The Tower Of Druaga

March 10, 2018

Before modern MMORPG gamers had to climb that floating castle known as Aincrad, they had to climb another tower known as The Tower Of Druaga. Just kidding. Another one of those old RPG themed animes in the late 2000s that sees different groups of parties trying to climb the aforementioned tower supposedly housing all sorts of demons and monsters. Like in another other typical RPG game, defeat all your enemies including the big bad boss at the top of the tower, you will be rewarded with something that could grant you any wish. Of course with different parties each having their own agendas, you bet there are going to be some conspiracies and the likes as they race to the top.

The Aegis Of Uruk

Episode 1
Jil prepares to fend off the hordes. He is successful and his party rejoices. As narrated, the hero Gilgamesh destroyed the Tower of Druaga 60 years ago but it was slowly rebuilt back. Many parties were sent but none were successful. Till the goddess Ishtar bestowed Jil as the chosen one and was given a sword to slay the evil. Jil gathered his allies but Neeba doesn’t approve of him and challenges him. Jil won’t fight his friend because if he wants to do that, he must fight him first. Huh? WTF?! Neeba is defeated and his armour disperse in a punch! High School DxD?! Jil even has some romance with the princess whom he promises to marry after he returns from his mission. Along the way, he meets a tough adversary in the name of Black Knight who killed his comrade, Utu. Jil fights and avenges him but does not kill him because he views him as not evil. 10 years later, they reach the tower. Fatina gets tentacle rape the moment they enter the door and all the guys are waiting for the right moment to save her. Anytime now… While facing off with a dragon, another one of his comrades, Kally is killed. Jil tries to avenge him but gets owned. Surprisingly he is saved by Black Knight who views himself as the only person to defeat Jil. Unfortunately he got done in by the dragon. After Jil defeats it, he defeats Neeba who wanted to stay back to buy Jil some time. WTF?! Fatina is scared and wants to run away together but Jil assures a miracle can happen. Because when this is over, he will marry her. Eh? What about that promise to his princess? Jil goes on to defeat more boss knights before reaching the final boss. Hmm… Druaga is a little tiny, isn’t he? Not scary. Cliché moment when Druaga says he is his father! Jil transforms into his final to take on him but fails. He rues his defeat when Ishtar appears to tell him he has the power of all his friends and defeated enemies supporting him. With that, Jil powers up and defeats Druaga. The day is saved! And now back to reality because Jil was knocked out instantly when the first horde came into contact. His party is running away and they are all blaming this newcomer for being a wuss. As they are cornered, Jil has the cheek to even ask where they are. Isn’t it obvious? Inside the Tower of Druaga!

Episode 2
The monsters run away when they hear the drum beats. It is from the Uruk Army, the Special Guard Unit that is on patrol. Kelb the leader has Neeba state his reasons for climbing the tower. Under the request of the Meskia Society of Commerce, they came to rescue a missing caravan. Unfortunately they were all wiped out. Kelb can tell Jil is a newbie and mocks Neeba to get a better Guardian or he’ll get his ass whipped. Returning to town, everyone still blames Jil especially Fatina. It seems it is that bad because Neeba’s name is sullied. Because of that, Neeba fires Jil as he is not ready to climb the tower. Jil pleads for a second chance but with the Summer of Anu coming (a period where all monsters are weakened), even if Jil is his brother (but of a different mom) he can’t wait that long for him to improve. Depressed Jil gets his gear fixed as he learns the people don’t really want true peace because fighting monsters keeps the economy running. At the employment square, he is tricked to go on stage to relay his thoughts and recruit men to climb to the top tower (something nobody has done). Everyone laughs at him but when Jil mocks them as no more than thieves, they beat him up. However when they hit his head, nothing happens! Everyone leaves. Even those who tried to steal his gear gave up because it’s too heavy. At an alley, Kaaya is mesmerized by his speech and has been looking for him. She points out he is injured. So his head is now bleeding? He passes out only to wake up in Kaaya’s rented home. After healing him, she is looking for a Guardian (one who protects others) in her bid to climb to the top tower. Also, her friend Ahmey will be joining this party. A parade passes through and it looks like King Gilgamesh is here to inspect the army preparing for the Summer of Anu. Jil thought he saw Neeba and co among the crowd and tries to tail them. He overhears a plot to assassinate the king. His clumsiness alerts their presence but he manages to hide well. Jil tells this to his party and plans to stop the assassination. As they wait at the sewers (seemingly the place where you can infiltrate the guest palace), a few hooded men arrive. Jil calls out to them. Bad move? They move in to kill him but Jil and his team can fight. When the leader runs in, Jil goes after him. His girls tie up the rest and that is when Neeba and co show up. Is it me or the place is so lax of security? Too late because Gilgamesh is killed! Jil is dumb enough to not go after the perpetrator and inspect Gilgamesh’s body. Oh lookey. Here comes the guards. Busted.

Episode 3
A short flashback on the heroics of Gilgamesh. He saved somebody but in the end, some sort of curse is placed on him. Neeba stuns the guards to take Jil to escape. Jil feels guilty and wants to turn himself in so he can tell about the killer but Neeba tells him he’ll understand about it tomorrow. As Jil still can’t stop b*tching about it, Kaaya puts him to sleep and takes him back. Ahmey notices the town like normal and not in high alert. Next day, Gilgamesh looks fine and healthy as he inspects the army. Last night shortly after he was stabbed and all his subjects arrived, he just woke up like as though it was nothing. Meanwhile Neeba meets the supposed killer, Pazuzu. From his reaction, he can tell that Marf (Gilgamesh’s aide) was the one who hired him to kill the king. When Neeba returns his comrades, Pazuzu kills them. A slime drops in town. Jil thought he could be a hero to save a kid stuck inside it. He fails and needs to be saved. That kid, Coopa after learning they are Climbers, decides to thank them and bring them to her master who is also seeking members to climb the tower. Too bad Melt is in a drunken state. Probably depressed about being fired after his first day joining a party. Sounds familiar… Melt is a mage and with Ahmey suggesting an extra magic user could be helpful, Melt is more than happy to let the ladies join. No, not you Jil. The army then surrounds them and arrests them for the attempted assassination of the king. Melt tries to charm his way out but gets punched. So while they are waiting in prison, Kelb calls out Kaaya since the king wants to see her. Seems they know each other. Learning she is planning to climb the tower, he notes this will be their parting and gives her his sword. As the Summer of Anu approaches, some monsters randomly drop into the city. One conveniently on the prison. As Jil uses his Guardian power to obstruct the monster, Melt shows why he is a great mage and easily petrifies it before Ahmey crumbles it. Kaaya returns to them and hands the sword to Jil. They need to make haste to climb the tower as other Climbers have already begun their journey. At this point they can’t be picky with their party members so the 5 of them will do.

Episode 4
Things aren’t going great on their first day. Whatever plan they had against those spiders failed and they’re running away pathetically. They only managed to win thanks to Ahmey’s strategy. Later she asks if anyone has experience climbing to tower. No one. Looks like she is the only one but even so she didn’t get far. So time to explain about the tower how its levels are divided into 8 shrines and in each shrine there are several gardens. Not surprisingly, they are at the very bottom of the tower. While Fatina is bathing, a strange woman, Succubus pops up before her. She tries to nuke it but she disappears. Relating this to her comrades, Neeba looks around and stumbles into that woman. They know each other. She flirts with him and wonders if his party can actually reach the top. He is confident they will. But she asks him even if he is able to defeat Druaga, what happens after that? She kisses him before disappearing. While camping for the night, Jil learns Kaaya’s reason to climb the tower. Her brother has been ill for a very long time so she thought of obtaining the Blue Crystal Rod, supposedly able to cure anything. She then detects a group of monsters breaking through her barrier and coming their way. Because of their strength as well as their inexperience, they will die if they fight them. Ahmey suggests running away and splitting up too to increase their chances of survival. However Jil disagrees. The higher levels will have stronger monsters and if they run now, they’ll never reach the top. So they decide to go for broke. By the time Neeba’s party arrive, they think Jil’s party has been wiped out. Except that those wiped out are the monsters and Jil and co are sleeping soundly from exhaustion.

Episode 5
When Jil steps on a trap, everyone turns into a retro pixelated top down dungeon crawler form! Apparently if you take this shortcut route, they are laced with lots of Ziusudra’s Trap that when stepped will temporarily turn you into various funny forms like furries and gender swapping! And you bet the guys are being curious over their new body. Especially when there is a hotspring that separates male and female. Which side shall we go to? Too bad they stepped on another trap that turns everything pixelated. Can’t see anything good. Once the spell is off, the guys get a good earful from the girls for being perverts. Wow, Jil is like so ashamed. But blaming the devil? Then they arrive at the exit whereby this strange door tells them to do a performance if they want to pass. Melt goes first and his lame stand-up comedy has him down the trapdoor into the mud and then spit out. He goes again. Does the same thing. Same result. Ahmey is next but she got stage fright and time’s up. Down she goes. Kaaya does impressions but the door is not impressed. These ‘losers’ have their pride so they retry again and again only to be met with the same result. Finally all eyes are on Jil since he hasn’t do his first performance yet. Jil remembers father teaching some weird Ropey dance. Before he starts that, he steps on a trap that turns everything pixelated. I guess we can’t see how stupid the dance is. But as expected, the door doesn’t like it as he has seen it before. Down you go. In the end, our dejected party treks their way back to try another route. I guess they now know why other adventurers were like this when they first entered here. But it seems Neeba’s party passed because he did that Ropey dance! Apparently he saw father teaching it to Jil. Yeah, it was weird sh*t.

Episode 6
While climbing the mountains, Jil saves a grumpy old man, Gigi who came here to see his son. Ahmey recognized him as a famous Guardian but he brushes off that nonsense. In this level, there is a small town that acts like a pit stop. Jil got his wallet stolen. When Coopa is making dinner, Melt didn’t like she is putting ingredients he hates. Because of that he fires her and they part ways. What about food? Coopa stumbles into that thief boy, Yury and gets Jil’s wallet back. Funny, he gave it back. Maybe it has no money. She hangs out with him at some water tank. A little bit of kiddie romance but don’t expect too much because boys his age tries to act tough just because you’re a girl. She learns Yury’s mom died of an illness while dad left for some dangerous mine by himself and his whereabouts unknown. He was accused of stealing a spear and ran but Yury believes he did it for his family and the village. Yury’s secret plan is to head to the mines to clear his name. Because of that, Coopa shall accompany him. It is no surprise when Gigi sees the village head, his son is Yury’s father. Learning Coopa is with him, everyone decides to go find them. On the way to the mines, they are encountered with several monsters. Yury and Coopa too have to run from them. But being kids and you know how boys think they must protect girls and all that. Eventually Coopa as a Climber uses herself as bait. Did she just corner herself? Luckily Jil and co rescue her. Coopa and Melt reunite, put aside their differences to help slay the monsters. The group then stumbles upon what is supposed to be Yury’s father’s grave. Gigi talks how the village was lost to the epidemic and everyone perished. Despite his son being reckless, he was only trying to protect his family. Gigi and Yury see off Jil’s party taking a lift to the next level. A little mouse is given to them? Everyone is glad Coopa is back with them as they can rest easy they don’t have to worry about food anymore. Yeah, Kaaya sucks… But it is back to the usual bickering between Melt and Coopa.

Episode 7
Jil’s party could have been killed by some black balls swarm since they fell into some sleepy trap had not Neeba’s party come to their rescue. It seems all the Climbers are ‘stuck’ here because there is a one winged red dragon in their path. Everyone is adopting a wait and see approach as the Uruk Army is tackling it now. Neeba’s strategy is to let them tire the dragon before he goes in for the kill but Jil is against this because it means sacrificing lots of Uruk men. Jil decides to go rally all the Climbers to help but they ignore him. Who is going to pay attention to a pipsqueak? Then he goes to plead to Kelb himself but is ignored and tossed aside. Kelb’s lieutenant, Ethana believes in his strategy and hands him a bag of gold to go recruit others. Still not much luck. Seeing how hard he is trying, his members help him out. Kaaya using her seduction, Ahmey her gambling skills and Coopa is a great motivational speaker relaying the benefits of the dragon’s parts. And so everyone is in. So as Kelb faces the dragon head on, Jil and the Climbers sneak up on behind the dragon and attack. Some helter-skelter and although the Climbers rein in the dragon, it is only temporarily as the dragon gets back up. Before Jil and Kelb become roast kebab, Neeba distracts it and tells the dragon’s weakness is its fire sack. Jil and Kelb stab a sack each, sending the dragon on fire and it plummeting into the abyss. Don’t worry, Jil and Kelb are still alive. Everyone is praising Jil but why is Melt trying to take all the praises? Succubus is trying provoke Neeba that he is jealous of Jil’s success. Because Neeba’s party was wiped out by it while Jil saved many lives. He will become stronger and someday will be beyond his reach.

Episode 8
With Jil being famous and a hit with the chicks, I guess Kaaya is somewhat jealous so she feigns she has some sort of incurable disease (lame acting!) and the only cure is a stone slab in which he must get behind that door. Hmm… A tower inside a tower? They think this is the old tower that Gilgamesh fought Druaga in. But this episode is like a video game parody. Putting in a coin into a machine, Jil is transported into the first level of this tower whereby Kaaya uses a gamepad to control his movements! Heck, there is even a game guide to hint how to pass each level! This is going to take a while but there is a shop selling snacks nearby so they can get refreshments while they see Jil getting ‘abused’. If Jil ‘dies’, they have start all over from the first floor again. Don’t worry. They have lots of coins! By this time, the other Climbers have arrived. They hang about and party around the shop and even take turns controlling Jil. Then the fun gets old and they leave. But Kaaya is still adamant to win this game. Isn’t she just trying to get back at Jil? Anyway at the penultimate floor, Jil has to fight Druaga. Oh, they’re out of coins too. Jil gets injured trying to fight and dodge the attacks but eventually wins. Despite reaching the final floor, he runs out of steam. But then some goddess, Kai awoke from her slumber and tells him he will encounter 3 betrayals. But do not give up for what he seeks lies at the tower’s top. When Jil comes to, he is back with his party. Like everything was just a game. But in his hand is a stone slab in which he hands to Kaaya. Almost forgot about her illness, eh? Yeah, she’s miraculously cured now. Is it me or was she looking fine the entire time?

Episode 9
An attack that collapses the ground leaves everyone separated. So we have Jil-Fatina (always arguing), Kaaya-Neeba (always praising), Coopa-Utu-Kally (cooking nagging), Ahmey-Kelb (past reminiscing) and Melt-Ethana (flirting failed). As all separate parties try to head to the next settlement, we learn a few things from some of them like Ahmey who was once in the Uruk Army but quit 3 years ago. Something about a guy, Owen who proposed to her but couldn’t give him an answer. He did at the end of the Summer of Anu and probably Ahmey wanted the Rod not to bring him back to life but to tell him her feelings. Then there is Jil who gets work up when one is quick to point out he would desert his party when the going gets tough because he vows he wouldn’t. Something about his dad was accused so and died. When Kally discovers a coffin from Pazuzu that contains something horrific, Pazuzu kills him. Neeba and Kaaya tell their reasons of climbing the tower. Kaaya thinks she is the only one who can purify this tower but Neeba digresses. Kaaya believes in Jil and thinks he would come up with something but Neeba again doesn’t think so because Jil doesn’t know. When all get back to their rightful party, Succubus whispers into Kaaya’s ear that she will betray everyone. Fatina is distraught hearing Kally’s death and Neeba is indifferent as he now has her take on the role of backup.

Episode 10
Trekking through the icy blizzard, one more shrine and they’ll be in the final top level. Jil sees visions of Kai warning him about something. Fatina is having doubts if Neeba can slay Druaga. She threatens to leave now so he shuts her up by kissing her! I’m sure now they believe they can defeat Druaga. Succubus appears to tease Neeba for being a playboy stringing Fatina along and she doesn’t even know his true goal. As for defeating Druaga, Neeba says the real Druaga died 80 years ago. Even if this one isn’t a god, he is still formidable. But the real problem lies after that. Succubus tells him that Summer of Anu is ending soon. Pazuzu’s group catches up. Utu and Fatina want revenge for Kally but Neeba won’t allow it as Pazuzu controls the wind and it will be their deaths if they fight him here. Jil thought of cheering things up by talking about the Rod. But Melt tells him that it can only grant 1 wish. Yup, only one. Usually many will wish for money and that could be split up but take a look at their own party whom each has different goals. That will be tough. They might have worked together up till now but from now on it’s a different story. Because of that, Jil thinks he doesn’t want the Rod and defeating Druaga is enough. Kai thinks he just wants to be a hero and exonerate his father’s dishonour. With those feelings, he cannot defeat Druaga. Life continues even after becoming a hero. She warns Neeba is in danger. Pazuzu is going to kill him. Jil wants Kaaya to use her magic to make him light so he can ‘fly’ to rescue him. But Kaaya wants to know his intentions with the Rod. He doesn’t know or care. Jil miraculously manages to wound Pazuzu and save Neeba from falling. Heck, he even carries him to the top. Since when this pipsqueak is strong? But Neeba isn’t grateful and believes he should have been left for dead. When Jil suggests teaming up, Neeba declines because their goal is different. Since Jil is dense, he spells it out for him that Jil has no ambition. He is just satisfied playing the hero. This attitude will get his friends killed. Unlike him, Neeba and the rest has something they want to achieve. That’s why they can’t team up. When Jil vows to save his friends, Neeba warns him not to say it so lightly. He lets him go with a warning not to save him again. Everyone is so in a bad mood. When the survivors reach the top of the tower, something starts to activate. All the ice pillars crumble, revealing millions of monsters. Now they cannot turn back if they want to. The final fight is here. Summer of Anu has ended.

Episode 11
Neeba believes this is a trap. Activated when certain number of people reach the top. With the monsters cutting off all exits, the survivors will be wiped out. Guess who is here to do that? Yeah, Druaga is prowling the tower. Fatina wants to confirm if their goal is riches. He blatantly lies it is. On to the business of defeating Druaga, Neeba has 3 Void Arrows crafted by legendary mages. He will fire it at the back of Druaga’s head so he needs the rest to act as diversion. He manages to fire one to break down its defence but it is not enough. Before he could fire the next, Pazuzu interrupts and wastes his shot. Pazuzu will not let him take his prey and tries to kill him. Ultimately, he thinks his suicide bombers got him. Utu and Fatina are in trouble so Jil is going to save them. Kaaya stops him and asks what about them. What about his promise? Too bad, he still wants to save them. Kaaya’s disappointment must be so high now. Before Utu gets roasted, Jil’s shield saves him. He rallies the rest to not give up but even with Druaga’s barrier down, it is just too damn tough. Jil giving up the first time? Not until Ahmey reminds him what his only redeeming quality is. While Jil distracts Druaga, Ahmey tries to go for the back of its head. Too bad she got pierced. Oh Jil, don’t be a vegetable now. If not for Kelb’s flash stun, they all could have died. While hiding and resting, Kaaya cannot fully heal Ahmey. And hence her last words to her party members. Nice meeting you all. Ahmey could ‘see’ Owen and is going to be with him. She has her answer. She wants to become his wife. RIP Ahmey… :’(. I guess everybody is giving up now. They realize they don’t have the weapons or energy to defeat Druaga. Well, Kaaya has some block that could but I’m not sure why she can’t use it now. And with Jil depressed, it’s good as game over. Pazuzu is preparing to take down Druaga with his coffins. Is he going to summon demons from hell? Too bad we won’t get to see it as Neeba kills him. Kai talks to Jil and instead of blaming himself, she reminds him what he wants to be. Jil realizes he wants to be a shield to protect everyone. And so he gets up and has everyone fight again.

Episode 12
Jil explains his plan how they’re going to defeat Druaga. To prevent him from moving around so freely, the highest floor is reasonably small and with obstacles. Jil will be the bait to lure Druaga there as everyone waits for the right time to spam and attack it. Succubus returns the last Void Arrow to Neeba who comments Druaga was once Succubus’ master. She mentions Druaga died in his fight with Gilgamesh and she was sealed away in the depths of this tower by someone’s power. Neeba was the one who broke her seal and a newly reincarnated her is to aid him to the top of the tower. Before everyone gets moving, it’s sure like everyone has something to say to each other. Like as though they’re not coming back? Well, the highlight has got to be Jil with Kaaya. He is saying things like as though this might be the last time. Kaaya can’t take it and hugs him, confesses she loves him and kisses him! Oh my. He get it all in one fell swoop. Too bad, can’t stay longer like this. Time to go. When Ethana wants a hug too, Kelb agrees to let Jil hug her! Oh Kelb you baka! Druaga’s premature attack begins. Please Kaaya, stop calling out Jil’s name. Too late to worry and change your mind. After a tough struggle, Jil leads Druaga to the top where everyone gets to showcase a bit of their skill. But still, Jil’s the hero, right? Jil is about to be squished by Druaga and look who is here to repay his debt? Neeba’s Void Arrow allows Jil to break free as he uses Ahmey’s spear stuck on its back to drill through and decapitate Druaga! The day is saved! All monsters all over the land disappears and the Rod pops up. Good ending you might think. But Neeba intercepts Jil. He says this is the fake Rod and only a key to open the door to the next mythical tower. Yup, this is just a halfway point and the Druaga they just defeated is just a guardian. SAY WHAAAAAAAAT??????!!!!! Fatina and Utu are mad that Neeba betrayed them. He had to or else they will not play their part. If they forget this, he will allow them to join him. Jil is not too happy Neeba betrayed his friends but Neeba points out he too has a betrayer in his party. You can step out now, Kaaya. They use the fake Rod and unlock the stairs to the mythical tower. Bye. Oh Jil, is it now your turn to scream Kaaya’s name? With that, everyone is flushed back down. Gilgamesh kills Marf and knows the real Rod exists because he has it.

Special
This is what happened behind the scenes while Jil was out before this whole adventure started. When Jil was called to step up to his job as a Guardian. I guess all that full heavy armour didn’t stop the monster’s rampage from knocking him out upon first contact. Neeba manages to break through as the team make their escape. What’s worse than Jil being knocked out? Jil sleep talking those delusions of his. Even more embarrassing, everyone misinterprets from his sleep talk that Jil loves Utu! Meanwhile Kaaya is talking to an innkeeper about wanting to climb the tower and Ahmey getting into some trouble with gamblers at an eatery. Though she beats them all up, she is still left with an empty stomach. Jil’s sleep talking almost gave them away as they hide from the monsters. Neeba agrees to Fatina’s idea to leave him behind. But not abandon him. They’ll come to get him once they’re done. So why is Fatina feeling guilty about this? However Jil’s dreaming can still be a handful. Yeah, he rolled down the deep abyss. I can’t believe he is going to survive that fall. Yeah, must be his thick armour. Meanwhile Melt is part of a party and is forced to carry heavy bags. Weak and complaining. Thank goodness for Coopa carrying his portion, eh? Jil somewhat lands on top all those luggage. It’s time for Melt to show his magic to save his team from these tuber monsters called Ropers. Too bad the magic also hit his friends. Hence they fire him on the spot. The commotion has Jil being taken to the Ropers’ nest but his dreaming continues and so he continues to tumble. Neeba’s group is cornered by the big Minotaur boss. Jil drops on its head! This allows Neeba’s side to escape. By this time, Jil has awakened from his sweet slumber and back into harsh reality. The rest is history.

The Sword Of Uruk

Episode 1
It has been 6 months since the defeat of Druaga. All monsters from the tower (now renamed as Tower of Gilgamesh) has disappeared and hence the place is now developed and brimming with human civilization. Fatina is trying to earn a living as a tour guide but with cheapskate tourists, she isn’t doing well. Meanwhile Kai is being pursued by Gremica. Although she manages to lose her, she runs out of energy and reverts into a child form. Kelb and Ethana are running a tavern. Some feel sorry for him for being fired from the Uruk Army although he claims he quit. When Kelb tried to request the rewards for the Climbers, his idea was shot down. They even suggested Gilgamesh should take the credit for slaying Druaga, in which the king agreed. Disgruntled and disillusioned, Kelb left. Fatina is depressed but not as depressed as Jil who has been holing up in his room and she is somewhat trying to take care of him. Can’t blame them for feeling so down after being betrayed. They tried to climb back the tower after that but the mythical tower is no longer there. They thought of relaxing by watching a play but it’s about betrayal. Made it worse. So they go watch a wrestling match instead and since they’re still sore over their betrayals, Fatina suggests they start anew together. Flirting moments got disrupted when they notice a little girl hiding underneath their seats. The place is then surrounded by the Golden Knights led by Uragon. Stupid knights don’t know how to handle kids and got owned. They stumble into the ring in which they get help by a wrestler who is actually Utu. So this is how this guy looks without his armour. He has the crowd engage in a free for all for a big reward. As everyone beats up each other and hinder the knights, this allows them to escape outside. Gremica snipes at the guards to allow them escape. She lets them go for now despite knowing that girl is the key to the mythical tower as she wants to watch them struggle a bit. Seeking refuge, Jil is surprised to realize this is Utu. Didn’t know he was this handsome? God, don’t make those gay jokes come true… Then they turn attention to the girl who introduces herself as Kai. She shows Jil a vision that Kaaya will be killed. If he doesn’t want this to happen, bring her to the top of the tower.

Episode 2
The soldiers are looking at every nook and corner. But they bypass Kelb’s place because many of those low level soldiers still respect him. Yeah, that’s where Kai and co are hiding. Utu joins in but nobody recognizes him without his armour on. Also, customer Henaro was taking too long in her meal so now she is trapped with them to discuss Kai’s fate. It seems everyone agrees to climb the tower with Kai except for Fatina. She is so against it since she already has a new life and doesn’t care about Neeba and Kaaya. Guess what? Cheeky sticks a spoon up her ass!!! WTF???!!! Anyway she isn’t going to join them. Uragon updates Lady Amina about the search and she warns him not to let the priestess slip or it’s the end of him. Therefore he takes extreme measures by tearing down the poor side of town. Eventually Uragon discovers Kai hiding in Kelb’s place. I can’t believe those soldiers could lose to Kelb’s waitresses. Utu takes Jil, Kai and Henaro to escape as the soldiers start hilariously chasing them down. When cornered, look who decided to quit her tour guide job and join in on this more exciting adventure? Oh yeah. Fatina is back and you can count on it. Highlights of this ‘skirmish’ include Jil testing his new shield in which the soldiers start throwing gradually larger objects at him in which Jil deflects all of them! There Kai goes again sticking spoon up asses! And did Uragon just lose to a mouse? In the end, Ethana allows them to get away as they ride the express elevator up the tower. Fatina throws Jil the ultimatum that if they don’t find anything this time, he’ll have to give up for real. Also, as a Guardian he must properly protect her. But of course.

Episode 3
As the gang prepare to head to the snowy part of the tower, they are surprised it is now a booming ski resort! And it’s owned by Melt! His face is everywhere! Greeted by Coopa who is now his head secretary, they wonder why there is a billboard that says Melt and the 131 heroes who defeated Druaga. Melt is doing business with the vice president of Meskia’s chamber of commerce. He will not be bribed so Melt suggests his name to be included as the 132 heroes who defeated Druaga! Sounds good! Accepted! There’s your story… Melt also tells his ‘humble’ beginnings from rags to riches. Sounds more like a Ponzi scheme… Oddly, there are Ropers working as his servants. Though the monsters from the tower had disappeared, he imported them from outside and this is to show he is a true hero by having their once enemy work for him. Don’t worry, they’re pretty much docile. When Jil requests his help, Melt declines since he has some relationships to maintain. Yup, he is in cohorts with Uragon. Jil and the rest are thrown into prison while Kai is taken away by the Golden Knights. At first Coopa was disappointed Melt sold out his friends but then thought he played the villain to save them. Too bad she is now utterly disappointed that in exchange for this, Uragon gives him a permit to continue his Ponzi scheme. Jil and co notice a Roper factory nearby and looks like they are being forced to work and power the entire resort. Also across them are several Ropers trying to dig their way out but who knows how long they’ll take. A little Roper accidentally drops out from Kai. Uragon accidentally steps on it. Its cries infuriates all the Ropers as it starts digging their way and causing the entire place to be covered by avalanche! This saves Jil and co to escape. Melt is furious his losses run into billions and tries to get back at them. Too bad he stepped on a little Roper. Now he becomes their punching bag. Jil and co make their way to the top of the tower. Melt’s woes isn’t over. Uragon forces him to come with them as he needs someone who is familiar with those people. Melt caves into his pressure and agrees.

Episode 4
Jil’s party is at the top of the tower. Nothing much happens until the Druaga guardian appears again. But because the tower has lost its power, it collapses under its own weight. Still, Jill and co are going to take it down. When Jil strikes Druaga, he enters a strange dimension where Kai exists in her natural form. Kai is the legitimate queen to Gilgamesh. Although she died a long time ago, that was her physical body and this is her spirit. At the same time, Kelb makes his journey to an abandoned abbey where Kaaya and Gilgamesh came from. Also, Amina makes Ethana the special guard of the city as Uragon is away. These various scenes enlighten us about what is going on. After Kai was awakened, her task was to assist Jil to the tower’s top. She was unable to do that at the time as she didn’t want to take him to the mythical tower. At least Ishara didn’t will it. Ishara who? Kaaya. Kai lost her power after the tower fell silent so she constructed a temporary body to look for him. Babylim and Sumar had been sworn enemies for a long time. They were forced to form the kingdom of Uruk by Gilgamesh. There are suspicions that Gilgamesh is immortal as he has lived over a hundred and shows no signs of weakening. 80 years ago after he defeated Druaga, a curse of immortality was placed on him. After so many wars and conflicts and watching the deaths of his sons, he is already tired and at his limit. Before he turns to the dark side, Kaaya embarked on a mission to cure his immortality. You see, there are 2 Gilgamesh. One is back at Meskia and the other at the top of the mythical tower. If the latter is killed, the curse is lifted and Gilgamesh can find true peace. Kai warns Jil that if he plans to enter the mythical tower, he cannot return alive. It is a one way ticket. Jil returns to reality. Defeated Druaga turns into a key that reveals the stairways to the mythical tower. At this point, Gremica and her men take Kai and Henaro hostage. They need Kai at the tower’s top. Gremica is one of those from the old Sumar factions who defy Babylim. Jil warns Fatina and Utu about the one way ticket but they are as resolved as him to take the risk. Melt has led Uragon’s troops here. Uragon will not allow him to turn back as the troops march on.

Episode 5
Jil’s side enters a strange desert land. Good news: They find Henaro unconscious but safe. Bad news: There’s a dragon attacking them now! Good news: Without doing anything, the dragon disintegrates into bones. Bad news: There are hordes of shadow creatures hot on their tail. All other parties too are being chased by them. If you get caught, it’s the end of you. It didn’t take long before they realize they have to hide underneath the shadow. Because if those shadow creatures enter any shady area, they’ll vanish. But better think fast for their next move as the sun continues to rise and there will soon be no shadows left to hide under. Meanwhile Gilgamesh is marching through a parade. Some guy pleads to him to stop sending soldiers for war or the country will experience famine. Gilgamesh kills him! In front of his daughter! And then carries on with his parade like nothing has happened. WTF?! Gremica has Kai activate some spell. This allows everyone to see some sort of footprints left behind by Neeba that leads them to a door that would take them to the next level. Problem is, it is right in the middle of the open area. I don’t know how Gremica’s side got through there because I am pretty sure the hordes were surrounding the little shadow space they were occupying. Same thing for Jil’s party. Not sure how they run from shadow to shadow. In the final stretch, Jil has this idea to topple a tall pillar enough for them to run to the door but it falls short and they have to fight the rest of the way in the open. Melt helps out by destroying a big portion of the pillar. This causes a smoke screen. The shade kills off the shadow creatures. Now all parties can go to the door safely. Gilgamesh tries to kill himself but his inner self won’t let him, mocking him how God has abandoned him and all. He tells him he has the right to be angry like Druaga. Gilgamesh prays for Kai to save him.

Episode 6
Remembers those ‘demons’ Pazuzu brought? Turns out they are artificial soldiers turned killing machines. They kill anything in sight. Neeba and Kaaya are wandering through the dimensions. It is fluctuating as it is believed to be a reflection of Gilgamesh’s heart. This could mean that he has weakened or somebody is trying to influence him. To them, they have only been travelling for 10 days. As they rest, Kaaya talks about her believe that everything is God’s will. So Neeba thought of demonstrating if this is God’s will as he attempts to rape her! Is she crying? Anyway Neeba isn’t such a dick and ends this experiment. Jil’s party is separated in the next level which is a hot and humid tropical jungle. Jil and Henaro see Gremica’s group. Is he nuts trying to take on all of them by himself? It is interrupted when psycho emo girl and trigger happy robot start attacking them. Fatina and Utu reunite in time to help stave off the attack but they are faster and more powerful than any enemy they have faced before. Anyway with a little effort, they manage to temporarily defeat them and head to the next level. Meanwhile Neeba and Kaaya are being hunted by warrior dude and icy woman. Kaaya assists by powering up Neeba with her magic to help defeat them but they fall deep into the sea. Conveniently there is a door at the bottom. Jil’s party arrives at a peaceful prairie. Gilgamesh is starting to lose it has he is preparing for war with other kingdoms and crucifying those who opposes him.

Episode 7
There is a big garden house there. Jil and co thought somebody is ambushing them nearby but it turns out to be Melt and Coopa. They have been separated from Uragon’s side when they walked through the door. Fatina still has some beef with Melt but everyone is shocked to see before them: Ahmey! Plus, there is Kally too! No, not ghosts since they are aware of what is happening up till now. It is nice for them to spend some time together again but Jil seems to be eager to head to the next door. Well, it is close by but Ahmey says they need a key. It is somewhere in this room full of boxes. Start looking. As they open up boxes, most of them are items from their childhood. Utu seems to have found the key but he pretends he didn’t since he wants to stay here longer. Uragon has also reached here but his entire force is wiped and only him and his lieutenant, Kum survived. For some reason, Kum carried psycho emo girl along. Kum is surprised to see his sister who has been dead since young. Off they go together, leaving Uragon bitter he has no one from the dead for him. I guess that’s what you get for being a jerk. So he has to spend time with psycho emo girl? But she too sees Kally and hugs him. Apparently when Kally opened a coffin, it was hers. She imprinted his face as her ‘mother’. Henaro might feel left out but she actually isn’t. She encounters Pazuzu who is actually her father! It seems she is sent by Amina to retrieve those assassins. Amina wants to protect Gilgamesh’s shadow. To Henaro’s heartbreak, Pazuzu mentions he never loved her. She is forced to kill him. Eventually those assassins are here and tear down the place. After Utu reveals he has the key, Jil and co make haste to the door. It is sad that Ahmey and Kally cannot go with them as they are illusions. Everyone knows but is still sad they cannot be together. They move forward as the illusions disappear. When Kally is gone, psycho emo girl goes crazy and attacks her own comrades. They retreat after sustaining damage. For some odd reason, probably Uragon must be feeling lost and lonely so he picks up psycho emo girl and heads for the door. Kum? Looks like he is happy staying here with his sister.

Episode 8
Kaaya has weakened considerably. Neeba leaves her to rest as he goes find the next door. Did Fatina just confessed to Jil?! Feels weird. Like no emotions in it. It’s her way of getting over it, huh? When they find the door to the next level, an attack by the trigger happy robot separates them. This means Jil and Neeba for the first time reunite this season. Meanwhile the rest stumble upon Kaaya’s sleeping body. No matter what they do, she doesn’t wake up. Jil needs answers from Neeba who confirms time flows differently for everyone here since they are able to catch up. Because back in Meskia, it has been 3 months Amina has heard anything from Uragon. She thinks the whole lot died as Gilgamesh’s shadow is still safe. She talks to Ethana about rumours of some officer trying to rebel against the kingdom. She quashes it of course. Many arrests are made of those suspected of being connected to the uprising. Later after Ethana receives a secret letter from Kelb, she goes to meet the members who are taking part in the uprising. Jil and Neeba continue to run from trigger happy robot. Some talk about their family past. Neeba calls Jil a liar, that’s why he can’t work with him. When Jil decides to fight trigger happy robot, Neeba is then faced with Gremica who was his mentor. She is upset he ditched their goal of resurrecting the Sumar empire although he believes he has been carrying his given mission. Gremica thinks Succubus has possessed him but Neeba says he is doing this on his own will. Neeba manages to kill Gremica’s close aide and then free Kaaya before returning to help Jil who is being owned by trigger happy robot. They finally manage to defeat it once and for all. Jil continues to question Neeba’s goal. He talks about the grudge that has been building up since young. After his father died, Gremica took him in and trained him. She let him see what the real cruel world was about. It made him question the existence of God. He believes God has been toying with them and that is what he cannot forgive. Druaga’s tower is more than just the Rod. It has the power he seeks.

Episode 9
Henaro makes her biggest reveal as Amina’s employee as well as her mission to stop them from defeating Gilgamesh’s shadow and retrieve the assassins. She has been playing dumb all the while. She has warrior dude and icy woman under her control. When everyone attacks, they are easily defeated. They take Kaaya and for some reason Coopa (she was gravely injured while protecting Melt, but nothing of that sort Kaaya couldn’t heal). Kai is forced to go with Neeba and Succubus as they continue their journey. Jil returns to his party and shocked to learn the truth. Instead of blaming them, he prefers them to go after Henaro. Speaking of her, she is now at the tower’s top presenting Kaaya to this young snobbish punk Gilgamesh. He then mocks his old fart Gilgamesh how his trick failed. It is time for a new stronger king. Because of that, the old geezer believes Amina is behind this and strikes her down. Then he orders the slaughter of the uprising. No one will be spared. Yeah, Ethana’s rebels need to retreat. I mean, how can a mere group of 500 fight against a force of 2,300?! When Uragon stumbles into Jil’s group, everyone has the wrong idea he has psycho emo girl with him. He doesn’t know what they’re talking with him when they accuse him of collaborating with Henaro. He still thinks of completing his mission to capture them for the glory of Uruk even if he is by himself. Shockingly the maddest is Melt as he beats up that guy! To hell with Uruk! He wants Coopa back! Too late to realize how precious that girl is, huh? They are soon joined by Gremica who knows Henaro has betrayed them. She knows about the assassins because they were originally knights from Sumar. Henaro must have used them to reach the top. Neeba on the other hand has Kai and Succubus, both who possess power to intervene with the tower’s system. Gremica’s mission is to defeat Gilgamesh’s shadow but Jil isn’t sure if he is going to do that because their original mission is to catch up with Neeba and Kaaya. Kaaya regrets all that has happened. At first she had no feelings for Jil and decided to use him and lie to him all the way but all that changed during their journey. We all know how it works… Kaaya is summoned by Gilgamesh to show all the illusions are disappearing. He has taken over his old self and has no need for such illusions. This means the landscapes are disappearing fast. Neeba finds the door to the top while psycho emo girl opens up a door for the rest.

Episode 10
Gilgamesh believes he will become God once he is perfected. Kaaya quips he will be more like the devil. Kai warns Neeba she saw his fate during her slumber. That is why she brought Jil along as he is an uncertain factor. For him to reject Jil means he is following the path of his fate. Like he cares. As the related parties have reach to the top of the tower. They have to fight hordes of guards. Unfortunately Gremica’s party abandon them and go off on their own. Similarly, Melt goes off to find Coopa. Speaking of her, this must be the dumbest guarding ever. Not sure why there was a chain pulling mechanism inside her cage and then she lamely screams for help and when a guard comes, she drops the cage she is in on him to knock him out and takes his keys. WTF. Thankfully she is reunited with Melt soon. Ethana’s side is heavily under-sieged. She could have lost had not Kelb return and with a huge army from other countries. Yeah, the royal army chickened out. Enough time for Ethana to romantically reunite with Kelb. Jil confronts Henaro who summons Uragon to his side since he has psycho emo girl. Why does Uragon look unsatisfied? Jil believes Henaro isn’t all that bad because she took Coopa with her so she could let Kaaya heal her. Even if it was for hostage, she could have killed the rest of them. She is only betraying herself. Enough talk as Henaro orders icy woman to kill them. Jil goes down so Fatina uses all she’s got to defeat icy woman. It just leaves her exhausted. Jil wants to push on so Utu wants him to give them a reason for pressing on. I thought they had their own reasons? Anyway, Jil’s answer is to reinforce and remind us he has no clear mission and climbs the tower because he is a Climber. So that is enough of a reason? Whatever. Then they reunite with Melt and Coopa. Right before the final tower. All too convenient. Neeba fights and defeats warrior dude. Then he faces Gilgamesh who dares him to come at him but plays dirty when he shows Kaaya as hostage.

Episode 11
Kelb returns to fight old Gilgamesh. At the same time, Neeba fights the young one. Neeba might have the advantage with Kai and Succubus on his side but Henaro unleashes psycho emo girl to distract him and as Gilgamesh turns Kai into her kiddie self. By the time Jil’s party arrives, they see Gilgamesh killing Neeba. Gilgamesh is going to kill Kaaya next so he could be reborn. Cue for Jil’s party to fight him but eventually all are no match for him. Gilgamesh abuses and badmouths Jil. Moments before killing him, Henaro out of pity decides to help Jil and sends psycho emo girl to fight Gilgamesh. This allows Jil to free Kaaya. Save your guilt trip for later. Also, you know Jil isn’t the kind who holds a grudge, right? Gilgamesh kills psycho emo girl and ironically it is Uragon who is most devastated. Gilgamesh is going to make Henaro pay for her betrayal but he has to face a revived Jil who receives power up from Kaaya. Well, Jil lost again but you know there would be some ‘twist’. Who is it who saved him this time? Woah. Uragon stabbing Gilgamesh in the back?! Because he is pissed his woman is dead?! This distraction is enough for Jil to cut him down. Just in time too because Kelb is moments from being owned when the old fart just collapses. Kai thanks Jil and then goes to dying Gilgamesh’s side. He laments he never wanted to become a hero nor a king. But he feels so at peace now. He dies and Kai vanishes along with him. Neeba almost resigns to his death fate but Succubus b*tches to him he must take the Rod now or all they’ve done will be wasted. Henaro takes the Rod but assures will give it to Jil since she doesn’t know how to use it. Too bad she got some karma because Neeba kills her and takes the Rod! He activates it and joins both towers, sending Jil and everyone back down. Is this always the case to go back to ground level? It seems the tower’s true function is a strategic weapon for fighting the gods. Neeba finally gets what he wants as he test aims a cannon. Woah. A mountain is gone! Neeba the next Druaga?

Episode 12
So Neeba is firing at the sky. Do gods live there? Apparently. Because they’re firing back! Because of the ‘star wars’, everything below gets decimated. Run! People of Meskia! On a side note, now that Neeba has control of this tower, it will now be called the Tower of Neeba. Haha! Meanwhile Jil has time to do a simple burial for Henaro. Then Gremica for some reason gives Jil details of Neeba’s exact whereabouts in the tower. Kelb and Ethana of course hand Jil their sword and shield since I suppose he is the only one worthy to defeat Neeba. Up they go to the tower. With tower guards heavily guarding their path, the rest will stay back and fight them to let Jil and Kaaya go ahead. Fatina slaps Kaaya just to get even. I guess this means goodbye. Adding more cheesy romance is how Utu asks if Fatina would like to get married after this. Rejected! Jil finds himself at the garden house as Ahmey and Henaro tries to tempt him to stay. Luckily Kaaya snaps him out as this is an illusion created by Succubus. With Kaaya stalling her, Jil goes ahead to face Neeba who is just fresh off killing Gremica. How the f*ck did she arrive so fast? Anyway Neeba taunts him he gets to play hero again. Because Neeba is the new Druaga and since his transformation is incomplete, there is still a chance to defeat him. So we see Jil get owned and his armour being torn to pieces. After hearing Neeba’s complaints about him, Jil has finally realized. Neeba has always been afraid of him. Because Jil has steadily been growing stronger and would one day surpass him. Is today that day? Somehow Jil powers up and manages to defeat and kill Neeba. Power up from self-realization? Neeba admits defeat and he might have been obsessed with Jil all along instead of the gods. He wants him to carry on living as proof he could carry this burden. Well, if he can escape the tower. When it looked like Jil is going to fall off, his friends arrive in time to pull him up. In the aftermath, everywhere is being rebuilt and a funeral is held for Gilgamesh. Not too sure if that young Gilgamesh and Kai are spirits because they are overlooking the funeral. Plus, Gilgamesh wants to be a Climber and Kai sticking a spoon up his ass?! WTF?! We see snippets of what the others are doing. Notable ones include Kelb and Ethana getting married, Melt becoming some royal minister whatever with Coopa as his aide, Fatina and Utu return to help Kally’s village, Jil and Kaaya still go adventuring together (I think) and is that the shadow of Neeba I see?! Has Succubus been reborn into some chibi baby under his care?! WTF is going on?!

Towering Mess
I don’t know if there are any such towers in the world if there are wars to be fought in other countries because it looks like from the ending snippets there are a bunch of adventures gearing up or at least the adventuring market is booming. It was also a bit confusing as they try to showcase what happened to all the survivors. Because I thought I spotted Neeba and reincarnated Succubus hence I am not sure if this is heaven or they’re in limbo in some alternate dimension. It would have been so much easier to kill them off. F*cking mind boggling is how the gods didn’t really rain their wrath and destroy the world. I know it is immature for gods to destroy the world just because 1 guy decided to fire at them but to think the world got off that lightly, hmm… Suspicious… I’m thinking the gods were sweating in their pants while dealing with Neeba so when the firing stopped, it’s like they heaved a sigh of relief and promised not to harm mankind as long as they carry on with their lives. Yeah, we all know where you gods live now. Oh, is that old geezer Gilgamesh I spot in that snippet too? I thought he died and got his funeral? Man, this is confusing. Thank goodness it’s over.

The first season was pretty okay even though it wasn’t that spectacular and the supposedly mother of all twists that the tower’s top wasn’t really the top and the real boss wasn’t Druaga. Then came the second season whose plot was just going here, there and everywhere and it felt the whole thing just went downhill from there when they decide to climb the tower again. Jil and his party trying to chase after Neeba, Kaaya trying to do grandpa a favour, Neeba trying to achieve his mysterious goal and being bugged by a certain ghost, spineless yes-man Uragon chasing the pack for whatever reason just to prove he is some loyal Uruk dog, some rebellions by Ethana against the king, Gilgamesh had a shadow who wants to take over and what do we get all that in the end? Turns out the Druaga’s Tower was just really a weapon of mass destruction. WTF?! If it was a weapon meant to slay the gods, what the hell was it doing there in the first place? You think the gods would be so dumb to leave some ancient mechanism lying idle around, wouldn’t they? Yeah, they think humans must be too dumb to work it and let it be. See the mess there? Forget it. Let’s just say the plot is crap despite they want to bring in some twists (lots of side missions AKA fillers too by the way like that video game parody and that trap level) but it all turned out ridiculous. The most ridiculous being that illusion level even if it is done by Succubus but having dead people like Ahmey, Kally and now Henaro being up to date with the current circumstances is just too much.

Heck, I don’t even know why the second titles of this series are about Uruk. Aegis of Uruk. Sword of Uruk. I don’t even see how they are connected to the overall storyline. What protection of Uruk? Are they climbing the tower in the first season to defeat Druaga is the sort of aegis they are giving Meskia? What sword are they talking about? I don’t see the characters looking for a sword. Maybe it’s the shield and sword Jil wielded, huh? Don’t see how it did any good for him either. Even if they shoehorned in some silly plot that they need some key in the form of a sword to go the next level, it won’t be as bad. Okay, it is still that bad. That’s why they use girls like Succubus and Kai instead as the key. Whatever. But I can’t understand why they even name this after Uruk since it is nothing about them. Nothing that I could see or relate them to anything. Also, before I knew what Uruk was, thanks to The Lord of the Rings, I thought they were in reference to the bad guys… You know, Uruk-hai… Subsequently I discovered that many of the terms are based on Babylonian culture. And this series was based on the video game of the same name that came out way back in the mid-80s! Wow. Feeling so old. Though, the adapted anime has all new stuffs from characters to plot and takes place after the events at the end of the video game.

The characters are as disappointing as they are. Many of them look more like jokers, clowns and comic relief characters than anything serious. Even if they try to look as serious as they should, it just didn’t feel they are up to that standard. Like Jil who is the main character is already a clown himself (see his pathetic position in the first season’s mid-intermission eye catch). One would have guessed something is very wrong when the first episode of this series feels like a big joke and parody. Is this what the entire series going to be? I would be disappointed if it was but thankfully it did not but then again, it still is disappointing. Yeah, so hard to please me. I’m sure they make Jil weak enough so that he could grow into some strong character. Well, at least strong enough to achieve his goals. Even that isn’t something complicated. The first season has him wanting to defeat Druaga. Ah, pure simple hero dream. Then in the second season, it was more about getting even with Neeba and Kaaya. He just wants some explanation and hence the need for another such adventure. And because he is main character, when the time calls for it, he manages to pull it off because otherwise he isn’t worth to be the main character.

