga still survives the explosion, it is now Tadanaga who is speaking (since it is his body Nobunaga is using). Learning that Joujin is dead and Nobunaga is trying to wrest back control, Tadanaga decapitates himself. After Hachirou and Hibiki escape, looks like there is still some life left in Kujaku. He tries to turn back time back to how it was with Nobunaga and shatters his dial. Magoroku won’t have that and tries to seal it in his dimension. After that he confronts Hachirou and Hibiki to explain this place’s space and time is going crazy because their powers clashed. But why does Magoroku still want to fight Hachirou? Revenge. He believes Hachirou also has a reason to fight him for revenge as his comrades are dead. Magoroku’s reason of joining Joujin was to find a place to fight. As the guys clash swords, conveniently Kujaku’s corpse drops in. The distraction allows Hachirou to cut him down. The duo run but they see the ghosts of the dead Kouga guys guiding them to a way out. When they get out, they are shocked to see Edo on fire and Murakumo is destroying the entire place. This could be another timeline because all of Joujinshuu still live and gleefully watching the entire place on fire. However they don’t know who Hachirou and Hibiki is and they think they can use this advantage to defeat them.

Episode 24
Hachirou starts off by fighting Magoroku. But this is just a feint so he could kill Kujaku. Then he targets and finishes off Itaru before using his Doujutsu Eyes on Magoroku. Hibiki nullifies Neirichiou’s monster to allow Hachirou to cut him down. Wow. That’s the easiest revenge ever. Joujin is uninterested in them despite being told they know him from another world. He doesn’t think they will affect him and will use Murakumo the way he wants. The duo then use Ouka. Flashback shows Gorone and Namenba explaining how their clash of emotions caused Ouka and because it is too great, hence they can’t control the madness. But they said it had a final form. You mean what we have saw wasn’t its final form???!!! And so we see Ouka’s final form! Wait a minute. Didn’t we see this destruction before? I guess the trail destruction of destruction is even bigger. Hachirou mercilessly kills Joujin. Is it over? Hachirou fears of using Ouka and hence they cannot be together. Oh God. Not this crap again. However before he could blind himself, Hibiki uses her Mystic Eyes on him, steals his sword and blinds herself. Because of that, now Hachirou will never leave her! What a price to pay for a girl to get his man to stay by her side forever. Then plot twist! Joujin still lives! It seems he has Tenzen’s ability. That alien thingy that eats all wounds. Although he has no business with them, he thinks they might still get in his way. Better be safe than sorry. As he fights Hachirou, he could deduce why his Doujutsu Eyes couldn’t work on him. Yeah, it’s like as though his other counterpart told him about it. Because Hibiki is calling out to Hachirou and looking for him (can she not hear them fighting?), Joujin targets her and Hachirou gets slashed trying to protect her. It might seem like a desperate attempt for Hachirou to mock his ability and all but it is to get that alien to be mad so that the Doujutsu Eyes make the alien go crazy and kills Joujin by making the monk tear his own heart out! And that’s that.

In the aftermath, Iemitsu speaks to Tenkai about who the f*ck put Tadanaga up this this sh*t. He knows that their succession was decided by that ninja game and understands he would hate him. Tenkai replies it was all for the glory of the Tokugawa. We see Tadanaga being decapitated as punishment but as narrated it could just be for show as the real Tadanaga had already died. More confusion because our dead ninja comrades are now reincarnated as normal kids and having a peaceful time. I want to say they are being watched over by Hibiki but she’s blind… Yeah, she looks like an elderly mom now. And then another plot twist! Joujin shows up! Can this bastard die already?! Oh, Tenzen’s ability again. So what now, Joujin? Hachirou is gone (I thought he promised to stay by her side forever?) and Ouka cannot be used. But there is one thing left that Hibiki is useful for. OMFG! THIS OLD FART WANTS TO RAPE HER????!!!! I guess when you’ve lost so much, you’d do anything just to get back. Before they can combine love fluids (he said blood but I want to still use that ‘awesome’ term his other counterpart said), f*cking plot twist we never see coming! Because Hachirou whizzes out from Hibiki like a ghost to cut him and the alien down for good before disappearing into the wind. WTF????!!!!! And poor Hibiki couldn’t witness all that f*ckery with her eyes. Yeah, maybe it’s better that way. And Hadaebou continues to wander as a monk on this lovely day. My, such a lovely day indeed.

Bah-Silly! Oh-Gawd Ninja Trolls
WTF?! WHAT THE F*CK?! WHAT THE FFFFFUUUUUUU???????!!!!!! I was already having this disappointed feeling while watching the series and that final WTF episode just ramps everything up! It is so bizarre and weird that it feels like as though the producers knew we were going to criticize this sh*t so they pull off all the unimaginable f*ckery they could think off just to screw with us and end the series. From another world to some reincarnation and rape scene, oh God, it’s just awful. It left me with so many questions like if Hachirou has become a ghost and is now travelling through all the dimensions to cut down Joujin and his alien compadre, hence that super magical BS we get. Or did he combine as one with Hibiki and now resides inside her? Too bad Joujin, can’t come inside her when she already has a man literally INSIDE of her! Haha! Therefore the tradition of the lovers’ tragedy continues but it is so bad that it seeped into the series and brought it down. Good riddance it ended. I don’t know if I could take it anymore had they had another additional extra episode. I might laugh myself to death in shocking disappointment! Thank goodness I won’t see Skywalker Hachirou in the futuristic sci-fi Star Wars future where he cuts down horny Darth Vader Joujin with his lightsaber katana to save Princess Leia Hibiki on Death Star Murakumo. Yikes! Thank heavens it isn’t so!

Overall, this second season feels like a disappointment (even more so when you consider the final episode) and doesn’t live up to the greatness of the original one. Even if I do not remember much of the first season, by the end of this second season I could tell it was definitely not better. Of course when the series first started, it was interesting as it introduces a new bunch of characters and the plot was a bit intriguing. At least for me. So for the first initial episodes, it did lived up to my expectations and hopes that this series was going to be great. I was really looking forward to the next episode. But after a while at halfway point, I could almost instantly feel that enthusiasm of mine waned. At that point I knew something was wrong and my guts once more alarming me that it is going to be downhill from here. I was hoping it was wrong but apparently my guts know me more than myself. Heh.

So one of the biggest fails that had my big enthusiasm fading was the flow of the story. More accurately the appearance of Murakumo. Could you believe it that the rest of the entire second half of the series is about trying to stop Murakumo and everything that happened took place near or inside that damn moving castle? I know, basically it is rescue Hibiki thingy and that made it even more boring as the drama drags on. Murakumo appearing for the first time was okay. It was intriguing as well as dreadful. But even so they spent quite a few episodes trying to take it down. Thought I have seen the last of that castle and might move on to something new, damn v2 of that castle is up and running again. They should have named this sequel, Basilisk: The Murakumo Odyssey. Maybe not. Sounds to sci-fi.

Okay, I might forgive viewers who watched the first season to ask, why isn’t anybody dead yet or when the killings are going to start. That was what most of us remember the series and that is why it was great in the first place. It was a period anime with a battle-to-the-death style action. Even if they got our tongues wagging with the quick elimination of the Five Treasures and Five Flowers, after that it becomes a freaking dry spell. I remember in the first season we had some characters dying off in the early episodes that I was worried if there were enough characters to be killed at the end! But here, the kept us watching with all the draggy drama and left it real late to pick off the characters one by one. By that point, I felt that their deaths weren’t satisfying and they were just doing it because they had to. Death by obligation. I supposed Gorone’s flashy death was to get the ball rolling, eh? Yeah, it would be a big disappointment if the whole gang lives on in the end because we are already expecting as well as told how these ninjas’ lives are tragic. No happy ending for all of you. No siree.

A factor that contributes to the draggy drama and how it could last 2 dozen episodes is because I noticed that some of the scenes have some long pause in between them. I believe it is to add some dramatic effect because the series would have been a little shorter if it cut out those scenes. But I suppose it would be hard to imagine if this series was really fast paced. Even in between the action scenes, you could see this pause. The camera angles showing the faces of the characters facing off. You know, it makes you wonder if they really have time to pause like this in battle. I wonder if time somewhat flows in this slo-mo style then or Kujaku really has some sort of control of it. Nah. I’ll stick to that dramatic effect excuse that ultimately either bores you or start ticking you off.

Another issue about this second season being a failure is the characters themselves. They fail to make an impact. As I don’t even remember the first season much, I do remember that there was some decent focus on Gennosuke and Oboro that really made you feel pity on their circumstances, hence the Japanese version and take of Romeo and Juliet. However Hachirou and Hibiki fail to leave any of that impression and were just boring and disappointing. The irony is that both pairs were separated from each other for quite some time due to circumstances but the former still manages to leave a tragic and everlasting impact on us even though it has been over 10 years. So when this season tries to give Hachirou and Hibiki’s comrades some back story and flashback of their past, it felt more like an excuse to fill up the space and running time. The original Basilisk didn’t have that (because having back stories on 20 characters will take up more time than just 6) but it still manages to work because of how the characters manage to intertwine with the plot. So in this case it wasn’t the individual characters but all of them or at least the main ones as a group.

Here, you could say that Hachirou and Hibiki lacks any back story compared to their comrades. Most probably they want to keep it a mystery. They look so much like Gennosuke and Oboro but you don’t even know if they are their kids. Speaking of which, it was just freaking mind boggling how Gennosuke and Oboro had children after their deaths. I hope there isn’t a ninja technique that could extract sperms and eggs and that watch children grown via incubation. Or a technique that has recently deceased people f*ck each other and the child in the womb somehow kept alive for 9 months. That sounds like horror and too much for this period series. But we’ll never know. So it feels like this part is kept in the dark so we can just have a sequel.

Hachirou takes half of the blame as one of the biggest disappointing characters of the series. Annoying if I should add. Ever since young, this kid has been somewhat moody. Like as though he is born with that frown. What makes Hachirou an irritating character is his penchant of running away. More accurately, running away from responsibility. He thinks by not getting his comrades involved, he can solve the problem. How long has he been away? Did that solve anything? And that b*tching of how the ninjas won’t be used and toyed around anymore. WTF. You think it was fine when he spew that responsibility crap when he was young. Makes him sound so mature. Oh, so grown up. Then you realize he knows nothing as a kid. He’s still a kid despite being the leader of Kouga. This carries over well into his teen and he is still wandering around. Him being able to show up when his comrades are in a pinch shows he hasn’t strayed far. I would prefer to give his comrades more credit in trying to handle the situation than Hachirou who just pop up at some moments and use his oh-so-amazing Doujutsu Eyes for ultimate victory.

Hibiki is the other half who is disappointing. Overall, I find her the most useless character. With only her Mystic Eyes to boot as her specialty, she spends half of the season being a captive and hence being turned into a damsel in distress. Not like she did anything (not saying Hachirou did any better but at least he could fight) but that one time against Joujin was supposed to be it? Not impressed. It doesn’t help that even after breaking free from Joujin’s spell, she remains to be a useless damsel. It might sound cliché that Hachirou is always protecting her but I guess during that period, men were manlier in those days compared to now. Yeah… Therefore it is no surprise that Hachirou would instinctively take the lead to protect Hibiki. But it is sad that from the way this turns out, Hibiki is unfortunately reduced to a useless state. Even more so after she blinds herself thinking it would seal her Mystic Eyes forever.

Making it worse that there is literally no chemistry between them, let alone any sort of romance. As said, the original was a Japanese version of the tragic Shakespearean work and it was heart breaking to see them fight each other despite their love for each other just because they are on differing sides. But here because of Hachirou trying to be so mature, he leaves the place and leaves poor Hibiki all alone. She does pine for him but even during his missing years, it’s not like she sorely misses him. Is this what you call believe in him? I don’t think so. Even when they troll us of having sex before Joujin, I knew it just wouldn’t work out. I mean, after being away from each other and suddenly we’re going to see them make out? Not likely. Therefore Hachirou-Hibiki pair pales in comparison to Gennosuke-Oboro romance. What a let-down. And there was this potential of pairing up the Kouga-Iga ninjas as well. Saizou-Utsutsu, Shikibu-Hachisu and Shichigen-Rui. At one point even hinting a possible lesbianism between Rui and Utsutsu. Oh well, their duties as ninjas are more important than anything else. Don’t even mention that Hadaebou’s crush on Namenba. If I was her, I would spit on his face and tell him to GTFO.

Gorone and Namenba as the mentors also somewhat fail. Gorone is portrayed as some genius who tweaks the abilities of the young ninjas while Namenba looks after them although she always had this tone in her voice that to me says I-wish-I-wasn’t-here-doing-this. Yeah, she sounds lethargic and sluggish. Maybe it’s her but as a female ninja who has been exposed to dangerous missions, I would have expected her to sound better. Saizou, Shikibu, Shichigen, Rui, Utsutsu and Hachisu make better character than Hachirou and Hibiki not because of their short single episode flashbacks. Their loyalty after all these years as well as tackling the problems without their leaders involved (at first) make them more memorable and admirable. Too bad ultimately they are just pawns to be sacrificed as the plot commands them to be. Because it serves as a reminder what this series was supposed to be.

As for the antagonists in Joujinshuu, they feel lacking and one-dimensional too. Basically destroy the world type even though the excuse is to save mankind. Unlike the original Basilisk you had both sides fighting each other and you can’t tell who the good or bad are. Hence you are confused of which side to support. Even the real antagonist in the original (the real Tenzen) had more character than Joujin if I should say. Yeah, they even tried to sully Joujin’s name by making him rape Hibiki. Sighs… Can they get any lower? The members of Joujinshuu feel like a freak circus in town and just because they killed the Five Treasures and Five Flowers, we are under impression that they are so great and undefeatable. Because there is a clear indication of who is on the good side and who is on the bad, hence these clowns are not on anybody’s list of support. You won’t even feel for Kujaku/Ranmaru’s story. You just wish this tranny would just die. Also, the Joujinshuu mostly feel like they’re standing around unless the plot calls for them to do something. Puppets? Okay. They’re doing a great job as that. I wanted to call Tadanaga as annoying as Hachirou and Hibiki but ultimately I figure that since he led a sheltered life as a lord, I suppose it is only expected that he wants to get something out of this but ultimately got lost and used. Perhaps he did the right thing that other characters (like Shichigen) should have done: Kill himself. Damn.

As action sequences are important for the namesake of this series, I believe this one also doesn’t live up to standards. Sure, the initial episodes showing them as kids look interesting because they have a totally new set of strange abilities compared to its predecessor. A little bit more interesting when they grow up as they have honed and expand their powers a little. But ultimately when using them in battle, it is just sparingly and not quite satisfying. You see, how should I describe this, during fighting sequences, the action somewhat feels rather ‘light’. You know, when the ninjas cut through their opponents, as a viewer you don’t really feel the intensity of the cut. I’m not saying you should feel being cut down. But rather it feels effortless when they strike down their enemies. Like when they fight Rain, it feels like there needs to be action because it needs to. Even the final battles were like, okay, that was easy. That kind of feeling. In a way, their deaths don’t really hit you and hence why I said you don’t really feel like supporting the characters. I’m sure that having lots of gushing blood won’t do it any good or hide the fact that the fights are just mediocre.

Also, Ouka also feels disappointing despite it is part of the title. So big gust of destruction? Is it its final form? So they are afraid of being together in fear of activating it, causing some damage and in turn the guilt and trauma of hurting others just because they couldn’t control it. Sounds more like BS than anything. In the end, I wouldn’t really consider Ouka as the ultimate or final trump card. Just a convenient plot device whenever it is deemed necessary. I mean, it wasn’t that important. If the main antagonist like Joujin doesn’t even want it, well, that should say a lot about the covet factor of this technique.

Art and animation also feel mediocre and in fact inferior to the original. Even if the predecessor was like a decade ago, at least the art style matches and gives the series’ period. It might not be perfect and perhaps that inadvertently became a standard when we tried to compare to the sequel that just feels a bit cartoonish. I know the ninjas are teens but they still have the kiddie look and feel. Even if adults like Gorone and Namenba, compared to the original you can tell the original has the characters looking more mature even though some of them look just freaking weird (yeah, there was a really fat rubber guy, a snake guy, a monkey moustache guy and octopus head old fart, if you remember them). They look freaky alright. But this one, even the freakiest, Neirichiou looks more comical and came out from some comic than anything frightening.

Also I want to point out something about some of the characters especially the ‘good looking’ ones. Do you notice that these characters all have pretty eyelashes?! The girls have them so I suppose they are alright. Yeah, it really ramps up their cuteness and feminine side. Don’t need Rui’s pheromones for me to drool over them ;p. But the guys, having this feature sometimes make them look girly! I kid you not. Just take a look at Hachirou, Tadanaga, Kujaku and Shichigen. Is it that pretty guys must have such eyelashes? Because ‘ugly’ dudes like Saizou, Shikibu and Joujin sure have ‘scary’ eyes. I guess some in between like Magoroku has scary eyes too and that’s why he always keeps them closed.

For the character designs, having Hachirou and Hibiki looking so much like their predecessors I wonder if it is a lazy effort. Designing them differently might not be better since this is a sequel and we need the main characters to have some similarity. So similar that they could have just be reincarnations of them. But is it me that Hibiki looks a bit chubby? No offense but perhaps the video put a few pounds on her. I’m pretty sure it’s not the clothes she wear either. And why does Hachirou have dots on his forehead? Is he some sort of god? Yeah, god of running away from his destiny, that is. Haha! Oops. This sequel was done by Seven Arcs Pictures who did Trinity Seven, Mushibugyou and Saredo Tsumibito Wa Ryuu To Odoru. The original was done by Gonzo. Perhaps that is why the difference in quality?

With a completely new casts, I only recognized Ayane Sakura as Utsutsu (personally, she sounds unimpressive like as though she didn’t want to do this role), Shinichiro Miki as Gorone and Cho as Geiin. However the most surprising one is Yui Horie as Itaru! OMG! You mean that’s her?! I never would have guessed! I thought she came back and then laid low again. I sure didn’t expect her as she wasn’t in her usual that I would pick up right away. Another shocking one is Saori Hayami as Hachisu. OMG! You mean that’s her?! I never would have guessed. I sure didn’t expect her as she wasn’t in her usual that I would pick up right away. Damn, I just repeated myself. Maybe I was so disappointed with this series that I couldn’t detect them. Even so, I should have during my initial enthusiastic period.

The other casts are Tasuku Hatanaka as Hachirou (Kaminari in Boku No Hero Academia), Inori Minase as Hibiki (Hestia in DanMachi), Katsuhiro Tokuishi as Saizou (Hanzou in Hagane Orchestra), Fukushi Ochiai as Shikibu (Moguzo in Hai To Gensou No Grimgar), Mitsuhiro Ichiki as Shichigen (Kazuya in Freezing), Reina Ueda as Rui (Mira in Dimension W), Kaori Nazuka as Namenba (Tsukasa in Amagami SS), Takaya Hashi as Joujin (Normandy in Princess Principal), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Kujaku (Tsukumo in Nanbaka), Hiroshi Tsuchida as Magoroku (Daikichi in Usagi Drop), Umegi Sasaki as Neirichiou, Jin Yamanoi as Tadanaga (Kouda in 3-gatsu No Lion) and Kenji Hamada as Hadaebou (Jouji in Paradise Kiss).

The opening theme is Ouka Ninpouchou by Onmyoza. The same band who sang the opener for the first season. Still around? Okay, my bad. Anyway, I have this feeling that it tries to sound epic as the first season and also copy a bit of its style but somehow it doesn’t live up to that standard. Feels like another generic anime rock music. Also, Nana Mizuki who voiced Oboro and had a cameo here, sings the ending themes, Hot Blood and Suiren. Again, I still find them not as superior to Wild Eyes (still considered as my favourite song in this series) and Hime Murasaki. Hot Blood sounds like another generic rock music although Suiren fares slightly better with its dramatic style. Either way, both songs continue to portray the great vocals of Nana Mizuki and she’s still sounding fine after all these years.

Overall, at times I felt like wanting to obtain Kujaku’s time reversing power to go back in time so that I don’t have to watch this mediocre sequel that I am still reeling from disappointment. To be fair, it is not terrible but I expected better since it came from a well done nostalgic anime but failed to live up to it. But then again, I don’t need Kujaku’s power because in no time I will soon forget it when I watch more disappointing animes in the future! Haha! Is that a good sign? Okay, to be a bit more positive, I’m sure I will watch greater animes to erase this disappointment. It is a terrible shame that this sequel stained the greatness of the original but thanks to that, it only serves to cement even further how great the predecessor was. I really wanted to like this series seeing that I am not really a fan of period series but I guess it was not meant to be. Maybe Joujin was somewhat right along the lines of wanting to bring hell on Earth just to save mankind. Because hell I know that Hachirou and Hibiki couldn’t even f*ck each other to save their clan. Haha! Looks like we won’t toy with you Kouga and Iga guys ever again.

Wasshoi! Domo. Ming desu. Yeeart! Heh. First they gave us a pirate hunter who hunts pirates (looking at you Roronoa Zero). Then they have assassins hunting down other assassins (looking at you flower shop guys in Weiss Kreuz). And now we have a ninja who hunts down other ninjas in the name of revenge. Ah yes. Ninja Slayer From Animation from the looks of it sounds like some sort of mishmash of the old ninja ways mixed with the futuristic cyberpunk style about an ordinary salaryman left for dead but given a second chance to become a ninja and goes on a relentless quest to kill all ninjas in hopes of finding that very ninja responsible for his wife and child’s murder. So whether you’re an innocent ninja or not, too bad. It is collective punishment. You’re a ninja, you die. Well, initially I didn’t really want to watch this anime seeing that perhaps ninja action isn’t my personal preference. But after seeing the final words on the synopsis… “Ninja Slayer takes on the ninjas in mortal combat”… OMG… My favourite game… MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!! (Trying to imitate that annoying but catchy techno sound effect of that song).

Episode 1
Kenji Fujikido is left for dead. He is about to be killed by a couple of ninjas when he revives and starts beating the crap out of them! He doesn’t care if they are ninjas or what, he just kills them! YEEART!!! Because you are ninja, you die!!! Later he remembers about himself. A spectre named Naraku Ninja appears before him and mentions that he is a ninja that kills ninja. Fujikido has been given a chance to join his revenge quest as Ninja Slayer. He agrees because he remembers ninjas killed his wife and son. The Soukaiya organization with its cross katana emblem is the one responsible for his family’s death. They think they are the strongest and kill people as they wish. Now they shall pay. Fujikido then faces off with another ninja. Realizing he is from Soukaiya, he goes into killing mode. Not even the enemy can land a scratch on him! Of course when word reaches the big bad boss of Soukaiya, Laomoto Khan he wants him eliminated.

Episode 2
Arson from Soukaiya disrupts some illegal exchange with thugs to show them their place. Then he gets back into his limo which is being driven by Fujikido. When he realizes this isn’t the real driver, Fujikido drives the limo to smash it into a building. Nobody is dead yet. Now they’re both out and ready to fight. YEEART!!! Long story short, Arson gets killed. Then a blimp starts shooting missiles at him. Since Fujikido dodges them, Laomoto’s patience is getting thin so the blimp driver unleashes another ninja with jet packs and technology to deal with Fujikido. Ninja Slayer is defeated so Naraku mocks his pathetic state. Fujikido will not be down yet so Naraku possesses half of him to revive and kick ass, defeating both the hi-tech ninja and the blimp. Laomoto is certainly not pleased. Fujikido is found by this black guy on a jet ski. Perhaps he was so intimidated by this ninja, he quickly takes him to the nearest doctor as ordered and promises to change over a new leaf and even convert into Buddhism. Karma? You reap what you sew.

Episode 3
Koki Yamoto is about to get killed while her friend, Asari is about to get rapped. An apparition named Shi Ninja appears before her to give her the necessary powers. She revives and kills those thugs. At school, they notice another fellow high school student, Shougo Maguchi beating up and killing a local gang causing trouble. Although he is taken in by the cops. But he is bailed out by this guy who is willing to take the blame for his crimes. When Shougo lets his guard down, this guy transforms into his true form and beats him up. He is Sonic Boom, one of the 6 ninjas of Soukai Six Gates. He gives him a choice to join the syndicate or die here. Shougo is then visited by this spirit, Punk Ninja who wants to give him powers. But Shougo wants to die but he is not allowed to do so. Yamoto teaches cocky bullies their place as she ponders who similar Shougo is to her. Shougo manages to scrap through beating all those small fries. Sonic Boom hands him his new nickname, Suicide and also now he will be his godfather. For his first mission, his target is this female ninja, Yamoto. Seems they both tried to commit suicide. Somehow they both survived as they both possessed Ninja Soul. The funny thing is that they both became ninjas and also transferred into the same high school.

Episode 4
While Yamoto is hanging out with her friends, she notices Shougo. She knows he is looking for her. Shougo still can’t believe all that has happened especially she turned into a ninja too. He warns her about Soukaiya trying to force her to join or death. That is when Sonic Boom arrives to persuade her to join the syndicate because there is nowhere else she can go. After all, she killed her own parents. Shougo can’t take this sh*t anymore and holds back Sonic Boom to let Yamoto escape. Shougo is beaten up badly and the reason he doesn’t want Yamoto to become like him is because she is different and has friends. After Yamoto lets her friends escape, she stays back to settle things. She transforms into her ninja version. Sonic Boom notices she is the psychic type but will show her that karate types are the best ninjas. She loses when Sonic Boom and his agents overwhelm here. But have no fear, Ninja Slayer is here. He knows all about Sonic Boom as he is on his target list. Time to fight. YEEART!!! With Yamoto’s giant origami move, Sonic Boom is finally defeated. Fujikido finds out she did this all by herself although they attacked her first. Naraku then wants Fujikido to kill her because she is a ninja. Fujikido won’t do it as he is going to fulfil his own goals and not his greedy desire. He lets Yamoto escape before anything bad happens. Yamoto returns to Asari who is glad to see she is safe. But Yamoto says her goodbye as she thinks staying put will bring her more trouble but promises to protect her always.

Episode 5
A narration about some poor chap, Shigaki who lost his right arm in some company accident and replaced with a bulky and old cybernetic arm. But it costs him a lot to maintain it so when he heard some sort of a job, he wants in. Meanwhile Fujikido is fresh off killing another ninja, Bandit. Laomoto is discussing with some guy that some tofu company is refusing purchase of their clone yakuza. Because of that, Laomoto will initiate attack. Dark Ninja reports Bandit is missing but Laomoto says the mission cannot be delayed and give mission orders to Beholder instead. Beholder rallies disgruntled ex-employees of this tofu company to go against them. Shigaki is one of them. Since their drink is drugged, they become enraged and violent as they storm into the factory. Shigaki fights his way into the main office and after disposing the executives, he thinks he can retire from this violent life with this money. He will also change his cybernetic arm to the latest one as he can’t control its strength. When Beholder praises his work, Shigaki fears he is from Soukai Yakuza and begs to be let off the hook. But Beholder hypnotizes him to be his subordinate. That is when Fujikido enters the scene to attack Beholder but Shigaki protects him and is thrown away. Beholder’s ability is to freeze time but Fujikido is able to break free. This ability is circumvented when Fujikido walks backwards! Moonwalking? He beats the crap out of Beholder to make him spill details about the Soukai Six Gates. Before he can get information out of the ninja who killed his family, Dark Ninja kills him off. Fujikido goes to engage him in midair combat.

Episode 6
Laomoto is pleased the clones can defeat organisms but cannot defeat ninjas because it will be troublesome if ninjas turn against him. So he sends his Soukai Six Gates men, Huge Shuriken to join Earthquake to set fire on Dragon Dojo. While Shuriken arm twists (more like finger breaking) people for the dojo’s location, he bumps into Ninja Slayer. He barely escapes with his life and rendezvous with Earthquake. Fujikido is hot on their tail and initiates attack but is defeated by Hellkite. The Soukai Six Gates duo barge into Dragon Dojo, the last place where real ninjas exists. The leader is Dragon Gendousou and Yukano is his granddaughter. Shuriken initiates a sneak attack to kill the other ninjas. Although Yukano slashes him, she becomes Earthquake’s hostage. Ninja Slayer barges in for his revenge. He is partially possessed by Naraku. Flashback reveals Naraku mocking him for another pathetic display. His sweet words convinced Fujikido to let him take over. Although Fujikido manages to regain himself back, he cannot defeat Earthquake and resigns to his fate. Gendousou won’t give up and teaches him some ninja lesson. In lightning speed, they throw a thousand shurikens to kill him. Fujikido wonders why he saved him twice. He saw some glow in his soul which is fated to rise to the top of Kinkaku Temple. He will guide him there. However Shuriken shoots and paralyzes Gendousou with some anti-ninja virus. The place is then set on fire with a massive atomic explosion! Fujikido takes Gendousou and runs as fast as he could.

Episode 7
Detective wannabe Nancy Lee is trying to investigate somebody. She gets shocked when she sees his dead body in a room. She is then attacked and bitten by a poisonous snake belonging to Cockatrice. He knows all about her because her tipoff is in the hands of Soukaiya. Before he could question her, here comes Fujikido to fight him. Cockatrice is confident his giant snakes as his arms would constrict and end the game but Fujikido destroys them and sends him to hell. He gives Nancy an antidote and tells her to give up playing detective. Seek asylum somewhere else and do not underestimate the syndicate. He leaves without answering her question. She believes that the word ‘Tanuki’ written by the dead guy would lead her to the truth as she continues her mission. Fujikido is resting at some shrine when he is startled by the appearance of its old keeper, Tomihide Sugawarano. Fujikido hopes he would forget seeing him but Sugawarano assures he will not report him because he believes he is not a bad person. He then shows him his family photo. His wife died and his son who failed some exam left and is now working in some cosmetics company. Although he sends money back, he wishes he could spend time with him. As he didn’t want to bother him, he eventually gave up. The small talk ends as Fujikido excuses himself.

Episode 8
Nancy and Fujikido team up to take down a yakuza clone factory. After disposing the yakuza clones and sneaking inside, they are shocked to see the clones inside the tubes. Nancy’s plan is to install some virus and steal some information on Tanuki. Before she can proceed, she is kidnapped by Forest who wants to make her his wife. Fujikido thinks he is from Soukaiya but he explains he was a security personnel of this plant and just quit his job. The reason why security is lax is because Forest dispatched them all. The duo still fight but before Fujikido can nail the finishing blow, Forest is collected by Frogman. He then faces off with Disturbed and Notorious. After Nancy does her bit, she returns to help fight them. Frogman collects his comrades before they could finish them off. They claims they are bio-ninja test subjects. They are sick of taking orders from those weak scientists. That is why they’ll quit their jobs to obtain true freedom. They will be called Survivor Dojo. Fujikido wants the data Nancy has as promised for the virus cure but she has to analyze it first.

Episode 9
Fujikido thinks he cannot trust Nancy as he believes she is only using him to further her own agenda. She disagrees. It’s just that she has a run of bad luck. He has no choice but to trust her as Nancy is able to dive into the virtual world to get some information to get into some building. Then there is this Daedalus who keeps infiltrating the cyber space despite Nancy always kicks him out. But multiple logins has her cornered. Even though they have been traced, Fujikido is able to kill the yakuza clones. The duo make some headway and enter the building. Forest and Notorious are also here but they noticed some other team is already here before them and have to move fast if they are to get some bio-ingot to make some infinite energy so they can fight forever without the need to resupply. Fujikido hooks Nancy up to the internet again. She manages to get some password and back out before they get crushed by some net trap.

Episode 10
Deep inside the building, Nancy hooks up to the mainframe. Forest and Notorious have arrived. Seeing Nancy lying defenceless on the ground, they are cautious this may be a trap. Forest got distracted by her defenceless boobs and that is when Fujikido kicks in. Then he fights Notorious and finally kills him. Forest fights him but realizing he is no match, he retreats. Meanwhile Nancy is facing off with Daedalus and his clones. Every time he comes back, Nancy disposes of him. It’s never ending. I don’t know what this alien dude wants but all I can think off this guy is sexually harassing her and wants to f*ck her! Just when Nancy is overwhelmed with all the clones, suddenly Fujikido appears to save the day. I don’t know what technique he used to dive into the virtual world without even hooking up but with the duo’s might, Daedalus is no match and is finally defeated. Nancy then hooks up to the final room. She has 1 minute to enter the correct password and an error means death. She thinks it is Tanuki but something inside her hesitates. When she hears her ex-informant’s voice, she calms down and realizes the hint to the password: Furinkazan. Fujikido is amazed she is able to go this far for her beliefs. She thanks him and the rest of those who helped out. This makes Fujikido question himself if revenge is all he seeks. Because right now he wants to save Nancy and Gendousou.

Episode 11
Fujikido brings the antidote to Yukano. Suddenly the place is ambushed by Dark Ninja. Seems Fujikido didn’t realize he had been tailed. Dark Ninja is here to kill him as he has become a threat too large for Soukaiya to ignore. Dark Ninja is clearly superior and whatever tricks Fujikido does, it is easily overcome. Before Fujikido gets killed, Gendousou revives to fight Dark Ninja. However from the way he says things, the old fart is going to sacrifice himself. And he did just that. And he just got cured… Fujikido is left to reminisce about his family when Dark Ninja’s familiar killing stance has him remember that he is the bugger who killed his family! Now he is mad. Naraku coaxes him to give his body and he shall have his revenge. However Gendousou tells him not to listen. He must not let the Ninja Soul master over him. He must draw out his own Ninja Soul the right way. Gendousou’s last word is to take care of Yukano for him. Fujikido revives and breaks Dark Master’s sword. And with a ridiculous amount of YEEART super punches (GWAAARGH!!!!), Fujikido is able to defeat Dark Ninja. But reinforcements arrive so Fujikido has no choice but to escape.

