Here I thought Kujira No Kora Wa Sajou Uta Ni Utau OVA would give some much needed answers and continuation to the TV series. But it turned out to be one of those high school fillers! Damn it. So they just take the characters of the series and put them in some high school setting that only lasts 10 minutes per episode. This isn’t really unique as many animes have done in this in the past. Oh well. Can’t complain. Might as well watch this and get some laughs.

Chakuro is running late for school thanks to his habit of writing down records. Outside school, he sees a new girl standing outside, Lykos. He hears her murmur how much he hates school. When class starts, Shuan introduces Lykos as the new transfer student. Lykos is unable to introduce herself as she claims she has no name. Since ‘Lykos’ is written on her shirt, they assume it is her name. Shuan begins class but starts playing a video. This has the students grumble and complain he should really do his job properly. However Shuan even thinks of tossing away responsibility and work, making the students grumble even more. Later as Chakuro and co try to talk to Lykos, she stays indifferent and continues claiming she hates school. Chakuro can’t let her be and will do something about it. Hence with Suou as the student council president, they take her around school. But they stumble into the delinquent students, Ouni and his gang. It seems their goal is to get out of this school and into the real world. But why is Ouni being studious?! He claims that they don’t know much about the outside world and if they head there without much knowledge or preparation, how long are they going to last? His gang is so touched that they all started studying. So they’re like honour students now?! Seeing them so makes Lykos laugh a little. When the rest see this, Lykos brushes it off and runs away. Chakuro is then visited by a spirit (Neri) who claims that if he doesn’t become friends with Lykos, nothing will change. He vows to do all that. With everything able to see Neri, Chakuro is disheartened that this wasn’t some enlightened moment he thought it was supposed to be. What’s this about Neri being the toilet spirit?! Following Neri’s advice, Chakuro and co hang out and have lots of fun with Lykos. Just when Chakuro thought things are looking up, Lykos then tells him there is something she hasn’t told him yet. She sounds so ominous saying that…

Araphne’s class is strict and forbids freedom and individuality. Therefore when Ryodari tries to break tradition and vouch for freedom, he is punished. Then Orka tries to be a smartass too. He asks how long Araphne has been a teacher. 3 years. Oh yeah? Orka has been a student for 10 years!!! Araphne reprimands him otherwise he will be expelled. Can’t have that so he stands in the hallway with Ryodari. When Lykos sees them, she runs away. Then she reveals the truth to Chakuro. Orka is her brother and that’s why she hates going to school. Yeah, there were rumours circulating how he refused to graduate. Shuan explains the Peter Pan syndrome that Orka doesn’t want to grow up. He understands because he too doesn’t want to work! With Shuan revealing the world is about money and connections, this scares off Lykos. She doesn’t want to be like Orka or Shuan. Damn right. With the marathon festival here, Orka hijacks Suou’s speech to throw down a challenge. It will be their class against each other and the winner gets to take 1 student from the loser’s class. It seems Orka’s aim is to take Ouni but that delinquent will not give up without a fight. Oh, Orka ‘persuaded’ the old fart director to approve this farce. When the race begins, Orka sits out and leaves his class to do all the running. Of course Ryodari plays dirty to stall Chakuro’s class. Then it turns into an ugly brawl. Lykos is touched that her friends are doing this for her. It is hinted Orka never graduated so as to wait for Lykos to reach high school and go to school with her. Siscon!!! It is night fall and Suou thought he is last to reach the finish line. But as pointed out, he is the first! Because the rest take the wrong route, they are now trying to settle it with other ways. All ended in draws. Looks like they’re going to have to go at it again… Chakuro is glad that Lykos now finds school fun.

The Lost Records Of The Mud Whale School
Yeah… It was funny and cute in its own silly way to say the least. Nothing really serious that would have any impact on anything. Especially the ‘mystery’ surrounding Lykos turned out to be nothing more than her big brother with a notorious streak of not graduating. I mean, could she have gone to another school? If you say they are all on the same Mud Whale, I beg to differ since we see the setting as a normal town. A much bigger place and not some limited confine like the real Mud Whale as seen in the TV series. It’s just the school name as Mud Whale. Unless it is the only school in town. But it’s a good thing that Lykos is now joining in the fun despite I don’t really see much of Chakuro doing anything (maybe it’s all in the snippets). It’s only 10 minutes, what do you expect? Chakuro said he will continue to record this high school life but I just wonder if it is just part of his many fantasies. I wonder how many more alternate settings are there. How many are recorded. How many are not recorded at all. Some things are perhaps destined to be forever lost in history and annals of time. That’s why it’s a shame that I feel that despite this OVA being ‘recorded’, in no time it will soon be forgotten…

Imagine wandering aimlessly in the vast ocean of a dry desert. No, I’m not talking about the Mad Max movie franchise. Instead, Kujira No Kora Wa Sajou Ni Utau has a small island nation that drifts meaninglessly seemingly for eternity through the unending sand ocean. Depending on how you view life of its peaceful citizens, it could be heaven or literally hell. Of course all that boring peace is shattered when more truths about their little island and the world outside is revealed. So much for having life’s a beach.

