Tesagure! Bukatsumono

October 13, 2019

Atarashii! Something new! NOT! For some reasons, Tesagure! Bukatsumono is supposed to be the kind of anime that I would definitely have put it on my watch list but never managed to do so. I don’t know how I missed this series that aired way back in 2013 but I guess many years later my random search on the internet over what potential ‘past’ animes to watch led me to stumble upon this. The plot is just about a group of girls talking about the common and generic tropes of clubs and giving their new ideas about it. Yeah… Sounds boring… Maybe that’s why I skipped it… But since here I am now, perhaps those new ideas might sound interesting and funny.

Episode 1
Yua Suzuki, Hina Satou and Aoi Takahashi are trying to recruit members for their club. They contemplate of letting a normal boy join to turn into some harem but by doing so means they can’t do girly things anymore and it will be awkward. Hence they snag Koharu Tanaka to join. She didn’t even know how the heck she ended up joining either. She is still unsure to join this one as it was her goal to join her club but after seeing so many presentations, all of them were boring so she isn’t sure anymore. The rest explain this club is for her and is different than the rest. They don’t have anything in particular to do so they think of the things they want to do via trial and error. Hence they are like groping to do things and testing to see if they are interesting. Thus tesagure bukatsubu literally meaning a groping club. Now that Koharu is convinced to stay, they brainstorm their first activity. They think up the first things that come to mind about baseball. All the cliché stuffs like how the main characters act and look as well as how such typical baseball tournament stories go. Then they come up with new rules for a new baseball club. That rule is flexibility. So it’s like anything goes? From what they should do after winning and their dress to the cheerleaders, speak your mind, girls. Then they experiment with blind baseball by calling clones of Mobuko Sonota to join in as the opposing team. The players are blindfolded but are guided by directions by their teammates who aren’t playing. Just like that traditional blindfolded watermelon splitting. Safe to say, they fail badly. Oops, did they break a window? Blaming bad instructions, huh?

Episode 2
The girls visit Koharu’s class to find out where she sits. Since she sits in front and in the middle, they thought she was supposed to be the main character because main characters always sits next to the window! Koharu worries when they mention they can read her thoughts. In the clubroom, Koharu discovers the club isn’t official. They submit every year but it gets rejected. But of course. So they’re operating illegally? Anyway, just like last episode, they brainstorm about football. All the clichés and stereotypes of football in anime and manga. Then they come up with new rules for the sport that includes carrying the goalpost to the ball and digging holes?! It’s time to experiment with it so they call Mobuko to help out. It is revealed that they are all sisters! Must be one horny dad to f*ck his mom and give birth to sextuplets for 3 consecutive years!!! Anyway, today’s football rule is that when you receive the ball, you must recite a haiku. Not sure if the poem isn’t any good you can get a yellow card by the referee?! And even if the goalkeeper catches the ball but a bad haiku means it is considered a goal?! Weird. Thankfully real football doesn’t follow this.

Episode 3
Koharu tries to pinpoint the typical and cliché anime girls in their school like twins with opposite personalities and the rich girl. However the rest point out they are totally not and just normal people. But I guess Mobuko’s the exception… This time the club in discussion is shogi. They dispense their views on the game before imposing the usual new rules. They include the pieces acting as a wish plate, moving a piece with a non-dominant hand and the pieces themselves having some sort of drama like the generals on both sides are actually going out with each other! As they prepare for the experiment, Koharu learns that despite not being an official club, thanks to Yua being in many other clubs, she has influence and thus their club has a clubroom. This means Yua has also got some clubs to create a giant shogi board and pieces. The twist of this game is that Twister rules are incorporated. Yeah, it’s damn hard to play with your ass blocking that space! Weird positions! You lose if you can’t maintain your position. Truly, this game isn’t for the weak!

Episode 4
When Koharu learns that Yua is also the student council vice president, she starts worried about her school life since her perception on them as well as the disciplinary committee is strict people. Her friends dispel that misconception and that they are actually nice people. Koharu feels relieved and is amazed to see them having colourful hairstyles like main characters. Later Koharu worries that because their club is only all girls, people might get the wrong impression. The rest then start to tease her that they may just be yuri and start getting yuri on her! Don’t get your hopes up on a foursome… Next they discuss about the tea club. Like before, their views on what they think the club is like before making their own rules such as putting in milk and bowls that look like pantsu! Then the rest seem to pester Yua to do something about the tea club but she jokingly denies and doesn’t want to do it. Eventually she does a weird cha-cha dance?

Episode 5
This is inevitable. The topic about boobs! Or at least their uniforms make it so their boobs are protruding. This is more obvious to those with big busts like Hina so for those washboards like Aoi, better keep praying harder. So which club will be today’s victim? The cycling club. Their usual views on it like their uniform and the typical and cliché cycling tournament. And the new rules they come up with include having to bang their thighs with each other like butt sumo (WTF is this gay piece of sh*t?!) and cycling with heavy weights attached to their bikes. Aoi somewhat ‘wins’ as the best rule since she makes a pun of coins dropping and bicycle (both pronounced as ‘chari’).

Episode 6
We jump straight into the girls talking about the wind instrument club. Lots of clichés about characters in this club like siblings, harems, ex-girlfriends, indirect kissing, superhero suits and rich loli magical girls?! Are they serious?! And those are all their ideas and not new rules yet? So the new rules they come up include blowing while having hay fever, only waving sticks, playing inside a pool (a pun for suisou as both wind instruments and water tank sound the same) and spooning while playing the instrument. Everyone later tries blowing a wind instrument and as expected, they all suck. If it was a real weapon, it could really kill…

Episode 7
The cafeteria is crowded and the queue is long because shortage of workers and the new cafeteria lady is unsure of the pricing. Wow. Aoi telling her off what the real prices are? In the clubroom, the girls discuss about the newspaper club. All its cliché perceptions of its characters to the girl who has a crush on the protagonist and the guy who always has the latest scoop. Of course the moral dilemma of exposing the truth. Eventually it is all just a dream of the protagonist’s father? New rules for the club include reporters need to get special training to post comments, using more emoji and having adult content. Later the girls experiment with karuta. The twist is that they must quickly pick out an embarrassing picture of them taken secretly. Is it me or are there a lot of secret embarrassing Koharu pictures? Because of that, she couldn’t snatch a single photo and Aoi is the winner with the most.

Episode 8
Maid cafes are a staple in school cultural festival. With so many around, they realize they all come from the same chain. Is this a franchise? The girls talk about the tennis club. The weird scoring system and the strange ways they use the racquet. They also talk about the clichés of tennis clubs in anime like how everyone looks like an adult and that’s why the protagonist looks like a kid with hidden talents and all. As for the new rules, they include having a sudden death match with only a single point scored, wearing embarrassing and used panties while playing and putting vinegar on their hands as sterilization (a word pun based on tennis) while those on the bench make sushi.

Episode 9
The theatre club isn’t spared. Their perceptions on it include the club having national tournaments like sports clubs and extra actors for minor parts get weird credited nicknames. Clichés in anime include the protagonist memorizing all her lines after reading the script once and there is a direct correlation in her improving acting skill as well as her real life romance. New rules for the club include everyone having to repeat their lines twice hence making the play twice as long, the audience never sympathizing with the heroine and all actors continue to put up and act to hide their real personalities even during rehearsals. Yua has lots more on her list but it’s too dangerous and the rest just vetoed her ideas. Later they try acting out on stage. Wow. So dramatic. So funny. So lame… No wonder Koharu feels embarrassed at the end of the play.

Episode 10
The cliché moment of a couple always getting stuck in the gym storeroom after the last person locks it. Hence that is why when Yua and co pass by, it is a rule that the next person who passes by must unlock it. True enough, a couple comes out thanking them. In the clubroom, the girls discuss about idioms that contain eyes and mouth. Aoi seems to be particularly unimpressed that eye idioms have more positive connotation that the mouth idioms. So they substitute both parts to make new idioms and then make a hero story that is based on mouth idioms. With everyone getting really creative with the mouth idioms, it leaves poor Koharu so confused because the hero sounds and acts like a typical villain! And Aoi doesn’t even care anymore. Before we forget today’s episode we haven’t talk about a club yet, this time they talk about themselves which is basically the slice of life club. No need further introductions so let’s get down to the new rules. When Yua suggests she is God, Koharu misinterprets that she has died! Certainly not the punchline or answer everyone was expecting! I guess that’s enough for today. Later they experiment with scavenger hunt shiritori. They are to bring items to the hall. Yeah, they really bring in weird items including strangers. Koharu so confused…

Episode 11
The girls tease Koharu aloud that she might wear panties with holes. Oh my. Did that guy hear it? Yua even goes over to tell him all about it but it seems he didn’t catch all that. That’s because the cliché of main character guys will never know girls’ secret! To further prove it, they tell him more of Koharu’s embarrassing stuffs and he still doesn’t get it. But Koharu still embarrassed… For this special edition, Mobuko joins the club as a guest. This time they talk about the astronomy club. So mysterious that they don’t even know where it is located. New rules include lovers must address each other as Hikoboshi and Orihime and everyone must make their appearance with a comet trail. I guess the club is so mysterious and nothing to talk about that they have time to talk about another club: Cheerleading club. Tight shoelaces, hairstyles and leaving pom pom strands all over. New rules include doing cheerleading in the most unlikely of places like funerals and courtrooms, using pom poms as powder for armpits and wearing loose panties that might fly all over during their cheerleading. I’m sure that will earn them lots of points! The audience will definitely cheer harder!

Episode 12
With Yua and Hina graduating, Koharu notes it will be just the 2 of them. But Aoi notes this club will always have 4 people. When the seniors return, they pack their stuffs and Koharu stumbles into an album containing application forms with weird names. It seems those are failed applications for their club and were always rejected because they couldn’t decide what the club is supposed to be. Then they ask if Koharu has found a club she wanted to join. Well, despite finding it hard to keep up with them, she somewhat finds it fun. Koharu learns that the club’s only rule is to go through trial and member to figure out what the new members want to do. Hence that is why they talk about creating new rules for clubs. Yua hands over the presidency to Aoi while Hina hands over her vice presidency to Koharu. However Koharu cannot accept all this. After hearing all that, there is no way she can be the vice president of this crazy club. This club will not do without Yua and Hina. She begs them not to graduate. This heart breaking scene only reminds them about themselves as they too did this to their graduating seniors. Damn, I thought this would be comedy but now it’s turned into a tearjerker after this big emotional group hug. Hence Yua suggests creating new rules for this tesagure club that includes everyone must laugh at the president’s proposal and everyone acting like Koharu. They note that even though it is sad not to have Koharu around, they prefer to have the one and only Koharu instead of multiple clones. And so Yua and Hina graduate. Aoi and Koharu’s first role is to fill up the application form for the club. Why not call it tesagure club? That’s something new that nobody has thought about.

Encore

Not enough tesagure for you? Don’t despair. Here’s the second season with more ideas coming your way!

Episode 1
We hear Koharu narrate the meaning of her name and the reason why she wanted to join a club. It’s basically a summary of the first season as she also introduces her other club members and their personalities as well as highlighting some of the things they talk then. Now it is time for Yua and Hina to hand over their presidency and vice presidency respectively to Aoi and Koharu. Some last words and also the logic behind the creation of this club was always to find something and to focus on who the members spent time with rather than how they spent their time. Just like history repeating itself, Koharu doesn’t want to graduate and everybody starts crying in a big group hug. OMG. I thought this was supposed to be a comedy and not a tearjerker!!! Again! During recruitment day, Aoi is slacking as Koharu tries to wake her up and warn her other clubs might steal their potential members. And then Aoi starts ranting about the clichés in manga that characters don’t age and that they should follow this trope. What does this mean? It means they’re bringing back Yua and Hina to the club! I guess that’s why they also called this season ‘Encore’.

Episode 2
Since they’re really going down with this repeat route, they talk about the discrepancies and inconsistencies from various sources and media. Hence the most common ‘acceptable’ excuse is of course parallel world! Also, because there were requests for less animation for this episode, hence our girls will be less animated and having less movements. Enjoy your lame slideshow. The girls talk about the stereotypes of the basketball club before moving on to their new rules that include the referee blowing his whistle randomly and for weird reasons as well as everyone wearing loose trousers and the game turns into dodgeball when some music is played.

Episode 3
They’re going to do less animation for this episode too! Yeah, it’s alright as long as they can make it through. All though there will be slightly more animation this time, you will notice how they used recycled scenes from past episodes and sometimes the art gets very sketchy and no colour. Anyway, they talk about the judo club. Yeah, the club with smelly men. Not sure how they go about making puns of names before going on to make new rules like they have to put their full name on the uniform, giving cute names to all the painful moves and wearing nipple stickers the same colour as the belt. Later they experiment by making judo clothes that are hard to grab. One is too slippery because it is made of eel! And shocking too! Another is made of tissue paper! It’s breaking up! Too bad we can’t see any of this because remember, less animation. We’re stuck outside the gym and relying on our power of imagination!

Episode 4
Arts club. Yeah. Those talented nerds. They discuss the different types of people in arts club which we might find cliché and typical in anime and manga. As they move on to the new rules, because Hina makes some incomprehensible pun, the rest find it really hard to understand. WTF, butt drawing? It took a while for her to explain and this only worsens the pun, making Hina ‘mad’. I guess it took up too much time so let’s go over to the experiment. They will be playing shiritori but using art. Uh huh. They must guess what that drawing is and draw their answer. Unfortunately their drawings are so freaking abstract that you will never be able to guess! Yeah, maybe they are just bad artists. Koharu is the only art whom they are able to guess because she is simple. After double checking the real answers, it seems by coincidence that all their artworks are coincidentally shiritori related! So this is real art? So when it is Koharu’s turn, her simple art is guessable but unfortunately she lost. Shinkansen…

Episode 5
Volleyball club. A bunch of masochists, right? After mentioning the few types of typical volleyball characters, they move on to the new rules such as the players wearing ballet dancers’ uniform, allowing players to pick up the ball that has touched the ground for 3 seconds and using human heads as the ball. WTF?! For the experiment, the volleyball game they play has a twist. There are building blocks of cities on each side of the court. They must return the ball while defending their city! If the buildings get destroyed, they lose points! Safe to say, Koharu’s side decimated their own city with all the reckless moves. And if they’re too careful, they’re too slow to return the ball. And Mobuko’s side is like having extreme dexterity and flexibility. None of their buildings were demolished! I know who to call to protect my city when a kaiju appears.

Episode 6
Broadcasting club. Stereotypes about the people in the club. They even take the chance to blatantly promote their soundtrack. When they talk about the different types of main characters in such club and the stammering they usually have, Hina acts them all out. For the new rules, looks like they only have time to hear Koharu’s idea of everyone speaking with squeaky voice after inhaling helium gas. That’s because everyone is so amused with Koharu’s ‘ability’ to imitate her helium gas voice that they want her to continue imitating it. Is this going to be her regular character from now on? Don’t think so.

Episode 7
Koharu thinks that this school is safe because of the surveillance cameras around. Until the rest points out its special features of shooting white beams. They demonstrate by flipping Koharu’s skirt, here’s your white beam censor! Damn, the girls must really feel so safe! Except Koharu. She gets violated as the rest keeps flipping her skirt. Hey, at least security is working. What do you think about the rugby club? Burly idiots! They discuss the absurd rules since they are unfamiliar with it. Also a gender bender rugby club filled with stereotypic cliché girls. New rules for the club include when a tackle is made, a hug must be given. Hence name change to hugby!!! Then they go on talking about balls and the players being gay…

Episode 8
Not a club this time. They talk about the cultural festival and its clichés. So when they talk about its new rules, the only idea came about is locusts descending on the festival. Because the rest of the time they are talking what locusts and other types of bugs are. Just keep the place clean! During the festival, because coincidentally all the members of the light music club is out, our girls have to substitute them. Do they even know how to play instruments? Well, they start talking jokes and puns, turning this concert into a stand-up comedy show. Hey, as long everyone is laughing. They end this with a song. But because they can’t play the instruments, they play the CD while pretending to mash their instruments. I guess the fun part is just singing the lyrics. So it’s like an idol concert? But holding instruments? And Aoi is like when she lost her drumsticks, she just starts banging the cymbals around like a monkey. Having fun, aren’t we?

Episode 9
Koharu wants to buy a birthday gift for a friend but doesn’t know much about her. Hence the rest suggests asking the best friend of the main character. Because he knows everything! The girls talk about the quiz club. Yeah, why to smart people always wear glasses? The interesting part comes from them creating a romantic comedy story in which all questions are given several multiple choice answers. So how will the story end? A) Good ending; B) Bad ending; C) All this is just a dream; D) Series cancelled! As for the new rules, Yua suggests everyone has to answer in a very shy and embarrassed way. Then she tries to bait Hina into saying some embarrassing words but that girl has some wisecrack answers and a tough nut to crack.

Episode 10
Starting on a different note, the girls try to answer Yua’s riddles but most of them end up as puns. This leads to the origin of the riddles especially that famous sphinx one. You know, the creature that changes the number of legs throughout the day and the answer is man. Because of the ambiguous choice of words, the reason why many don’t get the right answer. Hence they reword it in a simpler and more understandable way that makes the answer way easier to guess. However the question and task itself becomes boring. I guess they chatted too much on this and realize they haven’t talk about any clubs yet. Not really a club this time as they talk about the sports festival and immediately comes up with new rules. One of them being items must be very hard to obtain. Because Koharu gave degenerate answers, the rest believes she has been broken since joining this club and this means she’ll do fine when a new person joins the club! For the experiment, Yua combines riddles with sports day. When she asks a riddle, they’re supposed to pick an answer from several sketches. All wrong! I guess it is harder than it seems.

Episode 11
Are school teachers always this young? Only in anime! And why are they always single and love getting drunk? They go directly ask one and although she confirms all that, she lets in another secret: She is a lesbian! Oh Koharu, you mean to look so shock? With Mobuko and her sisters joining in this session, they talk about the kendo club. It leads to them giving them different nicknames and the only new rule is to fight with bamboo swords soaked in boiling water. Then they discuss about the rakugo club in which instead of having a storyteller play all characters, each character is played by a different person. Also, instead of the story finishing in one telling, spread it out into 12 different stories!

Episode 12
We go back to a year before when the club was headed by Mio. With Yua and Hina, they were recruiting members. Mio spotted Aoi sitting alone and invited her to join but Aoi will not join any clubs whatsoever as she views them as stupid. She thinks all those relationships between club members are fake. Just people pretending to be friends. But of course, Mio dragged her to join the club. So Mio cut her a deal that they will find something to do in the club that isn’t stupid and in turn Aoi agreed to join and try out for a year. Man, that’s a long time. But it got off on a bad start as Aoi realizes the club’s name sounds really stupid… But as we can see, Aoi slowly joins the ‘stupid’ conversation like girls in her class being cliché and stereotypical (for instance, girls being fat) and making new rules for the amusement park. Eventually Mio graduates and she hands over the leadership to Yua. As for Aoi, she didn’t care if the club was stupid or not. Thinking if something is stupid or not seemed stupid now. Is she saying she has also become stupid? Just kidding. But Mio’s parting philosophical ways about freedom and acceptance has everyone crying hard. Especially Aoi. She realizes this is the first place who accepted her for who she is. Because if you accept everyone as they are, they will learn to accept you for who you are! So deep! OMG. I thought this was supposed to be a comedy and not a tearjerker!!! Yet again!!! Aoi doesn’t want Mio to graduate but alas she leaves her in the capable hands of Yua and Hina. It will be their turn to create a place for someone else. In present time, our girls are now doing another recruitment drive. Koharu is still nervous and panicky but Aoi, she’s a cool cat. Just do whatever you want!

Purupurun Sharumu To Asobu

Well, technically they didn’t do a third season but this is still a third season if you consider this spinoff as one. And what better way than to add more characters and to double the running time equivalent to your standard anime.

Episode 1
Aoi and Koharu are trying to recruit new members. Because Aoi’s dream is to do a collaboration anime, hence they pull back Yua and Hina for another season! Thanks to the publisher having bigger budget and their airtime has increased, they think they can get away by calling this a spinoff. After all, in the end everything will be just a dream, right?! So folks, meet our Apprentice Goddesses of Purupurun Charm. Their anime hasn’t been adapted yet but their casts have already been chosen. So this is also part of a collaboration to make Charm achieve their goal to become an anime? So they start things off by trying to plan what to do for each episode. It is going to be tough since the Charm side have different schedules, considering their seiyuus are popular. After briefly introducing themselves, they then discuss about how to talk to each other. Hence it turns out with everyone suggesting Koharu talk politely to everybody from now on. Must she change her character? They also discuss what kind of show Charm should do. So it’s like going to copy tesagure style? After all, remember they can just brush it off as a dream. So to start off the next segment by falling asleep so they can start Charm’s segment. This is a dream, right? And here it is, Purupurun Charm, 5 girls with elemental powers who bring harmony to the universe that includes parallel worlds existing within the same dimension. But we see Rin Arisugawa narrating her normal high school life with friends, Hiina Usami and Kanon Izayoi. Yui Enjouji is their senior and she loves to tease Kanon because of her short stature. Joining in their discussion is Tomomi Okonogi, a half Russian who arrives in a tank. So what they discuss about? Female type battle robots! Even having new rules for them like being flirted via wall slam and taking custody of their kids. Hiina loves walls slam and has Rin act it out with her? Then it is back to the original tesagure quartet as they think what else to do with this collaboration. So they think of a new one frame slice of life manga. With an empty speech bubble, they make adlib speeches for it but mostly talk about boobs.

Episode 2
Our tesagure girls talk with their Charm counterparts about their debut. They give their mix comments about this unique yet lazy adlib system. In order to give everyone a proper introduction and since a normal highlight episode would be just boring, they suggest doing it via musical style. But first with start off with our Charm girls discussing various topics like the kind of goddess they would like to become and the things they would like to do now. Then they get a cue to talk about the gymnastics club. A few awkward moments as they try to discuss new rules for it. Yeah, probably they’re beginners so we let them off the hook. But it gets awkward as Rin keeps mistaking Hiina for Tomomi so much so she has to be reminded before she does it again. Now we return to the tesagure girls. New viewers, don’t worry if you don’t know what the show is all about as it is done in a musical fashion! However the scenes and dialogues aren’t new. What they do is take an excerpt from a previous episode, the girls read their lines by singing it in a strange musical fashion. From tennis club to newspaper club to rugby club and arts club, now do you understand what this anime is all about? And if you want to sing along with them, just in case the songs are all sung in E Major. So just to let you know, okay?

Episode 3
The girls talk how this third collaboration is most important as the Charm side relay their thoughts on the first 2. It is also a blatant chance by the tesagure girls to promote and sell this anime’s DVDs. The Charm girls discuss about each other’s strong points before discussing new ideas for a job interview. This leads to them acting out a reverse pressure job interview in which the interviewee puts back the pressure by counter questioning the interviewer. They even try it out with Kanon and Hiina being quite the pro. Back to our tesagure girls, this time they talk about the table tennis club. Since a lot of rules overlap with the tennis club, hence it is perfect for this spinoff. Today’s discussion is slightly different as they borrow the table tennis’ table and they discuss things while they play. But they end up laughing most of the time and can’t play well. Then they just sit down and talk about the new rules for the club that includes using ping pong balls as bubbles in a public bath and the net caught a boar or tuna. Even more interesting, Playboy bunny girls use their stockings as net and keep the ball warm in their cleavage! Is this some sort of special themed brothel?

Episode 4
The girls are now thinking of doing a song collaboration and their own character songs. The Charm girls talk about Hina’s new Smartphone followed by new things in their life. This irks Kanon since Yui and Tomomi are bragging about their new growth in boobs and height respectively. Later when Yui can’t attend the meeting, Yua sits in for her as they talk about new things for a villa. Ideas include having 30 toilets, the walls and roof are see-through and everybody who lives there are naked. Back to the tesagure girls, because the school is going to have a new school song and hence encouraging students to submit lyrics, first they talk about ideas for a new school song like deer gathering when you start singing and the teacher got so into playing the music that he would end up smashing the instrument. We then hear how the school song plays out before the quartet list down words they want to say and fit into it as lyrics. It’s like they want to incorporate everything so yeah, the song’s lyrics turn out to weird. Very weird. From hot guys running around in this paradise to survival of the fittest and a strange confession scene. Sure you girls aren’t writing lyrics for some dramatic pop music? Yeah, nobody wants to be caught dead singing this during the opening ceremony!

Episode 5
With last week’s Yui sitting in, they girls now think of shuffling themselves for this adlib collaboration. But we start off with the Charm girls first. Rin is having problems studying so the rest chip in to try and help her to study. But as expected, Rin can’t focus as she wants something sweet and eventually falls asleep. I don’t think dreaming is going to help her do her homework. Later, Mio and Hina replace Yui and Tomomi as they discuss about new field trips. Mio has trouble reading kanji so not so sure about the hypnotic field trip she is talking about. Then there’s also stores that sell souvenirs run by teachers so they can pocket the extra income and students are divided into some kind of order for the field trip. Next, the tesagure girls visit the haunted house. Surprisingly, it is Aoi who is very scared and clinging on to Hina for dear life while the rest are like laughing their asses off over the great props and actors. Yeah, really weird and funny. Back at the clubroom, they are joined by Yua and Mobuko as they discuss new ideas for a haunted house that includes a haunted house like a giant maze, ghosts announcing beforehand that they’ll pop up to scare you and a hot male ghost who escorts you all the way. Sorry, no hot girl ghost if you’re a guy. You still get a hot male ghost escort.

Episode 6
With the success of last week’s shuffling, Yua wants the shuffling to continue in this episode. To add to the fun, they’re going to add collaborative character songs. But first, we see Rin having a toothache. With Hiina giving advice on how to deal with it, I guess Yui eating her sweets on behalf isn’t going to do any good. They talk about other oral hygiene care before Yua and Aoi replace Tomomi and Kanon to discuss new dentist rules that include the dentist grinding away your budget, the dentist says “Tooth” in every sentence, the drill used is of the multiplication kind and a female dentist having large boobs in your face and hence den-tits. The tesagure girls ride the Ferris Wheel at the amusement park. Hina has fear of heights and thinks this is unsafe. You mean the roller coaster is safer because it has seatbelts? As their carriage reach the top, it is clear that Hina is not feeling too well. The wind is blowing hard and the other girls take this chance to tease her like hell like rubbing her thighs since she is being a quiet girl. Then Yua tries to pretend to be her boyfriend and calm her but it just made it worse. Kanon and Tomomi join the tesagure girls to discuss about new Ferris Wheel ideas. This includes each carriage is equipped with amazing equipment like a shelter, saying gondola many times fast turns it into a dragon (it’s a pun, try it), you can’t ride it without being introduced or referred by someone and riding to the highest point allows one to see all hidden things going on that one is not able to see normally like the staff rooms.

Episode 7
For the first time, all of the girls are here at the same time to record a collaboration. Since they can’t do a swimsuit fanservice, Hina suggests some werewolf kind of fanservice. You know, some yuri girl turns into a werewolf AKA Yuriwolf to terrorize the other girls in the dorm? Not one but 2 Yuriwolves! In this Danganronpa style trial, we see all the girls (minus Tomomi) having a trial and discussion to pick out the Yuriwolf. Based on initial votes, the suspicions fall on Kanon. As they deliberate, we hear them all saying they love men or something like that. It sounds like everyone is picking on Mobuko as she emotionally tries to rebuke all their accusations. Once the trial is over, the one with the highest vote is ejected from the trial. That person is Kanon! One night passes and it seems the Yuriwolf’s victim is Mobuko. Hence the next day’s trial resumes with Koharu now being a suspect. More deliberation and accusations. Yeah, keep asserting you like men… Because of that, everybody gangs up and even voices out to vote out Koharu! So it is no surprising she gets ejected from the trial. Now, if both Kanon and Koharu were the Yuriwolves, there would be no more victims and the game won. However when night falls, Yui has become a victim. Hence the trial resumes and now the suspicions fall on Yua.

Episode 8
The trial continues with more deliberation. This time, there seems to be an argument over Aoi and Hiina being the fortune teller. And both are trying to make their case that they are the genuine fortune teller since they did some readings on the fortunes of other girls. When the votes are in, Aoi and Hiina have the same number so both are given a little more time to speak and make their case. In the end, it is Hiina is voted out. If Hiina was the Yuriwolf, the game would end and the girls win. But that night it is Hina who gets taken out by the Yuriwolf. Therefore the trial continues with Rin now being suspected. Obviously we see Yua and Aoi ganging up on her and even voicing out they’ll vote her out. And yes, Rin is booted out. With Yua and Aoi left, it is announced that the Yuriwolf team wins! The truth is revealed: The Yuriwolves are Aoi and Koharu! The fortune teller is Hiina. The girls discuss and go over things and we see that Aoi is a pretty smart and scheming girl, befitting her Yuriwolf role. From what I understand, she eliminates all the smart ones first and leaves the dumb ones in the end! Is that insulting to Yua and Rin?! It’s one reason why she took out Hina so that Yua can somewhat side with her. Yeah, some club. As for when Koharu was eliminated (it is said she was unanimously voted out), why did Aoi not cover for her? Nah, she was useless and never needed her at all! Damn she’s scary and badass! With some time left in this episode, it is revealed this Yuriwolf version we just saw is the second one. There was an earlier and first version hence we are shown a digest version of it. It’s a bit crude and less refined than the second one we see. Not sure who the Yuriwolves are since they teased the extra materials might be shown on BDs. But I theorize since Aoi was taken out early in the game, maybe that’s why she sounded so scheming in the latter.

Episode 9
Due to the success of the Yuriwolf episode, this time they’re going to take it easy. So, back to normal chatting? They talk about the movie they saw last night and this leads to Kanon revealing she has never been to the cinema as she doesn’t want others interrupting her show and Tomomi aiming to go watch movies alone and pick a time where nobody is around. So the Charm girls decide to go watch a movie together. Hiina is trying to hold back her tears but to her surprise it is Tomomi who started crying. The rest? They fell asleep! Yua and Koharu replace Tomomi and Rin as they give new ideas for movies like screening 2 movies side by side, soaked chairs and chairs that become toilet seats if you need to answer the call of nature. The tesagure girls are at the zoo. They are amused at a pair of meerkats interacting one another. Are they making out?! Keep snapping those cute little critters till your folder is full of meerkat photos! Only Aoi and Tomomi are present at today’s discussion as they talk about ideas for a new zoo like animals having boring names and the zookeeper keeps throwing dung. Aoi being Aoi seems to make Tomomi laugh a lot as well as confusing her so Aoi admits she is somewhat shallow and superficial and her words don’t really have deep meaning. Are we supposed to be amazed?

Episode 10
The beauty salon cut Kanon’s bangs too short and so she’s mad and will do what it takes to shut it down! Calm down. The rest try to give words of encouragement but they said too much and eventually it just depresses her. Yua and Hina sit in for Kanon and Hiina to discuss new rules for a beauty salon that include a slot machine that determines your hairstyle, the hairdresser has a short temper, the hair iron is a sandwich making machine and everyone is naked while giving shampoo. The tesagure girls visit a farm. Everyone is so admiring the cute chicks until it starts pooping on their hands. Still cute, though. Then they visit the horse who coincidentally has the same name as Aoi. Yeah, some teasing on which Aoi they’re calling. And Hina ‘bullying’ the horse by trolling it and not giving its food. Kanon and Hiina join the tesagure girls to discuss new rules for a zoo. But this format will be different and will be played out via cards and haiku. The first 2 lines are determined by picking out a card. Then each of them will finish off the 3rd line with their card in hand. Hilarity ensues. So we have horse riding, some Indian elephant, a zookeeper and some dirty joke summary? Probably sometimes the meaning is so random that they find it funny.

Episode 11
With nobody’s schedule lining up this week, Yua notes that everyone’s lines were recorded separately buy edited together. Hence they think of a new dubbing collaboration. One whereby they show old footage but add new voice recordings. But it won’t just be any normal voice recordings. They will be given a theme or separated into categories and those who fall into that will do the voice over in that particular way. For example, those with light coloured hair will talk like a heavy metal shouting while those with dark hair talk like an old woman without dentures. Hence the entire episode despite having recycled footages, the way the tesagure and Charm girls narrate their lines in different modes is refreshing and of course funny to hear. In the end, the last recording has them do the style they like the most that they have done.

Episode 12
Mio hosts this first (and last) Tesagure Grand Prix, the girls will be divided into groups and face off in an individual comic dialogue contest. The winner of each block will advance to the finals and Mio will also pick 2 other losers to join in the finals in which the ultimate winner will receive money as well as something to commemorate her as the main character of the series. In the first block we have Rin, Yua, Yui and Koharu. Tomomi is absent. The topic is to mention the 8th mystery of the school that barely missed the cut to become part of the 7 legendary mysteries of the school. After a few weird ideas, the winner is Koharu. Surprise?! In the second block, we have Aoi, Hiina, Mobuko and Kanon. Surprisingly, Hina is unable to attend because she is sick. Yeah, Aoi already calling her out for faking her illness (note, she isn’t). The theme is the cafeteria lady looking down on you because of some situation. But this theme is so boring that even Aoi calls for the 8th mystery one. I suppose she wants to get the poop jokes off her chest… The winner of this block goes to Hiina. Surprise?! Aoi calls it rigged until Mio chooses her as one of the losers to advance. Not rigged now, huh? Also somehow Tomomi is also picked. In this final face off, they hear a song sample in which they must fill in the remaining lyrics. In the end, the winner goes to… Koharu! Surprise! My opinion is that she could have sealed the win by breaking the fourth wall with a song that this series is about to end. A fitting ending theme for an ending theme? So the final scene shows Koharu waking up in a classroom and noting she is still the new girl after all this time. Is that how she becomes the main character?

Trash Talking At Its Finest
So… Uhm… Did they miss out discussing about the archery club? What about the hockey club? Not even the chess club, huh? Well then… So… Uhm… That’s it? No more new ideas outside the school clubs too, huh? I guess there is a limit to everything then. That’s why they didn’t talk about politics and give new ideas for it. Heh. Don’t want to earn the bad side of those people in power, huh? Yeah, also we don’t want current culture politics permeating and seeping into our animes!

It is with mixed feelings if I should say I enjoyed the series. First of all, there is obviously no plot so everything hinges on the dialogue on the characters. And you know me, after years and years of watching Japanese anime, I’m still having trouble with my Japanese vocabulary. Yeah, this is even watching it with subtitles. I doubt there would be a dub version of this because it would really be a pain in the ass as many of the conversations would be lost in translation. Not that I would even think of watching a dub. But anyway, what I am trying to say is that even with subtitles, I am still struggling to understand what the girls are trying to say. Meaning, I don’t really get what they mean. Sure, some are funny and made me laugh but at other times I am just left scratching my head to just comprehend what it means.

As you would have known, this series is totally adlib. There is no particular script to follow as we hear the seiyuus talk to their heart’s content on whatever the theme and topic of the episode was. But sometimes there are some parts which I do feel like it sounded like as though it is scripted. I could be entirely wrong and even so, this proves that the seiyuus are just as talented in making it sound natural and so while my puny ears and brain can’t seem to pick up and tell the difference between natural adlibbing and scripted. Not sure if the adlibbing talent is perfected but the same anime studio went on to produce Himote House back in 2018. That was also another anime that was based on adlibbing rather than from a script.

As for the ideas that they discuss in each episode, sometimes I feel that they aren’t really ideas. How should I put this? The new ideas are just supplementary to what is already existing. For instance an example of my own, waiters serving customers should now all tell jokes. Sure, that itself is an idea but it is not like it is to improve customer service or the waiting profession. So how is this an idea for a new waiter/waitress of a restaurant? See what I mean? Of course in the end, these are all just jokes and not meant to be taken seriously. But what I am trying to say is that they are more trash talking than brainstorming. Whatever pops up in their mind, they just say it. Anything goes. While some are funny, like I have said, some are mind boggling and this is even true because sometimes this new idea leaves the other girls stumped and the one who present the idea has to somewhat explain it further so the rest could understand. So it’s not like the ideas is new, it is just that they are ridiculous and absurd, hence no sane person would really think about it unless they want to come up with some twisted joke.

Aside from talking about culture clubs and sports, the spinoff tries to bring something new and discuss other things outside of school (I wonder if the visit to the haunted house, amusement park and zoo are also adlib). While this is refreshing, I still find the Yuriwolf game to be the most interesting and exciting of all the other ‘boring’ discussions. The only problem was yet again, my inability to understand some of the things that they discussed. I was trying to piece together what they’re saying and never really got a chance to even make a guess who the Yuriwolves were. I know I could have paused and think but nah, that might ruin the experience. WTF did I just say… Even though they tried their best to expand and prolong it to 2 episodes, the game mechanics I felt could have been better explained but I guess things have to move along quick because if given time, thinking and planning would have made the outcome very different and may not be exciting anymore.

Can’t say anything much about the characters. Since it’s the ideas that we’re talking about, the characters aren’t really given much of a prominence. Sure, some of them have their personalities but it is nothing major nor would it influence anything. Maybe except the ideas that they throw out. For example, Yua is the perverted one while Hina is the calm and intellectual one. Then you have Aoi who started off as one who has the penchant of making puns in every ideas she said but then she started turning into some kooky member. Like as though she is a few steps away from being an official mental asylum patient. Then there is Koharu who is the naïve and gullible one but she could be even more perverted than Yua especially it is no secret that she likes hot good looking men and doesn’t even hide this perversion of hers. Looks like she is already at home and blended in well with the club.

Sad to say for the Charm girls, I guess this series didn’t help increase their popularity so their own anime never really took off. Hah. What a big joke then. Their debut ended before they could even start. They might be new characters making their first appearance in the spinoff but sadly I don’t know much about their personality at all compared to the tesagure girls. Is Rin supposed to be the dumb one? The one who also eats a lot? Kanon definitely looks like the oujo-sama type while Hiina the intellectual type. Because you know, glasses. Can’t put my finger on Tomomi except that she is half Russian and Yui as the bisexual personality is what gets stuck in my mind. Oddly, during the Charm girls’ discussion, the tesagure members can be seen as eavesdropping and commenting on their talk outside the building. A reminder that this is still a tesagure show? One thing to note on Tomomi, I’m not sure what is the deal with her character or her seiyuu as she is often missing in some, if not the important segments like the Yuriwolf and Tesagure Grand Prix. Not sure if there is any scheduling conflict but it feels like we’ve been cheated without her character around and the fun lessened. That’s why there’s always an apology recording after that. Oh well, show is over. Now you’re free to do anything else you want. Plus, the tesagure girls being the veterans in this adlib area, have more experience so they own the Charm girls any time.

Last but not least there is Mobuko and her clones, oops, I mean her sisters and sextuplets. It would have been much easier to say they are all clones because saying they are sisters and sextuplets sound so far-fetched. Not even fantasy sci-fi writers could come up with this absurdity. Anyway, Mobuko seems to be like the fringe member of the tesagure club and only pops up whenever she is needed to. Hence, the only place where she has a decent limelight is the next episode preview (which isn’t so much of a next episode preview by the way) of the spinoff. In this segment, we see various and all her various incarnations from grandma to professor to her versions of herself from the future and even a demon king all come together for who knows what. Definitely a mob of Mobukos. Yeah, maybe that’s all the screen time she can actually get so they squeeze it all into this nonsensical section here. No matter how many of you there are and from what time period, stay united, Mobuko.

Art and animation are entirely used using CGI. I won’t say it is hideous but because this isn’t some highly intense action packed series, you won’t really feel the difference here. Although Yaoyorozu produces this series, I believe it is the same Bouncy studio who later did Himote House. Yeah, the CGI quality didn’t really improve. And by making it a joke and also breaking the fourth wall, hence we somewhat accepted that the low quality animation is okay. So low that the girls are the only things that are animated. Everything else is pretty much not animated. Heck, other unimportant extra characters are just some coloured shades and even if there are those drawn properly, they aren’t animated and are just like paper cut-outs. Yeah, this is definitely new. Not sure if there is rotoscoping because like in the spinoff when the girls visit the zoo, the animals are animated in somewhat a surreal way.

Voice acting department, I guess they’re all really talented despite I don’t really recognize them all. For them to pull off the adlib parts flawlessly, I wonder if they have done a few takes before because it all sounds perfect. But I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and believe they are really talented seiyuus. The casts are Asuka Nishi as Yua (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic), Satomi Akesaka as Hina (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Karin Ogino as Aoi (Nyarin in Himote House is her only other voice acting role), Koharu Tanaka as Koharu (Momoka in Sabagebu), Kaoru Mizuhara as Mio (Misao in Lucky Star), Shiori Mikami as Rin (Krista in Shingeki No Kyojin), Mikako Komatsu as Hiina (Neko in K), Rumi Okubo as Kanon (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Natsumi Takamori as Yui (Yuzu in Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san) and Sumire Uesaka as Tomomi (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai). I wonder if Reina Ueda as Mobuko (Ayado in 3D Kanojo Real Girl) got the raw end of the stick. Sure, all her Mobuko sisters and other incarnations are voiced by her. Even the credits page ‘spammed’ her name next to all voiced characters. But then again, being the character with the least proper screen time, I guess this makes it up to show her versatile voice acting. Especially that spinoff next episode preview.

For a series that spans 3 different seasons, they sure used the same opening theme, Stand Up might be the original for the first 2 seasons sung by the quartet of the tesagure club but in the spinoff, Yappari Stand Up is pretty much the same song but just add the quintet of the Charm girls. This song is kept ‘fresh’ because each opening line is different and is just a short line of something random and nonsensical. First season’s ending theme, 12 Kagetsu by the tesagure quartet feels a bit out of place. Not saying that this slow and lovely ballad is bad because it’s not bad enough but after hearing all the nonsensical ideas, hearing them sing this song just feels a bit weird. But not as weird as the bad CGI of seeing them doing some dance in the snow!!! Second season’s ending theme is also basically the same but some change in the lyrics, Sorezore No 12 Kagetsu.

The main ending theme for the spinoff is Shikisai Crossroad by the tesagure and Charm girls. Another slow and lovely ballad that doesn’t sound too shabby. If you’re tired of the CGI animation, at least you can see the girls in overly cute chibi fashion in this ending credits animation. There are lots of special ending themes for the second and spinoff season but they only last a single episode. These character and collaboration songs reflect their characters so the song is somewhat tuned to them. I think my favourite one was the rock piece Aoi sang. The entire lyrics just went, “Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Call Me Lazy”!!!! It’s so lazy that it’s new!!! The rest felt like generic slow ballads and anime pop idol style and anime rock outfits and didn’t really attract me.

Overall, a rather okay anime for me. The crazy ideas are supposed to be the jokes and punch line that are to make you go laughing till your stomach hurts. Well, some of them. Because in some jokes you can hear the girls really laugh out loud. Unfortunately with my limited vocabulary, it really does limited my ability to understand and appreciate all that they have contributed. Yeah, sad that I don’t even understand some of the dirty sex jokes and puns they made. Maybe I should join the club and the members can brainstorm and find ways for me to improve my Japanese. Aha. I got a new idea on how to improve my vocab. Watch French or American animated cartoons dubbed in Japanese! And then my interest suddenly shifts to western animation… No way! But that is so new and atarashii, right?!

Pastel Memories

May 19, 2019

Imagine that one day, Japan suddenly stop interest to produce any otaku culture. Suddenly all anime, manga and games that we have come to love immediately cease to exist! Horror! It’s unthinkable! It’s unimaginable! It’s unconceivable! Arienai desu! Japan without their beloved culture and ‘most famous export’ is impossible! It can never happen! Can it?! Thankfully (or not), that is just the setting of Pastel Memories. Japan now a boring mundane unidentifiable generic country void of all the otaku culture. It is said because some virus erased those memories from everyone. Yeah, I’d rather be dead than living this lifeless Japan! But anyway, do not fear. Because in this anime, we still have a small group of girls still passionate about the otaku culture and they’re keeping its miniscule flame burning by ridding of the worlds that the viruses are infecting. Is this anime trying to save anime? I mean, what could go wrong with a dozen of cute girls (and an ‘ugly’ mascot) trying to save the world, right?

Episode 1
Izumi Asagi arrives late for work at her anime shop. Thank goodness it is a slow moving day? Yeah, no customers at all! It’s unthinkable how the otaku culture just suddenly died out one day and Akihabara is now a boring normal city. Together with Irina Leskova and Ayaka Sakaki, they talk about the sole customer who came in yesterday. She was looking for some Rabbit Café manga but this store only had the 2nd volume. There are total 7 volumes. I guess with so much time to spare, they try to find it in the store and found some ‘treasures’ like some air gun and yaoi manga. Minami Senju, Chimari Maiko and Nao Mejiro come in to help but they only find several duplicate copies of the 2nd and 5th volume. More reinforcements arrive, Kaoruko Nijouin, Yuina Machiya and Michi Edogawabashi. They get this idea to order from the publishers but too bad it is already out of print and not even available online. Good thing Ayaka found an old map of Akihabara and they pinpoint the remaining 6 anime stores around. So they split up to go to those stores while the rest comb the store. Too bad, more volume 2 and 5. Luckily for them, there are only 1 set left for the other volumes on the shelves and all that is left is the 1st volume. Izumi finds the final store but it is closed. I don’t think pleading outside while telling all her nostalgic memories of those times is going to do anything good. Oh wait. The owner just opened the door! But too bad. Not the volume she is looking for. Back at the shop, the girls really wonder if people’s memories of the otaku culture have disappeared. Michi vows not to let it happen. Just then, Usagi Nejire AKA Nejiusa returns with Rei Kurushima, Saori Rokugou and Komachi Satonaka. It seems they were on a mission to destroy viruses in another world but the villainess Maya keeps setting them up. With Nejiusa detecting another virus from another world, they realize it is that rabbit volume since the manga are disappearing. To prevent memories of this manga from disappearing, Izumi, Irina and Ayaka step up to save this world.

Episode 2
In this world that mimics a lot like that Gochuumon Usagi Desu Ka series, our girls are shocked to find the inhabitants here looking like eels. It must be the virus that are having an effect. In the café, they meet up with, uhm, Chino and the eel that is always on her head, Choppy. They take Choppy’s famous coffee fortune telling since it is always accurate and it seems they are going to have some water trouble. A virus is spotted and the girls give chase only for Izumi to end up herself in the water. Then they spot the big mother virus as it sets loose its baby virus to turn all normal humans into eels. And of course, Maya controlling them all. The girls get ready to fight and defeat them or else this world is doomed and hence people losing their memories of this world. Hurry, the viruses are sucking up the people’s memories into their core. Maya thought she could use some slippery eel liquid to make them lose their balance. Izumi has a great idea of sliding through it all. Time to finish it up as they destroy the mother virus’ main core and send Maya flying away in defeat, Team Rocket style. With everyone returning to normal (Choppy now a rabbit), the girls have a taste of their greatest coffee before heading back. They receive the good news that many people have replied to their message for the 1st volume and one even came to donate. Hooray! Now they have the completed volume set. Next day, the shop is filled with customers who are here to read Rabbit Café. Great publicity. And the young girl who requested it all is now delighted she gets to read the entire series.

Episode 3
The girls notice Michi with a beautiful doll. She made it herself based on the manga, Rosy Maidens (?!). However it seems none could remember how the series went about. Is it due to the virus? Because of that, Michi feels sad as she searches the store for it. There it is. But oh no! It’s disappearing. Time to head in and save that world. As Michi, Kaoruko, Yuina and Nejiusa arrive, it looks like a normal room when a suitcase flies in. Hey look. It’s, uhm, Shinku. In jerseys?! And Suigin Tou too! In jerseys?! Damn virus. And then you have Suigin Tou using machine guns, her taboo word is ‘you suck’ and they turn Super Saiyan and fight! DON’T RUIN MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!!! Michi transforms into their trademark frilly Victorian era dress to stop them. Suigin Tou then takes her away. It seems she is jealous Michi transformed into Shinku’s design and not hers. Maya and her viruses then show up for trouble. Meanwhile Kaoruko and Yuina find themselves in some TV junkyard as they hear Michi’s voice of wanting her friends to remember this series so much. After dispatching several viruses, they regain their memories and remember how they spent time loving this series. Then they go to aid Michi who is on the brink of defeat after tiring out fighting the viruses herself. Maya summons a giant mother virus to attack. The trio combine their effort and using gravity to slice it up. And of course, Team Rocket treatment again for Maya. Shinku and Suigin Tou get their trademark dresses back and they somewhat made peace with each other. When the girls return to the shop, they get this idea of using a Rosy Maidens themed cosplay to attract customers.

Episode 4
When Komachi can’t remember of that basketball manga, Saori uses her invention to sniff it out. Oh look, it’s Mini Basketball (Ro-Kyu-Bu?!). Komachi remembers a friend of hers being sad because her other friends don’t remember about this manga. It could be the work of the virus. That’s why Komachi wanted to find out more about it and read up. Yeah, she got so emotionally touched reading it. Don’t look now because the manga is disappearing! You know what to do. In this world, they see lolis being attacked by virus. Yeah, Maya jealous that lolis got too popular that men started getting interested in them, hence she can’t get married. WTF. Because for some reason violence is a no-no, Maya suggests a 3 on 3 basketball match. Yeah, she’s so kind to give them time to practice as the match is after school. Anyway we see them suck at playing the real thing. I think it’s because of their dress… So how? Here comes, uhm, Subaru! Yeah, he’ll coach them to save his lolis! He employs weird training techniques that makes you wonder if they are training for basketball. The match is here as Maya’s side consists of a giant mother virus and 2 floating hooded virus. So we see Subaru’s training isn’t all nonsense because the girls actually apply them and score! OMFG!!! This should also be a spoof of Kuroko No Basket or Buzzer Beater. Our girls are leading by a point when Maya decides to ‘cheat’. Her team lands in the final score at the final second to win. Then they see the basketball is actually a virus in disguise and this is against the rules. So what now? You wanna fight? I guess it’s back to violence. This makes it easier as the girls destroy the mother virus and send Maya away like Team Rocket. When they return, the other girls in the store have read the manga and are now overwhelmed with its story. But Komachi’s friends have a happy ending as her friends now remember the manga.

Episode 5
Irina is playing shogi after reading that manga, Shogi Ou No Oshigoto (?!). Speaking of which, that manga is starting to disappear! Time for Minami, Nao and Chimari to head into this world. In this dark gloomy world, there are monster turtles with shogi boards. Chimari panics and shoots but once the timer runs out, the turtle explodes. It seems you must make the correct shogi moves to defuse them. But they don’t know shogi! Don’t worry, here comes shogi prodigy, Mai Tsurumizu (uhm, Ai Hinatsuru?!). She relates how Maya kidnapped her master (uhm, Yaichi?) and other strong shogi masters. The only way to save him is through the shogi hall but it is filled with viruses. The girls agree to help each other out to save her master. They have to traverse the floors, each with different versions of shogi. With Mai tired, Chimari thought she could help out but fails. Mai has to save the day again. This only increases her guilt of being useless. The higher they go, the more ridiculous games they play. Uhm, chess and Chinese chess? Poker and then mahjong?! WTF?! When they reach the final floor, Maya is trying to seduce Yaichi to irk Mai. Mai must face off with the mother virus if she is going to save her master. With the shogi match dragging out, Maya plays cheat by sending virus to attack and distract Mai. Not if the others could help. With Chimari again flopping, it’s time to feel that guilt again. Until her friends reason why she was never ever a burden, the much self-confidence Chimari needs to help Mai land that checkmate move. So ‘devastating’ that it destroys the mother virus and automatically gives Maya the Team Rocket treatment. After Mai reunites with her master, the girls return and Chimari is now a better shogi player than Irina. Yeah, so confident that she’s spouting military quotes from Nobunaga! Game for another shogi?

Episode 6
Rei might look like a girl who is only interested in making plastic models. But she holds a secret that no one knows: She also likes cute things. However things didn’t go her way as there is an Akita dog she wants to pet so much, somebody will just steal the march to pet it first. Back at the shop, the other girls find several cute Chutaro (Hamtaro?!) dolls. While they love it, Rei pretends not to like them. I guess Nejiusa is going to have a run for his money on who is the cutest. Too bad the girls find him more funny than cute. And then… Damn virus affecting Chutaro! Time to get to it. Rei, Izumi and Minami enter the world of Chutaro. Yeah, cute critters too hard to resist… Until they turn into scary ferocious beasts! Damn those viruses. Rei got separated during the attack. She finds Chutaro and learns how Maya appeared and transformed his friends. But out of the fire and into the pan for Chutaro because Rei can’t hold it anymore and starts cuddling and molesting it. Maya sees this and his shocked and irritated but has an idea. As Chutaro brings Rei to his other uninfected pals, more extreme cuddling and molestation! Then Minami and Izumi see this. Oh my. Rei tries to give excuse. I don’t think they’re buying that mouse fairy or virus infection thingy. Rei gets embarrassed and runs away. But her friends don’t really mind this side they have never seen. They want her to be true to her feelings because it’ll be too late once they’re gone. Just in time for Maya and mother virus to attack. But Maya unleashes photos of Rei snuggling with Chutaro, paralysing this embarrassed cutie. Until Rei sees Chutaro protecting his friends instead of running away, Rei gets her senses back, powers up her weapon and with 1 strike, sends Maya blasting off into the sky. Rei now comes to terms and admits she also likes cute things. In reality, things are looking up for her as she is now able to pet the dog all she wants.

Episode 7
Time to go JRPG retro with Quest Of Phantasia! Yeah, Tales Of Phantasia spoof. Saori, Irina and Yuina arrive in this world and experience a load of JRPG cliché other than the pixelated visuals. From repetitive NPCs to getting resurrected after being killed by monsters (that takes a load of gold!) and even a side quest to save Nejiusa after he gets kidnapped. Yeah, they want to parody the side scrolling action of Ghost N Goblins! Usually it is mostly thanks to Saori and her love for such games that gets them out of most situations or advance. She might be a scientist but she loves RPG monsters too because they don’t follow the law of physics? As they make their way to defeat the demon lord, however there is one day a month that Saori becomes totally a pessimist. Yes, that day is today. And so the party is having a tough time navigating through their journey with Saori being such a negative person! They finally reach the demon lord’s castle. When Irina and Yuina are about to be sacrificed, thankfully a whole day has passed so Saori returns to normal and kicks ass. Cue for the demon lord to turn into his true form. So what if their attacks now don’t work? Nejiusa reminds them to transform into their magical girl form! Oh yeah, forgot about that, haven’t we? At least in this form they are not bound by the game’s limits and can kick ass to their heart’s content with their overpowered moves. Isn’t this like cheating?! With the demon lord gone, Maya and her mother virus pop up but gets easily owned! So sad, that’s all the appearance she has today. At least she still got her trademark Team Rocket treatment.

Episode 8
Nao sucks at cooking. Yeah, she almost killed Yuina and Nejiusa with her ‘poison’ although the latter duo are to blame for trying to secretly eat her food. This has Nao sad and losing confidence. But when they claim that she too has her good points, Nao gets happy and suddenly very girly?! Because of that, she is now able to cook well like a girl and tastes way better (although presentation wise, it looks horrible). Of course this mode doesn’t last long and it’s back to the tomboyish Nao. Just in time for them to notice the virus attacking the manga world of Aji Master. You mean the discount Shokugeki No Souma? Nao, Ayaka and Minami enter this world and stumble into the diner of Medatama. Heh. I guess we have this old guy in place instead of a young vibrant Yukihira. Anyway, his cooking is good but there are no customers. A food journalist, Okayama enters to taste his katsudon but calls it crap. He even thinks the girl can cook better than this. He then takes his word back. It tastes like crap too. Until he tastes Nao’s cooking that he totally loves it! His praises turn her even more feminine. Hate to break this happy session but Maya and her viruses are here to attack. Since the old fashion fighting is boring, Maya suggests a food battle whereby the loser leaves this world. She picks Nao in this one on one cooking as she believes her tomboyish feature is her weakness. But since Nao is in girly mode, Maya is starting to sweat seeing how good she is. She sends her virus to disrupt but Ayaka and Minami keep them at bay to let her concentrate on cooking. At this point, Nao loses her femininity but her friends give positive words for her to carry on. Once it’s done, they present to Okayama to judge. Maya’s sh*t curry tastes freaking good???!!! Of course she laced it with some drug and he can’t stop eating. While Nao’s curry looks normal, it tastes hell of a good! So much so it is the start of the exaggeration reaction of swimming in curry! Nao is declared the winner and Maya can’t believe what makes her curry so good. As she tastes it, she finds it horrible. Mother virus accidentally eats it and explodes. Here’s your Team Rocket effect for her this episode. As Nao is being showered by praises, her friends believe that the viruses warped the tastes of the people here. Hence Nao’s cooking is still pretty sh*tty. Better stay quiet…

Episode 9
Kaoruko sucks at dating sim games. It is apparent she often makes the wrong choices that she thinks are correct. This has the rest commenting there are things she is bad at and this shocks her because she thinks herself as perfect. Hence she goes to one of the last remaining game software shops in Akihabara to buy up the entire shop of its dating sims. I think she just can’t decide on what the shop owner says. So she starts playing them and at first it is frustrating because she is always losing. But once she realizes what needs to be done, she finally gets the good endings. I don’t know how many games she bought but can she clear all of it in just a night? Did she stop time? Kaoruko, Irina and Chimari are early to open the café when they find a dating sim game they think a customer dropped. They start playing Love Love Legend (Tokimeki Memorial?) when suddenly it stops working. Is it a bug? Nope. Just in time for the virus attacking. As they head inside the game, they are shocked to see the legendary sakura tree withered and the heroines of this game hating boys! Yeah, thanks to Maya spreading the word! She’ll turn them into independent women who don’t need men! They get to hear Maya’s rant about her disappointments in her love life and that’s why she’s such an ‘expert’. But don’t fear. Kaoruko transforms into a boy and vows to capture her heart. However her flattering has her losing points instead. Thanks to Maya being so twisted at love and the master of breaking up, words aren’t going to earn you brownie points. But soon Kaoruko finds her ‘weakness’ because since Maya sees herself as useless, Kaoruko helps out whenever she is in need. Hence earning enough points for the legendary ending. So on the day Maya is to confess her love to her underneath that now bloomed sakura tree, the heroines return and cry foul. They thought she taught them to hate boys but she snagged one herself. They’re not trusting anybody anymore! Hence they take out their bloodied cleavers and start hacking! OMG! Is this yandere simulator now?! Obviously the virus is turning them into violent zombies and they even summon mother virus. But Maya is stumped since she did not order the destruction of this world. Kaoruko and her friends go to great lengths to protect Maya until they defeat the mother virus and send those heroines back to normal. For once, Maya is satisfied and enjoyed her time here. Wow. A peaceful ending for her once? Back in reality, the rest discuss this game’s popularity was due to the shock ending of other girls turning into zombies attacking you and your girlfriend. It was all done during the zombie craze and hence part of the game. It doesn’t matter for Kaoruko because she still thinks she is perfect at everything.

Episode 10
For the first time I do not recognize this cliché shonen manga they are parodying. Anyway, Touya Kontoshi is about a delinquent guy who has to fight his way through several ‘floors’ of high school, each guarded by a powerful bancho AKA delinquent. However when Ayaka learns that Nao stopped reading and formed her own conclusions, Ayaka turns scary to lecture her about the true greatness of this manga. Oh dear. Her evil aura looks like she is being possessed by a virus! Is she?! Nao is so dead after listening to her long lecture. Wait, is this BL material too???!!! Then the real virus invades the manga and it’s time for our heroines to jump right in to save their favourite manga. Already at the start, the hero Touya is being defeated. He gives Ayaka his wooden sword to progress. In a typical shonen cliché, we see the gang fighting the other floor bancho as they let Ayaka pass so she can see the student council president, Akina at the top. As expected, we see them pulling off winning exaggerated moves like Michi using her forehead flick, Nejiusa and his giant drill and Nao turning into a boxer. When Ayaka reaches the top, she sees Akina being brainwashed trying to sign heaps of paper to hand over the academy to Maya. Is this even possible? Screw all that. It’s shonen manga logic. Ayaka frees her from the brainwash by stabbing the wooden sword into her chest! Yeah, no chest wound whatsoever. Ayaka then proceeds to lecture Maya… This is going to take a while… Is it because of this long lecture that mother virus is going to explode? Actually turns out it is being possessed by some secret shadowy student council character, blah, blah, blah… It’s going on a rampage but don’t fear. Shonen manga cliché at its finest! Touya returns! With all the defeated friends and foes uniting under him, they send power to the wooden sword for Ayaka to destroy the mother virus. Also expected, Maya gets caught in the explosion so it’s Team Rocket for her. Back in reality, the manga ends with Touya roaming the wold to fight other stronger people after graduation. World’s strongest unemployed delinquent bum? Nao feels sad since he wanted him to hook up with her with Akina in college. Oh no. Time for Ayaka’s lecture…

Episode 11
Oh dear. Not another store closing down in Akihabara. I guess you can’t sustain a business when there are no customers. And for today’s trouble, the virus have now invaded the world’s most famous that was a phenomenon 20 years ago, Neon Nova Exceed! Oh, you mean the Neon Genesis Evangelion rip-off? Izumi, Kaoruko and Komachi head into the world and are delighted to see the original Akihabara. Yup, Exceed’s setting is based on this so you can bet that the original otaku world is thriving. The girls can’t help get lost in this fascination but trouble is here. The town is soon evacuated and all the defences up. It’s an attack by Maya and her larger than usual mother virus. OMG. The girls can’t defeat it? The mother virus then goes on a rampage that not even Maya can handle. It is destroying Akihabara and the irony of Maya pleading to the girls for help to save the day? When they lecture her for always causing trouble, she regresses into a child and starts throwing a tantrum. Whatever. Anyway she explains this mother virus is powerful than usual because a lot of people hold special memories of it. So the more famous an anime is, the more powerful the mother virus? I guess this shows why the previous mother viruses were easily defeated… But don’t worry. Maya will help. First she snipes at it but the barrier deflects and hit her back! Too early for Team Rocket treatment so she now tries the cliché of talking to it! Remember our memories? Nope. Be gone! As expected. Maya’s last hope is to use Exceed and she might be a huge fan of the series since she knows where the secret base is. Yeah, it also shows how old she is… But in the base, no giant mecha! The sole scientist (Gendou and Ritsuko mash up?) explains that due to Maya’s viruses attacking, its development was disrupted. Even if they have the blueprint and facilities, they have no manpower to make it. They have this idea to go get Saori and make Exceed but mother virus pops in to wreak havoc. Nejiusa and Izumi are separated. The rest put their faith in her to bring Saori back. Back in reality, Izumi is fraught with guilt for abandoning her friends. I know we believe in them but can we stop stalling and move on? Thank goodness for Irina’s timely slap that Izumi shouldn’t let their efforts be in vain. That is why she came back in the first place. With that, all the girls gear up to enter this world for one big final fight.

Episode 12
The girls split up to create Exceed and to search for their missing comrades. They find a dropped camera belonging to them and it gives them hope that they are still alive. Somewhere. So don’t give up now! As they continue searching, seeing Akihabara filled with otaku stuffs remind them of the good ol’ days how they bonded and got to know each other because of that. I don’t know how long it took but finally they finished a few robots. Yeah, bad design. But the ‘better looking’ one looks suspiciously close to Di Gi Chara’s Dejiko. Nyo! And I suppose the mother virus was patient enough to wait for them to get ready and attack, huh? If individual mini robots can’t beat it, combine! They can fight on par with the mother virus but it absorbs other viruses to become bigger and stronger. Oh no. What will we do? Do you not know at this moment of pinch, it is always the cliché moment that the hero shows up. In this case, Exceed! Yup, the lost girls have somewhat created it. I suppose this explains the secret cave that led to some secret place to finish it. Yeah, so why didn’t the girls looking for them just follow that path? Whatever. With Exceed fighting on par with the mother virus and when the mecha fight looks like it is heading to a deadlock, that is when our girls get down and out to destroy the mother virus with their own individual power and weapons. Yes, they even summoned the power of the other previous worlds they saved. Because the feeling of love is invincible! With the mother virus’ defeat, the town returns to normal. Yeah, all restored back to normal like as though they reloaded a previously saved file of the city. The girls thank Maya but she notes it is just for today. They’ll go back to being enemies tomorrow. Okay. Whatever. Back in reality, the girls continue to serve customers who walk in. Are there any?

Pasty Parodies
And so the real world still remains lifeless and without any hint of the otaku culture at all! Yeah, I consider this a sad ending. Not even managing to save the world of the most famous anime 20 years ago could have a ripple effect on the real world. Even though the girls continue to put on a chirpy outlook but with this otaku culture no longer trending and close to non-existent, I say that it is only a matter of time before they really follow suit like other otaku shops in Akihabara and close down. That is why I believe with the girls continue to helm the café, it’s like they get to continue protecting the dream of the otaku world. I mean, where else can you find such vivid imagination in the real world except through all those anime and manga? I know they said love is invincible but they didn’t say it is forever! Haha! Gotcha!

Being an anime that tries to parody genres of anime, I guess this can be called the general plot of this series. Everything here is pretty much cliché and formulaic that it is, uhm, uninspiring. Because if you really want to make great and funny parodies, my reference would always be Gintama. Even Animegataris isn’t all that shabby. But this series feels like the parodies are done just to get on one’s nostalgia side, especially like yours truly who have watched so many animes over the years that the ‘fun’ is pointing out which anime series they are parodying for the day. Looks like I couldn’t get a clean sweep since I am still unsure of that high school delinquent parody. I think it is Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys but I could be mistaken since I didn’t watch that anime. But I guess the parodying was too much for some to take because towards the end, it has been hit with some copyright laws since some of the parodies are too close to home. Hence the streaming version of it was pulled. Yeah, don’t you dare make fun of our animes!

Other than that, the stories of each episode just follow the same predictable pattern that hardly amounts to anything in the end. Because after freeing the world from the invasion of the viruses and giving Maya her obliged Team Rocket treatment, all is well back in reality because they get to preserve the anime and manga. For now. Rinse and repeat. It’s just so mind boggling that the villains never tried to take over the anime or manga. So a world once freed is forever saved. Some anime logic there for you.

It also doesn’t make any economic sense that the café continues to operate as an otaku themed one albeit being one of the last few remaining bastions of the otaku culture in Akihabara. I mean, we don’t even see the owner’s nose anyhow so where the heck does he get the money to pay the girls? Twelve of them! Oh, the girls do volunteer work because of their love for the otaku culture! I hope so. I get a feeling that the real owner is doing something else to rake in the money (like drugs?!) and this is just some fringe activity he has in his portfolio. And the far and few customers who patron the café must be just a one off experience for them, huh? I mean, they’re passing by and they thought it’s cute so they enter to have a drink and read a manga or something. Then they leave and go home, never setting foot in there ever again. Because do you not remember after that Rabbit Café manga craze, looks the crowd died down after that. Back to zero customers on average per day.

The dozen of main characters feel pretty much one dimensional and lacking depth. At first when you are spammed the dozen girls of the café, you might be amazed of how this café employs so many young beautiful girls but hardly have any business. Because the series focuses way too much on the clichés of the parodies, the characters of these girls suffer. They lack any substance that would want to make you want to care or support them. You only do so because they’re the heroines and that’s what we’re supposed to do. And maybe perhaps because they’re looking cute. Anime girls have got to be kawaii, right?

Therefore my theory why there are a dozen of those kawaii bishoujo instead of just 4 or 5 is for variety purposes. The pattern in every episode has 3 of them ‘on duty’ to head into the affected world so you can bet they will mix and shuffle the girls to be featured. However I believe that not every girl gets an equal amount of screen time AKA featured in an episode. For example, Saori only featured once. But it’s not like we keep count, right? And it’s not like we really care for them either, right? Yeah, by the time the next episode airs, I don’t even remember who is who. Not even their names… Sad… And it’s funny to think that if you erase an entire anime or manga volume or series, the whole world forgets it. That’s not even altering the minds of every individual on the face of the planet. Even more mind boggling how the virus targets those otaku works sitting right in the main room of the café instead of their obscure store. Because of that, the girls are able to dive in immediately and take action. Had the virus infect those inside the store, nobody would have even noticed! They would have easily gotten the job done! Damn, the villains are just as dumb for plot convenience.

Maya is supposed to be the antagonist but considering the nature of this series, she turns out to be more of a comic relief. Ironically, she is the only character that appears consistently in every episode (the other being Nejiusa), hence making her the series’ regular. Despite being totally cliché, she seems to have more character than the heroines. Even more ironic is that Maya is the only character whom I can identify right away other than the dozen heroines. It is her role to be the punching bag (they really write and setup her role to be a failure anyway) and also having that running joke that she is an old woman who has past her prime to snag a boyfriend, hence her eternal complains about being a single woman at her age. So perhaps if she had a guy who loves her, she wouldn’t have to go around destroying the otaku culture? What does she think this is?! A manga romance fairytale?! ;p.

Because of all that, Maya despite being the villainess, she is the character that I guess most of us can relate too. Uh huh. When you’re an adult trying to just live life, then you get all those young punks who think they know more about life and sputter all that sparkling justice crap. And they get away with it while you get blasted away. That’s so really like life. Suspiciously, there is this plain Jane in reality who wanders around. My speculation is that this girl is Maya and the conspiracy theory is that because the real life is so boring, thus the reason why she plays the villain and cause havoc within the worlds. Holy cow! Because it is so much fun when you can still live your otaku dreams, right? No wonder Maya doesn’t get disheartened after losing every time and it’s not perseverance that did the trick. The goal was never to destroy those worlds. Let’s continue to live the otaku dream as long as we can!

Nejiusa as the series’ mascot comes off more than annoying than cute. I mean, doesn’t this zombie rabbit sound like some mouse whose got his ass stuffed with something?! Sometimes it tries to be a wise guy with some comeback lines but he is not funny. More so, Nejiusa is useless in combat and is only with the girls on the mission because he teleports them to the world. Other than that, he is just forgettable. So forgettable that I think they forget to make him appear in the last episode after the opening sequence! Yeah, thinking about it, where the f*ck was that zombie rabbit during the battle and after that? Like as though it vanished along with the mother virus.

The action parts feel boring and repetitious. It is just an excuse to have some sort of weird battle against the virus minions that doesn’t amount to anything much because this is all obligatory. You know, the heroines are here to purge the viruses out of the world. Hence I believe that the so called huge fantasy-like weapons that they hold, they feel redundant because it’s not like they pull off any memorable special moves with it. If it’s a gun, just shoot with it. If it’s a sword, just hack and slash with it. Boring. Why bother with special moves when the virus army is just going to stand there and not fight back with special moves whatsoever.

Art and animation feel pretty okay and sometimes mediocre. I noticed drops in quality in some scenes but at least it’s not that bad like that recent little sister crap. Yeah… Oddly, even with the various designs of the girls, I still can never identify who is who despite their cheap steampunk outfit design that makes some look like some Irish St Patrick’s outing thingy. It goes to show that even when you have different hair colours, hairstyles and the likes, you can’t remember the character if they don’t even have any character. Yeah, Maya is more identifiable than any of the heroines. The viruses and mother viruses look so generic that you think they didn’t put enough effort in the design. Probably what goes behind the production is something like this: We need a design for a virus antagonist. Just make it look like a virus, that’s all. Okay. Approved. This series is done by Project No.9 who did some of the works they parodied here like Ryo-Kyu-Bu and Ryuuou no Oshigoto.

Voice acting is pretty meh. I’m not going to do my usual casting list. Just want to note that Nejiusa is voiced by Chitose Morinaga and if this character sounds weirdly familiar, it’s because she sounded close to that weird rabbit, Timothy from Anne Happy. Unbelievable. I think I recognized Yui Ogura as one of the girls, but I don’t remember who. Yeah, can’t tell who is who still. There are other guests seiyuus lending their talents as one off cameo appearances but only Takehito Koyasu as Okayama was recognizable. Even with all the disappointments, the only thing I truly enjoyed is the opening theme, Believe In Sky by Asami Imai. It has this upbeat and catchy tune to my liking so if I want to forget the mediocrity of this series, I just sing this song. The ending theme, Sparkle Power by Iketeru Hearts, your typical all-girl J-pop anime song. Perhaps the episodes themselves lack fanservice so the ending credits animation spam all the sexy bikini and swimsuit fanservice of the heroines. Damn, they should have just made an ecchi harem or yuri parody instead.

Overall, initially it was a fun idea to parody anime itself. But because of the repetitive cycle of each episode and the characters that lack any depth, this mission to bring back the glory days of the otaku culture feels like it is doing more harm than saving it. No wonder the people here don’t want anything to do with the otaku culture! While it is unthinkable that this otaku culture will die out, but the chances aren’t zero. Let’s just hope it does only for this anime… Because without the otaku culture, Japan is nothing. Heck, Japan should not even have the right to exist if they don’t have the otaku culture at all!!!! FFFUUUUU YEAH!!!!!!!! VIVA ANIME AND THE OTAKU WORLD!!!

It’s finally here! OMG! The final stretch. The moment that I have been ‘fearing’ the most. Because it’s the final chapters of Gintama! Oh no! I have to face reality that all good things must come to an end. That time has come. At least for Gintama: Silver Soul Arc. It is going to be one hell of an epic finale with all the characters coming back for one last hurrah as they defend Earth and their beloved Edo from the hands of those who want to really destroy it.

The Defence Of Edo

Who watches the watchmen – The Liberation Army, a group of Amanto who are supposed to fight for Earth from Tendoshu’s destruction is now harassing Earthlings in the name of justice. They think they are entitled to everything because they’re helping them. Jerks.

Penny for your thoughts – If you have been laughing at Hasegawa for trying to collect every damn penny he could find, you won’t be laughing now that you see his vast collection of full jars and pots of those pennies. Because he is going to use them for a job request at Yorozuya. Well, if they ever come back.

Even God has abandoned Earth – Heck, there are more requests for Yorozuya to help save them. The last dependable people to rely on. Sorry, God. Nobody prays to you anymore.

Guess who’s back? – Just like heroes arriving in the nick of time for their grand entrance, our Yorozuya dudes have returned from space! Rejoice!

Kabukichou Khaos – All our weirdoes from this district join force to show the Liberation Army who’s boss. Those bullies don’t even stand a chance when it comes to the real deal.

It’s all about faeces value – Nobunobu decides to do some good and negotiate with the leader of the Liberation Army, Admiral Shijaku. The only reason why Nobunobu sounds threatening like as though he has a secret weapon ready to bomb the sh*t out of them is because he has a terrible stomach ache and is forced to hold in for this ‘important’ negotiation. Thanks to them on different pages, Shijaku agrees to cooperate with them and back down the aggression of his men on Earth. Such a stomach churning negotiations that I hope nobody craps in their pants. Oops, too late…

Naraku strikes back – Utsuro has also begun to move and begins his plan to die along with this planet. Hence his Naraku team has been dispatched to kill everybody. Oh, did I mention they cannot be killed and revive like zombies? How the heck are they going to die then?!

Infinity war – Prince Ensho, Shijaku’s other ally in the Liberation Army shows the shocking truth that Tendoshu are all dead. Or at least they are kept in some suspended animation. Ensho wants the war to continue because if it ends, where will all those who have lost everything vent their anger and frustration? Everything could have ended but there will be no end for them. Hence this endless war will allow them to remain on the battlefield.

All odds against you – How can you even fight Utsuro when you have to deal with his undead army as well as the Liberation Army? Yeah, plot device says too early for our heroes to win. Ensho is bombarding Edo and our Yorozuya are reduced to running away. Now they are cornered by heavy tank machinery, is this the end?

The police are back – Blame plot convenience again. But I guess we’re all so glad the Shinsengumi are back and packed with more power, political influence and weaponry to kickass!

Raw power – Behold Kondou’s true power and form! His birthday suit! Until he steps on his own dick. I don’t even… I guess some things never changed…

Rambo who? – Who the f*ck is this Rambo dude? New character? Nope. YAMAZAKI!!!!!!!!!! So badass that everybody looks up to him too????!!!! So this Rambo form is his true form and that scrawny Yamazaki was just his ‘heavy t-shirt’?

Gorilla who? – Apparently Kondou’s true form is a gorilla… WTF… Is this some kind of joke like that ‘heavy t-shirt’?!

World’s largest dick – That cannon Gengai made sure resembles a penis. Is this some dick joke? What dick move is he going to make?

Rise and fall of the machines – Apparently to power up this huge machine, the power of Tama and Kintoki are needed. So when all the electricity of Edo is zapped just for this one moment, then nothing happens? The real threat is not the cannon but the little nanomachines that Gengai has created. These will infiltrate into all other machines as viruses and cause them to fail. But at a great cost of sacrificing Tama and Kintoki? Now that the machines have done their part and becoming junk, it’s up to humanity now to save Earth.

Last bastion – More Amanto reinforcements as their numbers swell. They even have the reinforcements of the other great warrior tribes like the Yato, Dakini and Shinra. Kabukichou becomes the final strong fort for our heroes to hold out before their reinforcements arrive.

Stealth – With Sakamoto and Nobunobu thrown back into prison, their only hope is for Katsura and his Joi rebels to get them out via stealth. Too bad too much stealth has them being captured as zoo exhibits by Hata.

Size does matter – WTF?! Now we have a flashback of Hata’s Okoku clan?! At this point in the series?! Anyway, there was a dispute between who should be the next ruler and in this world, those with bigger dicks on their head are more favourable. Yes, those antennas on their forehead are like akin to penis. Hence there was a faction between Hata who has a bigger dick but talentless and Barkas who has a smaller dig but is talented. Eventually Barkas left the throne to Hata thinking a kind king like him would benefit the country at peaceful times.

The hidden dick – Guess what? Shijaku is Barkas! Yeah, his tiny dick made it possible to hide it, eh?

The dick king returns – Guess what again? The eldest prince with the biggest dragon sized dick thought to be dead, still lives! In Elizabeth?! And this dick talks?! Not sure about this flashback of Dragonia instead of dying in an accident, lost his memories, met Elizabeth’s tribe and somewhat fused with it. I guess Earth now at least has an ally to fight against the Liberation Army. Nothing is scarier than bringing dicks into the battlefield.

Ball breaker – If it’s bad enough Gintoki somehow losing his balls (literally!) in the midst of the battlefield, here comes Saigo crushing balls of Amano and Dakini! Sure kill!

To take down a raging bull – The Dakini tribe is sure tough. Especially their big boss who is tougher than an elephant and rhinoceros’ skin combined and more stubborn than a mule. And for him to finally be killed, it literally took the might and cooperation of literally everyone. From Yorozuya to Otae’s girls to Kyuubei’s family and even Tsukuyo’s geishas.

Will the real doctor please stand up – The Shinra tribe takes the women hostages as they want our heroes to hand over the doctor who created the cannon so they could stop it and make the machines work again. So will Gengai give himself in? Not if every Tom, Dick and Harry in town proclaim they are the doctor!

The boss returns – Jirocho and Pirako. The more the merrier, right?

Changing the tide – I suppose when you have a bunch of weirdoes being this stubborn not to give in and fight and fight and fight, now the Liberation Army is sent retreating with tails between their legs.

Flower power – Who’d knew that Hedoro was the strongest Dakini in his time but gave up the battlefield just to plant flowers? And now that you Amanto trampled on his flower, he won’t forgive you. Watch out! Because his punch really sends you flying!

In high spirits – Looks like the shikigami and demons are joining in too. Thankfully they’re on our heroes’ side, right? Right?! Well, let’s see who the fastest runners are.

Please don’t pluck the flower – Oops. Too late. Gintoki accidentally yanks Hedoro’s flower… Will humanity be able to stand the tsukkomi that his split personality has to give?

Peace and pandemonium – It’s great our Edo boys and girls are united and resting after a hard day’s fight to drive out the Liberation Army. But can Gedomaru stop feeding everyone those hideous looking Pandemonium bread?!

Missing old man – Gengai has been captured by the Amanto and they want him to turn off the nanomachines.

First contact – Soyo receives a transmission from Nobunobu. It’s been like ages since the war started.

Mix trail – Trying to find the trail that leads to where Gengai is kidnapped. Nope. Only sh*t and ass blood trail to leads that don’t matter.

Judgment Day On Earth

It can’t be stopped – It seems even though Gengai doesn’t know how to stop the nanomachines, Ensho already has another ace up his sleeve. He has started to warm up that Kagutsuchi cannon that will obliterate all on Earth within 6 hours. Yeah, blast it out of the sky. Or universe, rather. He is going to sacrifice his comrades on Earth just for this so the desperate Liberation Army has no choice but to continue their assault to take down the nanomachine virus or bring Edo down.

Star Wars – Hata and Hasegawa’s petty argument accidentally sparked a space laser battle from all sides! It has begun!

Late to the party – Looks like Takasugi is joining the fray. Better late than never. Because nobody gets to destroy Earth but him! Don’t worry about him on which side he is siding. He is everyone’s enemy!

Kiheitai origins – Not really told in full scope but at least it gives us an idea how the main guys of Takasugi’s group came to be and how they were ‘born’ to destroy the world and the universe. And the irony is that they’re looking like they’re trying to save it from destruction.

Word of the shogun – Nobunobu must have really done some deep thinking as he realizes the people who often come to the aid to save the country are those labelled as rebels or traitors. He gives his promise to never betray them ever again. He will fight alongside them as rebels.

Internal feud – After Kagura saves Gengai from the Yato, they deem her a traitor of their race. Good for her, Kamui and his Harusame Yato are on a side and hence a big brawl among the Yato to see which is the real Yato.

Sibling feud – I guess it was inevitable. Kamui and Kagura start fighting among each other and the poor Yato dude got caught in between. He must have balls of steel to be kicked around like that!

The big boss has finally arrived! – Utsuro has joined the fray! Now apocalypse can begin.

Power up – Looks like Utsuro conveniently makes Altana go berserk right now so that when it hits back at Kagutsuchi, the destruction will also affect other parts of the galaxy!

Making haste – Ensho orders all energy to be redirected to Kagutsuchi. In the process of killing their allies and enemies in parts of the ship, Kagutsuchi is now set to fire in 15 minutes.

Delaying for a miracle – Looks like the body count for our ‘heroes’ will be starting right now. Kihetai who are last to the party has lots of their men sacrificed. To buy time for Takasugi to cut through the main power source and stop Kagutsuchi, Henpeita crashes his ship while Bansai fights back with his last ounce of strength against the heavily guarded central command.

Running man – More Ensho flashback. He looked envious the women he loved married his brother. So when the brother went on a trip to sign a treaty, they were ambushed and Ensho let him die. After his death, Ensho took in his wife. However he is still running away from her all this time and only in a battle between life and death can he forget that.

The longest cut – Can you believe Takasugi’s sword could cut through the entire core of the cannon? It’s a long way down…

It takes life to protect a life – Mutsu and Elizabeth take lethal damage from Ensho as they protect Sakamoto and Katsura respectively.

