Is it a must feature that all flash based animation should last approximately 4 minutes or so? Is it something about the production costs that only allows them to make short animations? Oh heck, I was only speculating that last bit. But whatever the reason, Honto Ni Atta! Reibai Sensei (literally means “It Really Exists! Spirit Medium Teacher”) is one of the few flash based animes to be released over the internet like Haiyoru! Nyaruani and Double-J. I read the synopsis that wasn’t much and came to conclude that there was no harm in watching this series. After all, I would expect nonsensical randomness from such short series. 22 episodes x 4 minutes = 88 minutes, which is nearly one hour and a half hours of my time wasted if I chose to watch this. Hah. A big part of my life is ‘wasted’ on animes so this is no different. So to sum it up what this show is about, it’s about this school teacher who is into this occult thingy. She knows everything there is to know about the other world, the world of the dead and spirits but yet knows nothing about our own, the world of the living. Can you smell something funny happening here especially she’s a teacher to a bunch of equally weird students.

Episode 1
Akiko Yoshii is looking forward to her new school term as a middle school grader. She is also getting a new homeroom teacher, Juri Kibayashi. But the boys decide to play a nasty trick by locking the door with a broom. If that doesn’t work, she climbs in from the window and coming in like a ghost! Scared the spooks out of everyone! After introducing herself, Akiko asks her hobbies. First, Juri picks student seat number 4, Saito as demonstration. Then she chants a spell to call his ancestors. Look at all the spirits flying about! A spirit possesses Juri and is going to curse them all for awakening her by tearing them apart and eating their innards! Saito can’t believe his ancestors were that evil! As the spirit further describes how she’s going to make a meal out of them, Juri reverts back to normal and introduces some wonderful beef stew. WTF?! Probably too WTF till Eri Nitta passed out. Juri then says her hobby is communicating with the dead. Eri had just awoken and doesn’t feel too good so Juri casts as spell on her. Suddenly Eri becomes rude and dominating. Seems Juri has endowed Nobunaga’s spirit within her so that she won’t pass out! Oh, now ‘Nobunaga’ is torturing the boys! In that case, Juri puts another spell on Hinako Wakamiya and this time she turns into Mitsuhide! Soon the class is on fire and like a battlefield. It’s chaos! What a crazy way to start the new semester.

Episode 2
Looks like they have to start the term by rebuilding the classroom. But the class isn’t happy that the next period will be PE because of Juri, they have been doing PE all day long when she burnt the classroom down! However there is something more distressful going on. It seems someone has stolen the girls’ bloomers. But not every girl. Those ‘ugly’ ones were exempted. Juri sees no reason in why someone would steal them till she learns it could fetch a considerable price on the internet. So she decides to look for the culprit who stole the panties. Oops, she meant bloomers. First she has everyone close their eyes and warns them not to open them. Then she starts off with a fake spirit chant that scares Saito. So back to the real thing, she tells the culprit to raise his/her hand and promises she won’t do some paralyze thingy late at night and other haunting curses! Was she going to do all that?! Shortly, somebody’s hand is raised so Juri thanks that person for the honesty and will keep it a secret between them. But she is giving away hints about that person! Who has a big sister who graduated last year? When everyone is allowed to open their eyes, Juri says the culprit is a tengu. Do you think they will buy it? Later that evening with all the bloomers in her possession, Juri remembers Eri’s word about fetching a price over the internet. When Akiko comes in to get them, she is shocked to see Juri trying them on (so she could get a feel why it’s so special) and goes insane! Yeah, she was just a step from being reported to the police as a pervert. Well, all she got is interrogated by the faculty staff.

Episode 3
Scientific Nagara doesn’t Juri much and thinks there are tricks to her occult ways. She thinks her spirit summoning is due to dead bodies buried underneath the class! Since the physical examination is coming up, Nagara is confident that her elite class will never lose to Juri’s unscientific one (insert maniacal shrieky laughter here). Akiko tries to calm both teachers down as there is no need for hostility but it seems Juri got pissed off and accepts her challenge to settle things during that examination. The first round is the hearing test as Nagara boasts how her class spoke no more than 10 decibels during lessons. Plus, her students are given vitamins that improve their peripheral nervous system. Juri chants her spell and one of her students start hearing the voice of her deceased grandma!!! Round 2 has them in a vision test. Juri sends feral girl, Chinatsu Akagi to the battle front since she has 20/10 vision. However she starts crying as tears well up in her eyes and couldn’t see a damn thing because Nagara is reading a sad story. With both sides even, it now comes down to the final weight examination. Juri has lost interest and doesn’t want to go on so Nagara had to beg her to continue by giving her deep friend roll if she wins. Juri makes a u-turn decision. Sheesh… So the winner of this challenge will be the one whose weight is the heaviest! The more the better, right? Juri summons a pair of big demons (bigger than the school!) and won the contest! The scales broke… Yeah, Nagara pretend she didn’t see anything. Later as Juri chews on the fried roll, Nagara still things those demons are huge heavy costumes. Akiko thought they can settle this again next year but they’re not going to do it anymore since it’s too much effort. Akiko is appalled that they may actually get along well. In a weird way, they do think alike.

Episode 4
A cat named Kuroneko and other distressed cats are gathering to consult the great Cat King. This is Kuroneko’s first time so he hears about Cat King’s unfathomable strength and wisdom. Upon learning Cat King is black like him, he is ecstatic that even black cats can become king seeing black cats are frowned upon society as bad luck. Once Cat King arrives, Kuroneko is shocked to see her as human! It’s Juri! She’s the cat king?! But the other cats feel Kuroneko is being disrespectful. After all, they see Juri as a cat! Are they blind?! Or they too feel Cat King takes a different form other than a feline? So the cats take turns to tell her their troubles and she earnestly replies them. Well, all I can say is that her ‘consultation’ seems pretty normal, if not odd. Ignore them? Stare into space? When it’s Kuroneko’s turn, Juri notes how black he is, like an epitome of a curse! Shock! Worse, the other cats think she is praising him! Kuroneko starts crying because no matter what he’ll still be hated. Juri tells him there is nothing bad being black because that is what makes him unique. The moment he assumes that it is bad, it becomes bad. Don’t be pessimistic and just love yourself. Kuroneko is overwhelmed over her words. But when Juri starts saying his legs are short, plump, with eyes that looked like he ate a human, like as though he’s a cat goblin, he goes into a further shock. Yeah, splitting in half. The other cats applause over Cat King’s ultimate praise. Well, if you have learnt anything from Juri, don’t take it as an insult.

Episode 5
Juri introduces her class to a new transfer student, a blonde named Emma. However the way she talks seems to be like in those olden samurai days! Akiko even thought she summoned a spirit to possess her. Of course she did not! Then Emma and Chinatsu have a lively conversation of “Nice to meet you (insert ascending number here)!”. Akiko fears they may have another idiot. They ask about her hobbies and it seems she loves playing video games. Plus, she has every game console possible. Even the ones that will have things pop out of the screen. WTF?! Since she plays too much, her parents usually hide it and so she has to go searching for it. Akiko thought Motoko Mihoro was knowledgeable about games seeing she knows the games Emma plays. But it’s due to the fact she resells them. However Emma has a problem that’s bugging her every night. Each time she sleeps, she often feels paralyzed. Juri overheard their conversation and confirms through Emma’s spirit guardian (she has one?!) that Emma does indeed has sleep paralysis. Needing to stem this problem before it gets out of hand (leading to pain and stress, that is), she has her guardian spirits report to her if ever that happens and also Akiko will gladly help out. That night when Juri is playing cards with her spirits, she receives the sleep paralysis report and rushes her way to Emma’s room along with Akiko. In the dark room, they see her uncomfortable and mentioning her body can’t move. When Akiko turns on the light, they are shocked to see all the video game pads’ wire entangling her. So that’s why she’s paralyzed? No wonder they’re so pissed off. I guess she’s really an avid gamer. Yeah, she might be having a nice dream too…

Episode 6
Juri explains the supernatural being called Zashiki Warashi (child-like beings that reside in homes). Why? Because she has one as a new transfer student in her class! Oh no. More weirdoes. She is Kame and once lived in an inn. Unfortunately it burnt down and she was hungry and lonely till Juri picked her up. Hope Nagara and Vice Principal don’t find out. Whoops… Too late. They come into her class to reprimand her of whatever ruckus but couldn’t see Kame! Looks like only children can see her. Seeing nothing is wrong, they leave but with a warning they won’t let her off if she causes trouble next time. Kame took this as an insult and decides to ‘upgrade’ the school! Oh sh*t!!! Uhm… So what was upgraded? Well, the clock turned digital. Huh? Kame goes on an ‘upgrading spree’ other things in school. Whether or not useful, that depends. Portraits of Bach looking realistic? Science lab water faucet gushing out with full water force? Principal’s statue looks so macho? And yeah, Juri has one too. She became such a beautiful person! Not only she is polite but has discarded her occult fetish! Nagara and Vice Principal thought she was causing trouble again and barge in. However they are taken aback by her proper teaching manners but couldn’t recognize who the heck she is. Kame felt guilty that she caused trouble for everyone and decides to leave school with a heavy heart. As she leaves and the rest in tears over her departure, Akiko reads a magazine about Zashiki Warashi. They don’t remain in one place for a long time and is always on the move. But the place that loses them will experience horrendous tragedies, unfathomable damage and your father may even elope with a lover! Quick get her back!!! And so, Kame gets to study and stay with the class. Phew. Major disaster averted.