Neeba feels like he has got some trust issues. He believes in nobody but himself. That is why he has this distant looks and always plays the lone wolf. I guess it is highly true that if he tells everyone his real ambition, nobody would have believed him nor helped him. He thinks he can do everything by himself and even though he has the required skills to see him through, sometimes you can’t just do everything by yourself. He has this fear of being overshadowed by his younger brother and with all the ‘brainwashing’ from Succubus, looks like he has turned into this superhero example of either you die a hero or live long enough to become the villain. Yup, that is what mostly Neeba has descended into. I hope it was all worth it for his goal. I guess there is this logic if you blame something for toying you, you destroy it. Gods aren’t spared too apparently.

Not sure what to say about the other characters but many of them are a big disappointment too. Not as big because they aren’t main characters so I let that slide. Like Fatina who reeks this girlfriend-of-main-character role because that what she seems to be after being jilted by Neeba. Like as though she needs some main character to exist. Utu as the team’s strongest member isn’t really much except you’d remember him for his running jokes of nobody recognizes him without his armour on, his penchant to tell ghost stories at the worst of times and his role in the second season seems to be mostly a guardian for the younger kids (Kai and Henaro). Oh, don’t forget those subtle gay jokes with Jil… Melt and Coopa’s relationship is amusing and at the same time annoying to watch because spoilt master brat is always complaining and ungrateful and each time she has to scold him just to remind him of his place. If you need some sort of stand-up comedy-cum-argument, the duo are your go-to characters.

I initially thought Henaro’s character was just very redundant. She has been tagging around more and could have actually been done without. Like as though Jil’s party needed an extra member just to fill in a missing member. RIP Ahmey… And before you can write off Henaro as a useless character, here comes one of the biggest plot twists of the series, which isn’t hardly that surprising if you pay attention to her actions moments before her actual betrayal. Even her role as that feels minimal. To show she isn’t a cold hearted b*tch, that’s why she decided to do a little good and paid the price for it. RIP Henaro… I thought those assassins too would play a major role in something but they’re just stepping stones and could have been soulless characters (which they really are too) and not needing to have any sort of background at all. What a disappointment. That psycho emo girl had more screen time than the rest just to showcase further even more Uragon’s pathetic side. Sure, he got attached to her for some reason because I suppose this guy doesn’t have a woman in his life who fawns over him so when this cute girl showed up, you bet she looks way better than that fat pig Amina. Honest!

I don’t even know why they need to introduce Gremica. Whatever that Sumar revival thing feels all so out of place and unnecessary. Not that Jil’s story would really care even if her group kidnapped Kai just so as to separate Jil’s party. It is something to just link in with Neeba because he turns out to be the ‘final boss’, right? Other than that, they don’t fight together when it matters so her side in this sense feels unnecessary and unimportant. I found out later that the Void Arrows he got was stolen from her. But that doesn’t mean a thing. At least not where the story is at this point.

One of the worse things is perhaps how they try to drum up some drama and get viewers to feel some emotions for some of the more stuck up characters. Like Melt who has always been unappreciative of Coopa suddenly there was this one outburst just to show us he really cares about her. Too late. After all this mistreatment, you think this one show of affection that isn’t just even before Coopa, I don’t think we’re going to buy it. Then there is Uragon whom we all love to hate and ignore. Some (non-human) woman comes into his life and he starts to know what compassion and wrong or right is? WTF. At least he turned over a new leaf at the end. And of course Fatina, as long as she had Neeba, she was kind of a b*tch towards Jil for being a wuss. Then when she got ditched, you see her being reduced to a pathetic state. Whatever. Then she got ‘ditched’ again because Jil still has feelings for Kaaya. Better a betrayer than a b*tch, I guess. I suppose the only true love that ever came true was Kelb and Ethana. No matter how tough and strong a manly guy you are, you’re still a nervous wreck on your wedding day.

RPG means having decent fights but many of them here feel mediocre. Low quality. Did you see the final fight with the new Gilgamesh? It was horrendous! Not sure if the animators didn’t put in enough effort or the characters themselves feel like they aren’t that motivated to fight each other because you know, the script says so and so should lose at this point. The only interesting ‘fighting style’ that caught my attention is Melt’s way of using his magic sticks. He looks like playing golf with it! Fore! No wonder Coopa sometimes looks like a caddy, recommending or taking out the magic sticks requested. The rest are like using swords or magic so they’re pretty standard. And of course, who could forget that one time little Kai used spoons up enemies’ asses. F*cking hilarious but effective… I wonder if it will be effective enough if shoved up Druaga’s ass… If Druaga even has one.

Even though the anime came out in 2008 and 2009, from this point in time since I have watched, it is already a decade. Can’t blame retro anime for the low quality animation. Although it is not very bad, but it is bad enough to know it is one of the anime series at the other end of the lower tier because in those years we had some great visually looking titles like Code Geass, Clannad and even Gintama if I should say. Sometimes I mistake Kai and Kaaya to look the same and can’t tell them apart. Is it me or does Kaaya matured in the span of a season? In the first season I assume she is around the same age as Jil. But in the sequel, she’s like a mature woman now. Time spent with Neeba in the mythical tower sure has her aged, huh? I find Henaro as the weirdest outfit. Is she wearing some sort of leotard for yoga and at the same time that headgear as though she is going boxing? If not for those boobs, Henaro is a character whom one will identify as a male at first sight. Also, at first Druaga looked a bit scary to me because I believe it is taken after some eastern deity. Eastern gods are scary, right? Druaga is one of the few things that are animated using CGI. Can’t say much about the technology back then.

I can take heart that I recognized some of the seiyuus lending their voices to this series like Takahiro Sakurai as Neeba, Yui Horie as Fatina, Hiroki Yasumoto as Utu, Minori Chihara as Coopa, Akira Ishida as Kally and Kana Hanazawa as Henaro. Wait a minute. Mamiko Noto has a part here?! Where?! As the younger version of Jil?! Serious?! OMG! Couldn’t recognize her!!! WTF???!!! This only asserts my belief that she isn’t really suitable to voice young boys’ role. Girls Bravo and Kanokon anyone? The other casts are Kenn as Jil (Jinbei in Mushibugyou), Fumiko Orikasa as Kaaya (Rukia in Bleach), Hozumi Gouda as Melt (Leorio in Hunter x Hunter), Yukana as Succubus (C.C. in Code Geass), Masaki Terasoma as Kelb (Kanbei in Samurai 7), Risa Mizuno as Ethana (Najenda in Akame Ga Kill), Akiko Yajima as Kai (Kohaku in Inu Yasha), Michiko Neya as Gremica (Melissa in Full Metal Panic), Takaya Hashi as old Gilgamesh (Sadasada in Gintama), Tomokazu Seki as young Gilgamesh (Hajime in Nanbaka), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Uragon (Naraku in Inu Yasha) and Risa Hayamizu as Ahmey (Maya in Matako in Gintama).

One of the weirdest things for this series is the opening theme and its animation for both seasons. Swinging by Muramasa as the first season’s opener and Questions by Yu Nakamura for the second season might sound like typical anime rock pop. Considering the pace and setting of this series, I don’t feel it is quite suitable. But that isn’t as mind boggling as the opening credits animation because the characters are seen living a typically cliché anime high school life! WTF?! Rushing late for school? Train packed with people heading to work or school? Playing baseball? No homerun. All fouls and out. The same can’t be said for first ending themes. Still a rock outfit, Touchousha-tachi by Kenn looks and sounds it should have been the opener. But then again, it wouldn’t do any difference. For the second season, it is Mahoutsukai Desu Kedo by Fumiko Orikasa. It is more light hearted and more like anime pop. Just average, if you ask me.

Overall, a big disappointment like as though this show was produced because they needed some sort of fantasy RPG series for that season. Uninspiring plot as well as uninspiring characters make it a dull watch and this is compounded with the low quality animation permeating throughout the series. Suddenly it makes modern RPG themed animes like Sword Art Online and Log Horizon a whole lot better. I mean, they are already good in their own right but putting this crap next to them makes them look godlier! Damn it, if I was one of those Climbers climbing up the tower and managed to defeat Druaga, I made a wish and turn this entire series into that joke of a parody as in the first episode. Then we can all wake up from this joke of a nightmare and feel relieved it never happened. Yeah, I can live without marrying the princess happily ever after for that.

Time to adapt another RPG fantasy. Although fantasy genres are one of the top categories in my anime preferences, Granblue Fantasy The Animation might look like a typical and ordinary RPG game being given the anime treatment (it goes all the way back to Ragnarok The Animation over a decade ago) and nothing really extraordinary that stands out. At least from a synopsis point of view. A young adventurer who is in his teens and his merry party going on an adventure of a lifetime. From fighting the forces of evil to saving the people along the way, infused with lots of magic and fantasy elements, what made me really look forward to it was its game developer, Cygames. No, I have not played any of its games, mind you. So? They also made that freaking awesome Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis which was also adapted from a game they made. So this has also got be so awesome, right?

Episode 1
On an Empire army’s airship, Lieutenant Katalina Alize is taking Lyria to flee. Lyria’s pendant glows and blows her out of the ship. Conveniently the forests below cushion her fall. Seriously, can anyone actually survive a fall from that height? In the sleepy village below, Gran and his dragon (or is it lizard or fox) pet, Vyrn see the airship’s explosion. Gran tries to be a hero to investigate. He finds Lyria nice and in one piece. They quickly get to know each other because we have to move the plot along. Like how a couple of Empire soldiers have found them and wants Lyria handed back to them. Any normal kid who doesn’t want the wrath of the government would definitely do so but remember, Gran is main character material. So he fights and takes Lyria to run. Those guards must be useless for them to even lose to a kid like him. Of course there are more competent ones and that is why conveniently Katalina finds them in time to give them her much needed battle aid. Katalina briefly explains Lyria is a special girl that has been held captive in the Empire for a long time and is now chasing her down. Katalina doesn’t want Gran to get involved further but you know, main character. It is his duty to see them safely off this island. Whatever. Doesn’t it boil you blood to see those soldiers threatening and forcing villagers to help in their search? Yeah, time to really establish them as the bad guys. A few ass kicking here and there till the big boss of the ship, Captain Pommern finds her (typical baddie sex maniac look). He uses his trump card, the multi-headed dragon, Hydra to get things done. And that’s the problem with Gran trying to be a hero. He gets killed! OMG! Main character dies in first episode?! Game over?! Not so fast. With everyone so sad and Pommern commenting this casualty will be the only thing they’ll get off lightly compared to countless chaos and destruction when a certain person unleash her powers, Lyria then uses her power to bring Gran back from the dead! Together they summon a badass dragon, Bahamut!

Episode 2
Feel the awesome might of Bahamut because its blast almost destroys the mountain! Pommern is so scared that he orders the retreat. Reprieve for now. Once the threat is gone, Bahamut which is part of Lyria’s power, vanishes. Then Gran collapses. Don’t tell me he died again. Flashback to young Gran. He treasured a letter from his father that he has reached the ends of the skies, the Island of the Astrals. It is Gran’s dream to be a skyfarer like him. Gran wakes up much to Lyria’s relief. Katalina now expands her explanation of what is going on. The Empire has been researching the power of primal crystals to expand its domain. Lyria is that key. Katalina pitied her for being locked out and wanted to show her how big the sky was. Lyria’s power comes from the primal crystals as she is able to control Primal Beasts, relics of the Astrals. Unfortunately she has no prior memories before the Empire woke her up. How convenient and expected. So if it wasn’t Lyria’s magic that revived Gran (because apparently no magic in this world can do that), what did? Lyria merged her life force with his. Erm, doesn’t that sound like magic? Heck, it isn’t science that’s for sure. In short, they cannot be separated too far from one another or they’ll die. Geez, I guess this gives him a big excuse to go adventuring with her, eh? Especially of his dream to head to the Astrals and solve the mystery of the Astrals. And also take responsibility thingy. So that’s why when the villagers throw them a feast, he tells them he will be going on a journey with these beautiful ladies (and his lizard pet is coming too for the sake of the series’ mascot). Well, everyone agrees as it was to be expected. Except for his old friend-cum-rival, Aaron. Yeah, who is going to be around to pick on? Thankfully it is solved since Gran promises he will come back. So the next day, the quartet being their adventure. If Katalina wasn’t such a terrible pilot, they would have had a smooth take off. And it will be just hilarious if she didn’t climb in time and they crashed into the mountains! End of adventure! Holy sh*t!

Episode 3
I believe Katalina is really a bad pilot. She crash lands on the island of Eingana. The plane is a wreck though luckily they are in one piece. This guy passing by, Rackam even complains how a perfectly good ship is ruined. They head to the main town to find a passenger ship for their next journey but everything is fully booked. As Katalina tries to look for more available flights, the rest look around town. Gran’s fascination with airships attracts Rackam’s attention because he too loves them. Though, he has his reasons why he can’t fly them anymore. Currently he spends time fixing them. He has taken the liberty to haul back their wreck and if he manages to fix it, they can fly it. Free of charge. His only condition is to find a better helmsman. A couple of weirdoes, Drang and Sturm approach them. It seems they know about Katalina. Immediately they think they are part of the Empire despite not in uniform. They start running while being chased through the maze-like alleys. Gran wants to be a hero again by fending them off so Lyria could go find Katalina. I’m not sure how big this town is or how far they should be separated but don’t you think it risks them dying? Luckily they won’t have to since Rackam guides them through the underground sewers. Conveniently they pop out where Katalina is. Rackam doesn’t want to get further involved and leaves. Katalina learns what is going on and feels the need to make haste off this island. Then this petite Harvin kid, Siero knows an offer of a used airship on sale. Even if it is affordable, no one knows how to fly an airship. Well, there is a free helmsman sitting around. That’s Rackam, right? So they go find his base outside town. You can’t miss it. It’s that huge used airship sitting there. They have to start hiding when this bratty Harvin, Furias and his army planning to blow up town for humiliating him! Those opposing his intention gets killed! This horrifying sight gives Gran and co’s position away. Furias orders to fire there. Luckily they have escaped but now that they are known, Furias is pleased to see Katalina the traitor in the flesh. He can tell she was trying to escape this island on that used airship and mocks that piece of junk can’t fly. He isn’t laughing when Rackam is taking pot shots at them from a distance.

Episode 4
Gran and co retreat down the old underground passage. Rackam leads them back to his home. When Gran tells of their request, he has to turn them down. He points out to that used airship, Grandcypher. It was abandoned for a long time and it was his dream to fix and helm it. Over the years, he scavenged parts and repaired it and when it came to fly it, a storm took it out. Ever since, he couldn’t get it to start. Superstitiously it could be that Grandcypher didn’t choose him to fly it. Until he takes off with her, he has no intention to fly other airships. When they go to town to look for other options, Drang and Sturm once again offer to give them a lift off this island in exchange for Lyria. Once again they turn them down. I guess the only way is to fight. However a freak storm hits the place. Drang and Sturm retreat knowing that this is part of Furias’ plan to destroy the island. The storm is wreaking havoc all over as everyone takes shelter in the sturdy town hall. There is one airship left at the dock enough to carry women and children off but the helmsman is injured. Rackam has no choice but to fly it. However it is shot down by Furias! He then arrogantly explains how this place has a wind goddess named Tiamat. After prodding it, Tiamat got angry and unleashed her stormy fury as the people had forgotten about her by reaping its benefits without returning any offerings. Lyria believes she can stop Tiamat although her powers cannot reach her from here. I guess somebody needs to fly an airship close enough. Is there any available airship? So what makes Rackam think he can operate Grandcypher now? He believes Grandcypher was trying to teach him that he shouldn’t be arrogantly operating it alone. Perhaps it was for a time like this. And miraculously it starts up. Time to appease the heavens.

Episode 5
As they head closer to Tiamat, she senses them and attacks them with… Lasers? You bet with Rackam at the helm, Grandcypher can easily dodge them. When they’re close enough, Lyria tries to communicate with Tiamat but it seems she isn’t listening. It could be that pendant on her chest controlling her. Lyria wants to use the power of Bahamut. So what does Gran do? He jumps off the ship and heads up to Tiamat and strikes that pendant! Tiamat is free as she saves Gran from free-fall. When the wind calms down, Tiamat gives Lyria a stone gift. They return to the island and remind the people to reflect on their actions so as not to let this happen again. When Lyria and Gran touch the stone, they see visions of a certain location. Siero says it is a piece of a Sky Map, legacies of the Astrals. You need to gather all pieces to pass through Grim Basin that divides the skydoms. The location they saw could be Fremel Island on Valtz Duchy. Gran talks to Rackam and hopes he could be their helmsman. Learning Gran wants to go to the Astrals, he agrees. Katalina is worried she got another person involved but since Grandcypher is now moving, he wants to show it different skies. But their next destination is Valtz Duchy as Siero informs a client there wants to meet them for a job. The Empire doesn’t have influence there so they can decide after meeting the client. Oh, Gran is made the captain of this new merry crew because why not?

Episode 6
At Valtz, why is Siero also here?! Because she is everywhere and nowhere at once! So deep? It it’s just creepy. Siero brings them to meet a guy from the government intelligence who hopes they would lend him a hand. Their archduke Tzaka is missing and rumours has it that he has been kidnapped by the Empire and hence they cannot move so freely. But the people are starting to get suspicious. And because everyone is so nice wanting to help, Gran agrees to take up this request. First they ask the townspeople for information. They get a lot of contradicting detail. Tzaka is loved by the people as he works hard for the country. At the same time, some say he is making a mass weapon of destruction as he has been gathering resources lately. Next day they decide to venture to the outskirts for further investigation. They know someone has been tailing them yesterday but don’t need to bother to flush her out since she is being ‘bullied’ by the trolls. After saving her, Io explains she is Tzaka’s mage who taught her magic and she thought they knew something about his disappearance. She knows her master’s kindness and doesn’t believe he is capable of doing something bad. She decides to join them in their investigation. The more helping hands, the better, no? Io could sense Tzaka’s magic at some old stone quarry. It reveals a hidden underground factory. But guess who they find? Drang and Sturm! Don’t worry. They’re not here to fight. They are here only to accompany their master, the supreme advisor of the Empire and one of the 7 Luminary Knights, the Black Knight. The armour looks heavy… She claims they have been wrongly accused because the Empire funded a joint research proposed by Tzaka. They are looking for him since he disappeared with the research results. It has something to do with incorporating primal crystals into a machine. She warns them it is Lyria who is being targeted by him. Sounds familiar? A machine beast powered by Tzaka’s magic attacks them. Io tries to speak to her master but I don’t think he is listening.

Episode 7
They get away via a small passage. Io laments her voice isn’t reaching Tzaka so Lyria plays the motivational speaker not to give up. They follow Tzaka’s magic that leads them to a giant armoured creature, Colossus. Lyria could sense some Primal Beast within. When Tzaka shows himself, he is ranting about protecting Valtz. Thus he wants Lyria with the power to control primal crystals to activate Colossus. Watching Black Knight orders her doll, Orchis to infuse her power into Colossus to test. Colossus activates and attacks. I believe normal attacks can penetrate its armour. Not even summoning Bahamut for Gran put a scratch. Lyria then summons Tiamat to power up Io. The weapons of the rest also power up as now they have a fighting chance to take down Colossus. In the end, Io’s power takes it down. Tzaka is distraught over his failure so Io lectures him about protecting Valtz this way. Tzaka regrets doing so. As Tzaka recuperates, Io explains how after her parents died, she stopped caring. That is when Tzaka picked her up and brought back her smiles. He introduced her to magic and became her father figure. Wait. Lyria is crying over her story? Well, she is sad she doesn’t even know her own parents and feels for Io what it’s like if she loses Tzaka. Tzaka was ‘obsessed’ with Io’s smile because he views a nation has no future if its children cannot smile. With so many problems, how can one keep smiling? That’s why he wanted some kind of power to protect his people. Someone approached him and gave him this so called power source. His memories aren’t clear after that but he knows he did a mistake. It is his fault since he made the choice. Lyria gives him a Sky Map fragment from Colossus but he wants her to keep it. Touching it, they see visions of a blue island in the middle of an ocean. Could it be Auguste Isles? Next day as Tzaka sees them off, looks like Io is also coming along with them. She is going to be the best magician, as strong and dependable as Tzaka to protect the smiles. Since everybody agrees with it, welcome aboard our new party member.

Episode 8
The gang stops by an island for supplies. Siero thanks them for letting her hike on their ship and tells them about a client who has a request to find some ruins. Maybe Gran sucks reading the map. Finally they are at the entrance of the ruins when the ground caves in. I wonder how Vyrn can ‘fall’ since he is always flying. The party is separated. But Gran and Lyria can somewhat sense each other thanks to their shared life force. However, in their bid to reunite, they seem to be sensing each other all over the place. Luckily Lyria has Katalina by her side. You don’t know how many times she has been saved from all the traps she fell into. On Gran’s side, they stumble into a couple of treasure hunters, Mary and Karva fighting a sand golem. Care to join in? All their attacks are useless since it is made of sand and it regenerates quickly. What is the only way to deal with sand? Io summons her water magic to harden it before Mary tosses her bomb. Because she misses, Gran slam dunks into it! Conveniently Lyria comes sliding down to him. Now that everyone is here, they enter the chamber that the golem was guarding. Wow! Lots of gold! But what attracts Gran is a sword in the middle. When he pulls it out, it is shining shinier than all the gold! Then poof! All the gold turn into sand. Boo hoo! Because the ruins ‘disappeared’, Siero apologizes she can’t pay them because technically it isn’t found. Gran thought he could cheer up the treasure hunter duo by giving the sword but they don’t need it. Besides, they have got to keep a better treasure: Their lives and their friendship. But Karva didn’t learn her lesson as she plans to drag Mary into their next dangerous adventure.

Episode 9
Lyria dreams of all her comrades died. And the culprit is… HERSELF! Landing on Auguste, the beach could have been picturesque if not for some smelly blobs polluting it. They are told to stay away from it by an old guy, Eugen. Seems Rackam knows him from a long time ago. Eugen thought Rackam is here with his family. So wrong. As he takes them back to the beautiful capital of Mizarea, he explains Auguste is currently at war with the Empire as they have been dumping their experiment wastes here. He is confident they will win since they have the guardian deity Leviathan on their side. Our party makes themselves useful with Io volunteering to heal the injured, Katalina will train the people to fight better and Rackam (reluctantly) help tune some ships. What about Gran and Lyria? Why, they probably got the best job ever: Going out shopping. Well, if it doesn’t look like a date and if they’re too shy to admit it, I guess we’ll settle it as sightseeing. Nothing really much happening with today’s most ‘explosive’ thing is Katalina in the kitchen. Yeah, it’s really a disaster when she’s there. Never let her cook… Gran has time to even buy Lyria a blue charm. More precious moments, more special memories, I guess. And then he made the mistake of going to finish the last chore himself instead of taking her along. She gets kidnapped. Gran rushes to find her and when he does, why the heck does he need to shout her name and give himself away?! Chase all he want but the waterways are pretty much like dead ends to those not navigating on boats. Yeah, she’s gone. And all you can do now is scream her name.

Episode 10
The Empire’s ships led by Pommern also attacks the place. Lyria is brought to him as he tries to put some guilt in her mind that all this happened because she ran away from them. Lyria still resists him so he continues to remind her that she is a tool that destroys. He jogs her memory of her being some test subject and there were many other test subjects with her. What happened to them? They all died. Therefore as a weapon that destroys, she cannot walk in public or go travelling with her friends. They’ll all end up dead because of her. Hence the only safe place is in the Empire where they can control her destructive nature. You think Lyria will give in this time, right? Nope. But what makes her closer to that? Pommern destroys her blue charm. By the time Gran comes in and kicks all the soldiers’ ass (the entire troops are just useless), he gets even angrier seeing Lyria’s tears. That’s it. You’re gonna pay. At the same time, Leviathan wakes up and wreaks havoc by gunning down the Empire’s ships. Gran charges towards Pommern and not even a shot to his shoulder could slow him down as he gives a flying kick in his face to send him down into the sea!!! Leviathan then causes a massive tsunami engulfing everyone before returning to the sea. Thanks to Rosetta, she pulls out Gran and Lyria.

Lyria is in a comatose state and not responding as Rosetta explains to the gang that she has blocked off her mind like as though she is trying to protect something. Trying to force wake her might make it worse. This state of hers has nothing to do with the awakening of Leviathan as it became aggravated from the Empire’s constant pollution. Right now the only thing they can do is talk to Lyria but their words aren’t reaching her. You know what? Only Gran will be able to do it. Not because he is just main character but remember their lives are linked. She can tell them how but since some are sceptical about Rosetta, they need time to think. Katalina tells Gran about Lyria’s state before they met. She saw once the army conducted some dark research on Lyria as a weapons development programme on an uninhabited island. Some monsters as test subjects went berserk when received some dark essence. She isn’t sure what Lyria summoned but it was enough to destroy the entire island. It was deemed that she be confined and isolated so she wouldn’t lose control again. Katalina was then put in charge to look after her. At first Lyria acted more like a robot than human. But with Katalina spending time with her, she soon opened up herself and became interested in knowing more about the outside world. The rest is history. Safe to say that after meeting Gran, she changed tremendously. Gran blames himself for not being able to protect her. But Katalina feels it is her own fault for letting this happen to them. After Gran talks to the rest of his crew, he finally decides to take action. He talks to Rosetta he wants to save Lyria (obviously) so she will take him to the Primal Beast with the power to help him. So early next morning, they depart to the lush jungle in the Lumacie Archipelago.

Episode 11
Arriving at a tree in Lumacie, Rosetta brings them to a Primal Beast, Yggdrasil. They are quite acquainted with each other. She will help Gran enter Lyria’s mind. Before he dives in, Io gives Gran the blue charm. She fixed it back with Vyrn. Can he bring that into her mind? Gran finds Lyria reading books inside a huge library. She claims they contain her lost memories. The reason she doesn’t want to remember them is because they all bring misfortune. And so begins the ‘debate’ of Lyria blaming herself and at fault for everything (examples cited: Katalina lost her position in the Empire and Gran was killed the first time they met) while Gran tries to argue otherwise. So now Lyria thinks she has to disappear in order to ‘save’ everyone from future disasters. She is going to eject him out of her mind and will give all her life to him. Bye. The charm drops out and it calms her down. Really, how did that get into her mind? Chance for Gran to persuade her she didn’t destroy but created their bond, this journey. As simple as that, Lyria goes back with him and an oddly coloured rainbow as cue to make a vow they’ll always be there to protect each other. With Lyria waking up and Yggdrasil becoming part of her power, time for an emotional reunion. But it is cut short since Pommern is hunting Lyria down. Another round of argument that Lyria is a weapon versus Lyria is human. Pommern uses his crystal to control the wild animals and target them. But they are held down by Rosetta’s vines. With Lyria powering up Gran and the rest backing him, he is able to destroy the crystal. Lyria then summons Tiamat and blow all the baddies away. Rosetta is nowhere to be seen but Gran has a hunch they will see her again in the future. Lyria explains she heard Leviathan’s voice it wants to protect its land and the people but the pollution made it too weak to protect even itself and go berserk. I guess it’s decided. Next mission: Return to Auguste and save Leviathan.

Episode 12
Just in time. Leviathan is attacking the city and unleashing an army of, uhm, flying demon fish? Lyria can feel that Leviathan is trying to purify the sea but in order to do that, it is forced to take life of others, something it doesn’t want to do. But summoning the monster fish has only made it weaker. So I guess we have to keep those fish at bay, huh? How is Gran and his little merry company going to destroy all the fish? Don’t worry, there are other heroes who will help them. Aside Mary and Karva, the rest of the debutants look like weirdoes worthy enough to join an RPG party. Among them include a twin sword wielding sexy bikini furry, a twin sword wielding chibi uncle, a sword wielding butterfly girl, a sharp shooting lady, a cannon shooting lady, a strong manly uncle, a young lad who shoots lightning out of his fists, a short princess with a tall crown and a holy spear lady. Wow. Really diverse casts here. With Leviathan turning the monster fish into deadly whirlpool attacks, Eugen believes there is a commander among the monster fish. Easy to find out because it acts differently from the rest. So after he shoots it down, all other monster fish disappear. Cue for Lyria to use Yggdrasil’s power to help power up Gran as he destroys that cancerous crystal beneath Leviathan’s throat. There. The day is saved. Leviathan is absorbed into Lyria and what do they get from all this? A Sky Map. However the Black Knight has Orchis steal part of Leviathan’s powers from Lyria. Lyria wants to know more about Orchis but the Black Knight doesn’t feel it is that time yet. Bye. Naturally with the city saved, everyone celebrates a job well done. Eugen comes to ask Gran if there is any recruitment in his crew. Yeah. He wants to join. There is someone he needs to deal with and after witnessing Gran in action, he believes he can do it. He promises not to get in their way. Okay. You’re in. And so our heroes leave Auguste with the happy crowd cheering on them.

Episode 13
This is a filler episode and definitely an alternate setting. Instead of Gran, it is this cute girl, Djeeta who found Lyria instead. So all the adventures so far are the same, except replace scenes of Gran with Djeeta. I guess we need some lesbianism. Plus, they have recruited a whole bunch of new members from Mary to Rosetta and that bunch of weirdoes in the previous episode. They are on Auguste and Siero thanks them for helping with the opening his new shop by allowing them to go on vacation here. And so we have got our swimsuit fanservice fix with the ladies playing on the beach as well as seeing Lyria being a big eater. Yes, she has big servings of food and still wants more! But it’s down to the main ‘plot’ for this episode. Seems the resorts are running out of ice and the supplier isn’t telling why. As usual, our gang has to go investigate the cause because goodwill. So they investigate the cave where the natural ice comes from. There are lots of low level drones obstructing them but Djeeta cuts them down like as though it is training day. It makes you think those drones are made in China… To their horror, they discover Pommern and his soldiers trying to steal ice. What else? Fight! When the other female members arrive, I guess they get so violent that we can’t even see how they beat the sh*t out of their enemies. It must be. Because Katalina covers Lyria’s eyes and we can see from Pommern’s face how shocked he is from what he saw. Yeah, it scares the sh*t out of them as they run away. And so the day is saved. They have their shaved ice reward while watching the fireworks. Life is good. Adventuring is good.

Adventuring For Life
Well… It wasn’t all that bad but it wasn’t all that good either. Nothing really extraordinary that makes it feel very different from other similar RPG adapted into anime since the adventure is just taking off and lots of potentials and developments are abound from the way I see it as the series ends. At least this coming from a casual viewer and one who doesn’t even play the game. Heck, I never knew it existed until I heard of the anime. Not that I am interested to play after watching it either even knowing this came from the same creators who made Shingeki No Bahamut. Even I didn’t even play that one. So honestly if you ask me, Shingeki No Bahamut still is a better fantasy action adventure. Sure it has another season but the first season was much more awesome than this anime so to speak.

I don’t know but I’m starting to see a pattern here despite its short single cour season. Every time Gran and his party land at some destination, they try to help out the locals with whatever trouble. So once they solve the trouble and usually there is some Primal Beast involved, Lyria will absorb it into her crystal. And then they’ll receive a Sky Map as clue for their next destination. In the meantime, they obtain a new crew member. So if this trend keeps up, Gran will have hundreds of crew members and Lyria possessing powers of hundreds of Primal Beasts by the time he reaches the Astrals! I’m sure Grandcypher can accommodate them all. Or Rackam is going to need to build a bigger ship.

Well, it is going to be a very long journey after all. A journey that may last a lifetime and Gran might never return back to his hometown. Assuming his hometown is really at the far end of where he is heading. So why is it when some adventurer choose a destination to go, it must be very far away? Of course. If it was close by and easy to access, it wouldn’t have been such a legendary place to be. And yes, this is your basic plot to stop on all the different towns and locations along the way for all sorts of adventure. It wouldn’t be so fun if everything ended so quickly, would it?

The characters are a great potential to turn this series interesting and it is unfair to judge everything with just over a dozen of episodes. I didn’t play the game but I am very sure that the characters would be better fleshed out there. And with so much more potential characters as seen, things are going to be a lot lively. Some would be a hit and some would be a miss but Gran’s party would definitely be in the highlight because you know, why have a game/series named after somebody then? Alternatively if you have too many crew members as seen in the alternate setting of Djeeta, many would just make their cameos and nothing much is focused on them. After all, it is just only a single episode and there is hardly anything to develop and pack it in.

For Gran, it is very hard for me to truly look at him as a genuine character because he just reeks of typical main character material and cliché. He is young, he has got his set of justice and ideals to believe in and he is racking up friendships and crew members wherever he goes. The more the merrier? I believe Gran doesn’t have the best fighting ability in his crew. Even Rackam who shoots his gun feels like he is a better fighter in this sense. Heck, I don’t think Gran is even a very well trained swordsman. He gets some little power up help from Lyria and his awesome luck seems to have him defeat Empire soldiers. Yeah, speaking of which, it makes them look like ridiculous fools. Fully armoured from head to toe and with at least basic training, how the f*ck can they lose to such a greenhorn kid? Yeah… Because main character. See how hard it is not to stray away from that? I can’t say much about Djeeta since she makes her appearance in the final episode. She looks pretty decent and a bit retarded if you ask me as she is more of the brawns kind of character as you can see how easily she swings and destroys with her sword. But it is too early to judge her.

It is also hard for me not to see Lyria as a useless damsel in distress. Basically she needs to be so protected especially by Katalina and Gran because you’ll never know when those sneaky Empire bastards would just pop up and take her away. Without them, it’s as easy as taking candy from a baby. It’s like an entire game with that dreaded escort mission, know what I’m saying? I know she has a terrible past in which it unfortunately becomes her life sentence. I really do sympathize with her and hence to prove she is not a weapon and is just as human as any ordinary one, we see her grow her emotions and bonds among the crew members. Otherwise she is more of a support role during fights. Other than that, this cheery lady (when she’s not in gloom mood, that is) feels more like a side character whom viewers are waiting for the day when Gran x Lyria romance would materialize but know better it will never happen. But come to think about it, since Gran shares her life force, wouldn’t it be weird if they start making out because it’s like masturbating, playing with yourself? Oh sh*t! STOP!

The other crew members are okay, each having their own reasons to join Gran and his journey. Like Katalina feels like a big sister and big mother for Lyria. It’s like to show that the Empire aren’t made up of all bad people (despite many of them are as we are shown to believe they are big dicks – heartless Pommern and cruel Furias as your cliché examples) because with Katalina’s defection, at least we have this diversity of someone who knows a bit of the in and out of the Empire. I feel there is this odd relationship going on between Io and Rackam. Could it be there is some sort of romance sparking off between them? Gasp! Sure or not? Well, they often quarrel and make a mountain out of a molehill. What does this kind of sign tell you? It feels weird because their physical appearances don’t match their age. Rackam is a young man but looks a bit like an ossan while Io is a grown lady despite looking like a loli. I can see the danger if they ever get into a relationship because it would look like some sort of sick pedo thingy. Yeah…

I believe that Eugen joined Gran’s crew is because he is trying to hunt down his daughter which is greatly hinted as either the Black Knight or Orchis. I’m betting my money on the former. So it’s some family thing. Same thing with Rosetta. It is greatly hinted that she was on Gran’s father’s crew, thus the reason she helps him out without hesitation. As the most mysterious character in Gran’s crew (at least based on the opening and ending credits animation), Rosetta is shown to have popped up from time to time even way back at Eingana. She often watches over Gran. Why is she doing this? Could she better off somewhere else or at Gran’s father’s side? I don’t know, could it be that she is a ghost? And that Gran’s father is also dead? I mean, he is conveniently ‘missing’ despite the letter saying he has reached the Astrals. Come to think of it, if Astrals is such a faraway place and the letter reached Gran when he was young, would he be dead by now? Oh f*ck all that logic. Just send Siero to do the impossible. That Harvin kid defies all logic. He is like the unofficial crew member of Gran because he goes wherever he goes, pops up wherever and whenever he wants because apparently this entire world supplies are supplied by him. Yeah, everywhere and nowhere… Mind blown? More like mind f*cked. Since he is opening shops all over the place wherever the crew goes, will the Astrals finally have a shop there? Only time will tell…

Speaking about animal mascots and comic relief, I guess that is what Vyrn is. Basically he is the most useless character, even more useless than Lyria. I feel that his main roles is primarily to complain seeing that he has a bit of pessimism in his personality. I guess everyone doesn’t mind because he is cute. Wait. Nope. Not in my books. Man, he looks ugly this dragon or lizard whatever. The other comic relief is Drang who often reveals more than he should and thus often gets poked by Sturm. It’s their running joke. Heck, she even pokes him for no reason. It’s like she enjoys it. So whatever the Black Knights and her subordinates’ plans are, are yet to be seen and from my guts they aren’t the real antagonists despite that menacing and ominous looking armour.

Action wise, I feel it is pretty decent although somewhat predictable. Not to say that it is boring but it is anything hardly exciting because Gran and co basically use the same moves over and over again. I mean, how much more can Gran swing his sword? He has it only powered up if Lyria does so and even so that just makes his swing have more power. Then we have Rackam shooting his gun, Io using her magic and Katalina using a mix of her sword and magic of it and that’s about it. And of course they’ll prevail over whatever monsters and especially the useless Empire troops because they are main characters. Otherwise game over, no? It’s a shame that with Lyria accumulating lots of Primal Beasts, I believe I remember seeing Bahamut only once and that is when it first appeared. Maybe it was bidding its time in the other series, Shingeki No Bahamut? Just kidding. No, seriously. I thought both series are going to have some sort of connection with this dragon and maybe a crossover somehow. The more Primal Beasts Lyria has, the less she uses Bahamut because it’s like the big bad beast and using it would harm others, right? Well, with great powers come great responsibility. Now that Lyria knows her past, all the more to be cautious in using it.

I need to mention something about the art style visuals. Personally… It’s not that good. Okay, let me try to explain. I have this feeling (though it may be wrong) that they might be trying to emulate that pencil colour style visual trademark of Senjou No Valkyria. But it isn’t close to that here. The artwork of the characters looks very sketchy at some points and it is quite obvious. Like as though they were rushing to get this episode out or they were short of hands and employed some amateurs to do the job and thus some of the unimportant scenes are left unpolished and rough. Otherwise, it is the background and sceneries that steal the limelight as they look gorgeous with all those fantasy elements. Some may look sketchy too but it is better looking than the characters. CGI is also used sparingly especially on the bigger monsters but they don’t seem as bad or disrupt the blend with the 2D animation.

Also I want to add that the character designs feel a bit average and plain. Like Gran whose outfit is just really plain. Just slap on a few armour here and he is ready for a lifetime adventure. And why does Lyria look like she is going to dangerous places in her sleeping negligee. Oh, Katalina’s armour might look plain just to show her curves. Because you don’t want to be so overdesigned like the Black Knight whose armour is so intimidatingly ‘heavy’ that you wonder if it is for aesthetic rather than practical purposes. I guess that’s why Io’s dress doesn’t really make her look like a mage with just simple designs. Rosetta’s dress makes her look like some Spanish/Latin girl who is just ready to go tango. And Pommern’s dress… Is he like, wearing a skirt?! No wonder he looks gay.

Voice acting feels okay with a few recognizable seiyuus like Rie Kugimiya as Vyrn, Miyuki Sawashiro as Katalina, Nao Touyama as Lyria, Yukari Tamura as Io, Romi Paku as the Black Knight and Tomokazu Sugita as Drang. Heck, I recognized a lot more of them making their cameos especially those heroes making their cameos fighting Leviathan such as Kana Hanazawa, Ai Nonaka, Rikiya Koyama, Shigeru Chiba and Kana Ueda. It has been such a long time since I heard Rie Tanaka so I didn’t know it was her as Rosetta. Did she come out of retirement? Then there is also Minori Chihara as Orchis but I could barely hear her so I didn’t pick her out. For the rest of the other casts I didn’t recognize, they are Yuuki Ono as Gran (Isami in Shokugeki No Souma), Hiroaki Hirata as Rackam (Sanji in One Piece), Kazuhiro Yamaji as Eugen (Jabberwock in Beelzebub), Kanae Itou as Sturm (Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Emiri Katou as Siero (Akatsuki in Log Horizon), Akiko Hasegawa as Mary (Rena in Ro-Kyu-Bu), Juri Kimura as Karva (Kyouko in Seiren), Hisako Kanemoto as Djeeta (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) and Wataru Yokojima as Pommern (Alexander Lloyds in Tiger & Bunny). There is a whole bunch of much more seiyuus lending their voice to the many characters in the series despite many of them just make their cameos.

Hearing the opening theme, Go by Bump Of Chicken for the first time, because of all the bells, it made me feel like Christmas time! It doesn’t sound like a typical Christmas song but just hearing the bell sound effects just somehow remind me of Christmas. The ending theme, Sora No Parade by Haruhi feels like the singer is a bit sleepy while she was singing this song. This song in a way feels odd because the lyrics alternate between English and Japanese. If the first line is sung in English, then the next would be in Japanese. Repeat pattern. It’s like for people who are bilingual because if you understand your basic Japanese enough, you can tell that the lyrics are continuous, just that it is sung in a different language every alternate line.

Overall, another one of those typical and cliché RPG game adapted into anime. If you love fantasy, that would be its greatest selling point to watch the anime. Otherwise, I have this feeling you would be better off indulging in more and have more satisfaction by playing the game. So with Gran and his merry crew setting off an adventure of a lifetime and achieving his lifetime dream, it made me think in the end what if all the bad guys in video games and series were actually once young adventurers with dreams but they failed to achieve it? Holy crap! Just like how all evil queens in Disney movies could be young girls whom the hero or prince failed to save. The price to pay for a failed adventure…

Koro-sensei Quest

July 21, 2017

How do you still keep a series alive after everything has ended for good and wrapped up nicely? Why, you make a sequel spinoff! This is very much for Ansatsu Kyoushitsu when they had Koro-sensei Quest. Although this spinoff adapted from the manga was published many years ago and has little bearing on the actual plot of the parent series. As you might have guessed from the title and the cute promo poster, it is going to be one of those nonsensical slapstick comedies using the characters of the series. Chibified characters, that is. Like how they did it for Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou, Suzumiya Haruhi-chan No Yuutsu, that Petit Eva series and that Rock Lee spinoff from Naruto thingy. Yeah, things are more fun and cute when characters are in chibi form. And if you’re tired of the storyline about kids being trained as assassins to kill their teacher, time to change its setting to an RPG world where our young warriors are trained by the demon lord himself to defeat him. Wait. What?!

Episode 1
Class 3-E can’t kill Koro. They flop big time. Not surprising. How can you kill the big bad boss when you are just at level 1? Heck, even Isogai’s armour might be grand at first look but it just covers his front! His back is exposed! Too poor to buy a proper armour? Karasuma explains that Koro is the demon lord whom they are hired to kill. Why them? It seems Class 3-E has a special random ability called bug. Like Isogai buying half an armour itself is a bug. But not Kaede’s small boobs or Okajima’s porn collection? Koro will train them up to a level where they will be able to defeat him since he is longing for a good fight. So the first training will have them break their mind set of being weak. They will be fighting with the weakest creatures: Slimes. The slimes thought the demon lord is here to sacrifice humans himself but it looks like he wants to sacrifice them! Would you believe it the slimes are owning Class 3-E? That weak, huh? The girls view Isogai as manly when he tries to stop the slimes but with his naked exposed to them. Jealous Okajima strips himself to do the same but is branded a pervert. Double standards. Nagisa’s random bug has him buffed up like that guy from The Fist Of The North Star. His fireball magic defeats them. This gives the rest motivation to defeat the rest. With everyone celebrating, why is Nagisa nervous? He can’t change back from his buffed mode. Don’t worry, Koro administers some sauna solution to flush out all the bugs in his body. Nothing happens. Only Koro is the one who has shrunk.

Episode 2
Right now the class has no one who can be a true hero. Isogai might have good leadership skills but his half armour doesn’t quite cut it. Karasuma suggests having powerful warriors who somewhat live in caves to join them. One of them is Karma. As they head into the cave, Koro explains of Karma’s bug. The more he scorns others, the more bad luck befalls on him. Then he continues to belittle and more bad luck ensues. Repeat cycle. Yes, it goes into negative points. The cave is littered with traps so Koro easily disarms them all and even makes them more dangerous. Drawing the trademark logo of One Piece is one of them. They stumble into some mushroom people. When one of them manages to slice off Koro’s hand, it turns out to be Karma in disguise. He starts mocking them and true enough all the bad luck follows. Nagisa knows him as a childhood friend and hopes he would join. But Karma refuses and can take on Koro alone. However his net trap failed and this gave Koro enough time to resurrect himself at the hotspring. Then he takes Karma to that hotspring and tries to convince him to join the party and not let his skills go to waste. He would like to think about it but everyone has already accepted him and made it so like he has joined the party for good.

Episode 3
Karasuma teaches the students how to use a sword. Woah! Can you slice a whole mountain like that!? With the girls swooning over him, Koro gets jealous and tries to teach them his style. But which human has got tentacles and fire breath? You just lost to them. As they head to town to buy equipment, they realize the entire town is being charmed by a witch named Irina AKA Bitch. So they head to her tower and despite a shady woman begging for water, Maehara fell into Bitch’s charm trap to become her slave. She is so sexy that she doesn’t need to lift a finger because Okajima and Koro voluntarily fall into her charm! Those boobs are FTW! Bitch kidnaps the girls to hold experiment on them while she has her slaves drive out the other boys. Karasuma will deal with them to let them save the rest. Bitch turns the other guys into her slaves and pushes out Karma and Nagisa out of the window. Luckily Koro saves them. How did he break the spell? He wasn’t charmed in the first place and only pretending. Remember, he is the demon king. Karasuma frees the girls and he becomes more popular with them, earning Koro’s jealousy as he calls him gay. Then they teach Bitch a lesson to never misbehave and it sounded so ambiguous you might think it came from a hentai scene. Okajima is turned on by this and is charmed into her slave a second time.

Episode 4
Asano as the priest is watching with Karasuma the next quest of Class 3-E as Koro takes them to the Ruins of Tribulation. Asano is doubting Koro as a teacher and thus this test. Doesn’t Asano feel like the bad guy here? In the ruins, they meet the guardian who will have them face 3 tests. The first one is to sniff out an imposter. A fake has been slipped into their ranks and they must quickly discover who. Koro panics first as he hopes his students will trust him. Okajima believes he can sniff out real girls so they beat him up and should just kick him out anyway. Karma tries to kill Koro as proof he is the real deal. He mocks this trial and is sent falling through a trapdoor. Karma has left the party? They manage to catch the fake who is a goody version of Terasaka. The next test must have them tell an embarrassing secret of their comrade. Koro is a pro in this as his stalker tendencies has got him lots of juicy details of his students. Nagisa won’t stand for this and takes out his own notes of his weakness. He whispers them all to the guardian… The last trial is self-sacrifice. They have to push a button that opens their door but locks the other one forever. A ceiling will crush the trapped one. Without hesitating, Koro presses his button to let his students escape. He will not abandon his students. The trials have left Asano shocked and confused and for now he will allow Koro to remain as a teacher. Everyone is to head home when Karma says that had they left Koro behind, they would have defeated him for good. This mockery has him fall through another trapdoor.

Episode 5
Everyone is excited they’ll get a transfer student. But they are surprised to see this giant tablet. Ritsu is supposed to be some autonomous magic stone tablet thingy despite it looks like it is somebody inside a box. Anything you can’t explain, she calls it magic. She almost defeats Koro with it but he high magic usage means she is constantly eating to replenish. Koro takes them to a cave to fight stone monsters to level up. Ritsu thinks she can handle them all and petrifies her classmates. She does not cooperate with them and does everything herself. Koro then lets her see how the rest of Class 3-E cooperate and defeat the stone monster boss (having work and family problems?), Koro convinces her to tweak her a little so that she would have a higher chance of defeating him. Next day, everyone is shocked to see Ritsu in the form of a normal girl and also very cooperative and cheerful. Koro deciphered some ancient language at the back of the tablet for this trick. Then he wants Ritsu to tell of a sure way to remove mosaic censors from porn. Wait. He can unlock an ancient language but not mosaic censors? I thought he is can do everything?!

Episode 6
The gang thinks of having Itona join their ranks to have a higher chance. But don’t bother looking for him. He is here, breaking a hole in the wall. Itona is sent by Shiro who views Koro as unworthy of the demon lord title. Sucking up to Asano and being charmed by Bitch’s boobs, that kind of attitude won’t do for solidarity. Thus Shiro has set up Itona to kill Koro and take over. Before they can get down to it, the girls hold some quiz to see who is more worthy. Koro and Itona doesn’t get the first question of saving the princess (Nagisa forced to cross-dress) right and it is Karma who steals the limelight. For the test of maintaining their facial expression when Bitch does her sexy dance, they may have preserved their composure but that is because they have already become her love slaves. So the final quiz is to see who can make the biggest and scariest face. Too bad everyone gets freaked out from the queen of horror herself, Hazama. She takes the cake easily. Koro laments his loss and Itona thinks being bad also needs humour. He rips his own tentacles and leave. Because of that, Shiro kicks him out and with nowhere to go, he will be joining Class 3-E to brush up on his humour. The hole in the wall is his first attempt.