Death battle – Well it looks like it is Enso versus Sakamoto-Katsura-Takasugi combo. Lots of blood spilled. Lots of damage taken. And these tough dudes can still get up and fight? Will the one with the stronger will win?

Unarmed – Looks like the fight is decided after Takasugi cuts off Enso’s arm (the other arm got blown off). So Takasugi can claims the spoils of the fight? Now you can die in peace.

Change of heart, change of fate – Just when Ensho decides to give up and surrender, a disgruntled henchman shoots him, not happy that if they stop fighting, what about all those who fought and died? What have they been fighting for?

The last shogun – Unfortunately some of the stray bullets also hit Nobunobu. Dying shogun has his last words for everybody. Stop the hatred, make peace, live on. The world can stand up and lead itself and doesn’t need a ruler anymore. Ah yes. Even if it is for a short while, it made him worthy of the shogun title. Goodbye Nobunobu :’(.

The Final Boss Battle

Calm before the storm – Thanks to the priestess sisters, they have been going around calming the Altana berserk. But with Sadaharu joining in and using up his life force for this…

Of the dead – Undead Naraku goons try to stop our heroes. Don’t worry, there is one guy left who is really late to join the fray: Umibouzu’s back! Is there any more left who wants to make their very late entrance?

Opening up old wounds – Do we have time for this? Umibouzu and Kamui continuing their family feud in this critical time? Kagura, you go tell ‘em!

Kryptonite – Apparently those are what those Altana crystals that Umibouzu collected all over the universe are. He experimented on researched on it to find a way to nullify Utsuro and Naraku’s immortality and made several weapons out of it. If that’s the case, they aren’t immortal in the first place, right?

Gotta save ‘em all – Shijaku orders Hata to destroy the mothership that they are all in since if it crashes into Earth, everything will be done for. Not if Hasegawa has something to say about it. He is going to save everybody. So as an immigration officer he is going to let everyone in?

Influence of an unemployed man – If Hata’s puny army barrier isn’t enough to stop the crashing mothership, don’t worry, they have reinforcements in the form of the Liberation Army. Grateful that they are even thinking about saving the lives of their enemies, now they are throwing their support behind them. All thanks to Hasegawa who answers to no authority and just do as he pleases without taking any responsibility. Too bad he has no power, money, influence or a job. That is why he is unemployed.

Doggone it! – Sadaharu risking his life just to calm the main Altana leyline down. He is defenceless, who is coming to his aid? Oh, you know. The usual suspects. He is after all Yorozuya’s pet dog.

Utsuro vs everybody – Why does this feel like Thanos versus everybody? How many are going to die just to take him down? So aside from cutting down the small fries in the Shinsengumi and Yato. The big guns like Umibouzu, Kamui, Kondou, Hijikata, Sougou are all having a hard time bringing down this monster.

It’s in your blood – Utsuro’s regeneration starts slowing down, enabling Shinpachi to deal the first lethal blow. His previous bout with Gintoki, the Yorozuya boss purposely threw Altana crystals into his eyes (hence into his bloodstream) after stabbing the Altana crystal sword into his eyes didn’t work.

Soul for the future – Think Sadaharu can’t last any longer? Not if everybody chips in to channel part of their soul as fuel.

Fear thy humans – Utsuro is looking pretty scared for an immortal. His beliefs of humans being cruel and cowardly foolish creatures crushed. Turning him into one big confused mess that they keep continue to fight against the hopelessness and weaknesses.

Power combo – Yeah, all our main characters had their fair share in beating the crap out of Utsuro.

Lonely death – So did Utsuro decide to finally just kill himself by jumping into the Altana and not take the foolish humans with him? So that’s it for him? Okay. He claims they have chosen endless wars and suffering but too bad he won’t be around to see it ;p.

Crash of the century – Kagutsuchi crashes onto Edo. Wow. Did the debris just miss everyone?

2 Years’ Time Skip

Rebuilding Edo – Time skip to 2 years later, Edo is slowly being rebuilt and the normalcy and familiarity of daily life with Amanto returning.

The new Gintoki – OMG! What’s this?! Shinpachi takes over Gintoki’s role and now kicks ass?! Oops. False alarm. He got his ass kicked instead.

Saving a dog – In the aftermath, Sadaharu turned into a really small pup that you would mistake as gachapon. Kagura leaves Earth to go planet hoping to return Sadaharu back to normal.

Madao rising – What’s this?! Hasegawa is now a famous flashy (but trashy) movie star and is considered a hero samurai?! Yeah, can’t wait till that fake samurai history movie is released…

It happened… – Think it is forever a running joke that Kondou will never marry Otae? Guess what?! They are! OMFG! Is this really happening?! Kondou now a stay-home dad after resigning from Shinsengumi and Otae is pregnant with his child?! F*cking fake news because this is what happened: He married a real gorilla as a political marriage. He is just staying with Otae to hone his homemaking skills and Otae’s tummy is just because she is getting fat.

The daughter you never knew you had – Gengai created a small child-like version of Tama, Tamako and contains part of Tama who is still in comatose state. She keeps following Shinpachi as though he is her father.

Illegal loli possession – Because of that, Shinpachi is charged for illegal possession of a loli?! WTF kind of law is that now???!!!

New police brutality – Haven’t you heard? Nobume is now the new general commissioner of the police in a bid to protect Soyo from the old bakufu foxes. Seems she is enjoying her power pretty well…

Donald Zuramp – All hail the new Prime Minister of Japan! Katsura!!! Yeah, this country is doomed!

Impeach!!! – More like assassins trying to get Katsura on the first day! Actually they were arranged by Matsudaira! Can’t have an ex-rebel leading the country, eh? Even though it was his fault to make a shady deal to turn Katsura into a PM, thinking he wouldn’t have lived this long.

Transporter – Now Shinpachi is caught in between. He is forced to deliver money from Matsudaira to buy arms from a black market dealer (Mutsu???!!!) for a hired assassin. Turns out the ultimate weapon is a loli Kagura. You mean Kanna is Kagura’s daughter???!!!!

Old friends, old rivals again? – Gintoki stumbles into Takasugi in his travel and after a short bout, he notices Takasugi’s wounds heal up instantly. Sure that’s not a ghost?

Never let a cancer cell escape because if you do… – As Gintoki is interrogated by Hijikata, the latter mentions that 2 years ago after the crash of Kagutsuchi, not only Takasugi was missing but the bodies of Tendoshu. You see, even if they are corpses, they still contain Utsuro’s blood. Uh oh. You know what this means? There are also rumours that Tendoshu is slowly reviving and are making small terrorist attacks to claim back Altana. Could it be that Takasugi has absorbed their blood too? But it is too early to tell his motives because he might have some unfinished business too.

Mobcop – If you’re wondering the sudden introduction of this Robocop spoof character trying to act like a main character, a character that nobody would care nor remember anyhow, behold the twist that this cyborg is actually Yamazaki!!!! Forgotten all about him, have you?!

Banana is my daddy – No joke. Kanna explains why she is Kagura’s legitimate daughter. She ate too much banana and puked out a child! Ah, at least no dirty thoughts were conceived. Were there?!

Just by a different name – Oh, the assassin Matsudaira hired is no other than… Sougou! Time to test the ultimate weapon or get revenge for an old grudge? So did the disbanded Shinsengumi now turned mafia?

They grow up so fast – In the heat of the battle, Kanna grows up to become… Kagura?! Or was it Kagura all along but just trolling us? She grows even faster when she uses up all her powers and now turns into grandma! And a sob story of how she travelled to different worlds to save Sadaharu but to no avail. Still a little small pup stuck in a marble.

Finding Sensei…

Everyone one chasing you – It seems Naraku is chasing after Gintoki because he is in possession of something very valuable. Even Takasugi wants it.

Piece of your heart – So that thing in Gintoki’s possession…. Utsuro’s heart. Or rather Shouyou’s.

The travels of Gintoki – When Utsuro told Gintoki during his final moments this won’t end and how they saved the world but not Shouyou, Gintoki knew Utsuro would one day revive due to the massive Altana he is made from. So he travelled to every leylines to check for any strange happenings. One whereby a priest thought it was some animal corpse but it quickly grew into a baby. Gintoki took the baby but hesitated to kill him. The baby then grew into a boy and followed him everywhere mindlessly without saying or expressing anything. In the boy’s final moments, he remembered he was Shouyou and before Naraku could take him, he gauged out his heart and entrusted it to Gintoki. The remnants of Naraku have been attempting to bring back Utsuro since.

Temporary immortality – When Takasugi went to destroy Tendoshu on board the mothership, he was killed off. He saw the Liberation Army salvaging the Tendoshu’s parts. In fear of the cycle repeating itself, Takasugi used his last ounce of energy to stab his school seniors’ ashes into his heart, enabling him temporary immortality. But now it seems that is breaking apart. For these past years, Takasugi has been trying to weed out those who have stolen the parts but it has spread far too wide.

Religion in war – In times of war, people cling on to religion as their last shred of hope. Hence Naraku has been slowly spreading the faith of immortality underneath this guise and awaiting for another comeback as they want Earth’s Altana all to themselves. They have kept Utsuro’s body and the crux that will revive him is his heart. Once that happens, who will be your true saviour?

Edo once more – Yeah, that’s where Shouyou’s body is and the next target of the terrorists.

Mobile Cathedral Kuyo – Apparently this is where this cult is located and where Shouyou is located. An invisible base that cannot be detected or seen by the naked eye hovering above Earth right now.

The mannequin challenge – We take a detour to see how Gintoki, Hijikata and Yamazaki had to act like mannequin to hide from Otae shopping. Expect some mannequin abuse and then dump away.

The pretender – In order to look for Takasugi, Gintoki masquerades at him only to be caught by Ayame who is looking for Gintoki because she still hasn’t given up on marrying him. He is forced to go along with her plan to ‘look for Gintoki’ and in his one chance to get away from her, he screws up and ends up doing the mannequin challenge again. Only this time he somehow put on Kyuubei’s pantsu as disguise. WTF…

MILF treatment – The ladies ‘torture’ ‘Takasugi’ by making old ladies pleasure him to tell the truth. Now he his soul has been cleansed! Except for boobs on his mind…

Home is where the heart is – With all the ladies earnestly hoping Gintoki could come home and that they could walk aside him once more, time for Gintoki to escape and rethink his plans.

Scam Trial…

Kangaroo court in session – And suddenly we have Gintoki as the judge residing to do a Gintama Ending Scam Court and explain how this sh*t started 3 years ago. With lots of troubles, unforeseen circumstances and ad hoc emergency measures, we are where we are right now. And there is no ending still in sight!

Guilty as charged – The biggest crook who is guiltiest of them all is no other than the creator and mangaka of this series! Guilty as charged, Gorilla sensei!

All charges dropped – After a longwinded letter that doesn’t prove anything (but a possible sequel. Maybe), Gintoki finds him not guilty!

Gintama Final: End Of Sky – This better not be another scam!!!!!!!!!!!

Battlefield Earth
And they did it again! If the anime seemed like it hasn’t ended yet (really, it has not at all), that’s because the manga that is supposed to end, hasn’t really ended yet! Good news?! Because somehow the creator screwed up (even writing a flimsy letter explaining to fans) and hence it isn’t ending any time soon. Hooray?! So I guess after all these years of expecting the series to finally end, they trolled us yet again with this. Yeah, we really had been had this time real good. Since I am a fan of the series, I can sigh a big relief as there is a possibility that the anime might continue to pick up where it left off. Hallelujah?! I’ve got a feeling that Gintama and Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan had a hand in this conspiracy together…

This ‘final season’ in many ways was as good as the previous seasons and sometimes I felt it was like one of those cliché Dragonball episodes. You know, where the fight lasts for dozens of episodes! Hence with the final stretch having our beloved characters fighting to defend their beloved planet they are born in, basically this is what the entire Silver Soul arc is really about. Just one big long fight against the big bad boss who wants to destroy everything. Though, it felt a bit anti-climactic when Utsuro just ‘suddenly gave up’ because I was expecting some sort of final boss fight to last for a few more episodes. Yeah, probably we were getting tired of seeing our protagonists running around and beating up endless waves of baddies (doesn’t it feels like a video game?) and no ending in sight.

Hence I thought it was also a bit odd that with the ‘early’ death of Utsuro, we have a few more episodes dedicating to the time skip. Yeah, I thought it was going to be the longest tying up ever. Because you know, it’s Gintama. It has grown so big so it needs a lot of episodes to tie up and end everything. And then it turns out to be another new plot in the making. Another final battle and act on the cards. They do sure know how to troll us. Especially with that last episode. Boy, when we think the final episode wasn’t going to really cut it, suddenly it’s like they read our minds and put up that ‘explanation’. Oh yeah. Gintama. The masters of trolling. Gotta hand it to them. After all, some series can only end for real when it has final in its season. Like Fairy Tail Final Season, Nodame Cantibile: Finale, Shakugan No Shana Final, Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu: Finale, Inu Yasha: Kanketsu-hen (Final Arc), Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan: Kanketsu-hen, Initial D Final Stage, Jungle Wa Itsumo Hare Nochi Guu Final, Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island Final, Sora No Otoshimono Final, Beatless Final Stage, technically Zero No Tsukaima F. Wow. So many finals. And now perhaps, Gintama Final: End Of Sky. Yeah…

It has been one long ride so probably what I want to say would make me sound like a broken tape recorder as my sentiments for this series has not changed. So I’ll be repeating myself if I am going to say those same sentiments again. Heh. Too lazy to type it out again. Go read my previous blogs. But I’m glad this formula never got tired for me. Like how in the midst of a very serious and intense battle, they can actually crack up a very silly joke no matter what. So many times. Therefore one minute your heart was being tugged by all the heartfelt words and quotes the characters said (makes you want to cry inside), the next minute they insert some ludicrous antic that is so out of place that you’ll be laughing your ass off. Only shows like Gintama can pull this sort of sh*t seamlessly.

Many of the characters do look like they have changed but that is mostly their outward appearance. Because from what I can see that many of them still remain the same like we have known them for a long time. For example, Shinpachi now has taken over Yorozuya but don’t expect him to be a more mature and responsible character. Sure, he is slightly better than his previous boss but Shinpachi will always be Shinpachi. Yes, without glasses, Shinpachi will not be defined! Haha! I didn’t think they were going to kill off a lot of characters during the final fight but I was expecting some heavy casualties. I guess they couldn’t because fans might be mad. Hey, don’t say that there aren’t any fans of Elizabeth!

Which brings me to my next point that with so many characters over the seasons, even with many of them just lacking appropriate screen time and just making their cameos (some I even forgot if they really existed in the first place!), it doesn’t really feel that they are lacking because over the seasons we have seen their characters and grown with them so I suppose the final season doesn’t feel like it has lost anything much on this department. It’s not like you need more character development and fleshing out in the final battle, right? But some that have a more prominent role include Hasegawa who didn’t end up being a Madao forever and did something useful (even though he is still a Madao) and Hata not being a useless prince for once (although he is still a useless prince). Is it just weird for me that Matako has transcended into some Takasugi fan boy because she looks like she is always worried for him 24/7. Even when the battle is over, she continued to look and chase after him.

The first opening theme, Katte Ni My Soul by Dish// definitely feels at home for the final epic stretch of the series. This rock piece sets the pace and mood for this final arc and can rival the Pray (the first opening theme in the first season of the Gintama series) in its own right. Not bad actually. The second opening theme, I Wanna Be by Spyair is also not bad but it is a slow rock. Like as though the pacing is now slowing down a bit. In comparison in this sense, I still prefer the first one. But my favourite one that I still prefer the most is the first ending theme, Hanaichi Monme by Burnout Syndromes. This rock piece has quite a catchy theme and that nostalgic feel. However at times, some parts of the song especially the chorus sometimes reminds me of Shawn Mullins’ Lullaby. Must be just mere coincidence. Unfortunately the ‘worst’ of the lot is the second ending theme’s Hikari Shoumeiron by Chico with Honeyworks. The opening of this rock-cum-hip hop piece sounds like some Chinese gay thingy. Seriously. Otherwise it just sounds more like generic rock.

Overall, it’s been one long ride and looks like the ride will be continuing. Even though I love Gintama and wished it would run forever, sometimes I think it is better to find some sort of closure since I don’t really want it to go on eternally like a certain pirate series. After all, I have made my peace and preparation that this series will find its ending and if I need the strength to do it again, I will. And then they troll us again of not really ending yet and the whole process repeats itself again. Don’t troll us too hard because we might get mad and tell you to commit a samurai seppuku! No trial or court could get you out of this one.

On a side note, what if End Of Sky is just a foreshadowing of how it is the end of the creator? You know, sora means sky and this series’ creator is Hideaki Sorachi. End of Sorachi! It’s like foreshadowing his own death sentence. Shikei!

Pop Team Epic

June 2, 2018

At first I was going to give this the skip. Although the main characters are drawn in a chibi way, but somehow I was slightly freaked out they look a bit scary despite knowing this series is going to be pure comedy and epic nonsense. But after reading the synopsis so many times to psycho myself as well as seeing the main characters giving a double mosaic middle finger to us, I knew I had to give Poputepipikku a try. If that sounds hard to pronounce, Pop Team Epic lives up to its name with all the parodies and references of pop culture. It has everything you want from and it is not even shy to tell us its main goal is to become a real anime. Wait. Isn’t this already a real anime? Maybe not real anime epic enough for their standards.

Episode 1
* Popuko pumps into Pipimi while on her way out. The latter lost her pendant. It is in the former’s hands. She asks to return it. She doesn’t want to. Instant obliteration!
* Totoro parody: Popuko trying to snatch an umbrella at the bus stop. Pipimi the Totoro warns her. They both get banged by the bus.
* Pokemon parody: Popuko is tasked to select her starter Pokemon pack but they are all with Pipimi’s face.
* Aliens invade Earth. Popuko shoots her own comrades so Pipimi the alien have to stop her from doing that.
* Badass Pipimi barges in and saves Popuko from some alien experiment. Shady characters let them have their way as they break the fourth wall as they say there is no way a 4-panel manga can become anime. Their goal is for supremacy and they might have gotten it via… Fidget spinners?!
* Some dumb hippo bugs the girls for food but they for feed him bugs.
* The girls are going to France and with Pipimi as a mine, she thinks French people like gestures (heck, they’re even speaking in French). So when she does those mime gestures, she got a double middle finger back.
* Popuko abuses Pipimi but the latter isn’t even mad. So Popuko tortures her like hell and turns her into some biscuit shipped for distribution and she’s still not mad at all.

Episode 2
* A party of RPG warriors summon twin dragons to defeat the demon king. Too bad they summon Popuko and Pipimi. Because of that, the duo have a field day teasing everyone like how this episode is only in sketches, getting paid to do some easy job and doing weird impersonations. We break even more fourth wall because the real seiyuus then complain to the producer how most of their lines are going to be adlib. Do a better job please! Yeah, they even break down, going crazy!
* The duo are at the zoo and it seems Pipimi is testing if the animals they have seen are new (wow so cute!) or a repeat (meh, seen it before). Popuko got tricked when a Tasmanian devil is not seen yet but yet she says it is so. Then they all laugh it off.
* A stop motion animation of the girls singing the theme song.
* Pipimi swiftly takes a picture of all their ridiculous fortunes.
* Popuko dies each time she sees a jagged speech balloon. Of course this shocks Pipimi and the cycle repeats all over again.

Episode 3
* Popuko is going to leave but her blanket won’t let her and covers her. Now she’s sleeping soundly.
* A documentary parody: Pipimi is the producer of an idol group, Tame Monkey in which Popuko is an uncouth member. Others try to tell her off but Pipimi makes them inferior and a slave to Popuko. Popuko gains more popularity although she is lazy. Pipimi tries to find suitable idol partners from humans to animals but none were suitable. She then decided the best was to mass clone her. It soon becomes a dystopia with Popuko clones taking over the world and subjugating all humans. When asked if this is the ideal world Pipimi envisioned, yes it is.
* Pipimi likes this new red car. Because red covers the blood she is going to spill! How about its hybrid specs? It means it is quiet. Oh, she can kill without making a sound!
* The girls are in France and are infatuated with baguettes. The bought a bunch home and Popuko loves them so much that she uses them as her ski.
* Popuko wants to hug that cute red panda. But the closer she gets, it turns into a big scary monster! But far away it looks so cute and docile…

Episode 4
* Popuko enters a bobsled race. Is that Dastardly?! Yeah, he blew himself up after trying to cheat. As for the other teams that zoom past Popuko, they crash into the crossing penguin and her family! Poor penguins. When a speeding sports car leaves Popuko in the dust, she combines with Pipimi the airplane! So fast that it leaves the sports car in the dust! Popuko finally wins gold but she is disqualified because she is a robot! Now that the secret is out, what do they do? Fly away!
* Popuko and Pipimi singing a spoof of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Let’s Groove. Not bad actually!
* An alien tries to act like a cat. Yeah… Is your hair standing on ends? However Popuko is not convinced and tells it to leave. Time to go back to your own spaceship.

Episode 5
* Iyo Sakuragi is a normal high school girl who is in love with the popular football club captain, Hojou. One day her dad, Pipimi marries another woman, Popuko. That woman is Hojou’s mom! To her dismay, now they are siblings. Yeah, she would have wanted to become his girlfriend. But they live a tormenting life every day since the parents do not work and gamble the money away. It is made worse when they always do stupid stuffs to interrupt their studies or sleep. Even worse, Iyo is bullied by Hojou’s fan girls every day. One day Iyo cannot take this anymore so she tries to stab them but Hojou gets in the way. He will not let her stain her hands for his sake. Although this reinforces their love, their parents continue to gamble away. 5 years later, they are happily married with twins. Popuko and Pipimi?! Why do I have a feeling the devils have been reincarnated?
* Popuko couldn’t stop hiccupping. Pipimi says she will die once she reaches 100. However she stops at 99 and self-destructs. This is worse than an atomic bomb!
* Popuko doing a lame impression of Mickey. Yeah, that Disney mouse. Does Mickey snort when he laughs?
* Popuko chases a cute bunny like forever on Route 66. Seems normal but made epic because the background music of Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild is being played! Easy Runner?

Episode 6
* Shogi parody. Popuko with Pipimi as her Heian spiritual guide, faces off with an opponent. However he finds her aura too intimidating and gives up! Holy cow! Popuko wins with the game not even started and no moves were made! Super record! Next is some cabaret slut queen and after 73 moves, Popuko wins while she disintegrates into sand. Next is a discount version of Tekken’s Heihachi. After Popuko makes the first move of her pawn, this machine dude explodes! Must be the way she put her pawn so epic, huh? Her final opponent is the real Pipimi who is supposed to be the pinnacle of shogi AI. The battle is so epic that it looks more like a fighting game than playing shogi. Did they both do hadoken in the end? Yeah, so epic that the entire place explodes. All that is left is Pipimi’s ribbon.
* Popuko is running late for school but her blanket, pillow, mat, curtain and alarm clock won’t let her go and let her sleep in. Ah, such warm comfy peace.
* Popuko thanks everyone and hopes all will subscribe to her channel. For those who don’t, she is going to get you…

Episode 7
* A guy is feeling depressed so Popuko recommends reading Pop Team Epic’s manga. He finds it boring and is instantly labelled a hater!
* I’m sure Hellshake Yano is about some rocker guy trying to rock the crowd with his electrifying guitar. However what makes it interesting is how the story is told using a combination of 2 sketchbooks, the cut-outs and other effects solely from just using the sketchbook. Even though I don’t really get the overall story, but the visuals of this art is sure a hell lot creative! Very creative! Kudos and hats off!
* Today’s cooking show brings you… A compressed manatee! I hope no manatees were hurt in the use of this cooking show.
* Popuko and Pipimi take a selfie of a beautiful French scenery. Turns out to be just a billboard poster.

Episode 8
* A bacon watches itself cook a bacon to eat… Oh sh*t…
* Popuko is a violent criminal in prison. But Pipimi sees an interesting side of her and has her sworn into her brotherhood of yakuza by licking the same lemon. Sour… Once Popuko is out on parole, the duo go on a notoriety spree of criminal activities. Popuko becomes Pipimi’s personal assassin by taking down all her rivals or those who stand in her way. Some YouTubing fiasco has Pipimi suspect her father is the one behind this and is bending his backs to the police instead of following their yakuza code. Pipimi quits the gang. But soon, Popuko gets assassinated. At her funeral (double middle finger as her death photo?), Pipimi brings a guy who seems to be criticising Popuko from the manga. Mad Popuko wakes up and pops some lead in his head. Pipimi blows the entire place up as the duo escape.
* The duo cut their bangs. Those who do not cut their bangs will not pass!
* Popuko shows Pipimi a music video she made. WTF is this trippy drug fuelled fantasy?! Pipimi immediately orders her to burn the tape!
* Popuko throws seeds to a tree for it to bloom. However it is just ordinary flour. The mad tree chases her. The interesting about this is how the art is done using sand art style.

Episode 9
* OMG. A short story decently narrated in decent English! (Though, the second half is in Japanese) It’s about this New Yorker boy who feels lost in life. Till Popuko and Pipimi randomly appear in his life (as Ghostbusters busting punks!). He decides to follow them and tell them all his problems. He thinks they are listening quietly to his problems but I bet they’re just ignoring him and think he doesn’t even exist! Hey, is that Robocop and Terminator Pipimi arm wrestled and easily beat!!! He cherished following the girls everywhere and believes they are showing him the other side of life. Though, I’m pretty sure they’re just randomly going places. One night when they are about to cut the tuna, he gets scared. That is when he realized he was too scared to do anything and ran away from everything instead of facing it. Hence he goes back to his ordinary life and promises to work hard. Now he is the mayor of New York as he makes his speech and pays tribute to the girls who has changed his life. OMG! So this is the back story of Street Of Rage’s Mike Haggar! Now I’ve seen it all!
* The rabbit is late for a secret tea party but stupid Popuko keeps blocking its way.
* Pipimi lets Popuko press a button. She gets a hug. But when she repeatedly presses it like mad, she gets smacked!
* Pipimi throws a deep question to Popuko. What if 1000 out of 10 people hate her? Wait. What?! She starts crying. But Pipimi says what if she is the only one by her side? Popuko is happy she is the centre of the universe.
* The duo are ordering French cuisine for the first time. I’m sure they are impressed with the fancy names and order away. They didn’t know the food they order has strong odour. Yeah, it stinks. So they go order something familiar: Ramen. Ah, nothing beats good ol’ ramen.

Episode 10
* God wants to let Popuko take over His role. Guess what? Popuko thinks it is a bother and gives Him the middle finger, blowing Him away!!!
* The duo play football but they pass and shoot using their hadoken!
* Popuko experiences bad customer service so she sets all the traps and then presses the button to call for service. Since the waiter didn’t come, Popuko falls into her own traps. Still got bad service…
* Detective Conan parody: Popuko and Pipimi are relaxing at a hotspring but a murder occurs. The detective suspects everyone there but the duo take the liberty to play detective. They keep accusing this suspicious guy with a mask and try to get him to confess with their hostess abilities. Eventually they are kicked out so they go do their own investigations. Is it me but isn’t the evidence so clear because the murder victim wrote with his blood the culprit as the hostess inn? So when Pipimi figures out the culprit, she calls everyone but starts off narrating her hostess life. Thanks to her hard work, they give her a hotspring trip to relax and sends Popuko who is the top new hostess with her. Thanks to this, they blame their trip is spoiled by the murder. Yeah, the inn hostess breaks down thinking they are putting her at fault. This has her explaining about the victim killing her dad 15 years ago. She wants to kill herself but Pipimi slaps her and gives her a second chance to come to her hostess bar. Case closed.

Episode 11
* Horror time! 4 friends are having their own party at an isolated cabin. When Aya goes to the ladies, she thought she saw shadows of 2 girls standing at the hallway. She freaks out and this alerts her friends. They take her back with them to rest. Reina accuses Aya to drop the cute act because she wants to get close with Shogo. Hayato tries to diffuse the situation so Reina also tells him to shut it and knows he has a crush on Aya. Soon the girls start trying to outdo each other they have done things with Shogo. So he is two-timing them? Hayato goes crazy and slashes Shogo with an axe! Reina runs away into her car. After starting up, she is spooked by the 2 girls in front. Panic, she crashes down the ravine. Meanwhile Aya shoots Hayato before he axes her. Next morning, all the dead friends are now in the photo with Popuko and Pipimi. They have their eyes…
* Pipimi becomes a tree. Popuko doesn’t want to be left alone and hugs her. She too becomes a tree. And that is how the legend of why the tree is protruding and has a shape of a girl.
* Popuko wonders how Pipimi became so big. Science, baby. Science.
* Pipimi reads a comment from a viewer complaining there isn’t enough keyframes. Popuko dances like hell to make more keyframes.
* Popuko talks like as though she knows all about wine. Yeah, she sounds like an expert until Pipimi tells her to just finish her grape juice!

Episode 12
* Those shady characters are disgusted at the cuteness of Popuko and Pipimi since they have ruined their whatever legend they have planned or created. With lots of terms that I don’t even understand, finally they think their next greatness will be in the form of hegemony. They send henchmen to kill off the duo but our girls get even more violent, destroying their surroundings and killing everybody. Brutal…
* Popuko can’t find her glasses. She searches until the moon. She tussles with a couple of aliens for it until they get sucked into the black hole.
* The duo are singing a graduation-like song. Until the lyrics became about killing and destruction!
* The duo crash into the HQ of the baddies and defeat all small fries and interrogate them for the mastermind. It leads them to the HQ of our shady characters who then turn into their true monster form. The duo combine and transform into their golden form and easily defeat them. In the end, this costs Pipimi’s life. But not to worry, a hot guy who is a time traveller takes them back to the past! In an alternate version, the duo survived and that’s the end!

Pop Goes The Epic
Thankfully I didn’t lose any brain cells from watching this nonsense. That’s because some of the jokes are so short and I didn’t really get them. Even though this series is garbage, it is not the bad kind of garbage. I mean, it is meant to be over the top nonsense and parodies anything it could get its hands on. In this sense it is the kind of trash we are talking about. The kind of trash we would love to have more. Can we have another second season? I’m sure if Popuko and Pipimi would have their way, they would have blackmailed and threatened the producers at gunpoint until they give in to their demands. Yeah, that’s the kind of anime this series is supposed to be. It has everything that you could ever want to in your anime!

Initially I was baffled that the series’ running time is the usual and standard 24 minutes but it is only half that time. What do I mean? You see, this show is only 12 minutes long and the second half is actually repeated! Is this a kind of trolling? However for those who keep watching the second half, you would notice there are some minor changes in some of the skits. The most obvious being the seiyuus voicing each half are different. Heck, in every episode, Popuko and Pipimi’s seiyuu are different. So it doesn’t matter if they are female or male, because either way, the character sounds funny. Even funnier if it is voiced by a male with a low voice. Just hilarious.

Hence with the seiyuus list running longer than your tax file, it was hard for me to pinpoint or pick out any seiyuu that I could recognize. I don’t think I remember if I did since the skits were so short that I couldn’t pick them out. Heck, I was trying to understand the joke too! Too much for me. What do you mean Mamiko Noto voiced one of the Pipimi characters here???!!! WHERE???!!! Must go back and find out… So the host of seiyuus that I know lending their talents as Pipimi include Ayana Taketatsu, Satomi Satou, Yuu Kobayashi, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuuki Kaji, Jouji Nakata, Shigeru Chiba and Norio Wakamoto, Whereas Popuko has Aoi Yuuki, Mikako Komatsu, Nana Mizuki, Youko Hikasa, Tomoko Kaneda, Hiro Shimono, Rikiya Koyama, Sho Hayami, Showtaro Morikubo and Yuuichi Nakamura. Yeah, this is just part of those whom I should recognize and there are lots more others helming both characters. But for other cameo characters, the list is even longer since a seiyuu is used for an extra minor despite staying the same in both halves. Sometimes I feel the seiyuus are having fun voicing their characters. You can sometimes here they aren’t serious in their role and just doing it because it is fun. Not bad actually. After all, what else do you expect from this kind of anime? The input equals the output.

Other changes in the second half include certain skits having slightly different visuals or a different presentation. Like that Mike Haggar story in which the first half was narrated in English and the next half was in Japanese. Or that horror-cum-murder story in which some sort of commentary was provided instead for the second half. There is also a recurring segment (albeit not in all episodes) called Japan Mignon. We have this young French dude who is supposedly the animator of this series talking in French. Unless you know French, you’re not going to understand what he says because the next animation scene featuring Popuko and Pipimi is supposed to be the punch line. So if you stayed around for the second half, there would be a proper translation to understand what the so called joke was. So sometimes I keep thinking that this second half with slight difference is just one big spot the difference game.

The art and animation might use the standard chibi version for Popuko and Pipimi but there are also certain skits that have their art style slightly different. I believe that some skits are produced by different people as you can see their name appearing in the eye-catch scene before the skit. I also want to note that the ‘most horrible’ art style goes to this segment called Bob Team Epic (New Series). Not only our main duo sound like guys doing their worst falsetto impression, the drawing of the girls is just horrendous and distorted like hell! I know it is done on purpose and to make the girls look funny. I think my 5 year old nephew could even draw better and if submitted, could be passed off as that segment’s animation style! Hilarious and ugly at the same time. Other visual styles include the use of live-action, stop motion, CGI (although this is kept to the minimum), 8bit retro video game style as well as real hand sewn dolls.

Can’t comment much about the characters and storyline because everything is so random and nonsensical that it doesn’t make sense trying to do so. Pop culture references are a ton aplenty and veterans would have a field day spotting them. I’m not so I wasn’t really that excited. Popuko and Pipimi are like everything. They are your best friends, your enemies, your saviour, your worst nightmare, even playing both God and Satan themselves! The world revolves around them! And other characters don’t matter because what for? If you think that yellow blob Wooser was bad enough, looks like this duo are going to give him a run for his money. Popuko and Pipimi do not have much character development between them and it is so minimal but it makes us want to care a lot about their dynamic friendship. They are indeed the dynamic duo. Pure comedy gold!

This brings me to another interesting segment. Supposedly the next episode preview but not for this series but for ‘another anime series’. Based on the ‘next episode preview’ of Hoshiiro Girl Drop, this looks quite an interesting anime! Despite it looks like a romantic comedy kind of anime, that penultimate preview makes it look even more interesting because of its tragic twist (although generally it might not be that of a shocker or original one). Heck, the art and drawing are standard bishoujo style! Also, mainly narrated by Yui Ogura in her trademark cute voice who is supposedly the main character of this series (Sosogu Hoshifuri). Also, they got a seemingly decent opening theme for this series already, Twinkling Star by Drop Stars. I want to see this anime! THEY SHOULD MAKE THIS ANIME INTO A REALITY AND SCREW OVER THIS ONE!!! Oh, wait a minute. If Hoshiiro Girl Drop announced it is ‘second season’ at the end, could this be a deeper meaning that this series is getting one?! Yeah, this series loves trolling us in so many ways. But I really hope Hoshiiro Girl Drop gets adapted.

The opening theme for the series is as the same name of its series sung by Sumire Uesaka. Can’t give an even more epic name for an epic title, can you? But I am not really attracted to this song since it uses a lot of synthesizers and I think it makes the singer’s voice sound like she is using Auto-Tune. I seem to prefer the ending theme, Poppy Pappy Day. Although there are many versions of it, depending who the seiyuus are voicing the main duo, I prefer the male voices covering it. It has that sleepy and calming effect to it. Really. Of course the one that really takes the cake is Let’s Pop Together, that Let’s Groove spoof. Care to dance and groove to this tune? Let’s pop together, all night! All right!

Overall, this strange and bizarre series might have won the hearts of many because of its epic nonsense and parodies of everything, but it is not likely to become any sort of masterpiece. In short, not Oscar worthy material. Though, it is already a masterpiece for those who absolutely love it. Therefore crap shows like this are good because they make you forget about reality and make you laugh at all the ironies and silliness. It doesn’t have to make sense or be logical. It could very well be a meme of its own. But if you think that there is all to offer to this great epic series, be warned that this isn’t the last that you will hear of them yet. They’ll be back to give us more epic memes, parodies and laughs when you least expected it. OMG. Pop Team Epic saved anime?! Just the kind of epic story-cum-meme we all need.

Gintama: Porori-hen

March 23, 2018

OMG! OMFG!!! It’s like they could read my mind and heart! Gintama was certainly coming to its closing stages when they have really heavy story driven arcs in the recent previous seasons. Fans knew the time will come when the series will end. And what do you know? They surprise us again by giving us another season which is not related to this final story! Yes, people. Gintama: Porori-hen as the sixth season has gone back to its original roots of nonsensical slapstick comedy that we have all come to know and love. It is like before the big finale, before the sh*t gets real, let us watch and laugh one last time at their antics. Oh Gintama, you certainly know how to please our hearts. So we’re not crying with tears of joy. We’re going to laugh at all the silliness, stupidity and ridiculousness instead. And then we cry.

Episode 329
After a fake recap that rips off popular anime titles, we see Umibouzu worried about Kagura getting married to a jerk and then divorced and lead a tough shady life. Why is she fat, tanned and ugly?! Anyway, his fears come a step closer when he sees a boy giving her a letter and when she reads it out loud, he wants her to be his girlfriend. So what has a father got to do but go bug Gintoki for being a bad guardian or something. Even when Kagura tells them about her boyfriend and date tomorrow, it took them a while before reality hits them. Are they mad? Are they panicking? The best way is to ask her directly but the adults are just chicken sh*t to ask her and got distracted with their own nonsensical talk and fighting. So when Shinpachi finally asks and she honestly explains she isn’t sure what love is but is willing to try out because that boy put his heart into writing the letter, you bet the fathers aren’t going to allow this. Not that she cares what they say anyway. They allow her to go on her date but on a condition they meet her boyfriend first. So the adults get drunk and ironically Shinpachi the kid lectures them on what being a grownup is. Probably they take it too literally because they are now waiting with creepy smiles and in a huge body! Yeah, this is what they think growing up is. I guess they never thought it would apply to the brain or mentality. When Kagura is here, they think her boyfriend won’t come in is because he is having cold feet meeting them. Turns out he is a giant! A big baby!

Episode 330
Folks, meet Dai. Kagura explains the one who gave her the letter was Dai’s friend as he is shy and too big to write a letter. Oh, did she mention Dai is the prince of Planet Titan and was introduced by Soyo? Oh, look at all those Titan bodyguards… Dai does away with this formality crap and talks casually. In short, one can see his is a big jerk. It seems Dai plans to bring Kagura back to his planet and marry her. I guess that is shocking enough. So the fathers try to dissuade him by badmouthing how useless Kagura is as a wife? No wonder she is mad. So while the fathers keep punching each other (probably taking Shinpachi’s advice of being an adult literally), Dai and Kagura are long gone on their date. Kagura feels bored on the date and doesn’t think it will work out. Besides, she isn’t ready for this marriage thingy and is okay with long distance relationship. But Dai won’t accept this and puts her to sleep. Gintoki and Umibouzu confront Soyo. Why do they make her sound it is her fault? Anyway she reveals the Titans have this particular habit of taking brides from other planets. Once they do, to keep their DNA pure, they will destroy the entire planet of the brides. Technically, isn’t Kagura a Yato and not an Earthling? Dai initiates the wedding ceremony with his Titans wrecking the place. As the priest gives them the green light to kiss, Shinpachi kicks them and Dai accidentally kisses the priest! Shinpachi lectures him about the feeling of a daughter being taken away from her fathers. Dai won’t listen and sends his Titans to attack. But it is raining Titan blood? Turns out Gintoki and Umibouzu beating them to a pulp. You don’t know how scary fathers are. Eventually Dai gets beaten up but Kagura also beats them up for forgetting about her. In the aftermath, Dai sends a letter to Kagura. Looks like he has turned over a new leaf and is grateful about fathers. He will respect them and the family when he gets a girlfriend next time. But why does he sound scared about fathers too? The ultimate creepy twist is that Dai has found a new love: The priest! OH SH*T! Must be some twisted father joke…

Episode 331
Ikumatsu narrates that an old scruffy man always show up at her ramen store on New Year’s Eve, ordered a bowl and shared it with her and her husband before leaving. When her husband told her to keep up this tradition, that was when her husband soon passed away and that man never showed up anymore. She wonders what happened to him as she never got the chance to return his scarf. So Katsura and Gintoki are going to get to the bottom of this (is it because Katsura has hots for her?) as they assimilate as homeless people at the park? They are introduced to the Lawd who is no other than Hasegawa! He is speaking through a translator?! Is he that holy?! Actually the ‘translator’ is the Lawd. There is also a rival group of homeless people led by a ruffian who was done in by Katsura and Gintoki. Meanwhile Shinpachi and Kagura try to investigate more about the scarf as it has the crest of the famous Nishikiya on it. From what we hear it sounds very much like Ikumatsu is the heiress of Nishikiya whose father died 20 years ago. Ikumatsu admits to this but doesn’t remember how her father died since she was too young to remember. When the brand was booming, he started to flirt with employees and mom kicked him out. He is said to have died on the streets via illness. She could only remember her mom’s sad face. Well what do you know? That old scruffy man is supposed to be her dead father! The ruffian’s goal is to kill him. He forces Katsura and Gintoki to bring his head or else who knows what his men waiting outside Ikumatsu’s shop will do. This is his revenge on them. Lawd has a plan. Instead of looking for her father, they need to ensure Ikumatsu’s safety first and hence leads the morons out via sewer. Oh boy, Hasegawa is going to have his hands full saving them from stupid plunging jokes.

Episode 332
It is revealed that Ikumatsu’s dad saved a drowning boy on a bad weather. Though the kid was saved, he went missing. Many years later when he was found, he was seen with another woman. More accurately, he has amnesia and forgets everything by the next morning. The saved boy grew up to marry Ikumatsu as he kept searching for her dad until he found him at the park. He begged him to come eat ramen at their place to see his daughter even if he doesn’t remember. Strangely, he often wanders about on New Year’s Eve and into Ikumatsu’s store because of an old memory his family used to eat together. It turns out Lawd is Ikumatsu’s father. Gintoki fights the ruffian boss and his gang to let Katsura deliver Lawd to Ikumatsu. At the same time, Kagura and Shinpachi fight off the homeless hordes to let Ikumatsu do a ‘delivery’. Ikumatsu laments how she could forget about someone whom she loved so much. She accidentally falls into the river. Katsura is passing there as Lawd swiftly jumps in to save her. It seems Katsura only manages to pull Ikumatsu out. In the aftermath, Ikumatsu talks to Katsura and ponders if those last words she heard from her father were real. She is still grateful to him for if not for him, she could not have met her husband. She makes ramen for him to eat but he refuses because he is not related or part of her family. However he can still share her suffering as friends. The greatest news of all as her dad on a wheelchair is wheeled in by Gintoki. Ikumatsu immediately hugs him. We take a small detour as we see Hasegawa on the verge of jumping off the bridge. However he is told to appreciate life by an assassin who is about to snipe at someone! Suicidal man versus assassin. Who has more right on the views of life? Stay tuned…

Episode 333
Hasegawa suggests shooting him but Isshen won’t waste his bullets. However if he jumps from the other building, he can snipe at him and his target with one bullet. When Hasegawa treks up the other building, there is another assassin, Irron trying to snipe at Isshen! Hasegawa tells what is happening. Too bad Irron won’t kill him but only scumbags like Isshen. So Hasegawa has to go all the way back there to bait Isshen in hopes Irron will kill them with one shot. Back there again, Hasegawa is close to dead from all the running so Isshen is going to bring him to hospital! Life is more important than his job! What a nice guy! When Irron starts shooting and miss, Isshen tells him to go back there while he becomes the decoy. Hasegawa has to run back there again but Irron has injured himself. Then the baddies take him hostage and it turns out Irron is Isshen’s cross-dressed little sister. Hasegawa came here to die and became implicated in such complications. He has had it and takes Irron to jump down. Isshen then fires a shot that saves them from free fall. Looks like somebody will continue living today.

Matsudaira is conducting some lecture but Hijikata and Sasaki start arguing some crap that has them and their lazy partners do a case study via VR. It looks like somebody killed Momotaro and they must solve this whodunnit case. At first looks, it seems grandpa and granny might be suspects in killing him but further observation shows he has already been killed beforehand and stuffed inside the peach to frame them. Then they all go crazy with their theories as they suspect Momotaro’s comrades. With x-ray evidence showing he choked and he ate his animal comrades, Hijikata deduces after they slew the demon, they were drifting back and ran out of food. Momotaro gave his dango to his comrades but it soon ran out and they all died. Hence he ate them to survive. Finally when there is nothing left, he ate the dango bag and choked on it. A sad ending but the shocking revelation as Matsudaira says is that this isn’t Momotaro but the demon in disguise. After he ate the animals, he tried to make his way to eat more humans but died without achieving his goal. Cause of death? Brain tumour. WTF… Trolled…

Episode 334
As Tetsuko is looking through the swords, there is one without a scabbard. Gintoki nonchalantly throws it away in the incinerator. It comes alive and sticks inside his ass! Oh, it’s a talking sword. Kusanagi is from Planet Excalibur and came to Earth with his wife, Sayako the scabbard after smelling war. As time passed, he became blunt and tossed away. They only took Sayako who remained beautiful. He wants to be reunited with his wife so the gang conducts a free sword check. But why does Gintoki and Kusanagi sound like they are catcalling? Kusanagi starts resonating when his kind is near. It seems Kusanagi fears this dangerous guy, Senbei. But Senbei has to go since the cops after chasing him. Sougou couldn’t catch him so he arrests Gintoki for public indecency as replacement. Back at the HQ, Sougou rips Kusanagi out from his ass! Man, it looks like some sick bloody porn… Kusanagi realizes Sougou’s scabbard is Sayako. As he tries to talk to her, unfortunately she doesn’t remember him. She is very much in love with Sougou who saved her while being put on display in a shop in New York. They are leading a nice life now so she wants Kusanagi to stop bothering them. Kusanagi is so hurt that he sticks himself deeper into Gintoki’s ass! Since this won’t do, Gintoki challenges Sougou to a sword battle (buttle as they call it) over Sayako. But first they need to get the sword out from his ass. Looks like tying him to a tree and pulling it out via a truck isn’t going to work. With Kusanagi’s morale so low as he is obviously blunt, Tetsuko promises to beat him back into shape. Well… She broke him in half…

Episode 335
Kusanagi breaks again when reforged. At least his sarcasm is sharper… Tetsuko can tell it is because of his old wounds. Indeed. Sayako belonged to another sword initially. He was the cursed sword named Maganagi who consumed the life of all other swords and scabbards. Kusanagi couldn’t bear see his childhood friend become his latest victim and fought him and barely escaped with his life. Meanwhile Sougou is confronted by Senbei and as they are gearing up for a fight, another horrifying truth is revealed about Maganagi. Unlike Kusanagi who sticks in ass to be friendly with the wielder, Maganagi consumes the soul of the wielder. Hence Senbei isn’t actually himself but just a vessel for Maganagi. However Sougou easily defeats him! The day of the buttle is here. To Kusanagi’s fear, it seems Sougou is now the wielder of Maganagi. However it is Sougou who has tamed him! The real Senbei has been reduced to a vegetable state in hospital. He goes into trauma each time he thinks about being consumed. Hijikata realizes the horrifying implications of this if the greatest cursed sword falls into the hands of a super sadist. So the buttle begins with Gintoki and Sougou picking up coloured turds with the swords? And they’re throwing them at each other? After we’re done with all the poop jokes, the sword fight gets real.

Episode 336
At this point, Sougou has been consumed by Maganagi. The Shinsengumi try to arrest him but he is quick to slash their swords. They could have been goners had Gintoki didn’t distract him back to their fight. Gintoki is able to avoid all of his attacks because even though Maganagi took over Sougou’s body, his movements are now sluggish and easy to read. But shortly, Kusanagi goes flaccid. Ran out of juice? Maganagi is now quicker and sharper, doing some HP damage to Gintoki. This is when Sayako comes in between them. She doesn’t care about the swords but Sougou. Kusanagi thought she has really forgotten about them but Maganagi reveals the truth about her. She is Kusanagi’s daughter! WTF?! How can swords give birth?! It seems Sayako was pregnant with his child after he left and since it isn’t easy for a single swordless scabbard to protect a child, she housed many other swords even if it meant betraying her husband. By the time she was exhausted from it all, Maganagi freed her from it. By killing her. He is here to keep his promise to her so that all the family could reunite together in death. The shock kills Kusanagi as he disintegrates. As Maganagi tries to consume the scabbard, Sougou regains control of his body and doesn’t want the fight to end yet. Gintoki did the unthinkable as he becomes the scabbard to revive Kusanagi. Yup, he sticks the broken sword in his ass! Sougou won’t lose out and stabs Maganagi in his own heart. Both power up to astronomical proportions and explode upon clashing. In the end, Maganagi lost and disintegrates. Kusanagi is also on the verge of disintegrating but we get to hear his last rites of gratefulness. In the aftermath, Sougou and Sayako continue their normal life. Tetsuko and Yorozuya pick up all the disintegrated iron they could find. It took them a while but Sayako plans to forge the dullest sword out of it. Even so, Sougou hopes he could get it when it is ready as he is okay having a sword that doesn’t cut anything because the sword and the scabbard will never be apart again.

Episode 337
Otsu might still be a good singer but Gintoki argues that as a solo artist, her popularity would soon wane and she might be doing shady stuffs to keep relevant. Hence it is suggested she teams up as a unit. So they had to pick Kagura as her partner? Whatever. I’m sure we can see she has some talent aside from that nose picking thingy. Gintoki becomes the producer while Shinpachi becomes the manager (and everything else) in this duo unit called Hanakuso Diamond 48 (HDZ48). There is also some silly argument over the roles that they would be taking on that pretty much obsessed over some producer called Daisuke as well as the bands of B’z and Wands. Otae enters the scene to give her 2 cents worth of opinion about backup dancers and bands being the more dangerous enemies than fans. I guess it’s her cue to introduce herself and her all-girl band comprising of Kyuubei, Tsukuyo and Ayame as their backup band. They know nothing about music… With HDZ given the green light, it seems not all parties are happy. Like this intergalactic idol group as well as Otsu’s loyal fans who do not approve of her being in a unit. Looks like Shinpachi as their captain is going to be answerable to his hypocrisy. Gintoki arranges a sleazy handshake event that attracts perverts. But with Kagura’s strong grip that ‘destroys’ their perverted hands, Gintoki tries to cover up by selling stuffs and throw in idol service as extras but with unexpected consequences. Like a lap pillow, Kagura knee kicks them! Yeah, each cover up sounds more and more like some shady TV shopping channel. The disgruntled fans has have had enough when the intergalactic idol group drops in. Galaxy Kingdom Bitches 48 (GKB48)!!! I’m not kidding you.

Episode 338
GKB48 has private curtain rooms for their handshake. Makes you wonder what ambiguous stuffs they’re doing behind the privacy. Poor Otsu is so disheartened that all her loyal fans have deserted her, she runs away in tears. However GKB48 won’t let it end like that. As Otsu locks herself up at the agency, a new scandal surfaces. Superimposed pictures that make it look like Shinpachi and Gintoki are flirting with her. You know the journalists are going to be hard on their asses. GKB48 soon announces their debut on Earth. It will be on the same date of Otsu’s release. They are also planning to hold a concert for this debut and invite Otsu to battle with them. The winner gets to release their album while the loser quits forever. Otsu may not stand a chance but Yorozuya won’t go down without a fight since they are technically her last standing fans. GKB48 are insulted when Shinpachi and Gintoki dress up as new female members. Furthermore, Otsu didn’t show up. Her replacement? But HDZ48 has the backup band as support. The competition begins to see which side can get more handshakes from their fans. It seems the fans are all rushing towards GKB48’s gate while HDZ48 is a ghost town. HDZ48 plays dirty as the backup band girls start insulting those at the end of the queue. While this looks like they are only alienating fans, they quickly put up an apology act. The perfect tsundere act has some fans defecting to them. As Gintoki puts it, this isn’t a competition to see who the best idol is but the biggest slut alive! Hey, they started it so don’t regret. Gintoki then introduces their own private handshake room: Toilet stalls! Don’t understand his explanation but it sounds very shady and perverted that the backup band girls beat the hell out of him. At least more fans are coming their way, right?

Episode 339
It gets even worse when Otae and the girls are just arguing among themselves to be the centre. Don’t even talk about abusing the fans in the process. So are they serious or not? Not too surprising, the fans abandon them. With GKB48 taking an immense lead, Shinpachi dons his headgear as Otsu’s fan club captain. He is going to settle this once and for all. Yup, he is going into that private curtain. After all that big talk, he couldn’t even last a second inside! But did he? Actually he tore out an antenna that is supposedly mind controlling all their fans. Not only their fans revert back to normal, GKB48 revert to their ugly true form. With GKB48 disqualified for cheating and HDZ48 gaining fan support, GKB48 of course is going to get some payback. Kagura and the backing band keep them at bay with their immense strength and rotten music respectively and ultimately defeat them. And while they talk about dreams and ideals, Otsu who heard their sincere heart, makes a return to stage. Her fans are delighted as she starts singing for them. In the aftermath, Otsu shines as bright as before. HDZ48 got disbanded even before it lifted off. But I guess for all those who know, the legend of HDZ 48 lives in everyone’s heart.

Episode 340
A blatant promotion of their Gintama Rumble video game but also badmouthing and criticizing it in their usual fashion. So Yorozuya sneak into the game company with Tama to hack and change the game. First it spoofs the Tales series by giving some lame ass main protagonist who can only answer S or M. Then some outbreak disease that is so horrifying that it kills you in no time if you don’t do anything. Trying to scare us NEETs, huh? The zombie outbreak leads to a change in genre, a survival horror game Resident Evil style before a mission to save the princess that parodies Mario. Safe to say this game got cancelled.

Shinpachi broke his glasses so he sees a shady optician who gives him glasses that would make him see ‘clearer’. Turns out he could see ghosts latching onto people’s back! Cursed glasses! When he tries to return to the store for refund, it isn’t there anymore. Ghost store? He returns home only to find a terrifying deity-like ghost (Asuraman) haunting Gintoki. It turns out to be a vengeful spirit trying to kill him?! What about Kagura? She’s got an alcoholic Pikachu rip-off (Alchu)! Maybe that’s why she’s always in a bad mood when she wakes up. Then everyone attends a local race. Too bad Shinpachi could see dead warriors and fighters itching to kill each other…

Episode 341
These are the other ghastly things Shinpachi sees: Hasegawa is a ghost too?! Asuraman and Alchu sabotaging their own team because more spoils for the victors?! Other characters also have their ghosts haunting them like Otae has this super majestic monster Buddha, Kondou has his from his balls (?!), Katsura is a Toyota Corolla rip-off as well as Hijikata a Maserati rip-off?! Also, Hasegawa, Asuraman and Alchu combine to form one hideous (in a funny sense) sphinx beast or something. In the final game, it is kibasen mixed with a few other games to save time. It seems ghosts are also invited to participate! Naturally everyone targets Shinpachi’s team and as he resigns to his defeat, suddenly he sees a vision of that shady optician. Turns out he is his guardian spirit and just wanted him to see what their world is like. Giving him his original glasses, should he put them back on, he will never return to this world. And so Shinpachi takes it and uses the power of his glasses as his weapon and fails. His glasses break too. Time to get another one.

Do Not Slip Up Now!
Okay. I’m ready to do this now. I’m ready for it all to end. I’m ready for the final season. I’m ready for the final long arc as announced at the end. Unless they troll me hard again. But I could accept that. Anyway, back to this season. Well, I’m glad the same ol’ Gintama formula is still there. The funny exaggerated slapstick moments and the sudden ‘lessons in life’ that would instantly give you the feels are all too familiar and very much welcomed for veteran Gintama fans. It is a roller coaster ride from laughing and feeling touched. One minute you’re laughing out loud like a maniac, the next second you could be welling up some tears in your eyes. Oh, Gintama. That is why we love you throughout the years. It is that same love that we are going to see it end.

It is great for this ‘light-hearted’ season to feature some of the characters who didn’t appear in the couple of previous story arcs like the Shinsengumi. They were obviously and sorely missing from the previous Rakuyo Arc. This could have been well before that arc since Sasaki is ‘revived’. But you know, Gintama doesn’t really need to stick to all that who-lives-who-dies timeline just to make us some great entertainment. Also given more screen time this season are Hasegawa and Otsu who have been one of the few ‘favourite’ minor supporting characters throughout the long running series. Oddly for Katsura’s focused episode, I wonder what the heck happened to Elizabeth. That fake duck mascot character has always been by his side and they are like inseparable. So it is quite odd (at least for me) to see Katsura without his trusty sidekick for a long period of time especially a short mini arc even if it is just for 2 episodes. Of course Elizabeth is seen back in the final ghost haunting race for a short while and owning Katsura like he does sometimes.

I theorize why they called this season as Porori-hen (Slip Arc) is because they slip some random weird non-related arc into it. Okay, that is not what the slip for porori actually mean. At first you might think there would be some crazy-like fanservice because porori is often heard in anime when a female’s top gets loose. This is Gintama. We’re not expecting any bare breasted females for shock but there’s still that chance. But could it be there is a deeper meaning about this series slipping down? Maybe it doesn’t mean degrading in quality but while heading towards straight towards the final arc, a staff slipped on a banana and hence the production decided to take a detour, hence the slipping from its original path. I think.

This season’s opening theme, Blue Encount by VS feels reminiscent like their past songs like Pray, Donten by Does and Giniro No Sora. But if it sounds a bit more similar to DayxDay that’s because Blue Encount also sung this song. Then ending theme, Hankou Seimei by Ayumikurikamaki is quite a fun and lively rock piece. It has this cheeky and playful beat to it. The ending animation credits might troll us because we see many of the series’ characters in wedding outfits like as though somebody (or all of them) is going to get married. Turns out to be one elaborated birthday bash for Kagura. Do people use wedding theme for their birthdays? How else are they going to dress up so nicely then?

Overall, what needs to be said about Gintama has been said. What I wanted to say about Gintama has been said (unless I have forgotten). There is nothing else for me to comment on this season but just another reminder (might sound like a nag after a while) how great this series is. It’s so weird and random that it’s just funny and good. At this point, to a godly level. Unless you have no taste in comedy than that’s a different story. Now that the fun time is over, it’s time to get serious and look into the colour of Gintama’s soul. Unless somebody laced the entire pathway with bananas then more potential porori. Oh, we’ll get there. Just a bit later…

Animegataris

March 11, 2018

Another anime about clubs? I suppose we have sports clubs and video game programming clubs so I guess now it is anime’s turn to have its anime club series this season. So what else is there in Animegataris about a bunch of people in a club who talk, discuss and do stuffs all related to the otaku world? Anime fans should love this as it is going to be filled with lots of trivia. See how many you can spot them. Will your pause button be destroyed first before you finish this series?! Anime is such a horrifying destroyer of life…

Episode 1
Minoa Asagaya can’t remember if she watched anime when she was young. Asking her older sister, Maaya, she did mention a few of them but none rings a bell. We are introduced to a few characters in Minoa’s class. Her athletic tomboyish friend, Yui Obata. Miko Kouenji who is an anime lover and currently reading a very complicated anime title. Rich girl Arisu Kamiigusa whose snap of the finger can have prompt service from her butler, Sebastian. If only real life service was this freaking fast and awesome. Tooru Roppongi the very effeminate homeroom teacher. Later, Minoa is being called by Arisu to meet in a room. To her surprise, Arisu is an anime fan as she starts ranting her love for anime. She thinks Minoa is one too as she noticed she talked to Miko about one this morning. She tries to find common ground by listing animes she probably likes but Minoa is already so lost. When Arisu loses her enthusiasm, it’s Minoa’s turn to have that fervour. But it is more of because she has always thought Arisu as unapproachable and never knew she was into this sort of thing. Minoa seeks her help to identify an anime she watched she was young. She only remember a handful of scenes and sometimes dream about it. Arisu searches for a few but they aren’t it. I guess the only place left to ask is where there are lots of anime fans. Yes, the anime club. Unfortunately it has been inactive for quite a while as you can see how messy the clubroom is. But because it is a treasure trove of a few anime magazines, they get this idea to form an anime club. The minimum number of members is 6. Minoa didn’t want to join initially but Arisu didn’t give her an option so I guess she has to. Yeah, here’s a bunch of her anime collection for her to watch and catch up. After summoning her butler and maids to clean up the place in no time (I really wish I had this sort of service), Arisu finds a locked door. She thought of asking the student council for the key but when Minoa tries to open it, it feels like somebody is trying to hold it close. She forcefully opens it and what’s inside are a cat and a beret. When she touches the beret, it’s like she entered a trance for a while. Oh well, nothing suspicious. Let’s go home. On her way home, Minoa enters a short trance before losing the beret. The wind blows it to some depressed guy. She realizes her handphone is missing and goes back to the clubroom to get it only to be shocked it is in the hands of the cat. And he is talking!

Episode 2
Minoa has a dream of that unidentified anime. Only, replace the main character with Arisu! I guess that entire night of binge watching anime must be the cause. She’ll experience her first early morning embarrassment when Arisu dresses her up in a bunny outfit to hand out flyers and recruit more members to their club. They manage to get Masato Gomon as their supervising teacher but I guess he doesn’t really care or mind and lets them do what they want. In the clubroom, they are surprised that Miko is here. Looks like she is joining them. Because Miko reads original light novel works and Arisu only watches the anime adaptation, this has them clash in a lot of aspects like cut out scenes and rewatching. So deep. Minoa must be so lost. Senior Erika Aoyama decides to join them and upon their request, she becomes the club president. She has another person she wants to recommend joining this club. Folks, meet Kai Musashisakai. Basically, still in chuunibyou mode. The anime club discusses about several stuffs but as usual, Minoa is lost. When everyone leaves, the cat (Neko) talks to Minoa about not forcing a conversation if she doesn’t like it. He asks about the beret in the room and since she doesn’t remember what happened to it, he tells her to keep 2 promises: Let no one know he can talk and always close that room’s door. Later as the club members discuss about activities and put forth suggestions, each time Minoa does so, it is so unrelated that it makes her feel out of place. So they ‘re-educate’ her about what makes anime interesting and a classic. Seems that everything can be constitute as interesting and a classic. Really. Can porn scenes make an anime interesting and classic? But this sets up yet another argument between Arisu and Miko regarding omission of a chapter in anime. It got so bad that Arisu tells her to quit and Miko takes up on that offer. Minoa stops it all by passionately expressing how everyone has their own preferences. To each their own. Anime won’t be much if we keep rejecting each other over different preferences. This well said speech has senior Kouki Nakano impressed as he decides to join the club. He is a popular guy in school with his own fan club (damn his good looks) but of course Minoa is clueless of who he is. And yeah, he is a hardcore anime fan. With that, Miko revises her decision and decides to stay. Just when things are looking good, suddenly the student council barges in with a warrant that bars the anime club from using the clubroom effective immediately.

Episode 3
As the club is not approved by the student council despite having the required number of members, that is the basis for them being kicked out. Gomon isn’t even trying to help them and so that’s it for our anime club? Erika decides to bring everyone to Akiba and Minoa is like a country bumpkin being here for the first time. She introduces Minoa to cosplay before the rest head to a store selling various anime merchandises. Kai is surprised that Minoa is paying attention to all his chuunibyou ranting. Because she finds it interesting. At the end of their trip, the gang discusses about the ‘sacrilege’ and how common it is for viewers to drop watching an anime after the third episode if there is no twist or reason to make them want to stay and watch. Next day in school, there is a notice for a meeting to abolish the anime club. Well, it was Gomon’s idea since they pleaded for him to try and think of something. So he thought of proposing if the anime club can’t debate why they have to exist, the only next best reason is for it to be shut down. Erika isn’t so keen on voicing her opinion. If they really want to fight and keep the anime club, she’ll support them since she prefers to keep the club to more of an out-of-school activity like the Akiba trip. For some odd reason (maybe bad decision), Minoa is chosen to go out on stage to give a speech. I guess with Arisu and Miko writing the script… As expected, she is like a robot and being nervous. All over the place and even saying stuffs like she doesn’t know anything about anime. Crowd must be confused. Because the student council has already given their fiery speech of bashing anime of how worthless and a waste of everything. Enough to make all anime fans boil. Just when it seems like the end of Minoa, Kai gets up and takes over. He makes his passionate speech and likens this to a battle anime whereby the heroes’ side with the weak to defeat the tyranny and the oppressors. At the end of the speech, Kai is a bit wobbly so Nakano helps him out and this gay scene ‘woke’ a lot of people up. So in the end, I guess that must be the clincher as the anime club is overwhelmingly voted to be kept running since half the males and a very great number of females voted for it. Minoa is so happy that she now has a clubroom and they can talk about anime longer. But she starts regretting since she is dumped a new heap of anime collection to watch. Anime 24/7! And now we have a clubroom for it.

Episode 4
The student council president, Tsubaki Akabane seems to have a grudge against the anime club as she is still bent on shutting them down. So she sends her underlings, Ayame Osaki and Matsuri Toda to dig up dirt on them. Arisu orders a stack of anime discs as they discuss how animes aired on TV won’t make money and hence products and events to cover the costs as well as the collaboration of companies for a production committee to budget anime. And there’s also a talk of multiple of the same copies anime diehards will buy. Suddenly here comes the student council to rain on their parade. They have discovered an expensive spending of club funds in a single receipt. Arisu accepts this is her own money but still the rules state a newly founded club cannot spend that much. Erika decides to take responsibility to Tsubaki throws her a challenge they will help other clubs for a week without compensation. Of course she is not expecting anything from them as she views them as useless. Disagree? Then prove it. Depressed Minoa gets her hopes up talking to Nakano why he entered anime. He drew inspiration from an anime depicting high school students fighting their own student council body to save their school. Sounds familiar… Erika cosplays and hands out flyers to offer help to other clubs. This has other club members helping her out. We see them helping out other clubs but they screw up somehow. All of them. Finally Nakano comes in with a request from the drama club to make outfits for their play. Erika becomes stumped and disheartened after her failed sketches. It reminds her of her time studying overseas alone. With Nakano saving the day again with his motivation via some idol anime, Erika gets back on her feet and delegates the duties. On the day of the play, the student council is sure the anime club would have failed. But they are dumbfounded to see how well everything was done. Eat your words. Even so, Tsubaki still won’t approve! Shifting the goal post? Now Erika lashes back that anime isn’t as worthless as she thinks. It saved her during her lonely years overseas and doesn’t Tsubaki remember their anime childhood together? With other clubs thanking the anime club for their help, Tsubaki lets this slide. But of course there is a hidden hand and higher authority working in the shadow as Tsubaki makes a call regarding her failure to shut down the anime club. It’s out of her hands now.

Episode 5
The anime club will be attending the Summer Comiket. Minoa thought it would be a breeze in the park. Well, reality is going to hit her real hard when she finds the train more packed than usual. That’s nothing, though. After meeting up with her pals, now they have to wait in the long queue. Before that, they have to go stock water to stay dehydrated. That is even a long line. And if you want to go to the toilet, there’s also a long queue. Thankfully Minoa and Arisu did their business but find themselves lost. Luckily this Chinese girl, Yang Beibei help guide them back. Do they know each other? She is the girl standing behind them in the line. Soon they become very good friends. The day is getting hotter and when the line starts moving, looks like it is going to take another hour to enter the hall! They finally manage to get in as all split up for their own respective interests. Minoa and Arisu have a field day buying merchandises. Erika dresses up in a cosplay and meets an old cosplay buddy manning a booth here. Her friend introduces a fellow colleague, Mutsuki who is also from the anime club. He has this impression that Erika’s school’s anime club is very impressive as heard from a graduate there but this surprises Erika a little. At the end of the day, the girls part ways with Beibei who wants to hang out a little longer. Minoa realizes too late they forgot to exchange contacts but Erika assures her as long as they are anime fans, they will definitely meet again here. The girls take a refreshing boat ride and very much enjoyed the day. Except for Kai. The beloved limited merchandise he wanted to buy has sold out. His Unchained Golden Wallet remains unused…

Episode 6
The anime club members are going for their first anime pilgrimage tour around Japan. A short discussion on such several places in Japan due to the booming popularity of the anime industry. While on the train, the sudden jerk causes Miko to accidentally trip and her boobs fall over Kai’s dick!!! This has Kai start overthinking the hidden message behind this. Even while during the tour, Minoa could notice Kai is acting differently. So much so it scares her and the other girls had to tell him to stop ‘fighting the other world’. The girls are disheartened when their lodging has no TV or DVD player. I guess with the limited funds, this is the best Gomon could do. Kai asks Nakano about his problems and the latter knows it is the matters of the heart and advises accordingly. This makes Kai believe what Miko did was deliberate instead of an accident. Even more so when he receives a text from her asking the guys to come over to discuss about Minoa. And a heart mark left at the end of the message. The rest talk about Minoa being depressed and how she is an important member. They realize she is not around. That’s because she is lost on her way to the outdoor bath. A search is conducted by you wonder why Sebastian had to mobilize the entire army to go look for her. Kai continues to overreact his delusion that Miko likes him. But WTF?! Screaming and running around naked???!!! Nakano eventually finds Minoa. Even if she is sorry for screwing up the trip, Nakano lets her know how they were just talking about her. In no time the other girls come running and are relieved she is okay. This is ruined when they see Kai in his birthday suit. Scariest kimodameshi ever? Give thanks to the ‘God rays’ blocking the necessary parts… In the aftermath, Kai sums up his courage to confess to Miko. But why does he have to say it to Nakano?! Because of that, Miko gets the wrong idea and has truly awakened! See how excited she is? So much so she wants to build a church dedicated to them! Now everything they do together will automatically give rise to whatever yaoi fantasies she has. Some win big, some lose big…

Episode 7
The anime club is going to do an anime screening for the cultural festival. Of course the student council is there to shut it down and reject the plan. And a reminder if they don’t do something impressive, they’ll be shut down. As they ponder what to do, Minoa suggests they do their own anime. At first the rest brush it off over the amount of work it takes. But don’t worry, with a snap of a finger, Arisu can have Sebastian do everything! Of course for the good of everyone, they better do something themselves. So each come up with their own proposal on what kind of anime they want to do based on their preferences. Miko then suggests to do an anime short that lass 3-5 minutes. Although Miko writes its script, the rest keep revising it till she gets fed up and wants to quit! While trying to calm her down, Minoa accidentally opens the forbidden door. Inside she sees storyboards. It is all over the place and it has all of their preferences. Then Minoa remembers this is that anime that she once watched. Minoa has an idea everyone should come up with their own idea and voice it. But Miko is done doing the scriptwriting. Leave it to Erika the producer to smooth talk her way to convince her to do it. Minoa as the director does the storyboard after she is done. They also ask other clubs to help out and the production is making great progress. Then everyone does their dubbing and we get a little insight on how it is done. But if you’ve watched Shirabako, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Even Neko gets a few meow lines but is told to sound more like a cat. Insult? In the end, they get a cake as one of those rewards of post-dubbing. As the anime is near complete, Tsubaki puts forth her evil plan. She orders all clubs to cease cooperation with the anime club or else their club will be shut down! Evil… Soon all the clubs cease their support and it gets worse when Tsubaki has prepared a special place for the anime club at the festival. A special stage will be built on the track field and they must fill it up or their presentation is deemed a failure. Pure evil…

Episode 8
With lots of stuffs still not finished, it is impossible for them to finish on time. Plus, everyone is already so tired. Minoa is in a pinch, she can’t give up yet and wants a day to think things through. Back home, dad gives her a mini recording set that allows her to do small time recording. The daughters wonder why he is so passionate about this as mom reveals he is an otaku. Shocking at first but even more shocking is that dad was at the Summer Comiket too as a human traffic controller. After Minoa leaves a message for everyone, she worries when none of them replied. Neko thinks they have given up as they really think they couldn’t make it. Minoa punches his face (like a sponge?) and tells him off how everyone has worked so hard despite all the snags they’ve hit. She doesn’t give up and does what she can. To her surprise, everyone else comes in with their respective completed work. They were too busy to read her message as they were focusing on the task at hand. The anime club also recruits other students to come up to the stage to talk about their clubs. On the day of the anime screening, looks like the student council is starting to worry as the capacity is already filled at 80%. Among the crowd is Beibei. Apparently she is Maaya’s classmate and heard about it. The screening is ready to go but the only things unfinished are the ending song and art. Nevertheless, Minoa thanks them from the bottom of her heart but Nakano has an idea. The anime starts its run. Uhm… Low quality as expected but how come it looks like it was done using MS Paint? I’m not sure many of these people have never seen anime before because they are cheering how good it is! You kidding me!? Okay, maybe for first time amateurs it is good (barely) but to get this emotional? I can understand for family and friends but total strangers? Man, they’ll be blown away if they see the real deal. Yeah, they should open their eyes more often about their surroundings because anime is literally everywhere in Japan. Anyway, what will they do for the ending? Minoa, Arisu and Miko go out on stage in their pretty idol outfits and start singing and dancing! Now, this is the better and best part of it all that is worth moving to tears.

Episode 9
The anime club members celebrate their success. We aren’t hearing anything from Tsubaki since she is out from a cold. Thank goodness? Soon, there are other clubs streaming in to seek their advice on how to make their club better. Because you know, anime do have that exaggerated bit in making sports ‘better’, right? And so the anime club members happily dish out their ridiculous recommendations. From exploding baseballs to mallets in basketballs, who needs to do high jump anymore when you have those boots boosters! Truly the clubs in school are now looking like over the top anime exaggerations. Minoa is shocked that Nakano can converse with Neko like normal. With their growing popularity, Gomon relays the good news that they will be interviewed by the TV station. Everyone starts dreaming and getting ahead of themselves. All but Minoa who feels there isn’t something right. Nakano talks to her about the power of anime and how it makes everyone happy. Hence what she did together with them wasn’t a mistake. After the interview, it seems the crew gives Gomon some gratitude money. At first he refuses but Nakano whispers to him to take it as he can use to get a new VHD deck. Erika receives a warning from Tsubaki to be careful but doesn’t give much thought about it. The next day, the student council barge in to declare the anime club shut down. Nobody is surprised. Another false alarm maybe. However they say the directive this time comes from the principal himself. Nobody recognizes this William Shakespeare clone because his bust looks more handsome… It seems the anime club has violated one of the school’s code to not receive funds from outside. Nakano vouches he saw Gomon taking it. And looks like he already spent it on a new VHD deck. With that, the principal suspends the club and relieves Gomon from his duties. Everyone is in shock and mad that Nakano sold them out. WHY???!!!

Episode 10
With the club losing their room and everyone depressed, Minoa gets a great example advice from her dad. Even if their house is gone, they are still family. Next day, the gang are in for a surprise as all the students are protesting over the anime club’s closure. Worse, the principal threatens he will close the school down. The students try to confront him in his office but it is tightly shut with hi-tech door. Neko leads Minoa through a secret passage that takes her directly to the principal’s office. The others outside can only eavesdrop what they’re saying. First, the principal calls their anime production low quality (which is very true) but Minoa takes it as a compliment. She proclaims her love for anime especially that one she saw. As best as she tries to describe it to him and he suggesting titles, it seems they are all not the anime she is looking for. The rest outside do a little research on the principal. It seems he was part of the anime club and those drawing in that room was his. Nakano makes a shocking return when he prostrates and apologizes for his ‘betrayal’. The truth is that he has many siblings (clones?) and is working hard to support them. The principal often patrons his stall and that’s why he can’t go against his order. And with that, they forgive him and are back in good terms. It seems the principal was also an anime director. It hits him hard when Minoa wants to create a second episode. Because now he goes berserk claiming everything is over once your first episode is cancelled. He blames the fans and the nit-picking of the internet. It got so bad that his office is now a thunderstorm! As he has shut off his heart, looks like anime can only save him. So the rest go far and wide to seek help from everyone around the world for the name of that elusive anime. Nobody knows. Their topic has gone viral and trending (with lots of trolling too). With so much people on the subject, you are bound to hit one. Finally that anime’s name is known: Ultra Katharsis Koritsi Eternal Symphony. The principal admits he is the director of that anime which got canned after the first episode. Although he is still depressed, Minoa sings praises of it and loves it very much till this day. Outside his office aren’t chants of protests. People are holding up posters and merchandises of Eternal Symphony! Wow. Suddenly they are everywhere? Such a crappy an obscure anime? In the aftermath, the anime club gets their clubroom back and the principal leaves. To end with a twist, when Minoa revisits the office, she sees the principal’s yearbook. To her shock, Nakano was part of his anime team!

Episode 11
Minoa experiences a few strange anime-like occurrences. Faces of people turn into that old retro anime style, there is that 4:3 visual strip, Sebastian is now a maid and can talk, people have sparkly eyes and more. Everyone thinks Minoa is weird as they don’t know what she is talking about. Heck, they even rewind to the opening to check if everything is okay. Then they discuss about what genre they should put for this anime. For some reason, Neko decides to explode several times. So this is what is called comedy? Neko explodes so much that he ‘dies’ as a real cat for realism. Thankfully, he survives. Later Minoa asks Nakano if he has an older sibling by 20 years. Nope. Hmm… More anime weirdness for Minoa because her family members are now black and white old retro anime style and animation! With more crazy stuffs at school, finally Arisu confronts her. Perhaps the reason she is acting weird is because she is rejecting anime! What?! Minoa can’t help feel so sad. In her room she starts going crazy and crying uncontrollably. Maaya could only hug and comfort her and tell her to hang in there. Because the ending is soon… Next day in school, everyone is starring at her like as though she is the enemy of the state because they believe she hates anime. Luckily Minoa finds some refuge in Nakano as he is the only one who believes what she has seen. He hints the cause of it all so Minoa goes back to the anime clubroom and accuses Neko as the cause. He is a talking cat, right? She then opens the forbidden door to solve this. But then a large flash. The door goes missing and outside is chaotic with all the anime clichés. Oh no. Is this all part of Nakano’s plan? Who is this Observer that is missing and what does he mean that order will be gone now? Neko accuses Nakano to be from the other side: The anime side. Nakano claims this world will soon be engulfed in anime. With the arrival of some guy in beret, Nakano gives Minoa wear some glasses that sees everyone’s true form as sketch lines!

Episode 12
There’s some dramatic narration about ‘revelations’ that sound a whole load of crap. What’s this about the real and parallel anime world existing side by side? Something about anime created into this world and spread? The narration kills off the beret guy that could have changed things. Minoa wakes up back in class. Her friends are normal. Was everything a dream? She senses something amiss and heads down to the anime club. The door is still missing. Indeed she is still trap. Then she goes home. Her family talking and looking normal. However they ignore her like as though she doesn’t exist. Going into her room, strange mushrooms trying to coax her to come to the anime side. Even her hologram clone is doing the same. However she rejects all that and rejoins Neko outside. He tells her they need the beret back to the other side of the door and bring back order. Nakano has found it and puts it on in hopes things have changed. Nothing. He is distraught he is still called Aurora (a name everyone calls him since he came back to them after the ‘betrayal’). The world starts disappearing, a sign it is going to be erased. Minoa thinks everyone is against her but she has some allies in a couple of characters from the animes she cherished. She rides a mecha to drill through some barrier. Before the door is Nakano and the beret. Still worried about his name as he passes it to her in hopes it will change. The other friends stop her and try to tempt her to join them. She refuses and explains how each of them helped make her love anime. It seemed she hit them right but too late they disappear. When she opens the door, a barrier still blocks the door. She falls through the abyss but her friends pull her back up. They have come back to their senses but still need to do something about that barrier. Remember that crappy mecha they designed for the cultural festival? Yup, use that. Run out of money? Don’t feed it more money! Feed it with passion! With that, the barrier gone, Nakano and Neko take the beret and return to the other side. Too bad Minoa gave him the wrong name… In the aftermath, it seems time has restarted to when Minoa hasn’t joined the anime club. She loves talking about it and gets to know Arisu who also loves doing the same. Surprisingly they are recommended by Tsubaki to join the anime club. All her usual friends are there but who the f*ck is that new member, a cat girl?! Kai is designing a new character that looks a lot like Nakano. They are curious to see what is behind that door and when they open it, a treasure trove of anime merchandises and goodies!

Anime Catalyst! This Is Not A Sh*t Anime!!!
So are they living in which anime world now? How many anime worlds are there again? I’m confused. Well, we basically don’t care since we get a typical cliché good ending that all our friends are back together happily in the anime club doing what they love. Because they refuse to believe this is a crappy series and I too personally believe this isn’t a crappy cliché anime, therefore anime is saved! Hooray!

Even if the overall plot doesn’t seem all that spectacular and nothing extraordinary, this series doesn’t take itself seriously in the first place. In fact, it is a parody of its own self. A parody and cliché with everything that has to do with the otaku world for otaku fans. Therefore veteran anime and manga fans would definitely appreciate the tons of trivia peppered throughout the entire series. In almost every scene, there is guaranteed to be such references if you pay close attention. Or more accurately, if you know your anime and manga stuffs well enough.

Thus the most obvious of all trivia that one like yours truly who is the simplest of all otaku forms can appreciate are the blatant parodies of anime titles. And boy, there are really tons of them in every episode. Sometimes when the characters start discussing or suggesting anime titles, they sometimes go into this streak of naming those parodies. Call it that copyright thingy but the way they ‘creatively’ parody those titles makes it really hilarious. For example the more obvious one include PreFae (PreCure), Slash Dunk (Slam Dunk), Tarako’s Basketball (Kuroko No Basket), Ace Of Bench (Ace Of Diamond), Autumn Wars (Summer Wars), AnoSuba (KonoSuba), Girls & Tank (Girls Und Panzer), Nakimushi Saddle (Yowamushi Pedal), Akibako (Shirobako), What’s Up Girl Zoo (Wake Up, Girl Zoo), The Girl Who Slept Through Time (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), Previous Genesis Everstrike (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Bakusou (Bakuon), Gaka Stray Dogs (Bungou Stray Dogs), Amaama To Yokozuna (Amaama To Inazuma), Dezumon (Digimon), Ange Visual (Ange Vierge) and Cinnamon Roll Z (Dragonball Z) just to name a few that I recognized. There are more I recognized and smirked at but I would have filled up an entire page of it.