Episode 7
A bunch of alien cats, Captain, Tonto and Sagan are on their way to Earth. Only 61 days and 18 hours left. Though Captain was excited when they left their home planet (actually he was crying), he’s feeling bored because well, everywhere looks the same in space. Hoping something exciting will happen, suddenly a robot zooms pass them! Doesn’t it resemble Gundam? Displaying it on the monitor, Captain thinks this robot is more robot-like than he thought. So now what? Attack! But they don’t know if it’s friend or foe? Well then, surrender! What? Why? Okay, how about chase after it? But if they do so, they don’t have enough fuel to reach Earth. The robot inches closer and gives out a distress signal. Viewing the robot’s cockpit, they see a distressful jellyfish alien (let’s call him Jellyfish for convenience). Captain can’t believe this alien could make a humanoid robot. But they still have to help him. Meanwhile Juri’s class don’t believe about this alien story she just told. Well, it was from her dream this morning. Make that prophetic dream. There were the words “Prophetic Dream” on the top right corner of her dream that’s why she believes in it! Because Juri wanted to help them badly, she turned the entire day into self study and wants to return home to help the aliens. Seems Principal is an occult freak too and wants Juri to continue her story while Nagara dismisses that unscientific crap. Meanwhile, the cats hear out the Jellyfish’s story that he was supposed to attend his daughter’s big wedding day and was in danger of missing it due to his Economic Class Syndrome till the cats came along to help. He gets emotionally grateful and won’t forget their kindness. Back on Earth, Saito mentions since the alien’s problem has been solved, there is no need for her to return to communicate with them. Juri’s mood changes to an upset one as she tells the class to return to their seats because she is going to start her lesson.

Episode 8
Nagara is bloody pissed that Juri and her girls are using the chemistry lab for their nabe session. Japanese people’s way of socializing? If not for Nagara’s growling stomach, she would’ve shoo them away and not join them and let this tiny bit slide. Suddenly the lights go out. As explained, this is going to be a yami nabe and they must eat the first thing they pick out from the pot. The winner is the one who doesn’t give up. For the first round, the girls got sweet things, Emma gets a crab meat, Juri a horseshoe crab and Nagara a kokeshi doll!!! For the second round, the girls got a little nice slice of meat while Nagara got… Hinako’s handphone?! WTF?! How the hell did that phone got in there? And she got it for her birthday present?! Before the third round starts, Juri senses something amiss because Emma seems to be getting the good stuff. Though she denies, her secret is busted when Chinatsu gets hold and breaks her night vision goggles. The third round has the girls pick out mushrooms. Poisoned mushrooms from Mihoro. Stomach pain coming… Nagara wants to stop all this and get medical attention to them but Juri wants them to continue seeing that they’re the only ones left standing and wants them to settle this. Plus, the girls don’t want her to mind them and end the battle. Viewing them as making such a mature resolve, Nagara won’t let their efforts go to waste and accepts the challenge. At the end of the fourth round, Juri is knocked out because she bit something spicy while Nagara got half a pineapple. Flipping over the other side, there is a fruits carving that wishes her happy birthday. As revealed, this is just a setup for her surprise birthday since they know she wouldn’t accept a proper invitation. As they all wish Nagara happy birthday and Juri calling a truce today, Nagara informs them today today’s not her birthday. Oh man…

Episode 9
There’s this delinquent in class called Wanibuchi. He’s troubled. That’s because he likes Eri and is having trouble confessing to her. Please note Eri is still possessed by Nobunaga’s spirit. The next class is home economics cooking so he is resolved to tell her his true feelings. He has already taken care of all the obstacles for tomorrow’s class. Beating up a guy who is supposed to be paired with her? Yeah, take his place will ‘ya. Akiko and Hinako are worried about Eri because that scary Wanibuchi is in Eri’s group. But Akiko says not to worry because he won’t turn up for today’s cooking class. Speaking of the devil, there he is. Eat your words! Seems the plan is putting sweat in the cooking. When everyone tastes and finds it terrible, he will step in to eat everything and say how good it is. This will have Eri confess to him. Hey pal, you can stop daydreaming now. Juri once again takes the easy way out, telling her students to refer to the manual for their class. Some kind of teacher, eh? While the class are in a commotion, Wanibuchi takes this chance to start his plan but Chinatsu puts an entire tin of machine oil into the pot! The entire room is on fire! Wanibuchi panics but was told by Eri to complete their delicious stew together since that is what he promised. At first he couldn’t do it due to the flames but slowly he gets the determination to do it right now. Promising to complete this, Wanibuchi shouts out loud that he loves her. The class continues to be burnt to a crisp (again) while Eri gives out a maniacal laughter. Yeah, nobody thought of evacuating? In the aftermath, Eri confronts Wanibuchi about his love confession. She thought he loved the over-burnt charcoal stew. NOOO!!! Yeah, she wants him to eat it too. NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 10
The cat aliens arrive at Earth and Captain notices its pathetic state. He thinks it should be run by higher beings like them (cue for maniacal laughter). They come into Kuroneko and are surprised there are cat beings like them on this planet. After introducing themselves from Planet Tuna-Mayo and their goal to invade Earth, seems Kuroneko tries to escape from this conversation. Captain wants him to bring them to his leader instead. To their shock, it is Juri the Cat King! A human as the king of cats? Kuroneko decides to play along with the other Earth cats to say these aliens are mad. Juri tears off Captain’s antenna and throws it away! Sagan and Tonto are appalled and think this is a sign of war but Captain (after retrieving his antenna) feels they must be calm and be diplomatic. Once again introducing themselves, their origins and their goal, Captain feels the humans aren’t fit to rule this planet that is blessed with sun rays and plentiful resources as they are exploiting it. However he will give the cats special treatment after enslaving the humans. Juri isn’t amused seeing the cats already have the freedom to do and eat what they want. The other Earth cats agree seeing cooperating would be very troublesome. Captain thinks they need to force them to cooperate when Juri again tears and throws away Captain’s antenna! His subordinates go after him and regroup. Captain reminds them that their motivation for this mission isn’t money or women but pride. Then they see an old lady giving free food to the nearby cats. Sagan and Tonto feel the cats have been totally brainwashed under the human’s control. But Captain couldn’t resist the temptation, throws away his antenna and goes join in the meal! WTF?! So where is the pride he was talking about?!

Episode 11
Hinako doesn’t really want to come to the Tanabata festival with her friends seeing she didn’t like the embarrassing yukata her mom bought. Juri and Nagara are at the festival stalls to keep a watch on the students but it seems Nagara will need to devote her time watching out for Juri who is really taken in by the festival’s spirit. They meet Saito and his friends as well as Chinatsu, Akiko and Hinako (forced to come). The guys are complimenting Hinako’s nice yukata but she thinks she’s being laughed at and runs away. Chinatsu goes after her. The guys fantasize about Mihoro in a mini yukata simply she has not enough materials to make it but to their dismay, she’s working at a stall instead. And getting paid for it. Nearby, they here Eri’s maniacal laughter because she is enjoying herself at the shooting gallery. She’s shooting the stall owner to see him dance instead of the target prizes!!! Chinatsu finds Hinako and scares her? Poor girl has had enough of it and runs away again. Meanwhile Juri and Nagara are at the Tanabata tree and see everyone’s wishes. Though unscientific, Nagara decides to write a wish just for fun. The teachers realize they both wrote the same wish for all their students to stay healthy. But soon that turns into disgust when they realize they share the same feelings. Oh, Hinako also wrote her wish. She hopes none of the wishes will come true! Oh dear.

Episode 12
Juri has her class listen up to something important. One day there were 4 guys who decided to do a kimodameshi (test of courage) at a haunted place and waited for 4 hours but nothing happened. They decided to go back but one of them mentioned something did happen. Apparently they could hear the rain the entire time when they’re supposed to be in a tunnel. Juri blows her top when there is no reaction from her students seeing this is supposed to be a scary story! Well, it’s the hot summer and she thought of telling a chilling ghost story to take away the heat. Saito decides to tell her how a real ghost story is done. One rainy day he forgot his umbrella, he decides to take a bus but spotted one waiting that wasn’t stated in the bus schedule. When he steps in, he realizes all the passengers are spirits of the dead! While the girls scream in fear, Juri is unmoved since she sees all those things every day. She throws down a challenge if they can scare her, she’ll let them skip doing summer homework. Thus begins an impromptu ghost story contest. In the middle of class. Mihoro starts off with a story of her neighbour who decided to her hometown during the Bon festival. After packing and leaving her apartment, she felt a chilling cold up her spine she never felt before. She hurried away and 2 weeks later when she return back to her apartment, she saw something terrifying: She left the air-cond on! Saito starts laughing but reprimands Mihoro she shouldn’t be telling jokes. But at least Chinatsu is scared by the ‘scary story’. Emma steps up for her turn.