Episode 12
Lobster just killed off some guy who killed off another guy for doing something. Nancy has been caught and tied up in bondage style. Of course Fujikido is here to save the day and slays Lobster to save Nancy. He didn’t stay around to hear her thanks. Meanwhile Dark Ninja still lives. The moment he revives, he starts killing and burns down the ship he was recuperating in. Then he meets Master Tortoise who gives him his broken sword that he retrieved during the last fight. He was also the one who rescued him. He tells Dark Ninja to see Thunder Forge to forge his sword. No other blacksmith will do. A mad scientist picks up Lobster’s pincher and vows revenge on Ninja Slayer. Once again, Nancy is kidnapped (bondage position again?) as bait for Lobster (now a talking pincher?) to lure Fujikido. Of course he comes and fights off the yakuza clones as well. To his shock, Lobster is fused with the scientist who is hell bent on his revenge. But Fujikido kills him off. This time he feels guilty for getting involved. She warns him about a man’s revenge which could be deadlier than a ninja’s revenge.

Episode 13
A punk goes on a shooting spree. He is killed off by Silver Karasu who then takes a picture of his corpse. What about innocent witnesses? Kill her. Out of bullets? No problem. Cut her head off! He returns to his employer, Warai Jii-san who is very happy with his work. Silver Karasu is some sort of vigilante for hire killing petty criminals caught in the act. This is how he makes his living. When not donning his silver armour, he goes by the name of Tanaka Kagi. While doing his laundry, he meets Yamoto and they speak for a while before he leaves. Shortly, Nutscracker from Soukaiya comes in to kill Yamoto. Obviously she is not match for him. Kagi returns to kill the ninja. Flashback shows the doctor told him that he has not long to live because of some black spots invading his lungs. He should use his remaining days to do what he wants or settle unfinished business. Thus, Kagi left his sexy girlfriend to take Yamoto in and teach her his fighting style since her karate skills are insufficient. One night after coming back from another mission, he starts vomiting blood. Yamoto is very worried but he tells her is to mind her own business and that this wound is not from the fight. All she can do is just cry. Then Warai Jii-san contacts him with another target. A female ninja…

Episode 14
As you may have guessed, Yamoto is the target. So Kagi teaches her his sword skills and the rest she has to figure it out herself. Then when he tells her Soukaiya would still come after her, she got the idea and packs her stuff to leave. Kagi’s illness is getting worse. Soukaiya has sent Third Eye the ninja and Sword Dancer the bounty hunter to hunt down Yamoto. Sword Dancer tried to ambush Silver Karasu but gets into his trap. In the end, his 2 sword wielding style is no match for Silver Karasu’s single sword and kinetic vision. Yamoto faces off with Third Eye and uses all that she has learnt to defeat him. Then the inevitable showdown between Silver Karasu and Yamoto. It’s time to show what she has learnt. While fighting him, she cannot stop crying because she knows who he is. Eventually she cannot kill him and he is left with regrets thanks to her so he will shut up and go to hell quietly. Yamoto escapes from the yakuza clones and all she carries is Kagi’s cigarette box.

Episode 15
Omura is going to sink a city to turn it into a dam. Of course the residents protest and have turned into a resistance force and barricaded the area. But Omura sends his giant powerful mechas, Motoryab to destroy all resistance. Surrender or not, you get killed. Explosive and the Motoryab mechas invade the resistance’s main base. He faces off with Rapture the ninja. Female ninja Amnesia comes to his aid but is no match for Explosive. Till Fujikido turns up. It is revealed that Amnesia is actually Yukano. She has no memories of her past. Rapture is trapped in Explosive’s fireworks. Knowing his time is up, he sacrifices himself. Fujikido tells Amnesia to take the resistance leader to safety while he fights off Explosive. Fujikido turns the table on Explosive and lets him have a taste of his own medicine. Explosive is scared and pleads for his life. He will tell him what he wants. Unfortunately Fujikido doesn’t want to know anything from him. Goodbye. In the aftermath, Amnesia leaves a message for Fujikido that she has no recollection of her past. She was saved and taken in by a revolutionary group, Ikki Uchikowashi and will continue to pay her debt there. She was romantically involved with Rapture and thanks him for avenging his death. Now that she is a different person than before, there is nothing she can do for him.

Episode 16
Fujikido joins Ikki Uchikowashi as an agent to see for himself what kind of organization this is. This is part of his pledge to Gendousou to look out for Yukano. After talking with the boss, Answerer, Fujikido and Flickshot head to intercept a train believed to be owned by Soukaiya. The lowly comrades got burnt away by Prominence. Flickshot fights him until Fujikido makes his entrance. As Fujikido pins Prominence down, the revolutionaries ransacks the train. Despite there are innocent young children and teachers on the train, Flickshot becomes a bully because he believes these are bourgeois elites of the capitalist pigs. Fujikido cannot tolerate this and attacks Flickshot. He considers this his betrayal as the revolutionary group surrounds him. As Flickshot attacks him with his pachinko shots, the train safely escapes. Fujikido easily kills all the comrades and then lectures Flickshot about their meaningless violence as killers and human sentiments. Not even Prominence can interrupt. He died while doing so. And Flickshot got strangled to death. Answerer notes the interesting man Fujikido is but Amnesia believes he must be punished for betraying and humiliating the organization.

Episode 17
Yamoto takes refuge at a church when she meets this zombie ninja, Genocide. He is not her enemy as he buries the body of an old woman believed to be the owner of this place, passed away via natural causes. Mad scientist, Dr Lee is not amused that Genocide destroyed his lab and escaped when he awakened. He needs his zombie back or the stress is killing him. But his lovely assistant, Fubuki has taken the liberty to create another zombie ninja, Manticore to retrieve Genocide. Yamoto and Genocide become strange bedfellow friends. The place is then under attack by yakuza clones. Heh. It’s like they all come here just to get killed. Grenadier of Soukaiya fights off Genocide and Manticore joins in the fight. When Yamoto and Grenadier introduce themselves, I guess Genocide uses this chance to kill him off! The duo team up to take down Manticore. Dr Lee is so stressed that Manticore is dead but at least he collected some good data. Yamoto part ways with Genocide. It is best she leaves the place before the enemy will regroup. Genocide tells her his brain is rotting so the next time they meet, he might not remember her. She shakes his hand.

Episode 18
Naraki sees Maname before the big public demonstration starts. Walking through the sea of crowd, Naraki meets this guy, Buster Tetsuo. Naraki seems to understand what this march is about but Tetsuo asks if this will really change the world. Then he gives some zombie example that makes Naraki scared about the turn of events. His fear comes true when a student is killed supposedly by the police. But Naraki saw Maname was the one who shot her golden arrow. With the public getting restless, a police is killed (Maname again?) and this is when all hell breaks loose. Fujikido then drops down to tell everyone to scram. Don’t want to mess with a ninja, eh? So the public and police clear the streets so that Fujikido can have his fight with Jotunn of Ikki Uchikowashi. As Naraki is reeling from the chaos, he sees Maname who is no other than Amnesia (who is actually Yukano – who is Gendousou’s daughter). She tells him about the necessary sacrifice for their struggle and thus gathered people and made them fight. Fujikido then confronts Amnesia about her ways. Seems this is the path she has chosen (Tetsuo is her comrade) and clearly hates the past self whom he speaks of. Jotunn tries to interrupt but he gets killed off! Fujikido tells her to leave as Ikki Uchikowashi is his enemy. Without answering, she just left. Naraki takes over Maname’s role as he recruits other students in this vicious cycle.

Episode 19
Nancy is in trouble again. Basilisk managed to get through her traps and catch her off guard. His hypnosis paralyzes her. Trufflehog comes by and wants to keep her alive as bait for Ninja Slayer. From the way he says things, looks like some ninjas of Soukaiya are going to rebel and overthrow the current ruler and form their own organization. Meanwhile, Maria Agata is being beaten up by her abusive husband. Morita from next door comes in to beat this guy up and makes him swear never to come back. As he leaves, Maria doesn’t want him to go. It seems Morita is Fujikido in disguise. He gets a coded message from Nancy the coordinates and time of Laomoto’s whereabouts. Fujikido can now assassinate him. The next day as he sneaks into a building, he realizes too late it is a trap because this Laomoto is just a dummy. The bomb goes off and Fujikido is faced with several Soukaiya ninjas. Before Fujikido could finish his greeting, they ambush him. He wonders if Nancy has betrayed him with this false information. He doesn’t think so and this could only mean she has been captured. He gets serious and kills all the ninjas.

Episode 20
With the help of Warlock, Trufflehog snuffs out Fujikido/Morita’s hideout but he is already long gone. Nancy seems to be in the virtual world. Baba Yaga wants her to do something for her so she can’t die yet. When she wakes up, seems her kidnappers are a bit in a panic after finding out something. They run for it but Fujikido stands before them. How did he know their whereabouts? One of the dead ninjas he interrogated. Basilisk will take him on and wants Trufflehog to continue the mission. Basilisk poisons Fujikido with his shuriken and is clearly superior. But Fujikido turns the tables and uses the bike mirrors to reflect his beams. Then he steals his bike and makes haste. Meanwhile Trufflehog presents Nancy to Laomoto and claims she is the one cooperating with Ninja Slayer to take Soukaiya down. He thinks of using her against Ninja Slayer. Suddenly Trufflehog is cut into half by Dark Ninja. Similarly, Warlock is killed off by Gatekeeper. I guess Laomoto saw this coming from a mile about their trap. When Fujikido arrives, Laomoto takes Nancy as hostage. Laomoto’s giant gold name card defeats Fujikido?! After Dark Ninja toys with him a bit, Laomoto gives his farewell present to him: A missile! Ninja slayer defeated?! Maria sees Fujikido injured on the sidewalk. She takes him in but Fujikido is adamant he needs to go to the final showdown.

Episode 21
Fujikido wants Naraku to give him strength without being taken over. Since Naraku refuses, Fujikido does it by force. Maria is shocked to see him transform into Ninja Slayer before her eyes. With the news report that Laomoto is going to run for governor, Maria knows Fujikido must go and do his job. He enters Soukaiya’s building again but is surrounded by yakuza clones. Then Laomoto’s Voice greets him and wants him to join their side in which of course he refuses. Voice then mocks how Laomoto is getting his way with Nancy and orders him to be killed. But of course you know those clones are just there to get killed off just to show us his supremacy. Fujikido makes Voice spill some details before killing him. He is then ambushed by Forest. However he has no intention to fight him because he is going to retrieve Nancy and make her his bride. The duo start racing but are faced with several huge ninja exterminator robots. They cooperate to take them out. Before they can settle each other, Dark Ninja stabs Forest from the back and gets rid of him. Now it is time for the second showdown between Fujikido and Dark Ninja.

Episode 22
Fujikido gets beaten up so Naraku again bugs him to be possessed. Again Fujikido rejects because he wants to settle the score by his own hands. And so he revives to match Dark Ninja’s fight. When Dark Ninja uses his sword, Ninja Slayer got slashed but still lives. That is when Master Tortoise and Master Crane pop up to tell Dark Ninja this isn’t the way and it is time to serve a new master. Fujikido tries to get back in the fight but the duo spam him with paralyzing shurikens. Then they wonder why Dark Ninja has not forged his sword as told and his answer is that place is under the control of Zaibatsu Shadow Guild and he is still on a mission from Laomoto. On the verge of another death, Gendousou visits him once more to tell him the way of the Furinkazan. Not sure if it is the breathing technique because after doing that, Fujikido breaks out. As he wants to resume the fight, the monsters don’t want Dark Ninja to waste his time and whisk him away. Fujikido then goes to find Nancy and breaks her out from her cage. To replenish all that energy, Fujikido eats a tray of sushi! Almost done, there is this kid named Fujio telling them to get out of his room. They do so to avoid any trouble. He is one of many of Laomoto’s sons. Nancy can help Fujikido this time if she hacks into the cyber room. That is where all of Soukaiya’s evil deeds are stored and will be downloaded into her brain backup.

Episode 23
Nancy narrates Fujikido’s battle with the Soukai Six Gates. She describes the ninjas’ abilities but Fujikido easily kills them all with Nancy’s hacking help. He meets some challenge with Hellkite but again with Nancy’s assistance, Hellkite is defeated. Though, he is not dead and goes to warn Laomoto. In the final room, Fujikido faces off with Gatekeeper and meets his match. But it doesn’t take long before Fujikido finally gets the better of him. Sayonara. On the way to the next level, Fujikido experiences some trauma that his family, master and all those ninjas he have killed are blaming him for everything. His killings did nothing. Fujikido strengthens his mind, believing this is a trap from the enemy and blows them away. Now he arrives at the final floor.

Episode 24
Laomoto beats up Hellkite for his late report. Looks like he will have to settle the score with Ninja Slayer first. When Fujikido arrives, Laomoto sets his geishas upon him. No matter what hidden guns, swords or bazookas they pull, they’re not match for Fujikido as they take each other out. Now facing off with the big man himself, Laomoto warns him he is the mightiest ninja ever because he has 7 Ninja Souls. The reason he has this and even the Soukai Six Gates was to stop pests like him because every time if he has to take care of such annoyance, it would be a waste of business productivity. Time is money. Yeah, Fujikido also has no time to hear his ranting. Let’s get this sh*t done. Laomoto dons his golden samurai armour to fight. Fujikido is clearly weaker and takes a pounding. But he won’t give in and when it seems he is succumbing to use Naraku, he is just actually feeding on Naraku’s energy while maintaining his sanity. Fujikido revives and fights back. Their fight now takes to the rooftop for ‘more space’. However Hellkite sneakily helps Laomoto and this throws Fujikido off. Before he could finish him off, Dark Ninja appears and stabs Fujikido. But… they realize this body is a double. Then standing behind them is ghostly Naraku.

Episode 25
WTF?! What the hell is this best of Ninja Slayer segment?! The final review before the fight? Actually these are montages of short clips of the fights Fujikido against other ninjas that we have never seen. Because they aren’t in chronological order, we are left wondering what the hell these fights are supposed to mean other than Fujikido raking up the ninja body count. Since I won’t list every darn clip as they mainly last a few seconds each, I’ll specify the ‘memorable’ ones. Like the first one whereby Fujikido is burning some cactus ninja alive and we have the agony of hearing the poor soul scream “Aaarrghh!!!!” for 1.5 minutes!!! Gwargh indeed. Then I’m not sure who this Yakuza Tengu dude is. Is he some anti-hero? Then there is the fight between Yamoto and Sonic Boom. In the midst of it while Shougo was left for dead, he is picked up by some mysterious dude. The funniest part is when Fujikido is in a shogi battle with another ninja. After a while he just topples the board and beats the crap out of him because he realizes he isn’t here to play shogi! Another funny clip is Nancy dressing up in some mustard mascot and killing yakuza clones! And what’s this? Fujikido saving a little cow? Finally, Fujikido facing off with Dark Ninja to demand answers why he killed his family but Dark Ninja doesn’t have time for this and flies away on his jet with Fujikido not ready to let him go yet.

Episode 26
This hideous form of Naraku beats up Laomoto like there is no tomorrow while Fujikido is trapped in his own mind being forced to relive memories of his family. Of course Naraku starts to weaken since Fujikido’s body is at his limit and thus it is Laomoto’s turn to go on an offensive. This is also partly Fujikido is trying some zen meditation that deprives of the hatred that Naraku is feeding on as power source. Naraku tries to convince him to give him his body but Fujikido has achieved his ultimate zen. Instead of rejecting Naraku, now he accepts him because he was the one who summoned him after being left for dead. He accepts this dark side of his and at the same time won’t let Naraku take over his body. With both sides accepting each other, they revive and transform into a cool version of Ninja Slayer! Ermac?! Anyway, both take turns using the body as they fight Laomoto. Although Hellkite (where the hell was he all the while?) holds him back for Laomoto to unleash all his powerful missiles, Fujikido can still avoid them all and continue his attack. Too bad Hellkite died for nothing. After everything is destroyed, the duo are only left as they continue to trade punches. But Laomoto knows it is his loss and admits defeat. He will give him anything he desires. What does Fujikido desire? His life! Yeeart! A single powerful punch that finally sends Laomoto flying off the tower. Fujikido then wakes up in Maria’s care. She won’t ask what happened but knows that it is over. He has suffered so much so it’s time to take back his life. Suddenly he is zapped out from this dream state because Nancy injected some adrenaline shot to wake him up. As proof Fujikido has defeated Laomoto, there lies his broken body on the ground. But the effect of their battle is that the entire city is now in flames!

Yeeart! Yeeart!!!! YEEEAAARRRTTT!!!
Wasshoi! Yeeart! Well, I don’t know if you could call this a proper or good ending. Because it feels like everything else is incomplete but as long as the big bad boss is dead, then it is particularly over, right? Now that Laomoto is dead, what will be of Fujikido? Where will his soul go now? Will his soul rest in peace? Or will he continue to hunt other ninjas and other forms of evil? And what will the city be since thanks to the power fight, it is left destroyed. A sign that it will be built up from scratch, free from all that corruption? This and much more questions still ringing in my head after the series ends but I suppose when it ends, it just ends. You don’t need to know anything more as long as you know Fujikido has achieved his goal of revenge. Yeeart!

One thing that displeases me about this series is the disconnecting episodes. Because in almost every episode, there seems to be a gap in what happens at the end of one episode and the next. So much so you wonder how much they have skipped or what has happened in between. This makes it hard especially for viewers like me to grasp what is going on as I will be wondering what in the world did this happen to end up like this. That is why I believe they show that penultimate episode as somewhat a reminder about the gaps of the plot and story in between the episodes. But even so, that itself is not enough to do justice to the entire series. Because showing a few ‘important’ clips here and there isn’t going to make things better seeing there are so many happenings, it hardly makes sense if you try to put things together. Everything is all over the place. I know there are lots of ninjas to kill (assuming he killed every last one of them before his showdown with Laomoto) and that you can’t show them all but skipping things like this? Not good. Yeeart!

This leads me to my next point on what I dislike about the series. Some of the supporting characters. It makes you wonder what those characters are really for. And I mean characters like Yamoto, Amnesia/Yukano, Shigaki, Forest, Genocide, Dr Lee, Fubuki and even Dark Ninja himself. What I am saying is that there is no closure for these characters. The loose strings don’t seem to tie up for them. At least from my point of view. Many of these characters are shown their short whereabouts in the final montage of the last episode. Like Yamoto continuing to battle yakuza clones, Forest still surviving from his deadly fall, Dark Ninja watching over things and the rest just bumming around. It doesn’t mean much.

I mean, so what? What will be of Amnesia/Yukano now that she has firmly continued to stay with the organization? I thought Fujikido was supposed to help look after her till the end? So who is this Dark Ninja serving now? Shouldn’t this guy be Fujikido’s top hit list since this is the guy who killed his family? Who are this Master Tortoise and Master Crane anyway? Are they another true badass villains? What happened to Laomoto’s son(s)? Whatever happened to Survivor Dojo? How come Forest is the only one left? Maybe the rest got killed off in an unseen footage but shouldn’t it be better to just kill him off instead of leaving us with that cliff-hanger? What was the significance of Yamoto meeting Genocide for if that zombie isn’t going to have any major impact in the series? Who the heck is this Maria chick? Is she just a figment of his imagination? Man, I thought this would be his new love of his life to move on after everything ended. So you see, the disconnecting plot between the episodes and the very unsatisfying character development of these characters make the series less enjoyable and confusing to watch.

At first I thought I was going to be disappointed when I first saw the art and animation style of the series and thus compounding to my overall dissatisfaction of the series. Looking at the paper craft style of the animation, I thought the producers were just cutting corners in animating the scenes. Because especially during many of the action and fight scenes (and certain drama scenes too), this cheap paper craft style will come into play. So instead of spending money to animate all the cool ninja movements and attacks whatsoever, they just use a still picture of the ninja that never changes throughout the series and just move them just like as though we are watching some sort of paper puppet play. Are they taking us for suckers?! I thought you only see this kind of animation style in picture dramas that you find as bonuses on DVDs? But of course, I eventually got used to it and although I can’t say that I really like this art style, at least it gives the series its uniqueness. But still, not my kind of artwork for an anime series.

But I have to say that the designs of the ninjas can sometimes range from being unique and just silly. With so many enemy ninjas in the series, some that come and go so fast that if you blink, you might miss on how that ninja look. Therefore it feels like as though the producers threw everybody some sort of challenge to come up with different ninja designs no matter how absurd some of them look just to make up the numbers because seriously, you aren’t going to care about those dead small fries, right? While many look like steam cyberpunk ninjas that just came out of some cosplay convention, some like Dark Ninja have quite a good design. Speaking of Ninja Slayer himself, he too looks pretty cool and I thought he is actually worthy design for another ninja character in Mortal Kombat. Especially that final combined form of his. MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!! Yeeart! Get over here!

The general plot is simple and confusing both at the same time. Because in every episode, you can feel that it is more or less the same thing. Fujikido goes around looking for a Soukaiya ninja to kill. They meet. They always greet as a proper etiquette way of the ninja (usually Fujikido’s introduction will have superb explosion effects in the background). They fight. Yeeart! Yeeart! Yeeart!!! The sound of Fujikido or other ninjas unleashing their attack. Gwargh! Argh! Abbah! The sound of the ninjas being hit or taking a massive blow. Now read your death haiku. Sayonara! Ninja dies. Cue for life-like explosion to kill off the ninja. Move on to the next mission. This is the simple part of the series. And if there were plots in the background whatsoever, I’m sure it was hell of a confusing to me so I’m definitely not following.

It was freaking amusing and perhaps the trademark of this series for our ninjas especially Fujikido to scream the “Yeeart!” call. Initially I find it very funny while watching the first few episodes and was laughing my ass off each time the ninjas start screaming this. I guess to make up for the lack of ‘intelligent’ dialogue, they replace this with some muscle head cry. Sure, there are some pretty slick names of the moves, but I don’t really understand nor do I really want to remember what it is. After all, I’m having a good time laughing at all the “Yeeart!” and all the “Argh!” in reaction to that. If this series is going to be remembered for a long time, this trademark cry will definitely be it. Yeeart! (Note: I believe there is a post thread that keeps count the number of times “Yeeart!” is said in an episode! Can you count how many times I’ve said “Yeeart!” in this blog too?). Speaking of speeches, I believe that many of the other cheesy one-liners from this series can be turned into memes. Really. Yeeart!

So you will either be amused or disappointed, depending on your style of action and how it is being displayed here in this series. There is enough ninja action to keep you preoccupied but as said with the paper craft style, sometimes it takes away the fun as you have to be contented with the cheap style of animating action. Sure, there are some action scenes where they are properly animated but it pales in comparison with the paper craft one. With many bad ninjas dying, blood spilling and explosions, I’m sure this is your typical cliché of what is supposed to be an action genre.

When you have a series in which every episode guarantees a ninja being killed off no matter how long or short his appearance is (even lasting just a pathetic 1 second!), then you cannot expect to have great character development as I have said. I wasn’t hoping for it anyway. Fujikido’s drive for revenge is just a setting and motivation for him to go around hunting and taking down a variety of ninjas that serve to be added to his list of ‘victims’. Thus many of those Soukaiya ninjas are just pathetic brawns who has never feared nor faced death till they meet Ninja Slayer. Yeeart! Some may be funny but a big majority aren’t that memorable to begin with.

The only reason why Nancy is in this series is to provide some sexy fanservice after all that mindless violence of ninja killings. I mean, when you are already dressed in that sexy catsuit that for some reason exposes her sexy thighs and butt, can you not hold in your horniness especially when sometimes the camera starts to zoom in on those delicious areas? To make matters worse, she has this penchant of being kidnapped and being the bait for Fujikido to rescue her. Despite the temptation of wanting to cast her as a dumb blonde (especially when she starts screaming her trademark “AIIEEH!”, Nancy can also hold her ground. Well, if she is connected to the internet. What is amusing is the modem that she connects to is the one of the very old type. You know, the one in the early days where they give out that annoying beeping sound each time it tries to connect to the internet. Ah, those nostalgic memories. And funnily too when she is in this connected state, she has this vulnerable stupefied look on her face. Like as though in an after sex. No, really.

Another unique thing about this anime is that it has a different ending for each episode. Although many are hard rock based, there are some variations in some of them too. The bad thing is that with the songs only featured for a single episode, it is hard for them to stick in my mind. There are some good ones though as I have noted like the third episode’s Gekijou Shihainin No Theme by The Pinballs. Well, just have to put up with lots of screaming. Suicidal Bunny by Taffy for the eighth episode isn’t bad too. Then there is the reggae-like Ninja Prayer by Shinichi Osawa in the seventh episode and the video game-like Hide by 80KIDZ for the ninth episode. Tear Of The Pierrot by Mine for the seventeenth episode sounds like a carnival with all those drums in the background making it sound like a drum festival. The nineteenth episode’s Alone by Scam Circle is interesting because it is a xylophone instrumental. Sick Hack Ninsatsu Version by Memento Mori for the twenty second episode is weird because it sounds like a drunk guy singing this rock piece. Generally, the ending themes are really varied and some of them are interesting to hear but mainly if you are into those hard rock genres, you will find many to your liking. But the opening theme is only one and it is totally sung in English, the rock piece of Back In Black by Boom Boom Satellites.

The other unique thing about the ending credits animation is that you can tell whether a character in that episode dies or not. It is like an indicator whether a character lives or dies. Featuring all characters except Fujikido that appeared for that particular episode, as we scroll up the narrow alleyways, characters that are killed off are in monochrome colour and covered in their own red blood. Whereas characters that continue to survive will be in their full bright colour. Only the final episode lacks any of such ‘indicators’. After all that blood, gore and mess, I think leaving it blank would be the best idea.

Overall, if you just consider this ninja series as just purely from an entertaining point of view, then it passes with full colours. Because it is just so silly that it is just so awesome. I am sure at this point veteran anime viewers can name better cyberpunk animes that are worth the watch. Yes, you shouldn’t watch this anime if you really want high reasoning and logic. Because just like one of the lines in the series goes, absurdity kills reason! How true. So have you recited your death haiku? Gwargh! Sayonara. Boom! Yeeart! Yeeart! YEEEAAARRRTTT!!!

I thought it was pretty suspicious that a fanservice-laden series did not release any OVA after the series ended. And then 2 years later, I guess the temptation was too great and thus Senran Kagura: Estival Versus OVA was released to satisfy horny guys who love to see sexy ninja girls running around in swimsuits. There may be other reasons but I prefer to believe in this one ;p. And just like my previous sentence says, expect nothing but lots of naked tits and fanservice because what else reason there is when you have 20 gorgeous ninja babes. Wow! Twenty beautiful ninja girls???!!! Now I see why they want to do such fanservice OVA.

Festival Eve Full Of Swimsuits
A bunch of new ninja girls I believe who have never appeared in the TV series. Yumi and Yozakura from Death Cram School are in a practice fight. Looks like a draw. Yumi has a bad feeling something big will happen. Once they return to their base, Minori shows them a letter that invites them to some spa resort. Yumi is very much against it as she starts labelling everything as evil! Their hearts are being covered by evil! Drawing manga is evil? Looking at your handphone is evil? Eating snacks is evil? WTF???!!! Who is she to label everything that?! She thought Yozakura would side her but it seems she is very much eager to go. To decide, they play rock-scissors-paper boobs version. I don’t know, they show us their tits and go. What? Did it start already? And I can’t tell one boobs from another because it is Yozakura’s win and this means they’re going on a holiday. WTF. And Yumi admitted her defeat! Oh, this evil!

Meanwhile Homura and co are walking around town hungry. No money. They have enough just for one bun. Uh huh. Need to share it among themselves. I don’t know why but they thought of splitting it up nice and good by attacking it like a ninja. WTF. Sure, everybody gets their portion but it’s not enough. Complain, complain… Seeing their pitiful state, the stall lady gives them a ticket for the lottery and guess what? They won the first prize to the spa resort. Free meals guaranteed! Back to Hebi All-Girls Academy, as the school is being rebuilt, Ryouna shows an invitation to the spa resort. She got it while begging like a dog and those horny men started throwing what they’ve got. The invitation was one of them. Suzune suggests her girls to relax at the spa resort as nothing much can be done while their school is under renovation. They agree but the problem is that Murasaki is holed up in her room since she got a new console. Well, I guess they’re going to try and use this excuse and bring her out. Hope she saved her game…

So all the girls are here at this invitation-only resort including our Hanzou girls. Since they’re here to relax and a particular group is just tired from being hungry, they call a ceasefire. And so the fanservice moment we’ve all been waiting for. Girls changing in their underwear, big naked boobs, girls having fun in the water, girls have fun eating their meat (food, that is). For some reason, the group leaders got into some petty argument. They’re really going to fight but Yumi tells them to stop as this will bring trouble to the spa resort. There is a way to settle this and it is via shinobi kibasen. So our girls get ready for the battle but Homura’s group have to sit out since Yomi ate too much that she looks like a pregnant lady and couldn’t budge an inch. Since the Hanzou girls are like idiots, the real fight is between the other 2 groups. Murakumo who is always wearing a devil mask accidentally drops it and since she loves hiding her face, she takes off her swimsuit to cover it. So she is okay with her exposed boobs but not her face? Fine with us! When Hanzou girls get serious, all of them take each other’s hand band off at the same time. A draw? Yumi suggests that they should take off each other’s clothes till none are left. The winner is the one with clothes left. But some of them feel uncomfortable with this idea.

Suddenly several mysterious ladies up the excitement by summoning female ninja foot soldiers. Time for some action. The girls cooperate to take them down. When they can’t use their battle gear transformation, I can’t believe they’re giving up when they are cornered. Suzune and Daidouji interrupt to give them some motivation. Yeah, big motivation for us too because they power up and as a sign of that, their clothes rip to bits! NOW THEY ARE FIGHTING AND KICKING ASS NAKED!!! HOLY CRAP! And they’re not embarrassed with this as opposed to that kibasen game?! Ryouna accidentally drink one of Haruka’s potions and turns into a giant. Ryouna smash! Then her inner masochist awakens as she wants everyone to hit her. For reasons unexplained (fanservice is all that I can think of), her boobs grow bigger each time until she explodes! I don’t even… Don’t worry. She is still alive but there goes the spa resort. At the end of the day after everyone has left, the Death Cram girls despite having fun apologize to Yumi and promise to train harder. However Yumi is the one apologizing because even though she called for everyone to be strong, it is meaningless if they aren’t smiling. This means more harsh training for them. Training with a smile… I hope she didn’t turn into a masochist.

Naked As A Jaybird…
Well, WTF. That is all I can say. Everything here feels ridiculous so much so that I just stopped questioning and enjoy the fanservice. Isn’t that how it should be? A cheap blatant excuse to milk more money for fans of the series and ecchi fans by using the ubiquitous pool and swimsuit theme. And then that butt naked fight was the ultimate of everything. Hell, they shouldn’t have put on swimsuits in the first place if that is the case. But I guess that is how it works because many of us will still come back for more, right? I suppose fans of the series would only enjoy-cum-appreciate this seeing that there are many new characters debuting here as they did not appear in the TV series. You are expected to know the background, the setting the girls, etc prior watching to this. Of course this means with so many girls and so little time, not many get their deserved screen time and very limited lines. But this OVA is just meant to be something extra for the fans. Casual viewers would just go in for the boobs and nothing else. Then you go watch other series with similar or better boobs. Because sex and boobs always sells. If this is the direction of viewers these days, then I really have a bad feeling that something big will happen… Or maybe it already did. Oh, who cares? Just give us our naked tits and butts, we’ll be fine.

Kill Me Baby OVA

January 10, 2014

Woah! I thought it died but it came back! What a pleasant surprise! I thought I had seen the last of this series since it last aired in 2012 and it never occurred to me that an OVA was made more than a year later. Thus it was such a pleasant surprise to me that Kill Me Baby OVA is back with a vengeance despite it is just being a single OVA episode. It brings back hilarious memories especially about an idiotic girl who always finds herself at the deserving end of her assassin friend. She never learns. We laugh. It’s such a good combo and mix. Now she gets to do it all over again. She must have buffed up during the series’ absence and got ready to face whatever punishment she is about to receive. Whatever. As long as you make me laugh, she can get beaten to a pulp for all I care. Oops. I sound like a sadist. But blame it on Yasuna for making me that. As usual, this single OVA is divided into several short skits in which there is no real plot except for Yasuna getting owned by Sonya. She really does love making her mad, doesn’t she? Well Sonya, hope you get your weapons sharpened because here we go again.

Let The Killing Begin!
Yasuna finds a Buddhist alarm clock on Sonya’s table. Weird. Chanting Buddhist lines? She accidentally breaks its head off and panics. Maybe it’s a gift Sonya wants to give her? Dream on. She hides tries to hide it when Sonya comes in looking for something she forgot to take home. Sonya knows something is wrong because she is acting real strange. Hiding something? Just stomach ache problem. To Yasuna’s horror, Sonya didn’t intend to give whatever she left behind as a gift. So it isn’t technically Yasuna’s property, right? She is going to excuse herself as the ‘stomach ache’ is getting bad when the clock starts ‘chanting’. Sonya wants her to show her hands. Not going to. Instead of risking a body search, Yasuna will take it off herself but it seems it is stuck. She wants Sonya to turn around while she undresses but it is just a plot to escape. With the assassin hot on her heels, Yasuna drops ninja marbles to escape but was too stupid to drop it in front of herself. Sonya sees the broken clock and notes it isn’t hers. Why is Yasuna feeling so disappointed? Turns out the clock belongs to Agiri so the idiot tries to blame Sonya for breaking it. Agiri reveals the head part holds a spare battery and thus can be removed. Duh… Now Sonya wants to remove Yasuna’s head… Oh sh*t…

Yasuna’s hands are cold and she knows better than to touch Sonya. Here comes the beating! Because of that, the next day she comes to school with both her hands bandaged. Sonya her confident her beating can’t do this to her but it seems it is genuine. She feels sorry but Yasuna takes advantage of this by being cocky. Can’t hear you say sorry loud enough. I don’t remember her ears getting hurt. Since Yasuna can’t use her hands, she wants Sonya to do stuffs on her behalf. Like massage her feet. Or feed her (Sonya use hospital drips) and even copy notes on her behalf. The idiot has the cheek to say her handwriting is unreadable! Can she be choosy?! Sonya has had it and is going to punch her uninjured face. Because of the bandages, Yasuna’s hands are longer so they reach Sonya’s face first. Now she chokes her. That’s cheating! Suddenly Yasuna’s hands feel itchy. She can’t stand it anymore and takes off her bandages to scratch them. Sonya grows mad upon seeing her tiny injury on her thumb with a plaster. Now she is going to hurt her body all over.