What happens when The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air decided to take up tennis and win the Wimbledon championship? You get Fresh Prince of Tennis! OMG! This is one of the most hilarious and creative ones I’ve heard. Thankfully, they didn’t go with Teekyuu… Sword Art Online was so popular that it was Sold Out Offline! Haha! It is such an irony that a vuvuzela could be joyful and yet so sad in The Melancholy Of A Happy Vuvuzela. Played any New Game recently? Nah. They’ve become Old Game! What happens when you switched genders of the protagonist in Time Travel Shoujo? You get Time Travel Shounen! What happens when you have hedgehogs instead of hamsters as stars? Haritaro desu! Sorry Sonic… Some of the spoofs I find aren’t that creative like Hero School (Boku No Hero Academia) and Ru: Zero (Re: Zero) and as they strike me as a bit bland. But the one that takes the cake with its freaking long ass name is, take a deep breath, A Certain Report On The Irresponsible And Depressing Chronicles Of Me And A Certain Eccentric Childhood Friend! Yeah, the Toaru series just got even more complicated with its title.

Some of the parodies are not very obvious and it takes a while to discover which ones. For example when they spoofed Thousand. Such a vague and general word there. Unless you’ve seen that (disappointing) harem anime, Hundred, you won’t be able to find its connection. There is also Dub Tone which is very much a parody to Love Live and if you don’t pay attention to what the characters are saying while they describe this, you won’t be able to make the connection either. Even for Toramiko, I thought it was Tora & Ushio before realizing Kuma Miko was the one. Others that took me a while to get it include Gachiemon (Doraemon), Replica (Paprika), Shikabari (Koutetsujou No Kabaneri) and Shake (Saki). Even obscure anime shorts are not spared and are referenced like Yasuda & Iwakura (Ishida & Asakura) as well as Immun-kun (Ketsuekigata-kun). Don’t forget Malcom Gakuen which is a parody of Falcom Gakuen which is a parody of the Falcom video games.

Parodying anime and manga titles aren’t the only trivia around. If you listen closer, many characters talk and parody synopsis of other titles too like that Dub Tone AKA Love Live. They will describe a certain situation that very much makes you wonder how similar it is to that anime. Of course they are making a reference to it. The series also takes a dig at its own industry, the peculiarity and quirks that you can only find in the otaku world like the unofficial rule of thumb in dropping watching an anime after the third episode. It doesn’t apply to me because I watched it till the end! Also, such references make good awareness of the industry though not in an in-depth manner but still it is nice to know that something that quirky like that often happens in the industry.

For those who are even more experts and veteran in the area, the other references can reach as far as seiyuus of a character saying a certain line of a character they played in another anime. For instance if you noticed Yui at one point was helping doing her recording lines for the anime club’s crappy animation, one of her dubbing lines include “Explosion!”. Sounds familiar? Yui’s seiyuu is the same one who voiced that explosion maniac wizard in KonoSuba. Pretty neat, huh? There are also visual parodies too so instead of keeping your ears busy, now you have to multi-task and keep your eyes busy and watch out for them. It’s like blink or you’ll miss. For instance, Erika wearing a butterfly hair accessory that resembles the one from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Sena. There are way more trivia and references than I can point out here (because my knowledge is so limited) so happy hunting those of you who wish to go back and find more Easter eggs.

The characters in the series themselves aren’t anything special. They fall into that cliché line of what mainly anime characters are. You have the typical main character Minoa who is pretty much clueless in the field that everyone else is an expert but stands out because of her different viewpoints (also applies to shonen battle animes where the protagonists are like the Luffy, Naruto and Natsu type). You have the chuunibyou in Kai, you have the BL lover in Miko, the rich oujo-sama in Arisu (a silent butler thrown in for added bonus), the kind-hearted big sister type in Erika and the double-crosser-cum-character-with-complicated-circumstances-and-history in Nakano (or was it Aurora. Or Grovel Boy now?). Oh right, we have a talking animal pet mascot too. Because Yui doesn’t have much screen time, in many episodes her screen time is mostly devoted to see short clips of her doing something random or for blatant mild fanservice purposes. It has nothing to do with whatsoever the anime club members are doing. Since this is the high school setting, the ‘antagonists’ are usually set aside for the student council members (Kakegurui, Prison School, Kill La Kill) so we have Tsubaki as the b*tch type and her underlings as her typical underlings.

Don’t think too much of the plot because most are probably just distraction. For example that forbidden door that Neko told Minoa never to leave open. You kept wondering in the back of your head about its implications and from time to time the series does tease you to remind you, or rather troll you that there could be something really important, like the most important revolution and plot twist ever in the history of anime that something of that magnitude might happen. What do we get at the end? Okay, it was something of a ‘big deal’ that links the anime world within this anime world. At least it didn’t end up being a red herring that many would hate. Even with the principal as the misguided antagonist who came to terms via words because he once shares the same passion as Minoa feels cliché in terms of swaying the villain via power of words. Either that you could just beat the crap out of him in other ‘violent’ ‘action’ series. What about Nakano’s ‘betrayal’. Twice. He acts like the bad guy and not too sure his litter of pigs siblings is true or not. Feels like the perfect cover up story and escape route… Too convenient… Oh wait, he came from the other side. Yeah, I guess it’s hard to tell which anime he came from since an anime inside an anime looks pretty much the same. Remember that Erika’s senior about her impressive anime club thingy? No. Neither do I. Probably this is one of the red herrings to lead us astray when it just meant nothing.

Art and animation are nicely done with everything looking so bright and colourful. Some character designs felt like I have seen them from somewhere before like Miko whom instantly strike me as a watered down Date A Live’s Kurumi. I was waiting for the day she would troll us and burst out into this psychotic character. Didn’t. Then there’s Minoa reminding me of Sakura from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Nakano looking like Kodaka from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Sena and the principal himself as an evil version of William Shakespeare. There is something about Kai looking all too familiar too but at this point I can’t pinpoint from where. CGI is also used but most notably for that idol dance sequence. It looks a bit odd but I guess they want to parody the Love Live, Wake Up Girls and AKB0048 animation style when they’re up singing and dancing on stage. Animated by WAO World who did Time Travel Shoujo and Shouwa Monogatari. Despite being an old company, they don’t usually make much series on their own and are usually involved in 2nd key animations of many other series.

Voice acting sounds pretty decent as everyone does feel like they are really into their roles. I only recognized Kana Hanazawa as Beibei. The rest of the casts are Kaede Hondo as Minoa (Kon in Urara Meirocho), Sayaka Senbongi as Arisu (Mumei in Koutetsujou No Kabaneri), Hisako Toujou as Miko (Chiaki in Hinako Note), Anju Inami as Erika (Chika in Love Live! Sunshine), Setsuo Ito as Kai (Mob in Mob Psycho 100), Junta Terashima as Nakano (Mamoru Fujimura in TsukiPro), Hironori Kondou as Neko, Asuka Nishi as Tsubaki (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic), Makoto Furukawa as Gomon (Banri in Golden Time), Rie Takahashi as Yui (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu) and Inori Minase as Maaya (Noel in Sora No Method). I like the opening theme, Ai Kotoba by Garnidelia. It is quite catchy as it has the funky techno beat that makes you want to get up and dance to its tune. The ending theme is Good Luck Lilac by Gatalis (Minoa, Arisu and Miko) in a typical idol-like style.

Overall, this is a fun and entertaining series for otakus to enjoy. It might be a cliché of everything because it is. Anime parodying anime is like life parodying art. Uhm… Close enough, I think. The more you know about the otaku industry, the better off you are enjoying this series. Therefore if you are an amateur and newbie who just got into anime like a month ago, you are going to have a tough time trying to understand and appreciate its deeper aspects. But then again, it is also the perfect anime for beginners to much because of how much it parodies itself and hence new anime lovers can expect what it is like if they want to ‘love’ this industry. Maybe Neko and the forbidden door are like the Schrodinger Cat of this series. Everything is possible until you open the door. But once you have opened it, there is no turning back (like yours truly). Enter anime at your own risk. You have been warned. Unless the whole industry just collapses because reasons. That won’t happen ever, RIGHT???!!!

Gintama S5

August 26, 2017

OMG! More Gintama! I wasn’t so sure it would have another season the last time the previous season ended but I guess this is what clinging on to hope feels like no matter how miniscule it is. So yeah, I couldn’t be happier for another season of Gintama but this comes with some ‘trade off’. Unlike the nonsensical slapstick comedy Gintama that parodies everything I have known, it continues the big storyline that got things running from the previous season. Yup, it is going to be another grim season. In fact this entire season can be dubbed the Rakuyo Arc. More revelations, more surprises, more things coming to a closure and hopefully a tiny bit of crazy nonsense to remind us that Gintama will always be Gintama. Oh heck, they have always been like that since the start.

Episode 317
A flashback of Gintoki in a bout with Shouyou but as usual lost. He tells Gintoki to stop growing stronger by trying to imitate him. He wants him to grow stronger by wielding his own sword. The sword of a human. Currently Yorozuya is hiding under the refuge of Katsura and his Joi rebels. Nobume seeks them out for a request. However they are cut off when angry Matako views Nobume as a traitor for selling out the Mimawarigumi to join forces with Gintoki. Nobume explains Mimawarigumi was just a pawn being used. Now they are gone along with Sasaki. Henpeita confirms the rumours are true. Nobunobu and the elders betrayed Kiheitai and cut them out of Harusame. Kamui led his division to attack one of the syndicate’s bases but it was a trap. They barely escaped after realizing they hired someone with a familiar killing style. That person is no other than Umibouzu, the world’s strongest hunter and the father to Kamui and Kagura. When the Kiheitai was under attack, Bansai took it upon himself to let the others escape while he went to rescue Takasugi still in coma. They want to find his whereabouts. Nobume further explains about the Tendoshu. They are all beings born from Altana, a new energy resource Amanto discovered. In some worlds, they are referred to as ley lines. Thus the terminals you see built by Amanto around Japan are powered by it. Thanks to this energy, rapid development across the universe like interstellar travelling became easy.

This led to many parties trying to gain control over it and after many wars, a non-aggression pact is signed to render Altana reserves off limits and an agency is formed to monitor Altana gates or holes. The Altana Preservation Agency was later known as Tendoshu. Thus the group formed to monitor the holes became obsessed with it for their own use. That’s why they are interested in Earth which has a massive reserve of Altana. An unexplained effect influences the principles of life and on this planet it took the form of a man: Utsuro. It is the founder’s name passed down through generations of Tenshoin Naraku and each head is said to inherit that name. During the Tokugawa’s reign when Naraku served Tendoshu, the Utsuro then mysteriously went missing. It is believed he concealed his identity as Shouyou. His students later caused a failed rising in which he was executed. However when they burnt his body, he came back to life. Over its 500 year history, Naraku has had 13 heads. All of the same man. A man incapable of dying due to Altana. Nobody knows how long he has been living but he is now the most dangerous man in the universe. Meanwhile Utsuro is meeting with the elders. He eliminates all of them so that he could have full control of Harusame and of course to shut them up forever.

Episode 318
Gintoki and Katsura discuss about Shouyou. Gintoki believes Utsuro is not Shouyou because that is something else not even Shouyou could defeat. Shouyou is dead. Umibouzu meets with Utsuro. He makes it clear that his intention is to kill his own son. Get in the way and he will kill them all too. Oh, Oboro is still alive. Although he has died, he has been resurrected simply he has to immortal blood of Utsuro. However the numerous times of reviving has taken a toll on his body and he vows to continue using it till his body rots away. Shinpachi relays the bad news that Kagura has left Yorozuya. She joins Matako and Henpeita’s troops on a journey. So everyone also leaves a leave letter to leave Yorozuya with a promise to come back. Bansai wakes up in the company of Sakamoto and his Kaientai fleet. They are waiting for Katsura and his Joi rebels to join them for departure. But looks like they have another guests coming on board: The Yorozuya boys. Bansai is sceptical of the trio because he believed they cut ties with Takasugi a very long time ago. Their departure is hindered when Nobunobu and his fleet surround them. He is going to destroy the traitors however the Kaientai’s ship they were communicating was just a decoy. The real one rammed Nobunobu’s ship from the back. They jump in and easily take down Nobunobu’s men. Bansai is shocked in seeing how they could easily turn the tides in their favour so fast. With Nobunobu as their prisoner, the new shogun thinks he still has the upper hand because he reminds his men to die for him or kill themselves. This makes Bansai punch the hell out of him. He tells everyone to not give their lives to a leader. This country no longer has a deserving leader. Nobunobu is now alone at the summit as slowly everyone by his side leaves. Bansai agrees to take the gang to a secret hideout the Kiheitai converge in case of such emergencies. Kamui and his troops are taking refuge on a planet named Rakuyo. A planet ravaged by wars and the birthplace of Kamui and Kagura. Umibouzu is also here.

Episode 319
Nobunobu still acts tough till Sakamoto reminds him that he may no longer be of use to anybody. Because of his blunder due to his personal grudge, he has been too sullied to be used even by Tendoshu as a puppet. At this rate they’ll just get rid of him with the rest. Might as well join with them and fight through. Abuto warns his men not to fight Umibouzu because they can never defeat him. His side is keeping comatose Takasugi. Gintoki’s group have already arrived on Rakuyo. Each time Bansai points out their hideout, it explodes! Apparently Harusame is already here and they’re waiting to take them all out. The skirmish begins as the samurais run faster than bullets to take out the lowly Harusame soldiers. Watching them in action, Bansai now understands why Takasugi stayed alive all this time. Sakamoto suggests the group to split up because he realizes the enemy is trying to take them out one at a time. They might be outnumbered that way but it is better than being easy targets in a huge group that can be taken out at one go. 6 of the 12 Harusame divisions have been mobilized for this mission and half that number just to hunt for a single man. Among the leaders of the divisions, the most dangerous and strongest trio known as the Three Mad Stars are on this mission. Uranus Hankai who is the only division without any troops below him faces off with Sakamoto and his Kaientai. Pluto Bato who can read people’s mind with his third eye are up against Gintoki and Bansai’s side. Finally Katsura and his Joi rebels stumble into the syndicate’s strongest assassin, the monkey dude Neptune Shokaku.

Episode 320
It is an animal fight between Katsura and Shokaku, throwing all sorts of trickery and brute force at each other. Therefore it is no surprise we have flashbacks on Katsura on how he got the nickname of being a coward. It stems from his grandma telling him a general should be the most cowardly person in the battlefield. Because if he dies, who else is going to lead? With that philosophy is how Katsura fought all his battles. In the end, it is his hard head butting tactic (which is also his other nickname) that earns him victory. Shokaku’s army would have wanted to take out Katsura but monkey dude admits his defeat. Katsura presses for answers regarding Utsuro’s goal but nobody knows anything. All he knows is that they’re being toyed with till they break. Meanwhile Sakamoto and his Kaientai cause damage as diversion and run so as to take the battle away from the main field. However they are soon attacked by their own allies. Actually it is Hankai who has hacked the computer systems of his ships. He gives Sakamoto a choice to either gun them down or be gunned down by them. Either way he loses. Hankai not only hacks the computer but the minds of his crews. His real army are the millions of tiny nanomachines invading and taking control of one’s nervous control system. Sakamoto and Mutsu leave the steering of the main ship to the rest while they go handle their zombie crewmates.

Episode 321
Before Nobunobu is about to be zombie fodder, Sakamoto and Mutsu save him. They believe Hankai’s goal is to steal the ship’s greatest firewall and is at the control centre, thus the zombies to stall them. Nobunobu is left to ponder why they spared him as well as observe the fool or great man Sakamoto is as he doesn’t abandon his men nor kill them. When they finally arrive in the control centre, Mutsu saves Sakamoto from Hankai’s attack. Actually Hankai has possessed Nobunobu earlier on and used this trick to get to Sakamoto. Sakamoto does a shocking move by trying to destroy the firewall. He doesn’t mind going down with the ship because you aren’t qualified to do so, you don’t have the right to fly with it. It is also part of his ploy to force Hankai out of Nobunobu’s body. Nobunobu can’t believe he still isn’t abandoning him in such dire straits. Unfortunately Hankai can read Nobunobu’s mind and repels Sakamoto’s attack. This makes Nobunobu think he wasn’t empty when he was at the top, he was empty to begin with and that he could only define his existence by using others. He tries to fight Hankai’s mind control. Eventually Mutsu who was under Hankai’s possession fought it off to give Sakamoto enough time to shoot and destroy Hankai. Once that happens, everyone is free from their brainwash. Their other ally ships support them just enough time for them to fix what is necessary and keep them afloat. Gintoki clashes with Bato who claims he has been searching for him for the last 10 years. Did he get the wrong person? Because I certainly don’t remember Gintoki be this fat. And who the heck is Pakuyasa?!

Episode 322
Hankai thought he is playing dumb as his third eye sees everything. After all that refuting and Gintoki thinks back harder, yeah, maybe there is a fatty named Pakuyasa. Turns out he tried to be Gintoki’s disciple. He tried to prove himself doing errands but eventually wasn’t cut out for the sword and eventually went on doing shady things nobody cares about. Although Hankai could read every move Gintoki makes, eventually Gintoki too can read his every move and defeats him. Simply because he is empty. For the first time, Hankai could see things when his eyes are closed. Bansai is willing to sacrifice his life to let Shinpachi get away from Oboro and his Tendoshu. Guess who came back to save his ass? Takasugi! Whit this guy’s revival, you can see his Kiheitai motivated back up to kick some serious ass. Then Gintoki and Takasugi just wiped out the entire field of Tendoshu in their way so they could just beat the heck out of each other. It’s their way of greeting the other bastard. Some things don’t change. Katsura and Sakamoto join them and for the first time in ages, the quartet are fighting together again.

Episode 323
The quartet begin their full assault against the entire army of Tendoshu and Harusame. Nobody can beat these guys when they’re together, right? Apparently Sakamoto, Katsura and Takasugi decide that Gintoki should be the one to press ahead and save his new friends while they stay back to handle these pests. Meanwhile Umibouzu is about to face off with the big boss of Harusame. However that lion face is instantly cut in half by Kamui! What a way to make your debut and death scene. Kamui is like a raging beast as he goes all out to kill his father. Something about him wanting dad to acknowledge how strong he has become to kill him. Family issues. The super power fight is interrupted when Kagura stops Kamui. Unfortunately he cannot be stopped so he beats her up thinking he would awaken Umibouzu’s beast mode if he kills her. Fortunately for Kagura, she has changed. She has become much stronger as she fights back while telling off her brother he is the only one who has not changed all these years. That’s why the family left him behind. Umibouzu tries to stop his children from fighting but complicating matters is Utsuro who jumps in to kill Kamui. Umibouzu sacrifices an arm to push his children out of harm’s way.

Episode 324
As the epic battle between Umibouzu and Utsuro gets underway, we have Umibouzu narrate his flashback. More like him telling his story of his younger days when he was still taking care of Mutsu. The Yato originally came from a planet named Kouan. It was ravaged with war till it became inhabitable. The Yato survivors fled to other places and Kouan became infested with dangerous mutated monsters. It is believed Umibouzu tamed its monster. He disagreed. Something along the lines he lost a bet and had to go back home and hit on a woman. That is where he met the last remaining Yato survivor who has stayed on Kouan, Kouka. A dangerous but strong and beautiful woman. She is fighting the monsters and it is no surprise Umibouzu is also fighting his own ‘monster’. So amidst all that fighting, he tried to flirt with her. Ignored at first, they finally open up to each other. Umibouzu would often tell stories of his travels as she listened to him with that same boring expression. Umibouzu had to always leave for business and then return to her. Because he always felt lonely without her and she too expressed she would like to visit another planet, the time came when he finally took her away to live on another planet. Despite being the strongest in the universe, he is the weakest in the household! Nobody can stand the wrath of an angry housewife! But after giving birth to Kamui and Kagura, she started coughing blood. Death was creeping up. It was then he understood why she once said she couldn’t live elsewhere. This is why Kamui always blame him for killing their mother.

Episode 325
Kamui explains Kouka was ‘born’ on Kouan as a result of Altana. She would have lived forever had she not left the planet. That’s why he blames father for her death. When Kamui was young, Kouka was already sick and he often got bullied. However he had to often hold back as father didn’t allow him to use his Yato strength on those weaker than him. So he tried to learn getting strong the hard way like picking a fight with the Harusame that docked here. He was desperate to get mom back to the planet but she wouldn’t want to. She would rather die together here than living alone forever. However it fell on deaf ears. Kamui had decided to cast away the idea of being family even if it means keeping mom alive. Even if it means beating the crap out of dad. All came in a bad time when Umibouzu just found a rare Altana crystal (which is why he spends most of his time away) as cure. But the damage was done. Kamui chopped off an arm of his and Kouka died soon after. With no family and no one to protect, his only goal was to become stronger. Kamui defeats Kagura and hopes she would release him as he is seeing shades of mom in her. Umibouzu’s epic battle with Utsuro continues. The former claiming this high level battle, his own life is a hindrance. So he sacrifices himself to plant some Altana crystal into his heart, believing that it would work along the lines of pouring diesel into a petroleum car. It didn’t. Utsuro revives and finishes him off. But he has to leave as his Altana is getting low. Though he is sad Umibouzu can’t kill him, at least this is the closest he gets to experience death. Apparently Kamui is not happy father is down. He still wants a go at it but Gintoki now comes in between. Since Kamui is stubborn to be the strongest, Gintoki ‘defeats’ Umibouzu to take on his title to be the strongest. Then Gintoki beats up Kamui to show how weak he is. It is no wonder why he could never beat his old man.

Episode 236
Enter one of the bloodiest and hard hitting fights you’d ever see. Gintoki is trying to pummel into him about protecting those you love as well as emptiness (talking from experience). But that isn’t enough as now Kamui turns into a mindless violent beast. Now Abuto has to jump in and beat some sense back into this guy so the Kamui he knows would come back. So talking about moving forward and not stopping him then, eh? Well, if Abuto wasn’t enough, now comes Kagura and Shinpachi into the fray. So what they’re talking now? He doesn’t have to lose anything. Nobody will be taken away from him anymore. Nobody has to die. And when Kamui finally got a little bit of himself back, the siblings aim one final punch at each other. They couldn’t hit. After a thousand punches from everybody, all it takes was a sister’s tear to knock him out and cry himself to sleep like as though he is sleeping on his mother’s lap.

Episode 237
So everybody patches up and goes home. Kamui wants to be stronger but for a better cause. The end. Oh wait. Not just yet. Umibouzu might have lost both arms but he’s got a better replacement for them: Bazooka arms! What a super upgrade. But it’s time to go back in time a little. When Takasugi and his Kiheitai got separated from Katsura, they bumped into Oboro. They clash as we get to peek at Oboro’s past. He was the only survivor when his clan or monastery got massacred. In fact he could have also died had not Utsuro resurrected him with his plan. His intention was despite he cannot die, he wanted Oboro to live long and hate him forever. But Oboro decided to dedicate his life to him and serve him till his blood dries up. He wanted to learn assassin techniques but Utsuro declined. Instead, Utsuro wanted to be a student and learn alongside him. Oboro then made a deal with him he won’t learn assassin techniques so please establish a school and he will be his first student. Then one day Utsuro went missing and Oboro set out to find him. When he did so, it was a ploy for Utsuro to make Oboro leave Naraku for the outside. He wouldn’t do it himself so the only way was for Utsuro to defect himself. With Naraku hunting them down, Oboro decides to sacrifice himself to let him escape. He thought Utsuro thought he had died but of course Oboro is immortal as long as his blood flows through him. Oboro returned to Naraku to keep Utsuro out of it all as he turned into a cold hearted killer. One day Oboro saw Shouyou with his new students. Some sort of jealousy must have hit him. He was the one who captured Shouyou and made Gintoki execute him, believing he would come back. Before his execution, Shouyou thanked Oboro for he would never have become so had he not met him. He is proud of his first student. Takasugi defeats Oboro and the latter believes the blood has dried up and is time to go. This pain is nothing to Utsuro’s eternal suffering. But he will first tell him what Utsuro and Shouyou are.

Episode 328
Utsuro lived so long that he doesn’t even know his name. All he know was he was always abused and killed throughout time. But each time he resurrected and this only made the people fear more and show more animosity. So as time passes, Utsuro then started to return the favour by killing people. After all, he only learnt from humans how to kill, right? So when his killing spree seemed unstoppable, the only Utsuro to stop Utsuro was Shouyou. When the Tendoshu got hold of Utsuro, he made a deal that in exchange for his blood to gain immortality, he wants the power to destroy himself. But they feared him and did not give the power and authority, the key forever engraved on their palm that would allow him to control Altana on the planets. When a planet with Altana is destroyed, they think a traitor is among them. Till they realize it could be Utsuro’s plot to destroy the planet. But how could he get the key? Did he steal them? Their ‘dropped’ arms. He just picked them up. Apparently the Tendoshu may have received his immortal blood but their body isn’t immortal. It will fall apart but they cannot die. Thus it will always be there until it rots away. Since he has so many arms, I guess there are so many traitors among them and more planets exploding soon. So cutting a long story short, Utsuro’s goal is to wrest the control of Altana from Tendoshu and start a universal war that will end on Earth, the planet he was born and the Altana of which he cannot die as long as he consumes it. His suffering, their suffering will go on as long as Earth exists. It is a monster Earth itself has created. So while Shouyou failed to stop Utsuro, his death gave birth to his students in which his spirit lives on. Oboro laments he can’t fight for Utsuro, his teacher or himself. If he had a chance to do it again, he would have love to be in the same class with them. Oboro dies as Takasugi picks up his body to bury it in an appropriate place. Henpeita tells this same story to Gintoki, Katsura and Sakamoto. They believe they were the ones who created Utsuro. Maybe Shouyou created his school as hope to fight against this. He may have gave birth to his students and now their battles have given birth to other comrades. There is more hope now. Umibouzu and Kagura visit Kouka’s grave. Umibouzu wants Kagura to relay a message to Gintoki. Utsuro is not immortal. There is a way to kill him. But he needs to hang in there long enough till he finds out what it is. They realize Kamui has left a flower here too. Everyone returns to Earth where the final battle is about to begin.

Family Ties That Bind
Well… It sure is another splendid Gintama season. Despite the predominantly dark tone, it still shines through. But I’m sure I don’t have to worry if there would be any future sequels because I am very sure there will be. Having come this far and that the manga has reached its final arc, there would be no justice and closure for the anime if this series does not get another season. Besides, the Rakuyo Arc has been the longest arc in the manga and despite only a dozen episodes for the anime, this arc itself has become the longest arc for the anime. And ironically this is the shortest number of episodes for a season Gintama has. So we are just a step away from ending it all… Although Gintama still continues to ‘continue’ for now, they are just rerun of past episodes with new opening and ending themes. NOOOO!!!! GINTAMA ENDING FOR GOOD AFTER THAT???!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!! I HOPE THEY’RE JUST TROLLING ABOUT THIS LIKE HOW THEY TROLLED US IN THE PAST!!!

Anyway, this season seems to bear the same sentiments like the previous’ season’s Shogun Assassination Arc and Farewell Shinsengumi Arc. There are very heavy drama and emotional moments and thus it doesn’t feel like the usual nonsensical slapstick parody that all of us has been growing up with. Sure, there are very spontaneous and light hearted moments that will make us burst into laughter. But that is far and few in between. Like a short distraction to appease viewers so they won’t be in gloomsville for the entire time. But this time we are well prepared for it seeing we have those previous arcs as ‘preparation’ and learning that this Rakuyo Arc would be the centre stage of this season has made us know what to expect.

The plot gets a lot heavy on the family drama side of Kagura. Finding a closure of why Kamui has been such a train wreck when we first know him. Therefore sometimes I feel this Rakuyo Arc can be summed up as Kagura’s family arc as it was mainly about them. But even if that takes the main focus, you can’t discount about Utsuro and Oboro as well as the Tendoshu. It also gives more insights about what really happened and what they really wanted. It builds up to the final fight that our main characters will have to battle. Well, I can’t say I am too surprised of what Utsuro’s main goal is although I didn’t really guess it accurately. I’d figured out it would be something on that universal scale. I mean, it would be a big shocker if the real goal was just to find his lost pony, right? Holy crap! I don’t know if that would be the ultimate comedy or insult for this series.

Hence it goes without saying that Kagura, Kamui and Umibouzu take the limelight while the other characters like Shouyou’s students take a little backseat despite being reunited for the first time in ages. At the way the plot is going, many missing characters were felt too like the Shinsengumi and all others back on Earth like Shinpachi’s sister, her gender confused friend and that old hag who runs a snack house beneath Yorozuya. Gintama that prides itself with many quirky and eccentric wacky characters, this arc in this sense has ‘limited’ itself with the absence of this characters. I know it is no fun and games here and that real sh*t is going to hit the fan but like I said, we have grown up watching these characters that it just feels a little empty without them. Besides, our beloved characters are now away from home fighting. It’s like playing an away game in your opponent’s home ground but your supporters have no money to come watch you play and nobody has money to sponsor them. But since the final round will be on home ground, I have a feeling that every character big and small will have a part in deciding fate and the future.

This season’s opening theme Kagerou by Real is another rock based that befits the overall theme of the series well. I know this series is as gloomy and melodrama but there are some brutal action parts with blood spilling and limbs being cut off so I suppose this kind of beat isn’t that bad. Though, I feel that tune feels kinda familiar. Can’t put my finger on it at this point. The ending theme is really in hard metal punk rock fashion, Silver by Rize. With the funky bass lines, the singer is screaming at times like as though it is the only way to sing this song. Oh wait. It is.

Overall, this season can only be appreciated by Gintama fans and those who have followed it from the start. New viewers might be confused what the hell is going on and might not appreciate the long heavy drama that permeates the entire arc. It is a season that is made for fans and stays true to it. At this point even though I have said that I would love Gintama to run forever, I guess when reality hits you, even immortals like Utsuro do not want to live forever. This is a sign to us viewers and fans to prepare for the inevitable. Because when that time eventually comes, we will be ready to see off this great series that has ran for over a decade with respect and leave with a smile. Gintama, you have always been part of our family and will forever will be. It is the only part that will never truly die. Like the eternal spirit of the samurai.

Gintama S4

March 4, 2017

More Gintama?! Oh yeah! Bring it on! What is there more to say? Let it get rolling, season 4! As usual, my blog will be just listing down some of the episodes I enjoyed and the important arcs.

Episode 266-267: What a way to start the season with Gintama holding a press conference to apologize about the misuse of funds. Not that we care! Anyway the story proper has everyone except Gintoki, Kagura and Shinpachi frozen in time. As expected, it was Gintoki’s fault in destroying some intergalactic clock and not giving a hoot about it since he was recovering from a hangover. So they try to leave it to Gengai to fix it and no matter how they adjust whatever variables, Gengai and/or Hasegawa gets killed! How the f*ck did this even end up in some Dragonball showdown?! Then they realize it is just out of batteries and go through a whole lot of crap just to get the batteries. Yeah, there seems to be some sort of conspiracy in preventing them in getting the batteries and making it more complicated. So complicated that we don’t know how the timeline changed to Otae marrying an anthromorphic sound effect guy. And when everything goes from bad to worse, even Gintoki and co are now frozen in time (because it is the wrong battery type), that guy just inserts the right batteries to reset everything. Like it all never happened. Hey, this is Gintama for you. What do you expect?

Episode 268: Yamazaki must be bored and sick of eating anpan while he stakes out Yorozuya. With Tama to the rescue (misinterpreting her words), he starts stalking her instead. Of course Sougou finds out about it and you know how he is going to screw everything up. So he sets up a marriage meeting between the Shinsengumi and Yorozuya. You know how both sides hate each other, right? So it is like they are sabotaging the entire event and it is just pitiful for Yamazaki trying to salvage everything but was for naught. A little chat with Tama in the end restores his confidence and normalcy till he had to vomit on her. Oops…

Episode 269: Gintoki and Tsukuyo are forced to teach Seita some history lessons. You know how boring it is, right? So the only way to make him interest is to add lots of exaggerated crap in it. Yeah, changing history? More like fantasy! Till Hinowa ends with an even absurd tale, which is a big warning for the adults to restart a proper history lesson for Seita. Shinpachi is holding some porn for his friend. Of all people, why did he get Gintoki’s advice to hide porn in his room from Otae? People, do not take their advices here. This is how NOT to hide porn. In the end, they find this naughty manga fits nicely with the other normal manga. Like hiding a leaf in the forest. They head out and realize they forgot to clean up the S&M equipment that was used during all the silly examples.

Episode 270: Ayame makes a secret chamber behind the mirror of Yorozuya’s toilet just to spy on Gintoki. But she gets more than she bargained for when she sees Shinpachi’s chest hair and Kagura’s cat tail. The last straw came when Gintoki reveals his baldness and uses the chest hair and cat tail as something naughty so Ayame breaks out and kicks his crotch before running away. They knew Ayame was behind it all along and just to teach her a lesson. But she soon comes back and this time without a mirror but imitating them like one. Yamazaki hears his colleagues badmouthing him despite getting special distinction from a mission. So he thought of applying for something cool like having a ninja licence along with Zenzou. So why does every training must have them abuse the old ninja lady? So by the time they take the last test that involves killing her, old ninja lady kills off her old ninja husband. The reward is a ninja licence or chikuwa. Yamazaki made the right choice for opting the latter.

Episode 271-272: Gintoki, Katsura and Sakamoto join a reunion for the Joi members. Other than Takasugi who didn’t even want to attend, they suddenly have vague memories that there must have been a 5th member supporting them from behind but cannot remember. So who the f*ck is this Tasuke Kurokono? They definitely cannot remember him but try as hard as they might to avoid any awkwardness when he arrives. But remembering the memories feels like a farce since we have them reminiscing about their high school basketball tournament and everything always leads back to that damn Pokari can drink. Or Yakulk? And what is this about Gintoki scamming every one of their money to buy Yakulk? Then the memories come back… They remember during a war when both sides have taken heavy casualties and are resting on their respective sides. Gintoki and Takasugi got into an argument about whores so it is suggested to calm their tension down by playing kick the can. Kurokono was counting in the temple when the enemies launch a surprise attack. But Gintoki and co anticipated this ambush and fought back, including blowing up the temple. So okay… They killed Kurokono?! So could this be his ghost has come back to organize this reunion and drag them to hell? Oh sh*t… Gintoki seems to be sweating in his pants (I don’t think singing Doraemon’s theme song would calm any nerves) and the other 2 were nonchalant about it that they got ‘abducted’ by the ‘ghost’. Turns out to be Henpeita Takechi and Matako Kijima of Kiheita setting up this to get rid of them as they believe they will become a hindrance in the future to Takasugi’s ambitions. So when they begin their final ghostly assault, Gintoki remembers what happened. While the troops were sleeping, Kurokono said his goodbye and left the force because he felt he couldn’t contribute any better. He hopes to be forgotten. But Gintoki told him it wouldn’t be a problem if just one guy remembered him and if they are in trouble, come back and help them again. Gintoki fights back and even Kurokono makes his mysterious appearance to put a stop to this farce. Next morning when Katsura and Sakamoto wake up not remembering anything last night, did Gintoki remember a thing? Nope. He forgot everything.

Episode 273: Hijikata is forced to hold onto a lost lottery ticket. Imagine his great dilemma when he discovers it as the winning ticket of 300 million! Even worse, Gintoki is the holder of this lost ticket! Tempting not to give it back, right? And so with money comes corruption because not only Hijikata sees evil Mohawk gang illusions trying to take money, they get involved with a real Mohawk gang robbing a bank! Attempts to break free only make it worse for them because they end up aiding in robbing more banks and dispatching police officers! In the end, they realize that their life is not worth being controlled by scraps of paper and tear the ticket up. But what about the real 300 million that was burnt during the final getaway? How are they going to repay that? Well, they’re going to buy more lottery tickets…

Episode 274: Yorozuya trying to advertise?! After all those parodies, ripping off and silly selfish desires, I guess they end up fighting and the best picture for it all is that big fight on a paper smeared by Sadaharu’s paw. After the aftermath in the Kabukichou Four Devas Arc, we see new ones taking over their respective group. But who is the one that rule them all? Not tranny Ago or gangster Katsuo or even Gintoki. But Otae! She holds a meeting to come up with a mascot to improve Kabukichou’s image. As usual, lots of silly rip offs and random weirdness. Since Katsuo was against it all and tells what he believes should represent the district better, he ends up paying the price and facing copyrights infringement over this newly created mascot. Turns Otae has been the bid devil behind his troubles.

Episode 283-284: Seeing how Tama’s confession is with men, Gintoki decides to take advantage of it and use her to scam for money. So it turns out to be his disgruntled employees taking out their anger on him. Then slowly it becomes a complicated murder plot when the shogun gets involved. I mean, with all the silly confessions, the shogun somehow is believed to be killed amidst the confusion and Gintoki becomes desperate to cover up this crime but it only gets from bad to worse. When the final person who comes in to confess is no other than the shogun himself, Gintoki breaks into his confession mode and repents his sins, vowing to turn over a new leaf. Amen! Then it turns out the shogun lost his memories and is now best friends and Joi member with Katsura. And Gintoki gets arrested. Katsura wants to teach the shogun about leadership while the Joi members can only look on in disbelief that their dumb leader still hasn’t figure out who this dude is. But the lessons end up being games and Katsura always loses. The game and his cool. In the end, everybody abandons Katsura to follow the shogun. Nobody cares about you anymore. So Katsura goes to rescue Gintoki alone but why is he whining about losing his leadership? Oddly, the shogun leads the Joi guys to raid his own castle?! Gintoki gets involved further in the sh*t as it becomes a stupid race between Katsura and the shogun to see who can kill the princess first! In the end, both sides actually realize their true identities a long time ago and were just testing out each other. There were numerous chances they could kill each other but where would the fun be as they want to know what the enemy commander is really like. But in the end, after all this leader crap, the true leader is Kagura because they all disturb her beautiful sleep with Soyo and they got owned.

Episode 285: Kondou got rejected by Otae to visit the festivals together so he is annoying couples there as a masked cockroach! Since Otae is there too and she doesn’t realize it is him under the mask, he tries to flirt with her. But Gintoki and co hatch up a scheme to rip him off his money like shooting gallery (shooting at somebody’s funeral?), katanuki (how can he carve out a realistic dragon from the candy?) and goldfish scooping (bungee jumping?! Tied to the neck?!). Eventually it was just an elaborate prank to teach him a lesson but they’ve all learnt a bigger one that the festival is much better when you have fun with everyone. As long that someone is paying. Yeah…

Episode 290-291: A back story of how Sakamoto and Mutsu came to be. Mutsu was the daughter of a pirate group that does human trafficking. And she works part time as captain?! Sakamoto was accidentally picked up as he tries to con his way to trade and buy this ship but was eventually thrown into prison (for vomiting on the commander’s face many times). Mutsu would soon learn a valuable lesson of Sakamoto as a trader always seems to make others happy with his trade. It makes his profits more meaningful. So when there is a mutiny from the commander after her father falls ill and he plans to take over and kill everyone, it’s time for Mutsu to rethink and make her move. The night before the rebellion, she sets Sakamoto and the slaves free. Then she gets captured and to walk to plank. Apparently Sakamoto and the slaves didn’t abandon her. They return to turn the tables on the commander and his team and took off into the skies as traders. Now, history seems to be repeating itself as the commander is back to get his revenge by kidnapping Sakamoto and Mutsu. But you know how funny sometimes some things never changed. Because history repeats itself again. The entire Kaientai fleet is made out of those slaves as they bust them out. Mutsu’s fighting style resembles a lot like a Yato and this means she is one powerful kickass mother f*cker. The day is saved. Back to trading again. It’s another usual day in business.

Episode 292: Fancy our Yorozuya characters in a new fashion? Well, with all the silly alterations and adjustments, they just don’t look like the characters we know anymore. And so it is decided the way they originally look is the best. But Shinpachi might want to look a little cool in his suits for a while. Also, Shinpachi finds a lost scroll believed to be left behind by his late dad supposedly to inherit some super finishing move. Despite its long ass name and weird instructions (is that a video game input?), not everybody else easily learns it but the kick in the nuts turn out to be all that hard work in practising the move is to collect cacao and macadamia to create the perfect delicious chocolate nut bait for your enemy.

Episode 293: Ape Boy, some sort of Robin Hood who steals from the corrupted and gives bananas to the poor. He mistakes Kondou’s stalking on Otae to be prodigal material and before you know it, Kondou is under his wing to succeed him whether he likes it or not! Each time they escape from Shinsengumi, Kondou’s accidentally tactics only serves to enhance his reputation as a successor. Poor Hijikata… Eventually Ape Boy’s age is catching up so it seems Kondou is forced to succeed his last wishes. He does some deed on his behalf at a shrine. Hijikata is also there and knows Kondou was the one sabotaging him. Well, let’s call it undercover job. To deceive your enemy, you have to deceive your friends… This shrine proves familiar for Kondou. There was once a troubled kid here and it wasn’t Ape Boy but Kondou. Ape Boy was his sensei. His kindness was his downfall as loan sharks took advantage of it by kidnapping the other orphans. Kondou went alone to get them back but the loan sharks retaliated by burning down the shrine. Kondou was sent away on grounds he brought trouble and that was the last time he saw his sensei. It is believed he became Ape Boy to protect him from turning into a thief and atone his sins. Ape Boy is captured by punks preying on the weak. Kondou singlehandedly beats the crap out of all of them. He makes his final tearful reunion with sensei.

Episode 294-295: Shinsengumi has got a new skilled swordsman? It’s Katsura in an afro?! However he is owned by the third squad captain, Shimaru Saito. So Katsura takes his complaints to Yorozuya. He joined Saito’s silent squad but he never talks. Never. The only words coming out of his mouth is “Zed” and when he is sleeping. Apparently before Katsura joined, he was the only member of the squad and it is believed he purged his entire squad member. Then they realize Katsura is in danger because Saito might now his identity and is waiting for a chance to kill him. Saito even comes to Yorozuya and the rest thinks he is looking for Katsura but just to take a dump? But he leaves with a letter addressing his problem of being unable to talk naturally to others. It makes him nervous that he wants to take a dump. I guess Gintoki has to play advisor since he got paid. He writes back a letter to smile. So creepy that Katsura gets scared of him! How about bringing along your partner for work and some conversation might string along? So Saito captured Elizabeth and is about to torture her?! Turns out he tamed her to be his pet. Now Elizabeth won’t look at Katsura! Poor guy. He is having lots of problems. So is friendship between Shinsengumi and Joi rebel impossible? But soon Katsura has become a famous in Shinsengumi and everybody spots an afro! It seems he has used Saito’s silence to his advantage by framing him in his bid to take him down. During his trial, Saito shockingly speaks! Actually it is Yorozuya speaking via communicator on his behalf. I mean, nobody heard his voice before, right? So in this silly trial to prove his innocence, silly rants and inconsistent talking, it all boils down to a sword fight between Katsura and Saito. More silly incomprehension that leads to napping? This is where Katsura fails since he took off his afro to sleep and the Shinsengumi is now hot on his ass. However during this commotion he has Elizabeth planted bombs everywhere. Not needing any meddling from Yorozuya anymore, Saito hunts down Katsura while the rest defuse the bombs. Their fight ends in a draw with Saito cutting his detonator and Katsura wounding his leg. But a big bomb is set to go off. All Saito needs to say is cut all alphabet wires except Z (as revealed by Katsura). But since he can’t speak and has accepted his silence, he thought his Shinsengumi guys would get the hint when he catches some Zs. Boom! Everyone is afro again.

Episode 296-297: I bet we have forgotten that Kagura as a Yato cannot be exposed to the sunlight, right? Thanks to the hot summer and with Gintoki and Shinpachi wrestling to get under her shade, she is inadvertently pushed out and… OMG… Something is wrong… Somebody call the ambulance! Kagura is hospitalized and her condition turns for the worse. Our Yorozuya boys feel guilty as not even the doctor can do anything about it. Human medical technology not good enough for Yato. Of course everything is just an act by Kagura for payback and do errands for her. However her plan starts to backfire when she plays her prank too far and now she has to act like she is in a coma! Worse, with more people gathering, they already start talking about her funeral! And before she knows it, she is already in a funeral! A state wide funeral! Then she realizes Sougou might have known she is alive because he purposely installed sunbathing device inside her coffin to roast her. Due to some drugs, she cannot move or speak for a few more hours. And so we see the wacky send off as everyone tries to pay their last respects while her coffin is on a conveyor belt to the crematorium! Are they really trying to kill her with their absolutely silly last rites?! When Kagura realizes she was wrong and taking advantage of everyone’s kindness (they shed real tears after all), that is when she ekes out an apology. Everyone heard it. Gintoki and Shinpachi try to hasten her death because they realize they can’t go back after ‘cheating’ everyone out of their funeral funds. But eventually the truth is revealed so everyone gives a ‘grand send-off’ to Yorozuya for their terminal disease. Still blaming each other till the end, eh? Well, you only live once. Or do they?

Genderbend Arc
Kyuubei as a man?! Apparently her dilemma to be a yuri or tomboy character has a suspicious fortune teller not only converting her into a man but the entire Kabukichou swapping their genders! Fancy seeing Gintoki as a cutie? Kagura as a manly Three Kingdoms general?! But Sadaharu completely turned into a fine white steed?! Not all are changed as Shinpachi only had his glasses turned feminine and Otae is pretty normal too. It is revealed the wanted intergalactic cult leader, Dekobokko is fed up with everyone being untrue to their gender so he swaps everyone to make them live a new life. So if they can exhibit being faithful to their genders, he will turn them back or else he will destroy the world. Even with Kabukichou being quarantined off and the cult watching their every move, our usual characters can still talk nonsense especially the case of taking a pee and Otae becoming a jealous monster since well, many of the guys in Shinsengumi have turned into hot gorgeous babes with big boobs!!! Except Hijikata who looks like a fat ugly woman… Apparently the Shinsengumi have been on Dekobokko’s tail ever since they’ve got word they are coming into contact with Earth but didn’t expect them to move this quick by settling into this town as their base. The real ‘God’ himself is up there in space in a satellite. The cult was trying to make a drug that manipulates hormone balance, making men more manly and women more feminine. But the drug had an opposite effect. It swapped their genders. Therefore it is not the work of God but a virus. Thankfully it doesn’t stay long in the air and is not contagious.

The plan now is to cover up all the surveillance cameras set up throughout town. But with their moronic egos and getting distracted by it, you think they can do the job? While they’re at it, Ayame and Tsukuyo singlehandedly destroy all the cameras and rounded up most of the cult members! Are you manly enough to do your job? It leads them to their sewer base. They round up all the cult members and even discuss about returning to their original genders. Because heck, the ladies (men now) were much more useful than those men (ladies now) all the way. But the archbishop has observed Kyuubei and believes she has been the chosen one and has upheld both male and female qualities. As promised, a beam is fired back on Earth, turning everyone back to their original genders. Unfortunately for our heroes who were underground, they were the only ones left unchanged. Life goes on like normal but a lot smoother for many of our characters like Kyuubei now stronger and attracting females’ attention, the Shinsengumi become some sort of police cabaret and Shinpachi trains in another dojo to become stronger. Life is indeed smooth sailing than before but Kyuubei can’t help feel some sort of gloominess. She realizes she is neither man nor woman but a coward. Luck would have all that changed since Yorozuya manages to get tickets to outer space as they have found the next planet the cult is targeting. They manage to change back to their original genders and kick their asses once again. Kyuubei acknowledges she isn’t a man or woman but just Kyuubei.

Reaper Arc
Gintoki heard there are serial murders of people’s neck being severed but enough flesh left behind to keep the head and body intact. He doesn’t believe it until he comes across a reaper trying to kill herself and she wants him to assist her! Lots of bloopers till it looked like he did it. Why did he have to bring her back to Yorozuya? However Asaemon Ikeda is not dead yet and laments she cannot even take her own life before leaving. Meanwhile Shinsengumi is investigating the murders and Hijikata has sought the assistance of Yaemon Ikeda, the royal swordskeeper. Apparently they have been the royalty’s executioners for generations who assisted people who are supposed to commit seppuku by cutting off their heads. It is an act of soul cleansing so it is believed that such cuts can only be performed by such skilled swordsmen. Currently Yaemon is the head after taking over their previous master. There is another one who has this skill but is on the run. The royal guards are looking for Asaemon in hiding but Gintoki finds her and brings her back to Yaemon. Gintoki is told why he took her back when such acts of treason would usually mean her head. They were both like siblings and rivals who raised the bar for each other. When it is discovered their late master was responsible for helping criminals escape, the entire Ikeda could have perished if the courts find out. Thus the siblings punished him in secrecy and Asaemon assisted in his suicide. It won’t be long before the courts find out and thus Asaemon wanted to take this secret to her grave. After all, she loved her master more than anybody else. But Gintoki knows something is amiss. In addition to this, they are also the ones who commit those murders. They were all escaped criminals set free by their previous master. So why is Yaemon telling Gintoki all this despite the risk of all this coming to light? Yaemon takes out the list of escaped criminals. Gintoki’s name is on that list. He must cooperate or become a victim too.

Officially it is announced that the serial killer is caught and executed. Hijikata and Sougou don’t buy this crap and board the ship supposedly carrying corpses of executed people. True enough, Asaemon is still alive as she talks to Gintoki about her master and the many things he taught her. She is confused by his deeds that needed to take his life. Gintoki knows by heart that he was a good man. Especially how humanely he was treated despite being a prisoner. Once Hijikata and Sougou find them, they tell the other part of the true story that all the murder victims were related to the rebels of the Joi war. They were all involved in the battle at Anekohara where they inflicted the greatest defeat to a great general, Narifuyu Hitotsubashi. He became a politician and spent years on the side-lines till he is enough to take over the cabinet. He ordered the purged of these people but a certain man couldn’t bear the sight of people being mercilessly slaughtered and set them free. Therefore Gintoki and Asaemon have been sold out by Yaemon to gain favour with Nobunobu Hitotsubashi who is rumoured to be the next shogun. While Gintoki and co fight off the guards, Asaemon is greatly confused what she has been protecting all the while. Leave it to Gintoki to clear her mind and conscious about it as she gets back into the groove to face off with Yaemon himself.

Gintoki gets shot but not a fatal one. It becomes a draw to see if Yaemon can cut Gintoki’s head first or Asaemon taking Yaemon’s head. Yaemon reveals the truth that her biological father wasn’t killed in the Joi war but by her master. He adopted her out of guilt. Gintoki remembers talking to young Asaemon when he was on death row. She was confused about his imprisonment and didn’t think he was a bad guy. She decided to grow up and become an executioner and take his head. So don’t die until then. Yaemon thought he cut both Gintoki and Yaemon’s neck. Actually Gintoki attacked from his blind spot by unsheathing Asaemon’s sword accidentally grazing his own neck. Gintoki was fast enough to break Yaemon’s sword. Yaemon realizes his dream and sword were long broken. He helps everyone escape as his final deed before he got beheaded by his partner, Hitotsubashi. And this guy too seems to be in an unofficial cohort with Takasugi. Sougou takes Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura to be executed. As Yaemon has gone missing, the link to the serial murders have disappeared and to cover their own asses to prevent Hitotsubashi from bringing down the hammer on them, the trio are being made a scapegoat. Gintoki gets mad when he learns Asaemon committed suicide to take responsibility for this entire uproar. Sougou reminds him that he already assisted in her suicide when they first met. To their surprise, Asaemon is going to be their executioner. She has discarded her past and took on the name of the next Yaemon. The Shinsengumi turn a blind eye over their execution. Any criminals seen with a sever around their neck, they’re going to just assume they are corpses. Asaemon cuts her mask and their cuffs. There are no more criminals here.

Ego Switch Arc
Shinpachi and Kagura are chasing Gintoki for their overdue pay. Hijikata is chasing Yamazaki for slacking. Gintoki and Hijikata got into each other’s way, started arguing and a truck hits then. Before they know it, they swap bodies! Since getting back isn’t easy, they are forced to live as each other’s life. After all, they can’t be safe either way. Those kids still kill Gintoki for their pay and Sougou loves to bazooka Hijikata. So imagine the culture shock when the swapped duo bring to their organizations. Gintoki does away with all the code crap and instils slacking for Shinsengumi while Hijikata instils punctuality and discipline for Yorozuya. In the end, Shinsengumi turns into some wild bandits and Yorozuya a justice squad! Messed up! The duo continue to fight till Kagura and Sougou fight and blew up each other. Bodies still not swapped, though. It is then Tama brings them to see Gengai who reveals that they were swapped thanks to the truck carrying an experimental swapping device that instead of swapping eggs and soy sauce over rice, swapped their souls. WTF?! Do you need such complicated device for egg on rice meal?

Of course trying to swap them back via machine swapped everything but their souls. Since they realize something is lacking that rendered the machine unable to work properly, they think back and remember half of Gintoki’s soul entered the ass of a dead cat during the swap! Now they have to find that cat who might be resurrected as a zombie all over town. So both meet the least person they want to meet. Katsura is now part of Yorozuya as wells as Hasegawa and Ayame! There is going to be a big brawl showdown between the free spirited Shinsengumi and disciplined Yorozuya. Sh*t is going to happen. They cooperate when they finally spot the cat. An amnesiac alien?! So this cat is taking after Gintoki’s negative habits? Nobody can touch this strong feline. Gintoki and Hijikata blame their own inaptness that got their team owned so they will go take the cat back on their own. They follow it back to Otae’s place. She is keeping it as her pet! Dozaemon?! There are lots of chivalry talk going on from how she found him and nurse him back to health. She won’t leave him till he gets his memories back and doesn’t mind the rumours about them. When he eats her food, he passes out and loses his memories! So was this how he got it in the first place? Hijikata is forced to talk to her since he is in Gintoki’s body and has got to act like him.

Otae can tell something is strange since both of them are trying to flirt with her with the tactic of making her break up with Dozaemon?! It gets complicated when Shinpachi and Kondou enter the fray. Shinpachi takes Otae and run while Kondou wheels Dozaemon away. It soon hit Gintoki and Hijikata that Shinpachi is Kondou and Kondou is Ayame! And get this. Shinpachi is glasses while Yamazaki is Hasegawa’s shades! So who is in Yamazaki’s body? Sadaharu? And that dog? Hasegawa! If that is not confusing enough. Sougou swapped with Katsura and Kagura swapped with Elizabeth. Yeah, this madness happened when Gengai rammed all of them with his truck earlier on. Dozaemon wakes up when he hears Otae’s scream (apparently Shinpachi (Kondou) is trying to rape her). So once everybody faces off, Otae tells everyone to stop bullying Dozaemon. The rest argue they need to return him to his proper place. Otae would have believed them at other times but tonight their weird acting just makes it suspicious. Especially this gay moment between Kondou (Ayame) and Hijikata (Gintoki). Hilarious! Dozaemon goes into overdrive to fight everyone to protect Otae. They can’t stand up to his brute. So here comes a giant poop! Yamazaki and Hasegawa combined? Eventually it ends with Gintoki’s half soul coming out from Dozaemon the way it came in. Yup, through the butthole. Man, there’s a lot of sh*t going around. And vomit too. In the aftermath, Gintoki and Hijikata return to normal. But everyone else is some sort of human poop! They hound their respective bosses for a way to return back to normal.

Shogun Assassination Arc
The shogun was nearly assassinated via poison in his tea had not Ayame acted in time. Later she talks to Zenzou about the political chaos ever since Sadasada was ousted. Everyone is trying to eye for the throne. Ayame and Zenzou were once in the Oniwaban that was dissolved under Sadasada but Matsudaira took them in. Matsudaira talks to Kondou and Hijikata about the need to escort the shogun out from Edo to Kyo secretly. Of course they are going to place doubles in the palace not to raise suspicions but how can you not have any when the doubles come in all shapes and sizes! Even Yorozuya dudes are doing a sick impression of it. Nobunobu is seen as the main antagonist trying to oust the shogun. He has Takasugi and Kamui on his side but was accidentally taken out by Kamui who mistook him for the shogun. Of course they are using him as a pawn for their own gains but with Nobunobu out for the time being, no one will suspect them as he will also be seen a victim of somebody who wants the shogun dead. Matsudaira’s fool proof plan not only has doubles in the palace but several diversions on air and ground as decoys while transporting the shogun. So our usual group has got the ground troop and the Shinsengumi duo don’t quite like it that Gintoki is acting as the fake shogun. But they better treat him nice despite his sh*tty attitude because the Oniwaban and samurai guards will not hesitate to take anyone out even if it’s a joke. The real shogun has the company of Zenzou. He reminds the shogun that the Oniwaban’s duty isn’t to protect the shogun but his duty, which is to protect the country and people at the cost of his life. Zenzou then decapitates him. He plans to bear the cross and become the nation’s traitor.

When Ayame’s group learns of the shogun’s demise and that there may be traitors among them, she and the rest quickly take out the supposed traitors since it’s easy to detect their killing intent. To her horror, the Iga ninjas in which the Oniwaban originates are siding with the enemy. With such a large force mobilized, she believes only one of the 3 head clans who rule over Iga can do so. Either Gaimon Fujibayashi, Rappa Momochi or Zenzou. Meanwhile with Soyo being targeted, thankfully there is Sougou to protect her. He then faces off in an epic battle with Kamui. It was a race between Kamui and Takasugi to see who can take the shogun’s head but the latter lost out. Although Takasugi’s plan is no to take the shogun’s head but the shogun’s limbs. Zenzou stops Sougou and Kamui’s fight by showing them he has the shogun’s head. They have no more reason to fight. Ayame and co are unfortunate enough to stumble into Fujibayashi and Momochi. They tell him the state of their Iga homeland. 6 months ago, strange men in umbrella attacked and threatened them to help assassinate the shogun and in turn they will be hired as the new Oniwaban for the reformed government. But once news of the shogun’s death reach them, Fujibayashi wants everyone here killed. However Momochi won’t mobilize her side citing she doesn’t take orders from traitor. Seems the real shogun is still alive and is right here disguised as an Iga ninja. He orders the rebels to be taken out.

Apparently after the poisoning attempt, the shogun was kidnapped and brought to Iga where he stayed safe. The shoguns everyone met so far were doubles. Fujibayashi still won’t admit his defeat. He tries to kill Momochi but this wheelchair lady is just a puppet. Her real body is the maid pushing the wheelchair. He gets taken out by a super bazooka. Back at Iga, Momochi further explains that Zenzou who was keeping tabs on the situation, knew the enemy has grown into a massive force that they won’t stop attacking as long as the shogun stayed as the shogun. The only way to prevent further warfare was to kill the shogun and merely return him to just being Shigeshige. So what Zenzou lopped off was the position and by taking him out of the political picture, he was trying to protect him as a man. To that end he decided to go down history as a traitor. But now it won’t end just here because Takasugi and the rest of Harusame (minus Kamui) are already here at Iga. Also with them is Zenzou who realizes Takasugi’s intention of killing the shogun is to become one himself. Takasugi has his men kill Zenzou but he sets off bombs planted on all their ships. Gintoki and co are tasked to keep the shogun safe while the Iga ninjas ward off the bloodthirsty Yato killers. Thanks to Sougou, Soyo and Maizou still live although Sougou is now in comatose. Maizou believes the decapitated shogun isn’t the real one because he checked the body and lacked the scar. He narrates Shigeshige’s young life already associated with the Iga and Oniwaban. It all started when he realized kids his age were laying their lives to protect him and even became his doubles. He wanted to save his double from some rebellion, he and the Oniwaban youngsters barged into the base to rescue. It ended with Shigeshige having a deep scar on his scar. If the incident of the shogun saved the double got out, his entire clan will be beheaded. So to cover up this incident, the double took his place a little longer on the throne while Shigeshige hid and took refuge at Iga where he learnt some ninja skills.

Zenzou takes a lot of beating but there is a limit to how much a man can take and stand his ground. Fear not. Ayame and his other Oniwaban ninjas are here to save his ass. No pun intended. Gintoki and co have a lot on their plate while defending and escaping with the shogun. Because the Yato lot are numerous and tough as hell. It’s amazing they’re still having the stamina after that pounding onslaught. With a little help from Momochi, they reach the secret exit to escape Iga. Likewise, Ayame is taking Zenzou to another exit but Takasugi stabs her and Kamui just arrived for the party in time. An epic showdown is on the cards because Gintoki and Kagura have a score to settle with their long time foes. So amidst the ground shattering punches and bloody sword clashes, we see flashbacks of their pasts. From family troubles to little lost weaklings trying to become stronger and finding a place to belong.

Well, at least it’s like another whole flashback arc by itself watching young Gintoki, Takasugi and Katsura under Shouyou’s guidance. As Takasugi slowly prefers to learn from Shouyou’s free-spirited samurai ways, his father learns of this and is not too thrilled. Word gets out that Shouyou might be a school gathering kids teaching seditious propaganda and being anti-bakufu. Despite all the threats, Shouyou treasured his students and kept them safe. Until that war which many of his students died. To Takasugi’s dismay, Shouyou was executed and decapitated by Gintoki in a bid for the remaining students to survive. This became Takasugi’s hatred for revenge. Although Gintoki last saw Shouyou’s smiling face and his thanks, Takasugi last saw Gintoki’s crying yet smiling face before his left eye was blinded by Oboro. That vision was burnt into his left eye. It would have been so much easier had it been the bakufu. But the sworn enemies are themselves. Even though they fought to save him, they were so weak to use him as a stepping stone to survive. Takasugi never understood why Gintoki never avenge Shouyou’s death and that he chose them instead over sensei. All Gintoki can say is that he knows Takasugi isn’t cutting himself but his alter ego. That’s why he sought a revenge that hurt himself far more than cutting himself. Gintoki is his alter ego and will stop him and stand up no matter how many times it takes. He knows what Shouyou holds dear and if he has to walk over his corpse, he will protect the soul of his student and fellow friend as his disciple. Just when you think Takasugi has come to terms and has some closure, he is stabbed by Oboro.

Apparently the Tendoshu has arrived in what it seems like a fell swoop to take out all their enemies once they wear each other out. As they point out, Shigeshige is no longer the shogun because he handed his resignation to Sadasada at the end of the Courtesan of a Nation arc. At that point because there was nobody suitable, it was put on hold. But now there is one: Nobunobu. He is now the shogun. This guy is bandaged up like a mummy and fuelled by rage and revenge. He wants everybody killed! But so as not to rush things yet, they want Shigeshige to be handed over first, which doesn’t make any difference or change the fact he would still be standing in Nobunobu’s way. However Shigeshige asserts that he is still the shogun and will not take orders for everyone. He will not run away and protect his country and those who gave their lives in protecting it. Shigeshige believes in his friends and that they are not easily broken. Here comes Matsudaira and the entire Shinsengumi backup. This means that sadist Sougou is back too. Takasugi revives to help Gintama wound Oboro. It’s payback because Takasugi blinded Oboro’s left eye. Kagura and Kamui put aside their differences for now to help Gintoki and Takasugi face off the rest of Tendoshu.

Oboro lets them go thinking they are struggling a futile struggle as students of Shouyou. Shigeshige hints he wants to abolish the position of the shogun and will be the last one if it is hindering the lives of this country. After 2 weeks, Takasugi is still in coma. Kiheitai have taken a bad beating and it will take them some time to recover. Harusame is now no longer pirates and targeted by Tendoshu but Kamui isn’t worrying since if he is going to be the best in the world, he needs to turn everyone against him and beat them up altogether. Nobunobu announces Shigeshige is dead and proclaims himself as the new shogun. Shigeshige has left for Kyo where the emperor resides so he’ll be safe. He plans to gather his allies and make a comeback but cannot take the rest of them since he doesn’t want them to be Tendoshu’s enemies. Although Soyo wrote a sunshiny letter that everything is okay and hope is still within reach, it seems there is an assassination attempt on Shigeshige as he got poisoned by a needle while meeting up with his old friends.

Farewell Shinsengumi Arc
The entire nation is in mourning over their assassinated shogun! Nobunobu ascends the throne and eliminates everyone who gets in his way. He doesn’t care if Matsudaira who is supposed to serve him shows him great disrespect because he doesn’t need him or Shinsengumi. He has Sasaki and Mimawarigumi behind him. He makes Matsudaira take responsibility for failure to protect the shogun and will be beheaded alongside Kondou. This means the Shinsengumi is disbanded. Everyone is scared and confused. Hijikata is transferred under the department of that hardboiled detective, Heiji Kozenigata. The rest of the Shinsengumi want to save Kondou because sooner or later they will be crushed. But Hijikata holds no authority over them and has them do what they want. Whatever they believe in, just do it. Believe in that and fight. They are still all Shinsengumi deep down inside.

Visiting the cabaret certainly won’t help drown your sorrows. It gets worse when Nobunobu and Mimawarigumi also pay a visit with the excuse of wanting to mix with commoners like Shigeshige. Things started getting heating up not when Nobunobu suggests Hijikata to execute his former boss and comrades but when he cuts down innocent cabaret girls thinking they were treating him as the same level as Shigeshige. He thinks he is superior to all that in this new age. So when Otae protests, she is also in risk of getting hurt. Hijikata wanted to punch him but Gintoki took it in the face. Save that punch for his dumb boss. Gintoki punches Nobunobu instead. Sasaki understands fools never change so instead of letting the new government’s reputation get worse, he arrests Gintoki so that a single fool can take the entire blame. But then Katsura throws his smoke bomb to let everyone else escape. In turn he gets thrown into prison and ironically with his eternal enemy Kondou in the next cell, he suggests forming an unusual alliance to protect this country. He gives him a pill that would put his body in temporary suspension (playing dead, that is) so that the guards will open their cell doors when they see ‘corpses’.

Hijikata is still torn on what to do. Still wallowing in depression he cannot protect anything. But when Kagura relays a message from Sougou, how that sadist is still following the Shinsengumi code and waiting for the vice captain to give orders, Hijikata makes his move back to Shinsengumi HQ. He finds everyone waiting in line awaiting his orders. They go meet up with the Joi rebels. They still hate each other but agree to work with each other in this last joint operation to save their bosses. When Katsura is about to throw the same pill to Matsudaira, he flops as it ricochets back into his own mouth! Now he is dead. Then the guards come by as Kondou and Matsudaira also play dead. But these guards enter the cell not to check on the corpses but to kill them! Luckily Kondou acts fast enough. Katsura pretended to only eat the pill and is able to fight back. They realize these aren’t ordinary prison guards. The mark on their arms indicate they are Naraku, the assassination syndicate under Tendoshu. They too have killed other prison guards. The trio take advantage of the situation by dressing up as prison guards and sound the alert that the prisoners have made a prison break. However Katsura knows this place well and even though it is easy to slip and escape their situation, they cannot go further beyond the gates because they are on the prison island, Kokujo.

But Katsura knows his allies will be coming to save them. That’s right. Shinsengumi and the Joi rebels are on their way here. Their plan is to infiltrate by disguising as prisoners but Naraku intercepts them and it becomes a bloody boat battle. They get the most unlikely of help from Yorozuya joining in the fray. Wow. It’s like they’ve powered up and become more badass. I didn’t know Shinpachi was this badass. Sasaki orders his Mimawarigumi to move and hunt down for escaped inmates. However Nobume feels there is more to this. She thinks he purposely let Nobunobu into public to show his tyrannical ways and plant Katsura in the same prison with Kondou. All to incite a rebellion and gain an excuse to purge them. On the contrary, if he wanted to do so, he could have just executed them. He claims he is cleaning up something far bigger in scale they happen to be part of. Mimawarigumi intercept the ships coming from the front but they are nothing but decoys. Because everyone is climbing the steep cliffs at the back. However the enemy already anticipated this and sends arrows raining down on them. If not for Elizabeth’s drilling up from behind, who knows what might have happened. But at the top, now they have to face off with stronger opponents. Gintoki will give his pay back to Oboro and Sougou deals with Nobume. Katsura now has an extra navel after being shot by Sasaki. He wants Kondou to leave him since his mission is to rescue him. But Kondou won’t leave him after realizing he thought at first it was okay to die to protect his friends. But now he wants them to return and see their comrades again.

Sasaki notes Kondou has never changed. Time for another flashback when the newly formed Roshigumi were taking in new recruits. It was a weird and shady organization recruiting Joi rebels, giving them the freedom to hold a sword and protect the land. In actual fact it is a perverted idea of eventually making Joi rebels and wipe each other out. Kondou and his other comrades joined it after they reached Edo. There is this punk kid, Mountain Zaki who keeps challenging and showing off his strength. He challenged Kondou but he will not fight him, believing the power is not needed to subdue a subordinate but to protect one. Then he realizes their swings can actually kill, he pissed in his pants and become a docile guy whom we all know as Yamazaki today. Under Kondou’s guidance, Roshigumi flourished. But top brass wanted to give them a ‘special’ escort mission of the shogun and his son. Assassins will attack and they will allow the assassination to succeed. Then they will take responsibility and disembowel themselves. In this chaotic era, Sasaki is also an expecting father. Even with Kondou’s answer that there is no one answer to be a samurai, Sasaki might not want to be a fine samurai or a fine father but a fine name for his child.

So while the Shinsengumi and Joi rebels now enter a chaotic battle with Mimawarigumi, a shocking truth is revealed about Sasaki. He met a few kids trained by Naraku to become cold hearted killers. One of them is Nobume. Sasaki was too late in saving his pregnant wife as she was killed by Nobume. But since he is her target and she didn’t kill him, Sasaki didn’t kill her. Nobume once met Shouyou and learnt everyone is born weak and have the freedom to change. They were all struggling and straying down the wrong path, the reason Nobume couldn’t kill her, though she believes she deserves to be killed by him. Sasaki might not hesitate to cut her down but what he wants to cut down is this era where the country commits acts of brutality. He wants her to swing her sword for his sake since he cannot protect anything. And when the time comes, use it to kill him. It is his vengeance. It is her duty. But despite Nobume taking everything from him, she still cannot bring herself to cut him down. All along Sasaki has been playing the villain as he is trying to end the samurai era along with himself by making everyone start a revolt. He is just a rebel like them. Each time Sasaki tries to start that burning rebellion, Naraku always tries to extinguish that spark. That is why Sasaki planned on using those flames on this island.

It’s getting messier because the entire Naraku fleet has dropped in to join the party. Mimawarigumi fleets are fighting off the Naraku counterparts. Kagura stops Sougou and Nobume’s fight. When Nobume gets stabbed, she gives the orders to her men to flee. Because the big bad boss of Tendoshu is here, Utsuro. He views Nobume betraying him twice because she failed to kill Sasaki. Nobume will not follow anyone’s orders except her own will. Utsuro is like the final big boss of video games everyone loves to hate because he is so overpowered that he is like having the cheat codes on for eternity. We see how he beats up the trio with ease and no matter how much they struggle, they cannot just get the better of him. Hijikata has also ordered his men to retreat because he realizes the longer this battle goes on, the harder it will be for them to get off the island. However Oboro and his men will not let one escape. He kills the small fries and wounds our main characters. Utsuro also joins in on this purge. Finally we get to see Gintoki fight on par with him. What is worse than unable to defeat him? When Gintoki cuts off his mask, he sees Shouyou! Or is this an imposter?! Best still, all wounds Utsuro sustained are healed! What did I tell you he is on cheat code mode!!! When a distraction occurs, everyone takes this chance to run. Gintoki wonders who the hell that imposter is. Nobume’s answer is baffling. He is both Shouyou and not at the same time. But she is certain Gintoki wasn’t the one who killed Shouyou.

Already worn out, injured and tired, more Naraku henchmen drop in to fight them. Thus more flashback from Sasaki giving Nobume her name that was supposed to be his daughter’s if she was alive. He also made her his vice captain. When everyone else arrives, they see Kondou killed. This didn’t drain their fighting spirit. They get even madder and fight harder. Of course Kondou is still alive and took Katsura’s pill to be in temporary suspended animation. He did so because Sasaki suggested it to make it look like he slew him. To Oboro’s dismay, Sasaki has also called for more Shinsengumi and Mimawarigumi reinforcements. Kondou and Hijikata cut down Oboro. It was never Sasaki’s intention to protect or save Kondou. Ever since back then he never wanted to lose out to him but never knew how. He had an idea despite it only lasted for a while. He couldn’t be happier to be the man who defeated Shinsengumi’s chief. Nobume won’t let Sasaki die. He reveals another twist. He knew she wasn’t the one who killed his wife and daughter. She protected them from other assassins. In spite knowing this, he still used her as part of his revenge. He doesn’t feel his life is worth saving. Nobume doesn’t care about all that. Couldn’t they just stay the same like always so she could just stay by his side? More flashback this time about Sasaki racking his brains to come up with a name for his unborn daughter. Despite his wife’s suggestions, he doesn’t find them all great. Even his room is filled with crumpled paper of unsuccessful suggestions. Is it that hard? Then it is like screw it all. He didn’t care what kind of name she had so long she lives strong. He decides on Nobume which means girl of faith. Sasaki saves Nobume one last time when all our heroes are evacuating into a ship. He pushes her in before falling to his death. Sasaki… NOOO!!!!

Everyone pays their final respects and salute to Sasaki. Nobume is glad Sasaki gave her a fine name. In the aftermath, when Nobunobu learns of this, he became furious crushed and disbanded all police force under Sasaki and decided to reform the system from the ground up. Those he dismissed join the underground faction led by Matsudaira as they plan to revolt and overthrow the bakufu. As Nobunobu is unpopular, even the sentiments on ground are slowly building up their distrust and the people growing in favour of a revolt. As suggested by Katsura, because Nobunobu won’t let the Shinsengumi who embarrassed him off the hook, he tells them to leave Edo. So we have one of the most awkward goodbyes. Like Kondou now spotting a hideous scar across his face stalking Otae but ironically didn’t get scolded or beaten up, Kagura and Sougou fighting and beating the hell out of each other, Gintoki and Hijikata trading and eating the other’s favourite food. It must suck… In the end, Kondou leads his Shinsengumi out of Edo, promising to return here and become true samurais.

Love Potion Arc (OVA)
A mysterious heart shaped pill named Aizen Kou is making its rounds in Yoshiwara. Rumours have it that smelling its incense would lead you to falling head over heels with the closest person you see. Too bad Tsukuyo inhaled it and has to control her lust over Gintoki (because he was taking a piss nearby). You know how hard it is trying to concoct a plan to snuff out the mastermind next to the person you’re in love, right? So when they finally round up all of it and going to dispose it, Tsukuyo’s mischievous love causes her to wreak havoc. Yeah, the entire bunch got accidentally burnt and all of Yoshiwara is turned into a den of sex maniacs!!! Oh… Shinpachi x Kagura romance?! Did we even expect this in Gintama?! Worse than that is Gintoki turning into a sleazy lady killer because young or old, beautiful or ugly, all women are his honeys! Even those porn stars you see on the internet are his! So we see him take down other guys to protect his honeys. A little ‘romance’ spat between Gintoki and Tsukuyo before the complication is up a notch because now we have Kyuubei and Otae in the fray despite giving lame excuses they are not. Before you know it, all males in Yoshiwara has got chastity belts attached to heavy round iron balls! And then everyone turns into a love slave for the mastermind, Hotaru who is one of the courtesans in Yoshiwara. Love her and she will love you for eternity!

So we’ve got chaos in our hands. Otae turning into an abusive stalker on Kondou, the gorilla suddenly having an affinity for butts and turning gay while Kyuubei obsessed with hunting down dicks. Gintoki and Tsukuyo might have returned to normal but not fully. From time to time there’ll be a few idiotic lover spats to make us laugh. Eventually we learn of Hotaru’s past that led her to this doing. There was this carpenter she used to accompany when he visited Yoshiwara. Despite drinking a lot, he never laid a finger on her. One day he decided to become a great carpenter and promises to come back for her. But after Yoshiwara was liberated, she caught him going out with the daughter of the head carpenter. Her heart broke into many pieces but until this day she still can’t forget about him. She tries to kill herself but Tsukuyo saves her and also dispenses some great love advice that even though flowers wilt, they will bloom again. It might seem the entire bunch of Aizen Kou is burnt down and another round of sex maniac chaos. But Hotaru these are actually the opposite, Aidan Kou and will make you hate the ones you love. So naturally, it neutralizes everyone back to normal. In the aftermath, it is believed Hotaru planned this all along including turning everyone back to normal before committing suicide. She wanted to end everything while still being loved. Or maybe she just wanted somebody to stop her. We take a short idiotic detour with Gintoki turning into a moral police officer who ends up running away together with Kondou. And they slept with each other?! WTF???!!! Hotaru’s punishment is to be exiled from Yoshiwara. She is told that the carpenter had a promising future to become a leader but turned down when his boss offered him to marry his daughter because of a promise to a courtesan. However he worked too hard and injured his body. He felt ashamed to come see her like this and is always just staring outside Yoshiwara’s gates. Hotaru comes to terms with what is happening. This time she won’t run away anymore.

Heavenly Soul
You know when I said that all good things will come to an end? I never have to worry about this because I knew Gintama will always come back again in the future and troll us. But now it seems that I have to keep my reality in check because it might end! Oh God, no! Gasp! Is it true that Gintama will finally come to end for real?! Because it seems the manga has already reached what is seemingly its final arc. Oh no. I thought the author might be trolling us as he has always been since this is Gintama but from what I read, this could be really it. Oh dear. The end of Gintama for real? This can’t be happening? But that is the manga version. What about the anime? Will they animate the final couple of arcs? That is still up in the air.

Back to this season, I am not saying that this season is the least exciting since I myself am pretty confused with my own feelings at this point after watching the last episode for this season. Because you see, for the longest time ever, this series has covered 2 of the most important arcs back to back. Although there are some spontaneous laughs in between, the general and overall mood of the arcs is quite a sombre and gloomy affair. Things get real. Things get serious. It wasn’t the usual Gintama format whereby after even like 5 or 6 episodes of a heavy arc, we’ll be back to the nonsensical and insane jokes to blow away to gloom. Therefore with 2 ‘depressing’ arcs back to back that lasts almost 2 cours and ending the fourth season, it is with mixed feelings that I felt with this series. Heck, they killed off 2 ‘important’ characters for both arcs, the shogun and Sasaki. It was really heavy, solemn and serious that it didn’t make me feel that usual Gintama goodness at the end of it all. Don’t get me wrong. This season and these arcs are still great but I can’t still shake that sad feeling at the end of it all. When you talk about Gintama, it’s all those nonsense and parodies. From this point on, remembering Gintama is like remembering this serious sh*t hitting the fan. Furthermore, it isn’t Yorozuya taking the spotlight in the final arc this season so it somewhat feels a bit side-lined, Gintoki and co.

So I suppose this might be the trend if they make the next season of Gintama. Because they have already made big revelations here and therefore it is only natural to join all the pieces of the puzzle together as well as tie everything up since there are quite a number of other mainstay characters who didn’t get to appear or play a part in these final 2 arcs. Erm, so is Hasegawa considered an important character? So it will be one big bang where all the characters ever in the series will finally reach some sort of conclusion. No more jokes, no more antics, no more fillers. Just plain seriousness from now on. Happy hours are over. Gintama time is over. It’s now Gintama time. Get it? Ah, sometimes I wish they keep continue showing mindless hilarious fillers.

If I want to point out the main characters, that would be repeating myself and I have to write a book that is as thick as my college thesis report. So to just sum everything up, everyone has changed but yet remained the same. They are friends and enemies at the same time. They might fight each other frequently but they also eat and drink together. They keep each other company and sharp because if one fails, you bet the other will be there to remind and bring back to their senses. That is always how it works here. And just when you thought the biggest antagonist would be the final boss, turns out there is another bigger badder antagonist. Yeah, and the ex-enemies now become friends to fight the stronger and ever powerful last boss. Looking at you, Gintoki and Takasugi.

So I believe Utsuro will be the final of the most final boss in the series. Nothing is particularly known about him except from this point he looks more badass and powerful that it would take all the characters to just bring him down using cheat codes. It even brings up the confusion of Gintoki and Shouyou but I’ll leave that for another time. Then there is Nobunobu whom I thought would be the main antagonist but for both arcs, he has been unceremoniously put out of the picture. Maybe his role is just to be some sort of shadow puppet? Maybe he’ll play a more serious antagonist role in the next arc.

With numerous opening and ending themes, they are all mostly rock based like Day x Day by Blue Encount (first opening theme), Pride Kakumei by Chico with Honeyworks (second opening theme), Saigo Made II by Aqua Timez (second ending theme), Beautiful Days by Okamoto’s (third opening theme), Glorious Days by Three Lights Down Kings (third ending theme), Know Know Know by Does (fourth opening theme), and Acchi Muite by Swimy (fourth ending theme). Destiny by Negoto is the first ending theme and feels a bit disco-like.

Overall, I did laugh hard enough this season like in the previous before the long final arc took most of it away albeit looking back now it is still one hell of a fun ride. It is still a good season and Gintama fans should continue watching this. Even those who aren’t into this series should stay and watch for the awesome (random) comedy, awesome fights and awesome story. Hey, Gintama is already awesome, right? I know it is bad to always cling onto something forever and there will be a time when something needs to bow out gracefully and not overstay its welcome. They have already become the silver, golden and platinum souls in our hearts. Gintama becoming unpopular? No way, man! Even a series that breaks the fourth wall regularly must come to terms with reality that it has to end someday. We have to get over ourselves and accept it. Oh well… I hope they’re just trolling us… GINTAMA WILL NEVER END, RIGHT???!!!

I didn’t expect that they would make a spinoff of this series. The amusing thing about Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R is that it is a spinoff of a spinoff. Get it? Because Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z was actually a parody spinoff of that darker horror anime series, Soul Taker. So in a spinoff of a spinoff, we have entirely new but yet familiar set of characters and somewhat familiar setting. It is like they take the names of the characters in the former series and give it a whole new role like as though this is another parallel world. So expect the same kind of slapstick comedy for those who have watched the former. A spirited middle school girl turning into a magical girl to save the world (if not at least her city) from monsters while still trying to balance her school and idol life. Haven’t we seen this trope somewhere before? Oh yeah. Sailormoon, right? Or even Ilya… Almost…

Episode 1
Komugi Yoshida is a famous idol as she sings to her cheering crowd. At the end of her concert, the venue is hijacked by an alarm clock monster. Is this some sort of children’s sentai show on a big scale? Turns out to be a dream as Komugi smashes the clock. Now we know why people do that, huh? On her way to school, it seems she is some sort of an ‘idol’ herself because the town folks like this kind and helpful girl despite she is also a klutz. Maybe except her homeroom teacher, Misuzu who is crushing her face for being late! She’s the kind who uses hand grips as training and doesn’t fear doing it before her students. Be careful. I wonder how Komugi still has her cute face after that strong grip. Anyway, her best friend-cum-classmate, Kokona Saionji is a very popular idol. She has good grades and even part of the student council. Currently she is into acting. The perfect role model for Komugi to achieve her dream. On her way back, Komugi helps a strange rabbit from being bullied by a stray cat. Usa-P considers her kindness as the chosen one to be the legendary Tombo-E Girl. What girl again? If it is shocking enough to hear this weird rabbit talk, wait till you hear how he explains the ‘benefits’ of becoming Tombo-E Girl. You need to transform into an embarrassing outfit to use magic. No way! Better run Komugi. But Usa-P latches onto her as her hairpin. Komugi is also doing part time job promoting some pharmaceutical products. Looks like her fans are only old guys dancing to her tune. Hope they don’t sprain their back… After that, Usa-P pops up and is convinced with Komugi’s act that she is really the chosen one. Before she could refuse, she spots a little cockroach approaching. She becomes paralyzed and is screaming for help. Usa-P takes this devilish chance to agree into becoming Tombo-E Girl in exchanging for ridding the bug. Of course. Anything. A little blow makes the little cockroach fly away forever.

