The end is near. Just like the vicious cycle of life, everything that came into existence will hit its peak before its decline and ultimately its demise. Like humanity. If Armageddon or the end of the world doesn’t hit us first, then the slow and gradual path of our decline to extinction would be in store for us. So was it better to be wiped out like the dinosaurs when a huge meteoroid slammed into the world? However, don’t get the wrong idea about this series that I am going to blog. Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita isn’t a gloomy dramatic and depressing anime about human life on the decline and the verge of extinction. Instead, this is a supernatural comedy. Yes, you read that right. Be prepared for some laughs instead of tissues to wipe away those tears and runny nose.

Our main protagonist is a nameless girl whom we all shall officially call Watashi (that translates as I, me or myself). I guess this is only so because different characters in the show call her differently. What’s the purpose of having a name when humanity is decaying away and no future to remember you? But that’s not the point. Watashi is a mediator from UNCC (United Nations Conciliation Commission) and her job is to mediate between humans and fairies. Yes, you read that right again. I’m not sure if somewhere in the history of mankind that these little 10cm tall creatures with a permanent smile on their faces (can they ever open or close their mouths?) popped up. But unlike humans, you could say that these creatures are the most ‘prosperous’ beings in terms of technology. They have this unexplained ability to come up with mind blowing technology that we humans won’t understand. Simple yet mysterious. The next mankind?

Unlike many other animes that go in chronological order, this series is one that doesn’t really follow such order. At least for the arcs. I remember watching Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s episodes was a major headache because of the plot jumping here and there so it’s quite difficult to put things together in perspective to understand. However for this series, due to the random nature of each arc, you won’t really feel that strain of racking your brains to understand what has happened. There will be minor factors to point out and make you realize that this episode’s timeline is definitely somewhere before an earlier episode but whatever major happening in that arc stays in that arc. No worries on whether or not it will have a major impact in other arcs or not. Good or bad thing? Maybe humanity has declined so much that we don’t even bother putting up stories that are in chronological order anymore.

The Fairy’s Secret Factory

Episode 1
Watashi arrives in Camphorwood Village to help out the locals as a mediator. I suppose she is famous enough to warrant several fan girls. Not that she is too happy about her popularity either. Because all the men are going out for a communal hunt, Watashi is left in charge of them women and wants to lead them. Especially turning all the chickens that stopped laying eggs into meat. Guess what he meant? Can’t see the picture? Now what do you do with a knife in hand? I suppose the fan girls are only good at fawning so that leaves Watashi to do the dirty job of ‘murder’. Then suddenly it’s like the chickens know they’re going to die and do a Chicken Run! They’re escaping! There goes their meat. And looks like the community won’t have any since the men returned empty handed. Back at her home with Grandpa, Watashi notes how they should be happy with what they have and don’t mind forgoing meat for several days but this shortage isn’t just affecting humans. They are also affecting fairies. Yup, these cute little beings may not look like it but they possess supernatural technology. It’s Watashi’s job as a UN mediator to liaise between humans and fairies. The fairies love sweets, candy and chocolates but due to the shortage, Watashi puts it that they might not be getting them sooner. How does next year sound? Don’t worry, she has made her own gum but the fairies aren’t pleased since unlike sweets, you can’t consume them. But when Watashi mentions about mankind’s slow path to extinction and the scarcity of materials, the fairies hope to spend more time together. While the fairies frolic in a wooden box, Watashi tastes her own gum. Horrible. Next day, Watashi receives word from UNCC office that suspicious items are being circulated in the village. There is a pile of goods on their table and the brand indicates they are from Fairy Co. Humans should be grateful but they’ve become too scared to touch processed foods from unknown sources. But thanks to them, the marketplace is livelier again. Watashi’s mute assistant whom I shall call as Assistant (duh!), shows a bunch of supplies in his hands. Despite not able to say a word, Watashi can understand him perfectly. Can she read minds? Assistant didn’t trade or use vouchers to get them but got them free. Oddly, the stock is resupplied when no one is looking. The food tastes what it expects to be so Watashi has Assistant take them back to Grandpa to test if they are safe to eat. She spots a hair growth tonic among the supplies. Next morning, her hair has grown back to waist length!

Remember about the chicken incident? Watashi thought that incident would be forgotten but it seems there will be a meeting to discuss about the issue. For 6 gloomy hours, there were only deadlocks and arguments. Till Grandpa suggests that they spread out and search for them. This has Watashi to learn about a business strategy: Never hold meetings because the outcome is determined before the meeting begins. So as Watashi and the fan girls are looking for the chickens, suddenly they see a real headless skinned chicken! It’s dancing and flashing its butt to them! What the?! They try to catch it but it escaped. Watashi can’t let the people know about her ‘failure’ so she uses information manipulation and intimidation to tell the fan girls to keep it a secret or else… Unfortunately rumours of the running headless chicken spread to the entire village. Heck, there is even a photo of it! Since that’s the case, Grandpa says they have to investigate. Well, Watashi wasn’t planning to slack off but she thought she could close this case before anybody finds out. Isn’t that the same? Upon closer inspection, there is a logo of Fairy Co on the chicken. So how do you track a company that is operated by fairies? Use a fairy as a compass! Make sure to pay chocolates as payment. So Fairy Co… The cartoonish building is made out of blocks and jigsaw puzzles? Anyway they see a nearby cabin, thinking it is the main office. Noticing everything inside is manmade and not designed by fairy, a human receptionist then greets them. He briefly introduces Fairy Co as a company with 200 years of history before giving them a tour to the food factory. Seems the machines make food ultra fast but it tastes bland. I guess that’s what you get as trade off if you manufacture something by the masses. Receptionist doesn’t know about the distribution of these foodstuffs since he was hired only 3 days ago and still learning. After all, he had the easiest job of standing around while his clothes and food are taken care off. Watashi theorizes that the fairies restored the factory operations but Grandpa cautions that the presence of a human makes it suspicious. Next, a robot bread called Loaf explains how bread is made. Then it goes on to make an amazing statement that bread these days taste horrible. He wants Watashi to eat him as pity for his existence. I think she lost her appetite. What’s more, Loaf splits himself into half! Holy cow! Is that blood?! That’s not strawberry jam either?! WTF?! Bread bleeding blood? Well, at least it’s fresh. Haha! Anyway the ‘blood’ is mixed carrot juice bread made for kids who hate carrots. So now do you want to eat him? No thanks. Watashi completely lost her appetite. What a waste to the loaf… Watashi narrates that she really wouldn’t want to learn the secrets in this factory but as a mediator of UNCC, her duty is to solve the mystery.

Episode 2
Receptionist adds he never met his employers as everything had been handed down via writing. Suddenly they realize Grandpa is missing. Receptionist goes to look for him but he never came back. Watashi and Assistant got lost. She decides to use the fairies help in exchange for something fun. Assistant wants to do the honours of telling a joke but the sketchbook narrative about a village with 7 children and how they all tragically died and the culprit was the last child, it made things even worse for the fairy. Now he’s all gloomy. Then Watashi and Assistant got separated when the conveyor belt starts running. Watashi almost got disposed by a chewing machine had not been the unseen hand of God (at least this is what she calls it) pulls her away. She is surprise to see Cultural Director here. Seems in addition to being director of UNESCO’s cultural division, he has been made this factory’s manager. He got promoted from that receptionist job and from the sounds of it, this guy is power and position crazy. Of course he panics when he hears Watashi is here to do an inspection. Yeah. That dreaded word. She accuses him of illegal goods smuggling but he doesn’t know what’s going on. She nails it directly about taking responsibility, compensation and punishment. Although he has never met the upper management, Watashi makes a deal that she will go see them and talk to them (because Director won’t give up his position). But when Director thinks about whistle blowing would lead to heroic actions to public support and thus the new factory CEO, he agrees to accompany Watashi for this greedy evil scheme of his. However he falls right down into a hole. Watashi walks through the corridor and has a feeling they were all separated on purpose. She enters a room to see the upper management completely made up of… Headless skinned chickens!!! Pok! Pok! Pok! Because she can’t understand chicken language, a fairy pops up to translate them. I think Watashi doesn’t want to hear their evil gloating and profanity on the human race. The fairy then gives her a pair of spectacles to have a clearer view of what the chicken says. Literally. There are subtitles now! The chicken gloats about turning this factory into a weapon of mass destruction to destroy humans and fairies without ever knowing what hit them. Too bad Watashi was busy adjusting the specs to have a clearer view of the subtitles that she didn’t read what the chicken said. Summarize it! In short: Kill all intelligent life forms and take over Earth. So what now? She takes out a knife. All the chickens got scared! Going to cut them, no? Note all the profanity they say in chicken language! While she got distracted with the fairy, the chickens drop a cage on her.

Suddenly Assistant comes in to take film shots of the chickens. This causes the chickens to flee for their lives but Assistant closely tails them and continues to film. Watashi gets out of her cage when she realizes perhaps the unseen hand of God has bended the metal bars for her to go free.  Now we see the mass murder of chickens. When Assistant is chasing the chickens, they ran through the entire factory. The chicken workers got so scared that they ‘committed suicide’ by jumping into the manufacturing machine! WTF?! Now you’ve got canned chicken, bread chicken and even chicken t-shirts! Assistant corners the chickens on a cliff and with no way left, they all jump to their deaths. Oh Watashi. How the hell are you going to explain this? When she returns to the factory, she sees Grandpa, Receptionist and Director in a room that could be opened from the inside. Then here comes the train with food. Guess what sandwich this is? Yup. Chicken sandwich. Don’t you feel pity for chickens? Grandpa concludes that it wasn’t just the chickens that gained intelligence but other foodstuffs like sardines and jams. Just that they weren’t equipped with any faculties to express it. Now that the evil chickens are gone, what is going to happen to this place? Well, Director is certainly promoted to CEO now. Time to gloat it. Grandpa thinks they should tear down this place but Watashi says the fairy is gone. As a matter of fact, he shows them a packaged fairy. He guessed they were packaged up when the chickens took over. Watashi frees all of them and in the end, the truth eludes her since the fairies didn’t really answer her question about operating this factory to help out with the shortage. Next morning when she wakes up, to her surprise, her own hair passes the hairbrush to her! She realizes it was the one who saved her from the disposal machine and bended open the cage. Wow. Now her hair has a mind of its own. Lastly, the village children are dreading their weed soup. Oh God. They’re going to have this for the rest of their lives unless a miracle of birds raining from the sky happens. Suddenly several skinned chickens drop down on their feet! It’s raining chickens! Thank you God! Let’s feast on the meat! Since then, skinned chickens have become offerings for children. And as oddly pointed out, whenever chickens are touched by human hands, they generally stopped moving. I guess a good chicken is a dead chicken.

The Fairies’ Subculture

Episode 3
Watashi is stuck in a space where there is nothing but whiteness. To see how she got into this predicament, we go back in time whereby her graduating classmate, Y came by in a newly bought steam car. From what I understand, she used 3 years worth of vouchers to start on the down payment. That’s a long way to go… Though Watashi doesn’t consider Y her friend, she notes they are ‘partners in crime’. Y is working on the Human Monument project, a structure dedicated to celebrate human history, technology and culture. From Y’s ranting, Watashi summarizes she is not serious in gathering data and planning to fool around. The owner of a large mansion recently passed away and inside it is a treasure trove of photostat machines all preserved well. There are also lots of discs and she plans to use the machines to print out what’s on them. Watashi reads a homoerotic manga at the bookstore and is captivated not by the odd homo storyline but the art and drawing techniques that she calls lost technique rather than lost technology. Y starts printing the manga and plans to conduct more research on it. From the way she puts it, she is getting hooked and totally loves this dark subculture and wild fantasy. Soon she comes out with her own homoerotic manga called The Camphorwood. Volume 1. Yup, there’s going to be more. And it’s in full colour and fully laminated in B5 size. Isn’t she supposed to be working on some monument project? Soon, volume 2 comes out. Watashi fears the fairies would find out about this because of their tendency to have fun and copy others. She hopes Y would keep it an underground secret but it’s too late. She has mobilized logistics to spread the culture around! If there was once a category called fanzines (doujins), Y’s The Camphorwood has given birth to a new genre called manzines! Just think of it as something yaoi. Not long, Y starts receiving boxes of fan letters! Some totally love her work while there are detractors who complain about her work distracting them from work. But it was interesting, right?

Soon there is a rise in competition because there are several other manzine publishers copying hers. Y is devastated but Watashi points out this is how culture spreads. Y won’t give up easily yet when she notices Assistant. She never new Watashi had him and accuses her a traitor for living the good life. Plus, this relationship makes it hetero instead of homo, thus defying this current subculture craze. With the new influx of manzine publishers, there are even clubs formed, seminars offered and a huge crazy following. Doesn’t this feel familiar in a certain time? Y finally realizes a new manzine called Cinnamon and it becomes the greatest manzine ever. Soon she starts living the indulgent and luxurious life. That might not continue because her logistics decide to ditch her manzines claiming there were too many of them to stock in their trucks to a point it is not enough to stock other supplies. Distribution is on her own. That’s when Y comes up with an idea to hold a manzine fair. See that long river of fans waiting to get into the hall? Yup. Very familiar scene, no? The fair begins with competition among publishers very intense as manzines are given away free. In the end, Y wins the battle of giving out the most copies because she was on home ground and utilizes her photocopying machines. But I guess it’s victory for everybody too since every volume went out of stock. And oh, Watashi didn’t even buy a single copy. Good girl. One day as Watashi looks for Grandpa and Assistant, she doesn’t see them around but stumbles upon a manzine book on Grandpa’s table. She flips through to see empty panels and before she knows it, she is absorbed into the book. Nothing but whiteness all around. Y is also there. Could they be in a blank panel? Well, sound effects in kanji words seem to pop up from above their head.

