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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Idol Jihen

July 14, 2017

OMG! How did Donald Trump win the recent American elections?! How can this happen?! The world is coming to an end!!! It is time to return to our safe space and propagate and assure ourselves that there is still hope. Because in a time of darkness, there will be a light that will rise and shine above it all to bring us hope. To fight the evil and corrupted politicians and greedy congressmen and power hungry assemblymen. That is why we have idols running as legislators! I’m not kidding. At least this is according to Idol Jihen. If AKB0048 is to sci-fi and Love Live is too irrelevant and only for high school, this series might be the timely appropriate. I guess people are just fed up of typical corrupted policymakers that they decide to give idols the chance to run for office. What do idols know about politics and governance? Who cares? As long as we get to enjoy their concerts. Hey. My drain is clogged since last week and it stinks. Somebody care to come clean it up? I can’t. I have to attend that idol’s concert…

Episode 1
A shady bribery is going on between these old guys… Then the politician chokes and dies on his snack. Now with the Niigata seat vacant, Sachie Kondou and her assistant Kamishiro are looking around for local girls to represent the Heroine Party. Then she sees Natsuki Hoshina revving up the farmers by singing in their paddy fields. Feeling she is the right candidate, she asks Natsuki to join the idol election audition at Tokyo. So the audition is to run up a hill so high that goes past the clouds? Isn’t that more of a mountain? And what is this about idols needing to reach the top? For real? Apparently only Natsuki passed as she is the only one who managed to complete the run. Kamishiro is sceptical if she is the right candidate because right now Japan has no president and they can do without jokers. Don’t worry. Everything will somehow work out… That’s what they all say. Natsuki being the rookie and noob, stutters in her speech and when confronted with rival Rougai Party who is more accustomed with their typical political speech, how does Natsuki overcome this? She blurts out for the men to make her a woman! Wait. What?! Can idols say that? Well, all those old men are definitely interested in her now… Then Shizuka Onimaru (a twice elected idol dietwoman) arrives as requested by Sachie to help out. She is supposed to sing a duet with Natsuki in a live concert. However Shizuka doesn’t believe Natsuki is up to her par yet and will train her. Despite Natsuki bloopers a lot and doesn’t give up, Shizuka decides she is not up to mark. She doesn’t have what it takes to be on stage with her. Natsuki feels down but nothing but a little farming to help bring her motivation back. Shizuka also remembers Sachie removing her from the team. Despite having exceptional talent, her aura hurts others. Natsuki only appears on stage. Some of the crowd is displeased since Natsuki is nervous and Shizuka isn’t around. Well, she’s at the backstage. If she is having whatever doubts, leave it to Sachie to change her mind on that. So the crowd returns once Shizuka appears. Before they could start singing, Rougai Party starts their deafening speech on their usual propaganda. Natsuki then starts singing to drown out the interference. Such beautiful flowery aura. Safe to say we know who the people will vote next. Yeah, even this Rougai Party candidate. Now that Natsuki is elected in, she is still nervous but will do her best. Despite Rougai Party still have the clear majority in the house, a few shady old politicians won’t let these idol dietwomen gain momentum.

Episode 2
The Heroine Party is at a local dumpsite that is legal by law. They see Chinatsu Ryuusekidou of Sunlight Party and a few other idol dietwoman trying to stop the dumping and save the environment. But the local politician tells them off this is his land is graciously offering for garbage to be dumped. Don’t tell me you want to be selfish and dump it in other districts, do you? No choice, they let them through. When Shizuka confronts Chinatsu, immediately the latter slaps her! Whatever history they had, Chinatsu still won’t forgive her. Later that night, Natsuki returns to the dumpsite to find Chinatsu trying to clean up. She learns Chinatsu was raised in this area and often played here a lot. Natsuki offers to help but Chinatsu will not accept any help especially from Heroine Party. When Natsuki tells Sachie about this, she believes Shizuka did something to prevent hurting others but because she never explained it well and left, the others viewed it as betrayal. Natsuki isn’t one to let this drag on so she again pleads to Chinatsu for help. Instantly shot down. With Shizuka and other idol dietwomen wanting to give this a chance, Chinatsu relents but with a condition: A bungee jump challenge at different heights! What is this about idols need to be brave and face the crowd? Anyway if Natsuki falters, Shizuka must apologize to Mizuki Fudou, the chairwoman of Sunlight Party. But it seems Natsuki has no qualms about jumping and does so without hesitation unlike Chinatsu who is barely hiding her fear. On the final and highest jump, Chinatsu faints! Natsuki is a little scared but manages to summon her courage since they will lose their chance to help the villagers. Then the bungee rope snaps… I know there is a river below but how can she survive at that height?! Anyway, while diving, Natsuki has an idea on what to do with the dump. The next day, lots of people have gathered and turning the dump into pieces of art! A free voucher for an idol handshake for every garbage you refurbish! The politician doesn’t like this and sends his boys to beat them up?! How could they? How do you stop rampaging mobsters? You hold an idol concert to turn them into fan boys! OMFG! And so the dumpsite is saved but Natsuki is sad that the newspaper only reported on Sunlight Party. No Heroine Party was mentioned. Welcome to politics. Meanwhile the Rougai Party guys heard one of their guys have resigned but aren’t going to press the panic button yet. Losing a member or two won’t hurt they party. Unless the masses demand change, their regime is safe…

Episode 3
Heroine Party is at Nekonoshima, an island filled with cats cohabitating with humans. They are here for a request to find missing cats and if you think that is tough, all the cats on the island are missing! The only cat on the island is Boss, the sacred leader of all. Oddly, the local assemblywoman hates cats but she looks like one. Also on this island to help out are the Starlight Party members, Sakurako Iizuka (chairwoman), Isuzu Narukami and Shirayuki Arai. They go around looking for clues. Starlight Party visit and pray at all the shrines (a million yen donation?) and find alphabets on stones. Heroine Party on the other hand are doing finding a needle in a haystack as well as asking residents. One of them relates one night he saw all the cats being lured to some ship by some smoke. Someone was feeding them. When he accidentally made a sound, the cat monster reared its ugly head. Doesn’t she look like the assemblywoman? Natsuki tries to tease boss with cattails until he can’t stand it anymore and starts chasing her. It leads them to a spot where they find the assemblywoman’s glasses with catnip smell. Definitely it’s her. With everyone taking a break at the udon store, the old lady tells them about the island’s legend. When cats disappear, 4 maidens shall come from beyond the sea and dance upon the stone stages of cats. Want to guess who are those maidens? And so our idol dietwomen each stand on those stones and start singing. Such beautiful beam of light that it turns the assemblywoman into a cat lover! Get this. A wave of cats is seen swimming from across the ocean back to the island! I thought cats hate water? Just in time for some grand cat festival too. People pour catnip everywhere on the street and let a huge tidal wave of cat rampage through. Yeah, who wouldn’t love the feeling of being drowned by cats.

Episode 4
A bratty politician tries to tick off the idol dietwomen about their fancy idol dress in the diet hall. But they got the last laugh when they say something on the lines to each his/her own. Because of that, he and his secretary try to concoct a plan to embarrass them especially with the upcoming swimsuit competition. Last year’s defending champion, the Bishoujo Party (wait, what?) gives their opening speech and Natsuki can’t help go with the flow and let out her own excitement. It may be embarrassing but at least she is bursting with honesty energy. Isn’t it no surprise all the spectators are men? As the water competitions kick off, it is obviously rigged and some of the girls suspect Rougai Party is behind this as many get eliminated too early and there is one whereby you get naughty octopi all over you if you fall into the water (sorry, no tentacle rape). So our evil politicians think they have got the last laugh but our dietwomen is the one having them because they turn around this mishap and turn those octopi into takoyaki! They’re selling well! Natsuki makes friends with the chairwoman of Bishoujo Party, Ume “Momo” Momoi. She loves the sea and her dream is to check out all the beaches in the world. The game continues as the girls are suspicious they need to put on certain swimsuits. Their worst fear comes true because in the next game where they have to take out their opponents via water gun, their swimsuits disintegrate when soaked. Before more wardrobe malfunction could happen, Momo leads the pack to stay calm and give the right timing for them to counterattack and win the game. If you think that wasn’t cheesy enough, in the last game where they must climb a tower to grab a microphone at the top to sing and win it, the scaffolding is obviously tampered as it starts collapsing. How can they survive that? Because Bishoujo Party starts singing and that is what keeps them afloat! WTF???!!! At the same time turning their evil counterparts into their biggest fans! In the end, Bishoujo Party wins the overall and they take a group photo together. Hey. Did the Rougai Party big boss just Liked their post?

Episode 5
Shizuka is on her day off as she meets her father. He tells her to stop this idol business and return to him. She is smart enough to know this won’t last forever. Of course she isn’t going to listen to him. Meanwhile Natsuki becomes a police chief for a day. Yeah, the chief inspector just became her biggest fan. So you think it is easy being a police chief? Apparently yeah. As long as you’re as cute as her. Then the biggest incident to happen: A hostage situation at a day care. It seems members of the Wakaba Party are taken hostage by… Children of the day care?! It is learnt that this day care will be closing down soon and the kids who have nowhere to go are against this. Yeah, drastic times call for drastic measures. Natsuki thinks she can talk to them but instead got captured. Way to go. But to her shock she learns the Wakaba Party members (are they lolis?!) are in cohorts with the kids. They heard their story that they have both parents who work. This is where they hangout until their parents get home so if this place goes, will they be considered homeless then? The local politician is here and he makes things worse by blaming the mothers of those kids. He believes a woman’s place is at home taking care of children. Easily triggered people shouldn’t be watching this episode. So how to solve this problem? When the day care is torn down, a business centre will be built. This means more income and revenue and thus mothers don’t have to work anymore and can better look after their children. Great plan. When this hostage drama gets dragged out, the politician decides to storm in. Seriously? They’re just kids. Anybody who take hostages are as good as terrorists! Well, I can see the equality there. Luckily Shizuka relays this to Natsuki so everyone starts preparing traps like Home Alone style. I mean, it makes the police force look so silly when they storm in only to slip on marbles, thrown used diapers, fall into pitfalls and blasted with pepper balloons. When the politician gets worked up over this farce, little does he know he stirred a mini beehive. He gets stung. Mothers of those kid quickly administer aid and help remove the beehive. Shortly Shizuka lectures him about those mothers being professionals in various areas and since they are invaluable to society, is it alright to keep them confined at home? You know everything is okay and over when the kids return to their moms, Wakaba Party starts singing and the politician turning over a new leaf apologizing to the mothers and tearing up the business centre proposal. Oh yeah, he quit his Rougai Party too. Starting to get worried you’re losing more men, eh?

Episode 6
Mika Kozuru of New Subculture Party loves astronomy but she is too shy to articulate her proposal to use the diet building’s observatory to launch bottle rockets and stimulate the people’s interest in space so this pesky old politician shoots it down with ease. Later Mika explains her scientific proposal perfectly to Heroine Party and hope they could team up for this event. However here comes that pesky old dude to warn them why the observatory is off limits because of hauntings and ghost sightings. He shouldn’t have said only God or a saint can help because here comes Ringo Yami from SOS Party as she is a self-proclaimed Ghostbuster. It’s time to bust some ghosts. Of course the old guy won’t let them have their way since if their proposal gets approved, budget allocations for them will be cut. So our Ghostbusters enter the observatory and what do you know? There’s a real ghost! Everybody is freaking out now and no exorcism method can work. What a time to regret your unfulfilled election promises? Oh great. Now the ghosts have multiplied! Meanwhile Mika who got lost from the group stumbles into 3 great statesmen. Want to bet they’re the real ghosts or rather the bronze statues come to life? They praise how the idol dietwomen are keeping Rougai Party at bay and advise her not to let them push her around. This helps Mika articulate her vision clearly. Team Ghostbusters realize they have been had after they destroy a hologram projector. They know that pesky old dude was behind this since he dropped his fan. Though he escapes, he bumps into Mika. This time she tells him she isn’t going to give up her proposal with full confidence. You can’t beat that smile. Speechless, eh? After hearing Natsuki say how the observatory lighted up like a planetarium after they stopped the projector, Mika makes a little revision in her proposal since she wants to appeal to a broader audience. Her stargazing event is approved and is popular among the people. Meanwhile Shizuka’s father still will not approve of her idol work. Nothing. Shizuka remains defiant.

Episode 7
The locals at Niigata are protesting the proposed site to build a stadium. Naturally Natsuki is going to help them. She learns the construction company behind this is Onimaru Construction. Sounds familiar? So being an idol dietwoman gives her the right to waltz in to see the president? Luckily he is passing by so he lets her in to see what she has to say. She hopes it would be re-evaluated but he instantly shoots her down that it is government sponsored and cannot be changed. Also, don’t take politics as fun and games! Kamishiro must be having a real headache to learn what Natsuki did but that didn’t stop her. After learning Shizuka is the president’s daughter, she bugs her to go talk to her father only to be shot down. Since Shizuka is not one to say, Sachie explains Shizuka as the only daughter and people had expectations she would follow her father’s footsteps. When she didn’t, everyone was surprised and naturally it caused tensions in their relationship. The president is seeing Rougai Party’s boss and assures what his daughter does has no bearing on what he does. Natsuki continues to bug Shizuka. Since she is stubborn, Natsuki notes she is so like her dad. This makes her snap back. She isn’t stubborn. She makes her own decisions! Can’t argue with that. As Natsuki can’t think of an idea, Sanpei a local boy from her hometown sends in drawings of kids about their feelings of the stadium. They decide to show this to the president but he apparently didn’t give a damn as usual. Not even one look. What a pity those drawings got wet in the rain… Are they going to give up? Instead, they are boosted when Shizuka joins in. They’re going to fight back via public forum and do a live concert. So they dance their way into the audiences’ hearts (because I believe everyone here is against the stadium). Shizuka’s dad did turn up as he observes the crowd. Though it seemed it has failed to convince him, their fan club petitions are starting to gain momentum. Then this shocking thing just came in over the news. The president decides to re-evaluate the project and scale it down to how the people would want and appreciate it! Yeah, their feelings finally reached him. So when Rougai Party boss confronts him about letting his emotions get the better of him, he is reminded his daughter’s actions has no bearing on what he does. All he wants is to make a stadium where people can gather and smile. Take that. Looks like somebody is going to move his hand to crush those idol dietwomen.

Episode 8
With the idols doing more concerts and their congress job better, those Rougai Party guys are starting to get worried with all the recent strings of resignation from their side. They are asking their boss who is also Japan’s Prime Minister Touichirou Sakuraba why he has not taken any action. Don’t worry. He already has. Because the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Natsuki and Shizuka are to be interviewed on TV. Shizuka cautions her to watch what she says because the media who is completely leaning on Rougai Party’s side can twist what she says. As the show starts, the host asks them about what they are doing this for. Natsuki being her honest self goes on happily talking about people’s smiles. Gotcha. The host then in turn plays clips of their past achievements but with a twist. The illegal dumpsite might have been solved but the garbage has to go somewhere and it’s nowhere but the streets. The cats on Nekonoshima have become pests ravaging crops while the day care still lacks funding and in danger of being closed. Natsuki cannot refute any of it. Even though Sachie knows this is heavily edited to one side and Rougai Party had pre-taped all this. Natsuki has no time being depressed because Sanpei calls to voice his concern that the stadium is now cancelled! Shizuka confronts her dad on it and it seems because the company changed the blueprints, the government decided to really re-evaluate this project. Of course he is not going out without a fight and warns Shizuka her value as a true dietwoman is now being tested. With idol dietwomen popularity plunging, a gossip magazine releases an article and photo of Shizuka having an affair with an older man. It is obviously her father but because they worded their statement as speculation, trying to report or fight it will prove nothing. Rougai Party is really coming for them. Natsuki is being lectured by Shizuka about her duty as elected representative since she somewhat fears going to diet building now. But Heroine Party isn’t just facing problems. Other idol dietwoman parties too. Chinatsu is mad the media is accusing Mizuki of plastic surgery. Sakurako is suspected of misusing government funds when it is her own money to buy clothes. Bishoujo Party is ridiculed that they are too dumb to read kanji. Wakaba Party still wets their bed? Who is telling New Subculture Party to go back to space? Who is telling SOS Party to return to the shadows? At times like these, they decide to band together to fight against Rougai Party. So they fight in a way they know best: Holding concerts to address the string of idol bashing. Before they can start, a helicopter lands in the middle of the stage. Who are these 4 beautiful babes? Hey. Aren’t they sent by Rougai Party? Are they like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?!

Episode 9
Saki Shiraga, Kazumi Mukai, Maybelle Takasaki and Megu Izumisawa are part of the legendary idol group, Cherry 7 who help Kagura Mikazuki the only female idol dietwoman in history and paved the way for idols to become part of the diet. When they decide to join them, they are attacked! WTF?! Holding a sword, machine gun and magic explosion wand?! Is Cherry 7 mercenaries now?! Apparently they are not here to support these idols and feel they have lost their way as idol dietwoman. Cherry 7 was hired by Rougai Party to test their worthiness. Surprisingly, Sakuraba comes on stage to show several accusations and scandals for each of the party. Then he belittles them how they are nowhere near Mikazuki and not only they do not solve problems as dietwomen but fail as idols too. He has come up with a proposal to ban idols to be dietwoman. The crowd is silent. Sakuraba takes this as their shocking approval. So before they can block that bill, they must defeat Cherry 7 first. Shizuka calls Mizuki and the other parties in hopes they could unite and band together. However Chinatsu tells her off she is the one to say as she was the least cooperative. Plus, all of them are busy trying to clear their scandals. With all the arguing, Mizuki steps in who tells them they will lose to Cherry 7 unless they give it their all. Chinatsu disagrees with this unity thingy. Because competition makes them push forward, she suggests holding a competition to see which of them is better to take on Cherry 7. Agreed. Mizuki will be the judge. Up till now you must have noticed Natsuki being depressed as hell. So leave it to Shizuka to give her speech about trust and believe and blow Natsuki out of the doldrums. There. Done. As they sing and dance, they realize there is this strange mix of strong power they produced together. Yup. Looks like they need to unite and form a cross-partisan unit against Cherry 7.

Episode 10
The cross-partisan unit is called Smile Kiss and they receive equal coverage with Cherry 7. However Natsuki is back to gloomsville as she continues to slack in her practice. Then with all the nonstop protest calls to their office, her motivation takes a dive. One day she just cannot dance anymore and her voice cannot sing. So Shizuka chides her and lets her go home. It gets even worse when she picks up a complaint call from a construction guy asking his money back for the failed stadium project. As she talks to Sachie about her problem, she is advised to go see those people. Thus Natsuki returns to Niigata and didn’t show up for practice so Shizuka has Chinatsu replace her part. This has Chinatsu commenting that is all Natsuki is worth to her. She abandoned her with ease just like she did with them. At Niigata, Natsuki apologizes to all the workers there. She reflects about being unable to help Shizuka and despite forming a duet with her, she was always trying her best to catch up to her. Sanpei then has her watch TV. The decisive concert is live right now. Natsuki is brought to tears seeing her teammates wearing the same ribbon colour as hers (original each of them had a unique colour assigned). As predicted, Cherry 7 is currently leading a big gap in the polls. Suspiciously when Natsuki starts cheering for her team, the lead starts to cut… In the end, the one who got the most votes is… Smile Kiss!!! They did it! Hooray! Not so fast. Because Sakuraba has immediately hold a press conference. Despite the idols’ amazing performance, don’t be fooled by this illusion. Their performance is just that. A fleeting pleasure of self-gratification. It doesn’t solve problems or enrich people’s lives. Then this is the damning statement that would make or break his bill: Those idol dietwomen were so caught up practising for their performance, they didn’t even do a single job as politicians for the past few week! Oh no…

Episode 11
The vote on the bill is out. And the result is… Rougai Party is celebrating and giving their victory speech. Thanks to that, our idol dietwomen are all doom and gloom especially with Shizuka blaming herself and taking responsibility for it all. Hey, for an idol this is literally the end of the world. Natsuki too is in gloomsville. She can’t even do farm work properly and cries even while eating. Yeah, food must taste this good. Because she continues to cry about not being able to make anyone smile, grandma had to tell her about the rising star story of Mikazuki. A dark age where she rose up and shone through the darkness. People soon started following her and the nation slowly came back out into the light. Asked why she became an idol dietwoman, simple, she wanted to make others smile. As advised, Natsuki goes around town to see what has changed. Remember that guy from the first episode who ran against Natsuki in the by-election? He is sweeping the streets in hopes of getting to know his people better! He has left Rougai Party and became an independent. He thanks Natsuki for changing him. This really makes her day as Natsuki runs all over the place (places of past episodes where there were ‘issues’) to find that all of those ex-Rougai Party people have changed for the better. Like that dumpster is now a museum with all recycled items. That cat island is now booming with cats and the day care gets to continue operating. All because of Natsuki. Oh my. Natsuki is so happy she is swirling around in a flower field?! Hope it doesn’t get to her head. Meanwhile it is about time Shizuka also has come to her senses. She realizes her selfishness when she left Sunlight Party and was only imposing her feelings upon others. It is not she has changed but rather been changed. Thanks to a certain twintail too. Of course the inevitable Natsuki and Shizuka making up again. This time Shizuka views her as her real partner. Their next move is to put up another concert albeit just the duo. But isn’t this against the act? I’m not sure about there are those who voted against it so they want to sing for them but hey, isn’t it still illegal? Are they breaking the law? Oh what the heck. Idols always have their way. So as they gear up for the concert, on that very day we already have a crisis. Not a single soul turned up! OMG! Is it because it is raining? Or is that just symbolic?

Episode 12
Apparently somebody hacked into their website to say the concert is cancelled. I think I know who… Even so, the duo will continue to perform because they are idols. Their song resonates throughout the city so much so curious people slowly start streaming in to hear them. Even the other idol dietwomen see this over the internet and make their way. However Sakuraba anticipated this and puts his next plan in motion. A gridlock in the city and shut down of all transports! Don’t worry. The idols get by with the help of ex-Rougai Party members as they make their way via other methods. By foot, sewer or parachute. The craziest one being Momo as she surfs her entire way there! I know the road is wet and slippery but this?! As the crowd builds up and wanting an encore, Natsuki and Shizuka team up with the other idol dietwomen to put on another sterling performance. Their ideology and party may be different but their feelings are the same. Even Cherry 7 is down here to support them. Sakuraba goes down to the field himself to take command. However the riot police will not listen to his order. It seems the police chief who has been promoted to the central office is the one taking charge. With ex-Rougai Party members reminding him about the infringement of free speech, Sakuraba sees the intense crowd that keeps flowing in and Smile Kiss continue to perform, he then gives out a maniacal laughter. He accepts the challenge of the idol dietwomen. In the aftermath, Sakuraba makes a press conference that he is dissolving the diet for a general election. We see a montage of everyone working hard in their campaign. It is no surprise that all the idol dietwomen get re-elected. Yeah, between a cute idol and an old bald dude. Who would you pick? Don’t tell me you’re going to pick based on character, ability, aptitude, etc! It seems Sakuraba is also re-elected. Although he is still against idols becoming dietwomen and will stick with his stance, he challenges them to follow their own convictions if they insist. They can’t let him win because that will mean the end of their dream.

Make Japan Great Again!
Are we done yet? Okay. The fun is over. Time to return to reality. Don’t be fooled by this anime to think that entering politics is damn easy. Yeah, they certainly do make it look like a whole lot of fun here. Because as you can see the idol dietwomen continue to keep their hair all proper and clean after everything. I don’t know if Rougai Party manages to still retain its stranglehold and majority but it might be so because if every single idol dietwomen were elected and assuming there were no new ones, this would mean status quo, right? Definitely need more idol dietwomen and such parties to enter the diet if we are to cleanse Japan of typical old corrupted politicians and make Japan great again!

It is already a no brainer that we have cute idols holding double jobs working as politicians. But it is even dumber to see how idols can actually instantly change bad politicians into good ones! OMFG! This is so unrealistic! You can evidently see how these idols here do it as some of the episodes feature the baddie politician of the week and our heroines get to save the day by ‘purifying’ them via concert, so to speak. Because if this formula truly works and if the idols were serious in trying to weed out corrupted governing practices, don’t you think they would have just hold a nationwide concert that is broadcasted live to all forms of media? Guaranteed to have the biggest, most stubborn and most vile politicians turn into your biggest fan! No doubt about it! So why bother doing small local concerts and change only 1 immoral politician at a time when you can do it all in one big go! So tell me, are these idols serious in changing Japan for the better or do they really know what it takes to run a country? But to show that Sakuraba isn’t as bad as he looks, he is seen attending a concert in the final moments and even tapping his feet to their beat. Oh ho. He may not look like it on the outside but is he converted on the inside? We’ll never know. He is after all the big final boss that our idol dietwomen needs to defeat.

I know some people aren’t really into idols but in this anime what I usually notice that many have this herd mentality. That bill to ban idol dietwomen kills it. Unless Sakuraba is an excellent eloquent smooth talker, the people here feel like they follow their feelings over what they heard. It is like they have no faith in the idols at all. One minute ago they were singing praises about them and the next minute they turn on them because of this WTF scandal that they don’t even care to dig deeper to understand why they didn’t do their governing job. It is scary in real life that idols are walking on thin ice to satisfy ‘hardcore fans’ who would without hesitation turncoat and desert their favourite idol once a scandal arises. But as far for the people in this anime is concerned, it is like they are hoping idols can magically solve their problems that could have taken a little longer to resolve. Oh right. Maybe that’s why they voted idols in. Something different than your conservative politicians. Or maybe the idols’ singing is the one brainwashing people to vote for them? Told you about this silly aspect. In that case do you not think an idol is very similar to a politician? Swaying people with sweet words on stage while looking good. It only takes a scandal to tarnish their name and bring them down. Oh, the similarities…

It is pretty much disappointing that with so many idols from different parties, it is sad that many of them don’t get decent screen time. The most is that they have an episode for them but that is if Natsuki and Shizuka get involved. Even more so, you don’t really get to understand what those parties are fighting for. Heck, what does Heroine Party stand for anyway? Making it worse, the 7 idol dietwoman parties seem to be a representation of some sort of stereotype like the Wakaba Party seem to have only little lolis (are they saying politics is child’s play?) and the Bishoujo Party have members that look more like tanned surfer girls than pretty kawaii ladies. Because I only see Ringo as the only member in SOS Party, I am starting to make generalizations of the party is some sort of gothic fashion party. I don’t know much about the legendary Cherry 7 but looking at them feels like as though their theme is armed and dangerous. It certainly looks so. Plus, with them draping in black, it looks as though they’ve returned from a funeral. Really.