Episode 7
Class 3-E head that the Big Five led by Gakushuu is coming here. They are a group of paladins under the pope. Koro has recruited Bitch to gather some info. After seducing men and making them talk while drunk, she has learnt that they are targeting this class since there are rumours that the demon lord is there. Because this collaboration of the demon lord training Class 3-E is top secret and nobody else knows it except for the pope, they can be imprisoned if found out. So they try to put some disguise on Koro. Close enough… Gakushuu who always has a tendency to want to be the first in everything, leads his men to barge into Class 3-E. Another bunch of people who don’t know how to use the door. Itona shouldn’t be saying this… Gakushuu uses his Light Orb to sense if Koro is the demon lord. But since he keeps dodging, the Light Orb gets ruined. The Big Five can’t believe it and are at a loss so they start discussing their next action. Gakushuu materializes an ice blade that only he can create but Karma easily duplicates it. Before both of them can be at each other’s throat, Koro mentions about the pope and it sends the Big Five into panic mode. I mean, they’re really panicking like it is the end of the world. Koro knows Asano has not given any directives for this quest. This means they are doing this on their own accord. Imagine if super strict Asano finds out about this recklessness and lax in discipline. Especially the broken Light Orb… Time to withdraw. Koro’s lesson for the day is that information can also be a weapon. But Karasuma passes a stack of bills as part of Bitch’s intelligence fee and other miscellaneous expenses. A cost even too high for Koro…

Episode 8
The gang are going to open a mysterious box and Koro is most afraid if it is some powerful monster… Nagisa opens it but nothing happens. Or does it? Actually everybody swaps bodies! So we have mayhem as they figure out who is who. And the other kind of chaos like Okajima in a girl’s body trying to molest himself and Kaede ecstatic that she now has big boobs. Then there is Bitch in Karasuma’s body trying to rape him in her body. Or is it like raping herself? Everyone thought Chiba and Hayami didn’t swap but their personalities are so similar it doesn’t make a difference. As they go find a cure, some thought Okajima has passed out because they tied him up too tight. Turns out he enjoys this bondage. Noticing Karma is gone, they realize his clothes (Nagisa’s) on the ground. They thought he has been done in but turns out he is wearing a swimsuit (remember, he is in Nagisa’s body) and parading around. They finally find an orb that switches them back. Those who were enjoying themselves are now regretting… They notice Koro acting strange. Has he not swap back? Turns out Koro swapped with a caterpillar monster.

Episode 9
Nagisa has been kidnapped by Takaoka and his men. They mistake him to be a girl. Kaede is mad because they also kidnapped her pudding. Thus Ritsu puts together a rescue team via magic (fax actually). Koro seems to have sealed himself in an orb to make the exchange easier. The students wise up and try to defeat him. Too bad his defence is impregnable. The gang face off with Smog first. However Fuwa defeats him by telling the truth about the world! Next, Grip flatters about himself so Karma uses his scorning bad luck to take each other out. Gastro goes trigger happy but Chiba and Hayami’s sniping right in his nuts end it all. Before Takaoka can give his speech, he is already sniped by the sniper duo in the balls! Kaede is absolutely thrilled to rescue her pudding and starts eating it. Takaoka unveils Nagisa cross-dressed as a princess. Nakamura and Karma can’t stop teasing and taking pictures. When Kaede collapses, Takaoka reveals the pudding is poison and only a kiss from a princess can wake her up. Well, Nagisa fits the bill! Everybody wants to see them kiss (including the baddies) so they egg him to do it. Nagisa summons his courage and does so. Kaede wakes up and feels hot inside. No, it’s not love. She turns into… Green Koro? So mad that she destroys the place.

Episode 10
The girls see Bitch to make their Valentine’s chocolates. They should know better. Because some of the guys who ate them turn into zombies! Except for Sugino. He turned into Hulk? Looks like Kanzaki’s chocolates weren’t made from Bitch’s formula. She bought it from the normal store. Okajima didn’t get any chocolates and he is acting like a zombie. Suspicious… Luckily the effect wears out after a day (except for Sugino). The class gets a shock when they hear Takebayashi is leaving them to join the paladins. So whatever the sad reasons we hear, it all boils down to because he didn’t get any chocolates. So they tie him up and discuss how to bring him back. All the girls dressed as maids? I’m in! Why is Nagisa dressed as one too and how come he looks the cutest?! Too bad their maid seduction didn’t work on Takebayashi. Because they are not 2D! Ritsu decides to use her magic to bring him back. So she devours him? Now that he is back out, he is enlightened and somewhat levelled up. Yeah, he even starts singing… Whatever. At least he is back with the class.

Episode 11
A flashback on how Koro as a human before he became the demon lord. A year ago, Koro was the best hero in the land, vanquishing every monster there is. Realizing there is no room for improvement in this dead end job, he sees Yukimura to get a suitable job change. She suggests being the demon lord because the current demon lord too has run out of room for growth and is moving out. They meet up to handover the titles and such. The current demon lord plans on going to another world and become a warlock. While going through the treasure room, Koro wears the demon lord’s robes and it cursed him to become a yellow octopus. One day his disciple comes running in mad. How can a former hero become a demon lord?! In fact, Koro thought being a hero was boring. Being a demon lord is even more boring! He is glad he came so they can have fun. Apparently his disciple didn’t like all of this so to calm down his anger, Yukimura even suggests changing to a suitable job. Yeah, they counselled him. Koro is further bored as the demon king. So much time that he feeds a his dungeon monsters, tending to them, tidying up the castle and placing treasures all over and yet no heroes came. That is when he has this idea to train warriors to become stronger than him. The rest is history. Karasuma and Bitch are listening to his story but they note how much fun he is having now as the demon lord. As for his disciple, he took up some reaper job and disappeared somewhere. Koro teaches his clueless students about changing jobs, failing and trying again. Not that they understand.

Episode 12
We see the dreams and thoughts of our ‘fallen’ Class 3-E students as they trek deep into Koro’s dungeon. For every obstacle or trap, some of them stay behind to let the rest pass. So brave… Sniff, sniff. And some just got screwed by pure bad luck. So a handful of them finally reach Koro’s room. They are shocked to see him singing for their graduation ceremony. Koro reveals that he was fired by Asano after he discovers he was fooling around with the students. So he thought he would go out with a bang with this graduation. So this is all a joke? So what about all the traps and their fallen comrades? Before he could explain, the real Terasaka enters. Oh my! He is so buffed up! Apparently he trained himself after he was swapped and lost. He is level 99! OMG! He has saved his friends and will now have Koro’s head. Koro starts panicking as he reveals all the traps were just dummies. He even tries to make a deal with them to join him or maybe he is everyone’s dad! Just don’t kill me! And Nagisa is worried that Koro might die at this rate because Terasaka is really going to kill him. Isn’t that the point of this whole thing? The place starts to collapse as the traps were pushed to their limits. With their only exit blocked, Koro wants Nagisa to use his bug. He must! I’m not sure what this bug is but it looks like the adventure log vanished… This means they are back to where they are at the end of the last episode. Have to do everything again? Koro is glad he is back to a point he isn’t fired. Yeah, it could have been worse. Be thankful it wasn’t a bug that wiped out your saved games or corrupted your system.

Mini Side Quest Still In Progress
I was expecting it would somewhat end like this. Because with a plot being the irony itself, it would be very sad and ‘unacceptable’ if Class 3-E manage to complete their task of eliminating the demon lord. Quest over, now what? So I figure it would be more on the lines they’ll be together like how they should. Although I was expecting a complete reset as the big punch line. You know, everyone getting frustrated that their saved game file got corrupted and have to redo everything from the start again. So mad that they really want to kill Koro again and the cycle repeats. Who would want to restart a tough game from scratch again, right? I mean, would you want to play Dark Souls from zero again?

The plot is fun and enjoyable and despite it has no influence on the original parent story, if you have watched the original one you can tell that many of the stories here are somewhat a rehash of it. Like how Ritsu and Itona came to join Class 3-E as well as the face off with Takaoka and his groupies and Nagisa’s kiss on Kaede, all albeit presented in a funny and different manner. So if you have not watched the original story, you will not lose much or even anything at all.

Other than the main story of Koro leading his students into various (mis)adventures and trying to level them up (don’t really see how but don’t really care either), many of the episodes break this flow by inserting short funny skits that aren’t related to the main plot. For instance we have a couple of skits featuring Bitch in some S&M torture to give off an impression of some sexual innuendo till she ends it with some unexpected punchline. Then there is that I-don’t-really-get-what-this-means flower watering and gardening scene, also that I-don’t-really-get-what-all-that-talk-means Asano’s PA advice and an I-don’t-really-get-their-joke stand-up comedy duo of Shiro and Yanagisawa. Yeah, only in this world where both those guys can exist separately. Oops! Too late for spoilers alert?

Oddly, despite the even funnier tone of this spinoff, I wasn’t really laughing harder as compared to the original series. Not because the jokes here are not as funny but rather because in the original story itself, Koro himself is already a big joker. Sure, there are times where he gets serious but overall this yellow smiley octopus is so damn good at everything including impossible tasks that he does it in his ‘leisurely’ pace that it is hard to take him seriously. Thus Koro feels right at home in this spinoff as if he was in the original series.

It is a hit and miss for some of the Class 3-E characters for me here. Once again some of them aren’t very prominent here as they were in the original series. It is hard for all the nearly 30 students to have their fair share of screen time. Therefore there are some whom I don’t even remember their faces or their names. But as for the series regulars, some of them have been turned into a comic relief and running. For instance, like how Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou turned Armin into some ‘hooded’ character as he is always seen without his blanket, here they turn Karma into some bad luck guy where basins keep dropping on his head each time he scorns. A staple running joke of the series and it is guaranteed you will see at least one such scene per episode that Karma appears.

Other characters turning into running jokes include Nagisa being made to cross-dress as a girl more often than he was in the original series, Isogai’s poor status personified in his half armour and the Kunikigaoka mascot takes on the role of various dungeon monsters. Heck, even Terasaka has been turned into some nice guy who speaks only English ever since that imposter trial. Then there are some who remain the same as they are because in the original series they were already like that. Only the idiocy enhanced. Like Okajima who is the biggest pervert among all the boys is turned into an even bigger pervert but thanks to his limited screen time, he didn’t turn into a serial molester or become the true enemy of girls! But still a pervert nonetheless.

The opening theme is Re:Quest sung by Aya Suzaki (voice of Kaede). It starts off with somewhat a grand fantasy-like feel before turning into a weird denpa song with crazy synthesizer effects and fast talking lyrics. I prefer the ending theme much better because it is instrumental although its tune is based off the first season’s opening theme. Seishun Satsubatsu-ron Remix gives us old otaku viewers some nostalgia because of its retro 8-bit video game sound accompanied with a rhythm gaming style animation. Well, if you play games in your youth. In this form, I find the piece quite catchy and much better than the original version when the entire Class 3-E was singing and doing that weird high-5 dance thingy. Oh, speaking of which, this time they’re doing some punching-the-air version. At least it doesn’t look that all bad.

Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable comedy series designed as a ‘soft landing’ approach for fans of the series who are still trying to come to terms and get over the fact that the series has ended for real. It also works as a great standalone series by itself that any other Tom, Dick and Harry who have never watched the show will still feel entertained with its funny and brand of jokes. When a game is really over, the main mission done and all the side quests completed, do you play the entire game again? Or do you hope and wait for a sequel? So… Koro-sensei sci-fi space opera next, please?

Everyone thinks gamers are nerds and have no life. Even more so they just stare in front of their screen doing nothing but grind the games they play all day. Hardcore. Even if that is true that they have no progress in real life, some have at least the success that can be said equalled to that in real life. You know, like being married. Virtually. I’m not really familiar if there are any the legal implications about marrying online or if it is just for fun whatsoever but there are such cases in real life. At least your virtual life is a success. So for our main protagonist in Netoge No Yome Wa Onnanoko Ja Nai To Omotta he swore off marriage after he found out the girl character he wants to marry was a man. Enough to give any straight guy the chills and trauma. But then a real girl both in reality and in the game bugs to marry him. Online of course. While it might seem like a dream come true, it soon dawned that this girl can’t tell the difference between reality and game. She treats real life like the game. I know every hardcore gamer boy would love such girls to be their wife in real life but if you’re just a normal and average person, wouldn’t that creep you out? Well, at least who says there aren’t any hardcore gamer girls around?

Episode 1
In the online RPG of Legendary Age (LA), Ako proposes to Rusian to get married. He rejects her, believing he will never fall in love again. However she continues to bug him until he gives in. Both are part of the guild, Alley Cats that also consist of guild master Apricot and Schwein. In school, Hideki “Rusian” Nishimura brags to his friends he has got an online wife. Fellow classmate, Akane Segawa hates otaku types like him. Since Hideki has no social life, whenever he goes home he always logs on to play LA. But he often gets owned by trolls since Ako always wrongly heals the enemy. Alley Cats meet up in a bar to talk. While talking about Rusian and Ako being a virtual married couple, when Schwein mentions he was confessed to in real life this causes Ako to go crazy. It’s like she could snap any time and kill him! What is the deal with her hating normal people? As Ako brags about being married to Rusian, she accidentally reveals Rusian once tried to get married online. The rest want to hear the details. Rusian proposed to Nekohime whom he thought was the ideal female character for him. Turns out behind that cute cat girl avatar is actually an old man!!! Rusian got so frustrated that he banged all the keys off the keyboard! He left the guild and went on being solo for a year. In which he arrived at the conclusion that it doesn’t matter who you are in real life as long as you are cute since it was the cuteness in the game he enjoyed. Ako reveals she is a real nerdy girl in real life but Rusian doesn’t believe. This has Apricot he is also a girl in real life. You don’t believe, right? Especially Apricot is a premium player who can purchase in-game items with real world cash! Apricot laments nobody believes the truth so he suggests their first offline meeting.

As Hideki waits, he is nervous when a girl believed to be Ako calls out to him. She is indeed a real girl and a real cutie! Ako immediately hugs his arm once she confirms he is Rusian. They are surprised to see Akane here. You mean she is part of Alley Cats? Which one. The student council president of Maegaaski High School, Kyou Goshouin pops up. She is Apricot. This means Akane is Schwein. In the cafe, they take turn introducing themselves. Kyou is confident as always. When Akane feels a bit shy introducing herself in her online name, Kyou thinks it is because Schwein could mean pig in German. Of course Akane never really knew its meaning and is now more embarrassed than before. Hideki admits he has no special talent and online games are his only interest. The rest finds out Ako is also her real name, Ako Tamaki and she is from the same school as them. They feel bad when she claims she has no friends so they assure they will always be her friends. When Hideki brings up about Schwein getting confessed to in real life, this triggers Ako and Kyou’s crazy mode. Akane explains she turned the guy down simply because she wouldn’t have time to play online games if she went out dating. Ako suggests killing 2 birds with a stone by marrying online. She can play the game and still be with her loved one. Akane passes on that idea.

Episode 2
Kyou explains she is from a rich family. The rest thought she used her parents’ money to buy stuffs. Initially yes but soon she was able to make her own money and even repaid her debts. So this even triggers Ako’s madness? Although he parents are strict, they allowed her to play online games. At the end of the day, Hideki apologizes to all of them as he thought they were all men. He always thought games and reality were separate but enjoys this offline meeting too. Ako almost got the wrong idea that when Hideki thought she was a man and didn’t mind it when he married her online, was he gay? Like Hideki said, it all doesn’t matter online because online and reality are separate. Ako loves him even more. After another online raid, Schwein warns Rusian not to act friendly with each other in school or she’ll kick his ass. But knowing each other already, it becomes harder and awkward even as they interact in class. Ako, who is totally clueless on net etiquette, comes into class and starts calling out to Rusian. Hideki pretends not to know her and it gets even worse when she ambiguously put her words about their romantic meeting, revealing to the class about him being her husband. Akane tries to hint to Ako to go out and talk but she is so dense that she continues calling her by her online name. Outside as they tell her to keep the gaming world and reality, Ako starts to feel sad and think they don’t want to be friends anymore. She is confused after spending hours together and Rusian even confessed he loves her, does that all mean anything? They decide to play along for now. They agree to continue to be friends as long as they call each other by their real names in real life. But with Ako still doing the same thing, they realize the bigger problem that Ako cannot differentiate between game and reality.

They take their problem to Kyou who finds it really interesting. Ako explains she once played with others before but they all left her. Except for Rusian who was always by her side despite her constant failure. That’s why she loves him. This has Akane accusing Hideki to be an online predator. He makes up his mind that he is going to change Ako’s mentality. But how is he going to do that? Don’t worry, Kyou has it all covered. She brings them to the Modern Electronic Communication Club. Basically it is their own net game club where they can play LA for all they want. Akane doesn’t really want to join as she sees online game as just a regular hobby. But Kyou reminds her about her statement of not wanting to date as it would diminish her game play time. She tempts her that she can add 2 extra hours of game play as well as offering high specs PC specifically tailored to play online games. Give it up. Just join the club. Of course Kyou also established this club to help with Ako’s cause as this would be the best circumstances to show her the difference between game and reality though Ako doesn’t think it will change anything. Hideki makes a challenge that he will be shattering her dream-like illusions into pieces so she will also prove her love runs deeper than that. One day when Rusian logs on first and the rest haven’t arrive, he bumps into Nekohime. Long time no see.

Episode 3
They chat for a while but nothing of importance. Ako still treats Hideki like he husband in class. It’s even weirder when his classmates continue to stare at this WTF scene. His homeroom teacher, Yui Saitou talks to Hideki about Ako and wonders if they are dating. She believes this is good for her since Ako often skips school and doesn’t have friends. Now that Alley Cats can play together in a single room, we see some quirks like Ako being ill-equipped for a raid and the rest banning Kyou for using her premium items and got owned instead. Then when Akane takes a toilet break, the rest cheekily modify her avatar into a bear costume but her leek weapon is so damn powerful! Noticing that Ako’s personality has not changed and you might think, well they just started, duh. But Kyou mentions they have a time limit to do that. As they do not have an advisor, their club will be shut down soon. So Rusian goes to talk to Nekohime for advice. She tells him to believe in himself and this makes him feel better. When Hideki gives Ako the talk, she can instantly tell he has talked to someone and that someone is a woman! OMG! A wife’s intuition?! Scary. You can’t lie to her! She knows! Ako is mad but in a cute way. The next time Rusian seeks Nekohime’s advice, shortly after Ako pops up. She has spied on them. Spill the beans! But upon learning about Nekohime, she wants to teach this cat girl avatar a lesson for toying with her husband’s feelings.

Because of that she skips school and plays LA from another PC. She tells her members that she was trying to make arrangements to have an offline meeting with a man she hardly knows. Despite Rusian protests, Ako reminds him reality and games are separate, right? So he lets her do what he wants and believes the club’s goal has been achieved. Kyou and Akane find out about Ako’s meeting time and want Hideki to go stop her. He doesn’t care so Kyou reminds him despite Hideki and Rusian are different, the latter is inside him and so are his affections for Ako are inside there. They know he likes the real Ako. He admits so and it isn’t the game Ako he is worried right now but the real Ako. He makes his way to meet Ako and tells her right up that as her husband he doesn’t approve of her offline meetings with strange men. When Saitou pops up, Ako can tell she is Nekohime. But isn’t Nekohime a guy in real life? It seems Saitou didn’t want such trouble and often pass herself as a cross-player. Rusian falls into shock that he proposed to his teacher. He is confused now. Ako is mad at her for deceiving him and is going to kill her! With a wand?! But Saitou is fast enough and elbows down Ako. You lose. Eventually Saitou becomes their club’s advisor after Kyou pulled some strings. Her only condition is that they must come to school as much as possible. Ako wants Hideki to come visit her parents but he isn’t happy that she still can’t differentiate reality and game.

Episode 4
Rusian tells one of his adventures to Ako during his solo days after Nekohime’s rejection. He ended up in a guild that requires grinding and many of their members quit work and school just to level. Good thing Rusian passed this one up. Don’t want to be a zombie, eh? Ako might be getting worse since she forgot her wallet and thought she could pull out her inventory to sell stuffs. Doesn’t happen in real life! It even gets to Saitou as she speaks in her avatar’s accent. Or has she assimilated well with them? Kyou offers to lend money and try mystery boxes for rare items. Despite the 100 mystery boxes, Ako got not a single rare item. Whether in game or reality, a woman is still a woman and wreaks jealousy if she finds her husband talking to other women. Like in Hideki’s case as he is just casually talking to his classmate and Akane’s friend, Nanako Akiyama. When Ako later drops by the club and looking a little down, she explains her classmates have been picking on her. Actually they were just talking to her and asking if Hideki is her boyfriend since she often goes next door. Akane’s worst fears come true when Nanako enters the club and discovers what she is doing. She notices Akane has been sneaking around entering the club and decided to see for herself what the fuss was about. It doesn’t help with Kyou spilling most of the beans. Akane continues to cover up with the silliest lies and ushers Nanako out.

On a day when Rusian and Ako are just logged in, they feel bored waiting so they have an adventure of their own. It’s like a big date through various places. It just brings back memories of how Ako met Rusian although she exaggerates it with lots of coolness. But it’s not so beautiful a memory for him since after meeting Ako, it felt like she was a stalker popping up from nowhere and staring at him. I don’t think this is what you call love. Inside an inn, they see a couple facing each other on a bed. Ako gets this wildest idea to express their love. Get the hint? Luckily he is too embarrassed to even think about it. While passing the grave, they stumble into Nekohime. Suddenly a group of men defend her. They think Rusian has made her uncomfortable when he clearly did nothing. These guys are from the guild she was once in and now a devoted fan boy club of Elite Guards. Thinking this is some sort of orgy, the pair lets Nekohime be with the guys. Along the way, they see a female player, Sette being attacked by cute slime monsters. After Rusian saves her, he learns that she is a new player. As a fellow player he wants to help her, much to Ako’s dismay. After training and teaching her the basics, it might get sticky from here. Because Sette now takes over Ako’s job as Rusian’s serial arm hugger. No cause for alarm? Should we press the panic button yet?

Episode 5
When Schwein offers to train Sette, she dismisses her, sniggers at her name and prefers the kinder Rusian. For a change in pace, the club plays another game, Ultra Force which is an FPS. Ako is getting really good as a sniper! Next day, Nanako looks for Hideki and wonders why he wasn’t around yesterday. It didn’t take long for them to guess she is Sette. Nanako thought she could tease Ako by flirting with Hideki. However it backfires because Ako became heartbroken and runs away. So the gang discuss about it and thought leaving her alone till she cools down would be better. But she never turned up to school ever since. Hideki decides to go talk to Ako (in the virtual world obviously). It seems she is trying to reincarnate into a new character to restart her life again. She has decided to quit school and reality because LA is her life and reality. Before he could do anything, she disables the chat feature. Everyone knows Ako is just sulking and knows Nanako isn’t serious in snatching him away from her. Hideki has a plan to bring her back but he is going to do it his way. Akane talks to Hideki about Ako who is always a clumsy girl and have a hard time making friends. Akane feels she wants to hang out with them a little longer. And she meant playing the game, nothing else.

Hideki is outside Ako’s home. Her mom greets him and knows him since Ako told her a lot about her virtual husband. Hideki says he has skipped school too and is here to play with her. Ako is shocked to hear Hideki outside her door. Mom has given him the green light and the key to her room. There is a reason why she doesn’t want him to enter now. Because she is in her undies! So he gives her time to prepare and what do you know? She’s totally naked! Didn’t see this coming, did he? After order is restored, Ako thinks he is here to persuade her to go back to school. On the contrary, he is here to play with her and help her level up. By evening, their other friends log in so they virtually meet up to explain. They are worried about Hideki skipping class like that and if the board finds out, they’ll really come down on him. That is when Rusian decides to also quit school and play LA for life. Ako opposes. But then why can she do it and not him? He knows she is having trouble making friends and feeling uncomfortable at school. She doesn’t have fun outside the club and Nanako’s incident made her snap. He knows how she is feeling because he is her husband. Since she had fun today, why not they both drop out and just do this every day? He too thought having this game was enough. But thanks to everyone, they made him realize that reality is also fun. He suggests if she ever gets tired of real life, they can play the game. Play as much as she wants. Have as much fun as she wants. If she thinks she can tough it out some more, come back to school. They can’t play truant together so he will be waiting for her at school. This gives Ako hope that she can do it. She returns to class and her worried friends talk to her. Nanako explains Ako’s cool boyfriend coming to her aid. Her friends are impressed and this makes Ako happy.

Episode 6
Yet another sad story after Rusian got turned down by Nekohime. His friend Yuyun also experienced the same thing. But his case is that he is already married to that character but found out his significant other is also married to another. He dragged Rusian into this ‘pact’ to screw marriage forever. But shortly after, Yuyun divorced his partner and married another character. Ako assures him that she will never divorce him. Sette joins Alley Cats in a mission. At the end of it she becomes a summoner. With the exams around the corner, Kyou declares the club off limits until it is over. You would think everybody would do their part in preparing for the exams. But not Ako. Realizing she has nothing prepared, Hideki gets this idea to tutor her. Not only him but the rest of Alley Cats. It just feels weird Ako is doing real life studying online. It feels like interrogation… Can’t she just log out? After gruelling sessions, Ako thought of winding down via going on a mission but they tell her to rest properly. After everyone else logs out, Rusian needs advice from Kyou and Akane. He wants to confess to Ako in real life during summer break but doesn’t know how. I think they are not responding is because of shock rather than game lag. They think Rusian should just think about this himself as they have no experience and this is his wife after all. Besides, they are very sure Ako won’t reject him. On the last day before the summer break and final club meeting, Kyou puts forth a training camp for the club. This isn’t about playing LA but rather an outdoor camp to train physically. Hideki walks with Ako home. He decides to confess to her at the park. Kyou and Akane gave him notes to help him out on the confession but they sound vague and like fooling around. He sums up all his courage and finally confesses to her to be his girlfriend. She rejects him. Wait. WHAT???!!! Poor guy crying his heart out as Kyou and Akane are trying to figure what went wrong. What better way to find out fast by asking the source directly. Akane calls Ako directly and Hideki has to relive this nightmare and embarrassment. I wonder how many HPs he has lost. Perhaps still counting… Ako’s rejection is because being his girlfriend is like a demotion from her wife status. It would sound like getting divorced. Of course she wouldn’t want that. But still, Hideki is still the biggest loser…

Episode 7
The gang is here for the camp. This means no internet connection for 24 hours. Can Ako deal with it? Of course there is a reason for that. It isn’t about telling her the difference between game and reality. The reason Ako turned to her games was because real life didn’t go her way. If they can show her the right stuffs, she’ll look forward to reality. So they are here at Kyou’s expensive villa. I think the maids got the basics covered. So all that’s left for them is to have fun in the beach. Swimsuit fanservice. Suntan fanservice. On Hideki, that is! After everyone is done swimming in the sea, Saitou notices that none of them played together. They explain it like a game. When a new map pops up, groups will go solo and explore to increase experience. So the beach is pretty much a new ‘map’ for them. Saitou tells them off to no waste their youth and do things together. Beach volleyball, making sand castles and splitting the watermelon. Night time they have BBQ and a well timed firework display. The mood is perfect for Hideki to confess he loves Ako. She also does the same but notes how they are like a real life married couple. But later we see him crying as it didn’t go out as planned (the camp was also a proviso for this). Being married feels like a level too high than being just a dating couple. Is that a bad thing? The gang now moves to a high class hotel. This is where their true training begins because now they will have internet connection! Yahoo! Currently the hotel is holding a collaboration with LA so there are lots of LA promotional stuffs and events going on. Like the room keys have tokens, the menu sounds like in-game items, same for the souvenir shop and the virtual map layout in the game takes after the hotel. They also try logging on but Hideki thought there was a glitch when he entered his username and password the first time. He manages to log in the second time. When they retire to their individual rooms, Ako wants Hideki to come to her room. Virtually. But of course. She has been waiting for this moment a long time for them to be alone and wants to exchange some couple’s chat. But for a split second there, it seemed somebody else hijacks Rusian’s account and is pretending to be him.

Episode 8
When Hideki tries several attempts to log back in and was unsuccessful, he realizes he has been hacked. He runs to Ako’s room and he can clearly see she is in shock. He goes through the chat log to find the perpetrator trying to make out with her. At that point Ako became suspicious because he wasn’t acting like the Rusian she knew. She is sure he is not when he wants her to send a sexy picture of herself and claims all gamer girls are nerdy losers. Although Ako is not at fault, she feels bad for that moment she thought it was him. The others find out and they discuss the PC at the lobby was a fake page used to phish for his account. In the aftermath after Hideki logs back, his Rusian character has been completely erased. Many of his items are also taken. Though it feels vexing to buy it back as much as he can, many items are of personal importance. One of them being the wedding ring with Ako. Everyone helps out as they can to find the culprit. Like Nekohime mobilizes her Elite Guards. Hideki uses a temporary avatar to seek help from an old friend Black Magician. Shockingly, he didn’t count on him to help him out so fast. Because as a gamer community, they help fellow players in trouble. Rusian discovers his items being sold at a market by a dude named Rontan at a high price. Hideki is upset not about his items stolen but rather the culprit acted as him and stole Rusian from him. Kyou points out thanks to their deep relationship, Ako was able to take precautionary measures just after a few lines.

The administrators cannot pursue Rontan further as they discover his IP address is different. Of course the rest believe he might have been using different IP addresses to mask himself. Black Magician arrives with some bad news. He leads them to a site called LON’s Scam Blog whereby the blogger runs several scams in many games. There is proof he joked about hacking Rusian’s account too. When learning he operates for RMT (real money transactions), Hideki has a plan. For 3 straight days the gang has been working on their PC. Hideki is surprised to find Ako at his doorstep. He slams the door on her?! She is here to visit him and give him food. But he reminds her that they are no longer married virtually ever since Rusian was erased. You mean it’s like divorced?! So now they’re friends? Meanwhile the perpetrator stumbles upon another scam blog supposedly claiming to be greater than his. When he finds the RMT rate is not bad, he takes the bait. Rusian meets an avatar by the name of Shouko as they try to conduct RMT online (which is of course against LA’s policies). Rusian manages to hold him long enough for the game administrator, Nyack to arrest them. Shouko realizes he has been set up when Rusian spills everything. Even more shocking that he is the guy he conned a few days ago. Because that fake scam website was what Rusian and the girls try to create using seemingly authentic posts dating many years back just to catch him! Take that for making his wife cry! In the aftermath the culprit is arrested and banned. It is revealed he used different IPs to do anything dodgy. Rusian also has his original character restored. But there is one thing still left to do: Getting married again. Exchanging the ring in their virtual marriage, Rusian says this incident has left him shocked and doesn’t want to go through it again. That’s why he wants to be a little more closer to her in real life. Her answer? No!!! Rejected again?! Well, it’s because she already loves him so much now. Awww…

Episode 9
Kyou invites the girls to her mansion for a study session and pyjamas party. Ah, maids… Glorious maids! Ako is of course in dire straits since Hideki isn’t around. The rest thought Nanako would be enough for Ako to practice talking to other people outside their group but she views her as a final boss and screams for her husband to save her. While studying, Ako excuses herself to the toilet so Kyou has Nanako accompany her to avoid her from escaping. After doing her business, Ako wants to explore the mansion like a quest. The duo stumble upon a secret area with a treasure chest containing what is supposedly Kyou’s photo album. The head maid discovers them and now that they have known the secret, she is going to force them to join the Kyou admiring club! Wait. What? They run and hide from her but get lost. So Ako yells for help from outside the mansion. Kyou and Akane join and resume their study session outside but they realize Ako has not made any progress at all. I’m sure they have the idea of watching her do her homework but it is time to stop and do other things. Like dinner followed by bath. And yes, why must the one with the smallest boobs be jealous of her counterparts who are more blessed? You know who you are. As they talk about Ako’s likes on Rusian, this is when Ako gets an idea to call him and do a live broadcast just to find out his preferences. It turns into a WTF chase trying to steal Ako’s handphone. Nanako ‘betrays’ Ako when the latter throws her handphone to her only to off it. Luckily Hideki wasn’t answering or it could have been the biggest scandalous disaster since last episode. The quartet sleep together. Don’t worry, the bed is more than big enough to fit all of them. When Ako keeps on talking about marriage and hypothetically suggesting the rest to do so, they start realizing she is more than they can handle. It’s like she’s brainwashing them. How the heck does Rusian deal with her? They really need him to save them this time! So everyone logs into LA using Kyou’s account as they plead to Rusian for help. He is confused why all of them are sharing the same avatar. So this is his first appearance for this episode?!

Episode 10
Rusian tells Ako one of his old stories. In his ex-guild, there was a healer named Isana and he knew she herself wasn’t strong enough to heal everyone for this raid they are going. True enough, she couldn’t and the entire party was wiped out. Before they take on another raid, Rusian spoke out to the others to remind everyone to mind themselves and not be a burden as they have only one healer. She personally thanked him later. What Rusian wanted to say was some people have trouble asking for help when they need it. When they feel overburdened, it takes some compassion to realize that and help them out. But all Ako understands is that he was bragging about his ex-girlfriend! Rusian hopes they can act like normal when school resumes but she thinks he is joking. As the cultural festival is around the corner, Saitou is appalled that they aren’t too enthusiastic about it. Kyou suggests showing off their game play results. LA recently released a new content called siege warfare. It is a large scale PvP battle held once per week on Sundays. Winners will become castle lords for the week and she plans to put their school’s emblem on it. So to start PvP training, Ako takes on Rusian but the duo don’t feel like hitting each other. When they end their ‘fight’, they are so lovey-dovey that it pisses off Akane as she jumps in to deal with them but got owned by their awesome combo. The power of love? Kyou then fights Akane. Lost. Then against Rusian. Instant lose. Heck, how the heck can she lose to Ako too? Is she the weakest link?!

So Kyou thinks her character isn’t suited for PvP but they don’t have time to create a new suitable character and there are not many siege battles before their cultural festival. So they just decide to raid a castle first. They thought of watching the invading team doing it but they got wiped out in 10 seconds from all weapons and magic thrown at them! Even worse, Kyou orders her party to charge in and they too meet the same fate. Not even her premium items can work since it is not allowed in siege battles. All that money for nothing, eh? And then Nekohime’s Elite Guards easily raid and bring down the occupiers. But that lasted for a while before another bigger team cleaned them out. Back to the physical preparations for the festival, Ako is in a pinch. Her class was supposed to do food exhibition but it turned into a maid cafe since they want to make money. Worse, they thought Ako knew what it takes to be a maid and made her the head maid. I guess she doesn’t want all that responsibility of scheduling and coming up with serving manuals. For Alley Cats’ next siege battle, they are going to raid a smaller castle that is occupied by a small guild, Emperor Sword who has only 20 players. Even if Kyou has got Nanako and Saitou on their side (teacher wished they’d show as much enthusiasm for the festival as they put in the game), she used her money to hire top class mercenaries, Wallenstein to help them. Let’s hope her money is put into good investment.

Episode 11
Kyou meets with Wallenstein’s leader, Bats as they shake hands to form an alliance. Because of their massive experience and maxed out equipment, it does seem logic for them to be giving orders but don’t they sound like jerks? As the raid begins, Bats sends out non-combative players as decoy to thin out the enemy’s frontlines. It is a tactic Alley Cats doesn’t like but that’s what the boss ordered. When it is time for Wallenstein to move in, they swoop in on the enemy so fast like as though they read through their every movement. It’s like Alley Cats don’t even need to do anything. Before they know it, all enemies are down and the castle is theirs. Alley Cats feel unsatisfied with the victory since it doesn’t feel fun. Just then, Wallenstein dissolves their alliance and kills them off one by one to take over the castle! Kyou wonders why they betrayed them. Because it is more fun to do so here. Surprisingly, Alley Cats didn’t get mad. They’re like cool with it and get going. Of course in reality they didn’t like what happened but that’s the game for you. Later Ako talks to Hideki about her regret for being useless despite it wasn’t her fault. She felt she couldn’t do anything. But Hideki believes she has levelled up because instead of running away, she faced it head on. He hopes they can strive to win next time since next week is their final chance. When Hideki enters the clubroom, he sees the girls dressed in a maid outfit! OH YES!!!!!!!!!! They borrowed it from Kyou’s maids and made a few alterations. However Hideki knows Ako hasn’t prepared anything else and true enough she hasn’t. Panic time? So Hideki has to go with Ako to plead help from her fellow classmates to help out. Instantly they take action for everyone to pitch in whatever they can. This gives him an idea. He seeks an alliance with Elite Guards and they agree to ally with him seeing they humiliate Nekohime and want revenge. Then he goes to request for Black Magician’s alliance too. However he has no men to spare since they have a hard time against another tough guild. But Rusian doesn’t require their presence. Only their guild’s name to act as deterrent from any Tom, Dick and Harry to attack them. Black Magician agrees seeing this would be fun. Kyou has trust issues from the last time but decides to believe in it. Everyone then goes all out in practising.

Episode 12
Alley Cats’ plan is to invade the castle and hold it is long as they can. However Hideki mentions they will have no problem invading it. He went to personally ‘warn’ Bats about it and he assured him they won’t defend it as Wallenstein prefers conquering others who are desperately trying to defend. This means there will be other guilds who will tussle to control the castle. True enough, Emperor Sword beats them to retake the castle first. Alley Cats and Elite Guards charge forth with an all-out attack that includes Nanako summoning and using her giant golem and everyone saying contradicting stuffs about Black Magician’s guild coming to lower Emperor Sword’s defence so that Akane can chop them from behind. Alley Cats take over the castle but the hard part of defending it till the end of the time limit comes. A few minutes later, Emperor Sword returns to try and take the castle back. As everyone tries to push them back, Kyou uses her power enough to rain a meteor to wipe them all out! With 10 minutes remaining, the biggest threat as arrived: Wallenstein. They’re back. In no time they bulldozed past the first line of defence. Akane is in charge of the next line of defence. Everyone in her team is owned and Akane would have too if not for the fact she drank lots and lots of elixir to increase her health. Despite her final efforts, she manages to take out only a member before bowing out. Hey, it’s better than nothing.

Outside the final room, Rusian is the final defence. Nanako casually walks up to them and talk but this surprises them as they use up their special skills on them. As there is a cooling period, that is where the other Elite Guards rush out from their hiding and try to hit them with all they’ve got. A slick sacrifice move from Nanako. Another 2 down. Bats’ comrade keeps Hideki busy as he heads into the final room where Kyou is waiting. As much as Bats is trying to slash her down, Kyou keeps spamming some healing barrier. With time running out, Bats calls his comrade for help. This is when Ako sacrifices herself to take their blow. She is surprised that everyone is pleased with her sacrifice instead of being mad at her stupid decision. The timer reaches zero and thus this castle righteously belongs to Alley Cats. Bats wants to know what Kyou used and she explains some healing elixir bottles she has 500 of them before the fight. She only had a handful during the fight so their victory was a really on thin ice. But how did she come up with money to buy all of them? She sold her useless items and premium items. That sounded like RMT but something about the game policy allows it. Something about she used just one coin. It was the second most beneficial use of money in her life. Bats laughs at her craziness and his guild accepts defeat. So what was the first beneficial use of her money? Spending to get PCs in the clubroom. Alley Cats’ victory is displayed during the festival. Although it didn’t draw a big crowd but at least they achieved something. Ako almost run away from her real life duties but Hideki tells her to do it properly. She then greets him like a wife. Well, she isn’t maid material but his wife after all. At the end of the day, Hideki would love to reward Ako anything she wants. As long as it is from the game. She seems to be ready to kiss him when the rest come in to relay the good news of a new content for LA. Did they interrupt something? Hideki tries to explain himself but Ako doesn’t see the difference. Game and reality are the same, right? Back to square one.

The Couple That Plays Together, Stays Together
Since I am not quite familiar with online RPG, the final episode was a bit confusing to me as I was trying to figure out the tactics and strategy they played. It wasn’t explained very well and in the case if it was, then probably it was my lack of understand of how an RPG game works that hindered my comprehension of the final battle. Because as far as I understand, Kyou and Akane were like ‘cheating’ when they spammed and over-maxed out their health bar or something. Yeah, why didn’t the rest do it? Money. Lots of ‘em. Sure. But shouldn’t Wallenstein be doing it too? Too cocky and confident nobody can best them? Maybe. So with Alley Cats being victorious in the end and getting their due revenge, everything else doesn’t seem to matter of what happens next. The story and the characters, it feels like they are all nearly forgettable by the time the final episode runs its course.

The story feels a bit lost along the way because from the way I see it, they aren’t making any progress in making Ako differentiate from the world of gaming and reality. It feels like it is an excuse for them the hang out together playing LA, grinding and doing quests as a party. Because seriously, the fastest way to make a person who is hooked on online games to realize how dependent she is, is to take away the internet, right? Yeah, the internet. It has become a basic necessity these days surpassing physiological needs of food, air and water. But cutting off the internet these days no matter what the cause is akin to human rights abuse so I am pretty sure Hideki and co wouldn’t want to cause Ako anymore unnecessary trauma. This drastic method may just backfire and she becomes more reliant on online games ever more.

Eventually the entire series is basically about this group of loners and losers of a certain high school whose only connection that is maintaining their friendship is a particular online RPG. When you have small stories like a training camp, the hacking incident, a sleepover and the siege battle, it only further solidifies the fact that it is just a bunch of online game nerds doing things together. And what the heck was the cultural festival for? It just felt like trolling and unnecessary. It could have been done without but it was there just to show us that our LA players have more to life than just logging on and going on quests and a reason why they are participating in the siege battle as the final story arc for the series.

The character development centres mainly around Hideki/Rusian and Ako. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with that but sometimes I feel that it makes the other supporting characters feel a bit redundant. Like as though they don’t get enough screen time to make an impact and become a group of characters that you would want to support and root for. Even worse are minor extra characters who don’t really matter say for example Hideki’s male friends-cum-classmates. It’s like they are just there so that Hideki’s loser otaku status can be enhanced and also at the same time in a way to show that Hideki is more successful than these unimportant people because hey, at least he got a (virtual) wife. What about Ako’s friends-cum-classmates? I don’t know. They’re not that bad but they aren’t memorable too. So what they’re normal friends in real life assuming Ako considers them to be so? It doesn’t mean anything. Too bad this means Kyou’s maids are predominantly wasted seeing from what I heard they aren’t her real maids but paid to put up this gig. What a shame because I would really love to see more of them. As though the maids are just a precursor for Ako and co to borrow their maid outfit for a cultural festival that don’t even matter. And a lousy reason for me not to rate this anime lower as it would have ;p. Because. Maids :-).

That is why I am unsure if there are any harem elements in this romance comedy series. Because I keep wondering if the rest of the other girls really have secret feelings for Hideki. My guts tell me that they should because otherwise why would they stick around so close with him and even still continuing to play online games together despite knowing he has a near yandere-level wife. Okay, maybe Ako is the reason they don’t want to get close because the important thing is to spend time together enjoying the game as a team. So we’ve observe Akane is acting like a tsundere because in reality she acts like she hates his guts but online they’re quite on friendly terms. And then Kyou is like the big sister of the group and there wasn’t any indication that she would have feelings for him until somewhere near the end of the series whereby he called her by her first name only for her to blush like a level we’ve never seen before. So make a good guess what that kind of reaction means. Then there is Saitou as the older woman trope and I’m not sure if Hideki still harbours any hidden/misguided crush on her. Because it was her avatar he fell in love with. But you know, you can’t really tell. Finally Nanako. New girl in (virtual) town? Well, she loves teasing and pretending to flirt with guys until she realizes her prank has gone too far. As long as Ako keeps her guard up 24/7, I’m sure everyone else won’t make any moves. Sure, they’re both married virtually. But don’t you think virtually cheating is also possible?

So back to Hideki and Rusian duo, they aren’t the strangest couple in anime I have ever seen. Well, if you could consider Haruhi x Kyon as strange then Araragi x Senjougahara is certainly at a psychotic level in that sense. Hideki is by no means a knight in shining armour at least in reality and is only one in the eyes of Ako. He is generic, weak but also a nice and kind chap and typically what many main characters in other similar genres are. Just that he has got an online wife. Better than not having a girlfriend, right? So while his goal might be to ‘cure’ Ako from her online reliance, but I feel it is to get her into entering a normal dating relationship with him in reality. Something which is going to be hard to do seeing Ako has placed being his wife a much higher status than being his girlfriend. Nobody wants a downgrade, right? And I suppose they can’t marry yet in real life as they haven’t reached the legal age yet.

I just feel it is a bit strange for clumsy Ako and wonder if she entirely cannot see the difference between game and reality. Or perhaps she might be turning a blind eye, selective thinking and in denial for aspects she doesn’t want to accept. Because if she logs in and out of LA, then in her case wouldn’t it be like playing a game inside a game? At times she does come to school, take exams and ‘interact’ with other of her friends so is this all part of the game to her? Yeah, I can see why it is no fun. The fact that she keeps calling Hideki as Rusian in reality and believes they are really married feels like she cannot let go these habit or else she would lose her identity. Imagine Ako who is completely normal. Not interesting, right? Also the fact that she goes crazy thinking what normal people would do further adds to that. She doesn’t want to be normal (even if it means annoying her jealous heart) because she would lose her identity and the possibility of the perfect image when she first met Rusian. That all has been crystallized into what she has turned out today.

While we have heart-warming romantic moments between Hideki/Rusian and Ako, it isn’t something you would expect of a level from series like Kimi Ni Todoke and Sukitte Ii Na Yo. Okay, so these 2 have nothing to do with cyber romance at all but you get the point. We just hope that their online love and matrimony would continue to stay and grow in the real world as well. Because there is literally no save button and you can’t undo and go back to an earlier save point when something goes horribly wrong on that route.

As for the rest of the other characters, like I’ve said they didn’t get much screen time to make an impact and in a few cases I thought they are a bit forced like how Kyou loses in every PvP practice match with her fellow members. I mean suddenly it feels like she is thrust into the limelight just like that albeit for a short while. Other than that, I can only say that Kyou and Akane are like poles apart. Filthy rich girl with a busty rack and a cool assertive attitude not to mention holding the school’s highest position for a student level compared to a poor girl with a flat chest who is prone to flustering and is just a normal student. Big difference, right?

Saitou just like many other characters in real life and in the anime, they lead a double life. The online portion of who they are very much differs as they act in reality. So who is the real (insert character name here), please stand up? In real life Saitou is a strict but caring teacher but a childish one when she is in her avatar. I wonder how many hours she has logged in to play LA considering she is already reached this legendary idol status among some of the players. Maybe she could just quit her day job and live life as Nekohime online forever. I’m sure there are many fans who would love to give in to her whims and fancies. Although it is not shown if Saitou is logging as much hours as her students, we see she is almost becoming like Ako in the sense she sometimes mixes up her separation game and reality. Sometimes she accidentally speaks in her cat meow and addresses Hideki as Rusian (like the other girls sometimes too). And Nanako. Why do we need her in this anime? Perhaps for extra manpower if Alley Cats ever needed any (why doesn’t she join them anyway?) and somebody to be there to make it look like Akane and Ako aren’t total losers because it isn’t all that bad when you have a friend who doesn’t judge you for being an otaku gamer and doesn’t disclose it to others.

I am not sure why I thought the production studio who made this series was the one who also made Love Live but as I found out they aren’t. Is it because Akane looks like one of the Muse girls in Love Live? Niko, maybe? Come to take a closer look, I guess not. But really, that was what I was thinking for most parts of watching this series. This anime was produced by Project No.9 and is the only one of the two series (the other being Saikin Imouto No Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda Ga) to be produced solely by themselves. They usually paired up with Barnum Studio to make a few other series like Ro-Kyu-Bu, Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu and Zettai Junpaku Mahou Shoujo. Only Momo Kyun Sword is co-animated with Tri-Slash. Say, that is about all they’ve animated so far.

One thing that slightly bugged me throughout the series is the characters’ lips. At first glance they look like normal but upon close up, uhm, how should I put it? It is like they put lip balm to make the lips looking sweet enough and having this impression you want to kiss it. Holy cow! I hope I explained that right. But seriously, those lips look a bit glossy and the kind where anime guys look at them closely and go, “OMG, I never knew this girl was this sweet and those luscious lips are just tantalizing”. Uhm, something like that. And there’s something a bit strange about their eyes too but I just can’t really explain this one well. On a slightly positive note, at least the mid-intermissions are good to look at because they are real snapshots of buildings and sceneries. They might seem ordinary but for an anime with an online game theme, looking at the fantasy world can be tiring from time to time. Sometimes you need to take a break and look outside at the real world.