Episode 1
A funeral is held for Benihi. After putting her in the coffin and dropping it into the sand ocean that ‘devour’ it all. Chakuro as the archivist painfully records this down. As narrated there are over 500 people living on this floating island named Mud Whale as it drifts to the sea of sand. There are some people who could use magic called thymia and these people are called Marked. Those who cannot are called Unmarked. The other difference is that Marked ones have shorter lives compared to the Unmarked. Hence the latter group is mainly reserved for the chieftain and elder councils who are the leaders of Mud Whale. When an island is sighted, Chakuro and Sami become part of an expedition to scout it. They explore the surroundings and it looks like there were civilizations around but mostly abandoned. Chakuro stumble upon a strange girl who tries to kill him. Luckily she was already weakened and a simple use of thymia knocks her out. He brings her back to his team who are all shocked to discover there is another human. The mission is cancelled as they return to Mud Whale. Sami decides to call this girl Lykos based on the name on the clothes label she is wearing. More shock for the inhabitants of Mud Whale when they see Lykos. She agrees to go with them peacefully and not resist since she is the only survivor. Chakuro and Sami show her around like the infirmary to treat Marked people when their physical strength start to deteriorate. Taisha brings Lykos to the elders as she has Chakuro follow Suou to deal with the bowel moles. That’s a fancy name for prison. Those who break the law will be placed in this underground area whereby thymia somehow doesn’t work. Ouni is the leader of a group of young delinquents who are often repeat offenders. Their goal is to get off this island in search of greater freedom. Upon release, they hear about Lykos and are eager to get her and get off the island. The elders interrogate Lykos but she will not answer unless they answer her questions first. Seeing that she has no emotions or remorse for some killings, they believe the world out there still has not changed. There is no point continuing this conversation as they restrain her. Chakuro has been eavesdropping outside when Ouni drops in to kidnap her. He gets dragged into his plot as he has Lykos take them to her island.

Episode 2
Lykos shows them a grave of everyone on this island. Deep inside a ruin, she shows them a strange bubble creature called Nous. They feed on emotions as nourishment. Ouni is desperate and willing to trade his emotions to get off Mud Whale. He tries to touch it and when Chakuro tries to stop him, he sees memories of Lykos. Luckily Lykos pulls them out. They return to Mud Whale where the duo received their punishment. Down to the bowel. But Chakuro doesn’t have to stay long and is soon freed as he was dragged into this by force. Neri is tasked to serve Lykos. But the latter’s concern is getting back on her island as she can’t live without it. Chakuro then ‘kidnaps’ Lykos so that he could bring her to watch the locust swarm phenomenon. Sami gets jealous Chakuro pays more attention to Lykos than her. As they watch the phenomenon, Lykos tells Chakuro part of her past. She was enrolled in a military prep academy at a very young age. She learnt to toss away her emotions then. Chakuro knows from the memories he saw. Lykos can’t understand why it hurts so much now. Next day, Chakuro and Sami tend the fields. Suou goes to check on Lykos but Neri believes she is under stress. She requested to have an audience with the council but they refused her. Suou uses his authority to go speak to her. Lykos warns they have to escape from this place at once. This place has been targeted and all sinners will be hunted down. Strange men with clown face mask pop up on the fringes of Mud Whale as they indiscriminately open fire! Sami uses her body to protect Chakuro.

Episode 3
Chakuro cannot believe Sami is dead. The slaughter of the Mud Whale people continues. As explained, it seems their ‘sin’ is to keep complete and thorough records. Hence they will be eliminated and this elimination will be recorded as lesson to others. Some of Ouni’s pals get killed. I guess he is the only badass kid who can just take on those clown soldiers. Meanwhile everyone else gathers at the square. Suou takes control since Taisha is dead and there are no response from the elders. It is suggested they retaliate and fight back but Suou maintains they should not use violence. Wait till he sees Ouni killing off those soldiers! No mercy! I wonder if some of the soldiers are dumb. They wait for Chakuro to finish crying over Sami before slowly prepare to kill him. I don’t think some of the soldiers can fight too. Chakuro simply fights back and breaks one of their masks, revealing his face to be just a teen. Lykos tries to stop the madness and is recognizes by one of the top soldiers. He wants her to return with them but she refuses. He thinks she has lost her mental faculties without the restraint of Nous. Lykos is the younger sister of Orka, the commander in charge of this extermination. A crazy guy, Ryodari is happy to see Lykos again. He is a bloodthirsty maniac as he defiles Sami’s corpse and when Chakuro tries to stop him, he gets beaten up and then get mocked for crying. An order is heard for the troops to withdraw. Also, Orka orders Lykos to become a sample to test the effects of this place on the body. Looks like she gets her wish of staying here. Later Ryodari talks to Orka about using his sister as a guinea pig. He wonders if he is using her to attain power because he will become some provincial governor if this mission succeeds. He brushes off he is looking for political power and his objective lies somewhere else. Ouni returns to the group to get some medicine and at the same time inform that those soldiers will return to kill them all. He captured a couple of them and made them spill the beans before killing them. Their goal was to only collect the ship they found the girl on. The next day, a mass funeral is held for the departed.