Yasuna is about to eat her lunch when she realizes it is a pile of tiles. She got the cheek to ask Sonya to share half their lunches. Then Yasuna remembers. She wanted to see Sonya break tiles and somehow mixed it up with her lunch. Since it’s like this, she bugs Sonya to break them. But Sonya threatens her back. If Yasuna can’t break them, she’ll chop her up! Yasuna tricks her into looking out the window while she breaks it with her knee. It didn’t. She just got more pain on her knee. Then she has her demonstrate how to break one. Can do it again? You were too fast. Sonya knows it’s her ploy to let her break all the tiles and so Yasuna will do a high kick instead. Can her leg kick this high? Well, she kicks Sonya’s ribs. Thanks to the tiles, Yasuna was able to block all her knives. I think Sonya will enjoy breaking Yasuna than the tiles. Yasuna tries to break the tile with her teeth thinking it’s the strongest part. Obviously not. Feeling sorry for her, Sonya will buy her something. But she realizes she has no cash and already ate her lunch. Yasuna is in shock that she drops the tiles. See, it’s now broken.

Sonya wants to go to the bathroom but Yasuna scares her with a scary legend. She doesn’t believe her and makes her way there till she hears a couple of girls commenting on how scary the toilet is. She goes to a further toilet and seems Yasuna is tailing her, complaining she didn’t believe her but other girls. She narrates her firsthand experience but it sounds like somebody having a bad case of stomach ache. They enter the toilet and find nothing. Yasuna gets cheeky by switching on and off the likes only to get beaten up. Then they hear something from the cubicle before the lights go out. Yasuna asserts it wasn’t her. Sonya starts slashing blindly and cuts something. There goes Yasuna’s bangs. Yasuna then figures out a way to exorcise the ghost. She will chant some Buddhist lines to power up Sonya’s knife. It is just a ploy to record Sonya in her embarrassing pose. Sonya then feels the atmosphere suddenly changed. Yasuna notes the door is opened and is sure Sonya has scared the ghost off. Sonya is not pleased and stains the toilet floors, walls and door with that idiot’s blood. Will this turn into a scary legend?

Agiri has Sonya and Yasuna help her clean her shed. As a reward, they can take anything they find. I’m sure Yasuna is more interested in this part. After Agiri leaves for some ‘urgent’ business, Sonya starts cleaning but the idiot fools around. She finds a little tea doll believed to be able to move when you put something on its tray. Yasuna puts the teacup but nothing happens. Suddenly the doll’s hair grows long! From the box, it is revealed it is a scary toy. Little do they know, the doll starts walking away from them… Yasuna wants to get a fragile jar on the top shelf. She wants Sonya to at least throw her up but she throws her to the wall! Hey, the jar is going to fall off now. Sonya prepares to catch it but Yasuna crashes into her to get back but the jar falls on her head. Now it’s broken and Agiri has returned. As usual, the idiot blames it all on Sonya but Agiri doesn’t mind about the jar. However it’s a family heirloom… Just kidding! Also inside it was a secret spirit medicine that she was looking. It was hidden in that broken jar? Yasuna freaks out when Agiri says she really liked that jar…

Yasuna tells Sonya that Agiri is calling her to the clubroom. Sonya doesn’t think it is possible because she just met that ninja. Perhaps it’s a fake. And when Agiri comes in, Sonya can clearly tell this fake because of her eyes. Yeah, the faker tries to even adjust her eyes. Yasuna believes she’s the real deal because she gave her sweets, something Agiri never does. WTF. Agiri says she is trying some sort of disguise that looks like herself. WTF. She has the duo look into some crystal ball. Unknown to them, she is going to smack them from behind. Sonya quickly evades and Yasuna takes the full brunt. Now do you believe she is a fake? The real Agiri comes in and notes this automatic doppelganger skill of hers. Then she also tears off her ‘mask’ so that her face is the same as the fake. Now can you tell who is apart? Anyway the fake admits she is one and is an assassin out to take out Sonya. Actually Sonya already knew it from the start. The fake attacks but was beaten up by Sonya and Yasuna. Why didn’t the other help? Because the other never considered her her partner. The unbeaten one is the real Agiri as she unmasks herself. Confused? Sonya and Yasuna talk about their own doppelgangers but Yasuna is not confident she can tell Sonya’s one apart because assassins look like idiots. Now that deserves a beating up.

Yasuna dressed in a pumpkin head threatens Sonya to hand over all her candies for Halloween. You think Sonya would fall for that? Yasuna then gives her a special candy which turns out to be a cockroach! Yasuna explains she is just testing her to see if she gets violent with children. Oh, really? Is she sure she just doesn’t want to piss her off? She then dresses as a ghost to make Sonya to hand over her candies. Since that is not going to happen and Yasuna going to unleash her whatever trick, Sonya punches her in the face. Sonya is wary when Yasuna gives her candies, though her excuse that this is practice for her to give candies to kids. Sonya knows she is preparing for something that deserves to be whacked. And true enough, the idiot becomes a menacing idiot in asking for the candy and gets beaten up. Yasuna then makes her wear the pumpkin and the role to play the monster. But she teases her that she dresses up like that for the candy. No prizes for guessing what Sonya’s reaction is and what happens to Yasuna.

The locals are having a costume contest and Yasuna wants to join in for the candy prize. But why does she have to drag Sonya along? As Yasuna gets dressed, Sonya thinks the idiot has come back to tease her and scares her off. Turns out to be an authentic little girl asking for candies. Yasuna uses this opportunity to blackmail her that if she doesn’t want her to rat on her parents, better put on some costume. Yasuna suggests she wears a Santa outfit so that people will pity her for mistaking the wrong holiday season. Pow! With only a few pieces of garments left over, Yasuna wears them all and becomes some sort of fusion monster. Not even those creative monster creators could come up with this sh*t. A couple of kids tease Yasuna for the oddball costume she is so she gives them her special candy. Cockroaches!!! How mean… Sonya dresses up as a simple ghost but Yasuna steps over her excess cloth to make her trip. Feel like dying? Later everyone is impressed with Yasuna’s real life-like zombie makeup and she wins the first prize. Thank Sonya for that. Woah. The bruises are real dude!

Killing Me Loudly With Their Jokes
Oh wow! That was good! It was hilarious! I loved it. Brings back so many memories and how I wished they made another season out of it. But for now, I’ll just have to be (very) content with what I have now and once more, hats off to the idiot and assassin (and also the ninja) for bringing back the laughs. It was pretty amazing and funny to see Yasuna creatively coming up with all sorts of pranks just to piss Sonya off. It’s like it is her destiny to do so and is not afraid of the consequences. I mean, she really is afraid of getting her bones broken but I think she is the type of jump first, think later. That’s why she never thinks of the consequences and would just jump in to have fun. After all the beat ups, strikes, whacks and hammering, her injuries never stay so very long and before you know it, she’s back to her usual trickster ways. Maybe Sonya hit her head so hard that she has memory problems. Yeah. Short memory. I guess that’s why she never learns or remembers the pain from her previous punishment. But it’s a good thing since it shows her perseverance and that Yasuna is the same idiotic girl we all love and know.

Sonya on the other hand as usual always has her patience tested out and it makes me wonder if taking an anger management class would suffice. On second thought, would it even do any good? Imagine if an irritating person constantly pisses you off, don’t you think it is natural for you to go beat that person up instead of forgiving her or just sit around and accept her pranks? Hmm… Maybe that will scare Yasuna off. Because no reaction or the kind Sonya would definitely be no fun. Yes. It’s the reactions that Yasuna would love to see in making Sonya really mad. So is the pain worthwhile? For an idiot like Yasuna, it is. So here is to more pain and punishment from these comedic duo for years to come. Not forgetting of course the dreamy ninja scammer Agiri. She too is pretty funny and tricky in her own ways but still the main duo are the ones that bring in the main laughs. Say… What happened to that Unused Character?! She didn’t appear in here at all! Not really needed, huh? Yeah. This anime doesn’t need 2 big idiots.

Even if Sonya didn’t chop me with her karate fists, I still almost died laughing this OVA. I can say that this series’ joke level is on par with Gintama because I was really laughing at all the silliness. Now that the OVA is over and this series has once again died down into oblivion, it feels a little tad sad and making me wonder if there is going to be another. Well, maybe in the future they can surprise me like this again. But what are the chances? Maybe I should become an idiot and play some silly pranks on the producers to bug them for another season. Even if I end up with broken arms, ribs and limbs, it’s all going to be worth it. Or maybe not. That wouldn’t be funny anymore.

Senran Kagura

August 3, 2013

If you’re tired of a certain blonde teenage ninja whose name takes after a certain fish paste, then there are other ninja shows around for you to pass the time. If you like ninja themed animes, that is. Me? I’m not trying to be a shinobi (I guess it’s a fancier term for the ubiquitous word of ninja) but I guess the reason why one would watch Senran Kagura is undoubtedly the fanservice. Ah. You can see where this is going. Why else would you have busty girls as shinobis then? There isn’t much plot in this series. A group of girls in a school that has a secret class to train budding shinobis. This is what they go through in their training when they are faced with a bigger threat of an evil shinobi school bent on taking them out and whose goal remains mysterious. I can pretty much guess what that goal is. World domination? Ultimate power? Revenge? What else? Just stay for the fanservice. You’ll be less disappointed that way.

Episode 1
Asuka flees from a group of shinobi babes hot on her trail in the city. She manages to escape by clinging onto the getaway helicopter. Asuka returns to Asakusa after undergoing training at her grandpa’s place. She is a student of Hanzou Academy and despite looking like a normal gigantic school, it also houses a secret shinobi class that Asuka is part of. We are introduced to her other mates: the serious class rep Ikaruga, serial breast molester Katsuragi, clumsy moe blob weakling Hibari and eye-patch prodigy Yagyuu. They assemble when their teacher Kiriya makes his smoky entry (that’s what all ninjas do, right?). He somewhat ‘commends’ Asuka for barely passing her promotion exam. The girls get ready for the first period which is to practice martial arts among each other. After the break, Kiriya announces that the afternoon classes will be a mission outside school. As the police are having a hard time with delinquents running rampant on the streets, their job is to eliminate them. As they split up to look for their targets, Asuka bumps into Homura whom she first met on the ferry on her way back. She claims she got lost on her field trip with her friends so Asuka offers to take her around since she is not familiar with the place. Yagyuu and Hibari come into a group of delinquents. They signal a secret shinobi beacon for the rest to gather. Everyone except Asuka arrives. It seems Homura plans to kill Asuka but the latter’s own blooper by falling into the pond made Homura think twice of pulling that off. Ikaruga and Katsuragi easily finish off the delinquents but they stand back up again after all that beating. They sense they have no emotions, like as though they are being controlled by somebody. They are indeed. They summon Shinobi Barrier, a special battle place that shinobis use when they fight each other, and transform into their battle gear so that they can utilize their strength and skill to the max. They realize the delinquents are made out of wooden dolls and that they were deliberately targeted. Asuka finally manages to leave Homura. Homura notes how she tried showing her killing intent but it seems Asuka never realized it. When she regroups with her pals, they tell her the show is over and that they will report her to Kiriya for reprimanding. Be prepared! Homura regroups with her comrades and it seems they have nothing to fear of Hanzou Academy after putting up that little test. They’ll let them be for now and in time will let them know who the real shinobis are.

Episode 2
Kiriya explains to the girls about Kugutsu, a high level shinobi skill that allows one to control powerful dummies while maintaining a safe distance. The foe they faced is likely a very skilled puppeteer. As for the puppeteer’s objective, he can’t say anything more beyond this point. Ikaruga, Katsuragi and Yagyuu demonstrate their animal summoning technique. They are pros so it is easily done. Hibari summons a… Pink bunny? Destructive anyway. Next is Asuka but no matter how much she concentrates, nothing pops up. Kiriya orders the girls to stay away from outside contact since the puppeteer incident. Of course Asuka is feeling depressed that she’s the only one who can’t summon and seeks Ikaruga’s advice on how she chose hers. She is sure that it will come naturally to her. Asuka is still concerned as she is the daughter of the legendary Hanzou who is the founder of the academy. There is this pressure to live up to his name and not soil it. On their way home, a frog leaps into Asuka’s cleavage! She’s freaking out! To help her out, Katsuragi strips her! I guess that’s killing 2 birds with 1 stone. When the girls patron a sushi bar, they hear a familiar voice. It’s Asuka’s grandpa, Hanzou! What is the legendary shinobi man doing her? It couldn’t be just treating them to sushi, no? Hanzou talks to Asuka and knows about her summoning problem. She is appalled that their lineage summoned frogs. Well, we all know where her phobia started. Grandpa thought of making her comfortable with frogs since young has backfired. As the girls help Asuka to find a frog, Hanzou lends a helping hand to summon them. A bunch of frogs! NOOOO!!! Hanzou talks to Kiriya about the puppeteer incident. It means they have made their first move. As we learn, as there are good shinobis, there are evil ones too. Speaking of which, Homura and her comrades are reporting back to their master, Suzune about the disappointing Hanzou girls. However she cautions not to underestimate them and eliminate them all silently using every method they’ve learnt.  She sends Yomi next for the mission. Asuka is forced into some treatment whereby she has to dip in the same pool filled with frogs! Slimy, creepy! After that, Asuka accompanies Ikaruga on errands as the latter wants to throw a celebration party for Hanzou. Yomi speaks to them but Ikaruga quickly takes Asuka away because of the orders not to contact outsiders. However Yomi fires a warning shot at them.

Episode 3
Ikaruga continues to ignore her so Yomi initiates the Shinobi Barrier. Then she starts targeting Ikaruga and mock her the rich girl she is. Ikaruga orders Asuka to stand back and fights alone. Unfortunately Yomi was too powerful for her to handle to the point she got her transformation clothes blown away. Yomi then lets them live since this is just greeting. Ikaruga wants Kiriya to punish her since she made contact with outside parties even though it’s not her fault. If Kiriya won’t punish her, Hanzou will. Veterans may know what this ambiguous sex scene is. Ikaruga massaging Hanzou’s back. Asuka takes over from her and you can say hers is really bone breaking. I guess this is the only thing that grandpa loses to granddaughter. Later Kiriya speaks with Ikaruga privately if she is aware that her brother back home is missing. She isn’t. Ikaruga remembers how she was brought into the family as an adopted child. Her brother and heir to the family, Murasame will not accept her and remains cocky. Because he lagged in his shinobi training, father gave Ikaruga Hien, the family heirloom sword to her and this doesn’t sit well with Murasame. When Ikaruga returns to her room, she sees Murasame looking through her stuffs to retrieve Hien. Ikaruga tries to avoid any confrontation but Murasame is just mad that someone blood unrelated got Hien. He dares her to snatch it from him and she easily proves so. That’s what you get for not bucking up in your shinobi lessons. Murasame is sent falling down the trapdoor. When he resurfaces from the sewer, Hanzou confronts him and will let this slip if he returns home immediately. He tells Murasame that despite his father knows he isn’t good in shinobi, he still has hope for him. Being shinobi isn’t the only path. While the girls are training, Ikaruga seems edgy and almost got into a full blown argument with Katsuragi. If not for Asuka, it would have. When Hanzou tells Ikaruga that everyone here is like family, she gets motivation to train Asuka to summon her beast. The frog treatment doesn’t bode well as Asuka still freaks out. Till a big rock threatens to fall on a frog that Asuka jump to save it. The rock turns out to be a prop. But her instincts had her touch the frog and all of a sudden, she doesn’t fear it anymore. She even thinks it is cute! Asuka powers up further now she has a beast and excels in her practice. Ikaruga explains to Kiriya how she made Asuka overcome her fear of frogs. She is normally kind to everyone but made a wall in her heart and thought it was scary. So if she holds the frog in her own free will, that wall will crumble. Hanzou is grateful Asuka has a classmate and ‘elder sister’ like her. Meanwhile Hikage and Mirai are next to go into action.

Episode 4
The Hanzou girls are heading to Shinobi Island for their next training. The inn seems run down like a haunted house… Katsuragi wants to go to the beach but Kiriya has them start their first mission: Clean the inn. This is going to take all day. Kiriya and Yagyuu go fishing and the latter fishes out all sorts of fish and sea creatures that would make a great seafood combo. Because Hibari spot a message on a ceiling beam about wanting to become a super ninja, she asks Kiriya what it means. He tries his best to explain though it made him remember a past student of his. That night, the girls enter a pillow fight. Ikaruga is so pissed that they’re noisy and disrupting her studies that when she got hit, she fights back thinking they’re throwing her a challenge. Oops. Her first throw hit Kiriya. They got reprimanded to go to bed or else no breakfast tomorrow. Next day, the girls continue their training in a life-and-death match. From what I understand: Girls fighting in their swimsuits. Fanservice! Then more fanservice when the girls get their much awaited break to frolic on the beach. Train hard, play hard too. Especially with Katsuragi turning into a serial bikini top thief to turn Asuka topless. Kiriya gets a letter by his ex-student Rin to meet at the beach. However he notices something off about her and realizes he has been lured out. Meanwhile Hibari is being attacked by Mirai but Yagyuu comes to her rescue. Mirai and Yagyuu are evenly matched so Mirai calls it quits and flees. I wonder how she kept a mini jet underneath her skirt! Elsewhere Katsuragi faces off with Hikage. Katsuragi thought she could show off her skills but it seems Hikage is much better. By the time Katsuragi gets serious and powers up, Hikage is already gone since she’s just here to play with her and keep her busy. When everyone regroups back at the inn, Kiriya tells them about Hebi All-Girls Academy. As heard from Hanzou, it is an evil shinobi training centre whose teachings are opposite Hanzou’s. It’s safe to say all previous attack encounters were from them. They are not sure what their goal is because each encounter they don’t sense their killing intent and never fought seriously from the start. While the girls loosen up on breakfast or in the case of Katsuragi, Asuka’s boobs, Kiriya can’t help wonder how the enemy got a hold of Rin’s details since the after image of her was like an exact duplicate.

Episode 5
We glimpse the brutal training at Hebi Academy. The elite five are summoned by Suzune for a new mission. In a flash, the quintet have already infiltrated Hanzou Academy and are trying to find the secret facility for the Secret Ninja Technique scroll. All that’s left is a suspicious building that has a prohibited sign. That must be it. Our Hanzou girls are seriously training because they know the next match with their counterparts will be more than just provocation. Especially Katsuragi who cannot accept that insulting defeat. During Kiriya’s lecture, Katsuragi fell asleep and was made to stand in the corridor. She remembers her carefree past. Her parents were shinobis but they failed an important mission and were supposed to commit suicide. However they ran away and to prevent Katsuragi from getting dragged into the mess, they left her. That’s why she always thought if she became an excellent shinobi, her parents’ sin will be forgiven and she will meet them again. The Hebi girls enter the secret facility but Haruka feels the need to eliminate the primary obstacle first. The intruder alert is sounded but when Kiriya goes to check, it’s a couple of delinquent boys hanging out. He confronts them but they attack. He fights back and they turn out to be puppets. He realized too late this is a trap to separate him as the entire school is under Shinobi Barrier. The girls gear up and go in search for the enemies. They are attacked by puppet ninjas. However it is a decoy to separate them into different barriers. Ikaruga faces off with Yomi. I wonder how she keeps her guided bombs under her skirt?! Yagyuu deliberately ignores Mirai to go find Yagyuu, pissing her off. The only time she stops ignoring her is when she has to fight her believing it would destroy the barrier and link to the rest. I wonder how Mirai kept a machine gun underneath her skirt?! Katsuragi relishes her grudge match with Hikage but again fails to get the better of her. Hikage mocks her that her fiery will get her nowhere. Asuka is shocked to learn her opponent is Homura. The latter explains their first meeting was to gauge her abilities as the legendary shinobi’s granddaughter. Asuka gets serious in her fight and just when she thought she defeated Homura by kicking away her sword, she unsheathes another one. Man, how many swords does she carry? Better start worrying… Hibari is very afraid. Because she is confronted with Haruka. The puppeteer. Meanwhile Suzune informs Dougen, Hebi’s founder that this operation this time isn’t really to steal the scroll. As explained, the Super Secret Ninja Technique scroll is divided into two: Yin scroll (handed down to the evil shinobi) and Yang scroll (good shinobi) and of course the baddies’ plan is to obtain both scroll in which Suzune seems to have her own plans about the whole thing.

Episode 6
The power fights continue. So powerful that they had to resort to their Secret Ninja Technique that ends up with them fighting in their undies. Wow! Ahem. Kiriya is being told by a mysterious black cat that some very skilled shinobi is behind the string of assaults. Or at least someone who was a very good ninja. No matter how much Katsuragi powers up, she can’t land a hit on Hikage. But each time she stands back up and doesn’t fear her threat. She manages to land a head butt before passing out. Ikaruga powers up her pride within Hien to pound Yomi. Even so, the damage is minimal. Yagyuu easily defeats Mirai with her squid move. To her dismay, she got kicked out of the barrier instead of moving to the next. She meets up with Kiriya who tells her about the risk of trying to break through the barrier. His student Rin had this idea of connecting several hearts of shinobis together to create a bigger barrier. She experimented on this but it took her life. At least he was sure she died. However Yagyuu is adamant to reach Hibari and tries to break through to reach her. Hibari is in a comical fight with Haruka. Summoning a cute bunny to pound her? She gets beaten up in return and on the verge of passing out, she calls out for Yagyuu’s help. That’s when she rips open the barrier to come through. Yagyuu is weakened from that stint so Haruka doesn’t feel she is worthy of being her doll like Hibari and attacks her. Because Hibari pleads not to kill her, Haruka agrees to save her and wants to be Hibari’s friend. She gives her an ear piercing as proof of their friendship. Homura bests Asuka but the latter is worried about her friends. Homura chides her for being soft because at times like these, she can only rely on herself. Asuka notes this way she will always be lonely.

The barrier starts weakening and it’s a sign to retreat since Mirai has been totally defeated. When the Hanzou girls regroup, they are devastated to see Yagyuu badly injured. She is taken to recuperate in a secret unofficial hospital made by shinobis for shinobis. Hah. Anyway Yagyuu remembers the time she and Hibari first met. It was a rainy day like this during the school entrance ceremony. She saw Hibari playing in the rain. She looked like her sister but knew she couldn’t be her as she died in an accident. While the girls lament being powerless, Hanzou returns as he had heard things from a certain cat. Later talking things out with Kiriya about the extreme training in Hebi whereby there are incidence of deaths, Hanzou thinks it’s time to choose the successor of the Great Secret Ninja Technique. Yeah. Not only it is secret but it’s great as well. Only one can inherit it but as the girls are now, they won’t even get close. Plus, it is the technique that chooses who should inherit it. Suzune is pleased to hear her students have shown their might against their counterparts. Despite not being able to defeat them, Suzune is more than happy that they have achieved their objective. The Hebi girls, some reflect on what was said by their counterparts during their encounter and some can’t wait to get their revenge.

Episode 7
Asuka is reeling from Homura’s words that she won’t accept her as the legendary shinobis granddaughter. Kiriya is writing his report when the cat informs him that the recent incident was perpetrated by someone with detailed knowledge of this school. A traitor? They talk about Rin who has already died though her body was never found. The cat also mentioned she found clothes residing an aura of an evil ninja they’ve never encountered before. And that the techniques used by the Hebi girls were the application of multiple users like a certain person. She wonders if Kiriya is prepared to involve his students. Meanwhile the Hebi girls are undergoing waterfall meditation. They talk about Suzune who is rumoured once from the good ninja’s side. Homura dismisses it but she gets agitated when Mirai points out that many of them like themselves were from the good side too. Kiriya takes the Hanzou girls for their next training. Hiking a mountain? Not exactly. A play on words, it is actually Hai-kin-gu, which means creeping tense fear. They have to traverse obstacles to reach the mountain top to attain a scroll. So the girls become rivals for the day as they compete to the summit. It makes you wonder if this place is Japan because there’s a tropical jungle and even a snow blizzard. A polar bear too?! And you may think some of the animals are perverted because they shred of pieces of the girls’ clothes for fanservice. Like how the leeches fall all over Asuka so she had to strip and dive into the water. Or how the piranhas bite away Yagyuu’s clothes. For once, Hibari doesn’t play damsel in distress and rescues Yagyuu from those carnivorous fish. Katsuragi and Ikaruga bump into each other as they stop for the night in a natural hotspring while Hibari and Yagyuu make their own little hotspring from the ground.

Next day the girls continue their journey. Asuka is trekking through the caves when she is faced with a giant black cat. They fight as the cat taunts Asuka that being related by blood doesn’t necessarily make her strong. Asuka is close to accepting her defeat when she remembers Hanzou telling her how her father’s determination to toss away everything, his dream and career just to be with his loved one. During that time, Hanzou opposed his marriage to his beloved but after seeing how determined he was, he was convinced. Asuka gets the strength to stand back up on her feet to thank her parents for everything. She strikes back at the cat but it turns out to be one big mirage. All the girls reach the top at the same time. Before them is the strongest legendary senior named Daidouji (the cat). Rumour has it that even though she has passed her exams, she continued to repeat the school year many times. Daidouji dares everyone to come at her at once. Even so, nobody could land a hit on her. Till Asuka individually attacks her but instead of charging head on, she uses a decoy. Still it wasn’t enough to beat her. The match ends when Kiriya pops up. He explains this was Daidouji’s idea to train them and volunteered to help them. Daidouji hands the scroll to Asuka. So she’s the winner. Daidouji knows Asuka has potential but just doesn’t realize it. However it can be a double edge sword because she might stray her path and end up like that person. Kiriya assures he won’t let it happen. Asuka opens the scroll and it reads, “Power is both sword and shield”. This is one of the wise words from Hanzou.

Episode 8
Kiriya is stricter with his training for the girls. Ikaruga can’t block all the shurikens, Asuka’s moves are too repetitive and Yagyuu continues to protect Hibari even if she’s not supposed to. Kiriya ends the class and returns to his room where Daidouji is waiting. In this flashback episode, we go back 2 years ago when Ikaruga and Katsuragi were chosen to be students of this shinobi class. Ikaruga was unfriendly and never smiled. This despite Katsuragi trying to be friends with her. Of course Ikaruga excelled in everything. Not even Katsuragi’s sneak attack could do anything. So I guess she resorted to sexual harassment, eh? Then Ikaruga has had it, she summons Shinobi Barrier despite being ordered by Kiriya not to do so. She can get all the attention she wants. They start fighting as Ikaruga tells her off for her insensitive forceful attitude of sneaking into other people’s business. You know, Ikaruga has her own past. So does Katsuragi. Suddenly the barrier is about to collapse and Ikaruga panics she can’t remove it. She fears they’ll forever be stuck here. Katsuragi slaps her to her senses but doesn’t blame her. She feels they are alike. They cooperate to break through the barrier and only got out because Kiriya’s intervention. They are punished but this results Ikaruga to open up more.

A year later, the duo learns how to transform into their battle gear. Asuka becomes their junior but despite being the legendary shinobi’s granddaughter, she is a klutz. I guess that’s how Katsuragi’s serial boobs harassment began. She totally digs those big jugs. Ikaruga feels envy for Asuka because of their different family background. Asuka must have grown up in a loved environment and doesn’t have a shred of talent as opposed to her. But she changes her mind when Asuka unconsciously transforms into her battle gear. Something Ikaruga and Katsuragi took an entire year to master. Then a year later, Yagyuu and Hibari join the team. Yagyuu excels greatly as a prodigy but Hibari is a total opposite. So much so I would say it’s luck that got her this far. Yagyuu reminds us of a certain unfriendly person when she refuses to open up with her seniors and becomes a lone wolf with the exception of Hibari. But soon in time, she too learns to open up. Even Daidouji has her own flashback. There is a reason why she doesn’t graduate. Rin was her senior and Daidouji could never beat her. She vowed never to graduate until she could best her. Unfortunately, Rin died. Kiriya remembers Rin insisted on a national level mission that was too dangerous. He should have stopped her even if he had to resort to force. Her death was what resulted in Daidouji’s indefinite graduate postponement. However she notes that her graduation and journey is near its end. Meanwhile Suzune learns from Dougen that he has sent Haruka on a mission since it is priority to obtain the Super Secret Ninja Technique scroll. Suzune notes it will be useless if the scroll doesn’t choose its successor. Her plan is to wait for Hanzou Academy to choose one and then go in for the ensnarement since their side does not have a chosen one. However Dougen says he wants result and it is already too late. Haruka makes her move and controls Hibari via the ear piercing.

Episode 9
Yagyuu visits Hibari’s room but doesn’t find her anywhere. The window is open. Kiriya checks on the scroll after hearing the intruder alert. Nothing is stolen. The scroll is in place. Well, a trap if I should say. Because it led Hibari to the scroll as she drops the paralysis gas. Next day Kiriya alerts the girls that the scroll is stolen and the culprit is among them (Hibari back to normal but unaware of last night’s actions). They are to standby in their room. Hibari discovers the scroll in underneath her bed. Suddenly Haruka steals it and thanks her for being a good friend. She notes she will now be considered a traitor. Since everybody will eventually view her as a failure, Haruka says she recognizes her strength and tosses her the location of Hebi Academy. She expects her to join. Soon the rest finds an apology letter in Hibari’s room that she’s going to Hebi to take back the scroll. Kiriya realizes too late the ear piercing that has a hidden transmitter that amplifies the mental wave of its user. Like how a puppeteer is able to control her puppets. Yagyuu becomes mad and dives off to find Hibari even if she doesn’t know where she is. Asuka manages to stop her and calm her down. She blames herself for letting this happen. She knew Hibari wasn’t in her room that night but couldn’t bring herself to doubt her. The other girls would have done the same thing if they were in her place. Hibari is outside Hebi and is ambushed by several guards. She is brought to Haruka who really wants Hibari as her own and doesn’t care about the master’s ulterior motive. Can a girl from Hanzou Academy transfer easily to Hebi? Haruka assures she will protect her. Hibari is given a tour on their training grounds. She meet her other friends and is surprised they accept her easily as their comrade. They point out good ninjas are rigid and constrained but evil ninjas are more open and tolerant. They do not reject those who come. If she betrays? Well, Hikage dares her to do it if she can. In this place, you hold yourself responsible for everything. Mirai will be friends with her as long as she is not ignored while Yomi quickly becomes her friend when Hibari doesn’t hate her favourite bean sprout plant.

Hibari is surprised that there are lots of students at Hebi compared to Hanzou Academy which only houses 5 students. Haruka explains each has their own reasons to enter here. Homura would have been Hibari’s classmate at Hanzou Academy if not for a little technicality. A condition to enrol in the good ninja facility is not to have committed an illegal act. Homura stabbed somebody and had no choice but to become an evil ninja. Mirai was a bully victim and decides to bully the world back. Hikage was raised in a battlefield as a killing machine. Yomi was raised in the slums and lost her family due to poverty. They are Hebi Academy’s strongest five. Hibari is introduced to Suzune and the latter leaves it to Haruka to take care of her. When Haruka tells her a top secret info that Suzune was once a good ninja, Hibari remembers that super ninja writing from the inn. That familiar feeling… Suzune reports to Dougen of the new transfer student based on a student’s recommendation. He is happy to have the scroll in his hands despite Suzune voicing her opinion she disagreed to this since it was a foolish move. Dougen reminds her he took her in when she nearly died after failing a mission as a former good ninja. With that opinion, Suzune thinks she no longer needs him and is going to make her move. Back at Hanzou Academy while the other girls are pondering the location of Hebi, Yagyuu apologizes to Kiriya for her rash move. She notes Asuka’s abilities of evading her serious attack then. Kiriya wonders if Asuka has a leap in her development. Kiriya later follows the sound of the bell and comes face to face with Suzune who requests him to a duel. After a strike, they are evenly matched but Kiriya can tell from underneath that mask that Suzune is Rin. He never forgets the way he teaches his students how to wield a sword. She tells him Hibari is now enrolled at Hebi and if he wants to know why she joined the dark side, come to Hebi Academy. Oh, here’s a map to the place too.

Episode 10
Kiriya knows the other girls are eavesdropping and flushes them out. Now that they know where Hebi is, they want to go there. But it won’t be easy. This might escalate into a full blown war between good and evil ninjas that will affect the country. So are they going to just sit around then? Hanzou explains about the existence of Yin and Yang. One cannot exist without the other. He adds if this is confined to an argument between students then it is okay. He will take responsibility of this. Hibari sneaks in to steal the scroll but sees Dougen reprimanding Suzune for giving out Hebi’s location. He considers her actions as betrayal. This is because he obtained both scrolls which she views as foolish. Dougen knows that by inviting a Hanzou Academy student here means she is inviting an assault. He is upset that if the higher ups hear about this, his position will be threatened. Suzune dares him to run away or kill himself since he was the one who broke the rule first. Dougen orders Suzune to be captured. After the Hanzou girls blast off in their modified kits (like Grendizer?), Hanzou could guess Kiriya and Daidouji want to follow them to Hebi too because if Rin acted on her own accord of revealing Hebi, her punishment is inevitable. Daidouji has some disturbing news that Hebi will be using underhanded tactics. Haruka guides Hibari around the training area for ninjas training under the different elements (it’s totally weird to see macho muscled men in female school uniform!). Hibari is shocked that the training is very strict. When one is injured, nobody helps. It’s one way to have them learn from their mistakes. Besides, they don’t view comrades as friends. Just as somebody who aids in missions. As Hibari joins the elite quintet in the bath, she asks their opinion on Suzune. They heap praises of her. Hibari notices how each of them are getting along fine. Maybe they’re not inherently evil. Despite the school’s different methodology, the shinobis here are no different in trying their best.