Komugi is suddenly picked up by Kokona’s driver, Toranosuke Matsukawa who claims that the film Kokona is currently shooting now, the director has decided to suddenly ad a cute middle school girl character. So you’re in luck Komugi. This is your big break! At the studio, Usa-P senses a monster materializing so in order not to alarm the others, Komugi has to excuse herself and hear out the rabbit and his mumbo jumbo. What the heck is with all the lame naming sense? Now she has to recite the magical words to transform. What parasol chloroform, uhm, tenipole what the heck? Cue card please? The film monster is wrecking the studio by turning everything goofy. Now Komugi faces off with it. She finds the magical nurse outfit cute than embarrassing. Komugi easily defeat the low level henchmen by swinging her magic wand around. As for the film monster, she is guided to use some magical beam to destroy it. A card known as Fan-C Card drops out from the monster. Komugi realizes she has been late for her shoot but when she returns, it is over. So who played her part? Matsukawa! That’s one freaking lame disguise! Your abs are showing, dude! The director must be real blind to be convinced that was her! Poor Komugi, her big break will have to wait. Back home, she is disheartened she cannot just quit because there are 108 Fan-C Cards to collect! I think Usa-P lied when he tells her if she does so she will turn into a cockroach. Buckle up for the ride, girl. She kicks him out realizing he is bathing with her.

Episode 2
A little flashback on the setting. Demons appeared in the Fan-C World and wreak havoc. Then that legendary girl defeated and sealed them in Fan-C Cards. But one day the princess accidentally dropped them down a fountain that connects to Earth. So if the cards will transform into a monster if they touch anything. Something seems to be stalking Kokona… Thankfully nothing untoward has happened yet but she still can’t shake that feeling. So when her agency president who is also a super idol, Ai Mitaka finds out about it, she increases the security around her school and dorm. It will be too late if anything happens. Kokona reminisces her past whereby she told her parents she wanted to become an idol. They gave her blessings and if she is going to do it, might as well be number one. There is a traffic safety event in which Kokona performs as an idol on stage. Part of the stage team for this event are Yuto Tachibana and Tsukasa Kisaragi as well as Komugi in a weird pink panda mascot outfit. At the backstage, Kokona couldn’t help feel being stalked again. Another close call when a hammer almost falls on her. In her dressing room, she is confronted by this weird tanuki, Tanu-P. He claims he has been watching her for a long time and notes her kindness and all. Even her lovely navel. Yup, sounds like stalker material to me. So we have flashback montages of the stalking scenes to confirm that this cute weirdo is the one ‘stalking’ her and in his haste to hide from being spotted, accidents almost befall on Kokona.

A Fan-C Card has just turned a police car into a monster. Usa-P ushers Kokona to transform. Looks like her lunch has got to wait. Tanu-P explains the need for Kokona to become Tombo-E Girl but you know what is most surprising? Kokona instantly accepts! Even shocking Tanu-P himself. Well, she figures he must be in some sort of trouble and need to help out. Hey, I don’t think she is given what to say and she flawlessly says her magical words for transformation! What Marisol sparklism, uhm, penifore what the f*ck? Komugi blunders in handling the monster and could be done for if not for the appearance of a magical maid! OH YEAH! MAGICAL MAID!!!!!!!! Usa-P is not amused and it seems the cute animals hate each other and in some sort of competition. Kokona seems weak in handling the low level baddies. But then it activated a dark switch of hers… She turns into a sadist! OMG! She is whipping everyone to submission! She’s enjoying it to the max! After destroying the monster with her beam, Komugi couldn’t care less about Usa-P in stealing the card since the case is solved. However Kokona being the bad girl she is makes Komugi stuck in her green slime. When Kokona reverts to her original self, it seems she has no recollection of her stint as a magical maid. But she does feel somewhat refreshed. You have no idea… Once Komugi frees herself, she realizes she is late getting back on stage. Look who has replaced her role? Matsukawa! Couldn’t anybody see the difference?! Later, Ai tells Kokona that the stalker case has been resolved. The big mama of her dorm caught one sneaking around. So there was really one…

Episode 3
Although the magical girls are friendly with each other, the critters are not. So yet another rivalry to see who catch the monster first. But when they arrive, it is gone. Our critters know this is the work of fellow rival, Neko-P because his paw prints are at the scene and he must have gotten a really strong Tombo-E Girl. Flashback to a week earlier, we see Tsukasa being popular among the girls in her school. She is a lead star in a detective series that co-stars Kokona and Yuto. Hey, Komugi has got her screen debut. At least as the dead victim! When Kokona talks to Tsukasa, Komugi chats with Yuto who wishes to get closer to Tsukasa as friends. When Tsukasa goes home, we see her true colours. Casting away her tomboy nature, her room is filled with girly stuffs and plushies. She chats with them all. Seriously, this girl needs real friends. As she dresses up and heads to the rooftop, that is when Neko-P appears before her and is amazed by some kindness of hers. The rest is history. So we get to see her singing in concert and it seems she likes the life of fighting monsters. It makes her feel like her true self. After another series shooting (again Komugi plays the dead victim), a monster alert is detected. This time Komugi and Kokona are at the scene first but the monster carp is too much for them to handle. Then here comes Tsukasa as a magical sister to save the day and kick ass! Her super beam easily destroys it. The girls are impressed and make friends but Tsukasa leaves first. While she is hanging out at the top of the studio, Yuto comes to talk to her. She flusters and runs away (almost giving away her real name). But he hopes he gets to talk to her again at this place. Back home, Neko-P warns Tsukasa about revealing her true identity. Failing which she cannot become a magical girl anymore. She’ll be careful but is happy she is a magical girl because as long as she is one, she can see Yuto again. She hopes another monster would appear soon.

Episode 4
Komugi is eager to enter a Miss Kunoichi Contest because the winner gets to be the model for Edo Mansion’s sign next year. So you bet Komugi is going to train hard. But walking stealthily? Everyone in town knows… Even worse, she is late for school and gets her usual punishment by Misuzu. After school she even does more ninja training but it makes you wonder if she is making a fool of herself. Komugi and her family tag along to Edo Mansion where the contest is going to be held. I suppose her parents need to rekindle their old flame on their first date here while little brother, Kotaro is more interested in a special show Kokona is going to appear in. While Komugi goes to prepare herself, her family watches the special show. Uhm, does Kotaro have a fetish for Kokona’s navel?! Then they go over to cheer on Komugi as she and other contestants play ninja-like games. Not too sure if it is pure luck or Komugi’s training that paid off as she advances to the finals. Meanwhile, the slimy frog mascot of Edo Mansion, Oedon has been possessed by a Fan-C Card. Before the finals, Komugi is nervous. Kokona and Yuto are there to give her encouragement. Especially Kokona telling her that Komugi won’t be Komugi if she isn’t having fun. Komugi is in dead last as the final race begins. But then the mascots sense a monster alert! Usa-P wants Komugi to go get the monster but since she wants to win this race badly, Usa-P pressures her to finish it. See Komugi zoom past all the contenders till the final stretch where they are surrounded by Oedon clones! Since the commentator says it is not in the script, I guess you know who they are. Kokona and Tsukasa aren’t faring well since they are caught in its slime. Too slippery to maintain balance. With her family cheering, Komugi gets her courage to dash past them and take the scroll that wins the race. At that moment, all the clones merge into one big Oedon monster and the crowd thinks it is trying to celebrate with her. Usa-P signals for her to transform. And thus our magical nurse saves the day with her super lotion beam. Kokona is eager to get her prize and to her dismay, I guess she never expected the sign model to mean a big panel where you put your face through so you can have your picture taken. Bummer.

Episode 5
Ai has good news for Komugi. For the first time she has a role in a drama series that has lines and is not a corpse! Wow! However when Ai sees her zero score for midterms, she takes it back! Oh no! Easy come, easy go. As told by Matsukawa, Ai was looking out for her since she was once an idol with hectic schedule and never got to go to school properly. And thus it is suggested to hold a study session at Komugi’s place. Hey, Kotaro is so sharply dressed. What gives? Aha… Tsukasa didn’t really want to come but since Yuto will be here, I guess this is the only way she’ll get close to him. Tsukasa isn’t pleased with the instant interruption from Komugi’s mom and Kotaro but when Yuto pops up, she becomes a nervous wreck. As usual, Komugi is lazier than anything and each time Yuto has to scold her to get things moving. But this only makes Tsukasa jealous as she sees how close they are interacting. Sharp Kokona senses Tsukasa has a crush on him. Tsukasa and Yuto are left alone when the duo went to bring in more snacks (is it break time again?). A series of flustering leads Yuto to fall over her and his hand over her boobs. Luckily they regain composure in time before the rest come back. While Komugi is dense, Kokona has an idea why their faces are so red. Finally a group photo to commemorate the study session. Tsukasa feels uneasy since Yuto is close to her. Komugi is confident in doing her tests. Unfortunately, monster alert! She needs to defeat it but hasn’t done her test yet. Eventually she manages to excuse herself that she needs to go to the toilet. Once she has transformed, she sees Kokona already taking on the line machine monster and destroying it. Was she even needed? Now head back for the test! In the aftermath, Komugi scores zero! Oh no! All the hard work! It seems she put all her answers in the wrong column. Had she not, she would have scored 56 marks, her personal highest. But Misuzu is understanding enough. She thinks Komugi was unwell during the test and would ‘remark’ her papers if she attend her special Spartan training. Alright. She’s game for it. But who knows… Why in the world does Komugi have to lift weights while reciting English words? WTF?!

Episode 6
Tsukasa is happy yet down. It seems there is a swimming meet for idols. Despite not very fond of the idea of wearing a swimsuit, she wants to show it to Yuto. Meanwhile, Komugi has finally landed a speaking role and not a corpse! At least being an alien is better than nothing. Tsukasa is down once more seeing Komugi and Yuto chatter away. Her driver thinks of cheering her up by talking about this Buri Bara card his son likes but Tsukasa totally has no interest in. Yuto and Komugi also join in the conversation. Then it hit Komugi about this super rare card they’re talking, Chateaubriand. She bugs Kotaro to give one since he has two. At first he doesn’t want to but thinking he could be introduced to Kokona and get into her good books, he gives it. Komugi visits Kokona’s dorm but found the wrong room. It is Tsukasa’s room filled with girly stuffs. Tsukasa who just came back is disheartened she has discovered her secret. Therefore she is going to threaten her to not reveal her secret but then this thought crosses her mind. What if this is a chance for her to become her true self again? Thus she will work hard and win the MVP at the meet and then make her announcement. So dense Komugi agrees to wait. At the meet, the usual water and pool games the idols play. The producer talks to Yuto and wants him to unstrap the bikini top of the girls so as to increase ratings. But then a Fan-C Card falls onto his swimming trunks. Yuto turns into some green metal bug who becomes a serial wardrobe malfunction maniac, cutting off not only the girls’ top but the pants of guys! Gender equality? Komugi is spared because the monster doesn’t cut school swimsuit. It aims for Tsukasa and cuts her diving/surfer suit. Komugi was fast enough to give her bandages to cover her breasts. Tsukasa then transforms to defeat the monster. Yuto is freed as Tsukasa pulls him out from underwater. At least she got to hug him. In the aftermath, Yuto doesn’t remember much but he has a hunch Tsukasa saved him and thanks her. It made her think she would love to stay this way a little longer. Conveniently the meet is cancelled and so she couldn’t win the MVP too. When she meets Komugi the next time, Komugi hands her the Chateaubriand card. She still thinks Tsukasa’s secret is that she is a fan of the card. Tsukasa is annoyed and just brings her to her room to let her see for herself her true nature. She hopes she can keep this a secret and would repay that bandage thingy one day. In that case, Komugi suggests singing with her and Kokona since it is her dream to sing together at Tokyo Skydome.

Episode 7
Komugi’s friends see her enter Tsukasa’s room and they think they must be having some sort of relationship. They eavesdrop and hear ambiguous stuffs like Komugi touching soft and round things but then big mama chases them away. Oh, Komugi is pressing marshmallows. Next day in school, the friends get the wrong idea since Komugi sounded ambiguous too. They were talking all night when they were interrupted and fought (a monster). Komugi won at the end. Her friends think Kokona was the rival and she lost out in her bid to be Tsukasa’s number one. Speaking of Kokona, here she comes. But with her navel exposed? Since they don’t quite like her indecent exposure, she then tries wearing a moustache followed by some funny raw food (I thought it was a worm!). The last straw came when Kokona is interviewing a retired Olympic marathon gold medallist, Kakeru Michio and she added weird words at the end of her sentences. Michio blew his top so the programme had to be cut. As Tsukasa talks to Kokona, it seems she is trying to find a persona because lately girls with specific personas get all the attention and if she doesn’t have any, she is afraid she will not become a top idol. Tsukasa gives the best advice of not wishing what she doesn’t have but instead to develop a certain trait. For instance, Tsukasa is always cross-dressed as a boy in many parts because it is what she does best. So what is Kokona best at? Komugi’s clue that she is always hardworking gave her an idea. After apologizing to Michio, Kokona gets motivated to enter a local marathon race. She trains hard with others supporting her. Come race day, Kokona is keeping a good pace. Of course a monster appears but luckily Tsukasa and Komugi quickly take it away from public view to fight somewhere isolated. They both cooperate to defeat it although the cutie mascots are still at each other’s throat. Kokona must be a masochist to love struggling since she finds it fun. Because of that, this gives almost everyone motivation. From studying to even a paraplegic grandpa to stand up! OMG! Kokona the miracle worker?! Even Michio cannot stand it and wants to come out of retirement to run! And so everybody starts running! Aliens and robots included! OMG! This makes Kokona realizes that with everyone supporting her, she doesn’t want to be the best idol anymore but the idol only she can become. She reaches the finish line much to everyone’s delight. Best of all, Kokona remains as herself.

Episode 8
Komugi is chasing a white bear monster that changes everything to white through the mountains. The rest of our young idols are doing a hotspring report but the director thinks they are stiff and unnatural. They think a bear is coming through the bushes but it turns out to be Komugi all messed up. So tired and dirty, she quickly jumps into the hotspring and gives the best review of it from her heart! Cut! The director will take her report then. As Komugi joins them, she almost gave away that she is a Tombo-E Girl. This has the other furries telling their respective magical girl if Komugi is that magical nurse. Based on their observations on how klutzy she is, they don’t think she is. They play ping pong and Yuto buys them ice cream. It is that gloomy feeling again when Tsukasa sees Komugi sharing her ice cream with Yuto. Yuto observes Tsukasa is somewhat dissatisfied and thinks he can help cheer her up by organizing a kimodameshi. Yuto and Komugi head out first. But then a monster is sensed. Komugi excuses herself to go back to the inn so Yuto will continue himself. His plan is to scare Kokona and Tsukasa so they will get close to each other and deepen their relationship. Kokona and Tsukasa walk their separate ways since they need to transform alone. So when Yuto sees Tsukasa coming alone, he also senses a bear (that monster) from behind. While Komugi tackles it in the background, Yuto grabs Tsukasa and pushes her down to hide. At first she is shocked at this development but soon learns why he is doing so. Eventually Komugi defeats the white bear monster and is the last one to return to the inn all messed up. The rest think she got lost again. As Kokona and Tsukasa soak in the hotspring, Tsukasa’s mind is elsewhere thinking about that close proximity. So when Kokona asks if she likes Yuto, Tsukasa answered yes before realizing her embarrassment and starts flustering like hell. It is no big deal to Kokona as she has been observing her actions. She gives her hope that Yuto sees Komugi as his little sister so there is a chance for her. Kokona senses Yuto just coming into the hotspring on the other side and takes Komugi (who just dipped in) away so that the duo could talk privately.

Episode 9
Komugi’s hotspring report is shown all over Japan. It becomes a hit that the inn experiences good business. You just really want to try it out, eh? Because of that, Komugi is delighted she has more hotspring reporting jobs. Though, she has to run to all the hotspring areas. Why? Because if Kokona can run, so can she! And so Matsukawa becomes her ‘motivator’ as she runs from a hotspring to another. But her tiredness made it all worth it. Then there is a rundown hotspring she is so supposed to cover but she was so tired and tripped that she brought down the entire structure! Oh sh*t! Next day, she thought she is going to get scolded by Ai but instead she heard her saying she is getting fired. Matsukawa sounded happy. Komugi is so sad that she runs through the entire shopping arcade screaming about it. Yeah, everybody now knows about it. Those old guys feel down too. So they head over to Ai’s office to plead not to get Komugi fired. However the decision is final. Too bad guys. And Ai doesn’t even know what the heck all that was about but she said it with confidence. So what do old guys who lost their wives have nothing except their granddaughter, drinking, reading, travelling, movies, ceramics, mixers, golf, fishing, photography, mountain climbing, sushi, tempura, social work and volunteer work have got to live for if they don’t have Komugi??!!! Yeah, that’s pretty much a lot of things to live for… They won’t let this slide yet.

Komugi is still down and if you’re wondering if she can do her job as a magical nurse, well, let’s say she took Usa-P’s words to take out her frustrations on the yawning monster. She gets even violent when she thinks the monster is mocking her being fired! OMG! She is beating it up so brutally that it cannot be shown! Even Usa-P is scared! Oh my… In the end, she is about to resign to her fate of not being idol material when her friends bring her to a stage. It is made by those old guys and they want her to sing for them. Even if she is fired from her agency, she will always be their idol. Can’t disappoint your fans now, can you? So we hear Komugi sing as she realizes the tremendous support from her fans and vows never to quit being an idol. Ai, Matsukawa, Kokona and Tsukasa happen to pass by and see this. When ask why, Ai seemingly confirms about Komugi’s dismissal though she had intended to make it a surprise. More puzzling, she congratulates her on being fired. Now, before you can hate her, remember that Buri Bara card game? Since it is getting an anime adaption and Komugi went to audition for a role, she got a part. The characters are named after meat parts of the cow and she got the neck part (kubi means both neck and fired). Now you understand? As for the destroyed inn, it was scheduled to be torn down anyway. The owner even sent a thank you note for saving the hassle. All is well, ends well. But Komugi may need to explain about this ‘illegal’ concert…

Episode 10
Tsukasa makes sweets for Kokona and Komugi and she is good at it. However she doesn’t want them to tell others as she has that tomboyish image to keep up in the public’s eyes. Kokona then mentions about the school’s legendary rainbow cupcake and if given to one, they will be friends forever. You bet Tsukasa is going to do that. After doing a promotion for a White Day event, Yuto remembers Tsukasa giving him Valentine chocolates although she said it was obligatory (yeah right). He ponders if he should return the favour. So he asks Komugi what kind of sweets Tsukasa likes. Not wanting to reveal her secret, Komugi replies otherwise. Any fool can pick up her unconvincing lie. Tsukasa finishes her filming fast so she could join her friends to make the rainbow cupcake. As she cannot reveal her expert baking side, Kokona and Komugi are forced to distract the other friends so Tsukasa could make the necessary adjustments that would otherwise spoil the cupcake. Even if it means Kokona taking all the credit at the end. Of course the friends are eager to know whom Tsukasa is going to give her sweets too. Kokona or Komugi? The big battle to end it once and for all? A monster appears by smothering girls in sugary sweet cream. When an uninspiring announcement is made that a pervert is near the cooking room, Tsukasa dashes over to check if the cupcakes are alright. But first, Misuzu uses all her wrestling moves on the monster. She’s raring to go! While she basks in victory, the monster escapes but is short-lived as the magical sister finishes it once and for all. Good news the cupcakes are still intact.

I’m not sure about this WTF scene because some girls not only give Misuzu their cupcake but when her to do a wrestling move on them! Are they masochists?! In the end, the friends never knew whom Tsukasa gave her cupcake to but they notice they are as friendly as ever. Yuto couldn’t find the kind of sweet anywhere (as described by Komugi’s lie). He is contemplating not doing so when he bumps into Kotaro who seems to want to buy a gift for Kokona in return. It is the thought that counts. This makes Yuto know what he has to do. Yuto gives it to Tsukasa at the backstage before their event. Tsukasa is surprised but happy. But that turn into dismay when the gift turns out to be squid ink?! WTF?! Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Yeah, according to some fictional island, giving such squid ink on White Day means he hates you! Oh no! She loses motivation to give the cupcake but Neko-P seeing how hard she has put in her effort will help her out. Thus Tsukasa in her magical sister form gives Yuto her cupcake. Kotaro gives Kokona his present and she too has something for him. Same for Komugi for Usa-P. How considerate. But it is damn spicy! Tsukasa is going to resign to the fact she can only be Yuto’s friend as a magical sister but Neko-P has done more homework because he found some region that giving squid ink on White Day means friends forever. Yahoo! Such a happy blissful girl. Yuto eats the cupcake and finds a familiar taste. It tastes like Tsukasa’s style.

Episode 11
Lilia hates being alone. Komugi and her friends are talking about Supernova Lilia, a top idol from America. Seems she is going to make her debut in Japan soon. When Komugi and Kokona head to the studio for their usual filming, they are shocked to find the filming has been cancelled. Apparently some agency took over this slot of filming and will use another idol. Yeah, big money talks too. I guess one programme cancelled is alright, right? Wait till they find out the other shows they are doing are also cancelled! Because those slots are also bought up by that idol agency! Okay… We still got Buri Bara, right? Right before the press conference, Ai had to relay the bad news the entire anime is cancelled! OMG! Don’t tell me that agency has bought that anime slot. Yup. A new anime called Lilia Paradise will be in place of it. So let me guess, this new idol is going to take over Japan this way? With the entire day free, Komugi hangs out with Kokona and Tsukasa. They bump into a lost girl who is clearly Lilia in disguise. It took a while for Komugi to recognize but she is absolutely thrilled when she does. Lilia knows a lot about them since she watches their shows. They have fun at the park together till her agents come to pick her up for a press conference. Lilia aces in all the events and later invites Komugi and co to her concert at Tokyo Skydome. Meanwhile our furry mascots are on their way back to Fan-C World to give an update about their progress. All of them are at a tie with 35 Fan-C Cards each and there are only 3 more cards left. They sense a monster but when they head to the scene, it is over. Could it be some other magical girl beat them to the scene? They don’t know who since neither summoned their Tombo-E Girl. They sense another monster but this time get a real beat down. Animal abuse! OMG! Have you seen them being smacked down like that?! Worse, this monster steals all their hard earned Fan-C Cards. I’m sure we can pretty much guess who that monster is… Meanwhile Lilia’s much awaited Tokyo Skydome performance begins.

Episode 12
When our girls return home to their respective rooms, they are shocked to see their furry mascots beaten up. Too bad Komugi didn’t miss Usa-P while he is gone. After being told what happened, each see an idol magazine in which Lilia is in an article. They recognize her as the monster who stole their Fan-C Cards but the girls don’t believe. To be certain, they hang out with Lilia and our animals are surprised she doesn’t emit any monster signal. Everyone attends another Lilia concert. A monster is detected and this time they spot the camera monster. Better be quick because this monster has the ability to see through clothes with his infrared! Our magical girls transform and hop on stage as everyone thinks this is part of the performance. Before they could do anything, Lilia’s teddy bear activates and combines with her to become a magical idol. The monster is defeated and with Lilia having all the Fan-C Cards, she will now use it to grant her desire. She wants the entire world to become her fan. Not just every damn human or animal on this planet but aliens too! Komugi and co claim this isn’t the way to win the heart of fans but Lilia is not all ears. So our furry mascots tell our magical girls to combine their power for an ultimate move. This means doing a concert of their own to snap everyone out of their spell. Yeah, whatever. Once it is over, it is raining Fan-C Cards and our mascots are fighting among each other to swoop them all. Meanwhile our girls transform back since it is mission over and they are shocked to realize the other’s true identity. Right under their noses… … Then they laugh it off. No big deal, eh? Yuto has seen them transform back too as he confronts Tsukasa being a magical sister. He is glad because he was hoping they were the same person. All of a sudden, Tsukasa admits she loves him. He too replies back he loves her! Woah! Too fast?! Komugi never knew… A few days later after the set is repaired, Lilia continues her awesome concert. The princess of Fan-C World, Hime-P uses her power to animate her teddy beat so she won’t be lonely. Our fury mascots return to Fan-C World and man, they look hot in their bishonen form! They praise Hime-P all they want and did she give them the green light to do something naughty to her? When you have a princess this sexy… Komugi narrates the aftermath that Lilia became busy so they rarely meet up but still do. Kokona trains hard for marathons. Yuto being selected for a swim meet and will be based in USA for 10 years. Tsukasa hopes to follow him there. And Misuzu… She became a pro wrestler! Oh, Buri Bara is back on schedule and dubbing is about to begin. Komugi returns to her normal life till she trips on Usa-P again. He claims there is another threat and she needs to transform into a powered up Tombo-E Girl R.

Go, Go-Mugi De Go!
It was indeed a brainless fun series. I would love to leave it just as that. Because eventually they never explained what the heck that R supposed to mean. Revolution? How is Komugi revolutionized here? Revived? If she dons her magical nurse outfit again, would it means she would be reviving her magical girl career? Yeah, one of the biggest trolls of this series. The characters aren’t too deep and the ending just felt rushed just because it is already on its last episode don’t necessarily help but this show was meant to be silly on all accords so if you want to complain about all that, you’re barking up the wrong tree. You’re not supposed to expect all those here.

If you want to complain about the lack of plot, I guess technically you can do so. But with all the silly slapsticks going around, I’m not really complaining. Although it does feel a bit predictable and repetitive sometimes because the entire series is basically about Komugi and her friends going about in their daily lives, herald the-monster-of-the-week, it gets is 2 minutes of appearance to disturb the peace before being destroyed by some magical beam our magical girls chant with equally insane magical lines, heck even the monster has his final words before being destroyed, when all it is said and done all is well ends well. Period. What more do you want?

Therefore the supposedly magical girl fight scenes aren’t much either. Because the monsters are just so damn comical than threatening that it looks like even the police could have handled it. Only difference is because they might not have the proper tools to take off the Fan-C Cards that are stuck on them. Otherwise you do notice that many of the monsters, their habits and personality after being activated by the Fan-C Card are not really threatening to the world or even to the town itself. Like as though the monsters are made to look and act more docile so as the show can be suitable to be watched by younger audiences. You don’t say… There are a handful of those fancy terms (pun probably intended) but I don’t really give a damn since my brain power wasn’t turned on. I don’t think you’ll miss a lot as long as you understand and remember the frequently used terms.

As there are similarities with the previous series, there are some differences too so as not to make it feel like a blatant shameless rip-off. Most notably that the previous series has its antagonist in the form of viruses but this time they turned it into some card capturing thingy. Just like Ilya, eh? The former had the titular character having a secret crush on the fellow male idol. Our Komugi here it seems their relationship is more like siblings. Also, Magikarte Z only had a magical nurse and a magical maid. Now they added a magical sister to make it a trio. Instead of magical girls being heated rivals with each other, they are rather friendly in both sides of their alter ego. In fact, there are no heated rivals like in Magikarte Z even within the same idol agency. So no b*tch fights to see. And if you remember that tanuki, Posokichi that doesn’t really talk, right? Tanu-P has his fair share of lines and is mostly polite and gentle. I think there could be more but I’ll stop here before nostalgia ‘kills me’. Heh…

Character wise, you can argue they are pretty shallow because how you see them here is how they will be for the rest of the entire series. Like Komugi being the cheerful but clumsy girl, Kokona the polite girl but hides a dark sadistic side and Tsukasa despite being a tomboy is actually a true feminine down inside and yearns for love. You could say that the romance between Tsukasa and Yuto feels pretty much forced and an added distraction to everything. Because all the while Tsukasa have been just so shy to say out her feelings and when it is over, she got the courage. Where did she get it from? Oh, who cares, right? I thought Yuto would be the ultimate twist. You know, he might be the good looking guy but in the end, the culprit who has been unleashing havoc with the Fan-C Cards. Nope. Not even a complicated plot like this for this series. He is just another normal guy. Lilia’s character feels forced too because it was like as though they needed to introduce a new character just for our main trio to unite or something. I don’t even know why her teddy bear was evil in the first place or making her do all that bad things unless it is being possessed by some Fan-C Card. Ah well, this series isn’t good in explaining all those stuffs so you’ll have to accept things as they are.

The furry mascots too aren’t much themselves except to play the roles as comic relief and looking cute while doing so. There is supposed to be some sort of animosity between them but even when they get into an argument, it doesn’t feel threatening but cute seeing how comical they are in the first place. I mean, how can you take something so round so seriously threatening, right? Usa-P is supposed to be a pervert but as I see it here, I don’t think he is as bad as Mugi from the predecessor series. It is a good thing they don’t turn that scene of him joining Komugi in the bath and then she violently kicks him out into a running joke. Come to think about it, no doubt Usa-P is male, but he is some rabbit mascot for heaven’s sakes. So why does Komugi treat it like a real guy in the bath? As long as you’re male, you have that potential… You’ll never know… Better to be safe than sorry. I believe all of them probably got a crush on Hime-P, the reason why they are in competition to do this job and win her affections. In the end, nobody cared who won and all of them got the same sexy love from her. I think.

The rest of the minor supporting characters feel the same and are just there. Whether or not they are of big importance it doesn’t matter. Like Kotaro whom you would remember as Komugi’s brother who has a big crush on Kokona. The same case for Misuzu because her iron claw fist is a devastating move she uses on her students and in the ring. Komugi’s quartet classmate friends feel generic except that rapper girl who talks only in rap language as the only one that stands out from what would have been a typical group of bland friends. Then you have Ai as the caring president and Matsukawa as the loudmouth motivation guy who tries to give Komugi positivism if she is down. I thought it would be a running joke for him to take over Komugi’s place whenever she is away fighting monsters but that was thankfully stopped after a couple of times. The same case of Komugi always playing a corpse. Yeah, a joke like that even gets old even in a silly show like this.

The one big thing that mind boggles me is the fact how our main trio of magical girls cannot seem to guess the other magical girl is their close friend. Okay, I will give them the benefit of the doubt that their magical girl outfits has some sort of screen block that prevents them to identify clearly the other party. Yeah, right… The same reason why many cannot identify Superman and Clark Kent as the same person despite the difference is just a pair of glasses. Even if this theory is true, you would have noticed that their furry mascots have been tagging with them whether they are in normal form or magical mode. As they are there either way and given the fact that the furries know their rival, shouldn’t they have guessed when in normal mode that, say, Kokona is the magical maid? I mean, if Tanu-P is with Kokona and also with the magical maid, shouldn’t the math have been done? Are they that dumb? Or are they too busy trying to fight for the Fan-C Cards just to notice this trivial thing?

Drawing and art are okay with all the bright vivid colours making everything looking so lively and cute. Komugi and Kokona’s magical girl design for this spinoff looks as similar to their predecessors. There are slight differences enough to differentiate them but that is if you have a keen eye for detail because for a casual viewer like me, I was just thinking how freaking similar they look. Like as though they cut, copy and paste the designs and all and were too lazy to come up with a new one. I mean, this show is already a spinoff so there needs to be some similarities to the design. I didn’t think it would be this similar. I may be wrong but recently in the past few years I have noticed that dance sequence these days are starting to use CGI. Because those are how the singing and dancing scenes of the idols are here. Although I won’t say the difference is very jarring but you can tell at a glance. Are hand drawn dance animations hard to draw these days? Maybe with all the jumping around, imagine how many frames you are going to animate… So why not use technology! Not magic, mind you! But I have to hand it to them that the transformation effects and whatever magical effects during the fights are still pretty decent.

It goes without saying that with an entirely new spinoff, the entire casts are also new. This means you’re not going to hear that voice behind Pikachu and Chopper… If you watched the predecessor, you’ll know what I mean. Despite this is Kei Tomoe’s debut anime role, she did quite a good job to make Komugi sound like a clumsy klutz. Everything about her voice absolutely fits her character well. I thought it was Yu Kobayashi behind Tsukasa but it is in fact Makoto Koichi, another new seiyuu in which this anime series is also her debut. The other casts include Erii Yamazaki as Kokona (Roboko in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Yasuaki Takumi as Yuto (Tsukasa in Plastic Memories), Daisuke Namikawa as Tanu-P (Rock in Black Lagoon), Ryota Takeuchi as Neko-P (Shiro in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Uki Satake as Lilia (QT in Space Dandy), Shizuka Itou as Ai (Haruka in Amagami SS) and Kenta Miyake as Matsukawa (Sydonay in Shakugan No Shana). Oddly or not, the only seiyuu from the previous Komugi-chan series is Haruko Momoi. She was the voice of the titular character then but now she is playing as Komugi’s mother. It makes me wonder if this is grownup Komugi of the old series since my paranoia is making me see little shades of her. Then again, what happens to all magical girls when they grow up?

I love the opening theme, Ready Go!! sung by Magical R which is basically the main trio magical girls. It is a very lively and catchy piece and you can’t help but sing along to its catchy lines as well as it makes you want to get up and jump and dance. Sometimes it isn’t enough that I had to replay the opening scene just to hear-cum-sing along again. “Everybody here de Lucky de Go! Everybody say de Lucky de Go! Everybody jump de Lucky de Go! Let’s Go! Go! Go Ready Go!” Oh yeah. Are we ready to sing that one more time? The ending theme is Ame To Namida To Otome To Taiyaki by Shintou Otome and is also not bad and catchy in its own right. It has that cheery sunshiny feel to it (despite the animation is mostly raining) and a little bit of cute rapping. There are also insert songs sung by our magical girls. They are rather okay as they are mostly idol-like songs.

Overall, this one is for the old fans for nostalgia and for the newer ones who want to laugh without cracking up their brains over deep twisted plots or convoluted characters with equally convoluted pasts, this series is perfect to take away the Monday Blues with some silly magical girl action and comedy (and a little magical girl dance) before heading back to that stressful reality of yours. So if you think your job sucks, try putting yourself in Komugi’s shoes. A young girl needing to juggle between her school life and saving the world. If only magic could make reality so much more fun.

Mishishi. I know this second season came out over a year ago. Since nobody really subbed this anime short and it really wasn’t on my high list to watch, it somewhat became forgotten. Also, I didn’t really remember much about it except it was pretty random and that they used characters from the series but changed their personality 180 degrees. But when somebody recently had the decency to sub it, I guess it brought back the reminder to at least check it out what is in store. Yeah. I’m obliged to do that for most series I have seen and do not despise. So here I am, watching Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen SC. And without a clue what is going on.

Episode 1
It is already the first day of the new semester and Adol is running late. Not bishoujo for him but a rocket blast into the sky! But he makes a ludicrous entrance by punching Dark! Then everyone falls into a pit hole. Already somebody is in trouble in this underground maze. Actually, Ilya Platiere is squeezing boobs from fellow comrade Rixia Mao. When she senses more girls falling down the pit hole, how is she going to grab and fondle all their boobs? She clones herself to catch all of them! We are introduced to a couple of new characters like Alisa Reinford and Rean Schwarzer who gets instantly arrested by the police for sticking his face in a girl’s boobs.

Episode 2
With a handful of new characters falling into this world of Xanadu, Rappy explains that they have to enrol in Falcom Gakuen to learn the Power of Truth so they can return to their own world. So more new characters briefly introduced like Laura S. Arseid, Elliot Craig and fujoshi Emma Millstein. Because Fie Claussel feels lethargic to even bother to do anything, Tio fears that this will bring her down if they don’t do something and forces Dark and Rappy to enrol her NOW!

Episode 3
Dark explains the academy splits students into classes based on their grades. So while Alisa, Elliot and Laura are in the regular class, idiots like Fie and Rean are of course in the below average class. Emma is in the elite class with Machias Regnitz but he doesn’t like to be in the same class with noble Jusis Albarea who seems to cannot turn down help from others because it is a noble’s job to help the less fortunate. Need your homework done? He’s got it covered. Toilet needs unplugging? You got it. Then there is Gaius Worzel painting a princess. She is so flattered of this honour that he will draw a true picture of her but don’t let her see the end painting because it is a washboard! Dark thought he would be more stressed with more students to handle but cannot be touched when the new students bow to him as he enters class.

Episode 4
A new transfer student for the elite class arrives. No, it’s not a beautiful girl, Adol. It’s a starship named Adari. Local police, Randy Orlando and Ellie McDyle lament they haven’t been given a chance to shine since there are no incidents. But they’ll get their chance soon since Lloyd and Rean are about to commit their perverted antics. Even Adari complaints that somebody has been peeping on her! Don’t worry, the suspect is caught! Adol?! Because he put on that strange facial expression which is the same like Randy when he first saw the starship changed. Adol thought he is treated to nice pork cutlet dish but it turns out to be some sort of poison.

Episode 5
Yet another character dropped into Xanadu. This armour dude and the leader of the Empire Liberation Front , C is wondering where the heck this place is when he is interrupted by the legendary hero, Falcom Man who blackmails C into joining his Falcom Justice Squad. As usual, it contains all weirdoes like Phantom Thief Blublanc (Falcom White), Zwei 2 (Falcom Blue), Gas Mask Girl Parin (Falcom Green) and pervert Angelica Rogner (senpai of sex???!!!). Then there is this red haired Adol that appeared from last season to join the ranks but they just tell him to go back to America.

Episode 6
C wants Yin to join the squad and be the legendary assassin of Falcom Silver. However as Yin is trying to conceal her identity, Rappy accidentally reveals more about her, causing a beat down. When a girl seems to be in trouble, Falcom Justice Squad goes into action to beat up the ruffian. But it turns out they were just lost and the ruffian was just taking out his frustration on the wall. Rappy and Tio are talking about the dilemma of revealing some of their identities when they are met with this guy from the police, Alex Dudley.

Episode 7
Rappy is shocked that even Jurio and Chris from the Gagharv Trilogy has come to this world. Rappy is afraid of Chris’ treatment towards him as a pet. The duo are on a pilgrimage by visiting shrines all over the world for their coming-of-age ritual. Rappy is mad at Jurio because he didn’t make bad puns about his missing dagger. Everyone goes to help Jurio find his missing dagger but nobody gives about a damn for Rappy trying to rally them to do so.

Episode 8
The search for the dagger begins. Chris is asked about her relationship with Jurio. She is shy to mention it. You thought it would be something scandalous but she rates him in between and underling and little brother. Goose thought he had found the dagger but this dude (some police guy whose name I don’t know) suspects him as the thief because of his stupid voice! Shala is looking for Goose but stumbles upon naked Olivier and Fan, claiming they are forest fairies. Police guy beats them up. He admits he got the wrong man but then when Goose starts asking what gives, his stupid voice makes him want to beat him up all over again. Jurio finds his dagger and Dark and Rappy make a silly pun that nobody cares about.

Episode 9
Adol is disheartened he can’t enter his Adol Tower because there is a house blocking in front of it. This house belongs to the adventuring family of dragon slayers, Xemm (father and husband), Meyna (wife and mother) and Lyll (elf daughter). Realizing their son Roas is missing, it seems they lament he has turned into a shut-in. Attempts to coax him out to go to school fail. Herald pixelated Dragon Slayer to come persuade him to defeat the Dragon King together. He agrees but feels it has been too much for today so he’ll try next week. Procrastination? Dragon Slayer then uses his power ring to move the entire house to school, which doesn’t solve anything by the way.

Episode 10
Dark probably doesn’t want that weird ‘perfect’ medicine from Joseph Gunther so he seeks advice from Sword Emperor Loewe to introduce him to his master, Arianrhod to become stronger. He is cautioned Arianrhod doesn’t like humans but don’t worry, Dark is a demon! She is summoned but in the midst of losing a game she is playing. Arianrhod imposes strict training on Dark while she occupies herself with her handheld. Dark is now confident he can join in PE activities. However he has second thoughts about swimming but before he can escape, the girls pull him into the water. Thankfully he is rescued but his tummy bloated. And Joseph thinks his medicine can cure him…

Episode 11
Tovar Randonneur thought he could show off in his special arts class but broke his finger. He is taken to see a healer nun at the edge of town but to his dismay she is Ein Selnert. He fears the worst from her but realizes her kind personality which is so much contrasting with her original character. Then he realizes she is wearing the Ring of Judgment that creates illusions if the wearer has guilty conscience. In the struggle, the ring comes off and Ein turns into a violent b*tch. Everybody is beaten up an amnesiac so Ein explains and describes the joyful sounds of agony when she was whipping everybody. Yeah, it calmed her soul… The ring is sold at Mona Shop although the yellow blob is starting to have residual guilt in selling certain items at high prices. Adol touches it and at first he says nothing happened, suddenly he turns into a greedy money faced bastard. How much will you pay for this…

Episode 12
The town is under attack by Lechter Arundel AKA Scarecrow. He is assisted by the Iron Blooded Prime Minister, Giliath Osborn who is now some lame robot. In his bid to push for modernization, he turns Adari into a giant robot piloted by Adol. However some note they’d rather see Adol getting beaten up. This guy is hated so much… Rean thought he could save the day but was easily defeated. When Falcom Justice Squad is about to go into action, they fell through a trapdoor which is hardly anything modern about it.

The More The Merrier Dumber
In the end, I never really got it. I laughed just because it felt like a cue to do so and probably I felt that it was supposed to be funny. I figured this must be the punch line so that means it has got to be funny, right? Putting this aside, the second season is only appreciated who have watched or rather played the video games in the Falcom series. But even so, I question if diehard fans would understand the joke because just like in last season at the end of every episode, there is this big reminder that tells us the personalities of the characters here differ greatly from the original. Therefore it is just like borrowing their looks and name (like an empty shell) but what is inside is a totally different ball game.

The confusion and shock of these beloved game characters may be what this series relies on as its comedy and laugh factor but as I have said, I have not played any of their games so I am quite at a lost even at all the randomness. It is just like watching a random episode of Bugs Bunny or Road Runner without giving too much thought of where the plot or direction of this series is heading despite there are a handful of episodes that broke up into 2 parts. It’s like there is continuity but for a series that only lasts 2 minutes (1.5 if you take away the opening credits animation), it doesn’t really count. I mean, is there really a plot to begin with? Screw that finding the Power of Truth thingy because we don’t actually see them trying to do so and it is just lost. Rather, everybody gets into short random idiocy. If this is the Power of Truth, then God help us all.

If last season had tons of characters, this season introduces even more. So much more that think almost every episode features at least 1 new character! To the point that some characters appear only for that episode and never to be seen or heard from again. While it is great especially to fans to see more characters from the games they played to appear, it only gets confusing to people like me who are just casual viewers who don’t know anything. I’ll be left wondering what their significance would be and they primarily do not leave an impact since their cameo is so short and for that episode only. Sometimes it feels like they just created random characters and insert them into the episode because, why the hell not? After all, who the hell cares, right?

With many new characters this season, I have a feeling although I am not sure that some of the older ones from the first season appeared or not. Because I noticed that some like Dark and Rappy have been given less limelight. Even such characters their running jokes have been greatly minimised or tossed away. Remember how Rappy is often the running joke as the much sought after meat to be cooked and eaten? Remember Joshua and his maid cross-dressing fetish? Remember Dark used to be thrown into prison for suspected charges on assault or abduction? What happened to all that? Replaced with new characters making their cameos and stupid random acts. But some still remain the same like Adol who continues to be the biggest jerk ass. He might have found a competitor or collaborator in Rean. Then there is Olivier and Fan still running around in their birthday suit… God really help us all.

The 30 seconds opening theme remains the most amusing to me since its lyrics only consists of “Go Fight!”. The same opening theme used in the first season. This time, he usual characters seem to be doing ‘cooler’ or rather funnier poses than before. I guess a new season calls for a new fancier posing. Yeah, maybe you feel like wanting to use this battle cry-like fanfare to go rally all the trapped Xanadu characters to go fight and try harder to return to their own world.

Oh, would you know it too. There has been a third season announced! Oh God. Not more short random antics. Well, let’s hope that this time that the gang would get their act together and try their best to really, really, really, really, really, end the series and go home. I’m not saying that this is a bad series, but I don’t want to waste more of my time on very short series that I don’t hate that I am obliged to watch that I don’t understand since I don’t play the games that I will not understand how to appreciate. Me? Wasting my time watching this series? Oh well. I guess we are all birds of the same feather then.

Robot Girls Z Plus

December 18, 2015

I didn’t think it would happen but it did. However Robot Girls Z Plus despite being the sequel didn’t developed into a full-fledged TV series and instead remained released as ONA. Another boggling fact was that although there are only 6 episodes, each lasting about 8 minutes, they only released an episode per month! I don’t know what kind of strategy they are pulling here but I suppose if you like girls, you like robots, you like action, you like fanservice and you like all of them mashed up together, then you’ll probably enjoy this short sequel. Hey, I mean, even heroines and protectors of a city sometimes need to get violent to take out their stress, right? Right?! Oh what the heck. At least it isn’t my town they’re protecting ;p.

Episode 1
Right off the start, Z-chan is already fighting Boss in the middle of the Nerima Ward streets, causing irreparable damage. All because Boss wants to join Team Z but Z-chan won’t allow her. I mean, what’s with this lame excuse the team is full? Gre-chan and Grenda-san think how they are so alike. Of course Z-chan disagrees although Boss continues to view them as each other’s best friends and greatest rivals. Suddenly a missile almost hits them. Courtesy from Combined Girl Bong. She shoots more missiles for more destruction so Team Z transforms into their usual Mazinger or Grendaizer form to fight back. Although they shoot and dismantle her, Bong can quickly assemble herself back. Fear those card box pieces… Reinforcements arrive when Liger blocks Bong’s missile with her spear. Pon-chan then bats away another one like a perfect baseball hit. Then they steal her card box pieces before she can assemble and let Gecchan finish her off. The trio are the new Team G as they boast how powerful they are now. Boss teases to join their side since they are stronger but they don’t need her and throw her back to Team Z! It’s not like Z-chan wants her too and the duo continue fighting. See how alike they are? But Grenda-san can’t help think where Bong came from.

Episode 2
Sky Magical Girl Grangen thought she could harass some girls and make them wet and sticky but today as it turns out, the pool has become a cheap fishing spot for old guys! She spots Boss and decides to do her in although she is less of her type. That is when Team G arrives to save the day. You know it will happen. When you have a villainess with tentacles and sexy robot girls, this screams tentacle rape scene! Jeeg then pops up with her new partner, Pan-san whom she just found at a cosplay convention. Time to get serious and save the day. But how can this lame combination move do them any good? Well, it makes them look cool, right? So Jeeg thinks. Yeah. Tentacle rape punishment for them too. Jeeg’s servants, Ryouma Nagare and Musashi Tomoe drive into the scene to save them. Boss’ bait seems to have caught the plug at the bottom of the pool. When unplugged, it causes a massive turbulence that disturbs Grangen. Pon-chan then throws Grangen into Musashi. A fiery explosive finish. Everyone is sad over Musashi’s death but Jeeg has hired another guy as replacement so it is all smiles and laughter for everyone. Nobody gives a damn Musashi is still alive.

Episode 3
There is a contest to determine which new Robot Girl team is the strongest. Naturally, Z-chan is pissed and is just going to kick all of their asses but Team G interrupts. They also brag about being the strongest when Hayato pops up to announce their time is over. Time to move over and give the stage to newer teams. Like Team Gou made up of Gou, Shou and Lady Gai. They’re stealing everyone’s hearts. Then Team LOD usurps them. They comprise of Raicchi, Baru-chan and Triple Gai-chan. Not to be outdone, Team Z and Team G head on their stage to do their stuff. Then Boss comes swinging in to join them but she destroys the entire stage with her screw up. It is then decided instead of choosing a strongest team, all of them will become one strongest team called NRM 12. The girls seem to like this idea and start getting along with each other.

Episode 4
Continuing from last episode, Lightwave Girl Picudron isn’t amused with that and attacks them with her light wave. When hit, it allows her to see all you embarrassing weaknesses. So embarrassing that your armour will burst and leave you in your undies! When Picudron zaps Team Z, it seems Grenda-san has something so horrifying that it scares the sh*t out of her and this allows Team Z to escape the fanservice. Triple Gai-chan wants her team to do that embarrassing move. That’s because it involves her teammates stripping so she can wear her armour and blast volts at her enemy. However Picudron absorbs everything. Then Triple Gai-chan flashes something even more horrible. Picudron’s true form is revealed. She is some fat robot powered by peddle power by some folks in some van. Picudron laments they are victims of Robot Girls and planned this revenge. But Team J is still not amused with the trouble they have caused and finishes them. Then everyone starts teasing and taunting Gecchan’s embarrassing secrets.

Episode 5
Our Robot Girls are heading to the mayor’s office to receive a medal. For all they’ve done? I know, it is mind boggling. Even Boss is getting it. Inside her office, Z-chan blushes when the mayor praises her simply because she’s never been praised before. The girls feel something strange when the mayor tells them to pick up their medal. Hmm… Feels heavy. Turns out it is a giant trap set for them. Other Robot Girl teams have also fallen into this trap. The mayor called them here to beat the crap out of them. Her policy is to protect the city and this means Robot Girls who have constantly destroyed the city will be kicked out. She reveals her true form, an alien from outer space going by the name, Super Space Beast Gigilgan Gilgil Ganko. She then makes an announcement to the citizens that she will get rid of these violent little insects for their sake. Here is one serving of screwball coming up right at them. Boom!

Episode 6
Although Jeeg’s servants protect her, the rest somehow survive but under heaps of rubble. Our mad Robot Girls revive in time to take out their anger but Ganko is too strong for them as one by one they fall. This is the power of politics? Conveniently she pins the blame of this city’s destruction on them although her real intention is to redevelop it into a bigger city. Definitely politics power play here. Just as Z-chan is about to give up, Dr Yumi gives her some power accessory. They power up into Robot Girls Team Z EX. With even cooler powers and sexy outfits. Ganko is given a run for her money. The trio combine all their power to blast Photonic Beam Dynamic at her. However she easily dodges since it is too slow. Boss sees the beam coming her way and frantically uses her mirror to reflect it. Before Ganko can fry our heroines, the beam comes back to zap and defeat her for good. In the aftermath, a ceremony to unveil the hero who saved the city takes place. A gold statue of Boss???!!! Well, it is thanks to her that they won, right? Z-chan is furious and won’t allow her to hog the glory. Back to beating each other up, I guess.

Specials

These are actually the special extra episodes from the first season that I missed out. Better late than never, eh?

Episode 3.5
In the flying space base of Navarone, the Unwanted Robot piloted by Imaichi Moenai Ko (literally meaning girl lacking in moe) sets off to defeat Team Z and if she wins, Ashura promised her to become her mascot. So our Team Z has the ability to fly up to space for this battle. The fight begins and because Unwanted Robot is made out of cardboard, Imaichi has to quickly patch things up. But Imaichi has a trick under her sleeve. She fires her un-moe beam to turn Z-chan and Gre-chan into un-moe looking characters! Thinking victory is hers, she goes in for the kill. But Grenda-san is not affected and strikes the beam back at her. Ashura and her team got caught in the blast and turn un-moe. But for Imaichi, she now looks moe and kawaii!!! Even her robot looks cool! However Imaichi doesn’t like it because it ruins her identity! WTF?! I like you this cute!!! Team Z then gives the final super punch that sends her crashing into the rest of the baddies for ultimate victory. Don’t worry if their looks will stay like that forever because it soon reverts back.

Episode 6.5
While chasing down Ashura and co, Team Z stumble upon a mascot grand prix. Z-chan wants to get violent as usual but a huge mascot appears before them (Wooser?). He seems to try and persuade them to join him to make lots of cash. But Grenda-san shows her cleavage full of money and doesn’t need it! She then becomes some sort of sadist and beats up this yellow fellow to turn him into some livestock she makes at her secret ranch. You don’t want to know… Suddenly they are attacked by a fairy mascot that shoots acid that will melt anything. Although the barrier protects the girls, the fairy continues spinning its acid everywhere. Too bad for the other mascots. Gre-chan is furious that her computer is melted and she blows the acid back in the fairy’s face! Finally a mascot that resembles like a certain assassinated Austrian archduke who was the responsible for the start of World War 1. He is cocky that Japanese cannot best Europeans and is playing psychology that it will become an international diplomatic incident if so. Z-chan doesn’t give a damn and just blasts everything! The grand prix is falling apart! Ashura and co are hiding in a mascot but Team Z discovers them. Z-chan blames them for ruining the grand prix! If that is not bad enough, they got zapped anyway. So sad…

Episode 9.5
Pixiv is hosting a convention where fans can upload their drawings of encouragement of Team Z live. You can tell Pixiv hates them very much when she puts up that look after Z-chan punches off from the centre stage just to hog the limelight. The first few uploads illustrate the Robot Girls as oppressive and vile evil doers! How is this possible? Pixiv tells us that they aren’t actually sent by fans but by Ashura and her Underground Empire. They’re secretly drawing and uploading them to tarnish their image. Once that happens, Pixiv will get to own them as her property called Robot Girls P. Z-chan tries to add hers but it looks horrible. Grenda-san helps in but it is so questionably porn that it needs mosaic censors. Gre-chan uploads hers and wow, they look pretty good. She drew a few themes like idols, witches, Alice in Wonderland and samurai. This has everyone else motivated as they send in their inspiring art. Pixiv falls into despair and accidentally blurts out her plan’s failure. Care to repeat that? Even dumber, she denies this plan to own them out loud word for word. Time to get owned. Pixiv is beaten up and crashes into Ashura’s little workshop. Looks like they can’t post anymore pictures. Pixiv is not satisfied with this outcome and cancels her agreement with Ashura. She is going to align herself with stronger people. Better make it quick because Team Z will be continuing to kick your ass while everything else gets destroyed. Gre-chan is probably the happiest of the lot seeing one of her drawings (the idol one) won first place for the day.

Protection Via Destruction
Although this sequel is still enjoyable, somehow I feel it still falls short of being completely satisfying. I mean, there are your favourite robot girls based on past mecha series, wantons of destruction and even a little fanservice thrown in so what is it that I’m not feeling satisfied about? I am not sure if it is the slightly shorter duration of the series (the first season had 9 episodes). The episodes of the series itself already feels like fillers, so adding more filler-like episodes of destruction will not make a difference. Could it be something to do with the characters, new and old? More on this in a little while. Or maybe it is just that kind of ending that feels it hasn’t really ended yet and there could be more episodes or sequels in the future. But whatever the reason, there is something inside me that is bugging myself. Something that is telling me that this sequel could have done better but falls short of it. Maybe I’m unconsciously not a mecha fan but I even myself know that it’s crap because the cute ladies here are enough to take away thinking about that mecha factor.

As for the characters, the old ones like Team Z remain identifiable if you remember them from the first season. Especially with Z-chan being haughty and easily resorting to her punches and violence to save the day, thus the unnecessary destruction of the city from time to time. Grenda-san might have that eternal sweet smile of hers but she is some sort of secret sadist and sometimes has something bad enough that you have to censor them out. Lastly, Gre-chan the shy girl who doesn’t talk much. As for the other Robot Girls, I suppose with a handful of them, they’re rather okay but it feels like not enough screen time for all of them although some like Team G and Team LOD do take the limelight and thus Team Z wasn’t always in the fore front in every episode. I think there are some jokes pertaining to them that fans of the original mecha series would only get. Therefore I am quite blur here.

Boss as the new character debuting this season feels more like a nuisance than anything. Of course her character role feels like for comedic roles as you can see the troubles that tag along just for appearing. Maybe that is why Z-chan doesn’t want to let her in the group? Because one destructive girl is already bad enough to hog the limelight, what more two, right? Yeah. Boss’ character design somehow reminds me of that character in Mirai Nikki… Hmm… Doesn’t that lady with the oddly and proportionately bigger head feel similar? Some of the Robot Girl teams, Ashura and a host of Robot Girl enemies that the heroines faced in the first season are completely absent here. But if you are sharp enough, you can spot them making cameos in the background as unimportant background characters. Well, I guess this is an even sadder fate for them. After being chased around, beaten up and blamed, it only goes from bad to worse when you character role is tossed away just like that. And I don’t think they have turned over a new leaf either. Thus the villains of this series also shares a similar fate of only appearing for a single episode or arc and then never to be seen ever again. Yeah, who cares about the bad guys anyway? Remember Dr Hell or that little girl in fake giant robot, Darkness? No? Neither do I. So who the heck is Dr Yumi here anyway?

A bit of destructive action as the Robot Girls unleash their so called trademark attacks on the single enemy they are facing per episode or arc so that you get your trademark city destruction and send the villain flying away and turning into a shining star. Somehow the city always gets rebuild again (I am assuming so because you do not see those destructive patches they leave behind in the next episode), but we don’t care for all that, really. After all, nobody even really dies too, right? Heh. The big irony about the destruction is that buildings get destroyed but no casualties at all. I think everybody has activated some sort of God cheat mode here. Whatever it is, things will always work out with Z-chan’s justice punch, right? Fanservice aren’t aplenty and feels a bit mild just enough to tease your unfulfilled horny libido and nothing worth any fapping material. Really.

Overall, like what I have said a few paragraphs before, still an enjoyable watch but can’t be considered as anything greater. Perfect to watch if you like your characters based on past mecha series and symbolized as cute girls. A good addition if you watched the first season and somewhat like it enough for a little more. The episodes are short enough so they don’t bore you with the same cheap destructive violence and fanservice thrill. Otherwise, go back and take out your VHS tapes or CDs to watch the original retro mecha series for some big time nostalgia. Don’t tell me you’d rather put up with these girls’ shenanigans, no? And once again the day is saved, erm, I mean destroyed. Thanks to the destructive girls. Why take out your stress playing violent video games when you can do it for real in real life?

Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls

July 18, 2015

Remember those good ol’ days when video game consoles were the thing that kids love and had when it comes to electronic entertainment? Not to say they are dead by now but if you are old enough (like yours truly), I am very sure you would have very fond memories of early game consoles way back in the 90’s. Yup. Does it bring the nostalgia back? And for those who still remember, Sega was a company that also had their own video game console till they decided to stop that and just concentrate on games. Boo hoo for Sega fans. Therefore, what better way than to bring back the glorious days of Sega during its console days via an anime, Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls. Three old Sega consoles anthropomorphized as cute girls enrol in a Sega academy and need to graduate by completing assignments that include entering the worlds of old Sega games. Sounds like fun? Oh yeah. Time to relieve the nostalgia… Bring it on!

Episode 1
Sega Saturn makes her way into SeHaGaGa Academy. She enrolled here only because it is close to her home. She is joined by Dreamcast who can’t stop talking about her naruto and Mega Drive who believes it won’t be easy graduating from this place. And you thought Sega games are going to be easy, eh? They try to find out more information about this school but Dreamcast’s modem isn’t WiFi or wireless LAN. Remember those old noisy types? Yeah… Can’t connect… Mega Drive then shows a radio cassette player containing the school’s theme song. So short… Only 2 seconds. Yeah… Remember that “Segaaaaaaa” jingle? Yeah… Mega Drive goes on to explain the other various (ridiculous) versions of this theme. The conversation changes to what kind of guy Saturn likes. Strong guys, eh? They try to find suitable macho guys for her and they turn out to be that old dwarf from Golden Axe game. Then there is that guy from Outrun game whom you can never see his face till his car crashes. When it is time for class, they are greeted by some pixelated bunny on screen who only identifies himself as Centre sensei. They are told they need to get 100 credit medals to graduate. Their first task is to jump into the fighting game of Virtua Fighter. Oh, that Akira guy… So manly, so strong, so angular… Well, it was released way back in 1994. Once the trio dive in, they transform into their bishoujo form (if I should call it that).

Episode 2
To earn medals, they need to win 100 matches in a row. Isn’t that going to be tough? I thought it was pretty stingy for them to only be given 1 signature move each. Akira doesn’t hold back his punches in beating up Saturn. No mercy even if you’re a lady. They discover that if they combine their special attacks and do a combo, they can beat him. So for the rest of the opponents, you can see a similar winning pattern. Mega Drive does her knee kick, followed by Saturn’s multiple punches before Dreamcast’s head dive that totally knocks out the opponent. The trio are on a roll as they fight the rest of the fighters. If they run out of fighters, just change their name to some silly name. If it is getting too easy, extend the opponent’s life bar, make the space smaller or higher! However it is Dreamcast’s head dive that always knocks out her opponent in a single hit! She can even do KO before the match starts! More weird fighters they have to face so much so you think if they are even from fighting games. Heck, no! Flicky bird?! Those fat guys from Golden Axe? Green palette swap of those fatties?! Yeah. Nothing like a head dive to just kill the game. They meet their ultimate match when they have to fight a beetle from Mushiking. Because it is so small, their attacks cannot connect and miss. The beetle flies away and summons a giant one (his father, I suppose). Dreamcast’s head dive is all it takes to defeat it. Not so tough as it looks, huh? But the final opponent is tough. Isn’t that Sakura from Sakura Taisen???!!! They can’t beat her in her mecha! Mega Drive is defeated. Dreamcast’s sword skill is only on par. If all else fails… Head dive! Oh sh*t! That did the trick?! When they return, Centre only credits Saturn with 5 medals. Mega Drive lost her winning streak so it is understandable but why didn’t Dreamcast get her medals? Because she cheated by breaking the rules of attacking before the fight starts!

Episode 3
The girls are talking about their future. It doesn’t hurt to just discuss what they’ll do when they graduate. I’m not sure about the rest trying to guess a suitable job for Saturn like being a newscaster and then score with some famous baseball player. Sometimes it felt like they’re teasing her with all the ridiculous propositions like the baseball player is a foreigner who is on a decline and she’ll go back to doing poor part time jobs to support herself. If it is not a newscaster, then she might be a sleazy bar hostess or a weather forecaster. They let Saturn act like one but why does she need to forecast the weather of Sarajevo?! Oops. Wrong map. Saturn sounds fine but Dreamcast thinks something is missing. This has Saturn challenge Mega Drive to try out being a weather girl. However she is stiff and over-thinking things. Trying to get her to act cuter, Mega Drive freezes and breaks down. I guess she’s not cut out for this. For their next class, they are to dive into the game of Space Channel 5. Dreamcast is happy she gets to dance along with the legendary space reporter, Ulala. Also, 2 of Centre’s friends have been captured by the Morolian aliens and they are to rescue them. Oh, don’t forget to dance and earn ratings for their footwork. Inside the game, Dreamcast and Saturn are natural in their dance but Mega Drive is so stiff that they think it’s some new robot dance. Mega Drive isn’t confident in dancing. It’s not her thing as she is the brains type. Then she breaks down… They put a box over her to make her look like a robot. Now do the robot! However she starts hiding in it and her self confidence all-time low that she can’t do it. Dreamcast is excited that Ulala is here.

Episode 4
The girls join Ulala in dancing save a couple from the aliens and also to improve their ratings but it all goes down when it is Mega Drive’s turn. Still doing the robot? In the end, Ulala saves them and the couple joins them on their journey. The first friend to rescue is Jeffry from Virtua Fighter. Soon he joins the gang and ironically, their ratings increase because of his appearance. Thinking how popular he is with others, Dreamcast thinks the same and proceeds to strip Saturn down to her bikini to appeal to viewers. Yup, ratings going up. Another of Centre’s friend is spotted. Isn’t that Gilius from Golden Axe? I don’t know that dwarf guy takes a liking for Saturn… But he starts swinging his axe around till Jeffry holds him down. Hey, he is from some action game, right? Mega Drive speaks to him in his language and he agrees to dance with them. Because she also told him Saturn will marry him! Now he is showing off his cool dancing moves to appeal to her! Now they arrive in a space where there are 10,000 aliens and human hostages among them. More are coming in and there is the huge big boss. Jeffry enlarges himself so big that you could only see his feet! Don’t worry. Gilius will also grow big. However it is only his axe! Saturn is fed up and will do it herself. I’m not sure what wind move she did but Ulala’s skirt was blown up and Gilius couldn’t stop staring. He faints from this ‘shock’. Saturn is made to go wake him up (their ratings are already 100%) but Gilius doesn’t want her and loves Ulala! He’s dancing before her! Dreamcast and Mega Drive are prepared to console Saturn but she isn’t pleased that they’re making it sound that she got rejected. Once they return, only Dreamcast and Mega Drive are awarded 5 medals. Because there have been complaints from PTA about Saturn trying to use her sex appeal to increase ratings, she doesn’t get any!

Episode 5
Saturn is sighing not because she can’t get over that dumping incident! She wants to forget that nightmare. What she wants is a pet so the rest take the chance to suggest some mammoth from Space Harrier and a shiba dog from Shadow Dancer. For the latter, since it is from America, they even go as far as to suggest-cum-tease Saturn that she needs to go there, though she asserts she is not going anywhere. The girls are summoned by Centre for their next class. The game of Puyo Puyo is about clearing 4-in-a-row lines of those little blobs of the same colour. This time they need to think of a new game that uses the Puyo Puyo character. Be warned, a good idea earns you 1 medal while a bad idea takes away 1 medal. Think carefully. Despite Dreamcast and Mega Drive coming up with absurd genres, Centre approves it! But when Saturn gives her suggestion, her medal is taken away! I mean, fighting game utilizing Puyo Puyo? How can you end that? More seemingly absurd suggestions by Mega Drive and Saturn earn them extra medals but before jealous Saturn can even say hers, Centre takes away a medal! She hasn’t even spoken yet! Well, they claim he is kind enough to stop her before she reveals her fail idea. WTF. Finally Saturn nails a medal by suggesting some waterslide theme. Centre stops it here for today and has the girls have fun inside the waterslide. They clean up before they leave but Dreamcast may have stacked the blobs in some wrong combination and thus it is raining grey Puyo Puyo all over.

Episode 6
The girls will be taking an exam by playing an online mecha shooting game called Border Break. Winning this earns them 25 medals but doing so without a robot will be 50 medals! Game on! Dreamcast and Mega Drive create their robots but Saturn somehow didn’t. They think she is desperate to get 50 medals. So as they explore the place, an enemy turns up. Dreamcast is a noob with the controls and talks with the enemy? What kind of function is that? Leave it to Mega Drive to finish it. Saturn then suggests using a bait to lure the enemies and when they are in the correct spot, the rest will take them out in an ambush. Great idea. Now who will be the bait? Saturn is upset that she is chosen since she is the most vulnerable! They think her protest is just her being tsundere. The enemies show up as Mega Drive kicks ass but Dreamcast is still a noob with the controls. Heck, is she trying to kill Saturn or something? As they are destroying the enemy’s core to complete the game, suddenly Centre announces an emergency that somebody is hacking into the system. They must get out now or be trapped here. All communications is cut off and the hacker reveals himself: Dr Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik! He takes away their mecha and turns the girls into their chibi form. Just when they think doom is them, then appears our blue hero, Sonic!

Episode 7
Sonic is too fast for Eggman’s robots to deal with. Now that Eggman is left, he won’t give up and runs away. How will our girls ever get back? Sonic allows them to ride on his back as he chases the doctor. Eggman fires missiles back but Sonic is quick to avoid. Then they jump through some portal and we revisit some of the Sonic games and levels before the face off with Eggman. Because Dreamcast fell off during the fight, Sonic goes to rescue her and Eggman uses this advantage to whack Sonic. They return back to the Border Break world. Dreamcast fell on Mega Drive’s book. She gets an idea to look for Sonic’s invincibility power up. With this Sonic is able to defeat Eggman once and for all. The hacking is gone and good news is that during the attack, the core is destroyed so they accomplished their mission and return home. As communications is not fully restored, the girls think they might have seen Centre’s true identity (some old guy?). Then everything returns back to normal as he awards them 25 medals for passing the test. But Saturn wonders about her 50 medals because she beat the game without the mecha. Really? He doesn’t remember because of the hacking. WTF?!

Episode 8
The girls will have to participate in a cultural festival. Saturn suggests doing a haunted house so Dreamcast suggests looking at House of the Dead for reference. Mega Drive even suggests some bunny that suspiciously looks like Centre who is actually some sort of game advisor but dishes out general comments instead of real advice. That’s scary, right? Not! In that case, Saturn thinks of doing a band but the rest can only play suspicious instruments (if you can call it that). How about becoming idols and dancing on stage? Did you forget Mega Drive’s trauma during Space Channel 5? Dreamcast then has an idea. Why not do a haunted house with Mega Drive dancing? That’s scary, right? Yeah. Funnily scary. Centre then announces there is a beauty contest in which the winner gets 10 medals. But if you get some spillage, you get 100 medals, enough to graduate. The girls look through the profile of other participants whom I believe are personification of other Sega systems or game characters that I am not familiar with. But how come that Golden Axe dwarf is participating?! As rumoured, he didn’t hit it off with a certain space reporter and joined because he heard his ex was in it. He even traded his axe for a microphone to sing! It sounds horrible by the way. Saturn is unhappy because what the heck is this age hurdle thing in this gender contest?! And so on the day of the cultural festival, the winner is… Drum rolls please… That pixel bit female gorilla from Congo Bongo?! WTF?! Of all the kawaii and cute girls and this ‘ugly’ monkey is the winner?! Technically she is naked and this spillage means she earned 100 medals. WTF?!

Episode 9
The girls will be playing the RPG game of Chain Chronicle. For every Spirit Stone they win, they get 15 medals. However they won’t be jumping into the monitor this time. A Smartphone. This game is made for your iPhones. However the girls have this feeling that they don’t like the existence of Smartphones. Yeah, it drives their system to extinction, eh? At first, logging in is slow and they thought Saturn is making some pun of the game’s name, chien (lag) and kurou (trouble). They are given their classes (why is it Saturn always gets the low class?) and head into their first battle whereby earning their first Spirit Stone. Knowing they can’t fight more hordes with just the 3 of them, they head to the tavern to recruit allies but all they see are other weird Sega characters like a pair of not-so-great thieves, some action guy who keeps failing his cram school, a rich guy trying to hit on them with drinks and a young kid who likes old man’s food. And soon it turns into some izakaya party with other Sega characters. Frustrated, the 3 of them will just do. They fight the next wave of enemies who seem to be lining up in a single file. Dreamcast says this is not some ramen line and they obediently go away! Next, they face the dragon boss. Dreamcast and Saturn have a hard time and although Mega Drive as the priestess heals them, it is just by a single point! The duo are taken out and Mega Drive is left facing the beast alone. Scared, she throws her book and defeats it! They obtain a Spirit Stone but that is when the Smartphone’s battery gone out flat. They are frustrated it isn’t charged properly and couldn’t get their Spirit Stone. Their hate for Smartphones just gone up.

Episode 10
It is the inline skating game, Jet Set Radio this time. 5 medals for an awesome trick and 15 extra medals to the one who writes her dreams on the post first. Mega Drive isn’t good and wants to sit this out but is forced to play. Arriving at Shibuya, Dreamcast suggests going to take sticker photos. She has everyone pose in funny faces (Mega Drive is a real natural even if it wasn’t intentional) but she herself pose in a cute look. She then uploads them on her blog. She might have gone for karaoke too had not Saturn remind her of their task. As they get started, Saturn and Dreamcast easily pull off a cool stunt but the former got a medal deducted for that fanservice pose at the end. As for Mega Drive, she falls flat on her face but when she tries again, it turns out more like figure skating. Since this is somewhat hard to pull off, she is also awarded medals! Now it’s a race to the post but Mega Drive knows she is severely at a disadvantage. Don’t worry. Centre gives her training wheels. This is more embarrassing than anything. The race begins and it seems those training wheels are equipped with turbo booster! She is confident of winning this but cannot control it. She crashes into the wall… Flies into the sky… Ends up in some river… Dreamcast distracts Saturn with some hot guy (which isn’t by the way) to make her bump into the cone. Dreamcast reaches there first and writes her dream for all of them to be friends. Awww… How sweet. But does she have to put up that embarrassing sticker photo?! As bonus, Mega Drive and Saturn are also awarded 15 medals.

Episode 11
The girls will handle 2 big RPG series: Phantasy Star series and Shining Star series. They are going to wear costumes from the former series in the latter series’ world. Defeating the boss in this suit will earn them 15 medals. Once in the world, Dreamcast has Saturn pose like a model while she takes pictures like a perverted photographer. After changing into their costume in a ridiculously small changing room (who are they afraid will see their naked pixel bodies?), there are surprised the costume is some monster chick, Rappy. Though, the can move quite flexible in it. Saturn thought she was talking to Dreamcast but it is actually a real Rappy! There are many of them too! They discuss what weapons should be best and it goes out of hand to being a topic of family members. Drunk husband can’t beat wife can’t beat mother in law can’t beat grandson? Now they face off with the big monster boss. Is it sleeping? They thought of sneaking on it but it wakes up and attacks them. At this rate, they’ll be chicken kebab! Dreamcast thought she could sing her way to victory but was blown away. Saturn and Mega Drive attack but are ineffective. Then Dreamcast returns and do some super combo to defeat it. The duo are praising her but realize something amiss when she can’t take her suit off. It’s a real Rappy! So where is Dreamcast now? She’s fighting some badass space monster at this moment. In space, nobody can save you… Anyway all of them get 15 medals.

Episode 12
Centre is about to talk to them about their means to graduate when he is hacked and taken over by a tanned version called Black Asobin. First, he won’t let the girls graduate and steal their medals and leaves only 1 medal to Saturn. Then he tells them to fight the floors and reach him in his castle. So the girls go through all the retro Sega games and it was funny reading the summary of this because it says how assassins were hired to fight the girls in exchange of a popular seiyuu’s autograph, Saturn’s boobs popped out, Dreamcast feeling homesick and nothing interesting happened to Mega Drive. When they reach the final floor, there is an arcade game of Space Harrier that requires medals to play. Since Saturn only has 1 left, I guess it is up to her. The rest control her and they must be careful with the limited lives. The final face off with Asobin begins and he is a tough boss to fight. But Mega Drive notices a mixing pixel in his ear and thinks it is his weakness. Saturn fires into it and defeats him. Asobin then turns back into Centre. He reveals he was Asobin all along and this was a test to see if they have what it takes to graduate and to always put on their best performance. They earn 20 medals each. Dreamcast and Mega Drive have more than enough to graduate but Saturn is short of 3. Is she doomed to repeat class? Mega Drive suggests giving their spares enough to cover for the shortfall. But Dreamcast will not because it means they will graduate and their fun school life will be over. Thinking about it makes her sad. Mega Drive proposes to be friends even after they graduate. Emotional Dreamcast agrees. Everybody now has exactly 100 medals.

Episode 13
The girls are in their graduation ceremony. First they have to sing Sega’s theme. So short… But how many versions do they need to sing?! Then they have farewell speeches that feel like pointing out the obvious from the games they have played. Saturn finds it odd the rest mention being in games that they have not played. Go with the flow? Are they lying?! Centre now tells them the true meaning of their graduation. They will disappear from this world and be reborn in the real world. This world is just a place for ideas of Sega’s creators to play. So to say that they are just existing in the minds of their creators? But now is the time for those ideas to bear fruit and become Sega’s new hardware system. He believes they will bring joy and smiles to the gamers of the world. The medals they collected will allow them to step into the real world. Mega Drive is first to go (because she is the first in the series to be released) and they say their goodbye, blah, blah, blah. Next is Saturn. Bye-bye. Finally when it comes to Dreamcast’s turn, she feels unconfident she can bring happiness. To her surprise, Sonic and the other Sega characters provide her the much needed support to become a good hardware. And off she goes. And there you go people. The story and journey of how 3 girls became popular gaming hardware around the world that is love by many. Yeah. How long was that ago? Feels like history now… Come on, be honest. Do you really still think about them? Not when you have your Smartphones keeping you company these days. Damn you, Smartphones!

Game Over. Thank You For Playing!
Sniff, sniff. I guess all games eventually had to come to an end. Once you’ve started your journey and make your way to achieve your goal or defeat the final boss, you watch the ending and end credits then it is all over. And if you can’t get enough of it, you play again. Play numerous times until you get bored, get another new game or let it slowly fade and die when something new replaces it. Just like how Smartphones are replacing handphones and literally killing off fixed line telephones. Oops. Got a little distracted there. Ah but yes. This short series did really bring back the nostalgic memories of my childhood years playing such games. Well, it seems Sega isn’t coming back into the console market and joined the ranks like Atari, cease to exist and extinct into history. Oh gosh. Still remember that really old game console?

It was fun seeing some of the retro games featured here and due to this, it was even funnier how the girls played it to comedic effect. Thus the antics in games like Virtua Fighter had me laughing so hard that I could burst my belly and die of loss of blood. The punch lines and witty remarks the girls said may not be much but at least they’re funny enough to keep you entertained, whether or not it is related to games or something else. But unfortunately for many of the games featured and that I am not familiar of, it somewhat takes away the enjoyment. But nevertheless it was great to see the girls getting into that world albeit it is not much. So if you have fond memories of playing these games, you can have fun spotting lots of trivia in it. Or just go down nostalgia lane indulging in that world with the girls.

I am not sure if the characters of these girls reflect the kind of consoles they are in real life. Because the only Sega console that I actually owned during my childhood was the Game Gear. Oh yeah. Forgive me for feeling nostalgic again because it does bring back lots of memories of me playing that handheld. Uh huh. I can still remember bouncing around with Sonic in various zones, helping Michael Jackson save kidnapped children in Moonwalker, slashing things with Ninja Gaiden and beating up the baddies with Axel Stone in bare Knuckle. I can’t take it out and play them again even if I want to because it was broken and thrown away a long time ago :'(. Thus I am unsure if people who own Saturn, Dreamcast or Mega Drive are the kind of character that these girls are. For example, as we know Mega Drive is not keen on games requiring lots of physical movements, does it indicate that Mega Drive was a system that didn’t do well with action or fast moving games? And since she too is prone to freeze when things get crazy, does this mean the system was prone to errors and bugs when it heats up? A probably big no but I just can’t help ponder about it.

Because the girls personality are the same as start till finish and it stays that way till the end. Like Dreamcast who is the liveliest of the pack may something be an airhead and carefree person, making some playful jokes and teasing here and there. Saturn on the other hand is confident and relaxed but at the same time feels like the one who always draws the short end of the stick and easily pushed around because she often gets teased. Mainly it is because she can’t help get caught up in their antics and usually play the rebutting part. It seems like a mini running joke teasing Saturn about that older black foreigner guy making cameos here and there. He is supposedly to be her ‘love interest’. Not that dwarf. But this guy. Finally there is Mega Drive who is cool, smart and analytical. Just that she doesn’t show lots of emotions and aren’t good with activities that require lots of moving about. More of the brains kind of person. I’m sure with the trio’s ‘perfect’ combination, they can become great stand-up comedians and jokers if they fail to make the cut in the game industry. Just saying…

Another interesting aspect of the series is the mid-intermission whereby a short paragraph of the game or even characters featured for that episode is narrated with some little interesting details. It is good insight and trivia while watching the episode and those who are more interested could take the initiative to find out. However there are a few and particularly one that actually bugs me. How come there is one about Bosnia and Herzegovina???!!! It was just a random topic on that weather of Sarajevo but putting it here had me thinking, did Sega own or create Bosnia and Herzegovina???!!! I mean, you would think about it, right?! If it is true (which of course it is not), then it would like, oh sh*t, don’t you think?

Graphic wise, it is all animated using CGI so I think for someone who has been watching too many 2D anime or CGI effects, having watched one being animated entirely this way feels refreshing. Of course it is only right to have games being animated using computer graphics as it shows us the original way they are instead of being converted into typical 2D anime style. When not in games, the overall feel of the 3D art and drawing of this anime feels simple and bland. What I mean is that the graphics aren’t that polished or superb but you don’t need such great graphics to watch this anime, right? After all, the Sega girls are cute enough in their chibi form as well as their gaming adult version. Their designs are okay although you can see some of the trademarks of the consoles on them like the familiar 3 button” A-B-C” as Mega Drive’s hair accessory. Animation is also feels a bit not so smooth but like I said, you don’t need awesome effects for this simple show. It is all about retro and your nostalgia will magically turn it into awesome.

This has got to be a series with the least voice actors because the entire show is confined within the academy. Although I saw there are lots of other seiyuus lending their voice to other Sega game systems, I don’t remember when they made their cameo. Did they ever appear? Don’t remember hearing them although some of them did appear in that beauty contest episode but I believe they do not have lines. So we’ve got Mao Ichimichi as Dreamcast (Renge in Seikai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Minami Takahashi as Saturn (Masako in Majimoji Rurumo – I thought it was Eri Kitamura behind Saturn’s voice) and Shiori Izawa as Mega Drive (Tanpopo in Witch Craft Works) providing decent voices for their character. As I found out, the computerized voice of Centre is played by Yuji Naka who is actually a game designer and programmer of Sega.

The opening theme is SeHa Gagaganbacchau by the Sega girls trio and its lively techno beat is great in befitting the pace of this series. The ending theme sounds more like generic pop. Wakai Chikara Sega Hard Girls Mix is sung by Naomi Oozora, Yuu Serizawa, Mai Aizawa, Minami Tanaka and Haruna Momono who are the supposed voices of the other Sega game consoles. In the ending credits animation, we see Dreamcast and Saturn doing simple dances but Mega Drive is just standing there like a rock.

The last time I saw video game consoles personified as cute girls was Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation and the more serious Aoi Sekai No Chuushin De. The former had a Sega representative in a world where other game consoles are also present and the latter is about Sega fighting against the oppressive Nintendo. This series might feel like a blatant advertising for Sega and perhaps to promote their games in other platforms. But if you are a Sega fan, this is definitely a show that you need to watch. Older generation of course for the nostalgia and the younger ones should see this and experience how we old people play our video games before it got too sophisticated and complicated.

Therefore old gamers who used to play a lot on this system should appreciate and get nostalgia watching this show while it could prove educational for younger gamers. Well, it is sad that Sega isn’t coming back into the console business. At least not in the foreseeable future. This for an ‘old’ guy like me to be watching this, the idea of how the girls become console hardware feels like the setting was made a very long time ago. I supposed we should have got the hint when many of the Sega titles featured in this anime are those playable only on those consoles. And I am guessing from this theory, this means no other girls actually graduated from the academy since Sega dropped out from the console race! Oh, Dreamcast, Saturn and Mega Drive, you’ll definitely live in our gamer hearts forever. Until the next Smartphone game apps take over and become the next fad and crazed sensation. And you’ll all be forgotten, relegated into distant memories. Damn you, Smartphones!

Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen

November 14, 2014

Mishishi. Nostalgia. Ruined. Don’t get the wrong idea. I have never played the video game series made by Falcom so when I jumped into watching Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen it was because each episode is just 2 minutes long and it was something to do with video games. I thought I could identify a few. At least that’s what I thought. Unfortunately I couldn’t and thus I couldn’t get the deep meaning of the jokes spewed in this short series made to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. But what do I mean when I opened this blog by mentioning ruined nostalgia? Because at the end of every episode there will be a ‘reminder’ that the personalities of characters depicted are not of the actual game and differs very significantly. The change is for laughing purposes. So don’t go crying for blood or screaming of someone’s head to roll if you find your favourite nostalgia character has been portrayed so differently and so comically to a point that character is unrecognizable. Of course I didn’t play any of their games so I have no idea what their personalities are.

Episode 1
Adol Christin from Ys series won’t wake up and begin his adventure till he is awakened by a beautiful girl! Good luck and wait till that happens. We are also introduced to other characters from other series like Estelle Bright, Joshua Bright and Olivier Lenheim from Trails In The Sky series (by the way, is Olivier who is such a pretty boy qualify to be a pretty girl to wake Adol up?), Lloyd Bannings and Tio Plato from Trails Of Zero series. Joshua seems to be obsessed in putting maid uniform on others but is knocked out by Rappy. It only gets worse because Joshua wakes up to his true awakening and starts cross-dressing as a maid. Because the technique doesn’t work, Rappy believes re-education is the only way. That’s right. Welcome to Falcom Gakuen, which also means paradise in ancient language. Is he sure about that? And Joshua is still causing a ruckus trying to put maid uniform on everyone, including Renne and Tita Russel (Trails In The Sky series) and Dogi (Ys series). Everybody run! Paradise this is not definitely.

Episode 2
Adol continues to lie waiting for his beautiful girl… Olivier plays his guitar in the nude while Joshua is still obsessed about maids. Estelle cannot take anymore of this and sends them flying into the sky. Literally, you could say they left trails in the sky? As more people are mysteriously appearing in this town, meanwhile the dark lord of the Ys series, Dark Fact is having a nice bath when suddenly he is teleported right into town. Since he is totally naked and it is against the law to be an obscene exhibitionist, he is thrown into prison along with the other weirdoes. Can somebody at least put some clothes on him?

Episode 3
Dark has been acquitted thanks to Rappy. Seems he wants Dark to be a teacher of this school to rehabilitate the distorted minds of these warriors. A bad guy teaching good guys on how to be proper? The irony… Even more ironic that a minion of Dark is now the vice principal and he is going to relish Dark ranks below him… Dark goes around the school and sees all the weird students. When a girl crawls out from underneath his robe as she was playing hide and seek, the police arrests him for kidnapping. Not again.

Episode 4
It is Dark’s first day as a teacher and he is worried. He should be because those crazy students are just going to kill him! Thanks for the warm welcome. And big thanks to Adol who spread crazy rumours that Dark is such an evil person. He really wants to have a piece of him now. First lesson has Dark wanting them to discuss their future dream. Adol wants to be a free adventurer but Dark points out he is already one. But you don’t get to meet pretty chicks, right? The argument escalates into a battle and as Dark is about to activate his magic, some parts of the floor become a trapdoor and the students fall through. Guess what? Back in prison for assaulting a student and destruction of property (trapdoors appearing = property destruction?).

Episode 5
Dark informs he will be throwing a surprise quiz next week. Uhm… Then why the announcement? Duh… Lilia invites Adol to study with her but surprisingly he turns her down because as an adventurer, this quiz thing is just like any other adventure and he can take it on without any preparation. Lilia finds him so cool. Not Estelle. On quiz day, Estelle finds the question of returning a dropped wallet to be of common sense. Piece of cake? Then why does Adol look like he is struggling? Dark mocks him he doesn’t have common sense so Adol takes out a wallet and won’t return it. How the heck did he get Dark’s wallet? Since there is proof this wallet belongs to Dark, for once Adol is thrown into prison while Dark relishes in his victory.

Episode 6
Tio and Dark host a lunch broadcast whereby they answer several questions from viewers. I don’t know why their it’s-too-late answer whether it is about the cure of Joshua’s cross-dressing, Olivier’s nudity, how to kill a certain teacher that is a demon, the certain looping lines in the opening song and that creature that always keep saying Mishishi. I guess it’s too late for everybody and everything.

Episode 7
Dark is telling to a couple of his students about the Darm Tower he lives in. To his horror, it is now called Adol Tower and he is the master of it. So if he wants it back, come get it! Dark can’t stomach to hurt his minions but he won’t be. Because Adol sends his cute little doppelgangers… Dark brings the other heroes and adventurers back to fight Adol. They’re itching to beat the crap out of this dude. Besides, didn’t Adol do something illegal like trespassing? Yeah, he wants to rent this place out as an apartment. Before they could attack, Adol has gathered lots of books that allow him to fly off to live in some temple in the sky. But it was rather inconvenient so it was placed back on the ground. Which means…

Episode 8
It’s been a week since Adol flew away. However the school is now filled with his doppelgangers! They are trying to roast Rappy! It seems that all of them are from different time periods and they are lined up based on age. They all look pretty the same. Except for this one. So manly. So tough. So heroic. Even with a different voice! Rappy warns Dark of pointing it out. There is another Adol that is slightly grown up. This one is more bloodthirsty and wants to kill all demons! He starts chasing Dark around.

Episode 9
Another week has passed since the Adol clones show up. The original Adol is back and since the doppelgangers are looking up to him as their senior, he can’t even take all the attention! Tio wishes to meet her future (busty) self to ask if Lloyd gets stabbed. Rappy plans to send the clones back since they are not distorted and corrupted unlike Joshua and Olivier – That’s why they can’t go back! Better hurry because Adol is trying to corrupt them with his thoughts that all you need in adventuring are beautiful girls, rich generous people and this winning-cum-deceiving smile! Dark has an idea on how to lure them. Roast Rappy over a fire!!!

Episode 10
To solve the problem of warriors not bringing lunch to school and especially save Rappy’s ass from being cooked alive (???!!!), thus Mona Shop is established and run by this cute little yellow blob. No, not Pikachu. Mona. Rappy thinks there is no more reason to be target when suddenly Adol grabs him and is just buying salt and pepper! Estelle isn’t going to save him and in fact tells Adol the right way to deep fry this critter! To get out of this predicament, he transforms into a rare monster. But like they say, out of the fire and into the frying pan because as a rare monster it is a chance for the warriors to kill him to gain more experience points. Yeah. His ass targeted again…

Episode 11
Since the re-education isn’t going too well, the vice principal asserts his fearsome authority that sends Dark begging on all fours! Dark eats with the rest of the teachers (who are depicted from Kiseki series) and they worry about being disposed when they are unwanted. There is this joke that nobody remembers Grant’s name I think only Falcom fans would understand… Not me. So it is decided to hire new teachers, Kevin and Ries from Kiseki series. Adol believes his new adventures will start here and plays dead for Ries to take notice. But she walks by without giving him a hoot. Why is she ignoring him? Because he is not food! So she only picks up food? Speaking of food, she is suddenly staring at Rappy with those eyes. Oh no. Not again. Oh yes it is. He is her type! Drooling… Here we go again. Don’t worry, Tio will stop her before Rappy becomes fully cooked.

Episode 12
Dark walks into class and finds kids running around? Eldeel is the culprit because he made everyone drink it because being the only child is boring. However there are some like Renne and Tita didn’t change. Eldeel explains that it doesn’t affect those who are small. But Aisha is not small and yet she is unaffected. Renne points out it’s because her boobs are already small! Tita tries to assert her authority over Agate because he has turned younger than her. Joshua wants Tio to arrest him because since he has become young again, he believes it is a crime. Huh? Olivier and Prince Fan Freddy think they can run around naked because their kiddie dicks are safe and don’t even need mosaic censoring! Suddenly poof! Everyone returns back to normal. Now they are arrested and thrown into prison for indecent exposure. By the way, Tio notes ‘those’ are still as small as little children…

Episode 13
The tower has disappeared and as Tio investigates, some blocky pixel character called Dragon Slayer admits he is the one. Tio mistakes Dark for confessing that and throws him into prison! I can’t believe he is so easily framed like that. Dragon Slayer leads our heroes to a place where the tower and the rest of the buildings are ‘dumped’. His logic is that it is common knowledge to shove aside things that get in your way. He shows them the ring that allows them to move anything. Suddenly Adol steals it and reorganizes the buildings. He is calling it Adol Town and makes it only beautiful girls can live here. Tio throws him into prison for unauthorized construction. We can’t get some peace and quiet since Adol and Dark start fighting and blaming each other. Tio zaps to shut them up.

Heroes: The Gathering
Well, it was all over before it hit me or I knew it. As said, the jokes are more appreciated by those who are familiar with the Falcom games despite the extremely different character personalities. For a casual person like me without any prior knowledge of anything, the jokes are only funny because on the surface level. Like how Dark is thrown into prison on suspected abduction or assaulting charges. That itself is funny, right? Anything deeper to it I don’t know.

Sometimes it feels like the characters are turned into comical idiots because they act too funny and silly. Extremists may call it an insult because it is like closely designing the character and then throw away their actual serious personality or whatever past they have and input those silly stuff. Tragedy in that case. Everyone here is so comical. The biggest idiot award goes to Adol since he is acting so desperate for some sort of attention (from pretty girls of course).

It feels like roles reversal when Dark is the one trying to be a good teacher but Adol is just being an ass and annoying jerk just because he is the hero. I suppose that is why this school exists because everyone here is just twisted in their own ways and before they go back to their original world, they must re-learn everything again. I think this will take an awfully long time considering how Olivier hasn’t overcome his nudity, Joshua with his maid cross-dressing (personally I think this isn’t that bad – Maids! Who doesn’t love them?!) and Adol’s beautiful girl awakening desire.

I guess Rappy has become a running joke that he is the much sought after meat to be cooked and eaten. Yeah. I’ve always wondered how this furry little creature tastes like. Tastes like chicken maybe? I guess he is the best school principal to have around because how often do you have a principal that has a potential as a food supply? I wonder if that mysterious Mishishi cat mascot would also be a good food source. Oh sh*t!

The opening theme, Go Fight by Falcom Sound Team JDK only consists of, well, “Go Fight!” as its lyrics. Hardly anything. It makes it sound like the opener is some sort of rallying battle cry. Yeah, fight on, weirdoes. The artwork and design seems okay for a short anime series and from my very brief checking over the internet, the characters do look close enough to their original counterparts that you’d be able to tell them apart. At least for some of the main characters that I have briefly Google.

Since I never played a Falcom series game in my life before, I guess if this is also part of the series’ attempt to promote and make one get nostalgic and go play their games, then it had no effect on me. And oh. Can you believe it that this short series is getting another season? Yeah. Too fun to be too short. I am guessing we’ll have more of Dark being thrown into prison, Adol’s idiotic antics and maybe Rappy being roast over a burning fire. That will be fun, right? Yeah. Some paradise this turned out to be. And don’t forget to say “Mishishi”. Why? Oh, just for the heck of it. Mishishi out.

Robot Girls Z

July 11, 2014

Let me assert this again. I know I have said this before many times, I just need to remind (or rather deceive if you would like to put it) myself that I am not a mecha fan. No, no, no. So I was going to give Robot Girls Z the skip since this is an anime special about those mecha series robots from Toei Animation. Not even having those robots like Great Mazinger and Grendizer personified as cute girls would make me want to watch this. So what got me to watch this? As the plot goes, our main protagonists work to promote some sort of energy that the baddies want to steal. That is where the girls will also have to battle them to prevent this. And here is the clincher: “… though sometimes they beat up ‘bad girls’ to relieve stress”! OMG! This has got to be a funny show, right? It’s like Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt. Supposedly good girls try to save the city but end up destroying it instead. Yeah. This I got to see. Heh. Even good girls sometimes need to take out a little stress once in a while.

Episode 1A
At Nerima ward, Team Z consisting of Z-chan, Grenda-san and Gre-chan are handing out flyers about Photonic Energy awareness. They don’t seem too enthusiastic about their job and lament the no-show of their part timers. Speaking of which, they arrive but they look pretty suspicious. Baron Ashura looks like she has both gender halves , Garada K7 is confident she can shoot beams out of her eyes and Doublas M2 has hand puppets. Odd indeed. After much of Team Z’s harassment, the baddies reveal themselves as Mechanical Beast Girls created by Dr Hell and are out to rule the world by stealing Photonic Energy. I guess our heroines need to take out some stress so they transform into their ‘robot’ form and start beating the hell out of the Mechanical Beasts Girls. Yes. The city is going to get destroyed at this rate. Garada fears Grenda-san’s sadistic ways and gets pulverized into the sky. Gre-chan bullies Doublas by stealing her hand puppets before punching her back with it. Finally Z-chan finishes off Ashura but since she keeps missing, she just shoots everywhere!!! There goes the city… Thank goodness that with their bad shots, Mechanical Beast Girls manage to escape via train and they’re crying and sobbing all the way from the oppression! Scary, huh? People are staring…

Episode 1B
Back in the Underground Empire’s hidden base, morale is low especially Doublas who has turned into a shut-in. Dr Hell calls Ashura to inform her of the new Mechanical Beast Girls he has created but our girls are just being distracted by food. When they stop messing around, Dr Hell introduces Gromazen R9 whose ion beams can destroy anything. Anything? She is sent out immediately but lost as fast to Z-chan’s Photonic Barrier. Next is Gaia Q5 who has some sort of super magnetic power. Too bad she got blown away by Gre-chan’s Great Typhoon and her super magnetic powers means everything magnetic gets stuck on her. Now she’s a giant iron ball… Finally here is Kingdan X10. Erm… She is so shy and nervous that she is shrinking. Thinking she can’t do it herself, Ashura and Garada decide to go with her. Unfortunately Kingdan uses them as human shield when Grenda-san fires her Space Thunder. With failure so high (100% to be exact), morale is at all time low because Gromazen tries to hang herself while Gaia is just rolling around with low self confidence! So bad that Dr Hell just cuts communications for today. Have fun by yourselves, girls. Ashura tries to regain everyone’s confidence so that they can start anew tomorrow. Yeah. Let’s have a nice nabe meal first! Yay! That did the trick.

Episode 1C
Team Z thinks it is fun in the sandy beaches. However it was a trick from their superior to work on a tuna catching fish to pay for the city’s repair bills. Lots of macho man clones… When one of them catches a giant seahorse and sea urchin, they turn out to be Mechanical Beast Girls, Poses O II and Baranga M2. A huge whale ship surfaces and bratty Glossam X2 acts like the leader of the team and determined to take Team Z down. Yeah, she’s arguing with Ashura that she’s on a roll talking like the boss. But they are dumbfounded when Gre-chan mentions they should have attacked their lab while they’re gone. Never thought of that, eh? No matter. Now that they have come all the way out of here, they’re going to send Team Z to their watery grave. The whale ship bumps the tuna ship so Team Z falls into the ocean. This is the sea Mechanical Beast Girls’ domain as they move and attack fast. Especially Baranga who is some sort of pervert and molesting-cum-harassing Grenda-san. Glossam cuts their clothes and is going to cut their swimsuits too but the tuna ship’s captain throws a net and pulls them up. Now that they can’t move freely, it is Team Z’s turn for payback. They are thrown back into the whale ship. Team Z takes a commemorative photo with the ship crew’s right before the whale ship explodes. Our poor Mechanical Beast Girls have to paddle back on a little boat as Ashura purposely shuts off communications with Dr Hell who knows very well they have failed. She knows she’s going to get it… Meanwhile Team Z continues catching tuna into the night and everyone seems to have forgotten about Poses who has been hung up on the hook ever since… Cold… Hungry…

Episode 2A
Team Z are doing well and hogging all the attention at a local sports festival. Till Team T consisting of Gai-chan, Gacky, Bala-tan and Dandan crash in to challenge them and take over their starring roles. After all that mocking, it is decided that they are to enter a marathon. Mechanical Beast Girls want to enter too but it seems the places are filled up. So as the marathon gets underway, we see both sides trying to outdo each other. Well, Team T started it by cheating. They ride their machines and even fire missiles. Won’t the city be destroyed? Meanwhile another battle is going on somewhere. Bala-tan isn’t interested in the race and is eating her desserts. Gre-chan wants some so Bala-tan teases her by swallowing them all. Gre-chan can’t contain her anger and a girly fist fight starts. By the time Mechanical Beast Girls manage to participate and prepare at the start line, Z-chan and Gai-chan are fast approaching the finish line and still at each other’s throat. Their missiles wipe out the entire area. Team Z and Team T are disqualified. With all the other contestants knocked out midway due to accidents, the only one left standing is Ashura and she is the winner of the marathon! She didn’t even do a thing… At the end of the day as Team Z and Team T reconcile, it soon turns into another escalating war as the mocking gets serious… Here we go again?

Episode 2B
While eating some takoyaki, a beautiful girl is ecstatic she has found Z-chan. She is Minerva X and is supposedly her little sister. The rest are glad they have another sister to the team but Minerva quickly becomes a cocky devil to the duo, only being nice and goody to her Z-chan. Of course this is a ploy from Mechanical Beast Girls to mess Team Z. When Z-chan is at her part time job at a petrol station, Minerva doesn’t want her onee-sama to do this kind of job and to let that shrimp Gre-chan do it. Of course Gre-chan is pissed off but Minerva sheds crocodile tears that Gre-chan is being mean. This causes Z-chan to dislike Gre-chan. In the break room when the duo are alone, Ashura gives the sign to get her. But Minerva misinterprets and starts stripping to engage in some underage yuri sex! Embarrassed Z-chan notices how ‘flat’ she is. That’s because Minerva is a boy!!! Luckily Gre-chan slams open the door. Z-chan runs to her. Gre-chan will protect Z-chan and they end up in a face pinching battle, each claiming Z-chan is theirs. When Minerva fires her missile. Z-chan jumps in and takes the shot in her face. Z-chan then cuddles Gre-chan and is glad she is alright (despite her own face is pretty messed up). Minerva feels the heartbreak and leaves. Meanwhile Grenda-san finds Mechanical Beast Girls and beat them up. Next day, as Gre-chan is going to share her dessert with Z-chan, Minerva comes back. Didn’t she give up? Yesterday is yesterday. Today is today. And there will be lots of tomorrows to come. So she’s going to come every day? What a pain. And so the battle for Z-chan resumes…

Episode 2C
While soaking in the hotspring, suddenly Team Z hears an awful singing voice. Turns out to be Youko Lorelei, a legendary idol formerly from Rhine X1. Apparently Grenda-san is a big fan and knows a lot about her. Including her air this and air that. In short, she has nothing? Seems she couldn’t get a job in a city and feels she can do better here. The moment she opens her mouth, it’s ultimate destruction! Oh, the cacophony! Only Grenda-san is unaffected and loves it! Youko is even going to sing to entertain the guests at the dinner hall! Quick! Close your ears! Suddenly Belgas V5 pops up and isn’t going to let a washed up idol take her stage. Belgas is a robot created by Mechanical Beast Girls. But here is the thing. Belgas’ singing is damn good and it brings everyone happiness! Only Grenda-san is reeling in pain! So good that everybody starts feeling horny and unrobe themselves! Are we going to see some yuri sex again? Mechanical Beast Girls also get caught up in her harmonic voice and start undressing. Youko’s self confidence takes a dive since she views herself as not even close. That’s when Grenda-san beats her up to bring her senses back. Her songs can only bring people back! Are you sure? The moment she starts singing, it becomes hell. Belgas thought she can also sing a destructive tune but Youko and Grenda-san form a duet and out-sing her!!! Double destruction! Blown away! Literally they give a new meaning of bringing the house down. Yeah, even the volcanoes erupted. In the aftermath, the duo became a singing pop idol sensation called Steel Memories. Their ‘unique’ voice has garnered legion of fans. Plus, they have the most popular video on a video sharing site and have made hundreds of millions in business. True, you’ll never know what will become popular. I say everybody is tone deaf…

Episode 3A
Dr Hell probably realized this too late. Asking his girls to conquer the world was a big mistake. With the world conquest industry in slump and his investors bugging him, he is laying them off. Think of it as a long vacation. Ciao! Ashura sinks into depression so Garada and Doublas try to cheer her up. I guess they were desperate enough to buy something from a suspicious salesman. Before Ashura knows it, she is being sucked into a giant robot, Jetfire P1. Her underlings although assigned to other bosses, they insist they only want to be her underlings. Touching. With Ashura back up, first they send a challenge letter to Team Z. But they turn up late. Team Z sees P1 as a giant replica of Ashura. But P1 is no pushover as it strips Team Z to their undies to humiliate them and pound them back for some major pain! Justice is served? But best fanservice ever! Ashura is to deliver the final blow but seems hesitant. Thinking about the times they spent together? Those never existed! When she finally gets her chance to best Team Z, suddenly P1 stops functioning. This is only a demo version! Can they wait 5 minutes to download the full version? Nay. Enough time for Z-chan to use her Rocket Punch to blast them into space. As Team Z picks themselves up, another group of villains are watching them. The suspicious salesman turns out to be Archduke Gorgon. Alongside Juuma, they are underlings for the Great General of Darkness! She is going to kill them all!

Episode 3B
Team Z is so bored. So when they hear an explosion nearby, they quickly rush there to get a piece of the action. To their surprised, it isn’t Underground Empire but a giant Darkness and her underlings. Team Z whose suits are now upgraded to prevent another humiliating fanservice (aww, shucks), fights her underlings first. But Darkness doesn’t want to waste time anymore and blows everyone away. Then she destroys the barrier for the Photonic Energy building the old fashion way. Just break it with her sword! She absorbs all the power. After destroying the vicinity, Team Z is crucified. She is going to kill them when Team G arrives. Herald Jeeg (motorcycle girl doing embarrassing poses) and Get (rich oujo-sama with her own butlers – she even came in a limo!). So after freeing Team Z, they go into action. Get becomes mad when her pretty clothes are stained. Feel the wrath!!! The underlings are defeated and Team Z is worried of their reduced spotlight. Will they still be the heroines in the next episode?

Episode 3C
The quintet face off with Darkness but are no match. So weak. Before Darkness can kill them, she is interrupted with the arrival of Minerva! Lover girl/boy heard Z-chan was in trouble and came to help. But now she’s clinging all over her onee-sama… Now can Darkness kill them? Not yet. Here comes Youko and her horrible singing. Oh, by the way, Steel Memories disbanded. Anybody else want to drop by? Of course! Don’t forget Team T! With Darkness’ underlings defeated for good, all the Robot Girls team combine their beam attack (with equally ferocious names) and fire at Darkness. However Darkness is not fazed and deflects it with her nose shit! Thanks to that, the entire city is decimated! Z-chan is trembling in fear! She cannot believe their combined attacks didn’t work. She’s desperate for somebody to save her! Is this her doom? Not yet. Who is it this time? Mechanical Beast Girls arrive from the sky in P2! They manage to make this little ship using Ashura’s wedding funds. Don’t ask. Although P2 easily gets destroyed, the trio hang on her cape until it rips. Z-chan sees a zipper and uses Rocket Punch to unzip it. Darkness’ true form is a little girl piloting this big robot. She is Mycenae, the CEO of Mycenae Empire Inc and is dubbed the young genius who will take over the year. Yeah. She’s acquiring small companies… Mycenae is trying to play the cute brat but the girls are not amused. They want to teach her a lesson but she distracts them with some voice actress over there. Oldest trick in the book. She escapes via P2 but the engine is damaged and she is blasted away into the sky. You reap what you sew. At the end of a hard day’s work, the girls decide to get something to eat but Mechanical Beast Girls hijack the food van before Z-chan Rocket Punch and defeat them. The power of justice exists only for her! You don’t say… She almost died, didn’t she?

Destructive Girls
Well, it was a fun ride because from the way I see it, Team Z or any other team and villains are just about the same. Because each time their power fight ends up with the city being destroyed! It is like the trademark of each episode. I wonder how much money has been spent to rebuild it every time. And oddly, no casualties either. At that impact with the missiles slamming into the buildings still packed with people, it is amazing that nobody dies. That is why this is more of a comedy action series than anything serious. So have our Team Z girls relieved their stress? Be thankful Mechanical Beast Girls are around for you to take your stress out. I guess that is why they exist solely for this role and always lose.

The action is fine and entertaining with lots of big explosions and over the top craziness that if given to Hollywood, they might exaggerate it with bigger special effects like how explosions are a trademark in Michael Bay’s movies. The characters feel generic although they have their own quirky behaviours. Even worse for some of the robot girls are introduced and appear in only one episode. But do you care about the deep stuffs of each character’s likes and dislikes since we are here just for the action, explosions and nonsense? You probably wouldn’t care what happened to this character or that character since we are happy that the day ends well. At least for our girls. I personally think the character designs look good only for Team Z. The rest looks like weirdoes. It’s like a magical girl cosplaying as a mecha but didn’t quite make the cut.

As this anime supposedly pay tribute to all the mecha series made by Toei Animation, I suppose each girl represents some robot and I guess there are lots of them since in every episode we are introduced to at least one. Except for the last one of course. As said, I wasn’t even a mecha fan and although I remember did watching certain clips of Grendizer or Mazinger on TV, that was before my anime craze and was watching them as ‘children’s cartoon’. I figure that the moves they pull off are also in tribute to the actual moves in the original show but I wouldn’t know since I didn’t bother to do my research.

Due to the many robot girls introduced, the cast is also quite large with popular and not so popular seiyuus lending their voice. Some of the popular ones that I noticed include Yukari Tamura, Ai Nonaka, Saori Goto and Satomi Satou. As for our regular characters, they are Mariko Honda as Z-chan (Kurimu in Seitokai No Ichizon), Kazusa Aranami as Grenda-san (Tomoe in Da Capo III), Inori Minase as Gre-chan (Suzu in Love Lab), Aya Hisakawa as Ashura (Unohana in Bleach), Yukiko Morishita as Garada and Nao Touyama as Doublas (Kanon in The World God Only Knows). The opening theme is the same name of this series and sung by Kikai Shoujotai, which is basically the seiyuus of Team Z and Team G. Filled with all that power and excitement to get you into the feel of what this series is about. The ending theme is Team Z No Chikara and by the seiyuus of Team Z. Sounds like a typical anime pop.

Overall, I find this series decent despite being a fun and entertaining ride. Although I would think old mecha fans may appreciate this better but even so, watch this only if you want some laughs and not something to be taken seriously. I mean, if you have violent girls who are supposedly tasked to protect something but end up destroying everything else, who cares about justice when you can just beat them up to relieve your stress. And you can call that justice if you win. Only winners write history, right? Yeah. Pity the enemy. Pity the people. Pity the city. Pity this didn’t get more episodes.

Gintama (cont.)

June 21, 2014

I know it has been over for a long time and this blog is very late but what the heck! I was slowly enjoying every bit of the second season of Gintama. It’s one of the very few long running shows that I wouldn’t mind it would go on forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever… You get the idea. Heck, I think this is the only show that I would want to continue forever. Even though long running anime series that have ended such as Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn, I have a feeling that even if it starts up again, I will get bored of that too. Although Fairy Tail is still interesting, that similar feeling that it will no longer be exciting still worries me and hangs over my head. Need I even say about One Piece? That’s why with the return of Gintama, I was very much delighted. I get to laugh at all the nonsense (from mild to perverted, take your pick), watch all the action and cry at all the drama. This show has everything and a lot more that I could wish for. Now my only wish left is for it to run forever…

Time skip Arc
Well, 2 years have passed since the first season of Gintama ended. And what does Shinpachi find? Everybody has drastically changed and he is the only bugger who didn’t change. Even the unthinkable happened like Otae and Kondo got married. Some just leaves you WTF because Kyuubei and Katsura changed genders and are fighting to be the best transgendered around. Shinpachi is relieved that the only other person who hasn’t change is Hijikata. Just when they’re about to accept the changes, they realize some sort of pimple parasite has been affecting everyone. They go all out to rid of it and in the end, it is revealed that both of them too got parasites. The one who saved them, Gintoki is the only one who actually didn’t have a parasite.

Glasses Arc
Ayame’s glasses accidentally broke so Gintoki has to reluctantly buy her a new pair, much to his annoyance because that woman is acting like her perverted usual. In addition, the glasses are the wrong prescription but she treasures it because it’s a gift from him. This causes her to flop in her ninja missions and her superiors are sending in assassins to rid of her. She almost died and lying in coma. This has Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura along with Zenzou to protect her. But are the Yorozuya guys serious because they seem to be goofing off at critical moments. Don’t worry. Because the assassins themselves are pretty goofy. A guy whose ability is swapping pillows, an old guy who loves swapping tight t-shirts and a pair of twins specializing in some sort of snack. So when the real boss appears, cornering them with his assassins, Ayame revives and her new glasses turn her into some super powered super human glass mecha that kicks ass.

Kabukichou Four Devas Arc
A young girl, Pirako Chin is looking for the strongest man in Kabukichou. She thinks he is Gintoki and becomes his underling. Yeah. She is also here to turn this district into a garden of bright red flowers! Of course as revealed, she is the daughter of one of the 4 Devas of Kabukichou, Jirocho and wants to help him take over this town. At the same time, the 4 Devas are in a meeting and as suggested by Kada, call upon a truce and the first one to break it will face the wrath of the others. Otose is made a scapegoat that she has a bone to pick with Jirocho because they were once lovers. Otose’s late husband, Tatsugoro Terada was the police of this area and Jirocho the yakuza. Although both were enemies, they loved and protected this place. Their odd relationship made them also friends and fell in love with the same woman. Of course Tatsugoro won over Otose in the end and as Pirako theorizes the only reason Jirocho left his wife and daughter to come to this town is because he still cares for Otose. Otose is warned to leave this town. But while paying her respect at her husband’s grave, Gintoki sees her in her own pool of blood. He thinks Jirocho was the one responsible and becomes a demon to kill him. Because he made a one-sided promise to protect Otose after her husband’s demise. War is on the verge in this district since Otose is gone (at least lying in hospital). Saigo is forced to tear down Otose’s snack house since his young member is held hostage. But Yorozuya isn’t going to give up and did not leave town as warned. They stayed back to protect the snack bar. They received unlikely help from several other characters from the series. That MADAO guy, that fire fighter, that blacksmith, that hardboiled detective, that old guy who makes robots and even the host guys. Of course everything was a conspiracy by Kada to take over this town. Gintoki and Jirocho battle through Kada’s hordes of assassins to chase her away while the rest at Yorozuya team up with Saigo’s transvestites to deal with her army of assassins (Shinpachi, Kagura and Catherine rescued Saigo’s young lad thereafter). The final showdown between Gintoki and Jirocho ends up with the former in victory (of course). Kada thought she could launch a final attack to bring down everyone but was stopped by Pirako. There could have been a heart warming confession between Jirocho and Otose but since everybody was too busy trying to eavesdrop, it ruined everything. Jirocho gives up his title and everything and goes on a journey with Pirako as her father.

Jugemu arc
Kyuubei is tasked to train a monkey of the Shogun family. Because it doesn’t have a name yet, everyone chips in and it becomes ridiculously long. I salute to everyone who can say its name without screwing up! Yeah, it likes throwing poo too at Gintoki. Of course the monkey grows close to Kyuubei and when it is back in the Shogun’s nephew’s hands, it flees. Kyuubei’s members are forced to find the monkey or their reputation will suffer. The nephew then understood why it ran away and was jealous because he never had friends before and was happy to have this monkey as one. He gives Kyuubei to keep it and in return as favour, adds to its name. Like it needs another extra word to its already hard to pronounce and remember name.

Prison Arc
Gintoki gets framed and thrown into prison. The prison warden makes him the enemy while he somewhat strikes up an unlikely friendship with an old long time prisoner who is always writing to his son that he always looks forward to see. Then there’s this unlikely alliance with the local gang leader, Sachi too. Yeah. Gintoki becomes to new gang leader somehow. The warden wants to strike a deal with Gintoki. For his early release, he wants him to play the troublemaker role. Sure, he is going to do that but in his own way. When the prison is causing riot, Gintoki searches the warden’s office for proof. It is revealed the old man’s son died 10 years ago and the letters he wrote were never delivered. So who has been replying them all this while? The warden himself. He pretended to be the old man’s son to cover his death. So by causing havoc, this old guy’s clemency would be revoked and he can’t get out of prison to see his son. The warden gets beaten up by prisoners who have a grudge over his mistreatment but is rescued by Gintoki. Remember. If he makes trouble, he must set him free. When everything blows over, the warden quits his post and was ‘threatened’ by Gintoki to talk to the old man one last time. From the looks of it, the old guy seems to know it was him all along. Bad handwriting. And yeah. They’ll continue to write to each other.

Love Choris Arc
Shinpachi has been obsessed with his new simulation girlfriend lately. Momo. I guess this is what unpopular boys do when they can’t get a real girlfriend. Can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy. He isn’t the only one. Even Kondo has Sayaka for company. So it is up to Gintoki to bring Shinpachi back or else he would have to face Otae’s wrath. In order not to have any character overlap, Gintoki gets the ugly and horrible Pinko. Why did they even make such character that always has a censor streak over her eyes? And all those who chose this character are weird sickos! Like Tojo and Ayame… Then there is this world tournament to see whose Love Choris is the ultimate wife. Gintoki’s only chance to break Shinpachi’s habit is to enter. See all the world class otaku losers there…  Shinpachi advances to the final with Momo while Sougou’s masochistic ways makes him to finalist for Sayaka’s route. No guesses for Pinko’s one. Just when everyone is putting down Gintoki and Pinko (seriously, are you willing to make love with this ugly b*tch with a dead child behind her back?), suddenly Pinko transforms into a super sexy beautiful and tsundere character!!! Shinpachi isn’t going to lose to Gintoki (Sougou is out seeing he became the S&M victim). And after all that love and illusion lecture by Gintoki and show them the kind of adult love to those virgins, sure, everybody breaks free from this illusion. Because they had enough after Gintoki strips down naked right on stage during his demonstration. Seen enough, haven’t we?

Renho Arc
Elizabeth goes missing and a place card was left behind not to look for her. And as revealed, Elizabeth belonged to a race that lost their world and is seeking to make Earth as their replacement home. He infiltrated this planet by being Katsura’s pet. Yeah, heavily Star Wars and Gundam parody arc. Dark Vader as the big bad boss? And how can you tell from one Elizabeth from another? Oh, the funny hairstyles… Also returning after a long time and helping out our heroes to prevent Earth being taken over is Kaientai led by Sakamoto and his deputy, Mutsu. As Renho Federation closes in on their plan, they drop rain that turns everyone into faces of Elizabeth. Can’t speak… While Mutsu tries to stall with her negotiations, the rest infiltrate the base and get engaged in some weird stuff. They eat video game cartridges? And there is the real Elizabeth who has been promoted. Then there are lots of other stuffs in between which I don’t remember about Elizabeth not really betraying both her homes but to protect what she considers precious who are no other than her friends. Oh, did I mention Elizabeth here has way more spoken dialogue in all of her appearing episodes combined? Every other army in Renho Federation turn against Dark Vader whose actually form turns out to be the entire planet of Renho. We have Gintoki and the rest combining into some mecha too to fight the equally huge Death Star. In the end, our heroes win, the Renho cast away their silly white duck suits (and they all turn out to be middle aged old men in underwear) to live freely. In order to protect his Earth friends, Elizabeth erases their memories. Something tells us they can’t really forget when they see the last of Elizabeth’s face as she departs with her Renho Federation. And then the ultimate revelation… That Elizabeth was just a temporary one and the real one just returned from a long vacation. Everybody beats up Katsura for the trouble they have gone through. But they saved Earth, right? So much about Katsura being a hero for once without being idiotic…

Ski Vacation Arc
It’s that Shogun again. Yeah. This time the gang are forced to look after him when he is here for the ski trip. Once more, the Shogun gets abused like as though it’s his destiny like getting kicked multiple times by Otae or being used as a human snowboard (dicks make good snow brakes?) After all those bloopers, they get lost in the snowy mountains and the Shogun goes missing. They have to organize a search and rescue party. Otherwise heads will roll. I guess with no Shogun as the punching bag, Kondo takes his place. And he has to search for him in his underwear in this worsening blizzard. The rest need to take care of themselves first and find a place of refuge otherwise they can’t find the Shogun if they’re dead. So when they finally find a cabin to take refuge, the Shogun is there but the insults towards him didn’t stop. It ends with big disaster when they argue how to keep the Shogun warm with their body warmth and he is pummelled out into the snow again. And although everything returns back to normal, the Shogun loves the snow so much that he is back again with a new skiing style. Going airborne and naked like a human snowboard?

Scandal Arc
After a night of heavy drinking, Gintoki finds himself in a very difficult situation. Did he have an affair with Otose, Otae, Ayame, Kyuubei, Tsukuyo and even Hasegawa?! Deep sh*t. He can’t even remember but is forced to take responsibility. Zenzou is willing to help him out but there is so many a guy can take because Gintoki has to live with them without all of them noticing! And they’re all living in the same place next to each other! That’s going to be tough even for a harem series. I don’t know how he put up with his schedule but it’s torturous. A good lesson why people shouldn’t be six-timing. And then he has to go on a date with all of them somehow all at the same time. It’s like God is screwing with his life and enjoying it. Zenzou manages to help out using fake dolls and thankfully enough, the dumb girls took the bait. Gintoki is forced to take over control of the dolls when Zenzou goes to the toilet. All hell breaks loose and the ladies realize they’ve been duped. Gintoki is tied to a tree for days. It made him realized. He was so worried about his own ass that he never thought about them. All this started because of that one moment of irresponsibility. He’ll quit drinking. With that confession, it turns out to be the biggest prank ever just to make him promise that! His expression is priceless! Worth it? Definitely. Everyone cooperate and teach him a lesson after he went on a rampage in his drunken state. Even after this prank, Gintoki is in no mood to drink ever again. Till he finds out from Hasegawa that he really did him over. Suddenly he rushes to the next store to get the strongest liquor he can find! Oh sh*t! Even with Hasegawa drinking so much to forget and he can’t, it could mean…

Host Club Arc
Kyoshiro is going to quit his host club because of a mysterious lady, Yagami who supposedly brings death if she ever visits a host club the second time. Since she did declare she will be visiting Takamagahara again, his other host guys have quit in fear and so Yorozuya and the rest need to find a way to handle Yagami when she arrives. They try recruiting others for the host job like the Shinsengumi, Otae and even Hasegawa but more importantly can they even be a proper host? Things get out of hand when Tsukuyo and Saigo’s people cause things to go out of trouble, putting Kyoshiro out of commission. Gintoki has balls shrink and wants to flee this joint but Yagami has arrived. No way out. Yagami joins the rowdy group of girls who doesn’t hesitate to ‘bully’ her. I guess everybody is drunk. The host guys are having a hard time cleaning up this mess when everything leads to chaos. Yagami then leaves even without seeing Kyoshiro. She clears the misunderstanding about the rumours. Because she has no place to go and have no friends, she goes from bar to bar. By that time, the rumours of her spread. Till she met Kyoshiro and his smile was different. It was for everyone and not just for her. She came back to see that smile again. Yagami didn’t have to leave empty handed. In fact, she was welcomed back to Takamagahara by Kyoshiro for the third time. This time she’s got everyone as her drinking partner.

Thorny Arc
Mimawarigumi is an elite police force joined by those from the elite. Thus the useless failure and troublemaker son of the noble family, Tetsunosuke Sasaki is sent to join Shinsengumi under Hijikata’s wing. A big pain in the ass at first but after encountering Tetsunosuke’s older brother, Isaburou who is the commander of Mimawarigumi and self-proclaim big fan of the Shinsengumi, Hijikata’s view change. After all, Isaburou talks bad about Tetsunosuke like he is a stain that ruins the family’s name. It’s odd that without those shades, Tetsunosuke looks like a clean cut cherry boy. He takes it upon himself to learn from Hijikata and do whatever he wants. Hijikata also remembers his own bloody past. He had a brother named Tamegoro whom he admired. One day thugs set fire on the village and Tamegoro lost his eyes while protecting him. Hijikata turned into a rampaging demon and slaughtered everyone. From that day he was known as Thorny and had to leave and couldn’t be with his brother. Hijikata tasks Tetsunosuke to hand a letter to Tamegoro and he promises to deliver it. At the same time, Isaburou hired Gintoki to infiltrate some gang planning to do some large scale terrorist act. This same gang was the bunch Tetsunosuke used to hang out with and he gets kidnapped by them. This sets Shinsengumi and Mimawarigumi on collision course. The latter uses this excuse to wipe out Tetsunosuke seeing he has ties with the separatist and couldn’t care what happens to him or the terrorist while pinning the blame on Shinsengumi. This puts both sides against each other with Hijikata against Isaburou and Sougou fighting with Nobume, a deadpan female whose swords can cut through anything like hot knife through butter. It gets chaotic with Gintoki in the picture. Time to do things his way. Once Tetsunosuke is saved, the demons clash. The terrorists find it hard to escape as they are caught in between. Shinsengumi switches clothes with Mimawarigumi to cause confusion. Sougou-Nobume match ends with Nobume tricked into cutting all the pillars and the building crumbles. Shinsengumi makes a deal with Isaburou to call this a draw and avert the crisis. He has no choice. Tetsunosuke goes to complete his letter delivery mission at his grave only to see Tamegoro’s wife. Seems the brothers communicated via letters. Although Tamegoro is blind, he was always eager for his letters. That’s why she reads it for him. But they’re all blank… Probably all they want to know is if he is still alive. That’s all that matters. Actually, maybe it’s because Hijikata doesn’t know what to always write…

Other episodes:
Episode 204: Kagura has problems giving Gintoki and Shinpachi her Valentine’s Day chocolates and enlists Ayame, Otae and Tsukuyo to help out but they too are embarrassed to give their chocolates to Gintoki. I didn’t know this Yorozuya guy is this popular. And even though it seems that they won’t be able to hand it to them directly, eventually they leave it on their doorstep. Surprised to see 4 Valentine chocolates?

Episode 205: This is how Yamazaki ends up hating anpan for the rest of his life, which becomes a running joke for the rest of the series. He is supposed to do a stakeout on some Joi’s member who ran away with their money and is confident he will run into his sister. Every day, he eats the same anpan till he is sick of them. By the time he is hospitalized, it was just a trick to make him off guard. And when Yamazaki’s discharged, he gives them a taste of his anpan revenge. Also, Kondo seems to finally land a date with Otae! Is this true! However bad luck seems to be obstructing him but he won’t let it ruin his date. Finally a meteor is in danger of destroying Earth and he uses his batting skills to hit it away. The pint size meteor hits Otae’s face. Game over.

Episode 206: Catherine has a boyfriend? She is so in love that she turns into a beautiful woman! Who is this woman?! Because Otose seems like she doesn’t approve of it, Catherine elopes with him to start a new snack business as promised. However it was a ruse to dupe her of her money and she is left homeless and penniless. Till Otose comes to bring her back with her open arms and Gintoki goes to teach those swindlers a lesson that conning a woman of her money isn’t evil. He will show them what true evil means…

Episode 215: The only thing I remember about this episode is that Kada has gone senile, being imprisoned by the Harusame after her failed takeover of Kabukichou. There is also an unlikely alliance formed between Kamui and Takasugi.

Episode 216: Yorozuya puts up a ridiculous factory tour of the Patriot (whatever that is) for the kids. You think the kids really believe it? Especially with that tissue box being the main component of the Patriot (whatever the hell this thing is). Can’t blame the kids for giving Gintoki the biggest kick of frustrating when the factory tour turns into some sort of televised life drama. Wasted time but at least it was educational. Yeah. It was all crap!

Episode 217: Remember the Shogun? Yeah. It’s him again, Gintoki and Hasegawa being forced to by Matsudaira to take care of him at the pool without his identity being exposed. Expect all the constant abuses thrown at the Shogun as he tries to fit in. And his very elastic loincloth has the guys bowing down to him with respect…

Episode 218: Yorozuya fights over crab meat! Obviously it is Gintoki and Kagura who are trying all sorts of underhanded tactics to get a piece of the juicy crab legs, much to Shinpachi’s dismay. It becomes an all-out (exaggerated) war to get whatever crab meat left. In the end when everyone agrees to share the crab porridge, it tastes horrible so they get cheap crab flavoured snacks instead.

Episode 219: Kagura helps a guy who wants to be a human punching bag but you know with all those weirdoes around, you can’t help get disappointed. He won’t be getting his punch till finally he sounds like a pervert that will ‘help you forget the bad memories’. Enough to freak that guy out and land him a punch. There, he got it.

Episode 220: Hedoro’s family are visiting the public bath so Gintoki and the rest panic they have some sort of hidden agenda to take over Earth and go all out to give them a warm welcome. As the lie builds on and on, they find it hard to contain it and it involves beating them up, ripping their horns, smashing their heads, etc. And after all that good hospitality, they want to repay it by scrubbing their backs… You know how hard they scrub, right?

Episode 223: Katsura infiltrates Matsudaira’s family to find his weakness. However he ends up saving his daughter (whom Matsudaira is having strained relations with) when the building she is in is hijacked by terrorists. In the end, he somewhat patched up their relationship.

Episode 227: This was inevitable. Sket Dance crossover! They had to return the favour too. So we’ve got jokes about the cross-over seiyuus from both animes and since Gintoki and Bossun really want to be seen as the leader, they go all out forcing the rest in some scavenger hunt. Only the blockheads go all out against each other to grab some fruit that turns their crotch into hammer. Yeah. They got that eventually. Happy?

Episode 230: Kagura really wants a handphone so she could text to Gintoki and Shinpachi. Do they need this when they can just talk face to face? After everyone reluctantly gets a second hand handphone, Kagura spams everyone with text on just about anything. Annoying? Of course her handphone seems to belong to a killer and he wants it back as he has left some valuable information on it. Then the killer turns out to be a shy barber who had left messages he was never able to say for his late wife. It is until Kagura throws a ‘tantrum’ that it is them who aren’t able to say what they want (because she hasn’t received a singly reply from them) that they perhaps realize the importance of communication. Although they give the handphones back to the guy, they still keep the handphone straps and without saying, this makes Kagura happy.

Episode 231: An udon shop owner passes away and Yorozuya and the Shinsengumi attend his funeral. However only Gintoki and Hijikata could see his spirit! They’re trying to remain calm (but fail miserably) and try not to provoke his already restless soul (even failing more miserably). They have been reluctantly task to carry his coffin but it seems parts of him keep sticking out especially his dick. In the end, it was just the dead man’s pleasure to have a fun filled funeral before he passes on to the next world. These guys are always so fun, no? And as his last reward, he lets them have their favourite udon bowl. Savour every last taste of it.

Episode 243: A manga magazine is being put in charge of a difficult manga. All previous editors have gone crazy and being locked up. In order to be assigned to another manga, he needs to find a new artist but none of them inspired till he meets… Gintoki and Sachi! It becomes retorting hell for this editor due to their crazy manga drawing and story. Big shoulder pads? In the end he goes insane and gets locked up too. Anybody would if they had to put up with the duo’s nonsense.

Episode 248: Who wants to be a MADAO-naire?! A chance for penniless middle aged guys to get 10 million Yen! Hasegawa is about to get that chance. A big parody of Slumdog Millionaire, we see how past events of Hasegawa’s life lead him to answer every question correctly. The ironic part is how each correctly answered question, it digs up a traumatic past Hasegawa doesn’t want to remember! Yeah, he was a poor soul even back then getting bullied and mistreated by kids but a kind girl looks up to him because it reminded her of her debt ridden dad who ran away. She remained positive and cheerful while living with him in the streets till she contracted an illness. That’s when Hasegawa entered this game show to win and clear her debt. The organizers think he cheated and try to put in tough nonsensical questions even a newspaper article that came out today! But Hasegawa could answer them all simply because all the questions were related to him. Especially the final answer that asks about that girl’s name! Hasegawa used the lifeline to tell her to live happily. Just when he thought he had cleared her debt, he found out that was just the tip of the iceberg. Now he is told to hurriedly get the rest of it. This sucks… Why? Because he’s a MADAO!

Episode 251: New Year’s Day episode. Gintama bought a curse kotatsu because once you sink in, you can’t leave. And you’re going to feel very lazy about doing anything or moving about even if something you want is just inches out of your reach. It’s the universe underneath! Don’t ask! Just accept it! With everyone except Shinpachi balding and talking like old men, Shinpachi is reduced to retorting hell over their idle chatter as more and more character drop in to share the kotatsu. Finally when everybody wants to relax for good, they realize it is too crowded and not enough space. They start fighting with each other till the kotatsu is destroyed. Everyone returns to normal (complete with hair) and has no memories but Shinpachi has turned into a bald old man, too tired to just end it with a retort.

Episode 252: Even the final episode of the season is not spared. It turns out to be a random episode with the theme of apologizing to viewers and everyone to whom they have offended or made fun out during the entire run of the Gintama series. You’d feel there is no sincerity in it since every apology seems like adding more offense to everything. Gintama style. In the end, they have to admit that they can’t give up the dirty jokes. Because we love them too! Hell, yeah! Gintama forever!

Enchousen

The third season began 6 months after the second season ended. And it couldn’t be more welcoming for a person like me who still loves this show many years down the road. I’m sure they had their reasons in not making it continuous (like they ran out of materials from the manga) or they just like to play pranks and screw with us viewers like they always do. But this Enchousen season slightly differs. Although it only ran for 23 episodes, half of it are rerun episodes from the first season! I’m in a dilemma to whether to call it a bad move or not because although those rerun episodes are picked from one of the funniest standalone episodes and it was good to watch some of them again and remember those laughs (yeah, that Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung was one of the best ones), it wasted some time when they could have put in more materials or at least funny fillers. The only thing ‘added’ was the gorilla creator seen lazing around instead of completing his work and the announcement of the Gintama movie in 2013. Or some pain-in-the-ass teasers-cum-excuses why the second movie is being delayed to summer. Because to coincide with the end of the TV series. HOLY WHAT?! The TV series ends for good???!!! Otherwise, sometimes I feel these reruns are like fillers in between the arcs of this what I believe is the final season in the Gintama series! Gasp! NO! I want it to run forever like Naruto and let that ninja show be the one who ends! And so, just when Gintoki thought he had gone AWOL for 6 months and could return with some excuse that will have his comrades forgive him, an unexpected new hero that has taken over the show…

Kintama Arc
What’s this? A new cool blonde guy, Kintoki Sakata has taken over the show?! This is what you get for being absent for so long. To add salt to injury, everyone in town doesn’t remember Gintoki and this Kintoki guy is a true hero whom everybody loves. He’s got the looks. He’s got charisma. He’s even got the money! Oh sh*t! The perfect hero whom everybody admires indeed! Even the 60 volumes of DVDs, all replaced with Kintoki’s face! Including this season’s opening and ending themes! Did Gintoki ever exist? Was it all only his imagination? Does Gintoki have a place left? What is happening? It seems only Tama and Sadaharu aren’t affected by the hypnosis. Robots and animals not affected, I guess. As revealed, due to Gintoki’s irresponsible ways, Shinpachi and Kagura requested Gengai to create the ultimate robot that covers every flaw that Gintoki has. So now the trio will have to work to regain everyone’s memories but it will be tough because they keep screwing up and Kintoki is always on scene to fix it. It makes Gintoki look like the bad guy, huh? A pretend suicide by Ayame becomes the turning point. When Gintoki dived down to save her, he knew his fellow pals will come to save him. Their body reacted on their own. They can’t explain it but suddenly they felt they might have seen this guy somewhere before. Tama wanted to settle this herself but got busted by Kintoki. Kintoki then frames Gintoki that he was the one who hurt her friends and wants everyone’s help to track him down. This puts Gintoki’s pals in a bind. They feel something is not right but have no choice but to seek him out. Gintoki is forced to put up the biggest fight in his life as everyone in town is now against him. But when Gintoki saves them instead of fighting them, they become all the more confused. With the final showdown with Kintoki at hand, everyone surprises this blonde dude and goes against him. The bonds they had with this silver idiot go deeper than any memories, eh? Although Kintoki can still hypnotized lesser skilled people (read: unimportant extra background characters), he can’t mesmerize the likes of Ayame, Tsukuyo, Kyuubei, Katsura and even Hasegawa. Kintoki reveals his true objective wasn’t to spread his influence throughout the world but to end this anime! Gintoki doesn’t give a damn and beats him up and going to do hara-kiri with him. He is not afraid of the show losing a main character because every idiot in this show is the main character! Shinpachi, Kagura and Otae reconcile with him before Gintoki vanishes…

Mantama Side Arc
What do you get when you don’t have gold or silver anymore? You’ve got this ditzy girl called Mantama in a brand new story and anime of her own! Even her own opening theme! And so it goes that Mantama and Kintoki made some promise to meet each other in the future before the former’s demise. In a world where some strange tower that causes every man’s dick to fall off, Kintoki is the only guy left with the ‘sword’. Other guys become transvestites. He’s the object of every girl’s dream but he only cares for one person whom he made a promise before they were born. And then it’s like destiny. This Mantama-look-a-like becomes a transfer student. But a series of mishaps that involve abusing Kintoki’s ‘sword’ before Mantama truly reunites with Kintoki in class. Turns out it is everybody in Gintama in disguise! Is this their way of getting back at him? Gintoki doesn’t care what happens to him but Shinpachi and Kagura beg for him to be spared and will go around apologizing to everyone. Kintoki realized he was so busy trying to change others that he didn’t realize others were changing him. So is he going to be a follower of silver now? But whatever it is, it’s welcome back Gintoki!

Courtesan of a Nation Arc
Yoshiwara had a famous courtesan named Suzuran. But like everybody else who grows old and hagged. Well, you know what I mean. Just like many women and men who come here to make a dream that lasts for one night, Suzuran has been waiting for that one man to come fulfil that promise. For how many moons has she waited… Yorozuya with Tsukuyo go to find that irresponsible guy and he turns out to be the previous Shogun, Sadasada. How can you easily get into the Shogun’s palace? Easy. Kagura seems to be the best friend of the Shogun’s niece, Soyo. I guess girls will be girls. Not even her personal servant, Rotten Maizou could line her in. Isaburou and his Mimawarigumi are also hired to guard the palace since it is under martial law as lately somebody has been attacking important bakufu officials. Eventually when Tsukuyo gets the chance to ask Sadasada about his promise with Suzuran, turns out this evil bastard was just using her to kill off those against him during his rule. Isaburou gets in injured in the retaliation. Yorozuya, Tsukuyo and Nobume are thrown into prison with the Shinsengumi tasked to execute them by daylight for trying to kill the Shogun. Not until Soyo’s heart breaking story about a certain courtesan and Shogun retainer’s tragic love romance got their ass moving. Maizou and Suzuran fell in love with each other and they made a promise to meet each other. However Sadasada found out about this and ordered him to kill her the next time they meet. As an act of loyalty, Maizou got an arm cut off. Because of his position, Maizou couldn’t go meet Suzuran and had to live with the regret of breaking the promise because if he did, he must kill her. Everyone who heard the story prefers to become wanted criminals to attack and seize this country for the sake of an old woman.

Gintoki is faced with an old foe during the Joi war: Oboro, an assassin and leader of the Tensho and part of the Tendoshu organization. Gintoki could have died from his poison needles till Isaburou and his Mimawarigumi show up to assist. Even Kondo and Shinsengumi join in the fray. Not to mention the entire police force led by Matsudaira attacking against the palace! Wouldn’t this be amounting to treason? Well, the only guy who could summon the entire police force is him: The current Shogun: Shigeshige. He orders his palace guards to stand down and hopes to make it up to Maizou for all the years of his service. Sadasada is still confident he can get out of this scot free and not being judge. But he may need to wait longer till Gintoki finishes his rematch with Oboro. Spurned by the death of his beloved teacher, Shouyou Yoshida, Gintoki gets the much needed strength to defeat Oboro. Tendoshu arrives to pick up Sadasada to ‘judge’ him but Shigeshige resigns as Shogun to take responsibility and drag his uncle down to hell. Eventually his resignation has been rejected and his position reinstated although most likely he has just become an interim ruler since there is something brewing between the Hitotsubashi faction and Tendoshu. Also because, Sadasada who has been imprisoned is killed by Takasugi probably trying to avenge the death of his teacher too. Oboro lives and reports back to the Tendoshu council. He notes their true enemies are the students of Shouyou. Lastly, everyone sets up so that Maizou could go see Suzuran one last time and fulfil their promise before she breathes her last breath.

Beam Saber School Arc
Gintama must really love the Star Wars franchise. Yup. It’s going to pay ‘homage’ again to it in this arc. The ‘big brother’ of Shinpachi and Otae’s dojo who was supposedly dead in a blast when he decided to travel to outer space many years ago, suddenly returns. He is Hajime Obi or simply known as Obi One. Uh huh. You read that right. Coincidence that Hajime means first or one? Though, he is half cyborg and this machine part is keeping him alive. Also, he has become some super sword master throughout the galaxy with his beam saber technique of his. And so it’s nostalgia once more for the siblings because you know, he was a cool big bro and perhaps Otae’s first love. Did I hear that right? His return and vow to help rejuvenate the dojo with his beam saber technique of course sends jealousy bells ringing to Kondo and Kyuubei who view him as a threat to Otae. And now for the conspiracy part. You know those little green Jedi masters? Yeah, they’re the antagonist now. Clad in balaclava, it seems Hajime is a weapon they sent down to Earth because Earth banned some beam thingy that they produce. So now when the conditions are right, the cannon embedded inside Hajime will activate and thus a sign Earth has declared war on the galaxy. That’s when Gintoki comes into the picture to bring the real Hajime back and not this evil Kenofi (Kenobi?) persona or kill him off. As usual, it has got to be Shinpachi who has to overcome and deal with this to move forward. He finally deals the finishing blow and Hajime is proud Shinpachi has grown stronger. Before his demise, he fires the cannon back at those Yoda bastards, who also fire their beam to destroy him. In the end, they destroyed each other. Lots of drama, lots of tears but the important thing is to keep smiling. Even if you’re crying.

Episode 265: ALERT!!! FINAL EPISODE!!! They finally made Sadaharu the star of this last episode. Due to no jobs, this means no money and no food. Heck, they even had to share dog food! Because of that, Sadaharu leaves Yorozuya and despite his stomach growling, he meets an abandoned stray puppy. He takes it upon himself to take care of him as several characters in the show try to take him in but the dogs have to leave since Sadaharu knows he’ll be dead meat if he continues to stay under these sickos. Food is already a major problem and the puppy is sick. Sadaharu is forced to catch and steal fish from every source (no matter how ridiculous). But the puppy’s condition worsens and the hospital isn’t going to take in some stinky dog. He feels bad that Yorozuya is looking for him and Gintoki knows what’s going on. He is on a job from several neighbourhood women who wants him to catch the stray as they fear it may spread disease to other dogs (its owner who is a dog lover died). And leave it to Gintoki’s way to rescue the day and teach Sadaharu a valuable lesson the hardship of having someone in care. Also as a family, they share the good and painful times together. Everything ends well, they get treated in a vet and the puppy is adopted by the dead owner’s relative. And everybody shares the same dog food… Is that what being family is all about?

Platinum Soul
Good things must come to an end… I think I’ve said that before but I guess this time is for real. No word has been said about another season or continue this ridiculous and hilarious series because if you are a seasoned Gintama viewer and know all their ‘dirty tricks’ of trying to troll you, they’ll be back, right? Only this time, they aren’t! It’s really the last episode and the last season! Boo hoo! Why can’t this show go on forever unlike some blonde ninja or pirate with stretchy limbs? Or why can’t it take a hiatus like Fairy Tail and then come back again? Oh wait, it did that once. Why not do it again? I am sure that there are lots of other silly stand alone episodes and interesting arcs that are not animated. Stupid lazy gorilla. Get off your fat furry ass and do more stories. Hah. Blaming somebody is always easier.

This anime has not lost its touch of comedy, action and drama. Everything that you are familiar with the Gintama series are still retained here. Especially the jokes. From making gags that purposely break the fourth wall (that includes scolding, criticizing and insulting their own production crew) to blurting out copyrighted brands (but with a bleep and censor over it) to disgusting but humorous pervy jokes, intense retorts, shameless parodies and witty one-liners that will either have you cringing in disgust or laughing too hard that your stomach hurts. Those who watch Gintama will be familiar with the roller coaster ride of emotions that they put viewers through. One minute it can be all funny nonsense, the next it suddenly turns into an emotional melodrama that will tug some heart strings, you get emotional and want to cry, then suddenly something silly disrupts it all and you’ll be laughing like mad again. Yeah. You may go hysteria while watching this if you are emotionally unstable. But I loved it. Some scenes happen so fast that you haven’t got time to explain to yourself why you’re laughing one second and then sobbing in the next.

For both seasons, I still feel that there is the lack of the major parts of the series’ real antagonists. I thought at least somewhere within the season, they will dedicate another arc for Takasugi and Kamui. Heck, it was just one stinking episode that didn’t really get us anywhere except the fact that they made an alliance. Even there are some juicy and interesting bits about Nobume who once had some sort of connection with Oboro. Alas, we didn’t get to see anything more than that so in this sense it was a little disappointing. Big powerful villains with an equally tragic past with Gintoki didn’t really make an overall impact in the direction of this series? However this doesn’t really dampen my spirit and my overall feel good factor for this series. Because sometimes I think it is best for this show to have comical standalone nonsensical episodes that will make us laugh out loud till our tummy hurts. Yup. I think that would be the best. Perhaps that is what the movie is for? I don’t know and I can’t say since I didn’t go watch it.

Every other character has their good and bad points but this is what makes them quirky and memorable. Some become the butt of jokes and ‘whipping boy’ of the series like Katsura and his stupidity makes you wonder if he can lead his rebel Joi faction to victory. And you thought that the Renho arc would have gave him some sort of redemption but unfortunately like many other characters, they stay the same as they are in the end. Another character ‘beaten up’ left, right, up, down, centre and everywhere is Hasegawa. He has become synonymous with MADAO and nobody pities his homeless or pitiful state. Kondo is another one since he is frequent to stripping naked, being taunted as a gorilla and beaten up by Otae whenever he becomes a stalker. For Yorozuya, Shinpachi is glasses, Kagura the violent and blunt brat and Gintoki the big guy, big man, big brother of everything. He’s got so many sides from being a joker to a lazy person and to a kind person who will protect those dear to him, seemingly so perfect yet so flawed, I suppose that is why he is the series’ main character. You will love and loath everything about him. That’s what makes him cool. Other usual characters are still identifiable with their odd traits like Otae’s disastrous cooking, Sougou’s sadism, Hijikata’s mayonnaise obsession, Kyuubei’s aversion to a man’s touch, Tsukuyo’s low alcohol tolerance and Otose’s heavy smoking. Only ‘new’ to the bizarre personality is Yamazaki’s anpan obsession which has of course become a running joke each time he appears.

Besides the jokes, drama and characters, the action scenes are quite okay. It may not amount to be the best fight scene ever because this is Gintama, it is a mix of everything so you can’t have the best of every genre that it mashes in. It’s fun and exciting to see Gintoki take up his wooden sword as he go head to head with the big bad villain of the arc as well as the rest of his other pals in action. But eventually Gintoki is the main character so he has to be the one having his final fight with the final boss, right? There are going to be lots of blood spilled when the fight gets intense or reached its climax so if you are the kind who is faint-hearted, you might squirm at the sight of seeing the characters vomiting blood from taking the impact. Heck, you shouldn’t be watching this series if you are faint-hearted as the jokes can be really outrageous. The art and drawing are still good and consistent with the first season so there are no complaints from me on this department.

As usual, a variety of opening and ending songs greet and close this series. Mostly the themes are rock based. Some are memorable but some just didn’t get my attention. If I had to pick the best theme for both these seasons, personally it would be Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot) by Spyair. This rock theme is quite befitting the Kabukichou Four Devas Arc. Tougenkyou Alien by Serial TV Drama (yes, that is the name of this Japanese band) is crazy enough to get you into the insanity world that is of Gintama. Sometimes it makes you want to go “Dah! Dah! Daaaaahhhhh!”. And that opener with those crazy troll face smiles… Classic. Wonderland by Flip is one of the 2 songs that isn’t actually rock based but more of hip hop. It’s like going through a Gintama trip of nostalgia as we see main and supporting characters from all the Gintama episodes, arcs and seasons making their one shot cameo appearance. Trying to say goodbye? The other non-rock song is Moonwalk by Monobright. No, this isn’t a tribute to Michael Jackson and in fact it sounds like an opera tenor singing to an oldies rock ‘n’ roll tune.

Well, I don’t know if Gintama will be animated with more seasons in the future. It’s like telling me to go read the manga which is still ongoing. Heck, I prefer to watch something than read. Although Gintama is not perfect and may not be suitable for everybody, this is one series that mixes up everything and comes out on top without screwing up everything. Heck, even if it did screw up, they can even make a joke out of it or come up with some funny excuses and we will still accept it. But it will be unforgivable if they do not come up with more episodes because I don’t mind waiting for a year or two. Or maybe even in 5 to 10 years. Oh please. Don’t say it’s really over. Screw your production budget and tight schedule. I want more Gintama! I think I know what kind of answer Gintoki will be giving me. Sure, you’ll get your Gintama sequels… Coming real soon, in the year 2114! I’ve been had. Here’s my crazy troll face smile for you! 

Outbreak Company

June 7, 2014

Listen up, folks! We have got a mission. A very big and important mission to spread the otaku culture around especially to those civilizations that have never heard about the goodness in the form of anime, manga and games. Are you ready to lead this moe missionary charge and spread the word to the new world? This is our chance to prove that we otakus are not lazy and perverted people who waste time idling all day in front of the idiot box or stand in long lines of queue just to shake hands with our favourite idols. If you are an otaku of any level (inexperienced are also welcomed but the higher the better), you can apply to help out in this mission and spread the message armed with only otaku knowledge and know-hows. So get ready and let us start preaching about the world of otaku!

This is what Outbreak Company is all about. You didn’t think it was some anime about a terrorist organization trying to create a biological warfare, didn’t you? Okay, I did at first. But when I read it was about a shut-in guy who somehow secured this dream job that perhaps every otaku would love to have, I have just got to see how it’s done. Yeah. Anime is already such a big export of Japan and even expanding further as we speak. So is the sky the limit? Apparently not in this anime. Because we’re not about to spread the otaku culture to some African country or the North Pole (hey, Santa and polar bears could use a little otakuism), but an alternate parallel world where entertainment is hardly heard of. What do these guys do for fun, really? To us, it is a new unexplored and untapped market that could bring in the profits and establish good relations on both sides while enjoying doing what we love most. So people (or aliens, whatever you call yourself out there) let’s all welcome and embrace the otaku culture with open arms!

Episode 1
Shinichi Kanou is looking through an online job ad. Hmm… A job that otaku loves? As long as you love anime and manga, you’ll never have to work again? Too good to be true. Just answer 200 questions. No problem. Shinichi answers all of them correctly and before he knows it, he is in an interview at Amutech and being told by his interviewer, Jinzaburou Matoba that he has become the perfect candidate. First he asks about Shinichi being a shut-in. Because he got rejected by his childhood friend. No laughing matter. Shinichi passes out after drinking a drink. He wakes up rebuking his dream that his childhood friend rejected his confession because he is an otaku! Before him is a maid, Myusel Foalan who seems to be afraid of him although this guy totally digs maids (like yours truly). They can’t understand each other’s language till she gives him a ring to put on. Minori Koganuma from Japan’s 1st Division SDF introduces herself and tells him he is in the Ratatos Forest on the outskirts of Marinos, the capital city of the Holy Eldant Empire. She is his guard. First thing he asks is her cup size. F. To get a better perspective where he is, she shows him outside. Hmm… Great mountains, nice forest, flying dragon… Wait. FLYING DRAGON?! Holy sh*t! Yup. He’s in another world. Soon Matoba arrives to discuss business with him. His actual job is a cabinet minister in Japan. He explains a year ago, a strange wormhole was discovered near Mt Fuji. It connected Earth to another world. It is similar to humans with some slight difference like magic. So in order to cultivate good relations between both ‘neighbours’, an alliance was formed and Matoba’s department was to facilitate exchanges between both realms.

So the Amutech company that interviewed Shinichi was to make him the general manager in charge of Japan’s best exports to this world: Anime, manga and games! I agree! The government didn’t do a good job running it so they thought what a better way than to get a real otaku to do it. Shinichi doesn’t want to shoulder this burden but Matoba reminds him that he can’t leave. Can’t beat them, join them. They assure him that he will be compensated. So go spread the Akiba culture, tsundere, moe… Did he say anything about hentai? Later Myusel serves Shinichi tea. He notices her long ears and she becomes afraid. However Shinichi loves it and it is even better she is half-elf and a maid. Because she cannot read or write, he introduces his Japanese writing to her and gives her a copy for her to study. Myusel feels grateful. Then she introduces him to a strong guy servant, Bluk Darwin. Shinichi didn’t count on him being a lizard man. Oh, he’s the gardener. Next morning, after the folly of Myusel trying to undressing as part of her maid job, Shinichi along with Minori and Matoba head to the palace to see the supreme ruler. He is told not to say things out of line as there are some inhabitants who do not welcome them. Inside the huge palace, Shinichi is once again made to remember to follow their lead and not say anything rash. But when he finds the supreme leader to be a little girl, he couldn’t contain his excitement and blurts it out. I don’t know if some otaku beam of his hit her head but Petralka Anne Eldant III isn’t happy to hear that. In fact she is so pissed off that she gives him an uppercut! While her advisor restrain this fuming ‘adult’ (she claims she just turned 16 the other day), you can see Shinichi’s big smile… Lolicon…

Episode 2
Petralka wants to cut his head but Matoba gives excuse that Shinichi wasn’t mocking her but admiring her beauty since the official age of adult in Japan is 20 years old (lies!). She calms down and forgives him. Minori introduces him to the Zakhar the advisor and noble knight, Galius En Goldbal who is Petralka’s cousin. Galius stands up and cannot accept Shinichi as the ‘evangelist’ who will teach otaku culture to them. He looks like poison. Shinichi stands back up and tells him off he is stupid to judge a person like tell. Everyone is in shock. Now Galius wants to cut his head! But Petralka is laughing so hard and finds Shinichi amusing that, she decides to leave this otaku business in his full care. On the way out, Shinichi is devastated to learn that there is no next plan. Their side was so busy in securing land and budget that they never thought of how to go about this otaku business. Yeah. Greedy people want to monopolize this, eh? So Shinichi’s task is to select products that would make the people go wild. However it is going to be hard since the ring works as telepathy between the wearers. How can they enjoy anime and manga in a foreign language then? That night, Shinichi sees Myusel studying to read and write on her own. He decides to help her. So the daily routine becomes something like this. By day he will find materials to further their exchange culture and by night he teaches Myusel. Shinichi’s room is now filled with all the otaku stuffs. It really looks like one. Myusel and Bluk have a go reading manga or playing games because Shinichi wants feedback on what they think. Then Petralka comes by herself to see him at work in person. Since she can’t read, she has Shinichi read aloud for her. A loli’s flat boobs on one side and a busty maid on the other side. Heaven. But he can’t enjoy it since he’s so tense. Because Shinichi is paying too much attention to Myusel (to help her in her reading), Petralka becomes jealous and sits on his lap! Then she makes the maid go do what a maid is supposed to do. Serve tea.

That night, Shinichi thought there was an intruder in his room and whacks him but turns out to be Bluk. He gives Shinichi a stick for him to whack! Myusel explains that it is only natural in this world for masters to beat his servants. It got Shinichi thinking that he really needs to know more about this world so the next day with Minori and Bluk accompanying him to town, he learns 80% of the people are illiterate and most signs are in forms of pictures. Worse, all children were trained as soldiers. At a training camp where he introduces his otaku stuff, he learns that the kids do not know the meaning of fun because after training they will be ploughing the fields. Bluk remembers he was also part of the military training along with Myusel. The kids also cannot read or write as that is only reserved for the rich and noble. How can they experience the wonderfulness of otaku culture when they can’t do that? Back home, Petralka continues with her ‘reading’. It was about to get to the exciting part when Myusel comes in to serve them tea. Shinichi thinks he needs a little break since he has been reading aloud for a while. Petralka is not amused. She scolds Myusel for disrupting them. Myusel further cowers in fear the more Petralka verbally abuses her and this doesn’t sit well with Shinichi. He feels mad. So mad that when he grabs Petralka’s hand (she was going to throw the bread at her), it seemed like he could almost break it! Luckily he manages to calm himself down and mentions he used to be judged and persecuted one-sidedly before (the rejection). He talks about freedom, peace and equality, values that are needed to understand his culture. However Petralka doesn’t even know the meaning of that. Petralka lets them off the hook since he was trying to teach her something but in exchange she too wants to learn his language and must teach her. She can’t accept a lowly maid knows something she doesn’t and will see for herself if this otaku culture will benefit her kingdom. That night when Myusel reads a heart tugging manga, that look on her face would have turned him on but he didn’t have any reaction. He felt sad for her.

Episode 3
A month later, the school that will teach otaku culture regardless of race and class is completed. Petralka comes by to show off that she has completed her simple kanji practice book and even does tongue twister to show off. She notices Shinichi staring at Minori’s boobs. He is then labelled a pervert because both types are very fine with him. Shinichi has a reading class and of course Petralka gets the special seat on his lap. After class, she tells him he is a rare person who enjoys what he preaches as many evangelists are just out for money and fame. She has never enjoyed being with someone before. Then he had to ruin it by mentioning Myusel’s name. Minori had to explain that people in this world are strictly bound by hierarchy and will never take to freedom and equality. They were lucky because they were considered something new and exciting. That night, Myusel shows the results of her hard work. She takes off her ring and could speak and understand Japanese. Although she sounds like an amateur foreigner speaking the language. Shinichi is impressed. Next day at school, Petralka shows up again to show off another volume of kanji practice book she has finished. When Shinichi mentions Myusel has not time to practice because she was helping him out, Petralka blows her top. Sounding like a jealous brat, she accuses him of always ignoring her and giving the maid all the attention. She has had enough and orders Myusel to leave this place forever. Suddenly the school is under siege. A group of terrorist, Baydona led by Alessio takes Petralka as hostage. As they are tied up, thanks to Myusel’s ability in both languages, she is able to translate to Shinichi what the terrorists are talking about. They are a minority anti-imperialist group with no monetary or political power and have a powerful magic weapon called Eradicating Flame that could send the entire school in flames in seconds.

Alessio then grabs Shinichi and accuses him of bringing this otaku abomination. He reminds him of the different races, their strengths and weaknesses. Of course humans with the lack of all such power have been given the ‘gift’ to control and ‘unify’ them. Shinichi chides him off sounding like a jealous race supremacist. Although Alessio admits it’s true, he thinks the culture Shinichi brings in will destroy their value and it is their duty to protect it. He is going to cut off his head to make him an example when Petralka says that killing those not of this world won’t change a thing and they’ll be treated like martyrs (did she learn this from some manga?). Upset Alessio tosses Shinichi back, right into the boobs of Minori. She’s not exactly horny wanting to plunge his face deeper but to take out a pen knife (literally) hiding in her cleavage. Minori can free herself and attack anytime but Shinichi wants to wait till exactly 7pm sharp. Then he feigns he needs to go the toilet real bad. Outside the corridor when the clock strikes 7, his handphone alarm clock rings and this alerts the terrorists thinking it is some high level magic. Of course Shinichi toys with their minds about this ‘magic’ of his so they become hesitant. It was enough time for Minori to bust out and give her kung fu chops to the terrorists and Myusel to unleash her powerful magic blast. Alessio has activated Eradicating Flame and is going to blow up everything. Nothing can stop him! Till Shinichi puts it out with a fire extinguisher! That’s all it took! Never underestimate the fire extinguisher! Oh yeah. A fearsome weapon it is. Minori punches him out but before he lands, he throws a knife at Petralka. Myusel uses her body to protect her. Why? She wanted to believe in Shinichi’s mangas where all races can live in harmony and understand each other. Petralka is the most devastated one. Since when did she care so much about this maid? Can she order her not to die?

Episode 4
Myusel dies! Just kidding! There was some locket in her clothes that blocked the knife. So she’s recuperating and doing fine. A month later, Myusel is released and you can see how useful she is because without her, all his mangas are strewn on the floor. Nothing like the good ol’ maid to clean everything up. On the first day of school, the moment he enters class, all the races are arguing among each other. His first otaku lesson as the school’s principal, he teaches the students very advanced words! Zettai ryouiki! No panties! Wow! Too hot to handle? For Minori maybe. So she takes over class for a simpler start. Guess what? She is a fujoshi! BL! Uke! Seme! Trap! Oh boy. I feel this kingdom is going downhill if this otaku culture gets picked up. On their way back, Minori’s gadget detects an intruder near their house. It turns out to be a wolf girl, Elbia Hanaiman happily sketching the manor. Guess what? Beast girl. Animal ears. Animal tails. Wow. Shinichi loves it! As they take her in, Minori warns him that although she claims to be a wandering artist, she could be a spy from Bahailm, a neighbouring kingdom that is always at odds with Eldant. There are many cases like this that happened before. Elbia is whisked away by the guards and her pitiful puppy dog eyes got Shinichi’s sympathy. He feels pity that she’s being treated like a criminal. Next day, Shinichi and Myusel are before Petralka to be rewarded for their brave efforts. Shinichi had to bring up this spy issue but Galius tells him it’s none of his business. He begs to differ. He views her artistic skills important to draw out the otaku culture. Pictures are the more effective way to spread it.

However all Petralka sees is that Shinichi is interested in her because she is a beast girl. A young beast girl. A young beast girl with big boobs. Shinichi corrects her that Elbia’s boobs are small. But when Elbia is brought before them, wow, it’s huge. If his standards are so high to call them small, what do flat ones like them are? Shinichi argues he wants to keep her (their laws dictate she will be executed for being a spy) so in this ‘brilliant’ plan of his, he has her answer a few simple questions. However she elaborates them so as not to sound suspicious but of course, from the sound of it, it proves she’s a spy. I mean, she’s drawing his manor not because she’s trying to look at every angle that might hold military secrets, right? Dead giveaway. Shinichi gets desperate. She can’t be labelled a spy just because she has animal ears and tail. They’re in fact wonderful! Petralka takes it that he has such fetish and that he wants to keep her as his lover. Minori objects because Shinichi’s true love is Galius! Shinichi is seme and Galius is uke! Because Galius blushes and didn’t say anything… OH SH*T!!!!!!! Say it isn’t so!!! Worse, Minori explains all the BL stuffs to Myusel. Shinichi has a plan to keep Elbia. Let her live and send her to report back to Bahailm. But feed her with false information and in no time the enemy will come dancing into their hand. Galius loves this scheming idea (hope he doesn’t mean he loves him to – and feed Minori’s fantasy). Petralka is not amused not because Elbia is of a different race but rather the fact that lots of women are gathering around Shinichi. She allows him to keep her. Elbia is so happy that she hugs him with her huge boobs pressing against him. I guess Petralka has tolerated enough of his nonsense. She is going to castrate him!

Episode 5
Shinichi has Elbia draw a few things and is amazed at her skill level. In school, Shinichi teaches his class the history of bishoujo games. He even answers their question of his favourite girl character and demonstrates his favourite game! Getting nostalgic? Minori seems to be keeping her cool very well whenever she asks if he is going to introduce BL into the curriculum. He hasn’t considered it… Myusel is taken in by Shinichi’s kindness when he also helps around the house. One night, Elbia didn’t join the rest for dinner like usual. He goes to check her room and it seems she is drawing lots of scary drawings. One of them a portrait of Shinichi like as though he is her victim! Scary! She kicks him out of her room but he sees those killer eyes in her. Next day at school, Shinichi sees his students arguing about their games and figurines! Wow. It’s good that the passion caught on. But a lot quicker than he thought. Minori had to fire a warning shot to break them up. I think she is most upset because none of them caught the BL fever. When Shinichi goes home, he receives a distress call from Petralka to see her now. As he leaves, he sees Elbia looking at him with those killer eyes. He thinks she is really an assassin pretending to be a clumsy girl to fool him. At the palace, Petralka says she didn’t summon him. Hmph! Wait a minute. Is she acting tsundere? Furthermore, she says she hates him. Hmph! Definitely tsundere. Galius seems to have accepted this otaku way too as he returns a BL book he borrowed from Minori! OH SH*T!!!! So… Petralka called them just to show off her tsundere side? Wasting his time… Back home with Shinichi giving Myusel the usual lesson, he remembers she did ask him about wanting to follow him back to Japan. She still wants to even though she won’t come back here again. Shinichi dreams of a cliché romance of Myusel wanting to come with him. It turns into a nightmare of Elbia going to kill him! Phew. Just a dream. Oh wait. Elbia is really on top of him! And she’s not horny. Shinichi screams and the other girls come rushing in. They see Elbia licking his neck. Disappointed? Myusel seems so. Yeah. Shinichi sounds like he is enjoying it. As explained, Elbia was in heat and whenever there is a full moon, this causes her to act weird. That drawing of Shinichi was because that was when that heat of hers just activated. However Elbia did hint that she won’t just jump onto any man whenever she’s in heat. Oh Myusel, looks like you’ve got some competition around the house. When Shinichi compliments her great animal ears and tail, she glomps all over him. Be careful. Myusel might become yandere… Next day in school, the otaku argument among the student argues… They’ll pass with flying colours. Definitely.

Episode 6
The class war continues… Shinichi and Minori see Petralka and tell her about the future of the school. It might have 25 students only now but in the future that amount may swell to about 500 and thus the need for extra help. He wants Myusel to become a teacher. Petralka isn’t pleased because this means the duo get to be together the entire day. This means he needs somebody else to take over the maid job. Hire another maid? Petralka rejects it thinking he wants another big breast maid. When new otaku goods arrive, Minori is happy that her golden ball from some favourite anime of her arrives. But Elbia steals and plays with it. This makes Minori angry and she’s going to shoot her down! Armed and dangerous! With Myusel’s magic, they manage to get it back, although the ball is now messed up. After hearing Elbia’s reasoning that anything that looks like the moon will awaken her instincts, Minori gives the ball to her. This causes Shinichi to have an idea. So he requests for a friendly football match between dwarves and elves. Shinichi’s intention is of course to bridge the racial divide and you know like in sports themed animes, the enemy becomes your friend, right? If he only knew about reality. So with the announcement of the friendly match and the winner gets a prize, both sides get motivate to learn football. From reading mangas to watching animes and even super powered practice. On match day, the dwarves take an early lead thanks to their immense strength. Yeah. Just right at the start of the whistle’s blow, they already scored the goal. The elves never see it coming, huh? Their super strength means they pound the land, leaving craters and their opponents eating dust. They lead 50-0. And it’s only the first half. Minori is not happy because she supports the elves side as they look very much like the characters from her favourite football anime. It is suggested the elves can use magic to spice things up.