Episode 4
Suou is summoned by the council to be made the next chieftain to replace Taisha. However he will have his first and last duty. The council has decided to sink Mud Whale and everyone with it and Suou is to lead everyone to a proud death. It is better than being murdered cold blooded. Suou cannot accept this and so he tries to pry more. He learns that their ancestors committed crimes and have been exiled to this sand ocean. Looks like it is time for their execution. As he tries to ask more, he is knocked out by Shuan and thrown into the bowel. Chakuro is carving on the wall as Ginshu tries to cheer him up by making him her little brother and teach him self-defence? Neri then sees Chakuro. She tells him the sand ocean is beautiful because of all the souls of the dead. She shows him a ball whereby all the souls of the dead appears! There’s Sami too. Can he receive a kiss from the dead? He wants to go with her after she admits she wanted to become his wife but she tells him he has a duty. Then he sees Taisha telling him his role to tell the truth. More weirdness as Chakuro experiences some inter-dimensional universe. He sees Ouni covered in blood, Suou in a cage and Lykos being sad before being brought back to reality. Neri then tells him of the council’s plan but before he can save everyone, there is someone’s heart he must free. He goes to see Lykos who is repenting what happened. He believes in her and needs her help. They discuss how the council plans to sink Mud Whale when they don’t have control over its direction. Chakuro remembers a forbidden section in the bowel. First, Chakuro gathers his allies. Masoo, Rou and Nezu agree to join him but they don’t have the strength to defeat the guards guarding the bowel. Chakuro tries to seek Ouni’s help but he has lost hope and doesn’t care. Chakuro thought he just couldn’t find the right way to protect everyone and got slapped for trying to profile him. I guess they have to barge into the bowel themselves. Thank goodness they have Masoo’s might. But with reinforcements, Chakuro used his ‘bond’ with Ginshu to turn her against her allies. Too bad she got caught after they head down. They fear facing Shuan as he is the strongest but he walks past them. Turns out Ouni was following behind and Shuan wants to fight him. Rou and Nezu go find Suou while the rest head into the forbidden area. Lykos tells Chakuro this place should come to no surprise as this place too has Nous. Yup, there is one. Sitting on a giant rocking chair.

Episode 5
Lykos further explains that every ship has a Nous. It is like the ship’s heart. Killing it will sink it. The council arrives and orders its killing. Is there a more efficient way than just shooting arrows? But the Nous is in pain as the entire Mud Whale begins to shake. Shuan doesn’t care about living so Ouni tells him off not to decide his life for him. Lykos tries to protect the Nous and an arrow hits her. This shocks everyone. They thought she was the enemy who plans to sink them but why is she trying to protect them? She claims people here are this world’s hope. One of the council, Hakuji refuses to believe that as they are descendants of sinners. Chakuro then snaps back the BS he is saying because it insults the deaths of others. Lykos came from the outside but yet grew to love the Mud Whale. He is fed up of running and doesn’t want to lose hope. Everyone then changes their mind and help Lykos get treated. Neri reveals to Hakuji she was the one who led them here. The Mud Whale then returns to normal after Neri returns to her ‘mom’ the Nous. Suou doesn’t need jailbreak. Hakuji release him. Taisha’s aides make Suou their next chieftain. They do not trust the council anymore and take him to see Lykos to reveal more about the outside world. The Empire has 8 such ships in addition to a mothership. Still, taking out the current one, Skylos will deal a significant blow. There also other ships-cum-countries navigating the sand ocean but none know the existence of Mud Whale that is better known to the rest as Falaina. This ship is different than others because the Nous cannot devour their emotion. Their ancestors rejected that notion and that was their sin, hence the Empire imprisoned them. Everyone learns Falaina as a barbaric country because of the people refusing to throw away their emotions. Now that the Empire has the technology to traverse the sand ocean, they can’t risk Falaina falling into their hands and won’t accept or forgive the sinners. The only choice is to exterminate them. Suou wants to make friends with other countries to help fight against the Empire. Lykos will help if this is his wish. Suou then addresses his citizens about hope and then tearfully pleads for the Marked ones to help use thymia in their fight despite feeling guilty about trying to save them from their brief lifespan. Ouni mocks him for being weak because the Marked ones already accept their cursed fate. All he needs to do is order them to fight. So is Ouni helping them? Yes.

Episode 6
Because Marked ones will rapidly lose power when they reach their late 20s, many children are now undergoing training to fight the upcoming invasion. Elder Rasha tries to hint something at Suou. They may have killed his sister and hate them but the children might end up having to kill someone tomorrow. It is him who decided on that. She even accuses Kuchiba for being next to Taisha and yet he failed to protect her. Sure, he argues back but she lets him say anything. Either way, the cursed children of Mud Whale will finally be saved. Flashback shows Ouni one day popped up on Mud Whale. Nobody knew who his parents were nor what group he came from. Nibi tried to make him an underling but got his ass handed to him. They were thrown into the bowels and that is when their friendship and groupie started. Now, Nibi still hasn’t given up on getting on the outside world and will take Ouni along with him. Suou tries to unite the people to fight against the enemy. Too bad Rou and Nezu completed their giant sand throwing machine and dump it all over him. Suou got ‘mad’. He starts throwing sand back and everyone thinks their sand throwing festival has begun and do the same. It’s one of those weird festivals whereby they throw sand at each other regardless of status the entire day. Weird. Of course the other significance pertains to the souls of the deceased melded into the sand being returned to them. Shuan’s wife is deeply saddened her husband doesn’t care if she dies in the battle. Chakuro thought he saw Neri but she is actually her twin sister, Ema. Neri is currently healing mom. Ema hopes he will keep his promise to protect Mud Whale and live with everyone here forever. Do that and she will tell him all the secrets of Falaina. During the sandstorm, Suou goes over the mission to fight the invaders and survive. But this is just a plan to buy time for another group led by Tokusa to infiltrate Skylos and destroy their Nous. The strongest thymia users like Ouni, Ginshu, Chakuro and of course Lykos are part of it. Nibi wants to join despite not chosen. Before departing, they hear a strange sound. Lykos recognizes it as the mothership. They are here.