Episode 13
Since Saito failed, he gets double the homework! Now it’s Emma’s turn for her scary story. Starting off with a couple of young pretty ladies at a prom (oh, the horrible drawing!), they talk about their pretty dresses and partying till they see a horrible girl wrapped in a horrible outfit. The story is cut off seeing Emma is taking too long with the intro story. Nagara comes in to chide the class for being a nuisance again. But once she learn if she can scare Juri so that she will stop whatever she’s doing, she takes up the challenge. She starts out with a good student with good grades who somehow ended up doing some unexplained mixed-up long-winded equation-cum-formula. How the heck is anybody supposed to understand that?! Suddenly the candles are blown up as Juri mentions their ghost story telling has attracted the spirits of the dead. Nagara rubbishes her claims as Hinako starts collapsing. The other kids start to feel nauseating. Juri offers to help but Nagara doesn’t want her to worsen the situation. Trying to find a scientific solution, she concludes it is carbon dioxide poisoning and opens all the windows. She tells the students about the pros of science and reasoning that the occult could never replace. However the students are still feeling sick and we see Juri exorcising the spirits. Nagara faints… Now do you believe? I guess occult is much scarier.

Episode 14
Akiko accidentally enters Nagara’s science lab instead of Juri’s room to seek an advice. However she can’t possibly tell Nagara that she wanted to ask Juri if her last life was a bug! Feeling guilty she started the conversation, Akiko decides to go with the flow and chat with her about their class lacking behind in studies (this is what Nagara thought she came here for). At the same time, Nagara can’t help about her instant noodles she is cooking and was about to eat. Both sides continue to ‘waste’ time talking on topics they probably wish the other will end soon. Akiko is going to miss her drama rerun and Nagara her perfect noodles. So when the conversation finally ended, Akiko’s rerun has already ended and Nagara’s noodle is absorbed in so much water. Mmm… Why does it taste good?

Episode 15
Kuroneko is wondering if he should eat the takoyaki and risk getting fat when suddenly a ugly starving cat, Maru comes up to him for food. Kuroneko learns Maru was once a pet cat but when his owner moved, she forgot all about him and was left behind to fend for himself.  A couple of girls are noting how ugly Maru is so much so that Kuroneko looks cuter. This has Kuroneko start feeling good all inside. I mean, an ugly person is put next to an uglier person, the former would look ‘better’, right? Because of this, Kuroneko takes Maru under his wing as he teaches him how to steal fish from the market. But since Maru is too weak, Kuroneko even shares his fish. But all this is just to make himself feel good. Kuroneko continues to take care and teach Maru the ways of their lives for several days. Then he realized Maru is fattened up, looking much better. The same couple of girls now comment how cute Maru is and that the black one ugly. Oh, it’s hurting inside. They even think of taking Maru back but Maru bares his fangs to scare them off! Maru didn’t want to go live with such owners seeing they insulted his master. Without Kuroneko, he would have never made it. He goes on singing praises about him and they were about to have an emotional hug when Maru’s filthy rich mistress comes looking for him. She regrets her actions and really wants him back. However Maru couldn’t abandon his master but Kuroneko tells him to just go because he’s a nuisance to him and that he is better off without him. Maru thinks his lies are always kind and takes up his words to return to his owner. However this is Kuroneko’s true feelings. Haha. Even cats have grudge.

Episode 16
Captain is adjusting to the nice life on Earth when Jellyfish returns to thank them because he made it to his daughter’s wedding. He feels the need to repay their kindness but why are Captain’s eyes looking like dollar signs?! Jellyfish knows their mission to conquer Earth and shows his name card that his line of work is Discount Conquering. He has lots of those Gundam robots lined up outside Earth and can vaporize the planet in 2 seconds! The cats panic but Jellyfish is eager to wipe out the humans so Captain and his team have an emergency meeting. It’s true that they initially wanted to conquer this planet but vaporizing it means they will no longer enjoy some of their favourite things. Sagan suggests all Captain has to do is refuse his offer. Nervous Captain goes back to Jellyfish and I guess he twisted his own words saying his subordinates don’t want to conquer this planet and to at least torture and tease the planet before conquering. Therefore they don’t need any assistance. Still, Jellyfish doesn’t feel right if he doesn’t help so he leaves a Gundam for them in case. Yeah, it will vaporize the planet in 7 seconds! Elsewhere Juri is explaining to her students about the weird dream she had about the Earth being vaporized. Of course they find it hard to believe. But the point of this as Juri points out is that people are unknowingly being saved and the giant robot that was left behind at Odaiba became a famous tourist attraction… Yeah, I find it hard to believe too.

Episode 17
A bank is being robbed and held hostage by a couple of robbers (We’ll call them Cowboy and Blondie for easier reference). Among the hostages include Juri, Saito, Principal and 3 sisters known as the Misfortune Sisters. Poverty? Bad Luck? Death? Oh sh*t! While waiting for the getaway car, the robbers want the hostages to stash the cash into the bag and it seems Principal agrees to help them out. As explained by Juri, due to the Stockholm Syndrome, when a person is together long enough with the baddies, he/she will sympathize with their cause. But it’s not even half an hour… Principal notes that the cash in the vault consists only of bonds from some poor kingdom which has gone bankrupt just a second ago. Poverty sister’s work? Yeah, Blondie’s wallet is also gone. Hey! The kingdom’s head looks like Steven Seagal?!  Because the robber accidentally got rough with Bad Luck sister, suddenly Principal and the robbers start looking like sick zombies! Now it’s Death sister’s cue. A sniper who can calculate the Earth’s rotation starts shooting at them! Plus, the TV news mentions an incoming meteor! It will slam into a certain bank. Oh sh*t! Time to evacuate? Blondie tells Cowboy that they should head to a beach down south if they make out of this safely.  The duo suddenly bust out wanting to be arrested. Wow. They’re crying, repenting and prostrating! Want to catch criminals like these next time? Just send in the trio of Misfortune Sisters!

Episode 18
Juri and her class are at the beach. But she is going to make the kids do a kimodameshi! They have to make their way through the spooky dark forest to the lighthouse and write their names in the notebook she left there. Since there is an odd number, Saito will be doing it alone! He pleads for Juri to come with him but she gives an excuse she is drunk and that he can take her familiar spirits with him instead! While the rest are freaked out by the real spirits, seems Eri is having the thrill of her life slicing those spirits with her sword. Can she really cut them? Along the way, Saito meets a pretty girl named Kanako as she agrees to accompany him. Kanako finds this fun as she has never played with friends her age. Mentioning she is always sick and that she just recently moved here. Meanwhile Juri is having game with her spirit when she receives a message about Saito. Saito and Kanako reach the lighthouse to see the beautiful sunrise. Kanako has a favour to ask from him. She wants him to be her friend. He agrees and in her happiness she gives him a seashell necklace as commemoration of their friendship. While Saito tries to find something to give her in return, Kanako vanishes as the sun rises! Oh sh*t! Don’t tell me! Juri rushes in only to learn Kanako is gone. She explains Kanako is a ghost. She was sick and came to a hospital at a cape but couldn’t recover in time and passed away. She wandered around trying to find a friend and since Saito befriended her, her soul is at peace and went to heaven. Saito couldn’t believe that because she had just made a friend but Juri says that’s all she needed and also knew well that she would fade out of this world by doing so. What the heck is this melodrama ending? Till we see Eri still enthusiastically slashing the spirits. Yeah, they all got done in by her. No mercy!

Episode 19
Tonto and Sagan are trying to come up with ways to defeat the Cat King in order to conquer Earth. But Captain seems to have found 5000 followers! Serious?! Why does he have a laptop?! This could only mean… Oh great. The ‘followers’ are more like cat lovers posting comments on the site! Why is Captain tweeting back?! Is he serious in conquering Earth?! However he seems to have found a weakness for Cat King: Squid. Tonto and Sagan think Captain is going to do something horribly cruel with the squid to torment Cat King however Captain is such a weak-hearted cat almost puking at their suggestions! So how? Seeing squids are humans’ popular food source, based on his internet search via Ggoole (it’s not a spelling error!), in olden times, if you give a squid to a cat, it will not be able to stand due to some toxin. But how will they cook it? Again based on Ggoole, they have to remove its cotton. Cotton? Squid has cotton? Captain tries his luck but got black ink squirted over his face! After struggling with the squid and managing to make several sumptuous squid dishes, Juri and the cats offer their thanks for the feast. They look like full and satisfied customers. So what went wrong? As narrated, the substance called Thiaminase which is toxic to cats becomes harmless when heated. On a side note, Captain’s followers increased to 10,000 supporters on his profile with comments to do his best for world domination. F*ck yeah! He loves it!