Episode 4
A door opens and they head into the next panel to see Assistant. Because a door didn’t open, they figure they need to do something exciting for that to happen. Assistant suggests they create their own drama. What kind of drama? Play chess. Boring! Soon they feel the panel descending and the room slightly darker. When Y theorizes they’re inside a manga with empty panels, there should be some background and props. Assistant starts drawing and whatever he draws comes to life! Even the bread tastes good. With that, they feel the panel ascending and the brightness resumes to normal. Also, the door opens to the next panel. This one feels a little small so Y pretends the ceiling is crushing her for her friends to escape. This excitement opens the next door. Y deduces if the manga is interesting, it ascends otherwise boring ones will descend. This is for the sake of popularity and if they become boring, the manga becomes cancelled and for them, it might be something grimmer. Maybe they will lose their lives? Don’t joke around. Figuring out the lighting indicates their popularity and how many readers are reading it, the more interesting it is, the more readers will open up to read. And so the trio went on creating their own exciting drama in different panels. From battle mangas to sports to love romance and even food themes. As they are resting, Watashi remembers she forgot her knife left behind in the previous panel. Assistant draws a door to go back and what Watashi sees are fairies. They are editors of this manga? So all this is their doing? They say they can leave once there is an ending or the series gets cancelled. You don’t want to know what happens if it’s the latter. Y learns to end this manga, they also have to retain their popularity. They come upon a board that shows their rankings. It seems there are other similar mangas around and they are lying in sixth spot. Y decides to make it exciting like the fair but ends it with a cliff-hanger by confessing she is a killer. Watashi knows this is going to be a pain but plays along anyway. Although she killed nobody, the suspense was enough to lift them up one spot. Yeah. Whatever. The story is falling apart since Y is turning everything upside down.

So Y goes on a cliff-hanger spree as every panel ends with some shocking revelation. “I am… Your father…”. She didn’t say that but you get the idea. The greatest entertainer is the greatest swindler… By the 178th panel, they achieve top spot. Now what? Assistant cuts a hole in the panel to check the editors’ comments. Their comments allow them to track how well they are doing. So Y continues doing what she does best so much so both the story and commentary become random. What the hell? Then they start dropping places because people are getting tired of the same old thing. When Y sees a winch and activates it, she notices the panel becomes bigger. She uses this to do some cool cowboy action-cum-posses (think of it as a full page spread) and this increases their position. But it soon becomes old and they’re on the descend once more. Since they’ve mixed every bloody genre, they have to spend time fixing the story and eliminate loose ends till they ended up in some variation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their popularity plunges so Watashi tells Y that the readers have lost interest in her style. So how unpopular are they now? Not only they have no colour but they turn into simple sketches! I guess they’ve hit rock bottom. As Watashi falls, the fairies fall along with her. She laments how an old mangaka is deemed useless with no skill once his manga gets cancelled. The fairies throw her a penalty, which is a letter to say she has to carry on the family business. Watashi notes she’s already doing that. Watashi is awakened by Grandpa back in the room. Y and Assistant are just waking up too. Was it a dream? But that fanzine is missing now. Noting how hard the fairies’ manzines are, she puts it on the ban list.

The Fairies’ Homecoming

Episode 5
A little monolith seems to have fallen from space and made a crater in the land. But Grandpa thinks it’s a prank and since it isn’t space worthy to satisfy him, I guess that’s the end of it. At town, Grandpa introduces Watashi to Director who is here to inaugurate the Human Monument. There will be lots of exploration to be done especially the city ruins near Camphorwood. Watashi wonders if it can be done since there isn’t enough electricity around for bare necessities but they assure her they discovered a functioning satellite and will use it as charge up. Since Watashi is part of the exploration team, she has to be involved. From her tone, I could say she rather not participate. So running errands for Grandpa, Watashi remembers 3 days ago she bumped into a fairy but she was too busy to talk to him. She felt guilty for ignoring him and lamented she should have paid more attention to him because fairies have a habit of making an impact like an asteroid. Then she meets a bunch of them. They are saying goodbye because the electromagnetic waves are coming and will kill them. Well, they tried to warn her, right? Time is short so they give her a book to read and a charm. You’re on your own. From what I understand from the book, the number of fairies you meet per day determines how lucky you are. Say a disaster befalls on you, the more fairies you meet, the higher chances you have from being saved but they all seem absurd. The lesser the fairies, you’ll still be saved but these ones seem more down to earth. Of course, no fairies mean you lose or die. At the town square, Watashi notices a strange girl. This girl, Pion (so she thinks) could tell Watashi was analyzing her. Seems she has memory loss. Although she has not forgotten about her mission, she has forgotten about the location of her companion. Maybe they moved? The only description she can provide is “Oyage”. If Watashi comes across any leads, be sure to tell her.

The exploration begins as Watashi is paired with Assistant to look around a small park since Grandpa won’t have them searching critical areas like the power collector or else they would lose electricity. They stumble upon a weird building and enter its elevator. Assistant presses a button and I think the elevator ‘jumps’ through different floors.  Coming out, they see a skeleton with words inscribed “Oyage” next to it. Seen this somewhere before? Have a bad feeling? They have no choice but to advance and after walking a considerable distance, they open the door to find themselves high atop the city centre. They finally receive incoming call from Grandpa (there are no signals inside the building). Grandpa can’t come to their aid since he doesn’t know their position. The batteries died out. Just great. Continuing through the maze, Watashi decides to have a drink. It’s their last water. The charm breaks and falls into her cup and out comes a fairy! I don’t know how it contorted itself into this shape to survive the waves. He’s okay here since there are no waves. Using the fairy as compass, they go search for water. Apart from a familiar monolith among the junk, the fairy points out the water. Isn’t that a nasty green slime? Well, that’s what they drink. It starts attacking and melts the knife Watashi uses to defend! Hostility! Oh, there are others too. They come in different colours. Run! In an examination room, they on a computer to see a blueprint of the place as well as its logic behind the building’s design. Due to fear of the waves, this city is designed to shut them out so you can say they are like shut-ins. They got so used to living safely that they become afraid to go out. A slime attacks them and Watashi hits it away with the monolith. Did she win? Perhaps not because the slime activates a vicious robot dog! Before Watashi becomes part of its kill statistic, Pion pops up and smashes the dog up. She thanks Watashi for providing the electricity.

Episode 6
Pion’s search for her companion led her to this place but she ran out of battery. However she claims she is totally human despite operating on a power subsystem. Watashi realizes the slime acts as a cradle to recharge and the monolith disappeared after contact with the slime. As they wander around, Pion is convenient to have around has she has tremendous strength and can download the entire map of this place. Suddenly they are attacked by a guy in a robot. Looks like this dude doesn’t remember his name or mission too. Watashi guesses he is the same type as Pion. Calling himself as Otarou, he won’t allow them to take him back and sends his bulldozer to rid of them. Pion fights it but causes the ground to cave in. Everybody starts falling in. Just when Watashi and Assistant finally find water, here comes Otarou trying to kill them. I don’t know if that is even called justice. He summons his slimes-cum-servants to transform into a… Huge black cat! Watashi immediately surrenders, putting a damper to his fighting spirit. Assistant wanted to fight too but was taken away by her. Now who is he going to fight with? Out from the lake comes a giant Nautilus. As the cat beats up the squid, Watashi notices slime and fairies are flying out from it. I don’t know how the fairy merged with it by collecting slimes and playing with it. Then Watashi receives call from Pion that she has defeated the bulldozer but is now recharging. But she can fire a microwave beam at their location. They just need to make sure the cat stays in a certain place. Watashi asks the fairy for help but it seems it lost its motivation. Where did all the hype went? As instructed, Watashi throws the fairy into the squid and it becomes more powerful to fight back. With the cat in the middle of the lake, Watashi cues Pion to fire as the microwave roasts the water and defeats the cat. Otarou is bent on killing Watashi when Pion drops in to save the day. Because of the hole in the ceiling, the electromagnetic waves flood the area and it seems Otarou is disheartened that his memories will come back (because he is programmed to self repair when that happens). Likewise for Pion, she realizes something. She isn’t human. We all knew that… After everyone gets out from the building, Grandpa picks them up but he looks mad.

Later Watashi and Pion go to see Otarou in the tent. Watashi has discovered their true names. Otarou is Oyage, which is actually Voyager. Pion is Pioneer. Watashi remembers they were probes sent by humans to explore deep space. But were they in humanoid form? Pion says when she ventured into space, she felt cold unlike here. The difference triggered her self-conscious. Oyage disagrees because they were self aware from the beginning. The first thought he had was not wanting to venture into space. It has nothing. A decade ago, a signal started to message them to report their date. They wanted samples so he used this as an excuse to return. He notes they still have to go back and travel the void space till they finish their final mission of discovering alien life form. Pion says they are probes and must carry out their orders. But is she prepared to follow them through? He points out on some of her missions, she decelerated near Uranus, analyzed and concluded something and got scared of some result. Why did she chase him down then? She did not receive any orders to do so. It’s because she too wanted to come home. Tears start trickling down Pion’s face. Oyage notes this place is warm. Do they need to go back out there in the cold? Pion says they have to because their homecoming is over. In the aftermath, the exploration team rejoices after learning about the probes because it would provide them data on human history and accelerate Human Monument project. They’ll be heading back to space the next morning. However Grandpa comes rushing to Watashi that the generator is damaged and their link to the satellite is lost. Somebody sabotaged them. Well, Watashi is a bad liar and actor, right? Seen it right through her teeth. Grandpa hands her over to the authorities and she got interrogated. Well, at least she destroyed the evidence. They got so mad at her that they even forgot why they were mad in the first place! Thankfully the punishment was light and she wasn’t stripped of her mediator position because she is on good terms with the fairies. Wow. Connections saved her skin. However Grandpa would have her hair cut as repentance. Later Pion thanks Watashi that because they lost their electricity source after their generator got damaged, their mission is postponed indefinitely. They don’t have much battery capacity left because 1 hour of winding = 1 minute of energy. Well, at least this is the best they could manage.

The Fairies’ Time Management

Episode 7
The fairies are happily eating their sweets and think more humans should make them. Well, they’re lucky to have them since the decline in human population means a decline in the number of confectioners. The fairies would love to make clones in that case but was quickly shot down by Watashi. That’s morally wrong. While taking a walk home, she thought she saw a dog in a distance. Perhaps it’s the hazy mirage that she saw the dog turned into a human. Watashi dislike the idea that Grandpa asked her to pick up his assistant at the rental home near Lamb and Olive around 1pm. Noting her watch is spoilt, Grandpa gives her a new one. That’s a sundial, no? Can she read sundial? Apparently some woman gave it to Grandpa before he met grandma. Besides, he pointed out she wasn’t his first love and though beautiful, they were separated before long. Along the way, Watashi meets a fairy who gives her a banana to eat. No taste. What the heck did she just eat? The fairy promise the next one will have taste before disappearing. Nearby, Watashi sees a group of fairies kicking ball. Thing is, the ball looks like a head of a fairy! It was when Grandpa passes by in his Roman chariot and lectures her about a thing or two to go pick up his assistant. Watashi meets the doctor in charge of Grandpa’s assistant but was told he went missing. Watashi goes into the forest to look for him. She happens to meet herself. Clone? But she is unaware this pleasant woman is herself (at least that’s what I think) and they casually chat. They arrive at a hearth in the forest and before Watashi realizes it, she slips on a banana peel. Next thing Watashi knows, she is outside UNCC’s office. She saw herself again but disappeared. She also felt a little dizzy and her memories a little fuzzy. Then it’s like a sense of déjà vu. Grandpa told her to go pick up his assistant. She needs a new watch so Grandpa looks around and couldn’t find one till he realizes the sundial on her wrist. Watashi denies stealing it because she would’ve stolen a mechanical one. After meeting the doctor, a fairy gives Watashi a banana. It tastes good this time. Then here comes Grandpa in his chariot. Unsurprisingly, Watashi somewhat knew what he was going to say. Then meeting herself again at the hearth before slipping on the banana peel. Yeah. She knew this was going to happen.

Watashi finds herself being given a banana once more. She spots that dog again in the distance. Umpteenth time lecture by Grandpa followed by that talk with the doctor. Watashi learns the assistant despite unable to speak, is smart enough to wonder who he was. Watashi feels ashamed for disliking on him in the first place.  At the hearth, this time there are 2 selves of hers! Casually chatting with them, guess what happens next? Yeah. Banana trip! The entire déjà vu reruns again and this time there are about a hundred clones of herself making sweets at the hearth! They claim the fairies wanted sweets and that’s why they’re making them. Watashi talks to the fairies who confirm they made the hearth and found lots of help. Watashi thinks she has been here multiple times but can’t remember what she was doing here. The fairies say she won’t because this place is disconnected from the past. To put it in an easier word: She’s in happy land. Say what? Happy for whom? Then they give her a new banana model to eat. Banana has a new model? What’s new with it? You eat it and you slip on it. Wow. The scene restarts again as Watashi realizes her sundial is gone but she has a feeling she knows the assistant is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Seeing her clones making sweets, she too can’t help join in. Yeah. She’s making banana spring roll. Remembering her mission, she asks if everyone had seen the assistant. They know she’ll find him soon and when asked about his description, they ask her back what she would like him to be. On closer inspection, she notices no one wearing the sundial and then… Another banana slip. The fairy thanks Watashi by giving her a new banana model as gratitude since they had lots of sweets. The fairy claims everything will return to normal and that the disconnect is gone. With Grandpa turning up, he asks about the sundial in which she realizes it is lost. As they enter town, they see lots of dogs wandering around and amidst the pack, the Hawaiian shirt assistant is petting one of them.