I don’t know why I keep thinking that Rina Satou was the voice behind Saitou/Nekohime when there were many times I knew it wasn’t her. Maybe at some other times she sounded close but I was still pretty sure it wasn’t her. Instead, she is voiced by Yoshino Nanjou (Eri in Love Live). Koji Yusa as Black Magician and Sho Hayami as Nyack are the only seiyuus I recognized. The rest of the casts include Toshiyuki Tonaga as Hideki/Rusian (Mikado in Durarara series), Rina Hidaka as Ako (Yuniko in Accel World), Inori Minase as Akane (Hestia in Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru No Darou Ka), Mao as Kyou (Claire in Hundred), Hitomi Oowada as Nanako (Midori in Shirobako) and Toshiki Masuda as Bats (Miyamura in Yama0kun And The Seven Witches). The opening theme is 1st Love Storey by Luce Twinkle Wink. It sounds like a generic anime pop sung by idol groups fit for romantic comedy series. Well it does. As for the ending theme, Zero Ichi Kiseki by Yoshino Nanjou feels a bit like anime pop rock but nothing too special.

By now we should all be wary and cautious of the pitfalls of not only online gaming but any sort of online activities and transactions. I’m not saying this anime does a good job in doing some sort of PSA but with the small hacking and phishing incident that they encounter, it serves as a good reminder that the internet isn’t all that good. Yes, it is good for the greater part but it is not perfect and should be exercised with extreme caution. You know what they say about better to be safe than sorry. Even in the gaming community there are good and bad people, the ones who play by the rules and those who cheat outright. Then there are those sneaky ones operating within the grey area and what might seem as unethical and dishonourable, the loophole in the rules allows for it. So it is a good thing that Alley Cats didn’t blow their sh*t out when they got betrayed by Wallenstein. After all, they can only blame themselves for being weak and relying on a much stronger group who is possibly bored with being so strong that they had to resort to betraying others for thrills. And thankfully karma doesn’t discriminate being online or reality.

Thanks to the anonymity of the web, even sometimes people you interact with can turn out to be very different from what you think. There are lots of deception behind a pretty profile picture and cute avatar. All that glitter is not gold. There is more than meets the eye. So while my guts were correct because I predicted Nekohime was after all a female in real life (because seriously how can this kawaii cat girl avatar not be a cutie in real life. At least for anime standards), it goes to show that nothing on the web is certain until you get rock solid proof from reality.

Overall, this isn’t exactly a great love story, isn’t exactly a great romantic comedy, isn’t exactly a great harem (at least it has a decent amount of fanservice like a scene of Ako in her undies, bath time fanservice and Kyou in her Apricot avatar that has a flimsy pair of strings to make it look like suspenders although they barely enough to cover her tits), isn’t exactly thought or emotionally provoking, isn’t exactly the greatest RPG element and isn’t exactly a game changer that would evolve the anime industry to the next level. It would most probably be forgotten by the time the next season arrives and the next romantic comedy or RPG genre would have wiped this series out of your memory. That’s the internet these days. You continue to stay relevant or you’ll be forgotten like the dinosaur age in no time. And that itself is like light years speed on an internet level. But still, averagely decent enough that I wouldn’t call it a disappointment. Because it made me believe in my dream to have a 2D maid waifu one day… Yeah… Let’s just hope Ako doesn’t play and get addicted to Yandere Simulator… I mean, she’s like a natural pro in Ultra Force, right? What happens online, stays online.

Bikini Warriors

January 15, 2016

With a name like that, I suppose it won’t take long to figure what kind of show Bikini Warriors is. Yeah, you might even think that this is some sort of sleazy porn video. But fear not! No porn but lots of fanservice. That’s safe, right? As I found out, Bikini Warriors are actually a figurine line. Heh. I can only imagine the kind of otakus who buy such stuffs whose characters are portrayed from typical classes from RPG games. And when you have a toy line adapted into an anime, I figure that it must be something to do with increasing sales. Something like G.I. Joe? Well, this one is only sexier.

Episode 1
Our bikini heroines, Fighter, Paladin, Mage and Dark Elf are getting owned by the dungeon monsters. They complain to the store owner that the armours don’t work. They’re in luck because new stocks have arrived. However they look totally the same as the ones before. Fighter won’t buy them. But when they face the dungeon monsters again, the rest are saved from harm. Not even a scratch. So now Fighter begs to buy a bikini armour. They love the attention they get from the crowd (I’m sure guys would just love to ogle at them all day). When the owner has new armour stock, the girls chide him that they are just skimpy swimsuits and are too embarrassed about it. But don’t you think it is no different than the bikini armour they were wearing?

Episode 2
The king is praising the heroic deeds of our bikini heroine quartet. He laments he should have known them earlier to prevent many tragedies. As he sends them out for a mission to stop evil, the quartet remind him about proper preparation and arrangements. The king only gives them a measly 10 gold coins for their entire journey! This is an insult right? Staying at an inn per night costs higher than that and somebody’s grandpa’s pension is worth 10 times that! The king admits this is all they get. They want to use legendary weapons from his treasury but he says there are none. Since they continue to complain and threaten ‘no pay, no save kingdom’, the king throws them into the dungeon and ties them all up naked. BDSM style!

Episode 3
Not enough money! It’s going to be a real pain. Such desperate situations call for desperate actions. Invoking the Hero Special Supply Law, this gives them the right to barge into any house to take anything they want deemed necessary. Heck, is this even legal? Because it looks like daylight robbery. I wonder why nobody gives a sh*t about them coming in and taking things as they want. So if you’re a kid saving up to buy papa a present, too bad the safety of the kingdom comes first. So what is the first thing the heroines do with all the stash? Enjoy themselves at the pool of a luxurious hotel! WTF?! At the end of the day, all the angry people storm in to take back what they have left and throw them out. Yeah, they even took their bikini and leave them out in the cold.

Episode 4
In order to get a key to the next town, the heroines must do as they are told by the mayor. This doesn’t sound good. So of the many chores, it includes chasing after a dog (pervy dog gets pervy on her), drinking some potion (making Fighter feeling horny) and fighting a pervy monster that got all its tentacles over Fighter (who isn’t feeling horny anymore). Finally when all the tasks are done and the heroines to claim the key, the mayor tells them the key is already inside them. By doing those tasks, they learnt to cooperate with each other and that is the most important key for a heroine. No prizes for guessing what happens next to this guy.

Episode 5
The bikini heroines need to buy an Ice Staff to defeat those cave dwellers. Since they don’t have enough money, they decide to sell their junks. Man, they sure have a lot of them. Even after selling their bikini armour, it still isn’t enough. Noticing they have lots of elixir that restore health and mana, they realize they have never used them because they were never in a pinch and thus gathered a lot of them. And so they sell it all enough to get the Ice Staff. However they are left defeated and low on magic and life right before the cave dwellers’ entrance. If only they had some elixir… Regretting it now? No use pointing fingers. Then they see a treasure chest nearby. Could it contain elixirs? Oh, just another Ice Staff! FFFFUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 6
The heroines learn about a monster in a nearby monster that attacks women, raping them and steals their items. So the quartet venture into the forest and confront the monster. As usual, his horny technique strips them of their armour and doing tentacle rape. Paladin likes it especially. Then the rest defeats it and everyone baths together at a waterfall, vowing to defeat evil and save the land. I’m baffled with this episode. No doubt it’s for fanservice with strategically placed objects as censors, why were they walking around naked? In the final bathing scenes, we see their armour strewn on the ground. But as they leave, they left naked and forgot to take them. Huh? What?

Episode 7
Fighter, Paladin and Mage were looking for a comrade to take down some demon and that is when they stumbled upon Dark Elf who brags she is good in sword and magic. After recruiting her, she got them lost in the forest for hours and a giant starts some licking perversion attack on them, Dark Elf plays it cool that she has got it all covered when we all know better it is all just exaggeration and baseless confidence. Then after finding the entrance to a secret lair, the girls are shocked that they are going to fight the final last boss, Deathgedd the Demon King. So soon? Obviously the girls are not ready but Dark Elf challenges to final boss to en garde. She’s going to get them killed!

Episode 8
Hunter and Valkyrie would like to join the quartet. The former is like a country bumpkin and the latter an arrogant cocky b*tch bragging about her godly status. Since only one is needed, the duo try to show what they do best. Hunter cooks a delicious meal for them but once they found out she used slim carcasses, it doesn’t taste so nice anymore. Valkyrie shows her true strength by easily defeating a monster. But she starts complaining they have to walk instead of riding a horse back to town. Like a spoilt princess, eh? The only way to decide is to face off. Guess what? They start fondling each other’s boobs among other various fanservice fights. Ironically in the end, it brought them closer as they will form their own party. Happy ending?

Episode 9
After defeating an enemy, Mage has been cursed by the dying enemy’s magic. Against her body’s will, she attacks her comrades and they think it is because she is mad. Mad for giving her small food portions, ripping her bikini and peeking at her in the bath. Yeah, they did all those petty things. Mage isn’t mad but it’s disheartening to know they did all that. They have no choice but to kill her. And they really kill her and bury her body! However Mage’s spirit hopes that like in all RPG adventures, a donation to the church would revive her. But do they know about it?! OMG! Mage is going to die for real as little cherubs pick her to heaven!

Episode 10
After another long dungeon trawling, they have run out of power. They stumble upon another treasure chest and hopes it would be some sort of recovery item. However they remain cautious because all the chests they open were traps. Dark Elf uses her magic to sense what is in it. Something is inside. That doesn’t say much, eh? When they open… Slippery eels fanservice attack! Then another treasure chest. Another trap or real treasure? As they open, the Goddess of Truth appears. She asks them to choose between a Badge of Courage or Crest of Justice. They want neither. Because of their honesty, the goddess will give them both. However they start b*tching to give better items as they are in a dire situation and chide her uselessness. The goddess quickly returns to the chest. She’s not coming out ever. You girls blew it.

Episode 11
Our heroines are in a pinch once more. Yeah, clothes melting slime. Whatever. Paladin offers to sacrifice herself to save her comrades. Of course she gets resurrected later and Fighter isn’t amused that she loves doing this. Something about doing her service to God. Then on a mission to pass a town, one of them must marry the perverted mayor. Again, Paladin steps up to ‘sacrifice’ for them. That night she prepares to lose her virginity to him (and he’s really eagerly waiting) but her friends beat him up for trying to defile her. They felt bad for letting her sacrifice herself like that. That little act of ‘kindness’ made Paladin a little happy, though.

Episode 12
A montage of all our heroines’ adventures. Not to be mistaken as a cheap summary episode as all scenes are never seen before. We see the quartet going through hard times, tough times, sexy times. Fighting hordes of monsters, discovering one of them is their father (Star Wars parody?), discovering the legendary holy sword, more sacrifices, more sexy moments and finally facing off with the evil Demon King. Of course, it ends with a typical cliff-hanger that the Demon King defeated was the weakest among the brethren and a shocking discovery for them that is left up to our discretion.

Episode 13 (OVA)
After defeating some sorcerer, you’d think that all will end well, right? Right before they leave, the sorcerer casts some spell on them. Back in town, suddenly Fighter starts molesting Paladin’s boobs! Can’t control her actions, eh? Wow. Tits fondling and crotch violation! OMG! Bare nipples! Is this turning hentai?! Then the same thing happens to Mage as Dark Elf outrages her modesty. Can’t control your body too, huh? I’m sure there is some reasoning Mage says about the sorcerer’s legendary power to make you go horny but I guess we’re not interested in listening to all that and instead feasting our eyes on the most delicious and unashamed yuri fanservice this series has to offer! Oh yeah! Carry on girls! The public loves a free show too! How often is it do you get to see gorgeous babes getting horny with each other? Don’t forget to lick all those delicious parts too! Mage finally reaches her staff and zaps everyone back to normal. Fighter and Dark Elf apologize for their unruly and uncontrolled behaviour but Mage is still pouting. Speaking of Paladin, where has she gone to? She is trying to find that sorcerer and wants a taste of that spell again. She likes it, huh? Yeah, we too.

Indecent Exposure Saves The World!
I guess now you know why in RPG games, female characters tend to dress so scantily and go into battle without ever freaking worrying if those exposed parts will get damaged. Either the enemy must be perverts so their boner makes their shots miss or somehow every shot fired and targeted at them ends up hitting the miniscule bikini armour! Oh yes people! Never underestimate the bikini armour that just covers a few inches of skin! No wonder female characters dress up so sexily when going into battle unlike guys who are ferociously armed to their eyeballs and they still lose. Discrimination! But we like it :-).

Depending on how horny you are, I think that will determine how much you will like this very short series because with each episode so short and not related to each other, it is hard to classify this anime to be anything near epic. Maybe except the bikini armour. And thus the only reason and real motivation why we watch this is basically the delicious fanservice that every episode has to offer. For odd reasons, there will be close-ups on certain parts of the heroines while a conversation is taking place. People always tell me to look at a woman’s eyes when they talk. Freaking bikini distractions… And sometimes in battle when they take damage or something, you hear them in their ambiguous moan. If you walked right in at the moment while this scene is played, you might think this could be some sort of cosplay porn! Serious!

With only 4 minutes to each episode, there is hardly anything else to expect for and certainly you’re not going to tell me you want to know more about the heroines, don’t you? I suppose the only thing they have in common is big boobs, an excuse for us to ogle at something or enemies to perform seemingly perverted attacks on them. But you can guess a little bit of their behaviour after a while like Paladin who is some sort of perverted masochist who dreams of getting down and dirty. She could be a slut and prostitute if she wasn’t a heroine. Strangely, Paladin somewhat reminds me of a British girl in Infinite Stratos… Dark Elf could be a really smooth operator insurance salesman thanks to her poker face and baseless confidence even when things don’t work out at the end. Then you have the hot headed Fighter and the soft spoken Mage. I guess that is so much about it. What do you expect when you have main characters that are ‘lazily’ named after RPG classes? Heck, even the short so called ending theme may be interesting, as it sounds like some classy instrumental piece but the odd part is that it is void of any end credits! Maybe they don’t want to ‘ruin’ the perfect view of showcasing our quartet?

Overall, short anime with fanservice is a series that you watch when you’re bored and something to entertain you while you are trying to guess the next series to take on. Otherwise, this show could be considered as one of the feminists’ enemies as it objectifies women as sex objects. Well, sex sells, right? Now you know why beer promotion posters will have a sexy babe in bikini posing with the beer, right? Yeah… Hey. At least they’re not walking everywhere in their birthday suit. I guess lots of men wouldn’t mind that too. Who knows? Maybe all it takes to save the world isn’t super powers, great strength, magical legendary weapons and a group of super legendary high level stats heroes. It could just be a simple bikini that will do the job. The question is just a one-piece or two-piece :-).

Log Horizon S2

October 10, 2015

It is time to resume the adventure. The adventure of players trapped in a game and trying to adapt and live their normal life while trying to find their way back. No, this is not Sword Art Online II. This is Log Horizon S2. Ah yes, the first season had lots of potential with many characters that it was no doubt interesting enough for me to return to watch the second season. It left us with some sort of a cliff-hanger at the end of the first season. No, no major character died. Our good ol’ strategist in glasses plans to leave his base of Akihabara to achieve a big goal. So how can you not be interested to see what more adventures our Log Horizon and the other guilds will have in store for us this season? I know I am.

Episode 1
Akihabara is so peaceful and brimming with life that they are even going to hold some After Halloween Party. I don’t really know the details but I think it’s going to be fun. But beneath all that, the Round Table is talking about money problems. Serious money problems. They may have bought a few strategic buildings under their name but maintaining them is going to cost a bomb. Therefore, Shiroe believes there is only one solution. It is bad enough that he doesn’t show his face during the festival like his comrades want and when he does, he drops the bombshell that he is going to leave Akihabara for a while. And he can’t tell them the problem as he fears there are spies and would lead to info leak. So much about trust. So much about the Christmas event. Naotsugu wants to go with him to be his guard. The same for Akatsuki but Shiroe tells her to stay put as he has a favour of her. Shock! Rejected! With Regan, the duo meet Kinjou, a representative of the Kunie clan in some cabin in the outskirts. Shiroe plans to seek financing help from his clan. Because money lending job doesn’t exist in this world, the only way to get money is by killing monsters or treasure chests in dungeons. Over time, they spawn. Kinjou is not willing to do so due to some ancient treaty. Even if Kunie is not going to help in financing, Shiroe suggests getting that money from the one who put it there before they respawn. According to Regan’s records, there is some whirlpool of gold located deep within the depths of the Palms belonging to Kunie. Their plan is to go there and steal it. Shiroe can’t explain more and will only do so if they help them. Can’t. Goes against ancient treaty. Kinjou suggests meeting at the depths of Palm and the clan’s answer will depend on their result of their challenge that requires a raiding party. Shiroe can’t bring the Round Table members in as he doesn’t want them to know what he is up to but he knows a place they can go recruit members.

Episode 2
We are explained the meaning of full raid (4 groups of 6 members each) and how teamwork and strategy are important to succeed in raiding big challenging dungeons. Shiroe and co are at Susukino to meet William Massachusetts of Silver Sword. This guild was the one who decided not to join the Round Table (in the first season) and left Akihabara and made Susukino their base. Shiroe seeks to recruit them for his full raid. However William says that some of them have retired as they had a hard time keeping up with raids so they don’t have enough members. Suddenly Demikas barges in and he has a grudge to settle with Shiroe. But Shiroe isn’t cowed and I’m not sure if he is doing it on purpose because he still mispronounces his name! You angry, buddy? Meanwhile Naotsugu and Regan meet some spunky idol, Tetra who keeps following and teasing Naotsugu. Tetra talks about Demikas’ guild lost members when Silver Sword came in and wrest control. That is why this place is peaceful as what is left of Brigandia now is working under Silver Sword. And Demikas has a great NPC wife… Embarrassing! William suggests if Demikas and Tetra who is a healer type join them, they can go on this full raid. Demikas agrees so they can settle their score there. And so the 24 members start their raid with hot headed Demikas letting off steam and just slashing away. He can’t wait to rip things apart. Good for him. Naotsugu makes periodic calls back to Marielle while Akatsuki is tasked to guard Lenessia. Little ninja girl is still reeling from that rejection… The full raid party is now at the lowest depths of Palms. This is where the real fight begins. But Demikas isn’t going to let Shiroe have his way and will make sure things won’t go smoothly for him.

Episode 3
Shiroe explains the offense and defence strategy of each party as they raid the big layout of the depths. The monsters here are much more powerful than normal raids but at least if you die, you get resurrected at the start of the gate. They encounter their first raid boss and this big bird is no pushover. It has very peculiar but powerful moves. They are forced to retreat and revise their strategy many times and can only experiment via trial and error just to find its weakness. Finally they understand its cool down period and that is when they go in to take it out. This goes the same for the second raid boss they encounter. Of course the more tries and longer they stay, their supplies are in risk of running out and their weapons dull from each hard attack. Demikas is more worked up and angry just thinking about Shiroe. He can understand his lost to Naotsugu and Nyanta then because they were using their own powers but he can’t accept Shiroe for just lurking in the back and giving orders. Even more insulting was in one of the recent raid attacks, Shiroe indirectly saved him by powering him up and stunning the enemy. Shiroe is at his wits end thinking of a strategy and Tetra doesn’t understand why he is doing this so Naotsugu explains about the family (his guild and place to belong) and probably the world he is trying to protect. Speaking about Akihabara, everyone is happily preparing for the Christmas event as the young ones talk about the rumoured Teachings which are basically a new rank for skills. Think of it as some sort of upgrade or power up to your existing skill.

Episode 4
We take a detour back to Akihabara in this boring ‘peaceful’ episode. It is almost Christmas but Akatsuki is experiencing some sort of melancholy because she is not by Shiroe’s side. She thinks she is weak for Shiroe to let her guard Lenessia although she is happy this also means he relied on her. It gets more depressing when her favourite sword she is saving to buy is already sold. In order to get stronger, she thought of watching trainees in DDD practice. More misery for Akatsuki when she starts comparing herself to Minori whom she thinks is much better than her. Seems melancholy is possessing Lenessia as she is still troubled in her duty. Nyanta sees Roderic to check on his progress about some high end phantasm and treasure class items he is researching on as requested by Shiroe. Lenessia joins the other girls to head to some restaurant as she tries to understand the adventurers. Each of them is as unique as they are. They are special and thus she can’t call herself their friend. Akatsuki’s melancholy reaches boiling point when she decides not to join the ladies, giving an excuse she has something to do. Yeah, yeah. She really misses Shiroe. Wants to be by his side doing things. We get the point. Meanwhile Kyouko thought she spot Santa in the alley. But this mean looking Enheart Nelreth of the samurai class stabs her!

Episode 5
Everyone knows about the serial killer lurking but they wonder why the Royal Guards didn’t intervene to stop fights in no combat zones. So the Round Table guys are having a headache trying to solve this problem and they have little information on who he is. Soujirou is pretty mad that the killer did in one of his mates so he really wants to kill him. Don’t worry. That chance will come very soon. Kinjou sees Lenessia to inform one of the armour in the guardhouse of the Royal Guards is stolen. He thinks the perpetrator is from the Kunie clan. The reason for stealing it is unclear though it is explained the armour is charged with massive amount of mana and works very well within the city limits so there is no point of taking it out from the city. Kinjou admits it is his clan’s fault but they can’t shut off the magic because this will make the city vulnerable to monster attacks. How about a quick reboot? That will take decades. Gosh… Later Lenessia is feeling frustrated that she has to face such trouble at this time. Where is that Crusty guy when you need him? Sure, he is away for some operation but she finds it annoying he is always there when she doesn’t need him. She realizes Akatsuki was listening to it all. She thinks the killer is hiding in the sewers because that is the only place they haven’t searched. Soujirou’s guild members encounter the killer. They could have been done for had not Soujirou stepped in. They find it odd that despite hitting him lots of times, his HP never decreases. Soujirou may be mad but that isn’t going to get him anywhere since the killer is still far more superior and cooler. Akatsuki jumps in to help. She shows some of her techniques to match the killer. But even that is ineffective. She wants Soujirou to run but he won’t. He just orders his guild members to escape. Is it because he wants to use some ultimate move? Yeah well, it didn’t work either. To end the bad day, Akatsuki is also cut down. All she could think of is where Shiroe is at this time. She misses him. Oh, speaking of him, he and the rest just got owned by another super raid boss. Call this an insult because the killer even leaves a parting message for Akatsuki: Merry Christmas! I don’t know if this is supposed to be funny…

Episode 6
Yet another boring peaceful episode with Lenessia talking to Rieze about her insecurities, blah, blah, blah. Then there’s Akatsuki who remembers some real life problem of hers but was just running away. Whatever. I guess she is in a place where souls go before they reincarnate. Some quiet sandy beach. She frolics in the shallow waters and Shiroe is there too. I guess he is dead too. They have a short chat before ‘returning’. Akatsuki wakes up in the cathedral as some of the girls come to pick her up. Some of them are surprised to learn that Shiroe is away from Akihabara and thus Akatsuki was desperately trying to solve the situation herself. However she realizes she can’t do it alone and wants their help. Meanwhile Roderic makes his report on his findings. Firstly, about gender. If you are a male in the original world and used a female character, you will gradually be turning into a woman. Vice versa. Holy sh*t! Second, he notices the distance between Akihabara and Mt Fuji is gradually increasing. Lastly, flavour texts which are supposed not to have in-game effects are beginning to have real world effects. The Apocalypse may not be over yet. Akatsuki is given an earful lesson about how she tried to solve things herself without relying on others. It is like as though she is insulting them. It is true that she too thought as long as she has Shiroe, she doesn’t need anyone else. She never tried getting close to others. But with Lenessia supporting her that they need help, I guess the rest agree to help out to stop the killer. They are friends after all. Crusty stumbles upon what he believes is a training ground for goblins. Misa’s weapon starts acting strange and she gets caught in some painful paralyzing beam. Crusty pushes her out but in turn gets trapped. She tries to reach for him but he disappears (along with her right arm!). Akatsuki informs what she knows of the killer and it seems he has the sword she wanted to buy. Rieze gets a distressing call.

Episode 7
Henrietta catches Rieze in tears. Until more details are known, Rieze doesn’t want word to get out about Crusty’s disappearance. They discuss about Byakumaru, the sword in the killer’s hands. According to the legend he was Rugrius, once part of the Izumo Knights and a hero. However he was betrayed by the Daughter of Elm and turned into a vengeful and hateful raid monster. Rieze forms a raid team to take out the killer. Akatsuki joins it and also hopes to learn Teachings but no luck. Well, at least she made some great friends. Rieze and Henrietta inform the Round Table about the properties of Byakumaru. It causes blizzard around and buffs up the killer’s stats as more people are around the vicinity. That is why a group attack is not possible. His own HP will also increase depending on the number of people around it. Rieze plans a raid attack on Akihabara but with a smaller team consisting of only 2 people. She also wants the place to be on curfew till New Year’s Day. They wonder if it will work because he possesses a power that can teleport anywhere. This is where Lenessia comes in. She is to temporarily disable the magic. She is still in a dilemma about what Kinjou said and in the end can’t give an answer. So we have Akatsuki’s melancholy continuing because she keeps thinking Shiroe is always pushing himself. So why can’t she? Lenessia too has her melancholy. She talks to Akatsuki about the responsibility she is shouldering and the friends she has made, blah, blah, blah. At the end of the day, she can’t run away and joins the raiding team. The teams begin their patrol. Akatsuki and Marielle must be in luck because here comes the killer. Seeing only 2 of them, he thinks he is being underestimated. He wants more people to gather so he can take their lives and destroy everything.

Episode 8
Akatsuki fights Nelreth with confidence (at least she is no longer ashamed of her petite size). After landing a few hits, they retreat to the next zone. This strategy has the teams apart from each other so that when Akatsuki and Marielle lead the killer through each zone, each group will simultaneously heal their allies and attack the enemy. Lenessia sees Kinjou and she has decided to shut off the magic temporarily although he questions if this will cause more harm than good. She believes this failure isn’t just the Kunie clan but all the People of the Land. This is their way to apologize to the adventurers. Kinjou agrees that his clan may have failed to protect the city, but they can’t move forward if they keep rejecting. He is indebted to her for this lesson. He takes her to a room where she can shut the magic down. If you’re wondering why Nelreth is just chasing Akatsuki and Marielle instead of finishing off the other adventurers, in his eyes they look like the Daughter of Elm. He must be very deluded. Akatsuki wished to go fast (like Sonic?) so much so she gained a Teaching of her own. She is able to clone herself and do multiple attacks! However she still cannot beat him and her HP is dangerously low. Akatsuki is then given a new reforged sword, Haganemushi Tatara that matches her size. She realizes she must destroy Byakumaru to end this and Haganemushi Tatara has the properties to lower that cursed sword’s condition. Nazuna saves her when she almost gets stabbed by him. When the time is right, the signal is given to Lenessia to shut off the magic. Rieze then rains down an ice block to trap him and allowing Akatsuki cutting Byakumaru with no worries at all. The flavour text of Haganemushi Tatara is rewritten and sounds like Akatsuki has become a legend. What better way to celebrate this victory and New Year’s Day via pyjamas party? Akatsuki now understands why Shiroe is always trying so hard. Having something to protect means a place to belong and be happy. She gets a surprised call from Shiroe to congratulate her. Looks like he is going in for another retry and won’t give up.

Episode 9
Shiroe and co are up against another raid boss. They’re making progress in observing its patterns and everything. Just when they thought they had it, it unleashes a never-seen-before move. Its armour can shatter and become little minions. If you defeat them, they return to being part of his armour and increase its HP. They’re repeating this cycle for a few times and when Shiroe thought of a plan to beat this pattern, suddenly here comes in a couple of raid bosses! OMG! How are they going to defeat them all? Isn’t this against the rules?! Was it impossible in the first place? Too bad. Everybody gets owned. So the rest of the episode chronicles Shiroe’s time during his ‘death’. We get to see his ‘realistic’ face and the small uneventful town he lives in. As his parents worked late, he often goes out for a walk to think at the park. Big little things this kid thinks. He thinks back of all the people who follow and trust him but at the same time he couldn’t trust them enough. Shiroe always believed there was something besides the players and People of the Land. Perhaps a third party who brought them here. Therefore he used the members of the Round Table to research on various stuffs without letting know this true goal of his. But so far there were no proofs. Then as he finds himself on that beach, it is actually the moon! As there are 13 servers for Elder Tale, the 14th one is believed to be a test server said to be located on the moon! Could the rumours be true? As he meets Akatsuki, he saw something ‘disappearing’ from her. Those snowflakes turn out to be fragment of memories of fallen players. This might be the price they pay to rise up again. So they talk about working hard, doing their best and try to get back up again. Time to revive and get back into the fray.

Episode 10
A long boring episode of William’s motivational speech… Everybody is about to give up from the impossibility to beat this game. William wanted to say comforting words but he knows it’s all just a lie. He fights against his inner self to say what he wants. All of them may be losers in society. But so what? They decided on this and dedicated their lives to Elder Tale. He won’t let anybody insult in what they’re doing because what they do is amazing. So what their win-loss ratio is recorded in the server? So what if everything is real or fake? It is real to them. He tells them a secret he never told anyone before. He had nothing in real life. That’s why they are his friends. Without this game, he couldn’t make friends. Elder Tale taught him many things and he was able to communicate with others. He talks about the ups and downs of raiding and his guild. They might be finished now and can’t win but he is happy to have come to this world. A world where they make raids better than anyone else. If they go back now, what will they have? They spent their time, energy and everything else on this game and he doesn’t care if others call him a weirdo. So if they run, where will they go? Demikas breaks this long monologue that is he telling them to keep dying instead of running? It is fine if they had a way to win but now they don’t. They are useless people in either worlds. Will he still tell them not to run? William’s long speech continues… He one ran away. That was from joining the Round Table. He thought it was silly to protect Akihabara then and wanted to do raids. He realized he was just running away. But Shiroe never ran away. Funnily, he admired him during his time in Debauchery Tea Party. He wanted to join that group. But by the time he levelled up, they already disbanded. Calling Shiroe an incredible leader, he stood his ground and build up Akihabara. That is whey when he sought his help on this raid, he was happy to accept it. Long story short, they are gamers, damn it! I guess almost 20 minutes of screen time motivational speech is enough to make everyone get back up and try again. William wants to win this time. Not for himself but for his friends. Shiroe wonders if he can speak so honestly like that. He has decided to tell everybody about the truth and his real goal. He has a slightly better plan and even though it is just 15% success, that will do.

Episode 11
Everyone’s motivated to retry again. Everyone’s better communicated and such. Even Demikas is reflecting upon himself. He came to this world thinking he could do anything he want because he thought it was just a game. But then he lost to everyone and everything. However when William pathetically lost, nobody left him. From what I can see in this new plan, after making this knight raid boss shed his shadow vanguards, they run into another cave to fight another hydra raid boss. The key is to fight the raid bosses separately but they cannot fight too far from the radii or else their healers won’t be effective. Their positions will be very crucial. Tetra can be flirty with Naotsugu even during this time. She drops the bombshell that she is going to join Log Horizon and Shiroe approved of it. Why? So that she can continue to play with him! The attack and healing goes well till does shadow vanguards show up and threaten to derail the plan. Shiroe concludes that the knight raid boss may have inflicted damage on itself to clone more of those shadow vanguards. They need to be drawn away so Demikas does so but also takes Shiroe along. Shiroe thinks Demikas is planning to get his revenge by ruining it all now. Demikas runs far enough for the shadow vanguards to stop following. He wants Shiroe to say his name. Seeing the seriousness in his eyes, he calls his real name for the first time. They both tell that they still hate each other. Demikas throws Shiroe down to a giant door. There is where he will die. He then runs off when the shadow vanguards come chasing. Shiroe realizes this is the deepest level of the Abyssal Shaft, their goal. Upon opening the door, rivers and streams of gold coins everywhere! Yeah, who says money come from trees? Before him is Kinjou.

Episode 12
Upon closer look, he isn’t Kinjou but another member of Kunie. Shiroe deduces his tears as being afraid. Who wouldn’t after his raid party keeps coming back like a zombie attack. Kunie explains all coins are born and returned here. The clan has been keeping this dark secret since. According to the law, since he reached here he has the right to take the gold. Shiroe has no intention of telling this to anyone but he wants to say what he couldn’t to Kinjou. He takes out some contract and rips it apart. This is to complete the contract. He reveals the Round Table doesn’t need wealth and now have the power to live peacefully in Akihabara. The contract states that all the buildings they have bought will be assigned to the Yamato server and ripping the contract makes it eternal. They bought the buildings to prevent it from falling in enemies’ hands but since it costs a lot to finance it, this expedition was his idea. Let me try to understand this. So Shiroe is using all the coins here to finance and buy all that? This includes all the zones in Yamato and then reassigning them? Shiroe finds it unfair that adventurers can purchase them but not People of the Land. This may be a problem in the future. He hopes Kunie will lend them money to do this so they will not destroy themselves. The land of Yamato should return and belong to Yamato. Silver Sword amazingly defeats all the raid bosses. Can’t blame them for laughing like mad. With it, all the super items and gold are theirs. There is also a tomb with their names erected stating them as the first adventurers to clear this. They return to Susukino as Shiroe talked to Silver Sword on many things. Regarding Demikas, he felt that he took out his frustrations on him by never calling his real name before. Now he realized it is wrong to steal someone’s name because it means you’re unwilling to recognize them as human. As they head home to Akihabara, Tetra continues to tease Naotsugu. Shiroe doesn’t want her to do that too much because he knows a little secret: TETRA IS A BOY!!!!!!!!!!! Meanwhile we see a short glimpse of that Plant Hwyaden guild biding their time doing nothing. I don’t know what they’re planning but it seems they’re surprised to hear Shiroe has returned to Akihabara. Log Horizon greets Shiroe’s return. Tetra purposely flirts with Naotsugu to irk Marielle and a tussle for the big guy begins… And where is that Akatsuki so to speak? Oh, she’s there. Too short to see her? I thought Shiroe teased her for growing taller! But he notes she has matured. It is one of those little times it’s okay to still be child-like as she hugs his back. Welcome back.

Episode 13
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. You know what this means. Is there some ulterior motive for Nyanta as he tells Serara about the coconia fruit that has you reveal who you love for the one who eats it? Then he also helps Isuzu make some cookies. But tension is running high for Akatsuki and Minori. It gets worse when Tetra teases Shiroe who is from Tea Debauchery Party and probably likes the leader, Kanami. Can this older woman be his girlfriend too? Shiroe’s surprised reaction even makes the girls worry. Could it be true? Rudy and Touya know Tetra is a boy but are confused how to address this cross-dresser. Even more tension when Minori and Akatsuki gathered lots of coconia fruits and at the same time they want Nyanta to teach them how to cook. Oh dear… Tetra then suggests working together since their goal is the same. She’s enjoying this, isn’t she? On a serious note, it has been 6 weeks since the magic barrier is down but there are no reports of monster attacks or PKs. Misa is given a mechanical arm as replacement. Since healing didn’t work, it is deduced the original one may be where Crusty is. Speaking of which, Lenessia’s gloom continues because Crusty is missing. Nobody to give her chocolates to? Marielle gives her sweets to Naotsugu (much to Shouryuu’s dismay). He eats it and experiences the effect of the fruit. She asks what kind of girl he likes most. He is about to say panties but that running joke of Akatsuki popping up to beat him in a flash ruins it. I don’t know how she left the kitchen so fast to go beat him up. Ah well, Shouryuu at least got leftovers and he’s happy about it. Shiroe’s cake trauma must be resurfacing as Minori and Akatsuki want him to eat their hard work. When he does, the girls are in a dilemma to ask that important question but ultimately can’t. Touya is hungry and wonders what is for dinner and this has Shiroe scream out he loves curry. I guess they’ll be having that tonight. The girls are relieved that this is for the best. Serara couldn’t find the fruit and gives Nyanta flowers she picked. Rudy eats Isuzu’s sweet and blurts out he loves everyone so they realize the effects aren’t just limited to romantic love. Meanwhile we see Indicus of Plant Hwyaden verbally abusing Nureha to forget about Shiroe and how nobody cares about her. Seems there is a contract between them for Nureha to collect wooden dolls to make a castle of a world of her own so Indicus will gain the entire Yamato server. But Nureha won’t give him since she has a promise with Shiroe.

Episode 14
As the Plant Hwyaden guys watch over the Minami town, KR talks of how he met Kanami in the China server and is coming back here. While his horse avatar was roaming for information, that is when he met Kanami travelling with an American player, Leonardo (despite he is in a frog suit, I can’t help see more resemblance in Ninja Turtle), Coppelia (the maid!!!!) and Erius Hackblade (a progenitor like the Izumo Knights). Seems the Apocalypse only happened in Japan server for the time being thanks to the time zone difference. As KR joins them, they enter a village whereby some plague demons start possessing people and attack others. They also meet Chun Lu (so familiar…) of the Rakurou Wolf Brigade whose entire members were wiped out in a raid. Kanami thinks of joining in this fight but Leonardo can’t see why she is doing so much to help NPCs. He understands Erius is an NPC but he is surprised to learn Coppelia is also one but created from a farming bot by a Chinese money laundering group. Leonardo also decides to join Kanami and that is when KR switched his other avatar to be part of this raid. So they face off with hordes of dog beasts and a couple of bosses, namely Lasphere who can control others by using a second name and swapping their status to take damage for her, and Paps whose slimy tentacles are trying to brainwash Erius that he is just a software personality! I don’t think that was meant to be funny. Of course Kanami can’t be bothered with all that and drops in to fight. KR doesn’t know what happened after that most probably because of the Apocalypse taking shape. Nureha comes out to greet the crowd and they are charmed by her while Indicus knows she is just being a puppet with a pretty face. KR of course didn’t tell Indicus any of this and this means she doesn’t know Kanami is back yet. Plant Hwyaden seems to be moving out for war in the east.

Episode 15
Isuzu performs on stage. Personally, I’m not impressed… But Rudy is praising her so much that it makes her embarrassed that she wants to beat him up?! Then Touya talks to Isuzu about her talented skills as we hear her being humble and modest about her musical background back in the real world. She is glad to perform since it makes others happy. The young ones are called by Shiroe because he intends for the rookies to go on a quest themselves to get materials to make some magic bag. It’s time for them to be independent. So we see them packing their stuffs, shopping around for weapons, accessories and a mode of transport (so they settled for a horse drawn carriage?). Then the entire guild has a feast that night to celebrate the beginning of a new journey. Next day, the young ones are sent off with lots of hope and encouragement (and some of them getting emotional too). What a boring episode…

Episode 16
Log Horizon rookies continue their journey. Boring… What’s funny is how their horses kick them off due to some time limit per day thingy. WTF. Yeah, they can even laugh it off. Nothing special about their ‘learning’ journey. They take breaks, set up campfire and in the next town, Isuzu uses her bard skills to perform so they can stay at the hotel for free. Rudy is puzzled of Isuzu’s treatment of him which is very different from Touya but the latter can’t tell him that Isuzu’s treatment over him leans more towards of a dog. Meanwhile back at Akihabara, it is Rieze’s turn to experience melancholy since Crusty is still missing. With the rest of the friends to support her, you know everything is going to be alright. Easy for Akatsuki to say since Shiroe is around. However there is only so long of Crusty’s disappearance can be kept secret. Because at this rate, guild members are leaving DDD and joining Honesty. Some of the old members are not happy with the increasing members because they feel those newbies are just leaches. They think of putting some limits but the guild leader is just having headache to think about it. Because Honesty is having a lot of influence in the Round Table solely based on grounds as the third largest guild. Finally we get to see some action as our Log Horizon rookies save a couple of the People of the Land from some ogres. They may be able to easily handle them but wait till the higher level spectres they are about to face. Luckily, a travelling summoner saves them from being casualties. Roe 2 suspiciously looks like a female version of Shiroe… But since she is also a vampire, she collapses from the sun’s rays.

Episode 17
Roe 2 is still weak from the sun but the rookies’ horse ‘broke’ so they have to push their carriage to the next town. Thank goodness it isn’t that far. They learn Roe 2 is heading to Ikoma to get rid of her vampire subclass that she hates. It is in the same direction as they are heading. Because she likes being called a big sister (because it makes her feel being relied on), she will gladly summon as much horses they want for their trip. And then a short hotspring fanservice scene with Isuzu teasing Serara and Minori on their crushes before Roe 2 usurps the conversation with her bigger boobs. What…? We take a detour back to Akihabara whereby the Round Table guys are discussing about the worrying income gap widening. Some suggests sharing wealth or publishing secrets for fair distribution but some argue about losing motivation on all the hard work you put in to achieve it all. No offence Marielle, but holding events for everyone to participate may actually look like arrogance to some. But how? You can’t leave and abandon the poor and those who are still not used it. What does Shiroe have to say? He knows making bug decisions among themselves like this will only destroy Akihabara. Our Log Horizon rookies enter Boxurt Mountains with heavy fog everywhere. They stumble upon merchants having trouble transporting their abundant cargo. Dariella, a travelling writer and People of the Land suggests helping them out. I guess Touya is smitten with her to agree. Passing by is an eerie group. They are actually Odyssey Knights from Plant Hwyaden. They are carrying an equally eerie contraption believed to be a mobile cathedral that allows adventurers who die to respawn anywhere in its vicinity. But how come they all look so lifeless and their march like a funeral procession? Must be a side effect, huh? And there are rumours that say it disturbs the voices of the heart when used… No wonder those scary eyes…

Episode 18
Nureha has gone missing because she went off on her own but Loreil is adamant to go find her. But if you remember well, she is currently masquerading herself as Nureha. But for the first half of this episode, it is about Rudy and Isuzu talking. After yet another sterling bard performance, Isuzu talks to him about her music background because her dad was a pro musician and was famous although only for a short time. Because Isuzu plays down herself that she has no talent, Rudy disagrees otherwise and how everyone is happy to listen to her play. Then it is like she realized something that makes her so sad. Because the People of the Land has 42 songs to go with and cannot create any more. That is why when Isuzu plays her simplest songs, they feel so happy. That is why Isuzu is considered a hero who has brought in so many songs. Then he talks about People of the Land having future and dreams, the reason why many of them start heading towards Akihabara. This only serves to make her feel more miserable and irresponsible about singing songs with such themes although Rudy and the rest clearly do not feel offended. I don’t know. I don’t really understand what’s her problem. So she locks herself in her room trying to write something. Next morning, Touya talks to Dariella but it feels something tense between them because he can’t look her in the eye and speak. Then he even says this weird thing that she won’t look odd if she stops smiling or something. Is he saying she is faking her smile? We take a detour back to Shiroe as Akatsuki happily reports all she knows about Lenessia’s father. Did she sneak into the castle? No. Lenessia told her. So? Should he be proud that she used her feminine skills to get such info? Well, I suppose. Minori feels strange as she cannot contact Shiroe. She thinks that mobile cathedral may be the side affect and what Dariella meant about voices of the heart being disturbed. She might be referring to telepathy. Suddenly a big ominous cloud approaches the town. Actually it is a horde of wyverns! Ah, got to wait till the next episode for the action. And what is this? Nyanta is nearby?

Episode 19
The People of the Land aren’t afraid since the Odyssey Knights are here to protect them. However Touya and co cannot be in more shock to see them happily and crazily attacking the wyverns. Even more shocking is that how they don’t mind getting killed since the mobile cathedral revives them. Then they start all over again. Plus, everybody is all over the place. No plans, no teamwork. Meanwhile Plant Hwyaden release some nightshade creatures to attack because from what I understand, based on some experiments they did, it will act as a vessel while drawing experience points from whoever without affecting the player much even if it dies. It’s like becoming immortal. Minori becomes suspicious of who Roe 2 is (because she seems to be talking-cum-hinting about things that I don’t understand and don’t care) while Touya who cannot stand it all goes to attack the monsters. Then he confronts one of the Odyssey Knights about his reckless action especially sacrificing their own lives. He is told many want to go back to their old world. When they die, they can see glimpse of it and perhaps a chance for them to return. He then talks about he is getting married and giving up this game for good, blah, blah, blah. Touya argues there are lots of people he loves in this world but is told off a world where one can’t die isn’t real. Touya is more upset. He remembers his real life he got into a car accident. Although alive, it was so bad that I guess he kissed his football dreams goodbye and needed to be wheeled around by Minori. That’s like being dead, right? Isuzu decides to stop being a worrywart and do what she does best. She is going to pick a fight with the god of this world for creating only so few songs. She’s going to sing. After Roe 2 throws back several questions to Minori and made her question herself if knowing Roe 2’s origin and destination are important, she realizes that knowing herself and where she wants to go is perhaps her wish. She wants to be a person like Shiroe who opens new paths and a big sister like her. I guess with that magic word, Roe 2 can’t refuse to help her as she summons her giant zebra and they ride into the battlefield. Nyanta starts his action by destroying the nightshade creatures.

Episode 20
Nyanta fights Londark who seems to be wanting to let People of the Land start a war to kill each other (something Shiroe had tried to say at the Round Table). Seems Londark is bitter because he wasn’t invited but forced into this world so he’s just doing what he wants with it. Nyanta knows what he says is true and tries to talk him out. But Londark wants to die. That is when Mizufa Trudy kills him to shut him up. She fights Nyanta and is impressed by his skills but sad that he has no intention to kill. Nureha is wondering what went wrong. She thought of interfering a little when she tagged along with those Log Horizon newbies. She only thinks Shiroe is special but after what Touya said about not smiling so that she wouldn’t look like she is lying, she thinks his teachings is in them. She can’t wait to see Shiroe and when Loreil finds her, she learns Mizufa ordered this wyvern and nightshade attack. She orders to help out. Mizufa is about to let Nyanta kill him but Kazuhiko intervenes. Nyanta knows him since he was part of Debauchery Tea Party. He believed Kazuhiko is trying to change Plant Hwyaden from inside but from the looks of it, he might have lost his goodness. Mizufa continues to attack and dares Nyanta to kill him but again Kazuhiko stops Nyanta’s blade, this time with his bare hand. Since top orders from Nureha have been received, the mission is cancelled and everyone is to back down. When Nyanta tries to ask Kazuhiko about Plant Hwyaden’s goal, he is kicked off from the train. Roe 2 is happy to help by summoning her angel to destroy the enemies. Should have done this earlier. Isuzu continues with her self reconciliation about her love for music, etc. We get it already! After seeing Touya trying to prevent those Odyssey Knights from killing themselves, she snaps. That is when she is going to introduce a new song to this world and starts singing it. Believe me, I prefer much better the ending theme that just rolled in right after hers. Haha!

Episode 21
The town is destroyed. The rookies are sad they couldn’t save it. The Odyssey Knights leave for their next death adventure. Touya is sad he couldn’t make them understand. It is time for Roe 2 to part but she gives Minori a letter for Shiroe. The best parting gift for her is for everyone to call her big sister. Music to her ears. Also, it is time for Dariella to part and return to Plant Hwyaden as Nureha. The rookies want to stay back and help clean up despite their mission is over. Rudy tries to convince them not to overstay their welcome but a little help never killed anybody, right? We take a detour back to Akihabara. Naotsugu notices lots more people becoming gloomy like when the Apocalypse first started. He hopes he is just over-thinking. Shiroe receives report from Nyanta about his meeting with Kazuhiko as well as Londark’s words. He fears that there are more people who can’t adapt and it makes them angry to the point that they will help the People of the Land to fight each other. If war erupts, can they stay out of it? What will the Round Table do? Also, there seems to be a strange travelling merchant, Camus going around hitting on girls. Some of the girls in West Wind Brigade were hit too but they weren’t amused and rejected. When one of them does, Kurinon punches his face! Suddenly she gets hypnotized to date him. Soujirou comes to her rescue and points out that thanks to the barrier being down, lots of weirdoes have been creeping in. When Camus hits on Soujirou, the other girls beat him up! Nobody touches their man! As Log Horizon rookies clean up, they hear cruel comments from the locals claiming the adventurers don’t care about them in the end. Isuzu realizes this might be why Rudy wanted them to leave. Isuzu still feels glad they came and despite creating a new song for the people, it won’t mean a thing if it doesn’t remain. But on their way back, they hear the kids humming to her tune so there is still hope after all. They won’t have to walk all the way back as Nyanta is here to pick them up on his Griffin. Hey. How can all of them ride on a single Griffin? Anyway, the rookies are glad to be back in the familiar warmth of their Akihabara guild. Home Good to be home, eh? Shiroe opens the letter from Roe 2.