Episode 20
Juri, Chinatsu, Mihoro and third year delinquent student, Akira Yajima are on their way to Mt Cat. Akira has lost her cat, Romeo and was introduced by her childhood friend Mihoro to seek Juri’s help since she is into the occult. Since Romeo and Akira have been together since young, this could mean that Romeo is quite old and his sudden disappearance means he may be at Mt Cat, a place where cats gather, live, train and bath. But any human who becomes lost there will be possessed by cats in human form. Juri didn’t want to help out but with Akira forcing her to help (can you fight that delinquent stare?), I guess she has no choice. Juri wonders if Romeo has forgotten about her seeing cats who come here have abandoned their lives with humans. Akira has proof that Romeo is quite close. A picture that shows Romeo looking like a delinquent and scratching her?! Scars of love? Juri warns not to be fooled by the cats even if they seem polite and kind because it’s just a ruse to deceive them. But it’s epic fail from the start seeing the cat inn owner warmly welcomes them! The girls are invited to dip into the hotspring but were warned in time by Juri they must not or else they will be turned into a cat because the water is from a cursed spring. Then walking through the souvenir halls, they are tempted to eat the delicious snacks. But again Juri cautions them not to fall for the cats’ tricks and eat them as they too will transform into cats. Akira sees Romeo but he doesn’t recognize her. Did he really forget about her?

Episode 21
The cats think they are here to kidnap Romeo and attack them by splashing the cursed water. Romeo seems to be enjoying the fun splashing the water too!!! Mihoro and Chinatsu got splashed and a part of them turned into a cat. Juri got so pissed off that they want to turn them into cats so badly that she transforms into a cat and attacks them back. Romeo accidentally splashes on Akira but she didn’t turn into a cat. Seems it is just regular water. The cats are restrained and Romeo hasn’t forgotten who Akira is. But he tells her to go home instead. There is another reason Juri didn’t tell them why cats come here. That reason is to die. Romeo would be 80 years old if he is human and he didn’t want Akira to see him in such a miserable state. He tells her to get a new kitten but Akira tells him to screw it because there is nothing wrong of her taking care of him till he dies. She wants to be with him. Romeo notes how independent she has grown to be. Someone who was once a cry-baby. He laments they were born on the same day and raised together but can’t be together forever. He has a last wish for her: Let him say goodbye with a smile. Akira cries all the way on the train back home. Juri comforts her with a tale that there’s a legend that cats change their fur in heaven to return to their owners. Chinatsu instantly cries over that touching story!!! WTF?! Isn’t she overreacting?! Akira is confident she will get to see Romeo again.

Episode 22
Hinako for the first time is walking back with Mihoro and Chinatsu from their summer remedial class. Usually she never liked walking home with others. Chinatsu spots Kuroneko sleeping on the street (I thought it was dead!) and took the liberty to draw white outlines like as though it’s a murder scene! The trio stop by a shop to get ice cream but Chinatsu is disheartened her soda flavour has been sold out. She settles for the cola flavour instead while Mihoro shares her coffee flavour with Hinako. They continue their journey after having their fill. At the tracks, Hinako part ways with them since her home is in the other direction. Hinako wanted to say something more than just waving goodbye but couldn’t bring herself to say it. So a normal goodbye is good enough for her. Hinako meets Juri on her way. Juri notes how Hinako reminds her of herself during her younger days. She thinks they are pretty alike but Hinako doesn’t think so.

Honto Ni Hen! Yabai Sensei (It’s Really Weird! Oh No Teacher)
Eh? So it ends just like that? Well, I’m not saying it is a bad ending seeing the nature of this series which has no real plot whatsoever but I feel it could have ended on a better note. At least have all the characters in the final episode as a big final goodbye. But then again, that is my opinion and I shouldn’t have high hopes on flash based animes. Even if this anime is supposed to be about this teacher and her hobbies in the occult, it doesn’t seem to be that overwhelming. I mean, due to the random antics, you’d be trying to understand what is going on rather than be preoccupied with that premise. Yes, we have the subjects of spirits and ghosts touched in nearly every episode but as a break in this format, some episodes were pretty much focused on the cats and those aliens. I don’t see how they are related to Juri and her class besides as a variety and side distraction.

Each of the characters has their own peculiar habits that make them likeable (not to mention a weirdo). Like the sporty and cheerful Chinatsu whose emotion can instantly swing from happy to sad if you tell an arguably sad story (even if it wasn’t sad in the first place). Hinako is people shy, Emma the funny foreigner with penchant for video games while Mihoro is so darn poor that the things she do feels like a joke but nevertheless always smiling (albeit a little creepy). Doesn’t anybody get concerned seeing Eri has been possessed by the spirit of Nobunaga since the first episode?! So Wanibuchi still likes her even if she’s a different person? Maybe it’s the inside that counts. Yeah, good luck pal trying to get the warlord to fall in love with you. I thought Akiko would be the ‘main’ character but she was somehow ‘absent’ not in just the last or few couple of episodes. If I remember, the last episode she made her actual screen time appearance was in episode 16 whereby she went to talk to Nagara. Speaking of that science teacher, I feel she using her scientific approach is just an excuse to join in Juri and her class. She may not show it and it may not look like it but deep down I have this feeling that she really wants to be part of the fun. See how she’s always coming to Juri’s class whenever they make a ruckus? If she really wanted to tell them off, she really, really, really would have. Say, what happened to Kame? I thought with the class deciding not to let her go, I thought she would be a regular, if not making cameo appearances. But I guess she just made a one-off appearance only just like Maru, the Misfortune Sisters and those foreign bank robbers. The bunch of alien cats are a bunch of jokers. Invading Earth is such an easy job but due to Captain’s faint-hearted nature, I guess it is better for them to blend in as Earth’s cats and live off the kindness of kind humans, eh? They can add their names to the list of failed invaders like Ika Musume and Sgt Keroro. I wonder how Juri ended up as the Cat King too. Did she possess some cat spirit? Is she a reincarnation of a cat? It’s odd that every cat except Kuroneko and the alien cats see her as one. But I guess she has no qualms being one either.

As I found out, the seiyuus voice multiple characters for this series. At least 2 of them. For instance Kaoru Mizuhara (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls) does the voice of Juri and Kuroneko. Maybe it saves cost? But seriously, I wasn’t paying attention the voice acting closely enough to really tell that they are voiced by the same person. But they did a good job in sounding like different characters. Others include Akiko and Nagara by Miyu Matsuki (Yoshinoya in Hidamari Sketch series), Chinatsu and Captain by Nozomi Sasaki (Nanami in Bokura Ga Ita), Eri and Kame by Emiri Katou (Kagami in Lucky Star), Emma and Tonto by Ayano Yamamoto (Nae Tennouji in Steins; Gate), Mihoro and Sagan by Ikumi Hayama (Matsuoka in Mitsudomoe), Hinako and Maru by Mai Fuchigami (Maekawa in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko), Wanibuchi and Romeo by Yuuki Ono (Pin in Kimi Ni Todoke) and Saito and Jellyfish by Shinya Takahashi (Masao Murasako in Shiki). The only seiyuu who voiced a single role is Ayana Taketatsu (Azusa in K-ON!) as Akira. Yeah, I can recognize that voice anywhere as long as she sounds tough or reprimanding. There are 3 ending pieces for this series and are all sung by Meaw. I don’t know, they just sound weird to me. The meow-ish Pair being the first one for the first half followed by the upbeat “lalala” Owakare Bayashi and the final casual dreamy Neko Kuronikuru lasting for a meagre 3 episodes!

Next time you have a teacher who can communicate with spirits and do exorcisms, make sure you don’t get her to be a medium to communicate with your dead ancestors. You might be finding out a thing or two about the skeleton closets in your family that you really don’t want to know. Would you like to be haunted by the ghost of your past so to speak? And if she is the kind who loves dancing, she would summon up the undead and zombies and do a Thriller dance ala Michael Jackson! Besides, what the heck is Juri doing as a teacher when she can open her own business as a spirit medium? She is so friendly with some of them and can even play a card game with them! By being a teacher, what is she trying to teach her students? Hell, is she even properly teaching her students? When you can see dead people at any time, I guess you can say that every day would be a ghostly affair. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

July 23, 2011

I was never a fan or follower of any sort of occult or the supernatural. Neither am I for the horror series. So what made me decide to watch Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin? You know me. I read that there was this comedy element so I thought it was going to be one of those spoofs and rip-offs for instance like how Hollywood did with that Scary Movie. Not exactly like that but this is what made up my mind that this show could be a funny one. Looking at the promotional poster, I saw a commanding and superior-looking lady in white, sitting on top of a wuss guy like as though she’s using him as a human chair! That definitely seals it. Now this I got to see.