Episode 7
With the enemy attacking, the team make their haste departing to Skylos. While the Mud Whale citizens fight back, it is unbelievable to think that anyone can aim and shoot straight in this bad sandstorm. Worse, some even shoot right out in the open! WTF?! Some kids steal the dead soldiers’ weapons to give it to Suou. Is he having cold feet to go out there and fight? Lykos and co have snuck into Skylos as she leads them to its Nous. Chakuro finds the interior of Skylos made of the same mud like Mud Whale. Their intrusion is anticipated with the guards getting in their way. But Skylos’ commander, Araphne instead of ordering to capture Lykos, wants her slaughtered with the rest of the invaders. But don’t worry. Those guards are so weak and useless as though their role is just to pop up and die. So is it necessary for Ouni to go into some super hyper mode to successively take them all down by himself and wow the rest? With the enemy breaking through Mud Whale’s central tower, Suou has a change of heart to go out and fight. Hakuji defends the kids and gets slashed. The weird part is how he still have the strength to push those USELESS guards (in shock, I suppose) off the ledge!!! I see, score some brownie points before he dies. Tells his regrets and love of Mud Whale to Suou. Taking too long that Ryodari had to kill him. Even if Suou is mad, he can’t fight against him and gets beaten up. I guess Ryodari must be so bored with everyone being a zombie that he stalled enough time for Shuan to pop up to face him. As Lykos and co edge closer to the Nous, she feels something odd. Colourful stained glasses? No guards further pursuing them? The team then split itself up to guard the door in case of reinforcement (Chakuro, Ouni, Nibi and Ginshu) and the other to move forward and destroy the Nous. Buoyed with confidence, the moment they open the final door, the guards were waiting and fire. Everyone in this group dies except Lykos and Urumi.

Episode 8
Lykos tries to take on the squad commander, Pagoni. I don’t know how Ouni was so fast and sneaky that he was able to hold Pagoni hostage by his neck when he was in the centre of his squad! Ouni wants Chakuro and Lykos to head to the Nous but then, more guards. Araphne shoots Ouni. In the leg. Meanwhile Ema dances and strange creepy ghost hands surround the Mud Whale people, dead or alive. This allows Suou to peek into Ryodari’s heart. He was ostracized by his own people since young since he was different. He was able to have feelings despite all the procedures. His family were ashamed of him and when he tried to tell them about the hearts he saw, they shut him down. They should have let him finished his sentence because the hearts he saw are all the twisted desires of humans. And that’s how he became as twisted. Ryodari and Shuan’s fight is interrupted by Suou who offers him to live with them if he found his own world painful. Only to be interrupted by Shuan striking him down because he disagrees extending an olive branch to the enemy at this point who has killed many of their kind. Killing interrupted by Suou who wants Shuan to help a friend instead of killing an enemy. Ryodari fears death for the first time and tries to escape. He stumbles upon equally scared kids. He is being scary wanting to play with him so they shoot him until he drops into the sand ocean. Meanwhile Ouni’s groupies are split, arguing among themselves if Ouni is just a dog for the Unmarked and that the Unmarked are risking their lives for the Marked. Kicha remains hopeful Ouni will come back. Speaking of him, Araphne mocks him and his kind that they are unaware of their own sin. He accuses them of regressing instead of advancing their culture after 100 years in exile and not knowing what has happened on the outside world. They are even unaware why they have short lives and it isn’t their ancestors’ sins is what makes them guilty but what they bear themselves. The sin of a meaningless existence.

Episode 9
Don’t know why Pagoni was just slashing and wounding Ouni instead of killing him outright. Because of that, Nibi had enough time to rescue him. Then they both go on a killing spree. Yeah, those guards just stood there to be slaughtered. They could have been on a streak until Araphne shoots Nibi. Yeah, I guess the guards are useful enough to only kill a corpse. Ouni becomes so angry that his thymia goes berserk. He is using his thymia to kill everyone! So badass that his thymia kills Skylos’ Nous, Olivines. With that, strange creepy growth appear all over Skylos. Not sure if Ouni is so sad or high on his thymia that he is in an alternate dimension as he sees a young Nibi on a boat with his dead groupies. Talk of goodbye and Nibi being satisfied doing things with him to pull more heartstrings. Ouni cries for the first time and it’s goodbye forever. Meanwhile Chakuro too has his own hallucination. He is before Olivines who wants to make a deal. Offer all the emotions of the people on Mud Whale to the great Nous, Anthropos and he will give this weird shell called Kokalo that belongs to Anthropos. Bring it to Ema and the people will advance to a new stage. Chakuro probably doesn’t want to get involve but Olivines restrain him and let him experience some pain. Don’t like pain? That’s because your mind says so. Don’t want it? Just need to alter the heart a little. You see, all Nous suck people’s emotions and only share pleasant wants to make them seem like they truly belong to. Olivines tries to tempt them especially Lykos but Chakuro stays strong with this proposal of rewriting their sorrows with the power of Nous. He questions back what about the memories of everyone else then? Especially those who have died. They might not be around but there are proofs that they lived. Olivines gives him Kokalo. It doesn’t matter if Chakuro agrees to the deal. Olivines is interested to see the decision he makes. Returning to reality, the survivors make haste to get off Skylos as it sinks into the sand ocean. So what happens to all the Skylos guards on Mud Whale? They commit suicide and jump off the edge! Yeah, saves time. Suou is glad to see Chakuro and the survivors returning.