Even the development and friendship drama between Natsuki and Shizuka fails. It just feels generic. Young inexperienced new girl comes into party to pair up with a veteran who defected from another party. They go around helping people to bring about smiles and they make it seem so easy and effortless as I wonder is it because of their idol status makes their job a lot easier an uncomplicated. Then we have a little bit of family drama and tension between Shizuka and her father only to be conveniently and predictably resolved. All because he attended a live concert of Shizuka? Sure, he claims he operates differently from his daughter. But think about this. Has he not heard her daughter sing from other formats even assuming if this is the first time he attends it live? So why now? Both father and daughter have been so stubborn to the point they could be strangers. Thus is it her music? Plot convenience? Reminder that idols’ songs are always the best? Well, can’t have Shizuka’s father as the baddie seeing the real antagonists have been set as Rougai Party. Then there’s the past between Shizuka and Sunlight Party which had potential but never explored further and thus it feels wasted and redundant to somewhat tie a loose connection between them. It wouldn’t make any difference had she not been linked to it in the first place.

And Natsuki is so inexperienced and at time useless that whenever things doesn’t go the right way, she starts going into depression and bums around doing nothing. WTF. I know she is in shock but clearly when she decided to run for candidacy, did she not know the risks? Maybe she doesn’t. Welcome to the world of politics where everything isn’t rosy and sunshine. Except maybe when you’re an idol whose singing can change everything including giving off those special flowery effects while you are at it. Despite being cheery and at her own pace in nature, ironically it takes her a while and even advice or guidance from others to reach out to her before she gets her gears going like normal again. Oh right. Nobody is perfect. But aren’t idols supposed to be perfect?

Art and drawing are pretty standard with your pretty idols looking more like bishoujos (except for the loli ones). Not too sure if the outfit they were is their uniform because if it is, it makes them look like cosplay. Because of the idols looking pretty and cute, corrupted politicians especially from Rougai Party have this typical trademark of what is stereotyped as bad guy looks. I see Mr Sakuraba, you have very thick gorilla eyebrows and deep voice that is only reserved for evil leaders… So cliché. Hence for those politicians who turned over a new leaf, they look pretty normal and decent after that. Is this some sort of discrimination? CGI is also used but very sparingly only when the idols start prancing on stage as a big group. However it is not that noticeable because such concerts itself do not last very long. The series is a joint production between MAPPA and Studio VOLN whose other collaboration is the alternate updated version of Ushio & Tora.

At the end of each episode, there is an end card illustrated by several people. Some illustrated twice for different episodes. Somehow they look all the same to me… What is worse than some end cards which serve as idol fanservice? That idol keeps reminding us that the DVDs are going to be out and be sure to buy them. Are they trying to condition and brainwash us to buy this disappointing show? I know I won’t be bought out. Even if you pay me to buy it I won’t. Wait. Did I just make a no brainer statement?

The voice acting just feels normal and decent and nothing to shout about. Mostly are relatively new seiyuus that I still can’t recognize or veteran ones but I still can’t recognize such as Sarara Yashima as Natsuki (Sayo in Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls), Mai Fuchigami as Shizuka (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Reina Ueda as Sachie (Mira in Dimension W), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Chinatsu (Chika in HaruChika), Lynn as Mizuki (titular character in Fuuka), Yuuki Fujiwara as Kamishiro (Liang in Nanbaka) and Kouji Ishii as Sakuraba (Garterbelt in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt). Old veteran seiyuus I recognized helmed roles as the legendary Cherry 7 like Yukari Tamura as Saki and Kana Ueda as Maybelle. I’m going to skip the rest of the list because there are a whole lot of seiyuus lending their voices here and most of them only had a fraction of their dialogue or none at all. I mean, am I serious and hardworking enough to list down all the idols representing all 47 prefectures of Japan?! Are you crazy?! But what is interesting to note is that all of the seiyuus do actually represent and were born in the prefecture of the idol dietwoman that they play.

If you really like idol brand of music, this series has a few of them. I’m not into it so that is probably why I don’t really find the idol-like opening theme, Utae! Ai No Kouyaku by Smile Kiss to my liking. But the ending theme, Respect by the duet of Natsuki and Shizuka feels a bit weird. Pop idol music relying heavily on the synthesizers and effects plus a bit of Arabic feel. In almost every episode there would be an insert song featuring that idol dietwoman party in focus but none really to my liking.

We should have a reality TV show whereby politician wannabes have to go through tests and challenges viewed by millions on TV to see what it takes to become one. It would have been interesting to see how candidates get eliminated by a different voting procedure. I know Donald Trump becoming president doesn’t mean anybody else can become president especially those from the entertainment industry. Oh wait. There’s Ronald Reagan… Then there is Kanye West for 2020…And what’s this? Katy Perry also? The Rock too? Really, America? If it really turns out that celebrity singers are going to run for the Oval Office, then we can call this new reality TV show Ameican Idol. What do you mean that name is already taken?!

Overall, this is quite a disappointing series trying to cash in on the idol craze that is still riding high on its wave in Japan and some parts of the world. Because if you really want good idol material to watch on TV, Love Live and even AKB0048 do it better. So it only goes to show that idols are best and can be in the form of high school girls trying to stop their school from closing down or space revolutionaries fighting against the banning of music. Anything suits them as long as it is not politics. Now we know they don’t mix. Because it would be really bad and sad if idols were to use their star power to side a certain party for the elections like we have seen in the recent American elections. Thus there is a reason why specific jobs exists and even in the same category. Not everything is one glove fits all size and nobody can wear all hats. Some things don’t go together as we learn here, idols and politics. Truly this is not the case of grooming a horse to be a fine horse. It is rather a cat can never become a horse! If they are going to make another season, you bet I am going to cast my big “NO!” vote even if it is just a referendum. Come on, people. Let’s not support sh*tty animes again. No more disappointing animes. Say no to substandard animes. LET’S MAKE ANIME GREAT AGAIN!!!

P/S: A politician and an idol walk into a bar… They become scandal fodder for tomorrow’s tabloid headlines!

Classroom Crisis

March 20, 2016

It is one of those shows where the synopsis doesn’t say much. A very general statement that could just mean anything, everything or nothing. But when you start watching it, it turns out differently. Of course that is mainly because you have formed your own perceptions and beliefs onto it. At least that was the case for me when I got to know Classroom Crisis and after I watched it. I knew it was going to be some sort of sci-fi as it states about human settlements throughout the solar system. This means colonies and duplicates of great cities like Tokyo (what else?) on planets such as Mars as seen in this series. The rest of the bland synopsis tells us what the main characters do. That’s it. I’m not sure if the charm is in the mystery of not telling us the rest and perhaps to pique our interest in watching the series. And then it turns out a little different than what you anticipated. It could be really great or just shockingly disappointing. But I’ll leave that at the end of the blog.

So judging by the anime title itself, I was thinking that the school is going to shut down due to the minimal number of enrolling students and thus they take it upon themselves to save the school. Oh wait. They did that already in Love Live. Futuristic version of it? Nope… Well then, hmmm… The main characters are a brother-sister pair whose relationship is also a teacher-student connection. So is there some sort of incest going around and when it is busted they go into damage control while trying to maintain status quo? Nope… How about a new transfer student that turns out to be some sort of crazy killer and picking off everybody in class one by one? That’s absolutely crazy! Definitely a big no on that. So if it isn’t all of the above, what else could it be? Hint: Business and politics… Oh…

Episode 1
There is a discussion among the big wigs of Kirishina Corporation about a demand of a hostage. There are threats to kill him if payment demands are not met. The CEO, Genzou Yanai is really tearing his hair out of this. However, the conglomerate which is run by the Kiryuu family, led by Kazuhisa the president and his brother, Yuuji the vice president, it seems they do not intend to give in to such demands despite the hostage is of an important person in their corporation. They want to label this as business related and not incident. So please keep your mouth shut on this. At the technological department, Kaito Sera is fixing a prototype craft. His outgoing chief Saigou Sasayama hopes he could be there to witness its official performance before his tenure ends. Kaito is also a teacher of the A-TEC (Advance Tech Development and Education) section. But looks like he isn’t so keen on teaching his students and wants to get back fixing his prototype. The class is abuzz of a new transfer student today but when he doesn’t show up, rumour has it that it has been delayed. In actual fact, he is actually in that hostage situation. As explained by Sasayama to Kaito, one of the mining asteroids owned by Kirishina. Coldwood experienced uprising by local workers not satisfied with the payment. The hostage got dragged into it. However Kirishina seems to be withholding payment despite Yanai wanting to just pay them off since that mine is slated to be closed and the banks have withdrawn their financial support. As the kidnappers have no bank accounts, the demand is to deliver by hand the cash. Failure to meet that deadline means the hostage will be killed. Kaito then starts to map out the fastest route and seems he knows he can make it there in time. The hostage tells the kidnappers their demands won’t be met. Not because of their faulty plan, but rather they chose the wrong hostage. He shows them his business card as he explains because of who he is, there are others who are going to snuff them out while taking him out too. He wants them to think of a plan that will benefit all parties and make a profit.

Kaito tells this to his students and he is confident he can reach there in his prototype, X-2. Of course the students protest since it is not tested and Kaito’s qualification as a pilot is questionable (he wants to play hero and ride that thing). Not to mention Mizuki is not only his student but his sister. Before Kaito can explain the rest of his plan, they realize their ace pilot, Iris Shirasaki has already taken off! Clearly lots of protocol violation here. They have no choice but to rush down to the control room and support her. Iris flies through a restricted zone which is asteroid belts. Each time a part of X-2 gets damaged, Yuna Nouen heart breaks. Oh, the cost… She is going to have a heart attack when Iris is forced to discharge a damaged booster. Cost rising, heartache rising. When Iris arrives before Coldwood, the landing system is down. No time for repairs? No problem. She’ll crash land that thing. It is amazing she is still in one piece but X-2 is wrecked beyond recognition. Oh, poor Yuna… When she heads in, she is surprised to see the hostage freed and alone. He too is surprised to see her. When he is safely returned, he chides Kaito for making the worst decision ever! He explains of the bloated costs in this rescue mission. Hundreds of millions! But that is just trivial. The X-2 they just wrecked? Billions! It’s a good thing they managed to salvage all the damaged parts, eh? When he shows his name card, he is Nagisa Kiryuu, the chief of the Advanced Technological Development department at Kirishina. This means the transfer student is their boss and his job is to downsize them. Cost cutting measure, eh?

Episode 2
A narration of Kirishina’s history in the aerospace industry for 70 years. It even goes as far back as how it all started. Founded by a couple of high school students after they exhibited their rocket at a local science fair, Takahisa Kiryuu and Renichirou Shinamiya. Nagisa’s introduction in A-TEC is most cold and business-like. He’ll be shutting down this department in a year. It’s been only a short while, so nice to meet you folks. Jerk. He also maintains his unfriendly disposition as he has read up the failure of this current A-TEC class. No worthwhile results and that scandal 2 day ago. Another narration of Kirishina’s A-TEC department that developed some SWNPR engine that led to the popular SWNPR Race. Call it the formula one of outer space. It goes without saying that Kirishina dominates the race with their advanced technology. Kaito is also highlighted under this review as he had been racing in junior grand prix and also developed his own engine that brought about major changes to the rules. Nagisa confronts Iris about her reckless piloting that was suicidal but she just ignores the jerk. Mizuki tries to be friendly with him but that guy is just being a plain jerk.

Nagisa then sees big brother Yuuji who feels the dismantling of A-TEC is a must to preserve their legacy. Nagisa suggests using that scandal and they’ll be gone in no time but Yuuji doesn’t want him to do that as the Coldwood incident cover-up will be for nothing. Yuuji gives him a time limit of 6 months to get the job done or else. Nagisa then hints of the many snags during his trip to Coldwood that led up to the hostage situation. He felt like there were higher hands playing into this. That irk on Yuuji’s face tells it all. Kaito and his students discover the big achievements Nagisa has made. He joined the company at 16 and has done lots of high end deals and elite meetings. A highly successful businessman groomed to be the future CEO of Kirishina! Just too awesome to ignore. The footage of A-TEC interviews continue as we hear the students’ varying goals of joining this class. Then there is the interview with Kaito himself. His speech is so awesome, filled with hope and motivation that Kaito himself is touched when he rewatches it! This gives him the motivation to march down to Nagisa’s office to tell him off that he won’t accept his way of things. Although Nagisa says his position here was decided by the company, feel free to do whatever underhanded tactics to drag him down if he feels like it. But Kaito is going to play fair and make the big guys at Kirishina see the usefulness of A-TEC. Nagisa dares him to convince the current management and hopefully he would succeed before he becomes CEO. This leaves Kaito in surprise since Nagisa has planned his future that far ahead.

Episode 3
Yuuji tells Nagisa that A-TEC’s budget has been cut by 70%. They will perish in no time. When Nagisa says he didn’t have to do this, Yuuji screams back all he needs to do is listen to his orders. He points out their problem is not the fact Nagisa had 100% successful business record but his refusal to obey him. After Kaito and his students continue to develop their engine, Kaito then marches into Nagisa’s office and throws all the cost proposals to seek additional funding. Nagisa throws it all back at him because it doesn’t tell him why they should invest in this or its impact on the company. As the students head to their lab, they are surprised to see this woman, Angelina packing their recycled and waste papers away nicely. She then chides them for leaving it in such a messy state that they risk leaking their secrets to rivals. Cost cutting is one thing but this is just too much. As she is from the accounting and budget division, she is sent by Nagisa to be their vice homeroom teacher and observe Kaito too. Later Kaito tries to convince Angelina to side and invest with them. But he is being told off about the way they are spending money that is just bleeding the company. At this rate they will not last 3 months. She advises him to stick to her budget plans. When he mentions being a teacher first, a researcher second, Angelina again chides him for being a tyrant boss instead because from the way she sees it, the students are overworked to the bone.

Next day, the students are shocked to see their lab turned into a manufacturing factory. All in just one day? It seems Kaito unknowingly agreed to her budget cut plan but he didn’t count taking away their workspace was part of it. Don’t worry. She has prepared an appropriate place for them. The abandoned memorial house of Kirishina is a good place for them. In fact, the small lab where the founders made their rocket is going to be their base. Behold! Technically the birthplace of A-TEC. The students protest at this place lacking infrastructure and proper equipment so Angelina tells them off about their lax attitude towards status quo. She mentions about the high cost in keeping their lab running. They won’t even get to cover and pay back all that working their entire lives. This at least is 1/20 of the cost. What about proper tools? Use your damn creativity! And that’s final. Later Kaito talks to retired Sasayama about the current problem. Even more heartbreaking was half of his students quit the team. He is at a lost that all that they have done is for nought. Sasayama tries to look positive at things. At least they have a chance to prove themselves albeit a tiny one. Angelina talks to Nagisa about him assigning her to A-TEC which means he is trying to preserve the class. Angelina’s other job is to spy on Yuuji. She has found out that A-TEC’s budget cut is not widely known. Only the very top management knows about this. This question is where all that money would go to. Angelina thought she could share a night of passion with him but he only agreed to let her stay to use his shower. That’s it. What a letdown. We see a big hideous scar over his back as he ponders who is going to survive this. Him or A-TEC.

Episode 4
What can a small group do without proper funding and equipment? Nothing. When a teacher begs Kaito to go to some political speech, this gives him an idea to take his issues through the union. So he goes see the union leader, Shigeru Yamamoto and he agrees to fight for his cause. So we see the union putting up some little protests and getting people to sign their petition to overthrow the management’s decision. Mizuki is even cheeky enough to try and get Nagisa to sign but he warns them the union is not as clean and selfless as they think. Kaito is even made to go out on stage to do a political speech as Yamamoto suggests expanding their fight to cover the entire nation and hit the corporation where it hurts most. Yuuji summons Nagisa and is furious about Kaito teaming up with Oozora Party. Though Nagisa doesn’t find it a big deal for A-TEC to join the union, Yuuji tells him to dismantle this partnership. He doesn’t care how. Just do it. This only serves as a hint to Nagisa that Yuuji might have something planned for the next general election or something else that is troubling him. He has Angelina do more digging. When Nagisa and the union agree to sit down and talk, before anything could began, Kaito is handed a letter. It states his promotion to assistant chief. The union workers are devastated and they leave. Because now Nagisa is an executive, it will make the union his enemy as they only fight for the labourer’s rights. Congratulations on his promotion. Now left with no help from both side.

At their wit’s end, Kaito gives the greatest motivational speech to his students that he wants to become a great teacher and boss for them and that is why he is never going to give up. He hopes they will keep supporting him. Surprisingly, the students who quit returned after hearing such heartfelt speech. 2 weeks later as Angelina goes to check on them, she is shocked to see the garage now filled with proper equipment for them to do their R&D on X-3. What is the meaning of this? How did they get the funds? All I understand is that since Kaito is now a high level management, he gets to make decisions without going through certain protocols that involve higher management for fund approval up to a certain amount. Even if that limit is not enough, he sent out 30 circulars to secure funds of 599,700,000 Yen! Angelina leaving without saying anything is a resounding victory for them. But she warns Kaito that whether she lets this slide or not, A-TEC is still doomed. Then they get into a petty argument and Angelina is most pissed when Kaito mentions her real name: Hanako Hattori. I guess they did a little snooping too. Kaito gets a slap in his face. Later, when Nagisa talks to Kaito about his funding method, I think he is putting in a long winded way that he approves of it.

Episode 5
Yuuji is not pleased that A-TEC has not been shut down and now they have resources to continue their work. But didn’t he say to sever their ties with Oozora Party? Yuuji quickly changes the subject and it seems Nagisa has got a deal done in just a week. A deal that would have at least taken a month. Impressive? A-TEC is on their way for their class trip at the beach. The partying and singing in the bus really must have got to Angelina’s nerves. I wonder how Nagisa can still work calmly in all that partying. Wondering if all his data is secured, Nagisa assures it is all saved in the company’s server but Sakugo Maioka easily hacks it. At the beach, Mizuki tries to persuade Nagisa to join them instead of working. Kaito misinterprets he is trying to hit on his sister. Angelina misinterprets the brat is trying to hit on him. Because Angelina is seemingly going to do something dangerous, Iris goes into defensive mode as both girls go into showdown. Mizuki tries to diffuse the tension. Angelina knows about Iris’ amnesia that she cannot remember her childhood, a secret only known to Kaito and Mizuki. During the tension, Angelina accidentally flings her sausage-on-a-stick. Can you believe it? The stick destroyed Nagisa’s laptop monitor! It is either Angelina’s super strength or they don’t make durable PCs like they do nowadays. Nagisa borrows her tablet to continue working. Even during meal time, Nagisa is seen working. Mizuki again tries to persuade him to join them. Because the guys are fooling around with their invention, they accidentally break the tablet. Meanwhile Angelina forces Kaito to accompany her and drink as they pour out their sorrows.

Nagisa wants the guys help to repair this tablet since they broke it. And as their boss, he orders them! However they tell him about the class caste so as a transfer student, he ranks lowest. They will fix the tablet but in exchange must do something for them. With no time left, he agrees. But when he realizes that they are going to peep on the girls in the hotspring, he just leaves. No time for their stupidity. It’s a good move. Because the girls predicted this and the boys step on a trap and turn them into fireworks. When Mizuki learns of Nagisa’s troubles, she mentions a Kirishina branch nearby but it is 2 hours drive. No time. Nagisa only has 1 hour. Iris then borrows a van and recklessly drifts and drives all the way there! Hang on! Every corner it feels like death is, well, around the corner. Eventually he arrives but the branch has no authority to log on to the main server. That is when Angelina calls and tells him to input the password that enables him to do so. Actually she threatened Sakugo to do some hacking… Job done. The ride back is slow and peaceful. Nagisa and Mizuki soak in separate hotsprings that night. She still tries to be friendly with him but he tells her outright he has no intention to befriend any of them. Despite this being his first class trip, it feels awful and he doesn’t want to do it again. When Iris enters the wrong bath section, Nagisa panics and brings down the barrier. It’s not his nice ass that Mizuki is shocked to see. It’s his back scar.

Episode 6
Nagisa rejects Kaito’s request for another funding. Asking at this rate will kill his department faster so he advises him about innovation being born when there is an obstacle to overcome. It’s not his words. That is what the founders said. People like him with no money, no time and no support should think outside the box and use their creativity to succeed. Not too sure if this is Kaito’s revenge because during a class test, Nagisa fails. He has to take a make-up test. I guess he never learnt all those technical stuffs in school. And now Kaito has the last laugh of telling him about innovation and outside the box thinking. In Mizuki’s bid to be friendlier with him, she stays after class with him to help tutor him. After a little small talk, he seems ready to reveal a bit of his family past. Similarly, Kaito who is out drinking with Sasayama to complain about the funding reject (he is also advised to think out of the box), is also being told the same. We learn that Nagisa is the son of Yasuhisa and his lover, Chisato. He was taken into the family at the age of 6. Yuuji rejected and hated everything about him and even resorted to abuse in those younger days. Even more shocking is that Nagisa’s mother was the only remaining blood relative of the Shinamiya clan. Having both blood means he is directly related to the founders. This is the reason why Yanai is trying to win over him so he could win over Kazuhisa and Yasuhisa who is the current CEO.

If it caused many complications, why take in Nagisa in the first place? It was stocks. At the time, Nagisa’s mom owned 30% of Kirishina’s stocks. This was the reason Yasuhisa approached her and the reason why he took Nagisa in after she died. All of Nagisa’s success, Yuuji took credit for it. As thanks for all that, he carved his gratitude on his back. Yup. That scar. I guess Nagisa has to stop now that Mizuki is crying. But she too stops and resumes the tutoring. When they leave very late, Iris has been waiting for Mizuki! Wait a minute. She’s been waiting this long? Maybe Mizuki told her she’d be back in a short while but don’t you think after never coming back, should she not have sensed something amiss and gone to look for her instead of sitting down there like an idiot? Seeing Mizuki’s red eyes, she is quick to blame Nagisa might have done something to her. To Nagisa’s shock, the A-TEC students are breaking the rules by working overtime. However they reword it as after school activity. Nagisa still chides them because it is still work related. Seriously, because of him rejecting their funding, they are currently trying to find ways to reduce their costs to save money for other things. Mizuki then has everyone help Nagisa study and everyone is glad to oblige. They’re not going to be as kind as Mizuki. Because of that all-nighter, Nagisa barely passes the make-up tests. Iris wakes up from a nightmare where her grandpa is dying in his pool of blood and telling her to protect Nagisa at all costs and not let him being taken away.

Episode 7
Surprise! A-TEC is actually doing their job on schedule and within the allotted budget! See? You can do it if you want to! But they still lack the 1.5 billion funds needed to buy the reactor. Ah shucks! The final piece to the puzzle. Don’t worry. Kaito will think of something. I hope. Currently, Angelina and Iris are away for a seminar. It was so boring for Angelina that she just slept through it. But the worst part is that they had quite the nice dinner and probably she was drinking too much that they missed the last flight back to Mars. And she has an important meeting tomorrow. Nagisa uses his authority to arrange a flight for them home. Also on this flight is Professor Jason Li. Imagine Angelina’s shock to hear this great system engineering professor tutored Kaito. After a while the flight takes off, Iris notices their path is not towards Mars. That is when those agents whip out their guns as they want Li to accompany them to Earth. Angelina uses her ninja skills to easily disable them. Even Iris had at least a moment by knocking one with a lamp shade. A-TEC is shock to hear the ship’s hijack but thankfully they are safe. The pilot is also in cohorts and has locked himself in the cockpit. When Nagisa calls Yuuji to inform what is happening and request authority to handle this, big brother doesn’t want him to do anything and to leave everything to him. And that he means is to wait and see since he doesn’t want anybody to discover whatever plans they had. Nagisa knows he can’t sit still and do nothing. Kaito’s answer is more straightforward. Just go rescue them like last time. Well, if they only had a ship.

The plan now is for them to get into the cockpit and take control so that they can send some guidance data back to A-TEC for them to help out. It gets better when Nagisa gives them his permission to do what it takes to rescue them. After relaying the plan to Angelina, she talks to Iris about Nagisa’s family who had another family who once protected them. They are called Shirasaki. She believes has something to do with him before she lost her memories as her family’s name was stitched on her clothes when they found her. After subduing the pilots and taking over the control, all that is left is to turn the ship around and let it fly back to Mars. Could have been a closed case if not for the pilot regaining consciousness and trying to shoot Iris. Angelina sees this coming and uses her arm to block the shot (it’s just a flesh wound). But this scene evokes horrific trauma for Iris as she passes out. The ship veers off course and is going to collide into a satellite. The only thing Angelina can do is to protect and cover Iris. A passing ship luckily pulls it away. Iris is grateful Angelina protected her. A-TEC’s ground control is glad that everybody turned out safe and even happier they get to talk to Li. However suspicions abound for Nagisa. Especially about that unidentified ship. It is definitely not Yuuji. Speaking of him, he is being told off by Kazuhisa for his bad decision to let Li die as he is an important man in Kirishina. He won’t reprimand him but just notes that he failed to reach an optimum conclusion. Kazuhisa than welcomes Li into his office.

Episode 8
As the bottom of the file and rank, Yuuji has to do the groundwork for the cultural festival. Meanwhile Yuuji sees a couple of politicians from the ruling party, Seimin. It seems the general election is near and the polls indicate Oozora is taking a very big lead. The politicians want Yuuji to cough up more money and assure crowds at their candidates’ venue. They lambast him the irony that Seimin has always worked closely with Kirishina and despite Oozora and the union are supposed to be under their control, they are taking the lead. Do something about this or he will not achieve his goal. Meanwhile Sadayuki Murakami from Oozora talks to Kaito about the possibility of having his speech before his cultural festival activity. Kaito is not so sure because he remembers the union and party bailed at him before. Murakami then switches mode to apologize and like the smooth operator he is, convinces Kaito that his true goal is to fight for the labourers’ rights. Safe to say, the simpleton is taken in by his speech and will support him. As A-TEC work on their rocket to be on a flight demo during the festival, Iris as the test pilot starts to experience her past trauma. Something about being alone in a capsule floating in space and it is about to hit an asteroid! Mizuki pulls her out and takes her temperature. A little high. Don’t worry. We have Kaito as the replacement test pilot. Looking a bit clumsy… Mizuki hopes Nagisa could make it to the after party. She will be eagerly waiting for him. Then Iris asks Nagisa if he knows anything about the Shirasaki family because when they first met, it was like he was very familiar with her. He says he was only surprised to see a female test pilot. He asks if she plans to be a pilot for the rest of her life. She doesn’t answer but I think it means a yes. He believes that is the best choice since revenge is only for fools.