As part of the occult theme in this series, I’m sure that many of us have read or at least heard about the famous end-of-the-world prophecy of Nostradamus. Remember that 2012 movie that stroke fear worldwide about the possibility of the world ending on that year just because some Mayan calendar wasn’t clear whether it just ran out of space for further dates. Apparently in this year as shown in this series, mankind is facing a different kind of Apocalypse. Towering beam-firing aliens are destroying our world. Hmm… I thought those aliens resemble something like those ATs in Star Wars. Well, at least we won’t have to worry about destroying ourselves from global warming. Hehe, I’m not helping either.

It seems that something dubbed the Nostradamus Key has triggered the events of the world back in 1999. So the future surviving agents are sending time travelling agents back in time in hopes of finding the Key and hope restore humanity. Unfortunately this isn’t going to be an easy job because well, agent #5 just died. Oh boy. What does this mean? Send in the next agent #6 lah. So in addition to occult and horror themes, we have to deal with sci-fi too? I just hope the comedy part will be as interesting and entertaining as well.

Episode 1
The large Waldstein Academy is founded amidst the lush greenery of a remote village in Nagano prefecture of Japan to cater to those students who would like to pursue their passion in the occult. The date is July 1999. Maya Kumashiro, the daughter of the founder and principal of Waldstein, Junichiro, returns to the school because her dad has just recently passed away. She reluctantly has to assume the principal role now and despite her vast knowledge on the occult, she despises it. The academy is currently holding a funeral ceremony with all the students attending. Maya doesn’t seem too thrilled about it as she sits on stage with her arms and legs crossed. Maya’s childhood friend, Ami Kuroki and her bespectacled friend, Kozue Naruse recognizes Maya upon her return. Waldstein’s vice principal, Chihiro Kawashima reads a tearful eulogy and plays Junichiro’s last words on a player. Seems goofy. But it’s like as though he knew his days were numbered. During the ‘speech’, Junichiro mentions about a successful spell of summoning dead ancient spirits. Call it fluke or coincidence, suddenly the windows start flapping and mysterious gas appearing. Junichiro’s lifeless body moves and it is clear that he is possessed by a spirit. The hall turns into chaos as everybody runs helter-skelter for safety. Dead Junichiro charges but Maya takes a chair and whacks him right in the face. No respect for your father! Maya takes charge by telling everyone that this is all staged and that spirits do not exist! Tell that to the students again when Junichiro starts to rise once more. This time he breaks out from the hall.

Maya does her research in the library and needs to capture this spirit known as lamie. She meets Kozue who expresses her admiration for the occult and deep respect for Junichiro. Ami brings in more help in the form of Smile, the school mechanic who holds a real big spanner (like that Graham guy in Baccano, eh?) for fighting purposes, and JK (no relation to that Harry Potter author), a big chubby guy with horrendous make-up never seen without his pair of dowsing rods. Yeah, this school is definitely weird alright. Following JK’s rods, they try to track the lamie. Eventually it possesses Kozue and starts attacking the gang. Maya rushes to find the source in order to kill it. Upon opening a room, she sees her father and the entire scene changes into her home. He mentions that this was all a set up and starts getting emotional how he neglected his family while building this academy. Maya plays along till she picks up an axe and is prepared to chop off his head. She knew the lamie has the ability to read one’s mind and heart so she wasn’t swayed by her its words. The lamie is destroyed (releasing Kozue from its possession) and the room returns to a storeroom storing all sorts of occult torture devices. Maya remembers how she was fascinated with the occult when she was young. But her father was too busy researching the occult that he slapped her when she reminded him about their promise to go shopping. Because of that, Maya and her mom left while Junichiro continued his obsession to build his academy. Thus the reason Maya decided to return to this school: To destroy it and the occult that brings nothing but ruin to the world and delusion to the people. As Maya takes a breather on the rooftop, a handphone drops down from the sky. She picks it up when suddenly a bright light comes shining down from the middle. Is an angel descending? Heck no. It’s a naked guy! Her shocked expression wasn’t the fact he was floating down from the sky before her. If you look closely at his shadow over Maya’s face… You’ll understand why… Meanwhile Chihiro and her bodyguard resolve to keep a close eye on Maya.

Episode 2
Like any normal girl after seeing a naked guy, Maya runs for her life. Yeah, don’t take any chances. He might be a pervert or rapist. Worst still, that guy chases after her. Naked. Thank God he fell into a pit. Maya rests back in her room and watches a television programme. Currently there is a young boy, Fumiaki Uchida AKA Bunmei on the rise to popularity as he is able to bend spoon using his psychic powers. Maya takes a picture of herself using the handphone but gets freaked out upon seeing a skull and bones as its result. Next day in school, Maya discusses certain school matters with Chihiro. The latter introduces a new history teacher, Minoru Abe. Uh… It’s that naked guy! After excusing Chihiro, Maya tries to kill him! After she mentions about his weird handphone, Abe tells her that he is a time agent sent from the future to protect the future. Narrating how the world is overrun by aliens and on the verge of being destroyed, Abe was sent as agent #6 because of his top class psychokinesis. Abe was bloody cool and calm when he was being explained about the Key, the rift in the time-space dimension rift that causes the appearance of the aliens and the special handphone he was given to. Using some kind of special technology, the object that is being taken while thinking of your intentions with it, will allow one to see whether or not it exists in 2012. For instance, if you take a picture of a human and it turns out to be skull and bones, you can bet the future is still the same gloomy and apocalyptic end that it’s heading. It’s an interesting feature but really, how can such a technology see into the future? It’s really mind boggling if you think about it. I wonder if this could be the new application feature on our iPad. Anyway Abe needs to use this handphone in order to find and pinpoint the object that is the Key. Oddly enough, Abe can communicate with the agents in the future, though it is just one way. I can think of all the contradictions about this but that would a big headache. Hmm… Maybe he’s from the past so when he ‘communicates’, the message may take a decade to reach our future folks but really if you consider it, wouldn’t it be like ‘instant’?

So that is how Abe is transported to the past. But Maya still doesn’t believe this crap. Abe mentions that the Bunmei kid was him 10 years ago (which is now). She wants him to prove himself by bending a spoon. Since he took too long, she kicks him out. He lost his powers? Abe goes around taking pictures of stuff in the academy while Chihiro takes Maya back to Junichiro’s place where she is going to live. During shower, strange events start to occur. A warning in blood not to interfere is written on the mirror, an invisible creature breaks into the window and only its wet footsteps are visible (creepy!). Abe was nearby and crashes in Tarzan style. Maya thinks he is the Great King that will bring terror to mankind on July 21st as prophesized. The creature closes in and Maya accidentally pushes Abe away, revealing a secret passageway. Down the stairways, the creature tries to strangle Maya when a great flash of light behind the bricks disintegrates it. Maya sees a notebook belonging to Junichiro. Upon reading it, she learns he was researching about the Nostradamus Key and trying to find ways to destroy it. There were some parties who disagreed and tried to take him out. Junichiro seems to know his time is up if Maya finds this notebook and has written all sort of defensive magical spells in it. This means that somebody killed her father. Next day, Abe becomes the homeroom teacher of Ami and Kozue’s class. To his surprise, Maya becomes a student in his class too. Later Maya reveals that she plans on cooperating with him (though she hasn’t forgive him yet) by exchanging information to find Junichiro’s murderer and using herself as bait to lure the perpetrator out. They shake hands as sign of agreement. But when Abe mentions that she really loves the occult, she punches him and asserts her hate for it. Nothing went right for him ever since he came, eh?

Episode 3
There are rumours that several townspeople are going missing. They suspect it may be the doing of a tengu, a spirit of the Japanese folklore. They decide to investigate it in hopes that it will lead them to the Key. After Abe leaves, he bumps into Chihiro. She starts falling in love with him after he praises her hairstyle instead of teasing it. Eww… Those puckering lips look disgusting. Abe takes a picture of her and it reveals skull and bones. Better get yourself away and not associate with her. Abe reminisces about his past and desires to go back. He even calls his mom but didn’t say anything. He enters an eatery and is taken in by a beautiful and busty waitress, Mikaze Nakagawa, politely serving him his favourite curry dish. Abe isn’t just taken in by her looks. He is surprised that she calls him Fumiaki. Her mom only calls him that and so it’s a surprise that someone else does so. Abe makes frequent visits to Mikaze’s shop and one day she asks him if he has free time. Would he pass this chance up? The funny part wasn’t the fact that this small town girl owns a flashy sports car, but rather the way she drives! Abe is in a hell ride of his life! Look at the way she drifts! She can put all those expert drifters in Initial D to shame! Thank God, I don’t know how Abe survived the ordeal but it is sure a traumatizing experience. She takes him to several historical spots in the town. As the duo visit an underground bunker, Maya is pissed and suspicious after she spots him fooling around instead of investigating the tengu case. Abe and Mikaze soon leave the bunker and they spend a little tome closer to each other. Meanwhile Maya is in a pinch as she tries to escape from an attacking creature. Did it get her?