During the break, the gang eats Myusel’s handmade bento. As there is a rice on Petralka’s cheek, she knows about this moe custom of a guy taking the rice off. He does so and goes into ecstasy. There is one on his cheek so Petralka does the same. Ultimate ecstasy. But she missed one so Galius picks it. Galius blushes. All the ecstasy just went down the drain… The second half continues and this time the elves fight back with their super magic. It’s their turn to pound the land and make craters. In the end, it becomes a total warzone because everything is thrown and flung at each other. Except the ball. The only thing untouched.  Matoba hopes Shinichi have learnt his lesson in reality. Sports can also be a tool to incite nationalist pride. Both sides are taken out, the land is decimated and I don’t know who is keeping the score anymore. It must be off the charts. Elbia takes the ball and plays by herself. At the same time, Petralka who has been itching to get into the game has changed and steals the ball from her. Oh no. Another war is going to start. With a little help from Myusel’s magic, Petralka pulls of some air spinning goal. Then she goes to high five and celebrates with Myusel. Everyone sees this and is in shock. Matoba explains that half-elves are mostly targeted in discrimination and seeing her mixing around with the supreme ruler who is supposed to be the top of the hierarchy isn’t a good thing. However Shinichi thinks it is. Because they set aside all those complicated stuffs and what he sees is something beautiful. He believes everyone will too. With that, the game ends in a draw. Although both sides are awarded handheld console each, their rivalry continues into the game… Things never change.

Episode 7
Shinichi is upset that Matoba somehow screws up and brings him the wrong otaku stuffs. Instead of his favourite Rental Madoka anime, he brought back the adult version of it. This is a big deal because his students can’t wait to get their hands on more ‘schoolwork’! I understand the otaku rage if they don’t get their fix… He requests to go back to Japan and get them himself. Because the location of the hole is top secret, he doesn’t mind getting drugged. The next time he opens his eyes, he is back in his room. Ah, familiar territory. Thank goodness for internet. As he is unpacking, he wonders the extra bag and when he opens up, Myusel! OMG! She can fit it! Elf trafficking? She was afraid he will never come back so she secretly hid in the bag. Of course Minori gets to know of this but Matoba doesn’t want to raise any alarms yet since there will be surveillance on them back in Japan. Meanwhile Petralka is stamping tons of documents. The pile up was thanks to her being out of action from football muscle ache. As motivation to finish it all, she will get to see Shinichi. Full steam ahead! If she only knew where he is now. Galius is not worried because the amount of work she has, Shinichi will be back by then. Myusel becomes like a fish out of water, marvelling at Japan’s technology and modern conveniences we take for granted. Even if the train ride was such an emotional and fulfilling experience. Wait till she sees Akihabara. Shinichi shows her around and lets her experience the things that are done here.

Of course there is the maid cafe that is a must-patron. Myusel could sure learn some useful maid serving tips here. But the other maids think Myusel is really a pro, the way she acts and serves Shinichi he master. When they head back, it only dawned to Shinichi that he will be spending the night with her. Alone. His mind starts to go wild just at the thought of bathing and sleeping. Since Myusel has no extra clothes, Shinichi rushes out to the convenience store to buy a pair of panties as she takes a bath. I’m not sure what Shinichi’s intention was when he barged back in making some joke. Maybe he decided to get naughty with her? By that time, she’s already sound asleep. He even had the thought of violating her when she’s asleep but loses all motivation when he hears her sleep talking. That is all. Goodnight. Meanwhile happy Petralka is just seconds away from finishing her mammoth task! Did Galius underestimate her? Better call Shinichi now! Zakhar has a plan… The old fart dresses up as Shinichi!!! Petralka not amused. Especially when she finds out his whereabouts. But instead of punishing them, she leaves depressed. Hmm… She’s taking this pretty well. Next morning, Shinichi wakes up back in Eldant kingdom. Then he remembers. It was so fun yesterday that he forgot to bring back what he wanted! And he gets lecture from Matoba about the resources, men and tax payers’ money involved. But if it’s a consolation, at least Myusel is putting her maid cafe lessons to good use.

Episode 8
Petralka is depressed enough not to be interested in doing her job. So one day she runs away from her room and a big search is called. Though, Galius knows she can’t go that far. Eventually Shinichi finds her sleeping in a storeroom crate. He hears her sleep talking about her parents. Shinichi wonders if she can be given a break just for today but Galius mentions there are always new work every day. It will pile up. Next day, another problem. Now she shuts herself in and laced it with magic barrier that no Eldant locals can enter. Shinichi recognizes the symptoms. Petralka has become a shut-in. Because Minori paints him as a top class expert shut-in, looks like Shinichi has to handle this by himself. Galius explains to him that because of the adults’ incapability, Petralka is burdened. After the previous ruler passed away, she was next in line for the throne while Galius as her cousin became her advisor. Normally her parents would have been next in line but they were murdered. Killed by Galius’ parents. They poisoned each other eventually. Since Petralka knows this, the reason she works hard so as not to make the same thing repeat itself. Shinichi will do all he can but he doesn’t want anybody to interfere. And so Shinichi’s smooth talk (or perhaps she’s just a simpleton and really wants to see him), he is let in. Seems she is really trying to live a life of a shut-in. She is going to read her manga, watch anime, play games, sleep and not do any work. However Shinichi lectures her on what it takes to be a true shut-in. And so she occupies a very small portion of the corner of her room. Everything must be in reach. Eat only junk food. Heck, there is even an oath for shut-ins! Blame society, not yourself! She’s amazed. He becomes her partner in crime. Great. Just what we need. Two shut-ins.

However Petralka still feels the need to take a bath so dead in the night, they sneak out. How do they get past the guards? Shinichi drops an adult manga. They go crazy over it! Nice diversion. In the bath (Shinichi wonders if he should peep so as not to be labelled as a pervert who just loves big boobs), Petralka wonders if he is going to talk her out of it. He says that he too was once in her position and understands. As they head back, they hear the guards worried about their highness and if she is doing fine. Back in the little corner, Petralka learns from Shinichi how he once became a shut-in. After being rejected, he became scared in seeing his classmates’ face and eventually his parents. So he shut himself in and became one before he knew it. As days pass, the door becomes heavier and to a point he cannot open it himself. Probably this guilt talk must have made Petralka feeling guilty. She realizes she ran away from her duties and caused lots of trouble. And when things don’t go her way, she takes it out on others. She feels she is a bad supreme ruler. Shinichi doesn’t understand all that but what he thinks is that Petralka should be herself. Next morning, Petralka gets the strength to open her door. Galius and Zakhar are waiting outside and Petralka returns to her duties. Meanwhile back in Shinichi’s manor, everyone is going to die of starvation. Because when Myusel heard Shinichi will not be coming home and staying at the palace, it’s like she become broken. Cooking and cooking and cooking and cooking and cooking… The pot is already black… Why don’t they just get food somewhere else instead of wishing for Shinichi to come back?

Episode 9
Myusel is doing her teaching job well on her first day. Because as a working staff, they are entitled to day offs so Matoba hopes they can use them up. Galius suggests the lakes near one of their vacation homes. This is also as thanks for helping Petralka out the other day. And so Shinichi revels that he was born for this days. Yeah. The obligated beach and swimsuit episode has finally arrived. If he could only talk to Minori looking straight in her eyes instead of her boobs… Although Petralka is still doing her work, Zakhar says that he has scheduled for some time off for her at her vacation home. In the mean time, a group of brilliant minds are being gathered to discuss… Petralka’s swimsuit?! Wise sages now looking perverted old men looking at swimsuit catalogues… And one of them persistently insists on the classic school swimsuit. Oh yeah. This must be a very tough decision to call. While Shinichi and the girls frolic in the sand and water, suddenly come running for help to them is one of their students, Roic. He is panicking that his fellow classmate, Romilda is going to get killed. When they heard the teachers were on vacation, they thought of going to check them out. Along the way, they saw something suspicious in the bush. Romilda when to investigate but got zapped by some sort of lightning. Minori vows to protect everyone and rescue Romilda. That’s her job. The description Roic gave and Elbia drew seems to show that the unknown enemy are bushy monsters.

With Elbia’s keen sense of smell, she manages to ambush them and lure them into a magic trap set by the elves. Of course when they try to escape, Myusel goes after them but is taken hostage. Shinichi fearing that she might lose her life like the last time, runs in like a (pathetic) hero just to save her. However Minori’s warning gunshot stops everybody. She forces the monsters to take off their bushy disguise and to everyone’s surprise, they are men from SDF. While Minori questions them, there is a touching scene going on between Shinichi and Myusel. She is very touched of his gesture to save him. Suddenly her top comes undone. Like in such cliché anime scenes, Shinichi gets pounded by her magic in her embarrassment. She just beat up her master, didn’t she? Romilda is fine and just sleeping. The lightning was their stun gun. Minori feels suspicious that the SDF’s answer was to guard them. But why run when they were found out? Surprised and confused? Then she sees their camera. It contains pictures of the ladies. Minori blows her top upon knowing they’re just being peeping toms. Then they get a taste of what pain is like. This is going to hurt a lot. Meanwhile Petralka has finished her work and wants her swimsuit now. Yeah, the council hasn’t even decided yet but the chairman says to leave it to him. So he presents the school swimsuit to Petralka and blames it on the rest! Blame these degenerates for insisting it but he was against it. Surprisingly Petralka loves it and the chairman quickly changes his mind that it was all his idea. Yeah. Such a great mind this guy has. And I don’t care if his name was Estaban or how he became the chairman for life.

Episode 10
Minori in a maid outfit? Actually Myusel accidentally washed all her clothes and spilled some suspicious liquid over the one she is wearing. So she is borrowing it for the time being. Her bust is so big that the buttons burst out into Shinichi’s eyes! Then his hands had to grope her boobs. And Matoba just came in. But there is a more pressing matter at hand. The recorded football match has somewhat being leaked and found its way to a file sharing site. If this world is found out, the project might be shelved. Shinichi suggests saying the video is part of a larger fantasy video. That’s right. They should start ‘making’ the video or a fake documentary. Minori is excited and wants to be the director. Petralka becomes the heroine in this Rental Magica rip-off. Shinichi personally came to request her to play the role since it will be the first Eldant movie so the lead role has to be someone well known of. Who else than the supreme ruler? This guy sure got a way with words. Minori even tries to get a real dragon for the film. But because she blatantly disregards the advice not to use aerosols (as dragons are sensitive to any smell), the dragon blows them away with its fire breathe. Looks like they’ll have to make do with a mechanical one. We are distracted for a little while when Shinichi enters the tent only to be sees Elbia, Myusel and Petralka semi-naked. Elbia and Petralka are not embarrassed a single bit while Myusel, embarrassed at first eventually turns into a weirdo and drops everything just to comply if this is what her master wants. I thought Shinichi would love it…

Minori checks on Roic and Romilda doing the editing and despite making everything look like Rental Magica, it is part of the plan to cause an outrage (because every other damn copyright infringement is in it) for the ‘project’ to be shelved. During filming of the final scene, the mechanical dragon is supposed to come into the scene but a real one attacks. Thanks to Minori once more blatantly using her aerosol… It destroys the set. That’s when SDF steps in and fires all its RPGs, artillery and whatever bullets they have at it to chase it away. The Eldant counterparts are in surprise that a huge beast was driven away like that. I guess Petralka is the only one who is having fun and thinks everything was special effects. Before they wrap up, Petralka pecks Shinichi on his cheek as thanks. Woah! What gives? You mean there is no other special meaning to it? On the day of the big screening, Petralka is excited to see her debut like everyone else. Things go downhill when she realizes she fumbles in her lines but in a cute way. I guess this is why it was left unedited… But Petralka becomes so embarrassed that she screams for this movie to be stopped, sealed, burnt and erased from history! And so the screening met its premature end. Although it made its way to Japan, rumours spread that it was a rip-off and it was shelved, thus ending the rumours or whatever speculation there was about the other world.

Episode 11
Matoba praises Shinichi for a fine job in spreading the otaku culture. Keep up the good work. Of course he feels good. The government praising an otaku. Rare, no? Although materials from Japan are somewhat arriving lesser and lesser, Shinichi notices a handful of things. One of his students, Edward who has been translating mangas to the local language has been writing his own high quality light novels. Even Elbia’s art has become more manga-like, which is a good thing. Then in class, students fight over manga to read since there are not enough materials. Even outside school, there are some arguing to get to work but the lazy ones want to finish reading their manga. Subsequently, Edward becomes like a zombie trying to translate as much as he can. Those bags under his eyes… Shinichi complains to Matoba about this and hopes he could speed up the materials. However Matoba notes the plan is going well. Have you guessed it? The locals are so addicted to otaku culture. They can’t live without it. It’s part of their daily life. This is what they’ve been aiming for. They were trying to invade this world. Because they cannot use military might or economics, they invaded via culture. Therefore Shinichi is an invader (those similar words of Alessio ring in his head). As many of the commoners of Eldant are illiterate, it would be more feasible to have them learn Japanese and make them read only Japanese works, shifting their values in the process. Once that is done, all the government needs to do is limit the materials. Yes. Otaku culture is a very efficient invasion weapon. Thanks to that, it has become an accepted part of life. However he warns Shinichi that he missed the important point. As this is a national secret, those who opposed will be disposed of. Come to think of it, why do you think a useless person like him got involved in a big secret project? That’s because he will be easy to dispose of if things go awry. Who’d really know and care for a shut-in, right? It’s all what they have wanted and what they get. Later, Minori further explains the government’s plan to invade due to rare metals and resources. Cultural invasion was used since this world’s entertainment is under developed. The effect was swift and infectious. Like an outbreak. Shinichi still reeling from being used wonders what happens if he wants to quit. She warns he knows better that even in mangas, those who quit well know that they will never truly be let go of.

During tea with Petralka, she is praising the goodness of the otaku culture as it has lifted her people’s moods, increases one’s insight, etc… But Shinichi cannot stand all that praising anymore and slams the table. So he becomes a shut-in once more, with a heavy guilt conscience refusing to go out and spread the otaku culture. Matoba reminds him that his higher ups want results and to continue spreading the otaku culture like he always does. Or else they’ll find a replacement. That night, Shinichi sees Myusel making plates of food for him as encouragement. He asks her if he should be in this country as he feels like an invader. Myusel doesn’t understand all that. What she knows is that he is a kind person. Whatever he does, he will still be her master. Ever since he came, she learnt to read, write, enjoy manga and anime, talk with the supreme ruler and even play football with her. Then in tears she pleads to him not to leave them and wants him to stay by their side. Shinichi thanks her for opening his eyes. It was the much needed speech he needed. So the next day he goes to see Petralka and suggests a way to spread the otaku culture even further. Eldant should make their own products! If they do so, they don’t have to rely on Japan anymore and can enjoy it as much as they want. He shows proof of Edward and Elbia’s high quality light novel and art respectively. Matoba warns him not to step out of line but he disagrees. He didn’t do anything. All he did was gave them an idea and it’s up to Eldant to decide. Petralka likes it a lot and approves! The entire hall applauses! But it’s not so good for Matoba. Because when this dude opens his squint eyes… He looks scary!

Episode 12
A couple of stealth SDF guys enter Shinichi’s manor and try to take him out. However they were ambushed by maids who are also elite guards of Petralka. The gang has expected that the Japanese government would try and attempt to take Shinichi’s life. So Matoba is made to explain but like the politician he is, he claims there are radicals within the group and investigation is being carried out so that this will never happen again. Blah, blah, blah. Of course everyone knows this isn’t over by the long shot. They know Shinichi is still a threat but will not try anything so bold next time because Petralka will sever ties. And so many peaceful days followed. Those elite maids follow wherever Shinichi goes. Even to bed. I wonder how he can sleep with all of them standing and watching him. No privacy. So peaceful that eventually they left. Then one day, a sudden attack leaves a huge hole in the castle’s wall. The flag of Bahailm is seen among the ruins. The school is also attacked but Shinichi makes a dash there to save a very rare anime magazine that is already out of print. Minori is about to enter Matoba’s quarters when he hears him communicating with the higher ups in some nefarious plan. When Shinichi reaches the school’s library, he is relieved that the rare magazine is still fine although the entire place is starting to burn up. However a couple of SDF guys were waiting for him and knock him out with the chloroform. Then they lay him on the ground to let him die. Shinichi’s servants have been chasing him. Bluk breaks the school wall for Myusel and Elbia to enter. Lizard dude has to wait outside since his skin is sensitive to fire. Elbia uses her animal instincts to fight the SDF guys retaliating with guns and taser. She might have been done in if not for Minori arriving in time to help out. Myusel reaches Shinichi and tries to wake him up. A cupboard is about to fall on them but she uses her magic to hold it back up. As usual, she’s being tearful about wanting to be with him everywhere. That includes heaven. Her magic is depleting and before they can succumb to the flames, Elbia and Minori dash in to save them. Elbia uses her new move she learnt from the manga to make a big hole in the wall. Everyone jumps and Bluk catches them from below. Shinichi wakes up outside. The school is burnt to the crisp. There goes his precious magazine. But he can’t be worried about that now. Because Matoba mentions they are truly finished this time. If Eldant learns of this, they will surely cut off all ties. Shinichi isn’t about to give up yet and wants to speak to his superior.

In Matoba’s quarters equipped with full internet and video camera, Shinichi begins his tele-conferencing with the superior who has expedited his immediate and ‘peaceful’ return to Japan for rehabilitation. Of course Shinichi knows it is a trap because along the way, there will be an ‘accident’. The superior threatens that he can eliminate him anytime and warns not to overstep his bounds. Shinichi smiles. Because he had a transmitter transmitting every word he said back to the princess. He doesn’t believe at first because she is fluent in Japanese but Matoba notes he ‘forgot’ to put it in his report that Petralka is indeed fluent in their language. Then the real princess shows up and the superior changes his tune with his shaky greeting and trying to kiss up to her. Now that she is in the driver’s seat, she warns that if any of such atrocity happens again, she’ll kick them out of her kingdom on the spot. The superior praises Shinichi for his marvellous work and changes his mind not to bring him back to Japan. In the aftermath, the school is being rebuilt. Myusel wonders if Shinichi was ready with Petralka’s plan. Honestly he was scared but eventually he did it because of love. His love for manga and anime. He couldn’t forgive his government for misusing them. Sorry Myusel. He wasn’t talking about you. Disappointed? But there’s still hope because Shinichi is about to confess the most important thing to Myusel when Elbia calls him as the palace summoned him. Disappointed? He sees Matoba who has just returned from Japan to report what happened. Their decision is that they view Shinichi’s actions still have a large profit potential for Japan so for the moment he is safe going about in his business. But there is no telling when the war-minded Prime Minister may change his mind. Though Shinichi can refuse, but then his budget will disappear and he may not be able to bring in his otaku stocks. Call it the basic political stunt of tightening the budget. As for why Matoba didn’t report Petralka’s Japanese proficiency, Shinichi observed that he needed something to protect himself rather than going down with the ship. Having an audience with Petralka, Shinichi thinks that her casual talk with him is to show how close they are and serves as a warning to Matoba that if he tries anything funny, she’ll be really mad. So Shinichi plays along and talks friendly with her. She gets embarrassed when he calls her first name. Maybe Shinichi was thinking too much. Once the school is rebuilt, his students return and he continues his teaching. All hail Japan’s anime and manga!

Otaku Outbreak!
Hmm… I can’t help feel the ending was somewhat a little rushed. As expectedly, it ended all good and well for our protagonists so there is nothing to complain about. Imagine had ties been really cut off, it would mean a loss to everybody. The Japanese government would get to continue with their ‘invasion’ because they’ll be kicked out entirely although I am very sure that they are still interested in invading but for the time being just need to lay low. Very low. Everyone in Eldant has gotten so close with Shinichi that it would be a big devastation if he is to be thrown back to Japan never to return. Couldn’t they just make him an exception, grant him asylum and stay here? Ah, maybe this world doesn’t know of such complicated political manoeuvres. So you see, if ties were really severed, all sides lose so now that Petralka has issued her warning, no funny business for the time being. And it’s amazing that the government who has always been perceived as using underhanded dirty political tactics to get what they want, have compromised so much and bent over just for this single otaku kid who is probably not known to no more than the number of fingers on your hands. So they’re really thinking ahead of the future that there are profits and gains to be made in long term relationships. Also, it seems Eldant isn’t ready in making their own otaku products, a reason why Shinichi is staying and relying on limited good brought in. Maybe Eldant just prefers to enjoy them.

Many of the episodes mostly feel like fillers since it is mainly about Shinichi trying to spread the otaku culture the way he knows best and those around him. Threats like the Baydona group and the Japanese government’s trying to rid Shinichi in response to his act of defiance didn’t really feel threatening at all due to the nature of the series. I thought the local terrorist group will return again but I suppose that was not meant to be since I figure that the otaku culture has been widely accepted so there is no reason for them to fight back. Wouldn’t there be a very small and handful of people against it? My guess is not likely since this is another world we’re talking about. If dwarves and elves can be smitten by this culture, what are the chances for humans?

However the character development also isn’t really much or not fleshed out properly. The only thing that really developed was their love for the otaku culture. You can feel that there is a bond formed between Shinichi and Myusel but as things played out, the final impact wasn’t there. Mainly because I think their past is not very well explored or mentioned. Like for instance, Elbia was taken into part of Shinichi’s household but she feels more like a ‘family pet’ and nothing much about her background if she is truly a Bahailm spy or just a wandering artist. Even that episode focusing on her (if I could call it that) felt like a filler. I’m sure Bluk the lizard guy has his own past too but he’s just hanging around… Petralka’s past was mentioned too but the way she acts about shows that she has gotten over it or just that there are too many important things to do than to dwell on the past. So it’s like we don’t need to worry if she snaps from stress or her trauma (if there is ever one) resurfacing. I mean, their parents killed each other. Surely that would hit hard especially when you’re a kid. For some like Elbia and Edward, they have the skills for what it takes to be a manga artist or light novelist. However their future about isn’t really clear so we don’t know where they are heading. Thus considering these little factors, the character development seems a lot under-developed and much to be desired.

The main characters may be typical but their unique and sometimes quirky personalities make them memorable. So we can say that Shinichi despite being an otaku still cares a lot for others. In a way he isn’t the extreme kind since he is willing to impart his otaku knowledge to others who are willing to learn. I just wonder how far his otaku lessons will take because I’m sure a guy of his calibre knows about some hentai stuffs. Too high level? Well, the way I see it, the things he teaches are already high level. Heck, everything otaku is high level! I am predicting that one day, one of his students will ask, “Sensei, when can we start learning about hentai?”. Shinichi: “Oh my God, where did you learn such a thing?!”. Student: “From manga and anime”. Duh… Myusel who was once a fearful maid has opened up a lot and found new solace in this otaku culture and especially Shinichi himself. Then there’s Petralka who could be easily passed off as a bratty loli but after that incident in which Myusel protected her with her life, she doesn’t discriminate her anymore. It’s like they’ve become best friends but short of spending lots of time together. Minori’s fujoshi’s fetish makes her stand out the most, otherwise she would have been another bland character. Just like everybody else that hangs around Shinichi, they somewhat become fond on him.

The romance and harem may not be even to close to the basic stuff and it’s like the females that gather around him are supposedly what a typical stereotype harem should have. Look what he has now. The maid, the bratty princess, the beast girl and the military lady. They even fit into the other range such as bespectacled and they’ve got bust size ranging from A to F. So what else is missing from his list? I’m sure you can think of many. Because this is the medieval setting, sorry for those who think miko priestess should be on the list. The romance development highly hints at Shinichi x Myusel. Initially I thought it was going to be Myusel vs Petralka all the way when the princess got the ball rolling with her bratty attitude to try and keep Shinichi for herself. Then after the life threatening incident, she doesn’t bother too much about it anymore. Myusel on the other hand, her feelings keep growing to the point if Shinichi is found involved in suspicious activities with another women, she might just snap and become yandere! In a worst case scenario, hell even Galius may harbour some feelings for Shinichi! Now that’s a wide range of harem he’s got there. See how otaku has changed this dude? Thanks Minori, for turning this guy into some BL stuff. I was hoping somewhere Shinichi would bump into his childhood friend and make the harem more interesting… Guess not.

The government is once again painted as the bad guy. I guess in the view of many ordinary people, people at the top holding so much power are usually corrupted and filled with lies. I guess it is only human nature that we would love taking advantage of the weak and those we think are less civilized. It makes me wonder if this anime is an indirect hit out to their own government since you know, they aren’t very well receptive of this otaku thing. Yeah. Maybe. But who cares anyway. Everybody in the government here has their own agenda. Even if Matoba feels like a double agent, he wouldn’t be a wise politician if he has not have a backup plan to save his own ass when things go awry. I’m not sure if Matoba like Minori has come to like Shinichi after being with him for so long. He may be just saying it because of his position or his ulterior motive. There is a tone of suspicion when he says or assures things. It’s like the way he says it, it’s so fake and can’t be trusted. But then again, if he really wanted Shinichi to take the fall, he wouldn’t have even given him a chance to speak to his superior and come up with even the lamest excuse. In the end if you think about it, it’s probably just to cover his own ass.

Using otaku culture as a concept for invasion sounds quite interesting because you change the mind set of the people. Though, this is hardly anything new because in history, we have conquerors in the past trying to use such concepts (others and not otaku, mind you) in their bid to invade and gain control. Like how the west once had this White Man’s Burden trying to spread Christianity to the native locals of the Americas. Then there was this Opium War in China whereby the British used drugs to weaken the locals and make them addicted so they couldn’t fight back. It is great that the people of Eldant now have something new that they can be passionate about. However like everything in life, too much of something is always bad. The otaku culture indeed has entertaining values but when things are taken to the extreme, it becomes detrimental. Instead of becoming a medicine that brings pleasure to the soul, it becomes an addictive drug.

Subtly, I think this anime was trying to highlight the mistreatment of several classes by superior ones. It’s the same anywhere in the universe. As long as there are differences between races and ethnic tribes, there is bound to be discrimination. Just like how we know the general perception of otakus, right? But that will all be changing soon… I hope. However along the way, suddenly you realize that there is no much such issue in Eldant anymore! When you think back about it, it’s like as though it has become a distant memory. Was the spread of the otaku culture so good that everyone really put aside their differences and work for the better? There were a handful of scenes that may suggest some idiot who doesn’t want the different races to get friendly altogether to cook up some sort of rebellion. Like that football match, the friendliness between Petralka and Myusel had everything watching in awe. That kind of scene makes cynics like me think too far ahead that some will not accept such unison between different races. But then, nothing happened. Like as though everyone was just watching in awe and accepted it. Well it is good that such problems are done away with but of course this will give rise to otaku problems. You’d want to spend more of your time on otaku stuffs instead of doing real work. I know there is a time and place for everything but tell that to an otaku. Every time is otaku time! I know. I understand what it’s like. Because am like that too ;p.

The funny bits are thanks to the otaku part and seeing Shinichi making his otaku references or how the people of Eldant react to their newfound entertainment. Shinichi seems to have a wide range of fetishes like for instance he doesn’t mind if it’s small or big boobs, as long as there is a pair, he’s happy to get excited. Like they say, variety is the spice of life. Since he’s a straight guy, anything yaoi or gay would just turn him off. Oddly enough, there is a lack of fanservice and if not, there isn’t any. The swimsuit episode is nothing to shout about. Speaking about the art and drawing department, it seems pretty okay and decent. Typical conventional Japanese anime with lots of cute and moe girls especially if you like elven maid girls and the supreme ruler herself looks like a cute loli. The medieval setting makes the fantasy setting looks good and if Shinichi would have his way and make another movie, he could have made a rip-off anime version of The Lord Of The Rings. On a side note, because the dwarf race does not grow and age properly like other races, it will be odd at first to see moustachioed and beardy stubby dwarf males in Shinichi’s class. That’s why there is always the screen indicator to tell us that those old looking dwarves are only 10 years old! Yeah. They may have come out of the womb with full facial hair. On the other hand, dwarf females remain looking like a loli for the rest of their life. So you can say they are the ultimate embodiment for those with loli complex. Legal loli? If there is ever such ruling in Eldant.

Of course when an anime is filled with otaku themes, you cannot lose the opportunity of putting in lots of parodies and spoofs into it. There are tons of them for you to spot especially if you’re an otaku. Surprisingly I can spot lots of them! Does this mean I am already an expert? However obviously the names of those animes, mangas and games are changed to avoid copyright infringement and lawsuits but they ‘rhyme’ or spelt closely enough to know that they are that particular anime. Reading just want to make you laugh after you’ve spot them. Like Attack On Iron Giant. Or how about S.C. (San Japo) II? Couldn’t resist cracking up on that one. Then there are those which I feel are exact copies of certain anime posters or characters but they just changed the tone and colour of it. Like as though someone just simply filled in the colours without giving much thought how odd it will look like if you compare it to the original. For example, Saber’s hair has been turned purple… Was Hatsune Miku’s hair red in colour? Odd, right? And that poster of Hataraku Maou-sama, everybody is spotting different hair and uniform colour.

The mid-intermission is an interesting and amusing section. It shows a particular character’s favourite anime and their favourite character. Of course they are parodies of real anime and I believe that the characters are too. So you know about Pencil Shin-chan? No crayon… Just pencil… Inazuma Twelve? What team game requires 12 people? I guess with each episode showcasing 2 characters on this, I figure there aren’t enough main or supporting characters so in one episode they even show the favourite anime and character of an SDF guy and an Eldant soldier! Are they referring this to just a particular person or the entire troop in particular? If the latter is true, then it feels like the entire troop is like clones, no? Then there is one on Bluk’s wife too which we never see her appearing at all in this anime but only mentioned by name. Some like Shinichi, Myusel, Petralka and Minori have the honour of having appearing twice. Though I noticed some of them their favourite anime and character changed. Well, I supposed it is okay to have more than one favourite. They didn’t say it was the most favourite anyway.

Another amusing segment is the next episode preview. Each time it starts off with Bluk trying to start playing his video game. It showcases the typical myth that gamers of yesteryears used to do with their cartridges when their game is not loading. Well, you have to be this old (like I am) to remember what video game cartridges look like. Anyway the big ol’ myth is that when your game isn’t working after inserting it in the console, you usually have to blow into them to blow away the dust or whatever. This is what Bluk does (the name on the video game is the next episode’s title). But of course that is never true and it only worsens the situation as your breathe contains saliva and whatever germs that would spoil to circuit board. Instead of the video game on screen, we get a glimpse of the next episode preview, which itself is pretty amusing to hear since the characters sometimes break the fourth wall or just talk nonsense. Like how the penultimate episode, our characters want to fight fate and make viewers enjoy this anime so much that they want to see this anime again (possibly of making more future episodes) and thus a reason they can see each other again.

In the voice acting department, all of the seiyuus are unknowns with the exception of Keiji Fujiwara as Matoba (Sven in Black Cat) and Shinichiro Miki as Galius (Urahara in Bleach). They are Natsuki Hanae as Shinichi (Wien in Tari Tari), Suzuko Mimori as Myusel (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Mai Fuchigami as Petralka (Miho in Girls Und Panzer), Maaya Uchida as Minori (Rei in Vividred Operation), Sumire Uesaka as Elbia (Sumire in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Kazuya Ichijou as Zakhar (Hot Eye in Fairy Tail), Kouji Takahashi as Roic (Souichirou in Onee-chan Ga Kita), Mariko Honda as Romilda (Kurimu in Seitokai No Ichizon) and Rikako Yamaguchi as Edward (Charles in Freezing Vibration). The opening theme is Yuniba Page by Suzuko Mimori while the ending song is Watashi No Housekibako by Mai Fuchigami. But the most amusing piece of music has got to be this background music. If you can call it that. During a few comical scenes, you can hear this song or rather somebody humming this: “Da, da da da da. Da da da da~”. It enhances the comedy effect that it makes you want to laugh upon hearing this. And it probably makes you want to ‘sing’ along too.

Yes, I would definitely love to take up this job. I’d love to have my own maid(s). However my otaku level is not so (frighteningly) high so I guess I don’t even qualify. For now it’s just me enjoying the anime stuffs that I can get. They should make more otaku shows like this one because overall, Outbreak Company was quite enjoyable although it may not be to those who are not otaku inclined. It might not be perfect but most (if not all) otakus are not perfect. I need more animes! More animes now! Looks like I’ve fallen into this never-ending spiral and can never get out. Do I sound like I’m complaining? People can think whatever they want of me as an otaku but that’s their business. So please let me do mine. Otaku culture isn’t a disease. It’s a way of life!

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

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

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

Specials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2 OVA

January 24, 2014

Nobody subbed the extra episode so I also have forgotten that there was actually one. So when Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2 OVA came out (with subs of course), I was in a daze for a while as to wonder whether this series had an OVA to begin with. Instead of pondering and cracking my brains or even do some internet research, I decided to go see this since I have watched both seasons of this anime and it would be a great disservice if I were not to watch the OVA. Who came up with that silly rule anyway?! Oh, it’s me. As usual, this OVA is one of those without any plot. Oh wait. This series never had a plot to begin with. But it is Valentine’s Day and you know what this means. This OVA at least deviates from the usual TV series where the student council sat around in their mindless chatter and shows them trying to do something by giving their chocolates to Sugisaki. Wait a minute. Girls want to give Sugisaki their Valentine chocolates? Am I dreaming?

The Giving Student Council
We see all the student council girls eagerly awaiting the big day to give their chocolates to the sole guy in the student council. And that guy is happy just about thinking about it that he couldn’t do his part time job properly. The line is building up, buddy. And now that day is here. Sugisaki walks into the gates only to be greeted by Chizuru who is talking and acting like a robot. That nervous, eh? This guy is dense not to understand but Chizuru is taking too long so much so some car drifts close to Sugisaki. It is Elise and she is here to give her chocolates. Wow. The girls can learn a thing or two about honesty from her. Now that Sugisaki is happy, he must take responsibility for accepting her chocolates. He cannot sleep with other girls. Gosh. Now the chocolates seem heavy. Lilicia too gives her chocolates but quickly take pictures of him as proof of bribery! Are chocolates considered as bribes? Lilicia explains the chocolate is crafted by the most specialized chocolatier in the world and costs hundreds of thousands. Now this chocolate feels heavy too. Sugisaki realizes he was talking to Chizuru but I guess she already walked away. Big disappointment. Now she is in foul mood. Kurimu is relishing all the chocolates she got from the girls. The happy atmosphere is ruined when Chizuru walks in. There’s this deadly aura. She calls this Valentine’s Day to be a bloody day of massacre! Not good…

Meanwhile Minatsu is receiving lots of chocolates from her juniors. Sugisaki happened to see that and teases her. In her haste, she picked the wrong chocolate (not hers but her junior) to give it to him and realizes too late. Sugisaki deems this an insult and feels disappointed. Meguru cuts in and wants to talk to him in private. She too gives him her chocolate and summons her courage to say that she is only giving chocolates to him and not everyone. Too bad Sugisaki is too dumb to understand what she means. He thinks she is poor to afford more! He is then distracted by other girls who want to give their obligation chocolates to him. He’s a happy girl but Meguru is left ruing his dumbness. And man, Sugisaki is sure a popular guy because more girls pop up to give him their chocolates. Thanks for doing his job in the student council? Since when did that body do something useful for students? Mafuyu watches them and is not thrilled. As she approaches him, Sugisaki receives a call from his sister Ringo. Looks like she has learnt some new words from Asuka. She’s calling her brother Eternally Wet Dreaming Virgin Onii-chan. Upon learning her chocolates are handmade, Sugisaki feels traumatic. Yeah. Last year, he almost died. Don’t worry. Ringo has improved a lot this year. The most is that you’ll faint. Oh sh*t! As Sugisaki gets more chocolates (how popular is he?!), he bumps into Minase. She still hasn’t lose touch of her sarcasm as she mentions Sugisaki just got out of prison and got gifts for his parole. She also hands him her chocolates. Why does it feel so light? Because she has eaten them! Only 1 left. But Sugisaki is happy and thanks her nevertheless. Hoping to see some sort of emotion or reaction from her? Nope. With that no expression face, she even quips those were his last words. So he’s going to die?

Chizuru is now like a tsundere. Wondering how she will give his chocolates to Sugisaki when that guy pops up. Robot mode again. I think she’s entering meltdown. Before he could run away, she lassos him. Next thing he knows, he is tied up S&M style in the science room. He fears Chizuru is going to kill him or something and starts apologizing like hell. Then Chizuru passes her chocolates. But he can’t be happy as he could see her killing aura surfacing. Scary. But since he ekes out how happy he is, Chizuru starts flustering and becomes the happiest woman in the world. Yeah, she leaves and left him tied up. Happy bloody Valentine’s Day. Minatsu happens to pass by and hears his cry. She thought she was imagining things. You’re not. After letting him down, she sums up her courage to give her chocolates. No screwing up this time. This is truly hers. She also panics which causes him to panic because she isn’t like the Minatsu she knows. Tough girl acting also so blushing? Besides, didn’t she just admit she likes him? Can’t blame him if he doesn’t know how to respond. Outside, Sugisaki comes into Mafuyu and she too hands her chocolates. At first he is suspicious because it is handmade and Mafuyu isn’t good at cooking either. So as not to disappoint her, he mentions how happy he is. He opens it and finds lovely pink hearts. Wow. Not bad. Well, it was either that mould or a life size Nakameguro chocolate for him! I think he’ll stick to this one. He takes a bite and since it tastes good, Mafuyu leaves with a happy feeling.

Kurimu is waiting for her pals to enter the student council room so she bides her time by eating some of the chocolates. She is surprised when Sugisaki walks in. She didn’t waste any time in giving Sugisaki her chocolate. He becomes the happiest guy in the world to receive chocolates from the president although she says she only did it because he pestered her all week. Accepted wholeheartedly! She tries to find the right word to say it is obligation chocolate but messes up. This has Sugisaki wondering if it is chocolates to begin with. But he is grateful after learning this is Kurimu’s first time in giving chocolates to a boy. It’s like they both wanted to say something but were interrupted when the other girls enter. So you think Sugisaki is going to live happily ever after? Well, consider Valentine’s Day chocolates as a debt he must repay with his life. Because there is White Day to consider! Oh no. For Chizuru she wants a condominium, for Minatsu a boxing sparring partner, for Mafuyu a video of him with Nakameguro making out their twisted love and it’s the top 100 pastries for Kurimu! Can he accomplish all that? Impossible! Yeah. The girls are just joking. Or not. He promises he will get them something full of love in return. He’d better.

It’s Tough Being Popular…
Well, it was fun seeing this OVA. Even fun and mind boggling to see Sugisaki being swamped with girls who really want to give this guy their chocolates. I don’t remember he was such a loser but I don’t remember him being this popular. It suddenly makes me feel like a loser! How did this perverted guy suddenly have girls giving him chocolates? I never got one in my life! Because I don’t live in Japan, I suppose. I guess he really worked his way up, huh? Also, he wasn’t that perverted here so it makes me wonder if he has really changed. Maybe not. Just for this day with all the girls acting so strange, he perhaps didn’t want to push it by taking out his perversion. Or else, he might not get a single chocolate. While this proves that the student council girls love Sugisaki in their own, they still love teasing him because he’s such a fun guy to be teased. They love watching his reactions, huh?

Even girls who aren’t part of the student council love him. Elise and Lilicia for instance. Though Elise is straightforward (and dangerous in that sense), Lilicia like a tsundere despite threatening with all the scoops and scandal, you can feel that her actions are because she likes him. Though I doubt she’ll ever admit it. Even with Meguru in the picture despite another cameo one, it shows that indeed this girl really likes him. I also believe that Minase also likes this guy. Just that she doesn’t show it very obviously. Otherwise why bother talking to him, right? Despite all the insults and verbal abuses, in a way that’s like her version of love to him, no? Or maybe she’s just toying around. Looks like the only girl who didn’t get to give Sugisaki her chocolates or even show her nose in this OVA is Magiru! I have a feeling she doesn’t give a damn about anything. Even if there are those who are willing to give their chocolates, she’d just eat them without any appreciation. Oh I almost forgot. Another girl that didn’t show up is Asuka. I assume it will be as lively and chaotic if she did hand over her chocolates. If I remember, Sugisaki did reject her to be his girlfriend and aimed for a harem to make everyone happy. But still it doesn’t hurt to give her chocolates, right?

And so now that the happy part is over, there comes the burdensome part in White Day. But that will be another story. Yeah, it’s going to be real tough for him to fulfil it. But I believe that this guy can do it because he is sincere and wont’ go back on his words. Just a little perverted at times. Whether Sugisaki or everyone knows it, he has already amassed his own harem so in that sense, it is not a bad achievement. The tough part is maintaining it and for them to go on this way as long as possible. Because you know, nothing really lasts forever. Not even the chocolates you received on Valentine’s Day because they have an expiry date. So eat them while they’re still edible instead of keeping them as souvenirs, okay? The best love is through the stomach instead of something kept for visual appreciation in your drawer. Oh wait. Isn’t that the way to a man’s heart?

Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2

April 20, 2013

I suppose some people just love the mindless chatter that goes nowhere. So much so Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2 came out as a sequel. Oh yes. If you remember the group of student council students who spend their time talking and chatting about everything and gets nothing done at the end of the day. Yeah. Student councils are supposed to be useful helping other students with their problems at school but this one just waste their time discussing about things that don’t really matter. That’s why we like them. Hehehe… What else to expect from this sequel? Well, don’t get your hopes up if there is a sudden change in direction that will shock you. No sudden appearance of a mysterious evil character that is hell bent on destroying the world. Don’t expect any mushy-mushy dramatic love story setting. Nor would the group go around the world solving mysteries and unlocking the deep ancient secrets in their adventure. Still the same ol’ student council quintet in the student council room conversing. Sometimes you don’t need slapstick comedy or action thrills and spills to be entertained. Just look how these guys are doing. You may learn a thing or two from it all. Or not.

Episode 0
This is an episode dedicated to Sugisaki’s memories. You could say a flashback episode that tells how he ended up in the student council. It all started when he took up somebody’s advice to play a dating simulation game. He meets the shopkeeper, Runa Minase who is sarcastic and indifferent. Recommend him a best-selling game? Tetris. So it’s his fault for not being specific. Dating games? The kind for sad guys who can’t find girlfriends. You can just feel Sugisaki’s pain in his heart each time Minase says her piercing insults. Which dating game to choose? Reality is the best. Oh, you got to love this girl. Even if she did recommend some, she gave away the ending too. That’s highlighting the game points, right? Eventually Sugisaki did what he should have done from the beginning: Choose on his own. He goes back and plays the game he bought and becomes fixated with the everyone-is-happy harem ending. He soon changes his ways to become the smart protagonist by being polite to everyone, much to their shock. He also wanted something he can be proud of. Because the student council members have 5 seats, four of which are voted via popularity contest and the last one based on excellent academic results. That is called the Blue Chip Seat. He does his best to study hard and is surprised to see Minase a fellow student in Hekiyou Private High School. Her sarcasms are still top notch. She pours cold water on his ambitions to be top because the top student scores perfect 500 points. It’s her way to warn him to stop wasting his time. How can she be sure? Because she is that top student. Oh sh*t… That didn’t deter Sugisaki and for the mid-terms, although not perfect, it is the best results ever averaging 90 points in every subject. Minase continues to be top of the grade with the perfect 500 points. One day he patrons her game shop again and notes how he seems to be the only customer buying games. She notes there is another girl who does the same. Is that enough to keep the store afloat? He wants to know why a smart girl like her enrolled in Hekiyou. She clears the misunderstanding that she wasn’t smart in the first place. That’s why she is in Hekiyou. Studying hard and getting first place brings her happiness. Sugisaki knows he can’t beat Minase the way he is right now but is determined not to lose to her. Though he doubled his study time, he also finds time to spend with his classmates and play his games every day. But this lifestyle is taking a toll.

One day Minase spots him frolicking with his friends. Sugisaki goes to talk to her to say that spending time with friends is also important. Minase warns him if he wants to stand a chance to beat her, he must spend all his time studying. But he doesn’t want to give up anything just for the Blue Chip Seat. Fine. Have it your way. I guess Sugisaki got desperate so he begs to her to give him that seat. Maybe he just got too close just to see her panties… Sugisaki continues to study hard so much so his classmates, especially girls agree to help him study. Starting today, they’ll tutor him all the way till the finals! The final exams came and go. Sugisaki and Minase are the early ones to catch the teacher putting up the results. As the places roll out, Sugisaki gets worried his name might not be even in the top 10. Not even in fourth, third or second… First place goes to… Minase with perfect 500 points. Sugisaki feels doomed but Minase points out Sugisaki too had scored 500 points! It’s a tie for first place! He is so happy that he doesn’t know what to do. Suggestion: Go to the rooftop and dive to the sky! But he is worried how things will work out since 2 people for the first time in history got first place. Minase says she was never interested in the seat anyway. I guess you know what this means. Yahoo! On the day Sugisaki is standing outside the student council room, nervous trying to think what to say to the girls, Minase passes by with some sarcasm like he is ready to be disgusted by the girls’ scream, be a sex offender or even give up his post. She suggests he do what he did back then by blurting out his goal like an idiot. Girls have nice impressions on people like that. Sugisaki thinks back how Kurimu, Minatsu, Chizuru and Mafuyu had each given him encouragement and support in his time of need. It made him want to become someone who could protect women and the harem route where he could make all the girls in the student council happy. A man who can make many girls happy. He opens the door and blurts out he’ll hang out with everyone and bring them happiness. Back in reality, the girls aren’t too happy to listen to his ‘autobiography’ that lasted the entire episode. Boring, eh? Then they change topic on what to name this new anime season. Lastly, they still pick on Sugisaki to erase his presence since they didn’t get any screen time and that the show won’t really last with just him. So… Where’s the happiness? Keep working on it.

Episode 1
I guess a woman’s grudge runs deep. They want Sugisaki to shut up after talking too much the last time. So to get their much needed attention, they pose their pretty faces for us viewers to see. Kurimu’s “Offence is the best defence” means she wants more assertive action taken since this anime has been animated again. Not to do S&M on Sugisaki or have BL developments. I guess they don’t have any fresh ideas so they allow Sugisaki to talk now. They come up with absurd ideas like giving their characters a new twist with super powers, changing the artwork (mature or cute chibi doesn’t really work either) and changing the story. Sugisaki suggests getting a new heroine but he is bombarded with insults he couldn’t even win over the existing ones. Does he even need a heroine? Such heartbreak… He then suggests everyone to go dere but Mafuyu seems to be the violent dere type. He gets punched whenever he tries to touch her. He begs for permission to touch her and when she does, she allows him to massage… Her shoulders. Feeling used? Mafuyu suggests a change in direction for the story since this show has no room for anything new. No. BL doesn’t count… Sugisaki suggests for them to have girls talk. But they couldn’t just find a decent topic to talk or deviate to their own fantasies while Sugisaki is frustratingly trying to keep the boat going.

Mafuyu then suggests thinking of ways to attract new viewers since most who are watching this show are probably old fans. Chizuru mentions about explaining the setting by changing the story with a dramatic setting. Like how all this is Sugisaki’s dream and Chizuru is an undefined life form. Mafuyu wants to try out something and that is to reset everyone’s relationship to the point they are strangers. Kurimu tries to be the nice student council president but the girls are just cold and crude to the point it really made Kurimu cry! Poor girl. I guess play time’s over. It’s best everyone stays the same, eh? So it doesn’t matter what viewers think because ultimately this show is about the student council’s mindless chatter. Mafuyu gives an example about the games she plays. Despite clearing levels earns you nothing in real life, people play them with smiles. Whether with meaning or not, there is value in doing random things. Their interactions are the same. That’s why the student council is special despite achieving nothing every day. Kurimu resolves to move them forward since it will be less than months before hers and Chizuru’s graduation and the Shiina sisters will transfer to another school. Where does that leave Sugisaki? Better get his harem fast. On to the next topic, Kurimu contradicts herself that only development can occur through change. Didn’t she want everything to stay the same? Well, she wants to be an adult since she’s graduating soon. The rest suggest studying more, drink more milk, do more push ups… Boy, being an adult is tough. Oh no. She starts crying again. Later she shoves up to bread rolls to beef up her boobs. WTF.

Episode 2
Despite starting the topic about mutual trust, Kurimu wants to know the culprit who ate her cake! She’s adamant that somebody in this room is the culprit. Find the culprit. Or else! I guess this means Sugisaki has to play along and be the detective. So taking her statement, it seems Kurimu is exaggerating it as a murder. Yeah. The cake ‘died’. Narrating the events that led to this, when Kurimu unlocked the door to the room, the cafeteria lady passed her a cake to eat. Kurimu left to get something to drink but when she returned, the other members were in and her cake is nowhere in sight. She is sure that the first person after her is the culprit. She couldn’t believe that person is Chizuru! However she didn’t see any cake on the table. That statement clears her because Kurimu put it on a chair. Why her chair? To hide it so that nobody could steal it. Harhar… Still adamant that Chizuru is the culprit, Mafuyu and Minatsu then each say they were the first ones in the room. Huh? At least they thought they were. When Mafuyu first came, she didn’t see anybody but left for the toilet. Same case with Minatsu and she soon left after remembering to do something. I guess this is getting too much for Kurimu so to be fair, she accuses all 3 girls as guilty! That isn’t fair! Then the real culprit walks in: Magiru! Yeah, she admits eating the cake. Kurimu feels ashamed for accusing them but a new revelation pops up: She only took a bite (so as to have an alibi that she didn’t eat the whole thing). That means the real culprit is still out there! Magiru even makes up a lie to make Sugisaki suspicious. That she gave it to him! All lies! But she knows who the real culprit is because she passed that culprit in the hallway with the cake in hand. As she is about to reveal, suddenly she experiences painful stomach cramps. They rush her to the infirmary where the school nurse Misaki treats her. The gang things with the timing of the ‘poison’, the culprit was one step ahead in silencing them.

Sugisaki returns to the room the retrieve the yakisoba bread evidence that Magiru was munching before her cramps. Suddenly Lilicia and her sister Elise come in. Elise is still all over Sugisaki and is asking ‘innocent’ questions if she has grown, is she cute, is she sexy, does she make him feel lustful… I guess Sugisaki got carried away and said yes to all of them. Lilicia threatens to call the police! The last straw came when Sugisaki accidentally touches Elise’s boobs so Lilicia whacks him hard on the head before taking her sister away. Don’t worry he is still alive. Yeah. Humans can live till 100 as long as they breathe and get sunlight. WTF. The student council girls return to the room and it seems Sugisaki has got amnesia! They think he’s pulling a fast one to cover himself as the culprit but his apology is genuine. Then they get worried this isn’t really the Sugisaki they know. Thinking of a way to jog back his memory, I suppose Mafuyu tries to brainwash him into some BL situation by telling him he was going out with Nakameguro! Sugisaki realizes he is a useless person before and laments it very much. Then they let him read the mangas of this series. Yup. He’s good for nothing. He assures them he will leave his past behind and lead a normal life. The girls are shocked that he is pure! They seem disappointed. Always bullying and taking him for granted, eh? Now they’re sad the real Sugisaki will never come back. Sugisaki apologizes to them for making them feel that way. Meanwhile as Magiru recuperates it is revealed that the real ‘culprit’ is the cafeteria lady. After she passed Kurimu the cake, she realized it was already past its expiry date and returned to take it back. Plus, the yakisoba wasn’t poisoned and Magiru’s cramps are due to over eating. How shameful. As the girls are prepared to accept this new Sugisaki, the idiot spots Magiru confiscated porn magazines, reads them and returns to his normal self. In an instant, all his memories came back! Like it was never there in the first place. I’m sure the anger is building inside the girls because they worried for nothing. Beat down time. It’s great to have things back to normal, eh? Amazingly he didn’t lose his memories from that. And the blame game of who ate Kurimu’s cake continues…

Episode 3
Kurimu wants the gang to do simulations of their future dream jobs for an early advantage. Really? After pinpointing out the otaku Mafuyu is, everybody agrees. Yeah, they’re really singling her out. Minatsu starts off as a florist and Sugisaki as her customer. But she’s selling things at crazy prices and extorting him for money just for a rose! Do florists carry a bazooka?! Don’t ever come back! Next, Mafuyu wants to be Sugisaki’s wife. Are we hearing that right? Yes. So does he want dinner, bath or… Nakameguro in bed firs?! Oh sh*t! Sugisaki must be really regretting this woman because she’s making him do all the chores while she goes off to bed! He gives her the rose but she scolds him that he should’ve used the money to buy games instead. At least now he knows marriage with her won’t end in happiness. His. Chizuru steps up next to be his lover. Seriously? After a terrible florist and a wife who doesn’t get close to him, I guess this is the next best option, right? Yeah. It is human nature to cheat! So… Chizuru has a degree from Tokyo’s Art of Lovers College? They teach that in college? And her cooking turns out to be… Soy sauce. He can’t drink it all, can’t he? In reality, Chizuru really has a flyer on that Tokyo’s Art of Lovers College and thinks it will be handy to play several people. Dangerous woman… Kurimu wants to be a company president but has Sugisaki work like dog. Yeah, she’s a slave driver making him do all the work and paying him peanuts. Just can’t find motivation to play this simulation, eh? Suddenly everything turns sci-fi and the fate of the world, no, universe, space and time depends on Sugisaki and all that he has done that led to this decisive battle! The other girls return them to reality and remind that they’re here to do job simulation and not enjoy sci-fi.

Kurimu also wants to be a detective and tells of several mysteries that seem to make her the victim instead. Like the case of the frozen mandarin orange melted and became a normal one after she left and returned. A trip that had her slept an hour earlier (since her watch was set back an hour earlier – that’s her fault, right?) and a disappearance case which Chizuru quickly points out she was just lost. Kurimu still thinks the culprit is among them but the rest don’t really believe. So much so this made her cry so Chizuru lulls her to sleep. She’s really a kid… Chizuru reveals that she is the real culprit behind all of Kurimu’s mysteries. Like the frozen mandarin orange, she sent Kurimu out for a while to let it defrost so it wouldn’t hurt her finger nails but she went out too long. She was also the one who adjusted her watch an hour earlier because Kurimu was exhausted from the train trip and wanted her to rest. So the culprit was just a kind person? Kurimu talks in her sleep that she will work hard to make their dreams come true since she won’t be around next year. As they leave, they wonder what Sugisaki wanted to be. He wanted to be with all of them but changes his mind to be a company president so he will employ them all. The rest gave excuses why they wouldn’t mind working under him. And Kurimu still wants to be the president even though she dropped that idea. Sugisaki reflects how things will change soon and they won’t be the student council after this. That’s why being a student council member isn’t the most important thing in the world. Lastly, Chizuru reveals the incident she caused Kurimu to be lost was because she wanted to film that adorable look on her face when she comes looking for her while wandering around aimlessly. Pure evil!

Episode 4
Kurimu suggests to conduct surveys on what people want from the student council. For real? The rest feel it’s impossible to fulfil all the requests but Kurimu says they only need to pretend to do so and make it like as though they’re doing something. Schemer! Kurimu mentions about needing to change some of the school rules like for instance to have a secret base in school. A luxurious one. Yeah, she’s still a kid alright. While the rest are suggesting what kind of rules they want changed, then Magiru comes in. All the hype just died down and they decide to go do the survey. Kurimu and Mafuyu argue about Magiru’s uselessness because Kurimu pairs the teacher with her. Must hurt, right? So the gang go around taking surveys. Odd requests aplenty including one who wants to date Kurimu (Chizuru takes that as a death wish for that bastard!). Some don’t even have any because they’re not expecting anything from them (true). Minatsu’s male friend happens to pass by so they chat. Sugisaki got somewhat jealous and heads on first. When Minatsu catches up, it is her turn to be jealous because she sees him being friendly with a group of girls. It irks her to see him smile so friendly. Am I hearing right when one of them said she wants to be his girlfriend?! Minatsu gets mad for him fooling around so the girls thought they shouldn’t be doing this in front of his ‘first one’. Kurimu, Chizuru and Mafuyu return to the student council room. Mafuyu left Magiru behind since she was useless and let all those survey papers fly away. As they go through the list of absurd requests (who wants a Ferris wheel?!), Mafuyu discusses about a rule change to allow comics to be brought to school. Though everyone is doing this, her point is that subjects and exams must also be related to anime to make good future NEETs! Is there a future in that? Because Magiru is screwing up once more with the survey forms, I guess it’s their cue to go rescue her.

Sugisaki and Minatsu continue their survey as Minatsu continues to observe how sociable he has become. Very much different when they first met because then, he asked how he could be like her and she replied if he tried to imitate her, he can forget his chances of being part of the student council. Suddenly her heart feels pain. Sugisaki is worried and brings her back to the student council room. He can even joke by asking questions that made it seem she is pregnant. But he notices her expression 2% tenser than usual. She asks his personality before they met. The same. Just minus the perverted side. He continues about a childhood friend named Asuka and thanks to being with her, his personality turned out this way. Though Minatsu’s chest experiences pain again, she realizes it’s not a sickness and feels better. Sugisaki is worried she may be sick and touches her head for temperature. He realizes his blunder and prepares to face her wrath but to his surprise she is smiling happily. Something isn’t right. Then she hugs him. He’s more scared than happy. Something might be possessing her! She wants to confirm this feeling and prepares to kiss him! But Sugisaki views this as wanting to suck his life force or eat him alive! But he can’t resist it when Minatsu pulls back. She understands these feelings weren’t spur of the moment. Before everyone comes back, she quickly kisses him for real! OMG! Didn’t see that one coming! Sugisaki is still steadfast that Minatsu is possessed and wants everyone to stay away from her. But he notices her warm look in her eyes. Kurimu goes over everyone’s request and the girls all think everyone’s are crap except theirs. They notice Sugisaki had no wish. The fact that perverted is against the rules is what makes them exciting. Things are fine the way they are now. The girls challenge him to make a non-perverted request and if it’s good, they’ll take back their word. And that request soon becomes a new rule: To live life to the fullest. Lastly, Chizuru thinks of changing the rules of bringing pets and insects to school. But she changes her mind because Kurimu and Sugisaki can come to school just fine. Yeah. Kurimu = pet. Sugisaki = insect.

Episode 5
Sugisaki and Kurimu are the only ones in the student council room. Mafuyu and Chizuru are at the store to buy stationery and they took their time because Mafuyu was teaching Chizuru the deeper meaning of the BL world, which is very much opposed to her S&M views. As for Minatsu, she is being pulled away by her friend, Meguru Uchuu who wants to know more about Sugisaki. Seriously? Yes. She’s serious. So much so Meguru hailed a taxi so that Minatsu could talk about Sugisaki over tea. Kurimu ponders what to do with just the two of them in this seemingly large room. I’m sure Sugisaki wants to talk about porn and sex but Kurimu had just activated a noisy distress buzzer. Better keep his mouth shut if he doesn’t want to attract attention of others. Seriously, nobody came into the room to shut them up or wonder what that noise is. I guess they must have thought it’s those student council buffoons at their usual and didn’t think of anything more. Then they take away the big meeting desk and have a face to face talk which seems very unusual. They had a one line marriage interview and Kurimu ends it. Then they play verbal catch ball in which the thrower asks a question and the catcher has to respond to it. I suppose Kurimu doesn’t want to ‘catch’ Sugisaki’s questions of dating him, loving him and marrying him. It’s making her sick. Not till he asks if it’s alright for them to be apart. She couldn’t answer. Eventually she says to hang out with her and the rest forever. Just then, the other girls return (I don’t know how Minatsu miraculously got away) and Sugisaki realizes the student council is only when all 5 of them are together.

Sugisaki searches like mad in his room as he had misplaced the serial number to his favourite porn game. What was he thinking? Sifting through every inch of the house made him question the kind of food he eats and the fashion clothes he wore. Seriously… His worse fears realized when he thinks he might have left it back home. So he has to call his stepsister, Ringo who reluctantly drags herself out of the warmth of her bed and into the storeroom just because she’d do anything for her onii-chan. Yeah. Put more enthusiasm in it. She did find the serial number to the game in the box but doesn’t want to give it to him once she learns it’s for his porn game. Sugisaki tries to persuade his sister not to do anything rash. Hmm… She sounds jealous? She shocks him with words, “Aren’t you satisfied with my body?”. Well, Asuka told her to say that in such situation. It got from bad to worse when stepmother and father are standing behind Ringo, shocked at the you-know-what revelation. He’s a goner. I guess as a little girl, Ringo won’t understand the complicated primitive instincts men need and hence the use of this game. She suggests he can imagine lewd things about her and decides to text him a picture of her lewd self. Here comes the message… NOW! Sugisaki can’t wait to see that lewd picture despite knowing it’s his sister (you know how horny men are). It turns out to be a picture of her lifting her shirt to only reveal her tummy. I guess that’s her definition of lewd. So disappointing that he cries and begs for the serial number. Once he has gotten them, he realizes the game has no porn elements because it is an all-ages version. CRAP!!! Next morning in the student council room, I’m not sure if he’s tired or just sighing in disappointment. The other girls wonder what he and Kurimu were doing alone together yesterday and they had no qualms in telling them about playing catch, the ‘marriage interview’, the confession and pressing the distress buzzer several times. It sends ambiguous signals of what they were doing, eh?

Episode 6
Sugisaki brings Ringo to the student council to observe and participate with them. At first, Ringo couldn’t stop apologizing for the intrusion. Suddenly all the girls bump Sugisaki away and start frolicking with Ringo. Yeah. She’s that cute and so adorable. I think they’re molesting her and ignoring Sugisaki! Are they defiling his sister?! As revealed, their parents have business around the area so Ringo thought she could dropped by and say hello before going home tonight. The closeness of their conversation has the other girls in disgust. They had to apologize for 5 minutes otherwise Kurimu threatens to end the session! Kurimu wanted to punish him but Ringo drops the bombshell to also kill her if she’s going ahead with those overkill fantasy punishments. Sugisaki reveals Ringo doesn’t understand jokes easily so they better be careful with what they say. Sugisaki has Ringo introduced to the other girls. First up is Minatsu. Ringo shows her the middle finger and tells her to go home and suck her mother’s milk! Did I hear this right?! Is she provoking her? Sugisaki initially didn’t want to stop them because he wants to see how cute Ringo could get. Is he a sadist? Sugisaki explains Ringo’s twisted vocabulary and doesn’t mean any harm. What Ringo meant was for Minatsu to drink healthy milk so she could hang out with her energetically. Minatsu calms down and apologizes. So what about calling her chicken now? Is that supposed to be a compliment? Next is Mafuyu. She realizes how their character overlaps but Ringo is much better in some aspects than her. So much so Mafuyu goes off to sit alone in a depressing corner, thinking she is just some character who could be easily replaced when a new heroine appears. Next is Chizuru and she’s trying to corrupt this pure sister’s mind! But when Ringo says Chizuru likes Sugisaki, it sends shockwaves to everyone. Even Chizuru can’t hide her embarrassment! She points out Chizuru should be earnest with her feelings or else she won’t get anywhere. She is about to really confess but the other girls stop her. So she was playing along just to see Sugisaki’s reaction? There she goes again playing the tsun part as pointed out by Ringo. Chizuru wants to shut her up by issuing a cheque to any amount she desires! Can’t handle her, can’t she?

Finally it’s Kurimu who introduces herself as a God. Ringo believes her! Yeah, Kurimu got thanked for creating the world and kneading Mt Fuji. Just going with the flow… Because she is ‘God’, Ringo makes a wish and hopes she can be a couple with her brother. Another round of shockwaves. I guess as God she can make her wish come true, no? Kurimu tries to get out by saying being God is a busy business granting wishes though it is rewarding so Ringo thought she should put becoming God in the future as her second aspiration. Second? What’s her first? To be Sugisaki’s bride! Kurimu wanted to promote her to God now. The girls want Sugisaki to say something about siblings marrying each other is forbidden. Don’t worry, Sugisaki will change to laws to legalise sibling marriage and bigamy! He’s a man with a beautiful (read: perverted) soul who accepts all women. The world is doomed… As it’s about time to leave, at the corridor, Ringo didn’t feel it was so much like a student council though Sugisaki insisted they are his harem and since she was around, they couldn’t flirt like usual. He assures her he is still a virgin who loves to dream. She doesn’t understand what virgin means so he tries to explain it when Magiru happen to walk by. How does the drop out application sound? He had to bribe his way out to treat her BBQ. Then he tries to comfort Ringo who got scared thinking Magiru was the ‘devil’. Lilicia took a snapshot of them and is going to be her best scandal story to bring the student council down. Ringo feels this school is lovely and thanks to them, this place is more amazing by the fact they can talk things openly. She admits she feels jealous when she sees him having fun with the other girls because she wants him to be nice to only her. Seeing Ringo’s smile is worth it all and he would gladly welcome her to come back here and play again (nothing hentai mind you) since his harem is open to all beautiful girls. When he goes back to the room, the other girls are chiding him on discrimination. No, not his love for Ringo. But the BBQ! Oh Magiru just slipped it… They want in too and bug him when the lewd picture of Ringo in his handphone drops out. So mad… So upset… So screwed… Perhaps it’s a good thing he doesn’t remember what has been done to him after that. Yeah. Welcome to reality. This is how difficult it is to maintain a harem.

Episode 7
Sugisaki wants to follow Lilicia around. That includes when she’s bathing and changing clothes! Perverted stalker! It all began when Kurimu notes about supporting characters who are worried about their decreasing screen time. It led to a discussion of supporting characters leading to spin-off animes. The person who fit the bill of appearing in the anime but doesn’t get much attention goes to Lilicia. So that’s how they decide to send Sugisaki to follow her around. Sugisaki seems to be pissing off Lilicia with his remarks of being a loner or a slave driver. The other girls are happy that for once it’s so quiet without Sugisaki (I guess they know they’re not going to lose him like before so it’s okay). Suddenly Lilicia barges in with a different hairstyle and starts acting tsundere (excess usage of “Don’t get the wrong idea” line) followed by the airhead childhood friend who is hot and cold in love and finally exiting as a clumsy girl. I guess this must be very shocking to the girls, eh? Lilicia returns to Sugisaki in her room and his opening comment that her acting was disgusting and didn’t think that all those tropes were incompatible. She blows her top that it was his idea to act like that with a microphone attached to be like the main heroine. Anyway she’s happy that she’s got a scoop on Kurimu and plans to tail her shopping with Mafuyu. Along with Sugisaki in a thick disguise, they observe the duo shopping at the clothes store (Lilicia’s aim is to observe them so she could steal the main heroine’s position).  Mafuyu is shocked to hear the reason she asked her out is because if she sticks closer to her more often, she gets to appear regularly! Is Mafuyu a background character? Kurimu shows the harsh reality of being a main character when the shop assistant points out the kiddie’s section is below. Lilicia thought she could take more pictures but trips. Sugisaki catches her and thinks she is still playing the clumsy girl act. Well, she certainly looked convincing in that.

In the next store, Kurimu shows the S size that she wears doesn’t fit and often baggy. Her explanation about the real S size has Mafuyu blowing her top because that’s just the same as XS, right? She is even more upset that they wasted so much time shopping when she could’ve played more games back home instead. But Kurimu can’t let her leave. Imagine what happens if the store reports a lost ‘child’ and calls Mafuyu’s name? Don’t want that, doesn’t she? Lilicia is happy to see the duo bickering and will thus report the student council’s breaking down but Sugisaki points out she seems like a sneaky villain instead. They have to hide when Kurimu and Mafuyu are heading their way. They had to hide under the close so Sugisaki ends up in an ambiguous position atop her. How did she mess this up? Mafuyu is not happy they’re just buying t-shirts but when she learns they’re buying the same pair, she finally understands. Remember, Mafuyu is leaving school soon. Mafuyu appreciates this since they’ve never hang out like this together. Kurimu wants to lend her money so it’s a promise that they’ll still see each other again. The duo make up but Lilicia is still bent on twisting the truth and write on the discord for entertainment. Sugisaki suggests she write a touching story but she disagrees because the promise will no longer be between them if the public accepts it. Sugisaki is shocked but gets to quip he couldn’t say anything for fear he might confess to her. She accuses him of always treating others like side characters but he disagrees because there is no way he will treat a special and strong willed girl as one. He asks her plans after graduation and she drops the bombshell she is getting married. To increase the family’s prestige of course. He walks her home and before he leaves, he says despite marriage is for her family’s sake and has no right to interfere, but if she starts crying over it, he’ll do all he can to stop it. I don’t know if he’s serious or not because he just says he was just joking. For a moment there I think Lilicia’s heart just stopped. Elise greets her sister and thinks she’s gotten closer to Sugisaki. Otherwise, why would she lie about the marriage? Technically she didn’t since she just refused and just wanted to make him worry. Both sisters learn that Sugisaki is an unpredictable person. But next day, the student council girls are hot under their collar because the front page local newspaper has a picture and article of Sugisaki happily stalking his loli president during shopping! She really got him this time, eh?

Episode 8
The student council girls get a distressing call from Ringo that Sugisaki has been taken away… By Asuka! To the hotspring! No joke! This is serious! So I guess our worried girls have this idea to go take him back. Meanwhile Sugisaki is not pleased that Asuka has registered them as newlyweds. It’s better than being caught as high school students staying together, right? Asuka seems to love frolicking around with Sugisaki and he is trying hard to not get into her flow. But I guess he can’t resist it when she mentions about the open mixed bath. Let’s go! The other girls have arrived but they got distracted by the snowy scenery and the souvenir shop before dipping the indoor bath (because outside looks cold). Sugisaki is dipping in the hotspring outside and to his dismay Asuka lied about the open mixed bath. There’s a wall separating both genders. He wanted to leave but there is something she wants to tell him. He can’t make his own harem since he can’t handle two-timing as he’s the type that treats others’ happiness as his own. But he says that’s being a harem head and making lots of girls happy makes him happy. So what if Asuka confesses she loves him now? Can he only look at her? Otherwise she won’t find happiness. Sugisaki remembers the same thing that happened 2 years ago. He treasured both Asuka and Ringo but was unable to choose either. He ended up hurting both. So right now is the time to decide on that. He rejects Asuka and though she is surprised, she passes him. She wants to know how he arrived at his answer. He realized his way of bringing happiness to everyone he loves isn’t out of sincerity but egoism. Spending time with everyone in the student council made him realized that. The things that they do were happiness itself. He’ll continue to make his harem and bring happiness to everyone and though he may end up hurting some, he’ll try to bring even more happiness in his own way to make up for that. He admits he is a player but that is who he is. Asuka wants to meet the people who made Sugisaki think this way.

Kurimu and the rest couldn’t find Sugisaki at the end of the day and are about to leave when they run into him and Asuka. Despite their words, you can totally see from their body reaction it’s the opposite that they’re worried about him. So Sugisaki introduces everyone and the cat fight is about to begin. Asuka draws first blood by wondering how her husband’s lovers look like and is relieved she is the prettier one. She makes up more lies that she’s no longer the ex-girlfriend but the current one as they’ve made up and making out in the open mixed bath. She ‘defeats’ the girls by piercing their hearts with true-in-your-face statements. Like for Minatsu, Sugisaki’s openness means he only opens his heart to her and that childhood friend’s rank higher than classmates. Mafuyu is next when she is labelled an overlapping character full of flows followed by Kurimu who is an unpopular spoilt president that only likes like a main character. Even Chizuru couldn’t stand up to her and falls to her defeat with words that she is the only one who didn’t get a dedicated episode and is just like some supporting character! Asuka thought the battle is over when all the girls revive and want Asuka to tell them more stories about Sugisaki. The girls had never thought that argument was a fight and was just chatting. Asuka realizes these are the people Sugisaki spent over a year with and admits her defeat. Sugisaki feels lucky that he is part of the student council. On the way back, Sugisaki clears up the misunderstanding with Ringo and suspects Asuka for once more teaching weird words to her.

Episode 9
Because tomorrow is the graduating ceremony, the student council members think of what to leave behind for their future counterparts. Mafuyu’s BL books? Sugisaki’s ero games? Why the heck does Kurimu want a real bear, lion or tiger?! Then Magiru comes in and lazily suggests to just leave what the previous student council left for them. They got nothing, right? Plus, this is Kurimu’s idea. So is she going to start some legacy? As everyone is still pondering, Magiru just tells them to leave behind next year’s lunch money for her. She’s a terrible person, isn’t she? Mafuyu suggests that rather of handing down what they want, why not find out what the next student council would like to receive. Kurimu thinks handing down the mangas of this series would be a way for the future ones to inherit their thoughts and feelings. With this topic done, she moves on to the next. Well, it isn’t so much a topic of discussion because everybody starts spring cleaning. Sugisaki realizes the broken clock and thinks of buying a new one. The rest agree to buy stuffs to replenish or to fix up the place. However at the store they got carried away with their fantasies. Who does Chizuru want to torture with that tool? Why does Kurimu need a bathtub?! Sugisaki bumps into Minase at the store and she thinks he has been ‘promoted’ to a porn game association! She asks was it worth working hard to enter the student council and he didn’t hesitate to say yes. She adds he should be saying this to them instead of her. She signs off by wanting him to give his regards to the prison guards. She’s expecting him to land in prison next year?! The gang then take a break at the family restaurant. The girls think of ordering fancy stuffs from the menu and have Sugisaki pay. Then Elise pops up because this is one of her father’s chain restaurants. With her around means… Yup. Lilicia too. She wants to have a long interview for her final newspaper. Elise has lots of questions to ask. Including their physical relationship with Sugisaki. The biggest scandal scoop of the year! If Lilicia ever publishes those lies. When they return back to the student council room, they see Asuka and Ringo waiting for them. Looks like they’re here to say goodbye too. Asuka still hasn’t lost her teasing touch and Ringo is still terrible with her vocabulary. I hope she’s not insulting.

Sugisaki is surprised that Kurimu decides to continue with the meeting. So they briefly talk about different school uniforms and the ‘wise words’ Kurimu says which she claims the reason viewers watch this show, before discussing about the farewell speech and formal reply. Well, let’s say Kurimu hasn’t prepared them. That’s why they’re here brainstorming, right? Always leaving it to the last minute. Kurimu has Sugisaki do the farewell speech since it’s inappropriate for the sisters to do it as they’re leaving. They practice their speech but it turns with different versions like ero, confession, unrelated and too short. So how? Sugisaki says it’s best to convey them in their own words with feelings. Because the students of Hekiyou are the ones who elected them in the first place. Agreed. Sugisaki seems a little panicky when Kurimu decides to end the meeting as it’s already dark outside. This means this will be the last one, right? Finally he musters his strength to say something to them. He wants to let them know how much he loves this student council and everyone in it. Then he gives his personal farewell speech-cum-encouragement to each of them.
Mafuyu: He likes her because her kindness set him free in the park that winter. He loves the smile on her face when she is absorbed in her unique hobby. Stay strong in the new school and display that unique character of hers.
Minatsu: He likes her kindness and resilience which she made her protect what she treasures. Her friendliness is like the warmth of the sun and he is confident she will fit right in her new school with everyone and bring them smiles. He hopes she will always be the same Minatsu he is proud of.
Chizuru: He likes his purity hidden under her icy exterior. That composure makes her reliable. Her heart has the capacity to accept anyone and yet it is more delicate and pure than anyone’s. He knows she’ll become more charming and hopes she’ll be the same Chizuru who jokes around with him.
Kurimu: He likes her the way she is: Pure and innocent. Her actions reflect her earnestness when others get mad. She also makes difficult things seem so easy. As she grows at an amazing rate every day while bringing smiles to everyone, he enjoys watching her grow. But no matter how much she grows, he hopes she will always be their student council president.

The girls too have something to say to him. They all love him! He may be a pervert aiming for a harem but he is reliable too. Despite of his shortcomings, they really love him. They want him to continue chasing girls as they know he won’t be satisfied with just them. Oh really? Even if they’re gone, please remain as he is. The heartfelt speech brings tears to his eyes and he promises to be the harem king. But this is greeted with much laughter from the girls. I guess he was stretching it, eh? Sugisaki is surprised that they’ll still meet up tomorrow after the ceremony. After all, they’ll still be the student council members for tomorrow for the last time. Better come up with something to talk about.

More Than Words…
So as the saying goes that nothing lasts forever. Change is the only thing that is constant (and death). From the way things are going, it looks like Kurimu and Chizuru are really on their way out while the Shiina sisters are really transferring for good. Where does that leave lonely harem boy? It’s a chance to get a new harem! I speculate that is what might happen if a third season gets the green light. Thus the most important thing we learn from their chatter as observed is the time spent together as friends. Never mind Sugisaki’s perverted harem dream. Never mind Mafuyu’s BL fascination. Never mind Chizuru’s sadistic nature or Kurimu who acts like a kid. The important thing is that they were all true to their selves and appreciate each other’s company during their tenure as student council members. It’s good that when it is time to go for real, they don’t cling on to old memories nor do they throw a tantrum they want to stay like this forever. Instead they look to the future with bright optimism. That should be the way. If only they did more for the school overall.

Sugisaki as the main guy, he is still the same person I remembered him back in the first season. Despite being a pervert, he is not that all bad because he is reliable when it comes down to it. Where would all the fun be if Sugisaki was as clean as a holy priest? But he has got to wait a little longer if he wants to achieve his harem dream. Yeah, I guess the girls are playing hard to get, if you know what I mean. You could say that most of his role in this anime is to rebut the girls’ fantasies and ‘jokes’. That’s what makes this series funny too. Plus, it isn’t only Sugisaki that totally bears the brunt of backlash. Sometimes the other girls too get a little share of that. Like Mafuyu’s personality in which they sometimes like to take a dig at. So I suppose in that sense all is fair and square.

The other girls are quirky too and they love teasing Sugisaki. I bet that they all really love him more than just friends and the final confession was just out of courtesy and respect. I mean, if you give in easily to this guy and let him have his harem, where is the fun in all the rebutting and rebuking? Like Sugisaki said, it is more exciting when porn is banned and prohibited. Hmm… Now I understand why guys prefer to have girls accidentally show their slip instead of intentionally or voluntarily displaying them. It’s human nature to feel excited in doing something forbidden, no? So they finally blurt out their love since it’s the last time they’re going to be together in this room. There are lots of moments whereby you see the girls blush or get alerted when the real topic of romance with him is brought up. If they weren’t serious, they wouldn’t have that sort of reaction. It’s great that the girls get a fair share of screen time and even an episode dedicated to them. Except for Chizuru. I realized this even before Asuka quipped it as a joke. True enough, it happened. I thought the producers did this on purpose. I mean, you have one whereby Sugisaki spends time alone with Minatsu and then with Kurimu, even Mafuyu gets some although it is more of spending time with Kurimu shopping, so why leave out Chizuru? I’m sure things would have been interesting too if she had some ‘private’ moments with Sugisaki.

Even Lilicia has her own episode she hogs the spotlight. But don’t expect her to be the main heroine in her own spin-off. So she still has a grudge against the student council (because she lost out in the votes by just one spot as mentioned back in the first season) but I don’t see her trying to aggressively take them down or publish scandalous reports or lies. It also indicates that she has a crush on Sugisaki and I bet that’s true. Otherwise, why keep bugging the student council, right? I would love to see more of such developments as well as the other girls but I’ll wait for next time if they make a sequel. Elise still makes her appearance but it feels she has lesser impact in this season although last season she made cameos too. Perhaps with new characters like Ringo and Asuka, more screen time has to be shared, huh? These girls provide good insights on Sugisaki’s past but I have this thought that if I wished for another flashback episode, it might turn out boring. So when Sugisaki just narrated his indecisiveness 2 years ago that led to both of them being hurt, I guess this was enough to give me an idea what he went through. So can you blame him for wanting a harem? His goal is to make all the beautiful girls happy, right? In the process to make himself happy too, of course :). In short, all the main girls love him. Even that mystery one, Meguru. Man, they should give her some more screen time and explain what it is that she finds so fascinated about him. I even thought she would be ‘added’ to his ‘harem’. Even his female classmates are fond of him. Shows how much he has grown, eh? Not the perverted guy that we thought we know. So is there a girl who doesn’t like Sugisaki? Oh yeah. Magiru. She’s the same lazy advisor who likes to eat and hang around doing nothing. She got what she deserved for the overeating part. She’s a failure as a person. And oh, perhaps Minase too. I know she is sarcastic but her seemingly emotionless face makes it very less obvious if she likes him. Maybe not. Even despite her insults, I can sense that she has hopes for him. Just like the student council girls, she played a vital part in shaping Sugisaki to where he is now today. As for Nakameguro… Thank goodness he didn’t appear much even if he was just restricted to Mafuyu’s fantasies. This dude really exists, right? At least he appeared in the flesh towards the end of the first season.

I don’t remember how much parody the first season had but there were lots of anime trivia for you to spot. For this season, I think it is much lesser. I could be wrong because I may not be paying attention as the trivia slipped by or maybe I just couldn’t recognize the parody when the gang made one with their statement. Nevertheless, the chatter is still amusing especially Sugisaki’s rebuttals and the other silly ideas that come with it. This series has also a good mix of drama and serious moments that touches your heart but of course, the main dish is the jokes from the chatter. Hey! I just remembered something. I remember that cute pose they do back in the first season whenever the meeting is over. But in this season, that group pose is completely unseen! As far as I remember, only Kurimu does it alone on one short occasion but it doesn’t feel satisfying because… It should be done in a group!

Though many of the seiyuus were retained in this sequel, there are a couple of changes as well. Mafuyu’s original seiyuu, Yuki Horinaka has been replaced with Iori Nomizu (Haruna in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka) and Yuka Saitou who was the voice of Chizuru is now replaced with Mina (Sohara in Sora No Otoshimono). Hmm… Maybe that’s why Mafuyu doesn’t sound as dreamy as before or why Chizuru doesn’t have that sadistic assertiveness in her voice like I remember. Thankfully my favourite Mamiko Noto is still there as Lilicia and rocks in her character. Adding to the line-up of new casts are Madoka Yonezawa as Ringo (Ui in K-ON!), Ami Koshimizu as Asuka (Horo in Spice And Wolf) and Houko Kuwashima as Minase (Tomoyo in Clannad). The opening theme is Precious by the student council quartet girls and somehow I can’t help feel that this song reminds me of Ebiten. A group of girls singing… Well, I saw that series a few months back too. As for the ending theme, there is a new one for every episode. I guess it makes for a good character image CD and sales. They are sung by the girls of this series, sometimes as a group and sometimes as a solo individual. Unfortunately, none of them were memorable enough for me to keep humming in my head.

Another difference that viewers who watched the original TV series may notice is that the art and drawing may slightly differ. Even if you don’t really notice the difference, the characters will remind us all in the beginning as they broke the fourth wall in telling us how a different production studio made this anime. The first season was brought to you by Studio Deen which was responsible for animes like Fate/Stay Night, Fruits Basket, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Rurouni Kenshin and Ranma 1/2. This time, AIC took over and they gave us Amagami SS, Special A, Seto No Hanayome, Tenchi Muyo and Ebiten. Mmm… Maybe that’s why the characters have that uncanny resemblance to Ebiten. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission seems to be a still picture of the girls in some sports or physical activity. Except perhaps the final episode whereby they all are sleeping on a bench. Tired after all that workout, eh?