Episode 8
This feels like a replay of the previous episode but with several parts in more detail. On the first time Watashi was told to pick up Grandpa’s assistant, she was told he wasn’t an ordinary person and is somewhat undefined. He was a sole survivor of some ethnic minority and was passed around before ending up in Grandpa’s custody. Grandpa can’t really describe his traits because he doesn’t leave much of an impression. If he had to describe him, he was probably a buff kid. Then meeting the doctor, Watashi notices the word she uses to describe him: Obscure. On the third round in meeting the doctor, Watashi finds it odd that even though the doctor spent time with him, she never actually met him. Though she has all his records but the moment she took his eyes off him, she forgot how he looks like. As though he vaporized from her memory. Bad memory? Maybe but the thing is, she is unable to recall anything about him. Worse still, she can’t even remember his personal traits. Adding to that, because he grew up alone without parents or friends, no one taught him language. Watashi wonders why a smart person would wander around for what purpose. She was motivated to find him this time till she stumbled to the hearth. By the fourth time, the doctor even felt strange about her conversation with Watashi but continues her description on the assistant. Since no one was around to define him not had he seen others and been defined and was a blank canvas, perhaps all he wanted was a personality. Watashi thinks the problem itself is lack of understanding. In one of the déjà vu, Watashi thinks she spots the assistant in the Hawaiian shirt (which I later found out was Grandpa in his younger days!). She goes to talk to him and he seems pretty energetic. Yeah, he talks. Seems like a hyper active happy kid who doesn’t hesitate to sweet talk Watashi! He wants to procreate! Before Watashi could lecture him about sexual harassment, he throws her an apple to eat and wants to be known as Ringo Kid. Hope nothing strange in this one. He surprises her by touching her boobs! She’s going to sue him! Another surprise is when he pecks her cheek.

Watashi walks with him as he rants about why he is interested in procreating and wants to enjoy his life to the fullest. He notices her sundial and becomes interested in it. He thinks she doesn’t want it and takes it but Watashi says she’s only lending it to him. He wants her to become his girlfriend but she’s clearly not interested. How can a hyper guy like him be sincere? True enough when a pretty girl passes by, he changes his attention to her and before long, he agrees to follow her around town. Watashi wanted to reason he came from another planet. Like that was possible. On the fifth time, she notices her sundial missing but seems to clearly know some of the assistant’s traits. Watashi joins her clones in making sweets and gathering banana ingredients from the fairies, she didn’t understand the latest banana model that tastes great but sends her too far back (I’m guessing too far back in the past). Then when she asks if they have seen the assistant, upon closer inspection she notices not all of them had the sundial missing. Some of them were wearing it and some were wearing her old watch. Watashi describes the assistant and one of the defining traits she would like him to have is to leave a lasting impression on others. The clones agree since they too feel the same way. I guess it’s impossible to lie to yourself, eh? On the sixth time where they meet the assistant in the town filled with dogs, when Watashi meets him, the first thing she asks is if he has found what he was searching for. Watashi realizes he has managed to understand his identity that was developed alongside other people. Because he never had parents, he had to cheat a bit. This means he was listening to others on what they had to say about him as he was unable to discern his own identity. And it was at the tea party where he could learn it. However Watashi couldn’t remember about the tea party. Ah well, human memory isn’t that reliable. Yeah, even Grandpa couldn’t recall about the sundial. Back at the office, they notice the dog Assistant brought. When asked what kind of dog it is, they are surprised he talks for the first time. Grandpa understands this Time Paradogs are dogs created to restore space-time by offsetting temporal paradoxes. Whenever someone travels through time, the universe cancels out the paradox and gives it the shape of a dog. Understand all that? Don’t worry, I’m as lost as Watashi. Watashi welcomes Assistant and shakes his hand.

The Fairy’s Survival Skill

Episode 9
We see a fairy being bullied by his peers! This leads to an appeal letter sent to Watashi and to sum it up, it’s an SOS. Grandpa explains that due to the boom in fairy population, there had been cases of bullying and thus a stressful life. He reassigns Watashi to take a small group of fairies to a remote island. She may be there for at least a year. No way! Too bad she has no say. At the beach, she tries to lift the gloom of the fairies by talking about building their own nation. We see they are in need of serious emotional help. Yeah. They want a tyrannical and oppressive country. They even have a name for it: Fail Country! Serious emotional problem these little dudes have. That’s because the pier Watashi is on gives way. Before it sinks, Watashi and the fairies hop onto the boat. Next thing they knew, they are stranded on an island with nothing. What’s worse than that? Stuck with gloomy fairies. When Watashi accidentally accepts her title as the new nation’s queen, it lifts their spirits. On day 2, they build a nice antique cabinet for their queen but she would’ve preferred a bed instead. Thinking they’re good woodcraftsmen, she is about to ask them to make a boat to escape when she realizes they multiplied. They ask if it is okay to stay on this island and build a new nation. Too bad Watashi vaguely hints that she would help out and it was misinterpreted that she accepted that. By the end of the day, at least Watashi had a decent bed. A fairy gave her a list on inventions to create. Religion is also a creation? Anyway all those on the list are no-go. By the third day, Watashi notices some walls and doors around her bed. Then she goes off to tour around the island. We see the fairies booming in growing fields and even industrial plants! At the end of the tour, her home is completed! Complete with toilet too! She even had clothes made out from the island’s finest spider silk. At the end of the day, they even have electricity! Pineapple powered! Now she can have hot water bath. This is this life.

I’m sure Watashi enjoys her reign as queen as development and civilization life progresses on this little nation. That’s only the fourth day. Wow. By the fifth day, Watashi makes sweets to appease her entire nation of fairies! However soon, the cocoa crops failed and she notices the lake’s water quality changing. Blame it on the industrial wastes… When a fairy shows her a lily plant that tastes like candy, Watashi notes that despite fairies are unable to make candies, they can cultivate plants that produce them. She orders all research to be poured into breeding different strains and flavours of this plant and by day 7, the island mushrooms with colourful candy plants. Watashi continues to make sweets as a hobby instead as duty so everyone spend their free time in celebration. With nothing else to do, she even allows the construction of monuments as the fairies wish. Just like any civilization, there is bound to be a time it will fall. That comes in day 8. How quick time has passed. Monuments have popped up all over the island to a point there are not plants left. The environment is destroyed and the water plant is down. Oh my God. Seeing the dire straits they are in, Watashi wants them to take down the monuments and make water their priority. Gloomy times are here again. Electricity became scarce, genetic manipulation on plants was banned to allow the land to heal and sweets were rationed. The fairies no longer had work or entertainment. She realizes she needs to make a decision. On day 9, Watashi wants to tear down the remaining monuments and make a boat for the main land. It’s time to say goodbye. More gloomsville… However she feels like something is trapping them because it kept raining. Only the island is raining and by the 14th day, after she explains her plan to leave the island, it dawned to her that the gloominess of the fairies was contributing to the rain! That bad, huh? Then the island is flooded. Morning comes and Watashi finds herself stranded but on the main land. The island has disappeared. The fairies want her to be their queen over their new nation again but she dismisses them. I guess that removes the evidence. Grandpa and Assistant come by, worried of not hearing from her. Grandpa notes there was a sizeable island that house 3 rare species of spiders… And from Watashi’s guilty reaction, he has a feeling she had something to do with it… So who is responsible for the spider’s extinction? Watashi gets up and returns to her familiar everyday life.

The Fairy’s Earth

Episode 10
Watashi is one of the 12 last members of graduating class before the school was sent packing. She was sent to Camphorwood as a researcher and mediator under Grandpa. It beats working in the fields anyway. He assigns her to manage the books, an easy job like she wants. Despite that being true, she says she merely wants to match her job with her physical strength. Grandpa takes back what he said and thinks she should suffer a bit. He has her go observe the fairies in the places he marked on the map and is given only a bread as lunch. That’s harsh. How should she greet them? Is there any customs? None. Just go with your guts. She didn’t meet and fairies on her visit to the dump. She reports back to Grandpa who tells her on the contrary there are many hiding there. He lets her read the journal of his predecessor on his encounter and observations with the fairies. Seems he stated out enthusiastic and with each passing day and the crazier it gets, he becomes less motivated. Why are there only steak and wine? Though Watashi wants to have an easy life, she won’t have it by doing nothing. Returning to the dump, she sets a trap for the fairies to lure them because she remembers Grandpa telling her they love sweets and fun. She even brought necessities to observe and record. After falling asleep and waking up, she spots a bunch of fairies munching the sweets and having fun. She wanted to make a good impression to meet them but she trips and sends all of them running away in fear. She sees 3 of them hiding in a trap and ‘kidnaps’ them home. Realizing they are still scared, she thought of telling a joke. I guess it’s a bad joke because she asks if they want to eat snacks or become the snack! They wet their pants but don’t worry, fairies urine are made of pure water. She breaks the ice by giving them leftover candies. Easily pleased. That’s bribery, no? The fairies wonder if she is God. She dismisses it and puts it this way. She is the old humanity while the fairies are the new humanity. Watashi gets a hang of their crazy conversation. Seems they don’t remember they come from the dump or when they are born. In fact, did their number just increased by one?

Because they don’t have names, Watashi decides to name them as she wants to be their friends and doesn’t want to reduce them to numbers. After all that fooling around, she names them Cap, and Nakata while the remaining duo name themselves Sir Christopher McFarlane and Sir Chikuwa. Grandpa could tell Watashi’s distress looks because she is trying to figure out names for the rest of their buddies! She already has 50 of them. He compliments her on a job well done for being friends with them this quick but warns her to prepare herself tomorrow since she plans to check on them again. To her surprise, the place is no longer a dump but a futuristic metropolis! Remembering Grandpa’s words, when fairies gather, they will do something fun. Watashi’s appearance in the metropolis has them activate a robot defence. But since she comes in peace, I guess all ends well. Then she sees Nakata. What happened to the other trio? Surrendered? She realizes they are not very organized and don’t have good memory because Nakata doesn’t remember about the name thingy last night. She is here to give names to his friends when all the fairies start lining up to be named! Oh God! Noticing how fast they multiply, she puts her foot down, causing them to ball up. She apologizes she can’t name them but hands them a dictionary to pick a name of their choice. The fairies are overjoyed and call her God. Next day, Watashi is surprised to see a monument of her! She is officially God now. Imagine if this spreads to the fairies across the world. She’d be in their history books. Not bad, maybe? She passes the God title to Nakata. He tries to touch her back but she says only a person can be God once. Soon it becomes havoc because Nakata tries to pass his status to other fairies who are running away. God becomes the devil as the fairies evacuate the metropolis and in 10 minutes, it all crumbles and becomes dump once more. All that’s left is her statue. But it beats having a bad reputation, right? Grandpa sees her statue and notes how they must have really loved her. The destruction can’t be helped as sooner or later it will happen because this is how current humanity operates. He praises her for a good job well done of making this far in a few days but advises she must take it easy while dealing with fairies. He pushes her and she accidentally bumps and destroys her statue. I guess that in the end can’t last too.

The Fairy’s Secret Tea Party

Episode 11
This flashback was when Watashi first started schooling at 10 years old. She had to start from the lowest grade but will skip grades if she proves herself to be more intelligent than she is. On her first day, she finds her dorm room locked and a riddle note that tells her the key is behind eternity. She assumes that time only stops when the clock is broken and heads to the clock tower. She finds another riddle message that tells her she will only find the key when the animals are sick. She gives up and returns waiting outside her room, only to be given a reprimanding ticket by some assistance robot called Ryobo 230r. After showing she is locked out, Ryobo removes the lock for her. Next day, she bumps into Y who tosses her the lock. She was excited when she solved her first riddle but became disappointed and thinks she’s a bore. The other girls think she’s bullying another student. In class, Watashi remains reclusive, not wanting to befriend anybody. Not even to a nice girl named Curly. Despite doing well in the test, Watashi became the target of bullying because she is older than everyone. But Watashi didn’t fight back. She accepts her fate and in a way ‘shields’ the bullies and blames herself at fault. The Principal sees her studying diligently in the library and is glad Grandpa sent her to study under him. They were good friends. He is impressed she is reading up a difficult subject on fairies. Despite her hardworking attitude, he notices she has hard time making friends. She declines his offer to help in any way. One night Curly visits Watashi in her room because she heard she will be advancing a grade due to another superb showing in her test. Curly felt sad she had to go but Watashi puts it this way. A problem will go away and everything will return back to normal. Watashi hints that Curly is the mastermind behind the bullying, the reason why they can’t be friends because the ‘truth’ will come out. She also accuses her for being sympathetic with her so she could control her. One evening at the ruins, Watashi manages to save a fairy from several naughty boys trying to dissect it! Back home, Watashi talks to the fairy and is surprised he is happily living alone. The fairy gets depressed when she hints being alone is not fun. She tries giving it a sandwich but I guess he settled for a sugar cube that he could munch on. The fairy is happy as Watashi introduces him to a book with myriad of sweets and candies. Due to ingredients shortage, she can’t really make lots of them. The fairy hints that he will disappear. Is it because of loneliness? Not if he gets more sugar cubes. Ryobo continues to always malfunction outside her room. Watashi always straighten it back to its path and thinks maybe it has an outdated map in its memory and perhaps the floor layout changed.