Hibari once more tries to sneak in to steal the scroll before her friends. Once again she has to eavesdrop and hears Dougen summoning the elite five. He tells them about Suzune’s betrayal and also a former student of Hanzou Academy. They are probably launching an assault since they know this place. He orders them to wipe them out not for Hebi’s sake but for all evil ninjas. In case they lose, he will activate the execution technique. An underhanded tactic that will have their life controlled freely by the caster. Hibari tries to escape but bumps into Haruka. Now that she has heard everything, she is locked up. The rest thinks she’s a spy but even so she can only blame herself for the predicament she is in now. Haruka explains about the execution technique that all students at Hebi were given by Dougen when they enrol here. It is activated when a student gets expelled or tries to expose the school’s secret. However he changed the activation rules. Haruka and the rest don’t fear this kind of death because otherwise it’s like fearing failure in a mission. Hibari notices Suzune locked up next to her. Dougen is worried that if his mistakes get known, he will lose more than his status. He will pay with his life too. It took him lots of time and effort to build this school up and can’t let it go to waste. He wants to complete both Yin and Yang scrolls to gain that power and control the organization. The Hanzou girls begin their assault when night falls. Dispatching wave after wave of shinobis, they still can’t find the entrance to the castle tower top. Why not just climb the tower instead of finding the secret passageway? Anyway Yagyuu uses her incredible sense of Hibari to track her location. They enter the secret passageway and their first obstacle is Yomi.

Episode 11
Suzune warns Haruka not to underestimate Hanzou Academy. Because Kiriya carefully examines his students after their losses and compensates their weaknesses to enhance their potential. So having Hebi girls to fight them was part of her plan to improve them since they are her best students so she needed to match them against equally strong opponents. Hibari is certain that Suzune is that girl who scribbled that super ninja wish on the ceiling beam. Suzune acknowledges her advanced and awakened ability and praises Kiriya for bringing it out. Then she transforms and busts out of her captive. In this episode of rematches, Ikaruga initiates her Shinobi Barrier to fight Yomi so that the rest could advance. Yomi hated Ikaruga since the day she first saw her on TV. Her family’s rich mansion was atop a hill overlooking the filthy slums Yomi was trying to survive. Her father made a pledge to help to poor but it never reached her parents. That’s why she hates rich girls like her. Katsuragi and Yagyuu fell through a trapdoor and face off with Hikage and Mirai respectively (sorry Mirai, you’re still being ignored). Hikage remembers she had negative emotions like sadness and anger. She was told to cast them away and pursue her target calmly if she wants to survive. Hikage sees such determination in Katsuragi’s eyes and was caught off guard for a while. She starts to feel hate. Mirai relates her past as a bully victim. The first people who treated her nice were those in Hebi. Mirai is happy when Yagyuu won’t ignore her anymore because if she does, it’s like ignoring herself. This means they get to fight properly? Up next for Asuka is Homura. Hibari tries to reach the keys to her cell but Haruka returns and snatches it away. Hibari wants to warn everyone that Hebi girls will die if they lose. Haruka is confident they won’t lose. Relating about her past, her father was a hospital director. A notorious scum who used all the money from tax evasion to erase his medical malpractice. Because of that he was rarely home and his wife was left all alone. She took that loneliness out on Haruka and treated her like a doll. Haruka bore her obsession in silence for years till she can’t take it anymore. She wanted to burn down everything but was scouted by Suzune. That’s why the Hebi girls aren’t afraid of death as they have experienced something similar.

Haruka unlocks Hibari’s cell and wants to test it herself. Inside the Shinobi Barrier, Haruka hints that there is a fine line in what the caster would deem as a victory or a loss. Hibari thinks they just need to keep him from triggering that technique. Hibari gets beaten up but stands back up since she doesn’t view this as winning or losing. When Haruka gets knocked out by a distraction from Hibari’s pink bunny’s bomb, Hibari uses her strong telepathy sense to tell her friends to stop fighting their counterparts. They are devastated that the Hebi girls continue to fight despite knowing this. So disgusted at this cowardly method that they power up to defeat their opponent and render them unable to fight. So does this mean it is not considered a loss? A shinobi may put her life on the line in a mission but it’s wrong for another to take over another’s life. Hibari gets knocked out by Haruka when she tries to go defeat the big boss. Yagyuu decides to head to the basement as she senses Hibari there. After Ikaruga defeats Yomi, she reveals their goal is to defeat the evil person that forced them to fight using such underhanded techniques. She explains that the TV programme she saw was when her father adopted her as his daughter and showing it to the world. It was to present himself as a volunteer that would take in an unfortunate child who has lost her relatives. That technique Yomi lost to was supposed to be inherited by his son in order to continue the shinobi family line. Ikaruga says the only thing she has now is her mission as a shinobi. There is no more room to fit in the love and affection of her family. Yomi weeps that she is being told this. Because she can’t hate her now.

Episode 12
Dougen is trying to power up by placing both scrolls together as such vicinity causes them to react. Homura’s fight with Asuka continues as she remembers how her ex-teacher used and betrayed her trust to eliminate good shinobi successors. Probably he was the person she killed but in the name of self defence. Asuka uses some shockwave to kick Homura out of the Shinobi Barrier. Kiriya confronts with Suzune as she explains her intention. When she almost died during her failed mission, she realizes real power resided within the evil side. She wants to prove that by having his students suffer defeat here. That’s the purpose of her previous assaults. When both successors of the scrolls confront each other and with her students victory, it is only then she can be a super ninja. However with one of the scrolls ending up here courtesy of Dougen’s perpetration, she is unwilling to accept the situation that led to this but will be able to settle the score. One of their students will be the scroll’s successor and fight each other. Kiriya wants to stop his students but Suzune prevented him going any further. This is just an argument between kids, right? No adult intervention. Ikaruga and Katsuragi meet up and make their way to the tower top. Before this could be another rematch between Yomi and Hikage, Katsuragi lets loose a smoke screen bomb to escape. Yagyuu drills in from above to Hibari’s rescue before she could be Haruka’s whipping toy. Again, before we can say that rematch revisited word, Hibari and Yagyuu summon their animals for a clean getaway. Pink bunny and squid riding combo? And yeah. Looks like another rematch between Asuka and Homura is on the cards. Can’t blame Asuka for getting too long to get to the top because she doesn’t know the place. Dougen appears before them and wants Homura to bring Asuka with her to him as they have been chosen by the scroll. Homura is devastated to learn she has been used so that Dougen could use the scrolls’ power. That dude went a step further to reveal his true ambition in taking over the organization. All their other friends arrive and learn about his ultimate betrayal but Homura and Asuka are sucked into his Shinobi Barrier to face his snake monster, Orochi. The rest have to be content to fight mechanical ninjas. But they are pitch perfect cooperating to bring the marionettes down.

Dougen says Homura has only herself to blame for being used so Homura plans to take him out with her life. Asuka doesn’t want her to simply throw away her life and to believe in her friends. The rest have finished disposing the dolls and they need to find a way to break into the barrier. This is where Hibari comes in. Everyone joins forces to channel their power through her so that Hibari can send their message to their friends. Their voices reach them as they power up and break free from Orochi’s clutches. They could feel their warmth overflowing within their body. Asuka understands the meaning of the sword and shield power proverb. Both unleash their Super Secret Ninja Technique to slay the beast and break free from the barrier. While the girls are happy to reunite with each other, Dougen makes his escape. They’re not going to let him run that easy and corner him on the rooftop. Suzune is surprised to see the girls cooperating with each other and wonders if she was wrong. Kiriya explains it is not his guidance that made them strong but rather their feelings for their friends became strong. Now it’s time for the adults to get involve since well, there was an adult meddling in the kids’ affair, right? Dougen activates his final desperate move by self destructing the academy. There are students in the place so the girls want to help go save them. However the Hebi girls only know the convoluted structure inside the place and want their Hanzou counterparts to stay out. They hope they’ll meet and fight again someday. Dougen continues to play dirty that they have no choice but to let him go or else he will initiate the execution technique implanted in all the Hebi girls. Suzune feels ashamed to be thought by these girls that real strength isn’t about being good or evil. She sacrifices herself and jumps into the flames with Dougen. Gone for real this time? In the aftermath, Asuka passes her promotion exam and is now the same rank with Yagyuu. Kiriya returns with the investigation report on Hebi Academy. After searching every nook and corner (hidden ones too, I guess), they found no traces of any Hebi students. Could they all have escaped? The girls would like to believe so that they will come back and fight them again.

Everything seems average. The fights, the characters and the fanservice. As we can tell despite the big baddie of the series being taken care of, it is not over by a long shot. Well, if we assume that Dougen has actually died. But then again, the reports said that no traces of students were found, I also take that no traces of their bodies were found. So I would say that Suzune/Rin and Dougen are pretty much alive despite that shed-a-tear-goodbye look at the end. After all, she pulled this once before, what makes you think she can’t pull it off again? And where do you think the Hebi girls are now? We can speculate anywhere in the world and not just Japan. Underwater, flying fortress or even the same mountainous regions trick. After all, they managed to keep themselves hidden for so long and it took the good guys to be guided and shown the direction to their location.

I can’t say much about everything else. I was just entertained, that’s all. Nothing so great about this series that would make me hard up to look forward or even petition for a second season. Like the characters, each of them has their own sad and tragic past (maybe with the exception of Hibari) and it’s nice that we are shown short flashbacks of it. However somehow it feels shallow and it doesn’t connect. Ikaruga’s desire to be part of the family, Katsuragi’s parents’ abandonment and Yagyuu’s loss of her beloved sister might be seen as their motivation to strive and be good ninjas but that’s about it. Perhaps the main thing is that everyone now is here together as a family. The present is all that matters and the most important even though they cannot forget their past. Their bond is the greatest weapon against any adversaries. The fight scenes seem rather okay too. Sure, we have some super power exaggerated moves like Katsuragi’s spindle kick or something that starts off like some breakdance move or Ikaruga’s use of her Hien as well as Yagyuu’s skilful handling of her umbrella as well as Asuka’s twin swords. But in a genre that involves ninjas and shinobis, such never-seen-before moves or unbelievable jaw dropping techniques that are seemingly impossible to pull off in the real world is somewhat a must. Otherwise, why call yourself a ninja, right?

The characters are amusing themselves with each of them having their own peculiar traits like Katsuragi’s persistent perversion on Asuka, Yagyuu’s stoic appearance and Hibari’s penchant for becoming a damsel in distress. But that’s just about it. Hibari may have her little important role in the group but being constantly be in the need for Yagyuu to always save her seems annoying. I guess she exudes too much moe blob that you won’t feel irritated. The Hebi girls are amusing too. Like Yomi’s obsession about bean sprouts and Mirai’s obsession to get noticed. They are just like their Hanzou counterparts if not for the different schools they attend. I swore I could have guessed Suzune was Rin as early as possible. The hints were there. It was hanging so obviously. So when it was confirmed that they are the same person, I wasn’t really surprised. Well, at least she has woken up to the true meaning about real power. Is that what she wanted as a super ninja? Too bad, Daidouji may have to postpone her graduation again seeing Rin has once again died or gone missing. After her help to train the girls at the haikingu mountain, I feel her presence was somewhat redundant. Hanzou’s presence also from time to time seems redundant. He just probably drops by once in a while to see how his granddaughter is doing. Otherwise, how can you explain this legendary shinobi turned into some sort of little pervert who loves gawking at the girls while they eat his signature futomaki dish?

I’m not too turned on by the fanservice either. Maybe it’s the unappealing and unattractive pantsu they wear. Haha. I’m not really into shima pantsu like Asuka and Katsuragi’s trademark or pink polka dots that is of Yagyuu. Maybe it’s the art too. I don’t really find the girls thaaaaaaat cuuuuuuuute either. Sure, they look like your standard Japanese anime girls but something about them makes them look simpler and lacking some details. With many of the girls in this series so busty, it makes you wonder if they are using some sort of ninjutsu to turn off gravity and defy physics. Besides, their boobs are a great place to conceal items like scroll. Haha! Probably it’s like a different time dimension zone inside there if you stick your hand in between the cleavage and don’t be surprised if you find it very ‘roomy’. A big part of the fanservice comes from the action too. In most fights when the girls clash, the force of the impact will have their clothes shred to bits, if not reveal some skin. I wonder who does the sewing. Or is there a ninjutsu that can fix it in an instant? Which reminds me, their battle gear resembles more like cosplay than proper fighting outfits. The most mind boggling one has got to be Katsuragi. Her nature is already perverted and her battle gear is skimpier than her usual clothes. It’s like she is this close of being a slut. And when she fights, it is as though she is purposely giving her high kicks to show off her pantsu. I mean, her loose clothes allow her to move easily but really, I thought she would be turning into a stripper any moment. Or maybe her little clothes serve as distraction. Who am I kidding? All the opponents are females. It’s not that anybody is turned on by her anyway. Speaking of outfits, I also find it mind boggling that some of the girls can keep huge equipment underneath their skirt! I know ninjas are skilled in hidden weapons technique but the way they pull it out seems too much like a joke. Maybe it is.

When I first watched the series, I thought that being the good ninja sucks and that being evil was more fun. You see, I noticed that the good girls weren’t on par in terms of fighting abilities with their evil counterparts. You see how the Hebi girls get to kick their ass without breaking into a sweat and even mock them for being weak. Though, this won’t stop the Hanzou girls from getting stronger and not giving up easily. Not only have the students experienced this, but their teacher too. There is not once but several times whereby he couldn’t actually sense their aura or gets tricked to be separated from the girls (the Shinobi Island training and facility infiltration incidents come to mind). So what does this tell you? Are the good guys really slacking? It’s like making a fool out of them. The ultimate one must be when Kiriya went to check on the scroll not realizing the enemy was watching him to lead him to it. Yeah. He took it out just to check if it’s safe. Didn’t think twice about this being a trap, eh? Being good feels like so restrictive as compared to being evil. There are so many rules. You can’t do this, you can’t illegally do that. But if you join the evil camp, anything goes. But remember, you live by the sword, you also die by the sword. So in the end, the one who is truly evil is Dougen himself. That’s what all evil people should be, right? Using others for their own benefit. That’s why I thought trying to make the Hebi girls as enemies wouldn’t really cut it somehow. They’re just too cute to be real baddies. After getting to know them, they are not so bad and rotten. Their school of methodology may differ but deep down, the girls are all the same. They just want to have friends and do what girls their age do. So the thought of whether evil schools like these should exist or not, just like Hanzou said, it is the balance of life and one cannot exist without the other.

For the voice acting part, Yu Kobayashi runs riot with her crazy voice like I am familiar with as Katsuragi (think Kaere from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Lia from World Destruction). But she’s not going loud and crazy all the time. When she is in a perverted chipmunk mode, it’s like sounding between goofy and creepy. Yuka Iguchi has Hibari exudes lots of moeness as her character but I still can’t help she is the less annoying version of To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Index or Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Maria. Ryoko Shiraishi plays Hikage and her Kansai accent is still recognizable albeit her character lacks any emotions so it’s like hearing a deadpan Himeko from Sket Dance or Aoi of Zettai Karen Children with no enthusiasm. Other casts include Hitomi Harada as Asuka (Nori in Hidamari Sketch, Himeji in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Asami Imai as Ikaruga (Chelsea in Shukufuku No Campanella), Eri Kitamura as Homura (Cana in Fairy Tail), Ai Kayano as Yomi (Inori in Guilty Crown), Megumi Toyoguchi as Haruka (Sola-Ui in Fate/Zero), Saori Goto as Mirai (Kukuru in Joshiraku), Keiji Fujiwara as Kiriya (Sven in Black Cat), Suzuko Mimori as Suzune/Rin (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Himiko in BTOOOM), Yuu Asakawa as Daidouji (Motoko in Love Hina), Juurouta Kosugi as Dougen (Alan in MAR) and Kanehira Yamamoto as Hanzou.

The opening theme is Break Your Sword by Sayaka Sasaki and sounds like your usual anime pop rock. There are several ending themes. The first one being Fighting Dreamer by the voices of the five Hanzou Academy girls. Feels like an all-girl pop group. Why, the ending credits animation shows them forming a band playing instruments like in a rock group. Who says ninjas can’t sing? The second ending theme is Yamiyo Wa Otome Wo Hana Ni Suru, this time sung by the voices of the five Hebi Academy girls. I guess it’s only right that they have their own song too seeing that they are as equal and popular as their Hanzou Academy counterparts. Despite having a darker theme, we don’t see them forming a band here but rather testing out their cooking. Hikage only so eager to eat? Anyway you can guess what the taste is like when all of them show us their ‘dead face’ at the end. I guess being a skilful ninja doesn’t necessarily mean you have good cooking skills. The third ending piece is Shissouron by Hitomi Harada. A solo piece that seems to dedicate to her character of Asuka. So if you are an Asuka fan, you can glimpse some Asuka poses and her cosplay outfits, not to mention a few obligatory panty shots.

This series won’t likely be as famous as its other flashier ninja themed counterparts and won’t turn into mainstream as well. Many would pass this series off as some cheap entertainment thrill that fulfilled its intended goal of fanservice. What is there to complain? After all, how much can a group of busty shinobi babes get? After a while, you get tired of more or less the same thing. I wonder why it’s not the same for Naruto. Maybe people are being brainwashed to think it’s so damn good when it’s not. They’re just ‘watching it’. Haha. I’m not the one to say since I haven’t been watching that since ages. I wonder what’s next. They’ve turned samurais into girls, historical figures into girls and though turning ninjas into girls isn’t something new, heck, it is still mainly female dominated in this sense. Where are all the ninja guys anyway? Shouldn’t ninja girls be termed as kunoichi? Oddly, the girls here don’t seem to be bothered about boyfriend or love at their age. I know a ninja’s existence should be shrouded in secrecy but they’re living in modern times and currently living close to normal girls save for their abnormal ninja training. Maybe it’s a good thing too that they don’t have any love problems. Less one problem (but may give rise to yuri relationship as almost seen in Haruka towards Hibari). I can guess the guy’s reaction if they find out their girlfriend is a ninja. In that case I wouldn’t want to have one and take it at the risk of my life.

Kill Me Baby

October 7, 2012

Imagine if you had a friend your age who works as an assassin. Wouldn’t that be cool? Well, as long as you don’t be his/her next target then I guess it is fine. Hey wait a minute. There’s something wrong with that sentence. A professional assassin having a friend? A friend?! What more, the assassin in Kill Me Baby is a high school girl and attends it like any other normal girl. I know. It’s a WTF scenario but that’s not the point.

Looking at the title, it’s either going to be a gory and violent series or a comedy. I mean, what do you think of its second title, Baby, Please Kill Me? If that doesn’t help, try looking at the poster. Aha. Two cute high school girls. That says it. This is going to be a wacky comedy. Yes, wacky. And I mean somebody is going to get whacked a lot. Our assassin protagonist is Sonya, a foreigner who is highly and specially trained in her field. However, you won’t see her carrying out missions like Metal Gear Solid’s Snake as most of the ‘threats’ come from her close friend, Yasuna Oribe. To sum this girl up in a word: She’s an idiot. Dimwit. Foolish. Dumb. Troublemaker. Okay, maybe one word isn’t enough to describe her but you get the idea. Despite knowing Sonya is an assassin, she always wants to play pranks on Sonya but ends up getting backfired and bearing the brunt of her actions. You reap what you sew. Some friend she is. And yes. This is where all the laughing moments come in. So when a dimwit like her tries to play a prank on an assassin, it’s like asking for a death wish, right? Hence the name of this series. You’ll ‘enjoy’ the stupidity that moron can actually come up with just to tease Sonya. They say keep your enemies close, but your friends closer…

Episode 1
* Right off the bat, Yasuna gets her first bone breaking moment when she greets Sonya by touching her shoulder from the back. Never approach an assassin from the back. But will she learn? Yeah, she got it a second time when she thought she spotted something on her shoulder.
* Despite being an assassin, Sonya has some phobias of her own: Bugs. In this case, cockroaches. Being cautious of its hygienic threat seems like a nice way to put it. Or an excuse not to admit.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to teach her some self-defence moves. I suppose the eye poking move is out of the question. As with the swift uppercut punch that Yasuna barely sees.
* Yasuna didn’t bring a bottle opener and thought Sonya could just cut off the bottle cap. Initially she didn’t want to do it but Yasuna convinces her by trying to tap on her shoulder. Soon she has her chop another one but Sonya drinks it all. Not happy, she pulls out a water gun but gets submitted. Painfully.
* While eating lunch, a stray dog comes in and looks like this is another thing that Sonya fears. Sonya throws her lunch at it in which the doggie eats it. Yasuna thought of putting a trail of food but ran out of supplies before reaching the door. Then trying the carrot-on-a-stick trick, Yasuna herself became a victim of her own trick. Yasuna buys lots of food for it to eat and the doggie becomes tamed. On the way home, Sonya curses her bad day so Yasuna assures she’ll always be here as her friend and pats her shoulder. Well, here comes the pain.
* Yasuna hears rumours of a ghost in school and excitedly goes to hunt it. She has Sonya tag along or else she’ll put a scary photo album in her desk. Oh, looks like she doesn’t handle ghost stories well too. Outside the rumoured room, Sonya rolls in like a SWAT guy. Is she facing a human or ghost? Noticing a shuriken on the floor, Sonya remembers there’s a ninja in her organization. By the way, there’s one hiding lamely behind the wall. Slashing the fake wall away, it turns out to be a decoy. As Agiri Goshiki puts it, it’s her body substitution technique. So what is she doing in this school? She had to change school due to work and heard there’s a ninja club in this school but it died out 40 years ago! And that shuriken is her name card…
* Yasuna wants Agiri to demonstrate some ninja techniques but I think hypnotism doesn’t quite cut it. Then she shows another one whereby she stands upside down on the ceiling without her hair falling down. So, is this the rumoured ghost? Then shaking hands with Yasuna, the fake hands reveal to be a bomb. Boom! That was more of a prank than a ninja technique, right? Minding the afro the girls got, they look at the pictures they took and find that a ghost in the picture!
* Yasuna wanted to find Agiri but mistakes somebody else that looks like her. After finding the real one, she wants her to teach some ninja techniques. But what does buying bread for her have to do with it? Isn’t she being used as her lackey? Her first real lesson is body substitution but Yasuna hasn’t learnt anything yet. Agiri throws her shuriken and Yasuna barely evades it. See, it works, right? Next is body cloning. Agiri shoots her blowpipe at her and Yasuna’s vision starts multiplying! Woah! There are 4 Agiris now! Then Agiri tries to sell scrolls that will teach her how to control some elements. 800 Yen a piece. Sounds like a deal?
* Yasuna gets cocky and decides to show off to Sonya and use the fire technique she learnt. Turns out to be a fire lighter. She gets whacked by Sonya because she may be lighting a bomb fuse and cause them afros again. Looking at all the other scrolls she bought, the water scroll turns out to be a water container, the ant scroll is just a mini ant farm and the eye scroll is just a telescope. Scammed! Using the telescope, they thought they saw Agiri on a kite when it turned out to be just her picture. Agiri flying the kite waves at them and Yasuna wonders how she knows she’s looking at her. Clairvoyance technique? Well, Agiri won’t say.

Episode 2
* I guess Yasuna never really learns from her mistakes. Again, she tries to greet Sonya from the back. Not only once, but twice! In class, Yasuna bugs Sonya to teach her some moves. The truth is she wants to use them and counter her moves next time. What will she get in return? All her sins will be forgiven… Not even worth it! I guess the only way to stop that idiot from bugging her is to teach her a move. Yasuna thought she could learn the Super Rolling Crush but Sonya isn’t stupid enough to do that embarrassing move. How about playing dead? She’s not a bear… At least how about how to get out of a headlock? Biting? Well, Sonya’s submission move on her sure didn’t give her chance to bite anywhere. Tickling? Can’t reach…
* Yasuna buys nunchuckus after seeing a movie. Letting Sonya try it out, she gets whacked on the head by it. Was it accident or on purpose? When Yasuna uses it herself, she hits herself many times over. That’s not how you use it… Yasuna made her lunch like nunchuckus and tricks Sonya into eating them but it seems Yasuna swapped wrongly and ends up with the real one instead. Start apologizing… When a crow steals Sonya’s meal, Yasuna teases her for letting that happen. Sonya throws a ball and though misses Yasuna, the idiot tripped on the nunchuckus.
* Yasuna ‘forces’ Sonya to come with her after school to a crepe shop but it seems they got lost. After finding their way out and buying their crepe, Yasuna sees a notice of a lost bear. She thought of surprising Sonya with this news but it seems the bear is standing right behind her! Yasuna is so scared that she plays dead standing up! The bear is attracted to her crepe but Yasuna doesn’t want to lose and swallows it down! She’s supposed to throw it and run away, right? Well, idiots…
* Sonya does a pole vault jump and she’s not going to pull off some flashy move because it’s for her to escape by hiding up the post! Yasuna thought Agiri is here to help but she starts selling her ninja products. I think Yasuna knows by now it’s all just scams. Yasuna promises to buy her a crepe to help her but she’s just doing magic tricks that eventually fails. Agiri then says she’ll buy the crepe herself since it’s too much trouble and disappears. Haha! Yasuna, you’re on your own.
* Yasuna panics and since she’s not going down alone, she tries to make Sonya fall off the post! She climbs up but the bear starts shaking it. Yasuna falls off and crashes onto the bear’s head, knocking it out. Now she gets cocky and takes a commemorative photo with it.
* Yasuna gets beaten up after giving Sonya a paper fan and teasing her about it. She tries to yap like a dog since Sonya fears canines but gets owned instead.
* Yasuna has hiccups so Sonya suggests if she holds her breath, it’ll go away. But she gave up too easily.
* Yasuna catches a bee in a cup and has trouble disposing it. Agiri offers to make it disappear and messes with Yasuna’s mind that the bee is now in her clothes when it’s actually still in the cup. Oh, will Yasuna take an interest in buying more ninja stuffs from her? Colour coded rice? Uhm… I think she’ll pass. And this get rich scheme? It’s just a lottery but Yasuna will take it! Anyway she lost.
* Yasuna teases Sonya for not being able to dodge a ball but she herself gets hit in the head while laughing too hard and not paying attention.
* A girl’s balloon is stuck in the tree so Yasuna offers to help but sends Sonya to fetch it. Go do it yourself! After all the useless attempts, the balloon got loose and flies away. Yasuna feels guilty and will buy her a new one but the girl says it’s not her balloon to begin with.
* Yasuna thought of playing hide and seek but Sonya warns if she finds her, she’ll be dead meat. So still want to play? Yasuna says she’s good at hiding that no one was able to find her. That’s because she was always left behind… Sonya becomes ‘it’ and knows Yasuna is going to pull a fast one not counting properly. Knife at throat… So as she counts properly, Sonya goes off but the little girl returns her knife thinking she’s playing a tossing game. She forces Sonya to play with her and screams like as though she’s being threatened if she doesn’t. The police just walked pass by… Thankfully nothing happened. So when Yasuna is ready to find Sonya, she is disheartened to see Sonya targeting the girl! Of course learning that she’s playing with her, she gets jealous that she was here first to play with Sonya. Then they do rock-scissors-paper and Sonya becomes ‘it’. It’s already evening as Sonya wonders why the little girl didn’t hide. It’s already late and it’s time for her to go home. Okay. And Yasuna is hiding in a spot she is confident no one will find her. Eh? Doesn’t this feel familiar?

Episode 3
* And you think by now Yasuna would learn her lesson from greeting Sonya from the back. After being amazed by watching an esper on TV, Yasuna brings a couple of spoons and thinks she’s one too. She starts bending the spoon but gives up easily and plays a fool, earning Sonya’s wrath. Yeah, her whack just bended the spoons.
* Now Yasuna tries magic cards. Of course Yasuna misses by a mile the correct card Sonya picks. Then trying to make a pyramid card, Sonya gets pissed off that this is even an esper trick to begin with and ruins her hard work. I wonder how many hours she has put in to just put that few stacks.
* Sonya uses the cards to cut things but Yasuna is disappointed that isn’t esper trick. How about spontaneous combustion? Using the reflection of the sun, she burns a spot on Yasuna’s body! Don’t try this anywhere!
* Next, Yasuna thinks her esper power is telling the future. Isn’t she just saying what comes to mind? And besides, doesn’t it feel like she’s badmouthing Sonya? Yeah, she can foretell she’ll get hit in the future. Very near future. It came true. Agiri finds out what they’re doing and demonstrates bending a fork. It works! She claims it’s a ninja technique but I bet that fork isn’t made out of metal.
* Yasuna is into lucky charms now but why is she having a voodoo doll?! She’ll be happy if all her troubles go away? What are her troubles… Yasuna wants Sonya to put her strand of hair on it and she’ll be bended the way the doll is bend. However Yasuna got bended instead. Eh? How did her hair end up on the doll? Yasuna even brought an extra doll but it’s not working on Sonya. In fact, she’s making a fool out of herself with her silly poses.
* Sonya doesn’t believe in curses to get rid of someone. Hey, she’s an assassin, right? She breaks the doll so Yasuna says something bad will happen to her hips. True enough, Sonya can spot by a mile she’s going to kick her hips and grabs her feet. Trying to change the topic to fortune telling, Sonya says long ago, people used broken bones to tell the future. Oh Yasuna… Bones of animals lah.
* Yasuna has Sonya draw her fortune and it says she’ll have misfortune on her legs. Sonya knows she’s up to know good and true enough, Yasuna was going to put something in her shoes.
* Moving on to palm reading, Sonya gets mad when she pinches her pressure points instead. Then realizing Yasuna’s voodoo doll is still around, she throws it away but realizes the effects really worked as Yasuna tumbles down the stairs.
* On a rainy day in class, Yasuna doesn’t want to self-study (because it’s only for idiots – she’s the one to say), she has Sonya do puzzle rings only to tease her. So when Sonya throws it at her face, the rings are separated. That’s not using your head! Yasuna tries her hand at it and sneakily throws it at Sonya but her quick reflexes chopped it. Now it’s separated! Can she consider that as using her head?
* Yasuna makes a teruterubouzu to make the rain go away. But when she makes it to resemble Sonya, the assassin is going to make a life size one out of Yasuna. Yasuna decide to use her imagination to bring the sun in. But she imagined too much and the scene turns into a desert. Now she’s dehydrating. Eventually Yasuna couldn’t resist playing in the rain and gets all soaked. The rain stops and she views the beautiful rainbow.
* A girl whom we shall call as Unused Character (Botsu Kyara), makes her debut in front of Yasuna and Sonya’s school. She wants to have revenge on them for stealing her spotlight. WTF. However she won’t be advancing further as the guard at the gate stops her and thinks she’s late for school and reprimands her.
* Noticing a lot of crows are gathering, Yasuna thinks they’re attracted to Sonya’s blood thirst and suggests wearing a hideous mask. Uhm, doesn’t that look like a bull’s eye? She puts it on and if you have a wild imagination, you can see her as a scary one eye monster!
* Unused Character sneaks into school and tries to find the duo. Yasuna gives Sonya her pink bunny named Pyonsuke for her to cuddle and make friends with so she won’t be so cold. However Sonya ties it up into a garbage! Yasuna is horrified and is going to avenge Pyonsuke. Is she sure she wants to take on her? When Unused Character enters class, nobody is around. Seems Yasuna and Sonya are having a sumo bout outside. The rational is, in sumo wrestling you can’t punch or kick so Yasuna thinks she’s safe in this sense. Plus, thinking she’s Japanese, she’ll definitely win. No basis for that! It starts but Sonya uses a submission move on her. Is that legal? Having it another go, luckily Yasuna warns her that poking eyes is not allowed too! She should’ve said something about slapping too. By the time Unused Character arrives, the duo are gone. Just when she spots them, she sees the hideous bull’s eye mask Yasuna is wearing and freaks out. Unused Character laments her tough opponents but won’t give up and show she won’t stay as an unused character forever. However God even says that’s impossible.
* Sonya spots a caterpillar on Yasuna’s shoulder and gets scared. Yasuna thinks she is finally scared of her and chases her down.