I did browse Wikipedia for a while and came to notice that this series has multiple spin-offs usually in the form of manga or light novel. I didn’t really read them (as usual) so I can’t really say but I’m sure what else can they offer about this series than the group of student council members talking? Also, I caught a glimpse that there are a new bunch of girls filling in the student council post and one of them includes Minase. So a new era and harem for Sugisaki? Provided if he still manages to cling on to his post. What are the chances? Of course I am certain he will seeing how popular he is. I won’t be surprised if he has got the most votes and ends up as the student council president in his final third year. Ironically instead of seeing the student council doing something and change the school for the better, we see them changing themselves in the midst of mindless chatter. Wow. If sitting around idly and empty talks really improve people, we should all put down our guns and weapons and started talking instead. Hey… That may be crazy enough to work. Or… It would just have a negative impact on overall productivity. Who pays you to sit around and talk on aimlessly for hours anyway? I want that job too even if I’m an introvert!

Let me get this straight. I do not have nurse fetishes and thus it is not the reason why I watch Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte. I heard this was a slapstick comedy so that’s why I jumped into watching this OVA series, which is supposed to be a spin-off from the anime Soul Taker. Although I didn’t watch that anime, I read it had a darker and grimmer storyline and that there are horror and supernatural elements in it. But that’s another story. For now, let’s see how this cute little cosplaying nurse can make me laugh till I hurt my stomach. Oops.

The plot: It is said that the nastiest virus, Ungrar escaped from Vaccine World to Earth. Maya, the goddess of Vaccine World ordered Mugimaru to capture it. Since people from Vaccine World can’t use magic on Earth, Maya made a magic wand for a human to use to help catch Ungrar and entrusted it to Mugimaru. On Earth, Mugimaru happened to bump into Komugi Nakahara and sought her help. But she was so fascinated by the magical cosplay and jumped at the thought of accepting the job without considering its consequences. And thus this is how Nurse Witch Komugi-chan came to be. WTF. Sounds like the world will be in serious health danger with this kid as the heroine. Praying for a miracle would be a much better alternative.

Episode 1
We are in an intense car chase scene in which Komugi, loli Runa Tokisaka along with Kyousuke Date and Asuka Sakurai are getting away from the baddies. Turns out to be an acting scene and Komugi forgot her lines. Cut! During the break, we see Komugi and Runa not liking each other very much. The rivalry intensifies when hot guy Kyousuke comes by. Yeah, Runa playing that onii-chan character very well to steal him away from Komugi. But in the end, the retake of the movie is no good. Komugi is being reprimanded by her agency president, Yui Kirihara for screwing up and the producers called and won’t be using their agency again. Komugi’s manager, Shiro Mibu hopes Yui can forgive her since she is sorry. Yui also doesn’t want to scold her much since she is a cosplay idol and thought through acting, this would level her up. Komugi is also in intense rivalry with gravure idol, Megumi Akiba. Let’s say from the way they insult each other’s breasts, they hate each other. Yui is about to blow her top so the others run away as though she’s going to explode. Thankfully she didn’t. I’m sure I understand the tough time she is having with all the goons around. Feel like wanting to quit, eh? Komugi is late for school the next day due to oversleeping. During recess, she talks with her friend, Koyori Kokubunji about classmate Kaneda who has been absent for a few days. Although Kaneda was an otaku, he helped her used a computer to setup her own homepage (Koyori is also a cosplayer and model). Komugi had Shiro did hers. She then learns for next week’s Akiba Fair, Koyori will be there modelling with Kyousuke to present a new computer notebook. How envious (see Komugi drool like mad). Speaking of Kaneda, he is locked up in his room glued to his computer screen while incessantly typing away.

At Akiba Fair, Komugi is pissed that she is made to wear a computer costume by Shiro. As always, eternal rival Megumi is there too and she’s flaunting her assets since she is the model for Toshiba alongside Koyori. While the Toshiba models are being photographed, Komugi is being bullied by the kids! During the break, Koyori is in the dressing room when she transforms into the evil Magical Maid Koyori! Kaneda has reached his limit so he turns into some ghostly virus to run havoc at the fair with Koyori charging it up to a giant chibi cat. Huh? Mugimaru detects a virus and has Komugi transform into a magical nurse witch. The giant is turning everyone into chibi cats or onigiri who only want to party. It is also being perverted grabbing the models with its tentacles. Komugi spots a plug on the giant’s ass and cuts it to turn everything back to normal. Noticing the virus escaping, she follows it and it leads her back to Kaneda’s home. I’m sure his mother won’t want to let this freaky nurse cosplayer in so Komugi had to persuade her she is Kaneda’s classmate. Kaneda seems to be ignoring Komugi and continues to type away. Till Komugi hears him plead for help. The virus is controlling him and he can’t quit typing. Komugi uses her magic to blast the virus out of Kaneda and Mugimaru captures the virus in his syringe. On the way back, Komugi remembers she has forgotten about her work. To her dismay, the fair is already over and cleaned up. But Shiro isn’t happy. Because Komugi ran off somewhere, he is forced to wear the computer costume. It is made worse when Komugi starts snickering at how cute he looks. She’s going to get it… Koyori notes her failure this time but the next time it won’t.

Episode 2
Komugi is commanding a legion of hardcore fans and increasingly getting popular since she is doing a concert that debuts her new song. Komugi is in a handshake session and you can see all the weirdoes that greet her. A doujinshi, Inaba gives her a doujin as present and tells her he will be drawing a new one for the upcoming Comiket. Koyori the evil maid laments her schemes have always been thwarted by Komugi when she sees a flyer for the Comiket. An evil plan is brewing… Back at the agency, Yui assigns Komugi for the Comiket. Once more, another round of insults between Komugi and Megumi. It got so intense that Yui had to blow her top this time. Runa is calmly drinking tea on the rooftop and feels sorry for Yui for having goons around her. She then takes out her frustration by beating up a Komugi doll. Feels good, no? Inaba is about to start his manuscript when Koyori barges in and hypnotizes him with magic that makes him unable to stop drawing. At Comiket, Komugi meets Kyousuke but is disheartened when Megumi ‘steals’ him away. They are here for a drama shoot. But Komugi gets the last laugh when she learns Megumi is just playing a corpse. As Comiket begins, Inaba starts selling his doujin and evil Koyori weaves her magic to turn everyone violent. They’re punching! They’re destroying! They’re just… So mean! Komugi is under careful surveillance of Shiro to avoid her going off again the last time. But when he is being called by a staff, naughty Komugi slips out. She sees the violence inside Comiket when Mugimaru detects the presence of a virus.

She transforms and comes face to face for the first time with evil Koyori. She thinks she is another cosplay idol… Koyori takes the liberty to explain herself. I’m sure Komugi and Mugimaru must be so bored and uninterested in listening to that ranting despite being fast forward. I wonder how long has she been blabbing. Not listening at all! Because all the otakus start taking photos of Koyori, Komugi feels jealous and won’t lose out. Soon, it turns into a battle of cosplaying poses. WTF. I guess the only winners are the fans… At the end of the session, Koyori uses her magic to turn the entire hall into one big robot. Unbelievable. She starts smashing while Komugi can only run. Then she sees an old airplane, gets inside and transforms it into G-Force parody! She even had clone comrades for the part! Where the hell did they come from? Unfortunately everybody is such a dimwit that when Komugi fires the missile, it goes back chasing them or malfunctions and explodes inside the ship. I’m sure Mugimaru is tired of making comebacks. Useless girls… Since the plane is on fire, the only way left is to do a suicide crash into Koyori and the giant robot! Yeah. Without even doing anything and ignoring her for that duration, she gets defeated. Life is so unfair. Maybe better luck next time. In the end, Komugi uses her magic to restore everything back to normal. Everything is fixed back to normal and everyone wakes up like as though none of the mayhem happened. Comiket ends and as Komugi returns, Shiro confronts her and is mad that she pulled off that runaway stunt again. He’s angry for real. She’s going to get it… Meanwhile the real Koyori is hanging on the edge of some building with no memories of her evil self. How did she get there?

Episode 2.5
This special came out after the series ended. Due to circumstances, Asuka is transferred o Yui’s agency. Komugi is in an idol event called Dream Studio 2003 with Koyori’s crew. So many fans. So tired. That’s what Komugi is. But she has energy to argue with Megumi about boobs and all. Then Runa coolly tells them if they keep this up, they won’t get paid. She demonstrates how she uses her onii-chan charm to get the guys to order more food! I think they will even eat her if she’s on the menu. This sparks another round of rivalry between Komugi and Megumi to outdo each other. Well, at least the fans are happy. Soon Komugi hears nearby Kyousuke is promoting his new music video called Reverse. Wow. A full length video lasting 4.5 minutes! Did you enjoy that Komugi? Now you got to explain yourself to Shiro and Yui for slacking off. See the fiery aura? This shows how deep sh*t she is in. Yui wishes she had such fanatic fans too but Shiro cautions they’re just small fries. Then they come into Richard, the manager for Kyousuke. Seems there is bad vibes between them as Komugi sensed. Shiro tells her when Yui was still an idol, she was rejected by Richard. She also loved him. It became a racket since the media loves this kind of stuff. Without Richard’s consent, Yui announced publicly her love for him. In ‘retaliation’, Richard also without Yui’s consent announced his engagement to Yui’s manager. Because of the scandal, Yui had to quit being an idol at the tender age of 19. So there goes her dream and the media wrote tons of articles on her ‘stupidity’.

Komugi also dreams of wanting a mature relationship and this is a cue for Komugi’s own music video! Despite the cute song, its lyrics are mostly about hating her boyfriend and not wanting to see him again! Love is sure a hard thing. Stop daydreaming and get back to work! Back home, Komugi is taking a bath with Koyori. Though Komugi notes the place was filled with Koyori fans, Koyori also thinks Komugi has her own fans. Yeah. All those weirdoes. Koyori thinks she heard something on the rooftop but Komugi brushes it off and is going to grab those ‘fallen meteorites’. The splashing bath fun proceeds without Mugimaru’s perversion because he is being tied outside to a pole. Deep in the night, Koyori awakens the evil maid and will go spread Ungrar’s evil virus around the world. I guess she should go easy on her maniacal laughter because it’s causing uneasiness for sleeping Komugi. I guess this sets another cue for another music video. This time a duet between Komugi and Koyori but despite having a pinch of samba beat, the lyrics… Insulting each other as idols. Is that the best they do? Maybe the best and the only thing they can do! Oh, the clips of the video are all recycled scenes from all over the series. Trying to cut cost, eh?

Episode 3
Mugimaru is shocked that Komugi woke up for the first time on her own!!! Like snow in summer? Has she grown up mature? But can’t say anything about her flat chest, eh? On her way to school, she happens to see Koyori and goes over to meet her. However she didn’t see a truck coming her way. OMG! She died?! Or this is just a dream? But… 49 days later… Komugi really died again for real! Her friends are at her grave, saddened with her death. Even Shiro can quip this unbelievable line: I can’t believe she would die even if we killed her! It’s a sombre affair! Komugi can be seen hanging around them as a ghost and is pretty much bored to death. Oh. She’s already dead. Just when she thought everyone is sympathetic over her death, suddenly everyone gets over it and insult her! Even death can’t cure her stupidity?! I’m sure Komugi wanted to give them a good whack but as a ghost, she can’t touch anything. Worse, all the ‘confessions’ come out since she’s not longer around. Like how Shiro secretly used to take money from her wallet and now that she is gone, he doesn’t need to repay her! Even Mugimaru has gotten over her death and goes off to find a new magical nurse. Komugi isn’t going to go over to the new side quietly as she’s going to get her revenge on those idiots. She turns Megumi’s photo shoot into ghost pictures, haunt the set at Runa’s filming and tries to pull Asuka’s legs while she’s swimming! Yui is busy with incoming calls of the ghost pictures and haunting. Meanwhile evil Koyori is bored that the flat chest magical nurse hasn’t showed up when she chances upon a group of delinquents greeting each other. Here comes another evil plan…

The ghost pictures turn out to be a blessing since the people love them! So the gang take a work-cum-vacation job at the beach and hotspring. Looks like Komugi’s revenge backfired. Kyousuke is also there shooting a movie and I think he is the only one who is genuinely saddened of Komugi’s demise. It feels lonely even without her though he sometimes feels she’s close by (closer than you think). Suddenly Kyousuke gets slightly injured by the passing delinquent parade led by Koyori. She also turns everyone in a vehicle into a mean vehicle machine. Komugi felt helpless and sheds a tear or two. Suddenly she is transported to Vaccine World and meets Maya. She is touched by her pure desire to save others and gives her swallow some ball to bring her back to life. Even Mugimaru is happy to see her and he still recognizes her with that trademark ‘washboard’. Hah… I guess he found no replacement for her. Good news: She’s back to life. Bad news: Due to her ‘grand entry’, she got run over by Koyori’s vehicle parade. Dead once more. Yeah. Didn’t expect to see her back so soon, eh? Since Komugi didn’t learn from her previous lesson, the same process keeps repeating. She returns back to life via some anime parody but gets run over. Killed. Back to Maya. Finally she’s down to her last ball. Better treasure your last life. Komugi now returns in a Speed Racer parody. Koyori transforms all the vehicles into one big giant ultra robot. Komugi seems like she’s going to do some suicide move but I guess the engine died on her. Yup. She died again. Maya is at a lost on what to do. Yeah, yeah. Now Komugi gets to choose between a gold, silver or poisonous syringe. She chooses the poisonous one and though the jab hurts, she returns back to life as a more powerful magical nurse. Mugimaru is bloody surprised he is turned into a vehicle and even used as a missile! Too bad he exploded into fireworks. Koyori thought she could enjoy the little fireworks when she accidentally sits on a self destruct button. I don’t even know how it got there. The robot self destructs so Koyori thinks of doing some training. In India. Wow. Things solve itself without the stupid heroine nurse and stupid villain maid doing anything. In the aftermath when everything returns to normal, Komugi happily returns to her production team. But they think they’ve been overworking to see a ghost and quickly scram! And I don’t think Komugi really did learn her lesson about the value of life. And Mugimaru is pissed he is somewhat ‘dead’! Do something-mugi!

Episode 4
Komugi is now into masked wrestling to appeal to new fans. However as you can tell that one fighting in the ring isn’t her. See those humongous boobs… She gets lots of fan letters, much to Megumi and Runa’s envy. Then Shiro breaks the good news. Her wrestling stint is going to get an anime adaptation. At the anime studio house, Komugi learns that one of her otaku fans, Gotou is going to make her show. Meeting with the rest of the staff, Komugi beats up a perverted guy when he fondles her flat chest. Till she learns he is Satorou Akahori AKA Pori. The original writer for her show and he is so rich from the royalties, he can buy an entire building. However since he hasn’t come up with the script yet, Nabeshin the director quits. Pori makes Komugi the main character and the director as well. He guarantees this will be a smash hit! So first, he takes her out to sleazy places like the bar. Yeah, he’s teaching her the wrong stuff with all the money he can splash. Even how to take advantage of people, make loads of money from anime merchandise and events and even blame it on others when it goes wrong! Oh dear. Komugi seems to be absorbed into getting rich. So we don’t blame her in dreaming big but she’s going around imposing her own opinions to the staffs on what is to be done while they’re working. After all that promoting event, Gotou relays the bad news that the producer missed his flight and won’t be able to make it for the opening event. Do not fear. Komugi will handle it. Yeah. She literally handles everything from drawing, colouring, background checks and voice acting. She’s good at making things worse as they are. Congrats. And when everybody is rushing to meet the deadline, here Komugi is. Sleeping like a baby. Meanwhile evil Koyori has returned from her harsh (ridiculous, that is) training from India and can’t wait to show off the results to Komugi. Where the hell did she get the walrus she’s riding on from?

On the day of Muscle Cutie Komugi-tan’s debut, Koyori drops in and turns everyone into… Uhm… Plain looking people. Not to mention, violent plain looking people. Komugi isn’t happy her show is being hijacked. She transforms and is going to stop her but finds herself transported inside the anime. Mugimaru has such muscular body… Koyori shows off her training result: Her racoon mascot, Posokichi now can speak words! WTF?! Not impressed damn it! In a tag team wrestling match, Komugi faces the multi-face goddess. Because it has faces of the girls from her agency, Komugi can’t land a hit when it is Asuka’s face and the soonest she lets her guard down, Megumi and Runa take over and beat her up. Eventually Komugi finds her weakness and strips off her bra. Koyori tags the goddess while Gotou tags Komugi. However the otaku dude lost when he couldn’t resist Koyori’s boobs. Both sides tag out with Posokichi facing off Mugimaru. The fighting got so intense that they ‘become the stars’. Now it’s up to Komugi and Koyori. The girls’ battle is also intense so much so they are brought back to the real world. Summoning their anime power, they uproot monuments and structures to whack each other. Such destruction… As they are about to unleash their awesome power, they become sketches. What happened? As Gotou puts it, they couldn’t meet the deadline. And the mother of all rip-offs, everything is cut right till the end as we see Koyori being defeated and send flying away. Komugi uses her magic to revert all the destruction back to normal. So when it’s time to resume her debut, the tape turns out empty because her magic restarted everything. That’s the least of her problems because Pori has gone missing (perhaps even running away with the money) and thousands of angry fans want their money back! Tsk, tsk. How far she’s fallen. Broke and with no penny to her name, her problem is compounded when her agency colleagues are going to get her for this farce and screw up. So people remember. Making money isn’t easy :). And goody Koyori doesn’t know how she ended up within a pod of walruses.

Episode 5
Koyori loses her match with a magical teacher, Kim Nicholas Fidel Muammar Tikriti Adolf de Komachi (notice she has names of dictators?). Or you can call her Komachi for short. Komachi realizes she is late for class and returns. But her class is a large stadium as her students welcome her. Is this really a class or some grand speech event? Meanwhile Komugi is at the dilapidated and abandoned building of her agency office. She is sad to be all alone. Mugimaru then brings her to a snack bar whereby it is a secret operation base to counter Ungrar’s plans to conquer Earth, Magical Nurse Station manned by Maya and Mugimaru. Lame name… It seems recently people all over Japan have gone missing. Maya has footage to show that it is not Ungrar but invaders who are taking them away. Maya has Komugi launch right away. I think she can make do without all those unnecessary procedures and approvals. And after all that grand scenes, turns out Komugi launches with a kiddie’s bicycle. What letdown. After journeying for who knows how long, they end up outside a large Komachi statue that leads them to a secret door where they meet Komachi who thinks they’re transfer students. Komachi puts a sell on them and the next thing Komugi knows, she’s in a high school setting with her friends as classmates. The story builds up to a point whereby her crush Kyousuke confesses to her. It’s going to get ecchi to since he is undressing her! But the dead giveaway is when Kyousuke says he loves her flat chest. Komugi knows the real Kyousuke will never say that and snaps out of Komachi’s brainwash. They’re in the middle of the stadium where every missing person in Japan has become Komachi’s students. Komachi calls upon the class rep to settle this: Kyousuke. OMG! Kyousuke slaps Komugi! She can’t retaliate as she won’t hurt him. So get zap lah! Then she confesses she likes him and with some other mushy stuff, Kyousuke snaps out from the brainwash but falls unconscious. Komugi thinks it’s a good opportunity to wake the prince with a kiss but it seems Maya steals the scene and kisses him first! Time to revert everything back to normal. See how unmotivated Komugi is?

With everyone back to normal and Maya leading everyone to evacuation, it is the final face off with Komachi. It’s going to be a 3 way fight too since Koyori is back. Komachi turns into her true loli form and explains she is from some planet and was given some glasses to become a busty magical teacher (because she wanted to be a teacher). Despite her loli outlook, she cautions she is strongest in this form. Her chalk turns drawing into real. She’s materializing an army of octopus henchmen. Koyori agrees to hold a truce with Komugi and fight together against Komachi. However both get the same idea to run away and leave it to the other! How disappointing. I guess this teaches us not to expect much from them. But once when Komachi runs out of chalk, the duo make a u-turn and defeat the minions with their magic. Yeah, claiming all the credits aren’t they? Komachi turns the statue into a destructive giant. It burns half of the planet?! OH SH*T!!! In retaliation, Komugi and Koyori combine their Magical Defence Force and turn famous Japanese monuments into menacing looking machines or weapons (some of course are useless and ‘waste of money’). Now the duo turn into evil big bullies taking it out on the poor loli! So much so they destroy the balance of the planet and split the moon in half! FREAKING SH*T!!! In the end, Koyori spanks Komachi and the latter promises not to do it again. The trio use their magic to fix Earth back to normal. They see off Komachi who vows to become the best teacher in the universe. Koyori will put off their match to another day, making excuse that Komugi seems exhausted. I guess they don’t look tired because they’ve so much energy arguing. Life returns to normal for everybody including Komugi and Koyori’s continued rivalry. One night Komugi gets a surprise visit from Komachi. She’s back and since she wanted to become a respectable teacher, she decided to study on Earth. Komugi, I don’t think this is a joke. Oh, she forgot to fix the moon!

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z

How can you end things yet when the fight between Komugi and Koyori hasn’t been settled? What more, Ungrar hasn’t been found and sent back to Vaccine World too. Thus, a couple of years later, perhaps an excuse to come up with another couple of OVA episodes called Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z to finish things off. Well, all good things and slapstick comedies must come to an end one day.

Episode 1
Even during a live pool event, Komugi and Megumi can end up quarrelling. Oops… There goes Megumi’s top! It’s no surprise that Yui blows her top. Another round of scolding. Sorry won’t do. Shiro hopes she can forgive them since their ratings went up. Yui is concerned because it affects their activities from now on and there’ll be lots of shady job offers for them. She hopes for tomorrows film shoot at Osaka they won’t cause much ruckus. Guess what? The duo start blaming each other as long as the other doesn’t screw up. It descends into a full blown insult. Here comes Yui’s explosion again… Asuka, Kyousuke and Koyori are in a movie shoot in Osaka but something is bugging Asuka that she is screwing up her easy lines. After the shoot, they meet up with Shiro, Megumi and Komugi. They decide to go out together but the person whom Komugi wanted to be with can’t join them because he’s got a busy schedule. So Shiro takes the girls tour around Osaka. Asuka is clearly troubled. Seems she dislikes Osaka. Even they can see right through her but she lies that she’s just not feeling well. Back in her room, Asuka regrets lying to her friends when evil maid Koyori pops up and uses her negative emotions to spawn viruses. Next morning, Asuka and Megumi are dressed in heavy, bulky and hot mascot costumes. It’s amazing they still have the energy to get at each other’s throat. Just annoying. Similarly, Koyori activates the virus and this means Asuka who is in the middle of a movie scene suddenly starts badmouthing Osaka with lots of passion! Shocking! Then she collapses and Koyori uses all the negative energy to transform the locals into, erm, I think they’re Osaka mascots.

Mugimaru detects a virus and so Komugi transforms into a magical witch. She is about to face off with Koyori but the latter sends in her army of drummer clowns and other Osaka mascots to surround her. Komugi takes a beating since Mugimaru tells her she can’t hurt those people under the control of the virus. But she loses her patience and becomes evil instead, slapping them all into the river! So the evil maid is going to punish her for not having a heroine’s sense of justice by turning a clown into a giant. It easily sends Komugi flying away. Koyori is so happy of her victory that she thinks she’ll take over and be the star of this show. But Komugi isn’t going to give up yet. Yeah. See that evil glint in her eyes? She’s going to fight fire with fire. That means, she enlarges some marathon runner poster to fight the clown. In the end she wins and Koyori is once more unceremoniously defeated. Such inadequate conclusion. But Asuka is still influenced by the virus and is going to destroy Osaka. You know what? Komugi thinks of killing her off so she can replace her and star as the heroine alongside Kyousuke! Evil! Mugimaru squashes that thought because of her lousy acting. Eventually Komugi uses her magic to cleanse Asuka and restore order to Osaka. In the aftermath, everybody celebrates to the end of the filming in Osaka. Even Kyousuke and Yui are there to join the crew. Asuka is glad she has gotten to like Osaka. Even such a happy occasion ends in an unhappy way for Komugi. She ate too much that she needs to be wheeled away in an ambulance! Perhaps Mugimaru is right. She is the world’s greediest person. That’s so Komugi for you. Now I guess she gave us a whole new meaning to eat till you drop. Lastly, Runa curses her colleagues for acting like they have forgotten about her. Yeah, she is still bumming atop her agency office’s rooftop. But still… She laments she really wanted to go to Osaka…

Episode 2
It is narrated that Ungrar is actually the evil personality of Maya that escaped. Because Koyori had no evil personality, it is easy to hide inside her. I guess this also explains why Koyori and Maya had the same voice, eh? Komugi and Koyori continue their normal school life. But as we see each time Koyori gets into a pinch or Komugi wishes bad about her, Komugi gets divine retribution. For example when Koyori gets splashed by water, Komugi will subsequently be dumped with mud. Serves her right. One rainy day after school, Koyori transforms into the evil maid and as stated this is Ungrar taking over her body. Since this is the last episode, she has got to make it work and win this battle. Komugi is sleeping in the bath and could’ve had a cosy sleep if Maya had not popped out from the tub. She tells her since people have been feeling sick lately, this means Vaccine World is in deficit and Komugi’s power is also reduced. Meaning? She has only one more chance to transform and capture Ungrar. WTF. So what? Failure to do so means she’ll turn into a 99 year old wrinkly grandma! Better not mess up! Komugi is in another handshaking event with another set of weird fans (I think I’ll skip the usual spat with Megumi). As she takes a break in the room, Kyousuke surprisingly pays her a visit. He shows her a series of clips containing Komugi the magical nurse witch! Is her cover blown? He thinks it’s a street performer and since she resembles so much like Komugi, he thinks how similar they are. At the same time Koyori uses the net to spread her virus and sends everyone looking at the monitor unconscious. That includes Kyousuke. Mugimaru detects the biggest virus ever. Komugi wants to transform but was stopped by Maya that this will be her last chance. Komugi doesn’t care if she goes to hell just to save Kyousuke and transforms. She seals Kyousuke’s laptop and he wakes up. Now that he has seen her, she thinks he will hate her but he disagrees and is just surprised. No time for drama because everybody is going violent and crazy. Even the monuments and buildings are going on a rampage! Komugi is going to save the day but stops short of confessing her love to Kyousuke despite admitting he has always been nice to her. She just says she loves the entire world (really?), thanks him for everything and goes off to fight.

Net viruses fall from the sky and trap Komugi. Koyori combines the monuments into a hideous monster. Mugimaru wanted to excuse himself to the toilet but Komugi uses him as a baseball and hits a homerun. No effect on the monster. But Komugi doesn’t need to lift a finger in destroying the net viruses because just like in a certain game, when 3 of the same colour viruses match, they disappear! Now that’s taken care of, it’s the final face off with Koyori. But Koyori has a trick up her sleeve. She traps Komugi in a hexagram and is going to transfer to Komugi as the new host. She reveals the energy of the viruses she deleted will go to Ungrar. The human world’s health is transformed into chaos energy on the internet (the reason Vaccine World is in deficit). As Koyori starts the transfer, Komugi gradually gets tainted but hears Kyousuke’s voice. She apologizes she couldn’t save the world and remembers all the fun events she had with her fans. She drops Kyousuke’s laptop and this allows everyone in the world to see what’s going on. Komugi didn’t like how this is going. Her fans didn’t like how this is turning out. With the power of everybody’s moe, Komugi breaks free from the chaos field and gets her power back (the chaos energy that was scattered over the internet was collected into energy for Komugi). Even Posokichi surrenders! Behold the power of moe! She is about to capture Koyori but Maya stops her. She says if she continues, she’ll kill the human host. Since Ungrar was initially part of her, the only way is to transfer it back to her. What does this mean? A very stimulating yuri scene for otakus worldwide to watch!!! EXTREME MOE!!! Komugi is filled with the moe powers that she explodes and everything reverts back to normal. Don’t worry. She’s still alive. She wakes up with Kyousuke by her side. More importantly, she’s not a 99 year old wrinkly grandma. Maya thanks her since Vaccine World is no longer in deficit. But Komugi isn’t going to let her go for the troubles she went through and is going to get back at her. Meanwhile poor Koyori is stuck high up on a crane, unsure what happened that led her to this situation. Is somebody going to get her down?

Special
In this 4.5 minute special, we see a real life small miniature of Komugi figurine learning how anime is made. Not that you can learn anything since it’s too generic and simple. It just simply shows us how an anime scene is dubbed and mixed with music to make it better. So… Was it educational?

Oh, My Good-nurse…
Everything was fun and enjoyable in this everything-goes and no-holds-barred anime. Too bad they didn’t make any more of such episodes because for most of the time, I couldn’t stop laughing hard whether they are the silly parodies or Komugi’s sh*tty attitude that causes so many problems. Despite the eternal catfight between Komugi and Megumi (sometimes followed by Yui blowing her top that would be equivalent to dropping the atomic bomb), it may get annoying that they do this on a constant basis. I guess this is the only thing that they are constant at. However since they’re always at each other’s throat for whatever reasons, they seemed amusing and hence funny whenever arguing. Despite going, “Oh dear. Here they go again with their b*tch slap and insults”, somehow it just doesn’t get tired (maybe if this was real life). So keep on fighting for the good of my laughter? The comedy won’t be superb enough to top my all-time nonsensical exaggerated laugh out loud parody anime list, but I would still advise you to leave your brains safely somewhere else before watching it and pick it up after finishing. Just to be safe not to catch some sort of ‘funny’ virus after watching this series ;p.

I guess being a slapstick comedy means Komugi and Koyori are the biggest idiots of the series. That’s what makes the series fun and funny. While Komugi is the big, lazy, selfish cosplay idiot, Koyori is only so when she is in her evil maid mode. Otherwise she is a nice person. So idiotic the duo that sometimes you could say when they fight in epic proportions, the way things are headed, the situation will usually solve itself without having either to lift a finger. They’ll just blooper by themselves and Komugi only wins just because she is the heroine. But if you think about how the way she ends up winning, she’s still a loser. Just a winner by circumstances. Mugimaru is also funny because this perverted rabbit sometimes play the straight man and I figure he’ll get tired after doing so many comebacks that tickle the funny bones. Also an eternal serial perverted bunny, I guess he never learns each time he bathes with Komugi only to be beaten up by her. I think any kind of boob size is okay to him. Though he might prefer big boobs but small ones is okay too as I noticed. Otherwise he would have been totally turned off each time he sees them instead of making a joke about Komugi’s chest. Yeah, can’t help take a jab at Komugi’s ‘washboard’, can’t he?

Is fair to say that almost every other casts in this series are as idiotic as Komugi and Koyori. Megumi is always at loggerheads with Komugi and the day they sit down and become good friends is the day Apocalypse arrives. Yeah. Like oil and fire, cats and dogs. Child star Runa might not show it since she’s putting up that calm loli facade. But she’s equally idiotic too. Other than running her mouth with rude comments, sometimes you can see her take out her frustrations on something that she makes to represent Komugi. Channel all your hate here, baby! Yui is always blowing her top and at this rate this might not be so good on her heart and health while Shiro is quite laidback and relaxed that sometimes to a point it backfires on him. Of course it’s Komugi’s fault but if he had only taken precautions… Asuka may fair better than the rest but she does sometimes lose her temper, especially when Komugi and Megumi don’t stop their bickering. With a goddess like Maya helming Vaccine World, you can’t help be worried, right? The only one who is always serious and above all that slapstick comedy backlash is Kyousuke. He’s quite a cool and popular guy so it’s no wonder he is the love interest, sweetheart and crush of Komugi. I think any girl would have fallen for this guy. He’s the only person who has never belittled or put Komugi down so is it no surprise that she likes him? Too bad this series isn’t of the romantic genre so don’t get your hopes up to see them ending up together. Except only in Komugi’s delusions. Keep dreaming, girl.

Being a parody series, there are tons of anime parody for you to spot. Only if you know your anime well, that is. As I found out, many of them parodying the Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman and Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman anime series since this production is from Tatsunoko Production. Of course both of them I haven’t really seen so I’m not quite familiar with then. Save for Gatchaman which is also known as G-Force but that was just bits and pieces here and there without really going into the anime itself. Some of the other trivia include cameo of those little figurines and my eyes were ‘sharp’ enough to have identified and spotted those from anime series such as Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, Mai-HiME, Evangelion, Mahoromatic and Mahou Sensei Negima. Yes, I’m proud of my little achievement! Haha!

At first I thought Yukari Tamura was behind the voice of Komugi. However I knew something was off and it wasn’t really her despite her voice sounding quite close to that squeaky trademark of Yukari Tamura. I later confirmed that it is Haruko Momoi and her cute voice really fits the Komugi character very well. Yeah, I remember her other cute voicing roles such as Yurume in Yurumates, Utamaru in Da Capo and San in Seto No Hanayome. Yukari Tamura did have a role in this series but as Asuka. After hearing too much and getting pigeonholed Ikue Ootani’s roles as Chopper in One Piece or Pikachu from Pokemon from over the years, it is refreshing to hear her in a different role. She really runs havoc with Koyori especially when she’s in her evil maid form (she also doubles as Maya). From her annoying maniacal laughter to her catchphrase of “Let’s begin de gozaimasu~”, I’m sure I won’t see her the same again as a little yellow lightning monster or a raccoon dog. Oops, I mean a reindeer. I’m not sure but I wonder if Posokichi’s character was made in parody to Chopper (in One Piece, many characters always confuse that reindeer as a raccoon dog). Oh, Posokichi is voiced by an unrecognizable Ai Shimizu. I wouldn’t have guessed that this is the girl who played Mikoto in Mai-HiME or Ren in DearS with that soft-spoken voice. Yuji Ueda is brilliant as Mugimaru especially when he puts up with his falsetto voice voicing the character. He’s hilarious. There are rare times when he does his low manly voice like becoming serious or the likes, otherwise you wouldn’t know that this is the same guy who voiced Sanosuke Sagara in Rurouni Kenshin or Hajime in Jigoku Shoujo. Other casts include Atsuko Enomoto as Megumi (Misaki in Angelic Layer), Akiko Hiramatsu as Yui (Miyabi in Ai Yori Aoshi), Masaya Onosaka as Shiro (Momoshiro in Prince Of Tennis), Michiko Neya as Runa (Riza in Fullmetal Alchemist), Mitsuki Saiga as Kyousuke (Phantom in MAR) and Mika Kanai as Komachi (Normad/Vanilla in Galaxy Angel series).

Haruko Momoi sings all the opening and ending themes for this series. Well, this is Komugi’s show, right? Sometimes her voice sounds so cute that I think it doesn’t make the song sound better. Get what I mean? The opening theme for the first OVA series, Ai No Medicine is cute as ever and fits the theme of this magical nurse with its playful lyrics and cheeky tune. As for the main ending theme, Otome No Mahou De Ponde Ke Wa which is a plays to a lively samba carnival feel. The special ending theme for OVA 5 is also done by her, entitled Three and feels like slow pop to wind down the series. For Magikarte Z’s opening theme, it is Shooting Star and although it sounds pop, it sounds a little dramatic. Oyasumi is its ending theme and is another slow-moderate pop piece. Breaking the Haruko Momoi stranglehold is Ikue Ootani singing the special episode’s ending theme, Pasera, a slow ballad. Of course that special episode felt like a feature for music videos that included Kyousuke’s dark and dramatic Reverse, Komugi’s cutie Anata Ga Daikirai, Komugi and Koyori’s rivalry duet in samba-like Magical Idol Kourin and the typical tokusatsu-like Big Saitron theme. The March Earth Defense Theme (played during Komugi and Koyori’s monument uprooting counter havoc against Komachi) is a full orchestra piece that could rival Ride Of The Valkyries.

Well, I don’t really see so much Komugi going around as a magical nurse trying to heal sick people from viruses. So I guess it was just really a cosplay, huh? Yeah, she really makes things worse than before. If not for her magic that conveniently resets everything, you can put all the blame on her if the world gets destroyed. And the viruses unleashed here turn people violent and crazy instead of weak and sick. But I was laughing so hard that I think it cured my whatever blues I was having from today’s stress and frustration. I only have a stomach ache to deal with after laughing too much that it hurts. I know I won’t be calling a nurse to nurse that pain. I still prefer maids to nurses as always ;).

Binbougami Ga

April 7, 2013

Some people have all the luck. Mind sharing it with the rest of the world? Well yeah, typical human behaviour has it that when one has too much good luck and fortune, you might not want to share it with others for fear of being leechers and ingrates. Whether you believe it or not, to maintain the balance of harmony among all elements, there is this God of Poverty that takes away your fortune and gives it to the less fortunate. Well, at least that is what Binbougami Ga is.

Ichiko Sakura has it all. She is rich, popular among the boys and has the curves and body to flaunt it. The envy of every girl. In short, she is the most fortunate person in the world. At least in this anime. I’m sure it’s not her hormones because I don’t think science would sufficiently explain why she is lucky throughout most of her life. Not only her body produces excessive amount of fortune energy, but it turns out that she sucks fortune from others. To stem this problem and imbalance, Momiji the God of Misfortune/Poverty is dispatched to steal her excessive good luck to regain worldly balance. But can Momiji succeed in the battle between luck at ends of different poles? Theoretically the matches are already certain seeing that Momiji is the one representing misfortune and wouldn’t stand a chance against Ichiko’s extreme fortune, right? With them both at each other’s throats, it becomes more than a battle of balancing the harmony because both women are duking it out for their own pride. Will they learn a thing or two along the way? You bet. Let’s see how far they can ride their luck on this one.

Episode 1
Momiji’s boss, Yamabuki assigns her to take Ichiko’s fortune. She easily takes up the job because she got jealous of her cow tits compared to her own no tits. This is what misfortune is all about… In school, Ichiko’s popularity continues to soar among the guys. She’s enjoying her rosy life and has never had it this good. What a streak of good luck since birth. However despite being blessed, she still isn’t perfect. She has a flaw: Her f*cking attitude. She might be putting up goody-two-shoes face in front of her admirers but deep down, she looks down upon others. So that’s where Momiji comes in to give her the scare of her life (hanging herself in the toilet?) and put her back in her rightful place. She thought it’s a creepy pervert and calls the guys for help. By the time they arrive, Momiji is gone. Her imagination? Momiji continues to harass Ichiko back in her apartment and tells her the facts of how she is absorbing other people’s fortune. She gives a glimpse of Ichiko’s gloomy future if her fortune is taken away but the main problem is that if she continues to drain the fortune of others, she will ruin and ultimately put their lives in danger especially those she holds dear. Like Ichiko cares about all that crap. Momiji takes out a large needle from her horrible faced teddy bear, Kumagai and starts attacking Ichiko. Like hell she is going to get stabbed by that. Of course Ichiko’s luck means misfortune befalls on Momiji and the needle pierced her own head! Ichiko’s butler, Kikunoshin Suwano drives Momiji back (to wherever that is). He is happy that this is the first time Ichiko brought a friend home (weren’t they trying to kill each other?). As her butler, he has been by her side since young and is an important person to him. He hopes she can continue to be her friend.

Tomorrow comes and is Ichiko’s birthday. While her male classmates shower her with presents and cake, Momiji sees Suwano collapsed in the kitchen while trying to make a birthday cake for Ichiko. Ichiko gets word that Suwano is hospitalized and rushes over. Diagnosis reveals he suffered a heart attack and it is a good thing he was discovered earlier or else it would’ve been fatal. Ichiko is told to be prepared for the worst. Suwano has no other family members. His wife died 4 years ago and Ichiko is her only family. Ichiko eats the cake alone at home, thinking back how Suwano was always by her side instead of her busy parents who were always away on her important day. Ichiko blames Momiji for causing this but the latter reminds her it is her nature of taking luck from others. Suwano has finally run out of luck. She has to make a choice. Continue to live a blissful life and let others die or end up as a bum in the streets and let others be happy. Because happiness is to be shared. Ichiko is adamant that she still has no misfortune so Momiji jabs the needle into her chest. After taking the necessary amount of fortune, she warns she may experience a little bad luck at first and need some time to stabilize and become a normal person. However Ichiko isn’t done yet. She isn’t going to let her steal her fortune and knocks her out! Taking the container of luck while Momiji gives chase throughout the city, Ichiko arrives at the hospital and smashes the container. Suddenly everyone in the hospital feels so much better. Some even cured. Suwano survives the heart operation. As he recuperates, though Ichiko ‘blame’s him for ruining her birthday and fires him, her intentions is to let him enjoy the remaining years of his life. If he continues to stay near her, he’ll be constantly be put in danger. So living alone isn’t so bad. Till Momiji returns a week later. What is she doing here? Ichiko’s fortune is back up to its excessive level. The fortune that she spread around ended up coming back to her. I guess Momiji is here to stay. I guess it’s another round of b*tch fight! Ichiko gets a postcard from Suwano. He’s getting married! Man, that was fast!

Episode 2
If having Momiji bum around her apartment isn’t bad enough, here she is as a new transfer student in her class as Momiji Binbouda! Deadpan humour is her specialty? Let the b*tchy rival continue! Momiji continues to set up pranks for Ichiko but her luck has her evade them all at the skin of her teeth. Finally she blows her top with the blank paper prank. It causes the guys to be suspicious of Ichiko. She needs to get rid of the beggar b*tch before her reputation goes down the toilet bowl. She meets a bald monk, Bobby who begs her to shelter him. Unfortunately, he is a pervert and starts rubbing his face on her legs! Get away from this guy! Back home, Momiji messes up her place. She tries to be calm but the last straw came when Bobby starts rummaging through her undies. I guess she can make an exception to beat up this monk. After calming down, he introduces himself as a travelling monk banishing evil spirits. He came to this city upon seeing a great amount of energy and believes it to originate from Ichiko. Her breasts. Just kidding! Too bad it didn’t stop her from beating him up. He gives her a wooden sword called Soumin Shourai and from all that crap explanation, what I understand is that it increases her spiritual power to kick that Poverty God’s ass. Ichiko confronts Momiji but she doesn’t pay serious attention to her. She’s fooling around. Momiji even takes a snapshot of Ichiko in a ridiculous outfit and threatens to show it to the boys. Ichiko gets serious and the power from her Soumin Shourai materializes the 12 Chinese zodiac animals to aid her. Bobby is easily caught in the cross-fire while Momiji knows she is up against a formidable foe. Momiji summons the dead warriors to do her bidding but those lazy bums don’t feel like doing anything. Ichiko powers up and blasts Momiji out of her apartment. Yamabuki wants Momiji to return since she couldn’t beat Ichiko although she went all out. But Momiji’s pride is on the line and she won’t give up so easily yet. She is really going to ruin Ichiko for this disgrace. Meanwhile Ichiko is having a tough time putting up with Bobby, her zodiac animals and undead warriors bumming in her room…

Episode 3
Unfortunately Momiji is back bumming in Ichiko’s apartment and she’s brought a new gadget to repel misfortune when used by someone with high fortune. Too bad Ichiko’s perfect baseball swing means the gadget goes out flying through the window. Cocky Ichiko says she cares about no one else besides Suwano. Momiji loses to Ichiko in another round. In school, Ichiko ponders what is there left to her perfect life. Aha! A boyfriend. So the handsome hunk who has been seen asleep since the first episode, Keita Tsuwabuki wakes up and Ichiko feels this guy should be the perfect handsome prince on a white steed. He follows him and to her dismay, all that grand perception of him doesn’t turn out what he is supposed to be. A small cram house? Where the hell is that castle she imagined? On pretence to return his student ID he dropped, he invites her in as goodwill. Ichiko is disheartened he has 4 younger siblings to take care of (in order of seniority: Rika, Ryuuta, Mika and Sorata)! It’s time for Ichiko’s inner angels to do brainstorming. They decide to reject this because they don’t want to play ‘mommy’. Keita reveals their parents left them in debt after leaving them to find some treasure. They never came back. Keita takes on odd jobs to support his family (the reason he sleeps in class). Although they don’t have money, they are happy together. Ichiko becomes arrogant because she thinks money will solve their problem and throws down a few notes. It’s no surprise Keita’s siblings are at awe with this much. However Keita picks it up and throws it back at her! Ichiko leaves with bitter feelings but as Momiji points out, she might be rich but is morally bankrupt. But she doesn’t care about her personality issues since she’s here to do her job.

Ichiko meets Ryuuta and his friends at the convenience store. Thinking of getting back at Keita (earning his siblings’ affection and thus making him apologize), she buys Ryuuta a card and her luck means he gets a very rare card. Unfortunately Ryuuta thinks Keita will get mad if she tells him Ichiko bought it for her. His card is blown away by the wind into the drain. He goes to pick it up and gets lost in the sewer. Rika realizes Ryuuta isn’t home yet so Keita goes to find him in the storm. He goes to see Ichiko but learns she bought Ryuuta a card and pays her back. He admits what Ichiko said was true and probably they would take it for granted if they had money. He wants to set an example for his siblings and refuses to be in her debt. Ichiko takes it as if he wants help, he should just ask. Momiji lends Ichiko another of her gadget to pinpoint where Ryuuta is. Momiji thought she doesn’t care about anybody but Suwano. Her excuse is that she wants to wipe that prideful smirk of his face. Ichiko feels disturbed because Keita gets to eat together with his siblings while she always had her meals alone. Keita sees Ryuuta hanging on to his life at the edge of the sewer. The water is fast and furious. Keita couldn’t reach and Ryuuta slips off. Ichiko dives in to save him and of course her fortune means they both get out safely. Ichiko sees the brothers hugging and realizes the letter Suwano wrote to her that the kanji word for ‘person’ is derived when 2 humans lean on each other. Despite her reckless stunt, they thank her. She too starts feeling warm on the inside. Momiji had to ruin it when she tries to suck her fortune. Ichiko breaks her needle and the familiar argument could easily drown out the sound of the rain. Oh. It stopped raining…

Episode 4
While Bobby insults Momiji that anybody without breasts isn’t a woman, Momiji fishes out Momou Inugami from the river. Momou is a masochist and revels seeing Momiji again. Yeah, he likes her punishments. She hits an idea to steal Ichiko’s fortune. She tortures Momou and turns him into his true dog form. You’d think he’d turn into some ferocious form, eh? Instead, he shrank! Ooohhh… How cute! So the plan is to get close to Ichiko and steal her fortune. But the stray puppy in a box for adoption tactic didn’t work since Ichiko is suspicious and ignores it. But Momou follows her into her apartment and is freaking surprised that her room is filthy and messy! Just how much junk can she produce in 3 days?! Momou tries to grab her fortune but bears painful repercussions. Isn’t this heaven to him? Momou observes Ichiko over the next few days. Her stinking personality matches what Momiji told him but notices a happy expression he had never seen her put up before when she reads letters from Suwano. She keeps them all in a box. Momou thinks if she had only cared for others like the way she cared for Suwano. He prepares to take her fortune while she is sleeping but once more it backfires. The housekeeping arrives and cleans up anything that is on the floor. Because Momou accidentally kicked Ichiko’s precious box down the previous night, it means the cleaners accidentally mistook it for trash. Momou sees how upset Ichiko is and follows her to the dump site where she starts searching over the mountains of garbage. Momou is surprised that Ichiko continues to search for the box through the night and shows no signs of letting up. In a dilemma that Ichiko is the brutal and haughty woman she is, after seeing her tears, Momou uses his nose and sniffs out the box. Ichiko is so relived and hugs Momou. He wonders which is the real her. Back home as Ichiko baths with Momou, such pleasure means he turns back into his human form. So screwed! Ichiko uproots her bathtub and slams it on him! I think he enjoys it. Upon realizing he is Momiji’s ally, the God of Poverty also gets trashed. Bobby too. Nobody is spared… And she’s not letting Momou back in again.

Episode 5
Momiji is up to her tricks again. She’s making a deal with Urashimako. Yes, that turtle dude… Odd to see it slowly crawling through school while Momiji laughs like an idiot? Definitely Ichiko would suspect this beggar b*tch is up to something nasty again. She thinks this package is another gadget for Momiji and unwraps it to get rid of it before it could reach her. However it’s a trap as Momiji points out it is an aging box from the turtle guy. Turning her old means her reflexes will be slow and thus easy to steal her fortune. Too bad Ichiko turns into a kid! Even Soumin Shourai has shrunk and this means her powers too. I guess the box got missed up. Despite that, Ichiko is still quick enough to escape from Momiji’s clutches. You can thank her luck for that. She accidentally meets Mika and her friends at the park and after ‘blending’ so well with them, she realizes she needs a place to stay and can’t go back to hers. She persuades Mika to bring her back to her house but along the way sees Bobby and Momou trying to hit on some girls! But the perverts aren’t lolicons (which is a good thing) so they ignore her. Ichiko does a submission move on them to get them to listen. Learning that the aging box will turn her back to normal, she has them find it for her and in return they can get anything they want. Look at how the simpleton and perverts’ mind works. What she meant was money or food… They team up and get fired up to get the box. Momou throws her a dog whistle and in times she needs him, just blow it.

Ichiko arrives at Keita’s house. Again. Thankfully they don’t really recognize her so her identity’s safe. She calls herself Michiko and tries to cook up a story to stay. She can’t say she has no parents because Keita will call the police. Abusive parents? He’ll go over and beat them up! If Ichiko won’t say, Keita won’t force her. As they eat together, they remember they had a guest the last time. Rika snaps and goes into sister-in-law mode. Not happy thinking about that cow tits, no? Keita says he will bring them out for picnic tomorrow since it’s his day off. Despite the siblings having fun in their little house, Ichiko can’t help feel irritated. Meanwhile Momou and Bobby have lost themselves in the red light district… Momiji calls Urashimako and blames him for the mix up failure. He wants him to get 2 aging boxes and doesn’t care what kind of troubles he will get into. Or else he will be turtle soup in 3 days! Momiji finally finds Ichiko residing in Keita’s house. Ichiko is frustrated she wet the bed since her bladder has turn into of a child’s. She’s going to kill that freaking Poverty God for this humiliation. So the gang head to the hill slope for picnic. Keita praises Ichiko for being a tough girl because she didn’t cry when she tumbled. Ichiko didn’t like being treated like a kid and runs away into the forest. Suddenly she is ambushed and captured by Momiji and Kumagai waiting in the forest. It is evening and time to leave and Ichiko is not in sight. Keita goes to look for her and wants his siblings to wait at the bus stop below because Ichiko may have gone there. Keita finds a shoe belonging to Ichiko on the ground and fears the worst. Suddenly he loses his footing and falls down the chasm!

Episode 6
Keita is miraculously alive but has broken his leg. Ichiko tumbles out to where Ryuuta and his siblings are waiting at the bus stop. Seems when Momiji and Kumagai caught her, a real bear appeared. Ichiko used that chance to escape when they were handling the bear. The last bus comes and goes so they wait and believe Keita will come back. Soon all the siblings start crying that Keita may have run away and leave them like their parents. Ichiko also remembers such memories of her own. She goes off to find Keita. She blows the whistle to call Momou and make him smell Keita’s handkerchief. She finds her unconscious but Momiji zaps her from the back to take her fortune. Because Ichiko broke her needle the last time, she can only afford a smaller one. This little fortune will be enough to save his life. If Keita dies, she’ll be fired from her job and pulled away from the human world. But for Ichiko, if she lets him die, she’ll feel bad. So the little fortune is enough to heal Keita’s leg as he wakes up to find little Ichiko sleeping next to him. He thought he is lost but a path of yellow flowers guide him back to his siblings. A happy reunion. Momou and Bobby lament their failure (they have only themselves to blame). They see Urashimako being bullied (turned turtle by bullies?). Though they help him up, now they threaten him to hand over the aging box. Out of the pan and into the fire… Momou tells Ichiko about the aging box so she plans to ditch Keita’s family tonight. To her surprise, Rika allows her to stay as long as she wants. That night she ponders she might be jealous that this house has everything she doesn’t but if she wants to continue staying, she must stay in this form. That night Ichiko tries to leave but Keita is still up and spots her. She gives an excuse that she likes Ryuuta and wanted to be friends with him as she is moving to America soon. Though Keita isn’t sure about the details, he is still grateful to Ichiko for saving him. Momou and Bobby give Ichiko the aging box and it turns her back to normal. They can’t wait for their reward but she is in no mood to give it to them. Maybe next time. I guess she’s not shedding crocodile tears. Momiji notes Ichiko had the power to grant whatever she wants but didn’t realize what she really wanted until now. On the other hand, Momiji is going to make turtle soup out of Urashimako for failing!

Momiji, Kumagai, Bobby and Momou and partying away like hell in Ichiko’s apartment. Till the demon herself came back. They know they’re in for sh*t but realizes she’s not her usual self. They see her spacing out and sometimes not realizing the pranks they play on her (unless it is perverted). Bobby and Momou try shock therapies to bring her back but it backfires. Bobby gets blown into the sky when he groped her. Momou ‘kills’ himself when Ichiko gets nice with him. Momiji observes her and thinks that Ichiko is in love with Keita, the way she is acting all nervous around him. But Momiji falls into despair when Ichiko ignores her. Back to drowning out their sorrows via partying in her apartment. Momiji even gets warning from Yamabuki if she slacks off, she’ll be replaced. Surprisingly Momiji agrees to that. She feels things are not annoying as it used to be and that it’s just pointless. So she’s saying she loves all the mayhem? The real reason Ichiko is being nervous is because she doesn’t know how to properly return Keita’s handkerchief. Yeah, she’s cracking her head on how to do it. First she stalks him and then she stammers all the way like a nervous nut. She goes crazy knocking her head on the pole. He thanks her for returning his item once more so Ichiko returns to her arrogant self. Now that she is back to normal, she is f*cking shocked to see her apartment has turned into a pig sty. Why the hell is Bobby sitting around naked?! She blows her top!!! But the idiots didn’t freak out. They love the old Ichiko! She’s back!!! The familiar pain and chaos are back! Yeah, they won’t have it any other way. As for Momiji being replaced, hell she’s going to let that happen since her rivalry has been renewed. Ah, back to normal.

Episode 7
Ichiko has been suspected of stealing when a couple of girls (the real thieves) bump into her and all the evidence fall on her. The tomboyish Ranmaru Rindou steps in to lecture about justice but sly Ichiko shifts the blame onto her. She accuses Ranmaru as the mastermind so the police catch her while Ichiko slips free. It’s not the end yet because Ranmaru becomes a transfer student in her class! What goes around comes around. She tries to imitate a manly face to disguise herself (apparently the guys around her try to imitate this ‘trend’) but Ranmaru easily recognizes this b*tch. Ichiko easily feigns being hurt so all the boys start protecting her. Thanks to Momiji, she knows where Ichiko lives and pays a visit. She wants to teach her a lesson but bad luck means Ranmaru falls off the balcony. Don’t worry. She survived. That’s 13 floors down. Is she human? Soon an official duel between Ichiko and Ranmaru takes place at the gym. Ichiko’s shining lady luck means Ranmaru instantly loses. What a letdown. Everyone thought they’d see some fight. The only winners are Keita and Momiji as they made a killer from the bets. Yeah, they know how it would turn out. Keita helps Ranmaru up and she starts having feelings for him. As part of the agreement, Ranmaru is to leave school. However that didn’t stop her from returning as a new transfer student and her new purpose in life is to defeat Ichiko. Maybe Ichiko should have worded her to get out of her life.

While Ichiko have the boys are on her side, Ranmaru has the girls (because the b*tches are jealous about Ichiko’s popularity). But everyone won’t get to see another cat fight since Keita wants his peaceful sleep. Ranmaru’s crush on Keita is obvious so Momiji and Ichiko agree to help her out. Of course Ichiko’s ulterior motive is the defeat this tomboy once and for all while Momiji’s is to strike Ichiko when she least expected it. The girls go out shopping and Ranmaru can really look pretty as a woman when all dressed up. But she’s not confident because her dad won’t allow this. He wanted a son to inherit his dojo but got a daughter. Ranmaru was raised as a boy instead and vowed to turn her into the best female karate fighter. Despite all that, Ranmaru still respects her dad for raising her all alone. Next day, Ichiko sees Ranmaru back in her normal clothes and a bruise on her face. Knowing her dad did this, Ichiko pays a visit to Ranmaru’s home after this. She sees Ranmaru being beaten up as daddy tears up her skirt Ichiko bought her. He isn’t happy she has become this weak. Ichiko has had it and barges in (break down the fence, that is). She doesn’t like the way he doesn’t respect his child’s happiness and challenges him to a fight. Of course once more, shining lady luck means he loses quickly. Ichiko lectures him he doesn’t know Ranmaru’s happiness and has no right to steal it. She is about to land the final blow but Ranmaru blocks it. She doesn’t want her to hurt her dad as she knows nothing about him. Back home, Ichiko naturally feels bitter on how everything turned out. Ranmaru’s father notes how she has made a good friend because there aren’t many people who are willing to put themselves in danger for the sake of others. Ranmaru goes to thank Ichiko but she puts up her usual arrogant attitude that she’s never wrong. Bounced back so easily…

Episode 8
Though Ranmaru is making friends easily, the other girls don’t want Ichiko in their mix. Ranmaru sees Ichiko putting up a depressed expression despite telling she isn’t interested in joining them. Ranmaru tries to make friends with Ichiko and first she is really shocked that Momiji is right that she has nothing better to do but count tatami mat strands!!! Ichiko continues to be prideful so Ranmaru tries to rip her face! She thought she was putting on a mask or something. Ichiko can’t stand their annoyance anymore and throws them out of her apartment. Through the window. It’s the thirteenth floor, remember? Momiji gives Ranmaru a gadget that allows her to hear one’s deepest secret but she won’t use it since it’s useless if Ichiko doesn’t tell it herself. Ichiko tries to avoid Ranmaru so one of the bullies, Akane Tange knows what’s going on and ‘helps’ Ichiko get away. It’s a trap to knock her out and lure her to an old school building. She has prepared several guys to rape her and will upload this humiliation on the internet. Thanks to Momiji spotting this heinous act, Ranmaru barges into the building to beat up the guys and send them retreating with tails between their legs. As Ranmaru confronts Akane and the other bully girls, she realizes Ichiko has secretly escaped. Suddenly the building starts to collapse. Ranmaru holds up a pillar while he tells the bullies to run away. They did just that and couldn’t care less what happens next because they don’t want to take responsibility. Ichiko is in a dilemma to help Ranmaru out. If she saves her, she’ll always come back to annoy her. Momiji hits bull’s eye when she claims Ichiko is afraid of getting close to others.

Flashback reveals Ichiko was best friends with Kurumi Minowa. Ichiko wanted to give her chocolates to Yuusuke and Kurumi used the friendship excuse to give theirs together. However Yuusuke only gave Ichiko a cat hairpin and Kurumi got jealous. She confronted Ichiko and wanted her to give it to her or else their friendship is off. Ichiko gave in and Kurumi thought of confessing her feelings to Yuusuke. However he rejected her because he likes Ichiko better. Kurumi turns into a devil and tells him Ichiko doesn’t like him and gave away the hairpin to her. Since then, Yuusuke treated Ichiko coldly. Momiji beats up Ichiko to her senses to stop thinking about the past. But she fights back and returns to her normal self. Not before Momiji extracts a little fortune from her. She tosses it to Ichiko so that she could do whatever she wants. It’s her call. Ichiko gives her little luck to Ranmaru and they bust out of the collapsing building. In the aftermath, Ranmaru listens to Ichiko’s past. Ichiko is still bitter that everyone puts up a facade and that ‘friend’ is just a word. She knows Ranmaru will be like that one day and use her. Ranmaru assures she will never become like that. Yes she will. No she won’t. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Really? Believe it. Ichiko bursts into emotions. Ranmaru and Ichiko become friends and call each other by their first name.

Episode 9
If you’re wondering why Momou and Bobby aren’t going to be featured in this episode, it’s because they were chasing a group of girls jogging and the police caught them. Ichiko’s class will be playing tennis mixed doubles. I guess Ranmaru wants Keita to be his partner. For life. Can’t even take the heat of her own fantasy, eh? Lots of guys want Ichiko as their partner but the handsome Shion Adenokouji who is known as the Prince of Tennis becomes her partner. Meanwhile his rival, the gorilla-like Gorihara becomes Momiji’s partner and you can expect this is the start of an epic rivalry. They make a bet if Ichiko wins, Momiji will get out of her life forever. Otherwise she will have to hand over her fortune without resistance. Yeah, they even make the bets for the guys. Shion will lose his hair while Gorihara must make love to a real female gorilla in a cage. F*ck! They can’t lose! Ichiko puts fear into Gorihara while Shion is surprised by Momiji’s flexibility! She can take any serve from any angle. She’s like a rubber woman! With Shion taken out by Momiji’s phantom serve (all of them were real, by the way), Ichiko attaches Soumin Shourai to her racquet and hits away. The immense power creates a sandstorm as the ladies duke it out via power battle within the storm. Is this even tennis anymore?! I’m sure the others don’t even know what’s going on. In the end, there is a freaking huge crater on the court and the match ended in a draw. Yeah, the rivals think it isn’t over till one of them is dead. As for Shion and Gorihara, they develop fear for women and just the slight mention of Momiji and Ichiko’s name (in terms of food) will send traumatic shivers down their spine. Poor things…

Ichiko tries her hand at cooking. But it’s a wonder how all those delicious ingredients turn out into hideous poison 2 minutes later! Even her fingers are covered with band aids. Where the hell is her luck?! She gives up and orders pizza but Momiji hogs it. Till she spills it. Out she goes flying through the window. I guess instant noodles will do. So now does Ichiko know how to appreciate Suwano’s cooking? Momiji meets Kuroyuri, another God of Misfortune sent by Yamabuki to help her out. However her true goal is to upstage Momiji and steal all the glory and credits. Momiji knows her well and manages to rile her up as usual. So when the duo try to take out Ichiko together (she’s in yet another poison cooking), double misfortune means they end up getting the bad, right? Yeah, Kuroyuri has Momiji’s needle stuck in her forehead! Worse, the cake in the oven explodes! It’s a wonder how Ichiko can even make a cake do that. Momiji gets an idea to finish their challenge via cooking contest. Kuroyuri will be the judge and the better tasting dish will be the winner. They are to cook her favourite dish, nikujaga and though Momiji cooks like a pro master chef, it turns out to be a luxurious fancy steak. This isn’t nikujaga… As for Ichiko… WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DARK THING?! There’s a face crying out in agony if you look closer! Oh f*cking sh*t! Is that food?! Is she going to eat it?! Don’t judge it by its appearance but its content! Kuroyuri sucks up her courage to eat Ichiko’s dish. Though we don’t see the kind of expression she puts up, just the sound of her making those ghastly sounds is enough to imagine what hell and convulsion she is going through. As Momiji said… She vomited her guts out!!! Oh sh*t!!!! So is Ichiko going to eat her own food? Well, she doesn’t want to die yet. Did she know she was cooking poison? Kuroyuri reports back to Yamabuki about Momiji’s progress. She’s doing great and don’t worry!!! Yeah, so traumatic that she doesn’t want to go back there again, eh?

Episode 10
Ichiko finds an abandoned kitten in the rain and brings it back. So much different treatment from Momou, eh? She calls it Tama. When Ichiko uses the toilet, some guy with a sh*t head (no kidding!) appears from the toilet bowl! The sh*t just stood up and talked! Ibuki as he is called, claims is the Toilet God. Say what? Since he’s starting that fortune and misfortune balance thingy, Ichiko has heard it all before and flushes him down. What a deserving fate… Then at school, Ichiko gets a threatening letter from Momiji that she has kidnapped Tama. If she wants her back, get down to the gym. Momiji teases Ichiko about the bitter feeling of losing someone and notes that even if Ichiko wasn’t interested in rescuing Tama, she would’ve used Ranmaru instead. Ichiko is pissed and uses Soumin Shourai but Momiji pulls out a gadget that sucks all her fortune. After Momiji leaves, Ichiko tries to rescue Tama. However the building starts to catch fire. Prior on, Akane and her bullies were illegally cooking ramen in the store room and left in a hurry when Ichiko came in. Momiji realizes the gym is on fire and makes a u-turn because she knows she’ll be in sh*t if somebody dies. Ibuki appears before Ichiko. He continues his speech that Ichiko cut him off then. His duty is to look after childbirth and childcare. In short, he is here to save Tama and not her. Noting that misfortune befalls on all humans close to her, despite she saved them, Ibuki says enough is enough. She doesn’t have the right to take that little happiness away from others. Ibuki is about to transfer some of his fortune to Tama (I don’t want to know if it’s sh*t luck) but got a little distracted and injected too much. It turns Tama into a cat deity. Tama guides Ichiko to safety and Ibuki won’t interfere since it is Tama’s wish to save her. They dive out but crash into Momiji who is climbing in. With the fortune container breaking, luck is spread all over. Ichiko summons Soumin Shourai as it comes bursting from the ground instead. Natural hot water starts gushing out and douses the flames. Ibuki gives a round pendant to Ichiko. It will help prevent Ichiko from draining fortune from others. Later Ibuki meets up with Momiji and it seems they are in cohorts to teach Ichiko what is truly important. But they can’t let word get out that she’s behind this or else everything will be over.

Episode 11
Momou and Bobby are so happy because the fanservice episode has finally come. To celebrate this ‘milestone’, they even start singing a song on boobs! It all began when Ichiko returns home only to see Momiji running a mud bath for the God of Decay (some giant mud ball?). Yeah, she’s so poor that she has resorted into selling her body! Not to mention earlier on, Yamabuki did warn her about her failure and this time she is serious in punishing her if she brings back no results. Because the bathroom now stinks (plus, Momiji hasn’t bathed in years!), Ichiko decides to bathe at Ranmaru’s house but her dad is using the barrel, old style. I guess it’s more worth it to hit the public bath. Ranmaru wants to tag along too. Guess what? Keita and his siblings are there too. Sensing something bad? Yup. So are Momou and Bobby. Rika sees Momou and Tama turn into human form and gets freaked out but to Keita, the only thing on his mind is how to make money using them via magic performance. Ranmaru almost turned the water into bloodbath after fantasizing too much about Keita (“Deep emotion!”) while Ichiko teases Mika she can touch her boobs but it will cost her 5,000 Yen per touch and that Keita will work himself to death to pay that debt back. Mika starts crying and Rika tells off Ichiko not to bully her. Ichiko assures her body will grow like hers in time but she points out Rika is still as flat as a washboard. Momou and Bobby are going to peep and they’re encouraging Ryuuta too! Momiji thinks she can sneak up on Ichiko and beat her up with a sadistic gadget but somehow Momou got in the way. The girls beat him up and now he has to face Keita’s wrath. He is mad he might have seen his sisters. Good thing they already left but getting beaten up by a guy is a major turn off. Ichiko manages to pin Momiji down and with Ranmaru’s help, they scrub and wash Momiji clean. Kumagai isn’t spared too. How does it feel to wash away all the years of dirt? Suddenly Momiji has shrunk! WTF?! So putting her back in hot water will return her to normal?

Bobby will ‘avenge’ for Momou’s sake but Keita stops him. He tries to convince Keita he is still a guy and now that his brothers have left, there is no reason to hold back. But Keita only has good things to say about Ichiko and Ranmaru. Bobby dismisses Ranmaru because that woman is nothing but muscles and not cute. Obviously Ranmaru heard it all and kicks through the wall. Though it knocked Bobby out, she accidentally saw Keita’s abs. She gets dreamy and collapses. Too hot to handle? The bath water sure didn’t do her in. Keita tries to calm himself by reciting the pi formula (as told by grandma) when the wall collapses and he glimpses Ichiko’s full frontal nudity. Ichiko’s inner angels hold an emergency meeting to discuss the next step that should be taken but everybody is panicking that nothing gets done. I guess the ‘meeting’ took too long so Keita turns her around and walks away. Instead of coming to the bath to wash the stress away, now he is all gloomy. Momiji leaves the bath house wearing Ichiko’s clothes while Keita digs a hole in his garden. No, he’s not going to bury himself. I suppose he has had enough trauma bathing in public and is digging his own outdoor bath? Next day in school, Ichiko and Ranmaru as so embarrassed at yesterday’s events that they are wearing a mask as disguise. They’re going crazy just at the thought of that incident. Worse, Keita wears a paper bag over his face! But the most shocking one has got to be Momiji. Why, she is so kind and polite! Who the hell is this person?! Did all that washing wash away her poor attitude?

Episode 12
Momiji is popular at school and good at all the subjects! Even Kumagai is now a cute teddy and a hit with the ladies! What the hell is that teddy doing in school anyway?! Even when the guys are split over Ichiko and Momiji and end up fighting, Momiji politely lectures them to behave. She’s emitting Buddha’s light! Is this really the God of Misfortune? I guess the teacher was so touched that she is the first person ever to care about him and his class that he abandoned the class to go and cry. Momiji even lectures the girls about treating Ranmaru as a girl and transforms her into one. Ranmaru couldn’t take Keita’s compliments (he just woke up from slumber in class) and goes berserk. Ichiko is still not buying his nice act despite Momiji truly wants to be friends with her. She thinks this is a trap to let her guard down and when that happens, she’ll steal her fortune. Ichiko ropes in Momou and Bobby and the dog god is traumatized this isn’t the Momiji he knows. Ichiko wants Bobby to use his perverted moves to unmask Momiji but instead of groping her boobs, he covered her eyes and plays “Guess who”. No boobs to grope? Emitting to pure an aura? Even Momou can’t tolerate Momiji’s kindness. That’s like pain to a masochist. Ranmaru’s turn. All she can do is wait and pray. How long can she wait? 10 or 20 years? Not going to work for Ichiko. So I guess everybody is already accepting the new Momiji except for Ichiko who is still paranoid. Despite Momiji losing her powers, her mission still isn’t over and hopes Ichiko could share her fortune with those less fortunate. Ichiko still doesn’t buy that and spills her cooking. This causes Momiji to cry and run away. Now Ichiko looks like the villain. Ranmaru makes her go after her.

She manages to catch up and like a tsundere tells her she’s doing this because Ranmaru told her. Ichiko still can’t accept her change in character because she came into her life to steal her fortune and all of a sudden she wants to be friends? Momiji apologizes and doesn’t want her to be unhappy. After all the old Momiji had done? Ichiko still doesn’t want to share her fortune with others since she’s not a saint and doesn’t care about others besides Suwano and Ranmaru. Hey, before it was only Suwano, right? And besides, when she shared her fortune, she didn’t anything, right? Momiji feels she should make more friends and the fortune that she shares will come back to her as happiness. When they go back, Ranmaru has prepared the bath for them. Ichiko is dismayed she has to share with Momiji. Momiji hopes that Ichiko would call her by her name when she has made lots of friends but she’s still pessimistic that would ever happen. The days pass and it’s like Momiji really turned over a new leaf. Those ruthless attacks become a thing of the past and though Ichiko felt her days are much peaceful, she feels something is missing. I guess we know what it is. One day as Kumagai and Tama are playing at the park, Ryuuta’s football accidentally hits Kumagai away and into the garbage truck. Then out comes… The original horrible faced Kumagai! Momou is surprised to see this and as we learn, this happened because he is dirtied. Thus they band together to get Momiji back and get her dirty. Momou comes crashing through the window to kidnap Momiji while Kumagai ties down Ichiko and Tama. They’re going to turn Momiji back and won’t let her interfere. Yup. Kumagai extracts all the garbage from his stomach! So he is going to change Momiji right here in Ichiko’s apartment?! It’s going to stink. But Momiji wants to say her final farewell to Ichiko and promises she won’t run. She is glad that despite the short time they had, she had fun. She truly wanted to be her friend and with tears in her eyes, she hopes Ichiko won’t be too hard on the original Momiji.

Episode 13
Ichiko breaks free and trashes Kumagai and Momou. She won’t let Momiji return to her normal state having her this way is much better than that beggar b*tch that she can’t get along. Kumagai is serious in taking Momiji back and fires his bazooka filled with trash. Ichiko takes Momiji and dives through the window. Free fall! Thankfully Ranmaru was passing by and grabs them. Momiji tells them if they can just evade them till sunset tonight, everything will be okay. They chance upon Bobby driving a truck doing his delivery job. Ichiko wants him to give them a ride to another town but he’s not going to let her have her way. Till she mentions he can grope her boobs all he wants. Simpleton. I’m sure Ichiko must be lying when she told him that. So it’s pedal to the metal. All for the sake of pinching those tits. Ichiko tells Momiji she’s just doing this for herself so Momiji mentions people who think only of themselves will lead themselves to destruction. Yet Ichiko used to place Kurumi’s happiness over her own although she knew what would happen. That’s why if she truly wants, Momiji will always be with her. Kumagai and Momou are catching up fast. Ranmaru realizes all they need to do is keep them away from Momiji so she fights Momou to let the rest get away. How can she fight him when he has turned into a dog? Besides, he wants to be pummelled even more. Since Soumin Shourai is sealed, Ichiko asks Bobby for any other tools. He gives her Jazz The Hyper that increases strength and speed (Bobby used it for his own perverted ends to peek). Ichiko lets Bobby drive Momiji away while she and Tama face off with Kumagai. Kumagai easily rids of Tama by letting her chase a ball. Kumagai realizes Momiji hasn’t told Ichiko about the truth so he tells (writes actually) that if a God of Misfortune stays clean and loses her powers for a week, they’ll become human. So? Gods like them in order to communicate with humans, possess a human-like doll. This means Momiji will turn into a human-like doll if she isn’t returned back to normal by deadline and will never do so again. It is like death! Ichiko is stunned by the revelation as Kumagai knocks her out. He catches up with Bobby and intercepts the truck.

Ichiko wakes up surprised to see Keita by her side. Seems Keita had to cover for Bobby who went missing after a delivery (I guess they’re co-workers recently). Ichiko is still in a dilemma if she should go after Momiji so she asks Keita a hypothetical question if something annoying leaves but when she does it leaves the prickly feeling in your heart. Keita says she already knows the answer. Otherwise she wouldn’t be this upset. She goes ‘crazy’ just thinking about the original Momiji and Keita is glad that she is able to be her usual self. Ichiko calls it even for answering her question (he saw her naked, right?). Kumagai confronts Momiji on the bridge top and wants to know why she didn’t tell Ichiko the truth. She felt Ichiko had really changed. She has become kind to others. Though they can solve things by forcibly taking her fortune, it would leave her unhappy. If Ichiko chooses to shares her fortune, everyone will be happy. That’s why she wanted to stay by her side and support her in using that fortune for others even if it means losing her life. Besides, there are other God of Misfortunes around. Kumagai won’t have it this way but Momiji slips off the bridge. Just then, Ichiko speeds up and grabs her hand. She lectures her about thinking about others but not herself. Would that be happiness for her? Ichiko will decide what is best for herself. Also, this means she realizes she feels at peace whenever she is crazy. For the first time, Ichiko calls Momiji by her name and lets go of her hand. Momiji crashes down into the garbage tow boat. Behold! She’s back! Ichiko tells Kumagai this is what Momiji meant to be. If she disappeared like that and leave the score unsettled, she wouldn’t like it. I guess she prefers to do it the hard way to drive her out. And as expected, Ichiko and Momiji trade insults and the argument heats up. Ah, back to familiar territory. In the aftermath, life seemingly returns to normal. Suwano is reduced to tears when he learns Ichiko admitted she has made friends. As for the forgotten Bobby, he has been charged for possessing an illegal driving licence and causing destruction. Even being interrogated by police, all he could think about is touching tits. Somebody lock this monk in the asylum! He didn’t get to touch any boobs anyway…

Rich B*tch, Poor Bimbo…
Don’t be fooled by that tantalizing next episode preview at the end for a new shocking turn of development! It is definitely fake! Overall, I enjoyed this series very much with all the laugh out loud moments. They should really make another sequel no matter how absurd it is. Oh well. I guess my fortune isn’t really that great. In addition to the laughs, we could also learn a thing or two. Especially humility and counting one’s blessings. Ichiko is a very good example of a person who has almost everything but yet nothing. As I have mentioned, despite her great luck, this doesn’t necessarily translates to being perfect. Otherwise she wouldn’t have that stinking b*tching attitude to begin with. If her luck was really perfect, her childhood days would have been much happier with her parents around instead of just having her butler as company, right? What about her cooking? If she had really good luck, any ingredient she touches would’ve turned into a wonderful meal instead of deadly poison that would make Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka’s Seraphim’s horrendous cooking amateurish. She might have all the money in the world to buy anything she wants, the perfect body that every girl envies and desires, the popularity and the admiration from the boys that makes her a celebrity. But moral wise, as Momiji puts it, she’s a bankrupt. Having lots of money doesn’t necessarily get you true blue friends. You earn such friendship and respect.

It may be wrong to fully blame Ichiko on her snobbish attitude because of her past and the way society treats her. Would Ichiko have been a better angel if she had not been a victim of Kurumi’s jealousy? Would Ichiko have been a much politer person if all those jealous school girls would just shut up and treat her as a normal friend? If you don’t put up a tough exterior, it might have gotten worse. All the while, all she wanted was just a friend. She had been a lonely figure till a certain God of Poverty showed up. But as always, when somebody like Momiji turns up in Ichiko’s life, you can tell that despite she is still the same woman we know before, at least her humanity points fare much better than before. She learns that sometimes helping others gives that feel good factor that money can’t buy. And with Momiji back to her usual self, you can say the love-hate relationship will resume like before. Isn’t that Ichiko’s way of telling us that she cares for Momiji? Despite giving us all that excuse she wants to drive her out with her own hands, blah, blah, blah. What she truly wants deep down is her company that she treasures so much, right?

Momiji may have the attitude to match with Ichiko but I don’t think she is really a bad person. She’s just doing her job as a God of Poverty and sometimes Ichiko’s arrogance really gets to her so I suppose she needs to let loose some steam once in a while to teach her a lesson. Ironically, despite her title as the God of Poverty, I feel that Momiji is a blessing in disguise for Ichiko because without her, I don’t think Ichiko would have improved so much as a human being. Then comes Ranmaru, the second ‘angel’ for Ichiko. Every girl needs a best friend, right? Even if she’s the tomboyish type. Kumagai proves that he isn’t just some mascot that bums around writing comebacks. In the final episode he shows that even a ragged teddy bear has a human heart because he doesn’t want Momiji to sacrifice herself so that Ichiko could be a better person. Would a lose-win situation suffice? Nay. I say let Ichiko’s fortune do the job and make it a win-win situation! As for perverts Bobby and Momou, I feel their presence were just for comical relief. If Momiji isn’t enough to take in all that beating, this couple of guys would provide great extra trashing when needed.

As for some of the other minor side characters, I was hoping that some would play a more prominent role but I guess this series has Ichiko and Momiji hogging the spotlight. For instance when Kuroyuri made her debut, I was sure that she was either going to be sticking around for at least a few more episodes or be the turning point in the series that will affect the main duo. However she only lasted for one stinking episode. That’s it. Gone. Can’t stand the misery of Ichiko’s cooking, eh? Same case for Ibuki. So what after he gave Ichiko a pendant to prevent her from stealing other people’s fortune? Shouldn’t Momiji have done that in the beginning? Yeah well, if she did, we might not enjoy all the hilarious slapstick chaos. So what was the deal Ibuki and Momiji made? Did Momiji know beforehand about the consequences of being cleaned and setting up the events that led her to the public bath house to be washed spotless? Even if so, how did Ibuki fit into all this unless his appearance was just to make Ichiko the importance of life. After that, you won’t see the Toilet God anymore. Another one episode only character. Just like Shion and Gorihara. Can’t blame them for being traumatized, eh? What happened to Urashimako? I guess he became turtle soup for real. Haha! As for Keita, I felt after his arc that involves saving brother Ryuuta and the picnic incident, his role seems to become less significant. It felt like he is around just to remind us he is still there and his thoughts are mainly how to make a quick buck to earn for his impoverish family, which I don’t think he’ll hesitate to do. His poor life isn’t what everybody would love to go through but at least he makes an honest living, gets to sleep well at night and is happy to know that his siblings are happy. You can see the ultimate difference between Keita and Ichiko and what each clearly lacks. I’m sure you would know which is the better one.

I guess with all the comical slapsticks, exaggerated action and drama, there won’t be enough space for some love chemistry. Who am I kidding? Blossoming romance in this anime? Despite Ranmaru having a huge crush on Keita, it feels just for comical purpose. As if it becomes a natural reflex action for her to go berserk and crazy every time that guy pops up right before her eyes. Well, it’s good to know that despite years of being raised as a boy, deep down she is still a girl. I had this thought that Ichiko and Keita would end up being a couple but from the way things were heading, prospects look dim. Not even that incident whereby Keita accidentally saw her naked body would turn things around. I guess Ichiko didn’t really want to play mommy to a poor guy with younger siblings to support and looks like she ditched the idea of having a boyfriend for good. I suppose the only true love that occurred in this anime is Suwano and his new wife. And please, Bobby and Momou’s perversion isn’t considered true romance. That’s just sickening.

There are lots of trivia to spot if you keep your eyes open and though I won’t say that they are filled over to the brim but there are enough scattered and peppered around. If you know your animes well, that is. Many of them involve Momiji or Ichiko and sometimes even Kumagai dressed up or cosplaying as such characters for a short while. For example, Rosario To Vampire, Medaka Box, To Love-Ru Darkness, Dragonball, Lupin, One Piece and Bleach. From what I observed, Dragonball parody is often used like how it was used in an example that a certain hero from that anime always keep winning while a certain villain always keep losing. I guess now we know why that always happens, huh? Blame it all on Ichiko! There is even a Death Note parody scene whereby Ichiko and the other characters parodied characters of that psychological thriller series. The trivia are fun to watch and spot and it adds pleasure and increase the overall effect of funniness. So even without the perverted antics of Bobby and Momou, Momiji’s cheeky harassment to screw up Ichiko’s life or Ichiko’s annoying reaction to it all, the show is still a laughing riot thanks to this.

Right at the end of the series whereby there is an end card illustration, which is just chibi and comical sketches of Ichiko and Momiji. When I rewatch them again at one go, I notice there seems to be a short nonsensical story in each one. Feels like some little plant is sprouting out from Momiji’s head as it grows into a big tree. The ‘red apples’ it bears turns out to be Momiji clones, much to Ichiko’s horror. Then she wakes up from it as a bad dream but it seems the nightmare has come true as all the Momiji clones are partying away in her room. Huh? Oh, there’s a plant sprouting out on Ichiko’s head too in the end! Also together with the end card illustration is the second title. I’m not sure what this second title is for since I don’t see it appearing in the main episode proper (maybe just for laughs?) but I notice that some of them parody anime titles that would reflect the misadventure of the next episode like The Disappearance of Binbouda Momiji (parody of The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi – Suzumiya Haruhi No Shoushitsu), Gentiana In The Middle Of Somewhere (Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere – Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon), My Classmate Have No Money (No Money – Okane Ga Nai) and There’s No Way I Have A Smaller Tits Than A Littler Girl (There’s No Way My Sister Can Be This Cute – Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai). Then there are some which doesn’t seem like anime titles like Washed And Knife Up, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, Ibuki Seat and Get Whipped. The mid-intermission is also another funny section with the characters in random poses or silly antics/costumes.