Angelina returns with her findings on the channelling of A-TEC’s budget. Because someone noticed this new trend and reported it to the superior who is no other than Yuuji and that news doesn’t move anywhere, it is clear Yuuji is diverting large amounts of money. This money would have been a big boost for them. If they can find out, not only A-TEC’s budget will be saved but their survival as well. They both note that they have become sympathetic for A-TEC although Angelina points out Nagisa has changed after spending more time at A-TEC. He has become more likeable. The festival proceeds well. So does the rocket demonstration. Big success. Then it had to run out of fuel and crash land. I wonder how much this is going to cost with Kaito ejecting from his seat. Yuuji wants Nagisa to do something about Murakami and do it by any means like a scandal or election violation. Nagisa reminds him he is now part of this corporation and no longer his shadow lackey. If he gets caught in foul play, Yuuji will also fall. Yuuji then punches him and tells him off that if he gets caught, don’t you dare mention his name. All the doing was of his own and nothing related. This only serves to make Nagisa realize that Kazuhisa also has a hand in this. Now he can destroy both of them depending on his approach. Time to get planning. Mizuki waits for Nagisa at the allotted time but he doesn’t turn up.

Episode 9
Yuuji is furious that there have been no updates from Nagisa. Last minute he calls to confirm Murakami is history and that their candidate, Kenshou Furubayashi will win. For a clearer explanation, please watch the news now. It seems Furubayashi has quit from Seimin to join Oozora. Murakami is also panicking at the implication of this. He should be because with him in Oozora, the union will now support him. Out you go Murakami. Yuuji continues to scream his head off at Nagisa but he is just being cool. Hey, you told him to do whatever he wanted, right? And he did it all on his own accord. Plus, Furubayashi also made a pledge for a personal favour to Nagisa if he wins. He knows Yuuji was supposed to ensure Furubayashi’s win as Seimin assemblyman but couldn’t comply with Kazuhisa’s wishes. But it didn’t happen. With this, Yuuji is finished. Angelina reveals all that has happened to A-TEC. A week before the elections, Nagisa met up with Furubayashi. First he showed him the missing funds and Furubayashi thought he want his money back or drag him to court or something. Nagisa just wanted to be sure… Then he suggests him to switch party. This is a sure way for him to get elected. As personal reasons are not the cause of his struggling campaign, it is the party itself. Seimin is to blame and if he continues aligning himself with it, he will definitely lose. Furubayashi isn’t convinced with this verbal tactic so Nagisa brings in Yamamoto and Takehiko Sonozaki, the secretary general of Oozora. I believe they are old buddies. With that, Furubayashi made the switch. All this has been the backdoor planning between Nagisa and Yamamoto. With Nagisa siding with the union and promising them many favours after he takes over, Yamamoto indulged him in some insider information. A win-win situation.

The A-TEC students are just looking gloomy after hearing this story. Heck, I thought they turned into zombies! Kaito confronts Nagisa. But he is not going to censure and save him. This surprises Nagisa because he expected him to do that since this is where A-TEC’s budget has gone. But Kaito only says he is sad and disappointed. He thought it wasn’t the Nagisa he knew when he did this kind of thing. Because if he wanted to play the villain, he should do it with confidence. At least believe in his own philosophy instead of looking like he is about to cry (Kaito too is about to cry). If he can’t do that, it is like saying he doesn’t believe he can make himself happy. The election came and went. Furubayashi wins on a landslide while Murakami who became an independent failed to mount any comeback. Yuuji gets a call from Kazuhisa. He is apologizing to the max and blames it all on Nagisa. But big brother is cool. He is not blaming him for the defeat but he is going to make up for it. He is going to be transferred to some distribution department at some faraway outskirts. Don’t worry. He’ll still be the director. That is all. Yuuji still wants to blame Nagisa but Kazuhisa says he should have acknowledged his talent at a young age. Or was it his very talented pawn? Goodbye. Yuuji’s finished. Breaking furniture won’t do him any good. Now Nagisa sets his sights on Kazuhisa.

Episode 10
On the news, Oozora although won the election has no clear majority so it is trying to form a coalition with Southern Cross Party and form a ruling government. Nagisa has been promoted to director, taking over Yuuji’s place as he heads into his first board meeting that includes Kazuhisa. A-TEC is shocked by this sudden news since this means Nagisa is no longer their classmate (nobody to boss around?) but Kaito wants his students to continue working on their project. Nagisa talks to Yanai who is glad Yuuji is gotten rid of and this will give their faction the majority within the board of directors. Yanai believes Nagisa is not a Kiryuu despite his name and the true and last descendent of Shinamiya. He wants to put Kirishina back to its original path of making only rockets. Because the company has going into more trouble ever since they expanded into other areas. He is trying to play the hate card since they both hate Kazuhisa as well as Yasuhisa, they can form an ally to take them down. Nagisa then brings about A-TEC’s disbandment and convinces Yanai they can use this as their advantage at the next board meeting to bring Kazuhisa down. Angelina is wary of Yanai because his words seem hollow and his goal is to gain more power. Nagisa isn’t the one to say as he knows he too isn’t the hero of justice. As long as Kazuhisa is a common enemy, he is one to rely on. He has Angelina go around arranging a meeting with those who are not aligned with any higher ups as Nagisa will need to convince them for their cooperation to overthrow Nagisa. Mizuki and Iris take a break. They talk about things. Especially about Nagisa. It dawned to Iris as she asks Mizuki if she is in love with Nagisa. Stunned for a while, Mizuki then acknowledges she does. Then they go back to work. How un-dramatic… But it was hardly surprising too… The snippets show Nagisa and Kazuhisa trying to canvass allies and A-TEC finally finishes X-3.

In the next meeting, Nagisa quickly initiates an emergency vote on the resolution to dissolve A-TEC. Angelina gets a call from Yamamoto who tells her to watch the news as an unexpected development has come into play. The party leaders of Oozora and Seimin have just finished their press conference and came to a conclusion that they will form a coalition. This will give the ruling party to run as an unopposed government. The shocking developments mean that Furubayashi is no longer the trump card that Nagisa can use and that the union cannot protect Furubayashi. In a way, he will have to seek a greater power. Angelina fears Kazuhisa is behind all this. It gets bad to worse when Nagisa is the only person who votes against the dissolution of A-TEC. All his allies remain silent. Including Yanai. When A-TEC tests run its new prototype, everything is going fine till Iris starts to veer off course. Her trauma is reigniting as she screams of running into an asteroid field. Ground control checks there is nothing in visual and that all her checks and equipment are running fine. Iris then remembers fully the flashback when her grandpa died before her eyes. Then this shocking twist of development: Iris is Nagisa???!!!

Episode 11
The resolution is shot down and A-TEC will be disbanded as scheduled. Although Iris crash lands, she is recovering well in hospital. Although the ship is badly damaged. There’s no way they can fix this without incurring high costs, right? Li picks up Kaito and tells him he is a fellow employee at Kirishina now. He then brings him to a warehouse to show him the latest project he is working on and Kirishina’s newest product: Bipedal war robots?! As Nagisa sits defeated, Kazuhisa comes to talk to him. He praises Nagisa’s plan at throwing a curve ball at him and then explains his goal in all of this. Kazuhisa always needed the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Economy and Trade by his side, which were helmed by Hanamura and Furubayashi respectively. In his new venture, Nagisa must have realized that with the dwindling resources, there will be military clashes. Now that he has both ministries in his hands, all that is left is to manufacture the goods. Nagisa is shocked to see the war robots. Kirishina never made this before so how did he? It then dawned to him that Kazuhisa got Li on board this project (the hijack incident was because there were other parties after him for his expertise). This is the reason why A-TEC will be disbanded. Similarly, Li has gathered his engineers to work on this project but all that he is missing is a person specialized in making the power unit. That’s right. It’s you, Kaito. Kazuhisa says he now has 5 trump cards in his grasp to make this project a success: Hanamura, Furubayashi, Li, Kaito and Nagisa. He will appoint Nagisa as the executive for this project thanks to his countless business skills he acquired as experience.

Kazuhisa praises Nagisa for taking Yuuji down. Had he gone on to be his dog, Kazuhisa would have no use for him. This is prove he is worthy of this project. Kazuhisa also knows about his revenge plot for the Shinamiya and also Nagisa is just a stand in and fake. This means he has neither Kiryuu nor Kirishina blood running in his veins. With Iris remembering her entire past now, Kazuhisa explains about the Shirasaki clan who served under Shinamiya plotting to set Nagisa (who was Iris then) to flee to Earth. But Yasuhisa got wind of this plot and started pursuing them. They used a boy of the same age as decoy (this Nagisa as we know). However the real Nagisa never made it to Earth and it is assumed they died in an accident. Yasuhisa doesn’t care about this fake Nagisa’s lineage and took advantage of the situation. As long as the world sees him as the last remaining Shinamiya survivor, he took him in and stole everything that belonged to that family. Even though Nagisa knew all about it, he played his role well, just as Yasuhisa wanted, seeking revenge for Shinamiya. But Kazuhisa doesn’t care about all that and his past. What he cares about is his abilities he has now. Forget about revenge and work under him. They can strike it rich and at the same time please the shareholders and protect the employees, which is what their position is all about, right? Wow. Nagisa looks pretty convinced to join him. Especially when he has such big long term vision. Later when he learns Iris has had an accident, he rushes to the hospital but she is already discharged. She is now looking for him at his office but Angelina is only there. She asks Angelina why she works loyally under him. Is it because she has something to do with Shinamiya? She only cares about him and has nothing to do about that clan. Angelina believes Iris has remembered something important but unfortunately the first person she needs to tell first is Nagisa. I hope Angelina didn’t get the wrong idea it is about love or something.

When Nagisa heads to A-TEC, he sees Mizuki working alone. As usual, he screams his head off at all the violations and ignored warnings but Mizuki is just playing cool and smiling back. Then all the pent up frustrations has him break down as he starts feeling guilty for being responsible for A-TEC’s disbandment. All Mizuki can do is console him with a smile and says he tried his best. She realizes too late her dirty hands made his face dirty. The more she tries to clean it, the dirtier it gets. So much so he looks funny! And then… They started hugging! Oh, his shirt is dirty too. I guess it is heartbreak for Iris seeing this scene so she flees. Well, I don’t know if she could it if she ever saw them kissing! OMG! They’re doing a real kiss! Of course Kaito sees this and he isn’t too happy what this grumpy ex-boss is doing to his sister. Yeah, boss or not, he punches him (because Nagisa told him to too). The guys talk especially about Nagisa’s next move. Kazuhisa’s proposal seems tempting and right from a businessman’s perspective. But Kaito tells him despite so, they are forgetting another important factor: Customers. Kaito wants to put a smile on customers’ face so of course he will turn down Li’s invitation. Even if this means being fired from A-TEC and disappoint his students who admire him? Didn’t think that far, eh? Nagisa suggests teaming up to disrupt their plans. Nagisa works out a plan for A-TEC’s restructuring. But then he gets stabbed by an assailant in the streets. OMG! It’s Yuuji!

Episode 12
Nagisa is kidnapped and beaten up by Yuuji who of course is clearly out for revenge. He will make him suffer like hell before killing him. Angelina sees the footage of Nagisa’s kidnapping and reports to Kazuhisa. Of course he also knows about this and is trying his best to locate him. As he doesn’t want this to get public and that this is a Kiryuu family problem, he has his hands tied in utilizing the few people for the search. I guess this means you need to get the job done yourself. When Angelina tells this to A-TEC, they right away go into action to help retrace everything. Angelina is surprised she thought they would resent him but I guess nobody else is their better slave than him. Whoops. Although they manage to trace the whereabouts, when Angelina reaches there, they are already gone. Yuuji and his men used the tactic of switching many cars and locations so it will be hard to trace them. But Kaito tells them all to go back and rest because they have to finish their X-3. So is he abandoning to save Nagisa? Actually Nagisa left Kaito a draft of A-TEC’s restructuring. He has put a lot of effort into this. So even if he comes back alive but A-TEC is gone, it will kill his ambition. Therefore they are going to do what they know best and leave the fighting and combat to Angelina. Kaito assigns Yuna and Kaoruko Takanashi to assist Angelina who has also been given a contact card of Nagisa’s connections. Yuuji continues beating up Nagisa but all he can think of is A-TEC’s presentation and worried if they caught on the clues he left behind for them. This only fuels Yuuji’s anger. But since Nagisa wants so much to see how their presentation goes, Yuuji will delay his death till that day.

Angelina goes to see Ibra of a construction company. He and his men were those initial kidnappers of Nagisa on Coldwood. They are already on the move to trace Nagisa but cannot act too rash or the enemy will run away. A-TEC continues to fix X-3, Kaito manages to secure several big wigs for the presentation and Iris is still having that asteroid trauma while in her practice simulation. On the day of the presentation, Yuuji surprises Nagisa by loading him up in X-2. Looks like he got the money to salvage it and employ guys to do some adjustments. Nagisa will crash into Coldwood with this baby and with that vanish along with A-TEC that he loves so much too. That is, if it doesn’t explode on the way. But Nagisa apologizes to Yuuji for his trivial revenge that made him unhappy, only to provoke him and furiously turning Nagisa into a punching bag. After loading him in, the construction guys barge in to attack Yuuji and his men. Angelina would love to kill this bastard who is cowering in fear but she’ll leave the administration to deal with him. Sometimes you wonder if that is a good idea because as she tries to stop the launch, Yuuji shoots her from the back before being taken out shortly by Ibra. X-2 launches and the operation is a failure. When A-TEC learns of this, Kaito mentions the change in plans. The mission to rescue Nagisa and the presentation will run simultaneously.

Episode 13
Mizuki catches Iris red handed when she tries to sneak in to ride X-3 to save Nagisa. She knows something is wrong with her. She must have remembered something. Because previously she was never afraid and look at her, her hands are still trembling. I guess Iris still can’t say it so she starts crying. Meanwhile Kaito begins his presentation although the board members aren’t pleased that he is continuing it despite Nagisa’s emergency situation. Kaito argues that if they don’t do this now, it will be hard for all of them to gather like this again. So once he has done presenting all the juicy facts, Kazuhisa mentions it is all great only on theory and not practical. After all this is all still done by Kaito’s brain. When he mentions Kaito doesn’t have a demo test model today, the others believe that his students are not on par with him. On the contrary, Kaito shows them the X-3 model right now in action, on its way to Coldwood. Previously before Iris could tell the truth, the other A-TEC students interrupt them because there’s no time for the sappy drama and time to get things moving. That is when Mizuki told her she was here to convince Iris to fly X-3 and not stop her because there are no other pilots who can match her skills. But Mizuki will also be tagging along with her so that somebody can tend to Nagisa while she flies the craft. Kaito continues his presentation about X-3’s speed and time bettering X-2’s performance by half and at lesser cost. They even use the original cockpit model from the museum to fit on the engine. The guys don’t think this old wreck can withstand the power of the new engine so Kaito explains how his students did all the modifications to make it work. They are doing everything they can to save their friend and that is why Kaito wants to continue working with them.

X-3 catches up with X-2 and Iris has no room for mistakes. Oops. But she almost did one when she tries to latch both ships but failed. Time is running out and Iris must manoeuvre quickly. In the dying seconds, she manages to latch the ship and miss Coldwood by metres! Wow. What a heart pounding action drama! At least for those who are watching. As Mizuki checks the ship, Iris goes to check on Nagisa. She becomes frantic in seeing his injured state. But could she be gentler in untying him? Her tears wake him up and everyone is happy to hear Nagisa is safe. With everything in order, Kaito now asks the guys to reconsider disbanding A-TEC. They really find it irresistible. Low cost and high performance. However Kazuhisa points out their disbandment was made in the last meeting and cannot be overturned. But Kaito isn’t panicking. He never counted on him to save A-TEC. He gets a call from Yuna confirming several sponsors willing to invest billions! This presentation wasn’t only shown to them but live streamed to others. Kaito throws down all their resignation letters. They will just leave and start up another company. This was all Nagisa’s plan and his resignation letter is also there. Li is starting to worry because he only joined Kirishina because he promised Kaito would work with him. Kaito then lectures those money making guys about some things in life that money can’t buy: Ambition. They don’t want to make money making technologies but one that can make people smile. So instead of a prize in physics they rather get a prize in peace (because with his technology in use, there is no need for wars to hunt for scarce resources).

But Kazuhisa still has a trump card. Even if Kaito and A-TEC leave, X-3 belongs to them since they use Kirishina’s resources to build them. Well, Kaito didn’t think of that! Oh no! What now?! This is when Nagisa interjects. He agrees that the rights belong to Kirishina but mentions he made the wrong choice. What Kazuhisa wanted wasn’t the engine but Kaito who made it in 6 months with limited resources. Because if he wanted Kaito, he should have just taken A-TEC and the entire team itself from the start. Kazuhisa is offering 100 billion but Nagisa rejects him. Kazuhisa will make him regret this but Nagisa believes big brother will be the one regretting more. The presentation is over and now we are presented with Mizuki and Iris fighting over Nagisa?! WTF?! Kazuhisa gets a call from Yasuhisa but he won’t answer and feels it is not his time to step up yet. Iris and Mizuki plant to visit Nagisa at the hospital but looks like he fled and went out drinking with Kaito. So is Nagisa his brother in law now? Angelina comes in with good news that she has found and executive for their new company: Sasayama. Nagisa and the bunch of A-TEC guys attend the launching ceremony of their newly incorporated company: A-TEC Inc. With Nagisa as the head, his opening lines are “Let’s take over the world”. Hey wait. Do you mean the galaxy?

Money, Power & Politics: Business As Usual
Uhm… Well… Okay… I guess. The fight goes on. The business goes on. So what I expected to be some sort of sci-fi series turned out to be one that is filled with power politics in corporations and business making propositions. Although not entirely confusing and boring, surprisingly it was still interesting enough to keep my attention till the end of the series. Most probably it was because of me wondering who this Nagisa kid really is as well as Iris who is somewhat connected to him. Even so, Nagisa’s thinking and turning things around with his business-like mind is also another factor that retained my attention. Although I do not fully understand some of the political or big corporation manoeuvres, at least it was simple enough without going into the deep complicating details. All that politics throughout the series died down in the final episode as it quickly turns into a simultaneous rescue Nagisa and A-TEC plot. Can’t complain with that ‘happy ending’, right?

Another major surprise was so when I thought the series was going to be about A-TEC and their struggles, the surprising part is that it wasn’t entirely about them. Their striving and toiling were all just in the background as the big star of the series is Nagisa himself trying to take down his big brothers in the corporation. Come to think of it, it would be pretty boring to see a bunch of engineering outcasts of a doomed division trying to stay afloat. Now that they have freed themselves from Kirishina’s bounds, I am sure they can work together incredibly again and come up with something even better. Just hope Kaito doesn’t spend and waste money like water. Whether or not this move will be a good one in the long term is yet to be seen. But at least they are not under the shenanigans of Kirishina.

The big main character in focus is of course Nagisa. I think this is the only character development we would see flesh out properly and the most in this series. For a young corporate kid to be making big business decisions and his obnoxious attitude to match with it (playing the role of the villain, I suppose), you know there will be something more than meets the eye to this kid. So whatever the complicated relationship between the 2 founders that causes this complicated power struggle and faction fighting within the company, what would be of Nagisa if he successfully carries out his petty revenge? In the end, not getting a direct revenge was probably the best outcome for him. He can make Kazuhisa suffer more by pulling away from Kirishina and do things that rival the big company. When A-TEC starts rising and Kirishina starts crumbling, this would be the best revenge yet. Kaito remains a simple and true person to his passion. Without all the politics and greed in his brain, it is the reason why he flourishes in what he does. Just don’t let this guy be in charge of your finances. I think his is more of financial crisis than classroom crisis. Haha! So while he doesn’t do well in business, this is where Nagisa comes in. I think with the duo as a team, the new A-TEC will be a formidable force to reckon with. It’s the best answer they can come up of showing their disapproval of Kazuhisa’s ways.

Due to the nature of the plot and direction of this series, it is with mixed feelings about the students under A-TEC. Because seriously, they don’t even matter. If they were all nameless students, it wouldn’t really change a thing (heck, I don’t think I even remember their names). But they all are so as to give them a little more character :\. Each of them has their own personality and specialty but their very limited appearance does little justice for them. Like Sakugo who is a great hacker and gentle Kaoruko whose role in this anime seems to be gently reminding her fellow students to not use such ‘harsh’ words while they comment on criticise on their boss-cum-fellow-transfer-student. And I think there is one student whereby whose gender is a little ambiguous. The one wearing a lab coat. One normally would think he is a boy but there was this very subtle hint he may not be so because during the class trip, he somewhat refuses to go into the same bath at the same time with the other guys. But all this don’t really matter, right? We all know that they work great as a team and are tightly close to each other. Unfortunately we just don’t really see and feel it here.

This means Mizuki and Iris as the characters also feel a little under developed. Iris is like your typical amnesiac girl with a past and trauma waiting to explode on a crucial day and it happened. So when the big revelation is out and that Iris is the real Nagisa, somehow it just makes us go, “Okay… Uh huh… So what?”. Mizuki on the other hand is your typical best friend and friendly person. When she kept continuing to bug Nagisa, I just knew where this was going. At least in the department of feelings as where this is all concerned. Because for a guy who acts obnoxious and everything, he would have easily become everybody’s public enemy number one. And yet Mizuki continues to be perseverant in trying to talk nicely to him. It would be strange to think a normal girl would have this much patience. Then the inevitable happen and in a way felt weird for throwing in a little romance for side distraction because after all that business and political drama, the thought of Mizuki and Nagisa becoming an item felt just out of place. And now with Iris too heavily suspected to have feelings for him, will best friends turn to best rivals? From the look of it, yes. Oh wait. Do I need to bring in Angelina into the equation? Gosh. Polygon romance can get even more complicated than business proposals. But Angelina did hint that she doesn’t mind playing second fiddle. Or third. Or fourth. Sure about that? Well, there’s always Kaito whom she can drag out to drink out her sorrows. Is this some sort of minor running joke?

Not too sure if this is a running joke too because it seems like almost everybody knows about Angelina’s real name and prefer to call her by that, in which she would subsequently remind them not to do so. A warning very often ignored. She too felt under developed because we would like to know more about her and why she is so against that real name of hers (could it be something to do with her ninja lineage since her skills and name are a big hint) and her actual relationship with Nagisa. She was missing for the big part in the final episode but even if the hijack and penultimate episode is where she takes the centre stage, it just doesn’t feel enough.

Last but not least is Kazuhisa himself. He isn’t a bad person because if you think about a guy who sits in such high profile position, he has a different set of goals and ambitions to take care of. Although still smart and smooth, but I figure he was too calculated and obsessed in getting to put forth his plan in having key people in his war robots manufacturing that he failed to grasp the basic 101s of trying to get a person to your side not via arm twisting or mud throwing tactic but the simple method of talking true to a man’s heart. Get what I’m saying? Well, Nagisa explained it all for us already. Because he wanted Kaito so much and not A-TEC, he failed to see that A-TEC was the reason that kept Kaito around. So had he kept A-TEC instead of wanting to dismantle it, he could have had a better chance in retaining this guy. But I believe he is just like Nagisa. Despite he doesn’t have the necessary key people in his plan now (not too sure if Li is sticking around after that), he doesn’t look like he has panicked yet and I am very sure he has a plan B up his sleeve. Because if he doesn’t think it is time for the big daddy to show up yet, then it mustn’t be that all grave. And about Yuuji? That guy did a good job in being so hateful that we just hate him to the last bit of molecule he is. So what happens to him eventually, we couldn’t care less. His obsession of hating Nagisa is so great that he was blinded by the fact Nagisa had been using him all the while. I mean, did he not really think that by abusing him all this years, this kid will simply continue to comply 100% and not get his revenge? That’s why I say he is too fixated in hating his half brother.

Art and drawing are pretty okay and standard. Nothing that really catches your eye. Because the technological advances seen here are, well, let’s say they might be here in a few more years like that hologram-cum-projector handphone. Only maybe except space travel and colonization on other planets. Although the character designs are simple, somehow I get the feeling I have seen them from other animes. Like Nagisa whom I thought was Kyousuke from OreImo, only looking much meaner. And then there is Iris whom I thought was that Nagato from the Haruhi series. Mizuki on the other hand has a little resemblance to Ano Natsu De Matteru’s Mio. It was just the case of changing hairstyle? I’m sure I have seen the others somewhere before but I’m too lazy to start thinking ;p. Uhm… Hey… Doesn’t Sasayama look like a fat version of that Monopoly uncle? This anime is produced by a relatively new anime studio, Lay-duce whose only other works at the moment are Magi: Sinbad No Bouken and that what-the-hell-is-this-tanka-and-haiku-theme-anime, Go! Go! 575.

There are quite a number of veteran seiyuus lending their voice to this series. Most notably, Yu Kobayashi in the main role as Angelica. She is still active in the voice acting role but the recent animes that I have watched her in are just minor supporting roles like Tsuyuko in Koufuku Graffiti and Smith in Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou. Although Gintama is still currently ongoing, I believe her character Ayame only make cameos. Speaking of which, it’s nice to hear that crazy trademark voice again whenever she starts screaming her head off. Another notable voice acting is Hiroyuki Yoshino as Yuuji. He has this comical voice that makes him suitable for comical characters like Bossun in Sket Dance, Favaro in Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis and Saruyama in To Love-Ru series. But here, he sounds quite scary as the antagonist Yuuji. There is so much spite in his voice that he is just convincing that it makes you really want to hate his character to the bone. Kudos.

There is Yui Horie and Kana Asumi doing Kaoruko and Yuna respectively but their character roles are so minimal although it’s a good thing that I can still recognize them :). The rest of the other casts include Showtaro Morikubo as Kaito (Shikamaru in Naruto), Yuuma Uchida as Nagisa (Claus in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid), Ari Ozawa as Mizuki (Sakura in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun), Sora Amamiya as Iris (Isla in Plastic Memories), Kazuhiko Inoue as Kazuhiko (Gildarts in Fairy Tail), Junpei Morita as Li (Doctor White in Black Jack 21), Motomu Kiyokawa as Yanai (Tippy in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka) and Yusaku Yara as Yamamoto (Chin Chinchin in Toriko).