Episode 22
Contents of the letter include Roe 2 claiming some of Shiroe’s memories are with her. Just like other adventurers, she is also part of another sentient being that came from another world. They are called Navigators. Shiroe talks to Soujirou after his guild destroyed Camus when he turned into a monster. He felt strange in slaying him because it was too easy like as though he was fighting a monster from a video game. During the Round Table discussion, they discuss another monster, Bagris that could control and distort measurements, making it difficult for them to attack effectively. But with Roderic creating some ‘ruler’ with Kunie clan’s help, Bagris was destroyed. For now, they term these monsters as Geniuses. We take a little detour with Akatsuki and Minori meeting up with Shiroe. But with Tetra clinging on to him and making ambiguous moves, the tug of war begins. At this rate he’ll be torn apart! Shiroe is counting his blessings ever since he got here. Because it has been a year since the Apocalypse and more and more adventurers are feeling homesick. With the impending war, the advent of adventurers is partly to blame for it so it is best they find a way home quickly. Shiroe calls the old Log Horizon members to discuss Roe 2’s letter. Sorry, it’s not a love letter. Yeah, Shiroe can joke! It claims she is the person Shiroe is looking for. Roe 2 is actually Shiroe’s other avatar he left when he was a tester on the test server. As Shiroe has long thought why they came to this world, it is illogical for a game to suddenly become real and they absorb into it. Their technology is not that advanced. With physics of both worlds mixed up, he thought there is a third party who is neither adventurers nor People of the Land who can explain. Informing them about Roe 2. In their language, she would be an alien. Apart from Navigators, there are also similar beings like them called Harvesters who are out to harvest resources called empathion. Too bad she didn’t explain what it is. But it seems their society had begun to run out of it and a new world was needed to solve this crisis. Therefore Roe 2 and her kind came here using something called Match which is something similar the adventurers experienced during Apocalypse. Roe 2 wants Shiroe to establish communications with the moon because that is where her society is observing the situation. She warns about Harvesters, powerful monsters using bodies prepared for them on the moon. They are what the Round Table calls them as Geniuses. Exercise extreme caution. Shiroe believes the validity of this letter because he saw it when he died at Abyssal Shaft. Akatsuki also remembers. So if they can get back there, they can go home.

Episode 23
Shiroe talks to Roderic about the lunar communication. Bad news. The cost is going to kill them. Even so, they cannot guarantee it will work. Log Horizon rookies are in a dilemma about Shiroe’s decision to send the adventurers home. Some feel they have made friends here but Touya doesn’t hesitate that he wants to go home. Because he came here without effort, he wants to work hard so that he can find a place to call his own. The rest of this episode focuses on Isaac and Iselus, Lenessia’s younger brother at Maihama. Yaoi-shota setting? Isaac is here to train the local guards and be Iselus’ bodyguard. He can’t stand the teasing in the form of praises. Isaac sees the Sergiatte who informs here he intends to officially announce Iselus as the heir during his birthday celebration. He hopes he can teach Iselus what they could not. Easy for him to say. Looks like it is going to be a long road. There is also talk about how the land was once ruled by only Westelande and its dynasty but a war split the land into regions as it is known today. Lenessia returns to celebrate Iselus’ birthday (making Tetra a sad idol because she wanted to form a new idol unit with her!). She warns Iselus to be wary of the adventurers especially those with glasses. Don’t worry. Isaac doesn’t wear glasses! During the celebration, Isaac catches a perpetrator trying to poison Iselus. He takes the kid and run but later finishes them off after being pissed at their hypocrisy. They’re claiming they’re doing this for the peace of the land and yet they want to kill a 9 year old kid? Regan returns to Shiroe having finished investigating the portal at Susukino that might have relations with the moon. Shiroe has always thought the communication equipment in an abandoned broadcast building was broken but during Regan’s investigation, he detected a slight signal of it. Suddenly everyone around the land collapses.

Episode 24
It seems only the People of the Land have collapsed. Eyewitnesses say they saw shining wings and they conclude it could be moths. During the Round Table meeting, it is suggested that they continue investigate the antenna since the people are only asleep. They have no time or energy to spare with all the weird events happening. Shiroe suggests keeping an eye on the situation since even if they can go home, it won’t be right away. Next night, swarms of moths descend on all the cities and this time adventurers who come into contact with their shedding scales fall asleep. More Round Table discussion as they believe people are asleep because their MP is drain away but not quick enough to recover. Shiroe thinks this might be empathion and the moths may be Geniuses. More shocking discovery as the moth’s nest is located at the broadcast building. It has also turned into a raid zone called Calling Fortress. Regan suggests destroying the antenna but that would mean destroying their only means of going home. He is not sure about the servers in other areas, if there is one or even functioning. Shiroe calls for a full raid and will have to finish it before the next moonrise as this is when the next moth swarm will appear. Regan also tags a long because there is a special seal at the entrance and since this is the first time something like this happened in this world, he has the responsibility to witness it. As they move in, they are attacked by… Moon rabbits?! Then minotaurs, ogres and monster boars join the ambush to make it tough for the raid team. They get stuck in the labyrinth so Shiroe suggests retreating to a safe area where they can rest and recover their MP. Some feel Shiroe is being pathetic because it doesn’t feel like the real him calling such shots. But no rest for the heroes as the monsters barge in to continue their attack. A new plant monster emerges from the ground. Casualties are raking up so Shiroe is forced to call it off. Instead of returning to the dungeon’s entrance, they reappear at the studio room. Shiroe apologizes but Henrietta slaps him! Minori and the rest tell Shiroe they are staying in this world. They know he is worried about destroying the antenna and their chance of going home. It’s not that they don’t want to go home but they’re not sure yet. Besides, they can’t leave the People of the Land like that. They don’t know when they’ll be able to go home but knowing they can makes them happy. After they settle everything, they can go home after that. New report shows there is a character appearing on the rooftop. He could be the raid boss. Shiroe is enlightened by the newbies and gets his scheming groove back. He is not going to pick either the world or antenna to save. They’ll save both!

Episode 25
The raid team is back in their groove attacking at full force. Thanks to Shiroe’s great planning and observation, they make lots of headway till they face off with the raid boss who seems to be interested in just putting everything to sleep. Shiroe shows why he was Debauchery Tea Party’s best strategist as he is able to figure out the raid boss’ attack patterns in a short amount of time. Then everybody attacks simultaneously and wins the entire thing. Good news that with this victory, the attack on everywhere else also stops. Regan has finished fixing the antenna. A voice is heard once the signal is connected. Shiroe recognizes and dreads this voice… It is Kanami! Gasp! His ex-girlfriend! Akatsuki… Minori… Hold still your beating hearts… If Kanami is making the communication, is she on the moon? Nope. She’s on the China server. During her journey, she stumbled upon a broadcast studio and messed around a little. She got lucky, huh? Kanami tells Shiroe that her daughter is now 3 years old. Wow. Is that a relief or what? Shiroe is surprised that Kanami isn’t desperate in going back. Because she wants to show her daughter how beautiful this world and the many friends they made. Then it hit Shiroe that it isn’t about staying or going home. There is a third option: Connect both worlds! Kanami wants him to do that and since Shiroe has already formed his guild, he will accept her request. The shocking revelation comes when Kanami says Crusty is here with her! Before more can be said, the communication breaks down. You did something, Regan? True, Crusty is there and he wonders who will be first to get him. Rieze or Misa. Hey. You forgot a certain spoilt princess who is still pouting your name that you’re not around! Meanwhile Indicus is not pleased to be told to restore the relationship between Westlande and Eastal. Even more insulting to her is that it is suggested to cooperate with Shiroe and the Round Table. There is no more time for infighting seeing what just happened. Indicus says no way Jose and won’t even let Shiroe go home. Nureha orders Indicus to stop the war with Eastal so Indicus thinks it is time to remind this b*tch her place. Too bad she won’t get to slap her because Kazuhiko stops her. Nureha tells her that she made a promise with Shiroe and she will not be the one to deal with him. Our raiding heroes return to savour the great taste of Nyanta’s curry. And now a new war begins… Minori and Akatsuki trying to outdo each other feeding Shiroe. He’s full…

The Melancholy Of Log Horizon
No wonder… Before I started watching this series, I had read comments from around the internet that they find this season totally boring. I wasn’t going to let that get me down and was going to maintain my optimism for this season. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinions. Sad to say, I have to admit that my final thoughts for this season are the same. I cannot believe this anime has fallen so far from its amazing first season to downright boring! Yes. It is sad for me to even say that but I think this is my overall sentiment for this season. Sure, there were some interesting bits but they were so miniscule and not making an impact that it couldn’t and retain my interest and eventually save the season.

First let me start off with the bad ‘boring’ points. As I can see, melancholy is the word that I would describe in what is going on for some of the characters in focus. During the first arc with beloved Shiroe away, Akatsuki started annoying us with her melancholy. She is thinking about her usefulness to her lord. After being with him for so long, I am pretty sure he is not the guy who would simply cast her aside for this silly reason. So why you so sad, girl? The saddest part? This is the only part where she has more screen time and in focus! Otherwise it feels like she has been relegated to a side character in subsequent arcs. Similarly, Lenessia is also experiencing her melancholy time. Again, she feels there is not enough she could do for everyone. So what are you sitting here lamenting about? Get out there and do something! Oh, she isn’t the only want feeling melancholy of Crusty’s disappearance. Rieze too. At least for a short while. Next, the Log Horizon newbies. Especially Touya and Isuzu who started feeling sad about this world. About death and music. Whatever. I know empathy is good but they’re being so sad like as though it is a hopeless thing (which isn’t). There is something that is eating Dariella/Nureha but I don’t know what it is either. Not that I care. Finally, Shiroe himself. I am sure and can understand this guy is carrying the responsibility and all the burden on his shoulders. He has a reputation and responsibility to keep up. So when he doesn’t, it isn’t like him anymore. Thankfully he has got great pals to support him and since the season is going to end, it is a good thing his melancholy is short and won’t span for episodes. Thank goodness.

The next boring point is the storyline. I don’t know. The adventure this season feels like it is lacking so much of something. Lacking the adventure magic that I felt when I saw the first season. Despite showing twin stories simultaneously side by side for the first arc, sadly they do not possess the wow factor. Mainly because Akatsuki’s melancholy has been hogging the limelight for the wrong reasons so it takes away the enthusiasm even when I am watching Shiroe’s full raid. Having Akatsuki redeeming herself by fighting and defeating Nelreth didn’t quite cut it. This mysterious killer story felt like it was put in just to match the full raid’s action sequence. Even the revelation of Shiroe going on this full raid, I didn’t comprehend it very well. Buying up the land to return it to the People of the Land? What? Me no understand still. It takes the fun out of everything.

And after Shiroe’s return, it is time to give the Log Horizon newbies a fair share of the limelight. So we send them away to do some sort of mission and they learn something or two and then mature and grow stronger from what they have learnt. Boring. Even if the impending war between the People of the Land is averted for now, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that it could happen again in the future. With episodes running out for the season, they quickly mash together a sudden threat to Akihabara so it is a race of time to save what they deem important. Well, honestly after watching the boringness for so long, it isn’t a bad thing to see Log Horizon and some of the other guild members band up together to storm into the raid zone. Maybe it is because I have become a sadist in seeing them lose for the first time! An enemy they cannot defeat? Wow. This is interesting. And of course they won’t make losing as their streak and eventually turn the tables.

To be fair, not all of the plot or revelations are boring although there is a big portion of the show that I still do not understand. Heck, if some things in this world are still a mystery and Round Table is having a hard time understanding it, what are the chances for a guy like me? Therefore the most interesting plot for this season to me is about the server on the moon. Shiroe and Akatsuki’s temporary pit stop there looked fascinating and mysterious. Although not proven, it could be the answer for the adventurers to get home and I believe this is probably the biggest goal in the plot of the story. I don’t know. Personally having connected with Kanami at the end felt both great and disappointing. Great because Shiroe gets to reunite (sort of) with Kanami. Disappointing because it didn’t really connect with the moon and leave us wanting for more. Not even a freaking cliff-hanger.

Therefore even with the fleeting so called romance (if you can call it), it might be little and it might be just distraction but somehow I prefer to see the rivalry between Minori and Akatsuki and taking it to greater heights. That curry battle might just begin it all. Can the giraffe best the crocodile? Heck, if they had shown more of this, they might have turned the show distasteful, even worse than how boring it is. I would also like to see the rivalry between Tetra and Marielle but then again, that would turn everything distasteful. This idol cross-dresser sure knows how to tease about. Nothing major happening between Serara and Nyanta. Feels like status quo since last season. Same case for Rudy and Isuzu. Touya and Dariella could be interesting but it could just be the spur of the moment. Thanks to Crusty missing most of the time and trolling us if he is alive or not, we don’t see that romantic stuffs he pulled on Lenessia he did in last season.

Continuing the boring stuffs, I would like to talk about the characters. With so many major characters, it is hard for all of them to have a decent share of the spotlight. Unfortunately some of the supporting characters from last season didn’t make a decent impact. Heck, I don’t even remember some of them by now. For example, Lenessia is close to being forgotten after she played an important turning point in boldly standing up to challenge the status quo last season. Because with Crusty missing, I see no reason why we should see her being sad over his disappearance. Keep blaming this guy for not showing up when she needed him, eh? Oh girl, why don’t you just get over it and admit you like this guy!

I thought Nureha and her Plant Hwyaden would become the main antagonist this season as I expected last season but it all falls flat. Indicus is seen like a likely villain (she is after all another character in glasses) and could be the next big one at least standing in Shiroe’s way if there is ever another season. Or they could be just trolling us again. Plant Hwyaden seems intimidating enough but when it is time for action, their appearance is just so limited that I thought it was better for them not to appear at all. Okay, so it is my fault for putting up such expectations. Even Demikas and William make up for their sorry appearances last season despite just being confined to the first arc. But that is better than nothing. At least we can see that they’re not so bad people after all. Demikas just needs anger management and all William wanted was to make friends. At least Demikas shows he isn’t just all hot headed and filled with angst. I didn’t know he can joke because he ‘drools’ when his wife gets injured. Yeah, he doesn’t cry. His eyes drool! I didn’t know he can say funny stuffs! Old characters like Naotsugu, Akatsuki, Nyanta, Marielle and Henrietta (and the majority of the rest whom I have forgotten their names) didn’t do enough to make much of an impact. Akatsuki’s beating up of Naotsugu when he says the ‘P’ word becomes a faint reminder that it was a running joke last season. It didn’t work this time.

As for the handful of new characters, well, it is a mixed baggage. Because Tetra is the most amusing one with her penchant to be as happy as an idol and sticking around Naotsugu just to cause some jealous riffs with Marielle. I don’t know if she has some sort of skill to summon mini portals because she can pop up anywhere she likes over this big guy and very quickly. Trying to catch her is like trying to play whack-a-mole in extreme difficulty mode. Despite Tetra being freaking annoying, thanks to the boringness of everything, her lively teasing seems to be more amusing and interesting. Really. Then there is Roe 2 whom I thought would drop the bombshell and claiming to be Shiroe’s long lost sister or twin since they both look suspiciously similar, only just gender swapped. Didn’t happen. She was mysterious as the wind, came in and joined the rookies for a while before leaving. Her penchant for being called the big sister serves more of a comic relief when everything is getting boring. Though, the interesting bit about her was the revelation that she belongs to another sentient being and there could be another life form trapped in this world. Finally Iselus. I can’t help imagine this kid to be of yaoi-shota pairing with Isaac. *Shudders*.

Action wise, they are still okay but not exciting enough to retain my attention. Therefore I don’t remember if they spam a lot of new spells or techniques since I wasn’t really paying attention. Even if I did, I wouldn’t remember them. Despite the final episode filled with the action packed stuffs and a reminder of what Log Horizon should have been, but it was too late to save everything. Even so, I didn’t think that final raid boss battle was that exciting. Just satisfying enough. Personally, I thought the artwork remained the same like last season. But as I have read some comments, some say that the quality is lower this season. Hmm… There are a few scenes which I thought weren’t up to par but it is because I thought this was how the anime was. You know, the characters especially their facial expressions and the likes are simple looking instead of anything complicated.

As many of the big casts from the first season are retained, a handful of new ones join them in this new season. Most notable would be Tetra. At first I thought she was voiced by Aki Toyosaki because of that idiotic liveliness in her. Nope, it’s not her but Yukiyo Fujii (Latifa in Amagi Brilliant Park). Roe 2 is voiced by Ayumui Fujimura (Misaki in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama). Interestingly, Mariya Ise who voiced Lenessia in both seasons now also voices Iselus. I can’t tell the difference anyway. I also didn’t know it was Marina Inoue’s voice behind Kanami. Maybe I did but perhaps I wasn’t concentrating. Lacking of other new seiyuus I can find this season, I’m just going to list down Hiromi Igarashi as Coppelia (Hina in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai) simply because she is a maid character :). But there is a little pleasant surprise in this department for this season. I can’t be wrong or mistaken because I think that is Mamiko Noto’s voice making a cameo as Demikas’ wife! I know it is her! Yes it is! YES! Ah, this season is saved from being a complete disaster! Though, it is still boring overall. The show, that is.

I thought this was freaking familiar because then it soon dawned to me that this season’s opening theme is exactly the same one used in last season! Don’t have the budget to get a new opening theme? However I still feel this rock theme isn’t suitable. I thought they were going to reuse the same ending theme but thankfully they didn’t. Though, they maintained the same singer to sing it. Yun*chi sings Wonderful Wonder World and although I prefer this much better than the opener, however my preference still has me liking the first season’s ending theme better. Trivial note: I guess this season was boring that right at the beginning of the ending credits animation Akatsuki is seen yawning. My, what a big yawn. Then for the rest of the animation we see her sleeping and dreaming weird dreams. My, she must be tired after the boringness, eh?

So my guess is that overall this season fails to live up to its predecessor and the only thing now for this series to redeem itself is to make a super awesome third season. Hmm… Maybe that is what is intended in the first place. You make something real good to get people wanting for more and then you make a disappointing sequel that has those same people giving the thumbs down or booing or throwing rotten tomatoes. And then you surprise everybody with the unexpected by making an epic final in the trilogy. Simply because nobody who has watched the second season would expect the third season to surpass it. It is all about the tactics of lowering your expectations and then hit you when you least expected it. Heh. Doesn’t it sound like a strategy for Shiroe? In conclusion, this second season might be dull but do not lose hope. It may or may not get better. You won’t know if you don’t try. Now that Log Horizon is gunning to bridge both worlds, imagine both humans living together with computer game characters. I wonder if this makes it possible for you to live with your 2D hentai/porn characters. You live and play the game altogether.

Log Horizon

October 19, 2014

A popular fantasy RPG game that allows you to enter its world and experience the true RPG feel of slashing monsters, hunting for treasures and levelling up your stats. No, we are not talking about Sword Art Online (or even the .hack series). No doubt that one is still more popular but don’t discount Log Horizon too. Many would feel that Log Horizon is somewhat similar to Sword Art Online due to the fact that the setting has players trapped in the virtual game world and cannot log out. But the similarity ends there. In this anime, many players from around the world find themselves trapped in a game after they released its latest expansion pack. Focusing on the players from the Akihabara of Japan, it chronicles the adventures of these trapped players as they have to survive and adjust to their new life. That doesn’t sound that all bad, doesn’t it? Well, if you are really stressed out from the realities of life, this may be the ultimate getaway…

Episode 1
Shiroe like many other players of the MMORPG, Elder Tale, find themselves stuck in this game in Akihabara (where the game’s server is located) and cannot log out. Some just confused and many are just wallowing in depression. He meets up with his friend, Naotsugu as they discuss about how today was supposed to be the update of a new expansion of Novasphere. The next thing they now, they’re stuck in this world. This isn’t a dream and they need to find out more about this world as they don’t know when they can return to their own world. Shiroe is called by a fellow assassin whom he has teamed up in many missions before. He asks for a gender changing potion in which Shiroe is in possession. The guys are shocked to learn Akatsuki is a petite girl. Because Naotsugu is an open pervert, Akatsuki usually knee kicks him in the face before he finishes his sentences. I suppose this will be a running gag throughout the series. The trio agree to stay together but short of forming a guild themselves. Akatsuki feels indebted to Shiroe and will follow her ‘master’ anywhere. They get food to eat but they all taste so plain… This is what data bits taste like… They are then called by the Crescent Moon Alliance guild leader, Marielle. Marielle loves big hunky men like Naotsugu while her assistant, Henrietta is smitten in cute little things like Akatsuki. The trio are briefed about the situation. Guilds are trying to recruit members, the game servers in other regions in Japan are working fine and the inter-city transport gates aren’t working. However because of the expansion pack, this may not be the Elder Tale everyone is familiar with. Marielle knows Shiroe isn’t fond of guilds but offers him to join. Besides, Debauchery Tea Party is gone, right? Shiroe declines. Debauchery Tea Party isn’t a guild but a group of individuals banding together to complete large scale battles called raids. Shiroe was their strategist. Naotsugu wonders if you can escape this world by dying. The only way is to experiment. They head to fight some monsters. It is harder to use the commands to attack but after watching Akatsuki just using her body to feel the motion, it is much easier to swing your hands instead of inputting commands with your fingers. More natural. Shiroe narrates today is the day whereby hundreds of thousands of Elder Tale players found themselves trapped in this online game. The day they will call as Apocalypse.

Episode 2
Good news: When you die, you do not die in real life and get resurrected in the cathedral. Bad news: This means you’re still stuck in this goddamn world. Shiroe narrates to us about classes and sub-classes and also remembers about Crescent Moon Alliance telling them about PKs (Player Killings). Because players cannot die, incidents of PKs have increased to steal their items. Although PKs are prohibited in towns, ambushes are laid in the outskirts instead. Speaking of which, the trio come into a band of cocky PKs. They think they’re easy meat. Because Shiroe is a brilliant strategist, we see them unleash several spells and counter attacks (couldn’t bother to remember them) that sends them back to the cathedral. Akatsuki even took out the hidden ambushing members of the PKs. There go their trump cards. Later they discuss that because they lack any goals and are bored, the reason why many resort to PKs. They need something to occupy their minds to stay alive and sane. Shiroe and co are called by Marielle again. A member of their guild, Serara is stuck in Susukino. They plan to go rescue her but since the distance in Elder Tale is half the distance in real life, they still have to travel far and fight monsters. The situation at Susukino is much worse than here but thankfully Serara was saved by a kind soul and is hiding in his shelter. Marielle plans to assemble the highest guild members for a rescue mission and wants Shiroe and co to take care of the guild while they are gone. But Shiroe thinks. The journey will take long and all their best players are going. One conclusion: This mission is sure to fail. There is another alternative but is in a dilemma whether to get involved or not. His pals know what he wants and just do it. Shiroe offers to go on that trip as this is the best option. They ride horses and even ride the rare griffons to save time.

Episode 3
The gang have to travel underground through a complex maze to reach the other side of the mountains since the airs in this area are filled with wyverns just like in the game. While taking a break, they talk about telepathy ability in which is only available to the friends on your list that you must add face to face. We see Serara levelling up her maid abilities cleaning the house, cooking and washing because she is so bored. At least better than the dangerous outside. She is currently living in the home of Nyanta, the cat musketeer who saved her. As for Crescent Moon Alliance, they are trying to gather several guild leaders in a meeting. Shiroe and co continue to trek through a longer path in the maze because they want to avoid fighting with packs of low level rat-men and risk the spread of disease. Their pathway collapses and Shiroe drops like a rock. Akatsuki dives down to save him while Naotsugu pulls them out of the water. Shiroe remembers he wasn’t much of a social person so he ended up playing Elder Tale. He made ‘friends’ but it seems they were only using him for advice to get rare items. Till he met the Debauchery Tea Party members and words of their leader that the best part of adventure is experiencing new thrilling things attracted him. Continuing their journey, the guys are surprised to learn Akatsuki is the same age as them. You think she’s just a little girl? The zone suddenly changes and they think this is one of the new Novasphere updates as this wasn’t here before. They are faced with a giant rat-man. Shiroe’s strategy has them defeat this rodent in no time. When they break out of the cave, they see a beautiful sunset scenery. Watching it on your monitor is different. Experiencing and seeing it with your own eyes, priceless. Meanwhile the situation in Susukino is getting worse. Demikas, the leader of his Brigandia guild is rampant and merciless in PKs and stealing. However he is most upset that Serara and Nyanta are still not to be found and orders his men to find them. He won’t allow anything to go against his will.

Episode 4
Shiroe and co arrive at Susukino and want to avoid fighting to deaths. Although they will be resurrected at the cathedral, because Serara’s server is in Susukino, she will be resurrected in that local cathedral. Serara is hiding in a safe zone, the reason Brigandia cannot find her. Shiroe finds Nyanta and Serara. Seems Nyanta is Shiroe’s superior. Nyanta agrees to follow them back to Akihabara. The entire town is filled with Demikas’ punks waiting to pounce of them when they leave since there is no PKs zone inside towns. True enough, Demikas and the rest are waiting outside. Nyanta suggests a one on one fight and since Demikas refuses, Shiroe proposes his right hand man, Londark who seems to be the more powerful one. This works Demikas up and he walks right into their palm and start fighting. While we have more terms explanation from Shiroe about cast times and cool down times, Naotsugu joins in the fight to distract the rest. Shiroe has Serara heal everyone on his signal and when the time is right, Shiroe unleashes Thorn Bind Hostage on Demikas for Nyanta to cut and slice the vines, rendering him down to his last HP. Akatsuki takes out Demikas’ healers in a sneak attack and narrates about their coordination and teamwork that allows them to pull off such techniques. Something she could not do. Demikas is not repentant and wants to kill them so Serara deals the last blow that sends him back to the cathedral. But Demikas is still seething in anger even in death and will remember Shiroe. They summon griffons and make their quick escape into the sky.

Episode 5
While camping out in the woods, Shiroe and co are surprised Nyanta can cook meals that taste so awesome!!! Real meat! To get such real taste, stop ordering from the menu and make them from the natural ingredients. Another point is that Nyanta’s sub-class is a chef so he is able to cook unlike the rest whose meal becomes charcoal when they attempt the same. As they properly introduce themselves, Akatsuki gets to know Shiroe, Nyanta and Naotsugu are from Debauchery Tea Party, the reason why they can work together so well and possess high level techniques. But she cannot believe Naotsugu is part of the legendary team. When Shiroe ponders about Serara’s age, it reminded him about the twins, Touya and Minori. As they were beginners in this game, he taught them using the Teacher System. He saw them briefly during the Apocalypse and guesses they might have joined a guild. The gang take shelter in a nearby farm since a storm is building up. They interact with the NPCs whom Shiroe feels they are more human than them because despite being unimportant characters, they have their own little back story and emotions. Adventurers and players like them with super strengths and power make them seem more inhuman. Meanwhile Touya and Minori are probably regretting joining some guild seemingly mistreating the new players. They can only blame themselves for being weak. When they are about to depart for a mission, Touya hears Shiroe’s voice (he and his gang just reunited Serara with her guild members). He wanted to go to him but I guess he had to follow his boss’ orders.

Episode 6
A welcome home Serara party is thrown. Food tastes good thanks to Nyanta and it seems Shiroe has given Henrietta permission to hog Akatsuki!!! Sold out! Shiroe talks to Marielle about the current situation. Guilds are falling into their ranks now based on their size. Big powerful guilds are cutting off smaller ones and monopolizing hunting grounds although cases of PKs have diminished. She mentions about the meeting with smaller guilds a few days ago to form a joint council but it ended in shambles as everyone argued about their own petty goals and selfishness. Also with Novasphere’s expansion, the level cap is now raised from 90 to 100 and big guilds like Black Sword Knights and Silver Sword are aiming for 91. There is also the case of players using EXP pots, which is basically like cheating since it gives players increase in stats. Players below level 30 are given this so as to attract more newbies to the game. But a guild called Hamelin is gathering new players claiming to help them. However they are selling their EXP pots to guilds who want to raise their stats. Speaking of which, Touya and Minori are in this guild. Shiroe observes the current situation at Akihabara and his disdain and thus dilemma for joining guilds. Nyanta offers his words of wisdom. He then calls Minori and knows about the twins’ situation. Minori forces herself to hold back her tears. She is happy to hear his voice but yet couldn’t bear anymore of the suffering. Shiroe has a meeting with Marielle and Henrietta to request for their help. It’s time to repay the favour. He wants them to help save a pair of twins in Hamelin. He is also serious in wanting to clean up Akihabara. He is saddened that everyone is living in a pathetic state here. Being in Akihabara feels unpleasant and thinks everyone is underestimating this world too much. For a start, he needs 5 million gold. Holy cow! Crescent Moon doesn’t even have that much. He mentions the money isn’t important. It is everyone’s hope and goodwill. He believes lots of people loves this town than hate it and the more people like that they know, the higher chance they can win. Marielle is happy and breaks into tears when she learns Shiroe has finally formed his own guild. He calls it Log Horizon.

Episode 7
Marielle is dying since she has stacks of paper to approve. I don’t even know why a small guild like them has so much paperwork. Shiroe knows Henrietta has a master’s degree in business admin in the real world. Because this world has no rule of its own, they can make their own as they have no time to think over where they can get their money. So Crescent Moon opens a burger stall in Akihabara with the real burger taste as their selling point. Since it’s a bit pricey, the other players are sceptical. Till they take a bite… FREAKING AWESOME!!!! They want more!!! And so word spreads about this real tasty burger. They’re raking in the gold. Can they keep up with the orders? With Naotsugu and fellow Crescent Moon members, Shouryuu and Hien nonstop hunting for meat in the forest while Nyanta and other chefs cook the delicious burgers. Although they make a killing and their burger is a sell-out, they cannot reach their 5 million gold in time since they can serve at most 1,000 customers per day. They’ll take 4 months to achieve that and Akihabara alone itself has 15,000 registered players. In exchange for Henrietta’s hard work, Akatsuki once again is ‘sold out’. No escape! Shiroe and Nyanta call out to meet a friend, Soujirou. He has his own small guild, Caravan of the West Wind Brigade. Soujirou is puzzled Shiroe called him out since he thought he didn’t like because when he was invited to join his guild, he declined. Of course it was Shiroe then who had a thing against guilds. But after the Apocalypse, he realizes he needs to make a place on his own. Soujirou agrees to help him out since he believes in him. I’m sure being an extra manpower at the burger stall to attract female players isn’t just the plan. He knows there is far more to it. With things going well, Shiroe initiates the second phase of the plan.

Episode 8
Marielle and Henrietta are in a meeting with a fellow friend, Karashin from Shopping District 8. They are to negotiate for ingredients and of course it isn’t going to be just a simple one. With Shiroe as the mastermind, Crescent Moon Alliance is going to get the best deal and achieve their goal. Because they have invited a couple of other guilds to join, they make it sound as though Karashin cannot miss out on the deal now so in his desperate move to seal it and stay on, he accepts their terms in their favour. Soon, the leaders of the other guilds arrive. Michitaka from Marine Agency and Roderic from Roderic Merchant Guild. Knowing that they want profits, as long as they can make them bear that in mind, negotiations will go their way. It gives them the advantage to reveal or withhold information but they can’t lie. Henrietta explains they are about to embark on a huge quest that they couldn’t do on their own and need the help of others. The quest also requires 5 million gold. At first they are sceptical as no quests cost this much but with the Novasphere expansion, it could mean the reward must be mega huge. Hearing that Shiroe is behind this quest attracts their attention. In return, Crescent Moon Alliance will give the full details of the operation as well recipes and copies of all the cook books they are using. As they have collected 500,000 gold, another 4.5 million is needed and so each guild can contribute 1.5 million each. The guys agree to the deal and even try to get the edge over the rest by suggesting they can be the sole sponsor. I guess the negotiation is a success. Meanwhile Minori narrates how she came to this world. She was shocked although Touya was getting used to it. They were a victim of PKs and lost everything. They were desperate and sought help to whoever offered them. That’s how they ended up in Hamelin. Minori feels she has no right to seek Shiroe’s help as she is weak and powerless unlike Shiroe who earned his keep. Touya also tells Minori he did see Shiroe once but didn’t go ask for his help. He had those same thoughts. Many of the big guild masters receive and invitation from Crescent Moon Alliance for a round table talk in Akihabara. Shiroe contacts Minori and tells her tomorrow he will be saving them.

Episode 9
Notable guilds of Akihabara are invited to the round table conference. Combat guilds like DDD, Black Sword Knights, Honesty, West Wind Brigade and Silver Sword along with crafting guilds consisting of Marine Agency, Roderic Merchant Guild, Shopping District 8, Grandeur and Radio Market. Not forgetting Crescent Moon Alliance and Log Horizon. Shiroe chairs the conference and explains his goal to improve the situation in Akihabara. William Massachusetts of Silver Sword decides to bail on this conference since he is a combat guild and doesn’t care about the state of the city. Meanwhile, Akatsuki, Naotsugu, Shouryuu and Hien are absent as they are waiting in position before the plan to let the kids in Hamelin escape begins. All they need to do is run straight into the door of Guild Building when the cost is clear. Shiroe begins his case about certain guilds locking up others due to the EXP pots and his journey to Susukino that he saw a guild taking control over players and NPCs that the place is in total chaos. Therefore they need laws to bind them. But what if there are those who oppose this? What if a big guild with sizeable members isn’t willing to follow this law? Shiroe shows his trump card that he has purchased Guild Building. He is its rightful owner and can ban or allow players to enter or leave. Because banks are also located in Guild Building and with the transporter to other cities disabled, this means their only access to money is in Guild Building. It’s like blackmail, no? They wonder how he got the money to purchase this building. Those 3 guilds admit. They seem disappointed that the recipe was this simple but were told how is it not worth 5 million gold? Also, the money wasn’t for a quest but to form this round table conference. Hey, it was their own assumption that they thought it was a quest, right? Meanwhile the locked kids of Hamelin begin their escape. Touya and Minori have a little obstacle before they made it through the door. But Hamelin’s leader, Schreider somehow goes through and attacks them. Akatsuki saves them and puts him on the blacklist and out he goes. Shiroe mentions his 2 goals. First, to restore life to this town and the world in the long term. Second, to create laws that bind people. Isaac from Black Sword Knights still isn’t thrilled so he wants Shiroe to tell them specifically what Log Horizon has in mind.

Episode 10
In addition to bringing back life to Akihabara, Marielle reveals how to make food with taste. With this discovery, it leads to the idea of inventing stuffs. The crafting guilds have created a prototype steam engine. Now that there is a rush to invent things, this will lead to people purchasing and run the economy. Also, people will have something to do like going hunting to earn money so they’ll buy weapons and hire bodyguards. Shiroe mentions the need of safety too. The laws and human rights they make need not be strict but they need to lay down some rules like banning if some goes overboard like imprisonment (since death is no longer absolute). He also wants the laws to apply to NPCs in this game termed as People of the Land. Because they are the indigenous people while players are the outsiders, if they can’t govern themselves, their relationship with them will erode. They also bring up the topic of going to war with the People of the Land. The round table conference ends with everyone agreeing to participate in this plan. Hamelin has been shut down and since the members are barred from entering Guild Building, they left town. All the imprisoned children are now under the care of Crescent Moon Alliance. With news of their cooking and invention spreading, it has also attracted People of the Land to flock here. But some have noticed a certain number of them have begun to move. Today is where Log Horizon moves into their own building. Crescent Moon Alliance also moves into a bigger hall to accommodate more members. Other guilds pay them a visit, some with moving in gifts. Michitaka relates a problem of pricing in this world because the process from the real world is different. Lastly, Touya and Minori want to join Log Horizon because they want to learn more from Shiroe. There is no reason not to accept them, right? Welcome aboard. Meanwhile the League of Freedom Towns Eastal, a kingdom called Maihama consisting of People of the Land report to their lord Sergiatte Corwen of the developments in Akihabara.

Episode 11
Touya and Minori are training under the eyes of Naotsugu and Akatsuki. Marielle throws a tantrum that she wants to go to the beach to experience summer. She worked her ass off, you know… And so under the guise of a summer training camp for new players under level 40 sponsored by the Round Table League, Marielle gets her beach holiday. At the same time, a messenger of Sergiatte requests an audience with the Round Table’s leader. Shiroe expected them to make a move. The plus of having this audience is that they will get more valuable information about the People of the Land. On the downside, they may get caught up into their politics. If they don’t participate, they lose that valuable chance to know more. Will this eventually lead to war? Shiroe doesn’t think so as those people were made to be far weaker than the adventurers. Because the audience falls on the same time with the training camp, Shiroe can’t attend the latter as he is needed for his skill in bureaucracy and information analysis. Tagging along are Akatsuki, Henrietta (because for a certain loli ninja), Michitaka and DDD’s Crusty. They arrive at the Palace of Eternal Ice, a kingdom built on magical ice by an extinct ancient race. During the ball, Sergiatte greets them and Crusty seems to have that air of nobility with him to talk with the lord like normal. Shiroe notices that the other People of the Land are not talking to them and maintaining their distance. Not because out of respect for their lord but rather they lack information on them too so they are being wary. As they want information on them too, they have to be careful in their conversation not to give away too much. Sergiatte introduces them to his granddaughter, Lenessia. Meanwhile the training camp goes on fine and Naotsugu announces the newbies to train in a dungeon. However it will be just them all by themselves.

Episode 12
When Sergiatte suggests them to dance, Shiroe is made the scapegoat to do so since Crusty views himself as the Round Table’s representative and wants to speak with the lord more. Shiroe isn’t alone, though. Henrietta guides and dances with him since her other class is a bard. Later, Minori contacts Shiroe as she is worried about tomorrow’s dungeon training. He assures her as long as she remembers the basics in the notes he left her, she’ll be alright. Shiroe and co discuss about if they have brought any additional cooks because the conference will last for 10 days and the terrace of this size, they’re expecting lots of guests. There are 25 nobles in Eastal, this puts their population strength on par with Akihabara. Shiroe has an idea what the nobles seek. To learn the scope of Akihabara and Round Table’s ambitions and try to win them on their side (some are worried the adventurers are trying to rule their city and want to get them on their side for fear of being left behind). In short, they need their power but won’t act like their inferiors. Most likely Crusty will be bestowed a noble title. There is a possibility that nobles will try to talk to individuals or guilds for offers. Since it’s impossible to monitor everyone, they need to establish some rules and understand how they think. This is where Akatsuki comes in as Shiroe sends her on a recon mission. Meanwhile the trainees begin their dungeon adventure. They form into groups. Touya and Minori’s group includes Serara, Isuzu the bard and some arrogant and talkative sorcerer, Rundel Haus Code or simply Rudy. He thinks he is so awesome. But the boys click because they view fighting up front is the best instead of the girls’ idea of having a strategy meeting. Even in the darkness, Rudy thinks others are trying to outdo him by providing a brighter light. WTF. With normal skeleton guards appearing, they make their move. Rudy gets cocky with their victory. But there are more skeletons waiting to ambush. Touya cannot handle them all and they’re targeting Rudy. Since Minori’s defensive spell is taking too long to activate, the only strategy left is to… RUN!!! Pathetic! Meanwhile Crusty declines an offer to drink with a noble to go meet Lenessia.

Episode 13
Due to many invitations by the nobles, the guys split up and decide which ones to attend. Lenessia thinks about the meeting with Crusty. It was just an excuse to get away from that pesky noble. Not only he can tell what she is thinking, it is like his words contain sarcasm aimed at her. Lenessia is so used to the praises from others that she sometimes feels that half of them are because of her position. She witnesses Crusty and the other guards in a goodwill fight. He suggests that the strongest knight be given a reward and that is for Lenessia to accompany them to tonight’s banquet. Who approved this anyway? She has no say and all the guards are motivated. But needless to say, Crusty ends up tops. Naturally. All according as planned. Later she talks to him about freedom. Despite adventurers are free, being that takes resolve. Meanwhile Touya and co are still having it tough in the dungeon. For the umpteenth time they still can’t beat those skeletons. Is it because they lack the power? Michitaka and a noble are talking about food production in the land in which is booming. However the big problem is that transportation on land over long distances tends to be attacked by monster. His request is not for him to defeat the monsters but to use his new transportation technology over sea. Lenessia accompanies Crusty at the ball. She is forced to put a fake smile which makes her look odd. A couple of her friends join them. They also watched Crusty in the sword fight earlier on and are very impressed. Lenessia couldn’t understand why he is so polite and elegant to them instead of her. She knows that underneath all the sugary and polite words contain sarcasm somewhat aimed at her. Once they leave, Crusty reveals he has a little sister in the real world. Lenessia’s actions are very similar to her, that’s why he knows what she is thinking. And thus being with her eases his tired heart and he hopes he can sincerely repay her kindness at the conference. Shiroe catches Akatsuki dancing alone outside! From her recon report, it seems the People of the Land see them as enemies mainly because of their power but mean no direct harm. She also heard them not knowing where the Izumo Knights are. Suddenly Regan of Miral Lake appears before them and wants to speak to Shiroe.

Episode 14
The duo are taken to Regan’s huge library base. He is actually a magic scientist instead of a mage and his research specializes in magic. He explains the different types of magic based on their scale of effect and the ultimate world class magic that can alter the laws and fates of the world. This magic called World Fraction has been used 3 times and the third being the Apocalypse. Shiroe wants to hear the entire story for the first 2. It’s going to take a while. Around 350 years ago, several races lived in harmony and the land was more prosper than today. But the race of alves whose forte is magic technology were despised for that. Their numbers are small and reproductive system slim so other races destroyed them and those who survived became slaves. After the alves’ nation was destroyed, 6 bent princesses called Luquenje were born and simultaneously sought revenge. The world plunged into chaos. Although Luquenje was on the verge of defeat, that was when the first World Fraction was used. The result created demi-humans like goblins. None of such creatures existed 300 years before. They were created using the souls of those who died in the war. The battle with demi-humans rages on and that’s when humans created other races like animal people. However demi-humans are able to resurrect (respawning in gaming terms) and this made them undefeatable. That’s when the second World Fraction was used. Around 240 years ago, that is when adventurers came into the picture. Regan mentions Shiroe’s name was mentioned around 98 years ago in the history books.

Shiroe tells us that time in Elder Tale flows differently in the real world. An entire day in this world is equivalent to 2 hours. This means 98 years is around 8 years and a few months, the same time Shiroe started playing this game. 240 years ago translates to 20 years, the same time the first beta game was released. Regan continues talking about Spirit Theory that includes psyche (magic points) and anima (hit points) and some technical theory why people resurrect but lose experience points as penalty. As resurrection magic also works on People of the Land and the similar system of adventurers resurrecting in cathedrals are used by demi-humans, there is a possibility that memories are damaged or lost during death. This is a hypothesis he is currently researching. If all that seems confusing to you just like Akatsuki, Shiroe puts it in simpler terms like how a player behind his computer plays this game using the avatar in this game. So losing life is only restricted to inside the game and not in the real world. But since the Apocalypse, it is possible that both their psyche and anima are united so their memories and experience points of their characters have become one. If they die, they lose their memories. But many have died and revived since although nobody is making a big fuss and it may be of miniscule scale. However there is a possibility that people may forget about the real world. Shiroe doesn’t want anyone else to know about this yet. Meanwhile Touya and co are still frustrated that their training isn’t making any progress. Rudy practises hard by even making a simulation of the dungeon layout. Minori finally sums up her courage to tell her teammates something or else nothing will change if she stays quiet.

Episode 15
Because she knows nothing about everyone, she needs everyone to explain about their weapons, spells, their functions, effectiveness, etc. So once everybody starts talking and comparing, they realize the reason why they lost against such low creatures. They make plans to take advantage of their skills and spells so they can work together in combat more effectively. They put their plan into good use till they clear the dungeon. Victory at last. Meanwhile Shiroe is making high level documents when he gets a call from Minori who reports and explains everything. Shiroe is happy that her team is doing well. Isuzu is talking to the girls and they can’t help wonder that Rudy is handsome but don’t feel the attraction. Then when she talks to him, she sees the similarities of a golden retriever dog. That’s why. She wants to add him to her friend list but this action cannot be proceeded. Meanwhile, a huge army of demi-human fish are invading land and attacking the trainees.

Episode 16
Nyanta scouts ahead on a griffon. There is a huge army of goblin army marching here over the mountains. They easily numbered at 10,000. They inform this to Shiroe and in turn via some telepathic network he communicates with everyone from the Round Table. It isn’t only demi-human fish and goblins but other demi-humans like hobgoblins and ogres too. Shiroe believes this to be the Goblin King’s return event. In the game and twice a year, the strongest goblin is crowned king. Players are given a week to take it out before its coronation. If they do so, they are rewarded rare items. Thus a popular event among gamers. Failure to do so means the goblins will multiply in numbers and all its clan will unify under the new king. Since the Apocalypse, everyone was busy trying to live and raising their levels and forgot all about this. There are also heroes born from the People of the Land who are more powerful than adventurers. They are the Izumo Knights but nobody knows where they are now. Anyway, a big war is inevitable and some will die. This has Shiroe tell Crusty and co about the risk of losing one’s memories if one dies. Shocked at this revelation, they want to know which memories and how much. He doesn’t know. Crusty believes him because he has died a few times and there are some memories of his world he cannot recall. Of course he can’t remember those forgotten memories, duh. However he doesn’t think it is something to fret over because failing to act for fear of the risks is akin to a living death. Lenessia’s father sees her and informs of the advancing goblin army to Maihama. He will return there but wants her to stay here with grandpa to help him out since all the lords will be gathering here. Nyanta’s group spot lights from torches over the mountain. But it is not the big goblin army and rather a medium sized raiding one. They think they are going to raid the nearby town of Choushi for its food. Rudy wants to go attack since it is better than sitting around doing nothing but Isuzu disagrees since it is dangerous. There are also reasons not to help the People of the Land. Minori gets permission to go ahead an act as an advance team. Of course this is just a ploy to just go there. She doesn’t have any other plan. Upon arrival, the town is destroyed. Touya gets upset when he sees a couple of goblins and attacks them. This makes him determined that there is no reason why they should not help. If you want to help, isn’t it enough? But can they do it without the numbers? Minori has a plan. They are not going to protect the people. Instead, they attack the goblins first.

Episode 17
Minori’s group begin their sporadic attacks on the goblins, luring a small group out and them finishing them off. Rinse and repeat. Meanwhile the lords are in a conference among themselves and discussing about the goblins’ invasion and the next city that will probably fall. If they don’t want to rely on the adventurers, their only way is for all the lords to unite and attack. They take a break and a couple of them discuss that everyone wants to make Lord Kilivia’s city of Tsukuba as bait for the goblins to attack due to its strong defence. Once the goblin tires out, they can attack and finish them off. Although, the city would lose some lives and rural lands. Asking the adventurers would be a better choice since they are immortal but they don’t want to be in their debt. So to avoid showing their vulnerability, they need to get more information out of them even if it means lying. Lenessia heard all this including the plot not to tell them Izumo Knights are missing. As Shiroe and co are called in for the conference with the lords, they can see that the lords are doing what they can to withhold information on their side while trying to get them spill out their opinion. If that is how they want to play, then there isn’t going to be any holding back. Michitaka’s role is to play the aggressor in turning their request down. He doesn’t think it is the adventurer’s obligation to save them or do what they want since they are not people of their cities. The heated discussion carries on, to a point where Kilivia is seemingly blamed that he is acting for his own benefit to seek for adventurers’ help instead of a collective agreement by the lords. Lenessia then walks into the conference. She wants Crusty to accompany her to Akihabara where she hopes to personally plea to each adventurer to come fight as volunteers. She gives everyone a lecture about respect, weakness and freedom (borrowing that line from Crusty). And so Shiroe and co along with Lenessia are on an express griffon flight back to Akihabara. Shiroe is impressed with her. She was nervous during it all but managed to keep her composure. He never thought she could do it. When she told them about respect, she seemed to perfectly understand it. Something that everyone was about to ignore, including them. She may have saved the land from the dead end that their forefathers have founded.

Episode 18
At Akihabara, Crusty needs to attend to his guild so he leaves Lenessia with Shiroe and Akatsuki. They head to Karashin’s guild where she tries out the hamburger for the first time but accidentally drops it on her dress. Probably this is all part of Shiroe’s plan to make her change into some armour. Then they gather all the adventurers as Shiroe makes his opening statement and the goblin threat. He also states they do not have any obligation to save Eastal and will gain nothing. If they are selfish, there is no need to save it. But he has them hear out Lenessia. Introducing herself to the crowd, she quickly moves on and apologizes that her people still have not taken any action and she feels ashamed they were even talking to force them to protect their cities. She is also sorry for herself that she is here to seek their help to protect her land despite they won’t have enough to pay them for what it is worth. But as the princess of this land, it is her duty to protect it and she hopes they will protect the freedom with their goodwill as she would. I’m not sure if it is her cuteness and beauty that made the adventurers support her. They could have opened a fan club at this rate. With such roaring approval, Crusty immediately sets course for their first military expedition and will lead the army with Shiroe as the strategist. Shiroe feels speed is important because as long as they don’t know where the goblins will strike next, they will be at a disadvantage. Crusty will lead his army to Narashino Port on Ocypete, a prototype steam engine ship while Shiroe will lead his to some safe park with no nasty monsters. It will make a good operations base. Sergiatte speaks to Michitaka and Henrietta privately. He believes Lenessia’s action may risk splitting the league. Some of the lords are thinking they are working secretly and separately with the Round Table. He wants to exterminate the goblins first as questioning their intentions will not get them anywhere. He has also abandoned the idea of having the Round Table join them and be made nobles because he realized they are of different leagues. It is impossible to make them part of their alliance so he suggests a non-aggression pact and treaty. Of course Michitaka can’t make a decision and would best leave it to Shiroe. In that case, Sergiatte will have to let Lenessia take responsibility for this. Lenessia talks to Crusty. She felt down ever since she went to Akihabara because there were so many things she didn’t know. It was like she was a caged bird. Even she cannot guarantee in protecting the adventurer’s freedom, she still wishes for it and that is her desire. Crusty begins his military strategy and divides his men into groups. His answer for invading goblins: Kill them all!