During dinner time, the bully boys accidentally bump into her. Once more, she cleaned up her own mess and took the blame. Curly wanted to help her but Watashi remains suspicious of her as the mastermind. Curly dismisses everything and sets it straight she approached her because she wanted to talk. Why won’t she open up? Because she doesn’t want to get to know anyone. That includes Curly. That night she wakes up screaming. She’s finally at her limit. Enough is enough. She realizes she is lonely. She really wanted friends. She did not want to be laughed at. It hurts when they bully and make fun of her. She wants to quit school. The fairy pops out from her pocket and provides a simple solution: Join him. Watashi couldn’t remember what happens next. She was able to focus on her studies and skip grades. However Curly too has advanced the grade but this time she bears the brunt of the bullying since she is younger than others. Everyone ignored her. One day, Watashi helped Curly retrieved her skirt from one of the bullying. She dismisses she was helping her out but it was enough for Curly to be happy. She wants Watashi to be her sister! No, her mother! She’s the only person she could trust. Watashi panics and decides to try reverse psychology. However claiming she was being sympathetic so that she could laugh at her backfired. Because Curly is happy that she cared. Soon Curly becomes her roommate. How did this happen? Curly forged Watashi’s signature as consent. Oh dear. Future con artist. Noticing she has baked lots of cakes, Watashi don’t want her finding out whom she baked them for and lies that it’s because she wanted to be more social. Though, she can’t remember what it is that she didn’t want Curly to find out. Curly invites her to be a member of the tea circle called Wild Rose Society. From the way Curly is bugging her, I guess she has to come. Upon meeting the other members for the first time, the first thing Watashi asked was how to quit. Not interested, aren’t we?

Episode 12
So as Watashi becomes part of the tea circle, the bullying also stops. She impresses them all with her sweets and even had lunch with them. Can she refuse? One day, she notices a torn page from a book that looked like a building blueprint. The rest point out it must be that girl Y whom they call Silver. She was a member of this club before Watashi but always kept to herself. Wild Rose Society’s main activity is to study the legend of the fairies’ tea party and it was what Y was interested. Of course since it’s a time consuming activity, all they do is offer new interpretations on those researches. A year later, Watashi advances another grade, leaving poor Curly behind. Watashi is now the same grade as Y. She didn’t like those girls in the society and points out their beauty is only on the surface. One day Watashi spots Y in a hurry and dropped a book. Watashi picks it up and makes a list of books missing from the library. This leads her to Y’s secret room. Y is shocked that she is able to find it. Watashi found this location after doing some research based on the hints from the torn page and Ryobo’s constant bumping into her wall. Y thought she couldn’t solve simple riddles like the one she gave her a year ago. However Watashi easily explains her answer regarding that riddle. It was based on Solomon Grundy and the key was to find a copy of that book that was returned on a Friday (because Solomon Grundy fell ill on a Friday). The reason Watashi didn’t continue was because she thought more riddles would greet her instead of the key. Now it’s Watashi’s turn to hit Y’s nerves. To summarize, she points out Y’s fetish for ‘relationships of boys who are more than friends’. Yaoi. BL. Get the picture? This secret room is a painstaking assemble of that collection. Because of her pride, stubbornness and superiority complex to preserve her fake image, she used this hidden room to indulge in her fantasies. But Y mentions she joined Wild Rose Society not to access such books. But rather they invited her as she was having trouble fitting in. She was hoping to find a club where she belongs. Y hopes she won’t tell this to anyone and is even willing to make a deal.

Walking through the dark corridors, the school seems to have lots of unused spaces that are uncharted. Never think before building? She is going to show them the real personalities of the Wild Rose Society members. First up is Hana’s room. There is a diary that meticulously details all those who upset her. In short, a grudge book. Hey, doesn’t Watashi’s name appear too often? But she was so nice to her? Yeah. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The closer you are to her, the higher your chances of upsetting her. Next room belongs to Majou. There is a heavy book. Inside contains all the hairs from the girls she collected!!! FREAKY!!! And because she is obsessed with Watashi, there are a few pages dedicated to her! With her hair strand! FREAKY!!! The next room sees a couple of them stripping, drinking, badmouthing, uncouth and the entire place messy like a pig sty. Guess whose is the last room? Curly might seem like playing doll but she’s treating it as Watashi! What is more disturbing is the fact she randomly snaps and takes out her loneliness frustration on the doll! In the end, she stabs it furiously!!! Oh sh*t! How can Watashi go back tonight?! So have you freaked out enough yet, Watashi? Can you stomach anymore of this? Y points out the rarity in finding someone you can trust. In this particular environment, the weird ones are left unchecked. That’s why Y tested Watashi then. She had no hidden sides and is a bad liar. Plus, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with these mentally unstable girls. A brat that is easy to understand is more relaxing to deal with. It is then that they both team up to secretly find the real fairy tea party. Their weird combination drew lots of attraction but they manage to make the fifth grade by then. Because there wasn’t any bad blood, there was a reconciliation party for Y and the other Wild Rose Society members. But soon, those members graduated and left and once more they were alone. Only Watashi, Y and Curly were left. They have yet to find the fairy tea party and continued searching in hopes that they would solve the mystery and make everything clear before they graduate.

The trio venture into a room containing very old Ryobo models. Wondering who put them here, Watashi thinks it’s the fairies when she suddenly remembers about them. She rushes back to the ruin pondering who on Earth she could have forgotten about them. However she couldn’t find any and the boy she asked told her he had never seen one. The next day, an announcement was made that the school was going to be torn down. A graduation ceremony was held but it was a sorry sight. Curly breaks down in Watashi’s arm as she neatens the curtains as her last duty of the society. Back in present time, Y visits Watashi and tells her how she stayed in school after graduation. Turns out she got a job but that job was at the school. She also brought a yearbook which she compiled herself. Before she leaves, she asks if Watashi knows anything about those robots. She has one in her trunk. Watashi takes Ryobo and in her room, the fairies confused her by saying it can be fixed but not restored. That’s because unlike humans it has no soul. Then popping out from Ryobo is that fairy she first met at the ruins. Watashi is overcome with emotion. That night she dreams of having a fairy tea party with the fairy. Despite not remembering much in detail, she notes once she wakes up, everything will slip away like dreams always do.

Specials

Of course when you buy the DVDs, there are little short specials called The Humans’ Law Of The Jungle that lasts around 2-3 minutes each. Due to the random nature of this series, the specials are also as random. Just that they are probably too short to be made into an episode as a whole. But it’s still fun to watch as we see the trouble Watashi gets into when she tampers with tools believed to be made by fairies.

Special 1
As part of Watashi’s job as a mediator, she is inspecting several suspicious goods circulating in the village. One of them includes a bottle with a spare cloud. Don’t ask. She thinks the goods lean more towards pranks than dangerous but she collects them just in case. Another tool she found is a spoon. When it actually got stuck inside her head, she takes it out to find it filled with flour. She continues to scoop up endless amount of wheat flour from her head to make sweets. Is this what her brain is made out? Though the result is that she has a mountain of wheat flour, she has shrink into fairy size!

Special 2
Watashi knows the spoon is the cause of her shrunk in size and notices the number on it decreasing. When Grandpa comes in, she is happy to see him. However he thinks she is a fairy and couldn’t understand a word she says. She tries hinting him via hand signals to convey what she says but somehow everything looked simplified. Still, Grandpa doesn’t get her and thinks he will tell Watashi that the she is here. Now that Grandpa has left, it is up to Watashi to venture out to seek the help of other fairies to return to normal. Unfortunately she got attacked by a bird! Food!!!

Special 3
Luckily the bird got stuck with Watashi’s egg shell helmet. She runs and stumbles into a house. Yameta the hamster greets her and he seems to be proud that they are the sole intellectual civilization on Earth. Whatever. Yeah well, do rodents make light bulbs? Talking about that, Yameta explains it was invented by the brightest hamster in the family but was eaten by their natural predator, the weasel and died. Then another hamster rushes in to report another of their friend has been eaten by a weasel so everyone goes off to do an emotional burial for him.

Special 4
The hamsters are running away from the weasels’ attack. Contrary to our beliefs that weasels are cute looking creatures, they are quite the evil blood thirsty vermin they are! Too evil! Watashi’s spoon gets caught in a can but in a way it saves her life because the weasel’s attack sends her flying away into the air. But she drops into the river. Thankfully she is pulled out by a frog. Actually, a fairy underneath that sophisticated frog suit. Frog prince fairy? Don’t they look different from conventional fairies? They look more like mini elves.

Special 5
Watashi is taken to the fairy village. They try to figure out her solution but she concluded there wasn’t any so let’s give up. Yup, she starts having fun in the village, indulging in leisure activities. One day there is a problem of them unable to acquire any sweets but Watashi thinks she can make some. She scoops a spoon fill of flour from her head as the rest notices the number further reduces. Soon Watashi passes out. When she wakes up, she finds herself shrunk another half size. The fairies are amazed with this special phenomenon and hypothesizes that the spoon was converting her thoughts into flour. In other words, it can convert mental abilities into powder. They think if it was so, it wouldn’t be fun without scaling one’s height with the intelligence lost. So the one who made this was thinking this was an idea of fun? Watashi thinks not. She can’t understand why the rest are laughing. This is a serious issue. Is she laughing too? Maybe she’s going mad. Maybe she’s scared. Somebody help her…

Special 6
The fairies bring Watashi to God’s house. Supposedly somebody who can make sweets and give people names. Say, isn’t this her own home? Feeling nostalgic? Noticing flour around the place, they proceed to make sweets. Little does Watashi know, the number on the spoon soon drops to single digit and before she knows it, she passes out. All she feels is just to sleep and worried if somebody would feed her pet ladybug. A cookie comes up to her. It smells good and she eats it. Mmm… Tastes good. When she wakes up, the fairies have finished making a mountain of sweets and are ready to dig in. Suddenly it dawns to Watashi that the sweets are her brains! Don’t eat them! Because… Because… Because they’re poison! In the end, she ate all the cookies by herself. At least she didn’t grow fat. She returns back to her normal size and though the number of the spoon sits at 280, she remembers it used to be 322. So this means some of her brains are missing, eh? Maybe that’s why there are some things she can’t recall. Being back to her normal size means that the hamsters look like normal non-talking furry rodents and the weasel… It’s not so threatening at all. So cute! Was it all just an illusion? Watashi tickles and feeds it.

Regression Depression…
If I should say, this series is quite entertaining and fascinating by itself. Although there are many instances that still baffle me, but if I take it lightly with a pinch of salt, I find this generally enjoyable. For example, the time loop arc was a little confusing to me and I had so many questions of what happened about this and that so much so that I had to go online and do a little research and read up on that arc’s summary before understanding the gist of it. Had I never found out Ringo Kid was Grandpa, the big question mark would have still be hanging around my head on the big difference in Assistant’s character then and now. The play on the word Time Paradogs with Time Paradox and its explanation was equally confusing. Why didn’t everybody remember about themselves when they see themselves or someone familiar? Like shouldn’t Watashi have recognized herself or Grandpa recognizing Watashi when he meets her as an old man? So you see, thinking for answers about these questions only brings me more headaches. So if I accept it at face value, everything will be alright because it all ends well, right? Did it? Ah well, my memory isn’t that good anyway. First sign of decline?

The decline of humans isn’t the focus of this series but Watashi’s misadventures with the fairies and other characters. Thus despite the fact that we know humans are on the gradual path to extinction, it doesn’t feel so due to the several comical and baffling moments. Especially the headless chicken arc. That was hilarious! You will know the true meaning of fear when you see headless chickens trying to take over the world! Or the part where Loaf splits himself in half! Such light hearted sides take our attention and focus away from that setting. Sometimes it just feels that the place is just uninhabited and void of humans and a country that is just poor. Well, my perception of when human is on that self destruction path, it should be an aftermath of a great war so much so you could see rubbles of buildings laying waste all around. It isn’t that noticeable in Camphorwood. Maybe there wasn’t any big war to begin with. Besides, there is no indication to say how long humans have been living such a declining lifestyle. It could be years or decades. It could be many centuries that have passed.

Watashi as the main heroine is an amusing protagonist. While on the outside she may look like a caring and polite person, she is also to an extent cunning, scheming and manipulative. It’s like she has 2 sides to a coin. It is not that she is a bad person, what she usually does is that she tries to take the easy way out of situations that are seemingly difficult for her to handle. Otherwise, she would just go with the flow. What makes her funny (and why mainly this series is funny) is because of her comebacks, retorts, punch lines and sarcasm. Yes, it is her ability to rebuff the situation with her witty sarcasm that makes it funny and the reason why I look forward to hear her talk and pay attention to her speeches. In addition to her sweets baking skills, it’s like she has a knack for retorting since the situation usually doesn’t go her way the wishes. If stand up comedy was alive, I think she could make a decent living as a comedian. Too bad when humanity is in decline and the basic necessities are scarce, you don’t need someone who tells jokes just to lift the gloom, right? Or do you?