Episode 4
Kozue is missing, Abe tries to turn down Chihiro’s advances as he seeks Mikaze’s help to find Kozue. Oh no. It’s that hell ride all over town again. At a shrine, the duo uncover a secret passageway so Abe tries to become a man to protect Mikaze though we know that he is just putting up an act. Trekking deeper underground, Abe and Mikaze got separated. Abe then bumps into Maya. Looks like she’s still alive. They discuss about pyramids and how this mountain based on some theory is one. The passage leads them to a large world tree. Abe takes a picture of it but it isn’t the Key they’re looking for. Abe falls into a giant dung and a giant moth starts attacking them. Maya is going to let that guy take some responsibility to save the future of mankind. That is when Abe reveals the true story. In the future, he’s some sort of poor guy trying to make a living via road side entertainment. I guess he must’ve lost his spoon bending powers and tries to cheat the audience but they saw his trick and left without any ‘donations’. That’s when the future agent picked him up for a mission. Abe was like a total coward, screaming in defiance about going on this dangerous mission. He was forced to against his will. So! That guy is a complete worthless wuss after all! So much about his grand story. Maya and Abe walk deeper and discover several human bones on the ground. There are lots of cocoons on the wall as Maya spots Kozue in one. She tries to dig her out but coward Abe fails her when all the other moths start awakening so he runs away! F*cking chicken!!! Maya is left to deal with the monstrous moths alone as she has her hands full with unconscious Kozue. Luckily for her, Smile and JK who were also searching for Kozue, bump into Maya as they battle the moths. JK’s dowsing rods are quite handy for fighting if I must say. JK also brings his special keyboard that unleashes a certain frequency to immobilize the moths. Everyone manages to get out of the cave alive before an explosion seals the moths in. They bump into Abe (who is still thankful that he is alive) so Maya gives him the cold shoulder and returns with the rest to the academy. Then he is reunited with Mikaze and he told the most despicable lie ever. He said he saved the missing student and sent her back to the academy. F*ck you! As Chihiro writes in her love diary for Abe (oh, if she’d only seen the kind of wuss he is), the Bodyguard comes in reporting about the explosions that sealed the moths in. Chihiro becomes wary of Maya for being a troublesome principal.

Episode 5
Kozue shows Maya a spoon that never rusts. She in turn tells her about some OOPart thingy. Over the next few scenes, Kozue gets excited at the slightest everyday occurrence and thinks it must be some sort of occult. Like the teacher’s bad handwriting to be some sort of alien language! Or following a black cat just to have bad luck but her injury she got was of her own doing. Abe gets a visit from Mikaze. She thinks of selling bread at this school to help pay her car loan (it’s that trauma again!). Maya, Ami and Kozue meet at the rooftop during recess. Kozue laments how she was the only one who hasn’t experienced an occult. Seriously? Has she forgotten about being possessed or kidnapped by one? Apparently she claims she didn’t see them since she believes what is important are the things you can’t see with your eyes. Soon Kozue goes missing again but this time it didn’t take long for her friends to find her trying to reach a near-death experience state in some cold storage room. Abe tries to get Maya to approve Mikaze’s bread selling activities in school. I guess after pissing her off, she stamps her approve mark. On his forehead. Be careful to stamp it on the paper… Later, Kozue volunteers as a test subject for a near-death experiment. Oddly enough, they have a big screen to see what Kozue is seeing. Is the afterlife a colourful and fantasy-like place? Up to you to interpret as Kozue goes deeper into this world. Her time limit is up as the scientists pull her back out. When Kozue regains consciousness, her friends are suspicious of her change in behaviour. She doesn’t seem to take this occult thingy seriously. Then on the big screen, they see Kozue trying to search for the glasses she dropped (around the time when the scientists pulled her out). Is the real Kozue still trapped there? Besides, the Kozue that came out from the capsule did not have specs on. Hmm…

Episode 6
So Kozue becomes somewhat lethargic to the occult. Ami decides to make Kozue remember and want Maya to help her out. They did all those so called lame occult tricks like what Kozue got excited over in the previous episode but Kozue tells them straight why it’s not. Eventually Maya orders Abe (busy accompanying Mikaze and a guinea-pig for her bread) to do spoon bending in front of Kozue. Of course he flops (since he admitted his powers are long gone) and makes a fool of himself. Kozue still doesn’t believe in the occult but it is strange when tears suddenly stream down her eyes. Maya concludes that Kozue left her heart in the aftermath so Maya plans to go back to the lab and bring her back via near-death experience. I guess Abe wants to redeem himself so he decides to step in instead of Maya. Good, she lets him do it. As Abe goes deeper, the rest sees his memories during his childhood as Bunmei. He seems a lonely kid but a traumatic one crops up. On a day Bunmei was looking forward to go to the planetarium with his mom, she rescheduled his performance on that day. When Bunmei tried to remind her, she slapped him! Maya felt guilty because he was the same like her as her father did to her. Then they see the alien invasion that wrecks havoc in the future. Abe finds Kozue sitting alone dejectedly lamenting about the need to see with her heart but still can’t see it. Abe realizes that she may be looking for her glasses which are on her head. Kozue returns to her perky self and this dumbfounds all her buddies. Later Maya agrees to work with Abe to find the Key seeing that what he said about the future is true. Now he believes him. Next day, Mikaze thanks Maya for allowing her to sell bread on the school grounds. Maya gets upset when she sees Abe helping to sell and punches him for doing other jobs while on duty. Relationship, back to normal.

Episode 7
Ami’s labourer dad, Shigeru spots Maya walking by but she isn’t interested to stay and chat. Come Sunday, Maya and Kozue pay a visit to Ami in her room while Abe bumps into Smile and JK at Mikaze’s shop. The TV news reports a mysterious crop circle so Maya calls Abe to go and investigate. Shigeru and Maya’s friends offer to help. Reaching the spot, the police have barricaded it. Maya suggests to camp here tonight seeing that the crop circle was only recently made. Of course Shigeru and the other girls won’t let them have all the fun and invite them to their BBQ dinner back home. Then later that night, as the gang stake out, a UFO suddenly appears so they chase after it. Thankfully in this town, traffic isn’t bad so they can speed how fast they want. Thank goodness Shigeru’s driving isn’t as horrible as Mikaze. They reach a cow farm and have to go on foot. They get freaked out when they stumble upon several dead cows and their blood have been sucked out. Then the UFO appears again. This time a little gray alien floating down. Abe takes a picture of it. Wait! Something is amiss. Why are there pictures of JK?! So yeah. The whole thing is a set up. JK is dressed up as that alien while the UFO is attached to ropes coming from a crane handled by Smile. Ami confronts her dad who admits that he set up all this because he wanted to see Maya smile and have fun again. Maya chides Shigeru for wasting their time because they’re serious about this. Ami slaps her for being rude. Then Shigeru slaps her daughter and wants her to apologize but Ami runs off.

Episode 8
Maya and Ami’s relationship hit rock bottom. They’re not talking. Maya learns that all the events of the crop circle were made except for the dead cows. She and Abe investigate it and it is too big to be a prank since the place is scattered with carcasses. Then Maya remembers that she forgot to meet up with Ami at a shrine (Ami wanted to talk things out) and rushes there. Eventually Maya manages to get there. Before they could talk, a little green creature sinks its teeth into Kozue’s shoulder! What the hell is that?! Plus, more of them appear surrounding the girls. Then a big mother emerges and kidnaps Ami. They rush back to Shigeru and tell him about the situation. Maya says those little green things are chupacabra (I thought it was that large Amazon rodent. Oh wait, those are capybaras. Hehe…). The gang stock up on their ammos, weapons and head to rescue Ami. How do they know where she is? Use those dowsing rods, baby! Abe is in for the ride when they abruptly pick him up after another visit to Mikaze’s store. At an abandoned shrine, they trek across the graveyard as several chupacabras start pounding on them. Everyone fights back but Kozue goes missing (again). Inside the shrine, Maya finds Ami on a stone. Ami comes to and realizes many chupacabra around her. Maya extends her hand to pull her up. Both girls reconcile as they fight the little green things. Then the big mother comes out but was taken out easily by Shigeru. I can’t believe its head fall off after just a few rounds. With all the chupacabras taken out, Abe snaps a shot but they aren’t the Key. And for Kozue, she’s found asleep safe and sound amidst the skeletons. After the gang leaves, the shrine is burnt down and it seems to indicate of Chihiro and Bodyguard’s doing. She wants him to keep an eye on Maya. Maya and co gather back at Ami’s place as Shigeru tells a ghost story that only Kozue gets freaked out. Abe notices Maya smiling.

Episode 9
Abe manages to get Maya’s approval to let Mikaze sell ice cream at school (yeah, just want to impress her I guess). She gets defensive when he notices real estate documents on her desk. During a class by Chihiro to summon a spirit via medium (using herself), instead of summoning Junichiro, a little girl named Akari appears instead. Each time she appears and disappears, she leaves a trail of snow behind. Akari asserts that she wants to go home. Maya agrees to help her return home. The only clue they know is that she is 7 years old and a first grader at elementary school. I’m sure Abe would love to help the gang out but I guess they had to leave him behind since he got so distracted by Mikaze. After checking out several elementary schools in the vicinity, finally they find her home. However she starts sitting outside the door and feels cold. The entire around suddenly turns into snow. The blizzard is so powerful that it shattered windows. Akari soon disappears. They meet the landlady as she explains Akari’s past. When she just entered elementary school, her parents divorced and it was hard for her daddy to raise her all alone. The landlady tried to help her out the best she could but maintained not to get too involved. Akari froze to death on Christmas Eve as she was sitting outside her house’s door on a very snowy night. The gang then go in search for Akari’s dad and find him working at a construction site. Despite numerous persuasions to help save his daughter, he tells them to leave since he believes he is responsible for Akari’s death.