When I first heard the opening theme, Cobalt by TrySail, I thought I was hearing an AKB48-like music. From the beat and style of this song, I thought it was pretty similar. At least to the themes that I heard in the AKB0048 anime. Checking them out a little (read: lazy and fast browsing over the internet), TrySail is yet another one of those units formed by seiyuu rather than being ex-members of the world’s largest pop group. Oddly, not all of the trio in the unit had a voice acting role in this series (considering Denpa Kyoushi was their debut as a unit). Sora Amamiya had the biggest role and Shiina Natsukawa was one of the students in A-TEC. So what happened to Momo Asakura? The ending theme is Anemone by Claris. Sounds rather okay and like another one of their trademark style music.

Overall, not a bad anime but its misleading and synopsis may surprise some for the better or worse. I’m glad it was the former for me. Although this series won’t be as near as any masterpiece and perhaps overshadowed by other anime series that was running concurrently in the same season, it is still a pretty good show to remind us that big corporations aren’t as squeaky clean as they proclaim to be and have all that politics, power play and even prestigious family status or lineage if it has been run by the same family for generations. Amidst all that, it tells us that even a small unit with true passion can still overcome such a high wall and that nothing is impossible in the corporate world. But even so, you still need money for capital and other stuffs. Eventually money makes the world (the galaxy in this case) go round and round. If you think asking money from your company is easy, just remember how hard it was when you have no money and had to ask and convince your parents to give you money so that you can buy something you want? Yeah… It feels pretty much the same.

Initially when I jumped into watching Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon (Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere), I was confident that I would somehow understand things along the way. Based on my past experience in watching animes that I have no idea what it is about at the beginning. I guess you could say that I was very wrong in that assumption of mine because after watching several episodes, I still did not understand what the heck is going on in every aspect. To me, watching each episode was like watching something random or watching a show in French without any subtitles (even if the Japanese audio didn’t have any subtitles, I would still be lost. But that’s not the point). Then I got tired of trying of being in the dark and decided to go read up a bit on Wikipedia, even if it spoils me to a certain degree. Guess what? I was still lost. That bad, huh?

The main gripe that I have about this anime which made me unable to understand the big picture is that there are too many characters and worse still, the countless terminologies and jargons. If you think the current generation of writing really short forms on the internet is bad, here the lingo sounded like a totally new language, despite Japanese being spoken. That was already enough to put me off and each time the dialogue adds a new term, my mind would be going “What the heck does that mean?”. Then there’s the dialogue. To further complicate things with the terms, the way they sounded seems real complicated. Maybe the subs I read were complicated. Is my English that bad? Furthermore, as I said there are lots of characters so much so I don’t think I remembered some of their names even when we’re halfway through the series. It’s even worse if the character doesn’t appear much. The best I could do is to remember the characters based on their most visible physical appearance. You know for example, that girl with very humongous boobs (don’t many of them have this?) or that big guy. Worst case scenario is that I may not even recognize if a certain character had appeared before or not.

Of course there is this Wikia site that explains a lot more in detail about everything about the series and thank goodness even though I did not grasp everything well, at least I had an idea of what is going on. I think. To sum up what I understand from this series, the basic setting in this futuristic future has mankind fallen from heaven. I’m taking that as mankind has managed to venture into space. However due to some unknown reason, they couldn’t but when they return to Earth, they find this planet uninhabitable except for Japan. Yeah. It’s Japan that gets involved again. So in order to find a way to go back to heaven, they began re-enacting history according to the Holy Book called Testament. Oh sure. That seems pretty foolproof. Why not just let history repeat itself so we can somehow get back up to the stars. Couldn’t they just emulate the final years in how they got up to space instead of the entire history? How many thousands of years will they have to re-enact? Great idea whoever came up with this crap. So of course with all the other nations invading and conquering Japan, dividing the land into feudal territories, Japanese natives are now reduced into living in a giant floating ship called Musashi. Then there’s the case of rumours of Apocalypse coming because Testament suddenly stops revealing what happens next after a couple of hundred years later. Just great. So why not walk and find your own path instead of relying on some record?

So the basic story is about a group of students led by a goofy leader using this opportunity to regain their homeland and to also save the girl he loves held captive in the hands of the enemy. At least he is not afraid to change history. Due to the complexity of this series (read: I can’t really follow each episode without having headache problems), I prefer to keep my blog pretty brief. You can find a very detailed episode summary at Wikia, which I often refer to after watching every episode. But that would be long winded as I would prefer to read the Q&A style of the episode summary from Infodump. I love the way it simply answers us in a simplistic way for us layman and dumb people to at least understand what is going on. Sometimes it is sarcastic too. It also has a glossary to define the many terms used. Your one stop info for anything you need to know related to this series. Thanks for the much needed help. Now, let me try to understand what is going on again…

Episode 1
The students of 3-Plum from Musashi Ariadust Academy are lining up before Makiko Oriotorai has her class chase her throughout the streets as part of PE lessons. All they need to do is to land a hit on her before she arrives at some mafia office at the other end (I guess it’s for some revenge thingy for kicking her out of her home). Those who succeed will get 5 free absences. So we got all the freaky freaks from class 3-Plum racing down the ship using whatever tricks, magic or technology to bring her down. Unfortunately, nobody came close in touching her and they’re all pooped once they reach the end. Then Oriotorai shows her chops by defeating the Archdevil mafia who is much bigger and stronger than her by landing a direct blow to his head. Then here comes their goofy leader, Toori Aoi who is also Ariadust’s student council president and Musashi’s Chancellor. Apparently he skipped class just to get his hands on some tear-jerking erotic game. He shocks everybody by landing his hands on Oriotorai’s boobs. So technically he wins the challenge because he touched her. Toori announces that he is going to ask the girl he loves out tomorrow. Which girl? Horizon Ariadust, the girl who died 10 years ago on the road he hates so much, Remorse Way. How is he going to propose to a dead girl? He doesn’t care if this means picking a fight with the rest of the world because he is done with running away. And since Toori continues to be his usual silly way, Oriotorai beats him up.

Episode 2
Vice president Masazumi Honda drops into Blue Thunder since she is hungry and learns about the amnesic automated doll named P-01S and also to look into Remorse Way if she wants to get closer to everyone. Oriotorai’s class explains the history of this Testament thingy (not that I care to understand in the end – I just couldn’t). Toori continues being the idiot when he strips naked in class as punishment! He has no qualms doing it… Masazumi who is cleaning her mother’s grave speaks to P-01S about the former’s family history. Her father failed to inherit some name so that had her undergo sex change to a boy. However halfway through the Matsudaira family suddenly dismissed their vassals and entrusted everything to automated dolls. Masazumi not only lost her boobs but became a lost noble. The lord of Mikawa, Motonobu Matsudaira announces he will be putting up an exciting fireworks display later. Toori’s friends are giving him advice on how to convey his feelings. How did it get so perverted in groping boobs? I don’t know how they convinced Neito Mitotsudaira to lend her boobs for Toori to try out. He got beaten up anyway. Masazumi talks to Tadatsugu Sakai, the president of Ariadust Academy about the 8 Divine Armaments taken from the 7 Deadly Sins concept. They control the world’s power balance and one is enough to flatten a city.

Episode 3
Tadatsugu meets Yasumasa Sakakibara, Tadakatsu Honda and his daughter Futayo. Tadatsugu and Futayo briefly fought before he ends it by groping her butt. Toori’s friends prepare for the party he suggested for tomorrow tonight while Toori tries to overcome his fear of walking through Remorse Way. Masazumi stumbles onto Remorse Way and happens to encounter her father passing by in a carriage. Toori also happened to be running by. He looks terrible. I guess the trauma is still there. Masazumi learns there is a grave nearby. A girl died in an accident 10 years ago around here. Ariadust’s name came to be when Motonobu became head of Mikawa 30 years ago. He took the first syllable and flipped the Matsudaira name backwards, it became Ariadust to show his allegiance to the Testament Union. When they recognized his loyalty, he changed it back but some kept that name. Some of them being his wife and her child Horizon. She died in an accident involving Motonobu’s carriage when he was heading for a function. Tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary. Remorse Way is a play on Toori’s name. Despite Toori and Horizon got injured in that incident, only Toori came back alive. The party begins at the academy and it seems like a ghost hunt!

Episode 4
Tadatsugu has a meal and little chat with the rest. That night, several automated dolls begin to make their move by taking out several guards from Tres Espana. Tadatsugu goes to Sakakibara’s manor but didn’t see him anywhere. He has a bad feeling about this and sees a paper containing secret words about a secret operation. He makes haste but comes into Tadakatsu. The ground starts shaking and it seems the platonic plate reactor has been activated. Tadakatsu reveals that with Motonobu, they are going to start a meltdown. They talk about loyalty but he has no time to play with Tadatsugu since he is going to intercept the Testament Union bastards. The reactor is starting to get destructive so Tres Espana sends several of its God of Wars and army to attack. Tadakatsu’s automated doll wife, Kazuno fights the army. Futayo discusses with her ship’s troops about the rebellion her father is involved. She decides to stay neutral for Musashi’s sake even if it means betraying what is in her heart. Because if the meltdown was intentional, the Testament Union may revoke its position and lay claim to Musashi.

Episode 5
Tadakatsu assists Kazuno but soon meet their match with Tres Espana’s Muneshige Tachibana. He wields one of the Deadly Sins Armaments, Lype Katarripsi. Both of them fight it out as Motonobu makes his announcement. The reactor has been activated and they’ve got only 5 minutes left to stop them before the complete meltdown. From what I understand, he is doing this because for the sake of entertainment for Armageddon. Everyone will enter a new apocalyptic world with no future. There is only one way of preventing this: Those who possess the Deadly Sins Armaments. But doesn’t that look like a ploy to gather the possessors and to fight each other? Motonobu that despite the 8 temptations, there is actually a ninth. All sins are born from jealousy. All of the Deadly Sins Armaments came from the emotion of a single girl: Horizon. A decade ago he ran over her and turned her into that. She has also been turned into an automated doll known as P-01S. Her soul is the Deadly Sins Armament called Oros Phthonos. The world would fall into chaos and the Far East could fall under totalitarian rule. But wouldn’t it be great to see a world not mentioned in the Testament? Muneshige needs to stop this madness but has to deal with Tadakatsu and his Tonbokiri weapon (Slicing Dragonfly). Muneshige has speed on his side and though he manages to overcome Tonbokiri and set his Lype Katarripsi towards the reactor (Muneshige has passed out after purposely letting himself get stabbed by Tonbokiri), Tadakatsu has his final moments with Kazuno and deflects the blast away from it. Muneshige’s wife, Gin arrives to retrieve him and wants to avoid a fight at all cost. Believing they will eventually have a rematch, Tadakatsu tosses his Tonbokiri to her and hopes she could pass it to Futayo if they desire a rematch. KPA Italia army drops in, beats up and restrains Toori and co to arrest P-01S and declares the area under their jurisdiction under some Testament decree. P-01S willingly goes with them since she can’t save herself. Masazumi knocks out Toori to keep his mouth shut. The reactor blows up and only Motonobu, Tadakatsu perish in the meltdown. The Testament Union acknowledges P-01S alias Horizon as the official ruler of Mikawa, thus sentencing her to commit suicide over the charge of the loss of Mikawa incident.

Episode 6
The Pope of KPA Italia, Innocentius and his vice, Galileo visit Tadatsugu. Innocentius vows to take back what KPA Italia had lost even if it means costing a life. Class 3-Plum discuss their next action whether to save Horizon or not. Shirojiro Bertoni wasn’t really interested till this money minded merchant was persuaded to believe there would be a business opportunity to make money from it. He argues about the consequences if they defy the Testament Union due to cut off of supplies. But to gain supplies while defying the Union, they must force Masazumi to side them. And to do that, they need to do something about Toori who has been moping ever since. Oriotorai wants her class to write an essay on what they would do but has them watch a video of Muneshige handing back Tonbokiri to Futayo. Oriotorai wants Suzu Mukai to read her essay but since she is blind, she has Tomo Asama to read it. It narrates how she first met Toori and he helped gave her self confidence and became friends. She loves Toori and Horizon. She loves it more when they’re together. She pleads to Toori to save Horizon. Toori then revives (like as though his sulking was fake) and assures that is what he intend to do. Then he gropes her boobs! Don’t kill the mood! And what seemingly was his ‘moping’ was him actually reading porn magazines to recharge his manliness gauge. Oriotorai beats him up so hard that he crashes into next door’s class. Back to business, Shirojiro thinks of holding a special student council meeting. The only time they can hold one held by normal students is to pass a motion of no confidence. Whether Masazumi turns up or not (the latter would mean she would be dismissed of her position), they can discuss and decide what to do.

Episode 7
Masazumi attends the special meeting. She along with Neito and Naomasa are against the idea of saving Horizon. Masazumi’s side will represent the Testament Union while Ariadust will represent Musashi. Each side gets 3 representatives and whoever wins 2 rounds will be the overall winner of this negotiation. The first round puts Naomasa and her God of War Jizuri Suzaku against Shirojiro (Toori commands the merchant to do it because he hates him!). So as they battle it out, from what I understand from Shirojiro’s money talk is that the more money he offers to the Gods, the more divine power he will get! Woah! Don’t tell me Gods are easily bribed with money too?! And that my man, is the reason why Shirojiro emerges victorious in the end. Yeah, it’s all about money talk. See the power of money? Next up is Neito and because she is a knight who will protect her people and land, the rest are having an emergency discussion who to send against her. Well, they got Suzu to do it. However Suzu is about to win this match when the rest realize something. From what I understand, if Neito loses to a commoner, she will also lose her knight status and thus their ability to be armed. This means they lose their combat effectiveness and Musashi will lose its knights. They tell Suzu to stop her and she accidentally trips, causing Neito to save her and win the match. With the match tied and Naomasa and Neito joining Ariadust’s side, the final match pits Masazumi against Toori. Oh boy. Idiotic Toori wants to go first in the debate. After all that build up, he drops the biggest bombshell shocking everyone who is watching: Why don’t they just give up on saving Horizon? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT???!!!

Episode 8
Due to some loophole, Toori took advantage of it that’s why he wanted to go first. So now that Toori is against saving Horizon, this forces Masazumi to take the side of saving her and she argues several reasons why they should. However she has brought a cheat sheet to state her answer to save Horizon but this would end her aspiration to be a politician and turn Testament Union against them. Toori rips the paper because he wants her to state her own answer. Then some black algae that look pretty much like Clannad’s dango kazoku convince her to decide. She argues Horizon is not related to Motonobu and cannot be related to the destruction of Mikawa. She views this suicide as an abuse to recreate history. So who is to take the blame? No one. Mikawa is living off Musashi’s infrastructure so they can be attached to it to keep running. Innocentius interrupts the debate and enters one with Masazumi. However he applies a dirty tactic of denying and dismissing her arguments so that she will run out of arguments and concede defeat. Then using some parallel strategy that Testament Union doesn’t want to fight them and will turn a blind eye if she concedes defeat and about Masazumi’s failed sex change and thus hiding something to seize power. Idiotic Toori pulls down her pants just to check this out!!! Toori interjects he couldn’t understand a damn thing Innocentius said (so do I) and he understood was to kill Horizon. Masazumi was able to give him answers and will thus support answer. She justifies rescuing Horizon because the Deadly Sins Armaments originally belong to her. Plus, they will gather them to avoid Apocalypse. So she decrees that she wants his help to collect the Armaments to save the world. Otherwise they will mobilize with what they have to fight against him. Since they can’t see eye to eye now, Innocentius sends Galileo to get her. Noriki and Kiyonari Ulquiaga AKA Ukki jump into her defence but got their ass whipped since Galileo has got a Deadly Sin Armament, Staseis Porneia. Galileo is about to get Masazumi. Toori protects her. But the real protection comes in the form of Futayo who fends off Galileo.

Episode 9
With the king of Musashi, Yoshinao stepping in, Innocentius is forced to pull back and withdraw Galileo since he intruded on the students’ debate. A win, a lost and a draw for each side, they need a tiebreaker. Somebody needs to go up against Futayo and Toori’s sister, Kimi takes this one. Toori wants Yoshinao to make him king if Kimi wins. The match pits Futayo’s Tonbokiri and speed against Kimi’s erotic dance powers. From what I understand, her dance power only allows people she accepts to touch her so Futayo’s attacks cannot hit her. Flashback reveals that after Horizon’s death, Toori became lifeless. To a point that Kimi couldn’t stand it and gets rough with him to make him remember his emotions. She was successful and hopes he could laugh or get angry as he wants and help those who can’t do that or retrieve what they have lost. Futayo thought she had Kimi in Tonbokiri’s grasp but its ultimate technique didn’t work due to some mumbo-jumbo about Kimi had a host of different names which renders Tonbokiri’s cutting ability futile. Then Kimi slaps her coupled in with lots of lecture about Futayo’s mistake on crossing her and her duty to serve her lord as a samurai, thus she should be trying to save Horizon. Immediately Futayo admits defeat and bows to her. With Ariadust victorious, Yoshinao hands his authority to the student council but wants to keep his kingship even if Horizon returns. But he shall appoint 2 viceroys as assistants: Horizon and Toori. He also splits their power with a special privilege each. If Innocentius doesn’t agree, he can bring it up at the next Testament Union Conference of Representatives if he deems their actions as harmful. Innocentius notes something like this wasn’t mentioned in Testament. Masazumi says it does under the Peace of Westphalia. But this means it will be war till the conference. Masazumi declares their job is to retrieve the Deadly Sins Armaments to return them to its rightful owner. Innocentius still feels this is dangerous and will proceed with plans to extract the armour from Horizon after her suicide. Toori accuses him of wanting to do dirty things to the girl he wants to confess when Oriotorai declares Ariadust side as victorious and thus they will go save Horizon. Toori thanks his friends and will take it from alone here. They taught him they had a chance to rescue Horizon. But everyone follows Toori on his quest. He makes Toussaint Neshinbara to come up with a strategy and wants Futayo to enrol in their school as temporary vice chancellor. Tadatsugu hands Toori a letter of recommendation and wants everyone including Horizon to come back. Toori remembers his dream of becoming king of a country so that Horizon could live out her dreams.

Episode 10
Horizon is imprisoned and she can’t touch the walls because it will kill her. It will replay your biggest regret and if you can’t deny it, you die. No one can deny their sin, right? The mission to rescue Horizon begins with Toori, Noriki, Tenzo Crossunite, Persona, Adele Balfette (in a heavy old fashioned God of War) and a group of Ariadust students leading the main breakthrough ground force. Tres Espana and KPA Italia join forces to keep them at bay with their strategic formation. They do not need to win this war. Only just to keep them from rescuing Horizon. Because of Adele’s God of War is not easily damaged, Persona uses her as a shield to guide as safe passage through. It must hurt like hell, eh? Tres Espana’s battleships begin firing at Musashi. Asama uses her shrine maiden power to sink a ship. A God of War is launched so this is where the witches Margot Naito and Malga Naruze come into play. The God of War seems to have the upper hand and the witches look like they have exhausted their magic to defend the skies. But they receive a morale booster from an ex-Tres Espana admiral so they revive and activate some strong magic spell to blast the God of War out of the sky. The ground troops separate Toori’s group to weaken their defence. Yeah well, Toori is like having so much fun and at the same time being a coward hiding up a tree. Neshinbara gives the cue for Naomasa and Neito to launch into action with Jizuri Suzaku.

Episode 11
Neito and Naomasa make their impact in wiping out the ground forces to meet up with Toori. The guys are moments away from Horizon’s imprisonment when Innocentius uses his Staseis Porneia to nullify all enemy weapons within a 3km radius. That also means the rescuers’ punches and kicks have no oomph. The guys are losing morale fast but they are adamant to save Horizon. Since this is the case, Toori wants Asama to sanction his contract. From what I understand, Toori is transferring his powers to his mates. Despite being useless, that is only in the sense of combat effectiveness. As his is viceroy, he has a certain unlimited power from Musashi in which he can send to his allies anytime. But to continue this, he must maintain his happiness. If he becomes sad, he will die. He needs someone to take care of Innocentius’ Armament so Masazumi offers to do it. She challenges him to a one on one duel and he has to accept since he is a representative of Testament Union. Masazumi wants to move to a better place to fight but Innocentius won’t budge and wants her to come. Alright. She’s taking her slow sweet time! One foot at a time! This pisses Innocentius off so he rushes to where she is. This means his Armament loses its activation. Galileo steps up and has a rematch against Noriki. From the punches Noriki pulls, it may seem ineffective but this leads to a charging up that allows him to nullify whatever powers Galileo had on the third punch. When Innocentius arrive, Masazumi admits defeat as part of a distraction. She even has to listen to Innocentius’ lectures and his morale boosting speech to his troops. Futayo prepares to battle Muneshige. He has learnt his lesson fighting against Tadakatsu so Tonbokiri isn’t effective on him. Futayo is knocked out and Muneshige uses his Armament to ready to fire at a Musashi ship. Even if they rescue Horizon, they can’t leave the port. He wants the people on board Musashi to evacuate.

Episode 12
Futayo gets up after some flashback training with her dad. The rematch begins and this time Futayo emerges victorious. Because Muneshige spared her life earlier, she shall do the same. He admits her victory and passes out. Now that Muneshige has fallen, Tres Espana pulls out. A barrier separates Toori from Horizon. He’s still an idiot. She tells him to scram. He wants to rescue her and will become king of the world to do so. She thinks she would rather die for the benefit of the world. Toori starts ranting the craziest and longest line that includes all religion, professions, positions, subjects, countries, races, gender, dead or alive, etc. Wow. I think he was pretty flawless in naming every one of them without leaving out a category. And thus begins one of the most confusing debates that I will never understand. What the heck is this parallel argument thingy? First they started off that they are inversely parallel before Toori twists it to some way to make them parallel. After all that reading, my tiny little brain understands that because she is both P-01S and Horizon, an automated doll and the human girl, they have opposing views, thus P-01S’ decision making supersedes Horizon’s. So one Toori manages to make Horizon hold parallel views with her (for the sake of the world thingy), now he must give a better decision from a perspective that is different from what Horizon perceives to be the best. Geddit? So once Horizon says she wants to be saved instead of committing suicide, now they are parallel, where could they possibly intersect? Where all parallel lines meet: Above the horizon. Innocentius wants to interfere but Futayo comes in between. He wants a showdown with Toori but the idiot accidentally touches the barrier. Whoops! So now they’re in some flashback space. You deny your sin, you die. That day when Horizon died, she made breakfast but Toori thought it was horrible. She ran off in tears only to meet that tragic fate. He blamed himself for letting her die and thought she hated him. She denies this. She ran away because she didn’t want him to see her crying. So to deny the sin and meet above the horizon, Toori says it is dangerous over there and will head there to save her but wants her to come here too. Horizon accepts this, he is able to deny his regret and they break free from the barrier, returning in one piece.

Episode 13
Horizon accepts the letter of recommendation to enrol in Ariadust Academy. With this, they can resolve all conflicts at the Peace of Westphalia. Musashi grabs all its forces to retreat but Innocentius won’t let them leave yet because her acceptance only takes effect until they’re on Musashi. Some of the KPA Italia warships start chasing after Musashi, some ramming into them. Horizon and Toori activate Lype Katarripsi (I guess they got it after Muneshige’s defeat) but I suppose they could’ve used it more effectively if Toori would stop groping Horizon’s butt! More accurately, Horizon has no emotions so she doesn’t know how to use her soul to activate it. She is made to remember Motonobu and Toori’s suffering. A barrage of emotions overcomes her. Toori assures he will always be by her side. When she starts singing, Lype Katarripsi fires a powerful blast to destroy all the KPA Italia warships. Horizon can’t understand the pain of these emotions. Toori wants her to cry all she wants so there will be nothing but fun left once she gets everything back. Oriotorai and Tadatsugu chat when the ship of PDA Oda passes over them with the Six Demon Army watching over. They figure it’s their way of greeting over them and to prove they could see through their stealth. Then they see blood writing on the ground that says “Please kill me all”. Elsewhere Masazumi talks to Neito about her plans to head to England to form connections while Musashi undergoes repairs. They stumble upon the gang partying but Horizon and Toori sleeping comfortably, leaning on each other inside Blue Thunder. Next morning, Horizon makes breakfast for Toori but we can see how much she still sucks… At least she didn’t run away. Back over at Tres Espana, their supreme council and student council revoke Muneshige’s First Special Agent title due to his loss. Gin wants to enter the battlefront to prove she is strong to defeat Ariadust. Tres Espana detects Musashi in the sky and immediately sends its team for a full assault while our Musashi heroes get into the groove to defend and fend off the attackers. As usual, Toori is absolutely blur on what’s happening. And naked too…

Episode 14
So we’ve got a baseball team from Tres Espana hitting the shots. Naomasa and her Jizuri Suzaku up against Fusae Era and her Byakko the Pathfinder. Naomasa’s fight was just to buy time for Masazumi to make a truce since both sides gain nothing from this assault. But Gin drops down into the fray and vows to reclaim what she has lost. Futayo becomes her opponent. On a side note, there is this comical conversation whereby Malga talked to the Crown Prince of the Divine States, Azuma (he was introduced in the earlier episodes by making his entry living in a dorm room alongside a wheelchair ridden girl, Miriam Poqou). Azuma didn’t understand what sex is so Malga had a tough time trying to explain it to him. She puts it as something you do after having a fight, kiss and make up over a night. I think he got the wrong idea. So when he goes back to Miriam and propose to have sex (even rushing her into it), he got kicked out! Tres Espana’s student council president, Juana activates her Deadly Sins Armament, Akidia Katarripsi that is believed to bind the enemy who finds a part of themselves they are disgusted with or didn’t like. She is about to fire something when she accidentally touches Toori’s crotch!!!! How the hell did he get up there?! She got so freaked out that she beat him up and away. He landed into the arms of Tenzo who just stole Tres Espana’s secret data. Too bad that got ripped when Toori landed. Horizon fires Lype Katarripsi at Tres Espana. Gin and Byakko did a last ditch attempt to block the shot and though they sustained damage, the distraction allowed Musashi to escape in hyper drive. Musashi enters the territory of England and because they did not stop as ordered, England launches its assault (England does not affiliate itself with Testament Union or the conflict it has with Musashi). So Oxford Academy’s student council lead the attack and all Musashi needs to do is to prevent them from doing so in 3 minutes. Four Oxford’s 10 Trumps include Robert Dudley (a hagged woman with a man’s name?), William Cecil (Humpty Dumpty is a girl?), Ben Johnson (no, the poet and author from the Renaissance era and not the Canadian sprinter of the same name despite the one portrayed here is a black and is also an athlete) and Thomas Shakespeare (you know that famous playwright?). They fight against Malga, Asama, Noriki, Ukki, Persona (holding up Adele in her God of War as usual) and subsequently Neshinbara. Hmm… Author versus author. Are they going to use words to fight it out?