The fairies are of course the biggest mystery in this series. How they make their technology super fast or multiply in a blink of an eye are equally mysterious. We are not even shown a hint of how something happens because when it happens, it happens. Most likely our tiny human brain won’t comprehend if we even were explained. So whether it is true or not they can make inventions and even phenomenon that only God could make (such as the time loop), it is best to not think too much over this. After all, what would you get once you have unravelled the mystery? Where would all the fun be? There is a reason why they kept themselves hidden from humans and only Watashi is an exception due to her skills in making their eternal favourite sweets. Also an amusing bunch themselves, they aren’t that perfect (in humans’ eyes of course). Seems that they favour quantity over quality so the things that they make tend to end up with inferior value. Maybe the more the merrier? A herd mentality too? Because if one fairy wants to have fun, the rest would love to join in. They also seem not to comprehend about things like life and death. It feels like because of their short attention span and disorganized memory, they live for the moment. Be happy now. Whatever comes, it comes. And even if something bad is going to come, they could make a ‘joke’ out of it. Even if it’s some negativity. Easily depressed? Well, at least they don’t stay long that way if you know how to make them happy.

The other characters in the series seem sufficient and only to support Watashi as the protagonist. Grandpa may be the coolest character due to his cool ways and doesn’t lose his composure easily. I wonder about his hobby of collecting guns. Did you see the vast collection on his walls? I’m not sure if it is banned but after all that fighting and wars, humanity has declined in population so it makes no sense to kill each other anymore now that everyone is struggling to even have the basic necessities. Everybody has his own quirks. Just like Assistant. That single episode he spoke proves that he is no mute. Why can’t he just open his mouth and talk like everyone else? Maybe he is one of those rare people who would prefer to speak through his actions. Literally. And how Watashi could understand every single word he says is indeed mind boggling. I don’t think she is wild guessing. After all, being with him for so long, she could understand more or less what he wants to say. Y’s yaoi fetish proves that such subculture really dies hard in the future. But do you think that having such a depraved fetish is considered a decline in humanity? Who am I to say such interests are immoral? To each his own. Despite this quirky fetish of Y, I guess you could say that she is a better friend to Watashi compared to the other mentally unstable girls of Wild Rose Society. Yeah, everyone is in serious need of emotional help. Whether or not humanity is rotting away, such personality problems have always been a thorn in society. Talk about driving human to extinction with such creepy dark personality problems.

The production studio of this anime is AIC ASTA, which is one of the many divisions under the big company of AIC. Under this name, they were the ones who did Sora No Otoshimono series, Bamboo Blade and Tokimeki Memorial animes. The drawing and art may seem simple and sometimes like sketches. Sometimes feeling like a show for younger audiences in the sense that the surroundings are colourful enough. But I guess this is to keep in line with the comedy theme. That’s why this is one reason why I feel humans aren’t on the path of decline. Even in supposedly dark and ruined places, it doesn’t feel scary at all. When technology that involves the mysterious fairies, the buildings and inventions can range from realistic to cartoonish. Cute yet scary.

Mai Nakahara plays Watashi and when I first heard her, I thought how similar she sounded to her other role as Juvia from Fairy Tail. Just loose the lovey-dovey fawning. Despite Assistant had no lines throughout the series and that single line is all you ever going to hear, I am surprised that Jun Fukuyama was the one voicing him. No matter how much I strain my ear and replay that line again and again, I just couldn’t make out it was him. He is neither like Code Geass’ Lelouch or Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon’s Toori. As for the fairies, there are several seiyuus who voice them. They include Hisako Kanemoto, Satomi Arai, Yumiko Kobayashi, Chika Kobayashi, Saki Ogasawara, Asami Sanada, Satomi Akesaka and Nozomi Sasaki. I can’t differentiate them because they sound nearly the same. Picture this kind of voice. Try talking like a cute alien without emphasizing too much on your emotion. Yup. That’s how fairies generally sound. Hearing Pion’s voice too, I thought it was somewhat familiar. Till she went “~de arimasu”. Then I was like, doesn’t that sound like Ricotta from Dog Days? Who else could it be but Nana Mizuki! The other casts include Miyuki Sawashiro as Y (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Unshou Ishizuka as Grandpa (Bunta in Initial D), Nobuyuki Hiyama as Oyage (Madarame in Bleach), Natsuko Kuwatani as Doctor (Yue in Mahou Sensei Negima), Hisako Kanemoto as Curly (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Ryoka Yuzuki as Ryobo (Ino in Naruto), Kazuya Ichijou as Director (Zafira in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha), Kurumi Mamiya as Loaf (titular character of Hamtaro) and Tomomichi Nishimura as Principal (Anzai in Slam Dunk).

Listening to the rock opening theme, Real World, it very much reminded me of the opening theme in Sankarea. It’s no surprise seeing both songs are sung by Nano Ripe. I think I’m starting to identify her unique ‘drunk’ voice by now. The odd and amusing about the opening animation credits is the funny dance that Watashi and the fairies are doing. What the heck are they doing? Pushing air?! I don’t think this will become as famous or catch on like Gangnam Style but imagine seeing a bunch of little fairies led by Watashi doing this ‘exercise’. Weird, no? I tried it out a little while myself but quickly lost interest. Besides, I don’t have that much stamina to ‘push’ vigorously. Hearing the ending theme also reminded me of another familiar song. I noticed how Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume reminded me of Zettai Shonen’s ending theme. That’s because both of them are sung by the same singer, Masumi Itou. She too has an ‘odd’ voice that’s why I was able to recognize. Imagine a woman trying to put on a falsetto voice. Is it coincidence that both these series also deal with the supernatural fairies? The one in Zettai Shonen is slower and have a more enigmatic feel while this one is livelier, happier and more fantasy-like feel.

The declination of mankind perhaps tries to tell us to appreciate what we have now and not take things for granted. But do humans really learn from history? Take a look at the great empires in the past from Rome to China. After a period of prosperity, it is followed by downfall and before you know it, the dynasties are over and become part of history. Notice that in this series you don’t have the people fidgeting with technology? Can I say that it is a big relief for once not to see people sticking iPads, iPhones, Tablets and other electronic gadgets in their face? So it proves that in dire times, people do can live without them. Therefore be thankful in this age of plenty. People are just struggling to survive. Therefore the other lesson is to live each day to the fullest. You would appreciate things more that way. Of course, back to basics is another key point as seen without technology (not including help from the fairies), people still manage to get by daily albeit it would be better if they had some modern conveniences that cover their basic needs.

It might not happen now or in the nearest future but perhaps this is a sign and of course that one day just like everything in this universe, it will come to an end. But no use thinking about it now because it’s not going to happen so soon, right? Hah. Typical human lethargy. The end of the world at the end of 2012 didn’t turn out true either, right? But look at the way we are devouring Earth’s limited resources and polluting them. In a way, we are digging our own graves right at this moment. Whether or not mankind will gain the ability and technology to travel deep into space to leave the dying Earth (like as in Wall-E), that is another different story. Well, if it is going to be a slow decline to extinction and greatly affects the quality of life to the point it becomes a painful dystopia so bad that one couldn’t imagine, I’d rather have a meteoroid smash into Earth right now to end it all. No anime = no life! :)

Joshiraku

May 4, 2013

I guess you have to be a Japanese or someone who has been living in Japan and accustomed to its customs and traditions to really understand and appreciate many of its, urm well, customs and traditions. One of them being rakugo. As a non-Japan native, I guess the best way for me to understand what rakugo is, it is a Japanese style of storytelling done by a sole storyteller on stage. In short, it is a verbal entertainment that lacks all the sound effects and even visual effects that you mostly see in televisions, cinemas and the likes. Just your good plain ol’ storyteller and your vivid imagination. I think.

So when they decided to make an anime based on the rakugo theme, I wasn’t really that interested because it will probably be lots of gags and jokes that only Japanese could understand. So what made me changed my mind? Joshiraku is about five young female rakugo comedians and the story is about their daily lives. You can say I fell for that trap. Shame on me. However it isn’t exactly about their everyday lives that we will be seeing. Instead, you will see them discuss on several topics while making cultural jokes and puns about it.

As expected, due to my very lack of knowledge on just about everything, the jokes they make are very hard to understand. Thankfully, there is this site that at least explains some of the important scenes and the puns including the examples stated in them. Although I may not grasp some of them, at least it provides good enlightenment on several topics that I (and anyone else) would have easily missed or not comprehend. The fansubbers really did a good job and really know their stuffs well so hats off to them in helping to make the viewing a little more enjoyable with such notes. After all, even the girls do not have common names. They sound so odd and foreign that I had a hard time trying to remember them. By that time, I think 3/4 of the series is already gone. So what do you think of names like Marii Buratei, Gankyou Kuurubiyuutei, Tetora Bouhatei, Kukuru Anrakutei and Kigurumi “Kigu” Haroukitei? I may need to go over them again. Each episode is divided into 3 parts and though the first and third parts have the girls in their traditional hakama talking at the backstage, the second one sees them visiting different locations in Japan in the midst of their talk and observe the different fashion clothing and hairstyle they put on? Sometimes girls need to take a breather as well.

Episode 1A: Normal Dialogue
* We are being kept reminded that this anime is filled with ordinary dialogues so that viewers can enjoy how cute the girls are. You know what is cuter? Girls who don’t speak. Oh sh*t! Just kidding, I swear! I hope I didn’t step on a landmine. Sorry -_-.
* So we have the girls talking about how this manga got animated and told to act ‘normally’. This leads to a discussion of what they normally do.
* They receive an invitation for a party and the theme is to dress casually. So how casual is casual? If everyone dresses as they do, it will turn into some cosplay party? More discussion on what clothes constitutes normal and how often they wear them.
* If Marii sleeps in the nude, doesn’t that make it her normal pyjamas and thus her casual wear? So casual wear = nude party? The rest starts stripping her and though she’s naked standing behind a name sheet, the rest felt it looks like it is them who is being naked and starts flipping the sheet. And all the ridiculous names (some not even names) start to appear as they flip through. Is “The End” considered as one? It only has just begun.

Episode 1B: Different Clothes
* As Gankyou appears in a gothic loli outfit, they discuss about the different types of lolis.
* Marii appears in a sweater as they all head into the rakugo theatre. However they all have seemed to have forgotten Kukuru.

Episode 1C: Shouting Instructions
* Kigu asks her friends whether they like dogs or cats. This leads to a discussion if they like this or that (example: coffee or tea). Both sides argue about the pros and cons about canines and felines, including famous ones.
* The kanji for dog has a dot somewhere and they debate if they can actually remember where to put that dot. Putting it somewhere else may conjure a different word and meaning.
* On the topic of while shouting towards the mountain or the sea, whatever they shout depends on what sea they are facing because if you shout towards the Pacific Ocean, the nearest island would be thousands of kilometres away. Instead of shouting “You fool”, they decide to shout “Give us back (insert anything to be taken back here)” since it would cover all the angles. So, give back their money?

Episode 2A: Backstage Riches
* Kukuru asks what would they do if they won the lottery. Save it? Look for the missing mother? Find the culprit? Till Kukuru points out even if they had won that much money, she wouldn’t be telling anybody. This leads to everyone being suspicious as there might be a winner among them.
* Everyone suspects Marii due to her recent actions which seems only people with money can afford. The merry-go-round continues till Tetora points out another way to tell rich people: Based on how they speak. Well, they’re making Marii seem like the culprit when she is just a winner.* Gankyou realizes that the winner will keep a low profile and you can tell that when unknown relatives or pros show up. Then a couple of ‘pros’ enter the room to preach about God. She wants to convert Marii but the latter beats her up because she didn’t win the lottery. The light goes out for a while and when it comes back on, Marii is ‘killed’ with blood written on the wall that they’ll all go to hell. The rest start suspecting each other when the real culprit was actually one of the ‘pros’.

Episode 2B: Three Towers And A Vow
* The girls are visiting Tokyo Tower, discuss and compare about its height as well as other landmarks in the country. It leads to a discussion about left or right and how they would remember it.
* A discussion about domed stuffs and sides that stick out has Marii felt being insulted because she thinks they are referring to her as someone whose front and back can be switched

Episode 2C: Cold Girl
* Who is this Masked Girl sitting with them? Is he part of the group? Well, they don’t really seem to mind.
* As the rest are being cautious of the new strain of influenza, this has them debate on how long something is constitute as new. This includes of how products are considered new when all they did was change the packaging and switching up roles so as to market a whole new cast.
* Speaking of the influenza, they talk about doctors who are first in line who should receive vaccination as they need to treat everyone else. Because it is limited, not everyone can get them so they argue who are next in line.
* Because pregnant women are given priority, what happens if one fakes pregnancy? Everyone has problem doing that imaginary pregnancy but Kukuru is acting like the real deal so much so everyone is convinced that she may be about to give birth anytime and play along.
* When Kukuru collapses and wakes up panicking about her missing baby (to a point she is going crazy about it), the doctor arrives and ushers her away into the ambulance. The rest note she got priority treatment, though it wasn’t for the flu.

Episode 3A: A Bath Beyond
* With the topic of who would they give their Valentine’s Day chocolates to, Marii feels that girls are supposed to receive it. Well, here comes a pile of them for her. This has the rest to doubt if she is really a girl or a boy cross-dressing as one. No matter what she says or does, the rest aren’t convinced since they view her actions and speeches to be unlady-like. Not even showing she has boobs.
* Marii is made to sit or stand like a girl but with disastrous results. Since it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem, it is suggested that women talk about grudges but all those resentments seem petty. Even so, those grudges go back to her previous life! Who was she in her previous life?! But that only makes the rest believe that she was a man in her previous life.
* The only way left is to go to the bath together. In the end, Gankyou points out that it isn’t whether she’s a man or woman now. She points out that she is just a ‘child’.