Also another one of the more amusing sections is the Nadeshiko Ga segment (brought to you by Eromotion?) right before the next episode preview. In this segment, we have this bratty and arrogant oujo-sama-like girl, Nadeshiko hosting this short segment with her dialogue-less butler, Shinobu as she teases viewers to find her cameo appearances during the episode. This segment reveals her position in that episode if you care enough to do a Where’s Wally search. Then she’ll give out that arrogant laughter at the end. Of course it will be boring to just see her do the same thing in every episode so they did a little variety by cancelling this segment in one episode due to lack of time (hear her go “NooOOOOooOOOOooOOO…” in the background), fast forwarding it at 3x the speed and making her sound like a chipmunk and even superimposing her face as that sh*t dude when she didn’t really appear at all. So who is this girl, really? She doesn’t seem to have any impact in this series probably just to amuse us or screw with our heads wondering who the heck she is. In later episodes, there are very short comical skits called Extra Round. They have no impact to the actual story or the episode proper and the skits include Bobby in his twisted vision spots the words “BOOBS” when the kanji words coincidentally are lumped together, Momou getting into his bondage position in just a second, Yamabuki lecturing Momiji for her failure but will let it slide since she was easily ‘bribed’ by her favourite glam rock material, Bobby showing his obviously fake and made up driving licence to get a job and Momiji switching bodies with Ichiko and plans to run wild around town with her huge tits (and also ruin her reputation) but soon returns a minute later because she finds it tough walking around with big boobs as they can’t stop bouncing about.

Kana Hanazawa is perfectly casted as the role of Ichiko. Over the years she has played a myriad of characters from retarded lively ones to shy and soft-spoken girls. As Ichiko she displays lots of angst and frustration courtesy of the beggar b*tch. She sounds more like Mahiru from Kamisama Dolls. Only add more angst to it. Haruka Tomatsu as Ranmaru sounds more like her Beelzebub anime role as Yuuka Hanazawa because of her loud hoarser voice she is making. Kikuko Inoue as Yamabuki clearly didn’t sound like her dreamy voice roles like Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama or Kasumi in Ranma 1/2 so I couldn’t recognize her voice initially. Hiro Shimono as Momou sounds pretty familiar because that’s the same kind of voice he puts up when playing idiots (Akihisa in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu) or perverts (Ryousuke in Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai). Other casts include Yumi Uchiyama as Momiji (Nagi in A Channel), Kouki Uchiyama as Keita (Ichika in Inifinte Stratos, Midnight in Fairy Tail), Yoshihisa Kawahara as Bobby (Yasu in Nana), Koji Yusa as Ibuki (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach), Ryoko Shiraishi as Kuroyuri (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Asami Shimoda as Ryuuta (Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Shiho Kawaragi as Rika (Sekai in School Days) and Hiroshi Naka as Suwano (Naoyuki in Clannad). Rie Kugimiya made a cameo appearance as Kurumi and though she didn’t do her trademark tsundere loli voice, she is still recognizable with that cute high pitch voice and it was convincing enough to make her character almost turn into yandere mode.

The opening theme, Make My Day by Piko may start out sounding like a video game song but what I find amusing about this pop rock is the lyrics. Especially during the chorus when she starts singing one way, two way, three way, four way, bad day go away. It sounds cute that it rhymes like that in a row. But the ending theme is my favourite since this rock-like piece, Koi Boudou is quite a catchy tune despite the singer, Happy Birthday (yes, this is the name of the group that sung this song) doesn’t have one of the best voices around and isn’t likely to become idol or megastar material (in my opinion of course) as she sounded like she had a few rounds of drink and gotten drunk. If you know how the Japanese pop rock group, Nano Ripe sounds, you get the idea. Close to that. But I guess that kind of voice would suit the pace and feel of this song as I have imagined a high pitched, squeaky and cute one won’t really do. Neither would a mature one would make it work either.

It is true that when you share your fortune with others, your own fortune will grow and multiply itself. You become happier and more luck spreads around. Like that say, giving is better than receiving (unless you’re an ‘M’). Well, theoretically that should be okay but if you start thinking about world balance and yin-yang it may not be possible since if there are rich people, there must also be poor ones. Rich only exists because there are poor. Just like why there are beautiful people because there are ugly ones. Without darkness, light won’t exist. Maybe I shouldn’t get into too many details on this topic. We’ll save that for another day. Despite this series trying to tell us that sharing is caring, not everything in this world should be shared generously. I certainly don’t want to catch the illness you are having. For hygienic purposes, don’t share the same towel, handkerchief or even the same underwear… Even if you’re a pervert!

An Astronomy Club located at the basement of the school? That’s odd. Shouldn’t it be at least at the rooftop where you can have a clear view of the sky? Oh wait. Take a closer look. This isn’t really an Astronomy Club. It’s an Asstronomy Club. ASS-tronomy Club. There’s a difference in that. Despite both pronounced as Tenmon-bu in Japanese, the ‘mon’ is written in a slightly different kanji. So what is this Asstronomy Club about in Ebiten – Koritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmon-Bu? One thing, as I read it seems pretty odd that it is a club for fujoshi fans. Yup. Those yaoi fetish females. I guess those hot studs making love must be like heaven, thus the stars. The ass. So what happens when somebody who is interested in astronomy joins the club only to find out it is not about the stars and constellations? What more, this new somebody is a new cross-dresser. Man, this is going to be real complicated in a fujoshi club.

Episode 1
Kyouko Todayama isn’t obviously paying attention in English class and is outright doing her own research right in front of the teacher, Shouko Oomori. She gets depressed and starts ranting about her boyfriend thingy. Thank goodness the bell just rang. Class is over. Out she happily goes. The teacher, that is. Asstronomy Club’s vice president, Hasumi Ooba meets the president of the student council, Yuka Iseda and the latter is adamant to abolish her club because it doesn’t have enough members and don’t do any productive activities. However Ooba isn’t going down with a fight as it’s a place she formed with her friends. Returning to her club room, she sees Todayama stripping Hakata Kanamori. WTF is this outrage. She also notices a first year student in an oversized uniform interested in joining the club, Itsuki Noya. She requests to write her name on the paper but Todayama isn’t going to let her join easily and wants her to pass a test. I’m not sure what’s the idea of tying Kanamori up, reading out loud her yaoi doujin with Rikei Hiromatsu before cutting her precious book up! Don’t worry, she has a couple of the same copies. That’s not the point… Noya is to assemble them together and thinking this must be some test to assemble and find harmony with the stars. Let’s say it’s all over the place so Todayama fails her instantly. However Hiromatsu points out it is much easier to read. The flow is better. It’s a yaoi doujin we’re talking about. But Todayama won’t let Noya join yet and will have to pass a second test. In this dramatic play, Ooba is dressed as Athena and narrates how Noya will have to defeat the 12 golden club members if she is to join the club. Otherwise it will be the end of Athena (cue for fake arrow to hit her chest – and die).

First up is Kanamori but because she was so annoying, Todayama agrees to help Noya out by stripping her naked!!! Noya wins without even having to lift a finger. Next is Hiromatsu in some mecha suit but she loses interest and has Noya a walkover. What the? Next is Ooba, dressed in her winter clothing. With some elaborated drama speech thingy suddenly Noya is going to face the final boss who is no other than Todayama. Noya thinks the equipment in Todayama’s hand is some Dob telescope but it seems she has modified it to something else. She shoots rock candy from it. Noya is advised to open the big box she is carrying during times of trouble and inside it is a pair of iron knuckles. One of the rock candy enters Noya’s mouth and she instantly falls asleep. With that, Todayama fails her and this means she won’t be admitted into the club. Ooba wants to know why she is so against her from joining and guess what was her reply? Because it’s fun! After much deliberation, Ooba invalids Todayama’s victory (with that scary look to make her reflect her actions), Noya’s acceptance will be decided via rock-scissors-paper. Fair game? All by chance, no? Noya wins and is given a form to fill up to join the club. Oomori the advisor comes in but she refutes she is the advisor and points that it is the cat, Neko instead and leaves. The girls think it’s her boyfriend problem thingy. The cat shreds the paper. At the end of the day, Noya thanks them for accepting her but Ooba is more thankful because of her, the club escaped abolishment.

Episode 2
In a cliché morning rush to school, Kanamori spots Neko with a bandaged on its forehead. Thinking there is some crest mark beneath it that will reveal it to be some Sailormoon thingy, she opens it only to see a different mark. I think she got the wrong cat too. In the club room, she sees Noya in a reindeer outfit. Todayama made her do it. Don’t ask. Oh, don’t forget today’s does of stripping as Todayama strips Kanamori and puts on a lewd Santa outfit so that they could go around recruiting new members. She has a bad feeling about this… Ooba sees Iseda again and the latter once more is adamant to close down her club despite having sufficient members. She shows all the complaints received. Hey wait. They all have the same date and are signed by Iseda herself! Oopsie! She felt embarrassed and guilty by her blooper till she sees Todayama and Kanamori folly. Instant change of mind. Todayama is handing out leaflets to potential members and believes nobody will recognize Kanamori in that outfit. Haha, on the contrary. So when she gets back, Kanamori feels doomed that everyone will think of her as a pervert and do something awful to her. Unfortunately her doujin mind switches on and she gets turned on by the delusion she is fantasizing. Next day in class, she is seen wearing a bunny outfit and because she is afraid of those ‘beasts’ targeting her, she’s not going to do club activities anymore. Todayama realizes the need of change in plans and makes Noya wear that skimpy Santa outfit. Oversized. Not sexy enough. Rejected. Kanamori is on the rooftop when Oomori hands her Neko. Looks like she got dumped by her boyfriend again. Heading back to the clubroom, she gets disheartened when people start staring at her. I don’t think they’ll pounce on her.

Upon opening the door, Kanamori is greeted with bad acting and voiceover that some evil has taken over Todayama’s body and is holding Hiromatsu hostage. It’s her job to save the day. Yeah, watch Kanamori transform into Tailor Moon! Tailor what? Oh, some legendary cosplay shop where you can fix any broken clothes. Haha! Anyway in this Sailormoon parody, we see Kanamori singing her own tune and using some Sailormoon parody skills to whip the evil. Too bad she got easily defeated. But she’s not giving up yet. She summons Noya as her Tailor Moon assistant to distract Todayama so that she could rescue Hiromatsu. She calls upon her other Tailor Moon mates and with the 5 of them (Hiromatsu, Ooba and Neko completing the line up – why are they named after office job positions?) vow to bring justice, blah, blah, blah. Todayama takes out her rock candy cannon and fires away. Hiromatsu is on the ‘verge of death’ so they narrate the wonderful times Kanamori first joined the club. Seems very glossy. In actual fact, Todayama targeted her because she was the most timid and they needed another member. After Hiromatsu ‘dramatically dies’, Kanamori powers up to avenge her death. Yeah, she’s got a new costume, a new theme song (at least she didn’t sing it herself this time) and some wind for effects. If you’re wondering, nobody is impressed. She’s going to use her terrifying skill that reveals Todayama’s 3 sizes. Todayama beeps them out when Kanamori reads them out, much to her dismay. She kicks up so much fuss that it may destroy the clubroom when this Tuxedo Midnight guy appears. Who the? He left as soon as he arrived. And thus the peace of this club is maintained. Wasn’t Kanamori the source? In the aftermath when they are stargazing, Noya thought Ooba was explaining about a certain star and its purpose during ancient times but Hiromatsu points out she was referring to Kanamori because every star has its purpose and there’s a reason why she is in Asstronomy Club. Kanamori is back to her normal self and doesn’t need to hide anymore because of the encouraging words said by Tuxedo Midnight (although he did not) and vows to protect the club. Ooba feels assured she’ll do that but Todayama just felt she was lying through her teeth.

Episode 3
There is this girl, Izumiko making her way into Asstronomy Club and confronting Todayama. However the scent of the incense caused her to pass out. Todayama is relaying a big emergency to Kanamori and Hiromatsu that she has caught the enemy. Izumiko is the enemy? And she’s an alien? Ooba treats her nicely so Izumiko is assured there is at least someone in this club who is sane rather than that wacko Todayama. Yeah, ignore her ranting. It gives you a peace of mind. Todayama isn’t convinced and will go all out to stop this alien. But the rest are awed that Izumiko is able to stop Todayama and put up with her stupid antics. Definitely not an amateur. Izumiko is here to find someone and looks all over the place. She sees a rock candy and this brings back some ‘horrifying’ memories. We see Todayama ranting about scientific terms and chemical names that only mad scientists do. It made others stay away from her and as a result, Izumiko was mistreated and blames Todayama for the lost of her friends. To the other girls’ surprise, Izumiko is Todayama’s little sister. One year her junior. Never could have guessed it, eh? Besides, they attend different schools. They were once intimate sisters. Well, not that intimate but the kind of intimacy that Izumiko looks up to her pretty and intelligent sister. Then one day Todayama dropped the bombshell that she is leaving to some star because she is not human and she has to do so to save Earth (among some other delusional ranting). You could say life turned upside down for Izumiko ever since she left but Todayama feels she is insulting Asstronomy Club. So she has her take a quiz club and if Izumiko clears it, she’ll get to see this person she’s looking for.

Noya finishes his class duties, returning to the club only to see Izumiko in a quiz session. She answered wrongly a question about Kanamori. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a cue for Todayama to strip her for today’s portion. Iseda then comes in, bent on closing the club so the girls escape via secret passageway leaving Noya and Ooba behind. As they walk along, Izumiko laments when did big sis turned into a deviant so Todayama takes this as an insult to the club. This has her continuing the match and if Izumiko wins, she’ll get to do anything to her but if she loses, she won’t have her way with the club. So… They’re battling each other via animal rides jousting? Octopus ride? Isn’t this turning out to be an ordinary sibling squabble? In the end, Todayama blows some sleeping powder to knock her out. And thus the club is once more saved for today. Eh? When she wakes up later, Todayama tells her to go back quietly and she’ll let today’s events slide. Otherwise she’ll post embarrassing photos of her on the internet. Gosh. Did she do anything to her while she was asleep? Obviously not but Izumiko took the bait and agrees. Izumiko is fetch home and she knows Todayama is hiding something and will look further into it. But she laments she couldn’t find her Itsuki-sama. Eh? Couldn’t she recognize? Unless… Todayama explains to the girls that they live separately when some mysterious dude pulls up to tell them that Earth is being targeted.

Episode 4
He identifies himself as Eiji Bando but Todayama has her reservations. Bando escapes when he receives an emergency message. In school, Hiromatsu asks Neko for its opinion. Well, it is Oomori’s substitute, right? Suddenly Neko gets naughty and frolics under her skirt. This made her go into ecstasy. Todayama sees this and now that she knows her weakness, is going to take advantage of it! Demon! First she teases her by not giving Hiromatsu touch Neko and then lets the cat loose into her breasts. Stimulating, isn’t it? Then Neko goes ‘violate’ Kanamori’s bag filled with her yaoi doujin and pees inside!!! Precious treasures!!! Hiromatsu goes after Neko and bumps into Izumiko coming into school. Knowing she wants to visit Asstronomy Club, she gives her a seal (stamped by Neko) as approval. Hiromatsu gets serious and wants to know what happened between the sisters since she doubts Todayama will tell her if she asks her straight. Izumiko doesn’t reveal anything. Hiromatsu feels Todayama is a big mystery and thus the reason why she joined the club was because she was curious about her. It might not seem obvious but according to her observation, Todayama is conducting advanced astronomy-related research in secret. Though Izumiko won’t forgive her sister for tarnishing the family’s name, she has no intention of reconciling with her and leaves upset when Hiromatsu tries to read a prediction for her via her tarot cards. There have been cases of girls fainting in school so Iseda and her team are investigating it and she doesn’t want this matter to be known as to cause unnecessary anxiety. Iseda has a fear of cats because she spots a group of them and runs back to her room. She summons Ooba and connects her club with the incidents. No proof? See? So Ooba says that if she gets to the bottom of this case by the end of the day, her club will not be abolished.

Of course Todayama plays detective, heading to the crime scene looking for clues and making Noya doing a stakeout while Ooba interviews the victims who don’t remember much. Neko is talking cat language to a legion of cats while Hiromatsu is obsessed with their cuteness. Todayama couldn’t find any leads on the case so she wants to go find someone and accuse that person of being the culprit! F*ck! So happens that person coming in is Izumiko. It’s decided. She’s the culprit. In some sick interrogation, as long as Izumiko doesn’t confess, Kanamori will get tortured. Eh? What? She fires her rock candy to rip her clothes so Izumiko agrees to come clean. Calling Iseda to the scene, Todayama wants Izumiko expelled for eternity from this school. Izumiko makes the perfect culprit since a student from another school wandering the grounds would be suspicious. Moreover, Izumiko says if she being the culprit solves everything, then so be it. However Ooba points out Izumiko is their guest and shows the seal of approval from Neko. This document is even valid? Suddenly Neko and the bunch of cats bust into the room. With Hiromatsu as the translator, Neko is enraged that Iseda is the culprit using this incident to abolish the club. As punishment, Todayama throws all the cats at her till she falls out of the window. Don’t worry. The cats provide soft landing cushion. In the aftermath as things wind down, Noya is appalled that Todayama forgot all about her! She’s still in her stakeout position! Hiromatsu suggests the sisters to talk but Todayama cautions not to get involve with her. Ooba gives Izumiko a planisphere as gift so reluctant Izumiko teaches her how to use it. Hiromatsu tells Izumiko that Todayama is a genius and despite being with her every day, she doesn’t know much about her. Telling her about a story behind some constellation. There were once 2 sisters who got along very well. When the older sister left in search of happiness, the younger one faithfully waited for a long time for her return till she became a flower and drifted away into the skies and became a constellation. Never heard it before? It’s made up by Todayama! But Izumiko wonders what prompted her to make up such a story. Izumiko then clearly spots a red star in the sky. Ooba is shocked that she could see it because that star is called Death Star.

Episode 5
Izumiko is once more at the doors of Asstronomy Club to find the man she is searching for but Todayama won’t allow her in. So while the sisters argue, comes in the rest of the members and especially Noya is in male clothes! He is the Itsuki-sama Izumiko has been searching for! How? What? Why? First, Izumiko slaps him multiple times in the cheek. Then she makes him say her name: Elizabeth Margaret. She has been wondering where he had been all the time so when the girls put the female uniform over him, Izumiko realizes how dumb she was not to recognize him in the first place. So focused on finding the normal Noya that she disregarded everything around her. After another trademark slap, Noya explains how he ended up cross-dressing. When he first wanted to join the Astronomy Club, he found it odd to be located at the basement. Todayama instantly rejects him because if there is a guy now, they won’t have secret girl parties (do they?) or exercise without their panties (WTF). However Todayama was reminded if Ooba finds out she turns him down, she’ll be in deep sh*t. So Todayama has him take a test. She strips Kanamori and wants him to wear her uniform, spewing crap about utilizing a human potential and the first step is via cross-dressing. So if he cross-dresses, he can join? The rest is history. That’s why you’ve always seen him in an oversized female uniform in the club room. Next, Izumiko makes him go on all fours and stands on him!!! Sadists! What’s more, she announces he is the heir to the Noya Group! WTF?! He’s treating him like dirt?! Izumiko reveals herself as his maid so she spews lot of crap to brainwash Noya into believing her she is like this and that. Including some twisted sense that since her name is Elizabeth which is the queen of England, it makes her more amazing than a maid and is far superior than him. That’s why he must obey her. WTF?! And he believed it! WTF???!!! Izumiko sets up some nice tea set and table for him to drink. Despite her goal of wanting him to experience the best of life, her tea is f*cking salty! Then she pours a mountain of salt into the cup. With those demonic eyes, she is confident her tea can’t be undrinkable! BULLY!!! She seems to have lots of fun bullying him.

Todayama tells her to stop bullying him so Izumiko grabs him and asserts he is hers and accuses her for always taking her treasures. That’s because Noya is her toy! Eh? WTF?! However Todayama reminds her he joined on his own will, this means he belongs to the Asstronomy Club. This means he is Todayama’s property?! What’s the difference?! Todayama snatches him and is going to perfect him by putting female clothes on him. At least she didn’t strip Kanamori for it. I guess the bullying just changed hands. Izumiko flips up his skirt to reveal his polka dot briefs. She slaps him and chides him for being half-hearted! If he is going to cross-dress, he must cross-dress down to his underwear too! Oh no. Everybody agrees but this is a cue for Todayama to strip Kanamori of her panties! She manages to stop them when she mentions she has an extra pair for cosplay. After that folly of Kanamori trying to pull back up her panties without bending down (I don’t know how screwed up it could get), Izumiko helps Noya wear the panties. Then Todayama flips up his skirt to see the panties over the briefs! Weird combo. Some perfection. At the end of the day as they leave, Izumiko asserts she will join this club and do the necessary paper work to transfer to this school. Both the sisters argue about Noya being a dog, toy, property and its equivalents that they won’t hand him over. Ooba who has been quiet all this time breaks her silence. She puts her foot down. Or else. Better surrender while you’re in one piece. She tells them it is not the present or future they need, but love. They have to treasure Noya more because he is the club’s equipment. Eh? Not her too? Well, Izumiko did call him her toy so she thought he is some sort of equipment. Speaking of Noya, the girls realize he isn’t around. Hiromatsu picks up her tarot card and death is on the cards. Todayama corrects herself he is no toy but perhaps a grim reaper born from a miserable star. I agree. With the way the sisters are treating him…

Episode 6
Noya is comfortably cleaning the club room in his boy uniform when Iseda walks in to announce she’ll be abolishing this club (again). Then behold! Appears Todayama in a tokusatsu outfit calling herself Kyouder! She wants Noya to reveal his true self and strips him! Izumiko isn’t going to allow that because his stripping rights belong to her and joins in the strip. The nonsense stops when Ooba comes in. She thought Iseda is back with the club. On the contrary. Noya learns she was a former club member and the president up till a year ago. Something must’ve happened between Ooba and Iseda for it to happen. Iseda asserts she has quit the club but Ooba insists she has accepted her resignation. On the grounds of this club is not productive, she is going to shut it down. Ooba wants her to join them in a stargazing activity to confirm with her own eyes to see if they’re productive or not. While waiting for night fall, the rest put up some lame hero show in a park that hardly has anybody. Even the mommies are talking to themselves and their kids paying attention to their toys. I don’t think they even know there are idiots acting on the stage. Ooba and Iseda are in the Ferris wheel and it’s a force flashback whether she wants to remember or not. Many years ago when they’re young, the duo are best of friends. They stumble into a beautiful rose garden with a telescope in the centre. This mansion belongs to a wheelchair ridden grandma. Because they all love roses and stars, the girls get permission to come play here again and in return will help tend to her rose garden and research on the stars. Iseda did the watering and suggested Ooba do the research since she had a weak body. This went on for several years and when they talk about the Rose Nebula, the girls promise they would take a picture of it so she can put it up in her room. Meanwhile the hero show seems to be failing but nobody gives a damn because nobody’s watching. After that blooper putting on the armour pieces on Todayama, Hiromatsu the ‘monster’ unleashes her wave of cats to attack. Todayama tries to use her light sabre and because the plug wasn’t properly plugged in, it catches fire and burns down the entire park! Oh sh*t! And the mommies don’t even know about the fire! It’s amazing they didn’t get caught.

Night falls as they trek to the destined stargazing area. Iseda explains the use of red torches so that their eyes could get used to the dark and not affect the stargazing. But I guess the rest love to mess around and scare this scaredy cat. Whether it’s shining the torchlight underneath their face, telling ghost stories, just showing Neko and the ultimate one: Cheekily pointing something is behind the tree she is hiding. Man, they’re enjoying this. She runs away but ends up at grandma’s mansion, the place where the stargazing will be. This now ruined mansion also brings back some memories too. One day when Ooba and Iseda came by for their usual visit, they see lots of people at the house. After telling they’re here to tend the roses and observe the stars as usual, a guy thanks them and says there is no need to do them anymore. Gosh. I guess granny went to stars, huh? Then Iseda was going to relay the good news that she got an official room for the Astronomy Club but she sees Ooba talking friendly with Todayama (with astronomy books all around the table). Her heart sank and she left. Back to the stargazing, Todayama sets up all the expensive equipment and this shocks Iseda because she thought she stole them! But as pointed out, they received advance payment for the hero show since the student council’s stingy budget won’t allow them to buy such equipment. Oh. So the hero show wasn’t for displaying their stupidity. Ooba then shows Iseda a picture of Rose Nebula taken from Todayama’s camera. She hasn’t forgotten about the promise. Iseda feels bad that she has misunderstood them but returns to her tsundere mode that she acknowledges the club is productive and won’t abolish them. For today. It’s already night time. Todayama ends it by spouting crap wanting to form a light music band tomorrow and head for the UK.

Episode 7
It’s for real! Todayama actually brought music instruments to the club to form a band! Looks like gazing at stars wasn’t enough, they need to become one too! But when they start playing, let’s just say the funeral music sounds much better. No sync! So are they giving up because they’re now bumming around. Todayama refuses to throw in the towel so she puts up a recruitment poster. All they need to recruit are band members who can play instruments since they are the vocals. I doubt they can sing too. In addition, they make a crappy promotion video and to top it, Todayama starts filming Neko to add icing to the cake. They follow the cat and bump into Iseda who is hinting she wants to join. Man, she can play those electric guitar riffs, bass and keyboard! She’s f*cking good! But the rest are ignoring her because they’re more preoccupied with following Neko! Till Ooba sees Iseda that the tsundere student council president runs away in embarrassment. The gang follow Neko and it leads them to Oomori. She’s outside her boyfriend’s house. Now they creepy things start to show. She’s feeding him lunch via the door hole and even a goodbye kiss! Is the door her boyfriend. They are so appalled that they are wondering if this is classified as horror genre and should report her. Oomori spots them and goes on a hysterical rant about being in love, blah, blah, blah. All they see is harassment and stalking. Oomori senses her boyfriend door open but he slams it back! Now we know why he doesn’t want to respond to that crazy woman. Before she turns into a criminal, Todayama blows her sleeping powder in her face and lets her sleep in the trash. Don’t worry. She’ll eventually wake up. Suddenly Noya’s head feels pain but he brushes it off.

Noya and Kanamori gets locked in the Asstronomy Club room together. It’s a ploy by Todayama to secretly film the exciting things that will happen with a boy and a girl alone together after school. And Izumiko is all tied up bondage style and she can’t do anything. Why is Todayama whipping her up too to see if she feels pleasure in pain? A sicko, now a sadist… So the cliché happenings. Kanamori stands up on a stool to reach something, Noya accidentally sees her panties, she panics, they fall, he accidentally has his hand on her boobs. Classic. Thinking she has hurt her feet, he carries her to a chair whereby he helps bandage it. Todayama shows Izumiko how long they’re getting along. They never see this side of him because someone was always taking care of him so his personality didn’t get any chance to show. She wants Izumiko to let Noya go because looking after him is just a reason for her to find someone to depend on. As a maid, she should stand back and watch her master’s happiness. Izumiko cries as she can’t believe Noya is having tea with another woman other than her. It has always been the 2 of them. When Noya starts getting a headache, Izumiko bursts out of the room to his aid. Then Ooba returns with Oomori and the latter has an important announcement to make. She found out her boyfriend loves woman with big boobs. What? That’s it? When she woke up in the trash, she smelled his scent in the rubbish and rummaged through them to find all his porn magazines are filled with woman with big tits. Note that searching through the garbage is the scary thing. So in order to make her boobs big, she is going to massage them. Well, Kanamori becomes the victim as Oomori strips her and massages her breasts! Why always her? Anyway this scene is too hot for Noya to handle that it aggravates his headache. Izumiko tries to wake him up with her slaps when suddenly he grabs her hand. Oh no. Then this evil aura starts flowing out and it’s like Noya has turned into a bishonen badass. Split personality? With an evil maniacal laugh, he notes it’s been a long time since he has seen Izumiko. So this is the real Noya?

Episode 8
Neko submits itself to Noya. Noya though believes this is the first time Todayama is seeing him in this form, he claims she is his fiancée. Izumiko wants to stop Noya but before she could pull out the gun underneath her skirt, Noya was quick to reach it. He disarms her and destroys her special bullets. He is going to make his move on the remaining moves when Ooba knocks his head with the locker for them to escape. They take refuge in the student council’s room. Iseda still thinks of joining the band. That was like over ages ago. So Todayama starts her explanations about pheromones, its consequences that will malfunction electromagnetism of living organisms and the terrifying prediction that Nostradamus made. Izumiko serves her master Noya like what a true maid should. He spills his wine so she had to use her clothes to wipe it. I don’t know how much he spilled because she’s down to her undies and would’ve gladly taken them off to wipe had Noya not stop her. He acknowledges her loyalty and the best maid but if he is to rule the world, he needs more maids. Todayama continues that the rock candy and incense could temporarily ward of Noya’s pheromones. They need to create Pheromone Breaker (Alias) to break it. Then comes in Oomori with lots of books. Seems she has researched lots of it. Has she found the answer? Yes! The book contains methods to enlarge breasts! Oh… Just let her be. So how are they going to make this Pheromone Breaker (Alias)? Todayama notices that Izumiko is the only person who carries sample of it due to Noya’s nature. That sample was in her special bullet.

They make their way to the chemistry lab but are besieged with zombie girls under Noya’s pheromones. Iseda thought she could be the hero and orders them to go back as the student council president. Unfortunately she got owned and became one of them. Yeah, she unintentionally became the sacrifice so the rest could head over to the lab. In the lab, more incomprehensible explanations from Todayama as she improvises the Dob telescope and turns it into a Pheromone Breaker (Alias) maker. Noya is addressing his maids when he realizes powder flowing into the room via air vent. He knows this is Todayama’s doing and though it is too small to have any significant effect, he must take action. Both sides face off and the girls are prepared after having eaten enough rock candies (Ooba got ear plugs?). Since this method of succumbing them to his pheromones won’t work, Noya unleashes his maid for the direct method. The zombie girls attack while Noya and Izumiko head back to the lab. Ooba fends off Iseda so that Todayama could go after them. Back in the Asstronomy Club, Todayama springs over them to load the special bullet into the gun. Todayama is ready to shoot him but Izumiko stands between them. She lets her know she is completely sane and not under his spell. Why is she doing this? Because she hates her for always taking away her treasures. She doesn’t want any more of those memories. The distraction was enough for Noya to knock her out. When she comes to, she is surrounded by her friends who mention that the duo have entered the club’s secret passageway. Noya is confident his time to become the world’s ruler has come.

Episode 9
Noya enjoys looking down on the world he is ruling but Izumiko points out the Noya she knew said the sky doesn’t belong to anyone and that’s why he liked it. Noya tells her to just obey him and think of nothing else. Todayama leads the girls to the park whereby Noya has turned the little girls into his harem. Why? He admits he’s a lolicon! As Todayama and Noya have a showdown, Izumiko reflects no matter how much she serves him, her feelings won’t reach him. No matter how much she loves him, he always returns to Todayama, his fiancée. Todayama points out he was afraid of her family blood because if he wasn’t, he could’ve taken control of her then back at the club room. Noya is going to show her unparallel despair and prepares to transform into his true self as Izumiko blames Todayama it’s her fault that she left him no choice and turned out like this. Noya summons all the cats as they cling on to him before blasting them away. Behold! Noya’s true form. An even more grown up and handsome version! It’s time for them to be part of his plan. He takes a pill and pops it down Kanamori’s mouth. Her body shrinks into a size of a child. He targets Hiromatsu next but Todayama protects her and swallows the pill instead. Oomori drops in and is looking pretty confident. Don’t get your hopes up. Noya throws a pill into her mouth but there is no effect! In this confusion, the girls take this chance to run away and reorganize themselves. So why wasn’t Oomori affected? She claims something about her boyfriend’s power of love, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, let’s ignore her since she’s going into stupid mode. Hiromatsu may look like a lolicon hugging the little Kanamori and Todayama but she says she likes anything small and cute.

Todayama explains the special pill that suppresses Noya’s abnormal rapid growth that’s why when they eat it, it made them smaller. Since there is one that makes you shrink, there is also one that will make your body grow. She might make it if she studies the arrangement of the stars as codes for the medicine and aromas that her grandma taught her. Hey. Her grandma looks awfully familiar. Wheelchair, rose garden, telescope…  But they don’t have time to do that because here comes Noya and his exuding pheromones. Dropping in to save the day is Oomori’s boyfriend, no other than that Bando guy, who is Noya’s elder brother too! I’m sure Kanamori has started her yaoi fantasy between the brothers. Lolicon versus big breasts freak. Bando wants to save him from Noya’s family curse and gives the remedy pills to return Todayama and Kanamori back to their normal sizes. However he gets an urgent call so he has to leave and leaves it up to them to take care of Noya while Oomori follows him closely behind. What a letdown. Though Noya would’ve preferred lolis, he is still okay with other types of girls. When he comments Ooba as mature, she becomes agitated and attacks her. But Noya is too strong for her to handle. Todayama tells the rest to take her away while she handles it from here.

Now it’s Todayama’s turn to get upset when Iseda happened to waltz into the scene and gets owned by Noya. Something about her dying twice already and can’t be revived. So furious that Todayama transforms into that familiar blonde towering spikes Super Saiyan! Both sides up their power and their auras clash. Izumiko warns her sister to run for it but she says if she can stop Noya at full power, her research will finally come to an end. The powerful Noya family had always been after the secrets of the righteous Todayama family. That’s why they organized an engagement by force. Noya admits he transferred into this school to meet her, something his other self doesn’t know. In order to revive the Todayama family and escape Noya’s family rule, she abandoned everything to focus on her research. Izumiko realizes everything that has happened up till now. Todayama only miscalculated Noya’s meeting with Izumiko. Though she left to escape his rule, only to have Izumiko become his maid. As long as she lives, she won’t hand over her sister to him. Knowing that Todayama won’t obediently accept his proposal, he is going to do it by force. He grabs her and his powers render Todayama unable to move. He says just like Bando said, this is the only life he can lead. That is the fate of the Noya family, which bears the ruler’s blood. He is going to inject his pheromones directly by kissing her but Izumiko stops him. She says all she wanted is to be his maid. She alone is enough to be his maid. She knows he is suffering because he was born to carry a cruel fate. This temporarily awakens Noya’s other half. Noya realizes he tainted those eyes of hers even he told himself not to. She apologizes to her and shoots himself with the gun. In some suspended space, Todayama mentions her dream is to have fun club activities with her friends forever.

Episode 10
Suddenly it’s the preparation for the school festival! Everyone is working hard and Noya is back to his original self when he shot himself with the special drugs but Izumiko notes even if he remembered everything, he is not discussing anything with her and the events at the park must be weighing heavily on him. Iseda ticks Todayama off for bringing a tank to school! She insists it’s a telescope! A folly that involves Iseda being pushed by the tank’s turret and nearly falling off from the building has the gang landed in the principal office and he will overlook this since they’re backed by the Noya Group. When Todayama is alone with Izumiko, she asks why she likes Noya. Is she after his family’s fortunes? Flashback time. In fact, she hated him the very first time he transferred in. She had no friends after Todayama garnered a mad scientist reputation. Noya was friendly and popular but despite him trying to be nice to her, she shrugs him off and didn’t like his carefree character. Worse, she felt bitter that he was smarter than her in the tests. He continued trying to talk to her and one day he somehow tripped and pulled down her panties. The flashback is interrupted when Todayama thought she liked him because he pulled her pantsu down! Of course not! That night as everyone sleeps over at school, Izumiko talks to Noya and the flashback continues. They talk about the stars, the sky and the nature of humans. Everyone likes money and care about your physical appearance. Noya sympathizes how Izumiko as treated coldly by everyone. She still disliked him because she finds his behaviour insulting. He says it’s the opposite. People only get offended if they see you as an equal. He was brought up not to see others as equals. Izumiko admitted she is a terrible person in some ways and could only solve things by distancing herself from others. Noya insists she is different and her views are much greater than his. Because of his family, he doesn’t have anyone to tell his real feelings to. But everything is fine now. That’s why there is no longer a need for her to work as his maid and says goodbye.

The preparations continue the next morning. Iseda is sleep deprived, tired, malnutrition, overworked, going haywire and her complex looks terrible indeed. I wonder if the drug Oomori prescribed from her darling will work. Kanamori wonders why Izumiko isn’t in her maid uniform today. As Izumiko follows Neko, she remembers more of the past. She remembers entering the classroom to see all the girls submitting and stripping themselves before Noya. He reveals this special power as the side effect of his growth that compels others to do his bidding. A special drug keeps him from growing and thus suppresses this power. He has been careful in holding it till he met her. Thinking his other self desires her, he uses his pheromones to make her his slave. But Izumiko resisted, fought off his powers and told him off this is not the Noya she likes. This causes Noya to return to his normal self. Feeling guilty for trying to use his powers on her, he jumps off the window but she grabs his hand. He can’t forgive himself for tainting her eyes and who knows when he’ll go berserk like this again. Izumiko denies his power had no effect on her and even if she were to become his maid, she will look down on him. They both fall off but Noya protected Izumiko. As a result he lost all memories from the fall. Iseda once more is giving her ticking off to Todayama about the tank. The telescope. Didn’t she tell her to take it away? Because she spots Neko, she panics and hides inside the tank and accidentally hits a switch that has the turret hit Izumiko. She falls off the ledge but Noya grabs her hand. Reverse déjà vu? Izumiko wants him to let go thinking he doesn’t care about her anymore. That’s why he said goodbye, right? What he meant then was that he wanted to free her. She is more important to him than anyone. He just wanted to be with her. They both fall but this time the hard ground won’t greet them because the Asstronomy Club girls just in time unfolded a big sheet to catch their fall. Todayama is in a suspended space talking to Bando. She thought she wanted to spend her days like these forever but was taught by those 2 who tried their hardest for the future. She cancels her engagement to Noya but the marital relationship between both their families will continue albeit slightly different. Izumiko wakes up thinking it’s still all a dream. Noya says it wasn’t. Especially the goodbye part. It was goodbye to her as Elizabeth. They could have kissed had they not noticed the other girls watching with glee. Oh, I guess this just gives Iseda another reason to close down the club. What has it got to do with it?

Ass-tronomical…
And so… It ends. Like that. I thought that it Todayama would be the main star and this is true only until the last few episodes when the focus shifts towards Noya and Izumiko. The final arc displays their relationship and their reconciliation to a new beginning as life together not as master and servant, but as friends. Maybe they’ll upgrade that to lovers. With Noya having a different and hidden personality may be a good catalyst for the flow of the story but it somehow feels that the original plot about the club with fujoshi girls was cast aside. In fact, the Asstronomy Club to me never once felt like a true fujoshi club because the only person who is ever so obvious obsessed in yaoi is Kanamori herself. From the way I look at the other girls, I don’t think they are even a fujoshi fan. Also, the club did do some genuine stargazing activities and have considerable knowledge on the constellations and how to use the telescope as well.  So it was rather misleading to name the club so and to put it in the synopsis as such.

There are a few things that I wanted to know but perhaps the series didn’t address it. What was it really that made Iseda and Ooba drifted apart? It may be when Todayama got in between them but if Iseda was once the president of Asstronomy Club, it means they must have formed it together, right? Unless they formed the Astronomy Club and after the falling out, Ooba renamed it as Asstronomy Club. And why is Iseda so bent on closing it down? What has she got against it? Maybe nothing at all. She just wants Ooba’s attention, that’s all. Excuses after excuses to close it down, it still never happened and the slightest reason was enough for Iseda to put it off to the next day. So really. I think she just wants Ooba’s attention. What about that Death Star thingy that Izumiko could see? Was it just a teaser to end the episode dramatically? Well, most episodes are like that. As for the Todayama and Noya family rivalry thingy. I really understand much about what the heck is going on, the Noya family being rulers and such. Sure, Todayama had to leave to get away from them, but did she turn into an oddball along the way? Or was she just pretending to be a crazy girl all along? I’m not sure about Noya’s split personalities having different memories. Does the grown up Noya have a different conscious than the boyish one? How did Noya transferred to this school in the first place if it was his alter ego that did so just to meet Todayama and without him even knowing it? Maybe it was because during the fall, Noya was in his suppressed form and thus when in this appearance, he loses his memories till his other form takes over. Who is that Bando guy anyway? I get a feeling that he is more than meets the eye. Of course the eternal question that is still bugging me. Why is the club underground? I did say they still do some astronomy-like activities, right? Furthermore, the club has a secret passageway to some place that I probably won’t see the significance of.

Of course with the colourful cast of characters, the noisiest wildest one has got to be Todayama. It never tires to amuse me the nonsense and energetic silliness that idiot brings into each episode. Maybe it’s because she’s a genius that she acts like a clown or joker. But you know what they sometimes say about geniuses. She might be a clever person just hiding her cleverness. She may act like a psycho comedian but it’s just to hide her outstanding intellect and her other various talents. Can I use the term smart ass on her? But sometimes too I feel she’s just the opposite because she loves sexually harassing Kanamori. Perhaps she’s easy to be teased and her reaction to it is perfect. You wouldn’t want to rip off clothes of somebody if she had no reaction to it or allows you to do it, right? Where’s the fun? Otherwise, behind her raunchiness is a caring person who does things with a reason. Would Izumiko really understood if she told her everything about the truth? Maybe that’s why it’s better to cook up with that alien thingy and one day she’ll understand the bigger picture herself. Speaking of Kanamori, she’s like the symbol of fanservice of this series. A big majority of fanservice comes from her. Somewhere in each episode (except for the last couple of episodes), she’ll get stripped. Hiromatsu may be the quiet type but when faced with cats or cute things, she becomes comical.

The most mysterious one is still Ooba. Not even Todayama would mess with her. I thought we could see her pulling off something shocking or something revelation in the end but it was not meant to be. Iseda as the tsundere needs no explanation. As said, her constant harassment to abolish the club is just to gain attention from Ooba. She’s so easy to read especially her tsun-tsun reactions with Ooba. Because once she has closed down the club, what next? Yeah, no more reason for her to haul her up into her student council room or to make periodic visits. I thought Izumiko was another crazy idiot like her sister when she displayed her dominatrix form on poor Noya. I thought Noya was the weak kind of boy who gets bullied. I mean if a maid can step all over you, what does this tell you? So when it is revealed that Noya had an abnormal power, it explains everything. All Izumiko wanted was just to be with him and he too wanted to be with her. In the end, being dominant over the other wasn’t the answer because it’s more of acceptance and be oneself. Pheromones can make others fully submit without question but it is forced and not on one’s free will. Is this true domination? Is this true love? Think not. Oh, when Noya is exuding his pheromones, I thought he makes lots of funny poses. Do the pheromones make him go like that? Or he is just making them because he thinks he is cool? As for Oomori, she’s the kind of woman that doesn’t handle the pressures of reality easily. Yeah, using the cat as replacement as advisor is already a means of running away from reality. Worse, when you become this woman’s girlfriend, she’s not going to let go of you easily. Super stalker and harasser material. Is it a wonder why Bando wants to get away as far as possible from her? Even if she’s being a bad girlfriend (from the viewpoint of everyone, that is), is she doing her job right as a teacher? Not sure. She spends most of her time fantasizing and daydreaming about her lover than anything else. In some episodes, the mid-intermission has a short segment on her whether it’s about happy cooking (for her boyfriend of course. Who else?), a snippet of her day (rumours of her being weird for the day. Not that she understood what’s going on either) or amateur recording (“Bubukimi, bubukimi, bubukimi…” 144 messages of the same thing! Creepy!). Neko though is a mystery, is a cool cat and cute mascot of the series. You would definitely break into a smile upon seeing this feline.

When I first caught glimpse of this series (or at least the promotional poster), I thought that this was some sort of a spin-off of the other anime series, Seitokai No Ichizon. An astronomy version of it, that is. Not to mention a little reminiscence of H20 ~Footprints in the Sand~ and Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi. Well clearly the drawing and art of the characters have that similarly feel since they are all illustrated by Kira Inugami (with the exception of Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi). One thing that bugs me is the oversized bowtie the students have as part of their uniform. I don’t know. It makes them look so, how do you put it, bulky. The funniest parts of this series are the parodies that are played out. Though I have read that each episode is a parody of an anime or live action TV series, I can only identify a handful such as Sailormoon, K-ON! and Dragonball. It’s sad that I don’t know lots of other animes like Saint Seiya, Blue Comet SPT Layzner or Fist Of The North Star because had I known them, I would have been laughing my ass off like how I did for the ones that I identified. They are quite hilarious (sometimes to a ridiculous point – but what good would it be if it wasn’t?) and it’s too bad this anime only lasted 10 episodes. I’m sure it could’ve been even quirkier if they had more episodes. More parodies and more idiotic antics from Todayama. A riot, that’s for sure. Some episodes that start off with some dramatic narration which I feel parody a certain anime that is being parodied for that episode. Even the title screen is quite creative with different designs for each episode. Then there are brief cameo appearances by characters from other animes. I only spotted Seitokai No Ichizon’s Kurimu and Sora No Otoshimono’s Ikaros. I’m sure there are more but I didn’t see that many animes in my life so I couldn’t recognize. Though some episodes end in suspense that doesn’t amount to much and I just think they’re messing around. For example, one episode ended with a short interview with Iseda (blanked out eyes and modified ‘chipmunk’ voice of course) and they try to spook us with some ghostly occurrence before everything suddenly cuts off. What was that all about?

Todayama’s idiotic style of talking reminds me of the titular character in Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san. It is no surprise that they are both voiced by Kana Asumi. I think I’m starting to stereotype her voice to suit playing such characters. Nakuru in Mayo Chiki, Mikoto from Kampfer and Shizuko from MM! Do I see a little pattern here? But hats off to her for making Todayama sound very convincing in every ways. Other casts include Mariya Ise as Noya (Stocking in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Iori Nomizu as Izumiko (Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono), Asuka Nishi as Kanamori (Ravel in High School DxD), Risako Murai as Hiromatsu (Katsuyo in R-15), Satomi Satou as Ooba (Ritsu in K-ON!), Midori Tsukimiya as Iseda (Eucliwood in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka) and Kaori Nazuki as Oomori (Yui in To Love-Ru, Nunally in Code Geass). The main ending theme Mirai Iro No Yakusoku by the seiyuus of Izumiko, Kanamori, Hiromatsu and Iseda. Sounds like a typical all-girl idol pop group. The ending theme for the final episode is Ai Wa Boomerang ~IZUMIKO PARADISE Mix by Iori Nomizu. The full song is played and when I first heard it, the music style reminded me of Laura Branigan’s Self Control, The Lucky One or Flashdance’s Gloria and Donna Summer’s She Works Hard For The Money. You know, that kind of music you hear in the 80’s. Unless you’re not that old enough. I thought it doesn’t sound bad at all.

It has been entertaining watching the spoofs with some laugh out loud moments though some of the parts that I couldn’t comprehend took some of the fun out of it. Nevertheless it is still a good watch if you don’t want something so serious and engaging. I mean, using pheromones to submit the world to your feet? I’m sure every otaku would love to have this power for his harem. Too bad in reality we give off the opposite effect instead. Well, at least we know what to do when someone tries to rule the world using only his pheromones. Eat lots of rock candies, burn some special incense and probably get some ear plugs ready too. If all else fails, just call Todayama. Or someone who is as crazy as her. And if somebody is as so crazy as to tell you to strip or cross-dress as a prerequisite to join a club, no matter how hard up you are, better think twice about joining and walk away while you still can. There’s no turning back and telling what will happen. You might end up flat on your ass, half-assed or everything a big pain in the ass and go ass-tray. Or perhaps it could just leave you ass-tonished. P/S: I prefer maids to lolis anytime.

Miyuki-chan In Wonderland

November 23, 2012

There must have been countless of parodies of Alice In Wonderland or at least adaptations from that Lewis Carroll book. When I heard about Miyuki-chan In Wonderland, my thoughts were right when it’s supposed to be a nonsensical parody of that said book. Instead of Alice, we have this Miyuki girl. However as I read further, this series which is by CLAMP is not only nonsensical but a yuri and lesbian rendition of Alice In Wonderland. Ooohhh… WTF. Must see… The 2 OVA episodes of 15 minutes each are only based on the first 2 chapters of the manga and sees this Japanese high school girl named Miyuki being pulled into nonsensical worlds whereby scantily clad ladies want to have their way with her. Ooohhh… WTF. Must see…

Episode 1
Miyuki wakes up from an awful dream to realize she is running late for school. While making haste, a ditzy Bunny Girl on skateboard is equally rushing to somewhere because she too is late. Then they both fall down a rabbit hole. Or man hole. Wait. It’s too big to be a manhole. Miyuki wakes up in another world and sees a lady stuck to the door. She asks for Miyuki’s name and wants her to turn her knobs to enter the door. Where’s the knob? There. Where? Right over there. She has 2 of them. Oh. Making Miyuki squeeze her tits and putting her face into them, Miyuki goes through the other side and ends up in a forest whereby she meets a pair of Chinese twins, Cho Lee and To Lee. After asking her name, they simply want to fight her. Since Miyuki doesn’t possess any martial arts, she makes a run. But the twins split the ground and have her fall into the abyss. Now finding herself in a desert, she sees a pot filling up a tea cup and a message wanting her to drink. She regrets doing so because now she has shrunk to the size of an ant. Walking along, a Mad Hatter lady and her group invite her up to her leaf for drink. Though Miyuki refuses, she is brought in anyway. Miyuki wants to know where this place is so the only reply she got is “This is here”. Huh? Mad Hatter makes her drink another cup and this time she grows back to her normal size. Realizing it is night time, Miyuki is appalled she has missed school. There goes her perfect attendance record. Then popping up behind her is Cheshire Cat. Wouldn’t every guy love their Cheshire Cat to be this sexy? Meow! After being asked her name, Miyuki explains the outrageous adventure she had but Cheshire Cat is interested in Miyuki’s cuteness. She is about to pound on her when the next thing Miyuki knows, she is in a garden outside a castle. She sees a group of card ladies painting the white roses red. Seems the Queen prefers the red ones and if she finds out about this, they’ll be punished. I think those ladies are masochists because they really want to be punished by the Queen. Speaking of which, here she comes. Looks more like S&M Queen! Yeah, everybody is proclaiming it’s their fault and wants to be punished by her. Noticing Miyuki and asking her name, she will have her kneel before her! She starts cracking her whip as Miyuki makes a run deep into the dark labyrinth. With Queen hot on her heels, Miyuki sees Bunny Girl riding up next to her. But Miyuki is caught by Queen’s whip and something nasty is about to happen to her when she wakes up from this dream. What an awful dream. Then she realizes she is late for school and makes haste. While running along, a ditzy Bunny Girl on skateboard is equally rushing to somewhere. Hey wait a minute! Deja vu?! Have she seen this scene somewhere before?

Episode 2
Miyuki is brushing her hair in the mirror when she realizes that her reflection is doing a different action. Yikes! Her reflection than comes out of the mirror to pull Miyuki in. Finding herself in a weird place again, she sees a sign but soon realizes that it is the reverse for “Welcome to Mirrorland”. Suddenly a gargoyle lady flies by and takes Miyuki away. She gets freaked out that the sky is at the bottom and earth is on top. She’s not upside down, no? Noting she is yet again in a strange land, she struggles to break free and falls off. Yeah, she’s falling to the sky. Falling on to a flower field, Miyuki realizes she fell on a petite flower fairy. After getting off her, the fairy joins with her other friend to have fun. Touching each other’s body? They invite Miyuki to join in too but I think she would prefer very much to decline. Walking along the floating islands, she sees a very cute little butterfly lady. Because they could not understand each other, Miyuki heaves a sigh. Her sigh is so powerful that it blows the butterfly girl away! Oops! Then a strong gust of wind blows Miyuki off the island as she crashes down onto a chessboard. She sees a lady sitting in a cracked eggshell identifying herself as Humpty Dumpty. I guess Miyuki must have been used to it so before she could ask, she tells her own name. Humpty Dumpty wants her to play chess and has the pieces (beautiful ladies?) stepping onto the board. Her opponent will be her mirror self. Hey, that’s like playing against yourself, eh? Miyuki has to play because the loser will strip naked. As the game progresses, the funny thing is that when a piece captures another piece, the capturing piece will smack the other piece before the losing piece turns completely naked! What kind of chess is this?! Then it dawned to Miyuki that since she is playing herself, no matter who wins or lose, it will be her who will strip! The real Miyuki wins so the mirror one does not hesitate in stripping herself. Miyuki is embarrassed and tries to stop her from stripping but by this time, she is already totally naked. Also, when Miyuki tries to grab her, she falls right through and crashes through the glass, falling yet into another abyss. The next thing she knows, she is in her room. Phew. Bad dream? Whatever. Thank goodness she’s back home. Miyuki finishes brushing her hair and is about to leave. Unknown to her, her mirror’s reflection puts up a victory sign as teaser.

Miyuki-chan In What-The-Hell-Land
So what the hell? WTF is going on?! I guess this is what you should expect when things are just nonsensical. Questions like why Miyuki keeps getting pulled into weird worlds or why every girl in the strange world wants to seduce her (heck, why are they all women only?!) aren’t really answered because I don’t think you’re here to seek answers about all that. Just enjoy the mindless fun. As I found out further, there are other lands that Miyuki drops into such as mahjong and video game land and meeting even weirder ladies. Well, it will be amusing to see the hell she goes through before coming back to reality where she once started. Bad dream? Too vivid her imagination? Was it all real? Who knows. Good to know she’s back in one piece. Or so she thinks. Since this is a manga by CLAMP, I read that this Miyuki does make some cross-over cameo appearance especially in Tsubasa Chronicle. But it has been a long time since I have watched that show so I can’t really remember. There’s nothing much I can say about this show since this is a 1995 production, the animation quality is of that era so no big complaints. I think it would be great that if there were more short OVAs produced to see the nonsensical worlds Miyuki went through but since there is nothing, I guess I’ll just be content with this pair. So the next time if you see a bunny girl running next up to you, make sure you look straight ahead and lookout for that big hole not to fall in. Hey, aren’t bunny girls the kind you find at Playboy mansions or naughty adult clubs only?

Once upon a time, long, long ago, far, far away. Oh wait. It wasn’t that long ago that Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakamatachi came out (July 2010, that is) and it isn’t that far away either (production made in Japan or if you want to look at this way, those fantasies right in our heads). When we were young, I’m sure our parents must have read us fables, folklores and children’s fairytales that delighted us. In this series, some of the familiar characters of those stories are given the anime treatment that parodies those fairytales, turning it into a romance comedy with some drama and action.

Set in the fictitious city called Otogibana City, there is a high school called Otogi Academy. Within it, an organization named Otogi Bank that accepts requests from students to ‘fix’ their problems (like a loan) in exchange for their help later on (like a repayment). As many of the characters are based on a fairytale character, it may take some time to identify them since it isn’t like ‘cut and paste’ thingy. For instance, our lead heroine and part of the Otogi Bank, Ryouko Ookami as many would guess it right at first go, would be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. No, she isn’t a villain hiding underneath a heroine skin nor does she have split personality, but rather she is someone who isn’t honest with her feelings. You’ll understand what I mean after watching this series. Oh wait a minute. How come Ryouko suspiciously looks like a grown up version of Toradora’s Taiga? Yeah, I can see that same flatness there too. Oh sh*t! Don’t hit me! Then there are some characters that are a fusion between several characters such as Ryouko’s friend-cum-roommate-cum-Otogi Bank colleague, Ringo Akai. Yeah, this loli is the Red Riding Hood that we all know but due to her manipulative nature (in a good way), she’s akin to that ‘poison apple’ you see in Snow White.

Episode 1
We see Ryouko taking on a delinquent but some interrupting force causes the delinquent to go off pace and ensures Ryouko to knock him out. She returns back to Otogi Bank with Ringo and we are introduced to the other members like its president Listz Kiriki (based on the grasshopper in The Grasshopper and the Ant fame), the vice president and his cousin Alice (the ant), the maid Otsuu Tsurugaya (the crane in the Japanese folklore Tsurugu No Ongaeshi), flirtatious Tarou Urashima (that Japanese folklore of the same name), his ever clinging girlfriend Otohime Ryuugu (also from that Tarou Urashima story) and the quirky scientist Majolica le Fay (sorceress Morgan). On the way home, Ryouko bumps into a guy, Ryoushi Morino. Though nervy, he gets to the point straight. He confesses he likes her. Not that she’s interested anyway. Ringo decides to play mother-in-law and scoop more info on this guy. Ryoushi has very good hunter skills (thus based from the hunter in Red Riding Hood) and thus Ringo brings him to Otogi Bank in hopes of recruiting him. He also has fears of people staring at him. I guess that’s why he prefers to stay out of the spotlight. As Ryoushi reveals he was the one who helped Ryouko with that delinquent back then, the rest are eager to employ him but Ryouko isn’t because she felt he was just watching while she was being attacked. Ryoushi has got to use this chance to prove himself to Ryouko. Besides, it’s a great way for him to stay by her side instead like a stalker hiding in the dark.

A girl named Kakari Haibara comes to Otogi Bank for a request. She has a crush on a tennis club member, Ooji who is quitting due to his injury. She wants to do something before he hands in his club resignation. The gang goes into full swing as Ryoushi volunteers to observe Ooji. But due to his phobia and suspicious action, things don’t seem to go well. D-Day arrives as Ooji is limping his way to hand in his resignation. As a last ditch attempt, they are going to stop him via bicycle-powered pumpkin carriage courtesy of Majolica. Ryoushi takes up the challenge of peddling it even if it means attracting an awful lot of stares from others (who wouldn’t? I mean, look at this weird transportation). How to counter this problem? Wear a blindfold. How to see? That’s another problem. Since there are no brakes, Ryoushi starts panicking when he takes off his blindfold. Kakari is sent flying and accidentally her right foot right into Ooji’s face. The momentum really sent him flying and knocked out. With that, they take his resignation and go off but Kakari left behind her sports shoe (doesn’t this seem familiar?). Ryouko and Ringo on their way home, encounter that delinquent who brought some pals for revenge. Ryoushi uses his body as shield as Ryouko beats them all up. And though it may still be a long way, at least Ryoushi takes the first step into becoming part of the Otogi Bank. Meanwhile Ooji is doing a Cinderella-thingy by searching for the girl whose not foot only fits into that sports shoe, but whose impactful kick to give him that same pain. Who else but Kakari fits that bill like a glove. I hope he doesn’t become a masochist because he wants Kakari to kick him more before offering her to play tennis with her.

Episode 2
It’s been a week that Ryoushi has been part of the Otogi Bank. Though he has gotten used to it, there are some things that still doesn’t change. His phobia. He hopes he can be a useful companion and be by Ryouko’s side. Ringo listens to Ryoushi’s reasons why he likes Ryouko. Something like her insides and outsides don’t match, she looks strong but also weak. Ryoushi spots Ryouko trying to get friendly with his hunting dogs. She tries to give excuses but he notices how the dogs are attached to her when they usually don’t to other people. A girl comes looking for Ryouko for a request but she’s out so Urashima decides to take her request in her stead. Unfortunately, he got too flirty and this prompts Otohime to do something to him that producers would like us all to leave it to our imagination. Ryouko comes back then and hears her out. Seems she is being threatened by her violent ex-boyfriend and wants to avoid seeing him. Ryouko and Ryoushi head to the park, where they’re supposed to meet. However they are set upon by a group of delinquents from the Onigashima territory. Their numbers were overwhelming but bloodied Ryoushi managed to return back to Otogi Bank to alert the others while Ryouko was captured and taken to an abandoned warehouse tied up. She put up a brave face but in fact deep down she is scared. Luckily reinforcements arrive as the Otogi Bank members help take out the menace and Ryoushi supporting and covering everyone’s backs from the shadows with his slingshot. The delinquent boss takes Ryouko hostage so Ryoushi faces him in a fist battle that eventually has him emerge victorious thanks to his determination to protect Ryouko. Though he collapses in the end, everyone happily heads home.

Episode 3
A short flashback that shows Otohime as a chubby and slow kid. In present, she seems to be facing off with an eternal rival, Mimi Usami. She challenges for them to take part in next week’s Miss Otogi Academy Contest and if Usami wins, Otohime will continued to be called ‘turtle’ (oh yeah, this is turning out to be like the tortoise and the hare). Otohime requests the Otogi Bank members to help her win the contest. Ryoushi learns Listz was last year’s mysterious winner (?!) and his cross-dressing ability allowed him to gather info. So what is the best way to secure your popularity fast? Why, condemn the other party with false lies! Oh, the treachery! Both Usami and Otohime went all out against each other with such low dirty tactic while the other girls in Otogi Bank also participate in this contest. The heated dirt throwing, mudslinging contest reaches boiling point when both girls spew profanity and lose support so much so their ratings drops close to 0%! Flashback reveals how Otohime was bullied and left to do chores by other kids but Urashima was the only one who treated her equally. Thus she decided to grow up beautiful so that he could be proud of her. The day of the contest arrives as the girls parade in their swimsuits (except Ryouko in her normal clothes). At the end of the votes, it seems that the winner is Himeno Shirayuki (of Snow White fame) with the most votes followed by the disciplinary committee member Momoko Kibitsu (of Momotarou fame). The highest Otogi Bank member was Otsuu coming in at 10th place. Usami and Otohime weren’t even ranked. Usami starts crying and blames it on the overlapping loli appeal on Ringo and yeah, another quarrel on the cards. In the end, Otohime learns that it was part of Listz’s plan to have her ratings drop because all she wanted was just Urashima’s vote. And that’s the only vote she got from. Both of them reconcile and the battle between the tortoise and the hare ended. Looks like Ryouko too got a vote. From Ryoushi. Not the kind to express her true feelings out loud, she punches him as usual.

Episode 4
Ryouko sneakily tries to buy some girl’s romance novel from released by her favourite author Yuki-sensei. In school, Ryoushi saves Otsuu from an incoming baseball. Because of that, she tries to repay him by becoming his maid in his home. It’s great that somebody is willing to serve you in anyway, but it gets creepy after a while. At least in Ryoushi’s case. Ah, the jealousy of being served by a maid 24/7. Ryouko and Ringo follow Ryoushi back to his apartment where he lives and run by his aunt Yukime. Ryoushi learns of Ryouko being a fan of Yuki-sensei, which is actually Yukime’s penname. During dinner, Otsuu suddenly collapses from fatigue and sleep deprivation (she was really serving the rest without stop). Otsuu is still adamant of returning favours so Yukime puts down her foot that her selfishness has caused trouble to everyone. Flashback reveals why she is so obsessed on returning favours. Apparently she was saved by a boy from getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. However she was unable to repay her debt when he died in hospital. Thus her fears of never ever repaying her debt surfaced. To help Otsuu out, the Otogi Bank members decide to become her maid and serve her. That means, wearing a maid outfit too. Otsuu feels indebted and wishes to repay them but as Ringo says, everyone did lots for her and her favours will keep piling up. In short, since they are friends, these little kind of favours of helping each other out need not be counted. Otsuu realized their kindness and from now on will treat them as irreplaceable companions rather than strangers. And to celebrate, everyone throws a party in Ryoushi’s room. Man, it’s going to be a long night. Next day, Otsuu continues to return the favour to Ryoushi and Ringo. As companions, that is. Whether she really changed or not is a different story.

Episode 5
Listz meets the Director of Otogi Bank, Araragi Lamp (Genie of the Lamp fame) to report the weekly affairs. Since he’s a dirty old man, I guess that’s why Listz was smooth enough to provide his Otogi Bank with lots of luxurious facilities. Momoko comes to see Ryouko (partly she is fond of her too) and meets the boy who has a crush on her (apparently, she’s a bi too). Back to business, Momoko wants to visit Onigashima High School since they have a new student council president and wants them to accompany her. Since there have been malicious reports of Onigashima students, Momoko thought of having a ‘chat’ with her counterpart. The Otogi Bank members with Momoko and her underlings (parody of the dog, pheasant and monkey in that story of course) arrive outside Onigashima High School. As a delinquent school, it sure lives up to its name because the delinquents start attacking our heroes. Thankfully they came prepared as they advance through the dark and graffiti-filled walls of the school. They enter the student council president’s room and Ryouko freezes upon seeing who the new president is. He is Shirou Hitsujikai and someone she fearfully knows. Momoko warns him if he causes anymore problems or else they won’t let this pass so he assures them that he will try his best to send this message to his unheeding students since he is new. However the rest are suspicious because he seems to be in command of the delinquents, giving them orders during their charge into the place. However without proof, they can’t do anything but to watch for now. Ryoushi talks to Ryouko and makes her feel a little better. But it’s just the calm before the storm because Hitsujikai is planning something malicious with his busty girlfriend, Reiko Kokonoo.

Episode 6
Ryoushi tries to seek more information about Ryouko’s past from Ringo but Ringo refuses to tell and wants him to gain her trust and ask Ryouko herself instead. Listz and Alice are trying to gather data on Hitsujikai but nothing solid while Ryouko remembers fearful flashback about Hitsujikai. Seems they were once dating. But he tried to rape her so she told her friends but they didn’t believe her and thought she made it up to get back at him for being dumped. Ryouko then transferred schools and struggled to become strong so that she won’t be betrayed again. Thus her ‘wolf’ character developed. Ringo also reminisces about how she met Ryouko. As a new unfriendly transfer student, the teacher even asked Ringo to take notes to her. She entered her messy room and saw her cute sleeping face and that’s when her interest to know more about Ryouko peaked. Ringo helped nurse ill Ryouko then as she gradually opened up her heart and that’s where their friendship began. Ryouko trains hard at the boxing gym but her trainer known as Oyassan isn’t happy the way she trains to attain ‘fragile’ strength. On their way home, they spot a bunch of delinquents mugging a helpless kid. Ryouko goes to defend him and taking them all on her own. If not for Ringo’s fake police cry, she could’ve been beaten up badly. Ringo then confronted Ryouko about lying so she assured her she’ll never betray her and be by her side no matter what. Ryoushi too thinks back how he first got attracted to Ryouko. He gets his resolved to protect her so he rushes to Ryouko (just coming out of the gym) as he promises to become a strong man who can accept everything about her. Ryouko’s trainer and his other fellows overheard the commotion and tease them both, causing unbearable embarrassment to the wolf. Back home, Ringo notices Ryouko’s little mood change and threatens not to let her eat dinner till she tells her everything.

Episode 7
Ryouko and Ryoushi are out on a double date with Hanasaki and Ami Jizou. This was how it all began. Baseball ace Hanasaki requested Otogi Bank to investigate a mysterious person who has been cleaning and preparing meals in his room. The secret surveillance reveals Jizou to be the culprit. They showed her the proof and she admitted it. It all began when Hanasaki lend shy Jizou his umbrella. Both sides meet and though she confesses, he tells her straight he doesn’t hold any romantic feelings for her. That’s when Ringo comes up with this double date plan so that Ryouko and Ryoushi could lead them both (like that would succeed perfectly) with Ringo spying behind. Even so, Hanasaki didn’t say a word. Then at a park as they set up a picnic, Ryouko went off to save a kitten on a tree but the branch broke and she fell into the river. When Ryoushi rescues her, he is shocked to find Ryouko has lost her memories and is her child self. Jizou is getting nervous by herself and rings Ringo for help so she in turn calls Ryoushi on where the heck they are. He is reluctant to explain what has happened. He is happy he gets to spend time with Ryouko as she takes him away to accompany her. Ringo spot the happy duo together and thinks she’s just tired. Haha! Like she’ll ever believe the duo could get along this fine. Eventually it rained so Hanasaki and Jizou go off as Ringo rendezvous with Ryoushi and Ryouko at the cafe. Ryouko isn’t happy that Ryoushi lied about saying he would be there for her (he was discussing with Ringo about calling her parents on this case or admit her to hospital). Along the way, Ryouko bumps into Hitsujikai. Luckily Ryoushi was following close by to pick her back. Hitsujikai tells him what happened between them, about their ‘intimacy’ and the ‘lie’ she told. He is in this city to find her. Ryoushi swiftly prepares to fire his slingshot but Hitsujikai was faster, cutting its elastic. Though Ryoushi doesn’t care about Ryouko’s past, he is adamant to protect her. Hitsujikai leaves. Soon Ryouko wakes up in hospital and her memories recovered. Sly Ringo has Ryouko wear a pair of cat ears as service for Ryoushi and that poor guy gets punched. Ah, back to normal. And as for Hanasaki and Jizou, they’re both another happy pair living together.

Episode 8
This episode begins with a weird movie-like promo of Ryoushi, Ryouko and Ringo facing off against the 3 pig Tonda Brothers. WTF?! Back to the story proper, the gang gets a request from the butler, Hammel of the Nezumi Clan. Seems he wants to find a bride for the future head of the clan, Chuutarou. They have to do it before his 12th birthday next week. Note that Mahoromatic parody between Hammel and Otsuu! With Hammel’s suggestions of an ideal bride they go meet prospective fiancees that include Alice, Jizou and Otohime. But each time Hammel comes up with a negative and messed up opinions of those girls, enough to make them blow their top or stunned. The funny part is that Chuutarou wholeheartedly believes in him! It’s like he has no backbone. One minute he agrees and goes up to the girl, wanting them to be his bride and the next, he discards them after listening to Hammel’s caveats. Heck, they even include cameo appearances of those girls from Toradora and To Aru Kagaku No Railgun (must’ve something to do with the seiyuus of the characters here)! Yeah, who’d want a tsundere and biri-biri? Then it’s Momoko’s turn (obviously her boobs lah) before shifting to flat chests like Ryouko and Ringo (that wasn’t a compliment either). I guess the ladies are ready to use violence to take it out on that disrespectful butler when suddenly Hammel changes his tone. He mentions about a bride that money or experience cannot buy: A childhood friend. Then pops up the girl who has been tailing them all the while: Uika. Chuutarou heard a rumour she liked somebody else but she says that isn’t true and only likes him. Hammel points out that Chuutarou’s mistake was listening to him and those rumours. There was no need to go on a bride search because the greatest treasure was always beside him. Chuutarou and Uika embrace. Back at Otogi Bank, the girls confront Listz because he was partially responsible for selling them out. Not so funny now, eh? As atonement, he has to treat them all to cakes. Since his wallet is a little thin, Ryoushi has to help him out. And that Tonda Brothers movie thingy? Looks like Ringo was the one who made it.

Episode 9
Ryouko and Ryoushi help Shirayuki to take care of her seven young siblings. Yeah, instead of 7 dwarves we have 7 little brothers and sisters. However Ringo seems reluctant to face Shirayuki. Back at Otogi Bank, the gang learns Shirayuki is going straight to work to support her siblings and not continue her studies due to financial reasons though she has good grades. Ryoushi learns about Ringo’s past. Ringo’s mom took her to a big mansion and that’s where she met and became close friends with Shirayuki. When Shirayuki and her mom left the mansion, Ringo asked if she would ever see her again and Shirayuki nodded she would if she became a good girl. Subsequently as Ringo and her mom started to get accustomed living in the mansion, she learned Shirayuki was her step sister of a different mother. It seemed her mom forced Shirayuki and her mom out of the house since dad was divorcing the latter. Ringo felt guilty that she stole Shirayuki’s father and home and though she came to this city, she couldn’t find the courage to face Shirayuki and avoided her. It has been 3 years since. The gang comes up with a plan for them to patch things up and that is to patron the water park (owned by Lamp of course). Everyone arrives except Ringo (who is still watching from afar). Till Shirayuki dives in to save one of her siblings drowning. Note, Shirayuki can’t swim despite the irony she won the Miss Otogi contest. After Ryoushi saves her, Ringo does CPR on her. Later they both talk things out and Shirayuki never had ill feelings towards Ringo. Instead she thanks her for being her little sister, bringing her to tears. Later Ringo confronts Lamp and wants her to grant her a single wish (as opposed to 3 wishes that they could receive) even if it is ahead of her time. Lamp agrees seeing the determination in her eyes (partly she sucked up to him like a loli). That wish is to have Shirayuki getting a special scholarship to further her studies. Lastly Ryouko wakes up from a dream of getting kissed by Prince Ryoushi. Too bad she had to give the real him her punch when she sees him. How unfair.

Episode 10
There are nasty rumours being posted everywhere about Otogi Bank. Thinking it must be the work of Hitsujikai, Listz suggests doing a promotion with 30% off special on requests. I guess it’s a deal hard to refuse so a long queue is seen lining up outside the room. So everybody has to work hard for a few days till the promotion ends in a few days time. Ryoushi comes into a guy named Saburo Nekomiya (Puss and Boots fame) who knows lots about Ryoushi, including his confession to Ryouko. He wants to help him out to bring out the real man in him. Though Ryoushi would like to give it a pass, seems he was forced into it. Meanwhile Ryouko and Ringo find injured Reiko outside their dorm. They take her in and learn that she was on the run from Hitsujikai and his delinquents. He dumped her and wanted to sell her off. This strikes a hateful chord within Ryouko as she vows to help her out and transfer Reiko to their school. As Ryoushi attends Nekomiya’s training, Ringo is still suspicious of Reiko and reports this to Listz. Otsuu helps to keep an eye on them from the opposite building. Trouble comes to some of the Otogi Bank members when Urashima has been forced by Onigashima delinquents to come follow him quietly because they have Otohime in their custody while Otsuu has been knocked out by a stun gun. Alice goes to meet Usami but finds it was a setup. However Usami realizes her friend sold her out so she takes Alice on the run with her. Ringo gets a mysterious call that puts Shirayuki in danger so when she runs all the way there and sees her and her siblings safe, she realizes it was a diversion. Ryouko comes home alone and is puzzled to see Reiko’s change in character. Next thing she knows, she is tied up in a truck being transported to somewhere.

Episode 11
Ryouko is taken to Hitsujikai as he thinks of using her as a bait to lure the other Otogi Bank members out. The remaining Otogi Bank members regroup and soon go out on a rescue mission. Listz saves Alice and Usami from the chasing delinquents, Urashima turns into his gentleman mode to beat up his captors and Otohime does the same with those girls who tried to hit on Urashima. And Majolica’s fart mechanism saves the day for Otsuu. Huh? So the entire gang arrives outside Onigashima High School. Momoko and her underlings including the Tonda Brothers are here (thanks to the promo the Otogi Bank did, this help came in handy for them). So it’s another round of charging into the school to get to where Hitsujikai is. Ryoushi learns Nekomiya’s reason of helping him out. There was a girl who helped him before but he chickened out and later realized how shameful it was that he abandoned her. That girl was Ryouko (remember that flashback in episode 6?). Even if he is filth, he decides to make that one person stronger and thus took it upon himself to train Ryoushi. He respects Ryoushi for being able to be honest with his feelings and thinks he is the only one who could protect Ryouko.

Ryoushi finally reaches the room Ryouko is held captive in. Hitsujikai is waiting for him and wants to see how hard he’ll fight for Ryouko (apart from crushing their hopes). Hitsujikai seems to have the upper hand but when Ryoushi cools his head down, he manages to land a blow into Hitsujikai’s face and make him bleed. Furious Hitsujikai is about to unleash some raging move when Listz comes in. He warns him that since he has taken the fight to Otogi Bank, he must be prepared to face their wrath (yeah, all those promos did come in handy after all). Listz tells his buddies to head home as Hitsujikai backs down (when Listz opens his eyes, I guess he really means something serious, right?). Reiko mentions how it all turned out unfavourably but Hitsujikai is more interested to crush them with his bare hands since their bonds have gotten stronger. In the aftermath, Usami and Otohime make up while Nekomiya says his farewell before parting. He notes how they both didn’t run away this time. Next morning as Ryouko takes up Ringo’s advice to be with Ryoushi, she was going to confess something important we all have been waiting for. However Ryoushi got into his phobia mode and ruins the mood, earning another punch from Ryouko. Maybe we won’t get to see another chance like this. Sighs…

Episode 12
Machiko Himura is doing her morning paper delivery part time job when she spots Ryoushi. Concluding from his ‘big house’ and his ‘expensive-looking’ dogs, she thinks of finding her happiness in him. She tries all sorts of methods to attract his attention in class (they’re classmates by the way) but I guess she can’t wait so she gets straight to the point of asking him to marry her! She even goes to the Otogi Bank to request to borrow him for tomorrow’s date. Is Ryouko okay with this? Well, since she can’t tell her their relationship and said that there is nothing in between them, you know what that means. As Ryoushi and Machiko go out dating, Ryouko and Ringo tail them. Ringo because she loves teasing and seeing the reaction of a certain somebody and Ryouko, oh you should know by now already. During the date, a couple of loan sharks confront Machiko. Seems daddy ran away with the money she left for her dad to pay his debts. So how else are the loan sharks going to recover their debts by searching for the next related kin, right? Ryoushi uses a smoke screen for them to escape. Machiko lets him know the truth as she apologizes that she dated him so as to get away from this life and find happiness. Ryoushi decides to help her as he calls Otogi Bank for information when the loan sharks return with more of their buddies. Ryoushi goes into manly mode and fights them upfront and is joined by Ryouko shortly. In the end after the police arrests the baddies, everyone throws a welcome party at Ryoushi’s dorm for Machiko as the new resident. Later Machiko talks to Ryoushi alone as Ryouko eavesdropped. Machiko really felt he was cool and was about to confess when Ryoushi changes the subject to Ryouko. She is weak inside but tries to appear to be strong to protect herself. He feels he is a bum but hopes to work hard to be strong for her. I guess in a way you can call that a rejection from Machiko’s point of view. After Ryoushi leaves, Machiko knows Ryouko eavesdropping so she confronts her about her feelings for Ryoushi. Though still hesitant and not the kind of answer we’re hoping to hear (“I don’t dislike him”), at least it made Machiko try not to steal Ryoushi. As everyone play sparklers, Ryoushi once more confesses to Ryouko that he likes her no matter what. Hey, at least she didn’t punch him.

I’m not going to cry wolf…
I guess that’s the end of the show but it will be another story for Ryouko and Ryoushi. It was pretty much fun to see familiar bedtime story characters come to light in a different way. The character development for both the main characters is quite okay. The change may not have been very drastic but at least they’ve made some progress. Even if this is fairytale, nobody is perfect. Ryoushi isn’t somebody who hides behind the shadows and at times shows that he is capable of being his own man. Except for his fear of being stared at, that may take a longer while before he gets over it. Ryouko similarly still isn’t being true to her feelings but she doesn’t pen it all up like she did at the start. Probably bit by bit she’ll shed her wolf’s clothing. Yeah, that could that a long time too. Although this series is short, I guess they take the time to flesh out some of the other characters as well albeit just a brief one. Like Ringo’s case with her estranged step sister, Otsuu’s obsession of returning favours and how the couple of Otohime and Urashima came to be. If the series was longer perhaps we could see more insights on them and the other characters. For instance I would’ve liked to know why Otsuu and Majolica are close together. Besides, I thought it would’ve been good if Majolica had more screen time rather than just short cameos or spending her time in the basement making inventions. If she ditches her witch outfit and glasses more often, I’d say Majolica does look cute. Other fairytale characters like Hansel and Gretel too made their short appearance but that’s about it.

Another amusing ‘character’ is the faceless narrator of the series. Not just your typical narrator who narrates what has happened so far to make it like a recap, she too makes sarcastic remarks and jokes (like making fun of certain flat chests) or in-your-face statements that sometimes make it like as though the show is breaking the fourth wall. Oh wait, it is. Makes me go “Darn right she is”. The only annoying thing is that during some conversations, you will hear the speeches of the characters and the narrator both together simultaneously. It felt irritating because you can’t concentrate and it’s not like you can hear both sides talk at the same time. If not for the subs, I guess I wouldn’t understand a thing as I would be pausing and reading them instead. Heck, like I would understand even without them. The one character that I couldn’t comprehend is Hitsujikai as the antagonist. Maybe it is how the series left this little business unfinished. I’m still wondering the reason why he wants to torment Ryouko. Does he love seeing her anguished face? That familiar sense of superiority that he was able to make everyone believe his lies the reason of his return? The way he said things is as though he has some grudge against the Otogi Bank. Or maybe he’s somebody who loves creating trouble and the harder it is, the tastier and hungrier he gets. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to find out if they ever come up a sequel. What are the chances since Hollywood movies and animes are banking on sequels if they are well received.

There are quite a number of well known seiyuus lending their talents. In my opinion the best has got to be Satomi Arai (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) as the narrator. She certainly does well in expressing the several tones and pitches during the right scenes. Others include Shizuka Itou as Ryouko (Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Kanae Itou as Ringo (Saten in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Miyu Irino as Ryoushi (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle series), Aki Toyosaki as Otohime (Uiharu in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Ayako Kawasumi as Otsuu (Mahoro in Mahoromatic), Yui Horie as Alice (Minori in Toradora), Kimiko Koyama as Majolica (Yukari in Rosario To Vampire), Hirofumi Nojima as Listz (Kitamura in Toradora), Shintaru Asanuma as Urashima (Takeru in Minami-ke), Rie Kugimiya as Usami (Taiga in Toradora), Yuko Kaida as Momoko (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen), Yukari Fukui as Shirayuki (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Mikako Takahashi as Jizou (Rushuna in Grenedier), Junichi Suwabe as Hitsujikai (Atobe in Prince of Tennis) and Mai Nakahara as Reiko (Mai in Mai-HiME). The opening theme, Ready Go by May’N is a catchy pop tune while the ending theme, Akazukin-chan Goyoujin by OToGi8 (the casts of the Otogi Bank members, that is), sound more like a video game-cum-group song. On a trivial note, I find the sponsor screen right at the end of the show to be amusing. With a video game-like background music, the clip is looped several times or rewind and replayed and the effect of it seems funny.

Even if this show has characters based on fairytales, their lives here are no fairytale as they have to cope and struggle with school life and such. This might be just premature but I think this Otogibana City is filled with lots of delinquents who have no qualms of picking a fight with people younger than them. Maybe that is a secret recipe of how heroes are made? So we learn a few things like the need to be honest with our feelings, a good deed goes a long way, help those in need, not all wolves are bad and every school should have a sexy disciplinary committee. Just kidding on the last one. Well, it’s not that I’m picking up my fairytale storybooks again for old time’s sake. But sometimes when I think about it, life is one big fairytale. So surreal but yet so fake. I’m just hoping that I will have a happy one (read: watch more animes). Oh, I almost forgot. And they all lived happily ever after. I just love a good happy ending.