Episode 4
* Yasuna buys an ice cream for herself and Sonya. However Sonya got the winning stick and she the loser. Not wanting to lose, she goes to buy more ice cream and a different bunch to increase her winning chances. Realizing the one she touches are losers, she bites Sonya’s stick and since it reveals to be a losing stick, teases Sonya that she’s a loser! Sonya sticks it down the loser’s throat.
* Sonya’s touch is like Midas’ touch. The ice cream she picks turns out to be winners. But at this point she is full but the fool still wants to go on till she wins. Agiri comes by and learns what they’re doing. Seems she can tell which ice cream is the winner. Or is it? Does she have a technique like that? Well, she eats the ice cream to find out. How about telling one without eating? She pulls out the stick. I guess Yasuna just gives her the entire bag. Agiri points out the one in her hand is the winner and true enough it’s a winning stick. What did she win? Another ice cream. Won’t her stomach get upset eating too much ice cream? Well, let’s say her stomach is an idiot too.
* To beat the heat of summer, Yasuna thought of playing with fans but her tricks end up wetting the floor and has to clean it. Then thinking of looking at wind chimes would be refreshing but there is no wind. Suggesting to plant greens to make a natural curtain, however by the time it grows, summer will be over.
* The duo are at the beach and Yasuna is going to split the watermelon. But why is she facing Sonya’s way? Yeah, an excuse to whack her. Sonya does the job and knows she can’t trust Yasuna. Just as she’s about to slice it, she realizes Yasuna also wants to split it. So they both have a competition to see who can split the watermelon first blindfolded. Sonya takes it off and splits it to leave that idiot wandering around. So when Yasuna sees her eating, she just says she split it before her. She’s not technically lying, right? At night, Yasuna thought of doing kimodameshi (test of courage) and scares the daylights of Sonya, earning her a punch. Now she sees some stars…
* In class, Sonya feels someone from a different organization is after her. Yasuna thought an innocent bystander will be safe but Sonya notes she can use her as a shield! Yasuna thinks she’ll double cross her and bargain her life by selling her out. Maybe Sonya should get rid of her first. Suddenly a knife is thrown her way. It’s real! Somebody is after her! Yasuna panics as they make a run to the unused classroom. Agiri learns of it and offers to help out. Thinking the assassin is hiding inside the locker, Agiri throws her shurikens (including her new handphone). The ninja assassin comes out of hiding and it seems he’s in the next locker instead. He is about to get serious when Agiri knocks him out with a boomerang. So much about that.
* Yasuna wants to give Sonya a head massage to make her smarter. Like she needs it. But she’s commenting on the silly face she’s making so Sonya threatens to rearrange her face. Now it’s Sonya’s turn and the force she’s applying may make her dumber instead.
* Yasuna thinks doing some yoga move will improve their intelligence. But when Sonya does it, she teases her for looking like an idiot. Just joking! Then doing another move that will make her punch stronger, when Sonya learns she just came up with it on the spot, she gets punched. See, it’s stronger now. Yasuna prostrates on her knees and this pose is to calm down anger… Thinking having fish for lunch will improve her brain, turns out it’s just a seaweed with a fish shape. So she goes to buy some fish but it’s just taiyaki.
* Sonya gets a letter to meet in the empty classroom. She ignores it knowing it’s one of those schemes from Yasuna. Next day, the same letter begs her to come. That confirms it. She confronts Yasuna but it seems she doesn’t know a thing. Then reading a letter in her desk that wants her to do a weird dance or else she’ll be shot, she pinches Yasuna’s cheek but the idiot says she really doesn’t know anything.
* Sonya enters the empty room and meets a fake Yasuna! She claims in order to get rid of her, she disguises as herself. Huh? Sonya is going to leave so Yasuna changes her mind that she is the real one. Can she prove it? Anyway she gets beaten up when Yasuna comes in. Another Yasuna? So the first fake is actually an assassin? But why disguise as Yasuna if she was going to announce she’s one? Yeah, her stupidity is like her. The second fake Yasuna fires her blowpipe in which Sonya barely evades. She’s here to eliminate Sonya but didn’t realize another assassin had the same disguise idea. Oh no. Another stupid one. The fakes decide to team up and finish Sonya off but it seem they’re fighting among themselves to see who does the job. So when the real Yasuna comes in, she plays along and tries to confuse Sonya which is the real one! Asking questions the real one would only know, however the real one doesn’t even know what she had for lunch! The trio’s unison attack failed miserably and Sonya realizes that attacking the real one won’t be so bad after all. The trio got worried and Sonya beats them all up. Saves the trouble. So when the real one says how mean she is, Sonya notes that she is the real one because she could take her hits. On the way home, Yasuna thought Sonya knew who the real one is halfway through but she didn’t. Heck she didn’t care. And the ninja assassin tied up in the locker came falling out… Do the fake Yasunas know him?

Episode 5
* Yasuna wants Sonya to go bug catching with her and makes several bad bug puns that has the net over her head instead. Wanting her to put sugar coating to attract bugs, Sonya paints it over her face instead! Well, she did say to put it anywhere she likes. Bugs are being attracted to the sugar coat on the tree and Yasuna wants Sonya to get them. Go get it yourself! She gives Sonya a bug spray but she sprays it over a certain big annoying ‘bug’.
* A bug chases after Yasuna when a bird eats it. It starts speaking and could this bird be Agiri? Actually there’ a transmitter over the bird thus they can hear her voice. She tells them she was practising this morning and got stuck on this tree since the bugs got attracted to it. Yasuna throws a stone at the sugar coat but it seems Agiri was hiding behind it and it hit her face! Actually that was just a body substitution. The real one? In the body substitution! So it didn’t hurt because she hit her substitution? How did that even happen?
* Sonya and Yasuna are at the festival and the latter thinks of buying all the food to show off. Does she even have enough money? Playing the goldfish scooping, Yasuna sucks but Sonya is a pro. The sore loser accuses Sonya of being a demon. The shopkeeper gives them a free goldfish to stop them from fighting but they felt so bad that they didn’t take it.
* At the ring toss stall, Yasuna just sucks in trying to get that single prize she wants. Begging Sonya to help her, the shopkeeper even says if she manages to hit it, he’ll give her the prize. I guess Sonya was too powerful and chops off the head of the prize. And they just got that. Sonya thought she saw a sniper at the festival but that’s just the shooting gallery stall.
* Sonya waits for Yasuna to buy takoyaki but she wasted her money five times to win a mask just to scare her. Got beaten up of course. Yasuna wanted to trade her mask with the candy apple Sonya bought. No way. Instead, a couple of kids got attracted and managed to convince the fool to part with it. With 500 Yen left, Sonya knows too well Yasuna is going to blow it on something useless. True enough, she buys a toy gun. But when the fireworks start, Sonya gets startled thinking she fired a real gun and Yasuna gets beaten up as usual.
* Sonya gets pissed off upon realizing Yasuna invited her fishing so she could catch fish for her. Walking along the beach, a stray dog chases them as they are trapped on a rock. Yasuna throws a sausage as distraction but the dog didn’t budge since she threw it too far. The one who found the sausage is Agiri and she’s happily eating it. Realizing the predicament they’re in, she calls the dog owner to pick up his pet. He gives her a reward and since she doesn’t need it, he is about to keep it when Agiri changes her mind and accepts it. Agiri thinks of digging for some Shijimi clams. Yasuna gets excited seeing Agiri has a bunch of them and starts digging. But who knows, she actually bought them from the store. Sonya wonders if she can find any at the beach because Shijimi clams live only in fresh water rivers or lakes on not the sea.
* Even if Yasuna didn’t find any, the gang make a nice meal of the ones Agiri had. Then they realize the tide has risen and they’re stuck on this mini island. Since Yasuna is the only one wearing a swimsuit, they make her paddle while pulling the tub the duo is riding in. I guess the motivation to swim around the world like this would do, eh?
* Yasuna shows hand puppets of themselves she made. It’s for the kindergarten community service she’ll be doing. Sonya is not amused with Yasuna enacting her killer personality. Sonya strangles Yasuna’s hand puppet and subsequently throws them away. But Yasuna has more. This time she made an alligator Sonya and a cute kitty of herself. Even after getting hit, Yasuna continues to put up a lame play about them. Yasuna makes Sonya practice with her and gives the kitty hand puppet to her but Sonya turns it into an assassination tool. Then swapping the puppets, Yasuna wants to ‘fight’ and it ends with the crocodile ripping the cat’s head. Not out yet, Yasuna draws a single eye over her palm as its true form so Sonya transforms hers with a knife protruding out of its head. Better admit you lost. On the way back, Yasuna dreams big that her puppet show will be a big hit and that people will swamp her for autographs, get her own CDs, movies, dramas and even win the Nobel Prize. Sonya didn’t want to hear all that bragging and ‘disappears’.

Episode 6
* Even though Yasuna still didn’t learn about approaching Sonya from the back, she teases her that her punch is getting weaker. Want to try that out again to make sure? In class, Yasuna realizes she hasn’t eaten shaved ice for summer and has bought an old ice shaving machine (waste money again). Despite bringing different flavours, it’s useless without ice, right? There’s this green suspicious one which Yasuna is supposed to trick Sonya into eating so she pours it down Yasuna’s throat instead.
* Thinking Agiri may have something up her sleeve, Yasuna wants Sonya to call her. But was she hiding in the locker all along? Nope. Body substitution… Yasuna wants to know if she has any technique to make ice. Dry ice she’s got… Yasuna makes shaved ice out of it as she doesn’t want it to go to waste but when she wants Sonya to eat it, Sonya ties her down and is going to force the carbon dioxide down her.
* Agiri has a technique that will make snow. On the rooftop, she shoots one from her cannon. That’s it. Just one snowball. Actually she can make more with the ice packet she bought from the store. Yasuna has eaten too many shaved ice that she’s chilled to the bones. Sonya suggests something spicy and all that hot stuff just burnt her mouth.
* Yasuna realizes she hasn’t been to the pool for summer but it seems it is unkempt and growing with moss. Sonya kicks her in.
* Yasuna wants to follow Sonya back to her house. Of course she can’t but that idiot throws a tantrum. She knows better not to trust this idiot despite her promise not to tell anybody. We know it’s the same story. She is made to wear a blindfold and ear plugs. It’s really scary that she can’t see or hear anything as Sonya tugs her along the street. Looks like a slave, doesn’t she? Anyway she bumps into something and got knocked out.
* Yasuna wakes up and to her surprise Sonya’s room is pretty Japanese-like. Actually it’s Agiri’s home. Since Yasuna fainted halfway, Sonya brought her to the nearest house. Maybe she should have left her there… Yasuna is excited she is in a ninja house as Agiri shows her the secret compartments whereby she stores food and the secret doorway which leads to the toilet. What about that tricky gadget? It’s the remote for the air-cond.
* Yasuna moves a funny doll on the TV and it activates a trapdoor which Sonya fell in. She’s going to kill her. Suddenly the room is filled with gas as Sonya makes her escape via secret passageway. Agiri assures Yasuna the gas is harmless but why is she wearing a gas mask?! It’s sleeping gas! Since Sonya doesn’t want to carry her back, what is the best solution? She leaves her sleeping at the park bench.
* The typhoon is approaching and Yasuna thought she could use the forces of nature against Sonya. How wrong. Trying to use her stupid brain, she thought if she throws her bag, Sonya will catch it with both her hands and this will leave her open. Guess what? Sonya didn’t catch it. It’s not her bag. Yasuna thought of doing her Whirlwind Punch but gets threatened with the knife. But she manages to trick Sonya that her knife is a toothbrush. The wind got stronger and something blew into Sonya’s eyes. As she tries to rub it off, she accidentally walks into a store. The knife is still in her hands…
* Yasuna has made a string of teruterubouzu and thought the weather should clear up. The strong wind blows it away and an old guy thought he saw a flying dragon! During class, a blackout occurs and Yasuna takes this chance to do something that she wouldn’t normally do in class: A stupid pose. The lights come back on and everybody sees her in an embarrassing position. When Sonya’s in the toilet, another temporary blackout occurs. When the lights are back, she got spooked seeing Yasuna behind her in the mirror. Poor girl got punched despite her genuine intention to use the bathroom.
* Since Yasuna forgot her umbrella, Sonya shares it with her. Along the way, Yasuna thought she saw something in the bushes when a frog jumps on her head. Sonya rather gets wet than be near her. Hell she’s going to get it off for her. Once the frog is gone, they continue walking but the strong wind distorts the umbrella. Yasuna bloopers in fixing it and gets whacked. Now they’re all wet. She thought she saw an abandoned umbrella but it turns out to be sheltering an abandoned kitten. So I guess they didn’t take the umbrella because the duo are absent from class the next day. I’m not sure if they took the kitten back too.

Episode 7
* Yasuna tries to trick Sonya into wearing a silly mask and doing a silly pose as explanation for the cultural festival. Not falling for that crap. Yasuna wants Sonya to help time how long she can hold her breath. Eight seconds… Felt like eternity, eh? Since Yasuna accuses her of not knowing how to use a stopwatch, she stabs her knife through it. Now it’s stopped. Yasuna challenges Sonya to hold her breath since that assassin doesn’t like to lose out to that idiot no matter how silly it is.
* She gets Agiri to try and read what’s on Sonya’s mind since she can’t speak while holding her breath. Let’s say she’s just making wild guesses. Sonya has passed the 3-minute mark so Agiri suggests teasing her. Sonya didn’t lose her breath and Yasuna got whacked. To check if she’s really holding her breath, she puts a talisman over her forehead. Sonya does a submission move on her. And she’s still holding her breath. Sonya is 2 seconds away from breaking the world record when Yasuna scares her with a mask. She’s not going to hold her breath anymore. She’s going to end her life!
* In order to check which spot in school has the best drinking water, Yasuna drinks from every tap but eventually couldn’t tell. She even forgot her original goal.
* Yasuna thinks their class should hold a maid cafe for the festival and wants to see Sonya as a clumsy maid. Sonya thought they should hold a rifle range instead. Isn’t that dangerous? How about knife tossing? Putting pins on tofu is much safer? Then about putting up a haunted house, Yasuna puts on that bull’s eye mask on her and realizes how scary she is.
* Sonya came in second place for the 100m race since she doesn’t want to use up her energy so Yasuna teases her it’s just an excuse. Pain time. Sonya, Yasuna and Agiri are having lunch and are discussing about having a fourth member for the kibasen event. Unused Character thought they will gladly make her it and rushes to the scene. To her horror, they roped in an old man. Now the question is, who will ride the top. Sonya and Yasuna don’t want the other so they challenge each other to snatch each other’s hats. Yasuna tries the UFO trick but Sonya doesn’t fall for it. There really was a UFO but it’s a remote control UFO by Agiri. Speaking of which, Agiri wins. So in the end, the old man gets to ride them but they got disqualified before it even starts.
* Yasuna is having fun with beanbags and throws it at Sonya’s face. She caught it and a certain someone got beaten up. Yasuna flops at juggling them at first but once she finds out how good she’s getting, she starts bragging. Sonya juggles her knives as Yasuna tries to interrupt by throwing the beanbags. Sonya catches them and adds them to her juggle. She starts throwing other things but Sonya juggles them all. Till she starts throwing a chair, Yasuna gets whacked.
* Then trying pantomime, she teases this is much more interesting than her knife trick and challenges her to make her smile with that. Sonya threatens the knife at her neck and orders her to smile.
* Yasuna wanted to spin the pot with the umbrella. She flops but when Sonya does it and loses balance, she starts laughing. Knowing she’ll get whacked, she quickly puts the pot on her head as protection but the umbrella was used to grab her neck.
* Yasuna wonders how fire breathers breathe fire so Sonya bluffs her that they eat spicy thing. Though she didn’t buy that crap, the next day she is absent from school. We all know too well she tried that out.
* Yasuna tries to crush a mosquito but accidentally slaps Sonya. Punishment time. I guess Sonya is dead serious in wanting to kill that mosquito. Yasuna gets a taste of her own slap when Sonya spots it landing on her cheek. Sure it wasn’t an excuse to hit her? Eventually Sonya takes it out with her knife. Or not. Yasuna kills it with her bare hands. Noting how dangerous the knife is, Yasuna suggests using a swatter. However she bloopers and ends up swatting herself since the mosquito is flying around her. Yasuna doubles the swatter as bubble maker while Sonya’s pride won’t allow her to miss again. Just as she throws the knife, the nice timing of Yasuna’s swatter deflects it back at her. Phew! Close shave! Sonya takes the swatter and tries to swat it so Yasuna teases her that she’s playing with bubbles. Now there’s a big bug with a big mouth she wants to swat. Yasuna finds a bug spray but Sonya wants to use on a certain pest…
* Yasuna gets this idea of letting the mosquito bite their arm so they can hit it. But when it lands nicely on the table, they just stared at it. Forgetting their goal? The mosquito then lands on Sonya’s head but when she uses her face muscles, Yasuna starts laughing at her horrible expression. Now she really wants to kill that bug. Though Sonya has got a big lump on her forehead, she notes that there is one bug that will always be annoying throughout the year. Does Yasuna even have to ask? Oh, she’s stupid I guess.

Episode 8
* Yasuna seems to be dreading autumn. But she’s just acting that melodrama out and returns to her idiotic self. She has prepared a list of autumn activities to do so Sonya knocks her out and enjoys the ‘autumn silence’.
* Yasuna finds an empty tin and puts it on her head. She thinks it’ll be protection from Sonya’s attacks but she can’t see so she’s scaring innocent bystanders. Yasuna starts screaming Sonya’s name and that’s a no-no when you’re an assassin. If Yasuna is the real enemy, then Sonya has got to take her out first, right? Yeah, this is the real Yasuna as she begs for her life.
* The tin is stuck and she can’t take it off. Tin head. Sonya tries spinning her head but I’m not sure if Yasuna got her head facing in the right direction after that. After bumping into the post, Agiri offers to help out. Uhm, she just put a picture of Yasuna’s face on the tin. Then she leaves without resolving the problem.
* Instead of going to the hospital, she goes to school and tries to figure out a way to remove the tin. How about heating the metal so it expands? Well, it looks like Yasuna is going to get cooked… Putting salad oil for slipperiness didn’t help either. Agiri again helps out but she just puts on a magic show and left without fixing anything. Sonya thought she should use fire again but with salad oil now inside, I think this will get worse.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to hit her but it seems she punched her body instead. She got so mad that the tin came off. Sonya thinks maybe the tin got adjusted to her face that’s why it slid off. Yasuna is happy and puts it back on. And it couldn’t come off. Or maybe it just happened to come off.
* I don’t know how but it eventually got off as Yasuna tries to sneak up on Sonya’s table but was found out. She wanted to place a rock magazine in her desk but Sonya rips it! Also finding a tambourine in it, Yasuna thinks it’s cool if she plays one but she’s not interested. Yasuna is disheartened the band is breaking up. What band? Sonya thinks an idiot like her can’t play a music instrument so Yasuna challenges her to play. Sonya starts with the tambourine and makes a hole in it! On purpose! Yasuna says she can play the flute but it turns out to be a party whistle. Maracas? That’s a baby’s rattle. Noting that Sonya is the violent type that loves to hit, she gives her play a drum. But looks like Yasuna will be her drum.
* Yasuna thought Sonya sucks in playing the real flute. But it’s not a flute. It’s a hidden sword. Then Yasuna scares her by clashing the big cymbals so Sonya reprimands her at the top of the voice. This attracted the other classmates so Yasuna advises her not to shout like an idiot. Better start apologizing or she’ll find herself hanging on the tree all day.
* Yasuna gives her a special flute but it turns out to be a dog whistle. She thought she had tricked Sonya but she jumps away, leaving the pack of dogs turning their attention to that idiot.
* Yasuna draws a bull’s eye and wants Sonya to hold it. She’s using her as target practice, no? She thinks she has special talent for darts after noting the fruit balancing over her dog’s head. What? Then when she threw the paper exactly into the bin, that’s when she thought she had this talent. That’s got nothing to do with darts. She demonstrates her skills but misses the bin and quickly shifts the goal post that this had nothing to do with darts.
* Yasuna tricks Sonya to play darts with her (that her throw is weak). She barely misses her knife. Sonya says it’s game over if she hits bull’s eye and if not, she’ll keep trying till she gets it. Using Yasuna of course. Sonya perfectly strikes the centre but upon closer inspection, it is actually labelled as ‘lose’. As punishment, Yasuna writes 100 points on her forehead and 50 points on her body. I guess this is her plan to make her play. Yasuna is going to use her toy gun as her weapon (I guess she spent her money on this instead of buying a real dart board) so Sonya wants to have a competition. Yasuna’s forehead is labelled as 0 points so that upset idiot fires her gun but Sonya catches it. Sonya didn’t realize her hand was written as 20 points. So Yasuna brags no matter how many times she hits her head, she’ll never earn any points. Exactly what Sonya wanted because she can fire all she wants. Then she fires into her mouth since she’s talking big. Yasuna thought she’s safe if she doesn’t turn around but she didn’t realize her back has been labelled 1000 points. Sonya thought it’s game over and is going to wash the marker of her forehead when Yasuna reveals it’s a permanent marker. Realizing her 0 points is embarrassing, she scribbles to make it 100 points. Duh… So to cover it up, Sonya wears a headband but Yasuna wears a wrestling mask. Laughing stock of the class…

Episode 9
* Yasuna doesn’t remember what she’s looking for. Or even that she’s looking for something. Maybe Sonya hit her too much on the head. I guess it can’t be that important if an idiot like her loses it. Since she keeps whining, Sonya is going to test her new weapon on her. But wait. Did she misplace it? She takes out her knife that can shoot beams. She’s just making that up to cover what she lost. Sonya’s as bad as Yasuna in the sense she won’t admit she lost it. “I haven’t lost it. I just put it somewhere I don’t know”. Yeah… Yasuna suggests looking for each other’s thing and since Yasuna don’t even remember what hers is, maybe another good whack will do the trick. That’ll make her forget more and even dumber! So off Yasuna goes and she didn’t even ask what Sonya’s missing item was. She brought back a stick and obviously that’s not it, dimwit.
* Sonya picked up a 1000 Yen bill and Yasuna thought she could fool her to say it belongs to her. Her purse is always empty to begin with! The real person comes to claim her lost money as Yasuna tries to lie that if she hadn’t come, that evil Sonya would have taken her money.
* Sonya finds her missing item which is a taser. Yasuna is unhappy hers isn’t found yet but gets zapped. That shock must have jolted her memory as she remembers the lost item that is a points card in which you earn enough points to get a free Triple A beef. What was she walking around with that for? To show off of course! The points card drops out from her clothes and she becomes ecstatic that she has found it. She doesn’t have to rub it in to Sonya’s face, you know. But she gets what is coming because the card has already expired.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to come along with her to catch the mythical snake called Tsuchinoko but Sonya doesn’t believe it exists. What if it does? Then she’ll dance with it. Yasuna thought Sonya left early to get a head start to catch it but she wasn’t. Yasuna gets lost in the forest and is afraid to be alone.
* Sonya receives an SMS from Yasuna saying she has caught it. She knows it’s a lie but goes to check it out. True enough, what Yasuna caught was a butterfly. Upset with the misleading message, Sonya falls into a pit trap Yasuna made. Then they thought they see Tsuchinoko but it turns out to be a pit viper. Run!
* Sonya has had it and wants to go home. Yasuna trips and falls on a guy in fatigues. He claims he is Tsuchinoko. Uhm, his name that is. But stupid Yasuna thinks he is the real mythical snake! Even in denial that it can speak Japanese and act like a human! Anyway he is an assassin out to kill Sonya. Both assassins face off but the pit viper has Sonya retreating. The assassin turns his attention to Yasuna as she makes a run. However his feet fell into the pit and Sonya takes him out. Now Yasuna’s bragging…
* Yasuna wants Sonya to fish with her and I guess she knows how to push the right buttons to make her take up the challenge. Of course Yasuna is an amateur, fishing out everything else but a fish. Sonya starts getting scared when Yasuna puts a worm as her bait. But in order not to lose out, she takes over Yasuna’s rod and thus they both start fishing. Well, Sonya fished out junk and even a turtle.
* They challenge to see who can catch the first fish. Yasuna thought if she does a weird pose, the fish will come. She ends up getting muscle cramp. Then she fishes close to Sonya and reels in her rod, pulling Sonya into the water. Yasuna picks her up but seeing her angry face, she drops her back in. Catch and release! Sonya punishes Yasuna with the pole.
* Sonya realizes she lost her paper with orders in it when she fell into the water and orders Yasuna to find it. She’s not going home till she does. Well, this time they caught lots of fish. But no orders. It ends up in the turtle’s mouth in which it’s being picked up by Agiri. She returns it to them in class the next day, much to their surprise.
* Yasuna spots a coin on the road and picks it up. Because of that, a flower pot barely misses smashing onto her head. She thinks she’s damn lucky so to prove her luck, she wants to play a game with Sonya. How about Russian roulette? Not with a real gun! It’s made with chopsticks and it only has one shot. Sonya fires it at Yasuna. Then she made 3 onigiris and one of them is real good. She thought it would be more interesting to have 3 people. But Yasuna unmasks herself to become Agiri! Body substitution? Yasuna didn’t even know how she got substituted into the locker. So the trio eat an onigiri each but in the end they couldn’t tell which is the best since different people have different taste.
* To further test her luck, Agiri suggests playing that pirate barrel but she slices it into half with the sword! I guess the toy wasn’t that lucky. Then with the hand biter, Yasuna puts her hand in and it instantly bites it at first try. Yasuna laments she doesn’t have good luck and goes to buy drinks at the vending machine. The good news is that she won an extra can but the bad news is both aren’t the drinks she wanted. Yasuna is really feeling down so Sonya says it’s because of her stupidity and has nothing to do with luck. Yasuna feels better knowing Sonya was trying to comfort her. Ah well, simple minded people. But as she throws her can into the bin, it ricochets off several objects and hit a dog. Run for your lives! Maybe she really is stupid and unlucky after all.

Episode 10
* Yasuna loves playing in the snow. She takes a dive but her life flashes before her. Notice the monkey and flea in it? She should dive in a place with more snow. Yasuna makes a snowman put finds she doesn’t have enough to complete its head and uses her own. Is she going to stay there all day? Turning it into Daruma, Sonya chops it! Yasuna wants to get the icicles on the roof and throws the snowball but all of them drops and nearly hit Sonya. Now she’s going to stab her with it. I can’t believe Sonya missed Yasuna hiding as the snowman.
* Yasuna gathers some snow and eats them! Then she tries to convince Sonya to participate in a snowball fight but she starts throwing knives. Unfair! Illegal. That includes hidden rocks in the snowball or making a knife shape snow. Sonya crushes the snow in her palms to create a deadly projectile. Yasuna thought of creating a diversion to distract her but it backfires. And what’s with that lame pun? A duck to duck? Yasuna kicks the tree but all the snow fell on her. Yasuna thought she manages to kick the hard snowball off Sonya’s hands and as she runs away happily, that hard snowball came falling on her head.
* The duo make quite a number of snowman when Sonya realizes she dropped her wallet inside one of them and is going to smash them all to retrieve it! Genocide! Well, Agiri found it and returned it to the teacher.
* Yasuna catches a cold but is happy she’s not an idiot! Then she tries to pass it on to Sonya but fails miserably. A spray falls out of Sonya and she thinks it’s a sinus spray. Wrong. That’s a pepper spray. Argh!
* Yasuna thinks being sick has lots of benefits. Everyone is being nice to you, you don’t have to go to school and you can eat peaches. So what the hell is she doing in school? Yasuna sleeps on the water pillow and assures Sonya it’s pretty tough and not to hold back while punching it. Well, the water burst out all over her face. Now she’s sicker. She’s confident she’ll get better tomorrow and Sonya will be sick in her place. But the next day, Sonya is well and Yasuna thought she’s an idiot! But she starts coughing. Could it be she has caught her cold? She’s not going to admit it but Yasuna wants to check her temperature using her forehead. She got head-butt instead. Yasuna decides to go home but Sonya sees her playing in the snow outside. On her way home, she sees Yasuna half dead while trying to make a snowman. Idiot.
* Because Yasuna saw kids playing with a remote controller, she brings one to school. Since Sonya won’t be her robot, Yasuna plays with herself (not in the hentai sense lah). She fools around that earns Sonya’s wrath like trying to shoot beams from her eyes and make the baseball float around (it’s tied to a string). Then she pretends controlling a pigeon and coincidentally bombs away its poo nearly hitting Sonya. Pissed off with her, Sonya snatches the controller. Yasuna thought she wants to play too and will gladly be her robot. But when Sonya breaks the controller, it means the robot can’t move, right? Forever…
* Yasuna wants to make origami with Sonya and once again persuades her to join in. She should fold the paper not Yasuna’s palm. Then as they make paper airplane, Sonya’s may look cheap but it’s deadly because it can stab through Yasuna’s! Yasuna used a gold paper and thinks her plane can fly far but it ends up in the bin. Having a contest to see whose plane can fly further, Yasuna thought her silver paper will do the trick but it ends up in the bin while Sonya’s flew out the window. Yasuna shifts the goal post saying she was aiming for the bin and thus her victory. Later as they go home, they see Sonya’s plane still flying about! So it’s about time Yasuna admits she lost. Unknown to them, a bunch of kids are playing paper airplanes nearby.
* Sonya finds a message in her locker to come to the empty classroom. Thinking it’s another assassin trap, she rolls in only to be surprised by Yasuna’s Christmas party surprise. She’s not happy with this annoying prank. Anyway Yasuna wants to have a Christmas party and has brought the necessary stuffs. Agiri also joins them but she’s dressed in a Halloween costume. She wants them to hand over the presents and twists things around that she can’t give things away for free since Christmas is a week away. Since they have to go with the flow, Yasuna reluctantly gives the cake. Agiri returns the cake as her present and Yasuna was easily fooled it was a present from her. After Agiri leaves, it seems the real Agiri pops up from behind wondering who that was. Eh? Another body substitution? Or was she quick enough to run back behind since we see her costume dumped right behind her.
* Though they each have their share of the cake, there is one left. Agiri and Sonya didn’t want it so Yasuna could have it but she’s upset that they should at least pretend that they want it. Then she prepares a bingo game in which the loser must do something embarrassing. Safe to say, Yasuna lost and is prepared to do an embarrassing kneeling that makes her look like a drill tank (she’s wearing a pointy party hat). Too her dismay, they’re not even looking. So much about summoning her courage.
* Yasuna thought Sonya is going to dress as Santa to trick her enemies with the bomb wrapped as a gift. But since nobody would want to accept it, she would cry and the bomb exploded in her face. WTF?! Reimagining it, Sonya as Santa slides down the chimney to deliver presents but gets shot by the father of the house thinking there a burglar has sneaked in.
* Yasuna gives Sonya a doll as her Christmas present so she won’t be lonely for winter break. Unfortunately Sonya disfigures it so Yasuna asks for her Christmas present. She gives back the disfigured doll, enough to make that idiot happy. Till she realizes that’s not it.

Episode 11
* We start off with this twisted version of the folklore of the Bamboo Cutter. Something was glowing in the bamboo which Yasuna the bamboo cutter only told her friend Agiri about a year later. Then it turns out to be a weird New Year’s dream Yasuna is having that Sonya isn’t interested in listening to. Because Yasuna continues to bug her, Sonya strangles her with her own scarf.
* Eating sticky mochi is a must for New Year, right? Sonya heard that though it has no poison, it still can kill. That’s because usually it gets stuck in your throat. But the girls can have a taste of mochi and making it since Agiri has the tools to make them in her club room. Those are ninja tools? I don’t believe it. In the room, they don’t see Agiri so Yasuna starts pounding away. But Agiri is inside the mortar! Body substitution again? Maybe. Because the real one just came in through the door. Because Yasuna teases Sonya about how to handle the mallet, Sonya is going to pound her first. The mallet is too heavy for Yasuna so Agiri has prepared a lighter one. Isn’t that a baby’s toy hammer? So when Yasuna uses it on Sonya instead of the mochi, Sonya uses the real one on her. Lucky her head didn’t get smashed. So it becomes a challenge to see who can make the mochi without the mallet. Of course it goes off track when Yasuna uses a spear and Sonya an axe to pound the former.
* While eating the mochi, Yasuna gets choked. But Sonya thinks she’s playing a fool and thinks she wants to be strangled and obliges. Agiri too may have fallen victim but it seems it’s another body substitution. Substitution of the substitution?
* Another twisted folklore with Sonya as Killtaro (parody of Momotaro). As an assassin, she took on a request to kill demons. Along the way, she meets a dog (Yasuna) who pesters her to be her comrade. Sonya gives her poisoned dumpling millet and good riddance. That mutt will never shut up. Next, Agiri the peasant wants to sell a demon exterminator gun but Sonya’s not interested. Unused Character is going to make her debut as the monkey but it seems Sonya had already left the scene. Sonya reaches the island and cuts a peach to eat. But the island residents (Yasuna clones?) call her a demon for eating the fruits of their labour. I think Sonya just killed them all and everyone lived happily ever after as the island is known as Demon Island. Wait a minute. That wasn’t a happy ending!
* Zombie Baby: Sonya and Yasuna are running away from zombies. Yasuna has some items to dispel the zombies: Cross, garlic and stake. Hey! Aren’t those for vampires?! Stupid Yasuna gets bitten and is now a vampire. Now she’s going to suck Sonya’s blood. Is she a zombie or vampire now? Then the sun rises and all the zombies disintegrate. Are they zombies or vampires?! As stupid as they are! They died stupidly too! Guess what? This was Yasuna’s New Year’s dream.
* Yasuna decides to play some traditional Japanese games. I don’t understand the board game but Yasuna got bored with it since she sucks and turns her attention to kite flying. Sonya knows her trick about asking her what is on the kite (tako), which is a squid (ika). If she says one, Yasuna will definitely say the other and tease her. Sonya has to company Yasuna flying her kite or else she’ll feel lonely and fly her backup kite that has a picture of Sonya instead.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to run for the kite and how did she make her do it? Step on her foot! Oh, now she’s running after her! Yasuna gets tied up by the kite strings as punishment. Sonya demonstrates how to fly a kite and trips. You know what Yasuna will be doing now. Yasuna follows Sonya’s every step, including the tripping.
* As Yasuna flies her kite, the crow attacks it thinking the squid picture is real. To counter that, Yasuna draws a single eye on the squid. Then she sees other kites and decides to go join them. However she got scolded for entangling their strings.
* Yasuna lets Sonya hold her kite while she goes buy warm drinks. The strong wind blows the kite stuck onto the tree. Trying to pull it out made it worse as the string snaps. Yasuna thinks she’s a meanie. Since they can’t get up the tree, Yasuna uses the backup kite but to not make the picture look like Sonya, she draws many eyes over it. Now it just looks creepy. While running along, she falls into the river. Sonya knows the river is shallow and that Yasuna just wanted to pull her in with her cry wolf that she’s drowning. Yasuna goes after the kite flowing down the river when Sonya takes up the string attached to the kite. At the same time, Yasuna pulls the kite and in turn pulls Sonya into the river too.
* To avoid getting pneumonia, they head for the public bath. Sonya is reluctant to strip since there are secrets she can’t reveal. Yasuna thinks there’s a zipper along her body and forces her to strip. The tussle causes Sonya to fall into the pond. In the end, at least they both have a nice warm bath.
* Milky Baby: Yasuna the magical girl always tries her best to help out but makes a mess out of things. Today, she’s supposed to fight Unused Character in a boxing ring (Ashita No Joe parody). She gets beaten up badly and in her final attempt, Yasuna uses her magic wand to summon… A towel? You know what they say about throwing in the towel, right? She lost and got punched by her coach (Sonya). Oh, this is another of her weird New Year dream. On their way home, Yasuna picks up an abandoned magic wand and plays with it. Suddenly Sonya is substituted with Agiri! Woah! Did it work?! And Sonya doesn’t know how she ended up in the locker!