Episode 19
Crusty’s team begins his offensive against the hordes. Crusty shows why he is the big badass leader as he swings his giant axe that takes out several enemies at one go. He is enjoying slaughtering every one of them. Shiroe discusses the strategy of the battle. Winning is easy but the hard part is when the goblins disperse and they may run in all directions and into towns. That’s why they have to maintain a formation that encircles them. The team at Choushi is also important because they need to keep the demi-human fish at bay or else breaking through would mean their formations will be under attacked. But it is going to be tough since they spotted a thousand of them coming from the sea. Overwhelmed definitely. Touya and co wants to go attack first. Is there a reason to say no? I don’t know why the trainees are the ones doing the job while the instructors are just giving lip service. Especially Naotsugu and Nyanta who are commenting on their growth, especially Minori is fighting so much like Shiroe. Because Shiroe has this strategy of looking ahead 30 seconds into the future so he can predict and control the flow of the battle. Isuzu’s warning system in the forest sounds. The goblins have return. With the other trainees handling the demi-human fish, Minori and co will take on the goblins. Our young ones win easily at first but with a couple of Dire Wolves and hobgoblins coming into the picture, the fight gets much tougher and Minori and Serara cannot heal their comrades fast. Minori recalls Shiroe’s lessons when taking on difficult opponents. However Touya’s HP is dropping drastically and he is cornered. At this rate, he is sure to die. That’s when Rudy comes to wrestle with the wolves and takes serious damage. He rides them to lure them away before doing some self sacrificing move. Of course you would be thinking it would be easy to heal him but all their healing spells aren’t working. Why? As Isuzu reveals, Rudy is a People of the Land. That’s why they cannot add him to their friend list. Hey. Shouldn’t they sense something amiss when they couldn’t heal him? Unless he was never in need of healing. Rudy told Isuzu about this and hoped she would keep it a secret but she feels sad that despite he works extra hard, he cannot become an adventurer as he dreamed since the People of the Land cannot be one. Since all healing spells cannot work, the last resort is to dial 911. Call Shiroe, that is.

Episode 20
Shiroe makes his way there on a griffon while instructing Minori and Serara to take turns using their revival spells on him (something about the anima and psyche link lesson Regan told him). Once he reaches there, he is going to use a new magic spell and has them agree not to tell anybody else. Shiroe begins his mana channelling by taking the magic power of everyone to distribute it to Rudy. He then uses a revival incense to forcibly connect his mind and body to bring Rudy back. It works. When Rudy mentions about death being a natural process in a battle, Shiroe won’t allow him to call himself and adventurer if his resolve is low. He lectures them about the lesson learnt in their training wasn’t strategy or tactics but the resolve to survive and fortitude to do whatever it takes to do so. Because Rudy’s resolve is lacking, he suggests he signs a contract with him. As the leader of Log Horizon, upon immediate effect after signing it, he will make Rudy part of Log Horizon and the status of adventurer. The guild will give him missions fulfilling his position. This contract thingy is a new magic in Elder Tale. Like how Nyanta figured out the secret behind delicious cooking, Shiroe could have possibly found something new in this binding contract made out of the game’s best ingredients. Though, he won’t know what kind of effect it will have. Rudy is glad to sign it. He wants to be an adventurer and as long as he can save people, he couldn’t care less about the glory. As part of the process, he is to die once and revive at the cathedral. Meanwhile Crusty and his team finally crush the Goblin General and he looks like a mad serial killer doing it. The team at Choushi are also successful in defending the town. Minori asks Shiroe why he brought up the terms of adventurer and resolve to Rudy. When Elder Tale was a game, it was just a word they used for players. Now he views it as a name for his companions who travel the world with him and find a dawn no one has ever seen. Rudy wakes up in the cathedral, delighted with his adventurer status. Isuzu is the first to greet him but beats him for doing something so reckless. He is forced into submission to apologize for making everyone worry, promise never to do it again and will do whatever she wants.

Episode 21
Everyone is celebrating victory despite the goblins aren’t wiped out yet although they are being cornered and the Goblin King is still in its headquarters. This is all part of Shiroe’s plan because it is more important to build relationships with People of the Land first. The Round Table and Eastal signed basic trade and peace treaties so there are many quest requests to go fight the goblins. Shiroe hears a storyteller telling the children about how a People of the Land became an adventurer thanks to a magic. He is surprised because that sounds exactly like what he did with Rudy. Meeting Regan, he too noticed his new power when he saw its light in the sky and considers it as a world class magic. He also notes he saw another world magic in the opposite sky direction. Someone else has created a new form of magic. It could be from Minami. Shiroe narrates the 5 main cities of Akihabara, Shibuya, Susukino, Minami and Nakasu have changed since the Apocalypse. Many of Shibuya’s joined Akihabara. Susukino did not change much and are still ruling with oppression. Long ago, the land was once united as a whole. Unified Westelande Empire was swallowed up in a history of battles with demi-humans and Luquenje and died out. The Cowen family is distantly related to the Holy Empire Westelande Where Minami is located. An event similar to the Goblin King’s return called Demon Festival of Suzaku has occurring at Minami. The nobles there haven’t noticed yet and the Izumo Knights may have been involved again.

As Lenessia dances with Crusty, she remembers what grandpa told her. It wasn’t the people of Eastal who requested for help but Lenessia herself. Although they express their deepest gratitude, they have no obligation to do more. Simply put it, no reward money or compensation. Remember what Lenessia said about taking responsibility? Yup, she will have to undertake this one. They will be setting up an embassy in Akihabara and Lenessia will be their ambassador. Serara is torn between Crescent Moon Alliance and Log Horizon (because beloved Nyanta is here) so the cat guy dances with her to sooth her mind. Minori hears several people badmouthing Shiroe as they think he takes advantage of other people’s weaknesses. Because Shiroe isn’t joining the party, Akatsuki feels down. So much so not even Henrietta’s harassing doesn’t bother her. Maybe she really wanted to dance with him. Though, she gives excuse she feels she wasn’t much of a use in the last battle. Shiroe of course denies that. Since everybody else is dancing, he also dances with her. She’s been practising, right? Isn’t that what she wanted? Two amateurs dancing… Few days later, Lenessia arrives at Akihabara and Shiroe lets everyone now about the lost memories rumour. Naturally many are scared but many made no big deal out of it. Life goes on. Minori hears even more people talking behind Shiroe’s back that the people in the Round Table probably knew about this memory loss thingy all along. Soon, autumn is coming and Marielle wants to throw a festival. Don’t worry, she’s already got it all planned out. Scale Festival, she calls it?

Episode 22
Things are quite lively since the festival is just tomorrow. Henrietta goes to see Shiroe holing himself in his room doing paper work. She advises him to take a break because the festival is a good time to get closer to his guild mates. Akatsuki pops up to hand him a red bun. Is that all she is here for? She is stammering and nervous to ask him something. She’s taking too long so much so Minori beat her in asking Shiroe to join her in a cake buffet. If they go as a couple, it’s free. Although Akatsuki also gets to go, she is now cracking her brains on what to wear. Even more stressed out that her rival is a middle school girl. Have you ever seen Akatsuki act like this before? I know asking Henrietta for fashion is out of the question but seeking Karashin and Michitaka? Eventually she gets a kimono and the trio didn’t expect that they have to eat 12 whole cakes for it to be free! But Shiroe is the one who is going to suffer. Not only there is a competition by the girls to feed him, the other people are staring with jealous eyes at this lucky bastard. He couldn’t make a strategic exit and void making a fuss! In the end, he is so bloated and fat and they couldn’t finish the cake. That night, Akatsuki talks to Shiroe alone. Akatsuki hints that she went with him not because for the cake. His great mind couldn’t understand what that means. I don’t know why she starts rubbing his forehead. Master-servant role play? Minori sees this and runs away in tears. Her heart is in pain. She realizes they are both in love with Shiroe. Hey, wait a minute! Since when did this show turn into a love romance? Touya finds her and she admits she likes Shiroe. He knows about it because he is her twin and the way she acts is quite obvious. He understands why she likes him because he too admires Shiroe. Minori gets the wrong idea that he likes him too! Touya says there isn’t a problem. She is just hurt since she hasn’t lost or done anything.

Episode 23
The festival continues into the next day. Akatsuki seems trying to hint to Shiroe to notice her hair accessory. He couldn’t even see it if it was right in front of his face. All he sees is his paperwork. Disappointed? So much so she didn’t even flinch when he told her Henrietta needed her help. Yeah. Better to go see what she’s up to rather than trying with this dense guy. Minori goes to help Karashin and organize all his bills and invoices. He thought her sub-class is scribe but it is apprentice. Minori talked to Shiroe that she wanted to change her sub-class but was unsure of what to pick. He suggested that and if she becomes someone’s student, she can copy that person’s skills. And so Minori chose Shiroe to be her teacher as she wants to be useful to him and help his reputation. Some of the other stuffs happening in this episode include Naotsugu going on an eating spree in which he calls ‘food inspection’ just to stamp cards for a prize (switched by Akatsuki anyway), more time together between Lenessia and Crusty, Nyanta stopping some noble from causing a ruckus in a bar (his cool factor in Serara’s eyes must have shot up) and Crusty and Isaac talk about the irony of Shiroe who brought business to Akihabara and enough influence on the place. They wonder if he is really a strategist or a gambler. Crusty thinks he is like a cursed sword. At a bazaar, Shiroe helps quells a People of the Land when he demands to buy everything instead of sticking to the rule of limited purchase per customer. He finds it odd that he gives up easily after all that arguing. He also notices many others are in some sort of argument. There is something wrong but he can’t identify the cause. When Minori contacts him and reports many basic maths errors and overlapping paperwork mainly by the People of the Land, it is then Shiroe realizes somebody is attacking Akihabara. He laments he let his guard down and didn’t notice the signs. Now they have the advantage. He has Akatsuki find Isaac to get a report on their security. He rushes to his office while some clown guy, Lord Marves will be reaching here soon.

Episode 24
Shiroe deduces the method of disturbances in Akihabara is to destroy the Round Table’s reputation. Isaac contacts him that Marves has arrived. He is some big shot Westelandeian merchant nobleman. It could be a problem because in the game, there were no quests about removing someone from power. Given that many People of the Land are involved, someone higher up must be pulling the strings. Destroying the Round Table would also mean taking advantage of the confusion and interfere with the Eastal-Round Table treaty so that Eastal will not monopolize the benefits. Shiroe doesn’t want the festival to be cancelled as it would show their weak problem solving skill. If they’re expecting a counter attack, they’ll give them one. The challenge now is to get help from as much people as possible but without them noticing. Minori continues with her paperwork and puts forth what she learns from Shiroe and even gives good advice to cool the stressed workers. Shiroe continues to think of the link between the random disturbances. From road blocks to unfounded rumours to even quarrels. The more he thinks, the less he can visualize the enemy. Are they making things up randomly as they go? He is so frustrated! Have you ever seen him like this?

While he is sitting outside, Soujirou comes to talk to him about the cake buffet he had. Because he is popular with girls, the fan girls join him in and the cake owner send out more cakes. However all the cakes were finished and there were none left. So he brought more people till they ran out of cake? This gives Shiroe an idea. This could be the best counter attack plan. He thanks Soujirou and the fan girls squeal with this possible yaoi pairing… And then his evil aura starts to show… Lenessia is holding a banquet as thanks for the adventurers. Marves and his bodyguards enter the place. He becomes rude to adventurers who approaches him and even has his way with Lenessia. They cannot fight back or this would mean war. Marves mentions about the fresh seafood he brought and needs a warehouse to maintain its freshness. He has sent proper documents and an identical message to Sergiatte but has yet to receive a reply. Shiroe’s strategy is that Soujirou’s fan girls take turn patrolling (under the guise of a group date) around Akihabara and this helps quells the problem before they start. You lose your drive to fight if you’re surrounded by such cute girls, no? Shiroe learns that Marves is here and suspects if he is the one behind this, he’ll be after the other party he’s negotiating with: Lenessia. If the goal is to tear Akihabara people apart, they just have to make this festival more fun. Lenessia’s maid confirms there were such authentic documents from Marves and could have missed them during the mess up. This has Marves think of their inefficiency since he requested it for so long. Lenessia can only stay quiet. She doesn’t know what to do. Apologize and settle this peacefully? Shiroe walks in and is here to get her.

Episode 25
Crusty and Michitaka are also here. Shiroe seems to deliberately paint Lenessia at fault. Crusty then shows Malves’ letter. The lord is surprised like as though he never wrote it. But it’s his signature. He changes the subject that his seafood needs warehouses to store and was told all the warehouses of Round Table are full. Well, the Round Table’s, that is. Michitaka offers he can store them in his Marine Agency. Malves looks panicking. Like as though he may not have the goods. Like as though he is lying. He then leaves and claims he feels unwell. After that, Lenessia follows them to attend the outdoor fashion show. There is also a meet-and-greet session with her. Shiroe thinks Malves might be the mastermind since all attacks have ceased. Minori still hears people badmouthing Shiroe for being the bad guy against Lenessia unlike Crusty who was the hero. She talks to him and he confirms he did it deliberately. Because in Lenessia’s book, Crusty is the hero and he is the villain. Minori wonders if doing this hurts him. He never thought about it and was afraid this might affect Log Horizon’s reputation. He thanks her for helping him out too. He was once afraid of making a guild. Being strong on your own is meaningless unless you use that power for others. If there is something he can do, he’ll work his best to not cause them problems. It is Akatsuki’s turn to eavesdrop. She heard their conversation. She felt stupid and guilty. She was always by his side and yet she never knew.

Later Shiroe sees a People of the Land named Dariella who will tell him about Minami. However he knows she is Nureha, the guild master of Plant Hwyaden and leader of the west using a never-seen-before spell that controls information. Shiroe has done his research well. He knows Plant Hwyaden is the guild that overseas Minami and has won over its People of the Land and even making their guards as their servants since the Apocalypse. They gathered enough wealth to buy the cathedral, gain authority on adventurers and made very one of them join their guild (although this stems out discrimination as there is only one guild). Nureha wants Shiroe to join her and be by her side. She admits the cutting off of information was done by one of her subordinates and the attack on Akihabara was Malves’ idea that got out of hand. She praises him for dealing with it well. He wants to know the truth so just for him she begins explaining she was a plain Jane that nobody notices. Till she played Elder Tale. However it is the same. Nobody noticed her till that very person told her she had talent. That’s you, Shiroe. She thinks Shiroe is on the verge of finding Fraction, a way to go home. He dismisses it because all it is confirmed is that they disappear. She tempts him to join her and he might be able to confirm it. She will give him more information than he can find in Akihabara. She thinks he has no reason for doing all this to help Akihabara and can use her as an excuse to do whatever he wants. Whatever he desires she will give it to him. Because she wants him. However he slaps her. I take that as a rejection. Thinking about his fellow Log Horizon members, he says he now has a reason. Accepting her would mean turning everything into a lie and ruining everything they worked hard for. He doesn’t remember her but if he did tell her she had talent, he can’t use her as an excuse. He can be her enemy more than a friend whenever she decides to find a reason. Nureha now wants him even more and will definitely get him someday. At the end of the festival, Shiroe joins his Log Horizon members. Nyanta knows he wants to say something. Everyone throws their support behind him. It seems Shiroe has intentions to rebuild other towns. They also need to raise their levels and train hard. But he has something bigger in mind. Something bigger than them returning to their world. Shiroe sees Regan and tells his plan to leave Akihabara. Regan wants to accompany him.

The Glasses That Rock The Cradle Rules The World
Big alert! Big alert! Big news! Big news! What could be so urgent? Well, I guess they saw it coming because right at the end of the final episode, Akatsuki makes that ‘shocking’ announcement that there is going to be a sequel. How could it not? Because with so many potential development (especially Nureha who could well be the next big antagonist for the next season) and foreshadowing of things to come, it would be a shame just to end it like that and leave it forgotten. Well, there is always the novel to read but that is a different matter. So I guess the adventure doesn’t end here. At least not for this anime.

I won’t say that this is the best adventure themed anime there is nor would I even dare compare this to Sword Art Online in so many ways, I would say that Log Horizon does well to stand on its own for a fantasy adventure anime. It might not be perfect as there are still many things unresolved (Izumo Knights’ disappearance, anyone?). This is expected because just like the players who were suddenly trusted into this Elder Tale world, they too are in the dark of the new workings although there are many things and the basics essentially still remain the same and familiar to those who have played it well enough. Basically the flow of the storyline is paced well enough for casual viewers like me to at least grasp what is happening overall even if I wasn’t that keen in going too deep into the workings or even the game terminologies like the types of magic and spells cast.

Because I am not an aficionado in RPG games, the battle strategies might seem generic and simple but I feel that there are more to it. Shiroe tries his best to explain to us the several terminologies and even some of the spells casted to unique fighting skills of certain classes. I am not sure if it is very comprehensive but it should be enough for casual viewers to quickly absorb them. Of course for me I wasn’t really paying attention and I couldn’t be bothered remembering some of the terms despite they are not very hard to pronounce or the kind that would twist and tie your tongue. I know. The immense worlds of fantasy RPGs can be scary especially the time you devote playing the game and learning all the rules, tactics and terms. If this series was a game instead of its original novel, I’m sure it would do great because it doesn’t feel that they pull out all those terms from thin air and there are some logic and significance to it.

Which brings me to this case that this Elder Tale might not be actually a game but a different world by itself. Although we have been told that players were stuck in the game, never once we have glimpsed the real world where they have come from. Therefore it is only logic that for whatever reasons that made them came to this world, it feels like a different world altogether because the NPCs have a life of their own unlike in games we just find them as interactive mindless drones and the experience of your senses is just so real instead of putting on some NerveGear and warp yourself into a virtual world. The coincidences with several important events that link both worlds are cleverly woven (from the beta testing to resurrection) and I thought it was quite an ingenious idea. It might be a game we are playing on our computer but it might just the very real thing as far as the other world is concerned. Therefore I would come to conclude that they aren’t actually stuck in a virtual game but got transported to a different world. This makes more sense. Of course having the setting of being stuck in a game makes more sense than suddenly a cloud of mysterious dust befall on people all over the world and transport those with over ten thousand gaming hours to this alternate fantasy world.

On to the characters, each of the main and supporting characters is unique in their own sense and has their own personality. They are fun and memorable in their own way. A downside with having so many characters thanks to the countless number of guilds of all sizes as well as their members, it is hard to give everyone their due screen time. Especially some of those crafting and combat guilds from the Round Table. Well, it’s a Round Table so everyone should be equal, right? Heck, if it was, they would have called this anime series that. What was this anime’s name again? Yup. So you get most of your character focus on our Log Horizon members especially our Villain In Glasses. He is a brilliant tactician to sum it in one word. Composed and calm, he thinks and plans ahead so much so you might think that he is writing out the outcome of the scene and that he is the screenplay, editor and director himself. That is why he is so well respected by those who know him. A great leader and also a great motivator as well because everyone looks up to him and listens. But Shiroe too isn’t perfect. Like his initial rejection to form guilds till he finally realizes that you just don’t form one just for fun. Like with the rest of his guild members, he grows and learns with them. So it’s a big win for everybody. You can thank him that his grand vision to turn Akihabara into a lively city is now bearing fruit. Otherwise, it would be a dead town with ‘living zombies’ wandering with no aim. He makes this place the place that you want to be.

Other Log Horizon members are okay too although I somewhat find that Minori gets more screen time compared to the rest since they focus on her trying to be a good student of Shiroe and learning in his footsteps. At least from where I can see, she has grown into someone who was once powerless and weak into a girl who can independently guide her fellow comrades in battle and come up with the best strategies. She could be the future Shiroe. All she needs are glasses! Hah! Speaking of which, I think the series is trying to paint that those wearing glasses are superior, scheming and sly people. Aside Shiroe, Henrietta and Crusty are the only people who don glasses. It might be more than just coincidence that they command quite the power and influence. Hmm… I wonder if they have glasses as some sort of a rare super item. Glasses FTW! By the way, I do not have glasses fetish, mind you.

I feel Akatsuki’s impact on the overall series starts declining ever since the Eastal arc came about. It was just funny to see the running joke of her beating up Naotsugu before he could complete his perverted sentence and then asking Shiroe for permission to get physical. I suppose at the start of the series, there weren’t many people in the guild. Heck, it wasn’t formed yet. So in that sense Akatsuki gets to ‘hog’ Shiroe for a considerable amount of time before Touya and Minori joined and the guild expanded to Rudy and Isuzu. After that, Akatsuki seems to be casting a gloomy look for most of the time, as if worrying if her master still finds her worthy or not. Nyanta as the p0lite and wise mentor doesn’t really do much either. Most probably it is to let Shiroe decide since he is the leader.

Marielle and Henrietta I suppose are the only members in Crescent Moon Alliance that made their presence felt. At least to me. Others felt like they were just cameos or something but essentially it boils down to the big duo of this guild. If Shiroe is the main star in the strategy department, then Crusty is the main star for the PR and noble side. Sometimes I can see how similar they are. Must be the glasses. A lot of scenes involving Crusty seem to be with Lenessia. Trying to hint something? So if the focus isn’t on Shiroe or his Log Horizon members, we have the drama of Crusty and Lenessia for entertainment. Especially with Lenessia can’t help think of the sarcasm he subtly aims at her. It’s like she’s a nice target for it. Yeah, why pick on a weak and lovely cowardly princess? Of course he means no harm. Just teasing.

The action bits are okay but nothing that impressive. Because I am not really familiar with things, it feels like they can just make up anything and cast the spell or summon an attack on the enemy. If you want to see hack and slash all the way, this isn’t going to be your anime since you would see more of Shiroe as the strategist coming up with tactics first. Besides, won’t you get bored if they keep on fighting the same thing even though they are different monsters or different levels?

I wasn’t going to expect a big development in the romance department so it surprised me a little when that little bit in that episode made it sound like it was going to be some sort of a romance drama with Akatsuki and Minori in the running for Shiroe. If it did, I would really love to see how this guy uses his strategy to get out of such situations. And then maybe all the guys in the harem animes can use this tactic. So for now there isn’t any sort of development in the relationship between them except that they are precious guild members at most. At least it just lets us know who loves who. There are a few in fact. Obviously we could tell from Serara’s look that she is into Nyanta ever since he saved her. But not strong enough that she would leave her guild and join Log Horizon. In fact, I think that is what Serara is being reduced to if she isn’t fighting alongside her comrades. Then there is Crusty and Lenessia. I can just feel it between them although nothing official is said. My guts are telling me… I wonder what happened to Shouryuu’s love for Marielle. It was obviously written all over his face that he likes her but slowly as the episodes go by, this feels neglected. Like it didn’t matter. And then there is also Rudy and Isuzu although the latter might take a liking for the former because he looks like a dog, but my guts tell me it goes way beyond that. I mean, you don’t treat your dog like that, don’t you? Finally there are Marielle and Henrietta with their unhealthy fetish and love for Naotsugu and Akatsuki respectively. Yeah, I suppose I can’t call that real love but what the heck. Especially with Henrietta obsessing all over Akatsuki every time that it sends the latter into automatic shivers. Not even an assassin could escape from this ‘death’. Death of too much loving obsession. Haha!

The art and drawing feels average. The characters look average although not horrible but they aren’t the kind that you would classify as bishonen or bishoujo. Even Rudy as the one closest to being a bishonen, after a while you tend to realize he just seems rather okay. Crusty too. I have a feeling he is supposed to be good looking. He is as far as this anime is concerned. But then again if you look t the style of the art on the overall aspect, it just feels normal. In a fantasy world with different types of races and beings, of course there is the diversity. Sometimes I wonder if the big armours guys like Crusty and Isaac wear would be bulky. I don’t know, I get the feeling that it looks bulky although it doesn’t restrict their movements. Also, I have this feeling that they are just skinny people underneath that metal and the armour just buffed them up and made them look big. Though, I hope I am wrong. The designs of the monsters also feel average. There is nothing extraordinary about them. They don’t look menacing at all although some like the demi-human fish look odd. The background and scenery… Rather okay. As usual. Strangely despite this being a fantasy adventure, most of the scenes are in towns especially Akihabara. Journeying to exotic places or even dungeons and caves are very rare. Heck, there are no flying islands!

On a very trivial note, I figure that Shiroe’s motto at the end of every (normal) episode preview by Akatsuki somewhat tells us the different major arcs for this season. Well, you only get 3 different versions of them actually. For the first 9 episodes, we hear him say “This is our reality”. So once the Round Table has been established, for the next 9 episodes we’ll be wondering what the heck he means by “Always look 30 seconds ahead” for this Eastal adventure arc. By the time it is finally revealed this strategy of his, the motto changes to “We will change the world” for the balance of the episodes (Goblin King’s return event and Scale Festival arc). Here is another trivial thing (if you can call it that): There is no fanservice! And no, Lenessia in her half armour doesn’t constitute that.

In the voice acting department, generally it feels okay and nothing that extraordinary. Just that Jouji Nakata as gentle Nyanta adding “Nya~” in every sentence of his somehow makes him feel a little gay. Reminds me of that creepy narrator he voiced in Amagami SS. Just add “Nya~”. The casts of the series (selective) are Takuma Terashima as Shiroe (Stone River in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Emiri Katou as Akatsuki (Kagami in Lucky Star), Tomoaki Maeno as Naotsugu (Takeru in Maken-Ki), Nao Tamura as Minori (Ayuko in Aiura), Daiki Yamashita as Touya (Theo in Galileo Galilei), Ayahi Takagi as Henrietta (Mikako in Sora No Otoshimono), Yumi Hara as Marielle (Yuuko in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia), Takahiro Sakurai as Crusty (Suzaku in Code Geass), Mariya Ise as Lenessia (Levi in Fairy Tail), Tetsuya Kirihara as Rudy (Natsu in Fairy Tail), Eriko Matsui as Isuzu (Benio in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Misaki Kuno as Serara (Kate in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Satoshi Hino as Isaac (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima), Hiro Himono as Soujirou (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Hiroki Gotou as Michitaka (Yokoshima in D-Frag!) and Keiji Fujiwara as Regan (Sven in Black Cat).

The opening theme is Database by Man With A Mission featuring Takuma of 10-feet. I somehow feel that the rock pace of this song isn’t suitable for the adventure theme of this series. I imagined them as a Japanese rock version of Tears For Fears… Really. I seem to prefer Your Song by Yun*chi as the ending theme although it is a generic anime pop. Maybe it’s the cute squeaky voice? And perhaps the chorus where she ‘screams’ “Zuttooooooooooooo…”. There are a few varieties of BGM music too but not that appealing to me that I would really want to rush out and buy the soundtrack album. I wonder if they will sound great or suitable if they were ever released in a game instead of an anime series.

Overall, Log Horizon is an anime for you if you love some fantasy adventure and nothing too flashy or confusing. It also teaches us a lot of things. Whether it is the real world or virtual reality, the applications to survival is mostly the same. The most important of all is that those who change the world are those who dare to dream and take action. We can all be inspired from Shiroe and although we don’t have to be as smart as him coming up with brilliant strategies, the important part is that we do the best we can. And when everybody plays their little part, it becomes the whole is greater than the sum of parts. Everyone has their role to play no matter how small. So are you ready for another adventure? I already have. Been adventuring through anime over the years and it’s not going to stop any time soon. Your mind is the greatest gateway to take you to places.

Shining Tears X Wind

December 14, 2012

It’s time to go on another adventure. Another RPG adventure in another parallel world. Form your own party with different races, wield special weapons, fight demons from the other world and save this world from impending darkness and destruction. Well, that’s how most RPG games would sound so once more I had this feeling in taking up another RPG themed anime like Ragnarok The Animation, Shukufu No Campanella, Prism Ark or Tears To Tiara. Because of that spin-off sequel anime, Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan that came out in mid 2012, it was the main reason why I decided to take a look at Shining Tears X Wind (pronounced as Shining Tears Cross Wind), the alternative prequel that came out in 2007.

Based on the Shining Tears video game, the anime adaptation is based on the perspective of one of the characters in the game. Though I have not played the game nor have I heard of it before in my life, I’m not sure if it really follows one of the many paths in the game or it is just uses the characters and settings of the game and veers off the plot. But I’m sure it won’t deviate a lot since how far can you deviate from the original game that it is based on? So as usual, the story tells of a group of students while investigating mysterious disappearances in their town are accidentally (or by fate if you wish to call it) brought to an alternative realm whereby they make new friends, fight dark forces and get involved in a world-threatening conspiracy that will endanger the lives of all those who lived here. So much to do to even get back to your own world. If that is even possible…

Episode 1
The mysterious disappearances of Tatsumi Town have reached St Luminous Academy. A group of students comprising of Haruto Saionji, Souma Akizuki, Kaito Kiriya, Touka Kureha and Kanon Shiina are discussing the mysterious disappearance of Nakayama from the basketball club. He entered the PE room but never came out. Everybody agrees to pass the message when Reia Hiruda shows Saionji a book, End Earth that contains details of the other world. It probably has particulars on how to get there too. When Souma returns to the room to retrieve his handphone, he notes Saionji and Hiruda gone and notes the book on the table. Soon it became a huge fuss since Saionji never returned and what do you expect when that kid is supposed to be the young heir of the Saionji business? Hiruda is also missing. The rest try to look for clues as Kiriya explains the weird dream he has that a girl with weird ears told him about the link of this world to another called the Dream Continent, End Earth. They suggest to meet up tomorrow at the school gates to continue their investigation since Shiina mentioned about a wolf’s howl being heard last night. Next morning Souma and Kureha wait for their friends at school. Taking a little detour, Souma knows Kureha likes Kiriya but he is oblivious to her feelings. So what? He takes this chance to confess he likes her! I won’t say she isn’t exactly thrilled but she doesn’t put him down either. Interrupting this confession scene is a wolf-like creature. Hopping past them and causing a big rampage in their school by tearing up everything. Huh? The girl chasing the beastman, Mao enters the fray but isn’t strong enough to overwhelm the creature. Souma catches her fall and her hat drops off to reveal her cat ears. Introducing herself and her mission, Souma agrees to help out and by cooperating, they manage to corner and subdue the beast. Mao explains she is looking for a man named Zero. This guy with black and white rings and wears rings on both hands is her friend as she has something she needs to ask of him. He can’t find him anywhere so she thought he came to this world. Oddly, the beastman who has been sitting quietly like a good dog suddenly breaks free of that seemingly frail rope that is used to tie him. It got a little pervy and tried to attack Mao’s breasts. Haha… Anyway the Mirror of Dimension that was placed in between her breast is now broken. Is that bad news? Yes, because they’re going to be transported to End Earth since it’s out of control.

Souma and Kureha notice Mao not with them in this alternate dimension but they see Zero who knows about Souma. He wants them to watch over the world on his behalf. Just great. He just gave a bunch of high school kids a vague mission and a huge responsibility to shoulder. Kiriya and Shiina are at school and are surprised to see the sakura tree that has never blossomed for so long, in full bloom. This is one of the conditions in Kiriya’s dream whereby both worlds are linked together. Souma and Kureha find themselves in a barren land. Definitely not Japan. Trying to look for the mirror to get them back, a demon appears out from a wormhole to attack. I guess this is Souma’s chance to show off he can protect Kureha. I can’t believe the demon easily died with his strangling. But how can he handle a bunch of new monsters appearing now? Run! Of course Kureha trips. Souma wants to play the hero. He tells her to run and will take on all the monsters himself. Seriously… Getting swamped doesn’t make him look cool. As expected, Kureha gets attacked (it looked like she was going to be raped!) so this ups Souma’s anger and determination to fight back. Okay, how do you handle the giant Cyclops now? He can’t. He gets strangled and one-eyed monster is going to pierce his sword through Souma when Kureha comes between them. Yup, she takes the stab. I don’t know what she’s got in her heart because it’s emitting a very bright light. Bright enough to whisk them away temporarily to some other dimension. Kureha lies unconscious in Souma’s arms while he laments the useless jerk he is unable to protect the girl he loves… Sighs… He feels something flowing through him when he tries to take the sword out. He heard her voice to take her heart and when he pulls it out, the sword turns into a cooler sword. He notes this sword is Kureha’s heart. Back to reality, he disposes the Cyclops in a single slash and sends shivers down the spine of the other monsters. Now he’s confident he can protect Kureha. Just don’t get cocky looking too cool, okay?

Episode 2
That sword is a legendary Soul Blade called Setsugekka. So confident Souma is that he goes on a slashing spree, killing all the demons and even closing the wormhole, Chaos Gate. A big doggie character, Rouen comes forth. He assures he isn’t the enemy and came to check things out because he saw a Chaos Gate opened. He explains a Soul Blade is a sword of the heart. Your heart can crystallize with the heart of the one you share your emotions with and form a sword-like object. Legend has it that when great disaster befalls, Soul Bladers from Elde (their term for Earth) will come and be their saviours. I guess they qualify, eh? Rouen guides them to the country of beastmen, Seiran. They talk about returning back to their own world in which Rouen doesn’t know. Kureha feels if they find Mao, she might have the answer since she came to Elde. Speaking of which, Mao has handed the rogue beastman to the authorities and she heard rumours of Soul Bladers appearing in the country of Liberia. Rouen and Souma are fighting off hordes of demons attacking a village. Though they emerge victorious, the village is badly damaged. Next morning as they help clean up, Souma is surprised to see the basketball jersey of Nakayama but finds out he has been devoured by the demons. That solves the missing person case. There goes bringing him back. They continue their journey as Rouen brings them to Haiyou, capital of Seiran. This is as far he can go with them and since rumours of their appearance have reached here, they’ll be welcomed. The duo make their way into the palace and meet the chancellor, Shumari (fox guy) who is acting on behalf of the king in his absence as he is away in an official meeting. They are introduced to the 4 of the 5 Beast Generals: Engu (Garuda), Raihi (tiger), Basou (Centaur) and Kouryuu (old turtle). Being the legendary Soul Bladers, the duo are given the VIP treatment.

As they feast that night, Kouryuu mentions about the Holy Grail that is possible to send them back to their world but he doesn’t know where it is. Shumari says while searching for the Holy Grail, he requests them to help seal and purify Chaos Gate. They agree. Suddenly news of the elf been freed from Konran and reached Pilius reach them. They beastmen are surprised since Hyoun the other fifth Beast General is supposed to be keeping a close watch to prevent others from abusing the elf’s power to get near the sacred precinct. Kureha requests to explain in more detail so Shumari shows them a map of End Earth and points out the locations of Seiran and Pilius at opposing ends of the continent. Though it consists of humans, they are evil and have ambition to conquer others. An incident a year ago in the land of elves in the north, Astrea, their queen was assassinated in a meeting between nations. Soon the rest of the royal family all met their untimely demise. There is an elf named Houme and she has attempted to destroy the world before. Over the centuries, she has been imprisoned in Konran, the country sandwiched between Liberia and Pilius. Seems Pilius have formed an alliance with her and plan to destroy their country. Souma and Kureha feel they have to stop the war. Of course, that’s what Shumari plans to do too. Raihi accompanies the duo with his troop marching towards Pilius. At the battlefield, Raihi shows them Hyoun (dragon dude) engaged in battle with the enemy forces. He suggests it is best to leave the fighting to him and just wants them to watch. What? They came all the way here just to watch? Maybe their presence gives their soldiers motivation? Suddenly Hyoun falls right before their eyes. Souma feels the need to rush into battle and pulls out Setsugekka. Dashing to the fight below, cutting his way through the low level guards, he is surprised to see Kiriya and Shiina on the enemy’s side.

Episode 3
Kiriya admits they’ve been sucked into this world and he possesses a Soul Blade from Shiina’s heart. They aren’t exactly Soul Bladers for Pilius but were hired. Shiina formed this mercenary group called Luminous Knights that consists of herself (the boss), Kiriya (the knight) and Houme (the tactician). Souma tries to let his friends know Houme is an evil person who once tried to destroy the world. Though she doesn’t deny this but that was a long time ago. Kiriya believes Houme is a good person. She saved the prince under a curse (Souma believed it was divine retribution) and that curse was placed by Shumari. Souma won’t believe those lies and when Kiriya tries to take Kureha’s hand, he swats them away. There is only one way to settle this. Yeah, the guys are going to fight out using their respective Soul Blade. Kiriya obviously seems to have improved a lot and though has the upper hand, won’t finish him because he doesn’t want to kill his friend. Kureha can’t stand anymore of this and absorbs back the sword. Since Souma still wants to fight, Shumari throws him a blade. Before continuing, Souma and Kureha question him and he blatantly denies. But when Houme pops up and just throws the ball back to him, the fox starts acting so panic in an obvious way. As Houme accuses him of obtaining Kureha as the new priestess to wage this war and get rid of her (you can say Seiran started this war because they’re the first to cross the border), Shumari takes Kureha as hostage and retreats with his army. Kiriya wants Souma to join them and rescue Kureha but I guess that guy is too emotionally shaken to listen and leaves on his own. Luminous Knights return to Princess Clarakran and she deeply regrets getting their friend involve. She makes it top priority for them to rescue Kureha. Souma wanders through the desert and his mind is still disturbed. He understands well why he hates Kiriya. Because Kureha likes him. He foolishly thought if Kiriya disappeared, Kureha would like him. I hope that opened his eyes.

Shumari is trying to get Kureha to activate some tower. But nothing happens and as Kouryuu states, each tower has its decided priestess and this one belongs to Houme. Shumari leaves to prepare for the next attack and wants Kouryuu to guard this place knowing Souma will return to retrieve Kureha. But it’s not him, though. It’s Luminous Knights as they easily infiltrate the tower. Houme thinks she can talk to Kouryuu. Provided he is sober. Since he’s not, he’s a completely different person. Can you imagine his drunken movements could make Kiriya miss his strike? On a turtle! I don’t know how but Kiriya uses the Soul Blade as a machine gun to make that old turtle loose his footing and tumble down the stairs into the other soldiers! WTF?! So they head upstairs to rescue Kureha but the only way down is the way they came in. Guards are coming. Then Souma pops in from the window and ties a rope to climb down to the next level. Wait a minute. Did he climb all the way up from outside?! The gang easily escaped because the beastmen were not only blind as cow but they couldn’t smell humans even if they’re just hiding. Useless. At a safe distance, Souma wants to fight Souma and settle this once and for all. Kureha is reluctant but Shiina gives the green light provided he forgets everything that has happened up till now. Well? Fight lah! Shortly into the clash, Souma notes to Kiriya that anymore fighting will break Kureha’s heart. Physically and emotionally I guess. He gives his Soul Blade to Kiriya and throws Kureha to him. Why? He won’t say but we know. Souma leave by himself since he has some things to do. So that thing is to kill Shumari? Well, that fox becomes a coward trying to give any excuse to spare his life. Even if it’s admitting he planned the war. Till Engu steps in to fight him. Since the Garuda is bigger and stronger, Souma plays dirty by hitting under the belt. Hah. Big bird got big dick…? The other soldiers restrain and tie him up. Now the roles are reversed. Not so cool now, eh? Shumari prepares for his execution (why the long winded process? Just chop off his head on the spot lah!). Suddenly some giant mobile cannon fires into their base. Man, it’s one heck of a big explosion! Engu is reeling from the blast when he is surprised to see his king returned: Rouen.

Episode 4
Houme has successfully make the tower of rain water functional again. Rouen and Clarakran put behind what Shumari did and maintain their ties. Kiriya laments he should’ve brought Souma along with him but Shiina is confident he isn’t dead yet. Or she hopes so. Basou returns from his scout and confirms there is an unknown army at the neutral zone. Everyone heads over and Kiriya thinks these pointy ear people are the ones he saw in his dream. Those pointy ears indicate they are elves from the north, Astrea. However Killrain says Astrea no longer exists and they are the empire of demonic alchemy Baelgard. More surprisingly, the appearance of Saionji. He is known as Trihart and the Emperor of Baelgard. Hiruda is also with him and is the Hellfire Alchemist, one of the 4 guardians of Baelgard. Trihart wants them to surrender unconditionally. That won’t do, right? So he demonstrates by firing his all powerful cannon. That changed your mind? Seems Trihart wants to bring his new order to this world. The last time the peace negotiation between the 3 countries, some assassination happened and the same thing will likely to occur. So if they still refuse to submit, Trihart will have them submit by force. He takes out the Soul Blade, Excellion from Zechty Ein, another one of 4 guardians of Baelgard. Prince Caris of Pilius says their country has been invaded and that Raidel has sacrificed himself for him to escape. Seeing they can’t go back there, Rouen suggests Clarakran to come to Seiran for now. Meanwhile Souma lies in suspended animation. Is he dead? At least the voice of Zero says he is not. But Shumari is. Zero can’t have him die yet as there is something he needs him to do. When Souma returns to End Earth, he is met by priestess Ryuuna and big dragon in armour, Lazarus. They take him to see Zero. Souma thought he resurrected him but he explains all he did was drag him temporarily to the astral world (the place they first met). Anyway Zero has a favour to ask for him. He wants Souma to help stop this world from falling apart by becoming a guardian of the world in his place. Souma refuses since he has lost the power. Lost the sword, lost the girl, lost his confidence. Yeah, I know what he means. He can’t do anything and thinks Kiriya is suited for the job. However Zero insists he is the only one who can pull it off and gives him his Twin Dragon Ring to gain a clearer view of the world. That ring can’t come off… Try as you might put it won’t come out. Souma wonders why Zero wants him to fight in his stead so Ryuuna says Zero is a special entity in this world and wants to avoid getting directly involved.

The trio make their journey take a current look of the world. First, they enter Pilius but the place is like a ghost town. They heard a scream from a knight. With unconscious Raidel in hand, he is trying to escape from the undead knights. The trio fight them to buy him time to escape. But being undead means you can’t die, right? I thought Ryuuna should’ve used her magic from the start to make them stay dead. Then Jeed appears. Who? Another of the 4 guardians of Baelgard and leader of the Dark Knighthood. Crazy Jeed and Lazarus fight but Trihart appears and stops his underling. Souma is glad to see Saionji alive but starts to smell something fishy when he learns he is being called Emperor and his goal of creating a new order. Asking if Souma is a Soul Blader, Souma denies he is one because he lacks any power. In that case Trihart will spare his life since he has no business with him. But even with lack of power, he still got the guts to tell his friend to open his eyes. Trihart took that as his warning was ineffective and pulls out Jeed’s Soul Blade, the Sword of Holy Armour, Balmunk. Not only Trihart is armed with his sword, Jeed is also covered with armour. They both attack but Lazarus defends Souma. Souma couldn’t believe Lazarus placed so faith in him despite being powerless. Ryuuna suggests he pull out her Soul Blade. Can he? Of course. She believes in him. Well, if people like them have faith in him, I guess he can’t say no. Drawing out the Sword of Holy Dragon, the effects of the sword paralyzes Trihart and Jeed. Souma cuts them both and shatters their sword and armour. Souma picks Lazarus up and they walk away. Trihart warns him how he uses Soul Blade is up to him. But if he interferes with his plan, then be prepared to face his wrath.

Episode 5
With a simple disguise, Souma and co easily pass the Baelgards’ checkpoint and into their territory. While driving through the dead forest, a group of dark elves suddenly attack them.  Souma pulls out Holy Dragon to fight them but elven Elwyn doesn’t want him to hurt them. They may be contaminated but they were once elves. So how? Well, she’s thinking about it. Seems Ryuuna and Elwyn know each other and are good friends. We can save the talk for later but somebody please help Souma fend off the dark elves. Elwyn shoots her blinding light arrow to paralyze them and make their escape. Meanwhile the battle at the border intensifies. Kiriya wants to settle things with Trihart but Zechty will take him on. While they clash swords, for some unknown reasons (I am sure it’s not the Wind Spirit that Zechty was trying to summon) the ground opens up and swallows the duo. Souma and co camp out and Elwyn wants to follow him in hopes of encountering Zero. Unlike Mao, if Zero uses his powers the wrong way, she will kill him. Ryuuna and Lazarus are walking around the dead forest but to their surprise see Killrain emerging from a blooming sakura tree. Aren’t trees in this area supposed to be dead? Zechty dreams when she was young, Killrain mentioned Celestia’s name instead of hers in a hide and seek game. She became distraught who that Celestia woman is. Just like that? Zechty wakes up to find herself beside Kiriya. They’re stuck underground with no way out and Zechty is injured. Noting Kiriya is Trihart’s friend, she wonders why he isn’t helping him achieve his goals. Kiriya won’t forgive someone who will conquer the world but Zechty says he lacks understanding. Seems the contamination has caused the elves’ land to die. Trihart is their only hope to save that land and the world.

Souma and co hear screams of dark elves. They realize Baelgard is kidnapping them. They barge into their base to see Hiruda doing horrible experiments on them. Actually she’s not exactly Hiruda but her split personality, Hilda. The other softie is sleeping like a baby within. Hilda is turning dark elves into zombie soldiers. Souma wanted to pull out Ryuuna’s Soul Blade but she’s being held hostage by Killrain. Even if it seems dishonourable, he mentions he is just imitating them. He can’t trust anyone especially after he has seen with his own eyes how the King of Pilius killed the elven Queen right before his eyes because he believed Shumari’s lies. Souma surprisingly agrees with him. Now it’s his turn to be philosophical. He starts talking like as though he’s a pro on the subject. Like it’s going to get tired if you start hating everybody. So it’s better off to be a gullible idiot. Huh? Hey, I didn’t say he was a good pro. He is also directing what he says to Elwyn to have more faith in Zero. Don’t just expect him to do something wrong. She’ll feel better that way. Now with the believe-you-believe-me out of the way, Elwyn believes in Souma enough for him to pull out her Soul Blade, the Thunder Sword Blitzbringer. He fights Killrain to free Ryuuna. His enemies realize they can’t beat him and retreat. Killrain still isn’t convinced of his words and though he is free to believe what he wants, he will only fall into despair if he’s betrayed. After Souma frees the dark elves, he notes that though what Killrain said is true, but after despair there is always hope. Zechty thinks they’re done for. So much for her high and mighty attitude. Leave it to Kiriya to spout some words of encouragement and hope. Then a hole appears from the ceiling and the duo climb out. I don’t know if it was that difficult for Kureha, Shiina and Trihart to dig a hole. With magic. It’s not like they were very deep. Trihart immediately takes Zechty away. Back at the base, Zechty is having lots of confusing distortions in her mind. Especially those words from Kiriya. Trihart thinks she needs to be readjusted and is taken to Hilda’s lab.

Episode 6
Killrain leads his mechanical army to attack more villages. Shiina comes up with an idea to stop them. First, Basou becomes the bait and leads them to the valley. The army stupidly follow the single Centaur and once given the signal, they break the dam and flood them. Finally Houme finishes them off with her magic. Killrain orders the retreat for the rest. The gang ponder where the weapons are made so this mysterious crow dude, Jin-Crow tells them in the desert. Shiina and her friends decide to go scout. Speaking of the desert, Souma’s party is right in the middle of an igloo in the desert. Yes, a cold freezing spot right in the middle of the scorching heat. This igloo belongs to Blancneige and Elwyn’s friend. Blancneige kicks out the guys because she wants to take an icy shower (there’s your much needed fanservice). She tells them about somebody trying to make ancient weapons in the desert and use them for evil. She continues explaining about the 3 towers that were left behind by ancient civilization and such technology was discontinued because whenever it is used, war will definitely ensue. This may be the will of Zeroboros. What’s that? As put into a single word: Chaos. Souma didn’t really get it (so do I) so Blancneige thought it’s useless to explain it all to him as he can’t possibly understand as he is now. He thought she was making a fool out of him. Hey, I thought he said it was okay to be an idiot? Meanwhile Hilda is making a new weapon. Looks like some badass flame thrower. Suddenly the alert goes off and it is Zechty running away from the facility. She has gone out of control because she’s in attacking mode, going on the offensive regardless if there are enemies or not. Heck, everything to her is the enemy. Next morning, Souma and co get a rude awakening when Hilda arrives at the igloo to burn it down with her flame thrower. That’s great. Barge right in and destroy somebody’s abode just like that. Seems she and Trihart are looking for Zechty. Trihart is interested in Blancneige the ice sorceress and pulls out Hilda’s Soul Blade, Mythical Beast Sword, Mystletain. Souma wants to fight him and since Elwyn and Ryuuna offer to draw their Soul Blade, can’t argue over which so he pulls out both! However Trihart runs pass him to fight Blancneige so Souma and the rest have to settle for the zombie army of dark elves. Once they’re done, I guess Souma is so free that he decides to join in Blancneige’s fight and wants to pull out her Soul Blade, Ice Snow Sword, Ice Diamond. Duelling with Trihart, Souma emerges victorious and breaks Mystletain. Trihart thinks this is enough and decides to continue the search separately.