Episode 10
Abe calls Maya to the teacher’s room in an attempt to get an answer why she’s avoiding him or if he did anything to upset her. He wants to more about her and get to know her better as her partner. I think we all know why Maya’s so hothead against him. Just when Mikaze starts calling him, he diverts all his attention to her. Yeah, enough to earn another Maya’s super punch in the face. Maya and the rest later go visit Akari’s father. He won’t let them in so they plan to stay outside till he lets them.  Finally he gives in (it took all day?). Daddy explains how Akari was such a cheerful girl and their family was a very happy one. Till he spent too much time working so mommy didn’t like all that pressure and left. Daddy continued being a workaholic and even if Akari tried to cheer things up about hoping for Santa Claus, he shoots her down that there is no such thing. Akari was adamant in waiting to Santa to show up. At work, he received a call from the landlady that Akari was locked outside her house. He rushed to the hospital but it was too late. Akari passed away. Maya plans to hold a Christmas party for Akari. Meanwhile Mikaze and Abe have returned from an outstation trip. Guess what? Chihiro is there. I smell a cat fight coming up. Abe tries to get out before the fireworks start by saying that he got an important call to help Maya. Chihiro wonders if it is the demolition of Maya’s residence at the academy. Then it hit Abe about those documents. Abe enters the soon-to-be-demolished residence and meets Maya. She talks about her dad and the party they’re planning. She has an idea for him to help out. During the party, Akari appears and everyone have a fun time celebrating. Then Maya’s cue for Abe to enter as Santa Claus. However he is knocked out. Santa enters and everyone is surprised to see Akari’s dad. He hands her a present, hugs her and apologizes. Akari thanks her daddy and can now peacefully rest in peace. Maya returns to her partially demolished residence and remembers how it was her Christmas wish to Junichiro that she wanted a monster school (thus the birth of Waldstein Academy). Maya felt guilty for never realizing his feelings and only turned her back on him and hated him. Abe comforts her as he holds her hand. This strengthens Maya’s resolve to find her father’s killer and protect this school as well as humanity’s future.

Episode 11
Abe returns to his place one evening to find Mikaze in his room. Seems she manages to get a spare key from the landlord and enter to cook him dinner. Then she hugs him from behind and wonders if he is free tonight. I’m sure you know what that guy is taking this as. Turns out that she brings him to a group of occult people (why is their dressing like KKK?). Mikaze passionately seduces Abe and tells him about the den of evil at Waldstein and that they have to kill the witch that has returned. She brainwashes him into saying that Maya is the witch and that all the occult events that has happened was her doing. After all that hugging, licking, kissing, etc, do you think that guy has the guts to say no? Next day Maya takes Abe out on an outing but his mind is pretty much preoccupied with Mikaze’s words. Eventually he tells her about this so Maya says that she has snapped a photo of herself with the photo but the picture turned out negative. Abe reminds her in order to make it work, she must think about destroying the object. Maya tries to take another one of herself but Abe snatches it away, conceals it and lets Maya repeatedly kick his ass. I guess all that kicking has her tired so Maya leaves. On her return, she encounters Chihiro. What is that creepy smirk on that vice principal’s face? Suddenly it is all over the news that Maya is found dead! Can this be true?! Her bloodied body found sprawled across the floor! Everyone sinks into depression and even Abe misses her mocking. Ah, is he admitting he’s a masochist? While crying alone in his dark room, Chihiro and Bodyguard enter. Abe yells if she killed Maya. Chihiro only nodded so angry Abe charges at her but was pushed back. He is further surprised when Maya appears. Chihiro explains that the body was fake and they used magic to do so. Furthermore, she reveals herself to be a white mage in service to Junichiro to protect Maya and deceive the enemy. Abe still wouldn’t buy this is the real Maya and asks her to show her notebook. She passes it to him when Mikaze suddenly floats in, freezes Abe and destroys the notebook. The rest escape as Mikaze turns herself into a dark witch and hunts them down. Maya and co are surrounded by the occult people. Chihiro orders Bodyguard to take Maya to safety (Maya was getting emotional after learning she is her father’s killer) as she transforms into her true white mage self to fend off Mikaze.

Episode 12
A power battle between the mages begins and their clash of ideals of human’s desire and meaning of love. Mikaze reveals she was the one who unleashed all those occult happenings intended for Maya though she never realized that. Also, she fooled Abe into getting close to him so she could get close to Maya. Bodyguard transforms into a panther with wings to take Maya and escape. Ami, Kozue, Smile and JK are trying to summon Maya’s spirit via various tools but eventually the dowsing rods are the ones that proved useful. Hey, she’s not dead, remember? They see Maya and the panther and go after her. I don’t know how this happened because Kozue becomes part of the brainwashed occult members. The mages’ battle ends with Mikaze vanquishing Chihiro (probably the latter got caught off guard when Mikaze said Abe kissed her). Mikaze goes in pursue of Maya but before Chihiro bites the dust, she goes back to Abe and unfreezes him. She tells him that Junichiro is alive and how they used the same magic trick on Maya to do that. She whispers something in his ear and pecks his cheek before hitting the ground. Mikaze’s chase has them ending up in Waldstein where she blasts and injures Bodyguard to send him crashing down. She confronts Maya but the latter reveals this was all part of her plan to lure her here to activate a spell and that the notebook she destroyed was a fake. Abe arrives in time and ignores Mikaze while calling out to Maya. Mikaze transforms herself back to her harmless form in an attempt to confuse Abe. Maya is able to snap a shot of her and realizes that she is the Key. Abe starts reciting the magic spells from the notebook Maya dropped earlier on as Maya repeats his words to activate a spell around Waldstein and destroy Mikaze. Then every supernatural occult starts disappearing (including Chihiro and Bodyguard) and those under her hypnotizing spell are set free. In the aftermath, Abe tells Maya that Chihiro told him the page of the spell. They both embrace. After Abe reports to his future agents of his mission accomplished, everyone runs out but to their horror, it is still the annihilated world.

Episode 13
A flashback reveals how Junichiro completed his notebook of spells and Chihiro teleported him away to another location and faked his death to find the Key. On the day before the closing ceremony of the academy, Abe tells Maya that Junichiro is still alive. Maya calls Abe’s mom and arranges for them to perform at the ceremony thinking Abe wanted to meet her. However Abe mentions that he has no recollections of visiting this school when he was young. The footage of his memories also proved that and there was a blackout in it. Abe reports this to the future agents and they explain some mumbo-jumbo about time and space dimensional rift about meeting yourself in the past. In short, they’ll both disappear. Furthermore, Abe is revealed to be the Key. Not exactly him, but the act of meeting himself! You know that part Maya snapped in the previous episode? Well, it wasn’t just Mikaze in the picture but Abe as well. I’m sure many of you saw this coming. They are arranging for Abe’s immediate return to prevent that from happening but Abe requests to stay an extra day. The future agents discuss this and it is revealed that their leader is no other than Junichiro. He narrates about the irony of events. He knew the Key was not found at the academy and sent an agent back after his funeral thinking that the Key must have been brought in after he left. However this act itself was the trigger. Maya blames herself for arranging this but Abe notes that he just need to meet his mom and not his younger self. So Maya arranges a meeting with his mom to tell her that the performance is cancelled. She seems pretty upset about it seeing that they’ve travelled from far to this remote place. When she returns home, she finds that little Bunmei had already ran away. Earlier on, Bunmei wanted to come with his mom to see the school but she forbade him in her usual strictness. So I guess that’s why he decided to come to Waldstein all alone and is having a blast, going through all the rooms in the academy. As for Abe and the rest, they have a farewell party at Ami’s place.

The next day after Maya’s closing speech and Abe’s resignation as a teacher, she meets him on the rooftop. It’s time for him to go but Maya doesn’t want him to. Oh. Could it be? Suddenly Abe comes face to face with little Bunmei. The sky turns dark and a dimensional rift opens up in the sky. Aliens start attacking the academy. Bunmei charges at the alien intending to protect this school but gets knocked away unconscious. Abe then takes a spoon in Bunmei’s coat and tells Maya that history changes from now. Now it’s his turn to charge towards the alien and unbelievably, his spoon deflects the alien’s beam! Suddenly he gets his psychokinesis powers back (I’m not sure about the flying part as well) as he sacrifices himself to seal all the aliens back into the rift. He tells Maya to look after Bunmei. The sky returns back to a sunny one and the world is saved. When Bunmei comes to, Maya takes his hand and they walk away. In the future, the agents rejoice that the scenery of their outside world has changed. Junichiro steps out and no longer sees the destroyed world but the one thriving with human life. He gets a call from Maya to join her and Abe for dinner. And what’s this? Maya and Abe are married? Hey, she married someone who is a decade older than her!