Episode 15
I’m not sure about Shakespeare using Macbeth to try and pull Neshinbara down. But it seems she hints to him that he was the 13th member of Mutsugorei Academy and part of a group of children rebelled and destroyed a secret facility under Tres Espana. She felt hurt over that incident. She also possesses a Deadly Sin Armament, Aspida Phylargia. The Oxford quartet pull back seeing they have run out of time. Musashi starts encircling England at high speed when a hidden enemy fires at them. Masazumi wants Futayo to cut the ropes tying down the cargo ship (because the rope is also hanging round a certain idiot’s neck). The cargo ship is about to crash on a group of children. A hooded guy named Scarred can’t make it to save them and plans to alter the path of the ship. Tenzo stops him and also shields him from the crash’s impact. The children are saved by Neito and Futayo. England has blocked all communications and Musashi have to keep circling since they have no permission to dock. I guess this means Toori can’t see Horizon since she has fallen into a comatose state on that ship. The 10 Trumps meet Elizabeth, the queen of England and Oxford’s chancellor about Musashi. She thinks of using this to their advantage against Tres Espana. Futayo, Neito, Masazumi and Tenzo take turns guarding Horizon inside the crashed ship. Neshinbara and Malga talk. Because he lost the fight, he got cursed and it won’t disappear till the play is over. That’s why he is staying as far as possible away from Toori for fear he might kill him. Felipe Segundo, the chancellor of Tres Espana academy goes to see Juana but she is sleeping. He tries to clean up the letters in her possession but she keeps them in unusual places! Between her legs? So can you blame Gin for misunderstanding this perverted situation when she sees this? Oh, there’s one important one stuck in her cleavage. It’s really stuck! I’m sure Gin has something to say about this too, right? Later he reads that letter about a kid who was once saved by him. The kid wonders if Felipe will come to rescue if war ever breaks out again. Of course he would. Next morning, Toori is hyped to go get his Horizon. Why not? Last night he’s been making a ruckus and a loud announcement enough to wake up those English people from their slumber!

Episode 16
Toori goes to greet his beloved but was punched in the crotch! She goes back to sleep to refine some essentials. Tenzo is tasked to help Scarred relocate the graveyard (it was affected during the crash). Because he could easily pull out the swords from the grave easily, Scarred thinks he can draw Excalibur Caliburn. Tenzo denies since Queen Mary couldn’t even draw it. Scarred says she was a failure as a woman, be it Mary Stuart or Mary Tudor. Thus she wasn’t’ fit to be king. Currently she is locked away in London Tower. Tenzo’s comforting words why she is holing up so that others won’t suffer touches Scarred’s heart. Scarred trips and the cloak comes off to reveal a busty blonde babe! Ben Johnson comes onboard Musashi with fellow Trump, Charles Howard the treasurer. He quickly prostrates himself before them to save England. It’s negotiation time. And when it involves money faced Shirojiro, it’s going to be bloody confusing as both sides try to get the best deal and compromise. This is what I understand. England is going to war with the Spanish armada in 2 weeks. They need to buy one month’s worth of meat. Musashi have meat but will expire in 2 weeks. If that’s the case, Howard wants to buy at dirt cheap price. Shirojiro knows they have processes to preserve meat to last longer and wants to sell at full price. So to double to consumption rate, it is agreed both sides will hold a joint cultural festival. Now, the negotiation is about how many days to hold them because the more days shortened, the more discount. Howard is adamant they want 3 days but to break even, Shirojiro needs 11 days. After more negotiation, Howard goes up to only 8 days. That is when Shirojiro does his perfect Triple Axel Dogeza including a confectionery gift to make Howard reconsider his decision and not lose face. He also throws in Suzu, Adele and Futayo to England as Musashi official ambassadors. This political move not only opens diplomatic relations, it also allows England to hold them as political hostages because they are Musashi’s best defence and offence.  In the end, it is settled it will be held for 13 days (7 days festival, 1 day rest and 5 days preparation) at minimum discount. The deal is sealed, the contract signed and may both sides have lucrative business and good sales.

Episode 17
The Musashi gang celebrate before the preparations get underway. Shirojiro must be toasting to his fat wallet… Horizon feeds Neito, Scarred’s crow familiar, Milton makes his escape when he learns Asama is around (I think it was odd the bird ate chicken meat…). On the topic of Nikyou Crest, Scarred only mentions they tend to appear when someone is spirited away and becomes a Lost One. Toori suggests Scarred and Tenzo to go bath together. Azuma still can’t comprehend the meaning of sex so Malga pushes it to Masazumi to explain. Futayo also wants to know. Horizon too wants to know! “It’s a proper way to mutually deepen your bonds with another”. Boring answer… Horizon starts crying when she and Toori talks about retrieving other Deadly Sins Armaments because she doesn’t want others to fight. She feels it’s an excuse and perhaps Toori doesn’t need her. Because Toori kept staring at her boobs and pesters her to go on a date, she punches him. He wants to test if she has interest in emotions. She thinks he is suggesting to start a world war to get her emotions back. He claims world domination is his job and since they’re parallel, she should come up with something else. Adele reports that Lype Katarripsi has gone missing. Tenzo discovers Scarred has lots of scars on her body. She realizes Tenzo’s action in stopping her because had she used her magic, it would have bounced off the cargo ship and hit the children. To help heal his wounds, she licks them! Masazumi needs a mouse (their term for some familiar). Because she is poor and needs functions, Asama got her a divine blessing and her random mouse turns out to be an anteater. The joint cultural festival begins. Toori and Horizon patron the festival grounds as Tres Espana’s ship hovers over England. Scarred shows Tenzo the Tower of London’s chapel. A woman appears from the windows and she is Mary Stuart who will be executed for a failed attempt on Queen Elizabeth’s life. Because she is Catholic (most English are Protestants), her execution is what will trigger Anglo-Spanish war, which is at the festival’s end. Despite calling it an execution, they won’t really take her life. Shakespeare sits next to Neshinbara in a convention hall and activates the stage for Musashi and England’s Oxford Trumps to fight since he is cursed with her Macbeth.

Episode 18
From what I understand, the fights will enable England to challenge Toori and they only need to win against Musashi in any one of their hidden fights. If they fail, they can pass it off as entertainment.

Ukki versus Nicholas Bacon: Nicholas tries to smash Ukki with his hammer. He reveals he is the keeper of England’s seal so he is some sort of fairy. Noriki notices lolicon Ginji Ohiroshiki getting caught up in the match and punches him to his senses. This snaps Nicholas’ spell and break the barrier free. Nicolas calls it a wrap.

Neito versus F. Walsingham: Because Walsingham’s body is an automated doll, her joints aren’t really joined and she can move freely. Plus, Neito is backed to her corner when she is attacked by her relentless shower of metal blades.

Shirojiro versus Howard: As Howard lacks any fighting abilities, his only way to stall for time is to have Shirojiro confirm each paper content with his stamp and seal. There’s a heap of them he must go through thoroughly.

Margot versus John Hawkins and Thomas Cavendish: In some underwater sphere match, Margot utilizes the small air jet left behind by Hawkins to chant her spells and sends an obelisk tumbling onto him and free herself from this barrier.

Malga versus Francis Drake: Big bad wolf wants to eat fallen angel? He ate his wife anyway. Also, Drake wants to find out more about Neito because her mom is some half werewolf thingy. Whatever. Due to Drake’s Armament, Brachium Justitia, whatever England calls it justice, Malga can never land a clean hit. The justice also memorizes the intentions of whoever means it harm. Malga uses a spell that puts heavy strain on his body to send him bleeding all over. But it’s not enough to knock him out. Just before he delivers the final blow, Gin joins the fray. She insists Tres Espana is the one with rights to wage war against Musashi. But Malga doesn’t want to be ruled out yet.

Futayo versus Walter Raleigh: Swordsman versus Swordsman. Walter is a man of few words. In fact, I don’t think I hear him speak. But the fight ends after Walter fends off Futayo’s attack and after receiving a message from Masamitsu Yokomichi. But Futayo is left to deal with the England guards.

Masazumi versus Christopher Hatton: Skeleton dude’s favourite word is “Death!” and is probably using whatever questions he had for her just to execute her. He pins her down with his fake body as a horde of skeleton armies are charging to pierce her. “Have a nice death!”.

Adele and Suzu versus England guards: I guess the guards must be perverts. They hear the girls undressing and when they realize something amiss, they rush in only to realize they have sought shelter in Adele’s robot. At least it is big enough for them to hang out till this blows over. So the guards eavesdrop some more and hear really ambiguous stuffs they are doing. Are they having fun by themselves in that enclosure? Loud music and heavy breathing? Let your imaginations run wild!

Horizon though senses some of their comrades in danger, Toori is confident they’re okay. It’s because they haven’t contacted them. It means they can deal the problem themselves. So let’s just enjoy the date. Scarred and Tenzo tour the festival grounds but he notices the lack of liveliness around. She then takes him somewhere as the festival is probably the last chance she gets to show it to him.

Episode 19
Scarred takes Tenzo into the Tower of London and explains England’s re-enactment of history. Something about Queen Catherine is supposed to give birth to Bloody Mary in the history book but the one in this world couldn’t give birth and Bloody Mary was ‘hidden by fairies’. Henry VIII was spirited away as a Lost Noble and thus left behind a crest that says “Long time my friend”. I guess Tenzo seems to be trying hard to control his lust looking at Scarred’s butt! Shakespeare is trying to play some guilty mind games with Neshinbara. She recounts all the achievement he got but failed to release a proper book. Flashback reveals Neshinbara, Shakespeare and another girl made a promise to become writers. That girl died so Shakespeare wants to know if he can tell which one of them is her. Masazumi gets out of her sticky situation by slipping out of her jacket. She is saved by Asama but her mouse is injured in which Asama heals it. Neito is having a tough time with Walsingham. After getting pierced with those knives hidden in lemons, she did some chain bondage thingy to tie her them together and sink to the bottom of the lake to draw the match. Gin cuts off both of Drake’s arms and both their aides stop them seeing their fight is futile now that Malga is gone (rescued by Kimi). Toori and Horizon continue their date-cum-talk. She is still baffled about his goal to obtain the Deadly Sins Armaments as it only gives her negative emotions. If it gives her sadness, she doesn’t want it. After letting her eat some apples, he points out she is not sad now and that is a happy thing. It proves she has positive emotions to fight off the negative ones. So gathering the Armaments will save even more people. He is going to war even if she ends up hating her because it’ll be right back at the starting line. He’ll keep thinking how much fun he had and move on. Horizon wants to go save the rest but Asama, Masazumi and Kimi carrying unconscious Malga pop up. Neshinbara wonders if she’ll forgive him for guessing the right one. No. It would make her happy. Shakespeare packs up and leaves. It’s become clear Suzu and Adele were playing some music rhythm game. Eavesdropping outside that Dudley is going to pry them open, Adele activates the robot and blasts away. Futayo spots the robot and follows it. But the robot crashes into the execution centre and a pillar threatens to fall on several kids. Tenzo swiftly saves them. Scarred hugs him knowing he is safe but Tenzo realizes this is not the same Scarred he knew. She is Elizabeth as the real Scarred pops up behind him. Twins? They look the same. Very much alike. Elizabeth points out Scarred as her sister, the Double Bloody Mary fated to be executed.

Episode 20
Scarred leaves with Elizabeth and her Trumps for her execution for the sake of history’s re-enactment. Adele tells Tenzo that the execution is for real and is something similar to what Horizon went through in Mikawa. Tenzo tries to stop them but was knocked out by Walter. What follows next later is some political negotiation between Elizabeth and Masazumi. If you’re hoping that the mysterious babe from Musashi is a new character, be prepared to be disappointed because it is Toori cross-dressing! First nakedness, now this?! England guys so disappointed… As Masazumi and Elizabeth’s debate have too many words and jargons in it that it confuses the hell out of me. From what I understand (this is inclusive of Q&A summary read from Infodump)…

Masazumi: We need to prevent Apocalypse via collecting Deadly Sins Armament and thus we need for England’s permission to leave port.
Elizabeth: Disagreed because based on history re-enactment, you should get it back during Peace of Westphalia conference and stay under ‘England’s protection’.
Masazumi: We can’t expect to wait for the Armaments to be given back to them as we need to get it back themselves and also to restore our independence.
Elizabeth: That will mess up the balance of the world power.
Masazumi: Then let’s form an alliance.
Elizabeth: No-go because all other countries will have to leave the Divine States and live in uninhabitable wastelands. Resist and we’ll destroy you right where you stand.
Masazumi: Then we’ll ally with someone else.
Elizabeth: Try it and we’ll destroy you with all our resources at hand.
Masazumi: You can’t do that. We know you can’t because of the impending battle with Tres Espana, your forces are spread out thin and since some are on their way towards Tres Espana, they won’t make it back in time if they u-turn now. Even if you do defeat Musashi, you must still reserve enough forces against Tres Espana. As for calling the Dutch ally to do the dirty work for them, it means relinquishing their military power. For the sake of history re-enactment to execute Bloody Mary, Excalibur Caliburn is to be used and to use it on Musashi means it would not serve its purpose for the re-enactment. So the only choice left for both sides to benefit is to be allies.
Elizabeth: How shall England benefit from this alliance?
Masazumi: We’ll turn England into a base of commerce and trading hub and make lots of profit.
Elizabeth: Considering it since it would preserve their own domestic affairs via exportation, stand above other nations and pioneer into the new world so they don’t have to stay at the Far East… (Even watching Innocentius wants to jump on board this good deal and make an alliance).

And suddenly here comes in Gin and student council secretary Diego Velazquez to object to everything in this meeting. Sighs… If they only cut the chatter and made the decision quicker…

Episode 21
So Velazquez argues it isn’t fair that Musashi went to war with them to save Horizon. So why aren’t they going to war with England to rescue Mary from execution? Then Toshiie Maeda from PA ODA walks in. He also doesn’t approve Musashi’s alliance with England because it will turn European flight paths into hell. He wants to destroy Musashi right now since they’re going to be enemies anyway and fight at the Battle of Sekigahara.  To show how serious he is, he summons his armies of the undead from hell. Toori crashes in. At least he is not naked but he’s wearing Masazumi’s shirt! Because he is bragging how he tried Asama’s too, she tries to shoot him with her arrow. Elizabeth thinks she was bold enough to bring weapons into the court. Things get worse when Horizon drops her Lype Katarripsi (from what I understand, she keeps it in her butt in some space dimension rift). Asama is tasked to clear this misunderstanding up and in the end embarrasses herself claiming the Armament is a huge hug pillow. Back to business, Toori asks Horizon’s opinion on this affair since she was once in this position. There is something she couldn’t understand. If somebody is willing to die for the sake of history re-enactment, will it mean misusing of Testament if they execute someone? What is the basis of right or wrong in the recreation? If someone wants to save Mary, Horizon is prepared to fight England. Gin understands since the execution is unavoidable, the war shall proceed. Toshiie wants orders from Elizabeth to crush Musashi now so Masazumi withdraws her suggestion of the trade pact since it is harder for Elizabeth to accept now. In exchange, she wants her to cancel her mercenary pact with Toshiie and hire Musashi as replacement (Toshiie’s army is helping England against Tres Espana in the upcoming war). This would also instantly resolve issues between Musashi and England as Musashi can obtain weaponry as business necessity because they are seen as England’s navy. Toshiie can’t offer a better deal for England so he asks Masazumi has he seen Avalon. She heard about it but has not seen it so he notes she doesn’t know everything yet and leaves.

Later Elizabeth takes Masazumi and shows her Avalon. It is a space that her father made to escape his cramped Tower of London. This space also re-enacts the past between Elizabeth and Mary. However Elizabeth can’t remember which of the twins she is. Meanwhile Howard tells Shirojiro about changling. Something about Elizabeth and Mary were swapped by fairies during the process of enthronement since Mary was never shown to the public during the re-enactment. However Mary executed 300 Anglican Church members and leave scars on her body to establish she is Mary before being locked up in the Tower of London and Elizabeth took the throne. There is a mini black hole in Avalon which Elizabeth believes is Apocalypse. Demonstration reveals that whatever is thrown inside it becomes nothing. This is probably what the world will be facing. As I understand, England is conducting research on this black hole (as it’s going to be the world’s problem) that’s why it’s ‘forcing’ this mini black hole to stay open and officially send and receive data to and from other countries. Meanwhile Toori is causing his mischief. He is trying to pull out Excalibur but it looks like he is pole dancing with the sword to me! Why the heck are the Trumps just sitting there watching him?! Anyway he sends Mary a message that he may not be able to pull the sword out but is confident one of his members will. He flees when Elizabeth is seen rushing in. Neito visits Naomasa and hopes to get some training since she isn’t satisfied with her fight results with Walsingham. Naomasa introduces Hiro Mishina, the specialist sent to fix Jizuri Suzaku. Tenzo is seen getting reprimanded by Yoshinao about his manners. He notices a map of England in Tenzo’s possession. Because silly Toori blurts out those spots he marked as guard stations en route to the Tower of London and how he is going to attack it (which will cause an international problem), Yoshinao cleverly disguises it as booth stands Tenzo is going to visit on his date. He also marks additional ‘high end booths’ Tenzo missed out. Toori sees a scar on Tenzo’s back and thought Scarred had healed it. Seems like she left one behind. Tenzo remembers how Scarred said that if she would fall for someone, she would like to be a woman who can give her man a scar. Tenzo says he will make a big announcement on the final day of the festival and goes off to complete his mission with Scarred only on his mind.

Episode 22
The joint festival comes to a close. Neshinbara opts out of the battle with Tres Espana to keep his Macbeth curse in check. Because he is still down from Shakespeare’s earful, Asama gives him some book he first debut with. Toori has read it too and his comments were his work is crazier than Shakespeare. Malga is not pleased that Margot is leaving her out for the battle so Kimi super slaps and then bites-kisses her lips to tell her that with the wounds she sustained, she’d end up dying. What’s the point in that? Before Musashi sets sail, they see Tenzo’s goodbye letter. They rendezvous with him and they learn his big announcement is that he wants to confess his feelings to someone he loves. She has scarred him so he wants her to leave a deeper scar. Everyone supports his decision and so Horizon explains that parallel argument thingy again that she will save the world from Apocalypse and begin her happy life without using her negative emotions. Masazumi contacts Elizabeth that they are going to war with England. This pisses her off. Don’t worry. They’ll still be their mercenary for Tres Espana. Those staying behind with Tenzo include Neito, Ukki, Malga, Masazumi and Neshinbara. Adele takes command and briefs her mates of their battle plan. When the battle is about to start, Tres Espana’s armada surprisingly draws out. Felipe is the one ordering this but it is not a pullout. Suddenly many smaller Tres Espana ships hiding in the waves start to show on the radar. As history dictates, Tres Espana will lose to Musashi but their naval powers will remain unscathed. Felipe calls himself a coward and plans to die in this battle. Juana disapproves all this. She doesn’t want him to leave her alone and admits her lie. She was the kid Felipe rescued. Because she is a half elf, she is discriminated and born out of wedlock, she hid her trauma by claiming to be a full elf. However to save Juana, Felipe tells her to stop putting up this act and even has Fusae lie to confirm she is a full elf. The battle begins with Tres Espana firing the shots in their formation but Musashi is able to break their firing formation after analyzing their attack pattern. Meanwhile the rematches are underway. Neito against Walsingham, Ukki against Nicholas and Masazumi continues to run from Hatton and his deathly skeletons. Tenzo and Malga got passed several English guards as Neshinbara meets up with Shakespeare for their rematch.

Episode 23
Neshinbara couldn’t guess which of the girls was Shakespeare because she was the only one there then. If Shakespeare wins, she will have him stay in England to figure out which one is her. She uses her Deadly Sin Armament to summon her Birnam army. After that, Shakespeare summons the character from most tragic play of all, King Lear to fight against Neshinabara’s Heavenly Deity Michizane in a giant sword fight. Malga takes in Cecil and Dudley’s gravity attack to let Tenzo head on first. Kimi who surprisingly stayed back negates the gravity and helps Malga fight the duo. The battle between Musashi and Tres Espana resumes. In what it looks like Tres Espana pulling back to resupply, Musashi advances forward but entered their trap because Tres Espana sacrifices several ships loaded with explosions to heavily damage Musashi. Even all the automated dolls of offline. Adele is in a pinch and panics. Till Toori comes in and blurts out about their doom. He is happy about it? What he is trying to tell Adele is to twist history a little. With that, she gets her confidence back and yells for help. The automated dolls reboot and get back online to do counter attack and Shirojiro and his money thingy to play his part that I don’t really understand, and Margot giving air support. The anteater is lost and wants to help Masazumi. It encounters the black algae who send data about Masazumi’s personality (a bad comedian?). Once they finish, Asama transports the anteater to Masazumi who is a moment away from being Hatton’s death. The anteater is armed with explosive spells and turns on the tables on Hatton. Happy death! Neito finishes her match with Walsingham by using the power of the moon to enhance her power and some Jeanne d’Arc chanting. Walsingham’s true form is a tiny mouse. Though King Lear defeats Michizane, Neshinbara did some editing to summon Macbeth and put King Lear out of his misery and end the play in his victory. Shakespeare wonders who she is and Neshinbara replies why not be the one who likes him. She gives him her Armament since she doesn’t need it anymore but he steals it from her. She hints she wants to stay with him. Lastly, Elizabeth confronts Mary in her room and wants to play a game they used to play with their father. Only this time it will be with a certain fool who may come to her side. If Tenzo could get past Walter, that is.

Episode 24
Milton distracts Walter so Tenzo could slip pass him and head straight to the execution grounds. At first the Mary at the execution grounds seems to be Elizabeth in disguise but Tenzo knows better it’s a bluff. Why? Because Mary’s boobs are bigger! Mary is Mary and Elizabeth is Elizabeth sitting at her throne. Because Mary won the ‘bet’, Elizabeth allows her 5 minutes to wrap things up with him. From what I understand, Tenzo doesn’t care all the scars and impurity Mary has. If she tries to resist, he’ll steal her away. Mary is upset that he didn’t kiss her back then. So Tenzo had to come up with something creative like he wasn’t sure if she was the right match then. To prove she is now, he has her take a deep breath and then squeezes her boobs! He has decided. She’s the one. He loves her. She loves him too and they kiss. But show time is over and Elizabeth is going to pull Excalibur out. Tenzo wants Mary to do it too and surprisingly they both pull out Excalibur. Elizabeth has Excalibur Caliburn while Mary has Excalibur Collbrande (some history sh*t that I couldn’t understand). What does this mean? How will England respond in having 2 women fit to be king? Masazumi interjects and suggests a truce. Based on Testament, Elizabeth will designate her nephew as her heir. This means, Tenzo and Mary’s child. She wants Mary to seek refuge in Musashi and is willing to accept her transfer. Mary parts from Elizabeth vowing to protect her dream as a fairy who is living in the human world. Musashi continues its battle with Tres Espana. Felipe plans to die by setting his ship on fire but Juana jumps onboard to rescue him. She got desperate enough to make out with him. As usual, Gin always had to come in at the right timing. The second wave of attack continues with Margot’s witches easily pummelling Tres Espana’s God of Wars. But Tres Espana manages to dock Musashi and they are racing to take control of the bridge. Adele realizes there is more than one Tres Espana battleship because one is in stealth mode. Because of this one firing from the opposite direction, it is throwing Musashi into confusion. Suzu recognizes the sound of another ship. The hidden one that attacked Musashi when they first arrived at England. Musashi has no defence at where this hidden battleship is aiming but thanks to Grace O’Malley returning the favour (something to do when Musashi deflected the debris of the cargo ship back then), she blocks their shot. Softball siblings Pedro and Flores Valdez face off with Noriki while Futayo takes on Gin. Futayo feels grateful for Muneshige tutelage and tries to express it via English term: “It’s like we had sex together”. I guess she misunderstood what sex is. Shocking no, Gin?

Episode 25
It doesn’t help when Futayo uses ambiguous words. There was blood. He penetrated her. They did it 50 times. Still remember the fight between Futayo and Muneshige way back then? Poor Gin misunderstood so much that she’s going to chop her up and clear her husband’s name. Noriki has analyzed the Valdez siblings’ vanishing magic pitch and punches it back to them. It was going to hit Flores’ face but Pedro uses his hand to defend it. It is Noriki’s loss due to some baseball rule thingy. Meanwhile Takakane Hironaka and his big baseball bat fights Shirojiro and his power of money. Literally. He is using coins and commissions to fight! Naomasa pilots Jizuri Suzaku for another rematch with Fusae and her Byakko. Asama fires naked male succubus Kenji Itou and slime spirit Nenji into one of the Tres Espana battleships. I don’t know what ‘activity’ they did so it causes the other surrounding battleships to go out of formation. Musashi’s foot soldiers are losing confidence and wondering what they are fighting for because their victory means making an enemy out of Testament. Till Toori makes an announcement that he will rush over to whoever is feeling down and give his love! No way! Toori adds that they should leave the impossible to him and in exchange believe themselves that they can do it. I guess this fires them up to fight back. Elizabeth and England now joins Musashi against Tres Espana. I don’t understand this ‘battle’ between Velazquez and Hassan. The former materializes what he paints and the latter serves curry instead of fried rice as he ordered? I don’t know. I think the old dude lost and retreats. Takakane puts in his last spurt to defeat Shirojiro and his bountiful of coins (it’s raining money!). Plus, Shirojiro is wearing armour made out of coins! Takakane refuses to admit game over and charges for him but his underlings push him away and retreat while he rues their side lost. Fusae is shocked to see a body within Jizuri Suzaku. Naomasa explains it is her sister who is powering it. Back then when the machine wasn’t moving, she wanted Naomasa to use her life to activate it and it saved them. Once more, she does so and they defeat Fusae and Byakko, blowing them out of the sky. Lastly, Futayo and Gin continue their fight. Gin now wields double twin swords after Futayo cuts off her prosthetic arms. But Futayo pulls off the same moves that Muneshige did to defeat her and break her swords. To avoid making Futayo the same level as her husband, she concedes defeat and Futayo stops short of cutting her down.