Episode 3B: Visit To Asakusa
* At the gates of the Asakusa Temple, they discuss about the Kaminari gate and compare it to other famous gates around the world. They also talk about the purpose of the gate-cum-shrine and feel disappointed that their conclusion led them to think it is some checkpoint.
* Because Marii feels she has nothing to cure, she doesn’t want to join the rest in putting themselves in the temple’s smoke. Till they insult her that she starts doing it to prove it to them.
* As they pray, they debate how is Asakusa Temple read as and this leads to a conversation about other places in Japan whose names aren’t as clear cut as they should be read.
* They take their fortune and while the rest have good luck, Kukuru obtains great misfortune. That bad, huh? Tetora gets the opposite and has the greatest luck. Marii thinks she should share her fortune with them but I guess this means treating them.

Episode 3C: Sanada Little Zoo
* Gankyou and Marii are facing off with each other giving that mosquito thingy an excuse to hit each other. Everyone else got bit by the mosquito and they notice Tetora isn’t the only one who didn’t get bitten. Is it the place where she sits and the flow of the air? This has them remember how Tetora has always been the lucky girl avoiding all sorts of danger while the rest bear the misfortune. Is she favoured by the Gods?
* Marii may seem like a stalker taking pictures of Tetora but her goal is to examine her way of life and perhaps imitate her to get her luck. She concludes that it is some old TV of hers with an analogue tuner. She manages to get her permission to get it as the rest feel if they watch it, they can get good luck. But it explodes in their face! Tetora notes that it was making weird noises last week and wanted to get rid of it. Yeah. Marii brought it here… And Tetora avoided it being exploded in her room.
* Thus the rest decide to copy and follow every move she makes. Just to be safe. The group movement makes it look so odd that some shrewd producer thinks this breakdance rakugo will be a new hit. The girls go on stage and perform this new dance but are pelted with stuffs because the audience didn’t come to see this sh*t! And Tetora isn’t part of the performance because she is stuck in traffic. Such luck…

Episode 4A: Glasses Girl
* When the girls mention about Gankyou’s glasses fogging up during rain, Gankyou shows her violent side only towards Marii. Gankyou notes glasses are fitting for violent people because they would hesitate to hit them.
* But when Gankyou takes off her glasses, she obtains even more strength. So the glasses are some sort of limiter? The rest start wearing different type of glasses so as to avoid Gankyou being stereotyped as a glasses girl.
* Tetora stands up for Gankyou that she wears them to keep the balance among the crowd and also the perils of having someone walking around in fogged glasses. Gankyou shows she can still be accurate (by touching the nipples?) when her glasses fog up but misses for Marii’s case since she dodges it and puts up something fake in its place. The rest pity Marii because she doesn’t realize she’s being made fun of.

Episode 4B: Nausea At Daiba
* While taking a train, they talk about laughing gulls and the training they did for their rakugo performance. Cleaning a master’s ass is one of them?
* Kukuru starts feeling nausea so they try to calm her with sweets, writing ‘person’ on the palm or just swallow and get over it. Making her look outside the window makes her even sicker. I don’t know why Marii starts drinking and wanting to throw up too.
* Finally when they get off the train, they realize they are in the wrong place. Lots of cosplayers start streaming from the opposite direction. Trivia time! How many anime characters can you identify?!

Episode 4C: Bunny Eyes
* Why the heck are the girls watching a video of the moon in the room despite there is a full moon outside? So of course when you talk about the moon, you’re going to discuss what the crater looks like. A rabbit. Does it? Noting that different people see different things on the moon, I guess the most ridiculous one has to be Kukuru’s comment that it looks like a NEET asking his mom to buy the latest issue of Jump! I take that back. Gankyou’s one is really ridiculous: A pervert sniffing somebody’s ass!
* Suddenly the Master Rabbit pays them a visit and they have to serve him if they do not want him to get violent or show his temper. Whether it is dancing, singing or doing bunny hops, Master Rabbit isn’t appeased. Become Playboy bunnies to please him? Not working.
* When all else fails, Marii turns into Princess Kaguya to make the rabbit bow to her. However Master Rabbit kidnaps her to the moon and the crater now looks like the rabbit sniffing Marii’s ass! WTF?!

Episode 5A: Praise The Girl
* Kukuru is depressed. She asks the girls which is more important, her or rakugo? Because she wants to kill rakugo and then die, Tetora suggests celebrating birth rather than suicide. They do a Christmas party and sing to cheer her up.
* She thinks they are making fun of her and after she collapses, a ‘miracle’ occurs. Little cupids descend on her and send her into ‘high spirits’. The rest start signing but Marii refuses to join in. Thinking she is tone deaf, another ‘miracle’ happens. She becomes low in spirit and thinking she has become a fallen angel or demon, they feel the need to exorcise her. I’m not sure about this suggestion that rubbing the demon’s boobs will purge it. Is it some handphone application?

Episode 5B: Stylish Town
* The girls are at Harajuku and they prevent Marii from calling humans, trash. They discuss about the famous director, Miyazaki and the shortening of Ura Harajuku (Back of Harajuku) is shortened to Urahara. Marii wants to call the place Top-hara.
* They talk about the different fashion magazines and then go get crepe. Marii is dismayed at all the different types of crepe choices when Kigu recites a long order like as though she is reciting a resurrection spell.
* Marii has trouble trying to eat her crepe as she is thinking too much like as though her life is going to change once she bites it. They shut her up by sticking all their crepes in her mouth.

Episode 5C: Farewell To Glasses
* Everyone misinterprets the different kind of unique skin they have. Gankyou teases Marii if she really wants to have a big sister skin (an expression that means big sister character) and strips her only to reveal a blue black spot on her butt. They all try drawing their own version of big sister on her back but they just turn out hideous.
* Seeing that each of them has a different skin, they decide to become Dry Squad, Skin Arrangers! I guess their problem is solved by skin creamer.
* Gankyou feels left out from the squad since she has no unique skin so the only way she can have such is to have goosebumps. She’ll have to keep this up if she wants to join them. I’m sure the various examples would just freak her out. To solve this problem, they graduate her. Only her.

Episode 6A: Four Vows
* Now that Gankyou has been ‘graduated’, she is no longer part of the gang! They discuss how much easier things are with only four of them and the good things that come in fours. This includes bad stuffs when things are in five.
* As they are talking about four panel comics (yonkoma), they feel it is time to go home but find the door lock (you can bet it is jealous Gankyou responsible for that). Electricity is cut out to save power. They start playing a game that has them stand in each corner to stay alive. However if you think about it, there needs to be a fifth person if you need to keep the game going from corner to corner. As the rest think that having the fifth person is a good thing, Gankyou is waiting for the moment they’ll thank her. But to her dismay, they thank Masked Girl instead.

Episode 6B: Musashi Scenery
* Tetora is upset that everyone got off the wrong train station. Yeah, she passed Gankyou but didn’t notice her. So when she manages to get her attention, Tetora is sarcastic that she met someone who has graduated and commands respect. Gankyou denies the latter. So if she doesn’t, so what?

Episode 6C: The Servant’s Vengeance
* So Gankyou is back with the gang as Marii talks about hierarchy. Gankyou is considered a newbie and must look to the rest are her seniors. Her first task is to please Kigu and learns the hard way the kind of snacks and magazines she prefers.
* Gankyou becomes a pro in guessing what Kigu wants with only a hand sign and is told to serve her other ‘seniors’ as well. They have a bad feeling about this since Gankyou really wants to serve them. Evil aura coming out… Yeah, they get tortured as Gankyou praises herself for knowing what her seniors want.
* Tetora’s good luck means she is spared from the torture and suggests Gankyou to run as public servant since she is good in knowing what people wants. So they talk about politics and the machinery to run elections but she hasn’t the money for the deposit. Needing to just win any simple election, the rest think the neighbourhood election is a good one but the only condition is that she needs to be bald! Because all her candidates are. Marii tries to shave her but ends up getting her own butt exposed.
* Since Gankyou will run for anything, an alien beams her up and has her enter the Prime Minster race for the solar system. Because she needs to pay a deposit equivalent to 1 Earth, and learning that this dude has made money this way, she punches him for selling her planet. She thought she is done for but everybody rejoices in her actions. I guess that guy is really hated. Gankyou brags to her friends about having a meeting at a galactic level and that they mustn’t tell anyone or else people will come flocking to her. I’m sure they won’t. Maybe she’s just going crazy.

Episode 7A: Yankees Are Scary
* Discussing about modern triathlon and pentathlon, they discuss about putting some Japanese games in the mix like shogi or even sleeping in the kotatsu. Is that even a sport?
* They realize they forgot to put away the Hina dolls after a certain date and old wives tale means they won’t get married. Due to some pun, when Kigu gets splashed with green tea, they mistake it for moss and want her to stay away. But she goes berserk and turns them all green.
* Gankyou thinks the only way out is to be a delinquent and marry young. They look to Marii to turn them into a misfit! But after praising her as a leader, she is more inclined to do so. First, they talk normally but write using different kanji words (it’s more for the sound rather than the meaning).
* Discussing about if misfits have any legends, they decide to create one for Marii. But Tetora reminds them even if they are misfits, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll marry early if this room is isolated on a tower top. Thus the Hina dolls are as if locked away. Marii starts dreaming she is like a princess locked in a tower and doesn’t want to leave as the rest heads home. Next day when they come in, they see the place a filth and notes Marii turned into a shut-in instead.

Episode 7B: Fish Story
* The girls are at a fish market and talk about foreigners who love disturbing locals doing auctions and take silly pictures.
* They discuss about the top 3 ways to move around and the electro-cars along with different types of high-end luxury cars.
* They also talk about the history of the Tsukiji market and how it was relocated after a great earthquake.
* Next, they speak on the different names of fishes and why their kanji is written or named in a certain way and do the same for their own names. All the talking has made them hungry so they head into Yoshinoya to eat.

Episode 7C: Backstage Files
* Kukuru is depressed that the manager ticked her off for high electricity usage. So the rest try to find out what in this room uses lots of energy. But all they find are non-electrical freakish things hidden beneath the floor, ceilings and walls. And nobody but Kukuru is disturbed by it! Are their eyes so fixed on what consumes electricity that they can’t see the oddities?
* Marii suggests instead of cutting down power, they should produce more. This means she starts peddling her energy-producing bicycle but how much can it produce? Marii crashes through the wall but again nobody really sees the freaky thing and patches up before the manager gets back.
* Thinking about the best way to produce electricity, because of some twisted deduction that a gust of wind happens when love is sparked (I guess they’ve seen too many animes and read too many mangas), as long as people are getting it on, they can produce electricity. So why this hostess thingy? The guy is actually an undercover cop and is going to arrest them for this illegal activity when Kigu shoots a finger beam! They realize Kigu is a robot and the one using lots of electricity. The real Kigu is sleeping at home dreaming of electric sheep…

Episode 8A: Bag Of Gold
* Because it is the New Year, they discuss things that have ‘new’ in them. Since the master sent them mysterious New Year envelopes, they debate who should be going to take first. All lots have Marii ended up being the last one. She laments he would get the worst gift. Gankyou goes first and gets only 1,000 Yen. Kigu is next and ends up with 30,000 Yen. Kukuru is disheartened she got 2,000 Yen because this note is not in use anymore. Tetora gets a stock certificate! It’s worth 600,000 Yen! Marii feels she has drawn the short end of the stick. Why does it only feel like coins? Discussing about the value if she gets a foreign coin, Marii thinks she is the winner as the envelope might hold the key to an apartment suite.
* A camera distracts them to do a New Year greeting when Masked Girl steals Marii’s envelope. Everybody ponders what her envelope was and Kigu thinks it was the key to Marii’s heart. In actual fact, it’s just a 500 Korean won. That’s like around 40 Yen, right?

Episode 8B: Totter
* Marii is dressed as a maid and several old ladies molest her for good luck. Even her spot on her ass.
* They notice the shop selling t-shirts with several auspicious words. Then they eat some eel for vigour before visiting a sweets shop.
* At a temple, Gankyou explains about the Thorn Protector whereby legend has it that a servant swallowed a thorn but a charm from this temple saved her. They decide to splash water for good luck as Marii purposely splash on Gankyou. Suddenly she becomes nice and polite! Can it be true? The rest start pouring on themselves but there is no effect. Why? Because Gankyou was just pulling their leg! She got them!
* The girls are eating at a shop and word has it that eating soft shell turtles will give you softer skin. This leads them to think eventually they’ll grow old and wrinkly and their visions all fogged up. Then the vapour fogs up Gankyou’s glasses.

Episode 8C: Is It Over Yet?
* Everybody is saying that today is still April. Yeah. April the 40th! The friends fear if it is May, Kukuru may get May blues again. As for Kukuru, she thinks her friends are expecting her to get May blues.
* They decide to cheer her up by putting on funny faces and since she has no reaction, Kigu starts crying. The rest continue to cheer her up with their silly antics but Kukuru points out she doesn’t feel that bad in May. Marii thinks there are other sickness months too. The rest decide to take a monthly blue each. Marii is left out seeing the other months she picked seemed suitable for the rest. And the other months don’t seem so bad. Yeah, she’s having fun all year long.
* Tetora points out the more cheerful she is, the easier she’ll get May blues. Suddenly Marii sees visions of that creepy assistant called Yamashita. The rest couldn’t see her. Marii becomes haunted as she sees Yamashita around just about everywhere. Turns out to be Kukuru in a suit and she’s not yet finished having her fun yet. Yeah. It’s May 45th and the month isn’t going to end yet for fearful Marii.