Episode 12
* Sonya is seen sniping and assassinating Pyonsuke! Actually it’s Yasuna’s dream. She is going to have revenge on her for killing Pyonsuke #2 but do you think an idiot can best a pro?
* Yasuna sees a plaster over Sonya’s cheek so the latter warns her not to waste them when she puts one on her own face. Then Yasuna makes a startling discovery. If she puts the plaster on places which she thinks she’ll get hurt, she’ll feel invincible. How did she arrive at that stupid conclusion? She kicks the chair to try out but it hurts like hell. Yasuna listens to Sonya’s advice to put on poultice. Hey. Why does Sonya want to hit her? Sonya says her under-vest is bulletproof and lets Yasuna take a hit. Who knows, the idiot hits her head! She returns the favour instead of hitting the parts applied with poultice. Yasuna punches Sonya’s vest for real but it seems she’s holding in the pain. Did she forget to wear her vest? She wants to have another go but Sonya is grimacing and making faces in preparation of the punch. Sonya tries to bluff her with several theories, law and rule why the vest can only withstand a certain amount of impact but to Yasuna it means she’s not wearing any.
* Based on that, Yasuna deduces if she wears a cast, she’ll be safe. More accurately as Sonya puts it, if she uses her head, she’ll be a lot safer. You mean injury rate is based on IQ? Here comes her stupidity again. She teases Sonya for being dumb, the reason she got hurt and gets a chop on her head. Well, I guess this theory is proving to be right in a certain way. Yasuna tries to run away to avoid getting hurt but trips. If it’s not Sonya, then it’s herself. Next day, Yasuna puts on lots of poultice and feels invincible. A few hours later, she starts feeling itchy all over.
* Sonya’s mission has her been having lack of sleep. She feels so sleepy in class and Yasuna thought it’s her duty as her friend to cheer her up. I guess she was being stupid that’s why it didn’t work. Sonya is so sleepy that she accidentally took out her knife instead of her pen to stab herself! Class is over and she wants to go home but Yasuna stands in her way (she thought Sonya was going to do an assassination job after school). After getting a submission move, Yasuna tries to persuade Sonya that her assassin job is no good and chops her head. Well, Sonya has her eyes opened now. Did she finally realize? Actually she’s now awake to beat her up. But that’s just temporary as she is still sleepy.
* Walking along, Sonya spots Yasuna and makes a run. She uses up too much energy and falls asleep outside someone’s house. Yasuna tries to wake her up without touching her because her defence reflex is still working. Shouting causes the neighbourhood to tell her to STFU, barking like a dog causes her to have bad dreams and when she thought of drawing on her face, Sonya is already up. And mad. Sonya draws on her face as Yasuna tries to tell her the truth that she tried to wake her up. Unfortunately she got punched because she couldn’t believe someone with a stupid face telling her that. Didn’t she draw that herself?
* Yasuna gives Sonya chocolates on Valentine’s Day and tells her she has to give her back 3 times on White Day. Since Yasuna mentions once given, it cannot be returned, Sonya is going to give hers. She attaches chocolate yen on her forehead.
* Yasuna saw Sonya dropped a photo and thought it’s her boyfriend and teases her. However, that’s supposed to be her next hit target! Yasuna screws around by swapping that photo with her own till she eventually gets beaten up. Yasuna is sad that she shouldn’t kill him just because she doesn’t like his face. I don’t think that’s the problem. Yasuna once more tries to persuade to give up her line of work or else she won’t become a splendid person like her. Unless she means splendid is stupid. For starters, Yasuna taps her shoulder from the back and wants her to hold it in. Is it working? I think Tokyo shook just now.
* Noting Sonya gets upset too easily, Yasuna wants her to practice that she won’t get upset from whatever she does. Doesn’t that sound like a penalty game? Yasuna attacks but is instantly nailed. Sonya says she wasn’t attacking but rather defending herself. Haha. You screwed up somewhere Yasuna. The idiot pretends to be an animal, in this case a dog since people should be kinder to animals. But Sonya hates dogs remember? Now remember, little doggie must listen to her master and not eat her lunch when she is told too… So you want to be human again, eh?
* Yasuna launches Pyonsuke #3 for her to hold and have happy feelings. However Sonya hugs it too hard and all the cotton bursts out. I guess that’s the third bunny she killed. Murderer! Sonya wants to use the toilet but Yasuna thinks it’s an excuse to kill his target. She insists she wants to use the toilet for real. But she’ll have to get pass Yasuna. Okay, please go gentle on her.
* Yasuna thinks Sonya should quit being an assassin and be a chiropractor instead. Then she starts having her stupid daydream whereby Sonya attends a patient and accidentally breaks his neck bone. Maybe being a chiropractor isn’t a good idea after all.

Episode 13
* After seeing a TV police show last night, Yasuna wants to play police with Sonya. However she gets beaten up. Obstruction of justice! She thought of using a pair of toy handcuffs to play but Sonya isn’t going to fall for her trick to get cuffed. Since the idiot pesters her to play along, she agrees just to shut her up. Guess what? Yasuna gets cuffed instead. She thinks she can break out using brute strength! Not.
* After getting Sonya to unlock the cuffs with the key, Yasuna now wants her to put it on just for fun. True enough, Yasuna starts mocking Sonya she can’t use her hands. She didn’t see she could use her legs, eh? Kick as powerful as her punch. Sonya feigns extreme pain to strangle Yasuna with the cuffs and threaten her to release them.
* Release she did but she puts the other half of the cuffs on herself. Now they’re stuck together. This also means Sonya can easily beat her up. So as Yasuna tries to unlock it, the key breaks. Well, it’s a toy key so it’s not made of good quality. Sonya tries to chop it with her hands but it causes their heads to butt together. The metal is made of good quality but the key was not? If the metal won’t break, maybe the flesh will… Oh sh*t!
* Since class is starting, Sonya drags Yasuna down the stairs and dirt, right outside so she can break it with a rock. Yasuna moves her hand so Sonya slams the rock on her own hand. She starts chasing her but they’re running around in circles. They tire out and somehow Sonya’s cuff came off. Hooray! Sonya chains Yasuna to the tree and leaves for class. Eh? Yasuna missed class the entire day… Human abuse! Yeah, peace and quiet for the entire day.
* Yasuna asks about Sonya’s birthday and the assassin isn’t too happy to give away anything. Yasuna is appalled that Sonya doesn’t want presents since birthday is a day where you get free stuff legally. She thinks Sonya was picked up by the organization as an abandoned kid or simply forgotten her birthday.
* Yasuna decides to make today Sonya’s birthday, much to the latter’s chagrin. How did she persuade her to go to today’s birthday party? Yasuna has lots of crackers in her clothes and if it all goes off at once, everyone will start thinking Sonya is an idiot like her making a scene.
* In the empty classroom while waiting for Agiri to come, there are a few big boxes with instructions to unwrap and stack them as Sonya’s present. Once that is done, out comes Agiri. Magic show? Sonya doesn’t want to blow the birthday cake candles but upon realizing they’re dynamites, she quickly blows them out with all her might! Phew.
* Yasuna gives her present and Sonya is sceptical it is something dumb. She hears ticking inside and thinks it’s a bomb and throws it out the window. Turns out it was a clock. Anyway that was a dummy present since Yasuna found it in her closet as a broken junk. That’s even worse! Yasuna gives her next present and Sonya thinks it’s a dummy. Heck, there are more presents in the corner. Could it be dummies too?
* Agiri presents Sonya a ninja outfit and has her try it out. Yasuna laughs her ass off since it makes her look like a stereotypical ninja. But that doesn’t mean she can’t do a submission move on the idiot, right?
* The next present is a can of helium gas that makes your voice go high. Yasuna and Agiri demonstrate as they start saying tongue twisters in squeaky voices. Next, Yasuna gives her a piggy bank as a present. Her intention is for her to save up so she can buy her a birthday present. Which is tomorrow. Unused Character heard there was a party but by the time she arrives, it’s over. She sees the helium gas can on the floor and tries it out herself with high pitched tongue twisters.
* Next day, Yasuna is eager for Sonya’s present but it seems she didn’t get any. How much can she save in a day? She gives an excuse that her present is in the empty room so the happy idiot scoots there. Isn’t that the same huge boxes with instructions? Anyway Yasuna puts it in the wrong order and they saw something horrible! What was it? What was it?!
* Sonya can’t walk home with Yasuna since she has a job to do. Yasuna thinks she’s going to kill someone and goes all out to stop her. Idiot style. Even if this means buying and shaking a soda so she’ll get her clothes wet and go home (Sonya just put it in her bag to drink later), challenging her to defeat her (seriously, does she want to feel the pain again?) and throwing her shoes away (Sonya anticipated this and swapped their shoes so Yasuna threw away her own).
* While tailing Sonya, Yasuna sees her talking to a policeman. Is this her next target or is she turning herself in. Yasuna thinks if she does, she’ll be sentenced to 100 years in prison and she doesn’t want that. She confronts the policeman but actually Sonya reported to him about a stalker girl who is bothering her.
* Yasuna continues to follow Sonya and ends up in the woods. She sees an obvious trap with candy inside. Being the idiot she is, she decides to take it knowing well it’s a trap. But the ground caves in instead. So the real trap is a pit? However Yasuna didn’t drop in by herself. She pulls Sonya down with her. Trapped and with no one around to help them out, Yasuna thinks of doing a silly pose so that the future people who dig them up can discover their fossils. WTF?!
* A stray dog passes by and Yasuna tries to make it come back with help. But the dog is going to pee into the hole! They throw everything they got to chase it away. They can’t stand on each other’s shoulder since they know the one who gets out will leave the other behind. Sonya says if she begs and goes down on her knees, she’ll allow her to be on top. Yasuna gladly does so but it’s a trap for Sonya to use her as a springboard and jump herself to freedom.
* Sonya promises to come back with help but Yasuna desperately pleads not to go to her job. She can’t kill somebody since something bad will happen to her. If that happens, she won’t be able to play with her anymore. She can’t tease her, she can’t get hit by her. Er… Did she just admit she loves getting hit? But her tears were so genuine and heart felt that Sonya drops a rope for her to climb out. Unused Character sees a dropped soda and opens it. The water gushes out as she drops into the pit. Well, nobody is going to care about an unused character, right?
* Yasuna and Sonya walk home as she asks about her job. Sonya replies there has been a change of plans and this made Yasuna happy. Yasuna saw something on her shoulder and is about to pick it. Before she knows it, her hand got twisted in the other direction. Has she learnt anything so far?

Baby, I Died Laughing!
Actually, I’m barely alive… Man, I never expected to enjoy this show to the max. Every scene has its potential to make me go into some sort of laughter whether it’s just a tiny grin or a laugh out loud moment that will have me drop rolling on the floor. Except for that touching final scene in which Yasuna really considered Sonya to be her friend. See, friends stick with you thick and thin regardless of your profession. That’s what friends are for, right? Even if it means trying to stop her from doing a dangerous job and the risk of getting done in. I never thought Yasuna was this thoughtful about Sonya’s future but hey, that’s Yasuna for you. So a very big thanks to Yasuna because of her idiot personality and that she never learns from her mistakes, she is the main reason why the show is absolutely hilarious. She’s the kind of dumb blonde (except that she’s a brunette) that everyone will love. You’ll find it hard to hate her because she’s so adorable being dumb. Oh dear. Am I saying that it’s nice to be a dumb girl? Well, let’s just say that you’ll look at dumb girls who don’t learn in a whole new perspective from now on.

Seriously, the way Yasuna gets beaten up, the kind that would make one’s bone break, I thought that she was a masochist. It’s like in every episode, heck in almost every scene, pain is there waiting for her. It’s like Yasuna and the word pain go hand in hand together. Episode after episode, you expect this girl to get hit in some ways and though it may become repetitive, it is never tiresome because of the many ways her plans backfire as she reaps what she sows. Partly it’s because you and me are sadists too… So if Yasuna has not turned into a super masochist pervert, then at least it is good to know that after 13 episodes of near-death experiences and pain, it is safe to say that she can tolerate Sonya’s punishment. That’s both a good thing and bad, right? She might still feel pain but at least it tells us she is only human. Or maybe something is wrong with her brain. Being a simpleton has its benefits too. At times it might seem she wants to have and do sophisticated stuff but notice all she wanted was just to have fun with Sonya? Yeah, doing whatever is just an excuse to be her pal. I don’t even know understand how she and Sonya become friends in the first place. Heck, does Sonya even consider her as a friend? Maybe that last scene proves it. After all, the 2 of them are an extreme of what we call ‘frenemies’. For Sonya, it’s a love-hate relation with that dimwit. I guess with her and the kind of job she does, it’s not good to have friends but if you look at it from another perspective, Sonya should be grateful that Yasuna is her friend. Many would have shunned her and stay as far as possible. But that is considering if they know what Sonya does. But how can an idiot like Yasuna know her job and the rest wouldn’t? I’m sure they are not as dumb as her, right? And also considering that the few assassins that popped up to eliminate Sonya, since they are as incompetent as Yasuna, I guess you can say Sonya is pretty safe as long as she doesn’t slack. She just needs to keep a close watch on her friend, that’s all. For her own sake, that is. And it is also odd that an assassin like her is scared of dogs, bugs and ghost stories. So if you want to be safe from her, just remember to arm yourself with these. You’ll live a little longer…

Complementing the duo is the ever mysterious ninja Agiri. From the way she does things, it makes you wonder if she is a real ninja because she’s been pulling off tactics that would be fitting of a magician or swindler. Yes, she could be a very good and cool con woman if she decides to follow this path. I mean, she has this smooth persuasion to get you into buying so called ninja items, has this tendency to get out of sticky situations albeit just herself and her body substitution… Is that the only real ninja technique she has? Even if it was just an illusion, it’s a pretty damn convincing one and like I said, she should have been a magician or illusionist. So we have a trio in the form of an idiotic high school girl, a grouchy and moody assassin and a ninja scammer. You can’t have a better combination than them, right? Hmm… Did I miss somebody out? Oh! Unused Character. Who is she again? Well, besides being the comic relief and little side distraction that this show probably doesn’t need, I found out that the reason why she wants to seek revenge against Sonya and Yasuna is that she was supposed to be part of the main cast but ‘dropped’ since very much of her personality overlaps with Yasuna. Well, I guess even having two idiots would be a crowd. Yeah, this show is not big enough for two big idiots. Whatever happened to her in the end, we just don’t care. After all, she is an unused character, right? Not like we are bothered with a very minor side character :). Then there is this old guy character. I’m not sure if he is the same guy throughout the series but he seems to be wearing different hats in different scenes. He may be just a senior citizen bumming around in the park or the principal or some store owner. Maybe the producers were trying to save cost and recycle the same unimportant minor character?

Initially I thought Aki Toyosaki was the voice behind Yasuna. Then I later found out that it wasn’t her but somebody that really sounds close to her, Chinatsu Akasaki (Maki Harada in Mouretsu Pirates, Nanami in Sacred Seven). She really did a very good job in making Yasuna the idiot that never learns. Whether it is teasing, in pain or wailing, she sure does put lots of convincing different expressions into the character. Good job. Ai Takabe also did well in voicing Agiri making her sound like a dreamy character. Something I thought Kikuko Inoue could only do better. I believe you will never hear Agiri blowing her top because it’s that soothing and calming voice tone all the way. I guess when you’re a ninja, even you have to deceive your enemies with your voice. A relative unknown, Ai Takabe’s other voice roles include Maiko in Horou Musuko and Fumi Manjoumi in Sweet Blue Flowers. Mutsumi Tamura is the voice behind Sonya (Kio in Asobi Ni Iku Yo, Sayaka Dejima in Seitokai Yakuindomo). I’m not saying her voice is unique but I guess almost anybody can play a girl who is angry half the time. Otherwise, do you think it would really fit to have a high pitch squeaky voice as an assassin? So Sonya having a lower and hoarser voice fits her character description well. Rie Kugimiya also has a role here as Unused Character but due to the character’s limited screen time, I feel it’s a waste for her to use her squeaky bratty tsundere voice that we won’t hear often (unless you’re not a Rie Kugimiya fan of course). Nevertheless, it’s still fun to see her voice the character. Before watching this show, I read Satomi Arai was going to have a role in this anime and thought gee, I guess she’ll be Yasuna because knowing her roles as Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, Naoko in Yuri Seijin Naoko-san and that emotionless but scheming reporter in Seitokai Yakuindomo, Ranka Hata, maybe she’ll get the lead role as an idiot. However she ended up as the female narrator or as the credits put her, Et Cetera Girl (any extra female characters in the show are voiced by her). So she didn’t get to flex her mischievous and perverted voice and reduced to short narrating roles. But she’s still identifiable nevertheless. For all other male narrations and extra characters, Et Cetera Boy role goes to Cho (Brook in One Piece).

The opening theme is the same name as this series, Kill Me Baby by the duet of Yasuna and Sonya’s seiyuu. To me, the song felt like it’s suitable for a chase scene through the Arabic streets. I don’t know, that’s what I feel this upbeat and wacky song is. Maybe crazy is the right word. The lyrics are really odd and even if they are about killing, dying and other nonsensical stuffs, the words “Kill Me Baby” that is being sung repetitively throughout the song somewhat made me have goosebumps. In short, I don’t really like this song. Maybe it’s the way the duo shout those 3 words. And if the song isn’t crazy enough for you, the animation is even crazy as we have Sonya fighting aliens, UFO crashing, Agiri clones and Yasuna doing her best as a useless idiot. Thus I prefer the ending theme more which sounds very much like a techno disco dance. Also sung by the same duo, what makes Futari No Kimochi No Honto No Himitsu amusing is the dance that we see Yasuna and Sonya tap to in the ending credits. Be warned that even if you are tempted to attempt some of the infectious moves to the infectious catchy beat, there are some moves that are impossible to do! You have been warned. Trying to imitate them may result in more than just broken bones, muscle aches, embarrassing failed poses and damaged egos. I know because I nearly fell in to that. Hmm… Maybe I should try again because somebody once said if you don’t first succeed, try, try and try again. Haha, I just realized I was being stupid here. Even the lyrics are plain weird. “I love you to a point that I want to kill you”. Is this what her hidden feelings are?

On a trivial note, the narration of the next episode preview feels like a haiku only with lots more syllables. And a lot longer. Since I’m not the kind of person who appreciates poems, what they are saying are like Greek to me. In the sense that I just do not understand what they are getting at. Although what I know it is being narrated are events that are supposed to happen or encounter in the next episode, I just can’t seem to put it all together. Maybe I’m that stupid, huh? It always ends with the narrator asking Yasuna what she will do next. Well, what do idiots always do? For her, she takes the bull by the horn, crosses the bridge only when she gets there and whatever happens, happens, she takes them all in good and bad (usually more of the latter). Another amusing narration part is when the narrators narrate the “Kill Me Baby” title. After that when they narrate “Baby, Please Kill Me”, they say it full of passion and accent that it sounds funny and odd. Weird indeed.

They better come up with another season because I really want to see more pranks Yasuna can pull off. In this sense I guess you can consider her a creative girl, right? Just that she uses her creativity for wrong purposes. But that’s not entirely a bad thing since she manages to bring in the laughter. Now, what more practical jokes can Yasuna come up just to test Sonya’s patience? An eating contest? Visit to the old folk’s home? A kidnap incident? An alien invasion? Even a normal school field trip would suffice. Seems for this season, everything that has happened takes place in their high school or the neighbourhood. So if they do another season, it would be nice to have a change of scenery as well. Another reason why you should respect Yasuna is because of her perseverance. No doubt that it is bad to want to tease and get the better of your friend despite knowing you will lose 99.99%. But it’s not always impossible, right? Even so, please do not imitate and try it out on your friends, okay? They may not be so highly skilled or ‘forgiving’ like Sonya. I don’t want to go so far as to say that after seeing this series, my intelligence level has dropped after too many dumb moments with Yasuna nor my defence for pranks has increased after observing Sonya’s counter attacks. After all, I’m not such an intelligent person in the first place. What do you expect from a typical mild otaku like me? If that is such a bad thing in other people’s view, then I don’t want to be smart ;p. But after watching this show, I have learnt something important: Never approach an assassin from the back, a ninja head on and an idiot from all directions!

Brave 10

September 22, 2012

If you ever need to do something big, something that you can’t do it all alone and by yourself, say, saving the world from falling into the hands of a megalomaniac, the first thing to do is to assemble a group of people and make a party, right? And I mean form a team not the kind that parties all night. After all, no man is an island, right? Just look at the Avengers. Even superheroes need to have a group to work together for the greater good of all despite having their egos clash. So as in the case of the anime series Brave 10, well, it’s something like that. Set during the Sengoku (Warring) Era, a warlord requires the assistance of 10 ninjas with their own unique abilities and starts gathering them.

However as I found out, the characters weren’t really plucked from thin air and though fictitious, they are based on some real life historical personalities and were possibly modelled after them. Heck, at least it’s much better than switching them to opposite genders, right? Brave 10 is one of the few Sengoku Era animes (others include Sengoku Basara and Samurai Deeper Kyo) to have its characters based on the novel that was written in the Edo era called Sanada Sandaiki. So if you’re looking for some ninja and samurai action during those feudal days of old Japan, you might enjoy this manga-adapted anime.

Episode 1
Saizou Kirigakure finds a priestess from Izumo, Isanami alone and messed up in the forest. She bugs him to save her. Yes, bug as in pester. But he’s not too interested seeing he doesn’t want to get into trouble. Too late. Her pursuers have arrived and are bent on eliminating all witnesses too. As the hero, Saizou carries Isanami over his shoulders and easily kills all the pursuers with his sword move, Ougi Tendagaeshi. Once it’s over, Isanami continues to bug him to protect her since he is strong and it won’t be a problem. Still, he’s not interested so she throws a tantrum that a real man would want to protect a lady. Saizou shoots back that he hasn’t heard a word of thanks from her and before he knows it, she isn’t listening to a word he says and wants him to come with her to Shinshu Ueda. Perfect timing, his stomach is growling and she’ll treat him to soba. I think she’s treating herself too because she ate lots of bowls! Big eater! After she thanks him, she knew he would be the one when he threw her over his shoulders. She felt safe and thinks he’s a good guy. Saizou leads her to Shinshu Ueda and is about to leave her there but she still needs further directions to Ueda Castle. Something he is reluctant to do. Suddenly they are being attacked by Sasuke Sarutobi of the Sanada ninja clan. He is surprised to see Isanami with the Iga assassin. In short, Saizou and Sasuke hate each other and try to rip each other’s guts out. The cool fight is interrupted when Isanami has had it with them both and stops them. She says she is here to see Yukimura Sanada. Inside Ueda Castle, Isanami manages to meet Yukimura as Saizou analyzes Yukimura’s terrible personality despite being a clever and eccentric lord. Isanami seems relieved to have found Yukimura and reveals her story. Her shrine was under attack. Everything burnt down and everyone was slaughtered. The shrine master forced her to escape but before he was killed by the assassin, he chanted some protective charms onto her head band, told her to seek Yukimura then and dropped her down the bridge. Isanami is at a loss on what to do and without Saizou’s help, she wouldn’t be here now. However Yukimura doesn’t want to get involve since she is being chased and can’t risk getting killed too. You’re on your own, girl. To show that he’s not a cold-hearted bastard, he allows her to stay here for the night. Saizou is about to leave but he couldn’t since Isanami is all over him emotionally breaking down. Pity…

So once Saizou is able to leave, he is dismayed that Isanami is following him. Well, she does feel safe around him, right? Even if she stayed, she doesn’t know what to do tomorrow and wants him to stay with her. He’s not convinced so Isanami just lies flat out on the ground, thinking she’ll make this area her camp. And if the wolves get her, she hopes he’ll come back to retrieve her bones. Huh? Saizou makes it clear that he isn’t that kind of guy and couldn’t give a sh*t what happens to her. Suddenly they’re chained by the assassins and it seems Yukimura has used them as bait to walk into their trap to find out what he’s up against. Saizou breaks out of his chains with his hidden blades and kills the ninjas with his Shunko move. Isanami is so distraught at the bloodshed that she falls into a trance. Her hair band activates and turns into a growing black ball. Anything it swallows will rot right away. Saizou is able to calm her down and return her back to normal before it grows bigger again. Yukimura agrees to look after Isanami so she hopes he can take Saizou in too because he is a samurai without a master. Then after learning Isanami treated him to soba, Yukimura and Sasuke mock him for owing the girl a favour. Now he can’t back out because as a man he’ll have to repay her and do physical labour. Yukimura discusses with his servant Rokurou Unno about Isanami’s power to destroy all living things. Those who control it will rule the world. Noting that a certain ‘racoon dog’ desires more than he deserves, he is going to teach him a lesson but needs to gather the number of men equivalent to the fingers he has on his hands (that’s 10 people for those who don’t know how to count). They know Saizou is eavesdropping so Rokurou uses a technique that gives him a great headache. Saizou returns to his room and though doesn’t trust Yukimura, he notes it’ll be interesting to see what he’s planning. Next morning, Saizou is shocked to see Isanami casually sleeping next to him. Worse, Sasuke treats them both differently with double standards. So nice to Isanami but couldn’t care less about Saizou. Is this girl worth all the trouble?

Episode 2
Ieyasu Tokugawa is growing impatient and by hook or by crook, he wants Hanzou Hattori to bring to him. Meanwhile Saizou can’t stand to choose Isanami’s dress for the harvest festival dance so he sneaks away. At the waterfall, he sees a familiar blonde and it turns out to be Anastasia AKA Ana, his childhood friend. Catching up on lost times, Saizou is surprised Ana is working under Yukimura. Seems she was supposed to assassinate him in his sleep but screwed up. He then offered her to work under him so she defected and tadah! And here she is today. Before Isanami could slap Saizou for being a womanizer (she’s so obviously jealous), Yukimura grabs her hand. Ana reports that there may be sightings of uwabami, large snakes that can devour humans. The festival comes first so he hopes Ana can take care of it. As the dance is on the way, Ana thinks Saizou is afraid of fighting for someone. People like him float away if they don’t have anything to hold them down. After the dance finishes, Isanami immediately heads where Saizou is going to. Yeah, she’s sticking to him like a leech. Ana leaves them alone. Isanami points out something eerie coming from a nearby forest. Checking it out, an uwabami attacks them. Oh, since Isanami is afraid of snakes, she faints. Just great. Now he has to carry her while evading the snake. Saizou notices runes in and uwabami’s eyes and knows it is being controlled by a puppeteer. When he stabs its eyes and kills it, the snake explodes since it was set to do so when it dies. Saizou and Isanami are buried alive. He wonders how she can remain optimistic at a time like this. She says he is her light in the darkness and felt warm. He disagrees since he is someone who takes and passes from darkness to darkness. Rescuing her was just a coincidence. Even so, to Isanami he is dazzling in her eyes. Isanami talks about her parents, in which she has none. As far as she was told, she was found abandoned at the Izumo shrine as a baby. Then they see the air flow and think there is a way out. But Saizou will need to open the hole bigger. However there is a risk that the ceiling will cave in and crush them. Don’t worry. Isanami believes in him. And what do you get when you put all your faith in this guy? He doesn’t disappoint and makes a hole big enough for them to get out. But then they see the castle under attack. Hanzou leads his men as he kills anybody who doesn’t answer his question about the whereabouts of Isanami.

Elsewhere Sasuke is having his hands full against the uwabami puppeteer, Oukatsu. He gets poisoned and will soon lose his vision till Ana drops in to assist. Then they realize Oukatsu is just a decoy to stall them for time. Sasuke continues to fight her and since the forest is his domain whereby he can summon the animals to do his bidding, Oukatsu won’t get out of here alive. Saizou and Isanami return to the castle but instead of staying put as told, Isanami heads in further and meets the assassin who killed the shrine master: Hanzou. In the nick of time, Saizou drops in to do battle with him. However Hanzou too has got his set of tricks and manages to cut a little wound over Saizou’s forehead. As Yukimura and Rokurou have finished evacuating the people, they have no reason to hold back and unleash their powers to kill the low level ninjas. Hanzou deflects every move Saizou throws at him and mocks him the alleged prodigal ninja that everyone believed he is since nobody could cut him and hence his nickname Marici. Hanzou deals a devastating Ougi Kasho Zanmai blow to Saizou and before Isanami’s rotting powers could awaken, he knocks her out. Fortunately before he could take her back, Saizou stands back up and deceives him with a body substitution and thus successfully wounding Hanzou. With Ana and Sasuke coming into the picture, Hanzou has no choice but to postpone this battle and retreat.

Episode 3
Yukimura notes that some villagers died in the attack but thanks to Saizou, Isanami was prevented from falling into Ieyasu’s hands. He has a favour to ask of him and that is to take Isanami back to Izumo. Juuzou Kakei, another of Yukimura’s men has been investigating why Izumo was attacked. Ieyasu stayed there long after he burnt it to the ground. Though he destroyed everything, it felt he was desperate to find something and thus the reason he is after the sole survivor: Isanami. If they haven’t found it, they must still be there. Isanami is needed because she is familiar with the area but will she return there? If it’s a trip with Saizou, she’ll do it! There. Simple. Oh, Kakei is coming along with them too. But the most disappointed one is Isanami because she thought it would just be her travelling with Saizou! So excited that she couldn’t sleep last night and I guess it’s true what they say about three’s a crowd. On their journey, Kakei can’t stand how slutty Isanami is acting since she is so close with Saizou (he doesn’t give a sh*t) and the way she dressed. But she’s not listening… So close that Kakei thought Isanami is Saizou’s wife! Ironic for a girl to grow up in temple and knows no shame. Perhaps the shame of the outside world is what she is oblivious to? Kakei and Saizou talk about Yukimura hiring 10 heroes called Braves. So far he has recruited Sasuke, Rokurou, Ana, Kakei, Saizou and Isanami. Though he can understand why Saizou chose Saizou despite being disrespectful, he can’t fathom his choice for Isanami since she’s just an ordinary girl. But Kakei wasn’t there to witness that rotting power, right? Definitely not an ordinary girl. Continuing their journey, they meet a lady who hurt her foot. I guess they can’t abandon those in need but why Saizou has to do the job? They take her across the bridge and it seems Kakei can’t cross it due to fear of heights! Suddenly a gust of wind holds Saizou down and the lady turns out to be a thief, Kamanosuke Yuri. More precisely, a guy dressed in women’s clothing. His bandits appear and it’s obviously a trap to rob them. However all his bandits bite the dust when Kakei fires his rifle at them. Saizou is able to break out of the wind trap with his sword and briefly clash with Kamanosuke. The thief notes he won’t get to save this precious girl and cuts the ropes, letting Saizou fall down the valley. Don’t worry. There’s a stream below. And Kakei had to take the long way down just to pick him up and resume their trail to rescue Isanami.

Meanwhile Isanami is tied up and Kamanosuke reveals he wants a new toy to play with. He can’t wait to see Saizou’s face when he kills her before his eyes. Isanami gets sick upon hearing his ‘hobby’ of killing people and taking from others is his only pleasure. Isanami believes Saizou will come rescue her so Kamanosuke beats her up and mocks she is the kind of girl who relies men for everything and the least deserving of life. Saizou and Kakei see Isanami hanging on the tree on the edge of the cliff and know it’s a trap to lure them in. But the fastest for Saizou is to start climbing the cliffs. At the top, Kamanosuke plays dirty to knock him off but Saizou regains his footing and plays that dirty game. Kamanosuke loves that evil look in his eyes and feels he has killed more people and spilled more blood than him. He wants to have fun with him but his Otsumuji couldn’t beat Saizou’s Shunko and got cut. By this time, Kakei had taken the long way up and rescue Isanami down. Crazy Kamanosuke is thrilled at the developments and wants Saizou to kill him. He was about to when Isanami comes in between. One more inch and she could’ve been slice. She wants him to stop since he can’t fight anymore and that Saizou has achieved his goal to rescue her. What about the bad things he did onto her? She looks fine, right? Saizou puts away his sword and walks away. Kamanosuke is not happy and screams for him to finish the job. They let him be, screaming in his frustration. Meanwhile Yukimura receives a note and since Ieyasu’s tyranny is at its extreme, knows he won’t let this go. Rokurou wonders will Mitsunari Ishida move. Yukimura believes so since he must be at his limit to send this letter. He wants Rokurou to copy it as this information cannot get out. Rokurou uses his right eye to absorb all the words in the letter before Yukimura burns away the blank letter.