Episode 26
Malga reunites with Margot to transform into some powerful unit and take out the lesser Tres Espana ships. Adele is in a pinch because Tres Espana has destroyed their condition in history recreation to win the battle. Can’t depend on Toori for ideas, can’t she? Then she gets this crazy idea to turn stealth. This alerts Tres Espana and when they come back on radar, they fire at first sight. However this is only a decoy (the cargo ship) and the real Musashi is doing the seemingly impossible vertical loop to get behind them. Horizon and Toori use their Lype Katarripsi to fire back at Tres Espana but Juana counters it with hers. She is joined by her fellow comrades to push back Lype Katarripsi’s firepower. Horizon then whips out Aspida Phylargia serving as extra battery power. However in order to activate it, it needs some soul activation that will cause Horizon to turn into a different woman of what Toori wants. He is okay with it because he will always be by her side. She sings her song as tears stream down her cheeks. The shot was powerful enough to destroy a Tres Espana’s big battleship. Felipe is going all for broke to win and targets Musashi. However the shot is deflected and Musashi protected by Mary using her Excalibur Collbrande with Tenzo backing her up. In the end, Musashi and England wins the battle and the re-enactment Masazumi declares the battle over. Felipe and Juana return to their Tres Espana troops who welcome them back. Musashi has a bonfire party with Kimi, Asama and Neito putting up some rock group performance. I wonder if this kind of offering is appropriate. Everyone else celebrates Ukki’s birthday and he gets several boxes of big sister eroges as present! He must really love those types. It seems Gin has been left behind on Musashi. She is surprised to be reunited with Muneshige whom she wanted to see so much. As they hug, Muneshige suggests they throw away their inherited names to be together and become transfer students at Musashi. Mary is officially transferred to Musashi and shares the same room with Tenzo. She strips naked so she can sleep better and wants to share many more happiness with him. Horizon and Toori talk about that parallel thingy again to retrieve her emotions while avoiding Apocalypse. Toori is cool with it as long as she comes out smiling in the end. Musashi enters Izumo for repairs and everyone rest up for their next long journey.

Lost Somewhere Over The Horizon…
Urm… Eh… What… To pretty sum it all up, I didn’t really understand what is happening most of the time. I am like Toori, if not worse than him in every aspect since from start till finish my head is still empty on what is going on. So blur. The talking and the dialogue was the main turn off. Heavy and just loaded with terms that my brain refuses to understand. Apparently the story isn’t done yet and those who are really interested in continuing this can read up on the novels. I on the other hand would like to spare myself from all the headaches I have gotten. Save the world? Yeah, I think they can do a better job without me interfering. From the final episode, you can glimpse a lot of weird people which I believe are from different student council bodies of different countries. Yes. It feels like it is going to be a pain going around trying to collect the Deadly Sins Armaments to prevent Apocalypse and retrieve Horizon’s emotions. Well, if they don’t, who will? So for the first half of the series it was about Musashi embarking on a mission to save Horizon from KPA Italia. The second half has Musashi locking horns with England before joining forces with them against Tres Espana. With many other countries spread out, I think it’s going to be a very long and colourful battle. So in a way, it’s not really ‘fair’ that such a handful of countries just make their appearance but putting in anymore countries means more characters, terms, plots and other stuffs that will make my head explode. So I’m cool with how it all ‘ends’.

The only thing that I enjoyed most (Toori’s silly antics are an entirely different case) is the battles. They never cease to amaze me because of the awesome firepower and magic that makes it so exaggerated, over the top and epic enough. Whether they make sense or not it doesn’t matter (are they supposed to?). Even though I do not really understand the explanations of certain moves or why the fight is done so in this way, trying to understand it would just diminish my enjoyment of the action. I knew the dialogue was going to be a pain just like the rest of the talking in this series. So I would first switch off my brain and enjoy the superb action unfolding with all the mega explosions and ka-pow impact when projectiles crash and collide into magical defence barriers. After the action ends (or rather the end of the episode), I would just rewind to the scene and try to make sense of the workings. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. But I do enjoy the fights and especially when Musashi was up against the Trumps. What the f*ck was Shakespeare and Neshinabara’s Macbeth fight all about? Screw that! Just get your kings and chop each other up. Shirojiro against Naomasa? Screw your money talk and let the action do the talking. Shirojiro and Takakane? Money everywhere! Gin versus Drake? All I know is somebody’s arms got chopped off. Muneshige went up against Tadatsugu? I don’t know what they said but their weapons pack a lethal badass punch. Get hit, you die. Futayo x Gin? Slice! Slice! Bang! Bang! Chop! Chop! Pew! Pew!

After coming this far and due to my inability to comprehend things on the bigger picture, I feel that this history re-enactment thingy didn’t have any major influence on the show. Not that I realize since my history is that bad. Like the final battle between Musashi and Tres Espana, both sides were trying to fulfil the conditions of the battle. So they re-enacted the battle. So what? Do they feel closer to their original goal of reaching the heavens? Maybe not in this generation. It certainly doesn’t feel like it. Besides, it feels like an excuse for everyone to pursue their own agenda so that’s why in a way I believe it is just an excuse and a loophole to get things done their way. You can blame my misunderstanding or lack of comprehension on the story overall. Nobody said this series was easy.

For Toori as the main guy, he might seem like a useless dud who is just carefree, having fun without a care. And for the second half of the season, he spends most of his time naked! I read it was some sort of ritual of paying tribute to the Gods or something. Despite his goofy looks and his inability to do anything, he is actually the backbone of his class. You know chess pieces? The king is the most important piece despite being the one with the least power. That is what I feel Toori is. I mean, why would he need to have some sort of power himself when he has his reliable Musashi friends to do it for him? That’s why he believes in them. That’s why they believe in him. It’s probably the same reason why in some shows the leader seems like less capable than his crew but they still follow him around (think One Piece). Toori is always positive and says what is on his mind. He doesn’t beat around the bush and in a way is straight to the point. You got to love some of the speeches he makes. Inspiring? Motivating? A way to hit on chicks? If your dialogue is that sophisticated. So sometimes it is hard to call whether he is someone to be admired and looked up upon or not. Okay, so maybe take note of his good qualities. Well, at least this proves he is not perfect. The original Horizon might be dead but she lives on in the heart of others. Though the current automated doll is still trying to understand about human emotions, sometimes it is comical to see her put Toori in his place. It’s like they’re a stand up comedian.

After Toori and Horizon’s love hogging the first half, it is Tenzo’s turn to take the spotlight in the second and I’m glad that he and Mary finally found true love. The other characters in Musashi seem pretty okay too. They all show their mettle and strength for their love for Musashi, there’s no doubt about that. Adele proves that she can take the lead, Futayo an excellent lancer with her Tonbokiri while Margot and Malga work best when they’re together. It’s always money, money and more money for Shirojiro and Masazumi is blooming as a future politician. Asama provides spiritual backup while Kimi does the same but mostly for her brother. The Musashi family seems to be growing with Mary, Muneshige and Gin joining in. The funny thing about Gin is that she always has this habit of walking in the wrong time that causes her to misinterpret things in a sexually ambiguous way. I bet she hasn’t done anything like that with Muneshige before. Due to the large amount of cast, it’s hard for them all to get enough screen time. For instance, Azuma and Miriam. Their appearance anime wise seem redundant and can be done away. All you see them here is bumming around especially Miriam who is holed up in her room. And they both have a ‘child’ not from sex but from that ghost girl that was discovered during Toori’s ghost hunt. Perhaps they would have played a bigger role in some other parts of the story and novel. As for the other characters from other nations, again too many of them. Like Innocentius and Galileo were antagonists in the first half of the series but after their defeat they become mere spectators in the second. England and Tres Espana had many colourful characters but the most amusing one (and probably my favourite) is Hatton because ironically as a skeleton, he is very lively with his “death” lines. Some of the rest make a little impact, some were just forgettable, some just made you go “What happened to him/her?”. Some felt like foreboding of things to come like Toshiie and the host of new characters’ cameo in the final.

Sunrise is the studio production for this anime. They produced many hit animes like Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop, Gintama, Inu Yasha, Keroro Gunsou, Mai-HiME and Mobile Suit Gundam series. So when I first saw Horizon who has this very uncanny resemblance to Clannad’s Tomoyo and the black algae that reminds me of dango kazoku, I thought the characters were also Key designed characters. Despite the futuristic setting, I find it really strange at first that some characters have odd body parts. From huge boobs (Kimi and Asama) to very large oversized prosthetic arms (Gin and Juana) and large plumes of hair (Kimi and Neito). And then with the myriad of different races, it felt like a futuristic version of RPG! I mean, in addition to human beings, you have beasts like dragons and wolves, fairies, elves and lots of little cute animals that could serve as mascots or familiars. Take a look at Toori’s class. It can be a good example of an RPG party. From the character race, he’s got a half dragon, a male succubus, some slime and a big mute guy who wears a bucket on his head! Is this some freak class or something? In terms of class, there’s a ninja, a shrine priestess who is more of an archer, swords(wo)men, mechanic, dancer, strategists, politician, almost everyone is there. May not be the most complete RPG group (if they ever turn into one) without the typical class but I think they still cover the basic and if not a wide areas of a party, right? Also, look at Elizabeth’s Trumps. They are another bunch of weird looking characters, no? A wolf, fairy and Humpty Dumpty aside, she’s got a skeleton undead in her group! Maybe she was influenced by One Piece’s Luffy’s Brook, eh? Besides the characters, I give them points for the creative designs of the ships, weapons and other equipment. It really gives a futuristic look despite there are some old and traditional designs and workings the technology and model it is based on.

Jun Fukuyama as Toori is a riot with the character. He sounds like he is having fun all the way despite being in constant danger. I mean, you expect a guy who runs around naked for a big majority for the second half of the series to put on a serious expression? Can you take such joker seriously then? I guess Jun Fukuyama being casted as Toori is very suitable as he also played such ‘joker’ characters such as Kakeru in Akikan and Grell in Kuroshitsuji. Recently I have been hearing a glut of monotonous, expressionless ladies by Minori Chihara. As Horizon, she reminded me of her other roles like Anastasia from Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne, Hina in Busou Shinki and Teresa in Seikon No Qwaser. Yup. She goes a long way back from her days as Chiaki in Minami-ke and Nagato of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Now do you see the resemblance? I’m starting to think that Yui Horie and Yukari Tamura are beginning to play ‘anime sisters’. As Scarred/Mary and Elizabeth respectively, don’t their roles remind you of Ben-To’s Kyou sisters and Busou Shinki’s Ach and Yda? Strange? Coincidence? The rest of the extensive cast include Daisuke Ono as Tenzo (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Miyuki Sawashiro as Masazumi (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Yu Kobayashi as Futayo (Mariya in Maria+Holic), Marina Inoue as Neito (Kyoko in Skip Beat), Chiwa Saito as Kimi (Kirie in Girls Brave), Emi Nitta as Malga (Ricca in Da Capo III), Nao Tooyama as Margot (Kanon in The World God Only Knows), Takehito Koyasu as Shirojiro (Ryousuke in Initial D), Mutsumi Tamura as Neshinbara (Sonya in Baby Please Kill Me), Minako Kotobuki as Gin (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Tomokazu Sugita as Muneshige (Gintoki in Gintama), Daisuke Hirakawa as Noriki (Makoto in School Days), Aoi Yuuki as Suzu (Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica), Ami Koshimizu as Asama (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Kei Shindou as Naomasa (Kuro in Kodomo No Jikan), Ayuru Oohashi as Adele (Ayumu in Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi), Ryoko Shiraishi as Oriotorai (Himeko in Sket Dance), Jouji Nakata as Innocentius (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou), Momoko Saito as Shakespeare (Nazuna in Working!) and Rie Tanaka as Juana (Maria in Hayate No Gotoku). Phew. I think I missed out a lot but I might go crazy if I’m going to list down everybody since some of them do play multiple roles.

I did mention that Minori Chihara has a ‘knack’ in voicing monotonous, expressionless characters. However she sings both the opening themes and they are both are upbeat anime pop beat. Well, she is quite an accomplished singer herself and as several albums and singles under her name. I guess there is a big difference between voice acting and singing. The first opening theme is Terminated while the second one is Zone // Alone. There are 4 ending themes. Half is the typical ‘happy’ anime pop and the other half has a darker and grimmer tune. Somehow I very much prefer the latter. Like Stardust Melodia by Ceui is my favourite as it brings back memories of her other song, Mellow Melodies from Sola. Although Kanashimi Wa Dare No Negai Demonai by Aira Yuki doesn’t sound as dark and grim, it has a little disco beat to it but at least it isn’t as ‘happy’ as Pieces by Airi or -Side Sunrise- Sora No Uta by Masami Okui. Even the ending credits animation match the feel of the song because if it is the ‘happy’ kind you can see the characters in chibi form doing fun things. Some of the background music are quite okay as they range from techno rock mix to even epic orchestra pieces.

I don’t know what else to say since I think I am done saying what I want to say about the stuffs that I understand, those that I don’t and the things that amused me. There are so many things going on in this series and so many potentials and back stories to tell that perhaps it would all really flesh out well throughout several seasons. Would I still be a loyal follower if there are ever sequels? Maybe for the action and Toori’s joker antics. Otherwise I would just say instead of recreating history to achieve glory like we did in the past, isn’t it much better to chart our own futures and walk our own paths? Isn’t that how the people in the past used to do it? Not knowing what the future holds is pretty scary but aren’t those who make the first bold step the ones who write history? We all winners only do that. If you ask me if I would start a world war and make enemies out of everyone just to save my girlfriend, I think it would be very much easier just to break up with her. Then let her get absorbed in her fury and destroy the world. Haha! Oh shiiii…!!! See me get blown across the horizon~…

Wow. Not only just a hero. But a legendary hero as well. Furthermore, having his/her own legend thus the name The Legend Of The Legendary Heroes. How epic and legendary can you get with that? Initially after a few rounds with RPG themed animes, I thought this would be another RPG-like genre based on its name. However this resembles more of a fantasy adventure. No group, classes or parties like archers, fighters, priestess, rangers (insert other classes you can think of) but we do have magic wizards here. Heck, almost everyone who has the ability to fight can use some sort of wizardry powers. Each power is unique enough so much you can tell the user hails from which country.

And being the fantasy adventure type, this doesn’t mean that I am spared with all the epic names of characters (read: hard to pronounce, spell and remember – okay some aren’t that bad), names of the countries (surprisingly they are short and sweet) and the unique terms and jargon that come exclusively in this series. Not your typical good versus evil as the lines between them are blurred. What we’ll see here are basically corrupted nobles, warring nations, civil unrests, scars of wars, traumatic pasts, political conspiracy, backstabbing, and the eternal fight to uphold justice and peace of the people of the land. For slightly more info on the characters and detailed summary of this series, go to Wikipedia and Anime Evo and loads of screenshots from Tenka Seiha. That’s where I go read up when I don’t understand. Not to say that I fully comprehend whatsoever since I didn’t read the light novels that this series was adapted from.

The main protagonist is no other than Ryner Lute. Looks like your ordinary peace loving guy who loves spending his time napping if not for the troublesome task of searching for Heroes Relics throughout the Menoris continent. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone could just take an afternoon siesta instead of fighting for supremacy? Apparently many others in higher places don’t think so. Unlike others, Ryner possesses something rare. He is one of the few with God’s Eyes (or Cursed Eyes if you’re afraid of them) called Alpha Stigma (see the insignia in his eyes close-up?). Though it allows the user to completely analyze and copy all sort of magic, Alpha Stigma bearers are extremely prejudiced and shunned to a point they are feared and being labelled as monsters. As far as everyone knows, Alpha Stigma bearers have the tendency to go berserk and destroy everything it is path. Don’t want to be near to that when that happens, eh? Accompanying Ryner on his journey is the beautiful babe and skilful swords(wo)man, Ferris Eris. Wait. To say she is his company isn’t right. He’s more like a manservant to her. Yes, the most amusing interaction from the duo stems from Ferris actions towards Ryner. In her usually deadpan voice, this sadist will not hesitate to beat up, whack, abuse, insult, mock, ridicule, scorn, tease (and all other words associated with it you can think of) Ryner. She even will not have second thoughts of making up stories, putting atrocious words in his mouth, create his fake past and future dreams that he is a pervert, sex fiend, immoral piece of garbage, etc. Not only that, acting in the front of unsuspecting third parties that she is ‘sullied’ by him though she tried to resist! You’d normally hate women who act like that but you can’t because it’s simply just funny to see Ryner bear the pain. It’s the kind of ‘chemistry’ between the duo that makes them, well, get along with each other so well. Maybe not. It’s a love-hate relationship. Not even the almighty Alpha Stigma could stand up against or even touch her, eh? No matter how strong and swift she is for a normal human, Ferris has a weakness: Dango. Yes those tasty little balls on a stick, especially those of the Wynnit Store. She’d do anything for them (Ryner usually bearing the end of her antics) and has a bottomless stomach to chow down boxes after boxes. No wonder the dango shops are flourishing. And yeah, any motivation or job needed to get done, dango is sure a pretty good excuse. Then there’s the good young bishonen king of the Roland country located at the south of the Menoris continent, Sion Astal. How many kings do you know work as hard as him in his quest to create a place that nobody will have to fight or suffer? A king that laments and blames himself that he lacks the necessary power to change his country for the better? No wonder all his subjects and people love him very much. There are many other characters but you’ll get to learn about them as you go by.

Episode 1
So the series basically starts off with a narration how countless beings and kingdoms fought wars just for that world domination thingy. Till some legendary heroes came along and kicked their asses. Whoever they are, they must be hell good to become legends. Then we see Ryner and Ferris in the middle of fighting some guards during their quest to look for Heroes Relics. Ferris’ excellent skill has them running away. Then they take a rest while Ferris chomps down her usual dango fix while reiterating that she’s just to guard him on his mission to find those relics for Roland. Back in the kingdom of Roland, we are introduced to Sion and his close and trusted subjects, Claugh Klom, Calne Kaiwal and Rahel Miller. Back to Ryner and Ferris, they stumbled into a tomb (Ferris just sliced the big door open as opposed to using Ryner’s ‘ineffective’ Alpha Stigma which was taking too long). They get into all sorts of activated traps but Ryner being the unfortunate chap nearly getting pierced, burnt and drowned. They notice a group of Taboo Breaker Squad following them. Led by the scatterbrain captain, Milk Callaud, she’s from the same orphanage as Ryner but obviously that guy doesn’t remember, breaking that girl’s heart (yeah, she has a crush on him). I guess she introduced herself too long so much so she bit her tongue. Even Ferris teases her for being in a ‘casual’ relationship with Ryner. She wants Ryner to follow her back seeing that he’ll get a chance to get off lightly but I guess the pair doesn’t see her bungling-ness as a threat so they nonchalantly leave. Milk tries to stop them with her magic but trips and causes a big explosion. Luckily Milk gets saved by her team comrades, namely Luke Stokkart, Lear Rinkal, brothers Lach and Moe Velariore. Meanwhile Sion thwarts a boy, Fiole Folkal who is trying to assassinate the king after mistaking Sion as the kidnapper of his sister, Eslina. Fiole wishes to die since he can’t save his sister but Sion saves him with his speech to change this corrupted land. After Sion frees Eslina in his chambers, he attends a party for nobles and learns that it was them who kidnapped Fiole’s sister as their ‘gift’ to the new king. Back to Ryner and Ferris, they encounter a big freaking rock creature. The obvious option is to run like hell. But watching it cause destruction? Well, whoever said they’re heroes in the first place? Ferris even leaves the cleaning up mess to Ryner. He notices a jewel on her and thinks it might be another of those relics. She says she picked it up from inside the tomb. Before anything else could happen, the jewel floats into the air and emits a bright light which turns into a massive explosion, turning the creature and the surrounding land into a huge crater. Some kind of Heroes Relic that was.

Episode 2
Flashback time. We see Sion’s mom was killed and that he is an illegitimate child of a noble and a commoner. Because of that status, he is being put into Roland Royal Special Military Academy. It may seem that the academy trains teenagers for the army but is in fact a place where the offspring of ‘bad’ people are put. Orphans of the war are also placed here and so that they can be sold to nobles and sent to war on their children’s behalf. Despicable. Sion notices Ryner as the Alpha Stigma bearer and wants him and Kiefer Knolles as part of his team. Obviously that sleepy guy isn’t interested. Till Sion coaxes him that he will tell everyone about his eyes. During a mock battle, Sion displays his leadership and strategic skills by ambushing the other team, earning praises from his team members. Back at the academy, Sion extends his hand to Ryner and wants him to join him in his quest to build his ideal country where no one will suffer or die. They are interrupted when cloak people came to assassinate Sion. And Ryner really left the scene to let Sion handle his pursuers! Sion is cornered in an alley but is saved by Ferris. She makes him return the favour by… You guessed it: Dangos. Man, you got to love this lady on how she imposes on everyone. Sion continues to deliver more dangos to Ferris at her family home. He learns that she was being ordered by her elder brother Lucile to protect him (Lucile’s orders are absolute as proclaimed by Ferris) and that the Eris family has personally served the previous kings of Roland for generations. He also meets Ferris’ perky little perky sister, Iris. Your typical little hyped-up loli who looks up to her big sister all the time. At the academy, some of the students are horrified that the neighbouring country of Estabul is trying to invade their land and that they’ll be in the front lines. Another war going to start. Meanwhile Ferris and Iris are torturing some noble in his manor to find out if he was the one behind the assassination of Sion. He laughs his head off since he tells them that the academy people are trekking to their doom because it’s a trap with 50 Magic Knights of Estabul are already waiting for them. Plus, he mentions of a spy within that group. It’s going to be an onslaught.

Episode 3
Lucile appears from nowhere to slice off that guy’s head and do a quick kill. He mentions that this is a test to see if Sion would be a competent king. As they young soldiers take a break in the plains, suddenly they are ambushed by the Estabul Magic Knights. Each one getting their heads or body sliced off in a bloody and violent manner. Each getting picked off one by one. Sion orders the rest of the survivors the retreat as we see that Kiefer is the spy. Then several Estabul Magic Knights got Sion in their grasp. Ryner uses his Alpha Stigma magic to wipe them out in an instant. Sion is upset that he should’ve used his magic earlier and prevent casualties. Then Ryner gets knocked out and when he opens his eyes, he finds that Sion and Kiefer in custody and the only survivors left. Everyone else was killed. The Estabul Magic Knights try to awaken his Alpha Stigma by trying to rape Kiefer. Let’s just say it was effective enough for Ryner to collapse into his dark self. Hear that maniacal laughter? Note that ‘destroy everything’ line? That means you’re in sh*t. BIG SH*T! He turns the entire Estabul Magic Knights into heaps of bloodied dead corpses in an instant! Don’t mess with him. He is even going to kill Sion and Kiefer via strangulation if Sion didn’t close his eyes. Yeah, it’s just that simple to stop a rampaging Alpha Stigma bearer. But can you get this close to him in the first place? In the aftermath, Sion has been hailed as a Hero King while Ryner is being beaten up badly while Kiefer is thrown into jail. Ryner makes a deal to take Keifer’s place in exchange for her freedom. Kiefer feels guilty for putting him into all sorts of trouble but Ryner is okay with it and that she isn’t a monster who killed people unlike him, the greedy ones and wars. She kisses him before she leaves. Soon Sion pays Ryner a visit and wants to take this chance to bust him out but he refuses. This is his only way to get this much needed nap, right?

Episode 4
Sion meets Lucile who puts him through some test to see if he is worthy to be their Roland king. Whatever it was, I’m sure Sion passed because he’s still breathing. Two years have passed since Ryner’s condemned and isolated imprisonment. He even made friends with the sole guard watching his cell. During his captivity, Ryner requests lots of books from the library as he begins writing his report. One day, the guard receives a bad news and reluctantly lets him out of his cell. No, he is not free. Seems he is judged to be too dangerous to even be locked away and will be executed. On the way out, he bumps into and even battles Ferris who is to escort him back to the palace (so that’s how their ‘relationship’ started, eh?). In the palace hall, Ryner is shocked to see Sion crowned as the king. Sion has been reading his research about the search for Heroes Relics and gathering them all will lead to a world without deaths, suffering and crying. And don’t forget afternoon naps too. He takes a liking to it and orders Ryner to go on a mission to retrieve those relics with Ferris accompanying him in case he slacks off. Why the heck would he do that? It’s that or his life. And why the heck would Ferris do that? She’s not his subordinate. Sion must have learned the magic word. If she doesn’t her favourite Wynnit Store will burn down this instant! Get your ass moving now! For the sake of the dango and its future! And yeah, Ryner has to be dragged along with her pace. For her dangos. So the report he wrote to pass the time has come back to be one big pain the ass, huh?

Episode 5
Ryner and Ferris arrive in the country of Nelfa as part of their search. After more of Ferris’ wicked accusations of Ryner’s lust, they save a pair of young children and a teenager from a bunch of unruly thugs. That teenager is Toale Nelphi and he is just like Ryner in the sense that he is born out of a union between a noble and a commoner. They visit his library to do more research on the Heroes Relics. Meanwhile Sion attends another banquet and the stuck-up nobles have not changed a bit. After the party, Sion becomes depressed and blames himself for his lack of powers to make changes when he finds Fiole murdered in his room (and he was supposed to take the day off to see his sister). Noting that this is part of the nobles’ scheme to bring him down (Fiole is a commoner and holding a noble position, thus their resentment for it), he orders Claugh to make arrangements for Fiole’s burial and Calne to protect Eslina before the nobles get to her but chooses not to get revenge yet as he thinks he would be no different than them. Back at Ryner and Ferris who are staying at an inn with lots of noisy children. Iris makes her debut. She takes a very much dislike to Ryner and calls him a wild beast. I’m not sure what kinds of ideas were put into her head but she’s too overprotective over her sister. She even has this thinking that if you talk to a wild beast, you get impregnated regardless whether you’re a man or woman. WTF?! And yeah, Iris does not hesitate to throw her loli punches and kicks whenever possible at poor Ryner. Too bad Ferris worsens the situation by lying about putting up with his advances. Back to Sion, he is approached by Miran Froaude a fast rising and high ranking officer in Roland’s army. He is here to offer his assistance to Sion in creating his ideal country. However as we know, achieving it the good ol’ way isn’t possible so Miran is here to bear the darkness on his behalf. Gulp. I can think of shady tactics that this guy will come up with. Yeah, he even mentioned that he is willing to get rid of his own father to achieve his means. And Sion accepted him? What choice does he have? Since this Miran guy is quite a smooth talker too.