Episode 9A: Butt-tofu
* Though the school holidays are here, Kigu is upset that not many children come to see rakugo. They come up with ideas to attract kids like trading cards or adding round things to their costume. Tetora suggests making their body round and invites them to eat all the snacks. Marii realizes this is a ploy because she knows Tetora doesn’t go fat no matter how much she eats.
* Desperate, the only way left is to force Marii and show her butt spot! How are they going to do that without turning it into porn? They discuss if they screw up, she’ll be mislabelled and remembered wrongly for years to come. Marii still refuses to show her butt but the rest aren’t giving up and continue to convince her. Suddenly some foreign admiral barges in to take Marii away thinking she is the victim of child abuse. Gankyou comes up with a thought that the kids may not be coming because the foreigners took them away.

Episode 9B: The Bear Of Ueno
* The girls meet at the zoo as they talk about the panda being used as the main attraction for visitors to visit the zoo. The panda isn’t doing anything much to Marii’s dismay so the rest think it has got a good life but notes it has no privacy since its sexual life is broadcasted on the internet.
* They also talk about another creature which has been named the lesser panda, the crap that other animals throw and what kind of animals they like each. Kukuru likes the naked mole rat so they go see those ugly rodents. She likes them because they don’t get cancer and do not revolt against the queen.
* When they converse about animal trivia, it led them to start mentioning about tear-jerking book titles that has animals in them. Hachiko, oh Hachiko! Finally Kukuru points out an animal that nobody seems to know where it originated from. What the hell is this mascot character on Jump’s magazine?

Episode 9C: Sleep Talking
* The girls are trying hard not to doze off as they talk about the origination of the sound asleep idiom. Because Marii mentions about fortune striking one when asleep, and then quickly dozes off, each time she sleep talks something good, that good fortune actually happens to them. Whether it is delicious sakura mochi or getting 5 people for a commercial ad (Masked Girl took Marii’s place), they’re sure enjoying the fortune.
* They realize as long Marii is asleep, good fortune will strike them. Each time she wakes up, unaware what just happened, they get mad and try all sort of stuff to make her go back to sleep. Hypnotism? Chloroform?! Listening to boring speeches? How about knocking her out cold with the table! Selfishly evil!
* The girls continue to ride on the luck of winning beauty contests, getting married to an Arabian prince (who can take on 5 but not 6 wives) and going on an idol tour. Then they realize they’ve been too lucky for their own good. What if all this was just part of Marii’s dream? So can you imagine when Marii sleep talks about the end of the world?! Hey! Where has everybody suddenly gone to?!

Episode 10A: Pumpkin Band
* The girls are enjoying their snacks they got from Halloween. Only thing is, they aren’t sweets but Japanese snacks for drinking! They talk about how this Halloween thingy has become popular in Japan since it’s a western tradition. This leads to discuss about copyright stuffs and that they have to watch what they say on TV.
* Because more of the western festivals are creeping into Japan, they think that soon they will be celebrating American holidays like Independence Day or Lincoln Day. As for the trick or treat motto, if they put it on a national scale, it may seem like something intimidating or threatening.
* They talk about doing Halloween the Japanese style and incorporating Japanese elements. Looks odd, don’t they? One of them being saying thanks after being given candy. Obviously. But they add that they need to do something in exchange like singing. Soon the girls form a death metal band but notice how they fail in comparison to a certain light music club band.
* If getting candy is so troublesome, Kigu would rather not have them. She gives the candy back and the girls start exchanging and trading up the given gifts till Marii ends up as some super rich girl! Yeah, they’re getting further and further from Halloween.
* Next on the topic is that Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean they should give sweets. Maybe it is just an abbreviation for something. It leads to Tetora thinking there is a bomb hidden in the pile of sweets as the girls make a mad escape dash. But it’s all fake as Tetora starts eating all the sweets.

Episode 10B: Battle of Shinjuku
* The girls are at the Kabukichou entertainment district and their conversation begins that there are no kabuki performances in the area despite its name (along with other examples in other places). Gankyou explains the history why there is none and the theatre that was built in its place in which it was eventually closed down due to poor sales.
* They head to an underground building for hardcore anime events and they got terrified (except for Kukuru) seeing some anime mascots killing each other in a death match!
* Marii imagines the kind of Kabukichou she would like to see. I don’t know. It seems dangerous. Illegal foreigners trying to sell her stuff, hosts trying to get her enter their host club and in the midst, a yakuza battle with the police. I’m not sure which movie she saw to get such an impression.

Episode 10C: Cavity Shore
* Kukuru is drawing her dentist in a depressed look. Why? When she was asked to pick which crown, she chose the one that is covered by the insurance. I guess that means he makes less profit, eh? Because of that, his grief stricken face is carved into her mind and starts seeing his face everywhere she goes.
* As they even joke about the release of this series’ DVD and its timeline and the possibility of being cancelled (don’t jinx it!), they soon discuss about the lame dental puns that dentists have in naming their clinic.
* Kigu shows off her shiny teeth she really takes care off as Gankyou notices Marii has been silent all this while. Actually she has cavities even though she denies it. They want her to fix it right away since the earthquake can hit anytime. I guess they’re really trying to nail the message because they put on a full face helmet on her even if the earthquake alert is fake.
* Since Marii doesn’t want to take off the helmet, this upsets Masked Girl as it overlaps her character. The painful submission move to take it off has Marii pleading for painkillers. But Kukuru gives her painkillers that only heal her heart. Now she is one happy singing girl. Till the effects wear off. Each time the pain worsens. It’s either high or pain.
* They suggest a primitive do-it-yourself to extract her teeth when Tetora introduces a high-tech machinery to do the job. Actually it is the same idea but only made more complicated. So the ball rolls and rolls and rolls, unleashing the domino effect to other contraptions from inside to outside the building and making some guy lose his wig! And the tooth eventually came out.

Episode 11A: Family Play
* The girls are having a swell time at the beach. Well actually, they’re in their dressing room. The background posters must be that realistic, huh? They discuss the various designs of swimsuits which leads to a topic on Japan’s loose education.
* Speaking of that, Gankyou bought a very loose and oversize swimsuit. So much so it can fit Kigu inside! Because it looked like a mother giving her daughter a piggy-back ride, they suggest Kigu to call Gankyou ‘mama’. Somehow it awakens her maternal instincts and they both love it.
* Kukuru got jealous and wants in but gets disappointed when she couldn’t smell anything on Gankyou. So as not to let her get depressed, Tetora throws soapy water all over the floor. This causes Kukuru and Marii to slip and somehow they squeeze and fit into Gankyou’s swimsuit. Can you believe it? Four girls fitting in a swimsuit? Man, it must be one very elastic swimsuit or a very, very, very loose one.

Episode 11B: Sakai Five
* Gankyou waits at the Musashi Sakai train station as slowly her friends pop up one by one after taking the wrong train stop.
* Walking along Skip Street, they talk about why the street is named so as well as Doppo Boulevard. They are about to stop by at a shop to eat ramen but Kigu has doubts entering it because it sound like a vulgar anatomy. But the rest convince her by giving examples of other sound effects similar to it. I guess the ramen tastes good, no? To relax after meal, Gankyou takes them fishing. Well, I guess this is fun for a lifetime. Because fun in getting drunk lasts only a day. Because fun in marriage only lasts 3 days, right?
* Finally the girls pass by and pay their homage to an anime studio that is responsible for animating them.

Episode 11C: Tree Tragedy
* The girls are holding a Christmas party in the dressing room. During the gift exchange, everyone knows Tetora will get the best gift. Gankyou got from Kigu a Santa outfit (what do you do with it after Christmas?), Kukuru got from Tetora sweet chestnuts (horrible pun on ‘Christmas’), Marii got a wooden block from Kukuru (an even worse pun), Kigu got a bunch of toilet rolls from Marii (what has it got to do with Christmas) and Tetora a 1,000 Yen note from Gankyou (she was too busy to buy anything – see? Didn’t she get the best gift?).* As the girls talk about buying stuffs from the internet, Tetora has ordered a Christmas tree. Because she couldn’t see its size on the internet, I guess it turned the dressing room into a jungle. Worse, the branches knock out the lights. In the dark.
* Since Marii had a runny nose from the start, it starts glowing. Oh, Rudolph… Everyone thought they should use her nose as the guiding light but some see a different ‘light’. Kukuru had better not go into the light at the end of the tunnel. Gankyou gets pissed when she realizes the light is coming from a handphone. Marii feels like she has the upper hand in ambushing violent Gankyou but wrongly attacks Kigu instead. So the ‘dark jungle’ turns into a war zone with parodies of Rambo, Predator, Apocalypse Now and even a cannibal coming into the scene.
* Marii is inches away from ambushing Gankyou from behind but Gankyou lands a clean hit into her face. I guess having a light in the dark means a big disadvantage too. Because it makes her nose glow even more, it attracts several other people in which Kigu is happy that they got some Christmas guests.
* All they need now to complete this Christmas is a red sock and here comes a giant one now. Getting crowded, eh? Yeah, Tetora ordered it from the internet and couldn’t judge its size. And she already ordered decorations for New Year. Oh shi…

Episode 12A: The Dreamers Strike Back
* Tetora is not serious when she really did order a giant New Year ornament, right?
* Because the girls are talking about first dreams of New Year, this has Kukuru all riled up because she hasn’t slept a wink since who knows when. They try to put her to sleep like singing a lullaby (sounds like a curse), counting sheep or total silence (what the hell are they making funny faces) but this only serves to irritate Kukuru. Especially about her weird and realistic ‘dreams’ which aren’t dreams but reality.
* To cheer her up, the rest dress up as auspicious objects believed to bring luck: Mt Fuji, eggplant and eagle. However no one has ever seen all 3 together so the surreal is very freaky for Kukuru.
* The girls try to dress up in other objects that include vegetables, bacteria and finally atoms. I think Kukuru doesn’t want to see any more of it.

Episode 12B: Gotta
* The girls visit various famous art landmarks in Roppongi that includes a giant spider statue with eggs under its belly, a giant rose, a random number generating Counter Void, The Hill, Protector Stone and talk about the medaka fish that is said to have been born from space when some astronaut went up there to conduct such experiments.
* They make a stop at a disco once known as Velfarre now renamed to Nicofarre. Because Marii mentions she would love to live in the bubble age 20 years ago, the rest put her on a swimsuit and push her into a time machine that claims it can do so. Marii becomes part of the bubble age and enjoys being part of it. Till she sees the bubbles of the champagne and is brought back to reality.

Episode 12C: Blacks
* As initiative to save electricity, the girls wear lighter cool biz rakugo uniform. However it makes them look like ninjas and they can’t help play ninja in the dressing room.
* Kukuru suggests telling ghost stories to feel cooler but Kigu is weak in them. However Gankyou explains reality is scarier than ghosts and shows a picture that contains something white that may look like a ghost. However it turns out to be a man in white radioactive suit. Scary or not? How about politicians who raise taxes? Scarier or not? What about a certain pop music that is so popular but no one seems to have bought the CDs? Scary or what?
* For visual effects, Tetora suggests painting the entire room blue. Though it does have a cooling effect, once they get used to it, they start feeling hot again. This time they dye their hair blue. Again, they feel hot after getting used to it. After changing into blue clothes, the shrewd producer enters to tell them about a new idea. However he only sees their ‘floating’ faces (everything else is blended into the blue background) so he freaks out thinking he has seen ghosts. The girls quip his wife is scarier. Huh?
* Lastly they wonder if there is anything else they could do to make it feel cooler. Yes there is. They all enjoy looking at Marii’s butt spot!

Episode 13A: Character Ruining
* The girls are talking about the last episode. Treasure every moment they have. Treasure every encounter for you may never meet again. Suddenly, a new character pops into the room. She is Uzannu Uzattei and this fast talking strawberry motif hakama b*tch starts getting on everyone’s nerve by hinting about their secrets.
* I guess the girls are prepared to put up with her since it’s the last episode, you know, the once-in-a-lifetime thingy. But I don’t think that will last because Uzannu continues to irritate everyone. She’s making it hard to tell her name too. Somebody shut this girl up!
* This has Kukuru think that once is more than enough and a host of examples why people queue up for the oddest reasons because of it. But Uzannu wants more annoys everyone (especially Kukuru) talking about sequels and remakes.
* That’s because she mentions if she gets one chance, she’ll mess them all up. This means she’ll ruin the character balance of everyone. She does it by annoyingly imitating everybody! Worse, she makes her own opening credits and fills it with her annoying self and irritating lyrics (literally).
* The only way left to kick her out is to summon the Masked Girl clones. She’s swept away with the clone wave. She’s gone. Thank goodness! But when a mother asks a girl about the rakugo performance she saw, she quips, “Once is enough”. And that Uzannu girl had the guts to come back and say she’ll be featured in the second season. In glorious 3D! Get out of here!

Episode 13B: Mighty Akiba
* The girls are lost in the Akiba train station due to the confusing signs. It’s like a giant underground maze if you don’t know your way around.
* Gankyou wants to show the girls around since this is her area but the first place she took them to some radio hall is under construction. She also got stopped by a couple of policeman for wearing a pouch (blame the slasher incidents for everyone being too jumpy).
* Gankyou continues to bring them around the electronics area and a bridge. Talking about places to eat, they note the several different themed cafes and restaurants around.
* Lastly they visit an underground idol but it turns out to be Uzannu making her annoying debut. Feel like going home? Yeah, I agree. Hate her but don’t hate Akiba.