Episode 4
Tsunamoto chases his lord, the lord of Oushuu, Masamune Date to return to his castle. Masamune thinks that old man is useless because he can’t fathom why he would send the Izumo priestess he’s been hiding back to Izumo. He senses there is something more than meets the eye and thinks it is Kushimitama, a relic that houses the soul of the gods. He wants to acquire it and turn this world upside down. Saizou and co reach the burnt down temple at Izumo and start searching for anything they deem important. Isanami can’t help get emotional thinking back this place was filled with life and peace. Saizou comforts her that they can’t bring the dead back to life but at least she can figure why it did happen. After all, this is the most the living can do. So happy that she hugs him and is not letting go. Didn’t see this coming, eh? The search is futile but Saizou notices the shrine pillar is the only one not burnt down since it is made of bronze. Next to it on the ground is a funny symbol as he has a rough sketch of it too. Thinking they need to move the tiles to resemble it like the yinyang, Kakei tries his hand at it but it’s not budging. Isanami somewhat recognizes the symbol and her body naturally knows which tiles to move despite she having no knowledge on what it’s about. Once the symbol is perfectly constructed, it opens an underground passageway. Through the dark passage, they end up with a wall bearing Izumo script. Not that Isanami can read it. So it’s useless? But they won’t have time to decipher it since Hanzou and Oukatsu have followed them down here. Noting they have saved them the trouble of searching, Hanzou wants them to hand over Kushimitama. Isanami remembers the temple master gave her that hair band as her own protective charm that she must never remove. So that’s Kushimitama? She is overcome with guilt that it is her fault that everyone in this temple had to die.

Oukatsu fights Kakei and pins him down with her illusions while Saizou clashes swords with Hanzou once more. Both took some damage but Saizou receives even more when Hanzou uses his Ougi Kasho Zanmai. Isanami starts getting distraught though Saizou is back up on his feet. Before Hanzou could make his move, a gust of wind interrupts Hanzou and blasts through Oukatsu’s illusion. He is Kamanosuke and he is not going to let anyone play with his toy because he is the only one allowed to shed blood fighting to the death with. Since when did he decide on that? Anyway Hanzou is more skilled than him so Kamanosuke takes several cuts. Saizou needs his cooperation if they’re going to beat this guy. So how does he convince that pervert to agree? He’ll play with him till he cries once this is done. I guess that works. Kakei uses this chance to use his hidden rifle on her but he misses and she constricts him like a snake. Oukatsu didn’t expect Kakei to use his own rifle to shoot through his arm, thus the bullet went right through her chest. Saizou and Kamanosuke cooperate and end their fight by defeating Hanzou. Kamanosuke scorns his crappy fighting that made him waste energy so Saizou says his support equally sucks. Isanami treats the trio and still feels she is at fault that Izumo got attacked but Saizou says it is her hair band that is the source. Suddenly Masamune riding his horse snatches Isanami away. Didn’t anyone see that coming? Oh, they’re too weak, I guess. Too weak to pursue too. Masamune wants them to tell their master that Kushimitama is in hands.

Episode 5
Saizou remembers the only friend he had. He was strong and wanted to be like him. However when he went to serve his new master, he was killed and his body tossed into the river. It was like as though their lives were just tools. Ever since, Saizou kills to live and won’t expect anything from anyone. Saizou wakes up and thinks he is done doing this job since he has no obligation to finish it. Kakei tells him off that he didn’t want to report his screw up that he lost Isanami. Kakei will do the reporting to Yukimura. So once Yukimura receives message of Isanami’s capture, he orders Sasuke and Ana to bring back his comrades. Meanwhile Isanami is locked in Masamune room and she tries to put up a tough act. Masamune’s subject, Kojurou witnesses her rotting power so Masamune explains about the treasure that she has, Kushimitama. Long ago, humans received 4 powers to control the land in place of the gods and Kushimitama is one of them. Since Ieyasu’s influence is spreading but won’t take any action, he will use the power of the gods against them. It may start a war but he thinks it’s a good idea because his goal is to cause massive unrest that will turn the world upside down and rewrite the country’s history. Masamune isn’t too worried that although others are after her, not many can get near here (her rotting power). Sasuke and Ana sneak into Masamune’s castle. Sasuke is going to bust her out but Isanami doesn’t want to follow him back, thinking she is guilty for hurting everyone. Ana purposely got herself captured to buy Sasuke time but after learning Isanami won’t budge, she easily beats up her perverted captors and heads straight to Isanami’s room. Yeah, men are easily bought over with those boobs… Ana tells her off of trying to be the pitiful heroine and that by closing her eyes and ears are the easiest way to live. She asks if she wants to be protected forever and even though not physically strong, the courage to move forward too is a strength. That’s why Yukimura chose her as a brave warrior. With that, Isanami agrees to go with them. Sasuke adds that none of them are afraid of getting hurt so Isanami asserts she won’t too because she’s a brave warrior.

And just like that Isanami returns to Yukimura’s side. Woah?! That easy?! They even beat Kakei and co returning. But Saizou doesn’t seem relief to see Isanami back at their side and gives her the cold shoulder. Yukimura sees Kamanosuke and says Saizou is working under him and can’t have them fighting each other. Kamanosuke swiftly attacks Rokurou (he countered with a swift block) so Yukimura says he should not attack fast but build it up patiently. I think Kamanosuke likes that idea too. Yukimura allows him to stay. Saizou is still having clouded minds so Sasuke goes to fight with him and tell him a thing or two. Unlike him who works hard, Saizou already gave up. He might not like acting like a hero but that’s just an excuse he can’t do it. He can’t accept his weakness. He cannot admit it. That’s why he cannot do it. In an ironic twist, Sasuke then offers his hand to him and says they need him so he can be stronger for someone else. Yukimura praises Sasuke for such words and offers Saizou the choice to run away and live like a toothless dog or rise up from where he is. I guess you know the answer because Isanami is so happy that she rushed to hug him. Masamune is annoyed that Isanami has escaped. Yeah, I still wonder how the heck it happened. He eagerly wants to pay Yukimura a visit. Saizou and the rest report to Yukimura about the Izumo script they saw but couldn’t understand. Yukimura orders Saizou to look into Rokurou’s right eye and all his memories start flowing out into it! Rewriting the words down on paper, seems it isn’t anything much so Yukimura ushers them all out. However as we know, it is something more than that because Yukimura warns Rokurou not to let anyone touch his right eye since they are the only ones who knows about this. Whether he is following or fighting fate, he is placing his faith in Saizou.

Episode 6
Everyone thought Yukimura got kidnapped since he is missing and his room is in a mess. Turns out he went ahead with Rokurou to his private hotspring. Saizou takes a walk through town when he sees Kakei involved in a fight with a guy claiming to be Buddha’s servant, Miyoshi Seikai Nyuudo. This strong dude is enough to admit bluntly he has no money to pay for food (he claims Buddha servants eat for free) and he is on a holy mission (to search for his missing sister, that is). Kakei wants him to stay and work to pay for his food and damaged property but Seikai mentions Kakei should do it instead since he was the one who was sent blasting through the wall. Blame himself for being weak. Kakei can’t stand his insults and points his rifle at him but Seikai bends it with his bare hands! Now it’s broken. Kakei is also broken… So Saizou inevitably gets into a fight with the monk and soon Kamanosuke joins in the fun followed by Sasuke. Ana would have but she can’t handle this kind of men. Seikai accepts this as a challenge from God. Yukimura and Rokurou happen to pass by and they see how Saizou is acting naturally as the leader while they fight Seikai. Though Seikai is strong enough to deflect sharp weapons with his muscles, it ends with Saizou getting the better of him as he says his head is the only place that lacks any muscles. Maybe he should pray harder. Isanami, who has been eating like nobody’s business, won a giant plate of dango. When Seikai sees her, he immediately wants to hug his sister! Oh sh*t! That’s his sister?! However Isanami doesn’t recognize who he is and hides behind Saizou, upsetting Seikai. Saizou guesses he has siscon so he whispers an idea to Isanami who then manages to get this big guy under her control. As her brother, she should be ashamed of himself for acting like a thug and should stop attacking his friends. Plus, he should reflect upon himself and fix up this place. Yeah, he did just that without objections. Siscon… Later Seikai reveals to Yukimura that he and Isanami are not blood related but siblings of the Izumo shrine. When he was 8 years old, he found abandoned Isanami. By 15 years old, he left the shrine to travel the world and came to a conclusion that all gods are the same. He recognized Isanami because of her Kushimitama. She is the only priestess possessing it. But Isanami still doesn’t recognize him. He has trained hard on his journey so it’s no surprise that she doesn’t recognize his buffed physique. Showing her a sketch when he was 15 years old, Isanami instantly recognizes her brother. Should have shown that earlier. Yukimura offers Seikai to work for him and he whole-heartedly agrees. We know why lah…

The gang take a dip in the hotspring as Saizou learns Kakei is on a travelling journey and also to fix his gun. Yukimura knows that guy knows how to take care of himself and is just working for him till he finds a master who can give him more. He adds a man is happiest when they are protecting their loved ones but Saizou thought it was just a cheesy line to keep his subordinates in line. Well, followers won’t always fall in love with you, right? Meanwhile Isanami thinks Ana is bragging about her big boobs and insulting her little ones because she mentions she would like to have small ones like Isanami’s. Yukimura pays them a visit and assures he isn’t interested with Isanami’s when Seikai drops in to ‘protect’ his sister. Ana got so pissed off that she freezes the entire hotspring. There goes the warm bath. Saizou leaves and meets Kamanosuke at the river. That idiot really bathed at the cold freezing waters? When Saizou pets his head, a fuzzy and warm feeling overcame Kamanosuke. He runs away while reminding him that he will kill him. Oh God! Don’t tell me he’s turning into a tsundere!!! He talks the problem of his feelings with Sasuke and from what he says, it’s true that Kamanosuke has developed some sort of feelings for Saizou even if he doesn’t know what it is. Yukimura gets an invitation from Ieyasu, a sign that he has already begun to move (perhaps to show off his power by gathering everyone) so he is going to the capital to see what this old guy can do.

Episode 7
Yukimura has Rokurou, Saizou and Isanami accompany him to the capital while the other stay put. Kamanosuke and Seikai not happy… Along the way, Saizou wonders who they’ll see in this tea ceremony. Yukimura thinks it will be primarily Maeda, Mori, Uesugi and the rest of the 5 elders. Mitsunari and Kanetsugu Naoe will be also there. Oh, don’t forget Masamune too. And he’s going to make a good first impression by wearing extravagant clothes. Yukimura and co meet a young boy who tells them the road ahead has been washed out by the rain and tells them an alternate route. Saizou smells something fishy about him because he smells gunpowder. Suddenly Yukimura’s entourage is being besieged by traps. Swift thinking prevented them from certain deaths but that wouldn’t be possible if Seikai and Kamanosuke didn’t show up to help deflect the other dangerous traps. Oh, so they followed them, huh? The boy reveals himself and is amazed at them for being the first people ever to avoid all his traps. He has been searching for a good master and wants to work under Yukimura since he is good in explosives and setting traps. To Saizou’s dismay, Yukimura agrees since he feels he has lot of guts and asks for his name. Rokurou Mochizuki is his name and since they can’t have another guy by that name, the boy agrees to change it since that Rokurou name sucks! An insult to the real Rokurou? Yukimura calls him Benmaru, which was once his childhood name since he admired his guts. As his first order, he wants Benmaru to stay put at the inn while they visit the tea ceremony in the capitol. No buts. As for Seikai and Kamanosuke, he wants them to return to Ueda but knowing they won’t, he allows them to do as they please. Yukimura and Rokurou leave for the ceremony so he leaves Saizou in charge to take care of the rest. I mean, the bunch fighting among each other is more worrying, right?

Yukimura and Rokurou meet Mitsunari on their way in. Mitsunari mentions about the secret message regarding Ieyasu’s behaviour but he did nothing. Now it seems Ieyasu is attempting to provoke him into a war. He hopes Yukimura won’t rush his decision and would establish his position first. Noting that this tea ceremony is just a public display of power, Kanetsugu joins the conversation and mocks how that ‘racoon dog’ was trying to speak. He can’t believe he has issued a weapons ban decree. Masamune is the last one to arrive late and the first thing he did before sitting next to Yukimura is to draw his sword at him. They thought he is defying the weapons ban by he claims he is merely putting on a show for his tardiness. Masamune needs a volunteer and guess who he picks? The swordplay begins and it may seem Masamune is dead serious in cutting Yukimura. The latter seemingly cool and playful but he is easing everything with precision. One wrong move and he’ll be sliced. It ends with Yukimura tripping but he uses his leg to deflect the sword which ended close enough to Ieyasu. Since everybody was laughing at Yukimura’s foolishness, I guess nobody saw it as a threat. As they leave, an informant tells Yukimura to make an immediate appearance at Fushimi Castle for that incident. Not doing so will have consequences. Mitsunari and Kanetsugu know this isn’t fair as he will not be able to talk his way out of this one. Of course Yukimura won’t be going. While Masamune discusses about the boldness in Yukimura’s eyes and his slippery footwork, his men come to report that they have sighted Isanami in town. That night as Ieyasu’s men try to arrest Yukimura, he and his entourage had already escape and are making their way back to Ueda.

Episode 8
Masamune didn’t think his plan would backfire as he speaks to Ieyasu who is angry that he has been embarrassed. So upset that he will not stop to anything to capture Yukimura and that means giving Masamune to kill him on the spot. Ieyasu’s men catch up to Yukimura and co fast but thankfully with Benmaru’s explosives, they are kept at bay. Yukimura orders Saizou and Kamanosuke to scout the road ahead and it seems all of them have been blocked. Continuing their path will only end up in Lake Biwa and it’ll be too cold to swim (was that a joke?). This is an obvious trap to kill them all in one swoop. Speaking of Masamune, here comes that dude and he is brought lots of men with him. Obviously the chase is to cover the fact he is here to retrieve his treasure. Yukimura mocks him that he can’t handle it and that his ambitions are too small. Masamune gets riled up and orders his men to attack. A big brawl ensues as Yukimura’s warriors show what they’ve got in terms of quality over quantity. They end up at the lake as Masamune’s ninjas confront Saizou. He draws his sword and they remember hearing legends about him being a stone cold killer but don’t give a sh*t and attack. Saizou fends them off as he tells them he is not an Iga ninja but Yukimura’s warrior. So, he’s finally accepted and admitted that, eh? Masamune is going to settle his bout with Yukimura when a large ship fires away causing Masamune and his men to retreat and curse Yukimura’s devil’s luck. Yukimura and co board the ship to safety and it seems they are reunited with Kakei onboard. Actually this is not his ship but the sworn brother and pirate Jinpachi Nezu (I thought he looked like a shaman). Seems Jinpachi thought Kamanosuke is a woman and wants ‘her’ to stay on his ship!!! He got disappointed to know he is a guy. Asserting that wine and woman are his pleasure and that he lives for fun, he isn’t happy with Kakei because he helped out only because he thought there were hot chicks but this bunch seems hardly worth it. Where’s that busty blonde bombshell? Anyway Isanami points out that she’s a girl so Jinpachi brushes her off that he is not interested in flat chests like her! Wait a minute. Wasn’t Kamanosuke ‘flat chest’ too? Seikai got upset he insulted Isanami and attacks him. However Jinpachi is able to stop his weapon with his bare hands and strike him down with electricity bolt.

Jinpachi wants the rest to proof their worth to stay on his ship. But they’re not going to fight with swords but sake. Yukimura gladly agrees. Saizou isn’t happy that they have to finish drinking all the barrels but no one but him is complaining, right? Yeah, even Isanami and Benmaru would like to have a taste of it. Oh, Kamanosuke is already drunk… Before you know it, everybody is on good terms with each other. Saizou learns from Kakei that while during his travels, he heard of this pirate had imported some guns and made his way to his ship. Not willing to part with his guns, he was challenged to drink but by the second barrel, they became brothers. So fast? Jinpachi gave him a gun but it wasn’t for free so he’s on this ship working to pay his debt. That night, Yukimura and Jinpachi chat. Jinpachi thinks he was crazy as he was surrounded with no means of escape. Well, there was. Either heaven or hell. Yukimura says he believed in his warriors that’s why things worked out. Jinpachi continues people like him are always bound to someone and unlike him who doesn’t because he is free. His own man. Nothing but the endless sky, sea and ship. He doesn’t have to worry about paying taxes or fighting people’s war because a pirate’s life is to drink and have fun. Smooth Yukimura mentions about those who are bound wherever they go and those who are always free. Whoever one serves and wherever one lives, if it’s their own choice, then that can also be considered free. Jinpachi thought he paid his warriors but on the contrary, they chose to be with him on their own free will. Once they reach land, seems Jinpachi has joined Yukimura as he leaves his ship to his mates. Saizou feels Yukimura has used his trick to gain another weirdo. Must be that smooth speech last night. Or perhaps he’s too drunk and the same reason how Kakei became his sworn brother. Isanami is thrilled that they are gathering more and more people so Kakei notes that the bond between men is an interesting thing. With this, Yukimura has the 10 warriors he need.

Episode 9
Sasuke eagerly goes to welcome Yukimura home. He sees some new faces but gets very acquainted with Jinpachi’s pet panther, Veronica. Since Ana is out on patrol, Yukimura puts the gathering on hold till tomorrow since he has finally assembled all his 10 warriors. That night, Isanami relishes sleeping in her own futon when Ana drops in. Though she forgot to buy souvenirs, she makes it up by telling stories from her journey. Isanami is happy this family is growing bigger. Saizou sneaks into Yukimura’s room not because he has turned gay but rather he wants him to come clean with this assembly thingy. Yukimura draws a yinyang symbol and 8 circles around it. These are symbols of elements that make up the universe and keep it in balance. Each of the elements is represented by the warriors. Earth (Seikai), metal (Kakei – his gun), thunder (Jinpachi), fire (Benmaru – his explosives), wind (Kamanosuke), grass (Sasuke – the forest is his domain), ice (Ana) and water (Rokurou – remembering everything just as the water’s surface reflects all). Saizou thought he is darkness but Yukimura says he is light instead. So does this mean Isanami is darkness? Remember her powers? You can’t be serious. Meanwhile Ana tries to kill Rokurou in his sleep. More accurately, she wants his right eye that remembers everything. Rokurou fights hard to fend her attacks but is poisoned by her weapon. Instead of letting her gorge his eye out, he blinds it. Sasuke attacks Ana and is surprised to see her true colours. However he hesitated and got frozen. Kakei, Seikai and Benmaru hear a commotion and see what’s happening and go to get Yukimura. Saizou and Isanami catch Ana in the act. Ana downplays everything she said to Isanami that there is no such thing as a cosy place. What she calls home is a lie and this world is to kill or be killed. To prove her point, she stabs Sasuke. Yukimura treats Rokurou’s poison and the latter apologizes for his failure. But Yukimura is glad he kept his promise of not letting anyone touch his right eye. Saizou chases Ana as he realizes she is working for another master and thus a spy. Saizou is not in his usual mood. He has the eyes of the killer so Ana tries to make a run for it but he’s faster and stronger. Noting that Ana is just doing her job, he is going to do his. Man, he’s mad. Saizou manages to pin her down and is going to make her talk. Unfortunately there is a river nearby so she uses her technique to call forth a huge ice and escape in that distraction.

Sasuke, who is still alive albeit injured, feels guilty over his failure but Yukimura can’t have him wallow in depression and needs him to find out Ana’s true goal. Saizou returns to Yukimura since Ana has fled. They resume talk about Rokurou’s right eye which has been ruined. Jinpachi returns from his outing and wants to join in the conversation. Yukimura allows it since he is a newcomer, he may see the bigger picture. Letting him know that each warrior represents an element vital in balancing the universe by neutralizing each other’s effect, Jinpachi could guess they were brought to suppress Isanami’s power of darkness. Yukimura explains she was found abandoned at Izumo shrine and the temple master who raised her soon realized there was something strange about her. Each time she is sad, her sorrow summons the darkness. Each time that happens, a priestess goes missing like as though she has been swallowed by darkness. They search the shrine grounds and found darkness seeping out from under the yinyang tiles. According to legend, underneath likes the slope to the Underworld. When she cries, she is calling for the darkness from the Underworld. There is only a person who can do that. Izanami No Mikoto is the goddess of death who threatened to kill a thousand men in a day by drawing strength from the negative emotions of humans. Kushimitama keeps this power of destruction contained. In short, Isanami does not protect Kushimitama but rather Kushimitama protects the world from Isanami.

Episode 10
Ana returns to her master: Hanzou. With their other comrades, they discuss about the world is about to shift dramatically when Ieyasu and Toyotomi clash. It doesn’t matter which will win because they will be the ones ruling from the shadows. Their plan now is to capture Isanami and take Kushimitama but first they need to eliminate the warriors guarding her. Yukimura gets a surprise visit from Mitsunari and Kanetsugu. Since they have no time to talk at the capital and that Yukimura never responds to his letters, what a better way than to pay a personal visit. Besides, this backwater country is so well defended that it’s a perfect place for a secret meeting. Was that an insult or compliment? They discuss about Ieyasu’s outrageous tyrannical behaviour and his accusation of Uesugi plotting against him. Mitsunari says he has gathered his soldiers and that Uesugi has allied with them. He cannot forgive Ieyasu for offending Toyotomi and wished if they only had some earth-shaking power. Yukimura says he shouldn’t wish such things because such powers only would bring trouble. Saizou is watching Isanami from afar but notices someone targeting him so he runs far enough to face off with the culprit who is no other then Hanzou. He reveals his plans to Saizou as the latter realizes he is the one Ana is working for. Hanzou mentions this will be the start of the tragedy between the Iga 5 ninjas and the warriors. Sasuke and Kakei also realize they’ve been lured in. One of the Iga 5, Kaiou, the master of insects makes her appearance before them and though she has orders to kill all the warriors, she has a personal grudge to settle with them because they killed her sister Oukatsu. Meanwhile Seikai who is sitting under the waterfall suddenly reaches enlightenment. Realizing that all gods are the same and since Izanami No Mikoto is a god, he simply needs to have faith in his sister. What the heck is that screwed up thinking? Suddenly a heavy black ball is dropped on him. Another Iga 5, Byakugun attacks them and would’ve strangled Benmaru to death if Seikai didn’t burst out of the ball.

The insects are covering Kaiou’s tracks so Sasuke and Kakei are having a hard time sensing her and at the same time they have to deal with the bugs. Eventually it is too much for them to handle as Kaiou gives Sasuke a kiss of death and implants a bug that will eat away his heart while the ants paralyze Kakei. When both the guys are down, she summons her insects to eat their flesh. Elsewhere Seikai is evading the insanely strongly Byakugun who is throwing and kicking big rocks like as though she’s tossing a beach ball. She even can buff up her body so much so Seikai’s attacks are like tickles. Once he has finished his fill of punching her, it’s her turn to retaliate. The monk lost so can you say his faith wasn’t strong? As for Benmaru, the explosive he threw got deflected and exploded the rock pieces that knock him out. Isanami senses something wrong and rushes to Saizou. Well, with her in the picture, it’s like trouble coming after you. Hanzou ties her to the tree to make her watch their death duel. Her sadness starts awakening her powers so Hanzou finds it interesting to watch. He accelerates it by slashing Saizou all over and blames Isanami is the one at fault. If she had never met Saizou, this would never have happened to him or anybody else. Because of her, Saizou got hurt. She really believes this guy after all that they’ve been through? I know past trauma is one thing but this?

Episode 11
Isanami seems to have calmed down when Saizou gets back up on his feet, though Hanzou continues to blame Isanami that her friends are slowly being erased one by one. Kamanosuke is stretching his legs in town when he spots Sasuke’s ferret. It leads him to an alley whereby he suddenly steps into an illusion. The kind of world whereby he is a woman! A princess! And she’s got this handsome butler, Raizu who looks a lot like Saizou (or Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian. Get it?). So in this world, the girly guy doesn’t want to go to the ball which is actually a marriage meeting but the butler tries his best to persuade him. At the ball, he doesn’t like the fact that everyone wants to get married desperately but stops to think if he would actually meet one too. Blur visions of Saizou flashes through his mind and this made Kamanosuke feel he has forgotten something important. Then he hears some girls badmouthing him so he returns to Raizu who has prepared the rose bath he wanted. Soaking in, he feels so comfortable that he doesn’t want to move. Raizu also wished he would stay like this forever. Then he suddenly realized he doesn’t like this kind of pleasure. He wants the smell of rust and blood. This sweet smell makes him puke. He wants that man with the terrifying gaze of a killer. The rush of killing another is his ultimate pleasure. He stabs Raizu and breaks free from his illusion. Kuchiba of the Iga 5 couldn’t believe someone broke through his illusion and gets slashed by Kamanosuke. But when he learns he prefers blood and pain, Kuchiba uses his technique to rain his blood over Kamanosuke and give him the pain he wanted. Got more than he bargained for, eh?

Jinpachi is fishing peacefully when the lake suddenly freezes over. Oh yeah. Finally he gets to meet the busty blonde that he heard so much from Kakei. But she notes it’s goodbye for him. So soon? As they fight, Jinpachi can still flirt around (“If you want to shut me up, I prefer you use your lips”). Ana puts on a cold exterior and fight till Jinpachi notices her face starts wavering. Short flashback reveals Ana was from a foreign royalty but they were killed and she tossed away. To take back her proof of royalty and return to her homeland, she made a deal with Hanzou and only lived to accomplish her own goals. She did what it took to achieve her dream in this cold world and never looked for warmth or comfort. But meeting Yukimura and his warriors may have a slightly adverse effect to that. She’s in a dilemma but eventually regains her composure and resumes her battle. Ana pins Jinpachi down and though to her it may seem he’s begging for his life, he doesn’t want to die here since the ocean (and plenty beautiful women) are waiting for him out there. She tells him to curse his fate but he disagrees because he lives freely. Ana believes the strong always controls the weak and that he has no freedom. But he throws it back right at her and this enrages her as he freezes him entirely. Yeah, now he shuts up. Uhm… Notice this trend? Each time Hanzou says something terrible, Isanami’s power starts to awake. Then it takes Saizou for the umpteenth time to tell her not to listen to this freak and in the process of that distraction gets hurt. Doesn’t she learn? Seeing Saizou getting up and fight again broke Isanami’s heart even further. She still believes she caused everyone pain and that she is useless and weak. An inner voice asks her if she wants power. And if so, all she has to do is remove her hair band. I don’t know she break through the ropes but be prepared for one helluva big sh*t power because Isanami just transformed into a helluva destruction goddess. So badass that she is causing an eclipse. Wow!

Episode 12
Rokurou wakes up and feels the need to head over to that growing black ball that Isanami has become. Though he lost his right eye, he still remembers the prophecy. Yukimura helps him there. Hanzou understands what’s going on and mocks Saizou that because he has learnt the meaning of friendship, it made him weak. Hanzou believes as a ninja that one can only count on his own ability. Yukimura thinks he is pathetic for only thinking about power but he says back Yukimura is a bigger fool for not attempting to use such power in his hands. Adding Yukimura is a weak man since Ana infiltrated his defence with ease (Yukimura claims he is generous) and that Ana is just a tool to him. Saizou gets upset and disagrees. She was never a tool because she was putting her life on the line for what she believed him. Hanzou isn’t going to waste any more time on him and lets them watch him control the darkness. With Kushimitama in hand, he jumps up to the black ball but it’s not responding. Then he suddenly knows the meaning of fear. It rejects Hanzou and swallows him alive! Good riddance. Rokurou heads towards it and mentions about the prophecy. The only way to stop it when darkness rises is to use the lives of the 9 other elements. Rokurou prepares to use his life but Saizou pushes him away before the darkness can absorb him. Yukimura says that thing isn’t Isanami anymore but Saizou objects. Besides a different form, everything else is the same because she acts without thinking and causes nothing but trouble. Oh so true. And the prophecy? Screw it! He’s going to cut open that darkness and bring her out his way. Saizou cuts the black ball and gets swallowed into it. He says because they’re united by their common identity as warriors, they can face any opponent and that is their true strength. He feels they’ve all rallied around her and without her, they’ll always be one short.

Seikai remembers how he had an argument with the temple master over different ideals so he left on a journey to find the true meaning of gods. When he returned enlightened, the temple was destroyed and that’s why he wanted to find her and teach her since she is waiting with a smile. Seikai is close to abandoning his faith but Benmaru says even if he doesn’t believe in the gods who had abandoned him, believe in his friends! He gives him a contraption for his fist so when Seikai gets up and punches Byakugun, it really packs an explosive punch! Boom! Not even the strongest person can withstand that. It’s revival time for our warriors. The darkness has confused the insects so Sasuke and Kakei are free. Kaiou gets tied up in vines and the poison is fast covering all over her. Kakei puts her out of her misery. Kuchiba thought he had defeated Kamanosuke but he didn’t know pain turned that pervert on. He relishes that feeling and in a flash returns that pain many times fold to him before killing him. That’s what he lived for, right? Ana tries to retrieve her sword but gets shocked by Jinpachi’s lightning. Not knowing his abilities made her careless as he breaks out of the ice easily. Ana collapses into his arm and he even quips they are even because he lost so much blood that he can’t even ‘stand it up’. Gosh.

Saizou is still alive inside the ball and Kushimitama guides him to Isanami. She is still spewing all those negative thoughts. For a guy who doesn’t care about anything, it’s ironic he has turned philosophical at this point. He tells her off everyone has some darkness in their hearts. Having pain in her head shows that she is human. He doesn’t care if she’s a human or some goddess of darkness, to him, she will always be Isanami and is one of the 10 warriors. So come out now this instant! Isanami frees herself and jumps into Saizou’s arm. This results in everything reverting back to normal. Ah, the bright sunlight. With Isanami free from black ball, Yukimura hugs her and is relieved she is alright. Saizou also thanks the rest for doing well their part. Ana laments that the royalty proof kept by Hanzou is fake. Jinpachi is willing to let her off the hook but she feels nobody would forgive her after what she did. Since her dream is gone, she has nothing left. But Jinpachi wants her to use this chance to join them and start things anew. Kanetsugu and Mitsunari learn about the dark power from Yukimura. They feel they should not seek such powers and must do something with the power they already have. As they leave, they say the next time they meet, it will be on the battlefield. So Yukimura has to join them too? Meanwhile Masamune learns that the real treasure was Isanami and not Kushimitama. Then he leaves because he wants to attack head on Mitsunari, Kanetsugu and the rest. He is going to start a war on a big scale.

With everything back to normal back at the Ueda Castle, Saizou asks Yukimura if he had gathered them knowing what would happen. He didn’t. Wow. That was such a big risky gamble that could’ve got them all killed! Even if he had told them earlier, could they have stopped it? Since more will come to seek its power, he is counting on his warriors to handle it. So they’re just like pawns? Well, at least he believes in them. He also notes he may be a pawn moved by an unseen power. For instance, civil war. Isanami comes by making a gigantic plate of manjuus for everyone. As usual, she and Saizou get into an argument. Then she delegates jobs to Benmaru (to heat the bath), Seikai (to do strong duties– that’s not even a job!) and Kakei (to make futons – WTF?!). But Kakei points out more importantly they need a captain for the 10 of them. Kakei declines since he is often away so Saizou thinks Sasuke would be perfect since he is a monkey familiar with this territory. And they both fight not because Sasuke was mad with his insult but to point out that is Saizou’s job. And Kamanosuke bugs Saizou to fight him. Okay. Just bring it on!

Ragtag 10
Hmm… Just when things are getting interesting enough and then it ended, I just thought how short this series was. Maybe it should’ve lasted another season? It seems there are some unfinished businesses the reason why I felt the ending is just okay. For instance, I was thinking Masamune is going to play somewhat a pivotal role towards the end seeing he is one of those crazy characters who live to fight and that war is his best friend. Or make that his bride. The way he was being portrayed and the directions of where things are going, at least to me seems that he is going to have an ultimate showdown with Yukimura and the little skirmish at Lake Biwa was just an ‘appetizer’. Where was all that in the end? If they did not include Masamune’s role and presence in the anime, I guess the flow will still work. That’s because, what initially started as Yukimura’s quest to gather 10 men to fight against Ieyasu, subsequently turned into a mini arc that reveals Isanami’s hidden dark powers and a little team of deadly ninjas that are bent on snatching it. And that impending war between Ieyasu and Toyotomi? It felt like just a setup for the next storyline if the producers ever wanted to make a sequel out of it. Yeah, that would be another story. So just like Masamune’s case, Mitsunari and Kanetsugu’s presence sure can be done without. It does nothing for the main plot that you see here in this dozen of episodes for this season. But that’s not entirely a bad thing, right?

So on to the characters. Basically our main protagonist Saizou has turned from someone who doesn’t care into someone who believes (albeit he doesn’t show it) in the power of teamwork and friendship. Thus that fateful encounter with Isanami in the forest you can call it coincidence, fate or destiny but it sure did Saizou a hell lot of good. He is totally different from Hanzou because though both are initially selfish and only fend for themselves, Saizou realizes that he can’t just be a one-man hero. He may not have realized all this on his own and thanks to other people he meet, certainly he came to realize his shortcomings and weakness. They say no man is an island, right? But still, I have yet to hear Saizou admit his weakness and shortcoming despite hearing him acknowledge he is no longer a loner but one of Yukimura’s warriors. Maybe that will be for later. Saizou may look serious and your no nonsense person but in his own way, he is also a weirdo like he always claims when Yukimura adds another person to the group. So he thinks he is normal or unique, no? Plus, you can bet Saizou is the one doing all the rebuking and tsukkomi when a comical incident arises. Now do you think he is not a weirdo? You know what they say about birds with the same feathers? For Isanami, in terms of fighting abilities, she is the weakest among the pack but once you unleash that deadly power, she’s equivalent to the devil. Isanami is made to look like a ditzy damsel in distress who can’t do anything for herself. Sometimes whiny too. But a good aspect of her is being cheerful and optimistic. Except for the last part whereby Hanzou played mind games by sowing guilt into her mind. It’s good that she has the support of the rest but ultimately it is up to her to banish her own inner demons. Literally. It is not clear whether she harbour any romantic feelings for Saizou because at first she clings on to him like a leech as she sees him as her light in her desperate time of need. Of course her body reactions seem to indicate so especially when she first came to know Ana. Then as the family grows bigger, this was less obvious as she spreads and puts her faith in the rest.