Episode 10
A mass burial is held for the departed. Even the enemy soldiers. Man, do they have enough caskets? But the saddest is Shuan’s wife as she took her own life. That guy didn’t even see her off and told somebody just to cut part of her hair as memento. Then he goes somewhere alone and ‘cry’ while being admonished by Rasha his mom. Ouni is recuperating but Kicha blames Suou for picking him to be part of the team? But what about Nibi then? He wasn’t picked but got killed. Anyway Suou assures her this time he will protect his people by trying to avoid fighting. Lykos tells the council that they might be safe for now because with Skylos’ failure, this will make the Empire a little cautious in attacking them and Orka will be brought before the emperor, Ekklesia for punishment for losing a Nous. This is just her opinion and she knows Orka will not go down without a fight. Meanwhile Orka isn’t fazed to face his disciplinary action and knows what is going to say. Apparently Ryodari is still alive in his chamber. Orka wants him to become his lowly jester because by becoming his possession is the only way he could incorporate him into his plans. I mean, he wants to get back to the fun on Falaina, right? Put on those jester clothes and be as gay as your fellow jesters! Kokalo turns into some critter and runs rampant throughout Mud Whale. A small ship fast approaches Mud Whale by Lykos can tell it is not the Empire due to its flag. It lands and the small entourage has the misfortune to see Suou butt naked since he was bathing nearby. Getting the wrong first impression of this nudist colony. Rochalito (his full name is so freaking long but Suou remembers!) of Amonlogia plans to annex Mud Whale, much to Suou’s disagreement. He thought they were equals. Rochalito and his men show their technological prowess however Shuan and the other thymia users can easily overpower them with numbers and magic since these people cannot use thymia. Time to surrender. They are treated to local food in which Rochalito devours them all and yet calls it disgusting. Is it their lingo that disgusting is yummy? So disgusting that he wants to bring the entire Mud Whale’s field back home. Meanwhile Chakuro sees Ema and seeks answers as promised. Ema enables Kokalo as it turns into giant wings. You see, ships like Skylos are able to steer in any direction unlike Mud Whale because the helm is stolen from the latter. Kokalo is that helm. With this, they are now able to sail wherever they want.

Episode 11
Orka is brought before the council. They accuse him that Falaina’s aimless drift was good enough as warning to their citizens but Orka came up with this bright idea of exterminating them and failed. He and the survivors of Skylos will die. Orka laughs back at their short-sightedness. He reminds them of their ancient story of how heaven tore part of itself and scattered it down to the world. The Rain of Katharterio also brought about evil. When the world was purified, they praise the Nous, the body of God and offer their past mistakes and hearts in exchange for their power. It is then 2 species of man were born, angels of Nous and those who aren’t. More popularly known as Marked and Unmarked respectively. However there is a third kind called daimons. They are the strongest warriors created by the Nous’ power. They are considered legends and non-existent because they have been made to forget them by the past. Ouni is a daimon and with his appearance, Orka considers him and his kind a threat to the Empire. He then shifts the blame to Araphne who insulted and provoked the daimon. Araphne panics and when he thinks Orka is going to take out a weapon to kill him, he shoots back (although missed). Orka just took out documents as Araphne gets arrested. Orka then blames the council for appointing Araphne for this mission so they too are partly responsible for this failure. Orka claims the second Rain of Katharterio will fall in the new chapter of history. He believes the world must be purified again and doing so they must control the daimons. If they keep executing those who failed to kill the daimons, who will there be left to kill them? Orka believes he is different than others and can succeed. He puts the nail in the coffin for Araphne as he is the only one to blame for the failure because everything was at his sole discretion. With Araphne taken away, the council agree to appoint Orka as the next commander and let him do as he sees fit. Orka then goes to see Astali, the commander in chief. He wants to make use of another ship, Karcharias and if he gives the okay signal, the council will not object.

It seems the Marked ones all saw a weird dream of Olivines. This dream allows them to help use Kokalo and guide the Mud Whale. Rochalito shows Suou the map of the sand ocean. He points where the United Kingdom of Siderasia is and Amonlogia is one of the many countries under it. They are fighting against the Empire. The Mud Whale is currently stuck in this vortex area. Due to the current patterns, rudderless Mud Whale is doomed to sail in circles. This area acts like a natural prison and is rumoured to other nations as an evil region that is why many stayed away. Rochalito’s ship was travelling in this direction but was shipwrecked and stumbled upon Mud Whale. Now they are able to escape the currents and return to Amonlogia. Later Rochalito confronts Lykos as she is different from others on Mud Whale. He is curious why there are so many young people on Mud Whale. Could it be a plague? She reveals the biggest secret about Nous. It normally eats emotions and in exchange gives them thymia. However Mud Whale is different. In order to grant the Marked ones thymia, it eats their life force. Cliché moment as Chakuro heard that and becomes upset, running away. Soon, the council summons Suou and the Unmarked ones. They too know about this secret and have been preparing for this day of truth. Well, it sure didn’t come out of their mouths first. Suou might be shocked but this doesn’t change the fact he still needs to protect his people.