Kiriya and the girls are resting in the desert when Zechty attacks them. Kiriya knocks her off balance when Hilda pops up to take her back. The rest are puzzled over her change in character. Hilda probably wanted to laugh and brag but she suddenly collapses and returns to the original kind Hiruda. Kiriya thought the metal horns on Zechty is what contaminating her instead of protecting her from the dark matter and wants to rip it off. But Hiruda says that is true. She admits Hiruda is an artificial life form that she made using an ancient weapon. However she did this to save the world. Kiriya doesn’t believe this crap and draws his sword at her. In great timing, Souma rushes in to push Kiriya away. His friends are glad to see him alive. Souma is puzzled in Hiruda’s change in behaviour and as explained, because he destroyed Mystletain, she was able to return to her original self. Kiriya is not pleased that he interfered and thinks he is on Baelgard’s side. However he dismisses he is fighting for any country and the Kiriya he knows wouldn’t point his sword at a girl. Kiriya insists this is war and will do what it takes to stop Trihart’s ambition. Souma shrugs his head that what he is doing is no different than Trihart. Hiruda needs to take Zechty back to the lab to repair her and leaves. Kiriya continues to question Souma’s goal. He says it’s to become the guardian of this world. If anything like this happens again, Souma won’t hesitate to be his enemy. That’s because this is his mission and each of them has their own mission. Then he says goodbye and leaves. Returning to his own party, seems Zero has dropped in. They talk about the fight between Trihart and Kiriya. The one who wins will become the vessel for Zeroboros. In short, the world will be in chaos and destroyed. Even if he couldn’t understand that brief explanation (despite Blancneige offering to explain in detail), he understands what to do now. He’ll start off with the closest thing to him.

Episode 7
Elwyn sends Souma’s message to Seiran’s castle. Since his party are going to gather more info on Baelgard, Souma will be on his own. At Seiran, Kiriya has an argument with his friends. Over Souma. What else. Elywn’s message arrives and it seems Souma wants the trio to meet at a certain place. Kiriya thinks it’s a trap and doesn’t want to go. He is made to when Houme warns he may not be able to draw Shiina’s Soul Blade if a critical time arises. The trio go to meet Souma and to their surprise, Trihart and Hiruda are also there. Well, it looks like the gang are finally reunited like before they left their world. Just that they’re in different outfits. Seems Souma has arranged this meeting for them all to stop fighting. Like hell they’ll listen. Kiriya accuses Trihart’s way of sacrificing others but he throws him back that question about hurting Zechty. Since the talk is going nowhere, Trihart and Hiruda leave. He says they’ll settle this in the battlefield. Kureha and Shiina think Souma has changed a lot. It’s like he has grown up and matured. Well, he doesn’t admit he too was once foolish to pick a fight with Kiriya then because of his pride and has learnt from it. Zechty wakes up from another one of those who-the-hell-is-Celestia dream. Killrain says her memories must have her confused and not to mind them. He also says about the big battle that will commence soon and not to let the evil thoughts confuse her. After Zechty leaves, we learn from Killrain’s monologue that Celestia is his sister and won’t let her die. Both sides are soon engage in a big battle. Kiriya and Shiina face off with Trihart and Killrain on top of his mobile base. Killrain will not forgive Kiriya for hurting Zechty and deserves the death punishment. Trihart pulls out his Soul Blade, Demon Gun Sword Gallatin. Like its name suggests, it’s a huge freaking gun-cum-sword. But Kiriya and Shiina’s determination to stop the war is so great that he beats Trihart. Trihart admits he lost the fight in terms of Soul Blade and isn’t surrendering yet. He suggests a fight without using them and Kiriya agrees. So they’re going to use normal swords instead?

Souma comes running in to try and stop the duo from fighting. He even has his own theory (speculation as termed by the rest) to convince them not to do so. Something about the three of them were tossed into 3 different lands and became Soul Bladers because they’re the only ones who can stop this war. They’re friends, right? Were friends, I guess. What they’re doing isn’t just hurting each other and at this rate they’ll destroy End Earth. You think they’d listen? A stray shot almost hit them and throws Souma off, though he is clinging on the edge. With the annoyance out of the way, Trihart and Kiriya continue their fight. By the time Souma climbs up, Trihart emerges victorious and is going to stab Kiriya. Suddenly from out of nowhere, Zechty comes in between and takes the stab. It took her to make the guys realize how foolish they were. Too late to open your eyes now. Zechty did this because she views Trihart as this world’s hope and Kiriya as the hope of the future. She then becomes part of the wind to protect them. So don’t fight, okay? Too late for that. Too late to drop your swords. She’s dead. Gone with the wind, literally. Killrain couldn’t believe Zechty is dead and falls into despair. So great his sorrow that he couldn’t care less about this land since his sister is gone. Yeah, his aura is more devastating than the atomic bomb!

Episode 8
So great Killrain’s sorrow that a large ice crystal has covered the place. Plus, many Chaos Gates are opening up. Once more, Zero saves Souma and brings him back to his base. Souma laments he couldn’t stop the fight but Zero blames his own immaturity. Souma wonders his relation to Mao so it’s story time. Long ago, a nameless boy was washed ashore the eastern continent, Valeria. Elwyn found him and the only thing that identified him was his ring. With her, he joined the mercenary guerrilla mercenary knighthood, Weiss Ritter. Soon war broke out and more comrades join the group including Lazarus, Ryuuna, Blancneige and Mao. Together they successfully brought the end of the war. However that boy is no longer around. He is Xion, the old Zero. Hey! Isn’t that him? Continuing further, Xion went on a journey and realized the significance of the ring he wore. It’s an object heavily connected with End Earth. Everything in this world was constructed through the opposition between light and darkness, in which it maintains this world’s balance that we simply call Order. But something else existed besides this and it is Chaos. This is what this ring symbolizes. The one who wears this ring will lead this world into chaos. To prevent that, they must not have anything to do with this world. That’s why Zero gave up being human, thus no longer Xion. This was also why he entrusted the ring to Souma as substitute. Zero’s heart which contains chaos and order made him sprout white and black wings which represent light and darkness respectively. Probably this was what Mao wanted to ask but Zero never had time to explain it. Zero continues his story about Zeroboros, a power that wants to lead this world into chaos. Xion discovered that power was within one of his comrades: Ryuuna. She was willing to sacrifice herself to protect her comrades but Zeroboros was spreading throughout her body. Xion absorbs it and sprouted black wings. He goes crazy and kills Lazarus. Because he still has goodness in his heart, one of the wings turned white and he regained his sanity. When Mao arrived at the scene, she misinterpreted what Xion had done. Xion immediately fled but he could never forget that piercing scream Mao made upon seeing her dead comrades. Because Xion was no longer human, he later resurrected Ryuuna and Lazarus but this doesn’t change the fact he killed them.

Souma feels everything will be cleared if he could just explain it to Mao properly. Their comrades return and agree. They admit that they haven’t been gathering data on Baelgard. That was just an excuse for them to go find Mao. They didn’t find her and rushed back after seeing something terrible happened and thought Souma needed them. Souma notes the good comrades Zero has and wants to join Weiss Ritter. He is serious. Since Mao is the leader and is not here, the rest agree for him to join and make him the proxy leader. Haha. Got more than what you bargained for? Zero is glad he entrusted the ring to him. If Mao hadn’t brought him to this world, he would’ve done it himself. Meanwhile Kiriya, Shiina and Kureha are sailing with Jin-Crow to the land of Beastia. Jin-Crow wants to save Killrain consumed by darkness. Long ago, he, Killrain and the late prince of Pilius, Leon once negotiated for peace for their nation. They knew Shumari would disapprove but Jin-Crow had a bad feeling when he suddenly changed his mind. True enough, it was a trap as he made the king of Pilius kill Astrea’s queen. She is Killrain’s sister. As we know Zechty is an artificial life form, she was made using Celestia’s genes. This is why Killrain treasures her greatly. Arriving at the beastmen country of Valeria, the girls go gather information while the guys walk around town. Several guards corner Jin-Crow because they heard someone with black and white wings is suspected of murdering a dragon priestess. Jin-Crow denies he killed anybody (like the real killer would confess too) but they don’t believe. Till Mao steps in and says he is not the one. She introduces herself as the leader of Weiss Ritter that maintains public order in Valeria. Jin-Crow explains his mission here to seek Beastia’s help as something terrible has happened in Liberia. Mao thinks that will be easy because she is the daughter of the Lion King of Beastia, Diocress. She promises to pass their words to her father. I guess this saves lots of trouble. Mao is surprised to see Kureha too but when she learns Souma has gone with Zero, she immediately sets sail to Liberia. So what about the business with Diocress? Maybe that’ll have to wait. You’re on your own, Jin-Crow.

Episode 9
Imagine Mao’s shock when she sees thick huge ice covering Liberia. I don’t think the cannon is going to even make a dent on it. Souma and Elwyn are trekking through the snowy blizzard. They are ambushed by mechanical sensors. Souma knows they belong to Trihart and identifies himself. Seriously, he can hear in that storm? Of course Trihart is still against working together. Something about the ancient sacred treasures have awakened since the balance between light and darkness has fallen apart. Suddenly the red alert is sounded. They are surrounded by dark elves under Killrain’s command. Trihart wants Souma to escape as he entrusts this pod thingy to him to give to Kiriya. This pod is hope. But if it falls into Killrain’s hands, it’s despair. Trihart and Hiruda fight against Killrain’s forces while the duo escape. I’m not sure what this little cute creature is (what the f*ck is this, really) but it guides Souma and shows him the way out. He easily trusts this thing? Let’s hope it’s not because it’s cute. Even Elwyn quips he trusts everything else easily except her. Mao meets Blancneige and they need to do something about this overflowing dark energy before the ancient sacred treasures revive. Blancneige uses her magic to free the ice spirits and carve a path through the ice. That easy? I guess that’s why you need an ice mage. While Trihart is fighting Killrain, Hilda awakens and decides to defect to Killrain’s side because he is more powerful now (and darker too – that as in evil sense). Well, Trihart didn’t oppose and just give up. Souma and Elwyn reach back to their base safely thanks to whatever that cute piece of whatever that is. Seems Zero has left on his own and dwarves from nearby village are taking refuge at their place.

Meanwhile Rouen is pleased that many reinforcements have come from Valeria. Too many. So much so there’s not enough food to go around feeding those beastmen. Why are Caris and Clarakran working as waiter and waitress? Odd to see the royal siblings do this kind of job. And got scolded. A hungry beastman is angry beastman. Oh, Kiriya is still depressed over Zechty’s death. Give it up already. She’s dead for 2 episodes ago! Souma and co are fighting off demons from the Chaos Gate to save the dwarves. As thanks, the chief invites them for a feast. Souma notices the gold wares and thinks they’re rich. Actually it comes from the mine behind as it has gold and mythril (that’s End Earth’s term for some super iron). Suddenly a group of huge golems attack. What else? Get into action. Because they are made of mythril, their normal attacks are of no use. Not even pulling out Ryuuna’s Soul Blade could help. Lazarus is pinned under a rock and Souma can’t abandon him. Hurry before the golem clobbers them all. Lazarus suggests drawing out his Soul Blade. Can he? I mean, he’s a guy. So far he only pulls out from females. What the heck. You’ll never know if you don’t try. So Souma does it not because of gender discrimination, it’s because he is his comrade. Wah… So with the Holy Dragon Blade Gekirinkongou, in just a single slash, the golem crumbles like paper. Wah… Elsewhere, Clarakran prepares to restore the sun tower because it is decided that Caris will be Pilius’ next king. The ritual is successful as the tower turns the surrounding dark areas into light. Haven’t seen the sunlight for so long, eh? Houme notes all that is left is the wind tower but where is its priestess? Souma is treating Lazarus back at his base and inside the pod… Isn’t that Zechty?

Episode 10
Mao and Blancneige are on their way to Souma’s place when they chance upon Kiriya and co who have the same intention. Mao is worried about meeting Zero. Wasn’t this her goal? First thing Souma showed them is the revived Zechty. Imagine Kiriya’s happiness when he sees her again. It’s like reuniting with his lost love. So obvious. So lame. I don’t understand Souma’s explanation about using Celestia genes to reconstruct her again but she mustn’t fall into Killrain’s hands. Souma wants Mao to meet somebody: Ryuuna and Lazarus. She is surprised they are still alive so Souma explains what Zero has told him. It was Zeroboros who temporarily controlled Xion and killed them. Mao starts feeling guilty and emotional so much so Ryuuna and Lazarus had to leave to give them some space. They see Zero returning. Good chance for him to eavesdrop what’s happening. Souma felt it is better Zero and Mao shouldn’t meet because he is torn in his heart to see and apologize to her. Not after the agitation he caused her. He is still agonizing over it. That’s why she mustn’t hate him. By now, Mao is overcome with emotion and cries like a baby. Leader of Weiss Ritter is still a girl. Zero notes Souma is right that he is no longer Xion and leaves once more. Didn’t Ryuuna and Lazarus try to stop him? So with the gang reunite, they discuss about healing the wind tower. Doing so will not only restore wind circulation around Liberia but also purify the stagnant air and free the dark elves but nobody knows where the tower is and only a handful of elves should know. Zechty isn’t a real elf so she doesn’t know. Does Elwyn know? Not really either. If you’re wondering why the cute mascot is bugging Souma all the while, Elwyn translates what it is saying. Seems it knows where the tower is: The entrance of the northern forest of Pilius. Souma doubts it but I guess he has no choice but to trust it. I thought he trusts everything easily?

While making their way there, we take a slight detour and it seems the other Weiss Ritter members want to maintain Souma as their leader despite Mao back with them. Kureha and Shiina note how he has obtained more friends though most of them are girls. Hyoun has also changed his perspective on humans and admits he likes Kureha and Shiina. Unfortunately they reject him. Boo hoo. While camping, Souma notices Mao still depressed. Then he realizes he could take off his ring. He thought of giving it to Mao but she doesn’t want it since he needs it to pull out Soul Blades. Suddenly they see a pile of beastman bodies. Jeed has done them in. Wait a minute. Nobody else noticed this slaughter? His surprise attack causes Souma to drop his ring into the river. Mao wants to hold Jeed off so Souma could retrieve his ring. However Souma can’t leave his comrade behind and fights Jeed instead. Mao remembers how much his chivalry resembles Xion. Mao also helps to fight Jeed but is overwhelmed (Souma’s normal sword also breaks). Jeed is about to kill her so in her fear she screams out Souma’s name. Suddenly a Soul Blade emerges from her chest. Can he use it despite without the ring? Of course. It’s not the ring that matters. It’s their hearts. Wow… So drawing Mao’s Lion King’s Flame Dance, he fights Jeed and defeats him, breaking his Soul Blade, freeing Leon’s spirit that was trapped and used as his Soul Blade. Souma retrieves the ring and Mao lets him have it since it suits him.

Episode 11
Entering the northern forest of Pilius, they find themselves at Elnarit, the sacred land of the elves. There is a big tree with a big Soul Crystal keeping its surrounding areas from turning evil. A spirit from the tree appears and claims to be Celestia. No doubt she is dead, this is her spirit form. This is the person Kiriya saw in his dream. The rest thought Zechty were made from her genes so she inherited the right to be the priestess of the wind tower. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. However Celestia did mention that she is being favoured by the Spirit King of the Wind, which is that cute (annoying) mascot. Lesson learnt: Don’t judge a book by its cover. It starts sprinkling something over Zechty and made her the priestess of the wind tower. Zechty purifies the wind tower but the power of evil is too great that the land is still engulfed in darkness. They talk about the Sacred Treasure, a super ancient weapon that must not be awakened. To do so, priestesses and Soul Bladers are needed (that’s why Trihart was kidnapped). The Beast Generals attack the dark tower but couldn’t penetrate its barrier. As Zechty suggested, the only way to get in is by using the teleporter in Hilda’s lab. The party splits into 2 groups (Weiss Ritter and Luminous Knights) each taking a different path to reach the lab. Along the way, they fight waves of Zechty army clones. Hilda seems to be enjoying watching the heroes fight the army. Our dormant Hiruda seems to be trying to awaken at the right time by fighting for control against her other self. Conveniently, there is a switch to ‘off’ those Zechty clones. With all the clones shut down, Souma is outside the tower but his group tells him on he can enter the tower because he is their friend. Souma sees his friends trying to hold down Hilda. I thought she was like going into labour… Hiruda manages to regain control herself. But she wants them to kill her while she is holding back her other self. Of course it’s a no. Souma thinks that the only way to solve this is to draw out her Soul Blade. Remember Mystletain is the embodiment of her evil self? Yeah. They must destroy it. Souma pulls it out while Kiriya draws Shiina’s Soul Blade to break it. Mystletain separates itself into several parts (I thought it was like that retro Centipede game) and almost got Kiriya if Kureha hadn’t got in the way. Actually she was about to but Kiriya drew her Soul Blade and knocks it back into a single piece. Now with Souma holding it down, Kiriya uses both his Soul Blades to destroy Mystletain for good and send Hiruda regaining full control over her body. She sets up the teleporter so that everybody could go save Trihart.

Episode 12
Once inside the dark tower, the group splits themselves again. Luminous Knights with Souma will go save Trihart while Weiss Ritter will dispel the barrier. After fighting waves of monsters, the friends reach a room where Trihart is. An orb sits in the middle which serves as a collector of the Soul Blader’s power to feed dark energy to the sacred treasure. Plus, there is a strong barrier preventing them from getting close to Trihart. So how? Cut the cables to the orb! I didn’t know it was that easy. But wait. What will happen to Trihart? Yup. He’s fused to the machine. No wonder it was that easy. Of course, the friends want to save both Trihart and End Earth so they can’t do it. Reiss Witter has dispelled the barrier so the rest head to the underground tunnel where the sacred treasure is about to awaken. That is the sacred treasure of darkness, Demon Lord Elfaren. Later Weiss Ritter head to the sealed gate of the sacred treasure but comes face to face with Killrain. Once more the friends have to decide whom to save in the event they can only choose one. The world or Trihart. Guess what? Souma passes the decision making to Kiriya. I hope he is not avoiding responsibility. So why him? Hmm… Flashes of his bout with Trihart and how he lost Zechty to the wind to jog our memory. So it’s to settle an old score? Guess what is his answer? He’s going to save both. Isn’t that back to square one? What is the point of this then? So how now? I’m not sure if the only other is trying to force themselves going through the barrier. WTF?! It doesn’t work so why bother electrocuting themselves? Trihart wants them to go save the world as they have a higher chance of surviving. If somebody must die, he will be glad to be the sacrifice. Not till Hiruda steps in to chide this isn’t the senpai she used to know. Bla, bla, bla. Guess what? When the guys couldn’t get through the barrier, Hiruda can! Perhaps it is her strong feelings for Trihart that she dismissed all the pain when she forced herself through the barrier. Trihart got so worried that he got enough energy to get out from his seat and grab her. At that point, the legendary ultimate Soul Blade emerges from her chest. From what I understand, this Holy Grail is the product of crystallization of pure hearts. Thus Hiruda is Trihart’s Holy Grail. Save the drama for later because now you got to go help Weiss Ritter trying to take down Killrain. They can’t do it themselves since he got this insane power.

So with Souma and friends arriving on scene, Souma gives him one last chance to open his eyes. Like that would work. But this isn’t the Killrain we know because he has changed. Like duh! We could see that episodes ago. To say that he wants to awaken the sacred treasure is already too late because Killrain claims to be Elfaren and this Killrain has offered his body to become his vessel via hatred. Elfaren retreats into his cocoon but the heroes can’t cut it down using normal Soul Blades. They can only use the Holy Grail to fight. But can Trihart himself defeat Elfaren? Well, now the cocoon has turned into a monster butterfly. Zechty heard Killrain’s inner voice. Did he regret giving in to hatred to destroy the world? Too late for that. Zechty vows to save him so Kiriya gets this same idea too and since their hearts are in sync, Kiriya pulls out his Holy Grail from Zechty. Wow. Now we have 2 Holy Grail users. I guess Souma felt left out and wants one of his girls to give him his Holy Grail. If they only knew who. But 2 Holy Grail users aren’t enough because Kiriya is blasted off the edge. He could’ve been falling off if Souma hadn’t caught him. I’m not sure if he picked the right time to apologize about his uselessness that he couldn’t do anything (is that why he pushed that decision onto Kiriya?). On the contrary, Kiriya feels Souma has done a lot. His fight with Trihart and the part he gave in to his rage and almost killed Hiruda, if not for Souma, things could’ve turned out differently. With the guys reconciling, suddenly, the Holy Grail emerges from Kiriya’s heart! Wow! So Kiriya is Souma’s Holy Grail?! How disappointing it isn’t one of the girls. It felt gay… I guess it’s to show that a Soul Blader could pull out a Soul Blade from another Soul Blader. So with 3 Holy Grail users-cum-best friends, I’m sure they can’t fail this time.

Episode 13
So by combining their efforts and putting in all their hearts, Elfaren is defeated just like that. So easy… The darkness turns to light and whatever Killrain crystallized is set free. Since Killrain’s body is gone, we see his soul. He regrets what happened and to atone for his sins, he is going to be sealed with all the bad soul in this abyss and to also guard the sacred treasure to prevent such disaster from happening again. So he wants to play hero-cum-watchman for eternity? Don’t worry. He won’t do it alone. He has Celestia with him. He makes his peace and amends with Zechty before everyone leaves outside. The Soul Bladers as instructed use their Soul Blades to seal the abyss. With the battle over evil done, now it’s time for healing and peace upon the land. In the aftermath, Zechty plans to heal the dead forest with that Spirit King of the Wind. Once there is a first sprout, she will send a message to Kiriya via the wind. I don’t know. She says both their worlds are connected by the same wind. Trihart and Hiruda plan to stay back in End Earth and help heal the land. So only Souma, Kiriya, Kureha and Shiina will be returning home. It is mentioned that by drawing the ultimate Soul Blade, they are able to return to Elde. Well, Houme has lived 3000 years and must have at least seen it once. But perhaps too long she can’t remember how. She needs some time to jog her memory…

It seems Souma will be inserting the Soul Blade into a pond that will function as the gate using the Holy Grail power. Before they leave, Souma notices their school’s emblem resembles closely to Pilius and wonders if the previous Soul Blader was from their school. Houme brushes it off as a coincidence. Clarakran and Caris give the girls tons of treasures and jewellery as reward! If they take it all, I think they’re set for life. Instant multi-billionaires! So it’s a good thing they’re humble and just take a piece for memento’s sake. The sending off begins as the End Earth friends see them off. Everything seems to be going well till Souma realizes Mao suddenly crying uncontrollably! Well, you can tell something is wrong with her ever since the battle ended. I guess she was trying to hold back whatever feelings and now with Souma going away forever, she just can’t hold back the tears, can’t she? This made Souma to rush out and to her side. Gosh. Looks like he is going to be staying here too because as part of Weiss Ritter, he has this task of saving the world from crisis. What crisis?! I just thought he would say he loves her and couldn’t be without her. Sheesh… So Kiriya, Kureha and Shiina respect his wish and cheer him to do his best. They will do the same back in their own world. Soon, Hyoun takes over Rouen as the king of Seiran and Caris is installed as the new king of Pilius. Back at Luminous Academy, Kiriya heard Zechty’s voice that the first sprout has grown. Wondering if Souma will be fine, they know he’s working hard. Yeah, he and Weiss Ritter are caught surrounded by demons. What a fine mess they’re in. Is this the crisis he meant? Where the heck did they come from? Maybe there are still Chaos Gates all over the place. Just like before, Souma continues to pull out Soul Blades in the name of protecting End Earth.

Painful Tears X Whine
Oh God. I regret to say that almost everything was lame. Thank God that it was all over in over a dozen episodes. Firstly, the action sucks. Need another word? Lame. After seeing how the action is pulled off in the first episode (the ridiculous action with the random beastman), I started thinking that maybe this series is going to suck. It was just lame. They try to put in some action seeing you can’t have an RPG based anime without action but it fails. At points it felt comical like that fight scene whereby Souma fought Engu and hit below the belt. The last straw came (also because it was the last fight scene) was the very short battle with Elfaren at the beginning of the final episode. I think it hardly lasts 3 minutes. It was so lame, comical and unconvincing that it felt the bad guy was there just because he was a bad guy and the need to have a hero to slay him and save the day. When the trio were going to nail that butterfly dude with their final ultimate move, Elfaren just stood there waiting to take the blow. He even showed no major reaction! It was as though the heroes were fighting a statue because you don’t see the kind of struggle and pain that such creatures would put up when being hit by the goodness of light or whatsoever. Then the funny part was his final scream. I thought he sounded like a monkey when he is about to disintegrate into thin air. I was already laughing at this point before I realized, everything is over and just how lame the boss fight was. Good riddance.

It tried to give us some romance but I guess it sucked. Lame. Whatever happened to Souma’s crush for Kureha? I said it was conveniently forgotten along the way. No doubt Kiriya is still dense about Kureha’s crush on him but as the series progresses, we don’t really see Kureha’s affection for Kiriya. I know love comes second when the world is in danger but we would’ve expected that Kureha would show us some body language that what Souma said that she liked Kiriya was true. We didn’t. So was just Souma shooting his mouth off? Then the way they made Kiriya infatuated about Zechty, I thought it was just unconvincing. They spent a few hours in a hole together and he developed feelings for her, it messed with her circuits. Wow. Power of love. Then when she died, he became the incredible sulk. Then when she was resurrected, he became happy warrior. Where were Kureha’s feelings for him during all that? Does she really have a crush in him that she’s able to act like nothing? I suppose they also tried to hint Mao had a thing for Souma and you can tell she was starting to become a tsundere when she starts blushing and sneering at him when he starts to pat her head. It became too obvious. And suddenly Souma who had showed no signs of being in love with her finally rushes to her side (short of confessing those 3 magic words), can’t you believe it? Or does he not want to abandon a girl in weep? What about Elwyn then? She sometimes shed tears too. And for Souma to be the proxy leader of Weiss Ritter where the majority of them are attractive females, it misled us with a potential harem factor. Didn’t even get close.

It tried to give us some plot and storyline but it sucked. Lame. Whatever happened to that evil thing called Zeroboros that will bring chaos to the world? Wasn’t Trihart and Kiriya supposed to fight and the winner becomes the loser by becoming the vessel for this evil? Instead, we got this evil in a name we haven’t heard before. Elfa what? His appearance died as fast as we learnt his name. Oh, what was that plot about Trihart trying to takeover this world to make a better world? What happened to that? I thought he was going to all out his way but after Zechty died and Killrain overwhelmed with hatred, he became somewhat docile. So will Astrea continue to be named Baelgard? And to think that Mao’s hunt for Zero was the start of this destiny crap… And while too busy fighting each other and trying to save the world, I actually forgot that they were doing this in the mean time to find a way back to their own world. Who knew it would be so easy as Houme’s words. If only she had said them from the beginning…

It tried to give us some character development but it sucked. Lame. Too many characters if I should say. I know Souma is the main star of this show but it makes the other characters looking too minor and in a way some of them felt they were just there so we won’t forget them. Take for instance, Zero. I still don’t understand why the hell he wanted to trust the responsibility of saving his world to Souma but from what I can see, he made the right choice. It’s good he did or else. So I don’t remember Zero actually meeting up with Mao and reconciling with her in person. In the final episode, Zero was just like watching from afar. Feeling relieved when everything turned out okay. So? SO?! With Souma continuing to stay at End Earth, does this mean Zero will continue to wander? Rouen, Clarakran, Caris, the Beast Generals and Houme felt like they were just tagging along and to make up the numbers. Remind me what was Houme’s role again? The other Weiss Ritter members also had their fair share of screen time to strut their stuff but if you’re expecting them to pull off something major for some devastating attack effect, don’t get your hopes up. And do you notice something about the characters’ reaction when the truth is revealed? They become fidgety. See Shumari act when his little lie was exposed when he can actually act cool, shrug it off, make don’t know. Instead, he had to sweat in his pants and could have easily failed the lie detector. See Houme deny Souma’s theory that the previous Soul Blader may be from their school? Why the need for this calm elf to panic? So basically in terms of change in character, I can just say it is Souma and Trihart. Souma isn’t someone who is immature to go picking fights and realizes things in the bigger picture while Trihart no doubt remains putting up a cold facade, he finally accepts the need to accept help from his friends sometimes. Was he trying to play the part of the villain to get things going?

It tried to give us some drama, friendship and from what I hear philosophical words but it sucked. Lame. The drama and friendship part didn’t feel convincing enough to move you. Then in the last episode, it’s like everybody turned philosophical and had something to say. The country, the land, the people, the power. Something to say about this, something to say about that. I guess with the action over, now they turn to words, eh? They try to work up some emotion within us when they dedicated half the final episode in saying goodbye. I guess it was too long that it made me want to shout and tell them to go back already. Ironically it also tried to give us a few comical moments but it sucked. Yeah, lame. Trying to be funny but it wasn’t. For instance when Souma was annoyed with the Spirit King of the Wind (for flying around like an over-sized fly), Souma’s vexed behaviour looked more cartoonish and thus comical in the lame sense. When Kouryuu tumbled down the stairs during his nearly bout with Kiriya, doesn’t that feel lame too?

Because I saw Guilty Crown not too long ago, it made me think of how similar the concept of pulling out a weapon from one’s heart this series is. Did Guilty Crown take after this series? Even if this series was way earlier, I couldn’t say I was impressed with the designs of the different swords that the Soul Bladers draw out. I mean, they try to give a different design and feel that is unique to each person that the Soul Blade is drawn out but they just seemed plain. Maybe I’ll give them some points in their grand names but that is just about it. Another thing about drawing the Soul Blades that bugs me. Each time you the Soul Blader starts to pull them out, the face of the person whose Soul Blade is being pulled out feels a little erotic. I don’t know. Is it that stimulating when you get your Soul Blade pulled out? It’s like the face of having sex. Oops. True. Even for the guys. At first I thought even with this creepy face it was okay but as the series go on and more and more Soul Blades are drawn when needed, I thought the animation felt cheap. Felt like they didn’t want to waste precious seconds in showing those faces anymore and quickly get over it seeing this is a mandatory scene.

There were some things that I just couldn’t comprehend. For instance in Hilda/Hiruda’s case, if breaking her Soul Blade means destroying her bad half, how in the world did it repair itself? I mean, you do know it was broken once that is how Souma realized it was the key to free Hiruda from her badass self. So assuming it can heal and repair itself again, then don’t you think by the second time it breaks, there should be a third time? It’s like when they destroyed Mystletain for the second time, they were pretty sure that they have seen the last of Hilda. By the way, how in the world did Hiruda get her split personality? If her friends don’t know about it, it means that she only got it when she arrived at End Earth, right? So with Kiriya, Kureha and Shiina only back to their own world, don’t you think that other people will start to get suspicious about the disappearance of Souma, Trihart/Saionji and Hiruda? I mean as seen earlier on, Saionji is the heir to his family business. Must be an important son that he has SPs looking for him. So he is willing to cast his family business aside and go saving the forests in End Earth? I didn’t know he was such an environmentalist. On second thought, maybe this life is much better. Back to nature instead of the rat race and money chase in his own world, eh?

Despite the mediocrity in all the other departments, the only thing that ‘amazed’ me is that this series boast some popular seiyuus. For instance Nana Mizuki pulling off her cutie voice as Shiina. Something like you would expect to hear her like Ricotta in Dog Days and Kotoko in Itazura Na Kiss. Then we have Yui Horie featuring as Kureha (Naru in Love Hina, Hanekawa in Bakemonogatari). Some of the casts did dual roles like Souichiro Hoshi as Souma and Zero (Kaoru in Ai Yori Aoshi, Son Goku in Saiyuki series), Chiwa Saito as Mao and Houme (Rebecca in Pani Poni Dash, Natsumi in Keroro Gunsou) and Ayako Kawasumi as Blancneige and Clarakran (Saber in Fate/Stay Night, Nodame in Nodame Cantabile). I suppose with their ability to pull off different voices, unless you’re really familiar with their voices or strained your ears closely, you won’t hear the difference and think they are voiced by different people. Of course I easily recognized Ayako Kawasumi’s instantly since I’ve watched a bunch of her anime roles. But I won’t consider Ryotaro Okiayu (Byakuya in Bleach, Tezuka in Prince Of Tennis) as voicing a dual role because it’s just a change of name from Saionji and Trihart. Same case with Kumi Sakuma as Hiruda/Hilda (Candice in MAR) although this one is more of a split personality. Yeah, they’re still the same person. The other casts consist of Akira Ishida as Kiriya (Chrono in Chrno Crusade), Houko Kuwashima as Zechty (Sango in Inu Yasha), Ryou Hirohashi as Elwyn (Kyou in Clannad), Misato Fukuen as Ryuuna (Yami in To Love-Ru), Yoshinori Sonobe as Lazarus (Okada in Shakugan No Shana), Daisuke Matsuoka as Rouen (Martin in Sora No Woto), Takashi Kondo as Killrain (Train in Black Cat), Atsushi Ono as Jin-Crow (Giriko in Bleach),  Hiroki Yasumoto as Hyoun (Germany in Hetalia Axis Power) and Tetsuhara Oota as Shumari (Yamazaki in Gintama). Both opening and ending themes are sung by Souichiro Hoshi (sounding closer to his Zero’s voice) but they don’t sound anything special. The opening piece is the same name as this series’ name and sounds like your typical song for RPG genre animes while the ending song is Hikari No Silhouette is more of a slow-moderate piece. For the record, both songs are from the game itself and sung by the same person. Recycled material?

Oh dear. A big majority of my blog seems to be putting this series down big time. There may be lots of other things that bothered me but perhaps too insignificant for me to remember and put it down. Just to be fair, even though I didn’t pretty much like this show but at least the lameness of everything kept me entertained. I don’t know how many times I have rolled my eyes and sighed. After all, I already set my hopes at a low level after watching the mediocre first episode. It would have been easy to decide and drop it but that wouldn’t be fair since that will be judging the entire series by just its first and single episode. And now that I have completed it, let me just say that if you want to watch such RPG themed animes, there are much better ones out there. Watch this only if you are a hardcore fan of the game or a kiasu anime otaku who wants to watch every anime there is in this world. Or maybe you can just try out of curiosity. Be warned that it isn’t anything new because it’s the usual high school kids get transported to a different world and fights the evil with their allies for the sake of world peace. How unique is that? So unless they come up with a better story, characters, plot, story, action, romance, comedy, drama and just about everything else, then no, I don’t want to come back and stick around to hear more of the stories again. Ever!

Shukufuku No Campanella

July 30, 2011

The last time I watched a harem RPG genre anime was Tears To Tiara. Something tells me that Shukufuku No Campanella fits under this bill too. Okay, maybe not. Perhaps the party seemed like they had more girls than the guys, that’s all. Besides the feel of the main characters like being an RPG party, I guess the other matters differ very much between the 2 series. One thing, we don’t have a certain Demon Lord amassing his harem at an alarming rate nor the girls proclaiming to be his wife. Even so, we all know that the girls like him because he’s a nice caring guy.

Perhaps it is just coincidence that recently I’ve been watching a handful of fantasy RPG genres adapted into anime. I have not played the game form that it was originally released from but as usual, I read it was first released as an adult visual game (what else should we expect?) but was later turned into one that is acceptable for all ages. I guess with characters this cute, it’s a shame to turn them into erotic styles. As usual, one of my weak points in watching such genres is to remember the unique names and terms. It really took me a while to even remember the names and understand the certain terminologies that are distinctive to this series. Thank goodness it wasn’t that bad. So by the time I finished watching this anime, I could recall names and terms with my eyes closed. I consider that an achievement!

Episode 1
The story takes place on a fictional island called Ert’Aria. Magic and all those stuff that are in need to be operated by is called Ale. As seen, the people of the island is preparing Meteor Shower Festival which happens only once in every 7 years. We are introduced to the several protagonists of the Oasis Clan. We have the lead guy, Leicester Maycraft, an item engineer of the clan; the maid and servant of Oasis Clan Nina Lindberg (never seem to step outside the clan house); Carina Verritti dubbed the Jewel of Ert’Aria who is Leicester’s childhood friend (*wink, wink*); Self proclaimed best puppeteer in the world and one-(wo)man show travelling performer, Agnes Boulange (don’t forget her huge appetite) and her automaton cat Tango; a Knight Templar with a very bad sense of direction, Chelsea Arcot; Leicester’s very young looking mom who is also a bit lecherous, Shelley (young enough to be his sister if you ask me). Oasis Clan also has a ‘rival’ clan house but they aren’t loggerheads. The Tortilla sisters Salsa and Ritos and their huge Golem always seem to butt their nose into Oasis’ affairs simply because, just like the rest of the other girls, they have a crush on Leicester. Salsa being the eldest sister always falls victim to sly and crafty Ritos’ pranks and jokes. You’d enjoy seeing the interaction between them. Believe me, you will. That night the gang gear up to watch the Meteor Shower atop the cathedral (with permission from Carina’s dad, Fabious who is also the Archduke of Ert’Aria). A little ‘argument’ who should be by Leicester’s side. As they watch the magnificent meteor shower streaking across the night sky, there is a big one seemingly headed their way. Uh oh. Even if it’s just a cluster of Ale and has no mass, it’ll be bad if it hits them, right? Well, Shelley isn’t panicking since it isn’t really going to hit them, but the cathedral’s tower. Leicester rushes there where he finds a sleeping little girl, Minette, opening her eyes for the first time. Upon seeing him, she instantly hugs him and calls him “Papa”. Please don’t tell me he has an illegitimate child! Sonna wake nai! (Of course not!). Well you see, at the beginning of this episode, we saw Minette in some suspended-like animation talking with someone about the day she will be ‘born’ and bring happiness to people when she opens her eyes. So I guess this is the day (or night rather)?

Episode 2
Girls like Carina would go berserk upon hearing some little girl called him Papa knowing very well that he is still single, right? Is he? So fortunately we have Leicester’s dad, Nagan and Shelley explaining about her activation due to the meteor shower and being created by the world’s number one puppeteer: Mizeh Altoise. Agnes was self proclaimed, remember? As a matter of fact, Altoise is Agnes’ Maitresse (that’s French for a female mistress as in master of a certain profession) and in this case her teacher. You can’t leave a little girl by herself so they bring Minette back to Oasis and let her stay here. Would it be natural for a father and daughter to sleep together? Not if the other girls want a piece of that too. Ah, it’s getting livelier at the clan house and a new woman upstaging everybody else… Down to business, Minette learns that clan houses such as their can take on requests. You know, if you have trouble, any sort of trouble that needs fixing, you can put in a request to a clan house and have them go on a quest to solve it for you. Fabious pays them a visit and after his little ruckus, has Oasis undertake a little quest. Apparently one of the meteors last night struck the underground treasury near their house and due to the large flowing power of the Ale, some treasures are turning into harmful Crystal Monsters. Fabious wants them to investigate the treasury. Upon entering the treasury, they are faced with a dragon with a Crystal on its forehead. They attack it but it keeps regenerating. They hear a voice, turns out to be some floating girl, Garnet, asking Minette’s opinion on the dragon. She notes it to be in pain and troubled. She advices Minette to communicate her feelings to the dragon. She and Leicester apologize for their attack and would like it to share their warm feelings. Minette’s Anima Pearl (a type of Crystal that is able to absorb and store greater amount of Ale as compared to normal Crystals) stabilizes the dragon’s Ale, returning to its crystal form. As they discuss with Garnet the source of this, they learn she is that dragon’s avatar. Which means everything was her fault to begin with. She couldn’t handle it herself since she used up most of her power. Garnet gives the dragon’s Crystal to Minette and if she has anything to ask, she can use it to summon her out. Everyone returns and have fun at the beach. Oasis’ other member (and the only other guy around who carries a big axe – don’t worry, he isn’t a total loser), Nick La’juck returns from a quest to join them. Now Leicester has a tougher mission than the dragon quest: Deciding whose swimsuit is the cutest. I agree the former was much easier.

Episode 3
Another quest for the Oasis people. They are to find a Black Rainbow Flower within Laschutatto forest. Since it absorbs light and leaving its surroundings ominously dark (like Crystals absorbing Ale), there is a risk of it being attacked by Crystal Monsters. Along the way, Chelsea got lost, Salsa got into another one of Ritos’ pranks while tailing Oasis and Carina remembers how Leicester gave her Montecchia (Carina’s magic wand that resembles like an oar) that gave her the ability to travel the world despite her weak body. Leicester and Carina arrive at a darkened part of the forest and find the Flower. Suddenly they are attacked by a swift Crystal Monster. Deducing its attack pattern, they manage to remove the Crystal and the creature to a harmless cute looking squirrel. Leicester and Carina fall into an ambiguous position after the latter’s magic powers run dry. After collecting the Flowers and returning to Oasis, Leicester thinks of using the Crystal to install a talking function in Montecchia so that for instance it could warn her when its powers are running low. Carina helps Leicester with the installation (to me it looked like just putting a string in different patterns) and work late into the night till they are successful. With its ability to talk now, Montecchia even expresses its delayed heartfelt gratitude to Carina. Then it starts spouting embarrassing stuff like her deep feelings for Leicester. Oh dear. Is there an ‘off’ button somewhere? Regret making it talk, eh?

Episode 4
After Agnes delivers another one of her awesome puppet road show, an old lady spectator makes a request. The quest takes Oasis towards the mountains and into a closed mine looking for Ale suitable for the hotspring. They continue digging till they reach a room with a shining Crystal in it. Due to its strange flow of Ale, the entire mine starts shaking so the gang makes haste to get out before they get buried alive. Unfortunately as the ceiling caves in, the gang are separated. Leicester and Agnes on one side and the rest on the other. Luckily nobody was seriously injured. They promise to find their own way and meet each other outside. Leicester and Agnes trek through the dark cave (probably the producers think they need to have a little screen time together) and in no time everyone finds their way out. Back at Oasis, they use some of the Crystals for the hot bath. Shelley decides to have some fun playing a little prank. She sends Agnes into the bath without telling her that Leicester is inside using it. If it’s not awkward enough for the duo to see each other naked, it becomes even more when Minette, Carina and Chelsea are heard coming in. Thankfully the trio are as ‘blind as a bat’ because even if the duo hid next to the corner shelf, I’m sure they could’ve been spotted by the edge of their eyes. Oh yeah, they’re hugging each other since the space is a little cramp. Still naked. Agnes goes to join the other girls in the bath while Leicester finishes up and probably would like to tell his mom about a thing or two about her prank.

Episode 5
Since there is no request today at Oasis, they will be taking the day off. Garnet isn’t happy that Minette hasn’t summoned her since (was there a need to?). Minette and Garnet are tasked to buy ingredients for their curry dinner while the Tortilla sisters spy and tail them. Along their way across the island (since some of the ingredients in town are out of stock and have to get them from the other side), they meet Agnes in her street performance, Carina in her guarding duty and lost Chelsea at the port. Garnet offers to bring Chelsea back to her post so Minette goes alone to finish her ‘quest’. She sees a girl, Miriam Roland in pain. After giving her an apple to make her feel better, they both chat and become good friends. Minette learns that she has a weak body. But when she realizes she is late, Miriam offers to guide her there. Taking a shortcut through the alley, they see a kitten stuck outside a window on top. Minette decides to rescue it. The crates she stood on gave way but luckily Leicester was there to catch her (I guess he was following and keeping an eye on her as a worried ‘father’). Soon Miriam part ways with them. Leicester and Minette return to Oasis. She feels that she didn’t complete her quest since she wasn’t able to buy one of the ingredients. The rest didn’t mind till the Tortilla sisters show up to give her the missing ingredient as thanks from an owner of the cat she saved. Chelsea and Garnet finally arrive home after getting lost the whole day. So I see Garnet has hopeless direction too, eh? Classic case of blind leading the blind. Minette happily helps Nina out to make curry dinner.

Episode 6
Chelsea learns that a calamity will befall Ert’Aria and her mission is to find its reason and prevent the situation from worsening. Leicester and Minette meet Chelsea after her knight practice. Fabious is organizing a party at his place as appreciation for the Knights Templar. Chelsea notes she has to be on duty then to guard an Artifact but that is where Fabious requests Leicester to do the patrol on her behalf around the Sacred Temple. Later Chelsea takes Leicester and Nick around room with Artifacts to be protected. Among them the most valuable one, the Sacred Celestine sword. That night as the party begins, Chelsea appears in a stunning gown. It isn’t long before a Crystal Monster gatecrashes the party. While Garnet goes to get Leicester, the rest evacuate the place and try to contain the monster. However it is too fast. When Leicester arrives, he concludes that the monster attacks objects emitting bright lights and uses himself as bait to draw out the monster before Chelsea delivers the finishing move. Chelsea had earlier on drank a little too much and tires out from exhaustion so Leicester carries her back to the clan house. She starts talking funny (“Nyuu”?) and acting funny (stripping her clothes). I’m sure she enjoyed herself very much. All she needs is a goodnight rest. Goodnight, Chelsea.

Episode 7
Nagan requests Oasis to investigate the sky. Apparently the meteor shower is still going on when it is supposed to occur only once in 7 years and strange occurrences like the Crystal Monsters have been taking place. Agnes guides the gang through the forest to Altoise’s research lab in hopes to get some answers. But the forest is laden with traps set by the Maitresse as they have to carefully navigate the puzzle or else they’ll return back to square one (I thought the numbers chart Agnes was holding looked somewhat like Sudoku). They successfully reach Altoise’s cabin but she isn’t around. Agnes tells the gang this is where Minette is born though the latter has fuzzy memories about the place. Altoise brought Minette to life but due to insufficient Ale, she went back to ‘sleep’. In that short period, Agnes manages to befriend her. Everyone soon helps to find clues. Minette notices a shiny object underneath the house and crawls towards a statue with a pearl. She brings it back to Leicester and a series of events lead them to unlock a letter from Altoise. She is currently in a place known as Waterwheels of Heaven (there is an Artifact there that is able to circulate Ale). They hear Nick’s voice outside. He is being confronted by an automaton girl, Avril. She is here to take Minette’s core. The Oasis members cooperate to protect Minette but Avril is too strong and swift for them to handle. Avril backs down upon hearing orders from her master, Aberdeen. Seems Agnes knows him as he is her brother. Though he asserts that he only needs Minette’s core, he and Avril withdraw for now.

Episode 8
The gang thinks that somebody has to be with Minette as precaution during the Harvest Festival. Since everyone has their own duties, they suggest the Tortilla sisters to help out. Salsa and Ritos accompany Minette through the town as they do some advertising in swimsuits (even attracting animals?!). They let Agnes join in with her puppet acrobatic stuns before helping out Chelsea serving customers. After Agnes takes Minette go shopping, Salsa and Ritos follow Chelsea to the Artifact displays. Salsa once again falls for the pranks that the Artifacts she touched are cursed. Of course not. The Tortilla sisters later meet Leicester as they exchange items for the fireworks display. Ritos shows that though she always have fun tormenting her sister, she isn’t totally bad-hearted as she has Salsa to accompany Leicester back to Oasis. As everyone prepares to get ready to watch the fireworks, Salsa remembers her sister and decides to go back to her and prepare for the fireworks. I guess with the wasted chance and effort, that means Salsa has forgo her right to be with Leicester and allow herself to be subjected to Ritos’ taunting again. Yeah, she bluffs her for wanting to destroy the town with her fireworks (Salsa panicky as usual) but of course the only thing happening was the beautiful display.

Episode 9
Nagan continues to discuss with Oasis Clan about the strange happenings of the meteor shower. He thinks Altoise has also noticed this and taken action. Unfortunately the Waterwheel of Heaven’s location is still a mystery and they’re still continuing to search for it. Later Leicester accompanies Minette and Miriam on their day out. They pass but Tortilla Company as Ritos invites them in for tea before going back to Oasis. Carina and Agnes are doing their research but do not come up with anything conclusive. Suddenly as the bell rings, Miriam experiences pain in her chest and collapses. Agnes came back just in time to explain Miriam is an automaton like Minette. However she was a human long before but turned into one via a dragon’s technology due to her illness (she was believed to not live long). Though she is ‘cured’ from her illness, operating an automaton requires large amount of Ale. Due to the inconsistent meteor shower, somehow the Ale lost its balance. Thus to maintain its stability, Minette’s core which is Anima Pearl is needed and the reason why Aberdeen has his eyes on it. If Miriam’s condition is prolonged, she will cease to function. It’s an either or situation and Minette doesn’t like one bit of it. That night, Aberdeen and Avril break into the room to retrieve Miriam.

Episode 10
Miriam comes to and learns that Minette’s core is important for her survival. She doesn’t want something like that if it sacrifices her friend’s life. Minette just smiled and say to meet again. Chelsea has requested her Knights Templar to search for Aberdeen while the Tortilla sisters offer to take care of the abnormal Ale. Minette spends time with some of the Oasis members and learn their feelings on the situation. Salsa and Ritos journey to that closed mine again to investigate a large flowing Ale power. Minette couldn’t sleep that night so she goes to the rooftop of the cathedral. She meets Shelley as she offers her advice such as considering the views and feelings from all perspective before making her decision. Teary Minette laments her current situation. She loves everyone so much and wants to be with everybody together. After crying in Shelley’s bosoms, Minette has made her decision. Leicester finishes his work and notices Minette’s bell hanging outside her door. Fearing the worse, he enters to find her missing. Then he starts getting frantic and rushes out to search for her. Minette sees Aberdeen and follows him.