Ana being revealed as a spy was a little surprise to me and I thought she may just be putting up an act for some hidden motive. Though her betrayal is real, at least she has her reasons for doing so. Because she is part of the warriors, I guess she is the only one of Iga 5 who survived and have a chance to reunite with the rest. We don’t really see this at the end but I’m sure it will happen. After all, even if she did put up an act of being part of the warm family, what she experienced with them was real and not fake. So she deserves being giving a second chance. Sasuke as Yukimura’s loyal ninja has a quirky behaviour. He may not be the one who speaks much but when he does and finds out Yukimura has heard it, he becomes shy and scoots off. Funny… Kakei also has this complex for Yukimura and if anybody tries to disrespect him, he’ll tell them off. Same thing with Seikai for Isanami but in the monk’s case he is slightly more extreme. So I guess now he not only has to believe in god but in his comrades too. After all, praying and god can only get you there so much. Kamanosuke must be the most twisted character within the group because in addition to his love for killing, he really acts like a tsundere when he realized he couldn’t understand his feelings over Saizou. Perhaps wanting to fight and kill him is just an excuse to be with him and get his attention.

I feel Rokurou, Benmaru and Jinpachi didn’t do much in the sense that their screen time were lacking. Though for Jinpachi’s case is because he came into the picture after 2/3 of the show, Rokurou who has been following Yukimura like his personal bodyguard feels like he is just a side character. Besides his powerful memory right eye, the only skill we see him in combat is some supersonic wave that makes his enemies have a major headache. Ever since Jinpachi joined as the final member, he doesn’t really hang out with the rest and prefers to be by himself alone but nearby. Oh, what was his pet Veronica’s role supposed to be here? A mascot? Don’t we have Sasuke’s animals for that already? Just like Rokurou’s ability, we don’t get to see much of Benmaru in action either. Throwing a few explosives here and there when needed, that’s all. The big leader of them all Yukimura may seem like a laidback and casual fellow but don’t be fooled by his looks because he not only has the brains and the tactics (okay, sometimes he just had none) but the caring attitude that makes him respected and the warriors following him. Well, where is the fun in such head if he is always so serious and not fun to chat with? Yukimura’s character allows him to mingle and be at grassroots level with his warriors, subjects and people. That’s why in his own way he is successful and Japan would flourish if he becomes its ruler. Or not.

The action is quite satisfactory and though you see the characters pulling off their unique moves, at least it feels that they don’t overdo it despite having some exaggerations. Like Ana’s ice freezing powers, Kamanosuke’s wind power, Oukatsu’s snake summoning and Kaiou’s insect master. Due to the short duration of the series, I guess it is both a good and bad thing that you don’t see fights that last and drag on for episodes. Thus it’s nice to see the different mix of abilities from each of the warriors (based from the elements that they are based on) such as Sasuke using the animals to aid in his fight, Kakei and his rifle, Benmaru with his explosives and Seikai’s incredible brute strength. Saizou isn’t too shabby either with his swordsmanship. Living up to his legendary rumour wasn’t just hearsay because if you make him mad enough, he’ll cut you down in a blink of an eye. There are some things that I would really like to know about his sword because it’s like whenever he uses it, scriptures appear over the blade when he powers up. As said, the number of episodes in this series does not permit us to have further insights on the past of some characters. It would be refreshing to also know how Saizou came to be and ended up so albeit his short narration of how he decided to walk this bloody path was enough to give us an idea on what he went through. In those days unless you’re the royalty, everybody has his or her own tough time. There are a few scenes that are bloody but nothing graphic enough that will make you puke. But still bear in mind that since this is an action samurai/ninja genre, you have to expect some of that.

Besides the action, it is a surprise that there are a few comical moments too. Not the exaggerative kind whereby the anvil drops on your head. No, not that. Mostly the comedy part comes from the witty lines of some of the characters. Like I have mentioned, Saizou’s punch lines. Jinpachi too has his own amusing lines that will make you smirk. Of course Yukimura sometimes act like a big joker and clown but probably that is to hide anything that would alarm and worry the rest. Still talking about comedy, this leads me to the next episode preview. Yes, this is the funniest section like as though this segment is reserved for spewing a little nonsense. For instance, we hear Saizou and Sasuke insulting each other, Rokurou would love to help Yukimura’s insomnia problems but he prefers the breasts of a woman, Veronica licking Saizou and then biting him (Jinpachi’s concern is that Veronica would get stomach ache!), Hanzou faking his death because he was tired working for the morons (to explain his long absence in between the episode) and Saizou narrating that he’ll avenge the death of his fellow comrades by saving Isanami when they haven’t actually been killed off yet. Of course some of the dialogues are of philosophical of nature (okay, maybe heroic is the right term too) so it would be quite pleasant to hear them once in a while.

Daisuke Ono as the voice of Saizou is still recognizable but he isn’t playing the kind of character that is full of manners and polite like Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian or laidback ones as in Satou of A Channel but something similar to those with angst like Shizuo in Durarara and Yondaime in Kamisama No Memo-chou. Maybe I haven’t been hearing Rina Satou’s voice so much lately so I didn’t guess it was her behind Isanami. Well, if she made her voice like To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s biri-biri Misaka or Kaoru from Amagami SS, then perhaps there is a chance but I just couldn’t here for her case. Other casts include Toshiyuki Morikawa as Yukimura (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Hiroshi Kamiya as Rokurou (Mephisto in Ao No Exorcist), Tetsuya Kakihara as Sasuke (Natsu in Fairy Tail), Yuu Asakawa as Ana (Motoko in Love Hina), Ryotaro Okiayu as Kakei (Houou in Katanagatari), Motoki Takagi as Kamanosuke (Renji in ef ~A Tale of Memories), Kazunari Tanaka as Seikai (Bachi Guu in Green Green), Izumi Kitta as Benmaru (Cordelia in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Kazuya Nakai as Jinpachi (Hijikata in Gintama), Takahiro Sakurai as Hanzou (Jenos in Black Cat), Takehito Koyasu as Masamune (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou), Hikaru Midorikawa as Mitsunari (Rukawa in Slam Dunk), Shinichiro Miki as Kanetsugu (Urahara in Bleach) and Kikuko Inoue as Oukatsu (Chitose in Chobits). The opening theme by the duet of Daisuke Ono and Tetsuya Kakihara, Shouryou Hirai sounds like a rock piece. If you ask me, Daisuke Ono shouldn’t be singing… Furthermore, his voice was in the lead and ‘covering up’ Tetsuya Kakihara’s voice so much so I couldn’t hear the latter singing unless I strain my ears. The ending theme, En Otoko -Adiós- by Adapter sings the entire length with a synthesizer voice… I don’t know. Some parts in me feel it isn’t suitable but another part of me agrees since the rock beat is somewhat suitable for an action genre like this.

As we can see the importance of comrades and teamwork portrayed in this anime. Since nobody is perfect, we use each other’s abilities to make up for each other’s shortcomings. Sure, being selfish, egoistic and thinking of yourself to gain ultimate power may grant you so but not only will it make you lonely at the top, can you even handle such great deal of power? Yukimura assembling his motley crew of 10 warriors with their own peculiar behaviour shows that you don’t need to be perfect like Superman to be a hero. No matter who you are in this world, be it the emperor or a common peasant, you are still a human being. Ah, humans. So many problems for one species and even among ourselves. So, true to the balance of the universe and yinyang, when there is darkness, there’ll always be light and vice versa. If there are power-hungry people out there, there are also certainly righteous people who will put a stop to that tyranny. So to quote Benmaru again, if you don’t believe in God, at least believe in your friends or comrades because they haven’t at least abandoned you yet. Well, you know what they say about fortune favouring the brave, right? But don’t be as bold as brass, okay?

Nabari No Ou

May 14, 2011

I think I have said this somewhere in my blog before that when you think of ninjas in anime, the first thing many will think off is that blonde whiskered-faced Naruto. Yeah, that ninja series just overshadows other ninja-themed animes due to its overwhelming popularity like the total eclipse of the sun. So perhaps it is no surprise that some and newer anime viewers may not recall Nabari No Ou. Yes, this is another ninja-themed anime but without pulling all those flashy ninjutsu in every fight scene possible. Some, but not all.

This series has its fair share of action, drama and of course comedy (take it with a pinch of salt, that is) but unlike taking place in fictitious lands with elaborated characters, Nabari No Ou’s setting is the current modern day Japan. Yes, ninjas do live among us and some even holding real life jobs. Like they say, don’t quit your day job. So it’s like leading a double parallel life. On one hand you have the current normal world and on the other you have the ninja world that is called Nabari. And as you know with several ninja factions due to some history thingy which I am probably not interested to learn or know, they are always like fighting among each other. Heck, mankind has a strong reputation and history of just making wars on just about anything. And who better than to stop all the ninjas from killing each other before Naruto will be the only ninja left standing (just kidding on this bit) other than the ruler of Nabari itself. Who would that be? Whoever that is as long he/she possesses the omniscient and omnipotent Shinrabanshou. Sounds easy? Remember this quote: “With great powers, comes great responsibilities”.

So happens that the coveted Shinrabanshou is residing inside an apathetic kid named Miharu Rokujou. Seems the kind of person who doesn’t care what is going on with the world. Who could blame him? He has no memories of his early childhood life, his parents are dead (currently living with his grandma who looks more like a middle aged woman) and is content with the boring everyday routine. Till yeah, people he has never met before trying to take this Shinrabanshou thingy. So what the heck is this Shinrabanshou? Supposedly some secret ninja technique personified as a white haired girl, filled with so much wisdom and power that if activated, you could see black scribbles flowing out from his skin. They look like creepy crawling ants. Yikes! So it’s like the whole hijutsu (secret art) written on a living scroll being embedded into Miharu. Since I’m not going into my usual episode per episode blog, you can check out Subculture Anime Blog or Random Curiosity, which I visit to read summarized details about the episodes or Hijutsu for more detailed summaries and even Wikipedia for some other information. I’ll just blog on the gist that I deemed important. (Read: an excuse to be lazy).

Miharu’s life is about to change when his classmate Kouichi Aizawa and Irish-born teacher Thobari Durandal Kumohira (both from the Banten ninja village) plead to him to join their ninja club. Heck, do such clubs even exist? Can it even exist?! Correct reply from Miharu: Turn them down. Just don’t get involve. But how could he not seeing that he has Shinrabanshou within him? So I guess it takes an enemy ninja to attack him and that’s when he accidentally unleashes the awesome powers of Shinrabanshou. Unfortunately he can’t control it well and Shinrabanshou herself is a kind of a selfish brat trying to persuade Miharu to use her for his desires. So after being given the rundown of what he is going to be in, will Miharu still say no? Not like he cares anyway. Thobari pledges his loyalty to protect Miharu while the leader of the ninja clan of Kairoushuu pursuing the hijutsu, Toujurou Hattori announces to his followers that the holder of Shinrabanshou has been found. After all these years, was it worth it finding a needle in a haystack? Miharu, Kouichi and Thobari receive another ally in the form of samurai girl and guardian of the Fuuma ninja village, Raimei Shimizu. Raimei learns of Miharu’s indifferent and carefree attitude and decides to take him and the rest to her Fuuma village to seek the advice of its leader, Koutarou Fuuma on how to seal the hijutsu (which is Thobari’s initial intention). Since Thobari has amaxophobia (getting easily sick in just riding any vehicles), makes you wonder how he made his trip to Japan. Don’t tell me he walked or swam.

Upon arrival, a big chunk of the village is being attacked by the Kairoushuus, led by gun wielding Kazuhiko Yukimi and Kira user (a kinjutsu – forbidden and deadly technique. Each ninja village has its own kinjutsu), Yoite. You don’t want to mess with this guy because he can shoot life force at you which hurts like hell. The drawback is that each time he uses this technique, it takes a bit of life force out of him. So you got to have a long life if you want to use this frequently. Kairoushuu is successful in obtaining the scroll of Tenpeka (Fuuma’s kinjutsu), overwhelming Miharu and co before escaping. So the gang sits down with Koutarou and his underlings like the messy-haired no nonsense second-in-command Saraba and the loli medic Juuji and discuss about obtaining other villages’ kinjutsu. Likewise, Hattori also has the same intention. The kids return home while Thobari stays back (must be his phobia thing). Miharu is ambushed by his own teacher who is from Kairoushuu for what else… Shinrabanshou. See what greed can do to people and what’s more, this teacher doesn’t learn but thanks to Kouichi and Raimei, Miharu is safe but they are no match when Yoite comes knocking them out and takes Miharu back to his secret hideout. A dilapidated tram? Yoite wants Miharu to use his powers on him to make him as though he never existed. You heard that right. Not kill him, but never existed. So how different is that from death? Sure, Yoite give him 3 choices to choose from but I guess Miharu has to choose the final one which is to help him since the way Yoite put it he will definitely kills his pals if he doesn’t. So what the heck, he’s already deep into this sh*t, why not?

Raimei temporarily leaves the gang to search for her brother Raikou whom she believed joined Kairoushuu and was responsible for slaughtering their family and clan so Miharu, Kouichi and Thobari take up their first mission to obtain a kinjutsu, they start out by helping out Yae Oda of Togakushi ninja village and president of her own dispatch company, Fog Blue. She offers them their kinjutsu, Izunashingan (ability to read the hearts and minds of others) if they manage to help her assassinate a corporate guy called Mr Frosty (not the snowman lah). He is going to make a deal with another unscrupulous guy, Hideo Nowaki. Yae has a grudge on Frosty because she believed he was indirectly responsible for killing her daughter in some medical experiment as he also creates dangerous weapons and has some ties with Kairoushuu. Yae could use her Izunashingan and got more than she bargained for when she tried to read Miharu’s heart but was overpowered by Shinrabansou. Yukimi and Yoite are assigned to be Frosty’s bodyguard. They start moving but the attempted assassination is stopped when the Kairoushuu duo hold Miharu to hostage. Yoite becomes insane when he realizes Yae’s kinjutsu, taking out Frosty’s bodyguards. He stops when Miharu steps in to protect Yae. Thobari is about to kill Frosty but his naivety prevents him from doing so (his principle is never to kill anyone no matter what) so this gives Frosty an opportunity to point a gun at him. Luckily Kouichi appears in time and kills Frosty and uses his hypnotism on Nowaki to make him believe he was the one that killed everybody. With that done, Yae hands over the Izunashingan scroll as promised.

Miharu stays with Thobari for the time being so he tells the latter that he is bent on using Shinrabanshou to save Yoite. Thobari isn’t happy seeing his goal is to seal it. Elsewhere Yoite’s body is starting to give way due to his Kira usage so he treads his way to find Miharu. He collapses outside Thobari’s house and is found by Hanabusa Seki, Thobari’s love interest and palaeontologist. She takes him in and treats him nicely but he remains suspicious of her kindness. Heck, he is so when anybody shows him kindness. Yoite tells Miharu to bring Izunashingan and Engetsurin (Banten’s kinjutsu) or else the lives of his friends at stake (apparently he said those he shot his life force with will die along with him if he kicks the bucket). Meanwhile Raimei finally confronts Raikou but the sword fight ends with the former being wounded heavily. He takes away her sword and that means an embarrassment in the code of the samurai. Raimei is taken to hospital but is soon discharged. They meet Gau Meguro, Raikou’s assistant as he tells them the truth about Raikou and is willing to put his own life on the line. When Raikou’s strict mom became the head of the clan, he started to hate her when she disallowed to help a friend that later died. He started to believe in his uncle who shared the same ideals. Then one night they go confront his mom. But as it turned out it was just an old grudge his uncle wanted to get back at her. They start a coup d’etat that killed his mom and this eventually led to Raikou into killing his uncle and the rest. That was when Raimei saw and misinterpreted things. He did this to protect her and didn’t mind if she hated him and left the clan to join Kairoushuu. Raimei returns to finish her fight with Raikou. She lost again and was about to be slashed when Gau comes between them. He believes this is his punishment for breaking his promise not to tell and feels siblings should not fight. Gau is hospitalized but in coma and though Raikou would continue to be under Kairoushuu, he leaves his sword at the battlefield.

Raimei informs Miharu that Thobari told her about his determination to help Yoite so she is going to help him whenever possible too. Soon Miharu decides to join Kairoushuu because he feels he will be able to achieve his goal here. He meets Hattori and surprises him and his blind companion, Ichiki by handing over the Izunashingan scroll (seems it was all part of Koutarou’s plan to let him have it. I mean, he wouldn’t have gotten it so easily, right?). So much for Thobari wanting to protect him. I mean, each time you restrict the kid, he’s like getting fed up and wants his own freedom. Can you blame him for his defection? Both Banten and Kairoushuu receive an invitation to the Kouga ninja village, blended in as a university called Alya Academy. Yukimi, Raikou, Yoite and Miharu are to represent Kairoushuu and the funny part was Raikou trying his hand at the driver’s wheel. He crashes straight into the drain! He was damn confident of his driving skills… Upon arrival, they are welcomed by the students of Alya in place of the bed-ridden and ailing headmaster who is also the head of Kouga. Of course everyone’s intention is to obtain Daya, Kouga’s kinjutsu with the properties to heal or cure any sort of illness. That night, Banten and Kairoushuu are being attacked by the students but these low level ninjas are easily overpowered. So more revelations like the academy girls want to use Daya to revive their headmaster but the only thing to activate it is the need of young human sacrifice (that’s why Banten and Kairoushuu are here for) and the vice principal of Alya, Kannuki wants to get his hands on Daya so he could sell it and make a handsome profit. While rounding up and trapping the gang, Kannuki shoots and kills Kouichi.

When Miharu sees Yoite being hurt by one of the academy girls, he starts going berserk and his Shinrabanshou going wild. However Shinrabansou backs down after seeing Miharu and confused and lacked the determination because he is afraid to bear the consequences though he wants to fulfil Yoite’s wish. Kannuki and his men confront the headmaster and threatens to surrender Daya or he’ll kill each of the prisoners. The headmaster doesn’t flinch and suddenly Kouichi busts in to kill the corrupted baddies. OMG! He’s alive after being shot in the heart?! After freeing everyone, the headmaster’s granddaughter is desperate to cure him but he is just tired of everything and is prepared to die like an ordinary old man and wants to end all this. Before he passes away, he hands the Daya scroll to one of the girls who in turn hands it over to Miharu at the end of it all before they return home. And Koutarou indicates that he was the one who set up the invitations and all. That guy is sneaky. Kouichi reveals that he is an immortal as a result of some experiment of the previous Shinrabanshou owner gone awry ages ago. He is one of the two immortals created as they go in search of Shinrabanshou in hopes of dying. It’s tiring living forever. Miharu hands the Daya scroll to Hattori but learns that even if he assembles all the kinjutsu, he isn’t concerned whether Yoite lives or dies. The final kinjutsu has to be Engetsurin, which is the most mysterious of them all. Thobari is supposed to know where it is but he isn’t telling. Kouichi suspects Thobari may be hiding something. Something big especially if many of them do not remember events that have occurred 10 years ago. Miharu and Yoite leave to find Hanabusa in hopes she may reveal something about Engetsurin. She denies she knows anything and as usual treats them nicely. Then the doorbell rings. It is Yukimi looking for Yoite. He leaves after believing that she doesn’t know anything.

While Raimei and Kouichi are searching for Engetsurin, they are being attacked by Yukimi. Raimei leads him to their school so as to prevent him from finding Thobari. But seriously, he’s a school teacher so of all places she had to pick was the school. Duh… Another confrontation in the books. Yoite surprises them by stepping in and stop Yukimi. They both struggle while Miharu wants Thobari to hand over Engetsurin. Like hell he will. They’re not even on talking terms. In the end, Yukimi flees. Soon Yoite’s condition worsens as he develops high fever and his hands and feet are starting to have that gangrene effect. Thobari on the other hand suddenly disappears and Hattori suspects Miharu and Yoite will rebel against Kairoushuu. With Yoite in hospital, Miharu learns he has about 1 month to live. Eavesdropping Yoite got scared and uses his Kira on Gau when he got into an argument with Raikou. Miraculously, Gau wakes up from his coma. Miharu goes out to find Yoite in the city and deep snow and manages to catch up with him. Yoite opens up a little and reveals how he was given such a name so Miharu assures that he’ll always be there for him. Gau tries to make up for lost time and gives Yoite a cake as thanks for saving him in Yukimi’s place. Next morning, Miharu and Yoite left and defect from Kairoushuu as they go see Yae in hopes of using Izunashingan to contact Shinrabanshou. Kairoushuu was researching on this but it wasn’t complete. Meanwhile Ichiki sends her Tategami assassins of Kagerou, Shigure and Hyou to hunt down the traitors.

Miharu and Yoite meet Yae in her hometown and convince her to use her Izunashingan. She faces Shinrabanshou but was being told that she is not going to grant Miharu’s wish because it’s not what she wants (read: Boring) nor Miharu’s true wish. She reminds them that Miharu isn’t ready to use her before being overwhelmed. Meanwhile Gau tries to convince Hattori to change his mind but the latter believes Yoite’s role has ended. During all that, Tategami wipes out every other employee in Fog Blue as punishment to Yae for cooperating with the traitors. Then they break into Yae’s home and capture them. Yae falls into despair after learning the fate of her employees. They are going to rid Yoite when Miharu threatens he will kill himself this instant if they harm Yoite. For now, they just bring all of them back to their HQ. Tied up Yae meets Hattori and after being remembered about her past, it is part of Hattori’s plans to let her use Izunashingan and read his heart on why he wants to use Shinrabanshou to save humanity after all that meaningless hateful fighting and bloodshed wars. Another one of those twisted reasoning, I guess. But Yae disagree with his thinking because even if peace do come, it would not bring people happiness as they’ll be like a uniform state of the living dead without memories, feelings or bonds. Kouichi and Raimei go see Koutarou for help but he is reluctant to get involved giving excuse of not wanting to start a war. But he says they can make their own movements if they wish to. Yoite is held up in a different room. Gau sneaks in to rescue him but is faced with arriving security. To his surprise, Raikou helps them get away.

Yae’s assistant, Kattou with the help of Saraba to rescue her. They briefly encounter Raikou so she warns him that his ideals and Hattori’s are not the same. They are soon faced with Shigure and Hyou. Raikou stops Hattori and Ichiki on their way out. He is prepared to die but wants them to spare Gau. They leave him to deal with a Tategami member, Shiranui but Raikou escapes seeing he has more important stuff to do (went back to the field and reclaim his sword). Thobari is practising some technique in the forest when Koutarou shows up and tells him about the current situation. Miharu and Yoite continue their escape. Weakened Yoite wants Miharu to escape himself and leave him behind. But Miharu refuses to abandon him even after he tells him that the life force he shot his friends with and will die along with him is a lie. They are faced by Yukimi and soon the other Tategami members. Luckily Gau, Raimei and Kouichi show up for the counterattack. But Yukimi decides to bring Yoite and Miharu back and claim the spoils. He intends to use this as a chance for the traitors to repent for their actions but Hattori doesn’t believe. Hattori goes on to say how he found castaway Yoite as a kid and let him learned Kira so that his wish to cease existing will be fulfilled one day. In exchange he is to serve under him and since the awakening of Shinrabanshou, he feels Yoite has swayed from him thinking that Shinrabanshou can fulfil his wish.

Gau, Raimei and Kouichi are faced with Kagerou and Kairoushuu ninjas while Raikou manages to break into the room Hattori is in. Hattori orders Yukimi to take Raikou out. Yukimi is taken down but Ichiki holds Miharu hostage. Then Hattori orders Yoite to fire at Raikou to redeem himself. But Shiranui charges into the room. Raikou successfully lands a killing blow though is wounded by it. Hattori gets into the midst of the action and kills Raikou. When Raimei and Gau reach the room, they are horrified to see Raikou’s body. Ichiki blames Yoite that he is at fault for all that has happened and Hattori to same towards Miharu. Miharu goes berserk and Shinrabanshou starts activating. Must be one hell of a shock because a storm is forming in Shinrabanshou’s awakening. Upset and raging Raimei and Gau attack Hattori but were easily defeated. Seriously, trying to take down the big boss himself? Everybody escapes outside since it’s getting dangerous. Raimei takes unconscious Gau and meets up with Kouichi (fresh from slaying Kagerou) Thobari as they watch Shinrabanshou unfurl and taking its form. A giant double helix DNA? Thobari has no choice but to use his Engetsurin, which is some sort of a device that plays back past memories. Even if you weren’t there when it happened, you still get to see the ‘movie’. 10 years ago, we see Thobari and his grandpa running away with young Miharu and his parents from Kairoushuu led by Hattori who is seeking Shinrabanshou. After grandpa and Miharu’s dad are killed, Miharu’s mom, Asahi was wounded and this Shinrabanshou inside her starts to leave her body. Thobari tried using a half baked technique learned from grandpa to separate the Shinrabanshou but failed. As a result, Shinrabanshou transferred itself to Miharu. This causes everyone there to have their memories erased (including Koutarou and Kouichi). However only Thobari has his memories intact. In present, Miharu starts calming down after learning the truth but is upset Thobari was hiding this from him. This makes Miharu wanting to use Shinrabanshou’s power more.

Hattori is happy of the outcome and thanks Thobari for triggering the complete awakening of Shinrabanshou. Because of this, Hattori remembers some transfer technique which will allow the transfer of Shinrabanshou into his body as a capsule. Thobari tries to stop Hattori but is easily defeated. Yoite now tries to stop him but is too weak. Perhaps Hattori made a bad move by making him remember his painful past so this causes Yoite to go berserk as he fires at Hattori point blank! OMG! He killed him! Upon realizing what he has done, Yoite loses himself and falls into insanity by firing his Kira and tearing up Hattori’s body before preparing to kill himself. Raimei tries to snap Miharu out of his Shinrabanshou hypnotism but is futile so Yae uses her Izunashingan. She sees inner Miharu wanting to be left alone while Shinrabanshou bugs him to use her powers. Ichiki orders her Tategami to finish them off. Yukimi gets injured while getting in between but manages to stop Yoite from shooting himself. That’s when Shinrabanshou’s power grows and the ground gives way and swallows Ichiki and her Tategami. Suddenly Shinrabanshou herself can’t touch Miharu. Asahi appears before Miharu, apologizing for getting him involved as she just wants him to lead a normal life. Miharu suppresses Shinrabanshou and restores order around.

Miharu wakes up in hospital several days later and learns Yoite is missing after that incident. Gau and Raimei visit him but the latter slaps him since Miharu thinks it’s okay for them to hate him as the cause of Raikou’s death. Koutarou bugs Thobari as he tells him the events has been covered up as an earthquake. Thobari requests Yukimi’s help to search for Yoite but he is reluctant though he later helps out by handing him long time records of Yoite. As Miharu is discharged, he and Thobari have a little chat. Their stance do not change as Miharu still wants to use Shinrabanshou and Thobari will use all he has to stop him. Thobari tells him details on Yoite’s probably whereabouts. Miharu takes a train while annoying Koutarou bugs him all the way but becomes annoyed with Miharu’s ignorance of just about anything. Koutarou reveals his goal is the same as Hattori. But unlike him, he didn’t want to get his hands dirty as he prefers to sit back and watch how the world changes via Shinrabanshou. Miharu gets off his destined stop and walks to a church and sees Yoite sitting inside. Yoite is reluctant to wish for anything since he blames himself as the cause but Miharu wants to know what his real wish is. With that, Yoite wishes that things stay the same as they are because he doesn’t want to lose the feelings and bond he has made with everyone. Miharu respects his decision and will not use Shinrabanshou. She by the way is shocked with Miharu’s decision and tries to persuade him to use her. Miharu is strong enough to tell her that he has no further use for her! That’s the way to go. I’m sure Koutarou is pretty upset with Miharu’s decision but he has to accept it too.

In the aftermath, everyone resumes their normal lives. Miharu is livelier as Yoite stays at Thobari and Hanabusa’s place doing knitting with Gau. Raimei and Kouichi make frequent visits so it’s like they’re one big family. Miharu and Thobari take a walk to town to buy some stuff as they reconcile. They see Yukimi who passes them Yoite’s medicine, though it will only ease his pain. On another day, Yoite takes Miharu to see his house where he once grew up as a kid. His dad (I think) doesn’t recognize him as Yoite notices the nice garden. Finally one day as Yoite is knitting, he disappears into the wind. When Miharu returns, he only sees his clothes left behind. Realizing what has happened, Miharu vows never to forget him.

Ninjas Aren’t Extinct Yet…
It was a little bittersweet ending. I had this feeling in me that Yoite would not be around when the anime ends but at least he used his last moments to live to the fullest. He knew this was coming from the start and at the end he was fully prepared to face it. This entire series is basically around Miharu and Yoite. We see both characters that are cold, distant and unwilling to open their hearts to anyone else, bond together as they get to understand each other’s plight. In some ways, both of them are similar to each other. Besides their personalities, they both possess powers that could bring ultimate destruction if not used or controlled properly. Unlike other Shinrabanshou masters, Miharu was able to survive because ironically he did not use it and in a way sealed her inside his body. Abstinence is the best action, eh? At certain points, Miharu and Yoite were close enough that it may be enough to spark a yaoi relationship. Thank goodness it didn’t turn out that way.

Koutarou has got to be the most annoying yet mysterious character. It is as though he knows what is going on, sets up the stage for his ‘pawns and puppets’ to do the dirty job while he himself can be seen watching from afar with much hype and anticipation. You never seen him with a stressed or anxious look (even so, probably he was just doing it on purpose) so it makes me wonder if he is having fun all the way. Like as though the smile or smirk is part of his permanent trademark on his face. His sometimes snide and sarcastic remarks really do irritate others especially with Thobari. I guess the other characters are pretty okay too but since I have said this series revolves around Yoite and Miharu, I felt that the rest aren’t so properly fleshed out. It was nice to see Raimei and Raikou’s past and relationship resolved but even so for them and for the rest like Kouichi, Thobari, Gau, Saraba, Juuji and Yukimi I felt they were just secondary characters and Miharu becoming the ruler of Nabari or Hattori’s plan to use Shinrabanshou felt like a minor plot but in a way an important element in strengthening the bond between Miharu and Yoite. Since the ‘war’ is technically over, does this mean each of the ninja village will have their scrolls returned? Is Miharu still the ruler of Nabari? Will it also mean that Shinrabanshou is sealed for good? Till the next greedy villain comes along, that is.

One thing I need to mention about the drawing and art. Yes, the characters are drawn to your typical bishie good looking people. But that’s not the part that I am complaining. It is the background art that raised an eyebrow. Okay, maybe lots of them. If you look closely, you will notice it is drawn to a water colour-like painting. Very obvious. So much so it felt a little unreal. However due to the focus of the action in front, you won’t notice it as you won’t be concentrating on the background sceneries. Because of the light colour art and the slight simple details of the characters, if you don’t pay too much attention, both drawings and art of the characters and background do blend together. As for the action, I would say that they are pretty okay. Some fights here and there but if you’re an action adrenaline junkie, don’t keep your hopes high. As mentioned, no flashy and exaggerated moves pulled off. Of course you’d expect to see shurikens and kunais fly since I guess those are standard ninja weapons.

At first, I had this suspicion that Rie Kugimiya was the voice behind Miharu. I kept getting paranoid at myself hoping that she isn’t voicing this character. So when the series ended, I went to confirm and allay my ‘fears’ and true enough it is her! It’s Rie Kugimiya herself voicing Miharu! Well, actually there is nothing wrong with her doing so nor does the character sound unfitting. My perception is always that she has to voice loli characters. Tsundere the better. In my mind, she is always suited better to play such roles. Sheesh. I can never get over or accept if she voices other roles like Al in Fullmetal Alchemist. At least Yukari Tamura as Shinrabanshou was recognizable even if she didn’t go into high pitch cry. As for the other characters, they do fit their characters perfectly. They include Mitsuki Saiga as Yoite (Rossiu in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Daisuke Namikawa as Thobari (Fay in Tsubasa Chronicle series), Ayumi Fujimura as Raimei (Mafuyu in Seikon No Qwaser), Satoshi Hino as Kouichi (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima), Junichi Suwabe as Raikou (Archer in Fate/Stay Night), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Gau (Takumi in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Jouji Nakata as Hattori (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou), Kenjiro Tsuda as Yukimi (Inui in Prince of Tennis), Ryoutaro Okiayu as Koutarou (Akio in Clannad, Mitsui in Slam Dunk), Satsuki Yukino as Yae (Yoruichi in Bleach), Yuri Amano as Ichiki (Nanvel in Burn Up) and Kotono Mitsushi as Hanabusa (Boa Hancock in One Piece). The opening theme, Crawl by VELTPUNCH is a rock outfit suitable for the action pace of this series. The first ending theme, Hikari by ELISA sounds like a slow ballad filled with sadness but I find the second ending theme, Aru Ga Mama by Anamu & Maki to be somewhat unsuitable. That’s because it is an acoustic guitar solo and duet. Feels a little empty though calming.

All for something that is believed to be powerful, mankind has sacrificed and spilled blood to get it at all costs. In real life we may not have such ninjas but I’m sure there are shady underground organizations that would equally do just the same. Seriously if Shinrabanshou has this kind of selfish and conceited attitude, I think she fits to be more of a mass weapon of destruction rather than a tool to bring peace upon the world. Even I wouldn’t want to have Shinrabanshou reside inside of me. Getting your desires fulfilled through hard work and sweat is better and much more worth it than getting it on a silver platter or without effort. Who am I kidding? The more granted the better. Sometimes if you hear voices within yourself (like those devil and angel moments undecided to do something), maybe it’s just you and not that all-great-things-in-nature.