Episode 6
Iris returns to Sion because she’s supposed to be a messenger between the king and that travelling clowns, oops I mean, duo. Anyway her drawing is horrible. I can’t make out anything of it. Sion visits Nelfa to improve relations. Though the Nelfa king is welcoming him, his eldest son, Starnel remains arrogant and even mocks Sion so much so the king has to berate him, get a little physical before he leaves. Ryner gets a rude wake-up call. No, not his nap is being disrupted by a certain blonde bombshell, but rather he is surprised to see Sion in person in Toale’s residence. After that, he gets more abuse from Ferris who continues to show her unreserved and merciless side on him. Sion asks if Toale is Starnel’s son and though he replies affirmative, he is just a burden to his father. His simple wish is to raise his other siblings in a happy manner. That night as Sion attends a party in Nelfi’s castle, Ryner and Ferris protect the castle from outside assassins without letting the party from being interrupted. Those people inside don’t even know what’s going on on the outside. Back at the inn, Ryner and Ferris sense somebody coming. It is Miran. He mistakes Ryner for Toale and wishes to dispose of him. They put up a good fight so Miran knows he’s got the wrong person. After all, even Ferris got injured by Miran’s darkness power that originates from his shiny finger ring. Miran continues to history of this powerful ring that was used in many assassinations till some hero, Halford Miran sliced it off its fingers and stopped the power. Even in this time, Ferris has the cheek to put up a fight with Ryner for talking too much instead of finding the enemy’s weakness or do something about the Heroes Relic (Miran’s ring) right before his eyes. Miran finds them interesting and promises he won’t kill Toale but will kill them since they will pose a threat to the king he serves. However he has bigger matters to deal with first and leaves. After that, Ferris collapses from her injury (she must be one tough woman to be putting up with that bluff) and Ryner catches her. Back in Sion’s room, Claugh digs up some info on Miran but couldn’t find much. He is still wary and suspicious of him. Then Miran shows up for his report of the incident in Nelfa. Noting that his background is being researched into, he coolly asks if he would be dismissed. However Sion says that he would still keep him and will use him as and when he deemed fit. It’s a total opposite if one at such position would do, to get rid of dangerous people at once. That’s what makes him a respected king. Then Sion learns about Miran’s encounter with Ryner and Ferris and wonders if he made a mistake somewhere in accidentally attempted to kill them. Next morning, Ferris’ injury is healed so they leave the place to prevent from being a burden and that incident to happen here again.

Episode 7
A flashback of Milk’s past. Seems she went through hell when she was a child. She wanted death as a way out but Ryner gave her the courage to carry on living. That’s why in a way she’s grateful and chasing him down. She wakes up from that dream and goes to have breakfast with her mates. I think they love seeing Milk’s moe expression every time she digs in her favourite food. Sugoku moe! Elsewhere, Ryner and Ferris continue their raid on the search for Heroes Relics. However the bunch of treasure chests are filled with details of tax evaders. If you think about it, those who don’t pay their taxes are some sort of ‘assets’ or ‘treasures’, right? You can hound money from them in the future. Anyway, they meet a pair of seemingly harmless pink-haired siblings, Kuu and Sui Orla. They too are searching for the relics but gets dismayed when they only see those filings before leaving. Ferris torments and threatens Ryner to rethink the accuracy of the map he got to find this Heroes Relic so I guess in the end he is made to dig the spot of the supposed relic in the woods. Milk and her Taboo Breaker Squad were supposed to use this chance to ambush and take back Ryner but you know, such goofy team can never beat that pair who has gone through so much. They tie the quintet up (another round of weird interjections – what else but the master pervert) and return to work but come into contact with the Nelfa garrison patrol. Milk quickly thinks up of a plot before she loses her chance to capture Ryner. That is, to squeal that she needs to go to the toilet! The patrol spots the quintet but Ryner and Ferris return to impede the patrol. Milk is upset because Ryner wasted a chance to escape himself. I assure you he’s not the kind of guy. Besides, who would leave a damsel in distress behind? As the fight continues, Ryner tries to use the dagger, which is a Heroes Relic that he just dug up, but since nothing happened, he throws it away. The dagger is thrust into the ground and a giant red dragon emerges. So what’s the next plan to deal with that ‘unnecessary dangerous thing’? Walk away like as though nothing happened. WTF?! Seriously?! Yup. That’s what they did. Milk laments over her inept position as captain but her comrades back her up that they will always be with her because they’re like family. They’re even there as far as to correct the mistakes she makes. She remembers how the team was assembled and called into Sion’s room. They were handed a mission to capture Ryner even if they knew the job would mean betraying their own brethren. She accepts it without a second thought because of her gratitude for Ryner. Sion pays a visit to Fiole’s grave, still blaming himself for his failure to protect him. Eslina is also there as she shares the tears over her brother’s death. She later offers herself to serve him. Lastly, Miran tells Sion that Estabul has started a rebellion. It’s going to be busy.

Episode 8
While Ryner is obviously in unbelievable mode at how many boxes Ferris could eat and bring on their trip (he has to carry them all, by the way), Sion and his subjects are in discussion to quell Estabul’s rebellion. Sion comes up with tactics and strategies based on the information given by Miran. He orders Claugh to head the army instead of Miran, who will continue his intelligence gathering. Later as Sion and Miran pass each other, Sion knows that he is the one behind the uprising as the latter says that it’s a way to eliminate those who are against him. At a base in Estabul, Lady Noa Ehn, the popular daughter of the previous king talks to her subject, Salawell about the rebellion. She is against it since she notes that Roland has taken good care of Estabul’s people. Salawell’s reasoning is that it is to get out of Roland’s iron grip before it’s too late. Then a flashback how they wanted to create a kingdom where everyone can smile and be happy. Claugh and his army arrive as he easily takes out the enemy with his powerful magic arm (though he first tries to make them surrender instead of killing them). Estabul is at the losing end as Noa and the rest discuss their further action. I guess they’re desperate enough to say something about beheading the prisoners if they do not withdraw. The internal conflict is interrupted when Miran somehow manages to get pass all the guards and into the hall. He kills everyone as Salawell takes Noa and run. In a room, Noa is horrified to learn that it was Salawell who had a hand in staging this rebellion with Miran. His plan is to kill her and be viewed as the new hero and saviour of their kingdom. And all the while she had truly believed in him. Too bad he won’t live long to see that dream come true because Miran cuts off his head. Now it’s his turn to tell his story. The hostages get killed, Noa commits suicide, the end. Sion predicted this that’s why he put Claugh in charge rather than Miran. Speaking of the devil, before Miran’s story could be a reality, Claugh steps in to protect Noa. Both guys get ready to duke it out but Noa comes between them, having had enough of bloodshed. Noa suggests talking to them in hopes of convincing them to follow Roland instead of letting the hostages be killed and sully their reputation. And if Miran wants to kill her after that, so be it. But not everyone else. This was enough to convince Miran to back down. Noa notes to Claugh that his king is a great one. Meanwhile Sion seems depressed of the bloodshed in Estabul. Perhaps Iris didn’t know what crying means so much so she seems excited that Sion is going to put on a crying face like those she has read in books. She continues with her horribly drawn report about a certain wild beast and a beautiful angel of retribution. Oh God… Then after receiving some alerting news from Miller, Sion wants Iris to head back to Ryner’s whereabouts. Speaking of which, that guy is incredulous over the increase in boxes of dangos. He’s got to carry all that! Easy to put the blame on Sion, right?

Episode 9
The usual hostility when Iris meets Ryner and the usual fawning when she greets Ferris. Anyway, leaving out all those antics, Iris is supposed to hand them a letter from Sion but it seems she misplaced it (it’s in the dustbin with all the stoopid dango boxes). Iris faintly recalls it has something to do with that red dragon so the duo think that Sion probably wanted them to investigate it and head off. However the contents of the letter states about that dragon killing an entire village then suddenly disappearing. Sion wants them to abandon searching for the relics in this area. Too late. The duo arrive in a dead forest and corpses of humans hanging lifeless on the tree branches. They see Kuu and Sui around but notice they have the dagger relic that Ryner thrown away. Seems the siblings were the ones responsible for the village’s massacre. They can’t let any other witness live so you know what this means. Sui shows them how to properly use this relic as he stabs the dagger into his arm. It turns into a dragon and breathes hot fire. As explained, the weapon materializes when it is stabbed into something and its power based on the bearer’s will. Since the ground had no will, thus the reason why the dragon was relatively harmless earlier on. As they fight, Ryner and Ferris learn that they have more Heroes Relic: Kuu’s scythe that can shoot out ice and Sui’s comb that can nullify any magic. Sui also knows that Ryner is an Alpha Stigma bearer and unleashes a crystal to paralyze him as he wishes to obtain the Alpha Stigma. His dark side starts to awaken as Ryner in vain tries to prevent its awakening. Finally Alpha Stigma is fully awakened and is going to destroy everything. Sui is confident that his comb will nullify his powers but he’s gravely mistaken. Alpha Stigma blasts a powerful shot enough to vaporize the comb and if he didn’t cut his own arm, he might have vaporized with it. The siblings make a run for it while Ryner relives his horrifying past how everyone labelled him a monster when they found out he’s such a bearer after he disposed the guards who were punishing the villagers for stealing items off corpses of fallen soldiers.

Episode 10
So Ferris is left to deal with this menace spinning out of control. Even in this state, Ferris remains calm and acrobatically avoids all discharges. Even more amazing, she can spew all those insults like he’s already known as the legendary pervert. Even so, the bottom line is that she has never viewed him as a monster (but her manservant or tea companion at least – hey, she’s honest about it). Can Ryner hear her? Maybe she should speak louder. Does that tears streaming down his eyes tell you something? Ryner awakens a little and manages to give her a hint on how to seal his Alpha Stigma before he actually strangles her. After Ferris closes his eyes, she lends him a shoulder to cry on. Meanwhile Eslina continues to chide Sion for overworking and not eating his meals properly (like shades of Fiole, eh?). After Noa ‘borrows’ Claugh, Miran comes in with news that the northern most country of Gastark is starting some invasion but they don’t have to worry yet as their neighbouring country of Stohl which boasts the mightiest army will be stopping their tracks. Miran also suggests unifying Roland by purging all those (especially nobles) who are against Sion. The king doesn’t seem keen on it till Miran mentions that his country will be destroyed by the time his ideal ways are done. Later Miran meets Duke Stearead. He wants Miran to work for him but Miran only sees Sion because he knows he is the only one who can make his ideals come true. He throws back a question at Stearead on which side he would choose, prompting that old guy to sweat in his pants. Claugh and Noa seem to be like a cute couple. After he escorts her home, Noa finds dead bodies in her hallway. She is being held captive and asked to strip. Claugh senses something wrong and returns. He becomes very mad that the perpetrators may have violated her (naked and crying – does that tell you something even if the baddies said they haven’t done anything to her – yet) so he unleashes his magic on them without mercy. Meanwhile Ryner and Ferris trek their way to a village called Regit they believed may have some hint about the Heroes Relics. They spot a couple of ruffians chasing down a little girl, Kuku. What’s with these people abusing children anyway? After knocking them out, Kuku pleads to them to save her childhood friend Arua who seems to be captured and taken away for investigation because he has that Alpha Stigma eyes too. Yeah, the soldiers killed her parents and was about to kill her when Arua saved her by using his Alpha Stigma, something which he has never used before in his life. Now, this is getting personal for Ryner. Back to Sion, he is being told by Miran about Noa’s assault (of course Miran had no hand in it this time). Then he mentions about his plan to purge the nobles by feeding them with sweet honey and letting their guard down before slaughtering them all in one go.

Episode 11
Sion promotes many of his subjects to high positions. They aren’t happy with it because they’re sincerely following him for his beliefs and not for the promotion. They also discuss about the growing influence and occupation of Gastark. Then Miran tells about his plan to purge the nobles by gathering them all in one place. Claugh is against the idea since it will involve women and children. To his surprise, Sion agrees with Miran. Even if Roland nobles are against him, they are still people of his country and have the right to be protected. I’m not sure the rational of this. Sion wants to save his country without losing any lives but he is taking the aggressive method to do so. He gives them a choice of whether to join and build Roland into a better country and if not, they will be purged. Elsewhere Miller and Luke meet up and talk about the latter’s duty in the Taboo Breakers Squad. They also talk about Milk who comes from an orphanage and was made to go through tough military training at a young age. They note she can’t remain in this country for too long. Ryner and Ferris spot Arua being tied up and instigated by a noble and his Magic Knights to use his Alpha Stigma. They hasten the process by killing his mom. His dad is next. Ryner can’t stand anymore of this and leaps into the fray. Ferris no choice has to kick some serious ass too. Ryner tries to give Arua’s dad some time to take his son and escape but the noble stabs him to death. Arua becomes traumatized after witnessing his dad’s death before his eyes and goes berserk. Yup. Alpha Stigma activated. Luckily, Ryner manages to close his eyes and put him to a long slumber. They are to make their way out but the guards insist that they do not steal their precious research sample and that they will be punished by God. Ryner hates this kind of hypocrisy talk and wonders who are the real devils themselves. And if God really existed, why create such people like them when they have done no wrong at all. Is their own existence a sin? So much heavy thoughts on Ryner’s mind as they take a break at a waterfall after successfully getting away from the reinforcements.

Episode 12
Morning comes. Seems Ferris has stolen a horse carriage. I don’t want to know how. They’re supposed to bring Arua back there and reunite with Kuku. It’s a good thing since Ryner can’t carry him all the way there. However, Ferris makes the poor guy run after them after he puts Ryner in the carriage. At Miran’s mansion, his father hosts a party of nobles. After the doors close, Miran’s dad rallies the nobles to go against Sion and preparations have been made. He requests Miran to explain the details but he wants everyone to do him a favour: To die. With this shocking revelation (they sure didn’t see this coming), Sion uses his darkness power to massacre down to the very last person including his dad. Except for Stearead. He’s so scared of Miran that he’s now like his subordinate doing his every bidding and will never cross his path. Even if this old guy has no backbone, he won’t live long too. That’s because somebody soon decapitates his head. Seems to be the work of a pink-haired guy, Lir Orla. Eventually both guys fight with their power rings (Lir possesses the thunder beasts) but Lir’s power seems superior to the point that it is even eating up his dark beasts. Miran could’ve been dead if Claugh didn’t bust in to save his butt and make their escape. Outside, Miran wonders why he did that so Claugh replies that he was sent due to orders from Sion. Elsewhere, Kuu and Sui are coaxing the Runa king to form an alliance with their country Gastark. Though the king says that their side has already made an alliance with Roland, I’m sure his current situation being all his guards dead around his feet makes him think that it would be wiser to team up with these guys for now. Ryner and Ferris continue to ride into the night with reinforcements chasing after them but were easily taken care off. Then at the border of Stohl, there is an influx of people coming in since Gastark and Stohl are at war. Among the crowd is Kiefer.

Episode 13
Another short flashback. Four years earlier, Kiefer and her sisters were ambushed at a festival for being spies from Estabul. The older sister tried to hold them off but was killed. They’re going to the same to the younger one so Kiefer pleaded that she’d do anything. Anything? I guess that’s how she ended up being a double spy agent. Back in Stohl, Kiefer receives orders from her captain to retreat since Gastark will be upon them soon. However she refuses to leave seeing that there are innocent civilians still in the area. Then she spots a pair of young children in danger of being killed by a magic attack. She rushes to save them. But second round is coming. She was resigned to her death fate when some guy swings his giant sword to dispel the attack. He turns out to be Refal Edia, the king of Gastark and his sword is of Heroes Relic. They get into an argument which prompts Kiefer to say that she hates war (does anybody really love them?). Refal is amused by Kiefer and takes a liking for her (is he trying to flirt with her too?). Then he goes on saying that he hates war too and that wars are inevitable as long as different countries exist. So another contradiction because he says he’s fighting to end all the wars. Huh? That’s like fighting fire with fire, right? Only difference is, so far it hasn’t ended yet. Refal than makes a deal with some contractor to exchange his left eye for a powerful power. He swings the unbelievably awesome and freaking huge magic towards his enemies and destroys them all in a single blow. Apparently this isn’t the only sacrifice he made. He too has exchanged his sense of smell and right leg for previous powers too. Refal offers Kiefer to join him to save more lives but she turns him down (still got Ryner on her mind, eh?). But maybe one day she will. Back in Roland, Claugh is tasked to merge Roland and Estabul’s army. Claugh is against it seeing that many Estabul armies still hate Roland. Sion thinks of using Noa’s popularity for the job. She doesn’t mind since Sion assures her that her people will be taken care of. Ryner and Ferris are in Regit and learn that Kuku is under house arrest. Then they encounter Kuu and Sui. Considering the events of their previous encounter, Sui is very much interested in him now. He’s not just an ordinary Alpha Stigma bearer. Sui tells Ryner where Kuku is being held and expects him to see him there. Miran pays the king of Runa a visit but he isn’t there to greet him but his daughter. She apologizes that he is unwell though Miran suspects something isn’t right and that Runa may have teamed up with Gastark. He later threatens a guard to spill the beans and after disposing of him, Miran feels he has to take action by eliminating those threats by himself.

Episode 14
Arua wakes up. He is still upset about the deaths of his parents when he has done nothing wrong. Ryner tries to cheer depressed Arua when Ferris saves the boy from being a victim of Ryner’s paedophile ways (here we go again). Ferris gives Arua some training so at least he has a chance to save Kuku. That night they arrive at the mansion where Kuku is being held. Sui and Kuu are waiting for them. Each give their reasons why their own king is great and the one who will save the world. Since neither is willing to give way and the ‘negotiations’ have broken down, get ready for round 2. Ryner vs Sui, Ferris vs Kuu. Ryner catches Sui off-guard when Arua unleashes a surprise attack on him. Since Sui can’t win, he thinks of killing Kuku to get Arua. No lolis are going to die today because Miran’s good timing bites off Sui’s dragon arm with his shadow beasts. Kuu is distracted so Ferris snatches Kuku from her arms. Miran questions Sui if his comrades were the ones responsible behind the movements in Runa and is going to kill him anyway when Ryner steps in between. Now he’s saving the guy who just wanted to kill him a minute ago? Sui and Kuu take this chance to escape. Ryner and Miran have a verbal confrontation. Something about eliminating all those every obstacle (according to Miran, if he does so only useful ones will be left). Anyway Ryner thanks him for saving Kuku but Miran doesn’t think so and confirms that he’ll have to kill him one day (didn’t he say that the last time?). Kuku and Arua are reunited but since they can’t follow them on their relic searching mission, Ryner has a good idea on who to leave those kids to: Milk.

Episode 15
Ryner and Ferris adrift at sea? Something like this happened. They came into contact with Milk and her Taboo Breakers Squad, they fight, blast the ship into bits and now they’re all separated. Then a sea storm comes. Ryner is washed up ashore and spots Luke making a meal. They both shortly clash before realizing each other. On the other hand, Milk spots Ferris and thinks this is her chance to save Ryner from that violent woman. Too bad she trips and falls down the cliff. Then Ferris proceeds to fill her innocent mind with lewd, indecent acts and intentions that only Ryner could possibly do. At first she won’t believe a single word but when it comes to making up such lies, Ferris is a number one convincer. Because of that when the ladies find the guys, Milk didn’t hesitate for a moment to fry Ryner with her lightning spell. Ah, she really fell for it this time. Then as Ferris mentions, they are on Roland shores. Ryner gets excited because he can return to kill the king for making him go through hell. Ferris is with him since she has intentions to be the new dango king (what else?) and since Ryner pleaded for afternoon naps, she gives in but on the ratio of dango to naps, 9:1 . Unfair! Sion seems to be reading some document about the world being overrun by demons and a legendary hero appeared to destroy them and save the world from demons. And if anyone finds those Heroes Relics, perhaps peace would return to the land. He wonders if all this is just a fabricated dream in the end. His scary face seems to startle a maid cleaning his room. He apologizes but the maid praised him for being such a nice ruler as compared the king of the country she came from. As Milk and co try to chase down Ryner in hopes to stop them from assassinating the king, Ryner and Ferris already breach into Sion’s palace and are thinking on how to torment him. Stealing the things he likes? What does he like then? Dango! Obviously not. Milk and co run into Claugh. He was supposed to be in Estabul but he heard rumours of someone planning to assassinate the king so he returned. Milk gets more paranoid so she excuses herself (that toilet excuse again) to find Ryner. She finds him but he tells her to duck. He takes out a cloaked assassin behind. Though she is relieved that he isn’t the one to assassinate Sion, Ryner realized that he should’ve let the assassin do the job instead. I hope he’s joking. Sion enters his bedroom but notices a dictionary falling before him before stepping in. Then he sees Ryner sleeping comfortably on his bed and wakes him up by throwing the dictionary on his face. Apparently this was Ryner’s idea of killing him? Is he even serious? Anyway Ryner starts his incessant complain about the troubles he went through on his journey since day one. Then they got into some compromising position that fujoshi girls would go crazy over. Then Ferris and Milk come in. Uh oh. She didn’t know he swings that way. Here we go again… Meanwhile Miran is reading some report and wonders if Milk is the reason why Ryner can’t leave Sion. Then something about the illusion of ideal kings breaks the people and the king himself. He is certain than ever that Ryner’s elimination is necessary.

Episode 15.5
This next episode is a recap episode. Except that it is from the viewpoint of Iris as she reports her biased, one-sided findings of what she observes to Sion. No prizes to guess who she labels the evil one and the all-good saviour. I’m sure Sion is patient enough to listen to her ‘easy to understand’ report. Horrible drawings included. A funny part in the end is that Ryner is having a tough time to finish up his own report too. His main concern is the amount of dangos eaten by Ferris on their journey! Oh the food expense is going to burn a hole in his pocket (he has to treat her anyway). So much that even the number onscreen seems like a rubbish number. And from Ferris’ report, she thinks she hasn’t eaten enough of them! And so far all those she has devoured is only half her usual capacity! WTF?! How much more can she go?! And it’s been a long time since she had a dango?! My foot! Her room is littered with empty dango boxes! With Ferris trying to beat up Ryner again, his room furniture is destroyed so Sion notes that the repairs will be coming out from his allowance. Trouble is so his middle name. And yeah, that montage of him getting beaten up is sure amusing. I’m such a sadist…

Episode 16
Back to the story proper, another flashback this time it’s Ferris. She’s asking the meaning of love so Lucile departs his knowledge on what that feeling is. Seems kinda broad, doesn’t it? And 4 years prior to that, we see her in some tough training with her mom. Mommy isn’t impressed with her ‘uselessness’ so she and daddy had no choice but to make her ‘useful’ by raping her?! Lucile didn’t like how this is developing and kills both his parents and says he’ll protect her from now. Maybe that’s why Ferris is so like that these days. That’s why she abruptly wakes Ryner up from his much needed slumber to go check out new dango stalls. Hey, isn’t this love? Back in Eris house, Ryner pays a visit to Arua and Kuku who are temporarily sheltering here (I guess it was too much for Milk). Ryner learns about Ferris’ abused past though the butler didn’t mention directly but his hints were enough to know what they mean. Then Ryner tells Ferris that Sion wants them to accompany him to Estabul. For once they both agree to ditch that mission and return on their relics searching mission. She wants him to meet her at Wynnit store tomorrow (expect to carry loads of dango backpacks). Soon he meets Lucile personally. The brother does some magic intimidation but Ryner didn’t flinch. Lucile mentions something about Ferris being his partner. Ryner questions back that he senses that Lucile isn’t human unlike Ferris. He gets suspicious of Lucile, seeing that he is close to Sion, he isn’t the one who is being tasked to escort him to Estabul. It’s like as though there is some binding curse and could only protect Sion within Roland. Lucile grabs him by the throat and warns that she is not his nor his blood will ever mix with hers because he is a monster that could never take anything. I’m not sure if this is a comforting note because Lucile mentions he feels safe leaving Ferris in his hands. As Ryner is walking back, he chances upon Milk who hands him an invitation card to her birthday party tomorrow. Uh oh. So it’s the dango trip or her party. A man can’t be at 2 places. After Milk leaves, Ryner reads the contents of the invitation and finds it shocking. Seems the invitation card has been switched by Luke to a letter personally signed by Sion to say that Ryner must be eliminated if he goes out of control outside Roland or betrays the country. Then Milk bumps into Miran. The worse possible match-up.

Episode 17
Ferris waits for Ryner at Wynnit but he never showed up. Oddly, the Taboo Breakers Squad guys are also worried that Milk is missing since last night. Ferris barges her way into Sion’s room to find him (like as though it’s her own house?) and the rest are surprised to learn that the Alpha Stigma guy is missing. Yeah, Ferris had no qualms about telling Sion straight in the face that they plan to shun the Estabul trip. Ferris even asks Lucile but he doesn’t give away anything. Then they receive word that an Alpha Stigma bearer is causing great havoc in Estabul. Sion feels that it can’t be Ryner since he only went missing just this morning. Claugh is ordered to head there to quell the problem. On his way, he learns that this Alpha Stigma bearer has black eyes, black hair and black clothes. Plus, he consumes those he kills. Claugh has a rough idea who he is seeing he met this person before when he was younger. Meanwhile Kiefer is in a library doing research on the different type of God’s Eyes differentiated by the different insignia pattern in their eyes. There are 5 known types so far. Other than Alpha Stigma, the rest include Ebura Crypt (ability to look into other’s dreams), Iino Dwoe (ability to consume the soul of others), Torch Curse and Wil Heim. Reading more about Alpha Stigma, it is believed the bearer will go berserk and will not return to his/her original self (ultimately leading to self destruction). However in Ryner’s case he did return to normal each time. She is interrupted with Refal coming in. He boldly tries to flirt with her though Kiefer tells him for all he knows, she may be a spy for another country. He replies he has a good eye for women (erm… He’s blinded in the left, isn’t he? Unless he likes dangerous women). Claugh arrives to see the culprit in action. He confirms that he is the one he has met before, Tiir Rumibul (looks a bit like Lelouch from Code Geass). He relishes the chance to fight him again. While the other soldiers are shocked to see him consume his soul in front of their eyes, Claugh charges straight. But Tiir is swift and goes on a killing spree, consuming some of the soldiers. The battle climaxes when Tiir tears Claugh’s magic arm! Oh sh*t! Tiir is happy that he made the right decision to let him live, now that he is ‘tastier’. Claugh orders his soldiers to retreat but the soldiers continue to fight on so that they could buy time for another could to take weakened Claugh to safety. Luke is searching for Milk when he is confronted by ruffians. They claim to have Milk in their custody and want him to follow him or else it will be Milk’s life. However Luke has set magic traps on them and knocks them out. Deducting that this could only be the work of military training in Roland, he concludes Miran must be behind this. Speaking of the devil, Miran appears. Miran wants Luke to follow Sion’s decree to kill Ryner but he refuses. As they both prepare to fight, Luke binds Miran in his strings. Elsewhere, Ryner is seen eating dango (he’s a dango lover now?) while contemplating Ferris is mad that he broke his promise. He knew this was coming, right?