An uprising is heard. Shikon and Shikoku, the twins and frequent tenants of the bowel mole are causing a ruckus. They are claiming themselves as the new leaders of Mud Whale. They try to convince the Marked ones they should take control of their lives and freedom instead of the Unmarked ones. The people are not easily swayed and has accepted this way of life. But they argue that many of those who died are Marked ones. In fact, Hakuji is the only Unmarked one who perished. The Marked ones had to put their lives in danger while the Unmarked ones hid safely somewhere. Though the people argue because they lack thymia and would only be in the way, the twins add this is all the more reason why they are just a hindrance. They always hold them back. At this point some of them are having second thoughts. Ouni interjects but they are not afraid and call him a lapdog for the Unmarked ones. They seem to easily overpower him and try to convince him to join them since he is a monster who killed many. Once more, reminding the people they have the power to change their destiny, they will no longer be insulted or stepped on.

Episode 12
Ouni rises up. His weird powerful aura makes the twins scared. He tells off all those who depend on others should just pray quietly and play their toys. With that, the rebellion ends and the people scatter. Masoo’s health is deteriorating fast. He thinks he has done all the killing and bringing it along with him to the sand ocean so the people of Mud Whale had their hands clean. Kuchiba disagrees. They’ve started a new journey and he wants him to get back to work? Meanwhile Orka is going to see Astali but is attacked by his assassins. Ryodari kills all of them (I think partly his bad singing too) but Orka knows this was just a warning since they were easily disposed of. Ryodari seems to be fawning over Orka like a little gay boy. It’s his only ticket to get back to Falaina. Orka seems to threaten Astali to gain control of Karcharias. He is certain he will accept his demands because it is all part of his plan not only to obtain Falaina and daimon boy but to then steal Anthropos and create his utopia. A sad day for Mud Whale as a funeral is held for Masoo. Chakuro reminisces about his times with grandpa and Sami and the reason why he wants to keep recording. Suou gathers everyone and reveals the big secret how their Nous steals the life force and hence shortening the lifespan of Marked ones. As many are shocked, this gives another opportunity for the twins to stage another revolt. They even attack Suou and would do the same to traitors who defend the Unmarked ones. Until Ouni steps in again. He tells them off so many Marked ones died in the battle, so are they saying they were tricked and died for no reason? It doesn’t matter if you are Marked or Unmarked. Everyone who died here died for Mud Whale. He will never forget that they lived. Suou adds their ancestors didn’t hide this for their own safety but rather they didn’t want the Marked ones to live or lament their fate of shortened lives. Mud Whale is now crossing a highly turbulent area that acts as the cage for this vortex prison. Don’t worry. We have Kokalo to steer us out. Apparently Lykos is still blaming herself over what Chakuro overheard. He has to assure her he is not now (though he was at first). He doesn’t think blaming Mud Whale for everything is the answer. There. Feel better? A testament to that is how Lykos would rather live here and abandon her homeland. Well, looks like Orka is shipping out now. Mud Whale escapes the vortex and makes its way to Amonlogia.

Circle In The Sand: Children Of The Damned
Ugh. As I feared. Unfinished. Sort of. But I suppose if this season was just to explain the mystery of the Mud Whale going around in circles, I guess they have accomplished their mission and broke out of it. A new chapter and direction is in store for them and that will be another story to tell. It will definitely be a whole new world for Mud Whale as they sail into uncharted territories, meet new nations, make new allies and for sure butt heads with the Empire. Come to think of it, if they throw in all those other elements and turn this story and world into one big cauldron of mess, this series will look and feel very different to what we know when we first started from. The world of this series was only confined to the small space on Mud Whale and suddenly now we have ventured to the vast unknown. Just like a tiny story part of a bigger anthology. A drop of water in the ocean. More accurately, a grain of sand in the desert.

I believe the overall story and plot are a very missed potential. The setting and the initial mystery of the series are quite intriguing and interesting at first. Seeing this is a fantasy genre, naturally there are a few things that viewers would need to learn in order to familiarize themselves with the world. Though some of the points are unfolded in due pacing, there are many others that are still not, hence the very disappointing ending that this adaptation unfortunately ended at. Although I was anticipating some sort of twist or the kind of mysteries that would be unfolded (like what the Nous really are and why Mud Whale couldn’t steer freely by itself), somehow its revelation didn’t come as surprising or shocking to me. It is not that I predicted the answers but when the answers came about, I was like, “Oh, so it was like that. Okay. No big deal”. There wasn’t this oomph in the revelation that would bring about the excitement and anticipation after following the series. It is probably because of the Skylos invasion arc. I find that arc to be dragging out a lot more than necessary so it took away some of my enthusiasm despite I have a feeling they were trying to put in some drama and the feels there.

Of all the unanswered questions that I have in my head for this series, the biggest mind boggling one came in the form of Kokalo. Now, before Olivines gave Chakuro a Kokalo, didn’t Lykos already had one? I mean, when Chakuro and his crew first scouted and landed on Lykos’ ship, didn’t one followed them back? I mean, if you think about it, this critter is also a Kokalo, right? So why didn’t Lykos reveal or let them know that this is her ship’s Kokalo? She might not reveal it at first because of trust issues but as we have seen, she has grown quite attached to the people of Mud Whale. So why didn’t she really tell them? This is of course I am assuming in a big way that critter is a Kokalo. It has to be. They look so similar! Don’t tell me Skylos’ invasion was the distraction and thus the reason because Skylos had given Mud Whale a few days of leeway before their execution. Shouldn’t Lykos then use this Kokalo of hers to steer Mud Whale away? Don’t tell me she forgot… Don’t tell me that Kokalo didn’t make enough cameo appearance because it certainly did show itself up from time to time hanging around Chakuro. Thinking back now with all that has happened, had she done this in the first place instead of letting Ema do the honours, I believe a lot of people on Mud Whale could have been alive. No doubt Skylos would still be around and probably continue to hunt them but they would have saved a lot of casualties and also prevented a mutiny as well as Orka turning into his next phase of ‘world saviour’. But since we never see that critter becoming the sails, I guess it isn’t one for the job and just serves as some forgettable animal mascot.