Episode 13C: Extra Lectures
* Marii has trouble eating mochi so Tetora suggests eating it like a bowl of rice. This doesn’t sit well with Gankyou and tells her off to eat things as it is. This has Tetora twist the meaning of her words that since this show is heavy on dialogue, it shouldn’t be made into anime! Same thing goes to broadcasts. You should watch this show as it is and not burn it onto DVD!
* Gankyou argues if they would like a piece of ham on every fruit they eat. Not appetizing, right? That’s why it’s best to leave things as they are. Her point: Don’t add unnecessary things or weird twists. After a list of examples, in the end Tetora mentions it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it.
* Gankyou still isn’t convinced and tears up the clothes a dog is wearing. The dog didn’t like it and tears her clothes. I guess this is your last episode fanservice. Only a metal washbasin is hiding her modesty.
* Suddenly World War 2 patriot women come in to take her metal washbasin. Now she’s totally naked. Tetora passes her a guy suit and she looks stunning in it!
* However Marii gets upset because they once suspected her as a cross-dresser. Pointing the problem isn’t in their genders but their characters, the rest conclude Marii is not a boy or girl. But a being called Marii.
* Masked Girl calls Marii as it is her turn on stage so she goes out and talks about the end. The end of the show. The end of life. The end of everything. Okay, we get it. The end.

OVA Part A: Store of Spoils
* Marii gets upset when the audience claps before she finishes her story. It’s like wanting to get rid of her, eh? Kukuru also relates the same experience. Just when Marii wishes for those kind of people to drop dead, the rest point out that Marii is no better because she too has bad timing. Whether it’s an orchestra or baseball match, her bad timing makes her an embarrassing standout. Even there are other characters vouching for it. Clap too fast? Laughed at parts that are not funny?
* Kigu suggests mending her rhythm via mochi pounding. Miss and it will be major pain. This is serious. This is life and death. Of course Marii plays it safe and this has Kukuru wondering if she is tone deaf too.
* They let her use a metronome but it seems Marii got hypnotized. Then they realize her timing has been healed. Just like a normal person. When Tetora wonders what happens if she is snapped out, Marii returns to her old bad timing self. And got her hand pounded by the mochi hammer.
* After being released from hospital, Marii now knows why her timing is off due to the messed up timing of her heart. The girls point out that is arrhythmia and so she goes back to the hospital once more. Thankfully her condition is stable. But her timing still sucks…

OVA Part B: Three Bookstores
* The girls are at Jinbouchou, a place with numerous bookstores, publishers and universities. They decide to pay homage to their publisher but realize they got the wrong one. Shogakukan instead of Kodansha. But since they’re here, they visit the other publishing buildings around. They also discuss the various types of magazine genres they publish.
* Next they make their way to an old temple and a grave of someone supposedly responsible for building several Kodansha buildings.
* Once they arrive at Kodansha, they learn its formation history and its original ridiculously long name that contains too many strokes. Inside the hall, they check out past presidents and feel a sense of deja vu of being on this stage (something about 5 seiyuus in a talk show and signing posters. Them?).
* Making their way upwards, they notice several beautiful models for other fashion magazines. Hoping their publisher would have a nice office too, they enter and are appalled to see it messy like a pig sty. Yeah, there’s a tired editor sleeping in the midst of his work. I suppose this magazine is built on the daily sacrifice of the editors. Pay your respects!

OVA Part C: Surprise Focus
* Kigu is so serious in learning a new story that her facial features start focusing in the middle of her face! Cute or hideous? After several solutions to help ease her focus, her face finally loosens up back to normal after some massaging.
* However she has focus lines all over now. She becomes stressed and even though she takes it easy and relax, the focus lines make it seem she is focused. Imagine, she’ll have focus lines in everything she does till the day she dies!
* Marii shows off her pink fluffy background that she’ll never have but Gankyou says it doesn’t suit her. This means whatever troubles she gets into, it doesn’t seem dangerous because it feels she’s not having too much trouble.
* Kukuru suggests they start scattering instead of focusing and sarcastically hints because Marii is scatterbrained. Marii feels they should have separate dressing rooms. She goes to ask the manager but was beaten up. So they settle for little cubicles instead. However the cramped space means Kigu is now focusing too much and her face is messed up! I don’t even know how to describe this. Is her face swallowing itself?
* After being rushed to the hospital, Kigu is cured of her focus and her focus lines are gone too. Yeah, the focused treatment has her much less focused now. But as for Marii, there is no cure for her pink fluffy background. No medical advancement yet? Despite Marii sounding desperate and threatening to find a cure, I guess her background doesn’t give an impact of urgency or threat. Everything’s fine…

Girls’ Talk
I won’t really go so far to say that I didn’t enjoy this series but due to the lack of my knowledge in many of the topics the girls talked about, I couldn’t really understand the joke or what is being implied so that really takes a chunk out of the enjoyment. Oddly, the most entertaining segment that I find is Uzannu’s debut. I guess this shows I’m a person who prefers slapstick or sarcastic types of jokes. I can still remember how this was the only segment in the entire series that I was laughing my ass off. Real hard. She’s a real pain in the ass and neck. A part of me wanted her to stay and another part of me wanted her to get out for good. Maybe after we are so used to the quintet and their typical characteristics, suddenly somebody like her, a total newbie barges into the scene and brings her own form of chaos and throws everybody off their pace. This anime is also one of those few comedies that not only breaks the fourth wall but also fairly goes overboard (on purpose) in making jokes about the staffs behind this series. And it is usually a jinx to even mention about hoping to buy their DVDs and increase sales in hopes to get a second season. So it is no-holds-barred for everyone in the dressing room and some of the topics discussed are worth pondering as the examples given are good points to think about. At least everybody is free to express their views no matter how absurd or impossible they are. That’s the irony of the world and life we live in today.

Still nevertheless it is quite fairly entertaining especially to hear the girls talk (seriously, guys like me hearing girls talking is interesting?) and some of the examples that I understood were funny in their own way. So all isn’t lost actually. Though my Japanese vocabulary isn’t good, there are some simple lines that I am still able to aurally catch. What am I trying to say? I noticed that some of the lines said weren’t really precisely translated and were given a whole new different line instead. As I read, the fansubbers did make a note that they were aiming for a funny script and making it a priority over literal accuracy. Due to the difference in languages, I guess this is a dilemma that one has to face. Of course it is best to always learn the language itself but that’s not the point. Should they have translated exactly as said, the meaning would have been lost and I’m sure you don’t want to be reading the translator notes each time when this happens, right? This is going to happen a lot. It will be a pain. It will be annoying. That’s why to keep the funny flow of the topic, certain words are changed to keep the continuity of the flow. But if your Japanese is zero, I guess it doesn’t make any difference and you’ll still enjoy the ‘revamped’ joke.

Basically the characters themselves are pretty amusing and if you pay additional attention to their talk you’ll find that Marii’s butt spot is a recurring butt joke (bum pun intended). It’s like a running gag throughout this series. Though we won’t see them doing it very often, it will happen enough times to make you think that the other girls are sick perverts who enjoy watching that blue black spot on her ass. Gankyou despite being the coolest among the lot is also a violent girl and it seems her ‘sparring partner’ is often Marii, though I feel that Marii bears more of the brunt than Gankyou. Except for the final episode whereby Gankyou’s role totally switched with Marii and the former became the ‘victim’. Kigu may be acting like the innocent baby of the group but after she does something cute to amuse the rest, we see her dark evil side and note to herself she won’t put up with this sh*t for them anymore. Do you really want to know this dark side of hers? Guess not. But for Kukuru, it is more obvious that she is unlucky and emotionally unstable. One could easily mistake her from coming out from the movie, The Ring. Speaking of luck, Tetora may seem carefree but something about her luck bugs me. If it is true that her luck allows her to avoid all sorts of misfortune, how come in some episodes I notice that she also receives the kind of bad luck streak that the others would receive? I thought this good luck of hers is only unique in that episode but apparently this is prevalent throughout the series. So when I noticed that she received some misfortune too, it made me wonder if she was really lucky or not. Unless you’re telling me that she really enjoys it and thus not considered to be unlucky for her. That’s a possibility. And who the heck is Masked Girl anyway? Popping up in a few scenes here and there, adding randomness to the talk the other girls are already talking about whether it is related or not. Feels like you want to know who is behind that mask, don’t you? And of course, the most annoying character of all is no doubt Uzannu. Thank heavens that she only appears in only one episode. I think the viewers will be driven to insanity and madness beyond cure if she was a regular.

Thanks to the notes that I have mentioned earlier on, this means there are quite a number of trivia for you to spot. Provide if you know your anime culture well enough and your general knowledge on the worldwide affairs must also be up to date. Maybe also including those that have occurred some years or decades back. So for the producers to put in all these trivia, it  really seems like one Herculean effort especially to a person who knows nothing. Hats off to them and also the fansubbers who are quite knowledgeable and know their stuff very well. Here is an extra site that I discover having more trivia to read upon: Animenewsnetwork. Happy trivial pursuit. Hope you don’t die of trivia overload. For me, I’m too ‘stupid’ so I didn’t really understand some of them. That’s how I ‘survived’. Ah, ignorance is bliss.

This anime is animated by J.C. Staff, thus you could sometimes see some in-reference of them inside the anime. Being a veteran studio production house in the anime industry, they have brought us lots of animes like Azumanga Daioh, Honey To Clover, Hayate No Gotoku, Toradora, Kill Me Baby, Excel Saga, Ai Yori Aoshi, Nodame Cantabile, Shakugan No Shana, Bakuman, To Aru Majutsu No Index and Zero No Tsukaima to name a few famous titles. With many series animated under their belt, they don’t stick to particular one style of art. So in the case of this series, we have the Joshiraku girls having round and cute facial features. However, I thought I have seen shades of SHAFT’s animation style in a couple of scenes. Especially some of the side characters looking like those minor characters that appear in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. But the one little thing that I find odd is the round black spot over Kukuru’s top face whenever she is going into unlucky mode. It feels like there is some sort of a ‘crater’ at that spot, which makes it rather odd. Maybe it is part of her character’s feature just like how the butt spot is to Marii and glasses are to Gankyou. Another thing to highlight about the visuals is the various real locations that the girls visit in the middle part of each episode. As pointed out by the fansubbers, all (if not many) of them are real places. The drawings of the location, landmarks, building or monuments may not be in great detail right to the exact dot but the main standout feature is there and at least they look satisfactory. I suppose those familiar with them should easily identify with it. Good job, though.

For the voice acting part and being an anime with heavily dialogue, I guess they are pretty decent. Surprisingly Uzannu is the best one because of her annoying character. More surprisingly, Ryoko Shintani voices her and it’s not like the kind of usual roles I am used to hear her in like Rihoko in Amagami SS, Sae in Hidamari Sketch or Milfeulle in Galaxy Angel. I never know she can sound this annoying, yet so good. She’s wild, she’s fast, she’s lively, she’s… Annoying. Not even her role as the delusional Araya in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru could match up to this one. Total respect and hats off to her. Saori Goto (Keiko in Minami-ke, Soako in Hatsukoi Limited or Limited Girl) as Kukuru really makes her character like an ominous woman. If she ever dies with regrets lingering, she would definitely become a ghost. Oh wait. As of now she sounds almost as one. And when she goes crazy, she really goes crazy. Other casts include Ayane Sakura as Marii (Miyabi in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru), Kotori Koiwai as Kigu (Yoshikuni in Ao No Exorcist), Nozomi Yamamoto as Tetora (Yukimura in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai) and Yoshino Nanjou as Gankyou (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes). I thought he Masked Girl would be a character that has no lines. Apparently she does but very minimal. Her seiyuu is Aoi Yuuki (Tooru in A Channel, Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica).

The opening and ending credits are both amusing. The opening song, sung by the quintet of Joshiraku, Oato Ga Yoroshikutte… Yo! is a catchy rock piece and the credits animation is crazily filled with, erm, crazy random stuffs. The ending theme, Nippon Egao Hyakkei by Momoiro Clover Z (I thought they sounded like the Joshiraku quintet) with Yoshida Brothers (for the traditional shamisen sound) is a mix between traditional and rap. That is what makes it amusing. Somehow I find it catchy too. Really. To top it off, in addition to the other crazy random stuffs, the girls are doing a very cute dance which I feel could have rival Oppa Gangnam Style but it will only works if you dance to all that in a group. Can’t resist… Doing that… Hip dance… I suppose that’s the easiest part of the dance.

I still can’t understand rakugo. I know the title of each segment in the series is derived from a real rakugo story and the beginning of each episode has the girls finishing up their rakugo story to the audience with some with horrible puns which I don’t really get. Even if you put in cute girls and try talking me into it with such funny jokes and puns, most likely I won’t be swayed to convert either. So like I said, perhaps you need to be a true blue Japanese and of the older generation to appreciate them. Not only rakugo but a host of other types of traditional Japanese theatre entertainment like kabuki, noh and bunraku. I guess my tastes lean more towards the modern type of entertainment. Can I consider animes to be a modern and more sophisticated form of storytelling then? Well then, that’s all from me for now. Oato ga yoroshii you de, oyasuminasai…