Episode 18
Ryner wakes up from a nightmare. The one whereby he heard his mom wanted to kill him but dad calmed her down and assured he’ll protect them all. That calmness is shattered when his Alpha Stigma goes berserk and the next thing he knows, both his hands are bloodied. Sion learns of Claugh’s predicament as Noa accompanies him, in tears that he could’ve died then. Lear bumps into Calne and Eslina and tells them about Luke and Milk’s disappearance. Everybody is disappearing lately, eh? Ferris is so depressed that even her dangos can’t cure her! Is the world coming to an end?! Even Iris isn’t sure what to do. Then Eslina comes by. She has information about Ryner’s whereabouts. Ferris’ mind just spring into evil action, eh? Imagine the divine punishment she’ll give him. Ryner better enjoy his last few moments idly in some inn. That’s because Ferris blasts her way in and starts trashing the place, regardless of anything. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. He knew this was coming eventually, no? He thinks she is one of the elites sent to kill him but Ferris clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Then they hear a scream outside. It’s Tiir and he is glad he has found Ryner. He lunges at Ryner as Ferris tries to stop him. Magic doesn’t seem to work on him because he consumes them and gets stronger. He introduces himself and an Iino Dwoe bearer. Then a hail of arrows rain inside and some of them pierced Tiir. It is Sion and his army. The arrows are not covered with magic that’s why Tiir couldn’t avoid them. Tiir heals himself by consuming one of the soldiers. Sion and Tiir confront each other and the latter says he didn’t kill Sion yet because if he does, Ryner will go berserk. He goes on saying about the discrimination of humans calling them monsters. Ferris tells Ryner not to listen but Tiir’s words seem too true to ignore. Tiir offers Ryner to come with him and his other similar comrades as there is no place for him in the human world. Ryner doesn’t blame Sion and Ferris and doesn’t want to cause them more trouble anymore. By simply existing, he is causing Sion pain and such. Ryner chants a spell so Sion quickly orders his troops to fire but it’s too late as Ryner vanishes with Tiir. Sion is deeply saddened but he forced a smile and rallied his troops that victory is theirs since the enemy is gone. Ferris walks away while Sion tries to reconcile with himself that he did the right thing – to protect what he’s supposed to. Ryner and Tiir make their slow journey away from Roland as Tiir wonders if he has any attachment to the country. It’s not like he ever liked Roland in the first place. Next day, Ferris enjoys her usual dangos but is prepared to leave on a mission to bring a certain idiot back. Yeah, nobody does a better manservant job than he does. Besides, won’t it be boring and lonely if there is no one to beat up and tease?

Episode 19
Back in Gastark, Refal gets word of several God’s Eyes forming an anti-Gastark movement. Who wouldn’t after that kind of invasion. Tiir continues to ‘brainwash’ Ryner about human’s discrimination towards their kind. He states that they are not supposed to be inferior, but superior beings. Some of the subjects of Sion expressed surprise that he was keeping an Alpha Stigma bearer though Sion explains the great importance of such bearers in the military and in the case if he ever went berserk, that is what the Taboo Breakers Squad is sent to keep track of him. Refal is discussing military matters when Kiefer barges in. She’s not too happy that she is being put in a nice gown. Refal says that he plans to marry her. WHAT?! He can think of such things at this time? Not that Kiefer approves, not that his second-in-command approves, but he’s still king so he calls the shots, right? The fling is interrupted when they heard Kuu’s scream outside. Looks like Sui is badly wounded. Her scythe is damaged after using its remaining powers to bring him back. In his last breathe, Sui says his injury stems from an attack from someone who had the same Rule Fragment (Gastark’s term for Heroes Relic) like Lir. Though he doesn’t know the attacker’s country of origin, he notes that there is one similar from Roland: Ryner. This name startles Kiefer. Then the second-in-command says that Kiefer may know this Ryner guy. Reports that Sion was keeping Alpha Stigma bearer Ryner reaches the ears of Claugh and Calne. Briefly going through his history from his early days in the bandit village to some military training facility where he flopped missions, argued with superiors and was thus put into Roland Royal Special Military Academy to keep an eye on him. Calne is surprised that even with this much happening, he has never betrayed Roland. Tiir and Ryner arrive at a small cottage that houses several Alpha Stigma bearers, most of them kids. Recalling an earlier incident whereby the Orla siblings attacked them just to obtain their crystallized powers and succeeded in slaughtering 38 of them! Who are the real monsters? Tiir will not forgive those Gastark bastards and vows to protect these children. That’s why he is happy when he heard that there is another of their kind in Ryner. Ryner continues to join and spend time with the kids. While preparing for dinner, he meets Tiir’s friend, Lafra who possesses Ebura Crypt. He knew of Ryner because he watched him from his dreams and feels he is special, thus taking an interest in him. That’s why he told Tiir to go get him. They talk about wanting to protect those they love but the stigmata that prevent them from making friends with others. Lafra feels is kind but yet sad, weak and lonely. He wants Ryner to save the kids because he himself is unable to do so. Ryner thinks hard on Lafra’s words when he senses someone outside. Lir thought his cover has been busted but actually it is Luke who emerges nearby. He is here to exterminate him under Sion’s orders.

Episode 20
The mystery of what happened that night between Luke and Miran is explained. Luke told him that he will be killed if he lays a finger on Milk. Miran assured him that Milk is alright. He noticed Luke’s Heroes Relic so he admits that he picked it up after Ryner forgot to take it with him. In present, Ryner continues his fight with Luke. He uses his Alpha Stigma but Luke already has traps set around. Ryner thought this is the end when he is slammed away by Ferris. Oh, that was just good timing. It’s like she’s making for all those times he wasn’t around by maximum abusing him. Anyway they have to cut that short because an explosion is heard from the direction of the house. Lir burns the house down and Lafra was killed. That’s when one of his mates, Pueka starts to go berserk, activating her Alpha Stigma. Before Ryner could close her eyes, he was bitten by Lir’s lightning demon. Lir fires a crystal shot right through Pueka’s head and obtains her Alpha Stigma, killing her outright. This is getting personal for Ryner so he becomes rash. Ferris reminds him about the part of him being her manservant and such but will not ever consider him a monster. Lir is amused by their relationship and goes on to taunt the danger this monster is in the eyes of others. But Ferris is unfazed and couldn’t care less about that. Ryner is moved to tears that Ferris cares for him because without him, she’d be lonely (I thought there would be no one to abuse). Lir uses the crystal to force wake the Alpha Stigma inside Ryner. It’s that deja vu feeling again. However this time Ryner didn’t let his dark side get the better of him and on his own, cuts the Alpha Stigma off. This causes Lir’s crystal to break. Frustrated Lir prepares to counter-attack but Luke’s golden threads bind him but he manages to break free. Ryner fires a shot at him but actually was intended to revive Tiir (he was injured when the house burnt down). Ryner tells Tiir to take the kids to safety. Lir is upset that he is only left with one crystal and escapes. Luke lets Ryner live seeing the situation has changed. Ferris tells Ryner the facial expression Sion made after he left. Ryner resolves that he is going to return to Roland and is done with running away. He asks for a favour from her. That is, if he ever goes berserk, he wants her to kill him. As for Sion, he seems to be going through some sort of dilemma. Lucile mocks him about his orders to kill Ryner in which it could’ve been better for him if that guy was dead. However Sion reiterates that he will not kill him. Lucile continues with his riddle talk about sacrifice and choosing the proper path. Either way, he hopes the hero king will not regret it.

Episode 21
Some monster soldier going on a rampage. Refal discuss this issue with his men and fears that forbidden magic is being used. They go see Kiefer who is tied up in a dungeon. So where has that love gone? I thought he wasn’t taking Kiefer’s words as a spy seriously but after knowing her connection with Roland, she’s treated as a prisoner? Ryner and Ferris return to Roland castle and upon entering Sion’s room, they are shocked to see heaps of paperwork! I guess the king hasn’t been sleeping for days, eh? Worse, the duo are made to help him complete his work! No escape! Not even Ferris since she left her sword outside to Eslina. Miran’s sleeping spell on Milk wears off as she wakes up from a weird dream of seeing Sion crying and mumbling about wanting to die. Milk feels that her other comrades are hiding something from her and the first person she thought of who would know something is her father (this includes flashbacks of her tough training getting beaten up while her parents just watched her). That night she sneaks out to her dad’s mansion but to her horror it is in ruins. Luke followed her as he explains that they were killed, prompting Milk to become emotional. Even if they weren’t her real parents, she is grateful that they took care of her up to that point. She wants an answer of what is happening in this country but he couldn’t say. Claugh is fitted with a new black arm as he and Noa spend a little intimate together only to be disrupted by Calne (Noa got really embarrassed that she excused herself). Calne reports the murder of Milk’s parents and even though the purge is still going on for nobles who object Sion, Claugh notes that they are earnest people and wouldn’t do anything for their own benefit. Perhaps they were killed to be kept silent after learning something they shouldn’t have. And yes, Miran doesn’t have any part in this. Always easier to blame to suspicious guy, eh? Ryner notices Sion working too hard and at this rate may end up rate but he asserts that he has to in order to make his ideals come true. After Ryner leaves (probably to get some long nap), seems there is a voice clashing inside Sion’s head about having Ryner killed. Miran is outside offering his thoughts about letting Ryner get killed and the completion of Sion as king. However, Sion will not allow him to kill Ryner, surprising Miran even if he accepts whatever punishment that comes after. Miran continues to pester but was silenced by Sion. The door opens and a bright light emits from it. Miran continues to be shock of what he sees so Sion says he will show him both the light and darkness, causing that general to laugh insanely. Meanwhile as Ryner takes a walk down the street, he sees a familiar man: His father, Lieral Lietolu. I thought he is dead? Well apparently it is Ryner who will be dead because he got stabbed in the heart! And what does Lieral mean by “Welcome home, Ryner”? Is he a ghost taking Ryner back to the after world?

Episode 22
Lieral is approached by Lucile shortly. Lucile says something about Ryner isn’t ready to see some door yet so Lieral escapes using a Heroes Relic like the one Ferris possessed in the first episode. When Sion finds out about Lieral, he orders Lucile to find and kill him. Then Sion opens a door to a room with stained glass as he confronts his other self (clone?). Ferris jumps from building to building searching for Ryner and spots that manservant being carried away by Lieral. Ferris draws he sword and attacks him. Even so, she can’t touch him. He makes her sword heavy and taunts her if she likes Ryner. Then Ferris starts crying when she hears that Ryner is killed (seriously?! I thought she’d put on another poker face at least). Overcome with anger, she manages to lift her sword and charges straight but Lieral knocks her out with a punch to the stomach. I wonder if that will affect her dango input. Just kidding. Lieral notes that she passes and disappears, leaving the duo together. Elsewhere Milk and her Taboo Breakers Squad take down a monstrous masked soldier. Milk is horrified to learn that this is what everyone else is hiding from her. Seems Sion is resuming in secret some human experiments that he once banned. Milk gets emotional and feels sorry for the poor human experiment. So much so she doesn’t want to kill but her other comrades have no choice since this is part of their orders. She has a flashback when she was young, asking Ryner to marry her. She didn’t get an answer as she was called away but he gave her some words of encouragement thus getting her resolve to protect the country he in which he lives. As for Ryner, he is inside his own dream, facing some weird being called Alpha. All I know this being isn’t fond of Ryner whom he calls Solver of All Equations. He tries to use his Alpha Stigma but it has no effect. Alpha is stopped when his mom comes exploding out from its body. Huh? She tells him to get away from the Weaver of All Equations, head to some door and protect those he loves. Alpha regenerates and swallows her whole. Ryner continues running up to a door and after entering it, he sees some knight slaying all the demons. That’s when he wakes up in bed. Next to him is Ferris. Uhn… Did something happen? Who knows what Ferris will do if she wakes up… Oh too late, she just did. So after all the mocking that he is some perverted wild beast, I guess it really got to her mind that he finally did something to her, eh? Even if she was early to jump the gun, her retribution slap was enough to shatter all the windows. Super power, man. Meanwhile Sion continues to fight himself. Each thinking the other can’t do a better job. Something about Ryner. Always about him, eh? Whatever their methods whether it’s killing him or not, both wants to save him. So when one of them fades away, Lucile wonders which one had won. Back to Ryner and Ferris, when everything is calmed down (read: everything else destroyed), Ryner notices a weird symbol on his chest where it was stabbed. Then soldiers come in and swiftly take them away. Elsewhere, Kiefer is still locked up. Refal tells her a story about some hero who fought demons to save the world. As he sought some forbidden power, he was eventually sealed. To break free, he consumed the powers of the Demon of Loneliness. He tells her Gastark is advancing their invasion to the centre of the continent so a clash with Roland is inevitable. He also wants her to save Ryner before Sion betrays him. Kiefer is surprised on why she has to do that. Refal continues that the Black Fallen Hero devoured the Demon of Loneliness in order to save the world. Before despair consumes Ryner (Demon of Loneliness), Kiefer must save him from Sion (Black Fallen Hero). Are they reincarnations of that? Anyway the massive Gastark army gets ready for their invasion.

Episode 23
I don’t know how this happened but Ryner and Ferris are in Sion’s office working their ass off completing all his paperwork. Wait, actually it’s only Ryner who is doing all the work for 4 days straight without any sleep. So when he collapses due to sleep deprivation, Ferris slaps him up. Now his face is swollen. Thanks a lot, girl. Then Ryner and Sion struggle over some paperwork completion which accidentally crushes Ferris’ precious dango box. King or not, punishment is inevitable. Elsewhere too, after a few exchange of blows, Miran manages to convince Claugh and Calne to help in preparations of Sion’s grand birthday bash. They get some ideas from Noa and Eslina. I guess they can’t move without the main star: Ryner. So they drag him away while he is accompanying Ferris in her dango meal. Say, Ryner now has acquired some taste for dango after all this time. He even compliments a dango recipe made by her. A few days later, Sion is seen trying to escape in his carriage but was ambushed by his subjects as they take him back for his birthday party. Ryner is not going to let him slip away after all the torment he has gone through. As Sion steps out from his balcony. The people below cheer for their king as the celebration continues with a firework display over the mountains. Halfway during the party, Sion leaves to pick up Ryner in the woods (that poor guy was the one doing all the pretty fireworks). He takes him back to the place where he first offered his hand wanting Ryner to join him in his quest to make his ideal dream come true. They continue to talk about the endless work. Ryner isn’t happy that he isn’t getting enough sleep time. So how much does he need? 300 hours?! Sion agrees but wants to meet in the middle: In 4 hours time. Haha! Who says his maths was good in the first place? As the sun rises, Ryner apologizes to him that he first thought his ideal was an empty dream but now he knows it isn’t because everyone is happy and smiling. However Sion says it is an empty dream after all because many have died along the way. It’s like they both exchanged stands. Ryner praises him for his hard work bringing change to this country and that he doesn’t need bear everything to a point of punishing himself. Sion remains defiant and suddenly takes out a knife to stab him! Ryner was swift to evade it. It goes downhill from here as both ex-best friends fight each other.

Episode 24
That Black Fallen Hero and Demon of Loneliness story. The Hero went mad killing all the demons and was sealed in the south where he met Loneliness Demon. Hero wanted to break free and eat Demon’s body and the latter was more than happy to do so because he thought he found a friend. That’s when the equations were split into Solver of All Equations and Weaver of All Equations. The Hero continued his mad destruction spree but found only darkness and pain and thus realized he was dying. He needed somebody pass on this pain and the Demon gladly offered his body because for that brief moment he really felt had had a friend even if he was a fool till the end. Ryner continues to battle Sion and this time those masked human experiments emerge from the ground surround them. So Sion says he wants to kill him but apparently Ryner can’t let that happen because he already promised somebody else to that for him (Ferris). The undead soldiers attack Ryner left and right as Ryner dodges them, promising he would save Sion. Sion materializes black swords and stabs Ryner, activating his Alpha Stigma. Their Hero and Demon reincarnations seem to be calling out to each other, possibly repeating history itself. Then Ryner’s mom pops out from his stomach saying that it isn’t time yet. Soon, Lucile too turns up, saying something about underestimating her since he didn’t expect her to manage this long. She wants him to stop Sion and release Ryner because at this rate the world won’t be saved, no one will be saved. Lucile agrees and does so. After mom disappears, Lucile touches Ryner’s forehead and sends him to a dream world. The one where he and Sion are completing loads of paperwork. Back to reality, Sion is in a dilemma to thrust his knife into unconscious Ryner’s throat. He is fighting with his other self again and in the end, couldn’t kill Ryner. The thought of killing his friend to move forward was too much. Once he recollects himself, he walks away wishing farewell to Ryner. Ryner wakes up all bandaged and in a cell. Then the wall crumbles and we see Ferris. Ryner must be thinking he’s in real sh*t this time. But wait! Ferris did something we never expect her to do in a million years. She cries and throws herself in his arms!!! I didn’t see that coming! She was in despair when she heard from Sion’s mouth that he killed Ryner but refused to believe so. She also felt there was something wrong with Sion because when he said that, he was crying. Ferris continues that Sion is marching his undead armies through Nelfa, surprising Ryner. What’s odd is that the Roland people are cheering him on and that he is using forbidden magic in his killing spree. Ryner and Ferris make their escape before the guards come. Shortly outside, they see Kiefer across the bridge she cut off as she buys them time to distract the guards to go after her instead. Ryner and Ferris are going to save Sion as he narrates that he is grateful to Sion because he saved him and he never felt more alive than before. So he is going to save him no matter what because he is his best friend.

What Legend?!
Wait a minute. That is how it ends?! So incomplete, so unfinished?! And there I was worried that after so much potential build-up in the plot, development and characters, there number of episodes seems to be running out so much so I was wondering if they’re going to pull it all off like perhaps doing a rush ending or as it turned out, a potential continuation if ever that happens. Of course there are the novels if you are interested to continue reading but for me, if it isn’t turned into an anime, there is no chance that I will be picking it up. Thus I was a little disappointed of how this was ‘suddenly’ ended since I was expecting a clash between Roland and Gastark army seeing that everybody was already getting very prepared for the inevitable. Then when they throw in more characters in the end, coupled in with the development of those existing ones, my mind just went complicated. I mean, their names were already hard for me to remember, then with so many intrigues, incidents and occurrences taking place for the build-up, I thought I’d eventually lose track of it all. Not to say that this is one hell of a confusing series but I’m not used to this kind of genre so in a way, the abrupt ending was also a good thing and reliever since my head was going to explode with it all. As far as I can see from the storyline, it turned from one of searching for Heroes Relics to the purging of traitors, preparation of war to fighting inner demons.

Ryner is an amusing guy himself but he is more amusing when we see the chemistry and interaction between him and Ferris. He may not be perfect but at least deep down in his heart he is more human than many others. Ever since he started on this quest, he hardly has any good night’s rest thanks to Ferris’ constant abusing and the tons of work Sion throws at him. For a heavy sleeper like him, he could die from insomnia! Just a theory. And if he were to make up for all his sleep deprivation, he could break Rip Van Winkle’s record. Ferris’ character in the end really thrown me off-guard. I never thought she would turn into something like a tsundere! Maybe all those initial hints of abusing and teasing Ryner is a way of showing her tough love for that guy. After all, who else would be so fitting to be her dango expert. At first many would hate Ferris for taking out and even making up stories for Ryner but somehow I felt the opposite. Would you like a straight heroine or one as eccentric as her? She too shows that she isn’t a perfect being with her own traumatic past that probably makes her what she is today. Somebody who only does what is right or wrong based on those sweet little dango balls. Speaking of which, I think her bottomless stomach for it would put Clannad’s Nagisa to shame. As the series progresses, we see her showing more emotions than before. So she’s not a heartless and cold b*tch like we all thought her to be (okay, maybe at least to Ryner). There is something that is more than meets the eye for Sion. He is always putting up his nice smile up to a point that I was suspicious and having reservations if his ideals were true or not. Even if it was, there were several points that indicate that there is much more going on behind this gentle facade, like his contorting angry expression that nobody else sees. His different way of analytical thinking and foresight are perhaps what makes him a good king because for instance he keeps dangerous people near him as he has use for them. You know what they say about keeping your friends close but your enemies closer. His inner self is something that puzzles me because it is just as mysterious as Lucile himself. Is he an ally or foe? His actions make you keep wondering if Lucile is just waiting for a moment to kill him when Sion slips up. Miran is also as enigmatic. My stereotype views on such ‘evil-looking’ characters would mean they had an ulterior motive and would do something despicable like betraying the kingdom in the end. However as for now and till this series ends, he is still sticking to Sion even if he did some questionable things. Somebody has to dirty their hands.

Because of the final arc of Sion fighting with his inner self, many of the other characters were sidelined such as Milk, Claugh, Calne, Noa, Iris and the Orla siblings. Tiir leading a group of God’s Eyes bearers in the end would also be interesting watch since there will be a third force that will be clashing between Roland and Gastark. Too bad, he too got sidelined when the story focuses more on Sion at the end. I also thought Kiefer would be reunited with Ryner (and possibly see a love triangle or quadruple – but who am I kidding?) so it felt somewhat ‘injustice’ that they just glimpse each other in the end. Milk’s naivety makes her another funny and amusing character. Without her Taboo Breakers Squad guys, I don’t think she would manage to get by even if her feelings to protect Ryner and kindness to all those living are strong. Noa was initially staying at Roland as some sort of prisoner but came close to Claugh enough to care for him likewise Calne and Eslina did. It’s funny to see Claugh and Calne teasing each other when it comes to women. With lots of other side characters, some of them were killed off. Some expected (like those arrogant betraying double-crossing bastards) and some unexpected like Fiole’s. His appearance was so short as I thought he would have a little more screen time seeing he serves an important position to Sion but got murdered a few episodes later. And then there are some who came back from the dead like those undead human experiments (duh…) and Lieral (well, at least Ryner thought of him to be dead).

I need to mention something about the action sequences. The sword fights and magic battles are rather okay and nothing that will blow your mind away. But the thing that may bother certain people is the bloody and gruesome deaths that befall on the characters. It is very graphic so if you’re not used to seeing limbs getting chopped off even if this is just 2D animation, you may have that sense of throwing up. Everything is just so gory so much so the blood even stains the ‘camera’ from the viewers’ point of view. But yes, that is the horrible effects of war and I guess they’re purposely done for realism. Hey, you’re not going to see people being killed nicely, right? And what the heck is being killed nicely? Does that even exist? Another gripe that I have with this series is the darkness. My estimation that nearly half of each episode there will be dark scenes such as the deep dungeon or even the rainy storm. It is so pitch black that you can’t really see anything. I had to strain my eye each time, thinking that I would miss something important. I thought I was going to blame my hardware problem but this wasn’t so as after turning up the brightness and contrast levels, it just feels too dark.

The irony that had my eyebrows raised is the reason for going to war. Whatever they may be, trying to save the world by killing off others and fighting doesn’t seem convincing enough. It’s just the same like killing off all those that opposes you and all that is left are those who agree and are on your side. And yes, the effects of war are definitely that will affect the land of the people, who are the ones who really suffer. So why can’t we just sit down and have a nice talk to iron out our differences? Why must we get violent and spill blood to show our might and who is right? Is it because it is our deep and dark human nature? Simply, it’s because we can. Just think about it. Why do men still dare cheat on their wives knowing well the consequences and even if they get caught in the end? Because they can. So it’s true though how dreadful it is, as long as difference in nations, race, religion and ideals exist, war is unavoidable. I guess it beats destroying the whole damn world so that we can start from scratch again.

Jun Fukuyama excels in his role as Ryner. I guess he really does fit the character as you’d be amuse with his different kind of moods whether be it serious, rebutting or joking. After voicing various roles like Lelouch in Code Geass, Lawrence in Spice And Wolf and Watanuki in xxxHolic, I feel that there is no one else suitable in playing Ryner but him. Ayahi Takagaki as Ferris (Mikako in Sora No Otoshimono, Noe in True Tears) is also befitting of her character especially her usual deadpan voice, slightly dramatic tone when making up stories about Ryner’s wild beast and the all-omniscient expert on dango. Daisuke Ono as Sion (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji, Koizumi in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu) is also appropriate for the hero king seeing he sounds better when using his calm and gentle voice. Other casts include Fuyuka Oura as Kiefer (Hiro in Kaibutsu Oujo, Ren in To Love-Ru series), Mikako Takahashi as Noa (Rushuna in Grenadier), Saki Fujita as Milk (Ao in Yozakura Quartet), Tomokazu Sugita as Lucile (Gintoki in Ginatama), Tomosa Murata as Iris, Atsushi Imaruoka as Claugh (Dallas in Baccano), Miyuki Sawashiro as Calne (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Junichi Suwabe as Miran (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Takahiro Sakurai as Tiir (Suzaku in Code Geass), Mariya Ise as Kuu (Aruka in Needless), Takuma Terashima as Sui (Arima in Princess Lover) and Kazuya Nakai as Refal (Zoro in One Piece). On a trivial note, some of the next episode preview which is narrated by Ryner is amusing because it really reflects that he prefers to nap rather than going through all those ‘troublesome’ and ‘bothersome’ deeds.

War is really one big messy affair. It is good if we learn from it and move forward. But often it doesn’t and what makes it sadder that many of them are avoidable if people just come to understand each other a little bit more and show some tolerance. That’s why heroes are made, the antagonist becomes the scapegoat and history rewritten. With all the recent uprising and rebellion of the people towards those holding high power, it’s up to you to think whether it is a good or bad thing in the overall picture. But really, how do we put a stop to wars once and for all? Do we need to find that special Heroes Relic or the rise of a special saviour-cum-hero that will bring salvation to the land? Ah, screw all that. Sounds too complicated after all. Aha! Maybe we need more nap time so that we can sleep over it and yes, dangos.

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