But one of the interesting things to note with the direction of where the plot of this series is going, it makes me think and wonder if this is the price to pay for Mud Whale if they ever have true freedom. Just look at them after obtaining their new freedom to sail wherever they want. Suddenly this newfound power and liberty has some delinquents going up against the older establishment despite being short-lived. And you thought Mud Whale has wandered so long in the sand ocean and finally found its path but they are back to wandering again, this time with a leadership and no-confidence crisis. I bet those twins aren’t going to back down so easily yet and if they can do it a second time, they’ll wait for another right time for a third. After all, if Suou told Ouni they are heading to Amonlogia to find friends, what are the chances the twins would do the same for their own cause? So it looks like it is as much a blessing as it a curse for Mud Whale. Besides, I am still confused if their ancestors’ sin was due to not wanting to give their Nous devour their feelings or whatever carefree culture they developed while in exile. Not really sure. But don’t care at this point. Also interesting to note are the emotions on people that set apart cultures. Would you rather toss away emotions and live a boring mundane life (which is redundant because without feelings you wouldn’t know) or would you rather retain them but risk feeling negative and bad emotions sometimes? I guess that is what defines us as humans. Or not.

As for the characters, I couldn’t help feel that many of them are a big disappointment. Especially the 2 main characters, Chakuro and Lykos. From what I can see, the duo hardly move the plot of the story and barely stay relevant. Chakuro seems to look like the protagonist because he is appointed Mud Whale’s only archivist. That is why he is such a ‘precious’ and ‘important’ person. Uhm, couldn’t they have appointed more people for this post? What do you mean you do not want inconsistencies in your recordings and notes?! Oh, right. Put all your eggs in one basket in recording Mud Whale’s history. Sure, Mud Whale is such a small country that having 2 archivists would make them both so free because you know, many hands make light work. Is the writing system on Mud Whale that hard to master because I only often see Chakuro recording and reading. I don’t see other Mud Whale citizens do that. Are many considered illiterate? Besides, sometimes I see Chakuro writing on walls. It isn’t like he ran out of paper or anything. If this tradition of writing on walls goes on, the entire Mud Whale would be one big public archive. Anyway, because of this protagonist aura Chakuro has, this gives him a free pass to be the person to go to when there are revelations of stuffs like the Nous. Apparently you can’t tell other citizens first because no, no, no, we must tell the archivist first so he could record it all down at the precise second which the revelation was made. F*ck those records. And yeah, him being a Marked one makes him feel like a lame ass weak character because people who keep records are nerds and hence wimps, right?

Lykos also feels disappointing as the leading character and I can see her as to no more as a device to advance the plot. She surely took her time in revealing some of the secrets one by one instead of all of them at one go. Being a foot soldier of the Empire, I am sure she would at least know some of the workings or secrets but she seems to only say such revelations when the time calls for it. Blame it on no emotions? Heck, she is showing more emotions than she was when she was found. So much so it feels like some sort of device to stir up some emotional drama. Too bad it got a little annoying in the end. Afraid that the people of Mud Whale can’t take in too much information at one go? Oh sure. Let’s wait for another day and in the meantime there will be other distractions like the invasion of Skylos and the twins trying a coup detat. She hardly does any fighting like during the invasion into Skylos and it was a missed opportunity to show if she was a badass like she was when she was first found but unfortunately, she had to be idle and stand aside so that they can showcase Ouni and make him as one of the pivotal points in the story.

Speaking of Ouni, despite making less appearances than Chakuro and Lykos, he feels more of the silent protagonist type doing things at his own pace and more badass than the duo. We can see why (though sometimes being some emo kid makes him look more annoying and reducing his enigmatic badass feel). Because of his delinquency, I guess that is why he is being reduced to just a supporting but that might change assuming the series gets another season. Ouni’s past and revelation as a daimon isn’t so surprising because he was obviously so different than the rest including his own bowel mole groupies that there was obviously something about him that doesn’t make him local. His past overall is still shrouded in mystery after all.

Suou tries to be a strong new chief of Mud Whale but I can’t help feel sometimes that he is just so weak and that makes him gay. I don’t know, he sounds gay because of his frail expression. I understand he has been thrust into this leadership position suddenly for the first time and with the events that occurred, he needs to make a quick and steadfast decision for his people. His actions and decisions are noble and with good intentions. But if this was set on anywhere else in the world or in another parallel universe, I don’t think his weak voice would have reached the people.

Orka might sound like a typical cliché crazy villain of wanting to cleanse the world but because of his radical and crazily bold ideas, it makes him very much interesting. Not sure if he has his emotions eaten by Nous because he sure displays a colourful one during his verdict at the council. Almost as if he was this close to become a mad man. Only, the council couldn’t pick it up because they had no feelings and no brains. Haha. Anyway, with him being the main antagonist, it will be pretty much interesting to see the lengths he will go and the means he will do to achieve his goal. Ryodari is pretty crazy too but more of the annoying kind. Oh why do they have to bring him back alive for future plot purposes instead of leaving him dead? Ultimate humiliation? I suppose so. Now that he looks comfortable being Orka’s little gay boy joker, things are going to get crazier.