Paranormal Activity…
Okay, wait a minute! I’m not saying that the happy ending sucks but the point is not the happy ending. It is the way the world turns out due to the change in history. Remember the time paradox thingy from the Terminator film? The reason it worked out was because the future didn’t change unlike this one, whereby it turned from the bad ending into a happy one. My thoughts and confusion about this sci-fi theory is the same as discussed on this site: Random Curiosity. Think about it. If Abe was sent from the future to save the past and he manages to do so, where do you think this Abe came from seeing that in the peaceful future, Abe is happily married to Maya and thus there is no need to send him back to change the future. In addition, shouldn’t the future Abe have memories of meeting Maya the first time when he first met her in the first episode (considering the case of little Bunmei meeting her in the final episode)? It would have been more plausible if they made it as an alternate future like what they did in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. But not that I would approve of it either. Instead, I suppose of having an expected bad ending, I feel that the producers made a happy one so that viewers won’t be disappointed of how everything ended. I mean, Abe died but Maya still get to live with him, right? So which Abe are we talking about? But aside Abe as the Key, I am wondering Mikaze’s role as the antagonist. Unless her belief in Maya as the Key (which is of course false) to save the world, it’s ironic that she wants to open the door the demon world. Well, she was against Junichiro in finding the Key.

There are other inconsistencies as well. For instance when Maya took a shot with Mikaze and Abe in it, I remember that Abe said that you have to think about the object you want to destroy in the picture to produce the results. So, Maya has got to be thinking about Mikaze when the serene picture came out, right? She couldn’t be still holding a grudge on Abe and made that mistake. Unless a technical glitch… At such a time? Then the part about Abe being able to directly communicate with the future agents in the end. How the heck do you do that? Even communications from Earth to the Moon is delayed about 1 or so second. If the future people can create such a superb invention, they could’ve used their geniuses to create a better weapon to destroy the aliens. Plus, if you think about it, if those future agents are still stuck in their desolated world, it means that the past hasn’t changed, right? If it really does change, they won’t be sitting in that rut and most likely their memories of the events that led to the change will be altered. So yeah, this sci-fi thing really made me go scratching my head especially how it screw out the whole time line and history. Damn sci-fi theories! Damn time paradox theories!

Abe initially is the kind of wuss that everybody would love to hate after his lie and acting big. All talk and no action. So I guess that last part whereby he sacrificed himself to regain his manliness and redeem himself that he wasn’t a total wuss after all. He changed in a way that Maya too changed. She was the kind of girl that will not open her heart easily to anyone. Not even her friends. She may be assertive and strong-willed but is lonely. Her hate for the occult was just a diversion and misguided feelings for her dad but after she gets to know his true feelings, she realizes what is most important to her. It was settled that when Abe made his cool self-sacrificing move, she fell for him. Mikaze may have been a wolf under sheep’s clothing. But seasoned viewers would have probably sensed something amiss for a side character like her to recur many times even if the events of her and Abe don’t seem that all important. Chihiro’s actions are less obvious because she’s been acting like as though she is keeping a close watch on Maya secretly. She’s been made to believe that she’s the culprit and antagonist. But I guess it’s just her way of getting serious to protect Maya. Cheery and lively Kozue is an amusing girl. Noticed that she is some sort of comic relief character who either lost her glasses (she’s really blind without them) and a penchant of getting possessed or abducted by the occult. And she has got the cheek to say that she has never really experienced one! JK and Smile are cool dudes that make a perfect combo pair. I just wish that they have more screen time. You got to love Smile swinging his giant spanner and who wouldn’t smile whenever pudding maniac JK comes into the picture. He is inseparable from his multi-purpose dowsing rods so much so it’s like his extended body part. Really, perhaps his rods could even serve as a TV antenna.

I’m not saying that the horror part is scary enough to scare seasoned horror fans. But there were several scenes that were creepy enough to spook me out! Perhaps it’s because I’m watching this show late into the wee hours of the night all by myself. Another creepy fact is the ending credits whereby we see a guy and a girl lying down on the grass with their eyes open. Not sure if they’re corpses or it’s just a still picture but the real images can be scary if your mind starts to go astray about those occult stuff. Fortunately, nothing scary happened. But for the few occult creatures that appear, I guess it’s enough for this short series. Some of the occult information bits are interesting but if you’re fascinated to find out more, you can always do your own research. As for the comedy part, other than Abe getting beaten up by Maya (yes, those are funny and no, I’m not a sadist), Mikaze’s awesome drifting and Chihiro’s genuine but hilarious fawning over Abe (man, I really thought there will be a cat fight when Abe’s rival showed up but not expected it in the form of mages), it is the facial expressions that Maya puts up. We all know her typical cold and unfriendly mug that is enough to make a spirit think twice of approaching her. But she has other expressions too and the funny ones are when she is surprised, flabbergasted or just annoyed. It’s fun to see this variety of facets. Of course she is also shown to have more emotion as a human being like the time she shed tears and also smile.

One thing about the drawing and art of this series. I have to admit that the background and sceneries are rich and well done. From the lush forests to the flowing water, they provide soothing eye candy with their smooth animation and quality texture. However, I can’t say the same about the characters. They seem simple and at times their animation jerky. At times if you stare straight at their faces, they just look at a little too odd. I had this feeling towards Chihiro and Mikaze especially. Sometimes if I don’t feel like paying attention on the characters, I would just focus my concentration to the background. On a trivial note, during the next episode preview, they feature bonus songs sung by the seiyuus in the series. You can get them if you buy the DVD of course.

Speaking of which, if you buy the DVD, there a total of 5 specials in all. The first one is some sort of a music montage in which Maya sings the Love Machine song in about a minute and a half. Though you can see many of the series’ characters dancing, some of the other scenes are taken from the first episode. Special 2 is the start of a series of shorts lasting about 3 minutes. It is about young Maya and Ami together with their snake-like pet with a big bulge in its middle stomach they found, Tsucchi. As the girls are going to the pool, the come across another girl (Kozue) running for her life. A snake strikes out from the bushes, barely missing them. They take it back as Junichiro explains it is Tsuchinoko, some sort legendary Japanese creature. The girls are fascinated and decide to keep it. After naming it Tsucchi, they hope they can get along. But Tsucchi attacks once more but thankfully it misses and hits the wall. In Special 3, Ami tells Shigeru about Tsucchi. Noting that Tsuchinoko isn’t a friendly creature, he trains her how to avoid its poison fangs. Meanwhile tries to feed Tsucchi with all sorts of foodstuff but it only takes interest in sake. Then Maya learns about Ami’s training and after a little demonstration, it’s Ami’s turn to train Maya. I guess they got good enough to know when Tsucchi is going to strike and avoiding it becomes like some sort of a reflex. After it calms down and is rather tame (perhaps it doesn’t want to end up banging the wall), the girls discuss if Tsucchi is lonely and decide to find it a mate tomorrow. As they trek into the woods, a truck driver spots them. In Special 4, they contemplate if Tsucchi is male or female before hearing voices of Kozue searching for her glasses. It’s right on top of her head. After she leaves, they come across a swamp pit. Suddenly a giant black salamander surfaces and attacks them. Tsucchi goes into defence of the girls and bites the salamander unconscious. Wow. It’s like David versus Goliath. The girls are thrilled and happy of what Tsucchi did and vowed to stay together. In Special 5, Tsucchi doesn’t look well. They hope it will be better soon but unfortunately it died and they had a tearful burial. Then they watch a TV report, a witness retelling his encounter with Tsuchinoko. The news is abuzz with it so much so they dug up Tsucchi’s grave and did some test on it. They call it pseudo-Tsucchi. This pisses off Maya and Ami as they repeatedly shout aloud that they hate adults. In present time, it seems it is a story told by Ami to Kozue. Kozue still ponders the identity of the clumsy bespectacled girl (seriously, she doesn’t remember? Even if she hummed those same lines?). Ami gets a call from Maya that she is arriving soon for Junichiro’s funeral so they head back into the building. Note: Maya looks much cuter when she is a child. Second note: No, I am NOT a lolicon.

At the end of each episode, the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that states this work is purely of fiction and that aliens, psychics and other occult stuff do not really exist. Unless if you believe in them! So really, it is all up to you of whether or not you want to believe not just about the supernatural but the other stuff in life whether it is the truth or fiction. Everyone is free to believe in them all. Including whether or not the end of the world will really come in 2012. It’s just how we use that information and belief in our everyday life that makes the difference. Like how I believe anime is the new religion, manga the bible and games for ‘real life’ experience. It’s no joke! Anime has invaded the world and became a growing fad and trend like some sort of an occult. All hail the maids and gothic lolitas!

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