Episode 11
Minette volunteers to transfer her core to Miriam as Aberdeen starts the process. As the Oasis members run around town to search for Minette, Carina uses Montecchia to track Aberdeen (they should’ve done this in the first place). Leicester hitches a ride with Carina to the outskirts of the town. However Avril is defending the place and will not allow the duo to get an inch closer. Carina becomes her opponent so Leicester could go ahead. Since Carina can match Avril’s power and speed, Avril makes it top priority to destroy her. Leicester arrives outside the house and sees Aberdeen. He understands his actions of doing so but he wants him to put himself in his shoes too. As the guys fight, Minette rushes out to her papa. Leicester says it is for his daughter’s sake that he is willing to put his life on the line. He mentions that he is not here to just save Minette and Miriam, but also Aberdeen and Avril. Thus he will defeat him. Leicester pulls off a flashy (literally) move that could almost kill them both but thankfully they’re still breathing. Carina and Avril stop their match to rush back to the guys. Leicester continues his fatherly talk with Minette. Something about he is selfish and greedy and will do what it takes to get what he wants. He wants everyone to be together. He is sure that everyone else shares this same selfishness and says it is alright for Minette to be so too. Miriam then comes out and reiterates her similar wish and that she doesn’t want to die yet. In the end, Aberdeen agrees to cooperate with Oasis to find a method to cure her. Their joyful reunion is cut short when Garnet says that they need to head back as something major has happened. Turns out the Tortilla sisters have returned and relate their experience how the light from the mountain exploded towards the sky and caused Crystal Monster to rampage and attack the locals. Thinking that must be the counter-flow of the Ale from the Waterwheel of Heaven, the thing that stabilizes Ale in the world has become abnormal and causing an increase in the rampage of Crystal Monsters. Leicester concludes that if the Waterwheel of Heaven is causing Miriam’s core to behave unusually, then getting rid of it would return her back to normal. Everyone prepares to journey to the Waterwheel of Heaven.

Episode 12
Aberdeen and Avril want the Oasis members to head up the Waterwheel of Heaven first as they plan to take care of the rampaging Crystal Monsters from advancing. Why do they all look so cute? Just imagine Pokemon going wild… It’s not just here. Just about everywhere, cute Crystal Monsters are on the offensive. The Knights Templar along with the Tortilla sisters defend the island as we get to see Fabious strut his martial arts skill. The Oasis members climb the tower. I’m not sure if they ever thought of flying up but it seems forever running up the flight of stairs (it took them all day). But good thing nobody seems exhausted after reaching the top. They see Altoise embedded inside a large Crystal. Agnes calls out to her mom. Seems she is using her body as a vessel to control the flow of Ale and creating a large amount of Crystal Monsters to preserve it. Though they can fix it by repair but the Artifact is an ancient lost technology so one mistake would mean total destruction and everything would be lost forever. Well, it isn’t impossible though the success rate isn’t even 1%. Better than nothing, right? So if a Maitresse like her can’t repair it, how can someone like them will? Of course they can! Firstly, they don’t like this idea of sacrificing friends for the better future. Secondly, this is how Oasis does things. Thirdly, they are the heroes. They can’t fail even if the odds are stacked against them. I hope. Altoise agrees to leave the reparation in their hands but at that moment, she will be incapable to help and the powerful Ale will attack them. As Leicester and Minette go repair the puzzle Artifact, the other girls keep the attacking monsters at bay. With everyone’s feeling connected, Chelsea manage even to summon Celestine and do some serious butt kicking. In the end, Leicester successfully repairs the Artifact. See, what did I tell you? Yes, we can! Minette meets Altoise in a suspended-like space-time dimension. Minette is happy to have met everyone. Altoise emerges out from the Crystal as Agnes emotionally goes to hug her. With the stabilization of the Ale, all the Crystal Monsters return back to their cute docile form. Everyone returns back to Ert’Aria and resume their normal lives as Minette and Miriam continue to be good friends. All’s well, ends well.

Mixed Blessings…
I guess everything here is rather okay for this series. For a fantasy-like anime, there isn’t any real antagonist or rotten baddie here. Firstly, the Crystal Monsters are too cute to be seen as any threat to anybody. I felt that they don’t pose any serious danger to anybody. Even if they attack and get whacked, you’ll somehow feel assured that nobody gets injured. Besides, hitting those cute little things some may say animal abuse, but to me it seemed a little comical. I mean, can you picture hammering all your teddy bears in a row? As for Aberdeen and Avril, they are driven by their strong desire to protect and save Miriam. Anybody in their shoes would have done the same. They just look unfriendly, that’s all. Finally Altoise’s reason to protect the Ale that flows through the world is a noble one even though her actions put a lot of risk and danger to the people living below. But then again, it’s back to those reasons why the Crystal Monsters don’t seem so threatening.

So a happy ending that eventually has everyone able to be together to enjoy more happy moments. With Aberdeen and Avril by their side now, Oasis will be a stronger clan. I’m not sure if they have any intentions to join because Minette did mention that she hopes they will join the clan after everything is over. Overall, though the characters are interesting, they aren’t that ‘colourful’ enough to be uniquely unique. Get what I’m saying? Basically everyone is the same at the end as when they started. Like Chelsea still gets lost and Ritos enjoying playing pranks to helpless Salsa. Other characters like Nick and Garnet are there just because they are there and I felt they do not make much impact aside the fact that they are being part of Oasis. Even if this series is meant to showcase Leicester and Minette’s bond as father-daughter, I don’t really feel the intensity of it. Sure, Minette learns about the valuable thing called friendship and love, but the way her character is seems that she is naturally a good, kind and helpful girl so there isn’t any ‘big lesson’ to go through and learn from it other than the dilemma of putting her life on the line to save her friend first. Even so, I don’t really feel tense or worried. Yeah, maybe she’s too cute even when she’s anxious and troubled.

The far most amusing characters are still Salsa and Ritos. They are my motivation to watch this series even if I don’t really care about the plot or the fanservice (really?). In every episode, Ritos never fails to make fun out of her poor sister. She is literally quick in twisting her words and turning the situation around to make it so that Salsa takes the blame or seen as the villain, if not the idiot. It doesn’t help since Salsa is rather gullible and I don’t think she ever learns. That is what makes those 2 worth watching. Maybe these 2 should have their own spin-off series. I’ll never tire of watching them in their antics. Sorry Salsa. I know that you’re bearing the painful end of it all but take heart that it is for my amusement :). You’ll run riot with them, guaranteed.

I guess the pacing of the story is rather okay. The first half of the series seems to focus on some of the girls and make it in a way they have their turn and some screen time with Leicester before the final climax. So in the end, does it feel like a harem? Somehow that question in every harem series “Which girl would he choose to be?” seems lost halfway as the focus shifts to the problem dealing with Miriam and the inconsistent flow of Ale in the world. Just like the fanservice part. Some fanservice moments here and there in the first half like Minette temporarily losing her skirt while saving the cat, Ritos waking up totally naked except for a towel clad around her in the Laschutatto forest and the naked embrace of Agnes and Leicester that nearly had them caught. Then when the culmination of the story takes place, you don’t see any more of those. I’m not sure if the mid-intermission eye candy is for fanservice purpose as we see the female characters in the series taking turns posing in a still picture.

Speaking of more fanservice, if you buy the DVD, there will be 6 short specials lasting around 2 minutes or so. They are bath time clips of the girls in the series. Ahem, ahem… Probably the best place if you want to see some tits… Even though there are no dialogue and speeches, I’m sure you would be distracted with the ladies taking their bath, rubbing their body clean or just lying around rather than the lively and upbeat background music. Since the characters are rendered using CG, they look a little different than their usual self in 2D but you can still recognize them. By their face of course not their boobs. I noticed that even this bath time specials come in 2 versions. One in 2D and the other in 3D. I’m not sure how the 3D one will look like (but I can take a guess) maybe because I don’t have any 3D specs with me. Trying to take the fanservice to a whole new level, eh? Something to look forward to? (Pun intended). Perhaps there were quite a number of girls in the series and due to the limited DVD format, not all of them will appear. I have only seen Carina, Minette, Agnes, Chelsea and Ritos and Salsa’s version. Hey, I watched out of curiosity, okay? So I thought the last special would be one of the other girls and was guessing is it going to be Nina, Avril, Miriam or even Shelley who will take the final spot. But nope. The last special includes none of them but instead all those who appeared in the previous specials to gather in one big bath scene. I guess the rest aren’t ‘good’ enough to make it to that scene.

For more fanservice, the OVA is just what you need as it is released back in April 2011. The OVA consists of short nonsensical takes of the characters in the series that mocks several genres. And yeah, more fanservice than you could ever imagine though it won’t be like every scene. It starts with a high school parody called Campanella Academy whereby Salsa, Ritos and Golem are the disciplinary committee members sensing the threat of the gradual increase in Leicester’s harem. Leicester is by the way, the student council vice president. Guess who are the other members who make up the student council body? They need to put a stop to the arrival of the new heroine and go to confront Minette and Miriam. They also meet Aberdeen and Avril who are delinquents (they sound livelier here). Minette and Avril talk about how Leicester ‘saved’ them while Aberdeen visualizes a confrontation with him (and lost – setting some BL flag). Then the school director Shelley tells them that their battle has just begin and go forth before all the girls in the city become her son’s grand harem. And that’s it. The rest of the short takes include Minette’s introduction of several hotspring and its benefits (tits galore!); a Campanella movie called Auto Mata Golem which is a screwed up mix of Chinese kung-fu, bathroom horror (ala Psycho), phantom thief (Cat’s Eye parody) with some outer space mecha parody; A bathroom murder mystery with the girls of Oasis rushing in to find unconscious Leicester. They get horny ideas to rub his back and to see his ‘little buddy’ by taking off his loincloth. When they do so, they scream with horror and rush out just when Leicester regains consciousness. The second time, they see Salsa knocked out on the floor and Ritos taking a bath. Seems they’re here to pay a ‘night visit’ to Leicester. Then everyone gets this horny idea to go ‘visit’ Leicester while he’s asleep. Agnes gets flustered when a real scene of her naked with Leicester appears and tries to get it out of everyone’s mind. In the end, the Tortilla sisters just leave. The third time round, the see Nick lying on the floor but no cause for alarm because they walk away calmly and just let him be; A ‘Find Wally’ version called Find Chelsea in which viewers have 10 seconds to find her as the picture zooms in. The last one is tricky because it shows the whole island! How the heck will we know she’s there?!; The Yakyuken supposedly some random character selection in which he/she will do rock-scissors-paper with the audience and if the viewers win, the girl will give us a topless fanservice pose. If not, it’ll be substituted with a guy…

Fortune Sentai Campanellan is a parody of the sentai genre with the Tortilla sisters holding Leicester as hostage for world domination. The other girls arrive to save the day as they transform into their own respective colours. It gets out of hand when other characters arrive and transform, screwing up the colour theme; A Day In Life Of Golem sees Agnes and Tango spying on Golem doing several household chores. Agnes gets this weird idea that there is someone piloting Golem and fantasizes the possible guys in the series inside it. Why is Agnes face like a pervert? Why is her breathing so hard? That night as Ritos is to inspect Golem, she makes Salsa do housewife chores. Agnes is waiting in baited breath but to her disappointment, sees multiple mini Golems inside working out. Later Ritos teases Salsa about Leicester’s outer coat she secretly keeps in the roof. Finally in Leicester Becomes A Doll, as the name suggests, he becomes one as part of Altoise and Shelley’s pranks. Unable to move, every Oasis girl that sees the cute Leicester doll either subjects him to boobs smothering, fanservice, dress changing and worse of all, violation (can you believe Chelsea did this?!). Lastly when Minette takes the doll with her to sleep, the spell wears out in the middle of the night and Leicester returns to his normal size in Minette’s bed. Naked. It’s a good thing she’s still asleep. The next morning, everyone is puzzled where the doll may have disappeared to and wonders where Leicester has been but he can’t say. The mid-intermission for the OVA is total fanservice. At least for the girls’ part (topless nudity, you get the picture) and occurs very frequently between the short takes. Even the guys have their own poses and shots. Are they GAR enough for you? Show us those abs!

I won’t say that the drawing and art is groundbreaking but I feel that the shading of the characters is somewhat a little light. I also like some of the character designs. For instance, I like Leicester’s weapon that doubles up as a sword and a gun. Interesting. Too bad he doesn’t use it as often. Hey, don’t use violence unless really necessary. Unlike in many fantasy RPG animes, we don’t often see any monster or dragon slaying (okay, maybe just on 1 occasion) and powering up or the likes. I suppose they’re trying to stress on the interaction of the characters? The opening theme by Aki Misato, Shiawase Wa Yori Tsuki Takaku sounds like your typical upbeat anime song suitable for this genre. The first ending theme albeit is at a more moderate pace, Mirai Kaikisen by Miyuki Hashimoto. The second theme, AMELIA is all in English though at some parts I felt it was like Engrish… Perhaps it is because it was sung by Yuko Goto, who also did the voice of Avril.

For those who’d love a little short adventure and don’t mind the few fanservice, this series should be okay to those also seeking for a little laughs (you know which pair of sisters I’m talking about, right?) to pass the time by. It still bugs me about what the blessings of Campanella is. Not that important, I guess but as I did a little research, Campanella means little bell in Italian so perhaps the Oasis people got their blessing when Minette came into their lives? So if a little girl really comes up to me proclaiming that I am her father, hell I’ll be thinking when I screwed up big time.

Prism Ark

July 15, 2011

After a long while, I thought it would be nice to go watch another fantasy RPG-like anime series. I don’t really remember how I chose Prism Ark. Probably it was the mindless web surfing or the eenie-meenie-mini-moe thingy for which series of this genre I should watch. Or maybe it’s the fanservice. Ah, what was I thinking. Anyway this series is based on the adult game of the same name. Ah, I see that’s where the fanservice comes in. I have not played the game before but I vaguely read somewhere that the adult contents of the game are quite explicit in nature. However, don’t get your hopes up in seeing explicit stuff in the adapted version. Or else you’d be sorely disappointed and be better off playing the game if you are really in for the horny stuff.

Just like in any fantasy RPG games or series, it takes time (at least for me) to learn and remember the names of the characters and places since they aren’t your typical John Smith and Mary Sue. What more their special weapons, techniques and other terms. Hah. I don’t think I’d ever manage to remember them when the anime ended. So in this world according to the anime, the first thing that strikes me was how similar the world map is to Europe. In fact, it is Europe! Just that the names of the countries have been changed. The country in focus is Windland. Say what? At first I thought it was Holland since you know, that place is famous for its windmills, like how they are abundant in this show. But why does it seem like occupying the spot for Germany? Oh, as for the other countries, I’m sure they’ll bring in some good laughter. Spain is Speen?! France is Frenchel?! Oh, they’re really making me laugh. What about this one: Italy = Victaly! Guess which country is Poleland? That’s no typo error! And how about United Kingdom? Untied Kingdom?! WTF?! Then there are rearrangements of some of the countries. For instance, Hungary is located above Speen while Denmark sits between Speen and Frenchel. This is one messed up world if you’re a purist in geography.

I couldn’t care less about the history and the war because you know, what good is an RPG anime without having long wars and everlasting conflict that brings pain, misery and suffering to the people. So the antagonist kingdom here is Sablum, which happens to be the Ottoman Empire if you know your history. They are attempting to take over Windland for who knows how long and with their huge deadly battle mechas known as Angels, if Windland doesn’t buck up, they’ll be another occupied territory under Sablum. That’s a no-no. So is there any hope for Windland to counter this threat from impending invasion? There is. The Rozenburg Knight Academy is established to train those future knights not only in swords but sorcery as well and protect the country they love. What were you expecting? A school on diplomacy? Who wants to see enemies talk it out when we all should know better this saying: Action speaks louder than words.

Episode 1
The series starts off a little confusing at first because it intertwines 2 different stories of different time line though they are connected. Unless you are familiar with the game (which I am not), you’d be scratching your head wondering what the hell is happening. So on one hand, we have the good guys, the knights, resting the night as they make their way against the final battle against Sablum. You can tell the hero, Hyaweh and the heroine, Priecia are lovers because they are spending quality time together and perhaps treating this as their last if they’d never see each other after the war ends. Of course not. Just kidding about the last bit. Suddenly their romantic moment is interrupted when they are being ambushed by the Sablum army, led by Sister Hell. Wow. What kind of cool baddie has this sort of cool name and a cool over-sized cross as her weapon? Hyaweh and Priecia aren’t just going to fight the entire army alone. Herald the other party members. Urm… Why aren’t they your typical RPG character class? Because they aren’t. Let’s see. We have the double sword wielding samurai girl, Karin Mibu who is also their instructor; the magical girl Fel who has very large awkward elven ears so much so you may mistake them for being bicycle handles; the miko priestess Kagura who is an expert bowmanship. Maybe they should have added a nekomimi girl too. Haha, just kidding. Yeah, we all know that the power battle of swords clashing and magic blasting isn’t going to end anytime soon so let’s go to the other part of the narration. Long ago, the future king and queen of Windland met when they were visiting some kingdom. Princea and her weak brother with an illness, Hans met Meister and they become good friends during their stay. Of course Princea and Meister soon take a liking for each other. Ah, the age of innocence. Till that damn war came. They had to leave. Hans and Meister promise to each other to become knights but soon that wish won’t be fulfilled because Hans’ weak body gave in and he died. Princea vowed to become a knight to fulfil her brother’s wish as she faces all sort of uphill challenges to successfully become a top knight and reunited with Meister again.

Episode 2
We see some leader of the Sablum Empire called Gerot talking to his subjects. He is revelling in his army hailing him when his mercenaries Sister Hell and Darkness Knight mock him he will never conquer Windland due to Meister and Princea’s legacy. He becomes infuriated about his failed spies in acquiring information about the Windland royalty. He summons Bridget to do the job once and for all. Back at Rozenburg, Priecia is being made to do some promo filming to recruit knights to the school. Yeah, sex sells. Just that, Kisarov, the headmaster of the academy and the current Duke of Windland is recording all that. I can tell what kind of amusing pervy character this Kisarov will be. Bridget disguises herself as a transfer student at Rozenburg. I can see why Gerot’s spies all fail him. Even Bridget is a goofball. After hearing rumours about the lost princess of Windland making her appearance at Rozenburg, Bridget starts thinking too much how this princess will look like and scares herself. In the hall as Karin gives her opening speech to the aspiring knights, Fel mistakes Bridget to be princess Priecia. Everybody starts getting hyped up to get to know her but Bridget starts freaking out. Hey, if she can’t even handle this, she isn’t cut out for bigger stuff. Just when she thought she is saved by the teacher’s intervention, the teacher too thinks she’s Priecia! She invites ‘Priecia’ up to the stage to do demonstrate some of her skills. Now she is in sh*t. The real Priecia meets Hyaweh outside the hall (she isn’t amused of Kisarov’s exaggerated ‘advertising’ on her). Hyaweh gets friendly with her and takes her hand as he drags her into the hall. Bridget is being such a wuss that everybody starts doubting if she’s the real deal. Everybody gets shocked when Bridget finally comes clean that she isn’t the princess they think she is. Karin has to intervene to fight off the wooden dolls onstage but Kisarov notices Bridget’s swift knife attack to take out a wooden doll when it threatened Karin from the back. But there are too many wooden dolls for them to handle so Priecia can’t stand it all and finish it all. Priecia points her sword at poor Bridget and is prepared to slash her for insulting her. But Hyaweh stops Priecia’s sword with just his mere fingers. She can’t even move or budge her sword. He insists that they become friends but Priecia is too emo to think rationally so she pulls back and continues attacking him.

Episode 3
The fight continues. Priecia’s attack is all over the place (not to mention damaging everything), but Hyaweh is able to dodge them all like a cool cat. Hyaweh persists that they get along and even praises her beauty. Well, that annoyed her even more. Shouldn’t every girl feel honoured to be praised by a guy even if she hates him? Priecia trips on a wooden doll and refuses Hyaweh’s help. She wants to attack again but is stopped by Kisarov, telling her that she lost. Hyaweh is made to give an opening speech and since he doesn’t know what to say, he accidentally rips Karin’s samurai skirt. Now it’s Karin’s turn to go berserk and rip the place apart. Why is she more bothered to slash that guy rather than putting some pants on? Doesn’t she feel embarrassed swinging her sword in her undies? Of course, till he points that out. Did Hyaweh survive that blast? Well, he was fast enough to dodge any sort of attacks, right? Later as Bridget is walking through the corridors, her mind is wondering if Hyaweh is the missing ‘princess’ of Windland. She bumps into Fel and learns that she is her roommates. Fel teases Bridget that she is interested in Hyaweh. Hyaweh experiences traps that could kill him wherever he goes in school. He tries to join Priecia during recess but she splashes her drink on his face after he compliments her fighting (took that as an insult?). After Priecia leaves, a group of 3 stooges (that’s what I like to call them), Aira, Massie and Orthy, pledge their loyalty to protect Priecia (because they really suck up to her – except for Orthy who thinks Hyaweh is cool too) but the princess tells them to bug off or she’ll kill them. Hyaweh thinks of skipping class when he sees a little girl in trouble with her book load. Turns out she is no little girl. She is Litte Ratus and is his homeroom teacher! Gosh. Another loli teacher. Hyaweh ends up getting her severe punishment: Holding water buckets. That is supposed to be severe? Later he gets a message from Priecia to meet her at the woods. But it was a trap by those 3 stooges to finish him off as they see him as a threat to their beloved Priecia. Yup, all those traps for him were set by them. They use their combo attack to finish him off. He manages to dodge the first two but he can’t for the last one. Priecia arrives in time to save his ass. She gives a stern warning to the stooges and sends them scurrying away. Don’t take it the wrong way that she’s grateful. Just that she doesn’t want anybody else fighting for her. Suddenly they are being swamped by knives. They are surrounded by ninjas. Oh boy. It’s rare to see this kind of character class. They fight the ninjas but the ninja boss, Chizakura takes on Priecia one to one. The ninjas retreat when they are greeted by a flurry of arrows from Kagura. Once the ninjas are gone, Kagura goes up to Priecia and hugs her.

Episode 4
Looks like Priecia has another annoying person to add to her list. Kagura becomes a stalker to her and watches her every move. Yeah, she is also a transfer student in her class to keep a good watch on her. Then during recess, she’s got Kagura on one side and Hyaweh on the other. Life is sure getting hard. We are also introduced to another 3 stooges, guys this time but are less goofy than their female counterparts. They are Acty Axel, Ein and Jung Von Ferdinand. Even if emo girl is quick to leave, Kagura follows her everywhere she goes and even inspects the toilet she is about to use! Priecia complains to Kisarov but the latter insists she came from afar to protect her. Yeah, it’s like everybody is going against her with Hyaweh telling her that Kagura saved her life. Hyaweh’s little sister, Filia comes looking for him so that guy has to abandon his talk with Priecia and ‘discuss’ with his little one. Filia has got this onii-chan complex so I guess it’s no surprise she is taking up a job as a maid in this academy in order to look after him too. With Filia temporary staying in Hyaweh’s room, Hyaweh has to sleep in the tower that Kagura is stalking Priecia. Next day, I guess he must have woke up due to Priecia’s b*tching over Kagura that the only way she’s going to accept her as her bodyguard is over a duel with their primary weapons and no magic allowed. Soon everybody gets to know about this match (the fanclub girls are real concern about it) as Filia thinks of making a welcoming party. Her cooking may seem horrible and unappetizing but after tasting it, it’s delicious! Never judge a book by its cover. Match day arrives and both ladies impressively start their attack while the other students watch and cheer them on. Bridget is waiting outside the battle hall and hoping to take advantage of the situation in good timing. But unfortunately, her bad luck causes her to misfire a spell and the building catching fire. Everybody evacuates except for Priecia and Kagura, still intending to finish their duel. When Hyaweh realizes both ladies are still inside, he rushes back in. Priecia accidentally injures Hyaweh’s shoulder when he tries to stop their fight. Karin arrives to put out the flames with her fire spell. That’s what you call fighting fire with fire. Everyone is relieved to see the trio emerging out from the building. Karin slaps him for being reckless and will have everyone punished. Including the spectators. Later as everyone is cleaning the academy, Kagura admits that she lost but Priecia says the match wasn’t finished. Kagura will continue to watch Priecia but from a distance and give her some space. Priecia thanks Hyaweh for saving them.

Episode 5
We begin with a little history lesson. 16 years ago, the king and queen of Windland, Meister and Princea were travelling with their baby daughter when they were ambushed by Angels and went missing. Currently the throne is empty but Kisarov is temporarily heading it as the Duke. Later Kisarov announces a Prism Exam dubbed Puriken whereby the aspiring knights will take an exam to advance to the next level. Priecia trains with Karin but gets a sound beating due to her weakened heart. She gets chided for trying to protect her silly pride and as long as her head isn’t clear, she’ll never master her sword. After all that emo talk, it’s good once in a while she gets a taste of her own medicine. Later the 3 stooges discuss with Fel and wonders if Hyaweh is at fault for losing her concentration. They think she may be in… Love? Nah… Well, up to you to think because that night, Priecia’s thoughts are filled with Hyaweh and can’t concentrate on her training. Hyaweh is taking a midnight stroll and meets Fel. She teaches him how to use the Prism power. That is, you have to feel it from the bottom of your heart. He also learns the reason why she is making a giant snowflake magic due to a promise to visit her friend’s country and watch the snow together once she masters it. Soon he remembers his initial promise he had. He goes to Priecia who is still having troubles with her practice. He tells her how to use the Prism like what Fel told him and also about the promise he made. Flashback reveals young Hyaweh and Filia were happy playing together when an Angel started attacking them. He asserted his will to protect Filia but was hopelessly thrown back by the Angel’s force. That’s when Darkness Knight swiftly steps in to destroy the Angel and left Hyaweh his dagger. That’s when Hyaweh resolved to become someone who has the power to protect. Priecia notes how similar he is to Kagura as they both laugh. She proclaims from today, he will be her rival. She resumes her training and is able to pull off a superb move. Woah! She blasted a hole through the waterfall! Next day Priecia and Karin have their rematch. Priecia wins after pulling off her Mirage Rush move. Karin is satisfied with her progress. Soon the Puriken come and go. Everyone passes except for the 3 stooges. Remedial classes!

Episode 6
The gang head to the town to relax since they earned a day off. In town, Hyaweh and Priecia got separated together but that didn’t stop the rest from having fun. A funny part was how the girls heard ambiguous lines from the duo in a tent. They think they’re doing something immoral when the tent inside itself is pretty cramp (use your imagination). It gets worse when they stumble out in a compromising position. Kagura fires her arrows so the duo flee. They come into contact with Acty who is acting like some pimp and the big customer turns out to be Kisarov. Priecia isn’t happy when they think they’re on a date so after arguing, she storms off with Hyaweh. After getting ice cream from a suspicious looking vendor, they spend more time together. Priecia’s face turns very red when Hyaweh licks ice cream off her face. Then they talk about their country and protecting it. Priecia mentions about wanting to go to the beach next time because she has never seen the ocean before (seriously?). Hyaweh promises to take her there and notices a clock around her neck as she explains it is from her parents and considers it to be very important. Their nice time is interrupted when they are surrounded by ninjas. With the watch, they are pretty confident she is the missing princess of Windland. Hyaweh fights the ninjas but Chizakura has got Priecia hostage. He throws a poison knife at Hyaweh. I’m wondering why he didn’t dodge that. He passes out and Chizakura escapes with Priecia in his clutches. Hyaweh wakes up to the sound of his sister calling him. The other girls have found him and are being told what happened to Priecia. Filia rushes back to the academy to alert Karin (in the midst of training those stooges). Kagura pulls out some charm that allows them to track where Priecia is. Hyaweh catches up to Chizakura and they fight. Hyaweh’s determination to save Priecia has him unleashing a powerful energy ball which turns into his angelic sword, Ala-Gladius. Chizakura couldn’t understand the attributes of Hyaweh’s sword and I guess he took too long so the backup Karin arrives to rescue Priecia and do a little skirmish. Chizakura escapes seeing he can’t win this. Bridget goes after the ninja as she recognizes him as one of her allies. She sees Chizakura reporting to Darkness Knight. The latter kills him for his failure. Bridget is confused and shocked at what she saw but quickly escapes when Darkness Knight senses her presence. In the carriage, Priecia looks forward to Hyaweh’s date in bringing her to the beach. But as soon as he mentions about bringing everyone else along, she gets upset and slaps him. He is so dense and oblivious, she is so tsundere and emo.

Episode 7
The knights will undergo their first real mission. A seemingly dangerous one too because it is to defend a fort at a border between Windland and Sablum. What are the chances of a newbie knocking on death’s door? However Hyaweh’s mind is confused, his heart wavering. Why? Yesterday when Priecia offered to walk him back under her umbrella, after he apologized for the other day (that beach date thingy lah) she asked him if he liked her. He said yes. Her reply was: She hates him! WTF?! Then she storms off. WTH?! Something bugs me. When Priecia popped that Hyaweh seemed very shocked like as though he didn’t see this coming. And I thought he was all the while praising her so it must have occurred to me that deep down in his heart he must’ve liked her. And Priecia’s dishonest attitude makes it even worse and gives more fuel for guys to say “Women. Can’t understand them”. So back in reality as everyone boards the vehicles to their deaths, oops I mean, first mission, Hyaweh is so troubled that he didn’t even notice Fel’s greeting. And why is Filia joining the troop? I thought she was just a school maid? On the way, Bridget feigns sickness because she can’t bear the thought to fight her own comrades. Upon arriving at the fort, Karin is reporting back when a fallen soldier comes knocking on her door. She realizes they have been ambushed and that the fort has fallen into Sablum’s hands. The Sablum army charges ahead as the rookie knights try to fend for themselves. Karin gives orders to retreat but Priecia refuses to obey and wants to go rescue soldiers she thinks are hurt and trapped inside the fort. Both ladies have their ideals clashed as a knight. Their debate is interrupted when a giant Angel descends from the sky. Furthermore, its cannon blaster is damn powerful and could probably blow up the whole mountain. This doesn’t stop Priecia to charge at the Angel. At this point, I think she’s just being stubborn. Not heeding Hyaweh’s call to retreat for now. What is there not to understand? Want to make her last stand and show off being a heroine? The Angel recharges and is about to fire another shot. Priecia unleashes her Glow Rush move. However it wasn’t effective as the blast disperse into several smaller shots and rain down on her comrades below, injuring some of them. See, whose fault is it? Hyaweh rushes over to pick up Priecia who has been hit by the Angel’s cannon. The Angel aims point blank at them. At that point, Hyaweh uses his Ala-Gladius and easily destroys the Angel via beam of bright light. Woah. He should’ve used this from the start. Soon he collapses. Litte recognizes the sword as it is also known as The Angel Slayer.

Episode 8
Everyone returns to Rozenburg. Karin apologizes over the failed mission but Kisarov is interested in Hyaweh and Ala-Gladius. Though Hyaweh is injured and recuperating in the infirmary, he is sleeping soundly (that’s a good sign, right?). Priecia is about to visit him when she overheard Karin and Litte talking about how that move could seriously endanger his life. If it isn’t enough trouble already, Priecia felt guilty over her actions and ran away from the academy. In town, she gets into more trouble when a couple of thugs try to hit on her and she didn’t fight back. Pimping Acty tries to save her by turning into some masked crusader but his own blunder took himself out. Fortunately, a passing nun, Theresa saves her from being raped (they weren’t out to rob a cutie, right?). Priecia wakes up in a Theresa’s church. She goes outside to see her tending her tomato garden. Priecia wants to thank her but Theresa ignores her, thus pissing her off and returning her b*tchy emo attitude. Apparently Priecia has never eaten a tomato before so it was quite funny when she asked how to eat it. Step 1: Put tomato in your mouth. Step 2: Bite and swallow. Simple! Duh! She finds it delicious and over the next few days, Priecia helps Theresa plant tomatoes as gratitude. However the tomatoes she plant aren’t growing well so Priecia is a little frustrated. Theresa advices her about several factors for the tomato to grow well, in which can be applied to life as well. Too bad Priecia had to squash the poor tomato in the end (wasted). Theresa’s words echo in her mind and sound somewhat similar to Karin’s about her foolish pride. Theresa walks away so Priecia now becomes emotional and starts wondering what the hell she’s been doing all the while. I can think a lot of bad moves. Meanwhile her friends at Rozenburg are worried of her disappearance and goes all out to search for her. Later, Priecia follows Theresa to town. Theresa pays a visit to several orphanage kids and gives them her harvested tomatoes. The kids are fascinated with this ‘weird’ woman Theresa is and proceeded to play knight with her. Seems fine, only thing is Priecia is the monster. I think it fits her personality. As the ladies are to part come evening, the little orphan girl hands a prism cross as thanks. However Theresa remembers some traumatic memories and hits it away, hurting the girl’s feelings. Now it’s Priecia’s turn to give some lecturing but Theresa can’t accept it still and runs away. Priecia promises the girl that she will give the cross to her on her behalf. Back in the church, Theresa relives those horrifying memories (capsules filled with hideous life experiment?). Priecia interrupts and wants her to take the cross and continues her lecture. Who is being the hypocrite now? So Theresa tells her back she’s just being naive. Back at Rozenburg, Hyaweh wakes up and the first thing he said was Priecia’s name. I guess he can’t really stop thinking about her.

Episode 9
The gang are making headway in their search for Priecia. Kisarov gets a visitor: Echo. She has been spying in the Sablum Empire as Gerot’s harem. Yeah, that guy is so sloppy, she could’ve chopped his head any moment. Now is it really a wonder why his spies and security fail him. How can that guy ever best Windland? Kisarov and Echo’s talk reveal several details like when the king and queen of Windland disappeared 16 years ago, Hyaweh and Ala-Gladius mysteriously appeared (did they came crashing down from a comet?) so Kisarov raised him and thinks the events of his appearance is to slay the Angels. They also talk about Tempelritter (a powerful army unit commanded by Judas in which Karin was part of) to rid of heretics against their God. Sablum then were kidnapping and housing children and Theresa was the head of the conspiracy. Theresa abandoned her faith when she saw children being used as experiments and even killed them. Tempelritter attacked her church though she was believed to be dead, she actually had fled. No further details are known as Tempelritter holds information on that night tightly. In present time, Hyaweh finds Priecia outside the church garden as they talk (I thought she hated him) while Karin enters the church to find Priecia. She recognizes Theresa’s voice and is surprised she is alive. She won’t forgive her for what she has done but Theresa remains calm and cool. Karin wants to fight her but Theresa doesn’t wish to. So I guess Karin was being persistent that made Theresa transformed into… Sister Hell. Hey, she has her own henshin sequence! They both fight but Karin is no match. She could’ve been killed if Priecia and Hyaweh decide to finally stop listen and campur tangan. Since Hyaweh still hasn’t recuperated, Priecia takes her on. Priecia is having a hard time too but after some encouragement from Karin, she uses her Mirage Rush to turn the tables. If Sister Hell was caught in that blast, how come her outer clothes were only ripped? Priecia refuses to kill Sister Hell and is about to hand over the cross when an explosion rocks the church. It’s Darkness Knight and he wants to see Ala-Gladius’ power. He is disappointed when Hyaweh can’t seem to make it work like he did previously. Priecia charges but gets slammed away. He spots her time memento and experiences flashes of memories of Meister and Princea (I think I know who this guy is now). Hyaweh pulls out a dagger and stabs it in Darkness Knight’s head. Morning comes, Darkness Knight and Theresa are gone. Hyaweh hands Priecia the cross and says Theresa told him for her to hold on the cross for now and will accept it from her someday. Their friends arrive to pick them up.

Episode 10
Suddenly after all that potential build-up, we are returned to some school cultural festival thingy at Rozenburg called PNP (Prism Night Party). Apparently Kisarov wants to have fun too. Work hard, play hard. Hyaweh’s guy buddies are pestering him about details if he might do anything ‘adventurous’ with Priecia but he denies doing anything or even kissing. Priecia overheard this and is very annoyed and gives him the cold shoulder. Yeah, she even has thoughts about kissing him. Trying to practice kissing herself via mirror in the toilet? Everyone discusses about PPP (Prism Prince and Princess). Think of it something similar as your prom king and queen. Since the attributes to become PPP differ every year, this makes everyone have a chance to get the coveted crown. Filia makes a giant banner as preparation for the festival. She really is looking forward to be the princess and her brother the prince. Why is he staring at her ass? Is he developing into a lolicon? That night, Hyaweh practices with Ala-Gladius but totally fails. He encounters Priecia and that girl wants to settle their fight in another duel. Can’t she just talk things out? Apparently not. Must be one of her emo pride swings taking effect at this moment. Kisarov interrupts their petty moment and mentions that this year’s PPP theme is acting. Hiring Fel as the director, Kisarov and Fel proceed to put up some lame acting ‘preview’ of a play which is a twisted combination of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Furthermore, there must be some sort of ‘action’ in it as they demonstrate of getting beaten up whenever the prince and princess meet. Annoyed Priecia is obviously uninterested in such a stupid play and no matter how much Fel tries to explain and make it juicer, she isn’t moved. Till she mentions about the last part whereby the prince and princess will kiss. Priecia makes a total u-turn and forces Hyaweh into joining the competition as part of their duel. Priecia will have to face competition too as their other pals also crave to have the PPP title (some wanting to kiss Hyaweh like Filia and Orthy and some wanting a year’s worth of meal vouchers like Kagura and Bridget).

Episode 11
The festival begins and the battle to obtain PPP is explained. It is some sort of free-for-all and battle royale for the guys and girls to obtain a breastplate each, put them on and then rush to the love stage in order to become PPP and the lead protagonists for the play. The rush for the breastplate begins and it is every guy and girl for themselves. Aira and Massie cling onto Priecia’s leg in an attempt to hold her back because they reason she is a real princess and want her to give them a chance to be one. Like she cares when kissing is the ultimate prize on the line. Everybody turns on each other and even the teachers like unscrupulous Karin and Litte are also in the race desperate to obtain the breastplate. The breastplate keeps flying into different hands (like Priecia pulling off her Mirage Rush on everybody). Filia is excited and tells Hyaweh that she will be the first person to have his kiss. Staying true to the ‘prophecy’, the male breastplate lands in Hyaweh’s hands like as though it fell from Heaven. Now all the ‘zombie’ guys are targeting him. The female breastplate falls into Priecia’s hands and it seems her ideal plan is going in the right way. Now Hyaweh has to carry her to the stage but they are swamped by other desperate students. In the confusion, it is Hyaweh and Filia that ends up wearing the armour on the stage! How disappointing for Priecia. That night everybody prepares for the play. The other friends are given other minor roles. Filia notices Priecia’s feelings so just before the play starts, Filia swaps her role with Priecia. Can she learn her lines fast? Don’t worry, Filia is nearby to feed them to her. The play starts and you wonder if it’s part of the script or just fumbling (like how Hyaweh tripped and exposed Priecia’s breastplate and thus her bra). Then comes the much anticipated final scene in which Hyaweh must kiss Priecia to wake her up. To everyone’s disappointment, he kissed her forehead. It was enough to wake her up but Priecia too is pretty irritated, asking him if he really loves her or not. Hyaweh confesses that he loves her and they both kiss, much to the crowd’s delight. And you know, that love speech isn’t in the script. This means they aren’t acting, right? Kisarov must be damn proud of this masterpiece. As everyone onstage takes a bow, Bridget realizes that she has been caught up in the party and fooling around too much and decides to resume her snooping. Outside Hyaweh’s room, she spots Litte inside and reporting to Judas that Hyaweh is no doubt the one.

Episode 12
Kisarov announces a special graduation duel between student representatives of Hyaweh and Priecia that will be attended by Judas in episode 12. Filia pecks Hyaweh on the cheek before the match, shocking everyone. Hyaweh and Priecia face each other in the ring and will settle their long outstanding dues. Though we won’t see how the match proceeds, in the aftermath, seems Priecia has won the match since she has been given the ultimate prize as a Royal Guard. Their other friends too graduate and are being assigned to other divisions like Bridget a spy in Sablum (how ironic) and Hyaweh personally has been asked by Judas to join his Tempelritter. That night as Priecia gets ready for the dance party, Kisarov wonders about her feelings for Hyaweh. She gets flustered and brushes it off but he says it’s nothing to be shy about because he knows about it and this may be her last chance to see him. Obviously why not since her tsundere character is very obvious. At the party, Hyaweh accidentally spills a drink over Judas’ clothes. Karin wants him to apologize but Judas is okay with it. Hyaweh is ‘saved’ when Priecia decides to take him along with her. Outside in the woods, it must have become some sort of trend that every time these 2 talk, it wouldn’t be complete with you-know-who trying to start arguing. Hyaweh compliments her beautiful dress but she thinks he is into more of artificial beauty (just shut up and listen to him, will you!). Continuing her accusation that he is the same like everyone else, he’s into her because she’s a princess, bla bla bla, they ended up struggling, fall off a cliff into the water below. Perfect chance to kiss. Oh why not? She can’t talk with water in her mouth. It’s the perfect chance to ‘shut her up’. After they surface and dry themselves, Priecia still isn’t going to believe it but Hyaweh plays it cool and even so will always be by her side. This is when Priecia trusts him enough to tell him her biggest secret. No, she’s not pregnant. She is the daughter of Kisarov and has been raised as a princess as a substitute princess ever since the royal couple went missing. The real princess is still missing. So her reason for putting up this tsundere attitude and not being able to love anyone is to prepare for the day to become the ‘real’ queen and lead and give hope to the people of Windland. Yeah, it’s a big responsibility. Thus the reason she came here to say farewell to him. Hyaweh thanks her for sharing this as she hugs him after finishing her teary story. He asserts that he loves her and enjoys doing everything with her (including the arguments?) but will always be with her as her knight. They kiss again. That is number 3.

Meanwhile Litte is seen talking to Judas (Bridget so good in eavesdropping as usual – but this time she gets caught). She is against his plan to attack the academy tonight since he already has obtained Hyaweh under his wing. Judas says that he isn’t interested in taking over Windland but rather wants to see Hyaweh unleash the true powers of the Ark. An Angel comes crashing into that castle that sends everyone into alert and evacuation mode. Kisarov tells Karin to take care of the students as he has a score to settle. Part of this invading army is Darkness Knight. He is searching for Hyaweh wanting to settle a score with him but is faced with Kisarov instead. Kisarov knows Darkness Knight is Meister and the latter is having difficulties trying to remember his memories. Both sides lunge forward to each other. Meanwhile we see Gerot in panic as he is unaware of this unauthorized attack as he is facing some interrogation of bald sages. They are worried that this will threaten their goal of becoming Gods. Princea is seen to be unconscious in a capsule. Hyaweh and Priecia fight their way through as Kagura covers for them. Hyaweh and Priecia hold and use Ala-Gladius together as a bright light is emitted from the sword. I’m not sure if its power is kept in the satellite hovering over the planet. They transform into some legendary being called Megido (I thought it was some sort of blue Ultraman) and easily beats the crap out of the enemy. Judas is happy to see the legendary power unfolding before his eyes while the rest watches the blinding light. Kisarov has defeated Darkness Knight and feels that there is still hope. Priecia’s feelings for Hyaweh completely changes as she believes they will always be together. In the aftermath as Hyaweh and Priecia lie unconscious on the ground but hand in hand, Sister Hell stands close by noting how the next battle will start and will one day fulfil her promise and thus should sleep for now with her loved one.

Finland Is Not On The Map. Otherwise This Series Will Be Finish!!!
If this is how it ends, then it is extremely disappointing. It felt like the whole series wasn’t about trying to prepare for the war against the Sablum Empire, it felt more like a high school life only with a fantasy twist. I mean, we see a big chunk of the story of the knights in the academy like training and the last few episodes having some sort of fun school cultural festival. We have the first episode which seems promising enough but at the end as we all have seen, it doesn’t even come close to that scene. Which means, that a lot of fight scenes have been cut out. The ones shown here are just average, some close to ridiculous (yeah, that satellite one) and could have been better though some are worth the part like Hyaweh’s short bout with Darkness Knight. The flow of the story isn’t smooth in the sense of the pacing and the characters like Sister Hell and Darkness Knight’s appearance were somewhat staggering, appearing here and there. The way it ended on a hanging note probably means that if the producers ever wanted to continue the series, they could pick up from there. But you know, it’s been several years already since this series came out back in 2007 and I don’t hear any sequels about it. After some interesting build-up at the end, it leaves much to be desired especially some of the characters and the plot. If I didn’t go do a little brief reading up of them, I wouldn’t have understood the implications of it all in the end. Like how those bald sages and Judas intend on becoming God by obtaining the power of the Ark and that Meister became Darkness Knight when he somewhat lost his memories and his cursed helmet is partly to blame for his altered personality.

I’m sure everyone would agree with me that the most annoying character in the series isn’t the 3 stooges but Priecia. It’s like she has a problem with love. Oh wait, maybe she does. One minute, she is hot, the next she is emotional. Typical tsundere. It feels like her attitude is even more overwhelming than the threat of the Sablum Empire. And why take it out on Hyaweh? Thank goodness he is a patient, friendly and understanding guy. If he is one of those hot-headed people, the argument could’ve been worse. Over the series, I was hoping to see the change in Priecia from her moody emotional swings and even her cold and unfriendly attitude to one that we first see at the start of the series. I nearly gave up and thought that she is born like that till the final scenes. Each time she goes into her irrational fit, I felt like strangling her. Maybe I shouldn’t blame her entirely. After all she is a teenager at that age whereby she’s experiencing raging hormones and rebellious nature. She knows she has to shoulder a huge responsibility for her Windland people when she ascends the throne. But I’m glad she gradually accepts her friends (like Kagura) and love though it is too late by the time the series has already ended. Hey, it’s better than never, right? This series is too short to see Hyaweh’s character grow. We just know that he can use his Ala-Gladius and ultimately that Megido power but whether or not he can fully control and master it is still a mystery.

Kisarov is another amusing character because of his dramatic speech (going high and low like as though he’s practising for an opera) and sometimes his weird poses while talking. He may be goofy and pervy but he proves he is still a force to be reckoned with when the time calls for it. Bridget’s role as a dojikko brings somewhat the comical factor to the series. It makes you wonder how she ended up becoming a spy when she spends more time goofing and flopping her spying missions. The information that she sends and reports back to Gerot isn’t that useful either. In short, she’s a complete idiot. Other characters like Filia, Fel, Kagura and Karin became just secondary and I feel they don’t play major roles that made an impact in the series. Minor characters like the 3 stooges (both the guys and girls) become even more minor as they only provide comic relief, which is probably the only thing I would look forward to considering the way this series is going. And as said because of the short length of the series, other casts aren’t flesh out enough like Judas’ late appearance and his probable potential role as an antagonist. Though we have some past events like Hyaweh’s advent and will to protect, Theresa’s haunting memories and clash with the Tempelritter explained, it isn’t enough to do much justice. So in the end, Windland is still with war with Sablum and that useless Gerot is still heading his throne.

If you’re wondering about the fanservice, it’s really nothing that impressive. Sure we have panty shots, cleavage close-ups and bouncy boobs but I think you can be easily distracted by the other stuff like the comical antics and oh God… Priecia’s tsundere. And if the mid-intermission is their idea of adding extra fanservice, then it would be such a disappointment either. Except for Sister Hell’s one that comes close to just passable, it doesn’t feel anything near to satisfying and felt just like mugshots of the characters. Maybe the ending credits animation with the female characters in their swimsuits at the beach should be enough? I guess if you want something more hardcore, just play the game. The drawing and art are just okay and nothing ground breaking. I notice and found out that some of the seiyuus take on several voice roles in the show. But since they don’t do any differentiation with their voice and their other role, it sometimes confuses me and makes me wonder if those characters are the same. For instance, Yu Kobayashi did Aira and Jung and since I’m familiar with her voice (after hearing all those ‘crazy’ roles, I think I should know how she sounds like even if she doesn’t even start screaming her head off), I started wondering if they were siblings or even the same character but putting on a different appearance.

I read some viewer comments that this series isn’t really being faithful to the game version and the adaption was just terrible. But who am I to complain since I haven’t got the slightest interest to go check out the game or even bother to play a demo of it (if there is even one). In the real world, if there is such a b*tchy woman like Priecia around in the defence unit, I’m sure there’ll be lots of other problems that will come with it. Do you want to have somebody like her in your troop? Well if she changes for the better quickly then it is okay but after seeing how long it took her, I’m having second thoughts. It’s very important and a great morale booster to have a head of a country leading his/her army into war. And sometimes it isn’t how big your army and all it takes is just the right person. Even so, to borrow a line from somebody who said this: “You can have the best army in the world but still lose the war”.