There are so many other minor characters that feel that they don’t matter. They are introduced and then make their cameo from time to time so as though you won’t forget about them. Not that I can see how relevant they are to this season but it is as though they are just setting a stage for these characters in case they need more character developments in the future. Like Shuan who is the top fighter of Mud Whale. You know nothing about him except he has a scary looking eye kept hidden behind his eye-patch. The way he acts and speaks make it as though he might be no different from the people and soldiers of the Empire because he lacks emotions. I mean, have you really seen him in full blown emotions before? Sure, he smiles. A little. He cries too. A little. Like as though he is trying so hard to do them. Then there is Ginshu who is only there because we need some spunky girl who needs to have this big sister complex to somebody, namely the main protagonist. Not sure if it is this series’ running joke because Masoo and Kuchiba are always butting heads. And they make it so obvious that Masoo is going to die because of his pain acting up from time to time. All aboard the last death stop of the season. RIP Masoo. What are Rou and Nezu for again? Supposedly Chakuro’s best buddy and his groupies but rarely with him.

The fight scenes are meh. Disappointing to say the least. I don’t expect anything flashy from the thymia users and perhaps it is a good thing because it would then be very jarring to see peace loving Mud Whale people suddenly pull off flashy moves they probably have never done in their lives because you know, violence is forbidden on Mud Whale. Probably the more ‘exciting’ one is between Shuan and Ouni but that is still average at best. But the most disappointing and at the same time ‘hilarious’ fight goes to Skylos invading Mud Whale. Also the dumbest soldiers ever sent to just exterminate a little moving island. They’re like clowns moving at the speed of snail. It feels like they are video game enemy NPCs, waiting their turn to fight or just stand there to get killed. What a joke. No wonder they wear jester masks! You’re supposed to laugh at them when you kick their ass? And supposedly a ship like Skylos is supposed to house the best soldiers and yet we have all of these lowly foot soldiers who look the same by the way and we couldn’t care less too by the way, to have so mediocre and amateur skills that even a kid without martial arts training could beat them. Right, my pet hamster could even do a kill streak here. So if you get seriously killed by them (not counting the genuine surprise attack), you deserve to die. Useless soldiers. They all should become Orka’s gay jesters instead.

One thing I would like to note is the unique art of the series. I’m not saying that it is such a masterpiece but at least the sceneries are considerably breath taking. Even though it is all just mainly sand and sand and more sand over the blue skied horizon and rocky terrain on Mud Whale. The backgrounds have this sketch-like visual to it and this makes it quite unique to look at. This is after all a fantasy genre so I guess it is okay. The character designs are a bit simplistic but animated in conventional 2D. It doesn’t clash with the sketch-like backgrounds and that is quite good. Otherwise it would be a dizzying experience if that happens. Also, with the backgrounds mainly in boring colours, the slightly colourful character designs help alleviate some of that monotonous. I guess Suou is the only guy with green hair so you can easily tell from afar that he is your chief. Yeah, characters like him need to stand out visually. But why only those in the vigilante corps like Shuan and Ginshu get to wear cool and different outfits (Chinese-like design) unlike the rest who wear clothes that make them look like normal peasants?

Voice acting feels decent with me recognizing a few like Natsuki Hanae as Chakuro, Akira Ishida as Orka, Mikako Komatsu as Ginshu and Hiroshi Kamiya as Shuan. I never realized it was Aki Toyosaki behind Olivines’ voice. Lack of lines? Too soft her voice? But yup, that’s her. Other casts include Manaka Iwami as Lykos (Chiaki in Gamers), Yuichiro Umehara as Ouni (En in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Suou (Sousuke in ClassicaLoid), Ai Kakuma as Neri and Ema (Miyako in Imouto Sae Ireba Ii), Kenn as Rochalito (Jinbei in Mushibugyou), Daiki Yamashita as Ryodari (Midoriya in Boku No Hero Academia) and Hisako Kanemoto as Sami (titular character in Shinryaku! Ika Musume). The opening theme is Sono Saki by Ririko. Sound rather okay and not too shabby in its own right. But the one that takes the cake is the ending theme, Hashidairo by Rionos. It is a very slow and lovely but sad sounding ballad. It stirs up some emotions hearing the sad but hopeful lyrics as well as the animation that is just plain sailing through the endless sand ocean.

Overall, this series is interesting at first and has the potential to do better but let down with its characters and the direction of the plot. Because a dozen of episodes feel like it did not do the series justice and could have been better had they extended it for another cour. Still, it feels like this season has something missing to it that makes it hard to just really want to love and learn more about this world. Hardcore fantasy genre lovers might feel disappointed and casual ones would stay long enough just to satisfy their curiosity but not enough to make them want more. I mean, of course we want more answers but the direction this season was heading, it didn’t make us hungry to find out more. It’s like, if there is another season, we’ll see about it. Otherwise that’s that. Like as though the adaptation was created so that at least there is some sort of record, some sort of history left behind of this series for us ‘lucky’ ones to have watched it before it slowly sinks and gets devoured forever in the sands of time. I think this series shadows and could apply to today’s age of the internet and I fear it is slowly resembling and coming to that. So much data in the sea of web… Man, there’s going to be lots of Byte Whales out there going in circles… All together now sing with me: Circle in the sand/ Round and round/ Never ending trip is what we’re bound…

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